Posts for: April, 2019
On the big screen, Australian-born actress Margot Robbie may be best known for playing devil-may-care anti-heroes—like Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn and notorious figure skater Tonya Harding. But recently, a discussion of her role in Peter Rabbit proved that in real life, she’s making healthier choices. When asked whether it was hard to voice a character with a speech impediment, she revealed that she wears retainers in her mouth at night, which gives her a noticeable lisp.
“I actually have two retainers,” she explained, “one for my bottom teeth which is for grinding my teeth, and one for my top teeth which is just so my teeth don't move.”
Clearly Robbie is serious about protecting her dazzling smile. And she has good reasons for wearing both of those retainers. So first, let’s talk about retainers for teeth grinding.
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding affects around 10 percent of adults at one time or another, and is often associated with stress. If you wake up with headaches, sore teeth or irritated gums, or your sleeping partner complains of grinding noises at night, you may be suffering from nighttime teeth grinding without even being aware of it.
A type of retainer called an occlusal guard is frequently recommended to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. Typically made of plastic, this appliance fits comfortably over your teeth and prevents them from being damaged when they rub against each other. In combination with stress reduction techniques and other conservative treatments, it’s often the best way to manage teeth grinding.
Orthodontic retainers are also well-established treatment devices. While appliances like braces or aligners cause teeth to move into better positions, retainers are designed to keep teeth from moving—helping them to stay in those positions. After active orthodontic treatment, a period of retention is needed to allow the bite to stabilize. Otherwise, the teeth can drift right back to their old locations, undoing the time and effort of orthodontic treatment.
So Robbie has the right idea there too. However, for those who don’t relish the idea of wearing a plastic appliance, it’s often possible to bond a wire retainer to the back surfaces of the teeth, where it’s invisible. No matter which kind you choose, wearing a retainer can help keep your smile looking great for many years to come.
If you have questions about teeth grinding or orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
Is it inevitable that your smile will yellow with time? Not so with teeth whitening from Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia! After a careful oral examination, Dr. Steve Gilbert and Dr. Carlos Velez can restore that youthful sheen and brightness! Read on to learn if you, too, could be a candidate for this popular aesthetic service!
FAQs about teeth whitening
Why should I go to the dentist for teeth whitening?
Your Philadelphia dentist will assure you that teeth whitening is safe for you, your teeth, and your gums. People with active decay, multiple restorations (e.g. fillings), and untreated gum disease will generally not be good candidates. Also, individuals who are pregnant, lactating, or under active treatment for a serious health condition, such as cancer, should postpone teeth whitening.
What stains tooth enamel?
Experts at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine state that tooth enamel retains pigmentation from food such as blackberries, black tea, colas, coffee, and soy sauce. Also, acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, actually make tooth enamel softer, more porous, and more apt to stain. Tobacco is one of the biggest stainers.
Is teeth whitening a long process?'
No, teeth whitening takes just one hour at our Philadelphia office. The at-home type takes about a week of daily gel applications.
What is the active ingredient in whitening gel?
Usually, it's hydrogen peroxide, which bleaches out organic matter stuck in the enamel matrix. At-home whitening utilizes custom-fit acrylic trays filled with the gel, and in the office, the dentist "paints" on the peroxide gel and then rinses it off.
Will my teeth and gums hurt afterward?
Sometimes whitening leaves a bit of residual sensitivity behind. However, it is a mild sensation that will go away shortly.
Will my teeth remain white?
If you stay away from dark foods and beverages and tobacco, your teeth will stay bright for a long time. Remember to also brush twice a day as the American Dental Association advises, and floss your teeth at least once daily. See Dr. Gilbert or Dr. Velez for an exam and cleaning twice a year and for an occasional whitening touch-up as needed.
A fabulous smile
Improve your once-drab smile by as much as eight shades with professional, safe, and effective teeth whitening from Gilbert Dental Care. Call us today to arrange your whitening consultation: (215) 972-0406.
If you've lost a tooth or need to have one extracted, you have to decide how to replace it. Of all the options available none can match both the lifelikeness and function of a dental implant.
A dental implant is a prosthetic (false) tooth that mimics the root of a natural tooth. Once that implant root form fuses to the surrounding bone, we attach the crown, which is the part of the tooth you can see.
While other replacement options like bridges or dentures can restore the lifelikeness of the tooth crown, they don't replace the root. An implant's titanium post can: using a minor surgical procedure we imbed the post into the bone. Because bone cells have a natural affinity with titanium, they will grow around and adhere to the post over a few weeks after surgery. This further adds strength to the implant's hold in the bone.
Although the attachment isn't exactly like natural teeth, it can maintain this hold for many years. And because it encourages bone growth, a dental implant will help minimize bone loss, a natural consequence of losing teeth. Other replacement options can't do that.
Of course, implants are more costly than other restorations. With an attached crown, an implant can replace any number of teeth. But if you have extensive tooth loss, bridges or dentures would be more cost-effective selections.
But even then, implants could still play a role. We can strategically place a small number of implants as supports for a bridge or even a removable denture. Not only will the implants better secure their attachment, they'll also stimulate bone growth.
Is a dental implant the right choice for you? Visit us for a complete examination and evaluation. Afterward we can discuss your options and whether this phenomenal tooth restoration method could help restore your smile.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”