Dental Group of Amarillo

Teeth Discoloration

What color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today.

Can You Whiten Teeth Naturally?

From powders to pastes, there are many ways people try to whiten their teeth. However, not every recipe we see online truly whitens correctly. It may be tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile, but just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening may do more harm than good to your teeth.

With Fruits, like acid packed lemons and apple cider vinegar, you put your pearly whites at risk with prolonged contact. Using baking soda and lemons, for example, to scrub your teeth can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. This enamel cannot be grown back, so it is very important to keep it in tip top shape.

With Scrubs like activated charcoal and baking soda mixes you may be using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth! This can end up actually making them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue that’s called Dentin.

With Spices and Oils, like coconut oil and turmeric, there is really no evidence that these are helpful. Over using coconut oil has potential to be poor for your body, so using these strictly when cooking could be more beneficial than using them to whiten your teeth.

To best ways to whiten your teeth naturally is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
• Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
• Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
• Cleaning between your teeth once a day
• Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
• Not smoking or using tobacco
• Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

With these steps you should be well on your way to achieving that sparkling smile you are looking for, naturally! Call us today for more info, and to schedule an annual teeth cleaning Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

3tipsforhappygums

Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

All There is to Know About Veneers

Everything about Veneers

If you are looking for a way to freshen up your smile, veneers might the perfect choice for you.! Veneers are usually made from composite resin or porcelain and bonded to your natural. Below are some frequently asked questions veneers and how they can change the look of your smile.

Why do people get veneers?

There are many reasons as to why someone chooses to have veneers. Often people choose to have veneers due to being unhappy with their current smile. Worn, chipped, stained, or cracked teeth are all candidates for veneers.

How long do veneers last?

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last well over a decade. However, depending on the type of wear that you have on your veneers, they may need to be replaced sooner.

It’s important to practice excellent oral care in order to ensure veneers last longer. Also protect your teeth when you can by brushing, flossing, and avoiding excessive teeth grinding. All of these steps will allow your veneers to last longer.

If the veneers become worn or chipped, the veneer will need repaired or replaced.

Will you be able to tell that I have veneers?

Your dentist will take special care to ensure that your veneers match your existing teeth. They will be color matched to your surrounding teeth, making them look as natural as possible.

How much do veneers cost?

Depending on the type of veneer and how many veneers you would like, the price will differ. Contact our office to learn more about veneers pricing and payment plans.

If you are ready to take your smile to the next step or have any additional questions, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633

What the Fluoride?

whattheflouride-blog

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

os and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!

Do…
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.

• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.

• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.

• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!

Don’t…

• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.

• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.

• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.

• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.

• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.

When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633!

5 Mouth Healthy Snacks That Are Delicious Too!

5 mouth healthy snacks that are delicious too

Not all foods are created equal. Some can be good for you and some can cause detrimental damage to your teeth (EEK)! Below are a few snack ideas that are not only tasty and easy to whip up, but healthy for your mouth too.

1. Apple Cinnamon oatmeal:

Due to the high fiber and crunchy consistency, apples naturally clean your teeth. They can also help fight plaque buildup and remove surface stains from teeth. By removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue, apples also fight bad breath.
Cinnamon contains a natural plant oil, known as cinnamic aldehyde, that has shown abilities to destroy bacteria in your mouth. Coupled with the apples, cinnamon takes fighting bad oral bacteria to the next level.
Now for the oatmeal. Whole grains have been linked to a higher quality of periodontal health. This is why we recommend to load up on the oats! Whole grain foods, such as oats, barley, bran and brown rice, may indirectly improve oral health by improving the body’s ability to process blood sugar.

2. Carrots and celery snack pack:

Celery is nature’s toothbrush! It acts almost like a toothbrush by scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Dip in some ranch or spread on some low-sugar nut butter for a satisfying snack!

Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a raw carrot at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A.

3.Yogurt parfait:

Studies have shown that yogurt reduces hydrogen sulfide, the chemical associated with bad breath! It also helps reduce plaque and gingivitis. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some yogurt!

4.Green garden salad:

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel, making them strong. They also contain folic acid, a type of Vitamin B that has numerous health benefits, such as helping the body produce and maintain new cells.

5. Trail mix with almonds, raisins, and dried fruit:

Crunchy almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar. They’ve been shown to lower blood sugar while simultaneously increasing the production of saliva. On the other hand, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that fight off the bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. Dried fruit, like Cranberries or dried plums, have a similar impact, as long as you brush your teeth after eating them as they still have quite a bit of sugar. Put all these together and mix them all up for a healthy power snack!

It’s easy to eat mouth healthy snacks when they taste good too! If you have any questions about foods that are good for your teeth, give our office a call today! Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Is there something about your teeth that is holding you back from smiling? Cosmetic dentistry is the perfect opportunity to correct your teeth’s imperfections that have been causing these insecurities. Nothing should keep you from smiling; read below for simple solutions that can give you that million dollar smile you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Teeth Whitening

Are your discolored, stained, or dark teeth shaking your confidence? This simple procedure can help boost your self-esteem by granting you a bright white smile. Your dentist will provide professional treatment that will be more effective than just store bought whitening strips. A teeth whitening appointment can range anywhere from 30-90 minutes, giving you a brand new smile in as little as one trip to the dental chair.

2. Invisalign/Clear Braces

Are your teeth misaligned or crooked? If so, this can create insecurity and a possible alteration to your bite. Misaligned teeth are not only aesthetically displeasing, but they can also cause difficulty chewing. Because of this, you can cause unintentional strain on your mouth by putting unnecessary pressure on certain teeth, while neglecting others when biting and chewing. There are different solutions for correcting this problem, including things like Invisalign, also known as clear braces. Make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist to see if clear braces are an option that would work for you.

3. Veneers

If you have an imperfection on a specific tooth, there is always the option to suitably cover it up with the use of veneers. Veneers are used to cover up cosmetic flaws on teeth such as gaps, cracks and chips. Veneers are made from thin sheets of porcelain, which mimic real teeth, giving you an authentic looking smile that can’t be beat.

Everyone deserves the smile of their dreams; make the call today to talk to us more about what cosmetic procedure will take your smile to the next level! Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633

3 Pros For Getting Veneers

Veneers; the shortcut to a beautiful, glistening, white, smile! Made of porcelain, veneers are thin covers that attach to your enamel, providing a flawless yet natural look to your teeth. Aside from the picture-perfect smile that veneers provide, there is a plethora of other reasons as to why they’re such an optimal choice. That being said, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 reasons to get veneers!

1. Replaces Damaged Enamel: The older you get, the more vulnerable your enamel becomes. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy fix to right the wrong of the consecutive years of aggressive tooth brushing, countless acidic beverages, and sugary foods that ate away at the enamel. Luckily, veneers are able to replace the damaged enamel and give your smile the full and cosmetically pleasing look that you’re looking for.

2. Easier to Maintain Whiteness: No matter how many times you whiten your teeth, it’s a little too easy to stain your enamel all over again (Hello Coffee!). Fortunately, veneers are stain-resistant; meaning that they are a lot more difficult to stain! Say goodbye to discoloration!

3. Can Replace Multiple Treatments: When it comes to veneers, it doesn’t matter what your natural teeth look like. This is because, once attached, your smile becomes flawless! Often times we have patients that come in with a gap or cracked teeth and ask for instant gratification, and in that case, we recommend veneers!

If veneers are something that interest you, or if you have any questions, give us a call at Commerce Street Office Phone Number 806-358-7633 so we can start your journey to an everlasting smile TODAY!