Can Mouthwash Replace Brushing?

There is no doubt that mouthwashes are quick and easy to use, freshen up breath and help in preventing cavities, but can they replace the need for brushing? No, they can’t. Even though they kill bacteria and germs as well as help in rinsing out some food particles, they are not capable of removing plaque from teeth. Only brushing helps prevent and get rid of plaque, a sticky buildup of bacteria, which is the primary cause of tooth decay, foul breath and gingivitis. In fact, both a mouth wash and toothpaste should be used in conjunction with one another for healthy teeth.

Let’s take a look at some reasons due to which only using a mouthwash is not the best option for you:

  • Does Not Prevent Tooth Decay: As per the American Dental Association, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is the only way to get rid of stubborn food particles stuck between teeth. Not brushing before rinsing with a mouth wash poses a risk for tooth decay eventually. Mouthwashes do give a feeling of freshness after its usage, but they do nothing to get rid of the plaque on your teeth and gums.
  • It Masks The Real Problem: Mouth washes help get rid of bad breath temporarily but the problem persists after a couple of hours. The only way of getting rid of bad breath and its cause permanently is to brush and floss twice daily. Mouth washes are not the solution to the problem but act as a means of masking it for some time.
  • May Aggravate Existing Problems: When mouth washes are used as substitutes for toothpaste they can result in further complications. Mouthwashes usually contain alcohol which is not the best thing for your mouth. Mouthwashes with alcohol tend to dry the mouth and decrease the production of saliva. Decreased saliva results in rampant growth of bacteria in the mouth and this causes foul smell to emanate. Bacteria also eats away enamel, thus weakening teeth and leading to tooth loss. Using a mouth wash alone can also lead to a higher risk for caries, gingivitis and periodontal diseases. The only way to combat this is to brush and floss twice every day.
  • Conclusion: Mouthwashes are beneficial but only when combined with brushing and flossing. Using mouthwashes as a replacement for brushing will not help in getting rid of plaque and can lead to the deterioration of dental health. Hence mouthwashes alone cannot suffice.

Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. For more information, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Causes Of Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is characterized by stained teeth or by changes within the tooth. They can be extrinsic, intrinsic or age-related. The stains on teeth can be in the form of white streaks, yellow tints or brown spots. There are a number of causes for tooth discoloration, some of which have been mentioned below:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Anyone who does not brush and floss daily is at a risk of getting stained teeth sooner or later. Discoloration in this case is caused by bacteria and food particles in your mouth.
  • Foods And Beverages: Tea, coffee, soda, wine, colas and certain juices are highly acidic in nature. This makes them great staining agents. Foods like apples, beets, potatoes, blueberries, tomatoes, etc. have the same effect. To avoid stains caused by foods and drinks, it is advisable to rinse after every meal as well as brush and floss regularly.
  • Tobacco: In addition to making you susceptible to gum disease and other oral health problems, tobacco can lead to staining of your pearly white teeth.
  • Aging: A natural cause, aging catches up with tooth enamel and wears it down. As the enamel wears off, the yellowish dentin is exposed, giving teeth a yellowish or brownish tinge.
  • Medical Conditions: Medical conditions like calcium deficiency, liver disease, celiac disease, eating disorders etc. impact the natural color of teeth as they affect the tooth enamel.
  • Genes: Your genes determine to a great extent the level of thickness and brightness of your teeth. The health and quality of enamel determines the color of teeth. Weak and compromised enamel guarantees tooth discoloration.
  • Medications: Medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, liquid iron supplements, blood pressure medicines, chemotherapy, oral rinses etc. are known to cause discoloration of teeth.
  • Trauma: Any damage to the tooth will impact the enamel and consequently cause discoloration. Children are more prone to discoloration due to trauma. Trauma causes intrinsic stains due to damage of a nerve or blood vessel. A root canal treatment can help prevent such stains as it gets rid of the pulp which if not taken out in time, decays and darkens.
  • Environmental Factors: A high amount of fluoride is also a cause of tooth discoloration. Such high levels can either come from environmental sources like water with high fluoride levels or excessively using products with fluoride such as fluoride supplements, fluoride applications, rinses etc.

For more information, Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. Visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs

Cosmetic dentistry is the amalgamation of science and art to create flawless, bright and healthy smiles. The treatments under cosmetic dentistry include teeth whitening, tooth contouring, veneers, bonding, bridges, dental implants, fillings and smile makeovers. The following is a list of some commonly asked questions regarding cosmetic dentistry:

  1. Can I Get These Treatments Done From A Regular Dentist? Cosmetic dentistry is a skillful process and should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a well-trained cosmetic dentist.
  2. How Long Does A Single Cosmetic Treatment Session Last? The time taken for each individual will depend on the form of treatment being conducted. Treatment sessions vary from one another in terms of time. Some take a shorter time whereas others require more than a single sitting.
  3. Is Teeth-Whitening Right For Me? Yes. Anyone can get a teeth whitening treatments provided he/she religiously makes efforts to maintain good dental health. It’s great for anyone with yellow or slightly discolored teeth or those who simply want to improve the aesthetic appeal of their smiles.
  4. What About The Costs? Costs vary depending on what treatment is chosen. Clients are given information regarding the cost for each treatment plan and can even get insurance coverage if their insurance provider covers cosmetic dental care procedures like structural problems or restorative dentistry.
  5. Is There An Age Restriction For Cosmetic Dental Treatments? It is generally recommended to get treatments like porcelain veneers after the age of 20 as they are irreversible. However older teens are eligible for whitening procedures and younger ones for Orthodontics.
  6. Can I Opt For Sedation? Sure. Your cosmetic dentist will determine the level of sedation that best suits you. This is done after considering your health and medical history and the procedure being undertaken.
  7. Are There Any Side Effects I Should Be Concerned About Regarding Teeth Whitening? No. It’s completely safe and effective provided you take good care of your teeth post-treatment. Protective gels or rubber shields are used during the procedure to protect the gum tissue from bleaching agents.
  8. How To Identify A Good Cosmetic Dentist? To know how capable and reliable your cosmetic dentist is, you should get information about his/her training credentials as far as the procedure you are interested in is concerned. You can also ask to be shown the before-and-after pictures of previously treated patients and judge the results for yourself.

Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. For more information, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are permanent adult teeth located on the top and bottom hind corners of the jaw. They usually appear between 17 and 25 years and in some cases they never appear.
A wisdom tooth may be extracted due to the following reasons:

  • Wrong growth angle (towards the adjacent tooth, backwards, at a right angle etc.)
  • If it is painful
  • If it has caused damage to the adjacent tooth
  • In case it develops a cyst consisting of a fluid-filled sac
  • When it damages the surrounding bone
  • To prevent future complications such as a weakened jawbone, infection in the socket, damage to sinuses near tooth, dry socket etc.

Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure that’s done on the very same day on which the
surgery is scheduled. Following are few things to expect during the surgery:

1. Anesthesia: 3 types of anesthesia can be administered by your dentist i.e. local anesthesia, sedation anesthesia and general anesthesia.

  • Local Anesthesia: In this, a local anesthesia is administered with one or more than one injections. You will be awake throughout the extraction and can feel some pressure and movement but not pain.
  • Sedation Anesthesia: In this you are anesthetized through an intravenous line in the arm. It is accompanied by a local anesthesia for numbing the gums. Your consciousness is suppressed during the procedure so that you do not feel any pain.
  • General Anesthesia: In this you are required to inhale the medication through the nose after which you will lose consciousness. It is safe and absolutely painless.

2. Procedure: This involves painless removal of the tooth, cleaning the site of tooth removal, stitching the wound and placing a gauze on the wound. If you were anesthetized with sedation or general anesthesia, you are sent to the recovery room after the procedure. If you have had local anesthesia, you will be given a brief recovery time on the dental chair.

3. After-Care:

  • For healing from the surgery you will be required to rest for that very day and resume your normal activities the following day. However, care should be taken to avoid strenuous activity for at least a week post-surgery.
  • Avoid caffeinated, carbonated, alcoholic and hot beverages for 24 hours after the surgery. Drink lots of normal water. Don’t use a straw to drink water.
  • For the first 24 hours, eat soft foods only. Stay away from hard, hot and spicy food.
  • If pain persists, follow the pain prescription advised by your doctor or hold a cold pack against your jaw.
  • It is advised not to brush, spit, rinse or use a mouthwash for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Gentle warm salty water rinses are recommended for up to a week after the initial 24 hour period.

For effective dental treatment, visit Enamel Dentistry at 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

How To Get Rid Of Cavities

Cavities refer to small openings in teeth caused by tooth decay. The main causes of cavities are poor oral hygiene, plaque build-up, oral bacteria and mineral deficiency. Once a cavity forms, it is usually irreversible and has to be treated by a dentist. Following are some signs of a cavity:

  • Toothache
  • Pain while biting
  • Holes in the teeth
  • Bad breath or taste

On suspecting a cavity, it is advisable to consult your dentist immediately. He will conduct an examination to confirm the cavity and can also recommend an X-ray to know its depth. Here are some ways in which your dentist can help you get rid of cavities:

  • Fluoride Treatment: This is effective for cavities that are in the budding stage. Fluoride helps in re-mineralizing the tooth surface. It is either applied directly on the teeth or placed in a tray over the teeth. This mode of treating cavities works by coating the teeth with a gel varnish, a solution or foam fluoride to strengthen the enamel. Care should be taken not to swallow the fluoride.
  • Fillings: If the cavity has gone deeper into the tooth enamel and is permanent, the dentist removes it with a drill or laser and then fills it with a composite resin that matches the color of tooth. The number of appointments for filling depends on the number of cavities.
  • Crown: Crowns are custom-fitted coverings for tooth used to treat cavities. They are used for severe cavities. The crown is made of a material similar to the teeth. The process of crowning involves drilling out decayed part of the tooth. A mold of the tooth is then taken to recreate the shape and bite of the tooth. The final crown is then cemented onto the teeth in just 2 appointments.
  • Root Canal: If the cavity has penetrated deep into the tooth’s pulp and has decayed, your dentist will recommend a root canal. It involves incising the top of the tooth and taking out the decayed pulp from inside the tooth. The tooth is then covered with a crown to prevent a re-fracture.
  • Tooth Extraction: If the cavity has affected the entire tooth and damaged it beyond repair, then the only option is to get it extracted. At the discretion of the client, the gap left after an extraction can be filled with a dental implant or bridge.

Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. For more information, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Benefits Of Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is one of the safest and most effective ways of fixing stained teeth and improving your smile. Improper dietary habits, aging and daily habits like not brushing and/or flossing are the main factors that lead to discoloration of teeth. This can impact one’s self-esteem and confidence levels in social gatherings. In-clinic, teeth whitening can be done in a single session which sometimes takes less than an hour. It is a convenient, fast and cost-effective way of achieving a flawless smile.

Here are some great benefits that you can reap by getting your teeth professionally whitened:

  • Better Looking Whiter Teeth: You might think that your good old toothpaste will do the same trick but that is far from the truth. A session of professional teeth whitening has astounding results when it comes to the way your teeth look and feel. Your teeth will instantly look whiter, brighter and more even.
  • Younger Looking Appearance: Whiter teeth make a person feel younger and happier. A bright, white smile improves a person’s facial expression instantly by cutting off years from one’s appearance.
  • Quick And Reliable: Getting your teeth whitened professionally is the fastest and most dependable way of getting results. It saves a lot of time and money as compared to other teeth whitening products.
  • Customization: Professional teeth whitening leaves room for customization as per an individual’s specific requirements. The client has full control over the amount of whitening required. The concentration of the whitening agent can be easily adjusted to achieve the right level of whitening. This is not the case with over the counter teeth whitening products which have a uniform result for all.
  • Safer And Gentler: Resorting to professional teeth whitening is safer for the gum tissue. The whole procedure is performed by an expert and monitored at every step. Clients are also guided as to the post-session care of the teeth for long lasting results.
  • Magnetic Personality: Adorning beautiful white teeth automatically makes you look more appealing and confident. People are automatically drawn towards those who have beaming sparkling smiles. People love to associate with those who seem to take good care of their appearance and this also reflects in the form of financial and professional success. You are more likely to perform better at work, in interviews and also in your business if you are confident as far as the appearance of your teeth and smile is concerned.

For more information, visit Enamel Dentistry at 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Prepping Up For A Dental Visit

Unlike a regular doctor’s appointment, a visit to the dentist is not something you can just show up for without any preparation. It does require some preplanning to make it hassle-free. Following are some tips to guide you on what to do before your next dental appointment, to make your dental appointment a pleasant experience and to ensure that you are not caught off-guard.

  • Set Up A Reminder For Your Appointment: As in any other medical appointment, it is extremely important that you make a clear note of when the appointment is scheduled. Setting up a reminder on your phone or calendar is a good way to do this and can help you be well-prepared on the day of appointment. It is also a good idea to call your dentist’s office before the appointment and confirm it once. This ensures that nothing has changed since you booked the appointment.
  • Show Up Early: Do show up at least 15-30 minutes in advance of your appointment. This will give you some time to calm your nerves and mentally prepare yourself for the appointment. Additionally, if anything goes wrong on the way to the dentist’s office, you will be allowing yourself sufficient time to ensure that you do not have to rush to the office and get anxious in the process.
  • Dental Hygiene: While this might seem like an obvious thing to do, still there are chances that you forget to brush and floss before your appointment. It is advisable to plan your meals in such a way that you do not have to eat right before or after the appointment. Make sure your teeth are brushed and you have a fresh breath before showing up for the appointment.
  • Educate Yourself: No matter how simple or complex the procedure you are undergoing, it is always a good idea to read up on it before the appointment, to ensure that you are well-aware of what to expect. Moreover, this will also help you identify any questions you might have, which your dentist will be happy to help you out with.
  • Bring All Your Records: Finally, be sure to remember to bring all the documentation you might need for the appointment. Right from your previous dental records and medical history, to your health insurance and list of medications, you cannot afford to miss out on any of this key information.

For effective dental treatment, visit Enamel Dentistry at 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

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