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One of the most requested cosmetic treatments in our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office is teeth whitening. Clean, white teeth look younger and friendlier, and for many patients, it is fairly easy to achieve the ideal white smile. For most patients, achieving a white smile simply requires regular dental hygiene and some professional teeth bleaching sessions. However, some patients find that teeth bleaching treatments are inadequate for their teeth. Patients with very stubborn stains or, more likely, teeth stained due to the antibiotic tetracycline, may need to look beyond conventional whitening treatments to achieve the white smile of their dreams.

 

Conventional whitening treatments are designed to bleach the surface layer of the tooth. Consequently, surface stains caused by environmental factors such as foods, drinks, or tobacco can be virtually erased. However, some stains, like tetracycline stains and fluorosis discoloration, are actually embedded in the tooth. Patients with these embedded or calcified stains often benefit from cosmetic treatments that completely cover the tooth’s surface.

 

Dental veneers can be a useful treatment to cover tetracycline stained teeth. Dental veneers are simply thin layers of multi-dimensional porcelain that are placed over dental enamel. Because veneers completely cover the natural tooth, they can totally change the appearance of a patient’s smile quickly and easily. Another advantage of dental veneers is that they can be used to correct multiple cosmetic problems at once. For example, if you have tetracycline stained teeth that are also uneven, you can achieve a white, straight smile with one cosmetic treatment using veneers.

 

Although tetracycline stains have historically been difficult to treat, with modern cosmetic dentistry we can help you enjoy the bright, white smile you’ve always wanted. Feel free to give our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office a call for more information or to discuss your situation in greater detail!

If you’re trying to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you probably already have a good basic hygiene routine at home. Ideally, you’re already brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and maybe you’re using an oral antiseptic wash as well. If, despite your best efforts, you find that your teeth still seem to be losing strength and vibrancy, you may be suffering from acid erosion. Although acid erosion is not always well known among patients, it is an incredibly common condition that weakens and softens dental enamel. Many adult patients suffer from acid erosion without even realizing it—so read on to learn how to identify this harmful condition.

 

Acid erosion results when dental enamel is degraded or weakened due to long-term exposure to acidic foods or drinks. Acid demineralizes dental enamel, so over time the enamel becomes less resilient, softer, and more prone to dental infections. Patients with acid erosion often find that their teeth are more sensitive than before, and also more easily damaged or infected.

 

A number of common substances can contribute to acid dental erosion, including fruits, fruit juices, wines, and carbonated beverages. Now, minimizing dental erosion doesn’t mean that you need to avoid these substances all together—after all you need fruits in a healthy diet—rather, the goal is to minimize the length of time that teeth are coated in these acidic substances.


Here are some simple tips from our O’Fallon dentists:

 

Drink acidic beverages through a straw, thereby bypassing many teeth

Rinse your teeth with water after eating or drinking to help neutralize acids

 

The best way to protect your teeth from acid erosion is to maintain a regular schedule of semi-annual professional dental cleanings with your dentist. Your dentist can help you develop an oral hygiene routine that will work for your specific situation. Give our O’Fallon dental office a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!

My patient Vanessa came in to our office looking for a way to rejuvenate and brighten her smile. Vanessa had suffered from some severe cavities, and chronic dental problems had definitely left their mark on her smile.

 

When your tooth becomes infected with harmful bacteria, one of the first signs of infection that you may notice is dental discoloration. Dental enamel—the hard white outer surface of the tooth—is the first line of defense against infection. If the enamel wears away and becomes infected, it can become dark brown or black in spots.

 

As the infection moves through the tooth to the dentin and dental pulp, which lie below the dental enamel, the entire tooth can take on a darker, duller appearance. Once these dental infections are treated, you may still notice some residual staining and dental darkening.


The good news is that with modern cosmetic dentistry techniques our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists can drastically improve the appearance of teeth that appear duller or darker due to infection. If you natural enamel isn’t as white as you’d prefer, professional whitening treatments can lighten the appearance of your teeth. These treatments utilize hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to actually bleach teeth beyond their current level of whiteness.

 

If your teeth have been severely damaged, and dental bleaching treatments are not effective, you may benefit from cosmetic treatments that actually resurface the appearance of teeth. Dental veneers, because they completely resurface dental enamel, can correct even the most damaged dental enamel. Dental veneers may be especially useful if you experience both discoloration and pits or grooves in your enamel, because both of these problems can be corrected at once.

 

The first thing to do, no matter what your cosmetic concern, is to have your teeth assessed and treated for any infections. Once your teeth are healthy, our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office will help you reclaim your brilliantly white smile.

Smile Consultation: (636) 614-1217
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