How Do I Maintain a Healthy Smile?

How Do I Maintain a Healthy Smile?

At Hebron Family Dentistry, we are proponents of prevention to ensure our valued patients enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for life. We encourage you to maintain proper oral hygiene habits and stay current on your regular dental exams and cleanings to lower the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. We look forward to working alongside you to ensure your smile stays healthy and sound. 

How Often Should You See Your Dentist?

Most dental professionals agree that you should visit your dentist every six months for routine dental care. Dr. Watson may recommend more frequent visits for patients with periodontal disease or those at a higher risk of tooth decay. Most dental insurances cover twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings to detect early signs of dental problems and lower the risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. 

Routine Preventive Dental Services

Even with the most meticulous home oral hygiene practices, it’s important to visit Hebron Family Dentistry for your routine preventive care. Being proactive and preventing the onset or progression of dental disease will avoid the need for costly and complex treatments down the road. 

Maintaining a healthy smile will reflect on your overall health. Research shows a link between gum disease and serious health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

Here’s a look at what you can expect during your routine dental visits:

Dental Exam: We will capture diagnostic x-ray images of your mouth to uncover problems we can’t see during a physical examination. These include early signs of tooth decay, bone loss, cysts, or other potential concerns. 

Dr. Watson will examine your teeth and restorations and evaluate your gums to detect and address any problems as they develop. She will also conduct a bite analysis, TMJ evaluation, and oral cancer screening to rule out abnormalities. Dr. Watson will use this information to create a personalized treatment plan to address any immediate needs and preventive measures required to restore and maintain a healthy smile.  

Dental Cleaning: Our dental hygienist will use a dental instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and gum line. Next is professional flossing to remove any food particles or plaque from between your teeth. The final step is polishing your teeth to remove surface stains, leaving you with a whiter, brighter smile.

We may recommend a fluoride treatment, if needed, to strengthen your tooth enamel and make it more resistant to decay. Dental cleanings have been shown to lower the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. 

Home Oral Hygiene Tips for a Healthy Smile

It’s important to care for your smile at home between dental visits. That includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Regular brushing and flossing remove leftover food particles and plaque, lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. 

Make sure to maintain a balanced diet to provide your teeth and gums with the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Avoid habits that can harm your oral health, including consuming sugary or acidic foods and beverages, biting down on hard objects, or using tobacco products. If you have any questions or need more tips on home oral hygiene practices, our team is here to help. 

Preventive Services Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about keeping your smile in tip-top shape. We’re happy to offer cutting-edge preventive dentistry solutions for long-term healthy smiles. You can always count on Dr. Watson and her team for state-of-the-art, compassionate care. Call 859-689-2021 to schedule your appointment today!

Invisalign 101: Everything You Need to Know

Invisalign 101 Everything You Need to Know

If you are considering orthodontic treatment but do not want to deal with metal braces, you may want to consider Invisalign. The world’s most advanced clear aligner system will straighten your teeth and align your smile without impacting your life. A visit to Hebron Dentistry will help determine if Invisalign is right for you. 

What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work? 

Invisalign by Align Technology involves the use of a series of custom-made clear aligners that fit snugly over your teeth, gently pushing them and guiding them into position over time. You will need to wear your aligner trays for 20-22 hours each day to keep your treatment on track. About every two weeks, you will move on from one set of aligners to the next in the series, following your custom treatment plan. 

Are You a Candidate for Invisalign? 

Invisalign is ideal for adults and teens, with Invisalign Teen featuring compliance indicators to ensure adequate usage. The revolutionary orthodontic solution treats a range of concerns, including crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth and problems with the bite, such as underbites, overbites, open bites, and crossbites. Our team at Hebron Dentistry will examine your teeth and help you determine if Invisalign is right for you.  

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign’s aligners are virtually invisible, making them an excellent option for individuals who are self-conscious about wearing braces. They are made from a smooth, BPA-free material that won’t rub against your cheeks and gums like metal wires and brackets. Another advantage is that you can remove the aligners, so you won’t have any food restrictions as with traditional braces, and you will brush and floss with ease. 

Invisalign treatment is highly predictable. The SmartTrack material and SmartForce features place pressure as needed, shifting your teeth into place with incredible precision. Your virtually invisible braces can align your smile up to 50 percent faster than traditional braces! 

How Does the Invisalign Process Work?

During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your smile’s needs, take digital x-rays, and capture 3D scans of your teeth. Next, we will map out your custom treatment plan, including the precise movement of your teeth and the anticipated length of treatment. The best part is that you will get to preview your new smile. 

We will send your 3D model and treatment plan to an Invisalign lab where your custom aligners are crafted. When they are ready, we will show you how to use them and care for them. Once in place, your new invisible braces will get to work, gently shifting your teeth into alignment. 

Invisalign Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about Invisalign and to determine if the virtually invisible orthodontic solution is right for you. Dr. Watson and her team look forward to getting you on track to the smile of your dreams. Call 859-689-2021 to schedule a consultation today!

How Often Should I Have My Teeth Whitened?

How Often Should I Have My Teeth Whitened

If your smile is not as bright as you’d like, you may want to consider teeth whitening, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures today. The simple treatment will leave you with a lot to smile about. Your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry will evaluate your unique needs and recommend how often you should whiten your teeth for the best and safest results.

How Do Teeth Get Stained and Discolored?

As the years go by, your teeth may become dull and discolored due to many factors, including the natural aging process, consuming highly pigmented foods and beverages, tobacco use, and certain illnesses and medication. Chips or tooth injuries can also cause discoloration, especially if tooth pulp damage occurs.

Can Teeth Whitening Lift All Types of Stains?

Teeth whitening treatments are highly effective at lifting yellowish stains resulting from smoking or consuming foods and beverages such as berries, wine, or coffee. Brown or gray teeth, on the other hand, may not respond as well. Whitening will not work on dental restorations, such as crowns or fillings, or if the discoloration results from trauma or the use of medications. If you’re not a candidate for teeth whitening, we may recommend other cosmetic dentistry solutions, including dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Also known as chairside whitening, in-office bleaching involves the application of a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide gel to your tooth surfaces, then using a special light to speed up and intensify the whitening process. Professional teeth whitening at Hebron Family Dentistry can whiten and brighten your teeth several shades in just one office visit.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

Many whitening products are available for purchase over-the-counter, including peroxide-based gels and strips. There are also whitening toothpastes that contain mild abrasives that remove some surface stains.

While most do-it-yourself home whitening kits promise spectacular results, many are sure to disappoint. Worse yet, some can cause severe damage to your tooth enamel and your gums.

For safe and effective home whitening, we’re happy to provide you with custom-fitted trays and professional-grade whitening gel. It may take a little longer to achieve your desired results, but you’ll do so without damaging your teeth or gums. 

How Often Should You Have Your Teeth Whitened?

Most patients require yearly in-office whitening treatments with touch-ups at home at intervals determined based on individual needs. Some people require touch-ups every few months, while others need more frequent whitening, including people who consume highly pigmented foods or those who smoke.

Teeth Whitening Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about whitening and brightening your smile. We look forward to having you in a sparkling, stain-free smile. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Will Invisalign Really Straighten My Teeth?

Will Invisalign Really Straighten My Teeth?

If you’re wondering if Invisalign will really straighten your teeth, the answer is a resounding yes! Despite the misconception that Invisalign’s clear aligners can only correct slightly crooked teeth, the discreet treatment continues to transform lives by addressing a wide range of mild to complex orthodontic cases.

Invisalign: An Overview

Invisalign by Align Technology offers an effective solution to straighten your smile over time using clear, custom-created aligners. Your invisible braces are designed to place the precise amount of pressure needed to shift your teeth into the desired position. You must wear your aligners for 20-22 hours every day for the best results. As you swap an aligner set for the next, about every two weeks, you’ll see your teeth gradually move into alignment.

Why Choose Invisalign?

Invisalign treats a wide range of orthodontic concerns, including crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth and problems with the bite. The clear aligners are virtually invisible, so you can straighten your teeth without interfering with the appearance of your smile.

Your aligner trays are made from a soft and comfortable material, unlike metal braces with their wires and brackets. They are also removable, allowing you to achieve your ideal smile without impacting your life. Time for dinner? Getting ready to brush your teeth? Going to an important event? Just take out your clear aligners and wear them once again when done.

Invisalign will straighten your teeth and perfect your smile up to 50 percent faster than traditional braces. The SmartTrack material and the SmartForce features make Invisalign effective in correcting complex orthodontic cases with precision. Invisalign works well for both adults and teens, with Invisalign Teen featuring compliance indicators to ensure they are worn for the required amount of time.

What Is the Invisalign Procedure?

During an initial consultation, we’ll evaluate your smile’s unique needs and determine if Invisalign treatment is right for you. The procedure involves taking 3D scans of your teeth to map out your custom treatment plan, including your teeth’s precise movements and your anticipated length of treatment. You’ll even get a preview of your new, improved smile.

We’ll send the scans of your mouth to a laboratory that will create your series of custom aligners. Once they are ready, you’ll return to our office for a follow-up appointment. We will ensure your first aligner set provides the correct fit and will discuss how to wear them and clean them moving forward.

Invisalign Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about straightening your smile with Invisalign. The discreet and gentle orthodontic solution will deliver your desired transformation without impacting your life. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

What Is Cosmetic Bonding?

What Is Cosmetic Bonding?

If you are in search of a conservative solution to improve the appearance of your smile, you may want to consider cosmetic bonding. The quick and painless procedure will instantly mask any tooth imperfections, leaving you with astounding results. Talk to your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry to determine if cosmetic bonding is right for you!

What Is Cosmetic Bonding and What Are Its Uses?

Bonding is a highly sought-after cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves applying a tooth-colored resin to your tooth surfaces to correct flaws and prevent future damage to your smile. The gentle and affordable treatment requires minimal preparation and typically takes less than an hour to complete.

Dr. Watson may recommend cosmetic bonding for the following purposes:

  • Masking tooth staining or discoloration
  • Correcting the shape, size, or length of a tooth
  • Closing gaps and uneven spaces between teeth
  • Repairing decayed, broken, fractured, or chipped teeth
  • Restoring teeth worn due to grinding (bruxism)
  • Protecting exposed tooth roots
  • Strengthening damaged teeth

Why Choose Cosmetic Bonding?

Cosmetic bonding is a gentle procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia. It is much more affordable and less invasive than other cosmetic dentistry options, including crowns and veneers, while delivering similar aesthetic results. We carefully match the color and shade of the bonding material to the surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance. Cosmetic bonding’s results speak for themselves. You’ll instantly enjoy flawless teeth and a stunning smile!

What Is the Cosmetic Bonding Procedure?

We will start by roughening the tooth surfaces with a conditioning liquid to help the resin bond. Dr. Watson will skillfully and artistically sculpt the bonding material to the desired shape and use a curing light to harden it. She will polish the treated tooth until it matches the sheen of the surrounding teeth. Be prepared to be amazed at the astounding, life-like results!

Caring for Your Bonded Teeth

Caring for your treated teeth will ensure the longevity of your restorations. Make sure to brush and floss regularly and visit Hebron Family Dentistry for your routine dental exams and cleanings. Our team will monitor your bonded teeth along with every aspect of your oral health to ensure your smile stays in tip-top shape.

The cosmetic bonding material can chip and fracture just like your natural tooth enamel, so you’ll need to avoid biting down on hard foods or objects or using your teeth for tasks better suited for tools. Moreover, the material can stain, so it’s best to refrain from smoking or consuming highly pigmented foods and beverages such as berries and coffee. With proper care, your cosmetic restorations will continue to enhance your smile for a decade or even longer!

Dental Bonding Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about enhancing your smile with cosmetic bonding. Dr. Watson and her outstanding team look forward to delivering the healthy, eye-catching smile you’ve always wanted. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

How Safe are Digital Dental X-Rays?

How Safe are Digital Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays have long been integral to preventive and diagnostic dental care. Today’s modern technology provides safer and more detailed images of the teeth and surrounding structures using digital dental x-rays. The question many of our patients have is, how safe are digital x-rays?

What Are Digital Dental X-Rays?

Digital radiography utilizes cutting-edge technology to capture dental x-rays. At Hebron Family Dentistry, we use sensors and phosphor plates instead of traditional x-ray film to take and store high-quality digital images. We can view and enlarge these images on a computer screen, allowing us to detect potential problems and address them before they progress.

Why Do Dentists Take Digital X-Rays?

Digital dental radiographic records, or digital x-rays, are essential preventative and diagnostic tools that provide us with valuable information not visible during visual dental exams. They detect hidden abnormalities, allowing us to create effective treatment plans for long-term oral health. Early diagnosis and treatment of dental conditions can prevent the need for costly and involved procedures down the road.

What Conditions Do Digital Dental X-Rays Reveal?

Digital x-rays reveal a wealth of information, including decay and cavities between teeth, infections, cysts, abscesses, bone loss, abnormalities of the jawbone, problems inside a tooth or below the gum, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, poor tooth and root positions, to name a few.

How Often Do You Require Digital X-Rays?

The frequency of digital x-rays depends on your dental history, unique needs, oral hygiene practices, age, and risk of developing dental disease. Most patients require a series of digital x-rays during their initial visits to our office and once or twice a year to detect any new dental problems. If, however, you experience pain or have symptoms of a problem, you may need additional x-rays to outline a prompt and targeted treatment plan.

How Safe Are Digital Dental X-Rays?

Digital x-rays are far safer than traditional ones. They reduce your exposure to radiation by about 90 percent as compared to the already low exposure of conventional x-ray equipment. Moreover, we take all the necessary precautions for added protection, including taking x-rays only when indicated and using lead shields to protect your body.

Digital Dental X-Rays Near Me

Visit Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about our cutting-edge x-ray technology for precise and comfortable dental care. We invite you to schedule your routine dental exam and cleaning to maintain long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

How Can Food Choices Affect My Oral Health?

How Can Food Choices Affect My Oral Health?

The foods you consume not only affect your overall health but can directly impact the health of your teeth and gums. We, at Hebron Family Dentistry, encourage you to be mindful of what you put in your mouth to ensure you enjoy long-term healthy smiles.

How Does Your Diet Affect Your Oral Health?

Consuming a nutritious diet plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy smile. Lacking essential nutrients can leave the tissues of your mouth weak and vulnerable to infection, resulting in periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of adult tooth loss. Studies show that periodontal disease progresses faster and tends to be more severe in people with poor nutrition.

What Are Mouth-Healthy Food Choices?

Make sure you consume a nutritious diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low or no-fat dairy products. If you’re craving a snack, choose a healthy option, such as raw vegetables, fresh fruit, cheese, or nuts, rather than processed or sugary foods. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to prevent a dry mouth.

What Are Foods Choices You Should Limit?

Sugary treats and sweetened fruit drinks are harmful to your oral health. Plaque-causing bacteria feast on sugars, producing acids that erode your tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Carbonated drinks are also harmful because they contain sugar and are acidic, which hastens the development of tooth decay and cavities. Even diet sodas are detrimental to your teeth because of the acids they contain.

We recommend limiting sticky foods, which cling to your teeth and are hard to clean off. The same applies to starchy foods, such as potato chips or white bread, because saliva breaks them into sugar, resulting in a pasty, sticky substance that lingers in your teeth’s crevices, elevating your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Hard or crunchy foods can also pose a threat to your oral health. They can chip, crack, or even break your teeth, allowing the bacteria to enter the inner layers, resulting in a host of dental problems.

Healthy Oral Care Habits for Healthy Smiles

Make sure to brush your teeth no less than twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Remember to visit Hebron Family Dentistry for your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings to ensure your smile stays bright, healthy, and free of disease.

Quality Dental Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about the preventive dentistry services we offer to safeguard your oral health. We are all about ensuring our valued patients maintain bright, clean, and healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

How Can Dental Veneers Transform My Smile?

How Can Dental Veneers Transform My Smile?

If you are in search of a cosmetic dentistry solution to transform your smile, you’ve come to the right place. Your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry is proud to offer dental veneers to instantly correct teeth imperfections, with stunning, long-lasting results. Learn more about why veneers are such a sought-after aesthetic procedure at our Hebron, KY office.

What Are Dental Veneers and How Do They Help Transform Your Smile?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, translucent porcelain shells designed to correct the shape, size, and spacing of teeth and improve their appearance. They provide resilience and strength comparable to natural tooth enamel and deliver dramatic results without the need for complex dental procedures.

Dental veneers offer a conservative cosmetic dentistry solution to improve the appearance of your smile without the extensive tooth shaping that restorations such as crowns require while providing a more aesthetic alternative. They offer incredible results when used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or correct gapped, worn, chipped, broken, crooked, or misshapen teeth. They also repair teeth worn due to grinding, a condition known as bruxism. Veneers primarily serve a cosmetic purpose. However, in some cases, they are the choice solutions for correcting dental problems such as uneven bites.

Dental ceramic (porcelain) mimics the light-reflecting properties of your natural tooth enamel. We carefully match your custom-made restorations to the color and shade of the surrounding teeth, so they blend in seamlessly with your smile. With a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Watson, you can expect beautiful and incredibly natural-looking results.

What Is the Veneers Procedure?

We will remove a thin layer of tooth enamel to make room for your veneers then make impressions of your teeth that our dental laboratory will use to manufacture your restorations. We will place temporary veneers to protect your prepared teeth while waiting for your permanent ones. During a follow-up appointment, we will bond your veneers to your tooth surfaces, instantly delivering your perfect smile!

Caring for Your Dental Veneers

Make sure to brush and floss regularly. Avoid habits that can damage or chip your veneers, including nail-biting, eating hard foods, and using your teeth as tools. Don’t forget to visit Hebron Family Dentistry twice a year for your routine dental exams and cleanings to maintain healthy teeth, gums, and restorations.

Quality Dental Veneers Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about dental veneers and how they can transform your smile. We look forward to helping you look, feel, and smile your best. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

What is Root Canal Therapy?

What is Root Canal Therapy?

Despite what you may have heard, root canal therapy is not a scary or painful procedure. In fact, it works to relieve tooth pain rather than cause it. Your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry will do everything possible to make sure you are completely relaxed and comfortable during treatment. Our gentle approach and sedation dentistry options will leave you with a positive experience.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

The root canal is the area inside a tooth that houses the pulp tissues and nerves. Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is a virtually painless dental procedure designed to repair and save teeth with inflamed or infected pulp tissue, usually resulting from severe decay, injuries, chips, or cracks. Root canal therapy can also preserve a dead tooth, which is one that no longer has blood flow to it.

A root canal procedure involves removing the diseased tooth pulp and filling the space with a material that helps maintain the structural integrity of the tooth’s root. If not treated, pulp infection and inflammation can cause severe pain and result in complications, which may eventually lead to tooth loss or the need for extraction.

What Are Common Symptoms You May Require Root Canal Therapy?

Symptoms of root canal problems include painful, tender, sensitive, or discolored teeth, or a pimple-like bump on the gum indicating an abscess. In some cases, a root canal problem may not show symptoms. Digital x-rays taken during your routine dental exams will help us detect any damage, allowing us to promptly treat your tooth to prevent complications or potential tooth loss.

What Should You Expect During the Root Canal Procedure?

Dr. Watson will administer a local anesthetic and a sedation option, if required, for your comfort. She will remove the affected pulp tissue, and clean, shape, sterilize, and seal the space. Following your root canal treatment, you will need a dental crown to strengthen the affected tooth and protect it from breakage. Your restoration will look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth.

Caring for Your Treated Tooth

A treated tooth requires the same care as your natural teeth. Make sure to brush your teeth and floss daily, and don’t forget to schedule your routine dental exams and cleanings. Given proper care and effort on your part, a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

Root Canal Therapy Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about root canal therapy and how it can save a damaged tooth. With our gentle approach and sedation dentistry options, you can rest assured that your time with us will be comfortable and free of stress. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

What is Orofacial Myology?

What is Orofacial Myology?

Orofacial myology is a specialized discipline that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of oral and facial (orofacial) muscles. Myofunctional therapy is dedicated to treating problems of the face, jaw, and mouth by retraining the muscles to function as they should.

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)?

An orofacial myofunctional disorder occurs when an abnormal lip, jaw, or tongue position is present during rest, swallowing, or speech. Problems that result from OMDs may include pain in the face and neck, poor sleep due to breathing difficulties, or ongoing issues after dental surgery or orthodontic work.

What Are the Causes of OMDs?

OMDs often result from extended pacifier use, chronic thumb sucking, prolonged bottle use, lip licking, nail-biting, upper airway obstruction due to enlarged tonsils, adenoids or allergies, or a restricted lingual frenulum. They can also result from muscular and structural differences or genetics.

Signs and Symptoms of OMDs

Symptoms of OMDs include pain or discomfort around the face, jaw, or mouth, pain or impairment of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), mouth breathing, obstructive sleep apnea, and poor posture. Signs you need to see an orofacial myologist also include crooked teeth, a crowded mouth, an asymmetrical appearance of the lips or face, tongue thrust, incorrect chewing function, speech sound errors or distortion, and dental abnormalities such as an overjet and open bite. Some patients seeking treatment may not have OMDs, but want to improve an aging facial appearance, without the need for cosmetic surgery.

What Does Myofunctional Therapy Involve?

Treatment by your orofacial myologist involves short exercises, a form of physical therapy that trains your oral and facial muscles to function properly, similar to going to the gym to build up other muscles in your body.

What Are the Benefits of Orofacial Myology?

People of all ages enjoy multiple benefits from seeing an orofacial myologist. Patients report an improved quality of life after treatment without having to resort to surgery. The non-invasive and painless therapy addresses the root cause of the problem, which helps alleviate the OMD symptoms, and also contributes to successful orthodontic intervention. When it comes to children, addressing orofacial muscle problems early on prevents the condition from progressing and allows them to experience normal growth and development.

Orofacial Myology Near Me

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry in Hebron, KY, to learn more about myofunctional therapy and for you or your family members. Dr. Watson and her team take pride in offering outstanding services to support your oral health and wellness. We look forward to helping you maintain long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!