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!

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!

How Do I Maintain Good Oral Health in My Senior Years?

How Do I Maintain Good Oral Health in My Senior Years?

With age comes wisdom, as well as changes in the mouth and general health. The good news is that ongoing oral hygiene practices and routine dental exams can help maintain your healthy, confident smile. We, at Hebron Family Dentistry, are here to support your oral health every step of the way.

Common Dental Concerns for Seniors

Poor dental hygiene practices earlier in life, poor diet, and ill-fitting dental appliances can cause gum (periodontal) disease, as can health conditions such as diabetes or cancer. Gum disease left untreated can progress and damage the bone and tissue supporting the teeth, which can potentially lead to tooth loss.

Older adults are susceptible to developing decay and cavities on their teeth and root surfaces, especially if they have gum recession. Tooth sensitivity can also increase with age, as the gums recede over time, exposing parts of the teeth not protected by enamel.

Dry mouth is another common concern with age and can result from some health conditions or medications. If not treated, dry mouth can lead to tooth and root decay, potentially resulting in tooth loss. Moreover, osteoporosis can develop over time, with bones in the body becoming brittle and prone to fractures. When the bone density in the mouth decreases, the teeth may become loose and fall out.

How to Maintain a Healthy Smile in Your Senior Years

The best way to keep your smile healthy is to prevent oral diseases from developing. Make sure you maintain proper oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Maintain the function of your dentures or bridges by following the care instructions provided to you.

It’s important to limit the intake of sugary or starchy snacks and carbonated drinks and to refrain from using tobacco products. Make sure you drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist and consume a healthy, balanced diet, so you have the nutrients needed to maintain your oral health. Check your mouth regularly for sensitive areas, sores, or any unusual lumps or bumps. If you see anything out of the ordinary, contact our office for an appointment.

We encourage you to keep up with your regular dental exams even if you don’t have any teeth to allow us to monitor your oral health and any restorations.

Senior Dental Care in Hebron, KY

Visit Hebron Family Dentistry to learn more about the services we offer to support your oral health. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile for many years to come. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

If you are in search of a restorative dentistry solution to replace your missing teeth, you’ve come to the right place. Hebron Family Dentistry is proud to offer dental implants, the best alternatives to healthy, natural teeth. Our long-lasting restorations will enhance your quality of life, and will leave you looking, feeling, and smiling your best!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small, screw-like titanium posts we surgically place into the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. They provide a stable and secure foundation to support fixed or removable replacement teeth, bridges, or dentures that we custom-match to your natural teeth. Implants boast a more than 95% success rate, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Implants have become today’s standard for replacing missing teeth, with their unparalleled comfort and stability. You will restore your natural facial structure, chew with ease, and speak with clarity. Most importantly, dental implants are the only restorations that preserve healthy bone mass by mimicking the function of natural tooth roots and stimulating the bone. They also prevent any remaining teeth from shifting out of alignment, which lowers your risk of developing a host of dental problems down the road. Dental implants are very durable, with the potential of lasting a lifetime with proper care.

Candidates for Dental Implants

Dental implants offer an excellent restorative option for patients missing one or more of their teeth. Most people in good oral and overall health and with adequate bone mass to support the implant are good candidates. If, however, you have suffered bone loss, a bone graft may be necessary to rebuild the bone to allow you to enjoy the many benefits of dental implants. 

Caring for Dental Implants Restorations

You must commit to meticulous oral hygiene practices for the long-term success of your dental implant restorations. That includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as keeping up with your dental exams and cleanings at Hebron Family Dentistry. We will monitor your oral health and ensure that your restorations stay in tip-top shape.

Dental Implants in Hebron, KY

Visit Hebron Family Dentistry to learn more about restoring your smile using dental implants. Dr. Watson and her outstanding team are committed to utilizing cutting-edge technology and techniques to deliver quality, durable restorations. You will love the stunning results. Don’t wait. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Is It a Dental Emergency?

Is It A Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies often happen when least expected, and we at Hebron Family Dentistry are here to help. We are proud to offer emergency services to new and current patients in Hebron, KY, and the surrounding areas. We believe that being prepared and knowing what to do in the event of a dental emergency can help improve your treatment outcomes and will lower the chances of future complications.

Is it a Dental Emergency?

At times it’s challenging to determine whether or not you are experiencing a dental emergency. In general, a dental problem that requires immediate treatment to alleviate severe pain, stop bleeding, or save a tooth is considered an emergency. That also applies to severe infections that may pose a threat to your oral and overall health.

To determine whether you are experiencing a dental emergency, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there severe, persistent tooth pain?
  • Is there any swelling to your jaw, mouth, or face?
  • Has your mouth or face suffered trauma?
  • Do you have one or more loose or knocked out teeth?
  • Is there bleeding from your mouth?
  • Are there any bulges, swells, or knots on your gums?

If your answer is “yes” to any of the above questions, you are likely experiencing a dental emergency. Contact Hebron Family Dentistry immediately for an emergency appointment and care instructions. If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

Common Dental Emergencies

Here are some tips to help ensure the best possible treatment outcomes:

A Persistent Toothache: Pain may indicate an infection or an abscess, which may potentially pose a threat to your oral and overall health. Rinse with warm water and use dental floss to dislodge any food that may be caught between your teeth. Make sure not to place aspirin or painkillers on the affected area. Call us for an emergency appointment immediately.

Knocked-Out Tooth: Gently return the tooth to its socket without touching the root. If that is not possible, place it in a container with some milk. Contact us immediately! Getting treatment within an hour of knocking out a tooth is your best chance of saving it.

Cracked or Broken Tooth: These may be painful and will require emergency care. Rinse gently with warm water, and contact us as soon as possible.

Other Common Dental Emergencies: These may include loose teeth, injury to your tongue, cheeks or gums, or a lost crown or filling. Contact us right away!

Quality Emergency Dental Care in Hebron, KY

If you experience a dental emergency, contact Hebron Family Dentistry for quality urgent care. Our experienced and caring team will work tirelessly to alleviate any pain and to save an injured tooth. You can always count on us for quality, comfortable care.

Implant Supported Dentures

Implant Supported Dentures

If you are in search of a stable and comfortable solution to replace your missing teeth, you may want to consider implant-supported dentures. These durable, custom-made restorations come as close to having a new set of natural teeth as possible. Talk to your trusted team at Hebron Family Dentistry to find out if implant-supported dentures are right for you.

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are oral devices designed to restore missing teeth, similar to conventional dentures. What sets them apart is that they are secured in place by titanium dental implants. A dental implant fuses to your bone over time, and eventually, it becomes part of the jawbone, providing a secure, stable, and long-lasting foundation for your new replacement teeth. Implant-supported dentures deliver incredibly natural results and unparalleled comfort.

All-On-4 Implant Supported Dentures

You don’t have to get implants for every lost tooth to restore your smile. All-on-4 implants only require four precisely placed implants on the top jaw and four on the bottom to provide the needed support for your dentures.

What Are the Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures?

The most significant health benefit of restoring missing teeth using implant-supported dentures is the stimulation they provide to your jawbone. When tooth roots are missing, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. Dental implants mimic the function of natural roots and halt bone atrophy, allowing your jaw to maintain its shape and strength. Traditional dentures will likely require adjustments and relining to accommodate the changes that occur in the shape of your jaw with time. Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, may never need adjustments, saving you time and money down the road.

With implant-supported dentures, you’ll get fully functional new teeth and a long-lasting smile. You’ll be able to speak with clarity and can enjoy your favorite foods once again. Implant-supported dentures maintain your facial structure, restoring your youthful appearance. With proper care, your new restorations can last a lifetime!

Caring for Your Implant-Supported Dentures

Just like your natural teeth, implant-supported dentures need daily care. Make sure you remove any detachable parts and carefully clean around the attachments, restorations, and your gums. Follow the care instructions we provide to ensure the longevity of your restorations. Don’t forget to schedule your periodic dental exams to allow us to monitor your oral health and to ensure your dentures remain fully functional. 

Implant-Supported Dentures in Hebron, KY

Contact Hebron Family Dentistry to learn more about restoring your smile using implant-supported dentures. Our team is committed to utilizing cutting-edge technology and techniques to provide our valued patients with quality, durable restorations. We are all about healthy, confident smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!