Is A Custom Mouth Guard Right For Me?

Mouth guards are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Even though mouth guards may look similar, they can provide different functions. They can be used for preventing teeth grinding, reducing snoring, sleep apnea relief, and protecting your mouth when playing sports. There are three different types of mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom. Learn more about each option from our mouth guards service page.

Prevent Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can cause soreness, tenderness, and tightness in the muscles of the jaw, neck, and face, commonly resulting in tension headaches. Mouth guards worn while you sleep prevent the bottom and top teeth from clenching together so damage does not occur. Custom mouth guards are recommended to prevent teeth grinding because they provide the best fit for your teeth, last longer over time than stock or boil and bite mouth guards, and will be the most comfortable option for you while you sleep.

Reduce Snoring or Sleep Apnea Relief

Snoring occurs when air flows past the relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate when you breathe. While sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are two different types of mouth guards, or oral appliances that can be used for snoring and/or sleep apnea:

Mandibular advancement device (MAD): This works by pushing the lower jaw forward to open your airway while you sleep.
Tongue retaining device: This works by gripping your tongue to prevent it from falling into the back of the throat.

These oral appliances must be fitted by a dentist and worn in your mouth at night. There are many over the counter mouth guards that claim to prevent snoring or help sleep apnea, but the best course of action is to consult with your dentist or doctor to see what is right for you.

Sports Mouth Guards

Sports mouth guards can help prevent damage to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth or injuries to your face, jaw, tongue, and lips. Certain sports have higher risks than others. It is very important to wear a mouth guard if you play any of the following sports: football, boxing, hockey, or wrestling. Basically, when it comes to mouth guards, the better the fit, the better the protection. Stock mouth guards are the least expensive option for protecting your teeth while playing sports. Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive but they provide a better fit, reducing the risk of injury. Custom mouth guards will provide the most protection as they will have the best fit/coverage of your mouth.

We know you have many options for mouth guards, if you are not sure if a mouth guard will help you or if you would like a custom-fit mouth guard consultation, contact us today!

What Should You Know Before Getting Veneers?

What to Know Before Getting Dental Veneers

When it comes to improving your smile, veneers are one of the most effective solutions. They give you a fresh, new look without having to undergo something invasive like cosmetic surgery. These thin shell-like shells are made of porcelain and are attached to the front of teeth. There are many reasons why you might want to get a denture — from needing replacement teeth because of injury or an extracted tooth, to making your existing teeth look better and more uniform.

Like any type of procedure, there are some things you should know before getting dental veneers.

What You Can Expect When Getting Veneers

Getting dental veneers is a multi- step process that can take several weeks and a couple visits to your dentist.

Your dentist will evaluate your smile, then determine whether you’re a good candidate for veneers and discuss the plan for moving ahead. If you need any fillings or dental implants, these will have to be taken care of first.

Then, your dentist will prep your teeth by shaving a very thin layer of enamel off the front of your teeth. They will then take an impression of your teeth and create temporary veneers that will stay on your teeth until the permanent veneers are finished.

Once the final porcelain veneers are sculpted, you’ll return to the dentist to have them applied. The temporary veneers are removed and a bonding cement is applied to your teeth. Then, the permanent veneers are carefully installed and you’re ready to dazzle people with your new smile!

Caring for Your Veneers

After your procedure, your mouth and gums will likely be sore for a few days. The discomfort is completely normal and will pass as your mouth heals, but have some Tylenol on hand, just in case.

You should care for your veneers, just like you would your regular teeth- brush them twice a day and floss regularly. You should stay away from foods that might chip or crack your teeth. The better you take care of your teeth, the longer your veneers will last.

Most veneers will last 20 years, which, at that point, you’ll need to look into getting a new set due to regular wear and tear. If your veneers are damaged earlier than that, you will probably need to look into fixing them sooner.

Veneers Aren’t For Everyone

Getting veneers is an investment, so you’ll need to make sure that your finances are in order, or your insurance will help cover the cost.

Some other reasons why someone might not be able to get veneers are because they have a habit of teeth grinding, they have a crossbite or underbite, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, or severe tooth crowding.

If you’re wondering if dental veneers are a good choice for you, talk with your dentist. They’ll walk you through the steps of getting veneers and talk with you about if you’re a good candidate or not.

Give one of our offices a call today and we’ll get an appointment set up to discuss the possibility of you getting veneers!

Laughing Gas Eases Dental Procedures: We’re Not Joking!

By now, most people have heard dentists often use nitrous oxide – laughing gas – to make procedures more comfortable for their patients. But many people don’t know exactly what laughing gas is or what it does. At Normandy/Lakewood Dentistry, we offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as a sedative for any procedure for one low cost, because we know dental fear is no laughing matter!

Our patients sometimes want us to answer questions about the gas before they decide it’s right for them. Some even ask, “If I’m laughing, won’t it be hard for the dentist to work on my teeth?” Though it’s called laughing gas, you won’t actually double over with belly laughs – you’ll just be less worried about what’s going on inside your mouth. You’ll still be awake and more-or-less alert, so if the dentist needs to ask you to tip your head a certain direction or open wider, you’ll be able to do so.

Above all, our patients want assurance that it’s safe. Nitrous oxide IS safe. It was first used as an anesthetic drug in 1844. Since then, modern medicine has perfected safe methods of delivery. Occasional use of nitrous oxide in small amounts for dentistry has no known side effects. It’s a tested and verified sedation choice used by thousands of dentists and their patients to take the edge off during dental work.

Laughing Gas is Easy and Comfortable During Procedures

Unlike other more-complicated methods of sedation used for complex or serious dental procedures, laughing gas is easy on both the dentist and the patient. Your dentist simply fits a special mask over your face and asks you to breathe in the mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. Before long, you’ll feel the effects of the gas.

Under the effects of nitrous oxide, you feel calm and comfortable. Some people feel as though their arms and legs are heavy, though you’ll be able to move them if the need should arise. The sense of calmness you get from the gas keeps your feelings of anxiety at bay. It also is likely to make you care less if you feel pain.

After your dental procedure is complete, the dentist removes the mask used to deliver the nitrous oxide, and the effects of the drug wear off quickly. Unlike with other sedation methods that put you further “under,” you’ll be able to drive yourself home shortly afterward your appointment without needing much time to rest.

For many years now, dentists have used this process to deliver calmness to dental patients using laughing gas. It’s accepted the world over as a safe, effective and fast way to make sure dental procedures cause as little stress as possible.

At Normandy/Lakewood Dentistry, we provide this important service, because we know dental anxiety is no joke. We want to make sure any visit to our office is as quick and comfortable as possible. If you have any questions about nitrous oxide/laughing gas sedation or want to schedule an appointment for any reason, just give us a call at (904) 877-5855 for the Normandy location or (904) 595-3818 for the Lakewood location and we’ll be happy to help!

What are Dental Sealants and Are They Worth It?

By Dr. Joseph Lee

When you get a brand new cell phone, do you purchase a case to protect it? What if you knew with 90% certainty that you would drop your phone? As you probably already guessed, most people purchase some type of protection for their phone. It just makes sense.

Well, according to a study from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. In other words, 9 out of 10 people will get a cavity! Those are some pretty stacked odds.

Like a brand new cell phone, your teeth also come unprotected and as the research points out, without intervention the odds are super high that decay will happen.

Fortunately, sealants can seal and protect the natural pits and grooves of the teeth with a curable resin and help prevent cavities from starting. In fact studies have shown sealants to reduce cavity risk by over 70%! Waiting until after a cavity forms to do something will cost you at least 4 times more than a sealant. It’s also good to know that sealants do wear out and your teeth will need to be re-sealed from time to time. So the next time you visit your dentist, ask them if sealants would be a good fit for you.

To schedule your next appointment with Normandy/Lakewood Dentistry, contact one of our two convenient locations.

How to Prevent the Gum Disease Known as Gingivitis

When it comes to your mouth’s health, it’s not only about having straight, white teeth. Having healthy gums is also a huge part of your oral well-being. Even if you are cavity free, it doesn’t always mean your gums are healthy.

One form of gum disease is called Gingivitis. It’s important to take gingivitis seriously as it can lead to much more serious gum issues, like periodontitis and tooth loss, if left untreated.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums, or gingiva. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque accumulates on the teeth. There are typically two types of gingivitis:

  • Dental plaque-induced gingival disease: This type of gingivitis can be caused by plaque, systemic factors, medication or malnutrition
  • Non-plaque induced gingival lesions: This can be caused by specific bacterium, virus, or fungus. It might also be caused by genetic factors, systemic conditions (including allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or foreign bodies such as dentures.

When plaque is not removed adequately, it can harden into tartar near the base of the teeth, near the gum. This has a yellowish color and can only be professionally cleaned and removed. This type of plaque and tartar irritates the gums, causing inflammation, which typically leads to the gums bleeding.

How do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is fairly common, and anyone can develop it. Symptoms of Gingivitis include:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Wiggly teeth
  • Gums that bleed easily

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. If Gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral issues.

How to Prevent Gingivitis

The number one way to prevent Gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice for at least two minutes a day and flossing at least once a day. Using an electric toothbrush can also help as they are better equipped to remove plaque in hard to reach places.

Visiting your dentist twice a year (every six months) to get a professional cleaning is another great way to prevent gum disease. Dentists and hygienists are able to remove plaque and tartar buildup that toothbrushes don’t always get.

Improving your overall health can also help prevent gingivitis. Improving your diet and managing your blood sugar are great for your gums.

 

We are here to help you and support you with all of your oral health needs. If you think you could have signs of gingivitis, call us today at (904) 877-5855 for the Normandy office or (904) 595-3818 for the Lakewood office. We are always happy to answer any questions you have and can schedule you for a visit.

What are the Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers?

The Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a very popular cosmetic dental procedure. For those who wish to improve the appearance of their smile, but do not have teeth that are in serious condition, dental veneers may be an excellent option.

Even though veneer treatment has proved to be a highly effective, safe and minimally invasive treatment, patients are constantly asking their dentists about the advantages and disadvantages of dental veneers.

Disadvantages

While there are a lot of great things about dental veneers, there are also a couple drawbacks. For example, getting veneers is a procedure that is irreversible. Once the doctor shaves down the enamel of your teeth, there is no turning back.

Shaving down that layer of enamel can also make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold as the veneers are not thick enough to act as a barrier. Veneers are also not a good option for people with badly failing teeth.

Veneers have a shorter life span compared to dental restorations like bridges and crowns. If you’re looking for a long term solution, dental veneers might not be the right choice for you.

Advantages

While there are some disadvantages to dental veneers, there are also quite a few advantages. Veneers help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted by straightening and whitening your teeth. However, those are the most obvious advantages.

Another advantage is that veneers are also a more conservative dental restoration. A dentist only needs to remove a little enamel to accommodate a veneer. In contrast, a crown needs much more space. To accommodate a crown, a dentist may need to remove a significant portion of the enamel first.

Veneers are also versatile in that they can match a certain shade of teeth. There are also different types of porcelain that are strong enough to provide structural support to slightly damaged teeth.

 

If you’re looking to get veneers, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your dentist to make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Your dentist can help you decide if dental veneers are right for you. Call us today at (904) 877-5855 for the Normandy office or (904) 595-3818 for the Lakewood office and we’ll set up an appointment to talk through the advantages and disadvantages.

Severe Tooth Decay: How Does It Occur?

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. If cavities are not treated, they can lead to toothaches, infection, and even tooth loss.

We want to make sure our patients know what tooth decay is and what the causes are. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of how cavities occur and what to watch out for.

Eating and Drinking

This is where it all starts. We have to eat and drink to stay alive, but this is one of the main causes of tooth decay. Food particles and carbohydrates can stay on your teeth until you brush and floss them, and even then some can still remain on your teeth. Food that clings to your teeth is a huge factor of tooth decay. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly and thoroughly, especially after consuming sugary drinks and food.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can cause more plaque and bacteria buildup, leading to cavities. Saliva helps wash away plaque and can help buffer the acid. Make sure you are staying hydrated!

Poor Oral Hygiene

This one might be the most obvious, but poor oral hygiene can definitely cause tooth decay. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily, plus regular trips to the dentist are a must.

Plaque Formation

If not removed from your teeth, plaque can build on your teeth over time. It attacks the enamel of your teeth and can eventually cause holes in your teeth.

 

While tooth decay can be scary, the good news is that we are here for you. We can address the issue and find a solution for you in no time. If you think you’re experiencing tooth decay, call us at (904) 441-5908 for the Normandy office or (904) 569-6131 for the Lakewood office and we’ll get you an appointment in the near future.

Easy Home Remedies to Whiten Dentures

Dentures can be such an amazing investment, but they can also be difficult. False teeth undoubtedly need as much, if not more attention than regular teeth, due to the high presence of bacteria and risk of infection. However, taking good care of your dentures doesn’t have to break the bank or cause you an inconvenience. There are several at home remedies to clean and whiten your false teeth that will help get you the healthiest and longest life span for your new teeth.

1. Rinsing Right After Eating or Drinking

The best way to keep your dentures looking white, is to remove and rinse them right after enjoying highly pigmented foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, or berries. Prevention is key and making sure you clean your dentures will help them stay white and last longer.

2. Soak Dentures In Denture Solution

You can get denture- soaking solutions at your local drug store, or you can get commercial grade cleaners at or through your denture or dentist clinic. Remember- always brush your false teeth before cleaning them.

3. Soak Dentures In At-Home Solution

You can also make your own at- home solution. Use baking soda or white vinegar, as this will help loosen up the plaque so you can brush it off easier. Make sure to check with your dentist to see if this solution is right for your false teeth.

4. Soak in Mouthwash

Soaking your false teeth in equal parts mouthwash and water and letting soak for a half an hour is also a good way to whiten your dentures. Make sure you thoroughly wash them when you take them out!

 

Keeping your false teeth white doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your loved ones. Use these home remedies to keep your dentures looking new and clean. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (904) 441-5908 for the Normandy office or (904) 569-6131 for the Lakewood office. We are always here for you to answer any concerns about your teeth.

Dentures: To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

Sometimes things happen to your teeth. Whether it’s the result of an unfortunate accident or just old age, you may have lost some of your teeth, as many people do. Unless you’re a shark (or under the age of six), you won’t be growing them back! Fortunately, thanks to modern dentistry, a well-fit set of dentures can help your mouth look and feel normal again.

The history of dentures goes back hundreds of years. They were a little crude at first. You’ve probably heard of Benjamin Franklin’s wooden dentures. They were better than nothing but still a long way from looking and working like real teeth.

The dental community has worked out many of the kinks since dentures were made of wood. Still, even with modern advancements, deciding to wear dentures every day is a big decision. It can involve making some permanent changes to the way you live your life. So, it’s good to know what to expect before you decide dentures are the right solution for you. Here are some of the pros and cons…

Dentures Pro: You Can Eat and Speak Normally

Tooth loss carries with it more than aesthetic consequences—after all, we grow them for a reason. When you’re missing a significant number of teeth, it can be difficult to chew your food or pronounce certain words clearly. Dentures can fix both of these issues, allowing you to speak and eat as you normally would.

Dentures Con: Unusual Feeling While Eating

Dentures can allow you to eat your food in a somewhat normal manner, but the sensation can seem strange when you’re first getting used to your replacement teeth. In addition, the presence of the dentures in your mouth may make food taste different. They cover your palette, so they can block the taste of food.

Dentures Pro: They Help Fill Out Your Face Where Teeth Are Missing

Dentures not only affect the appearance of your smile but also can change the look of your face in general. When you’re missing teeth, it may be difficult to hold your jaw in its normal position and your face might appear to “droop”. Even when your mouth is closed, dentures improve your appearance by providing needed structure for your jaw and face.

Dentures Con: Possible Removal of Additional Teeth

Depending on the condition of your teeth, to properly fit your dentures you may need to remove a few (or all) healthy teeth. If you’re considering dentures, chances are you’ve lost quite a few already. It might not be possible to wear dentures unless your dentist clears away additional teeth. However, this isn’t true in every situation or with every set of dentures, so talk with your dentist to see what your options are.

Dentures can be very beneficial overall for someone who’s lost a significant number of teeth. It can make their day-to-day experience more normal – speaking and eating are much easier with teeth or dentures. And the cons are mostly minor. If you’re sick of living with missing teeth and you believe dentures might be a good solution, give us a call at (904) 877-5855 for Normandy Dentistry or (904) 595-3818 for Lakewood Dentistry and we’ll be happy to help you decide whether dentures, for you, are to be or not to be!

Who Qualifies as a Good Candidate for Dental Veneers?

Everyone wants an award winning smile, but very few people have one naturally. With all the new technology and techniques coming out, it’s easier than ever to get the smile of your dreams. One great option to achieve that is dental veneers.

It’s a well known fact that porcelain veneers are one of the most effective and popular solutions to cover up a single or several teeth imperfections. Dental veneers are a really great option for people who want to improve the appearance of their teeth. But who qualifies as a good candidate for dental veneers?

What Are Dental Veneers

Veneers are essentially a thin, durable mask that can be applied to your natural teeth. Once applied to your teeth, the veneers instantly change the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are made of a very thin shell of porcelain, which is carefully selected so it matches the look and color of your teeth.

Depending on how they are made and what your needs are, veneers can whiten your teeth, close large gaps between your teeth, change the shape of your teeth, cover up crooked teeth, or fix large cracks or chips. Each veneer will be customized by your dentist from the length and width of the veneer to the overall shape, thickness, and color.

Who is a Good Candidate for Veneers?

Veneers are a great cosmetic dental treatment that helps people become confident with their smiles again. The following are signs you might be a good candidate for veneers:

  • You want to fix several cosmetic problems with your teeth at once
  • You want to fix discolored teeth
  • You want to correct stains on your teeth from old fillings
  • Ability to avoid chewing on your nails, crunching hard candy or food, or gnawing on pens – these bad habits can damage veneers.
  • Sufficient tooth enamel must be present – your natural teeth need to have enough enamel left after the small layer has been removed to create a strong bonding surface for the veneer

Veneers are a great option for many people to correct their smile. Give us a call today at (904) 877-5855 for Normandy Dentistry or (904) 595-3818 for Lakewood Dentistry to see if veneers are the right choice for you.