Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine with Lafayette Dentist’s Advice

brushing teeth togetherNot every habit is a bad one. Brushing and flossing your teeth, for instance, is a habit that most people have engaged in every day for most of their lives, and is an essential one for the good of your oral health. After a lifetime of repetition, however, brushing and flossing your teeth can sometimes seem more like just a habit and less like a necessary procedure. Unfortunately, the monotony can often cause you to pay a little less attention than you should, and inadequate oral hygiene is almost as dangerous as absolute neglect. Help ensure that your hygiene routine remains effective by following this advice from your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young.

Brushing & Flossing for Your Smile’s Sake

There are many mistakes that people commonly make while mindlessly rubbing their teeth with a brush. A good routine involves thoroughly, but softly, brushing every surface of every tooth, especially along the gum line, to remove bacterial plaque and food debris. If you don’t pay proper attention, you can wind up missing a spot or two. Unlike sweeping your floor or wiping your counter, you can’t just come back later and pick up what you missed. After about 48 hours, dental plaque calcifies into tartar—a hardened, more stubborn form of plaque that’s impervious to your toothbrush and floss. Also, be sure to brush gently. Scrubbing too hard can cause you to strip the enamel from your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to damage and tooth decay. (more…)

How Serious are Bleeding Gums? Very, Says Your Lafayette Dentist

woman holding toothbrush skepticallyDid you know that your mouth can warn you of dental trouble long before a toothache or other discomfort becomes an issue? Detecting such signs is one of the main objectives of your six-month dental checkup and cleaning, but some warnings are obvious even to the untrained eye. Unfortunately, since many early warning signs do not generate physical distress, many people ignore them or mistakenly believe that their normal, allowing issues like gum disease to develop and cause discomfort. Today, we discuss bleeding gums as one of these warning signs, and why your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, advises you to visit our office as soon as possible if your gums bleed.

You Know, Bleeding isn’t Normal

If you noticed that your nose or ears bleed when you clean them, then you might assume that something is probably wrong. Yet, for some reason, when many people notice red in their saliva while brushing their teeth, even if their toothpaste originally had no trace of red in it, it’s often written off as normal. The truth, though, is that your teeth and gums shouldn’t bleed at any time, and if they do, a serious infection is likely developing, or has already irreparably damaged your smile. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist’s Tips for Stronger Teeth

strong toothDid you know that your teeth are the strongest part of your body?  In fact, the enamel that surrounds and protects them is stronger than any substance on earth, except diamonds. With such an impressive composition, you may wonder how tooth decay could manage to affect the permanent teeth of over 90% of adults in America. The truth is that, strong though your teeth may be, their strength lies in the level of care you afford your dental health, and without proper care and maintenance, your teeth’s ultra-resilient enamel will grow too weak to protect your teeth from even the smallest invaders. To help you preserve the strength and health of your teeth, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, offers these tips for to make your teeth stronger.

The Weakening of Tooth Enamel

The secret to maintaining your tooth enamel is minerals. Enamel is comprised almost entirely of mineral crystals (mainly calcium and phosphate), and while enamel cannot repair itself when damaged, it can regain strength by absorbing more minerals when it’s weakened. The biggest threat to your enamel comes in the form of acid produced by oral bacteria after consuming sugars and carbs. This acid depletes your teeth of essential minerals, weakening your enamel in the process. Over time, enamel can grow too weak to repel the bacteria that infect your tooth and lead to tooth decay. (more…)

A History of Dental Veneers from Your Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist

VeneersA few weeks ago, we discussed porcelain veneers and how versatile they are as a means for making over your entire smile. If you have fractures, overlaps, chips, stains, gaps, or crooked teeth, porcelain veneers are like taking the good parts of your teeth and sculpting them into perfection. This dental innovation has improved greatly over the years so that we are able to now offer patients very realistic and long-lasting results from veneers. Lafayette cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael Young, will share more about the history of veneers with you.

Paging Dr. Charles Pincus

It seems rather fitting that dental veneers were invented in the state of California, where many of the greatest films and television shows are produced. Using denture adhesive, Dr. Charles Pincus figured out a way to stick prosthetic facade teeth onto the front of one’s natural tooth surfaces. Unfortunately, denture adhesive only provides temporary bonding. Early dental veneers would only last for a few hours at a clip before slipping and falling off all together. This made them a perfect tool for make-up artists in the entertainment industry that wanted to naturally transform the look of an actor. Fortunately, in 1982, scientists picked up where Dr. Pincus’ left off and developed a stronger bonding process through the use of composite resin. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Asks: Who Needs a Dental Crown?

dental crownsThough your teeth are the strongest part of your body, they’re not invulnerable, and unfortunately, they do not repair/regrow themselves when damaged or lost. Luckily, however, innovation and technology has granted us the ability to protect weakened teeth and replace those that have been lost to excessive damage or disease. In the quest for improved dental health, dental crowns are one of the most frequently-used tools in our arsenal. With its simple design and diverse application, a dental crown can be the optimal choice for several different dental situations. Today, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, explores the uses and advantages of today’s modern dental crowns to help you determine if a crown is right for you.

When Your Tooth Needs Some Support

When your tooth is cracked or fractured, or if a large amount of tooth structure must be removed due to extreme tooth decay, such as with a root canal procedure, then a dental crown can be placed over the tooth to protect it. Basically an exact replica of the top part of your natural healthy tooth, a dental crown is specially crafted to mimic your natural tooth’s color and light-reflecting properties, creating a lifelike reinforcement that blends in perfectly with your smile. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Asks: What if Your Braces Were Clear?

if onlyIf you wore braces as a child, you may remember certain stigmas commonly associated with the orthodontic treatment, such as embarrassing situations while eating or brushing your teeth. If you didn’t wear them, then you may remember seeing classmates with them and being thankful for not needing the metal mouth-ware.  You would also probably not welcome the idea of wearing metal braces as an adult, especially if the goal is to increase your confidence in your smile. However, what if your braces were clear, and you were able to straighten your smile without announcing your orthodontic treatment to everyone around you? With your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, you don’t have to imagine—we offer a choice of popular, proven clear braces (Invisalign and ClearCorrect) that help you feel more confident about straightening your smile.

Metal Braces vs. Clear Aligners

Traditional orthodontic treatment involves attaching metal brackets to your teeth and gently forcing them into their desired positions by applying tension through connective wires. The treatment is highly effective, and when completed, the results are typically nothing short of amazing. If your concerns are cosmetic, however, you may prefer not to undergo the two years or more that traditional metal braces often require. By contrast, clear braces involve a series of aligners that progressively reposition your teeth as you change them. Whether you prefer Invisalign or ClearCorrect, your clear, removable aligners offer a variety of advantages of their metal counterparts, including (but not limited to); (more…)

Porcelain Veneers: Perfect for Your Smile Makeover in Lafayette

perfect smileModern dentistry has allowed more smiles to remain healthy and whole for longer than ever before. With a good handle on most of the issues that can affect your oral health, dentistry can now focus on your smile’s appearance with as much fervor as it does your smile’s health and foundation. In a culture that highly values appearances and impressions, your level of confidence in your smile can have a real and tangible effect on your quality of life. With extensive experience in general and cosmetic oral health care, Lafayette cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael Young, explores the innovation of porcelain veneers, and why they’re an essential tool in the success of many smile makeover cases.

Accomplish More with Less Risk to Healthy Teeth

Your teeth don’t provide much landscape to work with when treating dental issues; the minute surface area of your chompers means any treatment must be precise, and designed to disturb as little tooth structure as possible. If you only have one or two teeth that are cosmetically blemished, say with a stain or an unsightly chip, then addressing the blemish(es) is fairly simple. When you have several teeth to address, especially with different kinds of imperfections, then the task of perfecting your smile can seem a bit more intimidating.   (more…)

Lafayette Family Dentist Explains the Timing of Your Dental Health

timingIn today’s hectic world, overlooking or postponing the little things is a common practice, and prioritizing is a vital part of adult life. Considering you do it at least twice a day (hopefully), brushing and flossing may seem like one of those little things that can wait until later to save you some time in the morning rush, or to get to bed faster—but it’s not. In the world of your dental health, timing is everything, and missing a beat can invite disaster before you even realize it. Learn more as your Lafayette family dentist, Dr. Michael Young, explains the importance of timing in maintaining the health of your smile.

Every Minute Counts

In most cases, brushing and flossing helps control the buildup of dental plaque, which consists of a mass of oral bacteria. Of the over 600 different kinds of germs that inhabit your mouth, a few notoriously pave the way for dental health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. When enough of them gather, they form the sticky biofilm from extracellular DNA to protect them and adhere to your teeth and gums. Though brushing and flossing help control this process, it happens continuously, and repetition is crucial to your hygiene routine’s effectiveness. If you miss a spot, or decide to let plaque stay for a bit while you take care of “more important” matters, it can calcify (harden) into tartar—an insoluble substance that is impervious to your toothbrush and floss. Once tartar develops, your chances of developing a dental disease increase drastically, and removing it requires professional tools and expertise at a regular dental cleaning. (more…)

What to Expect at Your Periodic Dental Checkup and Cleaning

tooth checkupHow much do you know about your professional dental checkup and cleaning? Most people are aware that the routine visits allow Dr. Young to visually inspect your mouth for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. They also offer a chance for our hygienists to clean up any plaque and tartar that your toothbrush may have missed. However, diligently attending regular dental visits can have far more benefits, many of which you may not be aware of. To help you gain a better appreciation of your Lafayette dentist’s role in your continued good hygiene, Dr. Young explains what you can expect from your periodic dental checkups and cleanings.

Professional Tenets of a Clean Mouth

  • Checking for germsDental plaque is the sticky stuff that coats your teeth from time to time. It’s especially fond of clinging between your teeth and along your gum line, as well as on the surfaces of your teeth. What makes plaque dangerous is that it’s comprised mainly of oral bacteria, which are the cause of such issues as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Brushing and flossing helps control plaque buildup, but if you miss even a small spot, it’ll harden into tartar and be impervious to your toothbrush. At your dental cleaning, one of our talented hygienists will carefully remove all traces of plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line to help prevent the development of dental disease. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Helps Give Your Smile a New Face

pretty girl with a beautiful smileWhen it comes to your smile, appearances actually do matter. Irregularities in your teeth and gums can sometimes indicate a dental disease that needs to be addressed. Even if infection isn’t imminent, a number of cosmetic factors can cause you to lose confidence in your smile, which can deprive you of the many benefits of smiling. If you have more than one stained, chipped, cracked, or oddly spaced tooth, than the task of beautifying your smile can seem daunting. Luckily, with the use of porcelain veneers from your Lafayette dentist, you can bring your smile back to life in as little two visits.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental porcelain that are custom-designed in a dental laboratory to fit over the fronts of your afflicted teeth. With a focus on your smile’s appearance, veneers are usually reserved for the areas of your smile that are visible when you eat, speak, and smile. While there are a number of procedures that address specific aesthetic issues, porcelain veneers allow you to address multiple blemishes on more than one tooth simultaneously, eliminating the need to correct one problem at a time. Because veneers require minimal tooth manipulation, they are often the preferable choice over dental crowns. The porcelain is tinted to match your tooth color, and is crafted to mimic the light reflecting properties of your natural tooth enamel. After your procedure is completed, porcelain veneers can grant you the smile you’ve always wanted. (more…)