Brighten your Smile with Help from your Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist

A recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed that most people wish they could brighten their smiles. Dr. Michael Young offers many different techniques to improve the appearance of your smile. Your Lafayette cosmetic dentist will determine which method will best treat your discolorations and suit your needs.

Zoom! In-Office Whitening

The Zoom! Whitening procedure is performed in our Lafayette dentist office. Dr. Young will apply a strong whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. He will activate the gel with a special light to brighten your teeth six to ten shades—in just one hour! In-office whitening is considered the safest bleaching treatment because your Lafayette cosmetic dentist will monitor your progress and protect your lips and gums. After the procedure, Dr. Young will apply a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth, and provide take-home trays for maintenance. Zoom! is ideal for patients who want quick results and people with light or shallow surface blemishes.


Keeping a Strong Sense of Taste in Lafayette

Taste is the weakest of the five senses, but it’s responsible for distinguishing between sour lemons, sweet chocolate, and salty popcorn. Keeping your mouth healthy will keep your sense of taste strong, but other conditions can impair your taste. Dr. Young can help clean your mouth so you can enjoy your favorite flavors.

How You Taste

When you look at your tongue, you’ll notice lots of tiny bumps on the surface. These bumps are called papillae, and they contain tiny nerve endings called your taste buds. Your taste buds have small hair-like structures called microvilli. When you eat, the microvilli send messages to your brain to help you detect the flavor. Your tongue has about 10,000 taste buds, but about 10 percent are also located inside your cheeks and along the roof of your mouth.


A Straighter Smile in an Instant

When your Lafayette dentist tells you that would benefit from orthodontic treatment, you may suddenly fear metal wires or clear aligners that take months to shift your teeth into their proper positions. If you want a straighter smile quickly, Dr. Young may suggest a treatment known as “instant orthodontics.” Veneers, bonding, LUMINEERS, and crowns can make your smile appear straighter in just a few visits to our Lafayette dentist office.

What is Instant Orthodontics?

“Orthodontics” typically implies using gentle forces to push your teeth into alignment. Instant orthodontics, however, doesn’t actually adjust your teeth. Instead, the treatment simply covers your teeth to hide gaps and misalignments. Since there are no wires, brackets, bands, or aligners, you don’t have to deal with poking, pulling, breaking, or irritation. Furthermore, instant orthodontic treatments can straighten, whiten, and restore your smile in just one procedure.


Safe Alcohol Consumption in Lafayette

Drinking alcohol decreases your mental focus and concentration, but it also destroys your dental health. Alcohol contributes to enamel erosion, tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, and oral cancer. In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, Dr. Young offers these tips to keep your mouth healthy when consuming alcohol.

Designated Hygienist

You may be too tired or clueless after getting intoxicated that you forget to clean your mouth before passing out. Alcoholic beverages are often filled with sugars and acids that destroy your teeth. To worsen the situation, alcohol reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. The dry environment will allow bacteria to feed all night long.


Meeting Your Lafayette Dentist

Dr. Michael Young is dedicated to forming relationships with each of his patients. At our Lafayette dentist office, our team will take time to meet with your family and discuss your needs and desires so we can build a bond based on trust and understanding. In return, we would like you to get to know the backgrounds, personalities, and qualifications of your Lafayette dental team. Take this quiz to see how much you know about Dr. Young.

1. Where did Dr. Young receive his dental degree?

a. LSU Eunice
b. LSU Baton Rouge
c. LSU School of Dentistry

2. How did Dr. Young develop his work ethic?

a. Running the traps in his family’s crawfish ponds
b. Providing customer service at his family’s grocery store
c. Waiting tables at his family’s local diner


Healthy Easter Baskets in Lafayette

Many children hope to find jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps, and chocolate eggs hidden at the bottom of their Easter baskets. These sweet treats are often sugary and sticky, contributing to tooth decay. Instead of promoting cavities this Easter, Dr. Young offers a few ideas to create healthy Easter baskets.

Tooth-Friendly Easter Treats

Easter baskets and eggs don’t have to be filled with candy. These fun goodies will keep kids smiling:

  • Small toys: Try stuffing your baskets with stickers, erasers, bouncy balls, play-dough, silly string, crayons, stuffed animals, coins, and other small prizes. Be cautious of tiny objects that could cause a choking hazard to young children.
  • Outdoor fun: Encourage your children to enjoy the spring weather with new outdoor activities. Consider filling baskets with sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, skates, sports equipment, flower seeds, and other recreational hobbies. Don’t forget to include a mouthguard to prevent facial injuries!
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Proper Toothbrush Care

You probably already know that brushing your teeth twice a day is very important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, brushing won’t be very effective if your toothbrush is not in good shape. Dr. Young can make sure your toothbrush care and brushing habits are protecting your smile. Let’s see how much you know about taking care of your toothbrush.

1. How often should you replace your toothbrush?

a. Every two weeks
b. Once a year
c. Every three months

2. How should you store your toothbrush?

a. Upright and uncovered
b. With a cap or cover
c. Laying down by the sink


Cosmetic Dental Truths

Before you whiten your smile, you need to understand some of the common misconceptions about cosmetic dental care. Dr. Young can help explain those confusing dental myths to keep your smile bright. Here are a few tips you should consider before enhancing your teeth.

  1. Not all tooth stains react the same way. Yellow discoloration is often easier to lighten than black or brown stains. Furthermore, if a stain is too deep to remove, Dr. Young may have to use veneers or bonding to hide the discoloration.
  2. Whitening toothpastes don’t alter your enamel. Many over-the-counter whitening products will only remove surface stains. They won’t sink deep into your enamel to actually change the color of your teeth. It’s also important to note that some over-the-counter treatments can erode your enamel and increase your sensitivity.
  3. Don’t over-bleach your teeth. Some people abuse whitening systems and use the solution too long or too often. Excessive whitening can cause erosion, sensitivity, irritation, and discoloration.
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How Caffeine Affects Your Oral and Overall Health

Caffeine is a stimulant that physically or mentally boosts your body for a few hours. To celebrate Caffeine Awareness Month, let’s discuss how this energizer affects your overall health.

Caffeinated Drinks Affect Your Teeth

Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. All of these dark-colored beverages have the potential to stain your teeth. Additionally, soda and energy drinks are often very acidic and can erode your tooth enamel. Furthermore, coffee and soda may dehydrate your mouth and lead to bad breath, while soda and energy drinks often contain sugars that can decay your teeth. Tea, however, has some tooth-friendly benefits. Tea contains antioxidants that can prevent bacteria from sticking to your tooth and increase your ability to fight infections.

To avoid stains, erosion, decay, and other tooth damage, drink your caffeinated beverages with mealtimes and through a straw. You should also visit Dr. Young to restore your oral problems with whitening, fillings, crowns, and other cosmetic treatments.


Restore Broken Teeth with Dental Crowns

Broken, cracked, or fractured teeth can be uncomfortable, painful, and unattractive. It’s important to restore your broken teeth to avoid further dental complications. Fortunately, Dr. Young offers dental crowns to repair your smile and restore full function.

What to do When a Tooth Breaks

A broken tooth can be anything as small as a chip to a whole tooth knocked out. A broken tooth can damage your crown or root, creating the need for serious restorations. If you break a tooth, it’s important to rinse your mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. You should also try to avoid putting direct pressure on the tooth. Save any pieces of your tooth because Dr. Young may be able to reattach or bond the tooth back together. Keep the broken pieces safe by preserving them in a milk or saline solution. And, of course, if your tooth breaks or cracks, call Dr. Young immediately!