The Truth About Regular Teeth Cleanings

When it comes to dental health, one of the most common pieces of advice is to get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. But is this biannual routine really necessary for everyone, or is it just an overcautious recommendation? Let’s dive into why regular teeth cleanings are important and whether the six-month guideline is a must-follow rule for everyone.

Understanding the Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings

Preventing Plaque and Tartar Buildup: Regular brushing and flossing at home are crucial, but even the most diligent oral hygiene routine can miss spots. Professional cleanings effectively remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing can’t, preventing potential gum disease and tooth decay.

Early Detection of Dental Issues: Regular visits allow your dentist to spot early signs of problems such as cavities, broken fillings, or more severe conditions like oral cancer. Early detection often means easier and less costly treatments.

Maintaining Overall Health: Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Regular cleanings help maintain not just oral health but also contribute to overall wellbeing.

Is the Six-Month Rule Right for Everyone?

While the six-month rule is a good general guideline, it may not be necessary for everyone. The frequency of dental cleanings should be tailored to individual needs.

Low-Risk Patients: If you have good oral hygiene and a history free of cavities and gum disease, your dentist might suggest lengthening the interval between your cleanings.

High-Risk Patients: For those with a history of dental issues, such as gum disease, frequent cavities, or certain health conditions like diabetes, more frequent cleanings may be recommended. This could mean visits every three to four months.

Factors Influencing the Frequency of Dental Cleanings

  • Personal Oral Hygiene: The better you maintain your oral hygiene, the less frequently you may need professional cleanings.
  • Age and Lifestyle: Children, older adults, smokers, and those with a high-sugar diet might require more frequent dental visits.
  • Medical History: Certain medical conditions, like heart disease or diabetes, increase the risk of oral health issues.

Making the Right Choice for Your Dental Health

The best way to determine how often you need a dental cleaning is to have a candid conversation with your dentist. They can assess your individual risk factors and suggest a personalized schedule.

Regular teeth cleanings are a cornerstone of preventive dental care. While the six-month guideline is a solid standard, remember that your specific needs might differ. Staying on top of your dental health with a schedule tailored to you is key to maintaining a healthy smile and overall wellbeing.

At Lafayette Dental, we’re committed to providing individualized care. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your oral health. Contact us at (973) 579-7888 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the ideal dental care routine for you.

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Why Are My Teeth Stained?

To many people a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine is a ritual that cannot be disturbed or broken, but as there are many joys that come with those drinks there are still many enamel straining prices. There are 3 different types of staining that can happen to your teeth and different causes. Learn more below. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, Lafayette Dental in Lafayette, NJ can help!

Types of Stains:

Tooth discoloration can be caused by surface stains, material changes in your teeth, or a mix of the two. Tooth discoloration can be divided into three types, according to dentists:

    • Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains are a type of discoloration that affects the outer layer of your teeth. Extrinsic stains are not as permanent as the other types, these stains will not respond to simply brushing your teeth. If there are cracks on the teeth they can become deep-set and begin to be harder to remove.
    • Intrinsic Teeth Stains: This type of stain will be found on the inner layer of your teeth, or the dentin. Though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, the darkened dentin can cause the whole tooth to appear discolored.
    • Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains are a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. The core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, will naturally yellow over time causing your teeth to become discolored. Another factor that may cause your teeth to show discoloration is that the enamel of your teeth will become thinner allowing the dentin to show through.

Causes of Enamel Stains

There can be many causes when it comes to teeth stains. Certain drinks and foods can cause there to be stains on your teeth, but there can be a biological factor as well. Many times there can be ways to prevent these stains from appearing on your teeth and many that you can not control. This list can help you determine what the cause was behind the stains on your teeth.

  • Food & Drink: Coffee, dark sodas, red wine and some fruits and vegetables can be so acidic that they cause staining.
  • Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discoloration
  • Oral Care: Tooth discoloration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.
  • Trauma or Disease: Discolored teeth can result from any trauma, illness, or disease that impairs enamel formation in children, whether in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8). Adult teeth can sometimes become stained as a result of trauma. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of disorders and therapies, chemotherapy and radiation, for example, cause tooth discoloration.
  • Medical Treatments: There are times when some medical treatments can contribute to your teeth staining as well as some medications.

Ways to Help Clear Stains

There are a few remedies that can help lessen the impact of these causes. With help of some products, the coloration of your stains can become less apparent, but will not fully remove those stains.

  • Keeping a consistent healthy oral routine – brushing twice a day and daily flossing
  • Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
  • Limitation of teeth-staining beverages
  • At home remedies – brushing with baking soda products
  • Professional teeth whitening

If you are interested in getting your teeth back to pearly white, contact Lafayette Dental today for a professional teeth whitening session!

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Dental Crowns: Pros and Cons

What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns are an effective and versatile treatment option used to address a variety of dental issues. They are used to cap a tooth with a large filling or that has had root canal therapy, or for cosmetic purposes. They can also be used to attach to dental implants to replace missing teeth, as the implants provide extra support in the jawbone. Dental crowns also provide additional support for dental bridges, and when cared for properly, can be just as healthy and strong as natural teeth. While there are many benefits to getting a dental crown, it is important to consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

Pros of Dental Crowns

  1. Durability: Dental crowns are extremely durable and are designed to last for many years. They are made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys, so they can be customized to match the color and shape of your existing teeth.
  2. Improved Appearance: Dental crowns can be used to improve the appearance of your smile. Crowns can be used to cover up discolored or misshapen teeth and can even be used to make your teeth appear straighter or more uniform in shape.
  3. Increased Strength: Dental crowns can be used to reinforce a tooth that has been weakened due to decay or trauma. The crowns act as an extra barrier to protect the tooth and prevent further damage.

Cons of Dental Crowns

  1. Cost: Dental crowns can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Depending on the type of crown you choose, the cost can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
  2. Time: Getting a dental crown can be a lengthy process. It usually requires two or more visits to the dentist and can take up to two hours per visit. However, some dental offices are able to provide same-day crowns.
  3. Sensitivity: After getting a dental crown, some people may experience sensitivity in the area where the crown was placed. This sensitivity can last for a few days or even weeks and can be uncomfortable.

Dental crowns can be a great option for restoring and strengthening damaged teeth, as well as improving their appearance. However, they can be costly and involve a significant time commitment, and some people may experience sensitivity following the procedure. Before making a decision, it is essential to take into account all the pros and cons of getting a dental crown in order to determine if it is the right choice for you.

4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

Damage to teeth and gums can’t be ignored. It’s always important to act quickly if something is wrong, but some dental issues are more pressing than others. How can you know the difference between a dental problem that needs to be solved soon and a problem that needs to be solved now?

We never want our patients to put off a dental procedure when it could lead to lasting harm, so we’ve compiled a list of important warning signs that mean you should get your teeth checked out as soon as possible. After all, you’ve only got so many teeth — it’s best to keep them all in good shape.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is a small collection of pus inside of a tooth or gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If your symptoms include shiny red swollen gums, a fever, or pain that spreads to your jaw or neck, you may have an abscess, even if you don’t see it. Try to see us as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, you can reduce the pain of the abscess by avoiding cold drinks. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently clean the area until we can get you into the office.

Broken or missing teeth

It goes without saying that obvious physical damage to your teeth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies you can experience. If your tooth has been damaged, rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call us as soon as possible. If your tooth has come out, gently try to put it back into the socket (without touching the root!) or keep it in your mouth to protect it until we can see you.

Significant pain or swelling in the teeth, gums or jaw

Constant pain or swelling in your mouth is never normal! This symptom may seem vague or common, but it could be a sign of major damage or an infection that could have nasty results if left untreated. Don’t tough it out. Call us and we will decide together whether you need to come in for an appointment.

Lost filling or crown

A crown or filling can become loose or even fall out for a variety of reasons. If you lose a crown or filling, it’s important to try to save it — we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the area with warm salt water and continue to brush the damaged tooth (gently!) until we can see you.

Ignoring any of these four dental problems could result in the permanent loss of teeth. Infections can even spread to other parts of your body and cause serious general medical issues, so it’s extremely important to get your teeth examined if you experience any dental emergency on this list!

First and foremost, if you are in pain, we want to help you get some relief. Then we can address any underlying causes to solve the problem using dental best practices. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give us a call as soon as possible. We’ll get you an appointment in the near future, so you can go back to your life and leave tooth pain behind.

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Lafayette Dental

50 Route 15
Lafayette, NJ 07848
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Hours

Monday - Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (2 per month)

Phone

(973) 579-7888

Email Address

[email protected]

Dental emergency?

Emergency treatment is available to our entire patient base, as well as 24-hour on-call service. Call us at (973) 579-7888.