Archive for April, 2019

How to Indulge Your Coffee Habit Without Staining Your Teeth

Countless people rely on a hot mug of caffeine (or two or three) to get them through the day. Unfortunately, coffee is among the most common causes of stains on the teeth. The easiest way to prevent this is to avoid drinking coffee, but for many people, this isn’t an acceptable option. Instead, consider using the following tips. And remember to make a dentist appointment every six months! Getting your teeth professionally cleaned will control the stains. Periodically, you might want to have an in-office teeth whitening performed.

Try to avoid sipping coffee all day long.

If you tend to walk around with a thermos and sip from it for hours at a time, you’re probably more likely to see stained teeth. Try to limit your teeth’s exposure to the coffee. Instead, just finish that cup and take a break before you drink another.

Rinse between cups.

After you enjoy a cup of coffee, rinse out your mouth with water. Even better, use alcohol-free mouthwash. You can also brush your teeth more frequently throughout the day, but be careful not to do it immediately after drinking acidic beverages like coffee, which can weaken the tooth enamel.

Drink through a straw.

Drinking coffee through a straw limits your teeth’s exposure to coffee. You can do this with hot coffee, but many people prefer to save the straw for iced coffee. Just know that frequent use of a straw can encourage the premature development of wrinkles around your mouth. It’s a trade-off. Another consideration is whether you’ve had any oral surgery recently. If you’ve had a tooth extracted, you shouldn’t use a straw until your dentist tells you that it’s okay to do so. This is because the suction can disturb the protective blood clot that forms on the surgical site.

Even if your coffee or tea habit does stain your teeth, you can get your pearly whites sparkling again with professional teeth whitening. The office of John R. Carson, DDS is pleased to offer safe and effective teeth whitening options that give our patients great results! Call our location in Tucson at (520) 514-7203 if you have any questions.

Easy Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be a particularly devastating type of cancer because, even if the patient survives, the disease may result in visible disfigurement. While it might not be possible to cut your risk down to zero, there are several crucial steps you can take to significantly lower your risk of oral cancer. One of the first things you should do is talk to your dentist about your current oral health. Ask your dentist to perform an oral cancer screening. Detecting oral cancer early can help increase survival rates.

Avoid all tobacco products.

The biggest risk factor for oral cancer is the use of tobacco. Dentists strongly urge patients to avoid smoking and chewing tobacco. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. If you do, give serious thought to quitting. It’s never easy to overcome an addiction, and you might not succeed the first one, two, or even dozen times you try. But keep trying, and with help from your doctor and your support network, you can finally kick the habit!

Protect yourself from sun exposure.

You probably already know that unprotected exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer. But did you know the same effect can happen to your lips? Lip cancer is a type of oral cancer. Protect your pucker by applying lip balm with an SPF of at least 15. Apply it every day before you go outdoors, and keep it with you for easy reapplication.

Abstain or consume alcohol in moderation.

By itself, excessive alcohol intake can increase your risk of oral cancer. But when alcohol is combined with tobacco use, the risk is heightened far more than it would be with either of those risk factors alone. Abstaining from alcohol is an effective way to avoid raising your risk. But if you do want to drink, stick with a moderate amount. As a general rule of thumb, moderation equals no more than one drink daily for ladies and no more than two drinks daily for men.

John R. Carson, DDS will perform an oral cancer screening during your routine examination. Our dentistry office in Tucson provides comprehensive dental care within a compassionate, judgment-free environment. Call (520) 514-7203 to request your next appointment.

Cavity Fillings 101

Cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, are typically diagnosed during routine oral exams. However, they may also be discovered during emergency dental appointments if they are severe enough to cause pain. If your dentist determines that you have a cavity, he or she will treat it with a filling. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect.

Preparation

If the cavity is discovered during a routine exam, you may be able to get it treated during the same appointment. If you’ve never had a cavity filled before, feel free to ask any questions or share your concerns. To prepare you for the procedure, the dentist will thoroughly numb the area with a local anesthetic. It’s common to use a topically applied anesthetic first, followed by an injectable one to ensure your comfort.

Procedure

When the area is numb, a drill is used to gently remove all of the decayed and infected material from the tooth. Otherwise, the infection could continue to spread. Then, your dentist will shape the area to get it ready to receive the filling. For example, the dentist may add a liner or base to protect the pulp of the tooth. The tooth may also be etched to create stronger bond. When the tooth is ready, the dentist adds the filling material. The filling is shaped and smoothed, and a special laser is used to cure the material.

Recovery

You can expect to return to your usual activities right away. However, you shouldn’t eat anything until your mouth is no longer numb. This is because you might inadvertently chew on your cheek or tongue. It should only take a few hours for the numbness to wear off. Some patients may have tooth sensitivity. This should wear off over the next one to two weeks.

At the office of John R. Carson, DDS, patients of all ages can receive a complete spectrum of dentistry services. We do it all, from cavity fillings and sealants to teeth whitening and crowns. New and current patients in the Tucson area can call our office at (520) 514-7203.

Answering FAQs About Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

A cosmetic dentistry treatment is anything done for the purpose of enhancing the aesthetics of a person’s smile. This is in contrast to treatments done to improve oral health, such as cavity fillings. Some common examples of cosmetic dentistry treatments include teeth whitening, veneers, and gum contouring. If you’re unsure of which cosmetic treatments are right for you, you can consult a cosmetic dentist and request a treatment plan.

Is there anything I can do about my old metal fillings?

Many patients are dissatisfied with the look of metal amalgam fillings. They stand out in stark contrast to the whiteness of the enamel. Some people may also have concerns about mercury toxicity. Fortunately, there’s a fix for that. A cosmetic dentist may recommend removing your old metal fillings and replacing them with composite resin fillings. Composite resin is a strong, durable material that effectively protects the tooth. Its shade can be adjusted to match the shade of your teeth.

Is in-office whitening superior to OTC products?

The over-the-counter whitening products you’ll find pale in comparison to professional-grade, in-office treatments. When you go to a dentist for teeth whitening, you can rest assured that the treatment will be safe and very effective. Your dentist can perform the treatment in the office or send you home with a professional-grade, customized kit to use at your leisure.

I’m frustrated with my “gummy smile.” Is there a fix?

A “gummy smile” is one in which too much of the gum shows. Some people naturally have excessive amounts of gum tissue that are out of proportion to their teeth. If you’re fed up with your gummy smile, talk to your cosmetic dentist about gum contouring. He or she may use a laser to gently reshape the gum tissue in a way that shows off more of your pearly whites when you smile.

For the answers to all of your dental questions, you can turn to the trusted staff at the office of John R. Carson, DDS. Our cosmetic dentistry practice in Tucson, AZ focuses on helping each of our patients enjoy the beautiful, healthy smiles they deserve! To discuss your smile makeover, get in touch at (520) 514-7203.