How Does Wine Affect Your Teeth?

toasting with wine glassesWith the 12th Annual Georgetown Wine and Music Festival coming up at the end of September, the staff of our Georgetown dental office is excited to try the new varietals from local wineries while we stroll around the square. We get a lot of questions about how wine and it’s effect on your oral health….. Are red wines good for your heart, but bad for your teeth? Or is it the other way around? And what about white wines? Do they turn your teeth yellow? Are organics better? So many questions could make your head spin more than the wine. We thought we’d address the basics here in our latest blog so that you don’t have to worry before the big festival.

Does Red Wine Stain Teeth More than White?

This is probably the most common question that we get about wine and your oral health. The truth is, all wine is acidic and has the potential to stain your teeth. We frankly just notice it more with red – the slightly purple smile after a few glasses of Merlot. The acid levels in white wine can still break down tooth enamel and leave the teeth looking yellow, as well as leaving the teeth susceptible to decay

What Should We Do To Avoid Staining?

Believe it or not, your Georgetown dental team is going to tell you that you should not brush your teeth immediately after drinking a glass of wine. Why? If you brush too soon, you’re actually spreading those wine acids around your mouth exposing more tooth surfaces to those acids and potentially damaging them. Instead, swish your mouth with a glass of water after drinking wine – no matter what variety. The water will help to neutralize those acids and wash them off of tooth surfaces. 

Are Organics Any Better?

As much as we love organic wines that are free of chemical pesticides and other compounds that are bad for the planet, organic wines still have the same levels of acids in them, and have the potential to discolor or damage tooth enamel just like the ones full of extra chemicals that speed up the fermentation process. 

What If My Teeth Are Already Stained?

If you’re concerned that your teeth are discolored, either because of wine or just the effects of time, give our office a call to schedule a teeth whitening treatment. We can also discuss other cosmetic dentistry solutions if your teeth require more than just whitening to get back to their best. 

Options for a Whiter Smile

woman hiding her smileHave you ever wished that your teeth were whiter? We understand. We all want a bright, white smile that we’re happy to show off to the world. But many things can cause tooth discoloration — from your daily cup of coffee to your nightcap glass of red wine, or delicious tomato sauce to yummy berries. What can you do to take your teeth from dull to white? Our dental office in Georgetown is here to help with some solutions to brighten your smile.

Professional Tooth Whitening

If you’re looking for a fast, dramatic tooth whitening option, consider a professional smile whitening from our dental office in Georgetown. A professional teeth whitening can transform your smile quickly and can even make your smile several shades whiter in just one treatment. All you have to do is sit back and relax, and a professional smile whitening can give you the immediate results you’re looking for.

Over-the-Counter Smile Whitening Products

There’s a certain appeal to over-the-counter smile whitening products. They’re often cheaper than a professional whitening, and they can brighten your teeth. However, results usually appear over time and are certainly not immediate. There are also some risks involved with over-the-counter whitening strips and trays. For example, if the solution stays on too long or it sits on your gums, it can lead to damage and increased sensitivity.

When Whitening Isn’t Enough

There are times when neither over-the-counter whitening nor professional whitening is enough to get you the look you want. In fact, there are some types of stains that don’t respond to the whitening solution and will never go away no matter how much you try. When this happens, the best way to whiten your smile is through dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are fixed to the surface of your teeth covering up any imperfections, including stains.

When deciding on the best way to whiten your smile, start by talking with our Trade Winds dental team! We will be able to help you determine what kind of staining you have and which whitening solution will work best for your particular needs.

If you’re looking to brighten and whiten your smile, call our dental office in Georgetown to schedule an appointment. We’ll work with you to determine the safest and most effective solution to get you smiling bigger and brighter than ever!

“Will that Green Beer Affect My Teeth on St. Patty’s Day?”

green beerIf you’ve known our Georgetown dental team for more than a hot second, you know that we’re constantly talking about being green. Taking care of the environment, while taking care of others, is the hallmark of our practice. But today, we’d like to talk to you about something ELSE that is green… and frothy… and is only celebrated once a year in March. Even if you’re not of Irish descent, there will be plenty of green beer available to you at any number of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But can those shamrock-colored suds take a toll on your teeth? Let’s find out…

It’s Not Just the Food Coloring

Having a pint or two (responsibly of course) of green beer can dye your teeth pretty quickly, depending on the strength of the food-grade dyes used in the making of the festive brew. This hue can easily be removed by using a slightly more abrasive whitening toothpaste, or if needed, contacting our Georgetown dental office for a cleaning. But there’s something you should know – drinking beer in general, even when it’s not springy green, can turn your teeth yellow or even slightly brown. Darker beers in particular like stouts can make your teeth take on a dingy appearance over time. If your teeth aren’t as pearly white as the cliffs of Dover, call us to schedule an in-office whitening treatment.

Beer Can Also Damage Enamel

If you think about all the different things in a pint of beer, you might forget that there’s actually a lot of acid in that bubbly brew. Acid, of course, can eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity and decay. And, like we just mentioned, your teeth can become discolored when the layers of enamel are worn away and the inner part of your tooth, which is actually darker, starts to peek through.

So Protect Your Health

We’re certainly not saying that you shouldn’t have a small glass of once-a-year beer this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as long as you have it responsibly and in moderation. But if you do, remember these tips:

  • Drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage
  • Be sure to brush twice and floss once a day (like you already do, right?)
  • Don’t forget to schedule and keep your regular cleaning appointments with our office

If you’re due for an appointment, or perhaps your grin could use a bit of extra attention, give us a call to schedule a dental checkup today.

Always welcoming patients from Georgetown and the surrounding areas.

How Does Invisalign Work?

woman holding invisalignMany people start off the new year thinking about drastic changes that they want to make to their health or their bodies in general. At our Georgetown dental office, we’ve noticed that we’re getting a lot of questions about Invisalign clear aligners – how they work, how long they take, and lots of other questions about how they can improve your smile. We thought we’d break it all down in our latest blog.

What Exactly is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of custom-fitted aligners that we use to move crooked teeth into straight alignment. We can use these in place of traditional metal braces to help correct underbites, overbites, overcrowded, or even big spaces between your teeth.

What Are They Made Of?

Each aligner is custom made for you out of a thermoplastic material – similar to what is used in take-home teeth whitening trays. They’re FDA-approved, and don’t contain any BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten.

Do I Wear Them 24-7? How Long Does This Take?

For the best results, we recommend that patients wear their aligners for 20-22 hours per day. You’ll take them out for things like eating, drinking, and brushing and flossing your teeth. You’ll change the aligners about every other week (based on your individualized treatment plan) and our Georgetown dental team will set up appointments with you about every four to six weeks to check on your progress. On average, patients start seeing results in a matter of weeks, with full treatment finishing in a matter of months.

So, TOTALLY Better Than Metal Braces.

YES! Most people can’t tell that someone is wearing Invisalign because the aligners are virtually invisible. No more metal and no little rubber bands to keep track of. There are no food restrictions, since you take them out to eat and drink. You can even keep them in while playing sports or a musical instruments.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’d like to find out if Invisalign aligners can get you the straighter smile that you’ve always wanted, call our dental office in Georgetown for a complimentary consultation. We’ll answer any other questions you might have and see if Invisalign is the answer for you!

End the Year with Your Brightest Smile

family Isn’t it amazing how fast time flies? It seems like only yesterday we were decorating our Georgetown dental office for summer, and here we are wrapping up December! You may have heard our reminders to use your dental benefits before the end of the year. If you’ve already scheduled your appointments for one more cleaning or perhaps a teeth whitening treatment, we can’t wait to see you to get you polished up before all those holiday parties.

If you haven’t scheduled, or you’ve simply run out of time with your busy social calendar, don’t fret! You can start the new year off right with January appointments to get your smile in tip-top shape! While you’re starting your new diet, why not start an Invisalign treatment to finally correct that crooked smile that has been bothering you for so long? Invisalign clear aligners will gradually (and discreetly) move your teeth into proper alignment in as little as nine months! That means that by next Christmas, you could be showing off a brand new smile to friends and family!

The end of the year is also a time for us to be thankful for all the positive things in our lives. We’re thankful for oral cancer screenings and early detection saving the lives of patients. We’re also thankful for advances in technology that allow us to perform dental treatments that are both convenient for our patients AND environmentally friendly. And we’re most thankful for YOU, our patients! We truly do love helping people achieve their healthiest smile, while increasing their self confidence to boot!

So if you’ve managed to squeeze in an end of the year appointment, we can’t wait to see you and hear about your holiday plans. And if you haven’t… give us a call now to set up an appointment for the start of the new year. Our Georgetown dental office will be ready to get started on the most important New Year’s Resolution of all — taking better care of yourself!

From all of us at Trade Winds Dental – Happy Holidays!

Stressed Yet?

woman feels holiday stressIf you’ve walked into any type of retail store lately, you’ve noticed that the holidays are in full swing. No matter what your background or which specific holidays you’ll be celebrating, this can be the most stressful time of year for a lot of people. All the family gatherings, potential arguments about politics and sports, meals to prepare, gifts to purchase… it can all add up to major physical symptoms of stress, along with mental fatigue. At our Georgetown dental office, we’d like to try and help in anyway that we can.

The Jawbone’s Connected to the…. Headaches?

Do you find yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth? Are you waking up with a headache and clicking sounds when you chew? Or, even worse, locking up when you’re eating lunch? These are all symptoms of TMJ – your temporomandibular joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull are telling you that they’re overworked! These symptoms can happen at any time, but are much more frequent during periods of stress.

TMJ can lead to damage to your teeth from the grinding, muscular spasms in the face and jaw, and loss of sleep for many people. Call us to talk about your symptoms and we’ll see if a simple nightguard is all you need to stop the pain.

The Pressure to Be Beautiful

Family gatherings can cause a tremendous amount of stress because we all have family members who will immediately notice our physical flaws. There’s still time to see us for a cosmetic dentistry consultation to whiten dull, yellow teeth, fill in a chip or a gap with bonding, or even get a same-day crown to restore your smile… and your confidence… to it’s fullest potential.

No Judging. We Promise

Maybe you are completely missing one or more teeth, be it from an accident, injury, or even years of neglect. Maybe you’d love to get it fixed, but that means coming into the dentist and being stressed out about what the dental team is going to say about your oral health. Don’t worry, this is a No-Judgement Zone. It doesn’t matter how you got into the situation, we’re here to help restore your smile so that you can live healthier and happier. Dental implants are a permanent option for a missing tooth, and implants can also be use to permanently anchor dentures as an alternative to traditional dentures that can slip or fit improperly. Think of it as the ultimate gift to yourself!

Relax… with Sedation Dentistry

Maybe the holidays aren’t that stressful for you. Maybe you suffer from dental anxiety all year long, making your cleaning appointment before the holidays seem like a bigger moment of dread than getting coal in your stocking. It’s ok – dental anxiety is a very real thing that affects millions of people, and your Georgetown dental office is here to help. We offer oral conscious sedation as well as inhalation sedation to help you feel more comfortable and stress-free during your procedure.

We truly hope that with the whirlwind of activities over the next two months, you find the time to breathe, relax, and enjoy the tiny moments of bliss, like the first snowfall or the smell of freshly baked gingerbread. Our Georgetown dental office is here to help you reduce your stress, so call us today and let’s talk about how we can make you smile more this holiday season.

Those Funny Fall Feelings

autumn baby

September is the month of football, pumpkins, and crisp apples on a Saturday morning. It’s also the beginning of one of the most stressful times of the year for a lot of people. Have you ever noticed that the change in the daylight, the shortening of the days, and the impending worries of the holidays can make people….well… downright cranky? At our Georgetown dental office, we’ve got a few suggestions for keeping your spirits high as the temperatures start to drop.

Take a second for YOURSELF

Science has proved that levels of testosterone in both men and women increase in the fall. They think it may be ancient mating instincts – just like how animals ‘rut’ in the fall. If you’re looking to make a great first impression on a prospective mate, ask us about teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry options to make your smile bright and confident. We can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted quickly and easily in our Georgetown dental office.

Eat Some Pumpkin

Pumpkins are actually a super-food that we always recommend for our patients. They’re full of fiber, which helps stimulate saliva and protect your teeth against decay. They’re also full of zinc, which is often added to toothpastes to help prevent plaque buildup.

BUT… Watch the Sugar

Now when we say for you to go out and eat some pumpkin, we mean healthy options like pumpkin seeds, a smoothie, or a freshly baked pumpkin pay (maybe baked by your new sweetie!). What we do not recommend are those sugary Pumpkin Spice Latte drinks available at commercial coffeeshops — they’re LOADED with sugar and empty calories that could lead to cavities.

Let Us Help You Plan Ahead

Like we said, fall can be stressful with your kids sports schedules, school events, and the inevitability of all those holiday events on the horizon. BREATHE. It’ll be ok… let’s look at your calendar now and plan out your hygiene appointments for the family for the remainder of the year, as well as making sure you’re using your insurance benefits to the fullest before the end of 2018. We can easily plan appointments several weeks or even months out for you, and adjust them if needed as those dates approach.

We hope that these tips can help to keep the stresses of the Autumnal Equinox at bay so that you can spend more time enjoying the beauty of the changing of the leaves, the fog on a fall morning, and the bounties of nature at the farmers market. Call our Georgetown dental office today and we’ll get you scheduled with no stress.

Is a Same-Day Crown Really as Easy as it Sounds?

man exclaiming happiness

A lot of times, when someone is sitting in our dental chair and we discover that a dental crown is needed to repair a damaged tooth, it’s followed by the patient making a groaning sound and a sigh. “That means the goopy impression stuff, right? And I have to wait for the crown to come in, right?”  Well, your Georgetown dental office now offers same-day crowns, and yes, it really is as easy as it sounds.

No More Goopy Stuff

Instead of doing those old plastic trays of the gaggy, goopy stuff to get an impression of your teeth, we use 3D CAD/CAM technology to create a three dimensional, virtual model of your prepared tooth. You’ll see us holding what looks like a magic wand to your mouth – this is the camera transmitting the imagery into our CEREC software to match the exact specifications of your mouth.

The Milling Machine

Next, a ceramic block is chosen in a color shade that matches your existing teeth, and it goes into our milling machine. The machine then custom mills your crown, similar to a big computerized saw or something you’d see in a manufacturing facility. It’s done within a few minutes, and then we can test it to make sure it’s a proper fit for your bite.

A Crowning Achievement

Once the newly milled crown is ready, all that’s left is to apply anesthesia and bond the new crown to your tooth. There’s no temporary restoration, no waiting for something to come from “the lab” because it’s all done right here —- saving you not only valuable time but also money. These long-lasting restorations can last over 10 years, and there’s no metal or dangerous mercury to worry about (which of course, makes us really happy).

So if you’re sitting at your next appointment at our Georgetown Dental office and find out that you need to have a crown to restore a tooth, don’t sweat it! We’ll have you fixed and on your way in no time. Give us a call today to see if a same-day crown can help your smile become more healthy and confident.

“Is Drinking Wine Bad for My Teeth?”

romantic valentine's dinnerWith February being the month of celebrating love, we’re sure there’s a few of you that will be planning a candlelight dinner with your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. One question that our Georgetown dental team often hears involves that lovely glass of Syrah or Merlot or Pinot Noir served alongside that beautiful steak…. “Is drinking wine bad for my teeth?” Let’s look at the facts…

All Wines are Acidic

Whether we’re talking white wine, red wine, or a rosé, all wine is highly acidic. Those acids can break down tooth enamel and cause teeth to look dull or yellow. A lack of enamel also leaves the teeth at risk for bacteria and further decay.

What About Organic Wines?

We’re obviously big fans of organic wines here at our Georgetown dental office, since these wines are produced without harmful pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemical compounds that are bad for the environment. BUT, even without those extra chemical additives, organic wines still have the same high acid levels that can affect your protective layer of tooth enamel.

So… Should I Not Drink Wine Anymore?

As long as you’re enjoying your glass of wine safely, responsibly, and in moderation, we’re certainly not going to tell you to banish that bottle down to the cellar. Consider these helpful hints:

  • Swish your mouth with water after drinking a glass of wine. The water will help neutralize some of those acids and wash them away from the surface of your teeth.
  • Don’t brush your teeth immediately after that glass of wine. (YES, we know that sounds weird coming from your dentist). Brushing too soon can actually spread the acids around your mouth more, exposing more teeth to it’s damaging effects.

The bottom line is, your Georgetown dentist wants you to keep an eye on your teeth, and if you do discover some discoloration, whether it’s due to a gambit of grenache or a moderate malbec, we have cosmetic dentistry solutions to get your teeth back to bright white in no time. And of course, we’re always welcoming new patients and would happy to see you no matter what your riesling….. or reason…may be.

Top 10 Habits That Ruin Teeth

woman opening bottle with teethAt our dental office in Georgetown, we like to focus on preventive dental care to ensure the health of our neighbors. This usually means seeing us for regular dental visits at least every six months and following a proper hygiene routine at home. But there are other things you may be doing on a daily basis that are harming your smile and you don’t even know it. In this week’s blog, we’d like to cover the top 10 most common habits that ruin teeth.

Brushing Too HardYour dentist in Georgetown recommends brushing your teeth twice a day using small, gentle circles. If you vigorously scrub away at teeth, you can damage gum tissue and cause it to recede, making teeth super sensitive.

Crunching Ice Cubes – Ice cubes are hard and aren’t meant for crunching. Their tough texture can cause you to break teeth, damage dental restorations, or create tiny chips in the enamel where bacteria can thrive.

Eating LemonsThese bright yellow fruits are packed with acid, and when the acid comes in contact with teeth, it can easily erode enamel.

Biting NailsThe angle your jaw adjusts to while nail biting can cause problems with your jaw, also known as TMJ or TMD. Nail biting may also result in chipped teeth.

Using Teeth as ToolsYour teeth are meant for chewing, not opening packets or holding things. When they are used in this manner, cracked teeth are incredibly common.

Playing Sports without a MouthguardPlaying any sport without a mouthguard isn’t only potential dangerous for your smile, it’s also dangerous for your brain. Mouthguards protect teeth from elbows, hockey pucks, or baseballs and can help minimize the risk of concussions.

Drinking SodaSoft drinks are usually packed with sugar, and as we all know, sugar is terrible for teeth. When sugar is in a liquid format as in soda, it can be even more damaging since it’s being exposed to the entire mouth, usually over a long period of time.

Chewing on PencilsJust like you should use your teeth as tools, you also shouldn’t hold or chew on your writing utensils. Pencils and pens alike are hard and can damage teeth pretty easily.

Smoking or Using TobaccoNot only is tobacco use bad for overall health, it’s also detrimental for oral health. Smoking or chewing tobacco can discolor teeth and has been linked to gum disease and oral cancer.

Clenching or Grinding TeethWhether you clench or grind out of stress or while you sleep, you’re essentially banging your teeth together over and over again. Habitually clenching or grinding can result in broken teeth or jaw problems(TMJ).

If you found yourself identifying with any of the habits above, we would encourage you to work on breaking them. In the meantime, if you happen to damage your teeth, whether from a bad habit or any other reason, we’ll be happy to get you back to smiling. Give our Georgetown dental office a call to schedule an appointment.