Easy Home Remedies to Whiten Dentures
Dentures can be such an amazing investment, but they can also be difficult. False teeth undoubtedly need as much, if not more attention than regular teeth, due to the high presence of bacteria and risk of infection. However, taking good care of your dentures doesn’t have to break the bank or cause you an inconvenience. There are several at home remedies to clean and whiten your false teeth that will help get you the healthiest and longest life span for your new teeth.
1. Rinsing Right After Eating or Drinking
The best way to keep your dentures looking white, is to remove and rinse them right after enjoying highly pigmented foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, or berries. Prevention is key and making sure you clean your dentures will help them stay white and last longer.
2. Soak Dentures In Denture Solution
You can get denture- soaking solutions at your local drug store, or you can get commercial grade cleaners at or through your denture or dentist clinic. Remember- always brush your false teeth before cleaning them.
3. Soak Dentures In At-Home Solution
You can also make your own at- home solution. Use baking soda or white vinegar, as this will help loosen up the plaque so you can brush it off easier. Make sure to check with your dentist to see if this solution is right for your false teeth.
4. Soak in Mouthwash
Soaking your false teeth in equal parts mouthwash and water and letting soak for a half an hour is also a good way to whiten your dentures. Make sure you thoroughly wash them when you take them out!
Keeping your false teeth white doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your loved ones. Use these home remedies to keep your dentures looking new and clean. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (423) 875-0600. We are always here for you to answer any concerns about your teeth.
Is Water Flossing Better Than String Flossing?
Learn About Water Flossing With us at River Valley Dentistry
Water flossers or water picks, technically an oral irrigator, if you’re asking, are increasingly popular, but are they effective? Only 32% of adults floss daily, so there is absolutely a need for an easier way to clean between teeth. Going without daily flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning, leaves all of those people, most of us, at serious risk of gum disease. So lets find out if water picks live up to the hype.
Are Water Flossers Better Than String Floss?
Water flossers seem to be very effective according to current research. A 2013 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss found that water flossers were “significantly” more effective than string floss. Specifically, they found that after a single use water flossers were 29% more effective at removing plaque. They were particularly better at removing plaque and accumulations from between teeth, and that’s most of why we floss isn’t it?
Something that may be worth considering is that one of the authors of the 2013 study, Deborah Lyle, was employed by the Waterpik corporation from May 2004 until January 2022 as their Director of Clinical Research. Waterpik’s page for clinical research about water flossers lists many studies that include Deborah Lyle as a contributor.
However, other researchers were involved, and other studies exist that point to the effectiveness of water flossers. A 2021 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss is an example, though they did not have such strong conclusions as the 2013 Deborah Lyle study did. They found instead that water flossers were just as effective as string floss, not more so. That is why they recommended water flossers to those with braces, retainers or who have fine motor skill issues.
So, water flossers do seem to work and could potentially replace string floss or floss picks in your oral health routine. But are they superior to string floss? They might be, but considering, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to knock yourself if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon just yet.
Are There Any Downsides to Water Flossers?
While great at cleaning your teeth, there are a few things to consider before you run out and get one. Water flossers can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, according to a 2021 study. Put simply, because water flosser heads touch your mouth and stay wet, oral bacteria can grow on it. Even in spite of following provided cleaning recommendations. That’s not all, this study limited itself to studying only the nozzle, not the hose or water reservoir itself. So while trying to clean your mouth there is the possibility that you could be spraying your teeth with bacteria.
It’s no secret that tooth brushes can be a source of illness and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. However, proper storage and sanitary precautions, even ones as simple as rinsing your tooth brush and letting it dry, have been shown to reduce bacteria considerably. Allowing it to dry is crucial and would be much more time consuming to practice with a water flosser. Because a water flosser is a reservoir of water with an attached hose it seems proper cleaning would require draining it and it’s components and allowing them to dry after each use, at minimum. Certainly more time consuming than standard care and cleaning instructions have you to think is necessary for proper use.
Besides cleanliness, it’s also worth considering that no one is likely to travel with a water flosser. That just means that you’ll need to keep using string floss for overnight stays. That is to say, even if you get a water flosser, don’t throw out all your old string floss. You’ll still need it if you intend to keep up a daily hygiene routine.
If I Get One, What’s The Best Water Flosser?
The ADA, the American Dental Association, has an approved list of water flossers. The ADA only allows its seal to be used on products which “include data from clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy according to product category requirements developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs”. The ADA is one of the largest professional organizations for dentists meaning that any product bearing the ADA seal can be reasonably trusted. If you are considering trying a water flosser we strongly encourage you to factor the ADA’s recommendations into your decision.Learn About Our Dental Cleaning Service
How to Fix an Overbite
How to Fix an Overbite
Overbites are very common in both children and adults, with many having at least a tiny overbite. While not typically the most serious dental problem, a significant overbite can lead to several dental health problems. There are a number of ways to prevent or treat an overbite, and here at River Valley Dentistry, we can help find the right treatment for you or your child.
What is an Overbite?
An overbite is when a person’s upper teeth extend beyond their bottom front teeth. The most frequent cause of this is the size of the jaw or teeth – there may not be enough space in the jaw to fit one’s teeth.
Other causes can include frequent nail biting, teeth grinding, and for children thumbsucking and using a pacifier after age three. Read more about the causes of an overbite.
Is an Overbite Bad?
An overbite can cause a number of problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, an overbite can also cause enamel to be worn down or teeth to be chipped or cracked due to friction between teeth. An overbite can also make it more difficult to chew and bite since the teeth are misaligned.
How to Fix it
There are different ways to treat children and adults for an overbite. For children, braces can be used to slowly shift the teeth into a proper alignment. This is followed by a retainer to keep the teeth in place. Another treatment option for children is to use palate expanders, a type of growth modification device, to reposition the jaw during growth spurts. Another option is to extract baby teeth or permanent teeth to create room for adult teeth.
For adults, extracting teeth to create room for the remaining ones is also an option. Another treatment option is to use clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, to reposition teeth impacted by the overbite. This is an excellent option for many adults, as they are discreet and can be removed when eating.
If you or your child is experiencing an overbite, don’t wait for serious issues to develop. Call our office today at our Chattanooga office at 423-875-0600 and our Ooltewah office at 423-803-4500. We’re here to help you get the best possible treatment in a safe and comfortable environment!
Porcelain vs Composite Veneers
Learn About Dental Veneers With River Valley Dentistry
Whether you’re looking to have only a few teeth or all of your front teeth covered by dental veneers you might be wondering; which material is the best, composite or porcelain? Dental veneers can be used alongside other cosmetic dental procedures to dramatically change the look of your smile. It’s an important question, so let’s dive in.
Porcelain vs Composite Veneers: Lifespan
The lifespan of any type of dental veneers depends upon a number of factors. The most important of those is hygiene and overall oral health. Under ideal conditions, if a patient follows brushing, flossing and twice annual dental checkup recommendations, both porcelain and composite veneers can last for many years. A common estimate for the lifespan of composite veneers is between 4 to 10 years. Porcelain veneers are estimated to last between 10 to 15 years if not longer.
Porcelain is generally fragile but after it is bonded to a tooth it becomes extremely durable. Composite materials are strong as well but once attached are more prone to chipping than porcelain. However composite veneers can be repaired, similar to fillings for normal tooth enamel, while porcelain veneers must be replaced entirely if they are damaged.
Porcelain vs Composite Veneers: Cost & Time
Composite veneers have the advantage of a faster application process compared to porcelain. Composite veneers can be fabricated in-office and can be applied during the same visit in which your teeth are prepped for them. Any dental veneers require some tooth material to be grinded away to make room for them. With composite veneers your dentist can complete that work, fabricate your veneers and apply them all in the same visit.
Porcelain veneers generally require at least two appointments. Your dentist will remove the necessary material from your teeth, take an impression mold, and then will have to wait for a special lab to fabricate your veneers. Temporary veneers are available between appointments, so it’s not like you will walk around with obviously incomplete dental work, but if time is a factor this is worth considering. At your second appointment, your porcelain veneers will then be applied.
Porcelain veneers are also generally more expensive than composite. Because porcelain veneers cannot be fabricated in-office and are of a higher quality material they cost more to create and apply. The initial cost of porcelain veneers compared to composite often becomes equal over time however when considering the upfront costs versus repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of each material.
Porcelain vs Composite Veneers: Look
Porcelain veneers compared to composite veneers look more natural. The way that thin porcelain catches light mirrors a white tooth very closely. Composite veneers still look quite natural but when considering cosmetics porcelain does have the edge. Porcelain is also more stain resistant, related to its general durability edge, compared to composite.
Because composite veneers can stain that does mean they will naturally wear and change color just like your other teeth. Porcelain veneers on the other hand may start to stick out more over time compared to the teeth surrounding them. This might me you will need to consider whitening your teeth to match the shade of your porcelain veneers as time goes on.
Which Dental Veneers are Best?
There are pros and cons to both composite and dental veneers. The best material for your veneers is ultimately something you will need to decide yourself based on your lifestyle and preferences. There’s a question of lifespan, upfront versus lifetime costs, look and time to consider when deciding between the two. If you’re still not sure, our dentists and staff are happy to help guide you through the decision-making process. There’s yet more information that can be provided to you, and guidance that can be tailored to your specific needs and unique oral health situation.Contact River Valley Dentistry Learn About River Valley Dentistry
Tips for Getting Rid of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a very common mouth problem among people of all ages. People who have gingivitis may experience little to no symptoms of this dental condition, while others may experience bleeding when flossing or brushing. Gingivitis can become worse over time and can need to be healed by a dentist if left untreated.
Here are some ways you can get rid of Gingivitis.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water has been shown to be very beneficial in healing gums inflamed by gingivitis. It can also help reduce pain and bacteria, relieve bad breath and remove particles of food.
To make the rinse, you can add one-half to three-fourths teaspoons of salt into a glass of lukewarm water. After mixing the solution well, you can swish it around your mouth for up to 30 seconds, and then spit it out. You can repeat it two to three times a day.
Be sure to not rinse for too long or too often as this could hurt the enamel of your teeth and cause them to erode because of the mixture’s acidic properties.
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family and turmeric gel has been proven to help prevent plaque and gingivitis. It’s also used in many home remedies as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Turmeric gel is available in many health food or alternative remedy shops. To use it to treat gingivitis, people should apply it to the gums and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with water and spitting.
There are several home remedies you can make to help get rid of gingivitis. Follow the following recipes to make your own:
Lemongrass Oil Mouthwash
Lemongrass oil has been shown to reduce gingivitis and the plaque that causes it. To make this mouthwash, dilute 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass oil in water. Swirl around the mouth and then spit out. Repeat up to three times daily.
Aloe Vera Mouthwash
Aloe Vera has been proven to be as effective as the active ingredient in traditional mouthwash at treating gingivitis symptoms. Aloe vera juice does not need diluting and can be used on its own, just as long as it is pure. Like other mouthwashes, you should swirl it in the mouth and spit out then repeat up to three times daily.
Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash
Tea tree oil mouthwash can reduce the bleeding associated with gingivitis significantly. To make tea tree oil mouthwash, you should simply add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water then use it in the same way as the other homemade mouthwashes above. Tea tree oil can interact with some medications, so it is best to speak to a doctor before using it for the first time.
These are some ways that can help you get rid of gingivitis. However, if your gums don’t heal or you continue to see symptoms of gingivitis, contact us right away. We’re always happy to help and we’ll answer any questions you may have. Give our Chattanooga office a call at (423) 875-0600 or our Ooltewah office a call at (423) 803-4500 to set up an appointment.
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance Learn More About Teeth Whitening
How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. If you get a cavity, it should be treated right away. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.
Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Cons of Dental Implants
No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:
1. You have to meet a set of requirements
In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
2. The cost of the procedure
While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
3. The procedure can be lengthy
Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Pros of Dental Implants
While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
1. They look and feel like natural teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
2. You can eat and chew with ease
Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
4. They’re easy to take care of
You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
5. They prevent bone loss
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact us today!Learn More About Dental Implants
Oral Health Tips For Seniors
No matter your age, good dental hygiene is important in minimizing the chance of cavities and other oral health problems. As you age, it becomes even more critical that you care for your teeth. Even more so, if you have a health condition such as heart disease or diabetes. We’re here to help you prevent oral health problems throughout every stage of life. Below are just a few of our oral health tips for seniors and caring for your teeth as you age.
Maintain regular dental visits
Getting your teeth and gums checked regularly is very important, even if you wear dentures, catching any oral health problems early and helping prevent future issues. Keep in mind that Medicare doesn’t pay for routine dental care so you may want to look into private dental insurance.
Brush, floss, and rinse daily
Brushing and flossing each day with a fluoride toothpaste and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash removes plaque from your teeth and reduces the chances of tooth decay or gum disease.
Watch for changes in your mouth
Your risk of getting oral cancer increases with age. If you see any spots, lumps, white or red patches, or if you’re experiencing difficulty swallowing or chewing, numbness on your tongue, or swelling of your jaw—contact us right away.
According to the CDC “smoking tobacco products (including cigarettes and cigars) causes almost nine of every 10 cases of lung cancer, but smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body”, including the mouth and throat.
Ask your doctor about dry mouth
Dry mouth is the result of not having enough saliva to keep your mouth wet, and makes it harder to talk, eat, and swallow. If your medication is causing dry mouth, ask your doctor if there is any substitution that doesn’t produce dry mouth.
Care for your dentures
Dentures require special care, including using a deep-cleaning solution to soak off food remnants from the denture. Dentures can make life easier for many seniors, but you have to keep up with their care.
Caring for your teeth as you age doesn’t have to be challenging! We’re here to help with any questions or concerns you may have about aging and oral health.
Dental Savings Plans
Going to the dentist can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have dental insurance or your insurance isn’t in network for a certain clinic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get regular dental care. Many dental offices offer dental savings plans, sometimes referred to as membership plans, for those that don’t have insurance.
Signing up for a membership plan with your dental care provider can help make sure you get the dental care you need- even without insurance!
What Are Dental Savings Plans?
Dental Savings Plans are membership based discount plans for dental health care. These plans are a great alternative to dental insurance, and plan members typically save between 10-60% on the regular price of dental care and treatments. By joining, you gain access to member only discounts that participating dental care providers have agreed upon. You pay the discounted rate directly to the dentist- no insurance needed!
What Do These Plans Cover?
This all depends on the practice, but typically they cover the following:
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Restorative Dental Care
- Specialist Dental Care
- Preventative Dental Care
Talk with your dental office to see what they provide with their own membership plan.
Choosing a Plan That’s Right For You
One big plus of having a dental savings plan is that you have options. Simply by searching for the following, you can choose a plan that’s right for you:
- By savings: Choose the plan that has the best overall savings
- By dentist: Choose the plan that your dentist accepts
- By procedure: Choose the plan you want based on your dental care needs.
Here at River Valley Dentistry, we want to make sure everyone has the option to get dental care. That’s why our dental savings plan can help you have peace of mind when you come to the dentist. To find out more about our membership plan, click here or call (423) 875-0600 for our Chattanooga office or (423) 803-4500 for our Ooltewah office. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the dental care you deserve.