Extreme Whiteness On Teeth Not Always Flattering

As a dentist who performs cosmetic dental procedures on a regular basis, I am often removing crowns, bonding or veneers placed by another dentist. While repair is occasionally the reason for removal, the most common reason is their appearance. Without modern techniques, materials and technology, smile enhancements in any form can look fake, not providing the natural look and feel that patients desire.

Yet, the same can be true for tooth whitening. At times, I see people who have gone overboard on bleaching. Their teeth are no longer white, they’re “day glo!”

White teeth provide a more youthful appearance to one’s face as teeth become stained yellow or brown as we age. When you lighten the color of your teeth, it tends to brighten your face overall. This results in a more youthful appearance. Yet, too white can look unnatural, even ridiculous.

Areas to take into consideration when seeking a gleaming smile include:

  • Age – A naturally-white smile at age 30 and age 60 vary. Because it is normal for teeth to become duller and discolored as we age, bleaching too light creates a “fake” look.
  • Complexion – Your natural skin color and your teeth should have similar undertones. For instance, for those with pink skin undertones, the teeth should retain some blue or gray for a flattering match. Someone with olive skin is better with ivory undertones.
  • Current Shade – A Liquid Paper smile is not the goal. Bleaching teeth to the extent of extremely white doesn’t mean your smile will look better. When whitening occurs under a dentist’s supervision, the extent of whiteness that’s appropriate for you can be better controlled.

After bleaching, teeth can retain their new luster even longer by drinking water or swishing after drinking colored beverages, such as tea or coffee. Plus, drink colas and dark juices through a straw whenever possible.

Your smile can be as flattering to your appearance as your hair color. The key is to work toward a degree of whiteness that is naturally flattering and complements you as an individual.

Zoom 2 gives an exceptional white in about an hour!
Zoom 2 gives an exceptional white in about an hour!

We offer the Zoom 2 Whitening system. This is safe, causes minimal (if any) sensitivity and provides an outstanding result that has exceptional longevity. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for more information.

Adult Orthodontics

About 20% of people in braces are adults. Some had braces as adolescents or teens and their teeth have moved (often due to not wearing a retainer). Others have never had braces and are unhappy with crooked or crowded teeth. Another segment of this percentage go into orthodontic treatment because of a misaligned bite, which can lead to TMJ (jaw joint) disorder.

While some adults may feel awkward wearing braces, it’s generally seen as a sign of a health-conscious individual. Having an attractive smile and a healthy bite alignment reflects positively on adults at any age. Additionally, straightening natural teeth is a more health-conscious method to achieve an appealing smile. It is also less expensive, typically, than smile enhancement through porcelain veneers and crowns.

For those who want properly-aligned teeth but don’t want the look or feel of brackets or wires, Dr. Barbat and Dr. Wesley are both Certified in Invisalign. These clear molds are removable for eating and brushing and generally undetectable in a smile. An added benefit of Invisalign is their ability to move teeth at a faster pace than traditional braces, in most cases.

Invisalign is a method to move teeth, eliminating wires or brackets.
Invisalign is a method to move teeth, eliminating wires or brackets.

As an adult who may be contemplating orthodontic treatment, please ask for a complimentary consultation and exam. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule. Here, we can answer your questions and make recommendations that fit your needs and goals.


A Sweetener That Actually Helps Teeth!

In 2000, a sugar alcohol named Xylitol was introduced in the U.S.  It is primarily used as a sweetener in chewing gum, mouthwash and some toothpastes. Huh? Any form of sugar is a perfect food for oral bacteria, isn’t it? Actually, this form of sugar inhibits bacteria growth that can contribute to cavities.

An added benefit of chewing gum with Xylitol is its ability to activate saliva flow. Saliva is your mouth’s cleansing rinse when brushing isn’t possible. Its flow helps to move oral bacteria out of the mouth, helping to lower bacteria that attack teeth and oral tissues.

When brushing after meals isn’t possible, chewing gum or rinsing with products containing Xylitol is a wise alternative.

How Dentures Compromise Disgestion

The most common complaint I hear from denture wearers is their frustration when eating. Food is such a centerpiece of gatherings. From family dinners during the holidays to wedding receptions to lunch out with friends, we tend to ‘gather together’ with food front and center.

When dentures do not fit properly, the pleasure of savoring foods you love is often accompanied by the fear of embarrassing slips or clicks. Yet, another repercussion of poor fitting dentures exists – a compromised digestive system.

Grade school science taught us that digestion begins in the mouth. Proper chewing coupled with sufficient saliva help to break down foods so its continued journey can be efficiently performed. Problem dentures typically result in a reduction in chewing and saliva flow, which in turn reduces the absorption and metabolism of key nutrients.

Because chewing efficiency and strength are greatly decreased by dentures, this often leads to a diet of softer foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. Unfortunately, these choices can be high in fats, sugar and calories. Additionally, less fiber intake from a diet low in fruits and vegetables leads to constipation and a reduced intake of vitamins and minerals.

Another problem associated with denture wear is aerophagia. This is excessive swallowing of air that can lead to a severely distended stomach, pain and poor digestion.

For those who prefer dentures, we encourage them to maintain the most secure fitting denture possible. However, Dental Implants are rapidly becoming the tooth replacement option of choice for many adults. Implants can secure a denture by using the jaw bone as the foundation, just as natural teeth have. This restores biting strength and chewing stability. And, no more rubbing or slips!

Our patients who switch to Dental Implants are pleased that they can resume eating the foods they love again. They can chew comfortably and laugh with friends without worry.

If your denture is compromising your ability to eat, it’s likely having negative effects on your digestive system as well. Protect your health and resume eating pleasure. Call 1-866-9-Smiles for a free Consultation to discuss options best for your needs. From there, you can make the decision that is right for you.

Catch Gingivitis Early To Avoid Time & Expense

While your six-month cleanings and exams remove plaque and tartar, many people fail to have an effective routine at home. When a thorough regimen of oral hygiene at home twice daily is not followed, the potential to develop early stage gum disease increases greatly. This can result in symptoms of gum disease before the next visit rolls around.

Gingivitis is the first level of gum disease. This is when bacterial accumulation develops to the point of showing obvious signs of damage to oral tissues. These signs include frequent bad breath, tender gums and gums that bleed easily when brushing. As oral bacteria reproduce, gingivitis will develop into periodontal disease. This occurs when oral bacteria are reproducing at a rampant rate and damaging gum tissues at a more destructive level.

The good news, however, is you CAN reverse the progress of gingivitis before it moves to a deeper level that is more time-consuming and expensive to treat. As soon as you notice signs (as mentioned above), begin a twice-a-day regimen of brushing your teeth a minimum of two minutes, flossing daily, swishing after brushing with an oral rinse and either using a tongue scraper or brushing the tongue to remove embedded bacteria.

Additionally, increase your water intake. A moist mouth supports the cleansing effects of saliva. Avoid or greatly limit between-meal snacking and minimize your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
With proper measures, you should begin to see symptoms subside in a few days. However, that doesn’t mean you should back off! Continue this regimen to maintain a healthy mouth and control bacterial buildup. And be sure to keep your regular hygiene appointments. These visits will help you have a ‘clean slate’ twice a year so you can avoid problems in the first place.

Once you are in the routine of this oral hygiene commitment, you’ll find it takes very little time and the payoff is well worth it! If you find flossing awkward, view our brief video on flossing:


or call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for an appointment. Our Hygienists are fantastic instructors on flossing! Remember, be sure to react to tender, bleeding gums quickly. Gum disease only worsens without treatment and early treatment can save you time and money.

Benefits Of Smile Makeover Go Further Than Visual

The dictionary defines a smile as: “a pleasant or agreeable appearance, look, or aspect.” Does that describe your smile?

As a dentist who performs a number of smile makeovers, I hear patients share the emotional repercussions of a flawed smile before treatment. Many of them explain how they’ve  ‘held back’ on their smile, often concealing it with their hand or smiling with lips only. Some share they felt uncomfortable speaking with the opposite sex because of the appearance of their teeth. Others felt their smile has kept them from pursuing higher positions or particular jobs.

Your smile is much more than teeth and gums. It reflects your overall personality. Would an attractive smile make you more comfortable smiling and interacting with others? Would it prompt you to smile more often? Would it make you feel more attractive and outgoing? These are also things that patients have shared with me after smile enhancement. Truly, the ‘enhancement’ goes much deeper than visual.

Adults often indulge in cars, clothes, electronics and trips as ways to create good feelings. Yet, none can provide the lasting effects of a confident, attractive smile. If you’d like to discuss cosmetic dentistry for a beautiful smile you’ll love, every day, then call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation.

Dental Implants Made Simple

While Dental Implants are nothing new, their makeup is still a bit of a mystery.

Most traditional Dental Implants are divided into three parts. The first part is the true implant. This portion is similar to a hollow screw. It is positioned in the jaw bone underneath your gum tissue to recreate the presence of a tooth root. Over a period of 3-4 months, the bone grows around the implant, securing it in place. This process is called “osseo-integration.”

The second and third parts of implant treatment are typically performed in the same appointment. The gum tissue is uncovered at each implant site and a post is secured into the hollow portion of the implant. Then, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. Because the tooth has the same foundation as that of natural teeth, biting strength and stability is restored.

In many cases, a bridge of two or more teeth can be attached to one implant. A full arch of teeth can also be secured to 4 – 8 implants that are strategically placed. This is ideal for people who are missing all of their upper or lower teeth and want to replace a denture.

In addition to restored ability to eat and chew securely and comfortably, Dental Implants help to halt bone resorption that occurs from missing tooth roots. Because the jaw bone is stimulated by the presence of tooth roots, without them, the bone begins to shrink in height and mass. This bone loss results in changes in facial appearance and places adjacent teeth at risk.

There are many types of Dental Implants that are designed to accommodate individual needs. We offer a free Consultation that allows interested persons to learn the types best for them and have their questions answered thoroughly. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time convenient for you.

Let Us Help You Overcome Dental Fear & Achieve A Terrific Smile!

Fortunately, many of today’s dentists are sensitive to patient concerns when it comes to dental fear and anxiety. More understand the need to be communicative before and during procedures, take ample time during numbing procedures and offer options to enhance comfort. However, for those who are ages 50 and over (who had care when dentistry was less sensitive to fear issues), memories of a traumatic experience in the past can remain embedded for decades. These memories can interfere or prevent people from receiving the care they need to enjoy a healthy, confident smile.

For those who’ve avoided regular dental care because of fear, our entire team is ready! We are structured to help fearful patients achieve dental care at a comfortable pace. From your initial telephone conversation with our friendly staff to your first visit, you’ll find you are in a setting where your concerns are truly respected in a ‘lecture free’ zone.

We begin with a conversation in our private Consultation room that is removed from the clinical side of the practice. Here, you can share your concerns and have your questions answered thoroughly. I’ll explain how we’ve helped hundreds of adults overcome their fears, for good! I’ll also discuss comfort options such as Oral and I.V. Sedation, for those who desire a deeper level of relaxation during treatment.

What you’ll realize is our commitment to help you achieve the healthy smile you want while instilling a sense of trust. The LAST thing we want is for you to feel uncomfortable! Begin by arranging a no-cost consultation appointment. Or, ask for a telephone appointment. This way, I can answer your questions before you come in, if that’s your preference.

Your smile should be a positive part of your health, appearance and self-confidence. Don’t let an unfortunate experience from your past keep you from the terrific smile you deserve! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to speak to our caring phone staff.

Domino Effect Of Oral Bacteria Can Be Costly

Maintaining a clean, healthy mouth should be a top priority for American adults. Yet, it is often taken lightly until something hurts. To illustrate the domino effect of bacteria buildup in the mouth, follow its typical path below:

• Failure to brush and floss on a regular basis allows bacteria in the mouth to reproduce, LEADING TO…

• Plaque, a sticky film on teeth, forms from bacteria accumulation. This hardens into a cement-hard substance known as calculus (or tartar), LEADING TO…

• Calculus eats into tooth enamel and gum tissues, causing cavities and gum disease, LEADING TO…

• Early symptoms of gum disease are frequent bad breath, sore and swollen gums, gums that bleed easily when brushing, and pus pockets, LEADING TO…

• The number one cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease. When teeth are lost, the jaw bone supporting them resorbs, or shrinks in mass, LEADING TO…

• Declining bone from tooth loss contributes to bite misalignment, LEADING TO…

• Chipped and worn teeth, jaw joint disorder, headaches, migraines, ringing ears, dizziness, and facial pain are attributable to bite misalignment, LEADING TO…

• Untreated gum disease hastens the process of tooth loss and discomfort with an increased potential for gum disease bacteria to become bloodborne. Oral bacteria in the bloodstream can LEAD TO…

• Inflammatory reactions can be triggered by the bacteria of gum disease. It has been linked to heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies, impotency and more, LEADING TO…

• Costly and debilitating (even deadly) health problems that originate with oral bacteria can be prevented with good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups and tending to repairs while problems are still small.

Don’t let the chain reaction of oral bacteria put your health at risk, cost your enormous amounts of money, destroy your smile and make you more susceptible to life long health struggles. Take charge of your overall health by tending to your oral health! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a thorough examination. This is your first step to a confident smile and healthier you.