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How Alcohol and Coffee Impacts Your Smile

Coffee & Teeth - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryWhen it comes to your teeth, it is the dentist’s job to preserve them. We do this a variety of ways, and oftentimes, it’s an ongoing job! Many times, individuals don’t think much about how food and drink will affect their smile, but it’s our job to tell you. The dental professionals know your habits by looking in your mouth, and they have more of an impact than you think.

Increased Alcohol Consumption

Individuals suffering from alcoholism have a higher rate of plaque buildup and risk of permanent tooth loss. Alcoholism is a serious problem and should be addressed. Someone consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis may neglect dental visits and oral hygiene. This will have a long-term affect on oral health. Heavy drinkers are not the only people who risk their teeth, however. Occasional drinkers and those who just drink one drink per day are also affecting their teeth.

The sugar content in many alcoholic beverages is often overlooked when patients are consuming alcohol. Many times people finish the day with a drink, and those who don’t brush teeth before bed will be affected by all this sugar. It turns to acid, plaque, and eventually tooth decay.

Consuming alcohol also leads to dehydration, which decreases saliva production, stopping the natural cleanser that would help clean your teeth.

Finally, drinking certain alcoholic beverages can stain teeth overtime. For instance, red wines drank every night can lead to a tint change in your smile.

Daily Coffee Consumption

Many dental patients, even those who take good care of their teeth, can be affected by stains from coffee and tea consumption. Coffee is acidic and a dark color (even if you enjoy a less strong variety). Over time coffee will stain your teeth. Your tooth enamel is filled with microscopic pits and ridges that can be filled with coffee molecules. Even coffee that has been lightened by creamer is dark at the molecular level, and will have the same affect on your teeth. Coffee with creamer may be worse for your teeth because of the sugar content! The best way to prevent coffee from affecting your smile is to abstain from drinking it. If you can’t stop, consider drinking only in the morning or at a specific break time. Sipping on coffee throughout the day is hard on your oral health. It’s better for your body and your teeth if you instead sip on water throughout the day.

Other Foods and Drinks that Affect Your Smile

Coffee and alcoholic beverages are definitely not the only culprits affecting teeth. Too much citrus can erode enamel, soda reaches even the furthest parts of your teeth and gums with acid and sugar, and sticky candies and foods can stay on your teeth for hours, attacking your enamel.

What you put into your mouth matters more than to your waist line. Consider what you may do to your teeth with the things you eat and drink this winter. Swap out your soda for water or fizzy water drinks. Try your coffee without creamer. Save money and consume less specialty coffee drinks. You can save your smile this winter.

If your smile is stained and you want to start fresh, we can help you with teeth whitening services. Call Legacy Hill Dentistry today at 615-459-8050.

The Insightful History of Dentistry

Like any field of medicine, dental medicine started with one individual who saw a need and sought to fill it. Before dentistry was a regulated practice, however, there still existed a need. In fact, evidence from all over the world suggests that dentistry was practiced in ancient civilizations from Egypt to Mesopotamia, and written in languages that are nearly forgotten.

Dentistry Then The Insightful History of Dentistry Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

Ancient recipes have been discovered on papyrus–recipes for tonics, treatments for tooth decay, infections, and pain. There is evidence that the first fillings were made from beeswax, and the earliest prosthetics were fashioned of wood.

The earliest form of dentistry is thought to have been in Italy where an infected tooth was found, partially cleaned with flint tools. Ancient historians and philosophers passed on knowledge of bridges, extractions, pain management and more. In the Middle Ages, these procedures were completed primarily by barbers and general practitioners. It wasn’t until the 1800s that dentistry became a profession, while still unregulated overall.

The Evolution

Between the 1600s and 1800s, the field of modern dentistry was curated into what we have today. During this revolutionary period, the first texts were written, and individuals began taking on dentistry as a profession rather than a trade. The UK led the way, by making dentistry a government regulated field of medicine by the end of the 19th century.

In America, while remaining unregulated, there was a medically trained dentist on our shores since 1760. We have a vibrant history of famed dentists. Paul Revere was not only a denti , but completed the first post-mortem forensic identification when he identified his friend by a dental bridge Revere had done himself. In 1939, the world’s first dental publication was published, The American Journal of Dental Science. A few short years later, in 1941, the first dental practice act was on the books, calling for a dentist to sit on the medical board. The American Dental Association was formed in 1859, when twenty-six dentists gathered in Niagara Falls, New York, and so began the evolution of modern dentistry.

Dentistry Now

The ADA quickly became the leading source of oral wealth related information for dentists and dental patients. The organization focuses on success for its members and the public through advocacy, public service, and education.

While dentistry is primarily associated with teeth, the field of dental medicine also includes aspects of the craniofacial complex, including the temporomandibular. A large part of dentistry also pertains to periodontal (gum) health. Advancements in dentistry in the 20th century have allowed for complicated care and procedures including surgical grafts to strengthen the jaw and gums. Now, nearly anyone can have a complete restoration of their smile, overtime, with multiple procedures and continued care. These advancements, as well as preventative care are made possible because of the long and insightful history of dentistry.

Legacy Hill Dentistry is proud to offer the most advanced and innovative care and procedures to every patient, every time. Schedule an appointment today for general, cosmetic, and specialty dentistry today.

The Process of Teeth Whitening

Are you a seasonal coffee drinker? Maybe you wait for the holiday coffee to come out at your favorite local coffee shop. As good as a warm cup of coffee is, make sure you understand the risks of the seasonal habit. Studies and countless routine oral exams tell us that coffee stains teeth. Lucky for you (and your coffee habit), there is a remedy for stained teeth.

Process of Teeth Whitening Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryTeeth Whitening Explained

Teeth whitening is one of our most requested procedures at Legacy Hill Dentistry, and we’re happy to keep our patients smiling confidently, year after year! We understand the importance of your smile in your relationships, your job, and for your own self esteem. We’re in the business of preserving the pearly whites, and we can do this through a step-by-step process of teeth whitening.

  • Step One
    At your first appointment, we will take bite impressions in order to make custom trays that properly fit so that the whitening solution covers all of your teeth. You will also discuss the shade you’d like. The shade of white you’d like to achieve will determine how long the complete process takes.
  • Step Two
    Your next visit will be to fit your new trays. Adjustments can be made for fit and comfort, and you will get all of your at-home instructions for the best results.
  • Step Three
    At home you will maintain your oral hygiene for the best results from your teeth whitening procedure. Your dentist will have unique instructions for you depending on your need. You will receive application and care instructions for your teeth, your trays, and gel.
  • Step Four
    Maintain your teeth as you would ordinarily by brushing and flossing, and visit your dentist when scheduled. You should have a followup after your teeth whitening, and your dentist will check for tooth health before repeating the process.

Important Factors

When you are thinking about teeth whitening, remember that only natural teeth can be whitened. If you have had tooth-colored fillings or prosthetic implanted, they will not whiten through this process. Also, the teeth next to amalgam fillings can become tinged green over many teeth whitening procedures. For the best results, you should have your teeth whitened, and then maintain them properly to avoid recurring stains that might require the process to be repeated.

Avoid foods and drinks that cause stains or use a straw to protect your teeth. Coffee isn’t the only thing that stains your teeth. Other foods that can stain your teeth include dark teas, red wine, and blueberries. Using tobacco products also stains your teeth over time, and is not good for your health. Make daily oral hygiene a priority, and rinse your mouth frequently through the day. Chewing gum increases saliva production, which naturally rinses your mouth. Visit your dentist as scheduled, and have your teeth cleaned as often as your insurance allows in order to have the healthiest teeth and gums possible. To learn more about teeth whitening options, click here.

Interested in teeth whitening? Schedule today by calling 615-459-8050.


Scheduling Dental Checkups For Your Kids

There never seems to be time enough to get to all the appointments you need to for the entire family, but prioritizing is important. For your children, dental appointments are as vital as the pediatrician or school attendance. Their teeth will play an important role in development, nutrition, self-esteem, and their future. Begin thinking about their dental checkups now. If you don’t have insurance, find a method of getting them checkups, and schedule in advance. Does your family have dental insurance? If so, your provider may require appointments at certain intervals, including cleanings, and exams. If you have a large family, this may take some organization, but it is vital.

Dental Checkups For Your Kids Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryBack to School Checkups

A good time to remember dental checkups is before school starts. There is nothing worse than needing to pull your child out of a school day for a dental exam. While you are completing your end-of-summer checklists and between back-to-school shopping, schedule the dental checkups for the kids. Preventative care is the surest way to prevent cavities – the most chronic disease among school-aged children.

The Exam

There are many activities and books that can help you prepare your child for the dental checkup, but the way you teach them at home will determine their fear or confidence. Begin good oral health habits at a young age. Model this behavior for your children, and make sure you make your own dental appointments as well. This shows your children that your dental health is important, and the exam will seem like a positive thing. It can help their teeth last through all their life experiences including sports, pregnancies, and old age! The dental exam is also a great time for the dentist to discuss future needs with your children. A family dentist can tell early-on if your child may need alignment or extractions.

The Cleaning

Adults and children alike need professional teeth cleanings to clean plaque and tartar from their teeth. Even if your children have great habits and you established a teeth care routine early, they will need a cleaning. This will be completed at the back to school checkup, and will help your children feel refreshed and confident on the big day.

Home Habits

Start healthy dental habits now, despite the age of your children. Teach them to brush teeth twice daily. Offer nutritious foods that strengthen bones and will not become stuck in the teeth. Encourage your children to drink water as a primary beverage. Do not depend solely on the school’s health class to teach your children about their mouth. Tell them about saliva and how it helps to clean the teeth. Explain how food turns to sugar and acid. Ask the dental hygienist to tell your child about their gums, jaw bone, and roots while they have their teeth cleaned. Many dental offices are happy to do so as a way to put the child’s mind at ease during the visit.

At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we would rather preserve the smile from an early age, than to repair it later. Our staff is experienced working with families, and we find no greater joy than teaching children about one of the most important parts of the body! It is absolutely vital to start young so that your children can have strong teeth during their life, especially their developmental years.

If you haven’t already scheduled your kids’ back to school dental checkups, call Legacy Hill at 615-459-8050 and schedule for their next day off. We can also schedule appointments for after school hours.

Aligning Misaligned Teeth

The condition of misaligned teeth, or malocclusion, can seem like a cosmetic issue, but there’s more to it than that. Misaligned teeth do not function properly, because they aren’t lined up with the teeth to the side and opposite them as intended. For example, your upper teeth should overlap the bottom teeth, just slightly, so that the molars on upper and lower fit together. These teeth grind your food. They’re vital for proper nutrition and development.

Aligning Misaligned Teeth Image - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill DentistryTypes of Malocclusion

Since your mouth has 32 teeth, and every one of them has a specific use and shape, they also have a specific location. They are aligned in order to optimize functionality (chew food), and to protect your tongue, cheeks, and lips from getting bitten. Your teeth also help you to speak properly, forming sounds together with your tongue and lips.

The different types of misalignment include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Cross-bite
  • Overbite
  • Under-bite
  • Open-bite

Signs of Malocclusion

You may notice, even in young children, the beginning of misalignment, though dentists don’t begin correcting it until children reach the teen years. Some signs to look for that indicate misalignment include:

  • Obvious improper alignment of teeth
  • Frequent biting of the cheeks or tongue
  • Discomfort while chewing or biting
  • Speech problems (including a developmental list)
  • Breathing through the mouth only

Causes can range from deformities, injuries, tumors, poor dental care, and excessive or prolonged use of pacifiers, bottles, or thumb-sucking. If you have any of these risk factors, and frequently feel pain when chewing, you may be experiencing misalignment. This is something that your family dentist can tell you for certain, and given you meet the criteria, can begin the process of correction.


At Legacy Hill Dentistry we specialize in general dentistry, as well as cosmetic dentistry. Our experience with Invisalign has been nothing but positive, and we’re proud to offer this product to our patients who experience misalignment. What was once a wholly negative experience for both children and adults, is now a great one. Invisalign has made the bulky metal braces of the past obsolete, and now teens and adults can benefit from this lightweight, invisible, and effective system of alignment.

  1. Get started with your smile assessment.
  2. Schedule a consultation with your trusted dentist.
  3. Your dentist scans or makes a manual impression of your bite in order to formulate your treatment plan. You should even get to see an image of your smile at the end of treatment!
  4. Receive your invisible aligners and wear them 20-22 hours per day, taking them out only to eat, brush teeth, and floss.
  5. Your dentist will monitor progress, and give you new aligners to wear as you progress. This process allows your teeth to slowly and gently shift and align.
  6. Enjoy your new smile!

Invisalign is appropriate for teens! It boosts their self esteem and is virtually invisible. They are comparable to braces in price, but better in every other way you can imagine.

If you’d like to schedule your free consultation for yourself or your teen, call and make an appointment with Legacy Hill Dentistry at 615-459-8050.