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Practicing Excellent Dental Care in the New Year

People all over the globe have spent this week attempting to beat old habits, start new diets, and stick with resolutions. As a whole, we often choose a lofty dream for our New Year’s Resolution instead of manageable goals. Many focus on their health, on weight management, healthy eating, and being more active. It’s rare that you hear of a resolution to take care of your teeth. Practicing Excellent Dental Care - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

Starting the New Year Off with a Smile

Your dentist wants your smile to last, to be natural, and to be brilliant. The best way to maintain oral health is to keep your natural teeth in your mouth as long as possible. This is why a dentist would rather drill and fill a cavity, perform root canals, and install bridges before extracting teeth. If you lose a tooth, the rest of the teeth shift. They wear differently, the jaw is affected, and mouth health is compromised. Save your teeth and save your smile by putting your dental care first this New Year.

Manageable Goals and Habits

Step 1. Schedule an exam with a dentist.
January is a great time to schedule teeth cleaning. Many dental clinics will have a wait for new patients, so if you call now, you can get on the schedule for an upcoming appointment.
Step 2. Buy a new toothbrush.
Find a toothbrush that you like, one that fits your hand well, that has a soft bristle, and a nice toothpaste to go with it.
Step 3. Brush daily.
If you currently brush your teeth once per day, increase it to twice per day. If you don’t brush at all, now is the time to start! For maximum tooth health, brush for 2 minutes, 2 times per day.
Step 4: Floss daily.
You don’t have to use the string floss (although you’ll probably get it from the dentist). In order to keep up with flossing, you may prefer flossers or interdental brushes. Both are easy to hold, easy to use, and clean in between your teeth.

The more you brush your teeth, the easier it will become to keep up with the habit throughout the New Year. Once you’ve brushed twice daily for several days, you won’t like dirty teeth! What better motivation? Because you’ll be more aware of how your teeth feel throughout the day, you may also drink less soft drinks or eat candies that will stick in between your teeth. That brings us to our final step.

Step 5: Drink more water, eat less garbage.

Water will promote the natural production of saliva, which is your mouth’s self-cleaning system all day long in between brushing. You can help out the process by drinking water throughout the day, and rinse your mouth out after eating something sugary, bready, or sticky.

Be sure to share your New Year’s resolution with your friends and your dentist.

For more information about tooth health, visit Mouth Healthy, or talk with a Legacy Hill Dentist today. Call 615-459-8050 today.

 

Invisalign and Tooth Realignment

As children and as adults, our smile is one of our best features. Having a bright and healthy smile can boost confidence, can help land coveted jobs, and can even make it easier to breathe and sleep in some cases. If your smile is a little off, you don’t have to have unsightly wire braces—not anymore.

Invisalign – The Clear Choice

Like braces, Invisalign is a system of custom aligners. Instead of braces that are tightened and adjusted at 6-8 week intervals at the orthodontist’s office, Invisalign is done at the patient’s hand. The aligners are designed to shift your teeth slightly over about a week at a time, gradually moving your teeth into the correct position. The aligners work to move, shift, and turn the teeth according to a specific treatment plan, and it will work as long as instructions are followed. It’s up to the patient to change the aligners (generally every week) so that treatment progresses between appointments.
Unlike braces, Invisalign aligners are clear. They’re made of multilayer SmartTrack® material that gently aligns the teeth while remaining invisible to the eye. Teens and adults alike can benefit from invisible aligners. Many go without treatment simply because they don’t want to wear braces. You can’t go wrong with Invisalign. Invisalign and Tooth Realignment - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

Invisalign for Faster Treatment

Because the aligners change weekly instead of at 6-8 week intervals, the smile is corrected faster. This means fewer appointments with your dentist and less time wearing the aligners.

Invisalign for Better Comfort

The SmarkTrack® material and SmartForce features of each aligner make it more comfortable to wear, and easier to control tooth movement.

Invisalign for Better Results

The SmarkTrack® material and SmartForce features of Invisalign aligners are clinically proven to achieve 75% more predictable tooth movement. This method of tooth alignment is effective for both simple and complex cases and the results are more precise.

Invisalign for Teens

Invisalign isn’t recommended for children under 13, and aligners for teens have added features that help gauge wear time. They are also easy to remove for sports and don’t hinder musical instruments, eating, and allow teens to maintain brushing and flossing habits daily. If your teen loses an aligner, it won’t cost you a thing! Invisalign Teen offers six replacement aligners for free. Since the aligners need to be worn 20-22 hours per day, it’s important to keep track of your teen’s aligner. You should notify your dentist right away if an aligner is lost.

Invest in Your Smile with Invisalign

You can get started by taking The Smile Assessment, then set up an appointment with an Invisalign provider like Legacy Hill Dentistry. Our dentists at Legacy Hill will customize a treatment for you, based on your dream smile. Using impressions, pictures, and X-rays, Invisalign will create a digital 3D image of your teeth, and we will map out your specific treatment plan. Before you begin treatment, you will know precisely how your teeth will move, how long the treatment will take, and details about your various aligners.

Every one-two weeks you will receive a new, custom-made aligner, and you will need an appointment with Legacy Hill Dentistry to monitor your progress. The end result will be a brilliant and straight smile!

Are you ready for Invisalign treatment? Call 615-459-8050 to set up a consultation today.

When to Expect a Crown

Known as a building block to tooth restoration, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover it in order to restore its strength, shape, and size. A crown can also improve the appearance of your smile. Not every situation requires a crown, and knowing more about when a crown is expected can help you be prepared for your dental appointment. At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we have years of experience with dental crowns in both our general and cosmetic dental services. We would like to tell you more about the different situations when you should expect a crown.
When to expect a crown - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

Large Filling

If a cavity in one of your teeth is larger than half the width of the tooth, you will most likely need a crown to repair the filling. Your tooth will not be strong enough to hold a regular filling without the risk of fracturing. According to The Medicine Net, you may even have to have an existing large filling replaced with a crown if the tooth is showing signs of cracking around the filling.

Root Canal

After having a root canal, the tooth is hollowed out and has a risk of cracking. You will almost always have to have a crown whenever you have a root canal to protect that tooth from fracturing and breaking.

Broken Tooth

If the cusp of a tooth breaks off due to trauma, you will need to have that tooth restored with a crown because the cusp is the part of the tooth that endures the most stress when you chew. If your tooth has broken all the way to the bone, Legacy Hill Dentistry can perform a crown-lengthening procedure. We will trim the bone and the gums down below the broken part of the tooth to provide a healthy and strong tooth structure to which a crown can be applied.

Worn Down Tooth

When you grind your teeth, your teeth will become shorter over time. Your teeth can also become worn down or eroded from gastrointestinal reflux, bulimia, or an acidic diet. When this happens, your bite could collapse. The only way to properly restore your bite is to increase it by covering any eroded teeth with crowns.

Improvement of Appearance

If you are insecure about your smile because of the color or shape of your teeth, we can improve your appearance with dental crowns. These veneers look very natural and will work just as well as your normal teeth.

Want to know more about dental crowns? Contact us at Legacy Hill Dentistry to learn more about this option.

Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry?

You should never be afraid to show off your smile, but if you have missing, stained, or chipped teeth, you may feel self-conscious about smiling. If you do feel this way, it may be time for a cosmetic dental procedure to improve your smile. At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we provide several different cosmetic dental services that can boost your confidence and make your smile more attractive. We can consult with you to see exactly which procedure will work best for you. From teeth whitening to crowns to implants, our staff has the experience and training to give you the perfect smile. We would like to tell you a little bit more about some of the cosmetic dental procedures we offer in our office.Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry - Smyrna TN - Legacy Hill Dentistry

TEETH WHITENING

Unfortunately, teeth can become stained and discolored over the years. While smoking is a main cause of stained and yellow teeth, certain medications and beverages can also discolor teeth. If you would like to brighten up your smile, Legacy Hill Dentistry can help with our teeth whitening services. On your first visit, we will begin by creating custom trays for your teeth. We will take precise impressions of your teeth so that the whitening solution will completely cover your teeth. Once your trays are ready, you will come back into the office to be sure they fit correctly. We will send you home with the trays, some whitening solution, and exact instructions on what to do every day. After a couple of weeks, you should notice a whiter smile. Remember, however, that this will not take the place of your regular daily dental habits of brushing and flossing.

BRIDGES

Also known as fixed partial dentures, bridges are used to fill in space from missing teeth and to restore your facial structure. At Legacy Hill Dentistry, we use porcelain bridges for their strength, durability, and appearance. After we prepare the surrounding teeth for crowns, we will then anchor the bridge onto these teeth. Your permanent bridge will be adjusted and cemented onto the surrounding teeth. In order for your bridge to be successful, it is important that the surrounding teeth be in good condition.

IMPLANTS

If you would rather not have a bridge, Legacy Hill Dentistry can also replace missing teeth with implants. Implants are surgically implanted into your jawbone. While this may sound like a complicated procedure, it is actually quite simple. After implanting the screws into the jawbone, we will take impressions and create a model for the crown. Once the crown is ready, we will screw it into place. You will have to come in for a follow-up visit to be sure your implant fits properly. After that, your implant is permanent, so you should enjoy your new smile for years.

Do you need cosmetic dentistry? If so, contact us at Legacy Hill Dentistry to schedule an appointment for a consultation to improve your smile.

8 Best Practices for Daily Dental Care

For a healthier and cleaner mouth, as well as a happier you, follow the 8 best dental care practices.

For a healthier and cleaner mouth, as well as a happier you, follow the 8 best dental care practices.

Need to brush up on the basics of dental care?

Most all of us could use a refresher, as dental care is one of those things that can be easy to get lazy about or feel uninspired about. Based on basics outlined by the American Dental Association, here are some guidelines that those of us at Legacy Hill Dentistry put together for you and your family to keep in mind when tending to your (hopefully) pearly whites:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day, at least. Three times a day may actually be the optimum number, but two times should be sufficient for removing bacterial plaque that builds up, inflaming gums and causing bad breath between brushings. Brushing more than four times a day would be excessive and could irritate your gums.
  2. Floss once a day. This way you will be able to reach the tight spaces between your teeth and beneath your gum line that a toothbrush can’t touch.
  3. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. These tools are universally recognized for helping to maintain the best dental health.
  4. Take it easy. Whether flossing or brushing your teeth, be gentle with your mouth, brushing with a slight back and forth motion and flossing with care. Brushing too vigorously could actually erode your tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede. If brushing or flossing feels uncomfortable, you are probably not doing it correctly. Note: It doesn’t really matter whether you floss or brush your teeth first, though flossing first may allow more fluoride to get between your teeth.
  5. Position correctly. Proper technique will have you hold your toothbrush at angle, hitting right where your teeth and your gums meet.
  6. Take your time. Most dentists will tell you that you need to spend at least two minutes at a time brushing your teeth to get them thoroughly cleaned. Some insist three is best.
  7. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or when you notice the bristles look frayed.
  8. Have your teeth professionally cleaned and looked at by a dentist every six months. Routine exams are a crucial part of your preventative dental care regimen.

If you live in the Smyrna, Tennessee, area we hope you will choose Legacy Hill Dentistry to care for your family’s dental health. Schedule an appointment with us by calling 615-459-8050.