Address: Jollyville Dental Professionals. 11672 Jollyville Road. Austin, Texas 78759
Phone: (512) 918-0005 | Fax: 512-918-0004 | Email: appts@jollyvilledental.com

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4 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign
Invisalign is a sleek and stealthy way to align your teeth. However, the success of the alignment process is ultimately up to the patient, as they can choose whether or not to engage in daily maintenance. For those interested in getting the most out of their Invisalign treatment, here is an article with four tips to help you achieve your goal.

1. Don’t Neglect Your Aligners

With aligners, it is best to develop a habit of wearing them around that clock; that is, for at least 22 hours per day. Consequently, the only time they should be removed is during meals and whenever you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Make no mistake, the consequences of neglecting your aligners are quite severe. For one, not consistently wearing your aligner provides ample time for your teeth to move, which means that at some point your aligners will not be able to conform to your teeth at all. Should this happen, your orthodontist will need to take a new set of impressions and construct new aligners, which will ultimately prolong the length of time you are required to wear them.

2. The Importance of Chewies

Sometimes aligners do not fit as they should, which can lead to air pockets forming in the space between your teeth and the aligner. Fortunately, this is not a doomsday scenario. On the contrary, it is why “chewies” exist. Chewies are small, rod-shaped devices made from Styrene Copolymer. In the event of air pockets, keep your aligner in and bite down on the chewies for anywhere between five and ten minutes. Doing this at least three times per day to help form the aligner to your teeth. Consequently, chewies can drastically accelerate the overall length of treatment.

3. Rinsing, Brushing, and Flossing are Still Essential!

Keeping your aligners and teeth clean is essential to a healthy smile. After all, what’s the use of having straight yellow teeth? In addition to brushing, it is important to make sure that you remove any and all food that may be stuck between your teeth. Using a tongue scraper wouldn’t hurt either. When it coms to cleaning aligners, brushing them in the same manner as your teeth yields the best results.

4. Don’t Throw Away Your Previous Aligners

While there is no need to save every set of aligners, keeping your most recent will ensure that you have something to wear should your newest set get lost or damaged.

How to Prevent Your Diet From Destroying Your Smile

citrus
Most of us want to keep our smiles fresh, clean, and beautiful. Consequently, doing so involves creating and adhering to healthy dietary habits that will promote the results we want. Unfortunately, forming healthy new eating habits often involves breaking unhealthy old ones. This is because the latter are engrained in our lives to the extent that changing them will impact us in some way. To help mitigate the apprehension caused by potentially disrupting your daily routine, here is some food for thought concerning how to prevent your diet from destroying your smile.

Minimize Your Citrus Intake

Lemons, oranges, and grapefruits contain a fair amount of acid and can damage your teeth when eaten too frequently. This is because the acids therein demineralize our teeth right away in addition to festering and becoming even more acidic.

Give Me Some Sugar?

Most people consume a ridiculous amount of sugar per day. This is because there is sugar in just about everything, which is bad news for those of us trying to maintain a healthy smile. However, taking care to watch what one eats and drinking less soda and other sugar-laden beverages is a great means of reducing your chances of tooth decay.

Brush, Floss, Rinse No Matter What Your Diet Is

We all know that regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. This is because routine brushing cleans the spaces on the surface of the teeth and gums where bacteria typically fester. In fact, proper dental hygiene is so crucial that many specialists recommend treating your annual dental and doctor visits with equal importance. And why not? Both constitute preventative maintenance that can potentially catch a wide range of potential problems before they develop into life-threatening issues.

When Drinking, Use a Straw and Have Some Water on Hand

Let’s face it, avoiding sugar is not always easy. For example, you may be out at breakfast and really craving an orange juice. While this beverage is highly acidic, it is also relatively good for you. With fruit juices, it is important to remember that damage occurs the longer you keep the liquid in your mouth. The same goes for soda. So, if you absolutely have to have a sugary drink, take extra care to ensure that you are not swishing it around in your mouth all across your teeth. One effective means of preventing this is by drinking through a straw and having some water nearby to swish through your mouth after the fact.

Why Choose Ceramic Veneers?

Ceramic Veneer
Veneers are tooth-shaped shells that are designed to be laid over your existing teeth to give them a brighter, more healthy appearance. They can also change the shape of your teeth and greatly improve your smile. But when choosing a material for your veneers, you have the choice of resin or ceramic. Here are some reasons why ceramic is the better option:

Ceramic Looks More Natural

Going with ceramic veneers enables you to match your new dental work with your existing teeth more naturally since it’s easier to give them the color and shading of normal teeth. Dentists rely on high-tech software to find the exact color of your current teeth so that they look real when they are in your mouth. Veneers that are too white or bright will appear fake almost immediately and it’s critical that they match the real color of your teeth so no one will realize you’ve had veneers applied in your mouth. You can even whiten ceramic veneers in the same manner as you would with your other natural teeth.

Custom Fit

Veneers are guaranteed to fit properly since they are customized to the shape of the teeth that need them. The dentist will make an impression of the teeth that will have the veneers applied along with the teeth surrounding the area. Once the mold is made, the veneers will be built from the mold and carefully detailed and customized to fit and feel like natural teeth.

Less Recovery Time

Ceramic veneers require a shorter period of time from which to recover after they are applied to your teeth. You’ll find that you can resume normal routines and habits almost immediately after the procedure is completed. No need to refrain from enjoying your favorite foods after you get ceramic veneers.

Longer Lasting

Simply put, ceramic veneers have demonstrated a longer lifespan than other materials. Once these veneers are applied, they will look and react like normal teeth for ten years or more before you need to have them replaced. There have been a few rare cases of a ceramic veneer being damaged but your dentist can repair the problem just as if it were your normal tooth. Should a veneer come loose, it’s very easy to replace it without any pain or discomfort. This may be the best argument for ceramic, they are the low-maintenance, longer-lasting option.

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Teeth When You Don’t Have a Toothbrush

Mouthwash
We all know brushing your teeth is the most effective way to remove plaque, bacteria, excessive food particles and all of the other harmful grime and germs that can cause bad breath and lead to gum disease. But sometimes we don’t always have a toothbrush on us to get in there and clean our teeth properly. Have no fear, there are some effective ways to clean your teeth without one so you can always keep up with your dental hygiene.

1. Mouthwash

Although some mouthwashes can actually remove too much bacteria from your mouth, this is a good substitute when you don’t have a brush handy. It’s true that certain bacteria are actually beneficial to the mouth and a harsh mouthwash can eliminate the good with the bad, so use this option for a short period of time.

2. Rinse with Water

Water is another great alternative for being without a toothbrush. It’s a great way to rinse your mouth without eliminating the good bacteria while preserving the health and appearance of your teeth. High-powered water picks are quite good at removing plaque and bacteria as well but if you don’t have one of those to fall back on, just rinse and spit. Then brush thoroughly when you are able.

3. Sugarless Gum

Sometimes the best way to clean your teeth is by boosting your saliva production. That can be a great alternative for washing out bad bacteria from your teeth and gums and the chewing motion can also help dislodge food particles that are stuck in your teeth.

4. Cloth Material

Wrap some cloth around your finger and start rubbing. Whether it’s a washcloth or some other textured fabric you can use the material in the same manner as you would the bristles on your brush. A little toothpaste and some water can increase your effectiveness but if you don’t have those components, not to worry, you can still get your teeth cleaner than if you did nothing.

5. Eating Right

Certain foods can help you clean your teeth when you don’t have a brush around. Many vegetables have cleaning properties that are good for scraping plaque and bacteria off your teeth. Try carrots, celery, and cucumbers to get the job done. Hard cheeses and protein are also good for preventing bacteria from growing in your mouth. The enzymes in cheese can be very useful for neutralizing the harmful bacteria.

How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

jaws
Losing a tooth as an adult can be a difficult situation. Tooth loss could be related to trauma from a sporting incident or a car accident, just for example, or it could be related to an infection of some sort. Whatever the cause, though, losing a tooth can be an upsetting experience that leads to all kinds of problems.

For one thing, losing a tooth can change how your mouth functions, potentially impacting your eating habits. It can also affect the appearance of your smile, eroding your self-confidence. It could be even worse, though. Over time, you could suffer from bone loss in the area of the jaw where the tooth used to be.

How can you correct the form and function of your smile and prevent bone loss in one fell swoop? Dental implants are the ideal solution for eligible candidates. Whereas dental bridges or dentures can mask tooth loss and increase functionality, they’re not adequate solutions when it comes to stopping bone deterioration. Here’s why dental implants are superior on this score.

The Root of the Problem

Why is it that bone loss can occur following tooth loss? In some cases, an infection that causes tooth loss could also attack the bone of your jaw, leading to loss of bone density and mass, or bone deterioration. In addition, there exists a relationship between your teeth and your jaw, whereby they support each other in a variety of ways.

When you lose a tooth, roots and all, your jaw bone has nothing left to support and begins to deteriorate as a result. Where bridges and dentures fail is that they do not replace the root. A dental implant, on the other hand, consists of a titanium screw that replaces the root and bonds with the bone. This not only makes for a secure base for your false tooth, but it also helps to preserve bone density and prevent bone loss in the area.

Maintaining Structural Integrity

A sudden gap in your teeth can cause several problems. As you suffer bone loss in the area, neighboring teeth will naturally start to lean into the gap, exacerbating the problem and impacting surrounding tissue, as well as your bite and the overall structure of your mouth.

With a dental implant in place, you can keep the rest of your natural teeth where they’re supposed to be, and with proper care, the false tooth will form a seal with gums that helps to prevent future infections. This, too, bodes well for ongoing oral health and strong, resilient bone.

4 Ways to Make Your Mouth More Kissable

kiss
Kissing is just one of the many ways in which humans express love. What if you have bad breath, oral health issues, or unsightly teeth? Could your dental issues hamper your kissability? Here are just a few things to consider if you want to make your mouth more kissable.

1. Keep it clean

A healthy mouth is a kissable mouth, so you need to work hard to keep your mouth clean. This means observing a strict regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing after every meal. With proper oral hygiene you can stave off tartar, plaque, cavities, and more serious conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. This is the best way to keep your mouth healthy, attractive, and totally kissable.

2. Check your breath

Chances are good the person you’re kissing doesn’t want to taste your last cigarette or be able to tell you what you ate for dinner. Before you plant one on your honey, consider how you might sweeten your breath to improve your prospects of a follow-up kiss
.
Bad breath isn’t always something you have control over. Sometimes medical conditions or medications can cause dry mouth that is hard to combat. Whether you suffer from a condition or you simply eat a lot of garlic, however, you can take steps to keep your mouth hydrated and flushed.

Drinking plenty of water is a good start, but in addition to proper hydration, you should think about using a suitable mouthwash after brushing and flossing. There are not only products that kill odor-causing bacteria, but you can even find rinses designed for people suffering from dry mouth.

3. See your dentist regularly

Even with proper oral care at home, it’s possible to miss food and bacteria between teeth and below the gum line. Your dentist is well equipped to get anything you missed, deep clean your teeth and tissue, and check for early warning signs of oral health problems. Seeing your dental professional for regular cleaning and check-up is essential to preserving good health and a beautiful, kissable mouth.

4. Straighten up

You don’t necessarily need perfectly straight teeth to give a smooch, but many people regard a beautiful smile as one of the most attractive traits. If you’re interested in closing gaps, straightening overlaps, correcting your bite, or otherwise engineering a perfect smile, speak with your dentist about the possibility of braces, Invisalign, veneers, or other cosmetic procedures that can make your mouth eminently kissable.

The Benefits of Laser Gum Sculpting

laser gum contouring
Laser gum sculpting or contouring is a procedure in which a laser is used to reshape the gum line in order to improve your smile by lengthening the teeth and removing excess gum tissue. Anyone with uneven gums or gums that cover up too much of the teeth is an ideal candidate for laser gum sculpting. If you don’t like the way your smile looks you may want to consider discussing this option with your dentist. These are just some of the benefits that you can enjoy from laser gum sculpting.

Correct the Gum Line

Some patients may be experiencing receding gums or an uneven gum line at the base of their teeth. There are also patients who have too much gum tissue that creeps up over the teeth, making them appear much smaller than normal. In either of these examples, laser gum sculpting can improve your smile by correcting the gum line through removal of excess tissue and reshaping of the gums to lengthen the teeth so they are more prominent.

Better Dental Health

Anyone experiencing the discomfort of sensitive teeth and gums may be have an uneven gum line. A discoloration of the teeth could also be a symptom of uneven gums. Patients who find it difficult to brush and floss effectively due to excessive gum tissue should also consider laser gum sculpting. Correcting all of these problems will lead to improved dental health as well as better health overall.

Keep Healthy Gum Tissue

When your dentist performs this procedure, only the excess and problematic gum tissue is removed. You will still retain all of your healthy gum tissue, which will appear even and symmetrical every time you smile. It can also improve the look and condition of your teeth. Your dentist will be very careful not to remove more tissue than is necessary.

Completely Safe

Laser gum sculpting is completely safe and performed in a minimally invasive manner, which means that your recovery time from the operation is short. Lasers also lower the amount of bleeding that occurs during the operation and that results in a greatly reduced chance of developing an infection after surgery. Most patients can return to their routine daily schedule in just a day or two after having the procedure. Patients should eat only soft, bland foods for the first week after the operation to help in healing and avoiding discomfort when they eat.

5 Important Toothbrush Care Tips

clean toothbrushes
We are passing along these five tips for toothbrush care and maintenance because your brush can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria if you’re not careful. The goal for proper oral hygiene is to prevent infection and gum disease, if you practice responsible brushing habits with a contaminated toothbrush you’re only increasing your chances for serious oral health problems instead of reducing them. Unfortunately, too many people don’t take the proper precautions for preserving the health of their brush and that can result in significant oral hygiene problems. So here are five ways to ensure that your toothbrush is working effectively to reduce gingivitis and gum disease.

1. Don’t Share

We’re all taught to share from a young age and while it’s a good thing to share with others, not everything should be passed around from one person to the next. That includes your toothbrush as it can promote infections and bacteria through the exchanging of bodily fluid. So be sure to keep your brush to yourself and you won’t pick up any further bacteria than that which can already grow on your bristles if you’re not careful.

2. Always Rinse

It’s important to rinse your mouth out after you brush and whenever your mouth doesn’t feel fresh. But it’s also crucial to rinse your toothbrush as well. That way you can evacuate all particles, extra toothpaste, and various other contaminants that can lead to the growth of bacteria on your brush head. So after you’re done giving those teeth a good brushing, place those bristles under running water for five seconds to make sure they’re clean. Then store the brush in an upright position.

3. Air Dry

Never store your brush in a closed container. It’s critical that you allow the bristles to air dry, otherwise the wet conditions could promote the growth of mold and bacteria on the brush head. That isn’t only unsanitary it’s gross too. Your toothbrush should never be placed in a situation where it can breed harmful microorganisms.

4. Sanitizing Your Brush

You can promote good oral hygiene through regular brushing and additional sanitizing of your toothbrush. There are a number of sanitizers you can choose from and while there is no proven research that they can improve your oral health, buying a device that has been approved by the FDA can increase your chances that the product will work as intended and actually reduce the amount of bacteria from cleaning.

5. Replacing the Toothbrush

Don’t get too attached, you should dispose of your toothbrush every three to four months. Failing to do so will result in your brushing with something that isn’t as effective as it could be and that might be putting your oral health at risk. So once you start to notice those bristles aren’t as stiff as they used to be, get a new toothbrush.

How to Maintain Your Oral Health While Traveling

oral travel kit
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s best to maintain good oral health, and this means following an appropriate regimen of oral hygiene. Here are a few tips to keep you on track when you head for parts unknown.

Put Together a Travel Kit

Many travelers already have a slew of kits at the ready, especially if they go on trips frequently. You may, for example, have a nail kit, complete with clippers, emery boards, and orange wood sticks for cuticles; items that won’t raise the same red flags at TSA checkpoints as metal grooming tools (scissors, files, and so on). Many people also have quart-size, clear travel bags for toiletries, so that they can quickly display items at the security check.

If maintaining a good oral health regimen is important to you and you travel frequently, it’s a good idea to assemble all of the items you’ll need to have at the ready. Your kit should include a travel toothbrush (with some kind of cover to keep away germs, lint, and so on), floss or floss picks, and travel-size toothpaste and mouthwash.

Alternatives to Taking Your Faves

Can’t find your favorite mouthwash in a travel-size container that will pass TSA inspection? Never fear – there are alternatives to keep you on track with superb oral hygiene. For example, you could simply purchase empty packs of suitably sized containers to fill with your preferred brand of toothpaste and mouthwash, if you can’t find small enough pre-packaged options.

You could also try alternative brands that are available in travel sizes – after all, you’re only going to be traveling for a short while. Remember, if you’re checking a bag, full-size products that won’t pass TSA standards can go into checked bags (although you might want to seal them in leak-proof baggies or bins, just in case). Finally, you could simply purchase full-size versions once you reach your destination. This might be the best option for extended travel of, say, several weeks.

Set Reminders

It’s not unusual for your regular schedule to get out of whack when you travel. You might understandably forget to brush, floss, and rinse after every meal, or even when you return to a hotel room.
The best way to stay on schedule for proper oral hygiene, aside from having all the equipment and products you need on hand, is to set yourself reminders. Mobile devices make it easy to repeat daily reminders with alerts that tell you when it’s time to brush. Even if you’re visiting the Louvre or scaling Kilimanjaro, there’s no need to neglect your oral hygiene.

Oral Cancer Screening at the Dentist

Oral cancer screening
When you visit the dentist, you do so with the goal of maintaining good oral health. Even though you practice a regimen of oral hygiene at home, complete with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, the professionals at the dental office have the education, experience, and tools to provide a deeper cleaning, check for possible issues with x-rays, and provide you with advice on how best to preserve your oral health.

There’s another part of the average dental visit that you may not know much about, and you might not understand why, exactly, you need it. More and more dentists make oral cancer screenings a requisite portion of every visit. What is this exam and why do you need it? Here’s what patients should know.

What is an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is a simple, visual examination of the mouth that dentists or dental hygienists perform as part of a regular dental checkup. The exam is meant to determine if there are any signs of cancer or precancer present in the oral cavity.

What Can I Expect?

There’s really not a lot to an oral cancer screening, at least not from the patient point of view. You visit the dentist expecting to have your mouth examined anyway, and all that occurs during an oral cancer screening is that your dentist or hygienist looks at your gums, cheeks, throat, tongue, and all the soft tissues of your mouth to make sure everything looks normal and healthy, and that there are no signs of oral cancer or precancer. It should take no more than a minute or two.

Why Do I Need One?

If you’re don’t use tobacco products, you have no family history of cancer (or at least oral cancer), and you have no other risk factors for developing cancer, you might not think you need an oral cancer screening.

The problem is that any number of factors could contribute to the occurrence of oral cancer, and you may not even know what all the risks are. Oral cancer, like any cancer, is easier to treat and potentially cure when caught in the early stages. Regular oral cancer screenings are the best way to catch warning signs early and treat before a major problem develops.

Oral cancer screenings are quick, painless, and provided as part of regular dental check-ups, which means you have absolutely nothing to lose and possibly everything to gain by doing them. If you happen to catch signs of oral cancer early on, you’ll be very glad you agreed to regular oral cancer screenings from the dentist.