All posts by Fairfield Dental Arts

What Happens When You Don’t Floss?

fairfield dental artsFlossing is one of the most important (and most often overlooked) things you can do for your smile health. In fact, about half of Americans don’t floss every day, but you may want to reconsider. Taking care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing is essential to preventing cavities and bad breath. Here are a few of the reasons why you’ll want to make sure that you add flossing into your daily oral health care routine.

What Happens When You Don’t Floss:

  • Your Gums May Bleed – Healthy gum tissue shouldn’t bleed when you brush, floss or eat. If you notice any bleeding, there is a chance that you have some gingivitis (it’s a sign of gum disease).
  • Tartar Builds Up – It’s very common for tartar to build up in between your teeth. This hard substance must be removed by your dentist because, if it is left untreated, it can damage your teeth.
  • Bad Breath – If you haven’t flossed in a while, there is likely buildup in between your teeth. This can cause halitosis.
  • Tooth Discoloration – Neglecting oral health care can make it more difficult to maintain a bright, white smile.
  • Gum Disease – Gum disease causes the gums to pull away from your teeth. This leaves pockets of space for bacteria to grow, weakening your tooth structure. Eventually, gum disease leads to premature tooth loss.

Is it time to schedule your fall dental cleaning? Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? Reach out to our office to schedule an appointment today!

13 Smile Care Mistakes you Don’t Want to Make

fairfield dental artsFeeling superstitious? Friday the 13th is known for being unlucky — but at Fairfield Dental Arts, we think you should take your dental luck into your own hands. While you’re out avoiding black cats and broken mirrors, we also recommend that you don’t make these smile care mistakes today (and every day).

13 Smile Care Mistakes:

  1. Not Schedule Bi-Annual Dental Cleanings – When was the last time you schedule a visit to our practice? Bi-annual dental cleanings and exams are absolutely essential to caring for your smile. They help prevent future dental problems, as well as catch existing problems early on so that we can provide you with the care that you need before you start to feel the pain.
  2. Forgetting to Floss – Are you forgetting to floss? This often overlooked step in oral health care is one of the best things that you can do for your smile. In fact, in between your teeth is where most tooth decay and plaque builds!
  3. Not Brushing for 2 Minutes, 2 Times a Day – How long (and how often) are you brushing your teeth for each day? You should be brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, twice a day (morning and night).
  4. Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Every 3 Months – When was the last time that you replaced your toothbrush? You should be replacing your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become frayed.
  5. Brushing Too Hard – Brushing harder doesn’t mean that you are brushing better. Make sure that you are using a soft bristled brush — brushing too hard can lead to gum damage.
  6. Not Drinking Enough Water – Staying hydrated is good for your oral health and your overall health. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water even on cool fall and winter days. This will help wash away bacteria that may otherwise eat away at your tooth enamel.
  7. Thinking You’re Too Old For Braces – Braces aren’t just for children. If you are looking to improve your smile alignment, you can still consider braces at an older age. Aligned teeth are more than a cosmetic adjustment, they can improve your oral health, too!
  8. Avoiding Taking X-rays – X-rays are crucial to understanding what is going on in your mouth. They can help you identify wisdom teeth that are growing in crooked, identify cavities, and more. Make sure that you are getting x-rays when needed.
  9. Storing Your Wet Toothbrush in a Travel Case – Planning a vacation? Make sure that you store your toothbrush in a dry place! Bacteria thrives in wet environments, so you don’t want to store yours in a travel case.
  10. Forgetting to Wear Your Retainer – It may be years since you last had braces, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget to wear your retainer. You should always wear your retainer for as long as is recommended by your orthodontist — which may mean forever.
  11. Brushing After Drinking Orange Juice – Orange juice is full of healthy vitamins — but when it comes to caring for your teeth, you want to avoid drinking this acidic juice before brushing your teeth. The acids weaken your enamel and brushing right after can cause it to wear away.
  12. Drinking Soda – You’ve probably heard it before, but we’re telling you again — drinking sugary drinks like soda will always be bad for your teeth. While it’s ok to indulge every once in awhile, try to make your main drink of choice something healthier like water.
  13. Don’t Ignore Sore Teeth – There are many reasons why you might be feeling discomfort, but it’s never something that you should ignore. If you are feeling any kind of pain, it’s important to schedule a dental visit so that we can help you feel better.

If you do have any questions about how to care for your teeth or you are experiencing any tooth sensitivity, give our office a call to schedule your visit. We are here to keep your teeth beautiful and healthy year-round.

How to Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month

fairfield dental artsDid you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? This month, we celebrate all of the work our hygienists do here at Fairfield Dental Arts — and we remind all of our patients of the importance of maintaining good oral health habits year round.

Oral Health Best Practice:

  • Brush for Two Minutes, Two Times a Day! Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes.
  • Remember to Floss! Flossing is one of the most important things that you can do for your smile health — and it’s often neglected! In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), only 12 percent of American floss every day! Cleaning in between your teeth helps reduce cavities, gum disease, and plaque.
  • Schedule your Bi-Annual Dental Cleanings & Exams. You want to make sure that you are consistently scheduled bi-annual cleanings and exams. During these appointments, we can keep your teeth healthy, catch problems early on, and prevent problems with possible! This is essential to your oral health.
  • Drink plenty of water. Make sure that you are staying hydrated! Although the weather may be cooling down, you’ll want to make sure that you’re still drinking enough water each day.
  • Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol. Xylitol is known for helping to prevent tooth decay by keeping a neutral pH in your mouth. If you love chewing gum — make sure you’re chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol.

Ready to schedule your bi-annual dental cleaning? Give our office a call! We are here to keep your teeth beautiful and healthy!

Why Your Heart Health Matters

fairfield dental artsIt is World Heart Day! Today, we remind everyone how important it is to do all you can to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. And while, unfortunately, cardiovascular disease remains the world’s number one killer, there are still things you can do to fuel your heart health like eating healthier, getting plenty of exercise and — caring for your teeth!

Many people don’t realize that there is a connection between oral health and heart disease. In fact, your oral health can be a good warning sign for heart health. For example, people who have gum disease also share many other risk factors with people who have heart disease. It’s important to reduce your risk by quitting smoking, managing your weight, controlling your blood pressure and staying active.

There are also researchers (not yet proven) out there connecting that the same bacteria that cause periodontal disease can travel through your bloodstream and lead to blood clots, and heart disease. While oral health is not the key to preventing heart disease (there are many other things you need to do to keep your heart healthy), taking good care of your teeth and gums can help keep you and your heart healthy.

If you are due for a dental cleaning, give our office a call! We are here to keep your teeth beautiful and healthy, and as a result, help keep your heart healthy, too! Visit our website to learn more about or services or give us a call directly to schedule an appointment at Fairfield Dental Arts.

Tooth Friendly Fall Foods

fairfield dental artsThe first day of fall is finally here! We’re all ready to embrace apple picking, pumpkin everything, warm soups and all of our other favorite fall foods. Fortunately, not all snacks have to be bad for your teeth! Kick the season off the right way with these tooth friendly fall recipes.

Tooth Friendly Fall Foods:

Pumpkin Hummus

Hummus is delicious any time of year, but why not make it festive by adding pumpkin puree! Pumpkin hummus is the perfect appetizer to serve at your next game day party or fall picnic.  

Apple-Raisin Salad

Apples are one of the best foods for your teeth. They’re naturally abrasive, brushing other food particles off of your teeth as you eat them! Have a festival apple-raisin salad that will satisfy your sweet cravings without the extra sugar.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cooler weather means one thing — it’s soup season! And although this soup may be on the calorie-heavy ide, it is also packed with vitamins K and C that are great for your teeth and gums.

Pumpkin Soup

Combine your two fall favorites — pumpkin flavors and warm soup. This is the perfect way to fill up and stay warm. With no added sugar and plenty of vitamins A and C, you can help keep your gums healthy.

Is it time to schedule your fall dental cleaning? Give our office a call or visit our website to learn more about the dental services that we offer to the Fairfield, CT area.

How Does Acid Affect Your Teeth?

fairfield dental artsYou might want to think twice before taking another sip of soda. Although our teeth are incredibly strong, popular acidic drinks can damage our teeth over time. Below, we’ll explain a little bit more about just how acid affects your teeth and what you can do to keep your smile strong and healthy.

Why are acidic drinks bad?

Acidic drinks eat away at your tooth enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. This erosion puts your smile at risk of cavities — because the enamel doesn’t grow back! Unfortunately, unlike other parts of our bodies, teeth have no way of healing themselves.  As the enamel erodes, you may experience tooth sensitivity, be prone to cavities and even experience some discoloration.

What can you do to protect your teeth?

Instead of drinking soda and fruit juices, opt for beverages low in acidity. These drinks include water, black tea, black coffee and milk. These drinks are a tooth-friendly way to stay hydrated throughout the day (especially water).

If you do indulge in an acidic beverage, you should keep in mind that you should have it with food. After you’re done, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Since acidic drinks weaken your enamel, brushing your teeth too soon after consuming them can damage your newly sensitive teeth.

Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? Do you have any questions about how to care for your oral health? Is it time to schedule your bi-annual dental cleaning and exam? Contact our office to schedule an appointment today!

Why It’s So Important to Protect Your Teeth When Playing Football

fairfield dental artsThursday night football has returned! With the NFL kick off on everyone’s minds, we want to remind patients of how important it is to protect your teeth when playing contact sports like football. Whether you play professionally, you are on a school team or you play it recreationally with your friends, it’s important that you always have that extra layer of protection with a dental mouth guard.

Why are mouth guards so important?

In contact sports like football, you risk your tooth becoming knocked out, broken or chipped. Mouth guards are there to help hold everything in place. They protect not just your teeth, but your tongue, chin, and gums. They provide a cushion, in the event that you are hit, to protect your face.

While there are many different mouth guards on the market, the best way to protect your smile is to get a custom mouth guard. With a custom dental mouth guard, the dental protection will be custom fit for your unique smile, meaning better protection and more comfort.

How do you care for mouth guards?
You should sanitize your mouth guard every time that you use it. You can clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste, and for a deeper cleaning, you can soak it in a dental solution. Just remember that you always store your mouth guard in a clean, dry environment after cleaning and wearing.

If you have any questions at all about your dental health, give our office a call! We are here to help keep your smiles beautiful and healthy.

Lumineers vs. Veneers: What’s the Difference?

fairfield dental artsEveryone should feel comfortable and confident when smiling. If you want to improve the appearance of your smile by hiding chips, cracks, gaps and other dental flaws, there are several different cosmetic dental options available to you. However, two of the most popular complete smile makeovers are accomplished with lumineers and veneers. While they are both similar in how they improve the appearance of your smile, there are also many differences between the two procedures.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded right over your existing teeth. They are a great way to cover up cosmetic dental issues. However, the process of applying veneers involves removing some of your natural tooth enamel and reshaping your existing teeth before the veneers are placed.

What are Lumineers?

Lumineers are not as invasive as veneers. With this cosmetic procedure, your teeth are left unchanged and there will be no damage to the enamel. Lumineers are placed right on top of your natural smile, giving you a beautiful Hollywood smile.

Interested in learning more about lumineers and veneers, and if either of these cosmetic dental restorations are the right choice for your smile? Visit our office! At Fairfield Dental Arts, we are here to help ensure that you are happy and confident in your beautiful smile.

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What Is A Dental Crown?

fairfield dental artsTooth decay? Broken tooth? Don’t worry — there are many different restorative dental options out there for you to choose from. With proper treatment, you can restore the natural health and beauty of your smile. One of the most popular and common restorative dental solutions is called a “dental crown.” Below, we’ll learn more about what a dental crown can do for your smile.

What is a dental crown?

This tooth-shaped cap is placed directly over your natural tooth. It is used to restore the shape, size and strength of your natural smile. It provides coverage, support and restores the natural look, feel and function of your smile.

When are dental crowns used?

Dental crowns are used to protect weak teeth that are suffering from severe tooth decay, to restore broken teeth or teeth that have been worn down over time, to cover a tooth after it has been given a large filling, to hold dental bridges in place, to cover dental implants, and to cosmetically improve the appearance of teeth.

If you run into any problems at all with your smile health and you think that you may benefit from a dental crown, reach out to our office. Here at Fairfield Dental Arts, we are highly skilled in providing patients with the care they need to restore the natural health and beauty of their smiles.

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Who Is A Good Candidate For Invisalign?

fairfield dental artsAre you looking to improve your smile alignment? There are many different orthodontic options out there — but one of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces is the Invisalign system. These clear aligners are removable, so that you don’t have to alter your eating habits, and transparent, so that others don’t even realize that you are wearing them. However, while there are many benefits to choosing Invisalign, they are not the best orthodontic option for everyone. So how do you know if you qualify for Invisalign? Below are a few of the deciding factors.

Questions That Help Determine If You’re A Good Candidate For Invisalign:

What is the severity of your case?

Invisalign is an excellent solution for smile gaps, crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. However, if your case is more severe (ex: a large overbite that causes your jaw to shift), you may need a more traditional approach to orthodontics to address and fix your smile needs.

How old are you?

Your age plays a role in whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign. While these clear aligners are great for older teenagers and adults, they are not a good solution for younger children whose teeth are still growing.

How dedicated are you to your orthodontic treatment?

Invisalign aligners can and should be removed during meals and when brushing your teeth. However, because they are removable, you need to remember to put them back in, too. The effectiveness of your Invisalign treatment depends on how dedicated you are to wearing your aligners. If you aren’t committed to the treatment, Invisalign aligners will not be an effective choice for your smile needs.

Thinking of improving your smile alignment with Invisalign? The best way to determine whether or not you are a candidate is by giving our office a call at 203-254-3780 to schedule a consultation! We can help you determine if this orthodontic treatment is the best option for your smile needs.

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