The changing seasons can prompt many people to want to change their appearance, perhaps through treating themselves to a brand-new smile. Your dentist in Meriden can provide a number of different cosmetic dentistry and restorative treatments to help provide a beautifully healthy and natural looking smile.
Cosmetic and Restorative Options
Modern dentistry techniques are extremely sophisticated and your dentist can do a lot to improve your smile. Possible options include porcelain veneers that cover the front surfaces of your teeth, crowns to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay or trauma, dental bonding that helps improve the shape of the tooth in just one easy visit, and enamel reshaping to correct minor issues such as slightly overlapping teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, transforming a gappy smile into something far more pleasing.
Professional teeth whitening can quickly brighten up your smile, creating a youthful and healthy appearance. Your dentist in Meriden can offer you in-office whitening that will lift the shade of your teeth in just an hour. If you prefer, you can have custom made whitening trays to use at home. Your dentist will provide you with the correct strength of whitening gel to safely bleach your teeth.
It’s never too late to straighten your teeth and adult orthodontics is increasingly popular. Ask your dentist about Invisalign clear braces that will discreetly straighten your smile without really affecting day-to-day activities.
Checkups and Professional Cleanings
Your first step should be to schedule an appointment for a checkup and professional cleaning. Your dentist will need to examine your mouth to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before carrying out any cosmetic dentistry treatments. They’ll discuss the type of options that might help you, and can compile a treatment plan to improve your smile. A professional cleaning removes tartar buildup and gives your smile an added sparkle. It’s a great treatment for keeping teeth and gums healthy.
We look forward to seeing you in our Meriden dental office
Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?
Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.
The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.
The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.
If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Meriden teeth whitening dentist Dr. Hergott to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!
Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office
Are your teeth misaligned? Do you have overlapping or crooked teeth? Did you have braces as a child but didn’t keep up with your retainer, and your teeth shifted back? If your smile is less than its best because of crooked teeth, you have several options to correct your issues.
Orthodontia such as braces or Invisalign can be utilized to straighten your teeth completely. Braces can be worn on the outside or the inside of the arch of your teeth. Braces on the inside are hidden from view when you smile or eat. Invisalign clear trays are options for people who want to be able to remove their appliance to eat and to brush their teeth.
Veneers can be made from porcelain, zirconium or resin composite material to reshape your smile. Veneers are thin shells that are permanently placed on top of your existing teeth. They can smooth the appearance of crooked teeth, bridge gaps, and cover chips and cracks. Veneers can also brighten the color of your teeth or can lengthen worn down teeth, leaving you looking more youthful.
A skilled cosmetic dentist may use a combination of these methods to achieve your dream smile. You may begin your straightening journey with braces to align your teeth followed by tooth-colored resin composite to reshape a malformed tooth. Perhaps you thought you wanted a full set of dental veneers, but once you see your teeth after Invisalign, you might choose only whitening instead. Only you and your cosmetic dentist can make the plan to achieve your ideal results.
If you want to pursue your best smile, talk to your cosmetic dentist today to learn what therapies are right for you and your smile goals. You won’t have to wait very long to begin enjoying the benefits of a healthy, straight smile.
We look forward to seeing you in our Meriden dental office
Nail biting, also known as onychophagia, is a common habit that involves compulsively biting or chewing on one’s nails. It’s often considered a nervous habit and can occur in both children and adults.
While many people view nail biting as a harmless habit, it can have negative physical and emotional consequences. In this article, we will explore the prevalence of nail-biting, why people bite their nails, the consequences of nail-biting, and how to stop this harmful habit.
Definition of Nail Biting
Nail biting is characterized by the habitual act of biting or chewing on one’s fingernails or toenails. This behavior can occur in response to stress or anxiety, boredom or inactivity, or perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The act of nail-biting itself may seem benign at first glance but over time it can become a compulsive behavior that adversely impacts physical health.
Prevalence of Nail Biting
Nail biting is a widespread problem affecting approximately 20-30% of the general population. It’s more common among children and teenagers than adults with studies showing that up to 45% of adolescents engage in the behavior compared to only 5% – 15% adults. Furthermore, it affects men more than women with males being three times more likely to bite their nails than females.
Negative Effects of Nail Biting
While some may view nail-biting as a harmless habit, it can lead to several negative physical and emotional consequences that are both distressing and unsightly. Physically speaking excessive nail-biting has been associated with infections like paronychia (nail bed infection), illnesses like colds where germs enter through broken skin around the nails, dental problems like teeth misalignment from constant pressure caused by biting nails , and skin damage around the nail bed.
Additionally, it can also cause emotional consequences such as low self-esteem and social stigma. Nail biters may feel ashamed of their habit, avoid social situations out of embarrassment, or experience anxiety related to their appearance.
Why People Bite Their Nails
Nail biting, also known as onychophagia, is a common habit that is often seen in children but can continue into adulthood. It is estimated that up to 50% of children and 30% of adults bite their nails. While nail biting may seem harmless, it can have negative physical and emotional consequences.
But why do people bite their nails? Here are some reasons:
Stress and Anxiety
One of the most common reasons people bite their nails is to cope with stress and anxiety. Nail biting provides temporary relief from tension and helps individuals feel more in control.
When people are anxious or nervous, they may unconsciously start chewing their nails as a way to calm down. Research has shown that nail-biting releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that produce feelings of pleasure or happiness.
These endorphins create a sense of relaxation and calmness when someone bites their nails. However, this relief is short-lived, and the cycle of nail-biting can quickly become a repetitive habit.
Boredom or Inactivity
Another reason for nail-biting is boredom or inactivity. Nail biting can become a mindless activity that fills empty time throughout the day.
For example, when waiting for an appointment or sitting through a long meeting, people may turn to nail biting as something to do. In addition to being an idle activity, nail biting may also provide stimulation for some individuals which could be why it becomes habitual.
Perfectionism or Obsessive-Compulsive Tendencies
Some individuals bite their nails due to perfectionism or obsessive-compulsive tendencies. They have an intense desire for perfectionism and may turn to grooming behaviors like nail-biting as a way to achieve this idealized image.
Obsessive-compulsive tendencies can also play a role in nail-biting, especially for those who feel a sense of compulsion to do it. They may feel like they must bite their nails to relieve tension or to achieve a sense of order and control in their lives.
Understanding the reasons why people bite their nails is essential when trying to break the habit. By identifying the underlying causes, individuals can take steps to address them and overcome nail-biting behaviors.
The Consequences of Nail Biting
Nail biting can have both physical and emotional consequences. While it may seem like a harmless habit, the negative effects of nail biting should not be ignored.
1) Infections and Illnesses: Our hands are filled with germs, bacteria, and viruses. When we bite our nails, we expose ourselves to these harmful microorganisms.
This increases the risk of infections such as paronychia (an infection around the nail), warts, and herpes simplex virus (cold sores). Additionally, colds and other respiratory illnesses can easily spread from our fingers to our mouths.
2) Dental problems: Nail biting can cause significant damage to our teeth over time. It can lead to chipped or broken teeth, misaligned teeth, and even tooth loss in severe cases.
The constant pressure from biting down on hard nails can also cause jaw pain or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
3) Skin Damage: Nail biting can damage the skin around the nail bed as well as the cuticles. This can lead to bleeding, swelling, or even permanent scarring if left untreated.
1) Low Self-Esteem: Nail biters often feel embarrassed about their habit and may try to hide their fingers from others. This can result in feelings of shame or insecurity that eventually affect their self-esteem.
They may avoid social situations that require showing their hands or feel uncomfortable when meeting new people for fear of being judged. 2) Social Stigma: In addition to low self-esteem issues, nail biters often experience social stigma associated with their habit.
Others may judge them as being nervous or anxious individuals who lack self-control. This can lead to negative social interactions and even bullying.
Nail biting may seem like a harmless habit, but it can have serious consequences. The physical effects include infections, dental problems, and skin damage.
The emotional side effects include low self-esteem and social stigma. It’s important to address the habit in order to avoid these negative outcomes.
How to Break the Nail Biting Habit
Nail biting is a habit that can be challenging to break, but it is not impossible. The following are some tips to help you stop biting your nails and keep them healthy:
Identify Triggers and Replace the Habit with a Healthier One
One of the most effective ways to stop nail biting is by identifying what triggers this behavior and replacing it with something healthier. For instance, if stress or anxiety makes you bite your nails, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. If boredom or inactivity contributes to your nail-biting habit, find other activities that keep your hands busy like puzzles or crafts.
Use Deterrents Like Bitter-tasting Nail Polish, Gloves Or Fidget Toys
Another way to break the nail-biting habit is by using deterrents. These are products or items that make it difficult for you to bite your nails.
One of the most popular deterrents is bitter-tasting nail polish which has an unpleasant taste that discourages you from putting your fingers in your mouth. Gloves provide a physical barrier between your teeth and nails while fidget toys keep your hands occupied.
Seek Professional Help if Necessary
Breaking any bad habit can be difficult on one’s own; it may require the help of a professional especially when it comes to nail-biting. A therapist can help you address underlying emotional issues like stress or anxiety and give advice on how best to manage them without resorting to nail biting as a coping mechanism.
In severe cases where self-help measures are not effective, an oral medication known as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may be prescribed by a doctor as studies show that NAC helps reduce repetitive behaviors like nail biting. Nail biting can have negative health effects both physically and emotionally.
To stop this habit, one should identify triggers and replace the habit with healthier alternatives, use deterrents like bitter-tasting nail polish, gloves or fidget toys and seek professional help if necessary. Breaking the habit may require commitment and time, but it is worth it in the end for improved health and self-esteem.
Nail-biting is a habit that affects people of all ages.
This habit can have negative physical and emotional consequences, making it important to break the cycle. Fortunately, there are various ways to stop the habit, including identifying triggers, using deterrents, and seeking professional help.
The Road to Improved Health
By breaking the nail-biting habit, individuals can experience improved health benefits. Nail biters often suffer from infections and illnesses due to the germs that gather under their nails. Such infections can lead to more severe health problems if left untreated.
In addition to physical benefits, quitting nail biting also improves psychological well-being by reducing anxiety levels. The reduction in anxiety leads to improved self-esteem levels and overall life satisfaction since they no longer feel ashamed of their appearance or be criticized for their bad habit by others.
Breaking The Habit Is Worth It
Biting nails may seem like an innocent habit but it is a form of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB), which can cause serious damage. It takes time and effort but stopping this addictive behavior is worth it as one will enjoy better health outcomes than ever before. With determination and resolve together with strategies mentioned above such as identifying triggers or using deterrents some people have found success in overcoming this destructive pattern of behavior.
Breaking the nail-biting habit requires effort and patience but it is worth it for improved physical and mental health outcomes as well as increased self-esteem levels that accompany healthier habits. By adopting healthy habits like getting enough sleep or regular exercise after quitting this bad habit leads one towards a happier life overall!
Do you live in Meriden or the surrounding area? Our team is ready to help you achieve your smile goals. Schedule your appointment today.
The Importance of Oral Health for Middle Aged Folks
As we age, we begin to experience the effects of time on our bodies. One area that often gets overlooked is oral health.
Taking care of our teeth and gums becomes more important than ever as we hit middle age. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a range of issues, from tooth decay and gum disease to bad breath and even oral cancer.
One reason why oral health is so critical for middle-aged folks is that our bodies become less efficient at repairing themselves. This means that damage done to our teeth and gums can have long-lasting effects, making it essential to take preventive measures wherever possible.
A Brief Overview of Common Oral Health Concerns
Before diving into specific oral health concerns for middle-aged folks, it’s helpful to have a general understanding of what these issues are. Some common concerns include gum disease, tooth decay, bruxism (teeth grinding), dry mouth (xerostomia), bad breath (halitosis), and oral cancer. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can cause tooth loss if left untreated.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria breaks down enamel and dentin in our teeth, leading to cavities. Bruxism involves grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep or during the day, which can cause headaches, jaw pain, and even chipped or cracked teeth.
Dry mouth occurs when there’s a lack of saliva production in our mouths due to certain medications or medical conditions. This can lead to bad breath and an increased risk for tooth decay.
Oral cancer can occur in any part of the mouth or throat and requires early detection for successful treatment. Now that we have a general understanding of these concerns let’s dive deeper into what they mean for middle-aged folks specifically.
Gum Disease: The Silent Oral Health Menace
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a serious oral health issue that often goes undetected until it has caused significant damage. The condition is caused by an excess buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. As the bacteria multiply, they cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums, which can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss if left untreated.
Causes and Symptoms
The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene habits such as infrequent brushing or flossing. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, genetics, and certain medications. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth, receding gums that make teeth appear longer than normal, loose teeth or shifting teeth that don’t fit together when biting down.
Prevention and Treatment Options
Preventing gum disease requires consistent oral hygiene practices such as brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing daily before bedtime to remove any food particles lodged between teeth. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash will help kill germs in hard-to-reach places.
Getting regular dental check-ups every six months is also important because dentists can detect early signs of gum disease before it becomes more severe. Treatment options for gum disease depend on how advanced the condition has become but can range from deep cleaning procedures like scaling and root planing to surgical intervention in severe cases where bone loss has occurred.
Advanced cases may require periodontal surgery to restore tissue damage done by the bacteria. After treatment patients are given instructions on how best to maintain good oral hygiene habits so that they do not fall victim to this silent menace again in their middle age years especially since aging itself increases our susceptibility to gum disease.
Causes and Symptoms:
One of the most common oral health concerns for middle-aged folks is tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the enamel on your teeth is weakened by acid, causing cavities or even tooth loss.
Poor dental hygiene and a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates are two major causes of tooth decay. Additionally, dry mouth or a decrease in saliva production can lead to tooth decay as saliva helps to neutralize acids in the mouth.
Symptoms of tooth decay include sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, pain when biting or chewing, and visible holes or pits in the teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a dentist right away to prevent further damage.
Prevention and Treatment Options:
The best way to prevent tooth decay is through proper dental hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, using fluoride mouthwash regularly, and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups. In terms of treatment options, early-stage tooth decay can often be treated with fluoride treatments or fillings. However, if the decay has progressed too far, more extensive procedures may be necessary such as root canals or even extraction.
It’s important to address any signs of tooth decay early on as it can lead to more severe oral health problems down the line. By maintaining good dental hygiene habits and being proactive about seeing your dentist regularly, you can prevent tooth decay from becoming a major issue.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
The Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism
Bruxism is the involuntary grinding, clenching or rubbing of teeth. It can happen while you’re awake or asleep, but most people who suffer from bruxism do so at night.
The exact cause of bruxism is not known, but it has been linked to stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and certain medications. The symptoms of bruxism include jaw pain or stiffness, headaches, earaches, and worn or cracked teeth.
Prevention of Bruxism
There are several ways to prevent bruxism. Reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can help alleviate the condition.
Avoiding stimulating substances such as caffeine and alcohol before bedtime can also help reduce the likelihood of bruxism occurring at night. Wearing a mouthguard while sleeping is another effective prevention method.
Treatment Options for Bruxism
If you suspect that you suffer from bruxism, it’s important to consult with your dentist who can diagnose the condition and recommend treatment options. Treatment may involve a combination of lifestyle changes such as reducing stress levels through therapy or medication, wearing a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth from further damage caused by grinding or clenching during sleep or surgery in severe cases. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to teeth grinding , you should have your oral health evaluated by a dental professional right away in order to avoid further damage to your teeth and jaw area.
The Dangers of Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Are you experiencing a persistent feeling of dryness in your mouth? This might be because you are suffering from Xerostomia, or dry mouth. It is a common oral health issue that can lead to major problems if left untreated.
Causes and Symptoms
Xerostomia is caused by a decrease in the production of saliva, which can occur due to a variety of reasons. Some of these causes include certain medications, radiation therapy, dehydration, autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, and nerve damage.
Symptoms of dry mouth include a constant feeling of thirst, difficulty swallowing food, cracked lips and tongue, bad breath, sore throat and gums that bleed easily. If you experience these symptoms frequently you should see your dentist.
Prevention and Treatment Options
The best way to prevent Xerostomia is to keep yourself hydrated at all times by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Also consider chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies as this promotes the production of saliva.
If your Xerostomia persists despite practicing good hygiene habits then it might be time to consult with your dentist about further treatment options such as medication or Botox injections. In some cases certain prescription medications are responsible for causing Xerostomia; if this is the case with you then speak to your doctor about changing medication or adjusting dosage.
It’s worth noting that people who suffer from Xerostomia also tend to have an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease because there’s not enough saliva present in their mouths to wash away bacteria that cause these issues. So don’t ignore this condition!
Oral Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early. It is a type of head and neck cancer that affects the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, or gums.
The good news is that it is preventable and can be treated if caught in its early stages. Here are some important facts about oral cancer:
The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown. However, certain lifestyle choices increase the risk of developing it. Tobacco use (including cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco), excessive alcohol consumption, and HPV (human papillomavirus) infection are some of the main causes of oral cancer.
The symptoms of oral cancer can be similar to those caused by other conditions such as gum disease or toothache. Some common symptoms include persistent mouth sores or ulcers that do not heal within two weeks; red or white patches in the mouth; swelling or lumps in the gums; persistent sore throat; difficulty swallowing or chewing; hoarseness or change in voice quality; numbness in the mouth or face.
If you experience any symptoms associated with oral cancer for more than two weeks, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for an examination. Your dentist may perform a biopsy (removal and analysis of tissue) to determine if there are any abnormal cells present.
Treatment options for oral cancer depend on several factors such as stage of the disease, location and size of the tumor(s), overall health condition of the patient etc. Common treatments include surgery to remove tumors followed by radiation therapy (or chemotherapy), radiation therapy alone (for smaller tumors) or a combination of these methods. Early detection greatly improves the chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. To reduce your risk of oral cancer, avoid tobacco use, limit alcohol consumption, and practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for routine check-ups. Bad Breath: The Stinky Elephant in the Room
As we age, there’s one oral health concern that becomes increasingly noticeable: bad breath. Also known as halitosis, this condition can be a major source of embarrassment and social discomfort. But what causes bad breath, and what can you do to prevent it? Causes:
There are many different factors that can contribute to bad breath in middle aged folks. Some common culprits include poor oral hygiene habits (such as infrequent brushing and flossing), gum disease, dry mouth, smoking or tobacco use, certain medications or medical conditions (like diabetes), and even stress. In some cases, bad breath may also be a sign of more serious issues like oral infections or cancer. Prevention Tips:
The good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to prevent or reduce bad breath in middle age. First and foremost, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after meals) with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove food particles and bacteria from between teeth. You may also want to consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill germs in your mouth.
In addition to good oral hygiene practices, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent bad breath. For example, if you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting will not only benefit your overall health but also improve the freshness of your breath.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help keep your mouth moist and flush out odor-causing bacteria. Another helpful tip is to watch what you eat – certain foods like garlic, onions, coffee or alcohol tend to leave a strong odor in the mouth long after they’ve been consumed.
If possible try cutting back on these types of foods or brushing after eating them. Make sure you see your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
They can catch any early signs of gum disease or decay and provide treatment to prevent further damage. By taking steps to maintain good oral health, you can keep bad breath at bay and enjoy fresh, healthy breath for years to come!
Maintaining good oral health is crucial for middle-aged people.
Gum disease, tooth decay, and teeth grinding are all common conditions that can cause painful and costly problems if left untreated.
Dry mouth and bad breath can also impact a person’s quality of life. Oral cancer is a serious concern that can be prevented with early detection.
The key takeaways from this article include the importance of regular dental check-ups and cleanings, daily brushing and flossing, a healthy diet low in sugar, and avoiding tobacco products. It’s also essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of these conditions so that they can be treated promptly.
Final thoughts on the importance of maintaining oral health in middle age
As we age, our bodies go through changes that affect our oral health. This means that taking care of our teeth and gums becomes even more critical as we get older.
Maintaining good oral health not only prevents painful dental problems but also has broader benefits for overall health. Studies have shown that poor dental hygiene is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
By prioritizing our oral health in middle age, we can set ourselves up for a healthier future. With regular check-ups with a dentist or hygienist and by practicing good oral hygiene at home every day, we can maintain strong teeth and healthy gums well into our golden years.
Do not let another day go by without taking care of your dental needs. Request an appointment now at our Meriden dental office!