Posts for: January, 2019

By James P. Watts, DMD
January 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

A wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures are available for helping you achieve the smile you desire. Some available procedures include teeth whitening, cosmetic fillings, veneers, bonding, and contouring and reshaping. A dentist can help you decide which cosmetic dentistry procedure is right for you. Depending on your needs, you might even choose more than one procedure to achieve the smile you desire. Dr. James Watts is your dentist for cosmetic dentistry in Mystic, CT.

Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening treatments available through your dentist’s office are an effective way to quickly refresh your smile. Within your first one hour in-office whitening session, your teeth could be several shades whiter with the results lasting for years before additional treatments are needed.

Cosmetic Fillings

Cosmetic fillings are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to other types of dental fillings, such as the traditional silver amalgam fillings. If you prefer a more discreet option for filling cavities, cosmetic fillings might be right for you. Cosmetic fillings help strengthen and restore infected teeth just like other types of fillings, but have the benefit of being tooth-colored so they blend in and look like part of the natural tooth.

Veneers

Dental veneers are an effective way to transform the appearance of teeth with certain types of cosmetic imperfections. Veneers can be used to improve the shape, size, or color of teeth that are misshaped, slightly crooked, chipped, cracked, stained, or discolored. Veneers are thin covers placed against the front surface of problem teeth. Once in place, veneers look and function like natural teeth.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that can be used to repair chips and cracks in teeth, as well as other cosmetic problems. A resin material is applied to the problem area. For example, resin can be applied to a chipped tooth to fill in the area that has been chipped off. A special light is then used to dry and harden the resin material, which permanently bonds to the tooth as it dries.

Contouring and Reshaping

Contouring and reshaping is a type of cosmetic dental procedure that can correct the shape of teeth that are misshaped. To contour problem areas, small amounts of enamel are gradually shaved away until the tooth is reshaped appropriately. Your dentist for cosmetic dentistry in Mystic can determine if any problem teeth would benefit from contouring and reshaping.

If you are ready to rejuvenate your smile, there is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is right for you. For cosmetic dentistry in Mystic, CT schedule an appointment with Dr. Watts by calling the dental office at (860) 536-6446.


By James P. Watts, DMD
January 17, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
StayHydratedinWinterforBetterYear-RoundOralHygiene

Whether you live in the snow belt or the sunny south, the winter season often means a change in the weather. In many places, the sun isn't as strong and cooler temperatures bring relief from the summer's heat. Yet even though it may be chillier outside, your body's need for hydration is the same as it was in the summer—and a lack of proper hydration can be bad news for your oral hygiene.

Everyone knows we need to drink plenty of water every day to stay healthy. It's important for good oral hygiene because water is the major component of saliva, which fights bacteria and helps neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay. Water also keeps the soft tissues of the mouth moist and healthy, and helps fight bad breath. In many communities tap water is fluoridated, which offers proven protection against cavities.

But in the middle of winter, fewer people carry around bottles of cold water for refreshment—and that's a shame, because we need it just as much! While indoor (and outdoor) air is often drier in winter, your body continues to lose water in the same ways. And if you keep up a healthy exercise routine (like jogging, snow sports or backyard fun and games), you still need plenty of hydration. An ice-cold glass of water may not be as appealing in January as in July…but it's just as important.

Of course, the water you drink doesn't have to be freezing cold to do its job. Hot tea (especially herbal tea) can be a healthy option for wintertime hydration. So is plain water without ice. Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of water, plus vitamins, fiber, and many more substances that are good for your body.

But there are some drinks you should avoid—or at least take in moderation. Regularly drinking coffee and tea can stain your teeth, and excessive caffeine may have negative health effects. Consuming alcoholic beverages can cause dry mouth, and may increase the risk of oral cancers. And, of course, drinks that contain sugar (including soda, some juices, and many coffee and hot chocolate beverages) are linked not only to tooth decay, but to other health problems as well.

And whatever the season, don't forget to come in to the dental office for regular checkups and cleanings. We can remove the sticky tartar that clings to your teeth and may cause tooth decay and other problems. We will also perform a complete dental exam, evaluate your oral health and help resolve small problems before they turn into big headaches (or toothaches). Working together, we can help you enjoy the benefits of good oral hygiene all though the year.

If you would like more information on oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “10 Tips For Daily Oral Care at Home” and “Think Before You Drink.”


UseTheseTechniquestoEnjoyHealthyFoodsEvenwithaJawJointDisorder

We don’t often think about it, but eating is a multi-staged process. It starts, of course, with food that’s hopefully high in nutritional value. But you also need coordinated jaw action to chew and shred your food that when combined with the enzymes in saliva can then be effectively digested in the stomach.

But what if you’re unable to chew some foods because you suffer from chronic jaw pain and dysfunction? This is the situation for millions of people who suffer from problems associated with the jaw joints—temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). It’s not just the chronic pain and discomfort TMD can cause that’s a real issue—it may also be preventing you from eating foods that are healthy for you.

Because TMD can make it difficult to open your jaws wide or causes pain when you bite down, you might especially have trouble with certain fruits and vegetables as well as many meats. Many people opt to skip otherwise healthy foods because they’re too difficult to eat. That, however, could lead to lack of proper nutrition in the long run.

But with a few techniques and modifications, you can still include many of these foods in your diet even when TMD discomfort flares up. For one, be sure to cut all your food portions (including toast) into small, bite-sized pieces. These should be small enough to limit the amount of jaw opening required to comfortably place the bite in your mouth and chew. When preparing your food, be sure to peel fruits and vegetables that have skin, which is often hard to chew.

You should also try cooking crisper fruits and vegetables to a soft, moist texture. Choose meat cuts, poultry or seafood that can be cooked to a tender, moist consistency—you can also use gravies and sauces to further moisten them.

And don’t forget to chew slowly. Not only does slower eating aid in digestion, it will help you avoid overworking your jaw joints.

With a few adjustments you can have a normal, nutritious diet and minimize the discomfort of your TMD symptoms. Continual healthy eating is a must for overall health and quality of life.

If you would like more information on reducing the impact of TMD on your life and health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”