15Dec

For Dr. Carol E. Follette DDS and her team, a big area of focus is helping patients get the smile of their dreams. As a leading cosmetic dentist serving Southern California, Dr. Follette’s expertise in this area is well-known. What might not be as widely known are the following five ways that you can personally contribute to a better smile.

Patience Pays Off

After a meal, or subsequent to drinking an acidic beverage like orange juice or coffee, many people brush their teeth in order to avoid staining. This is a smart move, but what most people don’t know is that waiting 30 - 60 minutes before brushing is better than picking up your toothbrush right away. It may sound strange, but the fact is that brushing immediately actually facilitates enamel erosion and can lead to dentin exposure, which make the teeth look more yellow.

Use a Straw

Straws are fun to drink with, especially if you’re a kid – and they’re also handy for keeping that scintillating smile of yours. When you drink through a straw and position it near the back of your mouth, you reduce the amount of time that the liquid is in contact with your teeth. The less time a beverage is in your mouth, the better your chances of avoiding stained teeth, cavities, and tooth decay. If you have environmental concerns, we recommend opting for a reusable straw rather than a plastic one.

Rinse With Water

Water offers our bodies countless benefits, and that includes our teeth. Water offers superb protection against enamel erosion and tooth decay, which is why it’s a great idea to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking – especially if the food/beverage is sugary or acidic. Moreover, rinsing/drinking water is a great way to keep your teeth from staining after you consume a colored beverage.

Brush The Right Way

Regular flossing and brushing is key for keeping teeth looking good – but if you’re not brushing the right way, a lot of your hard work will be undone. Proper brushing means keeping your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle when you’re brushing near your gum line. Maintaining this angle allows you to massage/clean your teeth and your gum line simultaneously. Also, don’t forget about the backside of your teeth. This is an area that’s oft overlooked but one that if ignored can see a buildup of plaque, tartar, and other decay-friendly substances. And of course, as weird as it may feel, be sure to brush your tongue. Doing so gets rid of the bacteria that causes bad breath and contributes to enamel erosion.

Choose “Teeth-Friendly” Foods

If you like to drink coffee and enjoy the occasional sugary treat, that’s ok – as long as you’re also getting a healthy dose of “teeth-friendly” foods. These include raw vegetables like celery and carrots, and fruits such as apples and pears. Not only are these foods healthy, they are also possess a firm, crisp texture that naturally cleans your teeth. Another food that falls into the category is popcorn, though it’s a good idea to rinse afterwards so that smaller particles don’t linger between your teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

Wherever you live in Southern California – Malibu, Marina Del Rey, or Pacific Palisades – trust Dr. Follette to take exceptional care of your mouth. A great smile depends on expert techniques, and our services include teeth whitening, laser periodontics, veneers, and more. Contact us today and make an appointment.

 

11Sep

Laser gum contouring is becoming more popular among patients who have an uneven gum line or gummy smile. The procedure allows dentists to reshape the gum line to produce a more pleasing aesthetic.

Today, the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist performs an increasing number of laser gum contouring treatments. The use of laser technology has made it easier to contour gum tissue with reduced risks and fewer side effects. In this blog, we’ll explain how laser gum contouring can be performed to improve the appearance of the smile.

What does the procedure involve?

Laser gum contouring involves the removal of a small amount of soft gum tissue to produce a uniform gum line or minimize the amount of gum tissue that shows when a patient smiles. To start the procedure, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to numb the gum tissue and prevent any discomfort during the treatment process.

Once you’re completely numb, the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist we’ll use a dental laser to sculpt the gum line and create an attractive contour; this may involve the removal of gum tissue across the entire upper gum line or the removal of excess gum tissue from specific teeth. The entire process takes less than an hour. Once the gums have been reshaped to the desired aesthetic, the patient can return home.

How long does it take to recover?

The laser gum contouring procedure results in minimal side effects. Still, you may experience minor discomfort during the healing period. To reduce any pain, avoid spicy foods, foods, and drinks that are heated or cooled to extreme temperatures, and foods that contain small seeds. An over-the-counter pain reliever can be used to treat any discomfort.

You should continue to brush and floss their teeth in the days after treatment. However, during the first few days after treatment, it is important to be as gentle as possible.

Laser dentistry offers many benefits, including a minimal recovery time and few side effects. Other benefits are:

  • Less pain during and after treatment
  • A reduced degree of bleeding and swelling
  • Less chance of infection
  • Improved and even gum line
  • The gum line is more proportionate to the teeth
  • The ideal amount of gum tissue shows when you smile, laugh, or speak

The laser gum contouring procedure is commonly performed in combination with other dental procedures. Porcelain veneers may be applied to the front surface of the teeth to make them appear straighter, lengthen short teeth, or mask stains. Teeth whitening may be performed to make the teeth whiter. By choosing additional treatments, patients can achieve a total smile makeover.

If you’re thinking about a laser gum contouring procedure, contact our cosmetic dentist office to arrange a convenient consultation.