What Is a Dental Veneer? An FAQ

A dental veneer is an important tool in cosmetic dentistry. Veneers can be used to cover up discolorations and stains and may even be used to cover chips or other inconsistencies with the shape and appearance of your tooth. Yourdentist in Athens, TX, can help you decide if you’re a good candidate for dental veneers. Here’s what you need to know about dental veneers and how they work.

What Is a Dental Veneer?

A dental veneer is a thin cover placed on the front of your tooth to give your teeth an even appearance. Dental veneers are colored and shaped like real teeth, and when your dentist chooses a veneer for you, they will pick one that looks as much like your real teeth as possible.

Who Can Benefit from Dental Veneers?

You can benefit from a dental veneer if:

  • You have stains on your teeth that can’t be removed through whitening
  • Your teeth are misshapen or chipped
  • You would like your teeth to be more even in appearance

Are Dental Veneers Permanent?

To install a dental veneer on your tooth, your dentist will need to shave down the tooth enamel to make space for the veneer. Once this has been done, you should always have a dental veneer on your tooth. Even if the veneer gets chipped or damaged in some way, it will need to be replaced.

Do Dental Veneers Look Natural?

Dental veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth. Your dentist will be sure to choose a dental veneer that is colored like your other teeth so that no one will be able to tell the difference. Do you have questions aboutdental veneers in Athens, TX? Think you’re a good candidate? Contact Athens Smiles to make an appointment.

Reasons to See the Dentist ASAP In the New Year

We’re in the holiday season right now, but soon it will be time for the new year. When this time of year rolls around, it’s important to look forward and think of what we can do to take better care of our teeth.

If you haven’t yet made an appointment for your dental cleaning in Athens, TX in 2024, now is the time to do so. Making your next appointment can help you avoid oral health problems. Below are four reasons why you should make an appointment to see the dentist ASAP in 2024.

Visiting the Dentist Twice Per Year Is Good for Your Oral Health

Most dentists recommend that their patients come in for a cleaning and exam twice annually. If you wait too long to make your first appointment, you may not be able to fit in the second appointment, which should happen 6 months after the first. Making the appointment to see the dentist as soon as possible helps ensure that you’ll be able to get both appointments in, and that’s good for your teeth.

Making the Appointment ASAP Prevents You From Forgetting

If you wait too long to make a dental appointment in 2024, you might forget. The sooner you act, the less likely it is that you’ll miss one of your appointments for exam and cleaning in the coming year.

Your Dentist Will Be Able to Clean Your Teeth of Plaque from Holiday Sugar

The holidays are a time when many people eat sugary foods and drink sugary drinks. All that sugar can leave plaque on your teeth, which in turn can lead to cavities and tartar. If you go see the dentist soon after the holiday season is over, you’ll be able to remove that plaque before it becomes a big problem.

Ready to make your appointment with your dentist in Athens, TX? Call Athens Smiles today to get your appointment on the calendar.

5 Proactive Ways to Calm Your Dental Anxiety

Do you get nervous around the dentist? You’re not alone. Many people get anxious when they think about seeing the dentist in Athens, TX. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to calm your dental anxiety. By engaging in guided imagery, breathing deeply and by working with your dentist, you can calm your dental anxiety.

1. Listen to Podcasts

Listening to podcasts can take your mind off of the dental exam. Load up your phone or portable device with podcasts before your dental appointment begins, so you’ll have back to back programs to listen to while you’re sitting for your dental cleaning.

2. Talk to Your Dentist

Tell your dentist that you have dental anxiety. Your dentist likely has suggestions and strategies for controlling your anxiety while you’re in the dental chair. If nothing else, you can ask your dentist to schedule breaks during the cleaning. You may also want to develop a signal to indicate that you’d like a break – this can make your experience less stressful.

3. Engage In Deep Breathing

Breathe deeply and mindfully throughout the visit. Deep breathing can help calm your heartbeat and bring you back to center, which can make the entire experience less stressful.

4. Consider Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry can reduce your discomfort throughout the dental cleaning, making the experience more relaxing. There are many different types of dental sedation. Talk to your dentist to find the right level of sedation for your anxiety.

Before going for your next dental appointment, call your dentist about sedation dentistry in Athens, TX. Make a plan to help calm your dental anxiety. Going to the dentist is important, and it can be a positive experience.


4 Ways to Avoid a Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can be more than just uncomfortable – it can also lead to oral health issues. Chewing with a cracked tooth can lead to infection in the pulp of the tooth, causing pain and even leading to a tooth extraction in Athens TX. It’s better to avoid a cracked tooth altogether! Here’s what you can do to avoid a cracked tooth.

1. Never Use Your Teeth As “Scissors”

Your teeth are not meant to cut through hard plastic, paper, cardboard, and other materials. Some people use their teeth as “scissors” to cut through packaging when no scissors are available.

Using your teeth in this way can cause cracks in your teeth. If you need to cut through packaging and don’t have a blade on hand, use something hard like your car keys.

2. Avoid Chewing Hard Candy

Hard candy is tasty, but it’s not good for your teeth. Hard candy is especially bad for your teeth when you bite down on it. Suck on hard candy and, if you’re tempted to bite down on it, set it aside for a while.

3. Wear a Mouth Guard If You Need One

People who grind their teeth are more likely to develop cracks in the enamel. If you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and prevent these cracks.

If you don’t have a mouth guard, talk to your dentist to get one. Although they sell mouthguards at the pharmacy, the best mouthguards are custom-made.

4. See Your Dentist Regularly

See your dentist in Athens Texas to check your teeth for cracks and other problems that can lead to cracks. At Athens Smiles, we’ll monitor your tooth health and identify potential for cracks. Call today to make an appointment for a general checkup.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel  

Although teeth look like one hard substance, they are actually comprised of different parts; enamel, dentin, pulp, crown, and root. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth. You can’t see tooth enamel because it’s translucent. But it’s there unless you’ve eroded it for some reason or another.

Why Protect Tooth Enamel?

You need to protect your tooth enamel because it’s there to protect your tooth. Tooth enamel is considered a bodily tissue, even though it’s hard. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest tissue that you have. But it’s not invincible. Tooth enamel can be damaged. When that happens, the tooth is exposed and vulnerable to decay and damage.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel

Certain lifestyle habits can damage enamel over time. In order to ensure that your tooth enamel doesn’t erode, care for it with these tips.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Acidic foods and ingredients can erode tooth enamel. Examples include lemons, limes, and vinegar. Of course, you don’t have to avoid these things entirely. Just make sure they don’t comprise the majority of your diet and make sure to brush and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Get Fluoride Treatments

If your town’s water doesn’t have fluoride, ask your dentist in Athens about fluoride treatments, which strengthen enamel.

Don’t Over Brush

Brushing your teeth should be done after every meal. But over-brushing can wear away tooth enamel. Over brushing is defined as brushing too often and brushing too hard. You should also make sure you don’t use a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm. For most folks, a medium-bristle toothbrush works just fine.

For more tips on caring for enamel and to have the health of your teeth looked after with a dental appointment, please contact your Athens dentist today.


What’s the Best Way to Avoid Wrinkles Around My Mouth?

Wrinkles around the mouth are one of the tell-tale signs of aging. Depending on genetics, gender, diet, and lifestyle, you may have more or fewer wrinkles around the mouth than other people your age. However, if you take steps soon enough, you may be able to prevent at least some wrinkles from forming around the mouth area. Following are some natural methods that will help you avoid wrinkles around your mouth.

Practice Facial Exercises

A few simple facial exercises can help to tighten and tone the skin around the mouth while reducing the appearance of fine lines. For best results, practice facial exercises daily.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking causes your lips to purse up. This chronic position leads to wrinkles first of all, because you are forcing wrinkled skin around the sensitive mouth area. But the other reason that smoking causes wrinkles around the mouth is that smoking reduces collagen levels in the skin and makes it harder for skin tissue to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.

Consider Facial Peels

Facial peels are a very effective method to both alleviate wrinkles around the mouth and improve the texture of the skin. Concentrated mask treatments that are pectin-based are wholly natural. The acid in the fruit is what helps remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Some brands are specifically developed to counteract the effects of aging, such as loss of collagen, and to restore the moisture that promotes a more youthful look.

The good news is that you are able to smooth things out and soften the area around your mouth so that lines are less likely to form. And remember, one way to make your mouth look even more appealing is to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible. So be sure to visit your Athens, TX dentist on a regular basis!

A Look at the Basic Steps of Dental Bonding to Close a Gap Between Teeth

Dental bonding is perhaps one of the most common solutions for cosmetic dental issues. If you have a gap between two of your teeth (a diastema), bonding material can be used to close the gap and give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Here is a quick look at the basic steps involved in a dental bonding procedure to close a gap between teeth.

1. Material Shade Is Chosen to Match Your Teeth

In order for the bonding procedure to have the most natural outcome, the material has to be perfectly matched to the shade of your natural teeth. The dentist will utilize special pigmenting materials to aptly achieve the matching hue.

2. The Surface of the Affected Teeth Is Prepared

The surfaces of the affected teeth will be treated with an etching procedure and a conditioning formula that prepares the surface for the bonding agent. In general, the etching process sort-of roughs up the smooth surface of the teeth. Without this step, the bonding material cannot properly adhere to the teeth.

3. Bonding Material Is Applied, Sculpted, and Cured

The bonding material is a bit like putty before it is hardened. The dentist will place the putty on the teeth and carefully shape it until the gap is perfectly closed. When satisfied, the dentist will use a mouthpiece outfitted with an ultraviolet light to cure the bonding material. The finished, hardened bonding material is then polished so it has the same texture as the rest of your teeth.

Talk to an Athens Dentist About Your Smile Concerns

Even though small cosmetic smile issues like a gap between your teeth may not be an oral health concern, they can be a concern for your self-confidence for sure. Reach out to us at Athens Smiles Family Dental in Athens, TX to schedule an appointment to discuss your smile concerns. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/bonding/teeth-bonding-for-gaps-between-your-front-teeth