I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Dentist Burlington

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

Tooth Bonding 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

Dental Crown 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Creating a Healthy Smile for Life | Burlington Family Dentist

Good oral health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. As a parent, it’s important to instill good oral health habits in your children from a young age. Teaching children good oral health habits can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. 

To start, it’s important to create a good oral hygiene routine for your children. This should include brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day. Make sure to use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and other tooth decay. You can also use a timer to help your children brush for the full two minutes. 

It’s also important to help your children learn the importance of healthy eating. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps to keep teeth healthy. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks can also help to prevent cavities. Sugary snacks and drinks can cause bacteria in the mouth to produce acid, which can lead to tooth decay. 

It’s also important to schedule regular dental visits for your children. Seeing a dentist regularly is key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy. During these visits, the dentist will be able to identify any problems and provide advice about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy. 

In addition to the above, it’s important to discuss the importance of oral health with your children. Talk to them about the importance of brushing and flossing properly and regularly. You can also use books and other materials to help your children understand why oral health is so important. 

Finally, it’s important to model good oral health habits for your children. If your children see you brushing and flossing regularly and eating healthy foods, they will be more likely to follow your lead. It’s also important to show them the importance of visiting the dentist regularly. 

Overall, instilling good oral health habits in your children is important. It can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. To get started, create an oral hygiene routine for your children and help them learn the importance of healthy eating. Make sure to schedule regular dental visits and discuss the importance of oral health with your children. 

Finally, be sure to model good oral health habits for your children. Doing so will help ensure that your children have a healthy smile for years to come. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s next appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Understanding the Relationship Between Acid Levels and Tooth Decay | Burlington Dentist

Acid levels in the mouth can have a major impact on the likelihood of developing tooth decay. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can cause the enamel of the teeth to become weakened, leading to the development of cavities. When the acid levels in the mouth are too low, it can lead to tooth demineralization, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take steps to prevent the condition. 

The mouth is a slightly acidic environment, but the acidity of the mouth can fluctuate depending on the foods and drinks you consume. Highly acidic foods and drinks, such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, and sports drinks, can cause the acid levels in the mouth to spike. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can weaken the enamel of the teeth, making them more susceptible to cavity formation. 

In addition to acidic foods and drinks, the bacteria that naturally inhabit the mouth can also increase the acid levels in the mouth. Bacteria produce acids as part of their metabolic processes, and some bacteria are more acid-producing than others. Streptococcus mutans is a common acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for the development of tooth decay. The presence of too many of these bacteria in the mouth can cause the acid levels in the mouth to rise, leading to the formation of cavities. 

The saliva in the mouth also plays a role in regulating the acid levels in the mouth. Saliva helps to buffer the acidity in the mouth and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. When the saliva is not able to do its job, the acid levels in the mouth can rise, leading to the weakening of the enamel and the development of cavities. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay due to high acid levels in the mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help remove the bacteria and food particles that can contribute to an increase in acid levels in the mouth. You should also floss your teeth daily to remove any plaque buildup that can cause an increase in the acid levels in the mouth. Finally, you should limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the acid levels in the mouth balanced. 

By taking steps to reduce the acid levels in the mouth, you can help protect your teeth from tooth decay. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take the necessary steps to prevent the condition. For more information, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Daily Flossing | Burlington WA Dentist

We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine: 

  1. Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. 
  2. Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss. 
  3. Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come. 
  4. Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age. 

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. Our Burlington NC dentist is also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington today.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist | Burlington NC Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines. 

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months 

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger. 

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar 

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.  

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.  

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar. 

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our Burlington dentist suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks. 

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health. 

To schedule a visit to our dental office, please contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth | Burlington NC Dentist

Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

1.   Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouth guard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

2.   Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

3.   Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your

mouth wide.

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while

you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

4.   Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

5.   Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

6.   Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington to schedule your next dental appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Maintaining Your Oral Health During Illness | Burlington NC Dentist

Sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. Being sick can make it more difficult to keep up with your daily routine. Don’t let your cold or flu become an excuse for overlooking your oral hygiene. In fact, when you’re sick it is essential that you continue to stick to your regular brushing and flossing routine. Here are a few tips to keep you on track and on your way to getting better. 

Brush After Each Meal 

When you’re sick, try maintaining a schedule of brushing your teeth shortly after each meal. Your mouth can be a prime location where bacteria breed. Being extra vigilant in your brushing routine is an excellent way to minimize the multiplication of germs and bacteria. 

Be Selective with Cough Drops and Lozenges 

Numerous brands of cough drops and throat lozenges contain sugar. In fact, many cough drops or lozenges are similar to candy. Candy, particularly sucking candy that lasts in your mouth for an extended period of time, can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feeds off sugar to create acids that damage your teeth. Consider looking for drops and lozenges that are sugar free, or those that do not include corn syrup and fructose. 

Rinse Carefully 

If you are vomiting, keeping your mouth clean is important. Stomach acids can damage your teeth. However, brushing right away will just cause you to rub the acids all over your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash and wait at least 20 minutes before reaching for the toothbrush. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Staying hydrated is one of the keys to recovery. Drinking water is also an effective way to prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to decay and bad breath. Some medications you might be taking to relieve your cold or flu symptoms might dry out your mouth, so be sure to continue to drink water throughout the day. 

Replace Your Brush 

Once you have recovered from your illness, consider replacing your toothbrush. While it isn’t likely that you would cause yourself to get sick again, you may wish to err on the side of caution. The American Dental Association recommends that you regularly replace your toothbrush every three to four months. 

When you are sick, make it a point to keep up with your oral health. Your medications or over-the-counter remedies can have an impact on your oral health. Watch out for sugar content in cough drops and throat lozenges, and stay hydrated with water to avoid dry mouth. Keeping your mouth healthy is the first step to keeping your entire body healthy. 

For more oral health tips or to schedule a visit to our office, please contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Revolutionizing Dental Care: How Dental Technology is Changing the Way We Treat Tooth Decay | Dentist Burlington

In today’s world, dental technology has become an integral part of treating tooth decay. Dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat problems, providing faster and more accurate results than ever before. This technology has made it easier for dentists to provide better care for their patients, while also reducing the amount of time it takes to diagnose and treat tooth decay.

Tooth decay is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and feed on the sugars and starches in food. These bacteria produce acid that can break down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities and other issues. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a wide range of complications, including pain, infection, and even the loss of teeth.

Dental technology has made it easier for dentists to diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging technology, dentists can see detailed images of the entire mouth, including the teeth, gums, and jaw. This allows dentists to identify tooth decay in its early stages and treat it before any serious damage is done. Advanced imaging also allows dentists to detect hidden cavities and other issues that might not be visible to the naked eye.

Another important piece of dental technology is lasers. Lasers can be used to remove enamel decay from the teeth, as well as treat gum disease. Lasers are also used to whiten teeth, remove plaque, and even reshape teeth. Lasers offer a minimally invasive way to treat oral health issues and can be used to improve the overall appearance of the teeth.

Finally, dental technology has allowed dentists to provide more personalized care to their patients. With the help of digital tools, dentists can design custom-made dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures, that fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. This can improve the comfort and effectiveness of treatments, as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to complete them.

Overall, dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging, lasers, and custom-made dental appliances, dentists are able to provide better care for their patients in a shorter amount of time. This technology has made it easier for dentists to detect and treat tooth decay, as well as improve the overall look and feel of the teeth. Contact us to schedule your next appointment.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Tooth Sensitivity and What it Means | Burlington, NC Dentist

Tooth sensitivity can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. It is often described as a sharp or shooting pain that occurs when the tooth is exposed to certain stimuli like hot or cold temperatures, sweet or sour foods, or even just air. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 8 people suffer from tooth sensitivity at some point in their lives. In this blog, we will discuss what tooth sensitivity could mean and how to address it.

One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is enamel erosion. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth that protects the softer dentin and pulp layers underneath. When enamel wears away, the dentin becomes exposed, leading to sensitivity. Enamel erosion can be caused by a variety of factors, including acidic foods and beverages, tooth decay, and aggressive brushing. To prevent enamel erosion, it is important to limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks, practice good oral hygiene habits, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the enamel.

Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue around the tooth pulls back, exposing the tooth’s roots. This can be caused by periodontal disease, aggressive brushing, and even genetics. Gum recession can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene habits, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoiding tobacco products.

Tooth sensitivity can also be a sign of a more serious dental problem, such as a cracked or damaged tooth, a cavity, or an abscess. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity along with other symptoms like toothache, swelling, or fever, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Ignoring these symptoms could lead to more serious dental problems down the line.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are several things you can do to alleviate the discomfort. One of the easiest ways to reduce tooth sensitivity is to use a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes contain special ingredients that help block the transmission of pain signals from the tooth to the nerve. In addition to using a desensitizing toothpaste, you can also try using a fluoride rinse, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, and practicing good oral hygiene habits.

In some cases, your dentist may recommend a more invasive treatment option to address tooth sensitivity. This could include applying a fluoride varnish or gel to the affected teeth, bonding the teeth with a resin material, or even performing a root canal if the tooth’s nerve is damaged.

In conclusion, tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including enamel erosion, gum recession, and more serious dental problems. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is important to see a dentist to determine the underlying cause and find an appropriate treatment plan. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to reduce tooth sensitivity and alleviate discomfort.

Contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington, today to schedule an appointment!

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

The Sweet Truth About Cavities: Exploring the Relationship between Sugar and Dental Health | Burlington NC Dentist

Sugar is often blamed for causing cavities, but the truth is a bit more complicated than that. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acid when they feed on carbohydrates, including sugar. This acid can eat away at the enamel on teeth, leading to decay and cavities.

While sugar is not the only culprit when it comes to cavities, it is a major contributor. Sugary foods and drinks provide a ready source of fuel for the bacteria that cause cavities. In addition, sticky sweets like candy and gum can cling to teeth and provide a constant source of sugar for bacteria to feed on.

However, it’s not just the amount of sugar you consume that matters when it comes to cavities. The frequency with which you consume sugar can also play a role. Frequent snacking or sipping on sugary drinks can create a constant supply of sugar for bacteria to feed on, increasing the risk of cavities.

It’s worth noting that not all sugars are created equal when it comes to dental health. Simple sugars like glucose and fructose are more likely to cause cavities than complex sugars like lactose, which are found in milk and other dairy products. This is because simple sugars are more easily broken down by bacteria in the mouth, providing a quick source of energy for them to produce acid.

So, does sugar cause cavities? The answer is yes, but it’s important to remember that sugar is just one factor in the development of cavities. Other factors, such as poor oral hygiene, genetics, and the presence of other bacteria in the mouth, can also play a role.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of cavities, even if you enjoy sugary treats. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily can help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks can also help reduce your risk of cavities, as can chewing sugar-free gum after meals.

In addition, it’s important to see your Burlington NC dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can help identify cavities early on, before they become more serious and require more extensive treatment.

In conclusion, while sugar does contribute to the development of cavities, it’s not the only factor at play. By practicing good oral hygiene and making smart choices when it comes to diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cavities and enjoy a healthy, happy smile. Contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington today.

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215