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6 Remarkable Ways To Get A Smile Makeover

6 Remarkable Ways To Get A Smile MakeoverEver seen a hot model on the cover of a magazine? Of course you have. The seductive pose, the trendy outfit (or part of it) and often, a dazzling smile.

Have you stopped to think why that model, male or female, has beautiful white teeth?

Because it’s attractive and it sells.

Granted most of us will not be making the next cover of Glamor, but what if you’re single and looking for that special someone? Or if you’re hoping to ace that job interview? Or maybe, when you look in the mirror your smile doesn’t make you look as young as you feel?

Ladies and gentleman, the eyes may be the window to your soul but your smile holds the key.

A beautiful smile is by no means the only deciding factor, but it sure does make you–and your case–a whole lot more appealing. Study after study reports people with an attractive smile are perceived to be more friendly, intelligent and successful.

So how do you get there? These days, there are several options available, at all cost levels. Whether you’re a busy teacher, a high level executive or a parent who chauffeurs his kids to the orthodontist every month and forgets about himself, check these out:

1. Teeth Whitening

From over-the-counter whitening strips to home whitening kits to in-office treatments, teeth whitening has never been so accessible or affordable. With proper follow up (yes, you do have to do that) and use of a desensitizing toothpaste (like Sensodyne) for sensitivity, whitening is the simplest place to start. It may be the only boost you need for a brighter smile, fresher smile.

Add an electric toothbrush to your regimen for daily stain removal, and get double the benefit.

2. Cosmetic re-contouring

Minor chips at the edges of front teeth can leave your them looking ragged, and often they’re too small to place fillings. But some quick and snazzy smoothing can make them look better in just a few minutes. This also works in some cases where teeth are uneven in height and the discrepancy is minor. Ta-daah! Talk about a quick, easy and painless fix.

3. Clear aligners to straighten teeth

Had braces years ago but a few teeth have shifted slightly? Our clear aligner system can get your teeth back in line, usually in a few months without traditional braces.

4. Cosmetic fillings

The days of silver fillings are (mostly) behind us. That silver tooth will end up in the white range in most dental offices today. In my practice, rarely do I hear the words “I miss how dark my tooth use to look!”. Okay, never.

5. Porcelain Veneers

For resistant or internal dark stains that have nothing to do with drinking red wine (so drink away), or misaligned front teeth that would rather bypass braces, porcelain veneers are a great option. You can change the shape, size and color of your teeth and a couple of weeks later, end up with a brand new smile.

Caveat: you have to be a good candidate, or else these will not be successful long-term.

6. Cosmetic crowns (“caps”)

Despite my almost daily offer to add bling to teeth, I have yet to see any takers. I could easily add a diamond or a blinking LED light to that front tooth and virtually guarantee a one-0f-a-kind smile that stands out.

Surprisingly, my patients prefer beautiful, tooth colored crowns. And because they do, we have porcelain crowns to match and blend in with the rest of your pearlies.

As you can see, there are several ways to get a nicer, brighter smile without breaking your budget. While a full makeover is optimal for some, most times a few small or short term treatments can get you smiling bigger, brighter and look your best. Remarkable!

Want to know more about cosmetic procedures, or ready to start on your best smile?

Call or email us today!

(214) 522-3110                  www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Teeth Whitening

10 Easy, Cost-Effective Fixes For Common Dental Problems

Cost of dental treatment

Do you freak out when you hear the words your dental treatment will cost you…….. ?

Before you down an entire bottle of Tums, take a deep breath and read on.

If you want to keep the cost of dental treatment from out-growing your budget, there’s no better way to do it than prevention. Do your due diligence, and unpleasant surprises will stay few and far between.

Still, life–and teeth–have a way of putting a kink in your plans, so here are 10 easy and cost-effective tools and fixes for most common dental ailments:

1. Warm salt water rinses

Most gum irritations–be they red, sensitive or puffy–come to heel when subjected to a regimen of warm salt water rinses. The salt draws the irritant (or infection) to the surface, where the body eliminates it, and also helps neutralize the acidic environment that fosters bacteria.

Cost: < $1

2. Floss

If you haven’t discovered the power of floss, you’re missing out on one of THE most effective dental tools. It keeps teeth clean, lowers risk of cavities, prevents gum disease, and a bonus: helps prevent bad breath. Its slightly-less-powerful-but-still-effective brethren include tooth picks, proxa brushes, Sonic floss (if you like gadgets), etc.

Cost: ~$2

3. Tongue cleaner

Is it me or do you smell something? Ahem.

Get this handy gadget if you want to part ways with bad breath. This nifty tool will help get the funk off your tongue and make friends with fresh breath.

Cost:~$2

4. Sensitivity tooth paste

Teeth and gums throwing temperature tantrums? Mild-but-constant sensitivity to cold foods and drinks can be soothed into submission with a desensitizing tooth paste in just a few days.

Cost: ~$2-$5 

5. Dental/orthodontic wax

Whether you’re in braces or have a chipped tooth and can’t get to the dentist right away, dental/orthodontic wax is easily gettable from any drugstore, preventing excessive gum irritation and keeping you comfortable.

Cost: ~$4

6. Orabase

Pizza burn? Hot coffee burn? Orabase is a handy topical numbing agent that can soothe minor burns in your mouth and get those gums and tissues to start healing.

Cost: ~$6

7. High flouride tooth paste

Darn those cavities! While there’s no substitute for good oral care at home and regular maintenance at your dentist’s, you can still aim a good power punch at cavities-to-be by using a prescription strength high flouride tooth paste. This is especially useful if you’re prone to getting cavities, but would rather not.

Cost: ~$15-$25 per tube

8. Electric toothbrush

Now, this one doesn’t qualify as “low-cost”….or does it?? Let’s see.

It cleans your mouth better, lowers risk of gum disease, helps prevent gums from receeding, picks up some of the slack if you don’t floss daily, and removes daily stains more effectively and thus keeps teeth fresher and brighter.

So yes, it’s a small chunk of change up front but saves you a ton of $$ over the long haul.

Cost: $100-175 (for a GOOD one)

9. Night guard

Bring out the cavalry, I’m getting on my soap box. Teeth grinding/clenching can chip, grind or break your teeth, cause jaw soreness or pain, and wear out your existing crowns and fillings faster. A night guard is a great non-invasive (i.e. no drill) solution. One guard, less dental work. Plus, many dental insurances cover it.

Cost: ~$300-$600

10. Regular dental check ups

Yes, this IS an easy and cost-effective fix. It costs less to keep up with check ups and annual x-rays to catch cavities when they’re small rather than waiting till they turn into toothaches, root canals and crowns… or worse, losing your teeth.

On the flip side, some NOT so effective fixes: aspirin (for pain), paint on whiteners, overuse of baking soda, whitening mouthwashes, antibiotics (which are often temporary fixes because they treat symptoms, not the problem).

Cost: a lot less than if you didn’t

Don’t want to pay high dental bills? Then form good habits, be consistent, get basic tools, and get regular dental check ups (i.e. good maintenance)…and your stay in the dentist’s chair will be short and sweet.

Need more? Or just need to get started? Call us, email us, or Facebook us:

(214) 522-3110   www.raodentistry.com    Facebook: Rao Dentistry

Image: Meawpong3405

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7 Ways To Whiten Your Teeth, Without Professional Help

DIY Whiten TeethYour precious teeth. You know they’ve got the right to be as white as they can.

You’ve looked and looked in the mirror…..then looked some more, willing them to be their whitest.

But, to no avail.

Actually, the answer may be a lot easier than you’d expect.

There are two paths to a whiter, brighter smile

  • slow, steady, continuous–things you can do to improve your smile
  • faster, as-needed (or wanted)–whitening products and whitening options dental professionals can provide.

Your results will be better and last longer if you do both.

Here are the “slow and steady”, but very effective, ways:

1. Use an electric toothbrush

A good quality electric toothbrush will not only clean your teeth and gums more effectively, it will also remove stain better than a manual toothbrush (unless you’ve got sonic hands), especially when combined with a whitening toothpaste.

2. Floss

There just doesn’t seem to be getting away from this one, is there?

If keeping plaque and gum-disease away are not enough motivation, think of it this way: with last night’s dinner still stuck between your teeth, how are your toothpaste and toothbrush bristles going to remove stain?

3. Modify soda and other dark liquid consumption

Dark liquids may excite your taste buds, but in terms of stain (and many, to your general health)–they’re doing you no favors. One solution is to use a straw to drink them, which reduces exposure to stain.

Of course, it’s not exactly a classy way to enjoy a glass of red wine (the waiter at Chez Paree might frown), so try a different solution–sip some water right after, and be sure to brush as soon as possible.

It also helps to drink your sodas and ice teas in a few minutes rather than sipping on them for hours.

4. Curb/quit smoking

If vanity can ever be the final straw, let it be for white teeth. Smoking will take your teeth nowhere but the dark side. Cut back on (or cut out) smoking and the stain will go with it. Pipe stains can be especially tenacious.

5. Eat raw fruits and vegetables

The most delicious tip of the bunch. Crunchy foods like raw apples and celery, and fruits like strawberries have natural stain-removal properties. If you eat these foods anyway, give yourself bonus points!

6. Keep up with your dental visits

Those dental tools may not be much to look at but boy, in the right hands–like your dentist’s or dental hygienist’s–not only do they provide better oral health but get to nooks and crannies you can’t.

Stay on schedule with your teeth cleaning and check up appointments and they’ll get your pearlies spruced up before stain gets out of hand.

7. Start early

Don’t shoot the messenger, but……age definitely contributes to staining of teeth. With the exception of internal stain due to antibiotics or other developmental reasons, external stain is a factor of our oral care and diet, and gets more stubborn over time.

Start good habits (as listed above) early, and maintain them, and you’ll reap the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Ready for a brighter smile? Then get started on these tips today. Combine them with professional whitening, and you’ve not only got a winning combination, but a winning smile too 🙂

Call us: (214) 522-3110         Visit us: www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Oral Health, Smile, Smoking, Teeth Whitening

Get The Skinny On How To Avoid The Dentist

I hate my ‘fat’ jeans. You know, the pair you have to reach for when you pack on a few extra pounds.

I know, I know. I know the whole eating better, exercising more, drink more water, etc. etc. But then I think, hey, life is short and indulge a little every now and then. A cookie. Or two. That slice of cake.     

But never for very long.

Why?

Is it because I have super human will power, or a super model’s appetite?

Um . . . no.

It’s because I HATE my fat jeans.

H. A. T. E.

Enough to walk away, no matter how reluctantly, from any sugary treat tempting me into submission and reach for something healthier, like a treadmill.

So much for the power of positive thinking, huh? The benefits of a positive attitude, how it can change your life.

But is it wrong to open the door to such negative thinking?

Maybe. All I know is, that for me, it WORKS.

And I’m not the only one.

I see it everyday at our practice. While most people don’t like coming to the dentist, a select few come pretty close to guaranteeing they don’t. They’ve hacked the system.

These are the people who show up every 6 months like clockwork, rarely skipping their check up and teeth cleaning appointment. They brush and floss every day as if they’re getting paid to.

They even go a step further and invest in mega prevention: a quality electric toothbrush to get the cleanest clean possible, and a night guard to protect their teeth . . . and actually use the darn things.

The result? They seldom have dental problems. They breeze in and out. Their appointments are short and sweet, uneventful. Any excitement there may be comes from catching up about their family and vacations, not their teeth. They’re nowhere close to the drill.

Why?

Because they don’t want to see me.

They make a good case for the power of negative thinking, don’t you think? They take control, do what they need to do, and make it work for them.They save time, money and treatment, and in return, get great oral health.

In short, they use this power for good, not evil, and win.

And now, if you want to avoid the dentist, you can. And it’s fat-free.

(214) 522-3110                   www.raodentistry.com

If your goal is great dental health for the long-term, call or contact us via our website. Or let us know in the comments.

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Dental Insurance For Dummies

Need to get on your soap box about the cost of health care these days? Get in line.

When it comes to dental care, it’s not much different.

Believe it or not, I hold issue with many of the same things you do.

Except . . .

I have something to add that I don’t see a lot of people doing.

Talking solutions instead of problems

So, just for kicks, humor me. Hear me out.

I hate the dentist. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I’m too scared.

If I had a penny dollar (inflation) for every time I’ve heard that in my practice, well .  . .  I wouldn’t be too rich, because we are pretty gung-ho about prevention and I like to keep things pretty conservative. And I’m not talking politics, people.

But I HAVE heard all the above statements all around-from other folks, in magazines, even online.

Since the topic is dental insurance, today I’m going to tackle the “I don’t have the money” statement.

So I’m throwing my tip in the solutions jar.

The $5 Dental Insurance Plan

Not everyone will qualify, but every one can use it. Let me explain.

Drum roll please……

                          I shelled out a lot of $ for this work of art. You’re welcome.

Before you scoff, think about it. This plan is über basic. So basic, that for some of you it might insult your intelligence. But believe it or not, for others, it may open a door.

Seriously.

This plan may not pay for an extreme makeover, but it can save you thousands and keep you from seeing me too often.

There are a LOT of people who are too _____ (insert excuse here, such as busy, lazy, tired) to even brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. And this is probably the single most effective daily regimen you can follow to maintain oral health. Yes, you can get fancy and get an electric toothbrush (actually, I love those; use ’em if you can). But if you are too whatever to even do the basics, the next time your skipped check-up leads to a big cavity leads to a root canal, you don’t have a tooth to stand on.

Will it guarantee that you will never get another cavity and reside forever in toothtopia? Heck no.

But it sure does put the odds in your favor

So if you’re open to being proactive about your own health and making smart decisions like eating healthier, exercising, managing your stress, etc., add regular brushing and flossing to your list.

It’s all connected folks, and taking charge of your self is the best insurance.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.

www.raodentistry.com      (214) 522-3110

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Filed under Oral Health, Wellness

How To Win The War . . . With Your 2 Year Old

As a parent, you have to pick your battles.

Blue socks or red. TV or no TV. Homework now or later.

But when it comes to caring for your children’s teeth, there is only one answer. You have to win the war.

If getting your toddler or preschooler to brush their teeth is a nightly struggle and mere persuasion fails, you have to get creative. It’s often trial and error, but here are some tips to get some arsenal in your corner:

1. Recruit Disney

Or Pixar, or Nick Jr. Find a toothbrush (better yet, let them pick it out) with a character your child gets excited about and build up the hype. And I mean LOTS of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. My daughter practically drools over anything Dora, and I’m not ashamed to use this.

(A reminder: if you let them brush first, make sure you get a turn to brush their teeth as well to ensure a thorough job.)

Another alternative-a kids’ electric toothbrush. And if mommy and daddy use one, I can almost guarantee your kid’s gonna want to try it out too.

2. Poetry in motion

This is, perhaps, a little unconventional, but sometimes, you have to be. Here is a short poem to recite with your child, especially if he/she likes to read. Just print it out (in large size font) and attach to their bathroom mirror:

Can You See My Teeth

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to chew.
I chew things like carrots
so my teeth stay like new.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to bite.
I bite things like apples
so my teeth will stay white.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to speak.
I say “t” and “f”
every day of the week.

Can you see my teeth?
I use them to smile.
I brush until my grin
is as wide as a mile!

~Author Unknown

3. This video won’t make it on MTV

Advertisers have been using bright colors and music to get kids’ attention for years. So can you.

Here is a neat video a la YouTube (there are many, many more) that you can load on your smart phone. Just hit play and let them follow along:

Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg; if one technique doesn’t work, try another. And another, till you succeed. All your efforts will be worth the end result-a good habit built early on that serves your children for a lifetime. That’s a victory for both sides.

As and when I find some other worthy tips, I’ll add a Part 2 to this post.

Do you have some tips and tricks that worked on your toddler to get him/her to brush their teeth?

(214) 522-3110  www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry