Austin Premier Dental

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dr. Bruce Silva and his team at Austin Premier Dental are dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate dental health care.


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October 10, 2019

Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching that typically occurs involuntary and in your sleep. It is a common ailment that affects at least 8 percent of adults, and typically occurs at night during sleep – also known as Sleep Bruxism. Oral health typically gets overlooked when caring for your overall health, but it needs to be taken more seriously.

What are Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism?

Bruxism has many symptoms, however many of those symptoms are similar to those of other conditions.

  1. Constant headaches
  2. Flat, loose, or chipped teeth
  3. Grinding of the teeth that is easily heard
  4. Diminished tooth enamel
  5. Tooth sensitivity

Discuss symptoms with your doctor or dentist to discern the problem.

Stop Teeth Grinding

Oftentimes, Bruxism is mild and may not require treatment, but if the condition is severe enough it could cause irreversible damage to your healthy smile. Worn down tooth enamel, tooth fractures, and loose teeth are all symptoms of teeth clenching, and here’s what you can do to prevent it.

  1. Reduce Stress: Learn how to manage your stress with exercise and meditation.
  2. Wear a Mouth Guard: These will help protect your teeth and help redistribute the force of teeth grinding.
  3. Fix Misaligned Teeth: A teeth alignment procedure may resolve Bruxism, as well as braces or crowns.
  4. Don’t Drink Caffeine: Coffee, tea, and soda are likely to affect the quality of your teeth and make you clench your teeth.

Prevent Sleep Bruxism

If you or someone you know suffers from Sleep Bruxism, here are three tips for coping and temporarily relieving teeth grinding at night:

  1. Try to relax in the hours before bedtime in order to reduce stress and maintain a regular comfortable bedtime routine.
  2. Create a sleep environment that is comfortable and peacefully quiet and keep off electronics off half an hour before bedtime.
  3. Try new sleep positions if you’re used to sleeping in the same position.

Speak to your dentist about treatments for Bruxism. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Silva today.


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August 15, 2019

The start of a new school year means making a checklist for school supplies and buying new clothes. It also means that you need to talk to your child about the importance of maintaining a healthy dental routine now that they’ll be preoccupied with school and extracurricular activities. A healthy dental routine is easy to practice during the days of summer when things are less busy. It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth and floss at nighttime when there’s so much else going on. In order to prevent your child from forgetting a healthy dental routine, make brushing and flossing fun for the kids with a few exciting and rewarding techniques.

  1. Use a Sticker Calendar: Allow your child to place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  2. Play Music While Brushing: Set up your child’s favorite songs to play while they brush their teeth and floss.
  3. Personalize Their Toothbrush: Help your child pick a toothbrush with a theme or in their favorite color.
  4. Purchase a Floss Holder: A floss holder is a kid-friendly device that provides a grip and makes flossing more comfortable.

As the school year begins, time escapes us and we get preoccupied with other priorities so if you haven’t taken your child to see the dentist, the time is now to schedule an appointment. A third of children miss school due to oral health problems so the sooner you take care of their oral health, the better they will thrive in class.

Don’t forget to talk to your child about the importance of healthy eating. Picking the right snacks instead of chips and cookies can have a beneficial effect on your smile. Choose crunchy snacks like celery sticks, carrots, and cubed cheese over candy and granola bars.

To schedule a dental checkup appointment for your child, call Dr. Bruce Silva today.


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August 15, 2019

Bad habits are hard to break. If you practice bad dental hygiene habits, it’s time to make some changes. The following are a list of bed dental habits to break now or you could see some negative affects on your healthy smile.

  1. Crunching on Hard Foods: Chewing on tough foods like ice cubes can cause harm to your teeth overtime. The cold temps may cause your teeth to fracture or cause cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could lead to bigger dental problems in the future. While less harmful, crushed ice is still not recommended.
  2. Sipping Sugary Drinks: Constant exposure to sugary drinks like soda or iced tea promotes tooth decay. Substitute sugary drinks with more water or sip through a straw to minimize exposure to the teeth.
  3. Using Your Teeth as a Tool: Think twice before using your teeth for anything other than eating. For instance, using your teeth to tear open a bag of chips, chew your nails off, or open a bottle of soda could cause them to chip or fracture.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth: Tooth grinding may be caused by stress or an abnormal bite. Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouth guard at night, but no matter what time of day, tooth grinding wears your teeth down. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your anxiety or nervousness.
  5. Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush: A firmer toothbrush isn’t always better for your teeth. As we age, our teeth become more sensitive and firm bristles may irritate the gums.
  6. Not Brushing or Flossing: Maintain a healthy, normal dental health routine. Remember to brush twice a day and floss daily. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. For good measure, mouthwash helps to prevent tooth decay.

If you are guilty of doing any of the above bad habits, it’s time to see a dentist. Call Dr. Bruce Silva to make an appointment for a dental checkup today.


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April 16, 2019

People need teeth extracted for a variety of reasons: impacted wisdom teeth, infection, the tooth is damaged from trauma, or because of gum disease. A tooth extraction surgery can leave you feeling a bit under the weather, so your dentist or oral surgeon will give a few simple aftercare rules to follow to make your recovery a smooth as possible.

Immediate Aftercare

Following a procedure, you should apply an icepack to the affected area. Swelling is not uncommon in the aftermath of a tooth extraction, and the ice will help reduce both the swelling and any soreness you may experience once the anesthetic begins to wear off. Your dentist will also either prescribe painkillers for the duration of the healing time, or advise on what over the counter medications will serve you best, based on the situation. It’s best to give yourself a full 24 hours to rest after the procedure. After 48 hours rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will help with the healing process.

Food and Drink

An extraction site takes around 7-10 days to fully heal, and during that time, you should stick to eating soft foods like soup, applesauce, Jell-O, and yogurt. Solid food particles have the potential to get lodged inside the extraction site and cause infections. Most liquids are safe, but you shouldn’t use straws until the site is fully healed, so try your hand at creating smoothie bowls rather than just pouring it into a glass for a few days.

You Are Looking After Yourself

A week-long liquid diet doesn’t sound like fun, but remember that you are doing it to make sure that you don’t end up back at your dentist’s for an even more painful problem. Tooth extraction should be treated as any other out-patient surgery; you may be on your feet that same day, but you still require rest and a few common-sense tasks to ensure that you begin to feel better as quickly as possible. Stick to your liquid diet, don’t smoke, and call your dentist if the pain or swelling persists or increases after 48 hours.

If you have concerns about your oral health, or would like a second opinion about a possible tooth extraction procedure, please call Dr. Bruce Silva’s office to set up an appointment.


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February 11, 2019

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and amidst the panicked rushing of significant others trying to buy the perfect gift for their loved ones, you may be able to make out the collective sigh of every dentist in the country. Americans spend nearly one billion dollars on chocolate and candy alone for Valentine’s Day, so once the clouds of love have cleared, you may want to consider calling your dentist so you can show your teeth some much needed love too.

Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate

Chocolate has the potential to be incredibly damaging to your teeth, as well as your general health. A decent rule of thumb with chocolate is, the lighter the chocolate, the worse for your teeth, and the more additives it has—nuts, caramel, creams—the more important it is to clean your teeth after indulging in some. White and milk chocolate have a great deal of sugar in it, and sugar is what the bacteria in your mouth feeds on, creating plague. Meanwhile, the sticky insides of a lot of Valentine candies, like caramel and cream, can get stuck between your teeth and be converted into the acid that eats away at tooth enamel if not cleaned off immediately. The one saving grace of chocolate is dark chocolate, which naturally has an organic compound called tannins. The tannins in 70% or more dark chocolate counteract acid production in your mouth, which means that your tooth enamel is not in as much danger when you eat it.

Those Pesky Candy Hearts

Hard candy is probably one of the more dangerous members of the candy realm, because it has the potential to send you to the dentist for some very expensive work if you’re not careful. Hard candy is not meant to be chewed on, but people often find themselves sitting in the dentist’s office with a cracked or chipped tooth because they did exactly that. If you’re going to eat hard candy at all, you should only suck on it, but that also presents danger, as the steady stream of sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, causing plague and cavities. As cute as they are, to be on the safe side, rather than depending on a candy heart to tell your significant other that you love them, telling them with a card or in person is probably best.

Be Nice to Your Teeth and Your Dentist for Valentine’s Day

As long as you are caring for your teeth after indulging in your Valentine chocolates, your dentist isn’t going to tell you to stop eating it, though everything in moderation is the key to happiness in oral health. If your significant other surprises you with something delightfully delicious on Valentine’s Day, be as excited about it as you want, then call Dr. Bruce Silva’s office to make an appointment for a cleaning. Two check ups a year is one of the three keys to good oral health after all.

Feel free to call Dr. Silva’s office if you have any other questions about Valentine’s Day candy or for any of your oral health concerns, and have a safe and wonderful Valentine’s Day.


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February 11, 2019

If you’ve had significant dental work done to correct a problem with your teeth in the past, your dentist may have brought up the idea of crowns or bridges to you as a way to continue correcting the problem. So what’s the difference between a crown and a bridge, and when do you actually need them?

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are permanent, essential items that your dentist will craft for you after a root canal procedure if a cavity is too large for a traditional filling, or if the tooth has become weakened and cracked over time. Crowns help to protect the core of the tooth from further damage while also giving your bite and smile its usual form and shape. Your dentist can also craft a crown for a tooth that has yellowed with age or blackened from damage.

Do you need a crown? More than likely, if your dentist suggests it, then the answer is yes. A crown is the final part of the root canal procedure, so you will receive a crown then, but your dentist will also strongly recommend one if they are concerned over the strength of a tooth. An overly large cavity may be another inciting incident for a crown recommendation, in order to protect the filling and core tooth. Crowns are designed to look like a real tooth, so there won’t be any gaps or irregularities in your smile.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a false tooth that can be inserted to fill gaps in your smile. There are four kinds of dental bridges:

  • Traditional: These bridges attach to the natural teeth on each side of the gap via crowns.
  • Cantilever: Cantilever bridges are used if there is only one natural tooth to attach to.
  • Maryland: Like Traditional, bridges attach to natural teeth on either side of the gap, but it stays in place by a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the back of the abutment teeth.
  • Implant-Supported: Finally, implant-supported bridges involve surgically placing implants into the jaw bone wherever there are gaps, should more than one missing tooth need to be replaced.

Do you need dental bridges? While this procedure seems merely cosmetic on the surface, wide gaps between your teeth can cause the rest of your teeth to shift over time, misalign your bite, and create even more gaps between teeth. Wide gaps between teeth make it easier for food to become trapped during meals, leading to a greater potential for cavities and gum disease.

If you have questions about crowns or dental bridges, or if you already have them and are concerned about their health and longevity, please call Dr. Bruce Silva’s office for more information.

 

 


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January 1, 2019

According to most experts, there’s a very simple formula for keeping your teeth healthy year-round: brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year. It’s not a very long list of instructions, but a comprehensive study done by the CDC in 2016 found that around only 30% of the population were taking their dentists’ instructions to heart when it comes to flossing, as most people believe that brushing is enough to remove tooth-damaging plaque and food particles from between their teeth. However, as any dentist will confirm, not flossing can lead to gum disease, which in turn can lead to tooth decay or loss, and has even been linked to heart disease in recent studies.

Choosing the Right Floss
Just like toothbrushes, there are multiple types of floss to be found on store shelves, and finding the right kind can be overwhelming at first. The most common flosses are:

  • Unwaxed/waxed floss
  • Flavored/unflavored floss
  • Dental Tape
  • Flossing picks

In recent years, electric flossers have also been added to the list of flossing products. So how do you choose? The amount of space between your teeth and the level of comfort you experience when attempting to get the floss between them is the best measure, which means that a bit of trial and error may be required at first. However, dentists have a few suggestions to help your search for the best floss for you. If your teeth are very tight, going with a waxed floss, either flavored or unflavored as you prefer, is a good place to start. If you have wider gaps in your teeth, dental tape will clean the spaces between your teeth best. Meanwhile, if wrapping the traditional dental tape around your fingers is too uncomfortable, difficult, or you’re having trouble reaching all of the spaces between your teeth, then floss picks or an electric flosser are better choices for you.

What Your Dentist Wants You to Know
Experiment with different products to determine if you have large gaps between your teeth or if you need wax covered floss. The process may be frustrating for you as you try to develop a habit of flossing while also switching products, but what you need to remember is that you’re flossing, and that’s what’s most important. You’re doing something essential for your health, and there’s no harm in having to change the way you do it from time to time. You’re doing yourself a huge favor by continuing to look for just the right product.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Silva to discuss various dental floss products and proper flossing techniques. It’s also the beginning of the year, which means it’s time to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup as well. Give us a call today!

 

 


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December 7, 2018

Nothing can ruin your day faster than unexpected pain, and tooth pain almost universally ranks as one of the most unpleasant of wrenches that can be thrown into your day. Of course, if you wake up with a toothache during the week, you can always call your dentist to make a quick appointment to take care of the issue, but the holiday season is officially upon us, and your dentist, like most places, will have different holiday hours. So what do you do if you wake up with a toothache and your dentist isn’t available?

There are several things that can cause a sudden toothache: a particle of food caught between your teeth or lodged within a small cavity or a tooth infection. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position during the holidays, if you can take painkillers like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen—please check with your doctor if you aren’t sure—take some immediately. When the inner pulp of a tooth becomes infected it swells, and unlike any other part of the body that suffers from an infection, there’s no room for movement inside a tooth, and both Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are anti-inflammatories that will help take the pain and swelling down.

If you are unable to take painkillers for medical reasons, head over to your pantry. A warm salt rinse several times a day will help reduce the inflammation that is causing pain. Another excellent home remedy, and a rather holiday appropriate one too, is clove oil, as it is a natural irritant reducer. You can find clove oil at most pharmacies and some natural food stores, and can use a cotton swab to apply some to the area causing you pain. A whole clove from your spice cabinet will do just as well however if you don’t have any of the oil on hand. Place one in your mouth over the infected tooth and the natural oils in the clove will go to work on the pain. If all else fails, a warm shower to help relax you and an ice pack to help reduce the swelling will also provide some relief.

No one wants to be saddled with a toothache during the holiday season. So make sure that you are caught up with your check-ups and cleanings, and that you are following the recommended daily tooth care regimen: brush twice a day, every day, and floss once a day. Doing these things will greatly reduce your chances of waking up unexpectedly with a problem that you have no immediate way to handle. If you have more questions about how to handle a toothache when your dentist isn’t available to help, call Dr. Bruce Silva today, or visit him online to set up a pre-holiday appointment.


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September 10, 2018

If you have a worn out smile with stained teeth, you may want to get a confidence boost by improving your smile with porcelain veneers. As porcelain veneers grow in popularity, a large part of the population still don’t know what they are. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve appearance. Consider cosmetic dentistry in the form of porcelain veneers if you’re unhappy with your current smile.

SIGNS YOU NEED VENEERS

If you’re wondering if porcelain veneers are right for you, there are a few reasons to visit your dentist and talking about the process. If you have any of the following signs or problems, veneers may be a good option for you.

  1. Your Teeth are Cracked, Chipped, and Broken. There are many options for the problem and veneers are only one solution.
  2. Your Teeth are Stained or Discolored. Veneers will help cover-up stains caused by smoking or drinking coffee.
  3. Your Teeth are Misaligned, Uneven, or Irregularly Shaped. Talk to your dentist about options to resolve these issues but veneers can be appropriate.
  4. Your Teeth are worn down Due to Age. Dental problems occur with age and veneers are a great option for restoring the appearance of worn down teeth.
  5. Regular Whitening Products Don’t Work. If over-the-counter products aren’t working, veneers are a great alternative.
  6. You Have Gaps in Between Your Teeth. Bonding is a suitable option as are veneers.
  7. You’re Unhappy with Your Smile. There are countless reasons why you may be unhappy with your smile. Contact your dentist to discuss the best option for improving your smile.

Composite or dental porcelain veneers are the ultimate tools of cosmetic dentistry. The ‘before and after’ effect of veneers can be amazing, and because veneers are harder than tooth enamel, they resist wear and staining and do not discolor with age like natural teeth. Dr. Silva is an expert in the placement, design, and coloration of veneers, so your veneers will look even better than your natural teeth. Call Dr. Bruce Silva today and see if porcelain veneers are right for you!


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May 4, 2018

Dr. Bruce Silva offers several teeth whitening options, including an in-office procedure that will give you brighter, whiter teeth. Take-home options are also available to whiten your teeth on your own time. Each treatment eliminates the stains, yellowing, and darkening that come with age.

Since sensitivity is a temporary side effect of teeth whitening, here are some tips on how to deal with sensitivity after teeth whitening.

• Follow all the dentist’s orders as instructed for the best results.
• Before a treatment, build up resistance to sensitivity by using sensitive toothpastes or mouthwash.
• Steer clear of hot and cold drinks or foods after teeth whitening treatments.
• Drink liquids through a straw.
• If sensitivity is too unbearable, consult with your dentist.

White teeth are an important part of a healthy smile and they also help your self-esteem. Call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Silva today!






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Bruce Silva D.D.S. Austin Dentist