Spring into Dental Hygiene

The extra daylight we’ve been soaking up is a sure sign that spring is here. And while we’ve reached the time of year when cheerful flowers have popped up everywhere, healthy smiles are always in bloom. 

It’s also a perfect time for the appropriately named ritual of spring cleaning. From your closets to your dresser to your bathroom sink and beyond, we’re here to help you start the new season with a fresh outlook and fresh mouth with the following tips for a happy healthy spring.

Keep your head up and your smile bright all season by maintaining your responsible hygiene no matter where in the world spring break takes you. If a trip to somewhere warm and dry after a winter of cold and unexpected weather is on your calendar, be sure to stick to your usual routine of flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day, in between sweet indulgences and tropical drinks. If you’re hoping to spend the day on the beach or by the pool without access to a sink, drinking plenty of water will wash away cavity-causing particles that could settle in between your teeth and cause build up. And staying hydrated is an added bonus!

When you break out your suitcase and start packing, make sure to pack your toothbrush with a toothbrush cover and floss along with some pocket flossers to eliminate any excuse for not having time to complete your routine amidst the fun. Electric toothbrushes with good battery life are also great travel companions, in addition to a tongue scraper, mouthwash, and your retainer case, if you have one, to make it easy to stick to your good habits everywhere you go. It’s also handy to throw some travel-sized mouthwash and sugar-free gum in your carry-on bag to keep your mouth fresh and aid with ear popping if your trip involves a flight. 

If activity-filled outdoor adventures are on your vacation or weekend agenda, swap any sugary snacks (like sticky candy or sugar-filled energy bars) and drinks (like soda or energy drinks) in your backpack with healthy tooth-friendly snacks that won’t cause bacteria build up or enamel erosion. Fuel your time outside with plenty of water and nutrient-rich snacks like carrots, celery, apples that give teeth an extra brush with their crunchy texture, and cheese, yogurt, and plain nuts that are rich in calcium and phosphorus, which help repair tooth enamel. 

Whether you’re staying home or taking a dream vacation, make sure to find time to call us to schedule your routine cleaning and exam to make sure the whole year is as cheerful and healthy as the first days of spring.

Sturdy Smiles

Change is a part of nature: from the world around us all the way down to the intricacies of our mouths. With time and as we age, our teeth can shift. Sometimes it goes unnoticed but in other cases it must be addressed for the sake of a person’s overall health.

For adults and teenagers looking for a solution to a smile that has shifted over time—or was never cosmetically altered to begin with—Invisalign has become an exceedingly popular solution. Invisalign aligners are a desirable alternative to traditional metal braces because they are sleek, easy to wear, and, as the name implies, nearly invisible.

Wondering if you’re a good candidate? Invisalign is geared towards moderate cases, like gapped or crowded teeth and mild overbites. In order to determine if a patient is a good candidate, we’ll schedule a consultation to gather photographs of your teeth and face, a digital scan of your teeth using an iTero scanner, and a collection of digital x-rays.

Following the consultation, we’ll send the information and images to Invisalign with detailed instructions for how we want your teeth to be moved. Then, we’ll use advanced 3D computer imaging technology to create a complete treatment plan from the initial position of your teeth to their final desired position.

Once the plan is in place, it takes about 4-5 weeks for the aligners to arrive, and then the straightening process can begin.

Each set of Invisalign aligners is designed to be worn for 1-2 weeks at a time for about 22 hours a day, moving the teeth in small increments to eventually match each aligner until eventually they’ve reached their final position.

In order for the process to work as intended, it’s crucial that the aligners are worn consistently, but also that they stay clean. To prevent bacteria build up, you’ll need to take your aligners out to eat and to drink anything other than water. They should also be removed to brush and floss thoroughly twice a day, cleaning the aligner with a toothbrush at the same time.

A similar tool to use to keep teeth in place is a night guard. Night guards can be used following straightening treatment to keep your teeth from moving, but they have many other benefits as well.

A night guard is a structured plastic device that’s molded to your teeth and gums that prevents your top and bottom teeth from making contact. Wearing a night guard while you sleep minimizes the negative effects of grinding teeth, clenching teeth, and putting stress on your jaw which can cause headaches and worse.

In addition to headaches and soreness that can last all day and interrupt your sleeping patterns, grinding and clenching can cause costly and long-lasting damage to your teeth like chipping, spacing, cracking, excessive wear, and compromised fillings.

Night guards relieve your jaw of unnecessary stress and protect the enamel on your teeth from erosion. If not addressed, erosion could cause the unprotected layers of your teeth to be exposed and cause extreme pain and discomfort. By keeping your top and bottom teeth from touching during the night, a night guard will help avoid severe damage that could lead to the loss of teeth and require expensive repairs.

If you are aware that you tend to grind your teeth at night, you may already know that you have bruxism. Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth both at night (sleep bruxism) and in the daytime (awake bruxism). Sleeping with a custom night guard will decrease the stress and destructiveness caused by clenching and grinding that come with bruxism.

Keeping your teeth intact by wearing a night guard will also maintain the attractiveness of your smile and ultimately boost your self esteem. A healthy smile is one of the first things that people notice in others, so keeping yours aligned and chip-free will give you the confidence you need to go about your personal and professional life with your head up and your pearly whites on display.

On top of alleviating discomfort, wearing a night guard can help relax your jaw by guiding it to a comfortable resting position. A relaxed jaw will make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and breathe easily which in turn will help your partner sleep soundly as well.

If you think you might be a candidate for Invisalign or a custom night guard, give us a call to set up an appointment. We typically recommend a lower night guard with metal framework because wearing a night guard on your lower teeth tends to make speaking and functioning easier on a day-to-day and night-to-night basis.

We look forward to helping you create and maintain a beautiful smile, and to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth protected from the harms of grinding and clenching. Call us today to learn more and get started!

Dark Lines? Lighten Up!

When you’re thrilled with the healthy, bright smile you once achieved with dental crowns and veneers, the last thing you want to see is anything creeping in and taking away from the sparkle.

Unfortunately, dark lines that form around dental restorations can do just that. This disappointing discoloration can form around porcelain restorations for a few reasons. While disheartening, the good news is that they are not always a sign of any dangers to your health, and they can be prevented and reversed.


So where do those black lines come from?

Seeing black lines around your porcelain restorations might make your mouth feel dirty, despite your every effort to maintain a consistent hygiene routine. But hygiene doesn’t have anything to do with it. Understanding where the dark lines come from will help you take action to prevent them from forming in the first place.

Dark stains around restorations typically come from porcelain fused to metal (PFM), the use of low quality, non-precious metals, and ill-fitting restorations—all of which are preventable and reversible under the care of Dr. Sraon. Let’s explore these causes:

  • If you’ve had a crown or veneers for a long time, there’s a chance the dentist who did the procedure fused them on a metal base. While a metal base does provide added strength and fracture-resistance, it can also cause discoloration as time goes on. By design, the porcelain of a crown gets thinner as it nears the gum line and the metal base. Because gum lines recede over time, the dark metal part of the crown closest to the gum can begin to show.
  • If your crown was originally placed a long time ago, there’s a chance it was fused to low quality metal—like tin—that was not designed to last forever. Non-precious metals tend to give off dark color as they wear down, which ends up staining the edges of the gum line. Some low quality metals are also known to irritate the gums, which can cause inflammation and even discoloration from the inside out.
  • If a crown was placed before certain technology was widely used, it may not fit as perfectly as it should. If a crown is not perfectly sealed, or does not cover the tooth completely, stains can form at the points of exposure. Staining along the edge of your crown in this situation is a sign that the tooth underneath might be exposed to bacteria, plaque, and may eventually succumb to decay and infection, which cannot be reversed by simply replacing your crown.


No matter the cause of the dark lines around your crowns or veneers, Dr. Sraon has solutions that will bring back the bright white porcelain restorations you and your mouth deserve. Our office offers services that will remove the unsightly black lines from around your crowns or veneers. They include replacing porcelain fused to metal crowns or old crowns with new porcelain crowns, removing and replacing old dental veneers, and covering exposed crowns along the gum line with a bonding procedure.

If you come to the office to get a new crown or veneers, we will take every precaution to ensure you will not experience dark lines in the future. To start, we use modern porcelain crowns which don’t require being fused to metal. The crowns and veneers we use are made of the highest quality porcelain and are stronger and more reliable than the traditional options.

We also use the most advanced placement methods to make sure that your crown or veneers fit perfectly over your existing teeth. A perfect fit eliminates the possibility of bacteria accumulation, staining, and infection, all of which may cause discoloration. The end result is an extremely close match to your original teeth, or the teeth you’ve always dreamed of.

If you’re ready to get rid of embarrassing dark lines around your porcelain crowns or veneers, or if you’re in need of new dental restorations, don’t hesitate to give us a call to schedule a consultation. We look forward to providing you with the bright-white and healthy smile you’ve been hoping for!