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Archive for August 2016

Overview of the Different Types of Tooth Discoloration

Tooth DiscolorationA Prescott, AZ Dentist Provides an Overview of the Different Types of Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration can be attributed to a wide variety of causes. And often, each of these causes can lead to a particular discoloration. Here, a Prescott, AZ dentist provides an overview of the different types of discoloration.

Yellow teeth

This is the most common type of discoloration and is attributed to aging and the development and thickening of the enamel’s dentin layer. Sometimes, bruxism (or the act of unconsciously grinding one’s teeth) can hasten the formation of dentin. In other cases, poor oral hygiene can lead to the accumulation of both plaque and extrinsic stains which leads to the familiar yellowish hue on the teeth’s surface. In this type of discoloration, the recommended type of treatment is bleaching.

Brown spots/stains

Brown spots or stains can be attributed to different causes like tooth decay, enamel demineralization, some types of foods and beverages, and dental restoration failure.

Brown spots, which are found below the surface of the tooth, are known as intrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains often come as a result of a person undergoing antibiotic treatment while his or her teeth are still forming. Excessive fluoride consumption, childhood diseases and trauma can also cause intrinsic stains.

Brown extrinsic stains, on the other hand, are often caused by the consumption of dark colored beverages like coffee and soda as well as the tar found in cigarette smoke. Extrinsic stains can be removed through professional dental cleaning, proper oral hygiene, and by cutting back your consumption of dark colored drinks and tobacco products.

Gray teeth

If your teeth have a grayish tint, that may probably be caused by the incorporation of dark pigmented molecules to the dentin and enamel while your teeth were still forming. This type of tooth discoloration can often be attributed to the use of the antibiotics known as tetracycline.

Freckles on the teeth

If you notice brownish-gray spots on your teeth, you might have fluorosis or enamel hypoplasia.

White spots

White spots on teeth can sometimes be an early indicator of tooth decay. This occurs when the acids from both plaque and the food you eat dissolve the enamel, which leads to a noticeable etched appearance on the teeth. Other causes of white spots are fluorosis and enamel hypoplasia.

This is just a brief overview of the different types of discoloration. In order to ascertain what the true cause of your teeth’s discoloration is, as well as to determine the best treatment option, you should schedule a visit to your Prescott Valley dentist.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental EmergencyWhat Is considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can happen, no matter how careful or meticulous with your dental hygiene you may be. Of course, not all complaints or accidents involving your teeth and gums require you to run to the ER. Some incidents can be addressed with a few first aid remedies, and can wait until the dental clinic opens. At the same time, you need to know how to determine if the injury or condition needs urgent attention, so you can call up an emergency dentist without delay and prevent further complications.

What is a dental emergency? The following situations will need immediate action:

The bleeding can’t be controlled

Minimal bleeding in the mouth can be alleviated through rinsing with water or the application of an ice pack. But if the blood doesn’t seem to stop, then it’s a clear sign that you need to call the doctor right away.

You lost a tooth

If your tooth has been knocked out due to physical trauma (due to any reason: your mouth bumped into something hard, you have been hit in the face or mouth area, etc.), going to the dentist ensures you get the immediate examination and treatment you need.

Your dentist will check for a dislodged tooth
, if it just got chipped, or if it has acquired a serious fracture. Based on his or her findings, your dentist will carry out the right procedures according to the specific problem.    

In some cases, urgent care may make it possible for the tooth to be placed back into position. If retrieving the lost tooth is possible, a Prescott, AZ dentist recommends doing the following steps:

– Handle the tooth by the crown – never touch the roots.

– Place it under gentle running water.

– Try if the tooth can be placed back into the socket; if this isn’t possible, store it in a clean container, preferably with some milk, to be taken to the dentist.

You are experiencing severe tooth and facial pain

Home pain relief remedies can sometimes allow you to tolerate the pain until dental clinic hours. Sipping on ice water can help as well, unless it’s sensitivity to cold that’s causing the discomfort. But consider it an emergency if the pain continues and has become even more intense over time. Don’t delay your trip to the clinic or ER if discomfort in the mouth already makes it difficult for you to breathe.

You have obtained tissue injury

The injury doesn’t need to involve the actual tooth for it to be considered a dental emergency. Tissue injuries, such as a sizable cut, wound, tear or laceration in the mouth including the lips, tongue and the inside of your cheeks, require urgent attention. In these cases, it’s best to go straight to the hospital emergency room while waiting for your emergency dentist.

You are seeing signs of infection

Fever, excessive pain, swelling or “bulges” in the gums, or pain on the tooth when biting down are all indications of the presence of an abscess and/or infection. An infection should be treated as early as possible, so call your dentist immediately if this is the case.

If you have a dental issue in Prescott, contact the professionals at Horizon Dental Group as soon as possible.


A Tried and Trusted Method of Tooth Replacement

Tooth ReplacementFull and Partial Dentures – A Tried and Trusted Method of Tooth Replacement

Are you missing a few teeth? Do you wish to have all your teeth replaced? If you find yourself in this predicament, the obvious answer is to head to your chosen Prescott, AZ dentist and get dentures. Full and partial dentures have been the solution to missing teeth for a long time.

You want to enjoy all of your own teeth for the rest of your natural life, but the odds of you needing dentures increase as you get older. At times, it can’t be helped and some people require them while they’re still young.

Accidents or disease can happen to anyone, so it’s good to learn about dentures in case you ever need them. To begin with, there are three basic kinds of tooth replacement: partial dentures, full dentures, and overdentures. What does each one do and how does it work?

Partial dentures

These attach to the teeth you still have. They bear a gum-colored portion to blend into your actual gum as well as prosthetic teeth to fill in the gaps left by your missing teeth. They have been used for a long time to replace a set of teeth that were grouped together or scattered across the upper or lower jaw. Removable partial dentures come in many variants, each one with its own pros and cons. You’ll have to discuss with your dentist which one is suitable for you.

Full dentures

Just like partial dentures, these are made of prosthetic teeth that are meant to replace your missing teeth and a gum-colored portion that’s supposed to blend in with your real gum. Their main difference from partial dentures is that they’re used to replace an entire set of upper or lower teeth, or perhaps even both.


These are a later innovation that combines traditional denture technology and more recent advancements in dental implants. They basically have two implanted attachments established to the lower jaw so that they sit securely in place, boosting comfort, retention, and stability. They do away with the usual lower-jaw full-denture issue of dislodgement due to the limited foundation and movement of the tongue muscle. They also benefit the wearer in decreasing the amount of bone loss experienced with traditional dentures, thereby helping preserve integrity of the facial structure.

Whether dental patients should get full and partial dentures or overdentures can be determined through consultation with your trusted Prescott dentist. Either way, you’ll have an effective solution to your missing teeth.

How to Look for a Family Dentist

Family DentistHow to Look for a Family Dentist in Prescott, AZ

Paying regular visits to the dentist is one of the key foundations for having excellent oral health. But how do you begin your search for a family dentist?

Here are a few helpful tips from a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist that can help you in your search.

Assess your needs

Before you begin your search for a dentist, it is a good idea to ascertain what your unique needs are and factor these in when you search for a family dentist. For example, if cost is a key concern, you would want to find a dentist that accepts insurance in Prescott, AZ
. It can also be important to find a dental office that offers flexible payment plans. On the other hand, if you want all the members of your household to see one dentist, you should find one that treats a diverse array of patients.

Beginning your search

Once you have determined your needs and priorities when searching for a dentist, you can now start looking for one. One of the easiest ways to begin that search is to ask for recommendations from the people you know and trust, like your friends and relatives. If you have just recently moved to a new city, your co-workers or the parents of your kids’ classmates can offer a few recommendations.

The main advantage of getting recommendations from people you know is that they have actual experience with the dentists they are recommending and you can use their insights to narrow down your choices later on.

Alternatively, you can simply start your search online through search engines and through Facebook.

Performing background search

Ideally, you should create a shortlist of about three to five dentists to consider instead of simply going to the first dentist that is recommended to you or that you find online.

In order to narrow down that shortlist, the first thing that you need to do is to conduct a background search on each dentist. You can begin by going to each dentist’s website and social media accounts to check his or her background and credentials. You should also consider visiting third party websites and check out what people are saying about each dentist.

Scheduling a visit

The final thing that you need to do to narrow down your shortlist is to visit the remaining dentists on your list. An interview with each dentist offers a few benefits. First, this is a great opportunity to speak with the dentist and discuss his or her policies, procedures, specialties, payment terms and plans, and any critical details. Second, the interview will give you an overview of how the dentist and his staff work with their patients. If you are comfortable and you feel at ease with the dentist and his staff, you can consider this in your decision-making process.

If you are looking for a great family dentist in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!


Tips for Caring for Braces

BracesThe Professionals at Horizon Dental Group Share Tips for Caring for Braces

Regular brushing and flossing, along with visits to your Prescott dentist, are crucial to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. However, these tasks become doubly important when you are wearing fixed braces.

Unlike invisalign (which makes brushing and flossing easier), fixed braces pose a few considerable challenges to the wearer. For one, the different components of your braces, including the brackets, bands and wires, can trap various food particles. And when you do not clean your teeth and braces properly, plaque can build up in your mouth.

How exactly do you care for your teeth while wearing braces?

Dentists recommend that you brush, floss and rinse your mouth at least four times a day — that’s after each meal and before turning in for bed.


For brushing, it is highly recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride. Use moderate force and small, circular motions when brushing your teeth. Make sure that you pay special attention to the areas above, below and in between each brace. Ideally, you should give each tooth at least 10 brush strokes.


Flossing can be challenging when you are wearing fixed braces. However, you should not easily give up. If you are using Superfloss, make sure that you make the straight end go under the wire between two teeth. After that, use a C-shape motion to scrape the areas above the wire. You should floss at least once a day and be sure to rinse your mouth after.

If you are using a floss threader, begin by slipping the threader under the wire. After that, slide the floss in an up-and-down motion along the surface of each tooth. This will make a squeaking noise.

Your dentist may recommend that you use an interdental toothbrush which you can use to clean the areas beneath and around the brackets and wires. Make sure that you use this toothbrush gently to avoid damage to your braces.


In order to prevent inflammation to the cheeks and gums, you can use an antiseptic mouth rinse with hydrogen peroxide. This mouthwash can be used after brushing your teeth. Apart from keeping your mouth clean and fresh, the active ingredient in the mouthwash can also facilitate faster healing of the cheeks and gums which may have been irritated by the braces.

Your dentist in Prescott may also recommend topical fluoride to help keep tooth decay at bay while you are wearing braces. The ingredients in this gel can kill harmful bacteria while replenishing the enamel’s vital minerals which are lost due to exposure to acids in the mouth. 

If you have dental questions, contact the professionals at Horizon Dental Care today!



The 10 Commandments for Oral Hygiene

Oral HygieneThe Top 10 Commandments for Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is truly the only way to go if you wish to avoid bad toothaches and other embarrassing oral health woes. The things you need to do for oral health aren’t difficult; however, they do require commitment.

Be consistent with your dentist’s commandments for taking care of your entire mouth, and for sure, you can avoid all oral health issues that are not only painful but also rather expensive to treat. So what are the things that you need to consistently do? Here are the 10 commandments for oral hygiene from a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist:

Brush your teeth right.

There is a correct way to brush teeth; the dentist says it’s spending 30 seconds on every quadrant of the mouth, every time you brush (should be at least twice a day). Another important factor of brushing properly is the type of toothbrush to use. Soft bristle toothbrushes are the perfect choice because they don’t hurt the gums and scratch tooth’s enamel. For molars, though, invest in an electric toothbrush that can do a much better job at getting food debris off the surface of your molars.

Floss at least once every day.

Flossing is the best way to dislodge food particles stuck between teeth, but don’t just work the floss up and down the space between your teeth. It’s important to wriggle it sideways to target the space where teeth and gums meet. This is rather tricky, but with the right floss it can be done easily. Choose those flat plastic flosses that are soft and don’t cut the gums.

Use a soft gum brush.

Gums need brushing too so that you can get rid of bacteria present there.

Use a mouthwash with the right pH.

This can provide your teeth another boost of fluoride, and at the same time, kill remaining bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

Chew sugarless gum for 30 minutes before brushing.

According to the Prescott, AZ dentist, this stimulates saliva production and can help get rid of food debris and acids in the mouth that can make your teeth sensitive to brushing.

Drink green and white tea.

These have antibacterial properties as well as vitamins that can strengthen your teeth and gums, especially when you’re sick. They also have antioxidants that boost the immune system to prevent oral health issues.

Avoid soft drinks.

These heavily sugared drinks encourage the development of plaque that leads to gum disease. Likewise, the high acidity of these beverages erodes the tooth’s enamel.

Purchase plaque locator products.

These can show you where plaque is so you can brush your teeth better.

Drink more water.

This can neutralize acid and bacteria activity in the mouth. It can also flush away harmful elements in the mouth.

Don’t smoke.

This is a big no-no because it leaves tar in the teeth and causes bad breath. It also dries up the mouth, which encourages the proliferation of bacteria.

If you have questions about dental care in Prescott, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group today!


Dental Plaque Removal Session | What You Should Expect

Plaque Removal Session

What Happens During a Professional Dental Plaque Removal Session?

Plaque refers to the sticky film which contains millions of bacteria. This sticky film can build up in your mouth and, when left unremoved, can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If you fail to regularly brush and floss your teeth, the plaque can harden and turn into tartar. And when plaque turns into tartar and gets into the gum line, it can be difficult to remove it by yourself.

Apart from tooth decay and gum disease, the buildup of plaque has been associated with a host of diseases and conditions. These include heart disease, diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and premature births.

You cannot totally eliminate plaque from your mouth. This is why it is necessary to regularly practice good oral health hygiene by regularly brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist.

If you have not taken good care of your teeth and you have not visited your dentist in a long time, you might be due for dental plaque removal. What, exactly, happens during this procedure?

Dental Plaque Removal Session 

The goal of this procedure is to gently remove plaque which may have accumulated on your teeth. Your dentist may use a combination of different tools and equipment to remove plaque without harming your teeth.

One of the pieces of equipment that may be used is called the ultrasonic instrument which uses vibration to loosen plaque from the teeth. It also sprays a mist of water which washes away the debris that has been removed from the teeth.

While the instrument is being used, you will hear a humming noise, and you might feel ticklish while it is moved around your teeth. If you feel ticklish or uncomfortable, the device’s settings can be adjusted.

After using the ultrasonic instrument, your dentist will use fine hand tools which include scalers and curettes to remove smaller pieces of tartar left on your teeth. These tools have been specially made to be curved and to match the shape of your teeth. Using a moderate amount of pressure, your dentist will scrape off plaque and tartar from your teeth using these tools.

When your teeth are already smooth and the tartar has been removed, the dentist will then proceed to polish your teeth using a handpiece. This equipment will also apply a material that is similar to toothpaste. Finally, your dentist will apply fluoride to your teeth.

Is the Procedure Painful?

In general, the whole procedure is painless. If you do feel uncomfortable, you can tell your dentist and he or she can make the necessary adjustments. In rare cases that wherein the procedure becomes painful, there are a few possible causes. These include sore gums, exposed dentine, or the dentist may simply be rough.

If you believe it’s time for a plaque removal session with your Prescott dentist, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Care to schedule your session today!