5 Unique Tips for Treating Your Teeth this Valentine’s Day

A box of chocolate hearts with a red ribbon in the shape of a heart next to it for Valentine's Day

This Valentine’s Day, give your teeth some lovin’. They deserve it, and so do you! When you treat your teeth right, they treat you right in return with a brighter smile and great-smelling breath.

So be wise when it comes to how you celebrate this holiday, and use the helpful tips below so that you never miss out on the perfect romantic moment.

First Things First: Chocolate Tasting

Chocolate sales spike around Valentine’s Day. We’re not saying to completely eliminate chocolate from your Valentine’s Day festivities, just be careful about which ones you choose to buy. A few types of chocolate will help protect your teeth more than others. Chocolates with chewy and gooey insides, for example, are more likely to cling to your teeth. This will make cleaning teeth more difficult and make them more susceptible to cavities.

When you can, go with solid chocolate. Dark chocolate is another good choice as it has less sugar than its milk chocolate counterpart.

Top Off a Glass of Water

After eating your romantic, Valentine’s Day dinner, finish the meal with a nice glass of water. During that first half hour after eating a meal your mouth’s saliva naturally breaks down acids and plaque from your food. Drinking a glass of water only helps to encourage that natural response to make teeth brighter.

Kiss More

Kissing also helps stimulate more saliva to fight off that plaque and remove particles like sugar and acid that cause cavities. Give your special someone a Valentine’s Day kiss (or two), and help improve your oral health in the process!

Clean Your Tongue

Speaking of kissing, no one wants to kiss someone with bad breath. Taking care of your teeth also means taking care of any bad breath, starting with your tongue. This is where a lot of bacteria hides that causes halitosis.

Cleaning your tongue regularly with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper can do wonders for clearing out that bacteria. Start by pulling your toothbrush or tongue scraper across the length of your tongue from the back to the front everyday.

Don’t Brush…Right Away

One of the best ways to improve breath and dental health is daily brushing and flossing. This dislodges those food particles and other bacteria that may be harming your teeth. We recommend brushing at least twice a day, but also recommend waiting to brush after you’ve eaten acidic foods.

Remember how your body naturally breaks down and fights bacteria in those 30 minutes after a meal? You don’t want to brush before those 30 minutes are up, especially when you’ve had a glass of wine with your Valentine’s date or another acidic beverage or food. Brush too soon and you’ll only wear down the enamel of your teeth even more, making it easier for cavities to form and teeth to discolor.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Just like with any relationship, taking care of your teeth takes time. It also takes consistent commitment like daily brushing and flossing, and meeting with your dentist every year for a dental cleaning and exam. But when you put in the effort, you’ll love the results.

Here’s to no bad breath and great-looking teeth this Valentine’s Day and all year long. For more oral health tips, visit Meridian Dental in Wasilla, AK. Talk with our dentists about the struggles you face as you try to improve dental health and maintain a beautiful smile. Our cosmetic and family dentists will help you achieve a brighter smile you can feel confident in with solutions like Invisalign, teeth whitening, same-day crowns and other advanced treatments. Call us today!

What Happens When You Break, Chip, or Crack a Tooth?

Man pointing to his chipped front tooth

Breaking a tooth or chipping it when eating something hard can be unnerving. After all, teeth are meant to be strong and last a lifetime, right? But sometimes accidents happen. In other cases, sometimes a wayward cavity can lead to extreme tooth decay that weakens structure.

The good news here is that breaking, cracking, or chipping a tooth doesn’t always lead to removing the tooth. You have a number of options available to you. The first step is to meet with your dentist as soon as possible so that the damage doesn’t lead to further complications. The procedure or treatments they suggest will depend on the degree and severity of the fracture.

For patients in Palmer, Wasilla, and surrounding Alaska locations, visit restorative dentists at Meridian Dental. We even offer evening and Saturday dentist hours to get you in sooner! Our dental office also provides emergency services when broken teeth needs to be treated immediately. For current patients needing an emergency dentist, reach us at (907) 312-5604.

Small Tooth Crack

Biting down hard or eating the wrong kind of food can cause small cracks, especially if the tooth is already vulnerable from decay. Many small cracks can be repaired by filling them with a composite resin, or coated with a sealant if the cracks are minor and on the tooth’s surface.

Other cracks may need a little extra protection to keep the fracture from extending deeper. Sometimes a dental crown may be placed on top of the tooth, safeguarding and strengthening it. At Meridian Dental, we can provide patients with same-day crowns, or custom tooth crowns that are molded and sculpted right in our office during a single appointment. This can protect a sensitive tooth sooner to help prevent additional complications and so less damaged is incurred.

Slightly Chipped Tooth

Chipped teeth are more easily noticeable on a patient’s front teeth. But because chips usually only alter the tooth’s top layer without reaching more sensitive layers of your teeth, they may be harder to detect, especially on back teeth.

Our dentists can easily smooth down the area where small chips are found and reconstruct the tooth with a composite filling. Since most chips don’t affect the structural integrity of your tooth, a dental crown probably won’t be necessary.

Large Break in Tooth

Major fractures could be a different story. If the area is bleeding, apply gauze and pressure to stop the bleeding before meeting with your dentist. A part of the tooth may have completely fallen off or may be hanging on to the root and remaining tooth.

The danger with large breaks is when they reach the tooth’s roots. Generally, you should recognize when this happens by feeling a sharp pain or sensitivity in the area. A root canal may be necessary if the tooth has become infected. Again, a tooth crown may help these fragile teeth from breaking even more and needing to be replaced.

Restorative Dentistry for Tooth Breaks, Chips, and Cracks

With all the technology available to our dentists today, we can fix broken, chipped, and cracked teeth sooner with advanced solutions that resemble natural teeth. Composite fillings and tooth crowns are almost indiscernible next to your other teeth because the matching is so precise! Because same-day crowns are custom for each individual, they won’t feel awkward or bulky in your mouth either.

If you have a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth, schedule an appointment with our dentists today! Each of these damages can be restored without much difficulty so that you can continue to smile confidently. Meet with our Wasilla dentists to learn more.


3 Treatments for Straightening Teeth if You Don’t Want Metal Braces

Smiling woman holds up clear aligns and a mouth model with metal braces

While it’s common for teenagers to get metal braces, for adults it’s another story. Yet many adults who never had orthodontic treatments when they were younger, or whose teeth have moved out of alignment, may still want a way to straighten teeth without the stigma or hassle of traditional braces.

Luckily, in today’s world with its modern dental advancements, straightening teeth isn’t limited to just traditional metal braces. At Meridian Dental, we offer three of those highly effective treatments that aren’t as noticeable as the metal braces you’re familiar with. Learn more about them below, and get in touch with our dental office in Wasilla, AK to speak with one of our cosmetic dentists!

1. Invisalign

Straighten teeth faster and with less hassle with Invisalign! Convenient Invisalign retainers or aligners rest on your teeth, gradually shifting teeth to correct any misalignment. As the name suggests, these sets of aligners are nearly invisible, especially to people unaware that you’re straightening your teeth.

About every two weeks or so, our dentists will give you a new set of Invisalign retainers, created out of custom molds from your teeth, to move them that much closer into place. In cases when a patient only has minimal malocclusion, Invisalign can be a great treatment to make those small adjustments quickly. Afterwards, we’ll help you keep teeth in place with one last set of Invisalign retainers you’ll receive at the end of the process.

2. ClearCorrect

Similar in nature to Invisalign, ClearCorrect aligners are made out of clear plastic, making them hardly noticeable! Both Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners can, and should, be taken out when you eat and brush your teeth. This helps to maintain good oral health during treatment, as opposed to metal braces where plaque may build up around brackets and wires.

Flossing around metal braces can also be difficult, sometimes increasing symptoms and complications for patients who have gingivitis, or inflamed gums. The convenience of wearing removable, ClearCorrect teeth aligners can make them a great solution for these individuals as they make it easier to floss and keep gums healthy.

For many patients wanting to straighten crooked teeth using clear aligners, ClearCorrect can be more affordable than Invisalign. Sometimes it is even covered by insurance! Meet with our Invisalign and ClearCorrect providers to discuss pricing and insurance coverage.

3. Clear Braces

For patients with severe misalignment, sometimes braces are the necessary treatment to achieve a completely (and permanently) straight smile. Clear braces, less noticeable than other traditional braces, can provide that sort of treatment without drawing too much attention to your teeth. Often clear braces can align teeth quicker than clear aligners, especially in those cases when malocclusion is extreme.

Your Perfect Smile, Minus the Braces!

Everyone deserves to feel confident with their smile. If you’ve been covering up your teeth, but don’t want irritating braces to get in your way, you have several options available to you that can correct any flaws or misalignment! Meet with our cosmetic dentists in Wasilla, AK to discuss which orthodontic treatments like Invisalign, ClearCorrect, or clear braces will be best for you.

Schedule a consultation appointment at Meridian Dental today to start smiling without feeling self-conscious!