My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

July 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how this simple dental procedure could reshape a chipped or cracked bonding

You only want to make small alterations to your smile so it seems a bit unnecessary to turn to more invasive or time-consuming procedures to get the results you want. Did you know that our Reno, NV, dentist, Dr. Melinda Kuhn, could improve the color, shape or even size of a tooth with one simple, non-invasive procedure known as dental bonding?

During dental bonding, our Reno general dentist will match a tooth-colored resin to the rest of your smile before applying it to the tooth. We will choose a resin that most closely resembles the shade of your smile. From there, we will apply the resin over the problem areas of the tooth, shape it into place and then harden it with a dental laser.

Bonding is a great way to hide minor-to-moderate imperfections including:

  • Discolorations
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Chips and cracks
  • Crowding or overlapping teeth
  • Worn or asymmetrical teeth

Bonding is a minor and non-invasive cosmetic procedure so it won’t be right for tackling all issues. Bonding can certainly improve the look of one or more teeth but it won’t be able to handle more serious issues. The overall purpose of getting dental bonding is to re-contour your smile to improve the shape and look.

For example, say that many years of taking antibiotics have left some pretty nasty discolorations on your teeth. If this is the case, even our teeth whitening system may not be able to eliminate these types of stains; however, we can apply bonding resin over these areas to hide discolorations that teeth whitening cannot remove to give you a brighter smile.

Once you get bonding you’ll want to remember that it’s not meant to last forever. This means you’ll still want to be gentle with your teeth and make sure you care for them properly to ensure that bonding lasts as long as possible before needing to be replaced. Avoid bad habits like ice chewing, teeth grinding and nail biting, which can weaken bonding resin and damage the restored tooth.

Kuhn Family Dentistry in Reno, NV, is dedicated to helping you achieve the perfect smile. Don’t let small imperfections get the better of you. Call us today to find out how dental bonding could help.

By Kuhn Family Dentistry
July 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Kuhn Family Dentistry
July 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   snoring  

Your nightly snoring has become a major sleep disturbance for you and other family members. But it may be more than an irritation — it could also be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that increases your risk for life-threatening illnesses like high blood pressure or heart disease.

Sleep apnea most often occurs when the tongue or other soft tissues block the airway during sleep. The resulting lack of oxygen triggers the brain to wake the body to readjust the airway. This waking may only last a few seconds, but it can occur several times a night. Besides its long-term health effects, this constant waking through the night can result in irritability, drowsiness and brain fog during the day.

One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This requires an electric pump that supplies constant pressurized air to a face mask worn during sleep to keep the airway open. But although effective, many patients find a CPAP machine clumsy and uncomfortable to wear. That's why you may want to consider an option from your family dentist called oral appliance therapy (OAT).

An OAT device is a custom-made appliance that fits in the mouth like a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. The majority of OAT appliances use tiny metal hinges to move the lower jaw and tongue forward to make the airway larger, thus improving air flow. Another version works by holding the tongue away from the back of the throat, either by holding the tongue forward like a tongue depressor or with a small compartment fitted around the tongue that holds it back with suction.

Before considering an OAT appliance, your dentist may refer you to a sleep specialist to confirm you have sleep apnea through laboratory or home testing. If you do and you meet other criteria, you could benefit from an OAT appliance. There may be other factors to consider, though, so be sure to discuss your options with your dentist or physician to find the right solution for a better night's sleep.

If you would like more information on sleep apnea treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea.”