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Posts for: February, 2016

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 24, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
SpiceUpYourTeeth

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouthwash  

Your oral care routine is probably so firmly rooted in your morning and nighttime routines that you can do it half asleep. But have you ever thought to add to brushing and flossing? Mouthwash is an effective addition to your oral care routine. Your Honolulu, HI dentist, Dr. mouth washStephanie Wong, can help you understand how mouthwash works and the best way to work it into your morning and nighttime routines.

Should I add mouthwash to my oral care routine? 
Mouthwash is often misunderstood. Though mouthwash is not necessary, and is certainly not as important as brushing or flossing, using a fluoride mouthwash does decrease the chance of tooth decay. However, the benefits of mouthwash are not felt unless it is used correctly. You should swish and gargle for at least 45 seconds to reap the benefits. Additionally, use the recommended amount of mouthwash indicated on the bottle and be sure not to swallow it afterward.

What should my oral care routine consist of? 
Regardless of if you use mouthwash, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss them once. There is an ongoing argument when it comes to whether to use mouthwash before or after you brush. The final choice is up to you. However, if you choose to use mouthwash after you brush, do not rinse with water afterward. This gives the mouthwash extra time to work. Lastly, do not forget to utilize the greatest tool in your oral care arsenal: your Honolulu dentist.

How can my dentist help? 
Schedule examinations and cleanings twice a year to ensure the healthiest mouth possible. This gives your dentist the chance to catch problems early. Treating the earliest signs of decay or gum disease is much less complex than treating these problems after they have become advanced. Additionally, biannual cleanings keep plaque and tartar off your teeth. This means that decay and gum disease causing plaque and tartar do not have the chance to grow in the first place, lowering the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

For more information on oral care routines or regular dental examinations or cleanings, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wong, DMD in Honolulu, HI. Call (808) 732-3072 to schedule your appointment today!


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 09, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   gum disease  
AdvancingGumDiseaseRequiresThoroughTreatmenttoControlit

If you ever get out of the habit of daily brushing and flossing, you’re setting yourself up for dental disease. Neglecting oral hygiene allows bacterial plaque to build up on tooth surfaces, which can give rise to aggressive gum infections known collectively as periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease may first manifest itself as gingivitis, an inflammation of the outer gum tissues around teeth. Resuming hygiene habits could help reduce the infection if it’s detected early enough. If the infection has spread deeper below the gum line, though, brushing and flossing won’t be able to reach and remove the offending plaque — you’ll need our help with that.

The objective of any such treatment is the same as your daily brushing and flossing — remove plaque as well as hardened deposits (calculus) that cause disease. The most basic technique is called scaling in which we use specialized hand instruments (scalers) or ultrasonic equipment to loosen and remove the plaque and calculus from all tooth and gum surfaces.

For deeper plaque, we may need to use a technique called root planing. As its name implies, we use equipment similar to scalers to shave or “plane” plaque, calculus, bacteria or other toxins from the roots that have become ingrained in their surfaces.

These procedures are often carried out with local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and allow us to be as meticulous as possible with plaque and calculus removal. It’s imperative that we remove as much plaque and calculus as possible, and which often involves more than one session. This is because as the gum tissues become less inflamed it allows us to access more plaque-infested areas during subsequent sessions.

Hopefully, these techniques will arrest the infection and restore good health to gum tissues. It’s then important for you to recommit and follow through on a renewed daily hygiene regimen to reduce the chances of re-infection that could lead to more serious problems and potential tooth loss.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal (gum) disease, 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 “Root Planing.”




Stephanie Wong

Dr. Stephanie Wong is unlike any other dentist you've ever been to.  The reason she became a dentist was her yearning to help and heal her patients.  Her goal was to "Create Life Changing Experiences".  She is also well regarded...

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