Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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Posts for: August, 2017

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
August 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
InTodaysNFLOralHygieneTakesCenterStage

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.


By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
August 08, 2017
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Cosmetic bonding  

Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your smile? Would you like a more attractive look to your teeth? When tooth enamel iscosmetic bonding damaged by chips or hairline fractures, or if you have small gaps, pitted enamel or other irregularities, you may be too self-conscious to laugh or grin broadly. What's the answer to this dilemma? Dr. Patrick Gallagher, your dentist in Westminster, offers a simple, but very effective, cosmetic dental service. It's called composite resin bonding, and in just one short visit to Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry, those annoying smile defects literally can disappear.

How composite resin bonding works

Composite resin is an amazing combination of acrylic and glass particles. Translucent and tooth-colored, composite resin is very realistic-looking and durable as well. When applied by your cosmetic dentist in Westminster, the resin may be shaped, trimmed and molded to mimic the look of actual tooth enamel. Repairs are seamless and last for many years. Here how the procedure goes.

First, Dr. Gallagher examines the teeth you want to enhance through cosmetic dentistry. If they are healthy, but simply marred by minor flaws, he can proceed with the bonding process. He'll remove rough spots, and then, he'll apply an etching liquid. The etching liquid ensures a strong and stable bond between the resin and the surface of the tooth.

Next, Dr. Gallagher applies the resin, and throughout the shaping process, he cures, or hardens, the material with a special light. When he is satisfied with the shape, color and bite, he polishes the sculpted areas to a bright finish.

Caring for bonded teeth

Like any synthetic dental material, composite resin does eventually wear out. However, Dr. Gallagher's patients find that with good care, these simple smile makeovers last for many years. Your usual preventive maintenance at home (brushing and flossing) and getting six-month exams and cleanings with Dr. Gallagher ensures your bonded teeth stay in good shape.

Additionally, avoid biting and chewing extra-hard foods such as ice or taffy, and never open bottles or plastic packages with your teeth. These actions chip and crack composite and natural tooth enamel as well.

Find out more

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that over 80 percent of people surveyed maintain they feel their best when they smile. Would you like to smile more often? Then, a quick makeover with composite resin may be just what you need.

Besides cosmetic bonding, your Westminster dentist offers other aesthetic treatments, including porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and more. Why not contact Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry today to learn how to enhance your teeth and gums? Call (410) 848-3866 for an appointment.


No-orMinimal-PrepVeneersReducePermanentAlterationstoYourTeeth

Porcelain veneers are positive proof that unattractive teeth don't always require an intensive restoration to regain their beauty. These thin layers of translucent porcelain — custom-designed and color-matched to blend with your other teeth — are permanently bonded to the visible side of your front teeth.

Although they can't remedy every tooth defect, they're well suited for mild to moderate disfigurements like chipping, staining or gaps. There are now two types of porcelain veneers: the traditional veneer and the “no-prep” veneer.

The standard veneers require some tooth structure removal, referred to as “tooth preparation.” This is because although they're a millimeter or less in thickness, they can still appear bulky if bonded to an unprepared tooth. To accommodate their width, it's necessary to remove some of the tooth enamel. This permanently alters the tooth so that it will need some form of restoration from that time on.

In recent years, however, other veneer options have emerged that reduces — or even eliminates — this tooth alteration. No-prep veneers are so thin they can be applied to a tooth with virtually no preparation. A more common option, minimal-prep, requires only a minor reshaping with an abrasive tool to ensure the fitted veneer looks as natural as possible. Because of their thinness, these veneers also don't have to fit under the gum line like standard veneers.

To obtain no- or minimal-prep veneers, your tooth enamel needs to be in good, healthy shape. They're also best suited for people with small or worn teeth, narrow smiles (the side teeth can't be seen from the front), or slightly stained or misshapen teeth.

Because there's little invasiveness, these low preparation veneers won't typically create tooth sensitivity and they can often be applied without any form of anesthesia. And because tooth structure isn't removed, they can be “uninstalled” to return to your natural look. Of course, that's not always an easy process since the bonding between veneer and the enamel is quite strong, although today's lasers can be used to detach the veneer quite easily.

If you'd like to consider these minimally invasive veneers, talk with your dentist. If you're a good candidate, you may be able to gain a new smile without much change to your natural teeth.

If you would like more information on how veneers can change your smile, 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 “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”