Moore Family Dentistry Blog

Garner Dentist Serving Patients From Cary, North Carolina and Surrounding Communities

October 28, 2011
As one of the most common tooth issues that anyone will face, everybody has some experience with tooth decay – but what is it? Tooth decay is when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at the tooth and, if it isn’t treated, it can lead to pain, infection and the loss of afflicted teeth!

In short: tooth decay is what happens when you don’t treat your teeth properly and don’t give them the cleaning that they require to stay healthy.

Causes of Tooth Decay

A cocktail of bacteria and food is the leading cause of tooth decay. Plaque is always growing on your teeth and gums; this plaque contains bacteria, which feed on the sugars in what you eat and, in turn, make acids. Those acids attack your teeth and, after enough time, they destroy the enamel of your teeth – suddenly, tooth decay!

How Do I Know I Have Cavities?

When tooth decay first sets in you might not notice – it’s not until the cavity has been present for a while that one will notice pain and/or sensitivity from the cavity or infection. When the decay hits the nerve in the tooth, that’s when things can get really complicated – the tooth can die at this point and if the problem isn’t treated, an abscess could develop. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen – it’s painful, it’s messy, it’s not pleasant at all, as one can imagine.

How is Tooth Decay Diagnosed?

Your dentist will be able to figure out if you have this issue with an oral examination. Cracks, holes and other signs of trouble can easily be detected by your dentist, even if an x-ray is required to identify decay that hasn’t caused a pain reaction. There might be some sensitivity when the dentist is poking and prodding at teeth because tooth decay does cause the afflicted teeth to soften.

How is Tooth Decay Treated?

Treatment depends upon the severity of the issue. Minor tooth decay can be reversed with fluoride, cavities can be fixed with a filling, severe tooth decay may require a crown or root canal. If it’s really bad, your dentist will have to remove the tooth.

If tooth decay isn’t treated quickly it can and will get worse. Visit your dentist for frequent check-ups to prevent the loss of your teeth!

How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?

Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Select a toothpaste with fluoride in it, and if you use mouthwash the same suggestion applies. A toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles is ideal. If you can get your hands on an electric toothbrush that has a rotating and oscillating action, that is your best bet, as they are most effective at cleaning teeth.

Making changes to your diet is also a good step toward a healthy smile. Eat whole grains, vegetables and food that’s low in saturated fat and sodium; eat cheeses, yogurt, milk and chew sugar-free gum. All are good for your teeth! Cut down on sugar and avoid a snack before bedtime – your mouth doesn’t make much saliva while you sleep, so it isn’t cleaning your mouth the way it would be during the day.

October 21, 2011
Encourage a Healthy Attitude Toward Tooth Care From a Young Age!

Kids will be kids, it’s true. They love their sweets, they don’t like to listen and sometimes getting them to brush their teeth – or even visit the dentist! – can be a chore. How do you encourage your children to be proactive about their oral health? It’s easier than it seems!

Make It Fun!

The easiest way to get a child to do anything is to make it fun.

Kids love to play – that’s obvious. If you’ve ever watched your own children (you do, obviously) you can definitely see that. They make everything into a game, no matter how simple or silly.

You can do the same thing.


Get your child a colorful toothbrush or let them pick their own. Involve them in the process of picking a toothbrush – most children’s toothbrushes are soft bristled, as they should be, and they come in many colors and with many different themes. There’s a good chance that your child will be able to find a toothbrush that’s modeled after their favorite cartoon character, and although these can be a tad pricey, your child’s oral health is a great investment.

How do you make actually brushing one’s teeth fun? Do you remember what I mentioned above?

That’s right! Make it a game!

I’ll leave just how up to you, but if you can involve the Hokey Pokey somehow, I’m sure you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Tooth-friendly Snacks

Cutting down on sugary snacks is a really good step toward good oral health. How can you get your kids to start enjoying healthier snacks over processed, sugary junk?

  • provide low-fat dips for veggie sticks or veggies cut into fun shapes
  • whole-grain flat bread crackers served with low-fat cheeses: cut the cheeses into animal or other fun shapes
  • freeze grapes, cherries and berries for a quick and cool summer day snack
  • start eating the healthier snacks yourself, too! Young children especially will try to imitate their parents.
  • check the sugar content of items you purchase and be especially aware of items with high fructose corn syrup in them.

The Dentist’s Office

A lot of dental offices give kids the opportunity to pick a toy or other prize after their appointment is over. Gear your kids up for visiting the dentist by encouraging them to practice good oral hygiene every day so they can then show their dentist what a good job they’re doing! Take their favorite book or toy to the appointment with you to help keep the visit a positive experience.

Activities and Resources for Parents

The American Dental Association has some resources available for educators which can also be adapted to parental use, take a look at them here. Presentations to  help kids understand how important their smile is, activities that can be done at home (or in the classroom) and some kids’ games and animations are all at your fingertips to help you teach your children about having a healthy mouth.

The ADA also has a section for kids on their site. Check it out with your child!

October 14, 2011
Preventative dentistry and preventative dental care revolve around preventing bad oral health before they can happen. Habits like frequent brushing, flossing, eating mouth-healthy foods and getting frequent dental checkups fall under the heading of preventative dental care.

What can you do to keep your mouth healthy?

  • Brushing and floss daily
  • Use fluoride
  • Limit sugary snacks
  • Get a dental check-up once per year
  • Use a mouth guard for sports

Read on for more!

Daily brushing and flossing are important for oral health!

Brushing your teeth removes plaque build-up and food from your teeth and gums. This should be done after every meal for the best results and to keep plaque from building up and food from getting stuck!

The best regular-use toothbrush is one that has soft bristles. When the bristles bend and fray – usually every three to four months – replace the toothbrush. If you have been sick, replace your toothbrush sooner to help prevent the spread of germs.

Proper brushing is especially important, but how do you do that?

1. Hold the brush against your teeth with the bristles at a slight angle.
2. Use short strokes to gently clean two teeth at a time.
3. Inside the front teeth: brush with small circles using the tip of the brush.
4. Don’t forget to brush your tongue! This gets rid of bacteria and helps keep your breath fresh.

Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing and store it in a clean, preferably dry (to prevent the growth of bacteria and/or mold). Keep it away from other brushes.

Flossing cleans everything out from between the teeth and under your gum line – places your toothbrush can’t get to. Do this once per day to prevent gum disease and don’t worry if it’s hard to do at first – it gets easier as you practice!

To floss properly:

1. Wrap an 18 inch length of dental floss around the middle finger of your left and right hand so that you can hold it steady.
2. Hold the floss between your fingers and work it between your teeth and slightly under your gum line by gently moving the floss back & forth.
3. Curve the floss along the tooth, sliding it into the space between the tooth and gum until you feel some resistance. Gently move the floss up and down to get rid of plaque. Repeat this motion on all your other teeth as needed – use a clean part of the floss as you go!

Good habits to get into!

In summary: Get yourself a soft-bristle brush and a container of dental floss and make use of them every day. This will prevent cavities, keep your breath fresh and generally improve your oral health so that, the next time you go to the dentist, you’ll make them incredibly proud!

You can purchase these items at any grocery store and even some convenience stores, and you do not need an expensive toothbrush to do the job.

October 07, 2011
A tooth that has been damaged, but not lost, a cap or crown can be placed that will cover the damaged portion of the tooth in order to protect it from more damage. If you have had a root canal, have a large filling in your tooth, a tooth that has been broken or if your tooth is otherwise not the way it should be, it may need a crown.

What’s a crown made out of?

Crowns can be made out of a combination of materials, either porcelain, metal or a combination of the two. There are also resin models available that aren’t quite as strong as the other options.

Do crowns require special treatment?

A crown will last approximately ten years and, in that time, you can brush and floss them just like you would your other teeth. They may not necessarily be as strong as the rest of your teeth, however, so you have to take some care and be sure not to bite down on hard objects. Don’t use your teeth to cut things or open anything, either – as you know you should be using scissors or something actually meant for opening things and not your teeth.

How are crowns made?

If you’ve had other procedures done, you may be familiar with some of the steps.

First, your dentist will want to take an impression of your tooth so that they can create a temporary crown, which will protect your tooth until the real crown is ready. This temporary crown probably won’t have the same color or shape as the final product, so don’t panic – it’s not like it’s going to remain in your mouth forever, anyway. You’ll be getting the real thing soon.

Next, your dentist will freeze your mouth and file the tooth down to make room for the incoming crown. Another mold is taken of the filed tooth and its companions, then the temporary crown is placed and you are dismissed until the next visit. Be careful with this crown and follow your dentist’s instructions.

The mould now has its own adventure. It is sent to the lab, where a model of your tooth is made based upon the mould and then a restoration based upon that model is created.

On your next visit to the dentist, the temporary crown is replaced by the permanent one and the dentist then does a thorough check-up to make sure that everything fits, lines up and matches as it is supposed to. If all is well, you’re released into the wild again after the dentist cements the crown in place.

There’s a chance that your tooth may need special treatment – these are just the basic steps. If that’s the case, your experience will differ from what’s outlined here, and that’s okay! Everybody’s different.

How much does a dental crown cost?

It’s difficult to say. The procedure’s cost will vary from city to city, state to state and depending upon whether or not the patient has insurance. They usually average between $700-$1,500, but, again, consult your dentist for more information.

September 30, 2011
What is a dental implant? A dental implant is a false root, usually made of titanium, that is installed in the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. These titanium posts are placed in the bone, where they are osseointegrated by the jaw bone (Osseointegration: fusion of the surface with the living bone).

Dental Implants Throughout History

Did you know that the Maya were the first civilization to make use of bone-embedded tooth implants? In 1931, a Maya jaw bone was unearthed at a dig site; this bone was dated to approximately 600 CE. It had three tooth-shaped pieces of shell in place of three missing lower incisors, and for forty years it was believed that these were placed after the death of the bone’s owner. In 1970, it was discovered that two of the implants had bone formation around them – the shell pieces were integrated by the jaw bone.

In 1952, a Dr. Leonard Linkow installed his first dental implant and he placed over 19,000 of them over the course of forty years.

What Types of Dental Implant Are There?

There are two main types of dental implant – Root-form endosseous and Subperiosteal.

Root-form endosseous implants are the most common and are installed in the bone so that they integrate with the jaw. Each implant can hold one or more false teeth, and is used as an alternative option for patients that currently have a bridge or a set of removable dentures.

Subperiosteal implants are set on top of the jaw with posts that go through the gum to hold the prosthesis. Patients that have minimal bone height or who can’t wear regular dentures are given the option of using this implant.

What Are Dental Implants Used For?

Dental implants are used to replace one tooth or a set of teeth without having impact on surrounding teeth – they do not require other teeth to be present in order to exist. They can provide support for a denture to help make it more comfortable and to better secure it, or they can support a bridge so that the patient does not need to get a removable partial denture.

Why Are Dental Implants Desirable?

As mentioned above, modern dental implants are far beyond the shell pieces the Maya used; they look and feel natural, they don’t require the alteration of neighboring teeth to support them and they have a very high success rate. Since the implant becomes part of the jaw, the patient does not have to worry about bone loss or gum recession – things that denture users and those who have had bridgework do have to consider.

The Ideal Dental Implant Candidate…

… will be healthy, in general, with good oral health. The patient will need to have enough bone in their jaw to be able to support the implant, and their gums must be disease-free. These implants rely heavily on the gums and jawbone, so the health of those areas is very important.

September 23, 2011
For many people, a trip to the dentist is a pretty serious – and seriously scary – thing. Some procedures are painful, highly invasive things that nobody wants to be awake for, while for others, it’s a matter of suffering from dental phobia.

Sedation Dentistry provides a relaxing, stress-free experience for dental patients and enables those that are too scared to visit the dentist to get the care they need without the associated fear.

Did you know that approximately 30% of the population avoids going to the dentist because they’re afraid to? That’s a lot of people that don’t get the dental care that they need to retain a healthy smile!

I Want to be Sedated – Whatever That Means.

Sedation is the use of sedatives – a type of drug – to achieve a calm, relaxed state. Examples of sedatives are tranquilizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications and nitrous oxide. There are many ways of administering them, including IV, inhalation and by swallowing a pill. The IV (intravenous) is no longer the primary method of sedative delivery – good news for those of us that aren’t fond of needles.

Sedation dentistry is very, very common in North America since it is very easy and requires no needles (another phobia of many members of the population). Best of all, these medications make sure that most patients don’t even remember the treatment that they just went through.

What’s the Difference Between Local Anesthetic and Sedation?

Local anesthetic blocks pain from a single area, for example, the right side of the mouth, while sedation dulls your pain receptors in general.

Most procedures will require you to have both a sedative and a local anesthetic.

Sedation Dentistry: The Benefits

Sedated patients often feel as if their procedure only lasted a few minutes when it could actually have been several hours, so procedures that normally require many separate visits can actually take fewer appointments than usual.

So, if the length of time that a procedure may require is what is stopping you from having adjustments made to your smile – like various forms of brace, or even veneers – if you opt for sedative dentistry, your appointments will actually feel much shorter than they really are. This is a huge plus for most people!

Be Prepared!

Patients of this method of dentistry will want to arrange to have a caregiver take them to their dentist appointment, pick them up when it’s over and possibly spend some time with them afterward while the sedative wears off.

Sedation Types

Moderate Sedation: Moderate sedation means being less conscious than normal. You can still breathe independently, you still have your reflexes and you still respond to stimulation, but you are less aware of pain, sounds and smells. Patients will be told to take the medication before their appointment before they arrive.

Anxiolysis: Mild sedation for relieving anxiety, such as “laughing gas”, which causes some tingling/numbness and an overall happy feeling. Pills may be used in place of the gas.

General Anesthesia: Used for surgery.

September 16, 2011
When Veneers were invented by a dentist in California, their main use was for temporarily changing the appearance of an actor’s teeth for the film industry. Since they were held on by denture adhesive, they fell off after a short while, but it was discovered – thanks to some research that was started in 1982 – that composite resins could be used to bond porcelain veneers to a tooth forever.

Present-day veneers can last for up to thirty years.

For cosmetic dentists, veneers are important tools; a single veneer can restore a damaged or discolored tooth, or a patient’s entire smile to give them a look straight out of Hollywood. Veneers can give teeth a uniform look, fill in spaces and restore color lost by age and lifestyle choices.

Unfortunately, these are often overused in situations where they are not needed. Be sure to thoroughly consult with your dentist – there may be another, permanent and cheaper fix for your tooth problems.

Alternatives to Veneers

Today, there are many alternatives to veneers, including crowns, composite resin bonding, cosmetic contouring or orthodontics. Veneers that aren’t permanent can also be obtained – they’re moulded to your teeth and are made from resin instead of porcelain. They can be removed and re-used!

How Are Veneers Applied?

When you first visit your dentist, they may give you a local anesthetic before they remove a portion of the enamel from your teeth. This is done to ensure that there’s enough room for the veneers. The dentist will then make an impression of your teeth, which is sent to the dental lab so the veneers can be made. When they are finished, they are sent to your dentist.

In another visit, a mild chemical is applied to the teeth to roughen them up – this way, the veneers will stick to the teeth without any extra steps. Once that step is complete, the veneers are attached to each tooth using a resin cement.

How Do Veneers Handle Stains?

They don’t. That is, they resist stains and discoloration. Since porcelain is rather glass-like, it doesn’t stain.

The Care and Feeding of Veneers

Like your teeth themselves, your veneers will require proper cleaning on a regular basis. Brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste and floss regularly. Try to avoid biting your nails or other hard objects, and avoid impacts (if at all possible). Even though the veneer itself will not stain, the cement holding it will, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the edges of your teeth.

Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth, too. If you do this while sleeping, talk with your dentist to see what preventative measures can be taken.

Problems With Veneers

It is possible for veneers to break or otherwise come off, and if that happens, the dentist will have to create a new veneer for you (though, if it just fell off and is in decent shape, the veneer can simply be bonded back into place).

Veneers can’t be placed on teeth that are decayed or involved with gum disease, so you will have to get those conditions treated before you can have a veneer put into place. They will not strengthen your teeth, either, and teeth that have lost most of their structure should probably have a crown placed on them instead.

September 10, 2011
Crooked teeth are a common dental issue. Some are born with them, others develop them as they grow older and their mouth’s structure changes; luckily, there are several ways to correct this problem.

Fixed Orthodontic Braces

You may be really familiar with this method of teeth straightening, as it’s the one that’s most often poked fun at in the media. These braces are composed of metal wires that are attached to the fronts of your teeth with metal brackets. The brackets and wires are slowly tightened over time, which applies pressure to the teeth and encourages them to gradually change their positions. The required amount of time fully depends upon how much movement your teeth need to make; your dentist will be able to give you an idea of how long you’ll be wearing those braces in your initial examination.

Since technology has changed somewhat in this area, there are a wide variety of bracket/bracer choices available – even tooth-colored ceramic brackets.


Invisalign does not use metal wires and braces – instead, it uses clear aligners that look kind of like gum shields, which achieve the same effect as traditional braces. These aligners are changed every couple of weeks and can be removed for eating and when you brush your teeth. Since this method lacks elastics and metal bits, there is no inflammation of soft tissues and they are not quite as uncomfortable – unfortunately, Invisalign can be very expensive.

Damon Braces

These braces lack any friction element (they do not have elastic ties) so they are more comfortable than old-style braces and provide faster results. The downside here is that these braces are more expensive than the traditional set-up, but they are easier to clean and not as ugly.

Six Month Smile

This brand-new treatment uses brackets and wires that match the color of your teeth and only concentrate on moving around those that you see when you smile instead of working on moving all the teeth. This treatment takes around six months instead of up to (or over) two years and can be about half the cost of traditional braces – that’s quite a difference.

Inman Aligner

A combination of invisible braces and metal braces, it uses a removable aligner that moves your teeth by applying pressure to them. Only one device is needed for the whole treatment, making it more affordable than most other methods.

Lingual Braces

Much like traditional braces, but in reverse – this wire set-up is fitted to the backs of your teeth instead of the fronts. They are very uncomfortable but will straighten your teeth without the unsightly mess that traditional braces provide, and they can be used to correct severe cases of crooked teeth that can’t otherwise be adjusted.

Teeth Straightening Made Easy

There are a wide variety of ways to get your teeth straightened, some of which are easier on the wallet than others. If you’re in doubt about what’s the right way for you, consult with your dentist! What they say may surprise you.

August 29, 2011
Here’s your chance to win an iPad 2!  All you have to do is LIKE us on Facebook and you will be entered to win.

Go to, click the LIKE button at the top of the page and leave us a message and you could win.  We will pick a winner at the end of September so be on the lookout for a call if you are our lucky winner!

August 25, 2011

A smile is a very powerful human ability. If sincere and given at the perfect time it can make a day brighter, a tense situation better, and uplift a sad heart. That’s why having a great smile can be a great asset. But not everyone has naturally pearly white teeth. This isn’t really such a big problem anymore, especially now that people can go to dentists who have teeth whitening services. Teeth whitening may seem like a frivolous and unnecessary expense but having a smile that you can be confident with is something that people shouldn’t take for granted.

If you’re not sure how to go about getting your teeth whitened you can ask your dentist or look on the Internet. Some dentists have websites of their own where you can see what services they might have. You’ll be able to get some information about teeth whitening and other procedures as well as the option to schedule an appointment through their website.

When it comes to teeth whitening your dentist will usually have two options for you to choose from. One option is the BriteSmile product for teeth whitening. The BriteSmile product is a whitening gel that is applied to your teeth. After the gel is applied, a gentle blue light will be used to activate it. This takes about 20 minutes and will be repeated at least twice in one session. BriteSmile is said to be able to whiten your teeth up to 9 shades of white and it takes less than an hour.

Your second option for getting whiter teeth is to go through a tray whitening process. This is a cheaper but longer procedure compared to the BriteSmile option. The dentist will take an impression of your mouth. The impression will then be used to create whitening trays, which takes a couple of days. Once you get your trays you have to apply bleaching material to it. You’ll need to wear the tray twice a day for 30-60 minutes. The whitening tray can be reused when you feel the need to apply it again.

A smile that you can be confident about and freely share with everybody is always a wonderful thing. If you receive heartfelt smiles from people that manage to lift you up, it goes without saying that you have the same power as well. Connecting with people can begin with a simple, sincere smile.

Learn more about Dr. Moore’s teeth whitening services