Our Dental Blog | Michael C. Bell, DDS - Dentist Austin, TX


What Types of Dental Problems Can You Fix with Veneers?

Veneers are a beautiful addition to any smile that might not be perfect. These are small pieces of porcelain that are placed in the mouth and mimic real-life teeth. However, they are not like crowns. They actually just stick to the front of the teeth to provide them with a different appearance.

Unlike having dentures or other prosthetics put in the mouth, these are placed in the front of the mouth and do not require the person to take them out and set them aside at any point. They do, however, have to be replaced from time to time since they are just an outer coating on the tooth.

Problems That Veneers Work to Fix

Veneers can provide a solution to many oral problems in the mouth. Usually these problems are all cosmetic so this is something to think about when it comes to covering up unsightly areas in the mouth. Gaps in the teeth, chipped or broken teeth or even crooked or stained teeth can be fixed with the use of veneers placed on the outside of the mouth.

Veneers can help a person gain more of their self-confidence back and ensure that when they smile, they have a beautiful smile. Veneers are also more cost effective than having other procedures done in the mouth, making them an ideal choice for many. They can also straighten, whiten or just change the overall shape and appearance of the teeth.

Want to know more about cosmetic dentistry and ways you can have your teeth fixed?

Give us a call here and we would be more than happy to set up an appointment to speak with you more regarding veneers and other cosmetic dental procedures that can be done. We are always happy to see new clients in our dental office.


What to Do Once You Notice Signs of a Cavity

When you notice signs of a cavity, it is important that you know what to do in order to take care of the problem that you are experiencing. No one should have to worry about having pain or other problems in the mouth.

Never let any oral problems go on for too long without getting fixed since you want to make sure that the smaller problems are taken care of and do not become larger problems.

What to Do About a Cavity

Give your dentist a call if you notice signs of a cavity first and foremost. This is the only way to have the problem truly fixed when it comes down to it. You want to make sure that they are able to come in and provide the right work that needs to be done so that you can have a more comfortable way to eat and talk, as well as smile. Cavities can be quite painful if they are not taken care of.

When you feel that you have a cavity, make sure to keep the area clean until you can see a dentist. Take over the counter pain medications and use numbing agents until you are able to be seen in the office. It is important that you cover the area if the cavity is large to protect it from getting anything inside it. There are cavity filling kits that can be purchased over the counter to help cover the area for a short period of time.

Speak with our dentists here to have more information than you ever thought possible about oral care and being able to smile with confidence. You want the best for the smile that you have and with the help of our knowledgeable dental professionals, we ensure that you have a beautiful, whiter smile in no time.


Signs You Need to Come In for Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that does a lot to help to prevent cavity formation in your teeth. When you suffer from insufficient levels of the element, you become susceptible to dental caries and weak enamel formation that leads to easy breakage of your teeth.


A number of ways can help you determine if you need to have a fluoride treatment. Apart from preventing tooth decay, fluoride can also be useful to prevent acid attacks precipitated by plaque buildup and bacterial accumulation. Some signs that tell you need to undergo fluoride treatment include:


You Live in a Community With a High Rate of Tooth Decay

From a bigger perspective, it is easy to tell if you have insufficient fluoride in your body. Children, most especially, are susceptible to have tooth decay because the enamel of their teeth is still developing. If you live in a community where nearly half of the population suffers from tooth decay, it is a sign that fluoride is missing, possibly in your water source or you lack the element in your body.


You Have White Spots on Your Teeth

One clear indication of the lack of fluoride in your system is the demineralization of your teeth. The appearance of white spots on your teeth indicates that you are not getting enough supply of fluoride to make the enamel stronger.


The lack of the essential teeth formation element in your body tends to create a weaker set of whites which is susceptible to cavity formation. They will also appear with a different color as opposed to the natural teeth that you have. In such cases, a fluoride treatment will help even out the color and help prevent demineralization.


If you want to know more about fluoride treatments, simply contact us and we will be delighted to provide you with any additional information.


3 Main Reasons Intraoral Cameras Are Good for Better Oral Health

Intraoral camera is slowly invading the dental industry because of its less invasive nature, it is able to uncover problems and any other dental issues you possibly might have. The procedure cuts the process half in time, reduces pain and discomfort on the part of the patient, and saves a patient´s teeth along the process.


Using cameras to navigate the oral cavity of a patient, a dentist can easily detect problems without having the patient open his mouth for a number of hours. This great dental advancement makes a dental visit more comfortable and encouraging.

Detects Dental Problems in its Early Stages

One main reason why people choose to skip dental visits is the uncomfortable and anxious feeling of opening your mouth and having the dentist poke through it. Additionally, some dental procedures need to be done for a couple of sessions, which makes it even scarier.


An intraoral camera is not only less invasive, but can be helpful to detect oral health problems at the onset. It can be used to identify possible dental health problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Apart from that, having an oral problem detected early on will prevent major damages to your teeth.

Superior Treatment Accuracy and Can Be Used As a Tool to Educate Patients

Aside from detecting an oral condition in its early stages, an intraoral camera comes with other features that make it more functional. It can be outfitted with a magnifier to enhance dental probing or am LED light for a better visual clarity. These features make treatment better than the conventional means which is done scrupulously.


More than the diagnostic benefits, an intraoral camera can be used to help patients understand the condition of their teeth. Dentists sometimes find it hard to explain to their patients and the apparatus can be used to educate them comfortably.


Intraoral cameras are the latest innovation in the dental field. If you want to learn more, simply contact us.





Why Brush Your Teeth When You Get Sick

Getting sick does not mean taking a vacation from caring for your teeth. It may be more difficult, but it is an important part of getting better. You need to keep the germs in your mouth down, so it does not cause you to relapse and get sick all over again.

Plus, if you have been vomiting, you need to clean the acids out of your mouth as soon as possible. Here are a few things that can help keep your mouth clean and healthy when you get sick.

Keeping Your Mouth and Body Healthier When You Get Sick

Brushing should go from two times a day up to three, as you are lying there trying to feel better, but moving, speaking, and eating far less than usual in most cases. This allows the bacteria to quickly multiply, so getting them out of your mouth quickly is essential.

If you have been vomiting, rinse with water right after, then after about 30 minutes, brush your teeth. This keeps the bacteria levels down, and lessens the chances of you getting sick all over again, or getting worse while already fighting this off.

Mouthwash is good to use at least 2-3 times per day when you are sick. It helps to rid your mouth of extra bacteria and any food particles you may have missed the last time you brushed. It can be used after brushing, or between brushing.

Make sure, if you get sick that as soon as you start to feel even slightly better, you replace your toothbrush. You do not want to put that dirty toothbrush back into your mouth with those bacteria and germs on it. It is nearly a guarantee that you will get sick again if you do.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.




Why Baking Soda is Helpful for Whitening Your Teeth

So many ask why baking soda is a preferred at-home whitening method. Not only is this a natural product that so many people keep in their baking cupboards, but it is one that is also effective.

Understanding a bit how it works can give you some information on whether or not this is the best whitening method for you to use. Consider some of these aspects regarding baking soda and what it does for the teeth that might be stained in your mouth.

The Compound Makeup of Baking Soda

The makeup of baking soda is awesome. Not only does it work as a minor abrasive, but this means that it can scrub off those surface stains that are on the outside of the teeth. You don’t have to worry about scrubbing it in either.

Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Add the paste over the top of the teeth and let it sit there for some time. This gives the person a way to whiten the teeth without having to worry about scrubbing any mixtures, using any lights or having to go through extensive, invasive treatments.

The baking soda is a natural component and just a little bit of sitting on your teeth, you will see whitening results in a matter of days. This is why so many people choose to use it over chemical methods available.

Our Dentists Know Whitening

While baking soda is ideal for surface stains, sometimes other stains will not remove from the surface of the teeth. If this is the case, then it is important that the person call us to speak with our dentists regarding other whitening methods that we provide. We can ensure that your smile is whiter, healthier and happier in the end.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.


Oral Piercings Can Really Damage Your Teeth

You might think having your tongue pierced looks cool now, but did you know that oral piercings can damage your teeth?

Oral piercings can, in the long run, make your teeth move. Your teeth shouldn’t move, and once they do, you will end up with a gap in your smile. You don’t want that! Here are a few other ways oral piercings can damage your teeth.

Can Cause Your Teeth to Crack and Chip

Not only, when your teeth move from having an oral piercing, can create a gap, but once the piercing causes the chips and cracks in your teeth, this will cause an even bigger hole. Having a gap in your teeth can make you look bad. The chips and cracks can be due to bumping the teeth against the piercing. You can easily hit the two together while eating or even talking to someone.

Can Cause Bacterial Infections

If you don’t maintain the piercing good enough, especially within the first couple of weeks after having it done, you can end up with a bacterial infection in your mouth. Some of these infections include blood-borne hepatitis, angina, and herpes. Since no one wants this to happen, read further to find out how to avoid these problems.

Ways to Avoid Problems After You Have Gotten an Oral Piercing

If you have already gotten your tongue pierced, don’t worry because there are ways to avoid these problems associated with oral piercings. The main thing to remember is to care for your tongue piercing all the time, especially within the first few weeks of getting it done. If you don’t keep it clean and maintained like you are supposed to, you will end up with an infection in your mouth.

When you first get your piercing on your tongue, gauge it accordingly by getting an extended piece of jewelry instead of something small. If you choose something small, like a stud, at first, this can cause it to swell over the piercing. After you have had it for a while, and after the initial swelling goes down, you can then get your stud put in.

Contact us for ways to maintain your oral piercing or for information on why you should not get one in the first place.


Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water on a Daily Basis

For those who are particularly conscious about their oral health, it is always good to be aware of new things that could help to boost the strength of one’s teeth and gums. In recent years, coconut water has started trending and many people will swear by the health benefits that it provides.

All in all, coconut water is just water with a little bit of coconut infused. However, there are a couple of benefits that it can have on your teeth and gums.

A Replacement for Electrolyte Drinks

There are a lot of energy drinks out there nowadays that are designed to replace electrolytes. A lot of these drinks, however, also have acids and sugars in them, which can be very damaging to the teeth. For those who exercise regularly, just drinking plain water will not be enough to help replenish the body’s resources. This is not helped by the fact that a lot of the ingredients in them tend to be artificial.

Replacing these kinds of beverages with coconut water can help to decrease the level of acidity in your mouth, especially if you are someone who tends to drink a lot of soft drinks. However, acidity levels are still rather high and therefore you should keep an eye on your daily intake.

A lot of commercially available coconut water also tends to have added sugars, so it is a good idea to look at the brands that you are buying. Drinking it on a daily basis can be hugely beneficial, even for your teeth, however make sure to limit your intake.

If you would like to know more about what you can do to maintain your oral hygiene, do not hesitate to contact us!


Places to Easily Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet

Sugar is not good for teeth or for your overall health. This is why it is important to cut the sugar from your diet and make sure to keep it off of your teeth. You want to have healthier teeth and gums overall, but where are you going to cut the sugar out? What if you already feel that you’re eating somewhat healthy?

Here are some tips for not only cutting out the sugar, but making sure that you keep the sugar off of your teeth.

Tips for Reducing Sugar Intake

While you might feel like you don’t intake a lot of sugar on a daily basis, you can still reduce the amount that sits on your teeth. Here are some great tips for helping your oral health and getting more out of the things you eat and the integrity of your teeth.

  • Reduce the amount of candy or baked goods that you eat on a daily basis.
  • Rinse out your mouth after eating anything that is acidic or high in sugar content.
  • Brush after each meal to reduce any type of sugar or other food that might be sitting on the outside of the teeth.
  • Stay away from acidic drinks and food, since these can be just as bad as the sugary ones that you eat.
  • Do not drink soda, as this can damage the teeth and your overall health because it is a sweet, sugary drink with a high sugar content.
  • Drink milk, tea and coffee through a straw to reduce the effects that they have on the teeth.

There are many ways you can eat healthier, reduce sugar and still maintain healthier teeth. Keeping up on your oral hygiene and cleanings at the dentist are great ways to do so. Speak with us today to schedule an appointment.


How Common Are Cavities When You Have Braces

When you have braces, you find that they can be somewhat uncomfortable, but they’re being done so you have a straighter, healthier smile. When this happens, you can ensure that you’re working with the best dentist out there.

Our office knows how important taking care of your teeth are when it comes to having braces. You want to make sure that cavities do not form in the process. This is because they are quite common for those that have braces.

Braces and Cavities

Since braces cover a lot of area of the teeth, it is harder to get in between and inside them. This is due to the toothbrush not having the proper head to fit in between these smaller spaces. You want to make sure that you brush really well, but sometimes the teeth can still have decay on them.

Braces are a cause for a lot of cavities in teens. When the mouth is not properly taken care of, you will note that you have a lot more cavities than usual. It is also why it is recommended that those with braces stay away from sugary, sticky and other cavity causing foods. These can create worse cavities in the end.

It is essential that the person with braces know how to properly brush their teeth. This is because they have to reduce the number of cavities that they get while wearing them by properly brushing in all of the right places throughout the mouth. The orthodontist will show you how.

Speak with our office today regarding braces, cavities or just to come in and see a dentist or specialist. We can provide you with an appointment. We provide high quality care to those in the area that wish to have better oral hygiene overall. Call us today and set something up.