Our Blog

Looking Back on 2018

December 13th, 2018

This year was a great one for our office. Our favorite moment was without a doubt moving into our brand new office. Nothing boosts energy and gets everyone excited like a change of scenery. And as a result of moving into a bigger space, we were able to have more flexibility when scheduling appointments with our patients.

We were able to meet all of our goals for this year, and one of the main ones was accommodating patients as best as we could. We also learned that even when you achieve what you set out to do, it’s important to keep pushing yourself to continue to grow and learn.

One of our favorite trips of the year was going to the Florida Dental Association conference in Orlando. Dr. Mullens stole the show with a fishnet shirt on… we’ll let you be the ones to ask him about it. When it comes to entertainment, the show Shameless continues to be a favorite in the office and one of our favorite reads was Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

We’re looking forward to getting into our Christmas eve pajamas and spending times with our families and we hope you all get a chance to do the same! And if you’re still looking for gift ideas, don’t forget that we have 10-20% off all whitening right now. You know, just a thought.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Protecting Your Smile with Mouthguards

December 12th, 2018

If you participate in sports or other physical activities, it’s wise to consider getting a mouthguard. Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.

This reduces the chance that you might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries. We recommend that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.

However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.

Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth? The way you talk, eat, and smile would all change. Potential injuries when you don’t wear a mouthguard include chipped and broken teeth, fractured jaws, root damage, damage to crowns and bridgework, concussions, and/or injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums.

Types of Mouthguards

There are three different types of mouthguards — typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate. You can decide which works best for you in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.

  • Stock mouthguards are prefabricated to a standard size. They offer adequate protection, but you need to make sure you find one that fits properly and comfortably. Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones. You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and online.
  • Custom-made mouthguards are created just for you by Dr. Richard Mullens and Dr. James Nguyen. These offer the best fit and comfort of all the options, but they are also the most expensive. Ask a member of our Jacksonville, FL team for more information.

The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage. It shouldn’t restrict speech or breathing.

Still not sure if you need a mouthguard or which kind is right for you? Ask Dr. Richard Mullens and Dr. James Nguyen or one of our staff members for more information.

What do I do if I fall and loosen my teeth?

December 5th, 2018

Although teeth are strong enough to tear through food, they are also fragile. An accident such as a fall may loosen teeth or knock a tooth out entirely. When a child loses a baby tooth in this manner, no permanent damage is usually done. However, adults who loosen permanent teeth may need to visit our Jacksonville, FL office.

The Anatomy of a Loose Tooth

The hard external layer of teeth covers a more vulnerable interior. The center of a tooth consists of the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. The entire tooth extends below the surface of the gums into the jaw. Special tissue called cementum and the periodontal ligament hold teeth in place, preventing them from moving.

When a fall or blow to the face loosens a tooth, the tissues anchoring a tooth to the jaw may be damaged. This results in a loosened tooth that wiggles in place. There may be inflammation or bleeding of the gums, which signals dental damage.

Dental Treatments for a Loose Tooth

The range of dental treatments for loose teeth varies by the severity of the problem. If your teeth are just slightly loose following a fall, it may be fine to wait a few days. Teeth often retighten on their own. Simply avoid chewing with that tooth and enjoy softer foods for a few days.

If a tooth is very loose or nearly falling out, call Dr. Richard Mullens and Dr. James Nguyen immediately. Immediate placement of the tooth back into the socket is needed to ensure its survival. In general, a tooth must return to its socket within two hours or it may be lost.

In some cases, Dr. Richard Mullens and Dr. James Nguyen may recommend splinting, in which teeth are joined together to strengthen them and reduce strain on an individual tooth. Tightening or straightening the tooth can restore your ability to chew regularly without stressing the loosened tooth.

Regardless of the extent of the problem, it is essential to keep the tooth clean to prevent decay. Brush carefully with a soft-bristled brush, and use mouthwash regularly to kill bacteria.

Should You Get Dental Veneers?

November 28th, 2018

Dental veneers are a popular treatment to improve the appearance of your smile. Dr. Richard Mullens and Dr. James Nguyen and our team want to help you understand whether this dental option is right for you.

Veneers, also known as laminates, are custom-made shells that cover the front of your teeth. They can change the color, size, or length of each individual tooth. The process can require between one and three trips to our Jacksonville, FL office to complete.

This treatment is usually done for people who want to change the appearance of their smile: they can get rid of stains, gaps, or chips. Here at our office, we know how getting veneers can dramatically change your smile and help improve your confidence.

Your initial appointment entails preparing the teeth and creating an impression. The impression will help us design each veneer to the exact shape and color you desire. You’ll come back in a week or two to have the veneers placed. Your veneers should last about ten years, as long as you practice proper care and hygiene.

There are plenty of benefits to getting veneers, but you should be aware of the potential downsides of this procedure. This process is irreversible and the veneers cannot usually be fixed. If they chip or crack, they’ll need to be replaced.

It is also possible for veneers to fall off due to excessive pressure from nail biting or chewing on ice. If you grind your teeth a lot, you’re more likely to expose your veneers to damage, which can be costly to repair.

In order to know whether veneers are right for you, schedule an appointment at our Jacksonville, FL office for a consultation. We can decide what you’re looking to do with your smile and if this is the best option for you.