My Blog

Posts for: December, 2017

By Brian Allen, DMD
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

How has your tooth color fared over the years? Is it less attractive than you'd like? Have stains accumulated on your front teeth? Well, you teeth whiteningcan say goodbye to stains and that overall dull look with professional teeth whitening from Osprey, FL, dentist, Dr. Sean Bates. He understands that how your smile looks is so important to your self-esteem and to the image you project to the world.

What stains teeth?

Many things do--smoking, coffee, wine, soy sauce, antihistamines. The list is long, but common to all is their affinity for tooth enamel and the plaque and tartar that stick on and between teeth. Add on the aging process and sometimes poor oral hygiene, and you have the recipe for a smile that's yellow and dingy.

How can you whiten your teeth?

There are many over the counter teeth whitening products on the market in Osprey and in other parts of the country. While many effectively treat very light stains, most do nothing for deep, long-standing stains. Plus, because they are not professional applied or supervised by your dentist, store bought products may produce:

  • Dental sensitivity
  • Gingival (gum) sensivitity
  • Incomplete results, as they cannot effectively reach stains on teeth that are crowded, rotated, or otherwise misaligned

Enter predictable and safe professional teeth whitening in Osprey, FL. Dr. Bates carefully examines the teeth and gums of his cosmetic dentistry patients to confirm they are healthy enough for the application of the powerful hydrogen peroxide gel used in whitening. If they are, Dr. Bates offers the choice of one-hour whitening in his office or take-home whitening gel applied with customized acrylic trays. Both methods brighten smiles by as many as 8 shades of color.

Keeping your smile white

After completion of professional teeth whitening, patients wonder how they can keep their smiles bright. Dr. Bates and his team give the following advice:

  • Brush twice a day, and floss every day to remove plaque and tartar that cause bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease and dull, stained enamel.
  • See Dr. Bates twice a year for oral exams and professional teeth cleaning.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. (your primary care physician will be happy to help you)
  • Get whitening touch-ups as needed.
  • Limit consumption of darkly-colored foods and beverages.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.

Whitening may be for you

The American Association of Orthodontists states that most people prefer whiter teeth to any other cosmetic improvement (including straightening their smiles). Would you like a simple and cost-effective way to enhance your smile aesthetics? Then, explore professional teeth whitening with Sean R. Bates, DDS & Associates. Call the office today for your personal consultation: (941) 966-4751.


You’ve suddenly noticed one of your teeth looks and feels uneven, and it may even appear chipped. To make matters worse it’s right in front in the “smile zone” — when you smile, everyone else will notice it too. You want to have it repaired.

So, what will it be — a porcelain veneer or crown? Maybe neither: after examining it, your dentist may recommend another option you might even be able to undergo that very day — and walk out with a restored tooth.

This technique uses dental materials called composite resins.  These are blends of materials that can mimic the color and texture of tooth structure while also possessing the necessary strength to endure forces generated by biting and chewing. A good part of that strength comes from the way we’re able to bond the material to both the tooth’s outer enamel and underlying dentin, which together make up the main body of tooth structure. In skilled, artistic hands composite resins can be used effectively in a number of situations to restore a tooth to normal appearance.

While veneers or crowns also produce excellent results in this regard, they require a fair amount of tooth alteration to accommodate them. Your dentist will also need an outside dental laboratory to fabricate them, a procedure that could take several weeks. In contrast, a composite resin restoration usually requires much less tooth preparation and can be performed in the dental office in just one visit.

Composite resins won’t work in every situation — the better approach could in fact be a veneer or crown. But for slight chips or other minor defects, composite resin could transform your tooth’s appearance dramatically.

To see if composite resin is a viable restoration option for your tooth, visit your dentist for a complete dental examination. It’s quite possible you’ll leave with a more attractive tooth and a more confident smile.

If you would like more information on restorations using composite resins, 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 “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”


The development of your child’s teeth, gums and jaw structure is an amazing process. But while it largely occurs on its own, we can’t take it for granted—we’ll need to do our part to ensure their mouth stays free from the effects of disease and injury.

That starts first and foremost with early oral hygiene practices. And we do mean early, even before teeth begin to erupt: a simple habit of wiping their gums after feeding with a clean, damp cloth helps reduce the growth of bacteria, the leading cause of dental disease.

Once teeth do appear, you can begin brushing them every day with just a smear of toothpaste. You can increase this to a pea-sized dose around age 2, as well as begin teaching them to brush and later floss for themselves.

Regular dental visits are the next pillar of preventive care. By and large it’s best to begin visits around their first birthday. Their primary teeth should be coming in at an even pace by then; and the earlier you begin visits the easier it will be for them to become used to them as a routine part of life.

Dental visits are essential for keeping bacterial plaque under control, as well as monitoring overall dental health. It’s also an opportunity to apply other preventive measures such as sealants that discourage tooth decay development on biting surfaces and topical fluoride for strengthening enamel.

Dental visits also provide frequent opportunities to detect bite problems or other situations as they’re emerging. Recognizing these early gives us a chance to intervene with less invasive treatments that could prevent or minimize more invasive treatments later.

You also don’t want to forget about the other major cause of dental problems—traumatic injuries. You can lessen this risk by limiting your child’s exposure to hard, sharp objects like furniture or some toys. And if they become involved with contact sports, it’s a good idea to invest in a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth and mouth from blunt force trauma.

As always, we’re here to support you and give you advice on other ways to keep your child’s dental development on track. Together we’ll give your child the best chance possible to enter adulthood with a healthy mouth.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.