5 Ways to Avoid Stained Teeth

As you age, you may notice your teeth starting to darken. This is because tooth enamel begins to wear away or crack, exposing the dentin underneath. Dentin is not as dense as enamel and absorbs colors from food more easily. But you’re not doomed to pay for whitening treatments every day.


How to Avoid Stained Teeth

Though there are more ways you can avoid stained teeth, here are five of the most important:

Staining Drinks to Avoid

There are certain drinks that can stain your teeth. They include:

  • Coffee
  • Black tea – opt for green, white, or herbal teas instead
  • Soda
  • Acidic juices, such as lemonade or grapefruit juice
  • Other fruit juices, such as cranberry juice
  • Red wine

These drinks should be consumed very moderately. It might help to drink them through a straw, so you can minimize contact with the teeth.


What to Eat

There are also certain foods that can stain your teeth, such as:

  • Lemons and other citrus fruits
  • Popsicles
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Tomato sauce
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Curry

But there are also foods that will help whiten your teeth naturally. These foods include:

  • Crunchy fruits like apples and strawberries, which both rub out stains and dissolve them
  • Crunchy vegetables, such as celery and carrots
  • Yogurt, milk, and cheese

Lifestyle Habits to Avoid or Change

One habit that is especially harmful for teeth is smoking. Smoke from cigarettes is one of the main culprits when teeth begin to stain, due to the everyday exposure to cigarettes. You can greatly increase your chances of retaining white teeth if you can quit smoking.


Oral Care Habits

Proper oral care habits will reduce both plaque and stains. Habits that you should start, increase, or continue include:

  • Brushing in the morning, before bed, and after each meal
  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Using a whitening toothpaste with peroxide
  • Brushing gently so you don’t wear away enamel
  • Flossing every day
  • Rinsing after brushing and after each meal
  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash


Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular visits to your dentist will help you stay on top of stains. They can examine your teeth and tell you if you need to work on whitening your teeth. They will give you advice specific to your situation. They may even offer whitening treatments.


Cosmetic Dentist in Brentwood, Missouri

Brentwood Family Dentistry in Brentwood, Missouri, can help you with your cosmetic dentistry needs. We offer both in-office and take-home whitening treatments. We also offer bonding, fillings, veneers, crowns, and orthodontics. Contact Brentwood Family Dentistry today to discuss how we can improve the appearance and health of your teeth.

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What to Expect When Recovering from a Root Canal

How to Prepare for a Root Canal

Your dentist should have thoroughly examined, done X-Rays, and gone over your mouth for good measure before they will follow the root canal route. They will make sure there isn’t any other preventive care they can do before following through on the root canal procedure.

When a root canal procedure can’t be avoided, it is Brentwood Family Dentistry’s goal to make sure every patient feels relaxed and comfortable during the process. We take our time explaining every part of the procedure you will go through so that you will know what to expect. Each of our patients deserves the individual attention to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible.

Root Canal Recovery

Your dentist will need to perform a root canal when your tooth dies. This means the nerve and blood vessel tissue is dead, so they have to remove. They also have to remove any part of the decayed portions of the tooths. Then, they will seal your roots with some sealing material. You can have them cover your missing tooth area with a crown if you or your dentist decide on that course of action.

You will probably be sore for a while, so you shouldn’t eat any solid foods for a day or two. Each person is different, so if you don’t think you can eat solid foods for a while, take your time. However, if pain becomes too much, you should check it out with your dentist. You could get an infection even if you are still taking antibiotics.

Root Canal Aftercare

After a root canal procedure, it’s always important to follow the directions your dentist gives you. Follow every step because root canal aftercare is very important for healing and preventing any type of infection from occurring in your mouth after the procedure. You will more than likely be given antibiotics to prevent any infection from developing, while your mouth heals appropriately. Make sure to take as much as your dentist prescribes because you don’t want to have to come in again to deal with infection or other problems.

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, we pride ourselves in doing everything we can prevent the need for a root canal in the first place. This is why it’s so crucial to continue regular checkups with your regular dentist. There are always ways to help prevent this from happening.

If you live in or around Brentwood, MO, then see if Brentwood Family Dentistry is for you. Contact us today to set an appointment or ask any questions!

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Why Preventative Dentist Visits Are So Important

What is a Preventative Dentist Visit?

Regular visits to your dentist are important. Known as preventative dentistry, these checkups help to maintain the health of your smile, catch any issues before they become more serious, and promotes healthy oral care.

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, we understand how important preventative dentistry is to your health. Below, we talk about the risks you take when you skip your semi-annual visit to the dentist as well as what you can expect when you visit us.


Skipping Visits Puts You at Risk

The American Dental Association recommends you visit your dentist every 6 months. These semi-annual visits are essential to maintaining your oral health.

Plaque and tartar build-up can lead to cavities. Whether you brush your teeth regularly or not, build up is possible based on genetics, diet, or other factors. Visiting your dentist is the best way to help decrease the likelihood of developing cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontitis and other illnesses associated with tartar and bacteria that may inhabit the mouth.

You also may not realize that your oral health can affect your overall health. In fact, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer have all been linked to poor oral health. Taking care of your mouth helps you take care of your overall health too.


What to Expect at a Preventative Dentistry Visit

During your visit with a general dentist, you can expect two things. The checkup is first; it is performed by your dentist and helps them to evaluate the overall health of your mouth. (If any cavities or other issues arise, you may also be asked to allow your dentist to take an oral x-ray to help them evaluate the level of damage or decay.) Your oral checkup includes an examination of your teeth, gums, tongue, and throat. Your face, neck, and head will also be checked for any swelling that may indicate a hidden oral infection.

The checkup is followed by a dental cleaning. While brushing and flossing at home help to keep plaque from building up on your teeth, you alone cannot remove tartar. A general dentist will use special tools to help remove any tartar build up. Your dentist will also polish and floss your teeth during this portion of your visit.

Visit Your Local General Dentist Today

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, we understand how scary a visit to your local general dentist can be. Rest assured, with Dr. James W. Rhea D.D.S. and Michael J. Doherty D.D.S, we take your fears and expectations seriously. Whether you need a filling, root canal, nightguards or other dental care, we walk you through every step of the way to ensure you are as comfortable as possible and prepared.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

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Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Invisalign is Convenient and Easy to Use

Braces can be cumbersome and unattractive. Younger family members especially will want to avoid embarrassing braces. Invisalign is an attractive alternative. It offers convenience, ease of use, aesthetic benefits, comfort, and easy maintenance – all advantages that braces cannot claim. Let’s look at the benefits of choosing Invisalign over traditional braces.

Braces consist of many parts, including wires, brackets, spacers, and rubber bands. They are not usually removed until their usefulness has ended since removal requires going back to the orthodontist. Users must be careful about the foods they consume, which can become trapped in the braces. Brushing and flossing can also be difficult. And, of course, they’re not very attractive.

Invisalign consists of trays called aligners. These aligners can be easily removed by the user at any time, including to eat, brush, and floss.


Interested in Invisalign?

Aesthetically Pleasing

Braces are clunky and obvious, attracting immediate attention to the user’s teeth. Invisalign aligners are customized to fit a specific user, so they line up perfectly with the teeth. This makes them mostly invisible, so only the user will know they are there.


Braces can irritate and cut into gums and cheeks, making them incredibly uncomfortable. Invisalign aligners have smooth edges, making them much more comfortable. Even the user may forget the aligners are there!

Easy Maintenance

Braces must be tightened at regular appointments and wires periodically replaced. If food and other substances get trapped in the braces, it may cause difficulties, which will also require setting up an appointment. Invisalign aligners are simply changed every two weeks. Because they can be removed to eat and brush, there is no risk of anything getting trapped.


Make the Best Choice to Improve Your Smile

Invisalign clearly has a lot of advantages over traditional braces. If you’re looking for a way to straighten your teeth without resorting to braces, Invisalign is the answer. Dr. Rhea is an experienced orthodontist in Brentwood, MO, who can help you learn more about Invisalign. The friendly staff will answer all your questions and get you started on the path to a nicer smile and healthier teeth. Contact Dr. Rhea today to schedule an appointment!


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Dental Bridges in Brentwood: A Complete Guide

What Are Dental Bridges?

Having a missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth, can not only affect your smile and confidence, but there’s also always a chance of infection and/or neighboring teeth becoming misaligned. In the past few decades, teeth replacements have advanced by leaps and bounds and dental bridges are responsible for restoring the smiles of scores of people across the country.

Brentwood Family Dentistry is the premier dental practice in Brentwood, MO and we provide professional, friendly and comfortable care in all aspects of advanced and general dental care. With the advancements in teeth replacement options, we want to ensure that you are fully informed about dental bridges.

Learn More

A dental bridge is a popular dental device that is permanently fixed to existing teeth or implants to cover up gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. In general, a “bridge” is created using a pontic, or artificial tooth, and abutments, which are anchored to the teeth or implants on either side of the space created by the missing tooth or teeth.

If the teeth bordering the missing tooth have large fillings and need crowns or caps in the future, a dental bridge is likely your best choice. The same goes for cases where the tooth or teeth has been missing for an extended time as the bone and gum will have receded and dental implants can require additional procedures before placement.


Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants

Dental bridges generally cost considerably less than implants and these days you can expect the average lifespan of your dental bridges to be around 10 years. You will also have less of a wait time for your dental bridge than you would experience with an implant, meaning you can regain that part of your life much quicker.

With implants, a bone graft is sometimes needed, which typically has to heal for several months before placement of your implant, and that means it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months before your implant procedure is complete. When it comes to an affordable and timely solution, dental bridges can be the answer you need.


Contact us for Dental Bridges in Brentwood

No matter if you’ve fully made up your mind or you’re still on the fence regarding dental implants, Brentwood Family Dentistry can ensure that you are fully informed about your options and the pros and cons before undergoing any procedure.

Contact us today for more information or to set a dental appointment. Brentwood Family Dentistry has been serving area families for more than 20 years and we’re here to help maintain and enhance your smiles and overall dental health.

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6 Invisalign Benefits You Should Know

Invisalign is a form of orthodontics that uses a transparent, plastic aligner to adjust teeth. Clear aligners have evolved quite a bit over the past few years, improving with technology and the feedback of patients and doctors, but few have as many satisfied patients as Invisalign. And there are good reasons for this. Continue reading to find out 6 huge advantages that Invisalign has over traditional braces.

Benefits of Invisalign

Transparency of Invisaligners – One of the biggest reasons patients dread braces is the thought of their smile being unsightly with all of that metal showing. However, with Invisalign’s clear design that is customized specifically for your teeth, that phobia is no longer a concern. Many patients are surprised to find that it can take friends and family awhile to recognize the change if they even notice at all!

No Food Restrictions – Unlike traditional braces, with Invisalign you don’t have to restrict the types of food that you may consume. You can still enjoy your apple a day, caramel, nuts and even gum while treating with Invisalign. All you have to do is remove the aligners before eating.

Easy Oral Health Care – With traditional braces you are required to brush carefully, maneuvering around brackets. Thankfully, that is not an issue with Invisalign, and since they are removable, your brushing routine doesn’t have to change at all.

More Comfortable – Metal braces have to be tightened and have wires and edges that can poke you unexpectedly. Since Invisalign is customized for your mouth, the edges of the tray are smooth so they won’t irritate your gums or cheeks. They are definitely much more comfortable than braces.

Shorter Treatment Time – Instead of multiple years constantly wearing those old metal braces, treatment with Invisalign consists of a series of clear plastic trays, or aligners, that you switch out about every two weeks.

Improved Self-Esteem – Having aligners that no one can see, being able to eat what you want, and not having to change your oral health routine, are all huge factors when it comes to Invisalign over traditional braces. They are also huge factors in improving your self-esteem.

Accelerated Orthodontics in Brentwood, MO

If you’re ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer, especially when compared to metal or ceramic braces. Dr. Rhea has a level of experience and training you can trust. The team at Brentwood Family Dentistry is ready to correct your crooked or crowded teeth, close any gaps you may have between teeth or fix an overbite, permanently. Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life. Dr. Rhea is the best provider in Brentwood, and your dental health and comfort are his primary concerns.

On your first visit to the office, our primary objectives are to talk with you about your concerns, answer all of your questions, and set your dental goals. We have been taking care of dental patients in the Brentwood area since 1993, and you can contact us today to learn more about us, Invisalign, or to set an appointment.

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How Serious is Gum Disease?

Some people are more genetically prone to gum disease than others. Periodontal or gum disease is a progressive condition which usually begins with a bacterial infection causing the body to destroy both gum and bone tissue in an inflammatory response. If left untreated, erosion of the bone results in a less stable base for the teeth, leading to loose teeth or complete tooth loss.

About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage and is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include stress, smoking, inadequate nutrition, diabetes, HIV, aging, substance abuse, pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations, systemic diseases and conditions, genetic predisposition, puberty and the use of certain medications.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, and with time, plaque can grow and spread below the gum line. This causes gums to separate from the teeth and form pockets that become infected, and, as the disease develops, those pockets deepen, and even more bone and gum tissue are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

Types of Gum Disease

There are many forms of periodontitis, and you should consult us for periodontal therapy if you feel you are suffering from any of the following:

  • Systemic Diseases – Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with a specific form of gum disease.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis – Includes rapid attachment loss and bone destruction.
  • Chronic Periodontitis – Results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth and includes progressive bone loss.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Disease – An infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Through recent research studies, periodontitis and gum disease have been linked to respiratory illness.  Research has concluded that periodontal disease can worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of emphysema, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

There is also evidence that indicates dental disorders such as gum disease are linked to do with heart disease as well. To maintain good overall health, the best insurance you have is to keep good oral health habits.

Contact a Dentist in Brentwood

You should contact us if you notice any of these symptoms of gum disease:

  1. Red, swollen gums
  2. Loose teeth
  3. Pain when you bite or chew
  4. Bleeding after brushing/flossing
  5. Receding gums
  6. Pus on or around your gums

Don’t take chances with your oral health. The results could cost you a lot more than you think.

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Can I Return to Work After a Root Canal?  

Interested in a root canal in Brentwood? Click here.

So you have just been told that you have to undergo root canal treatment. You have read all the articles, knowing what will be done, and know that while you may have more pain from the treatment it will solve the pain that you might already be experiencing. Your question, though, is one that has not been answered on other websites: will you be able to go back to work after undergoing a root canal treatment?

As it turns out, this sort of depends on a lot of factors that go into the treatment.

Factors Influencing Going Back to Work After a Root Canal

The biggest thing is the type of anesthesia used. Many dentists around the internet assert that going back to work following a root canal procedure depends on what type of anesthesia is used and the dose used. The heavier the dose and the heavier the drug, the less likely that you will be able to go back to work. However, in a majority of cases, only a local anesthetic is used, which numbs the area around the site where the procedure needs to be done. This will not affect your overall mental capacity and you will be able to head back to work.

Another factor is your pain tolerance level. Oftentimes, people who have root canal procedures will have a lot of pain, which will prevent them from returning to work. However, more often than not, the pain is not that intense that it will prevent you from returning to work. Again, unless you have a significantly low pain tolerance level, you should be able to return to work.

As can be seen, determination of returning to work following a root canal depends on numerous factors relating to your body. If this is your first root canal treatment, tell your work that you may or may not return to work, depending on what occurs during the treatment. If you have gone through one before and know that you can still operate mentally, then by all means tell your employers that you will be able to return to work. Ultimately remember that if the pain is too much or you are in too much of a fog following the treatment, go home and rest.

Contact Us for a Root Canal in Brentwood

If you’re ready for a root canal in Brentwood, give Brentwood Family Dentistry a call at (314) 916-3221.

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Why People Need Dental Implants

For most people, their smile directly affects their self-esteem. Having that perfectly white, even smile makes you more approachable. However, most people have not been blessed with a naturally perfect smile. Gaps happen. Teeth fall out or break. Years ago, the only option for replacing missing teeth were dentures or bridges. Today, however, dental implants are becoming more and more popular. If you would like to know more about dental implants in Brentwood, MO, keep reading!

What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are permanent, tooth replacements. They are usually made up of three pieces: a post, the abutment and the false tooth. If you opt for a dental implant, your first surgery will include the insertion of the dental post. This piece is typically a titanium screw that is inserted into to the gum. As it heals, the jawbone fuses to the post and creates a strong bond that will anchor your implant in place. Once you have healed, an abutment is attached to the post. Finally, the tooth, or crown, is attached to the abutment and your implant process is complete! At our family dentistry practice, dental implants in Brentwood, MO are a routine procedure. Our staff is highly trained to ensure your surgery, recovery and final placement are all as easy and painless as possible. Our custom, recreated crowns will blend flawlessly into your smile, giving you a perfectly natural smile once more.

Benefits of a Dental Implant

If you are missing teeth, a dental implant may be a perfect choice. When you are missing one or more teeth, your remaining natural teeth will begin to gradually shift to fill in the space. This natural reaction can actually cause you serious dental issues down the road. Not only are your teeth harder to maintain when gapped, but they could become costly as they begin to need more and more orthodontic care to maintain. You may think a bridge is a better option. However, a bridge, fixed or otherwise, will allow your jawbone to eventually deteriorate. (Chewing and other pressures applied to your jawbone through your teeth stimulates the area and keeps it strong!) The more your jawbone deteriorates, the weaker the remaining parts of your mouth will become. Dentures are another typical suggestion. As with the bridge, these can lead to jawbone deterioration. However, dentures are notoriously uncomfortable, easy to lose, and restricting. A dental implant, however, is permanent and feels just like your real teeth!

Dental Implants in Brentwood

At Brentwood Family Dentistry, our staff understands how important your smile is to all aspects of your life.  From teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry and much more, we work with you to provide the services you need and want. If you are in the Brentwood, MO area and are in need of dental implants, or would just like to know more, contact us today!


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Periodontist in Brentwood Treats Gum Disease

Gum disease is anticipated to affect over 130 million Americans every single year, though it’s often not diagnosed. Gum disease can lead to severe issues with your oral health, and have long-lasting (or lifetime) connections to other areas of the body you may not be aware of.

Gum Disease Leads to the Following Problems:


  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • And more


Issues from periodontal, or gum disease, are directly related to these issues, with new findings stacked daily. Whereas these have a few minor links between them, there is one undeniable issue directly associated with this disease: gum recession.

Gum recession isn’t something that can be fixed; the damage can only be halted. Gum disease ravages the gums, exposing more baseline surface areas of your teeth that normally wouldn’t be accessible. This makes it far easier to experience tooth decay, and be left with “pink in the sink” when brushing. The less gum tissue you have, the worse off you are.

How Does my Periodontist in Brentwood Treat This?

Your Brentwood periodontist has multiple methods to treat gum disease, including:


  • Medicinal: Antibiotics and topical prescription medication can be prescribed and utilized to slow or stop the effects of gum disease. Further deliberation will need to be taken by your dentist.



  • Procedural: Removing infected tissue can give you the best fighting chance to eliminate gum disease. With proper post-procedure oral care and consistent appointments/monitoring, getting a jump on gum disease could stop it in its tracks.



  • Aid in Self-Care: After everything is taken care of, preventing gum disease from striking again is up to you. Your periodontist in Brentwood can help with proper care, and recommendations on on-home dental products.


Your Periodontist in Brentwood

Treating gum disease isn’t something that can wait. Your periodontist in Brentwood is equipped to identify issues and propose the necessary course of action to eliminate periodontal disease in as little time in possible. Contact us today for more information, or to book your appointment and begin treatment. All it takes is a quick phone call to get started.

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