My Blog
April 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

How can you keep your teeth forever? Maintain your oral health daily with brushing, flossing, a good diet and regular in-office care. At Lakeoral hygiene Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR, your dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, shows his patients proper hygiene techniques. Patient teaching is part of his preventive dental care plan for your best possible smile.

Good brushing

Do it twice daily for two minutes, says the American Dental Association (ADA). Use an ADA-accepted toothpaste and soft brush, and if necessary, set a timer to ensure you spend the proper amount of time. Brush all tooth surfaces thoroughly, and clean your tongue and all soft oral tissues gently. They hold onto harmful bacteria which cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.

The International Dental Health Association recommends a small to medium-sized brush with soft bristles to get those hard to reach areas. Change your brush after the flu or a cold or whenever it looks or feels worn out.

Diligent flossing

It's not optional. Using a quality flossing product (strand, plain, flavored, interproximal brushes, Y-flossers, water flossers), carefully remove the accumulated food residues from interdental spaces and at the gum line. Flossing reduces plaque and tartar formation, both leading players in cavity formation and gum disease (and its systemic effects).

A healthy diet

Skip the processed sugar, and limit your carbs because oral bacteria thrive on them. Drink plenty of water daily, and up your intake of fiber--grains, fruits, and veggies. And, don't forget the calcium. Enjoy dairy products such as yogurt and milk to keep bones and tooth enamel strong.

Visit your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist

Every six months is best, although some patients who are prone to gum disease may require more frequent cleanings and check-ups. During your oral examination, Dr. Smith will look for signs of gingivitis and tooth decay, assess your soft tissues for oral cancer (it takes just a few minutes) and look at your dental bite and current fillings and crowns.

If necessary, he'll take digital X-rays to look for decay between the teeth and to assess your bones and root structure. A detailed treatment plan outlines restorative care, recommended cosmetic improvements and how to improve your at-home routine. Plastic sealants and fluoride treatments help some individuals reduce tooth decay. Your dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, will tell you these coatings are right for you.

Good habits and great smiles

They go together. Your friendly team at Lake Oswego Smiles joins you in that great goal. Call today for your routine appointment: (503) 635-3653.

January 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentist in Lake Oswego wants you to knowdental crowns

If you have a cavity or damaged tooth, you may be wondering if you should choose a large filling or a dental crown. What is a dental crown anyway? What makes it so much better than a filling? The short answer is a dental crown can protect your tooth much better than a filling. A dental crown looks more natural and beautiful too! Dr. Colin Smith at Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR wants to share the facts about dental crowns and why they are the right choice for you.

A dental crown covers your entire tooth above the gumline. Dental crown materials are strong, providing a shield for your tooth against strong pressure and biting forces. When you bite down, the pressure and stress are spread out evenly across your tooth, protecting your tooth from damage.

In the past, dental crowns were made of gold, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Those crown materials are still available, but they don’t provide the aesthetic natural beauty you deserve. Dr. Smith offers a better choice: a high-grade dental ceramic (porcelain). Porcelain reflects light, just like your natural teeth, so you know your dental crown will be cosmetically beautiful and look completely natural.

Don’t worry, your crown may look delicate, but it will provide strong protection for your tooth. If you have chipped, broken, badly decayed or damaged teeth, porcelain crowns can restore your teeth and your smile. To view amazing before-and-after photos of Dr. Smith’s dental crown patients please visit the Crowns Gallery page on Dr. Smith’s website at

If you have a damaged smile, dental crowns can give you back your smile, better than before! That’s because dental crowns both protect and enhance your smile at the same time. For more information about dental crowns and other restorative and cosmetic dental services call Dr. Smith at Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR today!

November 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extraction  

According to the American Dental Association, a tooth extraction may be necessary if a tooth suffers from disease, trauma, or crowding. tooth extractionThat's why your Lake Oswego, OR dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, is here to offer you some advice.

Oral surgery can be a frightening thing but if you follow these tips, you may be able to avoid getting a tooth extraction due to disease:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day and making sure your brush reaches the furthest molars in your mouth.
  • Flossing between every tooth, including the molars in the back of your mouth, once before bedtime, at least.
  • Avoiding smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking excessive amounts of coffee and tea.

If, however, the reason you need a tooth extraction is due to trauma, like your tooth was severely damaged while playing a sport, and/or your teeth are overcrowded, then oral surgery is necessary. Here is what your tooth extraction experience may include:

  • Examine the severity of the situation and schedule an appointment for the tooth extraction.
  • You will be given anesthetics that will need to be taken before your procedure. They will numb your mouth during the procedure.
  • The doctor will stitch the extraction area and place gauze to stop bleeding and help with blood clot formation.

Care After your Tooth Extraction:

  • Make sure to change the gauze periodically.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink for a few hours, but ice and painkillers will help you through the process.
  • Also, avoid smoking or drinking alcoholic beverage after the procedure and rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • If you find yourself suffering from severe pain, then you may have a dry socket. This means the blood clot hasn't formed properly and you need to see your Lake Oswego dentist.

If you think you need a tooth extraction and want to consult your doctor to see if the tooth is beyond saving, then you should call your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist today.

September 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Veneers  

Who wouldn't be grateful for a healthy mouth with no cavities or gum disease? Of course, you're happy with your good check-up at Lake veneersOswego Smiles, but you confess to your dentist, Dr. Colin Smith in Lake Oswego, OR, that some chips and tobacco stains really detract from your appearance. Does he have a solution? Thankfully, Dr. Smith delivers many beautiful smile makeovers. Some include porcelain veneers, the modern way to cover dental defects for a truly outstanding smile. You could qualify for veneers. Learn all about them here.

What are porcelain veneers?

Also called dental laminates, porcelain veneers disguise a variety of flaws such as:

  • Deep stains that do not respond to professional teeth whitening
  • Hairline cracks
  • Chips
  • Small gaps
  • Mild overcrowding
  • Uneven tooth length
  • Congenital malformations such as peg-shaped incisors

Besides beautifying selected teeth with customized shells of fine ceramic, veneers strengthen tooth enamel. In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that teeth with veneers are similar in strength to natural tooth enamel.

Plus, Dr. Smith ensures that veneers truly compliment the patient's age, overall facial appearance and smile width. Often, porcelain veneers are just one component in a complete smile makeover which may include porcelain crowns, dental implants, composite resin bonding, dental implants, tooth contouring and more as needed.

The veneer consultation

When you come to see your Lake Oswego dentist for a veneer consultation, Dr. Smith will perform a comprehensive oral exam, including digital X-rays. He'll also ask how you would like your smile to improve, or conversely, what bothers you about your teeth. Together you will decide your smile goals and if veneers can meet them.

If veneers are the right treatment, he'll remove a thin slice of enamel from each tooth and take oral impressions to send to an outside dental lab. He also will fit you with temporary veneers to normalize your smile while you wait for your permanebt laminates.

At the lab, a highly skilled technician will construct a three-dimensional model of your teeth and then sculpt the veneers one by one, following Dr. Smith's instructions. The technician knows just how to shape and color the veneers for maximum realism and beauty.

Placing veneers

At the next dental appointment, Dr. Smith removes the temporary veneers and bonds the permanent ones in place using specially colored dental adhesive. He may adjust the shape of the veneers, and he will ensure your bite is correct.

That's it. When you go home, you'll adjust quickly to how your veneers feel, and you'll care for them just like your other teeth--with twice a day brushing with a soft brush and once a day flossing to remove plaque. If your grind your teeth, your dentist in Lake Oswego may recommend wearing a night guard to cushion your teeth as you sleep.

Find out more

Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He loves helping people of all ages achieve their brightest, healthiest smiles. Learn all about porcelain veneers by contacting Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR at (503) 635-3653.

July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canals  

Sometimes problems with teeth develop very suddenly, but often, there are a few warning signs that let you know something is wrong. root canalYour Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith discusses several things that may happen if you need a root canal and explains how a root canal can help.

Your tooth hurts

Pain doesn't have to be constant to be a problem. Sometimes pain can even go away for a few days or weeks, only to return again. If you experience tooth pain, call our Lake Oswego office and schedule an appointment. Pain in a tooth can occur for a variety of reasons, including decay, dying nerves in your tooth pulp or sensitivity due to receding gums. The only way to determine the cause of your pain is by examining your mouth.

If you need a root canal and don't seek treatment when you first notice symptoms, pain may eventually become constant and can even keep you up at night.

Your gums hurt too

Your gums can become irritated if you need a root canal. Swelling and redness around a tooth can be warning signs.

Your tooth stands out

An inflammation or infection in the pulp of a tooth can cause your tooth to darken. If your formerly white tooth is now brown or gray, you might need a root canal.

Eating is uncomfortable

When chewing, or even pressing on your tooth hurts, a root canal may be in your future. Pulp inflammation or infections can also cause sensitivity. If you eat or drink something sweet, hot or cold, you may experience pain.

Your tooth hurts and you feel sick

Root canals are often performed to treat dental abscesses. The bacterial infection can cause swollen lymph nodes, fever and facial swelling. You may also notice pus or a pimple on your gum.

A root canal can end your pain

Root canals remove the infected or inflamed tooth pulp that is the source of your problem. Before you root canal begins, you'll receive injections of local anesthetic to prevent pain. We'll remove the pulp, clean the inside of your tooth and the root canals, and add a temporary filling to your tooth. You'll return to our office about a week later to receive a permanent dental crown. Although you may notice a little sensitivity in your tooth after the procedure, you'll soon be pain-free.

Protect your smile with a root canal. Call Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith at (503) 635-3653 if you're concerned about a tooth.

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