New Port Richey and Trinity, FL Dentist
James C. Lewis, DMD
4101 Little Rd
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 372-7887
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4101 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34655

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Posts for: December, 2015

By James C. Lewis, DMD
December 26, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?


By Dr. James Lewis
December 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

White teeth help you feel more confident about your appearance. Unfortunately, as we age, teeth tend to become duller and discolored. Dr. James Lewis, your Westfield dentist, is here to share a few teeth whitening tips that will help you keep your smile bright.

Avoid these foods and beveragesTeeth Whitening

Brightly colored foods and beverages can stain your teeth. Avoiding or limiting these foods is the best option, although you may not be able to avoid them entirely. When you do indulge in these foods and drinks, brush your teeth immediately after consuming them or rinse your mouth with water if you can't brush your teeth. The following foods and beverages can stain teeth:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Coffee, cola and sports drinks
  • Black tea (Drink herbal, white or green tea instead.)
  • Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries and red grapes
  • Wine
  • Popsicles, candy and gum

Don't use whitening toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes seem to offer an easy way to brighten your teeth, but frequent use of these toothpastes can actually dull your smile. Whitening toothpastes contain abrasives that remove stains but erode your enamel over time and expose the duller dentin underneath. If you prefer using these toothpastes, don't use them more than once or twice per week.

Try teeth whitening services at your dentist's office

Professional teeth whitening agents are not only more effective than over-the-counter products; they're also gentler on your teeth. Store-bought products can lighten your teeth for a few weeks or months, but if you want to keep your teeth bright, you'll have to reapply the products often. Professional teeth whitening treatments will keep your smile bright for several years if you avoid foods that tend to stain teeth.

Your dentist in Westfield can lighten your teeth up to eight shades during a one-hour session in his office. If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can provide you with a take-home kit that will allow you whiten your teeth in just several sessions.

Ready to improve your smile with professional teeth whitening treatment? Call Westfield dentist Dr. James Lewis at (727) 372-7887. Don't you deserve a dazzling smile?


By James C. Lewis, DMD
December 11, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
ImproveYourBrushingandFlossingHabitwithTheseTips

The most important thing you can do for good oral health is brush and floss your teeth daily. But we’re not born knowing how to do either — they’re skills we must learn and practice to be effective in removing disease-causing bacterial plaque.

It helps then to have a good understanding about technique, implements or problem situations you may run into. So then, here are answers to 4 typical hygiene questions that can help you improve your brushing and flossing.

How often should I brush and floss? You should brush and floss at least once a day to prevent a buildup of plaque, the cause for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; if you have some form of dental disease, we may advise a different frequency. Be sure to use a gentle technique — it doesn’t take much pressure to remove plaque and being too aggressive can harm your gums and tooth enamel.

When should I change my toothbrush? If you use it correctly (gentle vs. aggressive), your toothbrush should last several months. When you begin to notice the bristles becoming worn or splayed, it’s time to get a new, soft bristle brush.

What kind of toothpaste should I use? You may have a preference among the dozens available when it comes to flavor and texture. But from a hygiene standpoint you should choose one that contains fluoride to strengthen enamel and an anti-tartar agent to inhibit the formation of hardened plaque deposits (calculus). While we’re on the subject, don’t rinse out the toothpaste right after brushing — you may be washing away fluoride too early, which takes time to work in contact with tooth enamel. Just spit it out.

What if my teeth are sensitive when I brush? If you encounter problems when you brush, visit us to find out the cause. The most common cause for sensitivity is gum recession, usually due to gum disease, which has exposed the roots. This can cause discomfort when you encounter hot or cold foods, or pressure on the teeth when you brush. You should then receive treatment for the underlying condition; we may also recommend toothpaste that reduces tooth sensitivity. And, of course, be gentle when you brush.

If you would like more information on brushing, flossing and other aspects of oral hygiene, 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 “Oral Hygiene Behavior.”




Dentist New Port Richey FL James Lewis DMD

James Lewis, DMD

Dr. James Lewis prides himself on establishing personal relationships with his patients so he can help make their dreams of having a beautiful, healthy smile come true...

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