The decision to get one’s teeth professionally whitened can be a big one. There are a number of factors to consider, such as cost, duration, and overall effectiveness. At Adkins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, here in Lexington, we have been helping people with this decision for some time and have produced many happy patients through careful decision-making over the years.



Dental veneers are thin (usually porcelain) laminates that are bonded to your natural tooth. Porcelain is usually the material of choice because it looks most like real tooth enamel and reflects light similarly. Most veneers require a small amount of enamel removal to make room for this porcelain. Usually veneers require at least two visits to your dentist because a certified laboratory technician often makes these porcelain veneers while the dentist does the preparation work.



Dentures (sometimes called false teeth) stretch far back in history. These are partial or full replacements of missing teeth. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons: accidents, dental malformation, tooth decay, drug use, pregnancy. For some people, losing some or all of their teeth can be very socially debilitating, so much so that many are too embarrassed to ask a well-qualified dentist about options.


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Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride has the unique ability to prevent tooth decay by hardening tooth enamel, thus reducing your risk of decay. Fluoride helps in the mineralization of your bones and teeth, which is essential for keeping them strong. Bacteria living in the mouth produce acids that can damage tooth enamel, a process called demineralization. Fluoride slows down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and accelerates the repair process by putting minerals back into the enamel. This is called remineralization. Fluoride supplements are recommended for those who do not live in areas with fluoridated water, but be careful not to take in too much fluoride.

If you smoke, quit (that may be a separate resolution).

Smoking and chewing tobacco do horrible things to your teeth. Not only do these activities cause staining and bad breath, they are also significant risk factors that cause gum or periodontal disease (inflammation around the teeth). Advanced stages of periodontal disease can result in tooth loss. Your dentist can make recommendations for programs to help you stop smoking.

Floss properly.

Flossing can remove food and plaque that are beyond your toothbrush’s reach. Use a clean piece of floss up to 18 inches long for each tooth. Reach between your teeth to get to the germs stuck there and use a gentle sawing motion to release them. Some people find floss picks easier to use, but they are not always as effective as traditional floss. Follow flossing and brushing with a therapeutic mouthwash. Antibacterial rinses prevent cavities and minimize the chance of gum disease when included in your overall dental hygiene plan. You can even try using a tongue scraper, which helps remove bacteria on the tongue and also freshens your breath.

Consider the dental health needs of the rest of your family, too.

Take your child for an initial dental visit by age 1 year. When a child’s teeth first appear, be diligent about wiping them with a clean damp cloth after he eats or nurses. When the child is older, teach him how to properly brush his teeth. Demonstrate good dental health habits and help your children follow your lead.

Dental health has been linked to other chronic ailments, such as diabetes and heart disease. Talk to your dentist about these conditions and enlist her help in making sure you have a plan in place to keep them under control. Regular check-ups and cleanings will help you keep your smile this year and beyond.

Get started on your resolution by calling Adkins Family Dental at (859) 543-0333 to make an appointment or visit to learn more about maintaining a healthy mouth.


Please contact Dr. Ruth Adkins of Adkins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for more information on Tooth Whitening or other dental services. (859)543-0333.

more articles by dr Ruth Adkins

As the new year begins, you’ve probably made several health- related resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, go to sleep at a reasonable hour each night. Along with these, why not make some resolutions to improve your dental health?

Our teeth were meant to last a lifetime. With proper care – such as brushing, flossing, cutting back on sugary food and drinks and regularly visiting your dentist – this goal can be achieved. Here are some tips for keeping your resolve to maintain a strong, healthy and beautiful smile:

Learn to properly brush your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should keep your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush across the sides and tops of your teeth with back-and-forth strokes. Hold the brush vertically and use shorter strokes to focus on the back of your teeth where plaque, a sticky film-like substance filled with bacteria, often builds up. The buildup of plaque under and along the gum line can trigger gum disease. The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes twice a day. Set a timer on your phone to help you hit the mark. As well, make sure your toothbrush is the correct size. Use ADA-approved toothpaste; it will have the amount of fluoride suitable for adults and children who are past a certain age. Brush after every meal and change your toothbrush every few months.