My Blog

Posts for: July, 2021

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
July 21, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   oral health  
TakeCareofYourTeethandGumsEvenWhileCamping

July is Park and Recreation Month, a great time to pack up the tent, bed roll and camp stove and head for your nearest state or national park. Just don't take the concept of "getting away from it all" too literally. It's not a good idea to leave all of civilization behind, particularly your daily oral hygiene and dental care habits.

You might think, What's the harm going a few days without brushing and flossing? Actually, there's plenty of harm—even a brief period of neglected oral hygiene is sufficient to give oral bacteria a chance to trigger a case of tooth decay or gum disease.

It's true that you're limited on what you can take with you into the great outdoors (that's kind of the point). But with a little forethought and wise packing, you can take care of your dental care needs and still tread lightly into the woods. Here then, are a few tips for taking care of your teeth and gums while camping.

Bring your toothbrush. There are some things in your personal toiletry you may not need in the wild (looking at you, razor). But you do need your toothbrush, toothpaste and a bit of dental floss or floss picks. We're really not talking about a lot of room, particularly if you go with travel sizes. Just be sure everyone has their own brush packed separately from each other to discourage bacterial spread.

Dry and seal hygiene items. Bacteria love moist environments—so be sure you thoroughly dry your toothbrush after use before you pack it away. You should also stow toothpaste in sealable bags so that its scent won't attract critters (bears seem partial to mint). And, be sure to clean up any toothpaste waste or used floss and dispose of items properly.

Be sure you have clean water. Brushing and flossing with clean water is something you might take for granted at home—but not in camp. Even the clearest stream water may not be as clean as it may look, so be sure you have a way to disinfect it. Alternatively, bottled water is a handy option for use while brushing and flossing your teeth.

Easy on the trail mix. Although seeds and nuts make up most popular snacking mixes for hiking or camping, they may also contain items like raisins or candy bits with high sugar content. Since sugar feeds the bacteria that cause dental disease, keep your snacking on these kinds of trail mixes to a minimum or opt for snacks without these sweetened items.

Camping can be a great adventure. Just be sure you're not setting yourself up for a different kind of adventure in dental treatment by taking care of your teeth and gums on your next big outing.

If you would like more information about taking care of your teeth no matter the season, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene.”


By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
July 11, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smile makeover  
HeresHowtoGetaSmileMakeoverThisSummer

Play a round of word association with "summer," and you'll probably come up with "vacation," "camping," or "beach" just off the top of your head. But the slower pace of this sultry season offers opportunities for other pursuits—like home improvement projects. If you're in a "fixer-upper" mood, you might consider something out of the box: a smile makeover.

Changes to your dental appearance start a lot like the typical home renovation—you're not satisfied with how things look. And, like home projects, you can go little on smile enhancements (akin to maybe repainting the bedroom) or go big (that shiny new addition).

If you're up for this kind of makeover this summer, here are a few suggestions for improving your smile.

Teeth whitening. Stained tooth enamel can make your smile look dull and dingy—but you can reverse this with a professional whitening treatment. Using a precisely formulated bleaching solution, we can give you a brighter smile at just the level of brightness you want. And with good care and occasional touchups, your bright and shiny smile could last for years.

Dental bonding or veneers. Chips, stains that resist whitening or an unsightly gap can detract from an otherwise attractive smile. We can repair many minor defects by bonding tooth-colored composite material to your teeth. For more extensive defects, we can also cover teeth with custom dental veneers, thin layers of porcelain that hide dental flaws.

Orthodontics. Straightening misaligned teeth is primarily beneficial to your long-term dental health. But it can also transform a smile, earning it the title, "The Original Smile Makeover." And braces aren't your only choice—depending on your particular bite problem, you may be able to use nearly invisible clear aligners, which you can also remove for meals and hygiene.

Dental implants. Nothing downgrades a smile like missing teeth. But you can replace those teeth with dental implants, a highly popular and effective restoration. Implants have two outstanding qualities: They provide a life-like appearance that's indistinguishable from a natural tooth and they're quite durable—over 95% are still in place after ten years.

You can receive these and other cosmetic dental measures as standalone procedures or grouped with others in a comprehensive smile makeover. Some—like teeth whitening—can often be done in a single visit, while others—like teeth straightening or implants—can take months or even years.

What's important, though, is that you get the ball rolling with a comprehensive dental exam. From there, we can lay out your options and help you decide on your specific makeover plan. It could be one of your best summer projects ever!

If you would like more information about smile makeover options, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry.”


By KATHLEEN M. GEIPE, DDS, PA
July 07, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Brushing, flossing, and good nutrition are instrumental in keeping tooth decay away, but sometimes cavities can occur even if you have great oral hygiene.

If you have developed a cavity due to inadequate dental care, genetics, aging, health problems, or other reasons, there is no need to be embarrassed. Dr. Kathleen Geipe in Salisbury, MD, can fill your cavity with a tooth-colored filling to restore the health and appearance of your tooth.

What is a filling?

Fillings are sealants, used to cover the void from a cavity. Your dentist at our Salisbury, MD, office will begin by removing the cavity and cleaning out the tooth before a filling is cemented in place. A filling prevents the decay in a cavity from causing bacterial growth and spreading it to the neighboring teeth and gums.

What are fillings made of?

Tooth-colored fillings can be made from composite, porcelain, or glass ionomer.
Composite fillings are made from plastic and glass and are easier to put in as they require less drilling. Porcelain fillings offer stain resistance and are undetectable to the eye, but generally cost more than composite. Glass ionomer fillings, made from a blend of acrylic and glass powders, are usually the most affordable tooth-colored filling but don't last as long.

Why should I choose a tooth-colored filling?

A cavity needs to be filled in order to restore the health and function of your tooth and protect the rest of your teeth. While any filling can accomplish that, a tooth-colored filling does so discreetly. Amalgam fillings, while strong and less expensive, are visible and may require more drilling. If you are looking for discreetness, a tooth-colored filling is your best option. As with any filling, your dentist will make sure it fits perfectly so you can bite and chew comfortably.

If you need a filling, call our Salisbury, MD, office at (410) 543-0599 to book an appointment with Dr. Geipe.


By KATHLEEN M. GEIPE, DDS, PA
July 01, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

If you're searching for a safe and effective way to brighten your smile in a short amount of time, Dr. Kathleen Geipe recommends teeth whitening to eligible Salisbury, MD, patients.

Tooth stains are divided into two categories: intrinsic (inner) and extrinsic (outer). Intrinsic discoloration lies under enamel in the dentin, while the outer ones lie on the surface, making them a bit easier to treat. Both often result from poor oral hygiene, excessive plaque and tartar build-up, tobacco products, or excessive consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages. Hereditary disorders, medications, decay, and periodontal disease may also be the cause. 

The After Care For Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is performed at home or in our Salisbury, MD, office using a concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel. This gel sits on the teeth for approximately 60 minutes and has the potential to whiten enamel up to eight shades. Once Dr. Geipe applies the gel, routine upkeep is necessary to achieve desired and long-lasting results.

To prolong whitening effects, you might want to avoid some of the foods and beverages that stain teeth and add a whitening toothpaste to your oral care regimen. You'll also benefit from brushing at least twice a day or once after every meal. Flossing at least once a day, and visiting our dentist for professional cleanings and checkups twice a year are also important.

Remember that sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. Therefore maintaining good oral hygiene practices are essential.

Don't be insecure about your smile any longer. Consider a consultation with our dentist to determine which cosmetic procedure best suits your needs. For more information about teeth whitening and other services provided by Dr. Geipe, visit our website. If you live in the Salisbury, MD, area and would like to schedule an appointment, please call (410) 543-0599.


By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
July 01, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
ZacEfronsSmileTransformationCouldHappentoYou

Actor Zac Efron has one of the top smiles in a business known for beautiful smiles. Bursting on the scene in 2006 at age 18 in High School Musical, Efron has steadily increased his range of acting roles. He recently starred as Ted Bundy on Netflix, wearing prosthetics to match the notorious serial killer's crooked teeth.

With his growing fame, Efron's attractive smile has become one of his more memorable attributes. But it wasn't always so. Before Hollywood, Efron's smile was less than perfect with small, uneven teeth and a gap between his top front teeth. Before and after pictures, though, make it quite apparent that the actor has undergone a significant smile makeover.

While fans are abuzz on the 411 regarding his dental work, Efron himself has been hush-hush about his smile transformation. We won't join the speculation: Instead, here are a few possible ways you can get a more attractive smile like Zac Efron.

Teeth whitening. A single-visit, non-invasive teeth whitening procedure can transform your dull, stained teeth into a brighter, more attractive smile. Although the effect isn't permanent, it could last a few years with a professional whitening and good oral practices. Having it done professionally also gives you more control over the level of shading you prefer—from soft natural white to dazzling Hollywood bright.

Orthodontics. Like Efron, if your teeth aren't quite in proper alignment, straightening them can make a big difference in your appearance (and your oral health as well). Braces are the tried and true method for moving teeth, but you may also be able to choose clear aligner trays, which are much less noticeable than braces. And don't worry about your age: Anyone with reasonably good dental health can undergo orthodontics.

Bonding. We may be able to correct chips and other slight tooth flaws with durable composite resins. After preparing your tooth and matching the material to your particular color, we apply it directly to your tooth in successive layers. After hardening, the unsightly defect is no more—and your smile is more attractive.

Veneers. Dental veneers are the next step up for more advanced defects. We bond these thin, custom-made layers of dental porcelain to the front of teeth to mask chips, heavy staining and slight tooth gaps. Although we often need to permanently remove a small amount of tooth enamel, veneers are still less invasive than some other restorations. And your before and after could be just as amazing as Zac Efron's.

Improving one's smile isn't reserved for stars like Zac Efron. There are ways to correct just about any dental defect, many of which don't require an A-lister's bank account. With a little dental “magic,” you could transform your smile.

If you would like more information about how to give your smile a boost, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Porcelain Veneers.”