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Why is a smile so important?


For one, it can be the bread and butter for some. Beauty queens, models and TV personalities bank everything on their looks.


What would they be without a smile?


If you think about it, there’d be times you would ask yourself, “How did they get such perfect smiles?”


The answer is: they took their oral health and hygiene seriously.


There’s always a good reason to smile! One would be knowing you have a great set of teeth to smile with. But, not everybody has the luxury of possessing that killer smile.


Many people all over the world suffer from the most common dental problems because of negligence or financial capacities.


People from all over the world and across all age groups suffer from common dental problems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), majority of oral disease cases are from poor and disadvantageous population groups thus, solidifying the claim of being unable to take care of oral health because of financial capacities.


Our teeth are to be treasured. They are much like every other part of our body – they can’t be easily replaced. With the strain they get from all the chewing, biting or grinding, they will also wear and tear if not take care of.


Caring for them means brushing three times a day or every after meal. It means flossing regularly. It means regular visits to your dentist and staying away from food that can harm them.


However, don’t be complacent just because you already have your oral hygiene routine that you religiously follow. Even people with a superb track record of keeping their teeth strong and healthy can encounter minor common dental problems.


Nevertheless, we, at Friendly Dental Group, want everyone to be responsible of their oral hygiene and health by being aware of these common dental problems, what causes them and how to prevent them.


cavities tooth decay

Cavities/Tooth Decay

Cavities are permanently damaged areas in or around the surface of your tooth that results to tiny holes. This one of the most common dental problems and can happen even to infants.


They are caused by plaque from food high in sugar or starch content settling on the surface of the teeth. Bacteria inside your mouth feeds on sugar and starch thus leading to the protective coat of your teeth (enamel) to slowly deteriorate. This then leads to tooth decay which will most likely need fillings.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 60-90% of kids worldwide have cavities. You might think that’s normal because they’re kids and they’re crazy for cavity-causing candies.


Based on World Health Organization’s statistics, almost 100% of adults worldwide have dental cavities.


Why is that? Because of our diet!


Cavities or tooth decay are caused by what you consume. Though they might also be caused by bacteria living in your mouth, consumption of sugary drinks such as sodas, frequent snacking and smoking are main causes of cavities among adults.


For children, they get cavities because of the sugar they consume and also because they do not have the proper discipline to follow proper oral hygiene.


But, how do you know if you have cavities? There are some symptoms that should urge you to pay your doctor a visit.

  • Tooth ache
  • Sensitivity
  • Sudden pain when eating or drinking something cold or sweet
  • Visible holes on the surface of your teeth
  • Tooth stains
  • Pain when biting


Once you get these symptoms, set an appointment to see your dentist. Actually, for sure once you get the constant toothache or the sudden piercing pain when you eat, you’d visit your dentist without being told to.


How do you prevent cavities?

  • Avoid food with high sugar or starch content – food and drinks like soda, ice cream, cakes, candy cookies, etc. are very high in both starch and sugar.
  • Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly – if you do consume these foods, brush your teeth after eating to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Rinse your mouth – if you can’t brush right then and there, rinse your mouth with clean water.
  • Drink more water – if you can stay away from other beverages that isn’t water, do so. Manufactured drinks have chemicals and loads of sugar that causes plaque.
  • Visit your dentist regularly – ask for tooth sealant options or fluoride gels


Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases adults get. It has three developing stages starting from gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease that is reversible but, if not treated accordingly, may lead to a more serious problem call periodontal disease.


Periodontal disease must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will lead to stage three of gum disease also known as advanced periodontal disease which causes teeth to fall loose.


Some would think gum disease isn’t serious. But, the numbers don’t lie. World Help Organization (WHO) said 15-25% of adults from around the world aged 35-44 years old have severe periodontal disease. This means they would lose majority of their teeth by the time they reach 50.


What are the symptoms of gum disease? Sometimes we grow accustomed to the condition of our oral health that we don’t realize we’re already showing signs of gum disease. For instance, there would come a time that we’re used to the smell of our own breath that we don’t know we’ve had bad breath for quite a while already.


That’s already a sign of gingivitis. Here are the other symptoms of gum disease:

  1. Bleeding gums – do your gums bleed when you floss or brush? That’s not supposed to always happen. This is an early sign of your gums weakening.
  2. Bad breath – if you notice the bad breath despite maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine, consider gingivitis.
  3. Swollen, red or tender gums – healthy gums are supposed to possess a pink color and tight around the base of your teeth. If you see swelling, redness or tenderness around the base where your teeth meets your gums, see a dentist right away.
  4. Loose Teeth – loose teeth might be signs of severe periodontal disease already. Don’t take it lightly. Get it treated as soon as possible to lessen the risk of needing replacement.
  5. Pus development – if you start noticing pus around the base of your teeth, this is a sign of a more serious infection that could easily spread to other parts of your mouth. Have it treated right away and your dentist might prescribe antibiotics.


Much like every other common dental problems, you can prevent gum disease. Since gum disease is also caused by bacteria found in plaque that attacks the ligament of your gums, it can easily be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene habits.


We can’t stress enough how brushing your teeth at least three times a day makes a difference. It’s not just a proverbial advice given to you when you were a kid. It helps makes a whole lot of difference when you’re older.


Paying your dentist a visit every other month or so for general cleaning would also be a wise move and would severely contribute to keeping up your oral health to its prime level. Using a tartar-control toothpaste will also help keep tartar and plaque at bay.


Bad Breath


Nothing is more embarrassing than bad breath. Sadly, bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common oral problem across all ages. But, as much as we might think this is common, it’s usually a sign of other dental problems.


Studies show about 85% of people with bad breath are suffering some other dental problem that is to blame. Bad breath is common symptom of gum disease, cavities or oral cancer.


But, don’t fret! Just because you have bad breath does not automatically mean that you have a serious dental problem. It could be cause by what you’ve been eating. There are certain foods that causes bad breath such as garlic, onions, sweets or liquor among many others.


Some spices also causes an odor in your breath. For instance, you’ve been eating meals with lots of garlic. The strong garlic smell will eventually stick to the surfaces inside your mouth and cannot be easily removed with one or two brushes. Same is to be said for cumin.


This is why brushing after every meal helps control bad breath as well as other oral problems. Bring a small bottle of mouthwash with you as well if you can’t brush right after. Or at least gargle with fresh water after you eat.


If the odor persists, visit your dentist just so other serious oral conditions can be ruled out.


Dry Mouth


Sometimes called xerostomia, dry mouth is simply what it’s called. This is a condition where saliva glands are not able to produce enough saliva to keep the inside of the mouth moist.


Saliva has antibacterial components that helps keep plaque off of teeth surface. It is caused by several things such as smoking, prescription medication, aging or stress.


People who are on medication or chemotherapy are at very high risk of dry mouth. Same goes for the older population. The absence of moisture in the mouth contributes to more plaque buildup, cavities and eventually, tooth decay.


Common symptoms of dry mouth could be as simple as chapped lips, mouth sores and bad breath but, more serious symptoms can manifest such as gum irritation and a burning feeling in the mouth.


Though there is no absolute cure for dry mouth, drinking more water is proven to help keep the mouth hydrated.


tooth crowding


Tooth Crowding


Tooth crowding isn’t only an aesthetic dental problem. It can cause alignment issues that eventually can cause temporomandibular jaw disorder or TMJ. Misaligned bites can cause jaw problems that might need surgery to fix.


Fixing tooth crowding would be the best way – though lengthy procedure – prevent jaw disorders and misaligned bites.


This naturally for many. When baby teeth falls out and new teeth comes out in a peculiar position, crowding may ensue. Teeth also shift without the person knowing so it may eventually result to getting them realigned.


Braces are the go-to treatment for teeth crowding with severe realignment needed. Depending on the crowding, orthodontists might even suggest extraction to make room for teeth to shift.


If it doesn’t require extensive realignment, one might opt for clear aligners called Invisalign. It requires more discipline since they need to be taken out when eating, cleaned before putting them back on and replaced every fortnight. But, for those who don’t want the aesthetic disadvantage of mental braces, this would be the way to go.


Visit an orthodontist to see if you have teeth crowding.


Root Infection


If you’ve heard of or tried a root canal treatment, then you know a root infection is a serious problem. It’s painful and very uncomfortable.


A root infection occurs when bacteria infects the root part of your tooth. It enters the center of your tooth and attacks the pulp tissue inside. You will experience what you might rule off as a generic toothache.


Eventually, an abscess will form indicating that the root infection has developed to a more severe case. If you do not see any abscess but have persisting pain, visit your local dentist.


Possibly, a root canal procedure might be advised and though many people think it is a painful process, it’s actually not. Dentists give their patients anesthesia and one would hardly feel any pain. You would feel the movement and pressure of the tools but there won’t be any pain until the anesthesia wears off.


The healing part is where the pain comes in along with a bit of swelling that an ice pack can’t alleviate.


During a root canal procedure, the dental surgeon or endodontist drills a hole through the middle of your tooth. He then takes a file to grind away the damaged surface and provide access to the root. Once the opening has been made, a special suction tool is used to suck out all the pus and infected tissue.


It is then sealed with a gutta percha which is a hardening material that will keep bacteria from entering the root again as well as strengthen the tooth.


Tooth Loss


Many of the common dental problems we’ve already discussed can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease eventually leads to this if not treated immediately. Tooth decay can also lead to an extraction if the tooth can no longer be saved. Same goes for root infections.


Consequently, when this happens you only have two options: dentures or dental implants.


Of course, as we age, our teeth also weaken from all the years of chewing, biting and grinding. Even if you don’t have any serious dental problems, you are still at a risk of tooth loss because it does come with age. WHO’s (World Help Organization) study shows that 30% of people in the world who are between the ages of 65-74 have no natural teeth.


That’s the reason why seniors need dentures. Harsh truth but that’s the cycle of life. It’s not something to dread though. Because of dental technology and techniques innovations, it’s now possible to permanently restore teeth with dental implants.


Dental implants are permanently lodged into your jaw, making them durable, strong and long-lasting. They look and feel like natural teeth and restores function completely. The procedure is done over several sessions as to give the patient to heal but has been the choice of many older patients.


Of course, dentures are still an option for those who want a more affordable and quicker solution. There are partial and full dentures one can get depending on the severity of tooth loss. Go over the options with your dentists. If you’re in the Carolinas, particularly in the Charlotte area, visit the best dentists in Charlotte, NC.


Oral Cancer


Oral cancer is the deadliest dental problem one can encounter. A study done by the Oral Cancer Foundation shows the drastic numbers of oral cancer.


Oral cancer is considered to be a head and neck cancer. Of all the head and neck cancer cases in the United States, 85% of that is oral cancer. In the US alone, approximately 54,000 diagnosed cases have been reported resulting to 13,500 deaths per year.


The numbers alone is enough to emphasize the seriousness of this dental problem. Oral cancer death rates are higher than other kinds of cancer because it doesn’t present any pain or primary symptoms.


It starts with a small pinkish growth in the mouth. It’s unlikely to be noticed since our mouths don’t innately have smooth surfaces and are naturally pink or reddish in color. Which is why a visit to your dentist will help.


Dentists know what to look out for on regular checkups and would be able to recommend further testing if needed.


Oral cancer is commonly caused by smoking and drinking. Smokers – heavy or light – need to undergo regular dental checkups and cleaning to decrease the chance of getting oral cancer.  Same goes for those who like to indulge in alcoholic drinks.


Common Prevention


All of these common dental problems can be prevented and kept at bay with very simple day-to-day oral hygiene measures. Brushing in the morning and before bed alone won’t be enough to make sure your oral health is on tip top shape.


Much like everything else, you have to spend some money on your dental needs. Pay your dentist a visit regularly. Get your teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis as well. These might be simple steps but you lessen the chances of you getting dental problems that can lead to something worse.


Aside from these, limit your intake of foods that will contribute to the buildup of plaque on your teeth like the following:

  • Sweets – hard or soft candies, caramel, chocolate, cookies, etc.
  • Carbonated drinks – they’re very high in sugar which bacteria feeds off of
  • Snacks – most store-bought snacks have loads of sugar, sodium and other preservatives that are harmful to your teeth enamel


If you’ve been smoking for a while now, you might want to start decreasing your nicotine intake. Smoking leads not only to teeth stains but can lead to oral, throat and lung cancer as well. If you don’t smoke, keep it that way.


For those who are heavy drinkers by habit, drink more in moderation. Alcohol also contributes to many dental problems especially if you don’t have a habit of brushing after.


Develop and religiously practice a healthy dental habit as well. Expand to more than just brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed. Include flossing every other day and gargling with mouthwash after you brush to help get rid of bacteria.


And, as basic as this sound, drink more water. Water helps keep your mouth hydrated and clean. Also, use a toothpaste brand that’s high in fluoride. That will help strengthen the enamel around your teeth!


In a Nutshell


Dental problems can be prevented and completely avoided if you be responsible of your oral health. If you take hours a day in the gym to keep your figure, you should show the same dedication to your oral hygiene.


Keeping your oral health up by staying away from food that contributes to plaque buildup is also a step in taking care of your fitness. That’s hitting two birds with one stone!


Also, if you notice any abnormalities with your oral health, it’s always advisable to consult your dentist for early prevention. Don’t ignore a small growth, consistent mouths sores, toothaches or even something as simple as bad breath. Prevention is better than cure.


All in all, this boils down to discipline, self-control and responsibility.



If you’re in the area and are in need of friendly dentists in Charlotte, NC, visit Friendly Dental Group.


We have over where we guarantee our patients the best and most affordable dentistry services to make sure your oral health is in top shape.


And, if you’re a new patient, you get a free teeth whitening session! Book your appointment now with the best dentists in Charlotte, NC, and let’s work towards getting you the smile you deserve!



Dental Crowns and Porcelain Veneers Comparison: Which One is Better?

There are many ways to keep a smile bright and white. Many people invest in alignment treatments, others spend on cosmetic dentistry while some are just innately blessed with great teeth and maintain them by taking care of their oral hygiene.

But, teeth do degrade with age, with diet and with lifestyle habits. And because of these things, there are chances of losing teeth or damaging them.

The good thing about that is there are ways to restore that smile you love to wear. You can get crowns or veneers done to your teeth to cover chips, breaks, stains or weakening teeth.

Or, check with your dentist if you can do both!

What are Crowns and Veneers?

Crowns are a type of dental restoration where teeth are made stronger by encircling an old tooth or a dental implant.

Dental Crowns Charlotte NC


It basically ‘caps’ the old tooth with a fabricated ‘tooth’ to make it look like a strong healthy natural tooth.

Veneers on the other hand are thin custom-made films or shells set on the front surface of the teeth to protect it and improve their appearance.

Both are designed to protect real teeth but also have very drastic difference in method, material and costs.

Dental Crowns vs. Porcelain Veneers

The golden question: what’s the difference between the two?

If you have not consulted your dentist about the procedures, here’s the gist of how they are different from each other.

Veneers are solely for aesthetic purposes only such as covering discoloration or a chip. Although the shells or films protects the surface of the teeth, it’s not as strong as a crown.

Crowns also are for aesthetic purposes but they serve their ultimate purpose of strengthening teeth.

Crowns are used to hold bridges (bridges gaps created by two or more teeth), protect weak or cracked teeth, cover dental implants, support a filled tooth or to cover a misshapen tooth.

When it comes to material, both veneers and crowns can be made from porcelain.

However, crowns have more choices between stainless steel, metal, ceramic or resin. Each material of course, come in different price ranges as well.

Veneer Procedure

Pertaining to the method or procedure of attachment, both procedures entails very meticulous steps to complete. They start with a diagnosis to confirm which procedure fits what you want and the condition of your teeth.

After which an x-ray might be taken if you roots need to be checked. Our cosmetic dentists will tell you the necessary proceedings based on what procedure is best for you.

If you’re taking the veneer route, a small layer of enamel has to be removed to make room for a natural looking shell. An impression is taken and sent to a dental laboratory for your veneers to be constructed.

During the bonding, your veneers will first be compared to your actual teeth to make sure the size, shape and color provide proper coverage. You will then undergo teeth cleaning, polishing and etching to guarantee optimum bonding.

The veneers are then cemented onto the surface of your teeth and strengthened. Excess cement are also removed and final adjustments are done if needed.

Crown Procedure

After an x-ray and determining if there are no root canal procedures needed, anesthesia is applied to the gum area to numb the filing process. The tooth receiving the crown then gets trimmed to make room for the cap.

If a large portion of the tooth is already missing, our cosmetic dentist will fill them instead so that the cap has something to hold on to.

Once the reshaping is done, you’ll get a dental impression either with putty or digitally. The impressions are then sent to the lab for construction.

As soon as your crowns are ready and checked for proper fit, color and shape, they are then permanently cemented in place.


Crowns differ in price depending on the type of material used. All-porcelain crowns are more expensive than porcelain infuse to metal.

Costs may vary depending on where you live, severity of your case and which material is used. Some insurance cover a portion of crown costs but we suggest you check with your provider (or avail of our VIP Dental Plans).

As for veneers, the cost may also vary depending on which state you live in and the severity but our our dental staff at any of our locations surrounding the Charlotte area, can give you an estimate of what your procedure costs. Most insurances do not cover veneers since they are mainly of aesthetic purposes but again, we suggest you check with your dental insurnace provider or check with our VIP Dental Plans.

To Summarize…

Crowns and veneers both are able to restore your smile. The main concern lies in figuring out which one you really need.

If you are not 100% sure, talk to our trusted cosmetic dentists for a second and third opinion.

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Charlotte, NC, to service your dental crown and veneer needs, check out our Friendly Dental Group locations in South Park, Whitehall, University and Waverly.

Or, you can visit our website to find a Friendly Dental Group location near you.

Our team of highly trained doctors will give you the best treatment needed to restore your smile and help get your pearly whites back to their former glory. Book your appointment now!


Dental Infographic to Help with Maximizing Benefits Before they Expire

A bright smile on a face is a symbol of success and contentment. A nice set of teeth and the absence of any bad odor, make the face beautiful, evoking positive feelings.

Apart from the psychological aspect, the physiological factors also demand proper dental care and attention to oral hygiene. As the gateway to the digestive system, the mouth and teeth have to be taken good care of to ensure a healthy body which is very important to many people.

Though accidents are not completely avoidable, one should take preventive and protective measures of various types. Dental insurance, for instance, helps to meet regular as well as unexpected expenses related to routine dental care.

There are many benefits one could avail of as part of their dental insurance plan.

This infographic explains the importance of using your dental benefits before they expire. We never want to see our patients lose what they are paying for, waste money, and not maximize their oral health.

Facts are Bitter

It is saddening to see that the average American have a tendency to avoid regular and simple daily dental care.

Proper daily brushing is not done by one out of ten people and by the age of 17, at least one cavity is seen in the teeth. Only 50% visit their dentists for regular check-ups and other preventive care.

Year expires, so do the deductibles on your dental insurance.

New year = New deductible

As the premium period ends, all the unused services offered freely or at lower rates are gone. Once the new year begins, the payments will not roll over.

The deductibles that were allowed in the closing year can only be availed in the year of validity.

Growth is Desirable

In other aspects of life, growth would be something you strive to achieve – not for dental problems.

Small problems like a minor evidence of a cavity may cause serious damage to the tooth, if not attended early enough. Taking care of even the smallest dental issue immediately will not only make it easier to maintain your oral health but, also make it lighter on your pockets especially if you’re covered with dental insurance.

Setting the dental issue aside will only mean worsening development and therefore, mean more costs as well.

Lose if You Don’t Use

The medical benefits and services covered by your insurance provider will not carry over to the next period even if you renew promptly. If you pay for a service and don’t use it, you’ve already wasted money.

This leads to the next two items: fix your appointments and do not delay treatments.

Appointments – Fix them soon

You can get ahead of your dental problems if you plan ahead. Having a dental insurance means you don’t always have to worry about coming up with the money to get regular check-ups that are part of the coverage.

Make use of this benefit and set your appointments ahead of time. Once you do, make sure you commit to fulfilling them.

Since the checkups and treatments may have to be taken with designated groups, delaying your appointments may lead to non-availability of an appointment, loss of benefits and the loss of the much-needed care.

Delayed Treatment – Doorway to Dental Downslide

They say prevention care is better than a cure. As experienced and trained dentists, we say this is true for your oral health.

If you feel or see a problem orally, talk to one of our dentists right away. Don’t delay your treatment and let the issue fester. The mouth is the gateway to your digestive system which implies how related the two different body functions are.

A simple tooth decay can lead to gum disease which can lead to infecting other parts of your body, such as; your throat and the blood vessels.

Preventing these dental problems from getting bigger also prevents other non-oral problems from occurring.

So, don’t let your dental insurance benefits go to waste. You still have a little bit of time to make use of them.

Book your appointment with us now and get that smile brighter before the year ends!



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Have you used your dental insurance for 2017?

Before you start listing what to shop on Black Friday or before you even start planning for the Christmas holidays, it is important to book your dental appointment and use your dental insurance plan before it expires.

While your calendar may be filling up soon with parties, shopping, and other stuff, it is an important time for you to squeeze in your dental appointment.

It is a given – regular check-ups and cleaning help you maintain good oral health. But that’s not the only reason why you need to use up your dental benefits before the year ends.

We’ve compiled 5 important reasons why you should visit your local dentist before 2017 ends


Trick or Teeth: How to Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth During Halloween

Ah, here comes Halloween!

happy halloween friendly dentalIt’s that time of the year when kids and young-alike are happily dressed in their scary and fun costumes bouncing from door to door to get their treats.

Kids are at their happiest state when they have lots of candy.

Without teaching proper teeth care, Halloween is every parent’s nightmare. Statistics show that Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy every year just for Halloween.

Imagine those huge amounts of sweets going to your child’s trick or treat basket. Reports also show that children consume nearly 7,000 calories during Halloween.

Why do these numbers matter?

About Us

The Friendly Dental Group is one of the largest and fastest-growing dental practices in the Charlotte area and the Carolinas, providing a wide range of dental care services, including; teeth whitening, extractions, braces and Invisalign, dentures, tooth fillings, and many other dental care procedures.

Our dentists and staff members are committed to providing our patients throughout North and South Carolina with high-quality customer service! At Friendly Dental Group, we strive to meet and exceed every patient's needs and expectations.

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