Smile Spa Blog

Six Month Smile: Baton Rouge Braces for Fast Results

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

baton_rouge_braces.jpegA beautiful, straight smile is a desirable feature for anyone to have.  Not only can it boost self-confidence, but in turn, it can also positively impact the way we are perceived by others.  Unfortunately, it is a trait with which few are naturally blessed.  This is precisely why Americans spend millions each year on orthodontics.  In fact, over four million people in the U.S. currently wear braces, and a quarter of those are adults.  Still, the thought of a year or more in braces, particularly for adults, is a less than appealing concept.

The Problem with Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have been around for a very long time, because they work.  After undergoing treatment with these, you are sure to have vastly improved alignment.  However, they are not without their downfalls.  Traditional orthodontics utilize obvious wire and metal brackets that most find unappealing, particularly adults attempting to navigate in a professional world.  Furthermore, such treatments often require a large time commitment of mostly 2 years.  Of course, no one wants a mouth full of metal for an extended period of time, but there is also the consideration that the longer wear time also equals a larger investment.  Average costs of traditional braces can range anywhere from $4,500 to $6,500.

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How Six Month Smile is a Better Form of Orthodontics

For patients who are put off by the drawbacks of traditional braces, Six Month Smile orthodontics offer a perfect compromise.  Still made with the wire and brackets that offer the best results, Six Month Smiles offer beautiful results without the “metal mouth” look.  Instead, they are made with clear brackets and tooth-colored wire, keeping their visibility (and patient self-consciousness) to a minimum.

Additionally, as one would assume, the timeframe of Six Month Smile braces is significantly shorter.  Because of this, they may not be suited for everyone.  Those with severe crowding or significant bite adjustments may not be right for the treatment, as these issues typically take longer to correct.  However, those with more minor concerns could enjoy improved alignment in as little as half the time of traditional braces. This mean reaching results far more quickly.

Is Six Month Smiles right for you?  There’s only one way to know for sure.  Contact a participating physician such as Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger of The Smile Spa, and request a consultation.  Through a thorough FREE examination and consultation, Dr. Russo and her team can determine if this particular method of teeth straightening could work for you, as well as answer all of your questions from insurance and cost to final results.  Simply click below to set up your appointment at your earliest convenience.

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Topics: Six Month Smiles

How Spa Services Enhance the Dental Care Experience

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Fri, Oct 13, 2017

Beautiful woman at the spa lying on a bed for a massage.jpegWhen many people think of a traditional dental visit, unpleasant images may come to mind. Thoughts of uncomfortable chairs, tooth pain, anxiety and the unruly sound of drills in the background may deter you from picking up your phone and scheduling a much-needed dental appointment. But, imagine an appointment in which you arrive to a robe, blanket, headphones for your personal TV, and warm neck wrap waiting for you! It may sound like a spa dream, but we’re here to tell you, it can be your dental reality.

 

Why Combine Spa Services with Dental?

 

At the Smile Spa, we are committed to transforming your dental experience into a relaxing, soothing, stress free spa experience.  And best of all it is all COMPLIMENTARY ! We take a holistic approach when it comes to health and beauty, and our goal is to help you be your best self by offering multiple spa services while taking care of  all your dental needs with all the highest technology available. Our patients enjoy amenities such as herbal eye masks, warm neck wraps, robes and or blankets, headphones for TV’s or radio/phone, herbal aroma’s to mask the scents and a variety of sedation options to calm your nerves even more. By mixing dental and spa services into one appointment, patients escape their responsibilities and take time to relax while also keeping up with dental health. It’s like killing two birds with one stone! 

 

Which Spa Services can your Dentist Provide?

 

The Smile Spa offers an array of cosmetic services, such as Botox or Dysport, Restylane fillers for lips, smile lines and other fine lines on the face.  Each of which has many benefits, both health and beauty related and enhance a beautiful smile! The combination of these treatments in a dental office is convenient, holistic, and safe. Botox and Dysport  is most commonly known for its ability to take years off of your appearance, but is also useful for taming involuntary face twitches and pain caused by TMJD. It can also decrease migraine headache pain.  This tie between the dental and cosmetic functions of Botox and Dysport illustrates the beneficial collaboration of both spa treatments and dental services in one location. 

 

The Smile Spa also partners with Kelly’s Laser Aesthetics, allowing us to greatly expand our service offerings. Patients can choose from a list of many types of  top of the line laser treatments and other great services such as micro-needling, dermaplaning, laser hair removal, chemical peels, and extractions. These services blend with Dr. Russo’s goal of aiding patients in achieving their best  health, and beauty.

 

Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes beauty. We have notions about what we want to look like, or who we aspire to be, and these notions can dictate our self-image and confidence.  The collaboration of health and beauty is important to our patients’ well-being, and we are happy to be a liaison between the two at The Smile Spa. So, to take care of your dental and cosmetic health in one convenient place, give us a call to schedule your first appointment today!

 

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Do My Children and I Need Different Dentists?

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Thu, Sep 14, 2017
The Smile Spa

smiling_family.jpegKeeping your children’s smiles happy and healthy is of utmost importance, so how can you help them receive the best care? Many parents wonder if their general dentist can treat their little ones, or if it is necessary to seek out a pediatric dentist instead. We are here to tell you that both types of dentists are sure to prioritize your child’s health, and both have the capability to keep your little one smiling from ear to ear! So worry no more, sharing is absolutely caring!  

3 Reasons You Can Share A Dentist With Your Children

 

It's Convenient To See The Same Dentist

 

The convenience of sharing a dentist with the whole family can go a long way. It seems, with the beginning of school, activities for the whole family go into overdrive. Do you find yourself fighting against time to accomplish all that is on your family’s calendar? The ease of bringing your family in together makes general dentistry appealing for many families, large and small. Use your free time for more family fun and shorten your “to-do” list all in one! One day, one office, and you can check off an appointment for each family member.

 

Family History Is Important At Dental Visits

 

Dental diseases and disorders can be hereditary. If a parent is suffering from diseases such as, malocclusion or gum disease, the likelihood of the disease developing in their children is higher than average. General dentists are not only skilled in treating these diseases but will also have an insight to future complications based on those of the parent. This connection from parent to child is valuable in the management and prevention of future dental problems.

 

General Dentists Are Qualified To Treat Everyone

 

General dentists are qualified to treat anyone, and this blanket qualification helps you find a doctor who best suits you and your family’s needs. Your general dentist can treat your family as they grow and as their children grow! The need to switch at a certain age is removed, and you can find comfort in knowing that your whole family can stay as long as you would like. So, build a relationship with your dental team and let them become a vital part of your family’s health success.

 

There is nothing more essential than your family’s health and happiness. So, make informed healthcare decisions confidently, and know that the dental plan that works for you will work for your kiddos, too! If you are interested in sharing your dentist with your children, give us a call at The Smile Spa today to schedule an appointment!

 

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When Should You Go To The Dentist For A Toothache?

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Mon, Aug 14, 2017

Toothache when to see the dentistTooth aches and tooth pain can range from severe to very mild. But at what level of pain is it necessary to consult your dentist? A good rule of thumb is that if the pain or discomfort lasts longer than a couple days and does not go away with over the counter medication, it may be wise to schedule an appointment with a doctor.

 

However, there are many different things that may be causing pain in your teeth, gums, or mouth and all require different treatments.

Types of Oral Aches & Pain

Toothache 

Toothaches are not typically an emergency unless the pain is unbearable and or there is swelling, fever, or drainage. In that case you need to contact your dentist right away or go to the emergency room. Pain to sweet or temperature could signify a normal cavity. To help ease some pain before visiting your dentist, try holding a cold compress on it or using over-the-counter pain-relieving gels.

Tooth sensitivity 

Sensitivity to hot or cold foods may be an indicator of decay in the mouth, a loose filling , aggressive brushing causing an exposed root, clenching or grinding- bruxism. Unless it is causing you extreme pain, it is perfectly fine to wait until your next appointment to inform your dentist. In the meantime, you can use sensitivity toothpaste or a gentler toothbrush as well as avoiding acidic foods and discontinue the use of whitening products.  Most of these problems can be solved by your dentist with a simple filling if caught early enough.  If you are clenching or grinding your teeth a custom occlusal mouth guard will need to be made for you to wear.

Swollen or bleeding gums 

This may be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease which can result in loosing your teeth. On the other hand, poor dental hygiene can lead to extreme plaque build-up on the teeth which can cause your gums to swell and bleed. This is how gum disease begins. Try using a soft-bristle toothbrush, brushing slower and softer, and flossing at least once a day . If swelling and bleeding persists, contact your dentist right away. Blood in the mouth, like anywhere else on the body, IS NOT NORMAL!

Chipped or cracked teeth 

A knocked-loose, knocked-out, chipped, or cracked tooth require immediate trips to the dentist. If left untreated, some broken teeth may become infected and untreatable. Root canals, crowns, or dental implants, possibly just a filling may be used to fix the cracked or chipped tooth. If you completely lost a tooth, it is ideal to see the dentist within 30 minutes or less.

Severe and lasting pain 

Any oral pain lasting more than a day or two should be brought to your dentist's attention as soon as possible. Lasting pain may signify that the pulp tissue of the tooth is damaged and decay is coming very close to entering the nerve. Just like a cracked tooth, crowns, root canals, or dental implants may be needed. In addition, antibiotics may be prescribed to keep the infection from spreading to other parts of your body and becoming VERY dangerous. Again, if you can not get in touch with your dentist right away, go to the emergency room in this situation and see the Oral Surgeon on call.

We can’t prevent all dental mishaps, such as losing or chipping a tooth in an accident, but we can take preventative measures to keep your pain away and dental cost to a minimum! If we can find things happening in your mouth while they are SMALL it is much less PAINFUL for you you and much less COSTLY for you to fix than then to wait until it large and you are in pain! At home you need to keep brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day and seeing your dentist twice a year. These are good habits to establish to ensure that your mouth stays as health as possible!

Schedule an appointment with us today to ensure that you are healthy and we can get you on tract to stay that way!

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5 Lifestyle Habits That Damage Your Teeth

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Thu, Jul 06, 2017

5 habits that damage your teethThere are many factors that can contribute to an unhealthy mouth. Many people plan their day without thinking about their oral hygiene. What they don’t realize is that certain foods, beverages, and activities can wreak havoc on your smile. Aside from not brushing or flossing regularly, there are several sneaky habits that can lead to tooth and gum damage.

 

5 Habits That Damage Your Teeth:

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, juices, and vinegar, can weaken your teeth, resulting in acid erosion. This is the thinning and eventual destruction of the top layer of your teeth, the enamel. Acid erosion cannot be reversed and may lead to extreme tooth sensitivity, pain, and decay.

  • In addition, consuming too much sugar can also weaken your enamel. Avoid foods with excess sugar, like candy or dried fruit.
  • Soda, whether it is diet or not, bathes your teeth in acid and chemicals.
  • Alcohol also erodes teeth as well as dries out your entire mouth, reducing saliva production and increasing risk for decay.

Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

The main contributors of this habit are usually anxiety or stress. What makes this habit so bad is that most patients do not realize they are even doing it. If this bad habit is not broken, teeth can grow thinner and eventually crack, pain in the jaw and mouth muscles can lead to headaches, and chewing may become difficult.

  • Just the same, using your teeth to open bottles, tear off tags, or open plastic bags can all damaging.

Over Brushing Your Teeth

This is usually in reference to patients using a toothbrush that is too hard, which can lead to abrasion. Abrasion is the recession of the gum line and can eventually lead to pain, gum sensitivity, and cavities. If abrasion has been occurring for several years, gum surgery might be needed to fix any gum recession.

Using Non-Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is critical in preventing tooth decay and restoring minerals in damaged tooth structures.

  • Fluoride in very large doses can be toxic, however the amount in fluoride toothpaste is nowhere near the toxicity level.

Smoking 

We all know smoking is bad for your lungs and nervous system. But what about your teeth? Alongside many other adverse effects, smoking is directly linked to gum disease. Untreated gum disease progresses into advanced periodontitis, with symptoms that include significant bone loss and loosening of the teeth.

  • Nicotine also yellows teeth and can lead to oral cancer.

Most of us have one or more of these habits but the good news is you don't have to give up all the things you love. The best thing you can do is visit your dentist regularly to identify and treat any of these conditions before they get worse. Contact our office today, and let the Smile spa team show you what you need to do to combat those bad habits.

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Topics: Tooth Damage

Oral Health Guidelines for Kids: Recommendations for a Healthy Mouth

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Tue, Jun 13, 2017

AdobeStock_86929299.jpegWhen it comes to taking care of your teeth, the earlier you start the better. This is especially important, considering that cavities affect 20% of children aged 5 to 11 and 13% of children aged 12 to 19. The good news is that cavities and tooth decay are preventable.  To ensure your children have the healthiest teeth possible, follow these guidelines.

The Basic Guidelines of Oral Health:

Remember that baby teeth are important.

  • Baby teeth typically appear around 6 months of age and grow until around age 2 or 3.
  • It is important to take care of these baby teeth because it establishes good oral health habits in young children and contributes to a healthier mouth later in life.

Drinking enough water helps keep teeth healthy.

  • Most water sources contain fluoride, a mineral that can help prevent cavities.
  • Limit your intake of juice and soda, as those increase teeth's acidity and cause cavities.

Eating the right foods can contribute to good oral health.

  • Foods to eat: fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, beans, and whole grains.
  • Foods to avoid: dried fruit, chips, cookies, and other items high in sugar. These foods create an acid that attacks the teeth, forming cavities.

Make sure to brush children's teeth at least twice a day.

  • This is important to do after breakfast and before bed for at least two minutes each.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush all sides of the mouth.

Floss once day.

  • Once a child's teeth begin to touch one another, start a flossing regimen. This will get rid of food and germs stuck in between teeth.

Get a regular checkup from the dentist.

  • Follow your dentist's guidelines for visits and screenings.
  • If parents see a problem or know that the child is not receiving fluoride in their water, children should see their dentist by their first birthday. Otherwise the child may wait until around 2 years of age for their first visit, which we call a “ happy visit” 
  • Young children should receive a fluoride varnish to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
  • Talk to your dentist about dental sealants, which protect teeth from decay.

We all want the best for our children and oral health should be near the top of that list. We take the guesswork out of taking care of young teeth. Contact The Smile Spa today to schedule an appointment and learn about our services!

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Topics: Children's teeth

The Baton Rouge Bride’s Ultimate Beauty Timeline

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Wed, May 17, 2017

AdobeStock_64106016-650081-edited.jpegWhen it comes to wedding planning, no timeline ever seems quite long enough.  Between selecting everything from the perfect dress to your favorite photographer, it can be easy to neglect caring for yourself.  You may be tempted to settle for a simple spa day beforehand, but if you really want to look back on the occasion and photographs with memories of how incredible you felt, it will take a bit more than that.  In fact, to ensure that your skin is smooth and glowing, you may want to start as early as one year before your big day.  Here are the wedding cosmetic services and timeline we recommend:

 

ProFractional Laser before Your Wedding (9 -12 Months)

No matter how well you care for your skin, some imperfections are bound to pop up.  The ProFractional laser can help address concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, and skin texture for smoother, clearer skin.  The fractionally ablative laser allows for more precise treatment, targeting the affected areas of skin to help promote new collagen growth, while leaving the surrounding areas of healthy skin largely untouched.  Multiple treatments are needed for best results.

Laser Hair Removal before Your Wedding (9 – 12 Months)

Unwanted hair or razor bumps aren’t a look that anyone wants on their wedding day.  Through a series of laser hair removal treatments, performed 4 – 6 weeks apart, hair follicles are effectively destroyed.  Not only will you be able to ditch the razor for your wedding and honeymoon, you’ll be able to leave it behind for good!

BroadBand Light before Your Wedding (6 – 9 Months)

For discolorations such as brown spots, acne scars, and rosacea, BroadBand Light (BBL) is the way to go.  Through scattered light, BBL targets multiple layers of skin with precision while also causing minimal surface damage.  There is little to no downtime, and any visual side effects generally resolve within 24 hours.  In most cases, dramatic results can be achieved in just 3 -5 treatments.

Microneedling before Your Wedding (4 – 6 Months)

Microneedling has boomed in popularity and for very good reason.  The procedure, which involves rolling a device covered in tiny needles over the face, is not only effective in stimulating collagen production, tightening pores, and improving overall skin texture, it is also affordable and requires little downtime.  In fact, you can fully apply makeup the very next day.  However, like most cosmetic procedures, it is most effective when performed in a series, so brides should plan ahead.

Chemical Peels before Your Wedding (1 – 6 Months)

Depending on the type and severity of your skin concern, you may require multiple peels to achieve your desired results.  Additionally, chemical peels do require a bit of downtime for the skin, so they aren’t an option that you want to utilize just days before your wedding.  However, when performed in advance, they are a perfect option for brightening and smoothing the skin.

Dermaplaning before Your Wedding (1 Week)

Think of dermaplaning as the ultimate in exfoliation.  The treatment removes the outer layer of dead skin cells and peach fuzz, leaving behind glowing, healthy skin.  However, multiple treatments are not required and there is no downtime, making it a perfect option to turn to just before the big day.  It will also aid in smooth and flawless makeup application.

We know you want to look incredible on your wedding day, but we also realize that your schedule is hectic.  Don’t guess which products or services you may need or wait until the last minute.  Follow this timeline, and you can be confident in knowing you’ll have flawless skin on your big day!  Make it even easier by contacting The Smile Spa today and scheduling your appointments for these services and more in advance.  It’s one wedding decision we know you’ll be happy with!

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Topics: Cosmetic Dentist Baton Rouge

Identifying Serious Health Conditions Associated with Oral Hygiene in Baton Rouge

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Thu, Apr 13, 2017

Identifying Serious Health Conditions Associated with Oral Hygiene in Baton Rouge.jpeg

What are your gums trying to tell you?

Are they swollen, red, tender, or bleeding? Have your gums receded or moved away from your teeth? Do you suffer from loose-feeling teeth or persistently bad breath?

These are all signs of gum disease.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line which can progress to affect the bones which surround and support your teeth. The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Besides the danger that these infections pose for your periodontal health, gum disease has been linked to other serious health conditions, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Endocarditis
  • Stroke
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Respiratory disease

Bacteria associated with periodontitis can enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums and result in the increased likelihood or the worsening of the above conditions.

Recent studies have also linked poor oral hygiene to such life-threatening conditions as oral cancer, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer.

How can you prevent gum disease in Baton Rouge?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to consistently follow a dentist-approved oral care regimen every day. This includes flossing, brushing between meals, and seeing your dentist regularly. Don’t ignore dental problems. Whether it seems manageable—like persistently bad breath—or a more alarming symptom like bleeding gums, symptoms of dental problems show up as a way for your mouth to tell you that something needs to be corrected.

When your body tries to tell you something, it’s a good idea to listen. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, or have any questions, please call us at The Smile Spa to set up an appointment.

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Topics: Gum Health, oral hygiene

Baton Rouge Dentist Celebrates World Oral Health Day

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Wed, Mar 15, 2017


 Smiling womanOn March 20th, the FDI World Dental Federation will again celebrate World Oral Health Day.  With the new slogan of “Live Mouth Smart,” the campaign aims to educate the public about the importance of good oral hygiene and the many ways that it can impact overall health.  Events are held around the world and educational resources such as downloadable oral health guides, videos, and even games are made available in this important global movement.

History Of The World Oral Health Day Campaign

The FDI World Dental Federation officially launched the campaign in 2007 but it was not fully activated until 2013. The 20th of March was chosen partly because healthy adults are supposed to have 32 total teeth and 0 cavities, hence 3/20 as the date. Currently, national dental associations in over 140 countries actively participate in awareness efforts supported by the campaign.

How Can You "Live Mouth Smart"?

The first place to start is to adopt good habits early on in life, and see your dentist on a regular basis. Your oral health constitutes more than just a pretty smile - it impacts your total well-being and can increase your quality of life.  In fact, poor oral hygiene is sometimes correlated to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.

"Live Mouth Smart" by following recommended guidelines for dental appointments, brushing and flossing, and avoid harmful factors such as tobacco and excess sugar. Doing so can positively impact your body in more ways that you could possibly imagine.

What Can Baton Rouge Do?

While Baton Rouge is not hosting any specific events for World Oral Health Day, individuals can get involved by showcasing why and how you love to celebrate this day on social media utilizing #LiveMouthSmart and #WOHD17.

If you're really feeling inspired, what about starting a petition for things like healthier school cafeteria foods or better access to fluoride toothpastes? You may also use the World Health Day website to view information, posters, brochures, and infographics. Sharing with others is the key to helping spread awareness. Lastly, talk to a Baton Rouge dentist such as Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger to see what you can do to protect your own oral health and help others do the same.

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Topics: Dental Health Baton Rouge

4 Reasons To Ask Your Baton Rouge Dentist About Lumineers

Posted by Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger on Fri, Feb 10, 2017

lumineers.jpegLumineers continue to grow in popularity, though many people still don’t know about the benefits they have to offer. They are a cosmetic dental solution to a variety of problems. Lumineers are remarkably thin, comparable to a contact lens. They adhere directly to the tooth, go on without any pain, and add confidence to your smile. To help you know if Lumineers are right for you, here are four reasons to ask your Baton Rouge dentist about Lumineers.

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Lumineers Can Change The Color Of The Tooth

It is seemingly inevitable that teeth get stained or become discolored over the years. Try as we might to fight it, over time, many people begin to lose that battle. Lumineers are a great way to even the playing field when it comes to getting your teeth whiter.

Lumineers Can Change The Size Or Shape Of The Tooth

If you have a misaligned, chipped, or misshapen tooth, Lumineers are often the fastest, most pain-free way to correct the problem. Provided no work needs to be done to the tooth itself, Lumineers can even out and bring symmetry back to your smile.

Lumineers Can Correct Gaps Between Teeth

Of course, if the gaps between your teeth are too wide, orthodontic work may be needed. But, for minor corrections, Lumineers can help narrow the gap between the teeth. This will give you a more uniform smile.

Lumineers Are Less Invasive Than Veneers

If any work needs to be done to the tooth itself like the tooth needs grinding or changes to the tooth structure need to be made, then veneers are the best option. However, Lumineers don’t take any prepping. They are simply placed right on top of the tooth, then glued on. There are no injections or prepping. All that is needed is to take an impression, then have the Lumineers custom made for you.

The process for Lumineers takes only two visits. One for the impression and one to put them on. After that, you are done and can enjoy them with no restrictions on what you can eat or drink. If you properly take care of them, Lumineers can last up to twenty years. If you think Lumineers are the right choice for you, give The Smile Spa of Baton Rouge a call to set up an appointment.

 

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Topics: Lumineers Baton Rouge

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