Dental Tips Blog

Mar
31

The Perfectly White Smile – At What Cost?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Many Americans are known for doing anything to attain that perfect smile.

DIY whitening materials have included baking soda, strawberries, charcoal, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide. In addition to this, there are countless in-office treatments and over-the-counter products.

There’s no end to the experimentation in sight!

Society places a lot of emphasis on having a beautiful smile. Even young kids whose new teeth are naturally dark feel ashamed of their smiles in comparison with those in the images they’re constantly bombarded with.

But this fascination with bleaching tooth color comes at a price.

Professional treatments can seem expensive, so the OTC and DIY methods have the economic appeal. There are so many options available to virtually everyone.

What harm can come from a little experimentation with tooth color?

Whitening at home can potentially result in:

  • Spending hundreds on countless disappointing whitening attempts
  • Irritation to areas of decay or gum recession
  • Burned gums
  • Enamel sensitivity

Did you know that teeth bleaching is a tightly regulated procedure in most countries? Although considered a safe cosmetic enhancement in the United States, teeth whitening is nothing to take lightly.

If you want to enhance your appearance, whitening can be great way to do so. It’s a minimal change with major impact. Bleaching takes years off your smile, makes you look healthier, and can boost your confidence.

But the best way is to whiten is with dentist supervision. This way, you’re guaranteed a fast and effective one-time process that won’t damage your teeth or gums. You’ll also see a better return on investment.

Talk with your dentist about how to get brighter teeth in one go without throwing away your money on an endless line of questionable whitening products.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Feb
16

The Truth About Whitening with Activated Charcoal

Posted in Teeth Whitening

You’ve heard all the hype on social media, DIY videos, and beauty blogs. Activated charcoal is touted for its ability to absorb toxins. It also has abrasive properties for exfoliation.

But how does it do when it comes to whitening teeth?

Please note that the charcoal people are talking about isn’t the kind you use in a backyard BBQ. This has to be the “activated” kind which has improved absorbency.

A lot of those “results” people see after just one brushing with activated charcoal are the same they would get with regular toothpaste. The charcoal just removed some of the surface plaque that naturally dulls teeth. So, don’t let a recently cleaned smile fool you into believing it’s been bleached.

Additionally, some people mistakenly believe charcoal is an alternative to fluoride. As an ingredient in most toothpastes, fluoride is an enamel-strengthener, not a whitener. Charcoal can help clean teeth, but it does not prevent cavities.

Before giving this latest fad a try, you should also think about a few of the drawbacks to using activated charcoal powder:

  • It gets very messy to brush with
  • You risk hurting your lungs if you breathe in the fine powder
  • The roughness can gradually damage enamel

If you’re the DIY enthusiast who just has to give this a try, dentists warn you to think twice. Charcoal isn’t known to actually seep into the tooth layers to bleach them and, if anything, could be harmful to teeth.

For more reliable, immediate and safer teeth whitening, you’re better off consulting your dentist. He or she will give you tips on effective home whitening and suggestions for more ideal methods than activated charcoal.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Dec
19

Why Are My Teeth Getting Dark?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Darkening teeth is a very common problem. In fact, the market for teeth whitening has taken off in recent years. Almost everyone wants a whiter smile. But it’s not easy to get bright teeth if you don’t know what caused them to darken in the first place.

Stain From Without

Most people blame yellowing teeth on the foods that they are eating. For the most part, this is one of the biggest contributors to stain. Tooth enamel, despite it’s shiny smooth appearance, is actually quite porous. All those tiny holes are quick to soak up dark pigments from food.

Stain can also come from tobacco and medications.

Stain From Within

After years of exposure to heavily-staining foods or cigarettes, stain on the outside of the tooth can start to become deeply embedded within the tooth itself. Tooth discoloration can also occur as the result of trauma or certain disease or drug-exposure during development.

What Can You Do?

You may want to consider eliminating the stain-causing agents from your diet. This means cutting back on coffee, switching to white instead of red wine, and giving up smoking altogether.

Next, see how an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste does at scrubbing away surface stain. If you want better results, talk with your dentist about professional teeth whitening. That’s pretty much the only way you’ll even touch stain that’s deep inside your tooth.

What if stubborn stains still won’t respond? Your dentist will have other options including dental crowns and veneers to totally mask darkening teeth.

White teeth convey a message of youth, health, and beauty. Get a brighter smile by contacting your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of:
Ambler Dental Care
602 S Bethlehem Pike C-2
Ambler, PA 19002
(215) 643-1122

Dec
19

Tips For Making Your Teeth Less Sensitive

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Sensitive teeth is one problem you can’t easily ignore. When your teeth are screaming in pain, it’s almost impossible to sleep well or eat your favorite foods. It even gets hard to breathe through your mouth due to the air rushing over your tooth.  Sensitive teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, but one common cause of sensitive teeth is teeth whitening.  Fortunately, tooth sensitivity following teeth whitening is usually temporary.

Here are a few things you can try to help fight the sensitivity and get back to enjoying life.

Use a desensitizing toothpaste. Yes, they actually work. Sensitivity toothpastes are formulated with ingredients that help block up pores in the enamel where the tooth’s nerves may be exposed. 

Avoid extreme temperatures. For simple biological reasons, some people have more sensitive teeth and can’t handle sudden changes in temperature. Don’t eat scalding hot soup along with ice water, if you can help it.

Change dental products. Have you checked your toothbrush lately? A hard-bristled toothbrush could be wearing away your enamel. Switch to a soft one.

Cut out acidic foods and drinks. Coffee, tea, soda, tomato sauces, salad dressings, citrus fruits, and more are notorious for wearing away teeth. Balance out your diet with items that fall on the basic end of the pH scale.

Up the fluoride. A little more of this mineral in your “tooth diet” could strengthen your teeth and reinforce the enamel.

Try dental bonding. Your dentist may be able to patch up any weak spots or exposed tooth roots with a bit of dental bonding to cover them up.

Visit your dentist. Sometimes, it can feel like nothing you do helps. Your dentist may have some ideas to help you figure out what’s actually causing the sensitivity.

Get relief for sensitive teeth! Contact your dentist today to schedule a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Allen Dentistry
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
(972)359-9950

Nov
30

Three Common Tooth Staining Foods

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Tooth color can be affected by a variety of influences…heck, some people are just born with gorgeous white teeth. Here are three foods and beverages that while delicious tasting, may also contribute to less-than-stellar-looking teeth. 

Coffee

We love our Starbucks, but most of us don’t love yellow teeth. Tip: Don’t bathe your poor teeth in coffee all day. Try to choose one time of day when the bulk of your coffee is consumed (probably mornings) and brush your teeth right after. This will hopefully slow the yellowing process.

Tea

Tea is another big offender, and it’s not just the hot tea that you sip with Grandma. It’s that healthy green tea that you got at the health food store. It’s that famous sweet tea you always order at your favorite restaurant. It causes some of the worst brown stain between your teeth and behind them (& makes every hygienist earn her paycheck to get it to come off.)

Colorful berries

So much research has come out about the antioxidant benefits found in certain fruits that it’s no wonder that blueberries and raspberries have become so popular. While healthy for your insides, we can’t say the same about the outside of your teeth. Blue eyes are beautiful. Blue teeth? Not so much.

Can whitening remove these stains?

Absolutely! One short 10-minute appointment for custom bleaching tray impressions is all it takes. If your teeth have not been professionally cleaned in awhile, we highly recommend you do that first (or even at the same appointment). Once the dentist has given you a clean bill of health (no cavities) you’ll be free to start using your teeth whitening trays and making those pearly whites…white!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Oct
8

Is Your Smile Ready for Retirement?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

What do you look forward to the most in retirement?

You’re probably eager to give more attention to hobbies like golfing, boating, art, or music. You also may look forward to extra time spent with family.

One thing that should never retire, however, is your beautiful smile. Here are a few ways you can keep your smile strong and healthy long past retirement.

Stay Hydrated

Getting lots of water is important to many healthy bodily functions. Your mouth depends on adequate water to work smoothly. Dry mouth (often caused by medication) leads to discomfort and increases your risk for decay and gum disease.

Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Your teeth may have started to show signs of wear from years of use. Now is a critical time to reinforce them. Professional fluoride treatments are good for worn enamel. Tooth roots exposed by gum recession need a special level of attention.

Don’t Neglect Basic Hygiene

Just because you may not be heading into an office from 9-5 doesn’t mean you can skip the brushing. Regular plaque removal is essential for every single person with teeth for as long as they have them. Floss daily in addition to brushing.

You Deserve The Best!

There’s no need to accept a deteriorating smile as a normal part of aging. Today, folks in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and beyond are enjoying dental treatments like:

Why not make a gorgeous smile one of your retirement projects? Let’s face it, after years of faithful service, your teeth deserve this gift! Remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year to ensure healthy teeth for a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Sep
27

4 Ways to Simultaneously Strengthen and Whiten Your Teeth

Posted in Teeth Whitening

A sparkling white smile really seems like something. But it’s nothing if it’s not healthy. Here are four things you can do that will work to reinforce your teeth while keeping them ultra-bright:

  1. Eat dairy

If your diet lifestyle allows you to have dairy products, then make sure to get plenty.

Dairy naturally contains lots of calcium, which teeth need in order to stay strong. Cheese is an especially great source since it helps balance the pH of saliva, promote healthy saliva flow, and even aids in fighting off bacteria which cause decay and stain.

  1. Use MI Paste™

MI (Minimal Intervention) Paste is a product that contains lots of calcium phosphate to aid in remineralizing enamel. Using this paste as a dentist directs can help you even out white spots and reduce decay and stain, keeping your teeth strong and bright.

Ask your dentist whether MI Paste™ is right for you.

  1. Make a Water-Only Resolution

It’s hard to give up coffee, diet soda, red wine, or whatever else your weakness is. But just see the difference it’ll make in your smile if you try to drink only water! Water is vital for a healthy and clean oral environment and limits the impact of stain.

  1. Brush and Floss

Go back to basics for your most vital weapon in fighting tooth decay and stain. No other method can substitute for the power of a great oral hygiene routine.

Remember that your dentist is your best resource for getting a healthy and beautiful smile. Schedule a visit to your local dental office to learn more about teeth whitening and options for strengthening your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Three Creek Dentistry
7236 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood MD 20855
240-256-3258

Jun
20

Boost Your Confidence in 1 Hour with Teeth Whitening

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Do you think you could afford to spare one hour every six months?

That could actually be all it takes to keep your smile a dazzling shade of white.

Professional teeth whitening could be your key to more confidence.

How Does Professional Teeth Bleaching Work?

Your dentist will use a medical-grade whitening gel with a high concentration of carbamide peroxide. This agent penetrates enamel pores to lift deep underlying stain.

Before whitening, you need to make sure your teeth are in good shape. If you’ve got large areas of decay, the bleaching gel can really sting!

Getting a professional teeth cleaning before you bleach will ensure more effective whitening. You can’t lighten tooth color if it’s covered up with tartar.

Prepping for Your Visit

You’ll want to come prepared with an audio book, music, or movie for your actual whitening appointment.

Treatment is very relaxing, but can last upwards of an hour, so it’s good to have something to distract you! Otherwise, feel free to take a nap.

Your dentist will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth (either through a set of trays, or a paint-on gel.) The setup will also protect your gums from any irritating effects. A bright light aimed at your smile helps speed up the process. A pair of protective sunglasses saves your eyes from the glare and adds to the spa-on-the-beach effect.

Afterwards, you’ll rinse out and get some instructions for caring for your newly brightened smile.

Will At-Home Whitening Work?

Yes, with the right product you can also achieve good results at home.

Talk with your dentist to find out which teeth whitening method is right for you. You’re going to love the results!

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dentistry
13474 Atlantic Blvd Suite 109
Jacksonville FL 32225
904-647-1800

Jan
25

Do Whitening Rinses Actually Work?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

We’d all like a definitive answer on the issue of at-home teeth whitening techniques.

Is rinsing effective? The answer is still both a complicated ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

A liquid whitener won’t necessarily have the effect that the advertising would imply. But with diligent use, it can work in your favor.

How Rinses Can Lighten Tooth Color

Whitening solutions almost universally contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient. Peroxide penetrates pores in the enamel that trap stain from things like food, drinks, and cigarettes. The peroxide releases oxygen which helps to loosen deeply embedded stain.

So these rinses do work, but not exactly in the glittering dynamite way shown on the packaging. It’s simply not as concentrated nor effective as professional teeth whitening treatments. It can even irritate your teeth and gums if not used properly.

What is the right way to use these mouthwashes?

Make Whitening Rinses Safe and Effective

To get the most out of your at-home whitening regimen, you should, ironically, start out by consulting your dentist.

Hydrogen peroxide can make gums very sensitive and irritate teeth that have cavities. Once your dentist gets you caught up with dental treatment, you can whiten your teeth much more easily.

If your dentist agrees that a teeth whitening mouthwash is a suitable option for you, then be patient and diligent. After some weeks of use, you may very well see a slight difference.

A rinse is a great maintenance routine for teeth after having a professional treatment, which is your fastest and safest whitening method.

To find out whether a whitening rinse will help you make your smile dazzlingly white, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 691-7371

Mar
14

Fighting Discolored Teeth With Food

The number one way to combat tooth stains is with good oral hygiene habits:  Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and visit your dentist for a checkup every 6 months.  Is there something more that you can do to keep your smiling looking its brightest?

Watch What You Eat

The enamel of your teeth is porous, allowing some dark or acidic foods to leave an obvious mark on your smile.  While you don’t have to completely avoid these foods, limiting how often you enjoy them might just help you maintain a whiter smile.  When you do indulge, following up with a quick tooth brushing or rinse with water can help. For the pearliest whites, limit these common teeth staining culprits:

  • Beverages – Watch out for drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, red wine and some fruit juices.  Their dark color and acidity are double the trouble for your white smile. Some beverages, such as juice or tea can be drunk through a straw to minimize their effects on tooth discoloration.
  • Foods Dyes –  From candy, to gum and even popsicles, food dyes can be found in just about everything.  While it might make food look more appealing, it won’t do the same for your smile. Try to avoid them if possible.
  • Fruits And Veggies – Though they offer many health benefits for your body, some vegetables and fruits won’t do your teeth any favors.  Berries, beets and tomatoes are quite acidic, making it easier for your tooth enamel to absorb their vibrant colors.
  • Sauces and Seasonings –  Is your food missing a little something?  Maybe it should!  Flavor enhancers such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, curry and even some salad dressings can detract from your glowing grin.

To ultimately achieve that beautiful, pearly smile you’ve always wanted, give your dentist a call and ask about teeth whitening or a cleaning to buff away new stain.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

 

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