Dental Tips Blog

May
18

5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Posted in Teeth Whitening

No one likes stained teeth. Healthy, pearly-whites represent youth, beauty, and friendliness. To keep your own smile as bright as possible, avoid these five major causes of tooth discoloration.

Dark-Colored Foods

Pigments found naturally in some of your favorite foods may be to blame for your darkening teeth. The most common culprits are:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Curry
  • Berries
  • Red wine
  • Soda
  • Tomato sauce

Cut back on how often you eat these foods or switch to lighter-colored alternatives.

Tobacco

Tobacco products are notorious tooth-stainers. The desire to get a whiter smile could be the boost you need to quit if you’ve used tobacco until now.

Mouthwash

Some mouth rinses contain antibacterial agents that will leave dark stains on tooth enamel. Cetylpyridinium chloride is often found in alcohol-free mouthwash. Chlorhexidine gluconate is a powerful antigingivitis prescription rinse. Both of these substances can cause some annoying brown buildup on your enamel.

Age

Tooth color is largely determined by your individual ratio of dentin to enamel. Enamel is the outer layer that obscures dentin’s dark hue and gives teeth their whiteness. Just underneath is the dentin is the yellow material that makes up most of your tooth.

If you have more dentin than enamel, your teeth will naturally look yellow. Unfortunately, enamel wears away with time and the dentin layer gets thicker. This means that your teeth can look yellower as you get older.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Plaque is a soft deposit made up of bacteria. These germs release acids that etch and stain your enamel. So if you don’t regularly remove plaque, it can discolor your smile.

For help lightening your tooth color or removing stain, schedule a teeth whitening appointment at your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

May
15

What is a Virtual Smile Makeover?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Have you ever wished it was possible to see a digital mock-up of what a specific type of dental treatment looked like, much like the “before and after” beauty apps that exist?

It’s actually possible.

In more traditional atmospheres, a dentist would consider making what’s called a “wax up” for his or her patient to see what a treatment like veneers would look like. The wax up would be temporary restorations made to fit the mold of the patient’s mouth.

The Digital Difference

A virtual smile makeover is one that uses advanced computer software built into your dentist’s treatment planning program. With a few clicks, a side-by-side comparison can be flashed on the screen to show what your teeth could look like if you got:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Braces
  • Crowns or bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth recontouring

…or a combination of several of them.

“Try Before You Buy”

Virtual smile makeovers aren’t something that you can physically try on, like you would a pair of shoes or a new dress. But they do let you see what you would look like in a photo or while standing in front of the mirror.

During your cosmetic dental consultation, ask your dentist if the virtual makeover photos can be printed out. Bring them home to show your family, to lunch with your best friend, or to ask your favorite co-worker what they think. Getting a “new” smile is an exciting experience, you want to make sure you’re happy with the results.

After you’ve gotten everyone’s feedback, you can decide whether it’s time to move forward with the real treatment. Talk to your dentist today to see if virtual makeovers are offered in their office.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Apr
23

How Can I Get Whiter Teeth?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Like many other people, you’d love to have a whiter smile. But where do you begin? With so many suggested methods out there claiming to work, you might be overwhelmed.

Here are some professional tips that dentists recommend to patients in search of sparkling white teeth:

Avoid Dark-Colored Foods

Stay away from the dark pigments that cause stain and you’ll have an easier time keeping your teeth white.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco use is notorious for tooth discoloration. If you want a brighter smile, let that be your motivation to quit an unhealthy habit.

Drink More Water

Make water your go-to beverage. It’s good for your oral health, doesn’t stain teeth, and can wash away debris that does dull tooth enamel.

Brush and Floss

Plaque-control has a lot to do with preventing stain. If you don’t regularly remove plaque with brushing and flossing, it will discolor your teeth. Spent more time on great oral hygiene and your teeth should brighten up.

Use a Mild Abrasive

Occasionally (as in once every few months) brushing with baking soda or activated charcoal powder can scrub out surface stain. Do this infrequently to avoid tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

Try Whitening Strips

One of the most effective over-the-counter products is a bleaching strip system. Carefully follow the directions and be patient to see if they work for you.

Use a Bleaching Rinse

Whitening rinses contain very low levels of bleach so they’re better for maintaining tooth color once you’ve achieved your desired shade.

Go Pro

You may have limited success trying over-the-counter teeth whitening products. But you’ll get the best and safest results when you consult a dentist first. Visit a cosmetic dentist near you for a same day professional teeth whitening or take home teeth whitening treatment.

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

Feb
18

How to Get a Celebrity Like Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

How many of you think that Tom Cruise, David Beckham or Cheryl Cole are beautiful people with their good looks and beautiful smiles?

Most if not all of you am I right? But did you know that they did not always have perfect smiles?

Fortunately, the wonders of cosmetic dentistry have helped them enhance their smiles to the perfect smiles we know today. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb
3

The Top 4 Over-the-Counter Teeth Bleaching Methods

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Are you in search of that perfectly white smile? You may want to get started by trying out a few products at home.

Here are the four methods that generally get the best results.

  1. Whitening Gel

Gel and tray bleaching kits tend to fall on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. These gels contain peroxide, which lifts stain from deep in the teeth. If you wear the trays as directed, you may see a change in the color of your teeth in just a week or two.

  1. Whitening Strips

Bleaching strips are a little more technique-dependent than the gel trays since you have to fold them just right against your teeth. They’re a little less powerful than the gel, but usually more convenient to wear.

  1. Whitening Rinse

A whitening rinse also contains a small amount of peroxide. It’s not a powerful concentration and you probably won’t be able to hold it in your mouth long enough every day to dramatically bleach your teeth. Still, regular use can help lift mild stains that pop up on a daily basis.

  1. Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening pastes don’t bleach teeth, but they are effective at preventing new stain from settling deep into the enamel. A whitening toothpaste contains an abrasive grit such as baking soda or charcoal which works by polishing the enamel free of pigments and plaque bacteria.

If you are disappointed with the results after trying an over-the-counter whitening product, then you may need to try professional teeth whitening offered by your dentist. Additionally, over-the-counter bleaching products can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If you have any difficulty with at-home teeth bleaching, then consult a cosmetic dentist for advice.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Jan
27

Do Strawberries and Baking Soda Really Whiten Teeth?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

DIY teeth whitening tips abound on the Internet. One popular method is that of using a combination of household baking soda and crushed strawberries. The idea is that teeth are instantly whitened due to the malic acid content in strawberries.

The question is: does this work?

Can Strawberries Whiten Teeth?

The acid in strawberries combined with gritty baking soda do “work” …but only to a small extent.

This combination scrubs away surface plaque on teeth so your enamel looks a little brighter after one use. But this isn’t so different from what brushing with regular toothpaste does.

Strawberries and baking soda cannot actually bleach teeth, however. Neither of these ingredients contain carbamide or hydrogen peroxides, which are the only agents that can penetrate enamel pores and remove deep stain.

Dangers of Strawberry and Baking Soda Toothpaste

Strawberries are highly acidic but that’s not the key to bleaching teeth. In fact, acid is actually harmful to enamel. Acids dissolve enamel to the point that teeth literally soften and become prone to developing cavities.

Baking soda is a common abrasive agent used for whitening and it’s found in many whitening toothpastes. Using too much too often, however, can irritate your gums and abrade enamel.

How to Whiten Safely

Enjoy strawberries in your salads and smoothies; they’re a great source of vitamin C, after all. Just don’t soak your teeth in them for extended periods of time.

Stick to dentist-recommended plaque removal techniques to prevent stain accumulation such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Drink lots of water for a brighter smile and talk with your dentist about safe and effective teeth whitening methods that are right for you.

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

Jan
26

Can a General Dentist Place an Implant?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Many general dentists now offer dental implant placement procedures.

Rest assured that dentists are licensed to place dental implants. Still, you may wonder how the work compares to that done by a specialist.

Why You May Want to See an Implant Specialist

Keep in mind that not all dentists place implants. Some dentists aren’t interested in the surgical aspect of dentistry, so don’t be surprised if your regular dentist doesn’t offer this service. You may have to look elsewhere.

Implant specialists such as oral surgeons and periodontists have a few extra years of training in placing implants while some general dentists take a brief course to learn how.

Specialists often have more experience and know what to do if something goes wrong. They also know how to place an implant in tricky conditions such as when there’s only a little jawbone to work with.

If you want to be positive of getting a quality implant the first time around, you may be better off seeing someone like a periodontist.

Finding a Qualified Implant Dentist

What do you do if there aren’t any implant specialists near you? Or what if you’d rather stick with a familiar dentist you already know?

It’s perfectly fine if you choose to have a general dentist place your implant. The most important thing is that he or she has adequate training and experience. To find out how much experience, you can do research online about a particular professional or ask friends and family about an implant dentist they’ve had good experience with.

Another option is to directly ask your own dentist a few questions about his or her dental implant placement experience. Who you choose for your treatment is up to you!

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Jan
26

6 Causes of Yellow Teeth

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Like most people, you don’t like the sight of yellow teeth and want to keep your smile as bright as possible.

To avoid a dark and discolored tooth enamel, it helps if you understand what causes yellow teeth.

Aging

As you get older, your enamel wears down and exposes the darker dentin layer underneath.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco products are notorious for staining teeth, especially cigarettes due to the smoke.

Natural Tooth Color

Some people naturally have yellower teeth than others. Tooth color is determined by the thickness of both enamel and of the yellow dentin below it. If you have a lot of dentin and thin enamel, your teeth will look darker than others’.

Coffee or Tea

Regularly drinking dark beverages including red wine and cola will dull your teeth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Plaque left on teeth will gradually seep into the enamel and discolor teeth. If you aren’t brushing and flossing regularly, plaque can make your smile fade.

Gum Recession

As gums recede, they expose the tooth root which is naturally yellower than the top of the tooth (crown.) Gum recession exposes these dark areas and makes your smile look dull. Recession may be genetic or caused by smoking, gum disease, or aggressive tooth brushing.

Bleaching Solutions for Yellow Teeth

In some cases, a thorough dental cleaning and polishing are enough to brighten teeth. Other times, they may require professional teeth whitening to reach a lighter shade. There may even be some teeth that won’t bleach, at all. These often look better when covered with a crown or dental veneer.

To find out how you can lighten or avoid yellowing teeth, talk with your family or cosmetic dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Nov
27

Fight Tooth Stain at Home with 6 Simple Tricks

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Looking for a natural way to get whiter teeth?

Try some of these easy at-home tricks to lift stain from your enamel.

Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil

Oil-pulling doesn’t pull the color right out of teeth. But some people say that it helps reduce staining plaque when used along with brushing and flossing.

Strawberries and Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common abrasive ingredient used in whitening toothpastes. You can use it alone with water, or try the celebrity hack of mixing it with mashed strawberries for more kick (not scientifically-proven). Scrub the mixture onto your teeth then rinse well with water and follow up with a fluoride toothpaste.

CAUTION: Baking soda can wear down enamel if used too much and can also irritate gums. Strawberries may be a natural food item, but they do contain acids and sugars which can eat away enamel and trigger cavities. Don’t try this more than once or twice!

Eat Lots of Fiber

Fresh fruits and veggies are one of the best ways to wick away staining plaque while you eat. Make your carb intake based on whole grains, as well.

Got Calcium?

Calcium is key to keeping enamel strong. Without it, tooth enamel becomes porous and prone to absorbing stain. Get your calcium from dairy products or calcium-rich produce like broccoli.

Switch to Water

Never underestimate how much good water does! It naturally rinses away pigments from foods you eat throughout the day.

See Your Dentist

At the end of the day, the only way to truly whiten teeth is with the trained help of a dental expert. Your dentist can help you identify a safe and conservative way to get a brighter smile while keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Nov
19

Teeth Bleaching: Why You Need a Dentist’s Help

Posted in Teeth Whitening

When it comes to teeth whitening, there’s no shortage of over-the-counter products and DIY tricks.

So why bother with the cost and inconvenience of visiting a dentist?

Teeth bleaching may seem like a personal matter not serious enough to merit a dental visit. But if you want your teeth whitened the right way the first time, you’ll need a little professional help.

Here’s why:

Save Your Enamel

Even one attempt at whitening can cause permanent damage to your tooth enamel if it’s not done properly. Some bleaching techniques involve harsh chemicals which are easy to accidentally overuse. Other methods use rough abrasives that wear away the enamel in addition to buffing away stain.

Should you choose to whiten your teeth at home, a dentist can give you guidelines for selecting a method and product that’s gentle on both tooth enamel and gum tissue.

Save on Time

Only in a professional dental setting can you get “instantly” white teeth. Dentists use potent bleaching agents in just the right amount so that you get the results you want in as little as one appointment.

It could take you weeks or even months of countless bleaching attempts at home to get your teeth just a couple shades lighter.

Save on Money

A professional teeth bleaching treatment may come with a moderate to sizeable price tag up front. But it’s a smarter investment in comparison with dropping thirty dollars here, twenty dollars there on various unsuccessful whitening attempts.

If you’re interested in getting a whiter smile, talk with your dentist. This way, you’ll find out whether your teeth are currently healthy enough for bleaching and learn which methods will get you the results you want.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

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