Dental Tips Blog

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

Sep
5

Why You Should Have a Dental Checkup Before Teeth Bleaching?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

With so many DIY teeth whitening tricks and products out there, it might not seem necessary to consult a dentist first.

But there are actually a few reasons you should have a dental checkup before you begin any teeth bleaching regimen.

Bleaching is bad for cavities.

Teeth whitening agents can be caustic. They sting when applied to teeth with exposed nerves. If you have any cavities, those are weak spots in the enamel that can let teeth bleaching chemicals access the sensitive inner layer of the tooth.

When you have a dental checkup, the dentist will check for signs of decay and weak enamel. It’s ideal to have those areas patched up before you put any chemicals on them.

Your dentist will have tips for more effective whitening.

Your dentist knows teeth, after all. He or she will be able to give you recommendations for whitening your smile in a way that will get you the best results in the safest manner. In some cases, an over-the-counter rinse may be all that’s needed. Other times, professional in-office bleaching is the best way.

Some teeth may not respond to whitening.

You could spend countless weeks and hundreds of dollars whitening teeth which, to your frustration, won’t get any lighter.

Tell your dentist you’d like to lighten your tooth color and ask what results you can expect. Some teeth won’t whiten with any bleaching technique if their stain is due to trauma. You may have dental restorations like crowns that won’t bleach, either.

If teeth bleaching would be pointless for you, then your dentist will recommend other more effective methods.

Schedule a checkup at your local dental office if you’re interested in whitening!

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Nov
12

Why Professional Teeth Whitening Works Best

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Is teeth whitening a gimmick? Why do so many products online or in the store say that they whiten your teeth just as good as a dentist? For someone with very, very mild tooth stain, that might be the case. For everyone else, there’s nothing that compares to the results that you can get with the help of a dental professional.

You Can’t Buy Prescription Strength Products Online 

The teeth whitening solutions purchased through your dental office will be concentrated and more effective when it comes to disrupting stain particles. The specific types of gels that are sold over the counter are made of different ingredients and at lower strengths. 

Professional Treatments Guarantee Better Coverage 

Store bought kits are “one size fits some.” They aren’t contoured to the shape of your individual teeth. Because of that, it can cause uneven whitening or some areas of your teeth to be skipped over entirely…whereas what your dentist uses will fully cover each one of your teeth. 

It’s Safer to Work with Your Dentist

DIY teeth whitening products or solutions can hurt you if your teeth aren’t healthy. It’s best to have your dentist check your teeth first, to make sure it’s safe to whiten.

Some solutions can even cause tissue irritation or chemical burns if you’re not careful. Rather than having whiter teeth, you may be left with discolored, splotchy gums.

The initial investment in professional teeth whitening costs less to maintain over the course of the next several years than it does to use store-bought kits. While a DIY kit may seem cheaper, it really isn’t. Ask your dentist today to see which solution is best for your smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Arbor Dental
6471 Lone Tree Way Suite 301
Brentwood CA 94513
925-271-4642

Oct
16

How to Get a Perfectly White Smile

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Don’t you just envy those perfectly-white teeth that little kids have?

Tragically, we’ll never get such naturally white teeth again once the baby ones are lost. But you can get pretty close, thanks to a variety of cosmetic therapies offered in dentistry today.

Start At Home

You can try your best to lighten your tooth color at home. Over-the-counter whitening rinses and strips have helped lots of people achieve a hue they’re happy with. A whitening toothpaste with an abrasive like baking soda may also help scrub away some stain.

But for more powerful results, you’ll have to go pro.

Professional Teeth Bleaching

The next step up is in-office teeth whitening by your local dentist. This is definitely the safest and fastest way to get the whitest smile of your life. One or two visits could take years off your smile and give you a fresh start.

Professional whitening gel contains a very high concentration of bleaching chemicals. That’s why it’s only available for use in a supervised setting.

As potent as such procedures may be, there are still some cases of deep and stubborn stain that refuse to leave. What then?

The Cover Up Tactic

For the most thoroughly white smile every, you may have to opt for dental veneers. These are usually made of porcelain and completely mask dark colors on front teeth.

In fact, you may enjoy the combined effect of whitening and veneers. The veneers will give the teeth in your smile zone a permanent brilliance while the bleaching will help maintain a light color for your back teeth. Ask your dentist which whitening method will suit your smile best.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

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

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

Nov
26

Is Laser Teeth Whitening Safe?

Posted in Uncategorized

Teeth bleaching is an ever-increasing trend on the cosmetic dentistry market these days. This procedure is sometimes marketed with the added whitening boost from a laser.

Just like any other health-conscious individual, you want to be fully informed of all the risks and benefits associated with a procedure. A cosmetic tooth whitening treatment is no exception. So is there any harm in whitening your teeth with a laser?

How Laser Whitening Works

In-office teeth whitening usually consists of applying a concentrated whitening gel to your teeth. Your gums are carefully protected, and you wear special sunglasses as an intense light is applied to your smile. This laser light activates the bleaching action, giving you the instant results you’re looking for.

Studies have found that there is no more risk of harm associated with the professional laser whitening procedures than with those that don’t include a light.

Get the Most of a Laser Whitening Procedure

If you want to spare your teeth (and wallet!) the toll of multiple whitening appointments, then you need to be diligent about maintaining the results achieved. A little whitening goes a long way. Make your results last by avoiding foods that will quickly stain your teeth. Excellent oral hygiene is also important in keeping your smile bright.

Alternatives for Teeth Whitening

Still not sold on the idea of laser teeth whitening? Fortunately, you have many other options.

From over-the-counter to professional-grade products, you can choose from:

  • Whitening toothpastes and rinses
  • Whitening strips
  • Take-home whitening gel trays

If a whiter smile is on your list of goals, then call your dentist today to plan your smile evaluation and learn what options will work best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Cosmetic Dentist of Hayward
27206 Calaroga Ave #216
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 782-7821

Jun
26

Foods to Avoid to Keep Your Smile White

Posted in Teeth Whitening

No one can deny that a clean white smile is a beautiful one!

Often times, the foods we love to have pass our teeth are the very cause of the stain we dread. What foods should you try to limit to prevent the accumulation of stain?

Dark Drinks

Beverages tend to be the main source of staining agents. This is because we might sip our favorite drink slowly more than one time a day. Popular smile-staining drinks include:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks

An interesting fact about drinks is that it’s not just dark-colored ones that stain. Acidic drinks will wear on enamel, which contributes to staining. Reach for plain old water as often as possible to keep your smile bright!

Staining Seasonings

What’s a meal without great flavor?

A couple of common flavorings used in many parts of the world are curry and balsamic vinegar. Curry is bright yellow and will yellow teeth with time. Balsamic vinegar is a fantastic salad dressing, but its natural dark hue makes it a prime culprit for staining.

Bold Berries

Those juicy cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain dark pigments that can easily build up in teeth. Jam, jelly, pie, juice, fresh, or frozen – these berries in nearly any form can leave their mark!

Fight the Stain!

It may be impossible to completely give up the foods you love. How can you counter the effects of dark and staining foods? Good oral hygiene is a must to control bacterial buildup and limit the effects of acid. Your dentist will have a variety of cosmetic options to help you hide or eliminate deep stain. Contact your local dental office for a smile evaluation!

Posted on behalf of:
Definition Dental
12850 SW Canyon Rd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 644-8900

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