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

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

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

Oct
22

Five Methods for Bleaching Your Teeth

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Interested in a brighter smile? Get started on your journey to a new-and-improved you with one of these methods.

Professional In-Office Whitening

Professional teeth whitening by your dentist is the fastest, safest, and most reliable bleaching method out there. You’ll get the results you want within just a couple hours and with very little risk for negative side-effects.

At-Home Bleaching Trays

Trays will get you professional-grade results over a longer period of time. You get control over how much you whiten and how fast.

Whitening Strips

These are a popular method for whitening at home and on the go. A simple strip wrapped around teeth makes for a mess-free and convenient whitening solution. Whitening strips won’t get you the dramatic results that bleaching trays from your dental office will, but they may work well for your teenager who’s just getting into cosmetic dental care.

Whitening Toothpaste

Contrary to advertising, few toothpastes can actually claim to bleach teeth. Rather, they contain elements that scrub away stain or strengthen enamel to make it more resistant to discoloration.

Whitening Mouthrinse

Using a rinse to whiten is actually one of the least effective ways to get a brighter smile. It works to an extent, but the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the bleaching agent isn’t enough to have any major impact.

A whitening rinse with hydrogen peroxide is a good way to keep up with the day-to-day stain that accumulates on your teeth.

Not all of the whitening techniques discussed above work the same. You may go through a few of the over-the-counter methods before moving on to something more effective. Talk with your dentist about which teeth bleaching product you should start out with.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Oct
21

Give the Gift of a Beautiful Smile!

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Still searching for that perfect gift? Why not give the gift of a beautiful smile?

Whether it’s for your son or daughter, significant other, or a close friend, funding their next dental makeover could be a very special gift.

Use a little discernment, of course, before suggesting they need work done! Some may take offense if you aren’t careful.

But if your loved one has complained about something in their smile they’d like to improve, you can help them reach their goal this holiday season.

Teeth Bleaching Coupons

Visit your local dental office and ask about vouchers for cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening. Such specials are often raffled off for special occasions. You may be able to purchase one for a family member and let them use it in time for that big party.

Catch up on Cleanings

Your kids may not view a professional dental cleaning and checkup as a fun gift! But they will thank you when they’re older for taking great care of their oral health when they were little. Make sure everyone in your family has had their second dental cleaning for the year before December ends.

Plan a Makeover

Has your teenage daughter been bugging you to get whiter teeth?

Is your husband finally ready to get braces?

Could your friend use a little financial support in getting that dental implant?

Take your friend or family member to their smile makeover consultation. After they discuss their treatment options with the dentist and make a decision, you can offer to pay towards the planned procedures.

Talk it over with your loved ones and see whether a beautiful smile is just the gift they need this season!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Aug
2

Teeth Bleaching with Braces – Is it Possible?

Posted in Braces

Imagine putting a fresh coat of paint on your living room wall without first removing the pictures you’ve hung there…That’s what it can be like to whiten with braces!

Brackets cover up portions of the enamel and prevent them from lightening. When the braces come off, those covered spots can show up as dark ones. These areas can be spot-treated with bleach later, but you might still end up with uneven results.

The Painful Downside of Teeth Whitening with Braces

All teeth bleaching chemicals carry the risk of irritating gums and sensitive teeth. Your teeth tend to be more sensitive than usual when you wear braces. Whitening during orthodontic treatment may only add to possible discomfort.

For example, plaque buildup around braces can trigger gingivitis. Braces may occasionally cause a little gum recession, exposing sensitive tooth roots. A bleaching chemical may sting those tender areas.

Should You Whiten with Braces?

Bleaching your teeth while wearing braces is possible, especially if your dentist makes you a custom tray. But it’s not guaranteed to get you the results you want.

The surest way to a whiter smile is to maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Plaque and food stain is the main cause of discoloration, so daily brushing and flossing will help. A whitening toothpaste also works well since it buffs away surface stains. Bleach after the braces come off to save money and get even results.

Consult a dental professional before you attempt to whiten your teeth. This way, you can make sure you bleach safely and effectively. If you don’t want to wait for the ortho to come off, ask your dentist or orthodontist for smile-brightening suggestions.

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

Apr
22

5 Surprising Causes of Tooth Stain

Posted in Teeth Whitening

No one is a fan of tooth stain. You do all you can to keep your teeth as white and bright as possible. Preventing discoloration can feel like an uphill battle.

Here are a few common but little known causes of teeth staining. Getting a better idea of what’s behind your dark buildup can help you avoid it.

  1. Sports Drinks

Most people attribute tooth stain to dark-colored liquids. A pale blue or bright yellow bottle of sports drink doesn’t sound like a formula for dark teeth. But sports drinks contain high levels of sugar and acids that wear away enamel. As enamel thins, the yellow dentin shows through.

Dyes in the drink will also cause stain when they stick to the worn-away spots.

  1. Antibiotics

Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics that cause stain from the inside out on developing teeth. The stain shows up dark brown or gray in the teeth of children who had this medication or whose mothers took the antibiotic while pregnant.

  1. Fluoride

If you’re a coffee drinker, then it’s more likely the brew rather than your fluoride toothpaste causing the stain. But, too much ingested fluoride can cause white spots to form in developing teeth. That’s one reason why children shouldn’t swallow toothpaste.

  1. Trauma

Smacking a tooth hard enough can cause nerve damage years later. A dying nerve will discolor the tooth on the inside.

  1. Age

As we get older, our enamel thins and denting (the yellow tooth layer) thickens. Teeth naturally get yellow with time.

How you whiten your teeth often depends on what caused the stain to begin with.  Over the counter teeth whitening products are not as effective as professional teeth whitening and may not have any effect on certain types of tooth stains or discolorations.   For effective teeth whitening or treating stubborn tooth discolorations,  contact your local dentist.

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

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

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