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

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

Jan
8

Is Your Teenager Ready for Cosmetic Dental Veneers?

A beautiful smile is the accessory that looks good on everybody. All kids deserve to feel proud of their teeth, but unfortunately, not every teen feels that way.

Your teenage son or daughter may have significant confidence issues if they’re unhappy with the color or shape of their smile.

He or she is now bugging you about getting dental veneers.

But is your teen ready?

What You Should Know About Veneers

Dental veneers are like porcelain seashells that are shaped to fit neatly around upper front teeth. They are cosmetic dental restorations that hide stain, chips, and gaps. Veneers are permanent and valuable, so the decision for a teen to get them is not to be taken lightly.

Why Veneers Aren’t Always Good for Teens

Kids are still growing, even when they’re teenagers. The shape of their face can change enough to create new spacing between teeth that veneers once covered up. To hide such gaps, your teen would need to have completely new veneers placed.

Is your teen still in a rough-and-tumble phase? Veneers can be damaged in any accident, but some teens might be prone to even more injuries than adults. If your child is into contact sports, roughhousing, or is even a bit more involved with extracurricular activities than most, then he or she may not be ready to take care of an investment like veneers.

Alternatives to Dental Veneers

If you realize that you’d rather wait a couple more years before getting your teen a set of veneers (perhaps as a college graduation present) that’s fine – there are other options:

  • Snap-On SmileⓇ
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental bonding

Find out whether your teen qualifies for dental veneers by scheduling a consultation with your family or cosmetic dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

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

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

Oct
10

A Beautiful Smile – It’s About More Than White Teeth!

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Have you thought about getting a smile makeover?

You may be interested in having that special celebrity smile. But to achieve that, you need to pay attention to more than just getting white teeth.

Ingredients to a Beautiful Smile

In addition to white teeth, the perfect smile also takes into consideration things like:

  • Gum color and contour
  • Tooth shape and alignment
  • Fresh-smelling breath
  • Cleanliness

If one of those things is off, then it can invalidate even the whitest of teeth.

Reach Your Smile Goals

Having an aesthetically-pleasing smile is a matter of paying equal attention to all areas of your mouth.

For example, you may need gum therapy to treat periodontal disease before you can get evenly shaped tissues. Fresh breath could require treating some large cavities. And there’s no way you’re getting white teeth if they’re coated in plaque and tartar!

To achieve your cosmetic dental goals, you first need to take care of the health issues. This process includes addressing some things you might not think are that big of a deal, sooner rather than later.

A beautiful and sweet-smelling smile depends on taking care of a few basics:

  • Flossing and brushing daily
  • Drinking more water than sweetened drinks
  • Having regular dental cleanings to remove buildup
  • Reducing your cavity risk

Before you can plan on the extras like teeth whitening, you need to make sure you’re laying a solid, healthy foundation. It’s not fun to whiten teeth only to have a couple pulled within a year. Look after your oral health first, and then you’ll be on your way to a more attractive smile.

Ask a cosmetic dentist near you what you can do to get ready for a smile makeover.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Aug
22

5 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Smile White

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth is just the first step. After your teeth are bleached to that perfect shade of white, you need to put some effort into maintaining them.

Here are five of the best ways to keep your smile brilliant.

Avoid Dark Drinks

Wine, tea, coffee, cola, sports drinks, and energy drinks are the primary stain culprits. Stay away from these, and you’ll be rewarded with a white smile. You’ll also want to be careful of dark foods like berries, curry, and tomato sauce.

Don’t Smoke

Tobacco use is a surefire way to bring your tooth color back to square one. If you don’t like the idea of whitening your teeth every year, then cutting back on smoking will help you maintain the progress made.

Brush Often

The longer you let plaque sit on your teeth, the more it will stain! Make it a habit to brush 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste with mild abrasive ingredients to buff away new stain. Wait a half hour after eating so that you don’t spread around food acids while brushing.

Use a Whitening Rinse

Avoid mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride, a notorious staining ingredient. Look instead for ones with a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will help lift surface stain to maintain smile brightness.

Strengthen Your Enamel

Weakened enamel gets sensitive and porous and traps stain from food and plaque. If you keep your enamel strong and healthy, your teeth will look whiter. Use enamel-reinforcing toothpastes that contain ingredients like:

  • Fluoride
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Calcium
  • Potassium nitrate

Visit your dentist to find out what else you can do to maintain a beautiful white smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

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