Dental Tips Blog

Sep
9

5 Common Oral Hygiene Myths

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Believing in these five common dental myths could be destroying your family’s smiles.

Myth #1: A hard-bristled toothbrush works better than soft ones.

Hard bristles can irritate the gums, causing recession and even wear away notches in tooth enamel. Soft toothbrush bristles are sufficient for gently brushing away soft, sticky plaque buildup. Even hard bristles can’t get rid of calcified tartar and stain; you’ll need to visit the dentist to have those tougher deposits removed.

Myth #2: Teeth bleaching is bad for teeth.

Teeth bleaching is actually not bad for teeth at all, as long as you do it properly. Professional teeth whitening is the safest and fastest way to get a brighter smile. Bleaching on your own at home could result in sensitive tooth enamel and irritated gums.

Myth #3: Flossing makes your gums bleed.

Flossing won’t harm your gums as long as you do it gently. If flossing or brushing makes your gums bleed, that’s a sign that they’re already inflamed from excessive plaque buildup.

Myth #4: Baby teeth don’t matter because they’ll fall out, anyway.

Baby teeth are extremely important to a child’s well-being, speech, and dietary habits. They also play an important role in the development of the adult teeth. Children’s teeth cannot be overlooked when it comes to your family’s dental health.

Myth #5: Pregnancy causes tooth-loss.

Pregnant women are often inclined to avoid the dentist and may even neglect their own dental health because of other medical concerns. This oversite is what leads to dental problems. Having a baby in itself doesn’t necessarily jeopardize teeth.

Are there any other dental myths that you’re living by right now? Find out by visiting a family dentist near you.

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

Aug
6

6 Ways to Treat Tooth Stains at Home

Posted in Teeth Whitening

The following tips can help you discover a whiter smile right from the comfort of your own home.

Use a Whitening Rinse

Teeth whitening rinses contain carefully measured amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide is the active ingredient that lifts stain embedded in tooth enamel. If you rinse every day, it can subtly brighten your teeth.

Brush Three or More Times a Day

Dental plaque discolors teeth if it’s left there long enough. Gentle brushing multiple times a day will help prevent plaque from dulling your smile.

Avoid Staining Foods

The best way to treat stained teeth is to prevent the stain in the first place. Stay away from dark-colored foods like coffee and tea, red wine, cola, curries, and tomato sauce. Brighter teeth also make a good incentive to quit smoking which also badly stains teeth. Avoid pigments and you can avoid the majority of dental stain.

Rinse After Each Meal

It can be hard to avoid all staining foods. Make it a practice to sip on water throughout your meal and then swish well with water afterwards.

Baking Soda Scrub

Used about once a week, baking soda is a good way to buff out surface stain. Don’t use it too often or you can irritate your gums.

Activated Charcoal Soak

Scientists are still debating the claims that charcoal can absorb pigments from teeth, but it may be worth a try. Pour a small amount of charcoal powder on a damp toothbrush and spread it on your teeth. Leave it there for a few minutes without scrubbing since brushing it in can scratch enamel.

Still not seeing whiter teeth? Contact a cosmetic dentist near you for more teeth whitening recommendations.

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

Aug
4

Four Ways to Keep Your Teeth as White as Possible

Everyone wants to have an attractive smile. White teeth are a symbol of health and beauty. Once you manage to get your own teeth to the shade of white you like, the next step is keeping them that way.

These four tips will help you maintain all that money and hard work you put into whitening your smile.

Avoid Foods That Cause Stain

The most obvious thing you should do to keep your teeth white is to cut out or cut back on foods and drinks that stain enamel.

Avoid things like:

  • Berries
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Curry
  • Tomato sauce

Tobacco use also discolors teeth, so it’s just another reason to try to kick the habit!

Rinse After Eating Dark Foods

It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter some dark pigments in your diet. Make it a habit to simply swish your mouth with water after every meal, snack, or beverage. This will help loosen debris and prevent stains from settling into your enamel.

Even better than just rinsing with water alone, brush your teeth about half hour after each meal or snack using a fluoride toothpaste.

Keep Your Dental Appointments

Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar that discolor teeth. Keep your six-month dental appointments and your teeth will stay cleaner and stain-free.

Do Follow-Up Teeth Bleaching Treatments

Whitening your teeth just once isn’t usually enough to keep them white for life. You may need to have touch-ups done at your dental office once a year or so. Alternatively, you can maintain your preferred tooth color by using at-home bleaching kits as needed.

Ask a cosmetic dentist for more tips on maintaining a white smile after bleaching your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

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

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