Posts

The Best Methods for Whitening Teeth

teeth whitening

Image credit: http://www.galleriaofsmiles.com/uncategorized/no-more-wine-stains-teeth-whitening-in-tulsa-and-sand-springs/

One of the first things that people are judged on is their smile. How easily does a person smile, what makes them smile, and often, how white is their smile? White teeth are a symbol of health and beauty. The problem is that maintaining white teeth is not always as simple as it may seem.

The Reasons to Whiten Teeth

Teeth can be discolored by many things. Age, the environment, disease, smoking, the food that is eaten and other reasons can all cause a person to lose their pearly white smile. Once a person has lost that bright smile, they may start to look for ways to get it back. These are some of the ways and how effective they can be for whitening teeth.

  • Brushing the teeth with regular toothpaste – This is a basic part of good dental health, but it also pays a role in how white the teeth are. Brushing after eating is one of the ways to prevent any food from staining the teeth. Flossing can also remove any particles that could discolor the teeth. Most importantly, brushing on a regular basis is a way to prevent any type of diseases that can impact the color of the teeth.
  • Brushing with Whitening toothpaste – There are some toothpastes that advertise themselves as whitening formula. The whitening toothpaste can help with any stains on the surface of the teeth in much the same way that regular toothpaste does. It may be a little bit better at removing the stains on the surface, but it cannot help with any discoloration below the surface of the tooth. Some whitening toothpastes contain a chemical which will give the illusion that the teeth are not as yellow.
  • Home Teeth whitening kits – The home kits can come in the form of a gel or more often strips. The gel is applied to an apparatus that fits over the teeth. The strips are applied directly to the teeth. They generally have a peroxide based chemical that can change the shade of the teeth slightly. They will have to be reapplied on a regular basis to keep the teeth as white as possible.
  • Professional Teeth Whitening – Going to a professional for teeth whitening will get the best and longest lasting results. Dentists use a light activated whitening process that can produce results that are 3 to 8 times better than home whitening strips. It last longer, up to a few months, and gets better results and may be the best way to whiten teeth.

Should You Whiten Your Teeth?

Teeth Whitening

Image Credit: http://midwaydentalcenter.com/teeth-whitening/

Looking for a brighter, whiter smile? Before whitening your teeth, discuss the process with your dentist. There are certain risks associated with at-home teeth whitening that should be addressed prior to whitening to avoid any permanent damage to the teeth or gums. Such risks include damage to the roots of the teeth and tooth sensitivity. If your dentist suspects that you will incur sensitivity issues while or after whitening, then he may be able to recommend specific procedures or products that will lessen the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. Not only that, but your dentist can check for signs of root damage prior to whitening and recommend the best route to take to avoid further root damage if it exists prior to whitening.

Should I Bleach My Teeth or Not?

Teeth whitening is a popular demand among dental patients. After all, who does not want a pristine sparkling smile? Over time, diet and lifestyle choices can take a toll on the color of the teeth, resulting in stains to the surface. Regular cleanings at your routine dental checkups will often remove the majority of external stains; however, in some cases, stains may remain. Hence, you might get the itch to whiten your teeth.

In general, discolored or yellow teeth will respond well to teeth whitening attempts. However, teeth that are stained more of a brownish hue may not respond so well to whitening; and teeth that are stained grey as a result of taking tetracycline, that are caused by smoking or fluorosis (too much fluoride), will most likely not dramatically change in color regardless of tooth whitening attempts. Additionally, if you have tooth-colored fillings or have had tooth bonding, then tooth whitening may not produce dramatic results in terms of whitening.

For these reasons, if you can relate to any of the above scenarios then you may want to discuss alternatives to whitening with your dentist, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers. If you decide to move forward with whitening and have discussed it with your dentist, remember that daily oral habits such as flossing and brushing as well as regular dental checkups, will keep your smile looking brighter and whiter, longer.

Making Brushing Your Teeth Fun for Kids

brushing teeth

Image Credit: http://healthysmilesofga.com/encouraging-children-to-brush-their-teeth/

Are you tired of resistance and tears when it comes time for teeth brushing in your house? Ready for a solution that gets your kids excited about brushing and eager for the next session? Great, then keep reading as we share some simple, yet effective ways to keep your children engaged when it comes to keeping their teeth clean.

Unfortunately, the art of explanation does not always work with children at brushing time and so you might find that practicing proper oral hygiene is a bit of a challenge – you are not alone. It generally proves pretty difficult to drag children away from the fun and games to take care of their chompers; however, it is possible. How, you might be wondering? The answer is simple – make if fun. Easier said than done, right? Not really. Try these simple steps to help bring a little fun and playfulness into brushing time.

Play Games

Sounds reasonable, right? Sure it does. What kid does not love playing games? Try something simple and silly like letting your child brush your teeth or cheering with every tooth that you get good and clean. Count the teeth and announce as each is sparkling and shiny. Maybe give your child a play toothbrush to let them brush their ‘lovies’ teeth with while you brush theirs. Download fun music apps that play two minutes of toddler tunes or something of that nature. There are also brushing racer apps that might prove useful.

Make It Special

The easiest way to get your child excited about brushing is to make it special. Letting them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste is often very effective in this manner. Maybe it is Hello Kitty, Spiderman or My Little Pony – whatever it is, make sure that you are just as excited as they are when you finally find their favorite character on a toothbrush or tube of toothpaste. There are also DIY kits available that allow kids to design and decorate their own toothbrushes for those art inspired wee ones. Brushing your teeth with your child, or doing it as a family might also prove helpful in making the time more special and enjoyable.

Offer a Reward

Anyone who has ever had a toddler will tell you that there is nothing wrong with a little bribe here and there, within reason of course. If nothing else works, pull out the big guns and offer rewards. Positive reinforcement has a remarkable ability to encourage good behavior and cooperation in the bathroom at brushing time. Maybe it is a sticker, a special treat for breakfast or just letting them pick the night time story to read – whatever it is, make sure it is special to them.

Be creative and follow your instinct. With a little effort you might even find that eventually your child looks forward to brushing time! Teeth cleaning should be fun for your child, not a chore. So do your best to encourage good dental practices whilst still making it the best part of the day!

How Drinking Water Helps Keep Your Teeth Clean

water

Image Credit: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/08/01/does-drinking-too-much-bottled-water-harm-your-teeth.html

Your teeth are like a blank canvas. Therefore, what you choose to put in your mouth will subsequently show up on your teeth. So, if your diet consists of copious amounts of coffee and red wine by the bottle full, or you choose to partake in unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, then you can expect that your canvas will no longer be blank. Instead of a mouth full of pearly whites, your teeth will likely be an unpleasant shade of anywhere from off-white to brown and sometimes grey.

That being said, a good rule of thumb is that if goes in dark it will probably stain your teeth. However, most stains are easily removed. Luckily, there is much that we can do in order to maintain a dazzling smile. From brushing at least twice a day up to after every meal if possible, flossing, getting regular routine cleanings and even being conscious of our diet, the brilliance of your smile truly is in your hands.

The Secret to Clean Teeth

Want to know the secret to a clean, sparkling smile? Water. That’s it. Water. Water plays such an incredible role in the life of the human race. From making up 72 percent of the Earth’s surface area to an average 65 percent of the human body, water plays a critical role in nearly every aspect of our lives. One area in which water is essential and particularly useful, but that is often overlooked, is in its ability to keep our teeth clean.

It is recommended that the average healthy adult consume at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day. Water not only helps to encourage an efficient digestive system, helps you to lose weight, and also hydrate your skin, but it also cleans your teeth. The more water that you drink, the more bacteria and germs that you wash away from your teeth. Flushing bacteria away from your teeth and out of your mouth means a cleaner mouth overall by way of fewer cavities, less risk of gum disease, fresher breath and of course whiter teeth.

How Do Your Teeth Become Discolored?

Stained teeth

Image Credit: http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/does-tea-or-coffee-stain-teeth-more

Your teeth can easily become discolored if you are eating or drinking foods or drinks that stain. Think of your teeth as a porous plate with foods sitting on them. The longer those foods sit on that plate, the more they are going to stain. Your teeth are quite similar. They are porous, so the longer that things that could stain sit on them, the more stained they are going to appear. Here are some of the things you need to know about the stains you may start seeing on your teeth.

Lots of Foods and Drinks Stain Your Tooth’s Enamel

Things that people think of as mundane and everyday can quickly and easily stain your teeth. Things like berries are notorious for leaving behind stains, especially berries like raspberries and blueberries. Coffee is another common cause of tooth staining. If you commonly have foods or drinks that contain staining ingredients, then you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to bypass the staining process and keep your teeth bright and white.

How to Avoid Stains on Your Teeth

Since your teeth are porous, they can absorb nearly anything that comes into your mouth. The best way to avoid having those stains set in on your teeth is to take care of your teeth properly. This means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice each day, using mouthwash at least once each day, and seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months.

On top of proper dental care, you also need to minimize your tooth’s exposure to staining foods and drinks. As soon as you have something that could stain your teeth, brush your teeth, or at the very least, swish some water in your mouth to reduce the chances of staining if you aren’t able to brush immediately. Drinking things through a straw can also help reduce the contact with your teeth, minimizing the stains you get.

Take the time to care for your teeth and eat things that are not as likely to damage your teeth. Avoid foods that you know cause stains, and brush after every meal that you are able. That can help you avoid stains on your teeth, and keep them healthy and bright.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

Properly brushing your teeth is a lifelong habit that you want to instill in your child as early as possible. Until he or she is able to properly brush, however, you will need to lend some assistance.

How to brush a child’s teeth properly

Remember that your child will probably offer some resistance at first. You can try to reduce this by telling him or her that you are going to tickle their teeth and that it will be fun. You may show him or her some cartoons of other people (or things) getting their teeth brushed and explain that you are going to do the same thing. The more you can make it feel non-threatening, the less resistance your child will offer, and the easier it will be for you.

The biggest thing to consider in brushing is that you want to hit every surface so you will need a system. Some parents start in the front and work to the back; others start on the inside and work to the outside. It really doesn’t matter too much what order you go in so long as you follow your system and make sure to get every surface.

Use small circular motions, as this will clean the tooth better than simply moving back and forth. Try cradling your child’s head and asking him or her to let you count all of his or her teeth. If he or she starts to cry, you can sometimes take advantage of the open mouth to get all the way to the back.

Although the process will be a struggle at first your child will quickly get used to it and will eventually sit quietly and allow you to do the job. It does help to use a child-friendly toothpaste flavor such as bubble gum or grape. The mint flavors that adults favor may be too strong and unfamiliar to your child and might even increase the trauma associated with the event. Keep talking with your child during the entire time, letting him or her know what you are doing and try to make it a fun time.

Do You Have Gum Disease? Here Are Some Common Indicators.

Gum disease is a serious health issue in the United States today. While some of its effects—such as tooth loss—are obvious, many less well-known effects are equally pernicious. Gum disease can directly contribute to heart problems and infections elsewhere in the body. Because it tends to be undiscovered until it is in its more advanced stages—in fact, nearly half of adults have some stage of gum disease—it is something requiring vigilance to guard against. With this in mind, it’s wise to know the signs of gum disease and what you may do if you discover that you have it.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused when bacteria on the teeth forms a substance known as plaque. The plaque can cause trauma to the gums along with the earlier symptoms of the disease. At its beginning stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily reversible with proper treatment.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms become worse, and some of the damage may be permanent. Gums will pull away from the teeth and tooth loss may occur. People with advanced gum disease are at an increased risk for heart disease and even some forms of cancer.

Signs of gum disease

Some of the early symptoms of gum disease are bad breath which seems to persist regardless of remedial actions, red and sore gums, gums that bleed (this may occur when brushing or flossing, but can occur at other times as well), and pain in your gums when you are chewing.

As the disease progresses the symptoms will become worse. The teeth may begin to wiggle and your dentures may no longer fit properly. Further, your teeth may not fit together when you chew the way they once did.

Treatment

Prevention is of course the best treatment. Regularly perform oral hygiene tasks such as brushing, flossing, and having your teeth cleaned by the dentist at least every six months. If you do develop gum disease, your dentist may use antibiotics or other measures to fight it. If you have developed any of the symptoms noted above, you should immediately see your dentist and have the issue addressed before it progresses.

Why You Should Eat Sweets With Your Meal

It is typically frowned upon to eat sweets often, but we all know that everyone needs a little dessert now and then. As long as it is not a regular part of your diet, it can be acceptable to have a sweet to satisfy that craving. The key is when you eat that sweet treat as eating it at the wrong time can cause more damage to your oral health than necessary. The best time to eat desserts or sugary snacks is with your meal. This is when your body is producing the largest amount of saliva, which gives the sugars and acids the best chance of being removed from your mouth rather than left to eat away at your enamel.

Why Sugary Treats are Bad

Why is something that tastes so good so bad for your teeth? It is all thanks to the sugar that works in conjunction with the bacteria that naturally resides in your mouth. The sugar is instantly befriended by the bacteria, turning it into acid. The acid works away at the enamel of your teeth and since the enamel is what protects the interior portion of your teeth, tooth decay occurs and more dental work is needed. If you only consume a sweet treat once in a while and are good about brushing your teeth approximately 30 minutes after consuming that treat, excessive damage does not usually occur. If you eat sweet treats often, however, your oral health could be at risk.

Habits to Start

If you are among the group that loves those sugary snacks, try to get into the following habits:

  • Eat the sugary snack with other foods so that your saliva production is higher and the other foods can help to wash the sugars away rather than allowing them to pair up with the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Drink a glass of water after eating the sugary snack to further the benefit of removing the sugar from your mouth.
  • Brush and floss your teeth within an hour of eating the snack, but not earlier than 30 minutes after consuming it as the sugar can get further driven into your teeth as the acids weaken your enamel during that first 30 minutes after consuming the food.

Why Digital X-rays are Beneficial to your Oral Health

If you are worried about the risks involved with dental x-rays, you can rest assured that digital x-rays are a safe alternative. This new form of dental technology not only makes it safer for patients because it emits 90 percent less radiation than standard x-rays, but also because it provides us with a more detailed look inside your mouth, allowing us to detect dental issues in their earliest stages. Among these benefits, are many others that many patients enjoy:

  • The ability to see the results right away. With traditional x-rays, there was a time lapse between when the x-rays were taken and when the results were available. Digital x-rays, on the other hand, provide the results immediately, portraying them on a computer screen right in front of you. This gives everyone the ability to review the results together and to discuss a treatment plan right away.
  • The ability to manipulate the results to get a better view. With traditional x-rays, if something needed to be seen up closer or an area is not easily seen, additional x-rays needed to be taken. With digital x-rays, the areas can be viewed up close by zooming in or changing the contrast, making it easier to see the areas of concern.
  • The ability to transfer x-rays quickly. If you have a dental issue that requires the assistance of a specialist, we are able to transfer your images via computer in seconds. This gives the specialist time to review your images before you have your appointment, making better use of everyone’s time and eliminating the need to have further x-rays performed.

Digital x-rays are safe and can literally save your oral health. They can be used to detect tooth decay that is not recognized with the naked eye; gum disease; gum recession; bone loss; and even oral cancer. The earlier that you catch any of these dental health issues, the easier the treatment as well as more successful. You only get one chance at having your natural teeth, use today’s dental technology to help you keep those teeth in perfect condition for many years to come!

If You Aren’t Flossing, You Are Missing Out

Flossing is an integral part of every oral health care routine. It only needs to be performed once a day, but this simple act can help fight against gum disease, gum recession, tooth loss, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and respiratory illnesses. Those factors alone should be enough to convince you that flossing your teeth on a daily basis is crucial! You can floss in the morning or at night, whichever time you find more convenient and makes it possible to stick to a routine that you will not avoid.

Flossing Saves Teeth and Lives

Even if you brush your teeth regularly for two minutes at a time, twice a day, you could be missing a large part of the bacteria and plaque that reside in between your teeth. It is impossible for your toothbrush to get in between those tight spaces, which is why flossing is essential. When that plaque and bacteria are left to build up, they begin to infect your gums, which causes gingivitis or advanced stages of gum disease. If your gums get to the advanced stage, you are at risk for tooth loss, heart disease, and other illnesses as the infection passes from your mouth into your bloodstream.

Save Money by Flossing

Believe it or not, flossing on a regular basis can even save you money! Patients that do not floss have to have more invasive dental procedures performed, such as scaling and root planing to get beneath the gum line to remove plaque and bacteria or even procedures, such as root canals or dental implants, depending on the severity of the infection and its detrimental results. Rather than putting your pocketbook and mouth through these procedures, you can put an end to the risk by flossing regularly. The ADA recommends that you floss before you brush your teeth so that any debris, plaque or bacteria that you remove from in between your teeth is removed from your mouth completely from brushing your teeth.

Flossing is one step in the oral hygiene process that should not be avoided! Find a time that it works best for you and stick to it!