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To Whiten or Not To Whiten?

September 28th, 2018


Just look around and you’ll see that stained teeth are everywhere. Several factors of our modern lifestyles actively work against our ability to maintain white teeth.

Here are a few of the common daily habits that can stain teeth:
Drinking coffee, tea, or other dark liquids that can leave stains
Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products that contain tar
Not brushing your teeth often enough, or not brushing thoroughly enough when you do
Tooth trauma or injury

Staining can also occur from dental fluorosis, as well as from taking tetracycline antibiotics at a young age.

Regardless of why your teeth are stained, at some point you will likely wonder whether to look into teeth whitening treatment in order to brighten up your smile. Keep in mind, as long as the teeth are free of cavities and your gums are healthy, there is little medical harm in stained teeth.

So, the decision really rests on your personal preference and the how you feel about your smile. We can’t make this decision for you, but we can assure you that professional teeth whitening methods are safe should you choose to do it.

Evaluating Treatment Options

Once you’ve decided to move forward with teeth whitening treatment, the next step is to decide whether to visit the dentist’s office or try an at-home solution. The main difference between these options is the amount of bleaching agent used.

As you might imagine, professionally trained dentists are able to use higher concentrations of peroxide for whitening treatments versus what is available for at-home use. However, with the higher dose comes the expertise of a trained professional so you can rest easy knowing that the treatment is being administered properly.

If you decide to go the at-home whitening route, there are several different products on the market to choose from. Each has its own requirements for how often you should apply whitener and how long it should stay on your teeth.

No matter which product you choose, make sure that you follow the directions on the package very carefully. This will ensure that you are staying safe while getting the most out of the at-home whitening product.

Other Considerations

While the American Dental Association considers teething whitening safe, it is generally not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Consult your doctor and ask for safe alternatives.

Teeth whiteners, either at home or when professionally applied, can increase the sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This can usually be managed by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth or with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you already have sensitive teeth, ask your dentist about alternative whitening options.

If you are uncertain about whether something in your dental or medical history would be affected by teeth whitening, the best thing to do is ask your dentist. No question is too silly or trivial; any good dentist or hygienist should answer all of your questions thoroughly and professionally.

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Should be Removed

September 12th, 2018


Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that usually come in during your late teens to early twenties. Over time our jaws have shrunk, leaving little room for the extra row of teeth, which is why they can cause pain and need to be extracted. Besides pain, what are some of the common signs you need your wisdom teeth taken out?

Signs You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out:

Not every patient experiences pain associated with their wisdom teeth. Sometimes a dentist will recommend pulling them based on your x-rays if the wisdom teeth will cause overcrowding or put excess pressure on the other teeth as they move.

How to know when to get your wisdom teeth pulled?

When overcrowding occurs, teeth that were once straight begin to shift. Shifted teeth can cause problems such as one tooth moving in front of another, gum issues, and even result in infections caused by trapped food.

Pain is usually the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems and will need to be pulled (extracted). The pain is typically a dull, aching pain in the jaw. Certain foods that require more chewing like meats and root vegetables can make the pain worse when chewing.

Hot/cold sensitivity can be another indicator.

When there isn’t enough room in the mouth the teeth will commonly grow in on an angle and sometimes not in the same direction as the rest of your teeth. This usually results in tenderness, swelling, gum infections, and damage to surrounding teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it is highly recommended to remove them as soon as possible. Impacted teeth are more likely to cause jaw issues and can cause other serious problems.

What Can I Expect With Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

Wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure at this point. If the teeth are impacted or require any cutting into the gums then an oral surgeon will usually perform the procedure.

Does Recovering From Surgery Take Long?

Healing from any tooth removal can take some time. A diet consisting of soft foods or even liquids will be required for a couple days to avoid chewing on the area and to help with pain. You will need to ice the area for the first 48 hours or as needed for pain.

It will be important to follow the cleaning instructions during recovery.

Caring for your Dentures and Dental Appliances

August 24th, 2018


If you’re one of the many Americans who use dentures (also known as a dental appliance), you probably know that it’s important to care for them.

But if you’re uncertain about how to keep your dental appliance clean and comfortable, you’re not alone. Follow the tips in this article to keep your dentures – and your mouth – healthy and clean.

Dental appliances include full and partial dentures that can be made of metal, acrylic, or hard or soft resin, and will fill in the gaps where there has been tooth loss.

Cleaning Your Appliance

No matter what type of denture you’re using, you should use a soft toothbrush (or denture brush) and water to remove food debris, plaque and stains each day. Do not use toothpaste on your dental appliance, as it may cause the denture to deteriorate over time. Rinse your appliance first, then brush to clean.

For devices with metal frames, you will also want to brush the sides of the frame and rinse again in warm water.

There are many different types of over-the-counter cleaners that may help keep your appliance clean. To pick the best one for your appliance, look at what it is made from (acrylic, metal, etc.) and carefully check the product labels to find a good match.

Storing Your Appliance

For proper storage of your device, remember:
•Store your appliance in fresh, clean water whenever you aren’t wearing it
•Always rinse the appliance before wearing it again
•Keep your storage container empty, wiped dry and open when not in use

Back to School Dental Tips

August 8th, 2018


Poor oral health affects a child’s abilities in school, play and everyday life. Moreover dental problems cause low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, speech, articulation, and hindered academic performance. The good news is that there are several ways you can go back to school with a healthy mouth.

Dental Examination

Tooth decay is the leading #1 childhood chronic disease affecting 42% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 and 59% of adolescents between 12 and 19. We recommend that you make a trip to the dentist before this school year begins. A dental examination is as important as immunizations and booster shots for back to school according to the American Dental Association.

Limit Sugary Drinks

Sugar is the #1 cause of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth use sugars from the drinks you consume to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth, causing tooth decay. A great alternative to sugary drinks is water since it strengthens your teeth and help wash away food debris.

Pack a healthy lunch

Foods high in calcium like cheese, milk, and yogurt help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Cheese has enzymes that aid in neutralizing the harmful bacteria in your mouth after a meal. Also, research shows that whole grains are less likely to promote tooth decay. Packing a lunch with these options is a great start to a healthier mouth.

Brush and Floss

Plaque is a transparent layer of bacteria that coats our teeth and gum line. Plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria, but regular brushing and flossing can help remove the plaque. The best method to brush is to follow the two by two rule which consist of brushing twice a day for two minutes. Moreover, flossing every day helps remove the plaque between your teeth. Add a fluoridated rinse to finish you child's routine.

Protect your mouth playing sports

It is important to protect your kids’ healthy smile from injury. Many high contact sports like football require their athlete to wear a mouth guard. For superior protection we recommend that you get a custom mouth guard made by your dentist. If you are unsure of what safety precautions to take for your child’s sport, talk to their trainer in regards to what safety equipment is required and recommended.

A new school year means new healthy habits. Stress the importance of good dental hygiene and make sure that your child visits the dentist before the school year begins.