Teeth Whitening: Do’s and Don’ts

girl getting professional teeth whitening done

Teeth can discolor for a variety of reasons, and most people desire the white, bright smile that is typical of many Hollywood celebrities. Teeth whitening can correct discoloration and remove stains and yellowing in order to return teeth to their natural, bright shade. An important step in whitening teeth is learning whitening dos and don’ts, in order to ensure you receive the most effective results.

In this article we’ll be discussing the guidelines you should follow to get a bright smile that lasts for years to come.

Do Your Homework

Doing your homework before starting a teeth whitening regimen is important, in order to identify the cause of discoloration. Different discolorations require different methods to correct them. Ask yourself the following questions:

Has the color of my teeth changed recently, or after a significant event? Be sure that your teeth aren’t discolored from a recent illness, or from a recent bleaching treatment you’ve had done professionally.

  • If so, has the change been sudden and unexpected? Sudden and dramatic color changes to teeth can be a result of a disease or illness, so you should consult a dentist to ensure nothing serious is going on.
  • Is the color change to my teeth gradual and expected? If so, continue to the next question.

Is the change to my teeth gradual and expected? If so, then you can likely bring back their natural color, and you should keep reading to learn other tips and tricks for whitening.

Prepare Your Teeth

Before whitening, you must first prepare your teeth. This means removing any plaque or buildup, along with any stains on your teeth, in order to allow the whitening materials to effectively penetrate the tooth structure. You can find whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes at your dental office, or you can make your own scrub at home by mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture to your teeth using a soft toothbrush, and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Start Slow

You should whiten your teeth gradually, starting with the least abrasive method of whitening. Whitening strips are effective, but can be abrasive to your teeth. This means you should start with over-the-counter whiteners, and slowly increase their strength until you achieve the desired results. Whiteners with hydrogen peroxide are the least abrasive, and will whiten your teeth with minimal wear and tear.

Buy A Good Whitening Kit

woman putting on a teeth whitening strip

When buying over-the-counter whiteners, which you can get from your local pharmacy, it’s important to buy a good kit. Always buy a kit that specifies that it contains hydrogen peroxide, and that it can be used gradually.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Keeping your teeth clean is important. Make sure you brush twice a day, and avoid brushing too hard, which can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. If you must floss, make sure to only use waxed floss, and not to floss too hard. If you’re unsure how to go about brushing and flossing, ask your dentist for tips.

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss with waxed floss and don’t floss too hard
  • Don’t forget to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up at least once a year.

Limit Your Intake Of Staining Sugars And Foods

You should limit your intake of staining sugars and foods to ensure you achieve long-lasting results from your whitening treatments. Foods and drinks with a high concentration of sugar, such as soda, candy, and pastries, can cause your teeth to re-discolor after you finish your whitening treatments. Be sure to limit your consumption of these foods for the first few weeks after your whitening treatment, so you can enjoy their bright, new smile for as long as possible.

Limit your consumption of staining sugars and foods

Six months to a year after your whitening treatment, you might choose to go back in to your dentist for a touch-up treatment. This can make sure your teeth don’t discolor, and can return them back to their original whiteness!

How to Get Professional Whitening From Your Dentist

You can get professional whitening from your dentist. This is an in-office treatment that can bring your smile back to its original brightness, and it doesn’t take long at all. The treatment takes less than an hour, and is pain-free. Be sure to follow these steps after your in-office treatment:

  • You’ll be given instructions not to eat or drink anything for two hours before your in-office treatment.
  • After the teeth whitening treatment, you’ll be given a custom-fit whitening trays to wear for several nights after the treatment.
  • You should avoid drinking liquids for 1 to 2 hours after your treatment, and avoid eating anything sticky for several hours after your treatment.

Side Effect Prevention – Side Effects Are Rare

Side effects of teeth whitening aren’t common, but can occur in a few cases. Some people experience a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks after whitening, which usually goes away after a few weeks. If after a few weeks your sensitivity persists, or gets worse, you should consult a dentist.

  • If your teeth become sensitive after a teeth whitening treatment, you should avoid hot and cold foods and drinks for a few days so as to not aggravate the sensitivity.
  • If your sensitivity persists or gets worse after a few weeks, consult a dentist.

How to Keep Lasting Results – Keep Them For Years To Come!

If you’re serious about keeping lasting results from your teeth whitening, you’re going to have to be a bit more diligent. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Brush your teeth twice per day
  • Limit your intake of staining sugars and foods
  • Get regular professional checkups and cleanings from your dentist

Teeth whitening doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Be sure to follow the tips discussed in this article, and you’ll be on the right path toward pearly whites that are brighter than ever.

Top 9 Oral Health Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Practicing good oral health can keep you from developing cavities, gum disease, or other serious oral health problems. Sadly, many of us are too busy or don’t have time to take care of our teeth properly. If you want to avoid oral diseases, here are the most common oral health mistakes you should avoid.

1. Not Brushing And Flossing Regularly

Most people don’t like to floss, but not flossing can lead to cavities. If you don’t brush your teeth, you won’t be able to remove tooth particles and they will build up over time. If they build up, they will cause cavities and gum disease.

How often you should brush:

  • Children under age 4: brush after each meal and at least twice a day
  • Children ages 4-6: brush after each meal and at least 3 times a day
  • Children ages 7-12: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day
  • Teens: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day
  • Adults: brush after each meal and at least 2 times a day

2. Skipping Routine Checkups

Brushing and flossing your teeth will only remove the small particles of food and bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. You won’t be able to remove the larger particles that you might not be able to see. Regular checkups can help your dentist or dental hygienist remove those particles and can also let you know if you need to make any changes to your oral health routine.

Dentists have special tools, like dental mirrors and dental picks, that they use to see bacteria and other particles that are too small for us to see. They can also use their tools to remove any trapped plaque or make sure that your teeth are clean.

3. Smoking

Smoking can damage the gingiva (gums) and cause periodontal (gum) disease. It can also cause tooth loss.

How smoking causes gum disease:

Smoking causes the blood vessels in the gums to constrict. This causes your gums to appear red and to recede. If you don’t quit smoking, the tissue will become infected and it will cause more gum tissue to die.

How smoking causes tooth loss:

When the cancer cells in the gums begin to form, they can lead to periodontal disease. If you don’t quit smoking, the cancer cells will spread to the bone and teeth, and destroy the bone.

4. Eating A Poor Diet

Poor diets can lead to cavities and other oral health problems. Soda can damage your teeth and cause cavities because it contains sugar. Sugary snacks and sugary drinks can also damage your teeth. Fruit juice can harm your teeth if you drink it throughout the day instead of eating the fruit.

If you eat a lot of sugary foods, your mouth will have a lot of plaque and bacteria. This can cause cavities and gum disease. Eating a lot of acidic foods, like citrus fruits or pickles, can also cause cavities.

5. Tooth Grinding or Clenching

Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, can cause the enamel to wear away. If you grind your teeth, you could end up with deep grooves and pits on your teeth. This can cause stress fractures and sensitivity. It can also cause your teeth to break.

You should bring your teeth grinding habits to your dentist and dentist and see if you can get a mouthguard. A mouthguard will help protect your teeth from grinding.

girl getting a custom mouthguard

6. Not Wearing A Mouthguard For Sports

If you participate in certain contact sports, like basketball or football, you should wear a mouthguard. When you participate in sports like these, you can get hit in the face and you can also hit other people. Getting hit in the face can cause your teeth to break.

If you play sports, you should get a mouthguard that is custom made for you. Your dentist can design a mouthguard that will fit snugly to your teeth.

7. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to cavities because your mouth will be dryer than usual. Saliva helps wash away the acid that causes cavities. If you drink alcohol, your mouth will be dry, so you won’t produce as much saliva.

Alcohol can also dry out your mouth. Dry mouths are more likely to get cavities because saliva helps protect your teeth from acids.

8. Chewing On Hard Objects

Chewing on hard objects, like ice, gum, or even the shells of nuts, can also cause cavities. These hard objects will damage your teeth, but if you chew on hard objects, you won’t be able to brush or floss to remove the food particles that would have deposited on your teeth while you chewed on the hard objects.

9. Using The Same Toothbrush For Extended Periods

If you use the same toothbrush for extended periods of time, you will lose bristles and you will also lose the effectiveness of the bristles that you do have. When you use the same toothbrush for extended periods, you also lose the toothpaste.

You should replace your toothbrush every three months. If you participate in sports, you should replace your toothbrush every 90 days. If you have a very active lifestyle, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four weeks.

Summary

If you want to have a long and healthy life, you should practice good oral health. Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. At your next checkup, you should have your teeth cleaned and your dentist can tell you how often you should have your teeth cleaned. You should also make sure you visit your dentist regularly.

6 Tips For Choosing A New Dentist & 5 Questions To Ask

Remember that choosing a good dentist is important and that treating your mouth and teeth is not something to be taken lightly. The search for the right dentist can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but when you find the right one, it can be a match made in heaven.

Some dentists have a good reputation for their skills, while others are known for their customer service and friendliness. In order to choose a good dentist, you not only have to consider their reputation but also consider your own preferences when it comes to dentists.

When you need a dentist, you want to be sure that your experience will be a good one. If the dentist is a good fit for you, it will make your oral health a priority in your life.

6 Tips For Choosing A New Dentist

Now that you know the importance of choosing a dentist, you will probably want to get started on your search for a new dentist. But, before you do, make sure you do your research. Your research should include finding other people who have had a good experience with dentists and other people who have had a bad experience with them.

1. Ask For Recommendations

The easiest way to find a good dentist is to ask other people who have used their services before. Family members, friends, co-workers, and your primary care physician are great places to start asking for recommendations. Once you have a list of recommendations, you can start narrowing down your list of potential dentists based on specific traits.

2. Read Online Reviews

It can be difficult to find online reviews for dentists, but if you know their names, you should be able to find some online. Check out ratings and reviews at places such as Google or Yelp. Both of these websites will show you the different ratings and reviews for different dentists in your area.

3. Check The Location And Hours Of The Dentist

If you will need to travel a long distance to get to your dentist, that can be a huge problem. You may not be able to get there as often as you need to, and if it is a long distance, you may feel uneasy about going.

You should also look at the times that they are open, as well as if they offer nighttime or weekend hours. If you need to go during those times, you want to make sure that there is no wait and that you can get in during those times.

male dental professional

4. Does The Dentist Have Any Specialties?

Do you know if your dentist has any specialties, or if they are a general dentist? A general dentist will be able to take care of your basic dental needs, such as cleanings, fillings, and checkups.

If you have a specific problem or need a specific procedure done, you may want to find a specialist. This will ensure that you are receiving the best care possible.

5. Are The Dentist And Staff Warm And Welcoming?

When you meet with a dentist for the first time, you should feel comfortable. The last thing that you want is to feel uncomfortable or uneasy about going to a dentist because you don’t feel comfortable with them.

If the dentist and the rest of their staff are warm and welcoming to you, then you can feel a little more at ease about going to them from now on. If you don’t, then you should keep looking until you find someone you feel comfortable with.

6. Is The Office Well-Maintained And Clean?

One of the biggest things you will want to check out is whether the office is clean. If it is not, then that can indicate that they don’t pay as much attention to detail as they should, which can mean that they could miss something important during treatment.

You want to make sure that the office is well-lit. If the office is dimly lit, you may not be able to see everything that is going on with your teeth, which can be dangerous for your teeth.

Also, check to see that the office is well-maintained. If something is broken or looks dirty, then it will make you feel uncomfortable, which will make you feel like you need to find a different office to go to.

5 Questions To Ask To Know They’re A Right Fit For You

Now that you have narrowed your list of potential dentists, you will want to make sure that this is the right dentist for you. The best way to do that is to ask some questions. Here are some questions to ask to know if they are the right fit for you.

1. How Often Do You Recommend That I Get Dental Checkups?

Some dentists will tell you that your teeth need to be cleaned twice a year, while others will tell you they need to be cleaned once a year. If your dentist tells you that you need to get your teeth cleaned every six months, you will want to ask them why.

Your dentist should be able to tell you why they tell their patients to get their teeth cleaned every six months. If they can’t, or if it is a different time interval, you will want to ask them why. This is because there is a reason they will tell you to get your teeth cleaned at a certain interval.

2. Will I Need Any Extra Procedures To Maintain My Teeth?

If your dentist recommends getting a deep cleaning or a root canal, you will want to ask them why. These procedures are usually only needed if you have a dental disease that causes your teeth to be unhealthy.

Your dentist should be able to tell you why you need the procedure and how it will help you treat your teeth. If they can’t, or if they don’t recommend these procedures, you should ask them why.

Dentist talking with patient

3. What Happens If I Don’t Get My Teeth Cleaned Regularly?

You should ask your dentist what will happen if you don’t get your teeth cleaned regularly. If your teeth become severely diseased, then your dentist may have to recommend deep cleaning or a root canal. You should be able to ask them questions about this, such as how often it will happen, if it will happen, and how it will happen.

4. Are You Able To Work With My Insurance?

Your dentist should be able to tell you what types of insurance they accept. If they advertise that they accept a certain type of insurance, then you should be able to discuss with them what is covered and what is not.

You also want to ask them if there are any type of discounts they have. If there are, you may be able to get a discount based on your insurance.

5. Do You Provide Any Special Services And Discounts?

Your dentist should be able to tell you what kind of special services and discounts they provide. If they offer a bone density test, a cleaning every six months, a free teeth whitening, or teeth whitening discount, your dentist should be able to tell you what bone density test they offer, how long the appointments are for a cleaning, and if there is a limit of how many times you can get teeth whitening done.

Conclusion

You don’t want to make the wrong choice when choosing a dentist. You want to be sure that your teeth are safe and cared for. If you choose a dentist who is a good fit for you, the experience will be pleasant and you will be more likely to go to them when you need to.

11 Tips For Healthy Teeth

Woman flossing

It takes a lifetime to maintain healthy teeth. It’s vital to take care of your teeth on a daily basis even if you’ve been told you have nice teeth. To do this, you must make sure you are using the right dental care items and be aware of your habits.

Today, we’ll be discussing 11 healthy habits to preserve and promote your oral health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day

And try to do it after each meal. When you brush your teeth, use a toothbrush with a soft head so you don’t hurt your gums. Be sure to clean the visible surfaces, the side with the bristles, and also the back surface.

When brushing, try to following these 3 rules which will help guarantee clean teeth after each brushing session.

  • Use small circular motions.
  • Use short strokes.
  • Move the brush back and forth.

2. Floss at least once a day

Flossing is essential because it removes debris between teeth that could otherwise cause the development of cavities. It helps prevent gum disease and it can reduce the risk of cavities. Flossing should be done after brushing your teeth, but before you rinse.

When flossing, make sure you’re

  • Using the right technique.
  • Using the right amount of pressure.
  • Moving the floss at the correct speed.

3. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups

No matter how good of a job you do in maintaining your teeth, you should still visit your dentist regularly. Your doctor can spot even the smallest cavities or gum disease before they become serious.

4. Use fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel so it’s less likely to decay. It’s found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even in drinking water. If you live in an area where there is no fluoride in the drinking water system, talk to your doctor or dentist about fluoride supplements.

5. Chew sugarless gum

Chewing sugarless gum will help produce more saliva in your mouth, which can help with bad breath! Not only that, but chewing sugarless gum after eating sweet or high-acid foods will help clean your teeth.

6. Use mouthwash

Mouthwash is used to relieve bad breath. If you don’t have bad breath but are worried about the appearance of your breath, use mouthwash to ensure your breath is clean.

7. Use a tongue scraper

Your tongue is an area that most people tend to ignore when they’re cleaning their teeth. A tongue scraper removes plaque and bacteria that is stuck in the tongue crevices. It will leave your tongue feeling fresher.

Pros and cons of a Tongue Scraper vs Toothbrush

Many people are unsure whether they really need a tongue scraper or if they can just use their toothbrush. Let’s look as some of the pros and cons of each method.

The pros of a tongue scraper

  • It’s a lot larger.
  • It has a flat end.

The cons of a tongue scraper

  • You will need to clean it.
  • It’s an extra purchase.

The pros of a toothbrush

  • It’s something you’re already using.
  • It’s convenient to use.

The cons of a toothbrush

  • It is too small.
  • It’s not big enough.

8. Make sure you’re drinking enough water everyday

Drinking water is important for your general health. Not only is it good for your teeth (no matter if you use a toothbrush or not), it’s good for the rest of your body.

Drinking water helps with digestion, can boost your metabolism, helps with weight loss, and increases your energy level. When you’re drinking water with meals, it will keep your mouth hydrated longer, which is important when you’re brushing your teeth.

9. Avoid eating too much sugar

Sugar in itself doesn’t cause cavities, but it does promote the creation of plaque in the mouth. Sugar attracts bacteria, and when it is in contact with your teeth, it can cause cavities.

If you’re trying to keep your teeth in good shape, avoid eating too much sugar.

10. Don’t smoke

Smoking increases the risk of developing periodontal disease. It also has an effect on your gums, causing them to recede.

11. Practice good oral hygiene when you sleep

When you sleep, you shouldn’t do anything that could damage your teeth before you wake up. This means you shouldn’t sleep with your mouth open, you shouldn’t chew on hard objects, and you shouldn’t drink too much wine before sleeping.

When you practice good oral hygiene before you go to sleep, it’s easier for your body to maintain good oral health while you are asleep.

Don’t get caught up in the idea that your oral health needs to be perfect. It’s not necessary to get every single one of these tips right to have the healthiest teeth possible. If you get 80% right, your teeth can still be healthy! Your dentist can help you to identify exactly what you’re doing right or wrong.

Pros And Cons Of Fluoride

Flouride use has been controversial over the years. Some claim that it is toxic to the human body while others see it as an essential component for healthy teeth.

Intake of fluoride is quite common due to its role in preventing tooth decay. For a long time, people have been adding it to drinking water. Adding fluoride to water is said to help in strengthening the enamel of the teeth, prevent tooth loss, tooth decay, and cavities.

Sources of fluoride include drinking fluoridated water, taking supplements containing the mineral or using fluoride toothpaste.

However, questions are now arising over the safety of fluoride. Countries with high natural fluoride levels are putting effort to remove the fluoride because of the increase in health problems, attributed to fluoride. Due to these concerns, health programs are now evaluating fluoride effects on health.

Below are some of the pros and cons of fluoride.

Benefits

Prevent Cavities

Dentists may recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste or drink fluoridated water if you have a high risk of cavities, dry mouth, or sensitivity.

Flouride supports remineralization of teeth, enabling it to heal cavities. It is also able to rebuild weakened teeth, making them stronger.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Water fluoridation has proved to be very useful in preventing tooth decay in children. When one drinks water, the fluoride present washes over the teeth and in the process, it gets absorbed by the enamel, preventing decay.

If your tap water does not contain fluoride, then it would be wise to talk to your dentist to advise you on how best you can benefit from other fluoride sources.

Disadvantages

Cause Dental Fluorosis

Both children and adults exposed to areas with a high concentration of fluoride are at risk of getting dental fluorosis. It occurs as tiny white specks in the enamel of the child’s tooth. What results from this is tooth discoloration.

For this reason, children need to be supervised to ensure they do not use fluoride toothpaste or intake excessive fluoride water at these early stages. Parents of newborns are advised not to use fluoridated water when reconstituting formula for their infants.

Presence of these discolorations strongly shows the problem of excessive fluoride ingestion, which comes with other severe issues such as stomach pains and indigestion. One is, therefore, advised to look out for such signs and act accordingly.

Thyroid Problems

Research shows that excessive fluoride intake can cause damage to the parathyroid gland. This can cause hyperparathyroidism, a situation where there is uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormone, causing low calcium levels in the bone structure.

Low thyroid in the body also causes irregular bowel functions, weight gain, heart diseases, brain fog, and fatigue in individuals.

Damaged Bones

Excess fluoride use is associated with weakened bones, and especially the hip joints. It causes a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. This causes pain and damage to the bones such that the bones harden and become less elastic, increasing the risk of fractures occurring. In a situation where the bones thicken, and bone tissues accumulate, the risk of impaired joints becomes higher.

Research done shows that when high doses of fluoride were used on patients with osteoporosis, in a bid to harden their bones and minimize the fracture rates, the rates of fractures occurring increased.

Another research showed that low-level fluoride exposure in girls might have a detrimental effect on cortical bone density.

Brain Damage

There have been concerns about the effects of fluoride intake on the brain for a long time. Research shows that prenatal and postnatal exposure to the mineral leads to low attention or cognition in individuals.

Excess fluoride intake may cause one’s body to absorb more aluminum, which causes brain degradation. For this reason, diseases such as Alzheimer disease continue to increase.

Other studies suggest that fluoride may affect sleep, neurotransmitter levels, and circadian rhythms, affecting overall health.

Fluoride intake has both its pros and cons and because of this, many people may find themselves stranded on whether to use it or not. Due to the dangers that come with using fluoride, it is always good to seek advice from your dentist to know whether there are alternative options for you.

However, using it in the right amount will help prevent dental issues. Some consider it similar to adding vitamins to food.

How To Take Care Of Your Teeth

If you’re looking for a great video that goes over oral health with your children you need to check this one out!

It’s not the newest or greatest graphics out there, but it’s pretty entertaining and covers a lot of information that most adults don’t know.

Check it out and maybe you’ll pick up some nuggets of information as well.

Top Gum Disease Prevention Tips

Gum disease can be a major problem that can negatively impact your overall health. Your mouth is a gateway to your health. In fact, gum disease can even lead to heart disease. Because of this, it is very important to keep your gums as healthy as possible.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is something that starts when there is significant plaque buildup along the gum line. This is an issue because plaque is a sticky and hard to remove substance that can be filled with bacteria. Therefore, it can lead to tooth decay and even result in infections. It can eat away at your gums and even cause a weakening of your teeth and jawbone.

When it gets bad enough, this buildup can lead to gingivitis which is the early onset of gum disease.

You know you are suffering from gingivitis when your gums are constantly inflamed, when your gums bleed, when you brush or floss your teeth, and when your gums are even tender to the touch. When you get to the advanced stages of gum disease, your entire jawbone can be at risk.

How To Prevent Gum Disease?

1. Floss, Floss, Floss.

The best thing that you are going to be able to do in order to prevent gum disease in the first place would be to floss consistently. Not only do you want to floss consistently, but you should be flossing the right way.

If you are someone that is already dealing with the early stages of gum disease, you will want to invest in expanding floss. Getting floss that expands will allow you to better get rid of stubborn plaque at your gum line.

You also want to make sure that you are flossing the right way. You will want to be flossing so you are able to get trapped plaque and bacteria directly at your gum line. Therefore, you should be directing the floss towards your gum line.

2. Professional Dental Cleanings.

Another big thing that you are going to need to do in order to prevent gum disease would be to get regular and professional dental cleanings. If you are in the early stages of gum disease, it might be in your best interest to get regular dental cleanings every three months as opposed to every six months.

For those that don’t have gum disease, they might be able to get by with regular six-month cleanings. However, for those with early stages of gingivitis and gum disease, you will want to stick to getting them much more regularly.

3. Brush Your Teeth.

While flossing is very important, brushing your teeth is just as important. You want to be brushing your teeth at least twice per day. However, more importantly, you want to be brushing your teeth properly. You should be looking to brush your teeth at the gum line to ensure that you are able to disturb and get rid of the bacteria built up on it. Along with this, you should be brushing your tongue regularly because bacteria can grow on your tongue and cause issues with your gums.

There are a lot of things that you should be doing in order to get rid of bacteria build up on your gum lines. By following the various tips above, you will be able to protect your gums from harmful plaque and bacteria. By regularly flossing, brushing your teeth, and getting regular cleanings, you should be able to prevent gum disease from becoming a problem. You also want to be certain that you are using fluoride toothpaste with triclosan which is used to help reduce plaque buildup and other gum problems.