Posts for: February, 2019
If your previous dental history isn't something that you can brag about, then it's easy to feel as though you're destined for a lifetime of ongoing dental problems. You might even be feeling as though you'd rather avoid scheduling an appointment with any dentist for fear of hearing more bad news about your teeth.
You should know that your dental future isn't hopeless, though. No matter how bad things have been in the past, you can actually use your past dental experiences to improve the future of your oral health.
For starters, although some dental problems can come without much warning, most often, they can be prevented or minimized when you take action early. Think about what could have been done to prevent your oral health from spiraling out of control, and make a commitment to prevent them from ever happening again. If you never want to experience a toothache again or never want to lose another tooth, think back to how it all began:
- Did you choose a healthy diet or lifestyle? Processed foods, sports drinks, starchy meals, and poor general health are know to contribute to dental problems.
- Was your oral hygiene routine adequate? Poor hygiene habits and plaque accumulation raise your risk for dental diseases.
- Did you maintain routine dental check-ups? This is the best way to identify and tackle a small problem before it becomes a big one.
- Did you contact the dentist as soon as you noticed a problem or pain? Pain or persistent sensitivity can be a sign of an advanced dental problem.
- Did you follow your dentist's recommendations for preventive or restorative treatments in a timely manner? A small problem can become much worse when you delay or ignore the dentist's recommendations.
You have probably counted a hundred reasons to stop smoking. It's unhealthy. It's expensive. It annoys the people around you. You have to schedule your day around your next cigarette. But here's reason number 101: Did you know that one of the many side effects of smoking is the damage it does to your smile?
YOUR APPEARANCE is one of the most obvious things affected by smoking, which results in constant yellowing and discoloration of your teeth. Tobacco stains can take longer to remove with home brushing and whitening. More importantly, no smile looks its best with periodontal disease and tooth loss. Smoking has been linked to the presence of more harmful oral bacteria and higher occurences of cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is higher among smokers and commonly results in tooth loss.
YOUR HEALING rate slows considerably among smokers. Smoking has been linked to a weaker immune system, so it's harder to fight off an infection or to heal from one. And due to the harmful effects of smoking on bone tissue, there is an increased failure rate for dental implants among tobacco users.
ORAL CANCER is the single most serious risk factor that has been associated with tobbaco use. The good news is that this risk is cut dramatically if you quit!
Health and beauty trends surface on the web every day, and it can be difficult to tell which ones are worth your time, or even safe, for that matter. Perhaps one of the biggest dental trends recently on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram has been teeth whitening through brushing with activated charcoal.
Unfortunately, charcoal whitening is not everything the Internet makes it out to be. Activated charcoal is not what you use to grill at the the summer barbecue; it is an oxidized substance made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell or petroleum heated with a gas. Toxins and surface stains cling to charcoal due to it's adhesive qualities, which is why some people declare that it is perfect for removing discolorations on teeth. Although it may show quick results initially, charcoal is nothing more than a temporary solution!
The abrasive texure of charcoal may actually roughen up the enamel, which will make it easier for future stains to stick to the surface of your teeth. The roughened enamel may show stains shortly after using charcoal on them, and may become even more discolored than before. Remember, damaged or roughened enamel cannot replenish itself, which means that any damage is permament. Patients with receding gums or sensitive teeth especially should steer clear of charcoal because it can make brushing too harsh and worsen your sensitivity.
The American Dental Association does not approve of charcoal as a safe means for whitening teeth. If you choose to use it, charcoal should be used no more than once every other week at the most, even if your teeth feel fine. The only proven ways to whiten teeth safely are with ADA-approved whitening products or in-office bleaching treatments overseen by a dental professional.