We all want our best and brightest smiles, and today there are many options that we can explore at home to make those beautiful smiles a reality. From healthy habits, a healthy diet, a whitening toothpaste, or a do-it-yourself home product, everyone has the opportunity to achieve whiter teeth.
HEALTHY HABITS. Proper brushing is the first step in keeping your teeth stain-free. Two minutes twice a day is the key. One of the highest missed areas is between and at the base of each tooth.
HEALTHY DIET. While most everyone considers that red wine, coffee, and tea can cause some of the worst enamel stains, acidic drinks like soft drinks and citrus beverages can cause even more problems by dissolving tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin underneath. Moderation and rinsing with water can reduce the potential damage.
WHITENING TOOTHPASTE. Toothpastes are available that can remove surface stains, which can keep your teeth their whitest after a professional whitening. However, the whitening ingredients won't penetrate the enamel surface or change the natural color of your teeth.
OTC WHITENING KITS. These products provide a peroxide-based gel that can be applied in a tray or with strips. If you choose a tray application, make sure that the trays fit properly so sensitive areas in your mouth are not irritated. If you decide on the strip method, always make sure that ALL of the tooth surfaces are covered to avoid uneven whitening.
While all of these whitening methods can be helpful, there are some circumstances when a professional whitening is best. Professional gel whiteners are more powerful, and can be more effective on darker stains that OTC products can't remove. On the other hand, some conditions, such as deep stains from trauma or medication, may require a different dental cosmetic procedure like veneers to achieve whiter teeth.
Oral surgery can be intimidating, especially if you develop any signs of infections afterwards. Our Dental Team wants you to be fully informed about what to watch for if you have recently had any surgical procedures.
Oral surgical procedures are intended to reduce pain and prevent infection. Check out the following common reasons that patients require oral surgery.
- Impacted or infected teeth
- Tooth loss, jaw problems
- Facial injuries or infections
- Birth defects
- Sleep Apnea
Check out the following symptoms of infections.
- Pain that won't go away with medication
- Steadily swelling of the gums, jaw, or face.
- Redness or pus from the area
- Fever that does not subside
- Difficulty opening the mouth or jaw
- Excessive bleeding for 24 hours
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing: NOTE: Should this occur: GO TO THE ER IMMEDIATELY!
After the initial surgery, don't become worried right away if you notice any of the symptoms listed above. It's completely normal to experience some bleeding and swelling following any oral surgery. If a post-op infection were to develop, which occurs more commonly in patients that have a compromised immune system or diabetes, don't fret! An antibiotic medication is usually prescribed to stop the infection.
Although Invisalign is one of the most popular choices for patients that are wanting to move their teeth, check out the following tips to ensure that you have the most rewarding experience with aligner therapy.
- TEETH WHITENING. Our team realizes how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks that you consume daily. If you have attachments on your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Many times, it may be best to wait until your treatment is complete.
- FLOSSING. Aligner theapy or not, every patient should be flossing. However, it can be easy to assume that Invisalign can somehow provide protection for your teeth from bacteria. That is NOT true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so it is very important to keep up with your regular flossing schedule.
- THE 48-HOUR RULE. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.
February...the month of Sweethearts and abounding sweet treats! Today's BLOG takes a look at how sugar is of greater concern than just cavities. New studies are cosidering linking sugar related periodontal (gum) diseases to your overall health!
As sweet soft drinks and excessive sugar do increase the risk for dental decay, healthy eating habits need to be prioritized more, as researchers have now found that sugar not only increases the incidence of tooth decay, but also increases a person's risk for periodontal diseases as well.
Although most patients do know that sweet treats can cause cavities, sugar has not traditionally been associated with the development of gum diseases. It is true that back in the 1970s, two American researchers suggested that a diet which was high in carbs could be a common risk factor for both dental diseases as well as other associated inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. However, that knowledge was mostly forgotten until a new study was conducted that reviewed the past 50 years of literature related to sugar and inflammation.
Today, there is a general agreement that the above-mentioned diseases are associated with a high sugar intake. Researchers now feel that the link is based on the biochemical processes that take place in the bacterial deposits on your teeth whenever you add large amounts of nutrients to the bacteria, particularly when you eat sugar. They also now believe that periodontal diseases caused by sugar do belong to the same group of inflammatory diseases in line with diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. In other words, if a patient has sugar related dental decay and in turn has sugar related gum disease, then the patient may unknowingly have increased their risk of other more serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease! As dentists, there is increasing evidence that it is more than simply stressing the avoidance of sugar for the prevention of dental decay. Healthy eating habits should be given a higher priority, especially if the goal is to avoid future and expensive treatment in the overall healthcare system!
Toothaches can come in many different forms, but no matter which, they are always uncomfortable. Although many patients that experience dental pain immediately try the pharmaceutical approach to remedy the situation, today's BLOG will discuss some simple, natural ways that may help to cure this common problem.
Toothaches can be caused by infections, gum diseases, teeth grinding or clenching, trauma, or even having an abnormal bite. Several symptoms may become noticeable when you start to experience a toothache. You might develop a fever, have trouble swallowing, notice an unpleasant discharge, and most often, feel lasting pain when you bite down.
If you begin to notice any of these symptoms, check out a few simple remedies below that may help you manage the discomfort. However, if the pain continues, always contact our dental office to schedule an appointment to be sure that a bigger issue has not developed.
- WARM SALT WATER. Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water, which can help to disinfect your mouth and may soothe the area where the discofort is occurring.
- COLD COMPRESS / ICE PACK. Applying a cold compress or ice pack to your jaw in the area that hurts can reduce swelling.
- FLOSS. Once again, thorough and effective flossing of your entire mouth can help as the problem could be caused by food debris that is struck between your teeth or below the gumline.
- ESSENTIAL OILS. Certain of these oils do possess pain-relieving qualites. Clove, nutmeg, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil can be diluted, placed on a cotton swab, and applied to the problematic tooth and/or gum area. Repeating the process as needed can also help.
- PEPPERMINT TEA. Similar to essential oils, peppermint tea has been shown to soothe and even slighly numb the area of discomfort. Swish the tea around you mouth once it has cooled off for temporary relief.
- GREEK YOGURT. Many patients are surprised to find that yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can help fight against dental pain.
- GARLIC. Crushed garlic can be rubbed on the aching area to help relieve the pain. Garlic contains allicin, which slows bacterial activity. The application may burn at first, but it has been known to help treat inflammation.
When it comes to preventing toothaches, you can try various measures. Since prevention truly is the key, always make sure that you brush and floss everyday and maintain regular professional dental cleanings and exams at our office, which will decrease the likelihood of infections that can lead to many toothaches. And of course, if you have tried the natural remedy approach and your dental discomfort continues to persist, seek professional dental help!
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