Should I whiten my teeth?

before-after[1] This is one of most common questions I routinely get asked.  Teeth whitening works by application of a special, concentrated amount of  peroxide to the teeth. This allows the pores of the teeth to open and allow the whitening to occur. Certain shades of teeth whiten better than others. Yellower shades are easier to whiten than grayer shades, which may due to tetracycline. In addition, it may be harder to whiten teeth with white spots. You will not get an even white color. Porcelain veneers may be an option. However, after whitening, teeth will appear brighter. Before getting teeth whitening, make sure to get a dental check-up and exam to make sure you have no cavities. If you do have a cavity, whitening can be very painful.

Teeth whitening can be done in-office or with custom-made trays. The in-office whitening I use is ZOOM Whitening. It is much stronger than tray whitening or over-the-counter products. Your teeth will be whitened in an hour or less! For people with very little time, this is the best method to whiten your teeth. With custom tray whitening, it may take 5-14 days of 1 hour at-home applications. Either way, with teeth whitening, most people’s teeth do get a whiter, brighter smile in a short amount of time!

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Natural tooth cleaners….yum!

Did you know by just eating these foods, you help keep your teeth clean? Fresh, crunchy vegetables and fruits help naturally remove the plaque that builds up during the day. They helpespecially when you don’t have time to brush your teeth. Not only are these foods- carrots, apples, celery, bell peppers- good for you, but they taste great, too!

apples       bell pepper             carrots celery

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Ummm- what more can I say,,,Nobody likes floss…

Ummm- what more can I say,,,Nobody likes to floss...

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Did you know that adult fluoride treatments can reduce decay by 30%?

Healthy SmileYes, it’s true! 5% Sodium Fluoride varnish, when applied to the directly to the teeth, will decrease decay. It helps remineralize the teeth and neutralize the acids that can cause cavities. The process takes as little as a few minutes and will not only save your teeth, but time at the dental office. It is not a routine procedure in all dental offices for adults. So, remember to request it, if it is not offered. Healthy check-ups help maintain not only a healthy mouth, but a heathy body!

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Practice good oral hygiene at a young age

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We always welcome new patients in our office, even the children.  Here are some tips and information on teaching your children the importance of good oral hygiene.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is sticky and found on the surface of the teeth and around the gums, it is filled with bacteria and can be found in hard to reach places.  Plaque and bacteria and formed by sugary foods as well as carbohydrates like breads and cereal.

How does plaque effect the mouth?

Plaque irritates the gums and in early stages cause gingivitis.  It also wears away the enamel on teeth and creates cavities. Of course, teaching your child to brush for two minutes twice a day can help prevent cavities from forming.  Also, to avoid cavities that can form in between teeth, its very important to make sure he/she flosses once a day.

How can I reduce the plaque on my child’s teeth?

Brushing twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing once a day, and brushing the tongue will remove harmful bacteria thoroughly. Make sure these habits become part of their daily routine to ensure good oral hygiene habits when they’re older.

How can my child maintain good oral hygiene?

Always remeber to practice good oral hygiene yourself! This will make you a great role model for your child and understanding the importance of clean, healthy teeth and gums. Make sure to take your child to periodic dental cleanings and check ups.  Dentists can examine your child’s entire mouth and detect early issues before they become a bigger issue.

2013 Academy of Dentistry Fact Sheet pg.15

 

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Facts About Pacifiers

pacifier

                 

From a child’s first six months to the age of 2, pacifiers can benefit an infant in many ways.  Pacifiers aid in the development of jaw muscles, decrease chances of sudden infant death syndrome, and is used for its calming effect.  However, it is important to know the risks and benefits of pacifiers and their effects on oral health. 

  1. 1.       Pacifier’s Potential Problems

Once an infant has developed healthy breast-feeding habits and is 1 month old, pacifiers are typically acceptable.  Experts highly recommend eliminating the use of pacifiers with children over the age of two. Use of pacifiers past this age is often associated with:

 

  • Increased risk of middle ear infections
  • Improper growth of the mouth
  • Misalignment of teeth
  • Dental cross bite and/or open bite
  • Development of thumb-sucking habit

 

  1. 2.       Tips for Pacifier Use
  • Purchase orthodontically designed pacifiers
  • Check frequently for cracks, discoloration, or tears on pacifier’s rubber. Always discard if damaged or old
  • Wash pacifiers prior to first use
  • Do not tie pacifiers around your infant’s neck
  • Offer pacifiers after and between meals, before naps, or at bedtime

 

  1. 3.       Proper Pacifier Cleaning

Always clean your child’s pacifier at least once a day with mild soap and water. Make sure to remove excess water on the nipple to avoid bacterial growth.  Reading and following the instructions on the pacifier’s package is always recommended.

 

  1. 4.       Saying Goodbye to the Pacifier
  • Here are a few alternatives and tips for parents looking to wean their child from the pacifier:
  • Rocking motions, singing or music before naps and bedtime
  • Activities and games
  • Gradually limit pacifier use over time
  • Dip the pacifier in a safe but undesirable flavor, such as vinegar
  • Refusing the use of the pacifier and going “cold turkey” is also an option

 

 

January 2013 Issue Academy of General Dentistry, article “Pacifiers and Oral Health” Pg. 7

 

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Invisalign goes beyond just straightening teeth

Invisalign is a great alternative to braces, especially for adults. This video will show you all the ways your smile can benefit from Invisalign.

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