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All Posts in Category: Toothpaste

Top 3 Teeth Whitening Myths Debunked

Top 3 Teeth Whitening Myths Debunked

Having white teeth is a sign of health and vitality. White teeth also make a person appear more attractive since the clean white look helps to draw attention to a pretty smile. But all this presupposes that the underlying teeth and gums are actually healthy. The problem with modern teeth whitening is that it can actually give a false impression of oral health where there really isn’t any. Teeth that have been chemically whitened aren’t necessarily in great condition. Here are the top three teeth whitening myths debunked.

Myth # 1 : Whiter Teeth Means They Are Healthy Teeth

white teeth

 

There’s a myth that whiter teeth equal healthy teeth. But that simply isn’t true. Just because you bleach out a tooth so it’s gleaming white doesn’t mean that there are no issues with that tooth. Children often have whiter teeth because they haven’t been exposed to the things that cause teeth discoloration like alcohol and tobacco products. Children with white teeth may have healthier teeth, but even they may have underlying problems with their teeth. In other words, having white teeth, whether it’s a child or an adult, does not mean that the teeth are necessarily healthy.

The converse is also true. Stained, yellow teeth may be perfectly healthy. They may have a thick layer of enamel and no cavities. The gums may be in pristine condition. The teeth are simply stained due to being exposed to foods or beverages that stain teeth. The yellowing could be a simple cosmetic issue that makes the teeth appear as if they are bad teeth. In fact, not everyone has white teeth, to begin with. The natural hue of the teeth varies from person to person. It depends on genetics as well as the individual makeup of the person’s body. In fact, having whiter teeth may give the person themselves a false sense of security as far as their overall oral health. They may think that if they look in the mirror and see white teeth that they can skip going to the dentist. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Myth # 2: Cosmetic Teeth Whitening Focuses On Appearance And Not So Much On Healthy Teeth

Cosmetic Teeth Whitening

When you go to the dentist to get teeth whitening treatments, you probably assume that, like you, the dentist is focused solely on transforming your teeth into pearly whites. And why wouldn’t you think that? You made an appointment to have your teeth whitened, that’s what the dentist does, and that’s the charge that appears on your bill. However, a quality dentist is never solely focused on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth. Every time you sit in your dentist’s chair, they take the opportunity to evaluate the health of your teeth. In fact, if the dentist detects some unusual situations, they may not want to give you the teeth whitening treatment.

Teeth whitening formulations can actually be harmful to your teeth if they are in bad condition. If you have cracks, crevices or cavities, the chemicals in the teeth whitening formulas may cause undue discomfort or worse. That’s why your teeth whitening appointment isn’t really all about making your teeth whiter. Surprisingly, making an appointment for professional teeth whitening at your dentist office is one of the best things you can do to get an extra dental examination that could uncover potential problems like tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and more. If your dentist does discover a problem, you may still be able to get your teeth whitened, but you may get a recommendation to make another appointment to have the other situation taken care of as soon as possible.

Myth # 3: The Only Way To Achieve A Whiter Smile Is To Use Whitening Kits

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit

Ever since teeth whitening became so popular, dozens of over the counter teeth whitening kits have hit drugstores and supermarkets. There are even television commercials that try to shame people for having less than perfectly white teeth. These advertisements encourage people to go to the drugstore to get a whitening kit. The marketing gimmick is that whiter teeth are just a whitening kit away. In reality, there are much better and safer ways to get whiter teeth.

The best way to get whiter teeth fast is to make an appointment with your dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment. This will also give your dentist the chance to examine your overall oral health. But there are also ways to keep your teeth looking whiter without even having to go to get professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. First, maintaining the practice of brushing, flossing and rinsing after each meal for at least 2-4 minutes will help keep your teeth from staining from food and drink. Second, abstain from eating and drinking certain foods and beverages that are known to stain teeth. These include red wine, blueberries and more. Of course, no one wants to omit healthy blueberries from the diet. But if you do eat berries, be sure to brush and rinse immediately after.

If you are a smoker, you probably have noticed that the nicotine has stained your teeth yellow. If you get your teeth whitened at the dentist and want to keep them looking that way, the smoking will have to stop. There’s no preventing nicotine from staining your teeth without complete abstinence. Another thing you can do to help keep your teeth white is to brush with fresh crushed strawberries every so often. The acidic nature of the strawberries helps get rid of any existing stains. Finally, regular dentist visits help to keep your teeth white because the hygienist cleans away tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth.

Now that you see how there is little truth to these three teeth whitening myths, you can understand how important regular dental checkups are. Having healthy teeth means much more than a white bright smile. To keep your teeth and gums truly healthy, there’s no substitute for regular dental visits. To learn more about teeth whitening options or to schedule a visit, please contact us today.

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how to brush teeth

How to Properly and Effectively Brush Your Teeth

The American Dental Association has recently made great strides in educating parents about childhood cavities. Because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 42% of children have cavities in their baby teeth, the need to educate parents on proper oral hygiene is critical to instilling proper oral hygiene habits. Unfortunately, children aren’t the only ones suffering from dental problems. The American Dental Hygienist Association estimate that up to 75% of adults suffer from gum disease and may not even realize it (yet). Because many dental problems can be traced back to improper care, it is important to review the proper steps for effectively brushing your teeth.

Start with the right tools

The basics of brushing start with using the right brush and the right toothpaste. When choosing a new toothbrush, consider the following:

  • Bristles: Although there many types of bristles available, most dentists recommend a soft-bristled brush as those are much gentler on the gums.
  • Head size: It may be tempting to get the larger head to cover more area at once, but a smaller head can reach into the smaller areas, particularly the teeth furthest back.
  • Powered or non-powered toothbrush: A powered brush is a smart choice especially for those with compromised dexterity.

Regardless of which toothbrush you select, it is important to replace your toothbrush often: every three months or when the bristles start to show wear, whichever comes first. Some toothbrushes even have colored indicators that fade away when the brush is worn out. Also, consider tossing your toothbrush after a cold to prevent re-contaminating yourself.

What kind of toothpaste should I use?

Shopping for toothpaste can be overwhelming, but know that there are certain formulas for certain needs including gingivitis, plaque and tartar control, and sensitivity. If you are unsure which paste is best for you, your dentist can suggest one for you. However, regardless of what your specific dental needs are, you should choose a toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Children, however, will need a training toothpaste, which usually does not have fluoride.

How to brush your teeth properly

Once you have the right brush with the correct toothpaste for your needs, you can start to brush your teeth. The first rule, and usually the most often broken rule, is the duration of brushing. Proper brushing should take at least two full minutes.

  1. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to your brush.
  2. Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and brush the outer surface of each tooth by moving the brush in a gentle circular motion. Avoid using excessive pressure and scrubbing back and forth too roughly as the delicate gums can be easily irritated.
  3. Repeat for the inside surface as well.
  4. Next, brush the chewing surfaces (tops) of your teeth. It is okay to “scrub” this section as you are not causing friction on the gums during this part.
  5. End by brushing your tongue. Bacteria can build up in the grooves of your tongue, which contributes to bad breath.

Follow these steps twice each day, once in the morning and once before bed.

 

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choosing the right toothpaste

Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Toothpaste

All of the toothpaste on the market today is designed to clean your teeth, but not all of them accomplish that task equally. Some products have the potential to harm your teeth, while others simply don’t do enough to protect your teeth. Determine the right balance of extra features and core cleaning power to find the toothpaste that is best for you.

ADA Approval

First, make sure you choose a product approved by the American Dental Association and displaying the seal on its packaging. There are plenty of fluoride-free, organic, and all natural options tested by the ADA for both safety and effectiveness at keeping the teeth clean. Products without these seals have not necessarily been tested for their claims and quality, so you’re gambling with the health of your mouth by using them.

Focus on Needs

Consider what your teeth need the most to choose a toothpaste with the right extras. Whitening toothpaste can’t always replace professional whitening from a dentist, but it does work to prevent surface stains that cause your white smile to lose its brightness after treatment. Most toothpastes tend to target one of more of the following conditions or needs:

  • Sensitivity, in the gums and teeth, from mild to severe pain
  • Fluoride products are essential for kids, adults who don’t get enough of it in their diet, and people with diabetes and many other conditions
  • Anti-cavity, which most products cover but which should always be checked
  • Anti-gingivitis, ranging from over the counter to prescription products for healthier gums.

Watch Out

There are a few products you don’t want to use on your teeth, and they’re often sold as cosmetic products rather than medically tested toothpaste. Any whitening toothpaste with a very abrasive ingredient, ranging from natural walnut shell to plastic microbeads, can leave your teeth with enamel damage that is permanent and hard to treat. Activated charcoal powders can also discolor teeth along with eroding your enamel. Look for toothpaste products that reinforce enamel rather than damaging it.

Picking a Toothbrush

Of course, the toothpaste still needs to be applied to the teeth with the right tools to effectively protect you from cavities and gum disease. The wrong toothbrush can damage your enamel, scratch your gums, or fail to remove trapped food from between your molars. Only use soft bristled brushes unless given advice from your dentist to the contrary. For most people, stiff bristles are too hard for their gums. The tip of each bristle should be rounded and not pointed or square so that food debris and tartar comes loose with each sweep. Replace your brush every three months even if it still looks new and fresh since bacteria can build up over time.

Need more advice about what to do to take care of your teeth? Make an appointment with your dentist for a routine cleaning or a timely inspection. You can discuss your concerns without feeling rushed and determine if your current oral health practices are sufficient for keeping your smile bright, healthy, and strong.

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