young woman with brilliant smile

Whitening Your Teeth: Three Common Questions

A brighter smile can be a great confidence booster for lots of people! We are often asked how to prevent tooth discoloration and how we whiten teeth, so we’ve rounded up the answers here for you.

What causes teeth to change color?

Teeth can appear discolored on the outside when there is a build-up of plaque, or the tooth enamel becomes stained. Common contributors to stains are dark colored beverages, like coffee and cola, and smoking. Teeth can also change color on the inside due to too much fluoride exposure or use of tetracycline during childhood, trauma to a tooth, or a rare medical condition. (Find more details here: causes of tooth discoloration.)

What can I do to prevent tooth discoloration?

  • Don’t smoke / quit smoking.
  • Avoid or consume sparingly foods and drinks that stain your teeth, including red wine, coffee, tea and cola, and foods that change the color of your tongue.
  • Rinse with water after meals, especially when you enjoy a food or drink that may cause stains.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

 

How can I whiten my teeth?

If you decide you’d like to whiten your teeth, your best first step is to consult your dentist. Depending on the cause of discoloration and other health factors, you may or may not be a good candidate for whitening treatments or products. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you will benefit from whitening treatment.

The most common whitening solutions are in-office whitening treatments, and over-the-counter products.

In-office treatments:

  • Are performed at your dentist’s office
  • Can yield immediate results
  • Can whiten teeth as much as 10 shades

 

At-home products:

  • Are used in the comfort of your home
  • Come in both dentist-supervised and non-dentist-supervised varieties
  • Can take about two weeks to see results

 

How long whitening results last is varied for both methods, depending on a patient’s unique oral health, diet, genetics and other factors. A ballpark idea would be around six months to two years.

If you have more questions about teeth whitening, you can call any Kid’s Dentistree location and we’d be happy to talk with you.

 

World Oral Health Day banner

Know the Basics of Your Oral Health

March 20th is World Oral Health Day! It’s time to spend a few moments on your oral health.

Maintaining your oral health can be as easy as 1-2-3. In honor of World Oral Health Day, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to care for yourself and your smile. Take a few moments to look over the resources linked below, and remember these three guidelines to help ensure your optimal oral health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

Make sure you know the right way to brush. Take a minute and check out the American Dental Association’s (ADA) proper brushing technique. And we know flossing isn’t high on everyone’s list of favorite things to do, but investing such a small amount in your oral health each day can benefit you big-time in a number of different ways.

2. Choose your diet with care. 

What you eat can make a big impact not only in your overall health, but also in your oral health. Do you know the top foods that can damage your teeth?

3. Visit your dentist regularly.

Work with your dentist to determine the right frequency of dental visits for you. Twice a year is common, but you may find that your needs are different. Also consider these signs you should see the dentist from the ADA.

 

Gum Disease and Diabetes: Prevention Is Key

ADA Diabetes and Dental Infographic

ADA Diabetes and Dental Infographic

November is American Diabetes Month and we want to focus on dental care for people with diabetes. When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands!

 

Research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

 

As a diabetic, what can you do? Make a commitment to manage your diabetes and control your blood glucose level. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems. Then, take good care of your teeth and gums, including regular checkups every six months. To control thrush, a fungal infection, maintain good diabetic control, avoid smoking and, if you wear them, remove and clean dentures daily.

 

People with diabetes have special needs and your dentist and hygienist are equipped to meet those needs – with your help. Keep your dentist and hygienist informed of any changes in your condition and any medication you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.

 

Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!

 

Sources: mayoclinic.com, diabetes.org

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