Traveling during the Holidays can be fun and stressful, everyone likes to spend time with their friends and family during the holidays, however; getting to your friends and family can be stressful. Forgot your toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash? Can’t fit your toothbrush charger, or mouthwash in your carry on? How do you keep your mouth healthy while you are traveling?
Traveling can be stressful don’t let it ruin your teeth too, stock up on your recommended hygiene products and keep on brushing!
The holidays are just around the corner, and white teeth are at the top of your mind. If you’re like most people, though, you’re a little concerned about the various risks and drawbacks of teeth whitening options.
Don’t fear, though! There are several safe and tooth-healthy ways to whiten your smile and get camera-ready for the holiday season.
Here are a few of our favorite teeth-whitening practices.
1. In-Chair Whitening
In-chair whitening is by far the safest and most effective tooth whitening method. In-office whitening takes just over an hour and can produce dramatically whiter teeth. Plus, it doesn’t come with any of the waiting or enamel risks associated with various at-home whitening procedures.
A one-time in-chair whitening appointment will last about 6-12 months and has a low risk of creating sensitivity or dental issues. If you do notice any sensitivity, using a sensitive toothpaste like Sensodyne can help restore teeth to their former glory.
Once you’ve had one appointment, you may choose to come back for touch-ups as needed.
2. Tray Whitening
Tray whitening can be done at your local dental office or at home, depending on your preferences. The whitening during this procedure is accomplished by wearing a tray at night for a certain amount of time, which depends on your teeth whitening goals.
While this method does require a trip to the dentist so they can take impressions of your mouth, whitening your teeth at home via trays is very simple.
Typically, the gel is worn for anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours daily, and the course of treatment runs one-three weeks.
While this procedure takes longer than in-chair whitening, it does offer a more gradual, controlled change in color.
3. Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are the ultimate at-home tooth-whitening option.
Available at virtually any pharmacy or grocery strip, whitening strips are flexible, thin pieces of plastic coated in peroxide. When adhered to teeth, they whiten and remove stains gradually, producing results that last about four months.
Inexpensive, easy to use, and ideal for anyone searching for a DIY treatment, whitening strips are designed to be worn about 30 minutes a day for two weeks, although the course of different treatments varies.
There are dozens of whitening kinds of toothpaste currently on the market, many of which can help strengthen and improve the tone of teeth.
Depending on the type of toothpaste you buy, you’ll find that each works differently. While some work by remineralizing the teeth and sealing micro-cracks in enamel, others work by reducing the potential for imperfections in the dental surface, which can harbor stains.
No matter which option you choose, whitening kinds of toothpaste are safe, effective, gradual, and ideal as an at-home whitening method that doesn’t require professional supervision.
5. Coconut Oil
A natural remedy that has regained some popularity in recent years, coconut oil pulling is an ancient oral detoxification method with plenty of natural benefits.
Coconut oil pulling, which is essentially the process of swishing oil around the mouth for several minutes and then spitting it out, keeps the dental surface slick and reduces the likelihood that stains will stick to it.
As you swish oil through your mouth, it traps bacteria and plaque. This, in turn, keeps your gums and mouth healthier and helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Which Whitening Option is Right for You?
Now that you know about the top five tooth whitening options, which one is right for you? The answer to that question depends on a few things. Namely, your budget, timeline, and goals.
Here are a few things to consider:
How much you want to spend. Teeth whitening options vary from inexpensive (white strips) to more expensive (tray whitening and in-chair treatments). Remember that you get what you pay for, though, and a more expensive treatment will likely provide better and longer-lasting results.
Your timeline. If you only have a week until that holiday party, you’ll be better off opting for a quick-turnaround whitening option, like an in-chair or tray treatment. While methods like oil pulling, toothpaste, and white strips can be effective, they generally take quite a bit longer to work and won’t give you the results you need in the timeline you desire.
Your goals. Are your teeth very stained or just in need of a little touch-up? This will also impact your choice of whitening solution. Very stained teeth can typically benefit from a variety of approaches, such as an in-chair treatment combined with whitening toothpaste. If you only need a small touch-up, you might be able to get away with just using white strips or oil pulling.
By considering your budget, timeline, and goals, and discussing your teeth whitening needs with your dental care professional, you can come up with an actionable and approachable teeth whitening plan that works for you. Start now to make sure your smile is ready for all those big holiday parties!
If you have questions about teeth whitening or need assistance call the office!
Ever get tired of hearing the same spiel at each and every routine dental appointment? You know, the one about flossing regularly and the slew of benefits that come with doing just that?
Well, there’s a reason for it. As the American Dental Association (ADA) explains, cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque is made up of bacteria, mucus, and food particles—all the things that can find a place to call home in between your pearly whites.
And, when plaque isn’t removed by brushing and flossing between your teeth, it can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar. This tartar then collects along your gum line and can lead to an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Or, what’s better known as gum disease (or periodontal disease).
While there is a list of other causes as well as risk factors that can lead to developing this generally painless disease, did you know that people with diabetes are at greater risk?
In fact, diabetes and gum disease is a two-way street. And, we’re here to explain why, as well as the stages of periodontal disease, warning signs and symptoms to look for, and lastly, treatment.
Why does diabetes and gum disease go hand-in-hand?
According to the American Diabetes Association, not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease (precisely 4.2x more) because they have a decreased ability to ward off bacteria that invade the gums.
But, severe gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to a never-ending cycle of problems with diabetes and oral health.
What are the stages of gum disease?
There are three stages of gum disease to familiarize yourself with. They are:
Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease. It involves an inflammation of the gums, which is caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. If this plaque isn’t removed with daily brushing and flossing, again, it’ll produce tartar that can irritate the gum tissue, leading to gingivitis. The good news is, however, because this is the earliest stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed as the bone and connective tissue that surround and hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
Periodontitis: at this second stage, the damage to the bone and fibers that support your teeth is irreversible. As a result, your gums may begin to form a pocket under the gumline, which then serves as a greater trap for food and plaque. Appropriate dental treatment and enhanced oral hygiene on your end can typically assist with preventing any further damage.
Advanced Periodontitis: at this final stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone that support your teeth are essentially destroyed, which can cause your teeth to either shift or loosen. This can then affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can’t save your smile, you may need to have your teeth removed.
So, what are the warning signs and symptoms to look for?
When it comes to diabetes and oral health, early detection is critical. As mentioned previously, gum disease is generally painless, and some people have no signs or symptoms. On the other hand, if the disease has progressed, you may experience many symptoms.
Therefore, if you notice any of the following, don’t delay an appointment with your dentist to get the necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Red, puffy, swollen, or tender gums
Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
Teeth that look longer due to receding gums
Changes in your bite
Loose or shifting teeth
Continuous bad breath or foul taste in your mouth
How can you fight off gum disease if you have diabetes?
If you have diabetes, it may seem as if you already have a long list of things to monitor and take care of day in and day out. But, the first and most important step to fighting off gum disease is to control your blood glucose level. Reason being, those with uncontrolled diabetes tend to get periodontitis (the second stage of gum disease) more often than the average person or those who keep their diabetes under control.
From there, you can take additional measures to prevent gum disease (and other oral health issues) such as:
Practice good oral hygiene at home—brushing your teeth and gum line with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes at least twice a day and daily flossing.
Attend routine check-ups (preferably every six months, but no less than once a year) with your dentist.
Avoid acidic drinks such as soda, energy drinks, and water with acidic fruits.
If you wear them, keep your dentures clean and take them out at night to soak them in a cleaning solution.
Make your dentist aware of your diabetes. Each patient’s medical history is held in the strictest confidence, and will be kept between you and your dental care providers.
What can you expect at your next check-up?
Are you a diabetic or pre-diabetic? If so, you are aware of the particular needs you have, which your dentist and hygienist are ready to meet. But, only with your help, of course.
Give us a call today to get an appointment on the schedule during which you can keep us informed of your condition and any medication you may currently be taking, while we provide you with the appropriate treatment. Also, please keep in mind that if your blood sugar is not in good control, it’s always best to postpone any non-emergency procedures or check-ups.
Most of us know that our diet is a big part of our overall health, but did you know your diet also plays a big part in the health of your gums? What you eat everyday has an effect on your gums and can help you fight gum disease! Since there are so many food options available for us today, check out some of the foods that are great for your gums!
Call us today and we can help get your gums in tip-top shape!