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!
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!
There are a lot of advancements in oral care, now if you lose a tooth it can be replaced with more than just a removable denture or bridge. Dental implants can be incredibly helpful for those who have lost a tooth or several teeth, as well as repairing a smile, or replacing classic dentures. Dental implants are currently the best option in dental care for replacing lost teeth, if you are needing a dental implant here are some things you should know:
If you need dental implants or are considering getting a dental implant talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about your risk factors and how an implant can help you. Dental implants have become incredibly helpful for maintaining your smile and lifestyle.
Bruxism is one of the most common dental disorders in the U.S. Today, about 10% of American adults and 15% of children suffer from bruxism. In people with a family history of the disease, about 50% of people have bruxism. While bruxism has many causes, one of the most common is stress.
Unfortunately for many people, that can make bruxism seem challenging to treat and virtually impossible to get rid of. After all, how do we limit stress in our fast-paced lives? How do we stop doing something we don’t even know we’re doing?
Fortunately, there are answers. Here’s a breakdown of a few of our favorite tactics for diminishing stress and getting rid of your bruxism:
The Connection Between Bruxism and Stress
The link between bruxism and stress has long been proved by science. According to one 2011 study published by the National Institute on Aging, bruxism occurs in much higher rates in people with anxiety and depression than people with lower stress levels. According to the study:
“The grinding of teeth has long been held as one physical manifestation of stress and anxiety. For example, individuals who grind their teeth tend to report more symptoms of anxiety and depression than non-bruxers. And, compared to non-bruxers, those who grind their teeth tend to report greater life stress and are more likely to suffer from DSM-defined depression and anxiety disorders. Even in rats, experimentally inducing emotional stress leads to brux-like symptoms, compared to controls.”
In a separate study, conducted by German researchers, study participants volunteered to help identify a link between bruxism and stress. Within the study, 69 people, including 48 known bruxers, were issued a questionnaire to see if they reported “daily problems, trouble at work, fatigue, or physical problems.”
Each participant was between 20 and 40 years old and had a sleeping partner that reported grinding sounds during the night over the past six months. Participants also reported one or more bruxism symptoms before the study, including muscle fatigue or pain on awakening, abnormal tooth wear or shiny spots on restorations and enlarged jaw muscles.
Researchers concluded that participants with high sleep bruxing activity tend to feel more stressed at work and in their daily life, and, according to the questionnaire, seem to deal with stress negatively. Bruxism is a dangerous dental problem that can not only wear down teeth but also make them sensitive or loose or even fracture them. Besides worn tooth surfaces, symptoms can include headaches and a sore jaw.
As you can see, the connection between bruxism and anxiety is well-documented. If you’ve been suffering from tooth grinding, then, the apparent first step toward treatment is to lower your stress and bring more relaxation into your life.
5 Tips to Lower Your Stress Levels
Reducing the stress levels in your life serves several vital purposes. In addition to helping you treat your bruxism and keep your teeth healthy, it’s also a great way to make your life more pleasant and relaxing, and lower your risk of depression, cancer, and other stress-related chronic diseases. Here are a few of our favorite tips for reducing stress:
1. Get Enough Exercise
Exercise is one of the most effective methods for battling stress. There are a few primary reasons for this.
- Exercise limits stress hormones. It may seem counterintuitive that putting your body through stress can decrease your body’s stress hormones, but it’s true. Exercise helps release endorphins, improve your mood, and serve as natural painkillers.
- Exercise improves sleep quality. Sleep is the first thing to go when you feel stressed or anxious. Fortunately, ample exercise can help restore healthy sleep. By contributing to a night of deeper sleep, it may also help diminish your bruxism naturally.
- Better state of mind. Exercise helps you process stress and organize your days more efficiently. By improving your mental health, it can go a long way toward boosting your daily outlook.
Never been a big fan of exercise? You don’t have to join a CrossFit gym right away. Instead, start walking, try a yoga class, or go hiking with friends.
2. Supplement for Your Health
Diet and supplementation can go a long way to decrease your daily stress and anxiety. If you feel like your bruxism has recently gotten worse, consider supplementing with a system-soothing compound like the following:
- Ashwagandha. Used throughout Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has long been used to treat stress and anxiety. It soothes the nervous system and can help the whole body take a deep breath.
- Valerian. Valerian root is a favorite sleep aid among people who have trouble getting enough Zs but don’t want to use harsh medicines. Valerian contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and helps minimize anxiety.
- Green tea. Instead of dosing on coffee every day, swap a cup out for some green tea. Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, which can boost serotonin levels and decrease anxiety.
3. Practice Meditation
Meditation is becoming more popular in the mainstream, and for a good reason. Studies show that even a few minutes of meditation a day can have a profound impact on stress in as little as eight weeks of practice. If you’re nervous to start meditation, begin with a simple app like Headspace, which features beginner-friendly guided meditations that last 5, 10, or 20 minutes and are easy to incorporate into your daily life.
See Your Dentist if Bruxism Continues
There are dozens of things you can do to limit your stress levels every day. Simple steps like incorporating more exercise, starting a meditation practice, and focusing on a healthy diet and supplementation can go a long way. If your bruxism continues despite these stress-reduction methods, though, it might be time to visit your dentist.
Your dentist will be able to make a recommendation about additional treatment options, ranging from a mouth guard to dental alignment and more, all of which can help you be more comfortable while also protecting the surface of your teeth.
Ready to put an end to your bruxism? Contact our team today.
Sports are great for kids they help build confidence, build team working skills, and help your child be healthy. Sports are great to get your child involved in most teams require safety gear and training for your child, a lot of sports do not require or provide mouth protection during sports. Have no fears there are things you can do to help keep your child’s teeth safe!
Talk to your dentist before your child starts playing sports to find the right protection for their needs and risks. Your child may not like wearing a mouth guard etc. at first but they will adjust and adapt. It is important to keep this habit to keep your child’s mouth safe!
When your child loses teeth, it’s the first sign of a bunch of exciting things coming down the pipe. First and foremost, your baby is growing his or her adult teeth – the teeth that will remain in the mouth throughout adulthood. Secondly, your child is learning about proper oral hygiene and preparing to meet the tooth fairy for the first time.
If you’re like most parents, though, you’re not exactly sure what to do when your baby starts losing teeth. Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In this post, we’ll lay out some simple ways to navigate this life phase and ensure you’re giving your little one everything he or she needs.
When Your Child Starts Losing Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are fascinating things. They start forming before a baby is born and play an essential role in speech development and other critical issues. Here are a few facts to consider about your baby’s teeth:
- Most kids get all 20 baby teeth within their first three years of life
- Teeth are critical for processing food, obviously, but also for helping kids learn to speak
- Generally, kids get their first tooth by six months of age
- Baby teeth, while not permanent themselves, offer spacing for adult teeth and help guide them as they push through the gums
- Young children lose their teeth at various rates – molars and canines don’t generally fall out until ages 9-13, while incisors fall out between ages 6-8
- Toddlers and infants who drink sugary juices from bottles, or who regularly fall asleep with bottles in their mouths can suffer premature tooth decay
- Parents should start promoting good dental health in babies within the first few weeks – rubbing thee gums with a clean cloth or a finger is a great start
- Proper dental development helps kids chew properly, which then supports healthy digestive and GI function
- Parents should take their babies to the dentist by the time the first tooth pops through the gums
- According to a June 2015 study, babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months were 72% less likely to have crooked or overcrowded teeth
According to information from the Mayo Clinic, most kids start losing their first teeth around the age of six years. While the timing varies slightly from child to child, it’s still smart to visit the dentist if your baby loses teeth as the result of an accident or premature dental decay. If the tooth loss is normal, there’s no reason to make an emergency trip to the dentist, although maintaining your regular check-ups is smart.
As a general rule, a child’s teeth will fall out in the order in which they first broke through the gums. Usually, this means your baby will lose the first two teeth on the bottom fist. From there, it will spread to molars and moe. Generally, the shedding of the baby teeth lasts from about age 6 to age 12 or 13. In some cases, teeth can take a few days or weeks to fall out. If this is the case for your child, avoid the urge to yanked the tooth out forcefully, and try to discourage your child from touching the tooth excessively.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.”
Pulling at ooh prematurely – even when it’s loose or wiggling – can expose the socket too early, creatine ga direct pipeline for infection, bacteria buildup, and more. Once a tooth falls out, a new one should replace it within six months. If no new tooth grows in that timeframe, take your child to the dentist to ensure there’s no underlying problem.
What to do After a Child Loses a Tooth
Before you summon the tooth fairy, take some time to care for the new gap in your child’s mouth! Here are a few steps to follow:
- Have the child gargle with saltwater. When a tooth falls out, it exposes a part of the mouth that’s not used to being exposed. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for infection and more. To prevent this, have your child gargle with salt and warm water once the tooth is gone. This is especially important if the space is bleeding. Encourage the child to spit all the water, rather than swallowing it.
- Brush around the space. Bushing directly over the exposed socket can create irritation and pain. With this in mind, have your child to brush around the socket, and avoid pushing too hard on any space that is sore or painful, as this can cause excessive irrigation. Your child should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Avoid foods that can damage teeth. To maintain a healthy mouth, have your child avoid consuming soda, candy, and other foods that can damage the teeth. This is critical as the vulnerable socket is exposed. The more sugar and bacteria you introduce into the space, the more likely it is that the socket will become irritated or infected.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Dental care is critical as your child’s mouth continues to change. With this in mind, maintain your regular schedule of dental visits, and make sure you’re not skipping appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify problems before they flare into significant issues, and ensure that your child’s teeth are all falling out and growing in normally.
When to Call a Doctor
There are very few reasons to seek out medical help as your child loses and grows new teeth. If, however, you notice your baby’s mouth is bleeding excessively, that new teeth are not growing in the places of old teeth, or that your child seems to be losing too many or not enough teeth, it can be smart to pay a visit to your doctor. The doctor will be able to evaluate your baby’s mouth and ensure everything is progressing normally and that there aren’t any warning signs to be aware of.
Has your child started to lose baby teeth? Give our office a call! We’ll help guide you through this process and ensure your little one’s mouth is healthy and happy.