We were all born with enamel-covered teeth that sparkle when we smile. But as we get old, the enamel coating chips off and our teeth begin to appear yellowish or stained. A quick visit to your dentist can brighten up your smile again. Through various teeth whitening treatments, this problem can be solved. The question is, are these treatments safe?
These treatments have been evaluated for years and are considered safe. According to the American Dental Association, the active bleaching ingredient used to whiten teeth is carbamide peroxide, and it yields hydrogen peroxide. Dental professionals have tested and concluded it as safe and effective for teeth whitening purposes.
Does It Affect Other Restoration Treatments?
The agent used in teeth whitening is said to affect silver fillings by causing them to release mercury. But the Academy of General Dentistry has announced that there’s nothing to worry about. Bleach cannot and will not destroy dental restorations like crowns and implants.
Where to Get Teeth Whitening Treatment?
Nowadays, you can have your teeth bleached anywhere – even in non-dental establishments like salons and spas. But just to be safe, it is recommended that you get it from a certified dentist. He or she can conduct tests to make sure that you are eligible for the treatment. If the tests show that you have sensitive teeth, your dentist will treat them with a high concentration of fluoride for a few days before proceeding with teeth whitening treatment.
Put your smile in the hands of your dentist, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy the results of a careful procedure. You may be advised to take ibuprofen after your first bleaching session to counteract any irritation. But rest assured, it’s nothing serious or life-threatening. The stingy feeling usually disappears after 48 hours or when the treatment stops.
If you do experience it for more than 48 hours, use toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate to help soothe your nerve ending. You may also consult your dentist to get professional advice and get a prescription for a product with fluoride. Teeth whitening is highly discouraged for people who have gum disease, cavities, tooth-colored crowns, other dental work and pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Things to Avoid After Teeth Whitening Treatment
- Stain-causing food such as candies, berries, tomato sauce, soy sauce, chocolates, red meat, and all fruits except bananas.
- Smoking tobacco; if you quit smoking, your smile will be bright!
- Beverages like coffee, tea, wine, sports drinks or highly-carbonated drinks. If you must drink these, use a straw to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth.
- Chewing gum.
- Colored toothpaste and other dental products.
Don’t worry, you can still indulge in other food and beverages – as long as it’s white. You can eat fish, skinless chicken, white cheese, egg whites, white rice, white pasta, yogurt, potatoes, crustless bread and even rice crispies. You can still enjoy a glass of tonic, white lemonade, skimmed milk, clear coconut water, clear alcohol like vodka and of course, sparkling water.
As you grow old, you’ll notice that brushing and flossing are no longer enough to make your smile sparkle. Don’t get me wrong, observing proper oral care can do great things for your teeth. However, there are factors that cause it to discolor over time – like the things that you eat. Most of us don’t mind and take it as a normal part of aging, but others who are more self-conscious consider getting their teeth whitened.
If you’re one of the people who’ve already considered teeth whitening, you must know that it is expensive. But there is still hope. Pay your dentist a visit, and he may have an irresistible offer to help you. Your dentist can help you choose a method that fits not only your purpose but also your budget.
How Much is In-Office Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a dental treatment used to restore the natural sparkle of the teeth. Our teeth are covered with porcelain-like enamel that wears off over time because of chewing, gnashing, acid attacks and other harmful factors.
Through in-office teeth whitening, the stains and debris in your teeth can be removed. In fact, its major advantage is its ability to change the color of the teeth in a short period.
Most dentists use highly concentrated peroxide gel during treatment. Depending on your situation, you may be asked by your doctor to come back for more sessions or continue with a home-use whitening treatment. In the United States, an in-office teeth whitening costs around $650 or more.
Other Options for Teeth Whitening
Aside from in-office teeth whitening, there are two other options to whiten your teeth. You can use professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits to achieve excellent results. These kits include low-concentrated peroxide gel that is to be applied to your teeth for an hour or even overnight. They’re more affordable than in-office whitening treatment; one kit would cost around $100 to $400 only.
Your next option would be to use OTC whitening products that cost $20 to $100. It’s convenient and easy to do – you can do it on your own! Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can be applied in three ways: whitening strips, paint-on applicators, and one-size-fit-all trays. But the disadvantage of using these products is that it may only whiten a few of your front teeth. If you want to brighten up your entire smile, you can use a customized tray.
Teeth Whitening Shade Guides
Dentists have shade guides to help you choose which look you would like to achieve. They also use this for choosing crown and other restoration treatments. The standard shade guide used by most dentists is the Vitapan Classic Shade Guide. It includes sixteen different shades that are arranged in four color groups. In-office teeth whitening can improve the color of your teeth by nine or more shades while bleaching can do two to seven.
Also, always remember that results of teeth whitening are subjective. Many patients are immediately satisfied with the result after their first treatment, while others come back for more sessions. What’s important is you consult your dentist first and set realistic goals if you decide to get the treatment. Your Findexpectations play a crucial role in your overall satisfaction.
Good dental health is essential to your preschooler’s overall well-being. Your child’s gums and teeth should always be cleaned properly. You can start by simply brushing your child’s teeth twice a day.
Your child’s first tooth can show up as early as four months from birth. Most babies have their central bottom teeth grow first, but these can arrive in any order. A full set of twenty baby teeth is usually achieved by the age of three.
These baby teeth are replaced by thirty-two adult teeth, and the process starts between ages six and twenty. Keep in mind that unlike baby teeth, adult teeth cannot be replaced and should be properly cared for.
Observing proper dental care is quite simple. Brushing your child’s teeth every morning and every night is the best way to maintain their good oral health. Let them use a pea-size amount of low-fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
At the age of two, you can start letting your child brush his or her teeth. Letting your child feel that he or she is part of the mission will encourage willingness and enthusiasm. Always remember, you should supervise this activity until your child reaches eight years old.
Teaching Your Child How to Brush His or Her Teeth
- Stay behind your child to make him feel secure. Putting a mirror in front of your child is a good idea too. It will allow you and your child to clearly see what’s happening.
- Gently cup your child’s chin in your hands and angle the bristles of the toothbrush toward the gums.
- Use circular massaging motions to clean both outer and inner sides of your child’s teeth and gums. Don’t forget to brush the front and back of the teeth as well as the chewing surfaces. However, if you have an electric toothbrush, just hold your hand still and guide it across your child’s mouth.
- Brush your child’s tongue and gum line too.
- When you’re done brushing, let your child spit out the toothpaste. You can rinse it off with water afterward, but some parents just let the remaining fluoride stay on their child’s teeth.
You can make the activity more fun for your child to do. You can sing a song or make funny sounds to encourage your child to do it every day. Remember, cleaning and caring for your child’s teeth at an early stage will result in good dental habits for life.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Your Child
You can start by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and low-fluoride toothpaste for your child. Just put a small amount on his or her toothbrush to provide your child’s teeth with enough fluoride. Aside from being essential in building strong teeth and bones, fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. But too much of it is also bad. It can lead to fluorosis or white marks on the teeth.
Dentists recommend that you let your child get fluoride in small amounts. It can help maintain their teeth’s good condition longer. Other sources of fluoride are tap water and food such as tea, cereals, and vegetables.
Proper baby teeth care is crucial to your baby’s dental health and future permanent teeth. There’s no perfect time to start cleaning your child’s mouth than now. Even if his or her teeth are still on their way, your baby’s gums may be in danger of bacteria and dirt. Use a warm, wet washcloth or gauze and slowly wipe your baby’s gums every after feeding. Your baby only deserves the best care, so here are some practical tips to help you:
- Once your baby’s teeth come in, take care of it right away. Baby tooth is just as important as permanent ones. If it’s not cared for properly, it can decay and lead to serious gum infection. Baby teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent teeth. They can also affect your baby’s talking and chewing. It is essential to start with your baby’s dental health care from day one.
- Let your baby drink lots of water after eating. The majority of infant foods easily wash off with water. Letting your baby drink water after every meal is a big help to maintaining your baby’s teeth healthy. You may not need to use a toothbrush to clean your baby’s teeth until he or she is 18 months old, but you may use a small rubber-like cleaner to get rid of sticky and sugary food from his or her tooth.
- No to cavities! Closely watch your baby’s teeth for discoloration and minor pitting – these are the first signs of a cavity. Most parents use a bottle of milk to put their babies to sleep, and this is one major cause of cavities. If you notice your baby using the bottle for comfort rather than feeding, please don’t hesitate to take it away.
- Start brushing your baby’s teeth at two. At age two, you can start brushing your child’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Using slow, circular motions, slowly brush your child’s teeth to remove small particles of food. You can wash off the toothpaste from your child’s mouth using a warm, wet washcloth. Do this at least twice daily.
- Your baby’s teeth also need fluoride. Baby toothpaste usually doesn’t have fluoride in it. But fluoride is essential to prevent tooth decay. It is why most communal waters have a small amount of fluoride for this purpose. If you’re not sure, ask your baby’s doctor about supplements that can provide enough fluoride for your child.
- Schedule regular dentist appointments for your baby. It is essential for your child’s dental health to see a dentist regularly. The dentist will be able to regulate your child’s teeth growth and give you tips on how to keep each tooth cavity-free.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to look after your child’s overall well-being. Your child’s dental health is second to none. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that you establish your child’s good dental habits as early as possible.
Everyone may have already heard about dental implants, but not all understand what they are or what they are for. So what is a dental implant? It is a surgical component used to anchor dental prostheses like a crown, bridge or denture. Simply put, it acts as a support. A dental implant is dependable, especially when correctly positioned. It can also last a lifetime when properly cared for and stored in the right place.
Do Dental Implants Last Forever?
The answer to this question is a combination of yes and no. As mentioned above, a dental implant can last a long time if properly cared for – to be specific, 25 years or so. You can prolong the lifespan of your dental implant by doing the following things:
- Brush and floss your teeth daily
- See a dentist every six months
- Avoid eating extremely hard things
- Don’t use your teeth to open anything
- Choose a dentist that you are comfortable with and make sure that he or she is well-experienced with dental implants
- Observe an overall healthy lifestyle
Many of the reasons why dental implants don’t last long are related to bad personal hygiene. Bacteria build-up can cause inflammation of the tissues inside your mouth. If the situation is not treated, it will develop into a serious disease that will weaken your jaw bones. When this happens, your dental implant could loosen up and fall out of place.
But if you’ve had a bone graft, your dental implant may last longer than expected. Bone graft increases the strengths of dental implants and is required for individuals who have suffered from trauma, infection or disease that weakened their jaw bones. It helps restore the good condition of the jaw bone and keeps your dental implant in place.
There are four types of bone graft: autogenous graft, allograft, xenograft and alloplastic grafts. Your dentist will discuss with you which one is best suited for your situation. You may also do your research to have an in-depth understanding of this surgical procedure.
How Much is a Dental Implant?
The cost of a dental implant may vary on the type, size, and height. The most common types used today are endosteal and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal are placed in the jawbone and are shaped like screws or plates. Subperiosteal, on the other hand, are positioned under the gum, but above the jaw bone. Dentists recommend this type to patients who have shallow jaw bones and refuse to undergo surgery to rebuild it.
A dental implant is typically made of titanium. It’s safe and effective in replacing the foundation of your natural tooth. Your dentist should be able to help you determine the best option for you. It will depend on the tooth or teeth that need replacement. Each patient has a unique situation; there is no customized dental implant that.
After initial check-up and assessment, your dentist will design a treatment plan for you. It should include the estimated number of sessions and overall cost of the procedure. Most dentists offer financing and payment options. But to make sure, ask your dentist first.