• How to Be the Boss of Your Floss

    Brushing and flossing your teeth are the foundation of good oral health (along with regular visits to your dentist). But for many people, it’s the flossing part of that foundation that leaves them a bit puzzled. Is there a proper way to floss? What’s the most effective approach? Do I really need to floss if I’m brushing twice a day?

    To help you become the boss of your floss, we have a set of helpful tips in this week’s blog.

    Tip 1 – Floss daily

    According to the American Dental Association (and every dentist you ask), you should be flossing daily. That’s because flossing will remove plaque that your toothbrush can’t get rid of from between your teeth and at your gum line. Plaque is the first step on the road to a cavity since it hardens into tartar.

    Tip 2 – Anytime is floss time

    Patients often ask us when they should floss. After they brush? Before they brush? After a meal? Before bed? We recommend you choose a time once a day when you aren’t too tired and have a couple of minutes and then get in the habit of flossing then.

    Tip 3 – What type of floss is best?

    There are two main types of floss to choose from – nylon (also called multifilament because it is made of multiple strands) and PTFE floss (monofilament, which is single strand). Nylon floss can tear of shred if you have tight spaces between your teeth. You generally won’t run into the same problem with PTFE floss, but it is more expensive. Talk to your dental hygienist or your dentist for recommendations that would work best for your teeth.

    Tip 4 – Proper flossing technique

    Here are five simple steps to help you flawlessly floss:

    1. Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with;
    2. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth;
    3. Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue;
    4. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth; and
    5. To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

    Be sure that you don’t floss too hard and damage your gums. If it hurts, go easier. If you haven’t flossed regularly, it will probably take a couple of weeks for the slight discomfort to go away. If you have recurring pain, be sure to see your dentist.

    Tip 5 – What about using a flosser?

    For a fair number of people, using a flosser is easier and more convenient. If you haven’t used one before, here’s a quick guide to success! Hold the flosser handle firmly and point the flossing tip at an angle facing the area you want to floss first (either top teeth or bottom teeth). Guide the floss gently between two teeth and be sure to avoid snapping or popping the floss. Use the same zigzag motion that you would us with standard floss. Bend the floss around each tooth and slide it under the gum line and along each tooth surface.

    Sources: MouthHealthy.org, Oral B, Colgate, American Dental Association

  • Keep A Bright Smile With These 3 Tips

    If having a bright smile is important to you, then we have three simple tips to help you minimize the impact of teeth-staining foods and beverages.

    So what is most likely to stain your teeth when you are eating or drinking? Anything that is intensely colored will challenge the brightness of your teeth. Think reds and blacks and purples – items like coffee, red wine or grapes.

    Why are dark-colored foods and beverages so tough on the teeth? Primarily because of three reasons: 1) chromogens, which are intensely colored molecules that love to stick to your dental enamel, 2) acid, which both erodes the enamel of your teeth and promotes staining, and 3) tannins, which increase the ability of chromogens’ ability to attach to your tooth enamel.

    The worst foods and beverages when it comes to staining your teeth are red wine (although white wine also promotes tooth staining), black teas, sodas, sports drinks, dark sauces, most berries and candy and sweets.

    But you don’t have to avoid these foods if you follow these three simple tips to help reduce the impact on your teeth and oral health. After all, a lot of the dark-colored foods and beverages we listed have definite overall health benefits. Many contain large amounts of antioxidants, which help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals (which are a contributing factor to many chronic diseases).

    Here are three suggestions to keep your smile bright while still enjoying the health benefits of darkly-colored foods:

    Drink through a straw: If you use this simple approach, you’ll avoid flooding your front teeth with beverages that will stain them. You more than likely won’t start sipping your coffee or wine through a straw, but juices, iced tea and colas are definite options.

    Promptly swallow. Avoid letting a darkly colored food or beverage sit in your mouth for too long. Of course, you want to savor it, but the longer it stays there before you swallow, the greater opportunity it has to stain your teeth.

    Swish away those stains. You can’t always brush right away after eating or drinking, so a good “on-the-go” alternative is to swish with H20. In fact, if you eat or drink acidic foods and then brush your teeth, the enamel on your teeth can suffer abrasions because the acid has softened the enamel a bit.

    Along with our three tips you can use when you’re eating or drinking, we recommend you brush twice daily and floss once a day. See your dentist every six months for a check up and dental hygiene visit as well. Follow this plan, and you’re bound to be smiling brightly for years to come.

    Source: WebMD and American Dental Association

  • What’s Bruxism and How Does It Impact Oral Health?

    Bruxism is the technical term for grinding your teeth. It’s a fairly common condition, and a little of it won’t do lasting damage to your teeth. But a lot of it can impact your health in a variety of areas. Because the majority of people grind their teeth while they are sleeping, they usually don’t notice the effects until they start to experience health issues.

    Once you do realize you are grinding your teeth – or your dentist notices it when you come in for a dental check-up – your dentist can help you effectively tackle the issue and positively improve both your oral health and overall health.

    Most of us don’t have a clue what “bruxism” means. However, if you’ve suffered from bruxism, you know it can be extremely unpleasant. If you’ve sought treatment, then you also know that your dentist can be a lifeline to dealing with the effects of bruxism.

    What are the symptoms of bruxism?

    Grinding or clenching your teeth (it may be so loud that other people notice it)

    Chipped, flattened, fractured or loose teeth

    Extra tooth sensitivity

    A feeling of soreness or tightness in your face or jaw

    Headache or dull earache

    Tinnitus – commonly called ringing in your ears

    What are the causes of bruxism?

    Although an exact cause of bruxism hasn’t been discovered by medical scientists, there are several causes (physical and psychological) that have been linked to bruxism.

    “Negative emotions”: Stress, anger, anxiety and frustration have all been connected to bruxism as triggers.

    Concentrating: To reduce stress or concentrate, people will often clench or grind their teeth (and they are usually not aware of this habit).

    Alignment: Malocclusion – commonly called poor teeth alignment can lead to bruxism.

    Sleep Apnea: Bruxism can be exacerbated by sleep apnea.

    Other Causes:  Medical disorders, some psychiatric medications, and even acid reflux can impact teeth grinding.

    Available treatment options

    Often, a person with bruxism will either grow out of the condition or have a less intense form of the condition that doesn’t need to be treated. However, if you have a more intense form of bruxism, there are an array of treatment options to choose from, including:

    Dental Intervention: Relief from the effects of bruxism can often be found by a visit to your dentist. After doing a thorough examination, they may recommend splints or a mouth guard to stop further damage to your teeth. Your dentist will also check for misalignment of your teeth – which may be a culprit for your bruxism – and then determine a treatment plan that is appropriate.

    Therapeutic Approaches: If your bruxism is based on psychological factors, different therapeutic approaches that focus on the underlying cause can be successful. These include behavior therapy, stress management, and/or biofeedback.  

    Medications: Generally, medications aren’t used to treat bruxism, but in severe cases a doctor may prescribe Botox injections or muscle relaxants to prevent grinding.

    If you can get a good grasp of bruxism’s symptoms, causes, and treatments, you have a good chance of finding success in controlling or eliminating bruxism. That’s bound to let you rest easy knowing that grinding your teeth isn’t wearing down your health.

    Sources: MayoClinic.org, WebMD.co

  • All About Dental Veneers

    Dental veneers can be an easy, inexpensive approach to fixing teeth that are flawed. They can be an ideal choice to enhance the appearance of your front teeth by covering discolorations or imperfections. What exactly are veneers? They are a very thin shell that is bonded to the front of your teeth and is made either from ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material.

    In many situations, a veneer can be a good alternative to getting a crown. They last for many years if properly applied, and are a more conservative method of changing the color, size or shape of a tooth.

    What types of problems can a veneer help? They are best for fixing teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken; misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped; and teeth with gaps between them.

    How veneers are attached to your teeth

    To have veneers attached to your teeth, your dentist may need up to three appointments to complete the procedure. This will include diagnosis and planning for the treatment, preparation of the veneer, and bonding it to your teeth.

    The procedure begins by buffing half a millimeter of the teeth where the veneers will be attached.  This allows the veneer to be attached without altering the profile of your tooth. You may require a local anesthetic during this part of the procedure. If you have a composite resin veneer, your dentist will bond and sculpt the composite material onto your teeth. This usually takes one appointment. For porcelain veneers, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth, and then send the mold to a lab that will make the porcelain veneer. This often takes several days and if you feel your teeth are unsightly while you wait, your dentist can attach a temporary veneer.

    Once the porcelain veneers are ready to be placed on your teeth, your dentist will check for fit and the shade or color. Be sure to ask to view the veneers while they are resting on your teeth but before they are bonded. The color of the veneer can still be adjusted at this point by the cement’s shade that will be used to bond the veneer to your tooth. Once the cement is applied to the veneer and existing tooth, a special light beam is used to harden the cement and complete the bonding.

    The advantages of veneers

    What are the advantages of having dental veneers applied to your teeth? They are natural looking, your gum tissue will tolerate them well if they are porcelain veneers, and they are stain resistant (if they are made from porcelain). They often don’t require as much shaping as a crown but still offer a strong, aesthetically pleasing alternative.

    The disadvantages of veneers

    So what are the disadvantages? You can’t reverse the process, veneers generally can’t be repaired if they are cracked or chipped, and your tooth may become more sensitive to beverages and food that are hot or cold.

    Finally, remember that veneers are not perfect replacements for natural teeth – they are facsimiles. For instance, you may see slight variations in the color of your veneers – although you’ll often see the same type of variations in natural teeth. But if you’re not happy with your current smile, veneers can be a viable way to improve your smile and increase your self-esteem.

    Sources: Worldental.org, KnowYourTeeth.com, WebMD fffffffffffff

  • Have You Considered Dental Sealants to Prevent Cavities?

    A good way to prevent cavities – especially for children – is to apply a dental sealant to your teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier against cavities. It is made from a plastic material and dentists apply it to the area where decay most often occurs in your mouth – on your back teeth’s chewing surfaces.

    Although daily flossing and brushing are critical to good oral health, they often miss some of the food particles and plaque in the depressions and grooves of your molars and premolars. Also, while fluoride does a good job of protecting the smooth surfaces of your teeth, but your back teeth don’t get as protected by the fluoride.

    Why are sealants important?

    The best time to protect your teeth is before they develop decay. Remember, sugar in the food and beverages you consume is used by germs in your mouth to create acids. And it is those acids that cause cavities in your teeth. Therefore, if you apply sealant, it prevents those acids from eating away at your teeth and forcing you to get a filling, a crown, or a cap – all used to restore decayed teeth.

    Are sealants only for kids?

    While children benefit the most from dental sealants, some adults at risk of cavities or who have deep fissures and grooves in their teeth can benefit from dental sealants. Talk to your dentist about your specific needs.

    However, it is highly recommended that children get dental sealants as soon as their permanent molars come in to prevent decay from impacting their teeth. Those initial permanent molars develop in children between 5 and 7 years of age. Their second set of permanent molars come in when they are between 11 and 14 years.

    It can be important to also keep baby teeth healthy, since they save space in a child’s mouth for their permanent teeth. For that reason, be sure to check with your dentist to see if dental sealants would be a good idea on your child’s baby teeth – especially if they have deep grooves and pits.

    How does a dentist apply dental sealants?

    It takes your dentist or dental hygienist just a few minutes to apply a dental sealant to your teeth or your child’s teeth. The process includes:

    • Thoroughly cleaning the teeth;
    • Drying each tooth, and then wrapping an absorbent material around each tooth to keep it dry;
    • Applying an acid solution to each tooth’s chewing surface, which helps the dental sealant bond to the tooth’s surface;
    • Rinsing and drying the teeth;
    • Painting the dental sealant onto the enamel of each tooth, where it will bond to the tooth and harden. Some sealants use a curing light to help it harden.

    What’s the life span of dental sealants?

    You can expect the dental sealant applied to your teeth to last up to 10 years. But be sure to have your sealant checked at your regular dental visits to make sure that the sealant hasn’t become chipped or worn away. Repairing sealants is quick, since the dentist or dental hygienist simply paints on additional sealant material.

    Can you see sealants?

    Dental sealants can be slightly tinted, clear or white. They are visible up close, but generally aren’t noticeable when your child smiles or talks.

    Sources: MouthHealthy.org, National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, KnowYourTeeth.com, Colgate, American Dental Association (ADA)

  • Make Your Own Mouthwash – Here’s 4 Recipes

    Buying mouthwash at the store can be overwhelming (there are more than 100 options in the marketplace) and cash-challenging (even generic brands are not cheap). Plus, trying to figure out what exactly is in the mouthwash you buy  can be dizzyingly frustrating (or quite frightening once you figure it out).

    So the next time you make a trip to the store for mouthwash, skip the usual personal hygiene aisle and shop for your own ingredients. You’ll end up with a mouthwash that tastes better, is often less expensive, uses ingredients that you can identify, and provides you with a natural alternative to freshening your breath.

    We have four recipes for homemade mouthwash in this Personal Care Dentistry blog. You should be able to find all of the ingredients listed at your local grocery store or online. Happy gargling!

    Super Simple Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 4 teaspoons of baking soda
    • 4 drops of tea tree essential oil
    • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil

    Instructions:

    Add all ingredients to a mason jar or similar container with a lid. Shake very well. Use about 2 tablespoons of this mixture each day, the same way you would use mouthwash for super white teeth and fresh breath. The baking soda will usually settle to the bottom of the container after a few hours, but don’t worry, this is normal. Simply shake well before each use.

    Cinnamon and Honey Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    • 2 organic lemons, juiced
    • ½ tablespoon of cinnamon powder
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder!)
    • 5 teaspoons of raw, organic honey
    • 1 cup of warm water

    Instructions:

    Using a mason jar or similar type of container with a tight-fitting lid, add all ingredients in the order given. Be sure the water is very warm as it needs to melt the honey. Close the lid and shake for one minute. Store in the fridge and use two tablespoons as a mouth rinse.

    Grandma’s Disinfecting Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

    Instructions:

    Mix the ingredients together in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before each use. This will keep forever right on your bathroom countertop.

    Herb-Infused Mouthwash

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of filtered water
    • ½ ounce of whole cloves
    • 1 ounce of Oregon grape root
    • 1 ounce of rosemary sprigs

    Instructions:

    Boil the water and then add all remaining ingredients to the water. Boil for one minute, then turn off the fire and cover the pot. Allow herbs to steep in the water overnight. Strain out the herbs with a piece of cheesecloth in the morning and store in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before each use and store in the refrigerator. This will keep 7 to 14 days in the fridge.

    Sources: TheAlternativeDaily.com, DIYnatural.com, GreenMedInfo.com �

  • If You Have a Tooth Removed, Here’s How to Care for Your Mouth

    If you are about to have a tooth removed at the dentist, or other oral surgery, here are some tips about how to help your mouth recover quickly and with a minimum of pain.

    While You Are at The Dentist

    Right after they remove the tooth, your dentist will pack the area with padding and ask you to bite on it to put pressure on the area and aid in the formation of a blood clot. Because of the moist environment in your mouth (think saliva), a wound there will take longer to heal because it can’t form a scab. So a blood clot in the affected area will protect the bone while the wound is healing.

    First Hour After the Procedure

    Keep the pressure on the wound by continuing to bite down gently – but firmly – on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Avoid changing the gauze pack for the first 60 minutes after the procedure so that you can keep constant pressure on the wound. You can then gently remove the gauze pack. If bleeding persists, place another gauze pack over the wound to keep pressure on the site for another half hour. Also remember to moisten the gauze pack and fluff it a bit to make the positioning over the wound more comfortable. And be sure to not disturb the wound the first day other than changing the gauze.

    Oral Hygiene Recommendations

    Be sure to keep your mouth clean after the tooth removal. This will help the wound heal and prevent infection. Go ahead and brush your teeth the evening of your surgery, but be sure to brush gently around the wound site. You can also use saltwater rinses beginning a full day after the surgery. Swish gently and let the saltwater dribble out of your mouth into the sink (to avoid stressing the surgical site). Rinse two to three times a day – especially after you eat.

    Keep the pressure on the wound by continuing to bite down gently – but firmly – on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place.

    Activities Following Surgery

    Avoid strenuous activities for a full day after your oral surgery. That means avoiding bending and lifting. You should also not exercise for 3-4 days after surgery. You may see an increase in swelling, bleeding,  and pain if you don’t follow these guidelines.

    What to Expect Physically

    You’ll notice a fair amount of swelling after the surgery. It won’t reach its maximum swelling until several days after the procedure. Use a cold pack, bag of ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to reduce the swelling. Apply firmly to the cheek adjacent to where the surgery was performed. Apply the cold pack for 20 minutes at a time, with a 20-minute break in between. Try to do this for the first 24 hours after the surgery when you are awake. Your dentist may also prescribe a medication to limit the swelling – so be sure to take the medication as directed.

    You may encounter a dry socket if the blood clot covering the wound is dislodged or loosened. It is called a dry socket because the bone is exposed. This can last for several days and you may experience sever discomfort, including in some instances ear pain. Call your dentist if this happens.

    Feeling some degree of discomfort or pain is normal following oral surgery. Your dentist will most likely give you a prescription for a pain medication. Be sure to take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off – this will help you manage the discomfort and/or pain more effectively.

    Eating and Drinking Following Surgery

    Look for nourishing foods that you can eat or drink comfortably for the first few days after your surgery. Be sure to avoid hot foods and don’t use a straw for a couple of days following your surgery. It often helps to just limit yourself to liquids or pureed foods for the first 24 hours. Think puddings, yogurt, soups, milk shakes, etc. Avoid foods like rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods.

    Each person’s oral surgery is different, since none of our mouths are alike. The healing process following surgery also differs for each of us. Be sure to rely on your dental care team at your dentist’s office for the best advice on how to have the best outcome from your oral surgery.

    Source: DentalCareMatters.com

  • What to do When You Need Emergency Dental Care in Roseville, MN

    Many things can cause a dental emergency. More often than not, trauma to your mouth is the leading cause. In this scenario, you could end up with severely cracked or chipped teeth that must be treated right away. But, you may also just wake up one day with intense pain in your mouth that won’t go away and inhibits your ability to eat or drink. Here, the cause of your emergency could be tooth decay or an infection. 

    Regardless of what’s caused your problem, you need to seek out emergency dental care in Roseville, MN. If you’re unsure what to do, then here are a few simple steps to follow:

    Contain the problem as best as you can

    First of all, you have to try and contain your dental emergency as best as you can. If your mouth is bleeding, then try and keep a clean cloth or tissue on it to soak up the blood and stop the flow. If you’re in pain, then take some type of pain relief medication to help soothe the discomfort and make life more manageable while you wait for treatment. 

    Act as quickly as possible

    If you need emergency dental care in Roseville, MN, then you have to act soon. Don’t waste time, pick up the phone and give Personal Care Dentistry a call. We will have a brief conversation where we ask the extent of your problem. Give us as many details as you can, so we understand what’s wrong and can get to work as soon as you arrive. The longer you wait for treatment, the worse a problem can become.

    Keep any parts of your teeth that have come off

    A lot of emergency dental care revolves around chipped teeth – or teeth that have been knocked out. If this has happened to you, then we advise you to try and keep the tooth and bring it to your appointment. Clean it, then preserve it in a clean container – preferably with liquid inside to provide the tooth with moisture. One top tip is to put your tooth in milk as this does an excellent job of preserving it. The reason we ask you to keep the tooth is that we might be able to re-attach bits that have been chipped off. At the very least, we can use it to help model our own restoration. 

    Stay calm

    The final step is to remain calm. It can be nervewracking when you suffer trauma to your mouth or have another type of dental emergency. Loads of thoughts may be running through your head, but take a deep breath and relax. You’ve given our team a call, and your emergency dental care will be happening soon. You’re in the safest possible hands, so there’s no need to worry. No matter the problem, we will provide the perfect solution to free you of any pain and sort out any issue. 

    So, if you need emergency dental care in Roseville, MN, then these are the steps you need to follow. Give us a call right now, and we can book you in for an emergency appointment at our clinic.

  • What Do Hippopotamus Bone, Silver Coin Shavings, and Seashells Have in Common?

    Oral health has been a topic of interest to humans since earliest times. Dentistry first appears in recorded text in 5000 BC, when the Sumerians thought that dental decay was due to tooth worms. The first dentist shows up in 2600 BC in an Egyptian tomb, which includes an inscription referring to Hesy-Re as the greatest physician in Egypt who dealt with teeth.

    Two famed Greek physicians and philosophers, Aristotle and Hippocrates, wrote extensively about dentistry around 400 BC to 300 BC.  Among the oral health topics they focused on were treating gum disease and decayed teeth, the eruption pattern of teeth, how to extract teeth, and using wire to stabilize fractured jaws and loose teeth.

    Celsus, a Roman who wrote extensively about medical topics around 100 BC, included a wealth of oral health content in his famed medical encyclopedia. He wrote about stabilizing loose teeth, treatments for toothache, pain from teething, and fractures of the jaw.

    Fixed bridgework and gold crowns were noted for their use around 200 AD by the Etruscans. Dental implants first appear among the Mayans in 600 AD, when they used shells to replicate missing teeth. But it wasn’t until 1965 that a successful implant system that was scientifically documented was introduced.

     There was very little in the way of dental advancements during the Dark Ages (500 AD to 1100 AD).

    In 1728, Pierre Fauchard published a dental manuscript that was considered the first comprehensive scientific book on dentistry. Fauchard wrote about the use of carved ivory obturators with attached teeth for cleft palate, a description of tooth dysplasia, new prosthodontic devices for replacement of missing teeth, and innovation in the type and use of dental instruments.

    Toothbrushes in various forms have been in use since ancient times, but the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in 1770 by William Addis, an Englishman. He used swine bristles threaded through holes in a carved cattle bone for his initial toothbrush that he mass-produced.

    Amalgam was first used for tooth restoration in the 1830s, when two Englishmen – the Crawcour brothers – introduced the filling material in the United States. They used shavings from silver coins, along with tin and mercury, to create a paste that they used as a tooth filling. Until recently, amalgam was the main material used for restoration. The introduction recently of fracture-resistant aesthetic bonding materials has reduced the usage of amalgam.

    The use of anesthesia in dentistry first appears in the 1840s, when a Connecticut dentist – Dr. Horace Wells – used nitrous oxide on a patient to extract a tooth.

    The 1850s were an important decade for changes in materials used to replace missing teeth. Until then, dentures were made from ivory, hippopotamus or human bone, or metal (lead and brass). A dentist used vulcanized rubber, which had been invented by Charles Goodyear, to create a new type of denture.

    Although dental drills had been in use since 5000 BC, the first modern dental drill was invented in 1868 by Dr. George F. Green, an American dentist. This pneumatic drill was operated by a foot pedal. Dr. Green patented the electric dental drill in 1875.

    Modern toothpaste in a tube made its first appearance in 1878, when Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield claimed a patent for a collapsible toothpaste tube.  Dr. Sheffield borrowed the idea from French painters, who he saw using collapsible tubes for their paints when he visited France.

    The cause of tooth caries (cavities) was accurately described for the first time in 1890, when an American scientist, Dr. Willoughby D. Miller, wrote about his Acid Dissolution Theory. Before Dr. Miller’s theory, it was thought that cavities were caused by worms.

    Fluoride’s critical role in the prevention of cavities has been called one of the 10 greatest public health advances of the 1900s. Research on fluoride began in 1901 when Frederick McKay, a new dentist, opened a practice in Colorado. When he arrived, McKay was astounded to find scores of residents with grotesque brown stains on their teeth and began research, in collaboration with renowned dental researcher Dr. G.V. Black, that led to recognition of fluoride’s preventive capabilities, and, 30 years later, to the knowledge that water-borne fluoride can prevent cavities.

    Source: NYU College of Dentistry, American Dental Association ffff

  • Looking for A Brighter Smile? Here Are Your Teeth Whitening Options

    Did you know that 96 percent of Americans believe that a smile is important to a person’s appearance? So if you’re avoiding smiling because you feel like your teeth aren’t as white as you would like, then teeth whitening might be an option for you to consider.

    The best long-term way to keep your smile bright is to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up, and go easy on teeth-staining foods and beverages. But if your teeth are still stained and a bit yellow, we have detailed below the main options you can use to whiten your teeth.

    Whitening Toothpastes, Whitening Strips and Whitening Pens

    Whitening toothpastes look like regular toothpaste, but contain some additional ingredients that help to polish your teeth and remove stains. However, using a whitening toothpaste is not a quick process. You’ll need to use it 2x a day for as long as six weeks to see results.

    Whitening strips are small, flexible, and coated with a whitening gel that includes hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent. You wrap the strips around your teeth and keep them on for 30 minutes each day to remove stains and discoloration. This can take from two weeks to much longer (you’ll often have to get a second set of strips to see any effect).

    With a whitening pen, you “color” your teeth with the pen, which contains a flavored peroxide solution. Like whitening strips and toothpaste, this can take many weeks and results can be inconsistent.

    At-Home Whitening Trays

    With this approach, you purchase an over-the-counter kit from your local drugstore or grocery store. Or you can order the kit online – you’ll find a wealth of choices. You’ll often get a mouthpiece that you put whitening gel into and then wear the mouthpiece for a certain amount of time. Some kits include an LED light option or the mouthpiece is warmed while you wear it to increase the whitening power of the gel. The whitening gel contains peroxide. The higher the percentage of peroxide, the more powerful the gel is for whitening. However, the higher the percentage of peroxide, the more you have to worry about gum irritation or damage.

    Dental Office

    If you’re looking for the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth, then going to your dentist is your best options. The cost will be higher than some of the at-home approaches, but the results will be superior and you won’t have to worry about damaging your gums from using peroxide.

    At Personal Care Dentistry, we use custom-made trays for bleach and hydrogen peroxide that is clinical strength that you can’t purchase online or over the counter. Plus, our dental are team has years of experience safely applying clinical-strength peroxide in a safe, effective approach.

    When you visit Personal Care Dentistry for teeth whitening, we’ll get rid of any plaque or tartar on your teeth on your first visit, and then take an impression of your teeth. We will then make a custom mouth tray that will fit your teeth like a glove. That’s important because the better the tray fits, the higher the likelihood that each tooth will be properly bleached. When you come in for your second whitening visit, your dental team will explain how to use the gel that goes in the tray.

    How long will you need to use the whitening trays from Personal Care Dentistry? It depends on how stained and yellowed your teeth are and the strength of the peroxide gel used. Generally, you’ll use the whitening trays for 30 minutes per day for about two weeks. If you have tooth sensitive, our care team will provide you with an alternative bleach.

    If you’re interested in a brighter smile solution that is effective and safe, call our care team at Personal Care Dentistry to get started. You’ll feel confident smiling again!