Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades. In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:
- Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
- Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
- Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
- Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.
When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:
- You have deep, untreated cavities.
- You are pregnant.
- You suffer from gum disease.
The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.
Our dental office is located in Morehead City
Reaching for a sports drink may seem like a smart way to rehydrate during a big game or after completing your exercise regimen, but you may not be as educated as you think. Consumption of sports drinks is on the rise, with 62 percent of American teenagers drinking at least one a day. That’s why it’s important to inform consumers that these drinks which are touted to help your body can also take a toll on your health, at least on your oral health. Let’s find out exactly how sports drinks can negatively impact your teeth.
What makes sports drinks harmful?
You might guess that sugar is what makes these drinks less appealing. It’s true that you should avoid the brands heavy in sugar, but that’s actually not your teeth’s biggest enemy in sports drinks. It’s the high acid content that presents the most danger. Researchers have found that sports drinks have so much acid that they can start damaging your teeth after just five days of regular consumption.
Aren’t they better than drinking soda?
Most people choose these drinks thinking they will enhance their sports performance, and that they’re a better option than soda. Sports drinks are not that different than soda because they contain as much or more sugar. It’s simply not true that sports drinks are healthier for your teeth than soda.
What kind of damage can they do?
The acid in sports drinks can cause irreversible damage to your teeth. They erode your enamel, which is the shiny outer layer of your teeth, causing them to become sensitive to temperature changes and to touch. It also increases your risk of decay and cavities.
How can I avoid harming my teeth?
If you just can’t give up sports drinks, at least try to minimize the amount you consume. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards, but don’t brush your teeth immediately because it might spread the acid around your mouth. Wait about an hour for the pH level in your mouth to normalize, and then brush. You can also chew sugarless gum after having a sports drink, which increases your saliva flow and helps to return your mouth’s acidity levels back to normal.
Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office
Veneers are a great solution for many people who are unhappy with their smiles and want a permanent improvement. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the surface of teeth to make the smile more appealing. You and your dentist can choose the shade you prefer, and a minimal amount of preparation is required before attaching the veneers.
Many kinds of problems disappear with dental veneers. Some of the common reasons that people choose veneers include:
- tooth discoloration or staining
- crooked teeth
- worn teeth
- too much gums visible
- uneven teeth
- misshapen teeth
- bite problems
- overly sensitive teeth
No matter what flaws you might be getting dental veneers to hide, these restorations offer a number of advantages:
- Your real teeth may look unhealthy and damaged, but covering them with veneers gives them a healthy glow of a well-cared-for smile.
- Veneers look very natural, because the porcelain material is translucent and offers a glassy appearance.
- Porcelain resists stains so your smile will stay as white and bright as the day you got the veneers.
- Veneers last anywhere from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of the application and your proper maintenance of them afterwards.
- There is no special care required other than your usual brushing and flossing routine.
- Veneers can increase your self-esteem, since you can feel confident that your smile is the best it’s ever been.
Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office
If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.
Your dentist may observe:
- A tooth that is discolored
- X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
- A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple
Additional testing done by your dentist:
- X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
- Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
- Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping
You may have been noticing:
- A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
- A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
- A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
- Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
- Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
- Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful
In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!
If you live in the Morehead City area contact us today
When you visit the dentist, you often see other professionals in the office. Usually, the dentist will have a hygienist and a dental assistant as part of the team. While their roles aren’t the same as the dentist’s job, these individuals do play an important part in your dental care. Understanding what the hygienist and dental assistant do can make you feel more comfortable at your dental appointments.
The Dental Assistant
To become a dental assistant, an individual usually completes course work through a community college or technical school. This training will provide hands-on experience before the dental assistant works in an actual dental practice. A dental assistant can serve many functions, including assisting the dentist during treatment, taking impressions, sterilizing instruments, and making temporary crowns for patients. Dental assistants also welcome patients and help them feel comfortable in the dental office.
The Dental Hygienist
At a minimum, a dental hygienist must earn an associate’s degree, though many hygienists choose to obtain four-year degrees. Additionally, hygienists must be licensed in the states where they practice. The dental hygienist is generally responsible for taking patient x-rays, performing an initial periodontal assessment, and cleaning your teeth. During your appointment, the hygienist will also offer tips on home hygiene to help you maximize your oral car routine. A dental hygienist may also perform deep cleanings for gum disease, apply fluoride, remove sutures, and administer local anesthetic.