Posts for: November, 2017
Has your smile become dull or yellow? Teeth whitening can erase dental stains, leaving you with a brighter smile. Our Layton, UT, dentist, Dr. Steven Christensen, explains a few benefits of professional teeth whitening.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening results are often disappointing. Depending on the product you use, your teeth may only be a shade a two or whiter after weeks of treatment. Professional teeth whitening offers a much more dramatic change in your smile. After your treatment session, your teeth may be three to eight shades whiter.
Do-it-yourself whitening treatments don't often produce the most attractive results. If the whitening gel isn't applied evenly over the surface of your teeth, some parts of your smile can be whiter than others. When you visit our Layton office for professional whitening, we'll make sure we won't miss a spot. We'll also clean your teeth before applying the hydrogen peroxide whitening gel. Because hydrogen peroxide can't penetrate plaque or tartar, a thorough teeth cleaning is the key is necessary to prevent a spotted or mottled appearance.
Hydrogen peroxide can cause tooth sensitivity if it comes in contact with your gums or roots. Before your session begins, we'll coat your gums and roots with a protective gel and also use retractors to gently pull your lips and cheeks away from your teeth.
Only one treatment needed
Whitening only takes about an hour in our office, unlike over-the-counter kits that require a much more significant time investment. Professional-strength products contain a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide than drugstore kits, which means you won't have to spend weeks on whitening.
An at-home option is also available if you would prefer to whiten your teeth at home. If you choose at-home whitening, a mold of your teeth will be used to make trays that fit your upper and lower teeth snugly. You'll apply whitening gel to the trays and use them for several weeks. At-home trays are also ideal for touching up your in-office results if your teeth start to look a little dull.
Are you ready to make your teeth whitening appointment? Call our Layton, UT, dentist, Dr. Christensen, to schedule your visit.
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
The development of your child’s teeth, gums and jaw structure is an amazing process. But while it largely occurs on its own, we can’t take it for granted—we’ll need to do our part to ensure their mouth stays free from the effects of disease and injury.
That starts first and foremost with early oral hygiene practices. And we do mean early, even before teeth begin to erupt: a simple habit of wiping their gums after feeding with a clean, damp cloth helps reduce the growth of bacteria, the leading cause of dental disease.
Once teeth do appear, you can begin brushing them every day with just a smear of toothpaste. You can increase this to a pea-sized dose around age 2, as well as begin teaching them to brush and later floss for themselves.
Regular dental visits are the next pillar of preventive care. By and large it’s best to begin visits around their first birthday. Their primary teeth should be coming in at an even pace by then; and the earlier you begin visits the easier it will be for them to become used to them as a routine part of life.
Dental visits are essential for keeping bacterial plaque under control, as well as monitoring overall dental health. It’s also an opportunity to apply other preventive measures such as sealants that discourage tooth decay development on biting surfaces and topical fluoride for strengthening enamel.
Dental visits also provide frequent opportunities to detect bite problems or other situations as they’re emerging. Recognizing these early gives us a chance to intervene with less invasive treatments that could prevent or minimize more invasive treatments later.
You also don’t want to forget about the other major cause of dental problems—traumatic injuries. You can lessen this risk by limiting your child’s exposure to hard, sharp objects like furniture or some toys. And if they become involved with contact sports, it’s a good idea to invest in a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth and mouth from blunt force trauma.
As always, we’re here to support you and give you advice on other ways to keep your child’s dental development on track. Together we’ll give your child the best chance possible to enter adulthood with a healthy mouth.