We’ve been programmed to believe that the whiter a smile is, the healthier it is. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that there is such a thing as a too-white smile, and a smile that’s over-bleached can actually lead to other oral health problems.
The Truth About Smile Whitening Treatments
Smile whitening is probably the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry done today. However, what was once only available at the dentist can now be done at home without any exam or assurance that the teeth are healthy enough. Additionally, even though over-the-counter whitening treatments can make it easier for people to whiten their teeth, it’s become increasingly popular and has created almost a whitening addiction. Both of which can cause some serious problems.
More Whitening, More Problems
Now, we should note that smile whitening can be done safely. However, there are issues when someone whose teeth aren’t healthy, or who thinks “the more whitening, the better” whitens their teeth that can cause things to take a turn for the worse.
Over-bleaching your teeth can wear down tooth enamel. Without this protective layer, teeth are put at increased risk for decay, cavities, and sensitivity. Additionally, if your teeth aren’t healthy to begin with, and let’s say you have a cavity, introducing bleaching ingredients can cause uncomfortable zings of pain through your teeth. And the problems don’t end there.
Many over-the-counter whitening treatments allow too much of the bleach to touch and sit on the gums which can cause gum irritation, sometimes severe. Lastly, too much whitening can actually make your teeth appear more translucent and darker in appearance, which is the opposite of what you want.
Safely Whiten Your Smile
The best way to get a whiter smile is to first start by talking to your dentist in Sparks. Not only can they help you find the best smile whitening treatment for you, but they can also help you find the best shade of white for your teeth for an overall natural, yet enhanced, look. Whichever smile whitening treatment you agree on, make sure you follow the directions to a “T,” especially if you’re going to use a take-home whitening product. Don’t leave the whitening gel on longer than recommended, and stop use if irritation or sensitivity occurs.
Even though smile whitening treatments can be found at any grocery store or even ordered online… it doesn’t mean that all of them are created equally. Make sure you do your own research, talk with your dentist in Sparks, and don’t overdo it.
We all want to have a smile that we’re proud of and can feel confident about showing it off in pictures and in public. After all, your smile can say a lot about you. But what do you do if you’re unhappy with your teeth and shy away from sharing it with the world? Turn to your dentist in Sparks to see whether cosmetic dentistry may be the solution you’re looking for. Here is a great place to start.
Determine What You Want
Before you or your dentist will know whether cosmetic dentistry will give you the smile you want, you need to know what it is you’re trying to achieve. The more specific you can be about what you don’t like about your smile as well as what you wish was different, the more you’ll know about whether or not cosmetic dentistry is the right solution for you. Take these questions into consideration:
- Do I wish my teeth were whiter?
- Do I want a straighter, more even smile?
- Does this minor chip in my front tooth really bother me? Would I feel better if it was fixed?
Find the Best Cosmetic Dentist for You
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of desires, the fun part of finding the best dentist for you can begin. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it really doesn’t have to be. Check-in with family and friends to see if they have any recommendations or head online to search for local cosmetic dentists in your area. Read reviews, check out websites, and look at before and after photos. After you’ve decided on a dentist, schedule a consultation.
Know What Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Are Out There
There are several treatments that all fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry, but not all of them are right for every situation. Let’s check out a few common treatments.
- Teeth Whitening – If you want to take your teeth from dull and discolored to bright and white, you may want to consider a professional smile whitening treatment. Whitening that’s done by your dentist in Sparks can boost your teeth up to several shades brighter in just one visit.
- Veneers – Like teeth whitening, veneers can help brighten the appearance of dull, discolored teeth that don’t respond to bleaching. Veneers essentially cover up the front surface of teeth with a thin piece of porcelain. They’re custom created in shape and color for a natural look so nobody will even know they’re there.
- Bonding – Dental bonding is another option that can correct discoloration but it can also fix minor chips, cracks, or gaps for a more even smile. The process involves both science and art to create a natural appearance but the results can transform a smile.
Nobody should have to live with a smile they’re unhappy with. Luckily, we have cosmetic dentistry to help. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, make a list of what you’d like to change, research cosmetic dentists in Sparks, and become familiar with which treatments can help you get the look you want. Finally, make the move and schedule a consultation. Your journey to a new smile is only a phone call away.
In today’s digital age, we’re constantly exposed to products and DIY tips to do anything, including whitening your smile. While we understand that the desire to get a brighter grin is a very real thing for many of our patients, your dentist in Sparks wants to educate you on some of the dangers lurking behind some of the most popular DIY smile whitening trends.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Pens & Strips
There are so many over-the-counter whitening products available to us that it can be overwhelming. While many of these products can work to whiten your teeth, they don’t come without their risks. Whitening pens and whitening strips, for example, can temporarily transform your smile, but their results can oftentimes be less than ideal. Since neither whitening pens nor whitening strips are custom-made, there’s a greater chance that they won’t reach all areas of the teeth and the results can end up looking uneven or streaky. But there’s another reason your dentist in Sparks may be concerned with you using these treatments. Many times the whitening solution in whitening pens and strips can soak into your gum tissue and cause irritation.
All-Natural Smile Whitening
A popular smile whitening trend that seems to be taking the internet by storm is the use of all-natural whitening remedies. Don’t let the term “all-natural” lead you into thinking that all of these solutions are safe and recommended. The truth is, there is danger behind some of the popular all-natural whitening tricks.
We’ve seen an increase in people claiming that there are smile whitening benefits of applying lemon juice or a mixture of lemon juice and other natural ingredients directly to teeth. While it’s true that lemon juice may slightly whiten teeth temporarily, it’s not recommended. Lemon juice is highly acidic and acid is a big no-no when it comes to protecting the integrity of tooth enamel. Too much acid, especially when it’s applied directly onto teeth, can easily damage tooth enamel and lead to increased tooth sensitivity, and a higher risk for decay and cavities.
Another popular all-natural smile whitening trend that’s been around for quite some time is baking soda. Again, like lemon juice, baking soda or toothpastes that contain baking soda may temporarily whiten teeth, but due to its abrasive nature it can also damage tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel is gone, there’s no way to get it back and teeth are left exposed to bad bacteria and are at risk for larger oral health concerns long-term.
Yet another all-natural whitening treatment is activated charcoal. Supporters of activated charcoal promise that it will easily and effectively pull impurities and stains out of the teeth, resulting in a whiter appearance. However, charcoal is also abrasive and poses the same risks as baking soda. It can wear away and damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities. What’s more is that teeth may begin to appear more discolored as we lose enamel.
Just because there are many ways you can whiten your teeth on your own – it doesn’t necessarily mean you should utilize them. Before you consider a DIY approach to smile whitening, talk with your dentist in Sparks to better understand safe and effective options.
August 21st is Senior Citizens Day, and there’s no better way for our dental office in Sparks to celebrate than by sharing some oral health information for the favorite senior citizens we have in our lives and their families.
The truth is, our oral health needs will vary as we celebrate more birthdays, and needs will also differ from person to person. That’s one reason we believe in treating each person with individualized, custom care. When it comes to the senior population, there are a few unique things to be aware of.
- Discolored Teeth – While anyone can experience discolored teeth, there’s usually an explanation. Maybe morning coffee is to blame, or perhaps smoking or red wine. But when it comes to seniors, discoloration may occur without any obvious explanation. Most commonly, tooth discoloration as we age is a typical sign that the white outer layer of our teeth (enamel) is wearing away and becoming thinner. When this happens, your teeth can become a little transparent and the inner workings of the tooth become more visible. As it turns out, the insides of teeth are not as white as the outsides, and the more we’re able to see them, the more dark or yellow teeth can appear.
- Dry Mouth – Dry mouth is another condition that can happen to anyone, but it does tend to be more common in seniors. Many times, medication is to blame. There are tons of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. When these medications are taken regularly, saliva production slows down and the mouth becomes dry… and there is nothing bacteria like better than a dry mouth. Without saliva on hand to rinse away bacteria and neutralize acid, teeth are at an increased risk for developing cavities. If these cavities aren’t treated, they could lead to the need for a root canal, cause tooth sensitivity, or even tooth loss. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, do not stop taking your medication as prescribed, but do talk to your dentist in Sparks.
- Tooth Loss – Let’s start by saying that there’s no guarantee that we’ll lose our teeth as we get older. There are plenty of people who keep their teeth for a lifetime, especially if they see their dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene habits. However, tooth loss can be a real concern for many people. The best ways to reduce the risk of tooth loss is to avoid smoking or using tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, and seeing your dentist in Sparks every six months. These preventative dental appointments help identify problems early while they’re still often easily treatable and can help save your teeth.
- Gum Disease – One of the more serious concerns for seniors’ oral health is gum disease. In fact, research suggests a strong link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease occurs when bacteria isn’t removed and it works its way under the gum line. Once this occurs, it becomes difficult to remove and can lead to an infection or advanced gum disease. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The common signs of gum disease include red, bleeding, and inflamed gums.
Unfortunately, there’s no way we can stop ourselves from getting older. But there are things we can do to help protect our teeth for life. Always brush twice a day and floss once a day, and get a professional dental cleaning and check-up at least twice a year. If you’re overdue for your dental appointment, we welcome you to call our Sparks dental office to schedule a visit with us today.
There are a number of things that can stain our teeth and make them look dull and discolored. When this happens, we tend to look for ways to bring back our bright, white smiles. At our dental office in Sparks, we have some good news — there are many ways to whiten your teeth! Let’s take a look at some of the most common things you can do to get a whiter smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The best way to whiten your smile fast is to get professional whitening from your dentist in Sparks. Even though this option is more costly than many over-the-counter tooth whitening products, you can customize just how white you want your teeth to get and see the results immediately. Many times dental offices can also provide you with custom trays and whitening gel that you can use at home safely to maintain your new look.
DIY Smile Whitening
If you’re looking for ways to whiten your teeth, you may begin by exploring all of the options in your local grocery store or online. While there are tons of over-the-counter smile whitening products available, and they can be cheaper than a professional whitening, they do come with some risks. For example, you may be using a solution that’s too high for your teeth that could cause sensitivity and pain. Additionally, whitening strips and non-custom trays can allow the solution to seep into your gums. If left too long it can cause gum damage. Lastly, over-the-counter tooth whitening products tend to take longer to work.
If traditional forms of smile whitening just aren’t making your teeth as white as you’d like, you may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. The truth is, there are some types of tooth staining that don’t respond to whitening gels. In this case, the best solution may be dental veneers. Dental veneers essentially cover up the front of your natural teeth with a custom-made slice of porcelain. These veneers can be your ideal shade of white and are shaped to blend in with your other natural teeth.
It’s important to note that you should talk to your dentist before beginning any whitening treatment. Not all whitening solutions are appropriate for everyone. To find the best option for you and to reduce the risk of negative side effects, meet with your dentist.
If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth, call our Sparks dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll talk with you about what you’d like to change as well as your oral health history so we can recommend the best tooth whitening treatment for you.
Pumpkins can easily pull off the look of a crooked grin, missing teeth, and a devilish smile. But when it comes to our own teeth, we prefer to have them straight and white, and we really don’t want to see gaps. That’s why our dental office in Sparks offers multiple forms of cosmetic dentistry so that you can get the smile of your dreams.
From crooked teeth to gaps, orthodontics can help solve a variety of smile concerns. There are several types of orthodontics now available to patients looking for a smile-straightening solution. Treatment options can range from traditional orthodontics of wire and brackets to newer clear aligners, or even a hybrid of the two with tooth-colored wires and brackets. Your dentist in Sparks can help you find the best option for you.
One of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry is porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are super thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently fixed the surface of teeth and can create a whole new look. The veneers are custom-created to compliment the natural shape and color of individual teeth so they blend seamlessly into your smile. They have been used to cover up tooth staining and discoloration that couldn’t be addressed using professional smile whitening. Dental veneers can also treat gaps, crooked teeth, or broken teeth.
If a tooth is broken or chipped it’s usually repaired using cosmetic dental bonding. Like veneers, bonding is done with an artistic eye, matching the color of the rest of the tooth for an unnoticeable restoration. Bonding is used to treat small areas that simply need to be reconstructed instead of large areas. While this treatment is most commonly used as a solution to a break or chip, it can also be used to help rebuild a tooth that has been worn down from clenching or grinding.
When your dentist recommends combining a few different cosmetic dentistry treatments to create the look you want, it’s often referred to as a smile makeover. Your dental team will plan the order of treatments and map out the entire process for you before getting started. Some may even be able to show you what your new smile will look like prior to beginning treatment.
Just because we’re in the heart of jack-o-lantern season doesn’t mean you need to continue to hide a smile that spooks you. Give our Sparks dental office a call today to talk about how cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile.
We all want to have a smile that we’re happy with and proud to show off. However, if your smile isn’t as white as you’d like it to be you may choose to hide your grin behind tightly closed lips. At our dental office in Sparks, we can help transform your smile from dull or discolored to bright, white, and something with which you’re confident.
Schedule an Appointment
The path to a whiter smile begins by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Sparks. During this visit you’ll talk with your dental team about what you don’t like about your smile, any areas that particularly bother you, and share what you’d ultimately like to see. After discussing your objectives, your dentist will make the best recommendation to help you get the look you want.
Veneers & Tooth Whitening
Two of the most common ways to get a whiter smile are with dental veneers or professional smile whitening. Veneers are custom-created to match the shape and size of the rest of your teeth, but can be brighter than your natural teeth. They’re adhered to the surface of your teeth and can totally transform your appearance. Tooth whitening, while is also often successful at brightening a smile, may be more appropriate for surface stains or stains that are fairly new.
Whether you decide to have dental treatment done or not, there are things you can do to help get and keep your teeth white. One way is to watch what you eat and drink. Coffee, tea, red wine, soda, and berries, for example, can all stain smiles. Instead, try to choose fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, or celery. These foods aren’t only good for you, they can actually prevent stains from sticking to teeth. Besides limiting your intake of foods or drinks that can stain, try to use a straw whenever drinking. Straws will help keep liquids and their staining ingredients off of teeth.
Smoking or using any type of tobacco product will increase the chance of tooth discoloration. The ingredients found in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco cause yellowing of teeth and may even make teeth appear brown and spotty. Using tobacco also raises the risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer, both of which are serious concerns that could lead to tooth loss and other problems throughout the body.
See Your Dentist
Perhaps the best way to keep your smile white and healthy is to see your dentist at least twice a year. These checkups will help remove sticky plaque from your teeth that you just may not be able to get at home. Plaque can act as almost a glue for stains and the more of it there is, the more likely stains will stick around.
If you’ve been eating well, drinking plenty of water, aren’t a tobacco user, and still aren’t happy with the way your smile looks, we encourage you to call our Sparks dental office to schedule a consultation. It’s the first step to getting a whiter smile.
At our dental office in Sparks, we want everyone to be confident with their smiles. But we know that sometimes that’s just not the case. Instead of living with a smile you’re unhappy with, there are tons of cosmetic dentistry treatments that can help give you a smile you’re proud to show off. In today’s blog we’re going to highlight one of the most common forms of cosmetic dentistry, dental veneers.
What Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-created thin pieces of porcelain that can change the appearance of your smile. Each one is designed to blend into your natural look, taking size, shape, color, and even translucency into consideration. This incredibly versatile cosmetic dentistry option can be used to treat several cosmetic concerns that would otherwise require multiple different treatments including:
- Worn teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Unevenness or shape irregularities
- Teeth discolored that couldn’t be brightened through whitening
The process to get dental veneers typically takes one or two treatment appointments as well as a consultation, which is the first step in pursuing veneers. During the consultation, you and your dentist in Sparks will talk about your smile, what you’d like to change, and your personal treatment plan. At the next visit, treatment will begin.
Your first treatment appointment usually includes preparing the teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel. This gives the veneer space to seamlessly blend into the rest of your smile. Temporary veneers will usually be fitted at this appointment while the permanent ones are being created to your dentist’s detailed specifications in a lab. When the permanent veneers are ready, you’ll return to the office to have them bonded. After that, you’ll have a new smile that you’re proud of.
Don’t continue to live with a smile that affects your confidence or that you simply don’t like. There are treatments available that can help. Call our Sparks dental office to schedule a consultation with us today. We’ll be happy to talk with you and determine the best cosmetic dentistry option for you.
Every March 17th, we’re all a little bit Irish and join in the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day by putting on our best green outfit and possibly meeting up with friends at a local bar. As one of the largest drinking days of the year, our dental office in Sparks wants to remind our patients and neighbors to enjoy the holiday responsibly and to make them aware of a few unwanted side effects of all that beer (especially the green kind).
Yellow, Brown, or Green Teeth
Drinking beer excessively can began to discolor your teeth over time. A good rule of thumb to remember is the darker the beer, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. This discoloration can take on a yellow or brown appearance, or when drinking beer that’s been dyed for St. Patrick’s Day, your smile may even take on a green tint relatively quickly. This green look isn’t permanent and can be treated with either a whitening toothpaste, which is a bit more abrasive than regular toothpaste and can scrub away surface stains, or with a professional dental cleaning or smile whitening treatment.
Your tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body, but that doesn’t make it impervious to damage. One of the most common causes of enamel erosion is too much acid in your diet, and beer is surprisingly acidic. When this acid comes in contact with your teeth it essentially eats away the protective enamel coating. As enamel diminishes, your teeth may become more sensitive and appear thinner and darker.
How to Minimize the Danger
We’re not here to tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy an adult beverage every now and then, as long as you’re of legal drinking age and are drinking responsibly. But if you choose to drink alcohol, there are ways that you can minimize your risk of the dangers described above, such as:
- Alternating drinking a glass of alcohol with a glass of water
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing every day
- Seeing your dentist in Sparks regularly
We typically recommend regular dental visits twice a year. If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve been to a Sparks dentist, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today to help keep your smile in good health.
There’s recently been a surge in the popularity of using charcoal toothpaste to get a whiter smile. Promoters of the charcoal toothpaste trend claim that it can help whiten teeth effectively without the risk of increased sensitivity that may result from using other products. But does it really work? Join the team at our Sparks dental office as we dive into the truth.
What Exactly is Charcoal Toothpaste?
Before we launch into whether or not charcoal toothpaste can really whiten your smile, let’s look into what the stuff actually is. Charcoal toothpaste uses something called activated charcoal, which is much different than the charcoal you’d use to grill a burger. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that’s been treated in order to make it incredibly porous. Since the porous nature makes activated charcoal really great at absorption, the thought is that it can pull stains, tartar, and bacteria away from teeth.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe?
The short answer is yes, charcoal toothpaste is safe for the human body. Even though the modern age of the world wide web may have popularized the use of it, its usage has a rich history dating way back to the days of the ancient Romans. In fact, a powder form of charcoal was a pretty common ingredient in their toothpastes. Besides its dental usage, activated charcoal was, and still sometimes is, used to treat people who have been poisoned.
So, Does it Whiten Teeth?
Charcoal toothpaste has been effective at removing surface stains on teeth which may help a smile appear whiter. However, using it doesn’t come without risks. Even though charcoal toothpaste is porous, it’s also fairly abrasive. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), charcoal toothpaste is too abrasive to be used regularly and may result in damage. Using an abrasive toothpaste can wear away the protective layer of enamel, making teeth not only more exposed to the dangers of bacteria, but also creating a dingy, discolored appearance.
Other Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
If you’ve tried charcoal toothpaste and didn’t see the results you were hoping for, or you’re not quite on board with its claims, there are still other safe and effective ways you can whiten your teeth.
- Try a whitening toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance
- Schedule a professional smile whitening with your dentist in Sparks
- Consider dental veneers to cover up any discoloration or imperfections
As always, our dental office in Sparks is happy to answer any questions you may have about the best way to whiten your teeth. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!