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!
A little too crooked or a little too gapped… a smidge too yellow or a lot not right… there are plenty of reasons you may be unhappy with your smile. If you’re one of the many people who doesn’t like your smile, you’ve come to the right place. The wide range of cosmetic dentistry options at our dental office in Sparks can easily fix some of most common concerns people have about their smiles.
Brighten Your Look With Smile Whitening
The most common thing people dislike about their smiles is the color. The simplest way to get a brighter, whiter smile is through a professional smile whitening treatment. There are plenty of options available, from an in-office treatment to a take-home solution from your dentist, and even over-the-counter products. Make sure you choose a product that’s earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance and talk with your dentist before performing any whitening treatment.
Cover Up Imperfections With Dental Veneers
If you’re someone who is more concerned about chipped, crooked, or deeply discolored teeth, dental veneers may be a better solution for you. These thin pieces of ceramic are adhered to the front of the tooth surface to cover up any imperfection. They’re also custom shaped for each person and tooth to create an incredibly natural appearance.
An overbite, underbite, or crooked teeth can absolutely cause someone to be unhappy with their smile. But thanks to the many orthodontic options available, a smile doesn’t need to stay that way. Whether it’s traditional braces, clear braces, or plastic aligners, orthodontic treatment is sure to shift a smile into a look you’ll love.
Consider a Smile Makeover for a Brand New Look
When there are several concerns about the way a smile looks, it may be an appropriate time to consider a smile makeover. During a smile makeover, your dentist takes a comprehensive look at all of your smile concerns and develops a custom treatment plan that combines a few cosmetic dentistry procedures. Working closely with a dentist you trust can truly transform your smile into one you’re proud of.
Brush & Floss Regularly
Most importantly, the best thing you can do to get a smile you love is to brush and floss everyday and maintain regular visits with your dentist in Sparks. A proper dental hygiene routine can go a long way in keeping your smile bright, white, and healthy.
You don’t need to settle for a smile that doesn’t make you happy. Give our Sparks dental office a call to set up a cosmetic dentistry consultation. We have solutions to fit every need and will be happy to work with you in creating a beautiful smile.
We are all aware that there are certain foods your dentist in Sparks just isn’t a big fan of. These foods typically include super sweet candies and treats, popcorn with hidden damaging kernels, and of course sugary sodas and juices. But there may just be one more to add to that list: wine.
How Does Wine Affect Oral Health?
Let us start by saying that we aren’t here to tell you that you shouldn’t enjoy a glass of wine after a stressful day or with a nice dinner. As long as you enjoy it responsibly and in moderation, go ahead and treat yourself. However, we do want to let you know about a few oral health problems that can happen as a result of too much wine.
Any alcoholic beverage has the tendency to dry out the mouth, and the rest of the body. However, in relation to oral health, a dry mouth is the perfect place for bacteria to flourish and decay to occur as a result. Normally our mouths produce a lot of saliva. This saliva rinses away bacteria before it has a chance to work on decaying teeth. Without it, teeth are at increased risk for cavities.
Wine contains a lot of acid, and acid is bad news for teeth. When we eat or drink highly acidic foods or beverages, the acid begins to attack tooth enamel, first softening it. As enamel softens, some of the calcium within it leaks out and weakens it. Once enamel is weak, it leaves teeth exposed to bacteria, decay, and cavities. If it continues to diminish, tooth roots and nerves may begin to surface, causing painful sensitivity.
Loss of enamel has even more additional negative side effects, including tooth discoloration. As the enamel weakens, the inner part of the tooth becomes more visible. This inner tooth, or dentin, has a dark, yellowish color. Without the white, calcium rich enamel, teeth can appear dull and yellow. What’s worse is the color of red wine can cause your teeth to take on a reddish hue. Usually this discoloration can be reversed through professional smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry.
Before you get bummed out at the thought of ditching your nightly glass of vino, our dental office in Sparks has a bit of potentially good news. Several studies have suggested that red wine, or at least elements in red wine, may actually help protect teeth against decay by getting rid of mouth bacteria. But more research is definitely needed to support the claim.
Whether you’re a wine drinker or not, if you happen to notice signs of tooth discoloration, an unusually dry mouth, or have any other dental concern, we always welcome you to call our Sparks dental office to schedule an appointment.