Seattle Teeth Whitening: Safe and Appropriate

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a common procedure in cosmetic dentistry that uses bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to make your teeth appear whiter and brighter. It can be performed in the dental office by your dentist, or you can choose at-home whitening products like gels and strips. The benefits are mainly cosmetic plus the confidence and improved self-esteem. However, tooth sensitivity and gum irritation can occur as strong bleaching agents can cause gum burns, a burning sensation in the throat and an upset stomach.

Followed properly, peroxide-based teeth whitening agents are safe. You can find them in whitening products like whitening rinses, toothpastes, strips, gels, tray-based whiteners and in-office whitening treatments. The procedure should be supervised by an oral health care provider to reduce possible risks and maximize whitening results.

However, whitening your teeth too often increases the risk of negative side effects, such as tooth sensitivity and damage to tooth enamel and gums. But there’s no official guideline for how often whitening can be done safely. That’s why it’s important to get your dentist’s recommendation and always follow product instructions.

Knowing the pros and cons of teeth whitening will help you determine if it’s a good fit for you. When used properly, teeth whitening products are considered to be safe, but they are not effective for all type of stains. They are not effective on veneers, fillings, crowns, and caps and likely won’t work for discoloration that is brown, gray or caused by injury or medication.

The ADA recommends that if you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination by your dentist is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist may then advise the patient and supervise the use of bleaching agents within the context of a comprehensive, appropriately sequenced treatment plan.

Better Smiles and Whiter Teeth

If you are an appropriate candidate for teeth whitening, let your Downtown Seattle dentist guide you through your personalized treatment plan. This will ensure you are getting a safe and the most appropriate teeth whitening course. A careful plan makes for better smiles.

Seattle Dentist: Looking at Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer in the US: Statistics and More

In 2014, there were an estimated 346,902 people living with oral cavity and pharynx cancer in the United States. While that’s some years back the data always lags reality by about four years. The important thing about cancer data is that it’s not a single year number, but trend lines in the data. The increasing trend in oral and oropharyngeal cancers remain unchanged for most of our lifetimes.

There will be an estimated 49,670 new cases of this cancer in 2017 with a recent rise in cases of oropharyngeal cancer linked to infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) in white men and women. The average age of most people diagnosed with these cancers is 62, but they can occur in young people. About 9,700 estimated deaths will occur in 2017. The death rate, however, has been decreasing over the last 30 years.

Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers occur most often on the tongue, tonsils, oropharynx, gums, floor of the mouth, and other parts of the mouth – the lips, and the minor salivary glands in the roof of the mouth. With newly diagnosed patients for oral cancer, some will have another cancer in a nearby area such as the larynx, the esophagus, or the lung.

Cured patients can develop another cancer later in the lung, mouth, throat, or other nearby areas. For this reason, people with oral and oropharyngeal cancer will need to have follow-up exams for the rest of their lives. They also need to avoid using tobacco and alcohol, which increase the risk for these second cancers.

You can take steps to prevent or catch oral cancer early by regular dental visits. Your dentist will check for a red or white patch, a sore that bleeds easily or does not heal, a thick or hard spot or a lump, a roughened or crusted area. There may be numbness, pain, and changes in bite, chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw. The dentist will not be able to diagnose cancer during an examination for only through a biopsy can this be done. However, your dentist can identify suspicious-looking areas or growths that may need further evaluation.

Regular Dental Visits can Catch Oral Cancer Early

Smile Art in Seattle is concern not just with your teeth and gums but the health of all your oral tissues are examined each time, looking for signs and changes that may matter to your dental and overall health.

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Seattle Dentist: Watching Out for Early Childhood Caries

Strong, Healthy Baby Teeth do not Just Happen

Caring for baby’s teeth will tremendously help in the straight and orderly eruption of permanent teeth. Do not think that though baby’s teeth will fall out anyway to be replaced by permanent dentition, caring for his primary teeth is not that important.

Mothers shouldn’t be feeding their infants with too much sugary foods and liquids. Drinks like punch, gelatin, juices and even formula milk are high in sugar and tend to stick to tooth surfaces. The frequency and length of exposure to sweets will obviously increase sugar contact with the enamel. Many times the mother will let her child go to sleep with the feeding bottle, acting like a pacifier.

These tendencies will increase the rate of dental caries and tooth decay. While breast milk tends to slow bacterial growth and acid production, alternated with sugary foods or drinks will increase the rate of tooth decay faster than with sugar alone.

It is best that after feeding from formula or mother’s milk, babies are given water to hydrate their mouths and also wash out the sugar introduced. Babies must not be accustomed to sleeping with their milk bottles, but water should replace milk instead. The bottle must be withdrawn as soon as the child has fallen asleep. Mothers ought to begin teaching their child to drink from a cup at around 6 months of age and to try to stop using a bottle by age 12 – 14 months. Intake of juices should be reduced to fewer than 6 ounces per day during meals.

After each feeding, gently wipe the child’s teeth and gums with a clean washcloth or gauze to remove plaque. Toothbrushing with soft bristles can start as soon as the child has teeth, done at least at bedtime. A small amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste on a washcloth to rub gently on their teeth is alright. At 6 months or older, use fluoridated water or a fluoride supplement or use bottled water with fluoride. Inspect the child’s teeth regularly and begin dental visits when all of the baby teeth have erupted or at age 2 or 3, whichever comes first.

Baby’s First Visit to Downtown Seattle Dentist

Be sure to introduce your baby to his dentist as soon as the child has erupted all his baby teeth. Know more about caring for his oral health with an early start. It’s never too early to avoid caries.