Teeth-Whitening Tips: Dentist-Approved

Whitening Teeth The Safe Way

Teeth-whitening has become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, of cosmetic treatments in the dental office. With the proliferation of teeth-whitening products in the market today, so readily available and highly advertised, most of us are tempted to do our own whitening on our own time. Safety is a prime concern as in-office whitening is not only an aseptic surrounding but measured proportions are used for maximal and the safest results in a time-bound sense.

Some dentists can be forthright in giving helpful tips to help achieve this end, in lieu of in-office whitening, suggesting ways that are both safe and sound. You can ask your own dentist about the best options available. Let your dentist first examine your teeth and provide a tooth color analysis based on your unique situation. If you are well-guided, your home care routine can be as effective as that done in-office.

Upon your dentist’s recommendations, some over-the-counter products can be suitable to your specific needs. Because these products are available in different concentrations, your dentist will tell you which would be appropriate, and that you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, including their suggested frequencies. Note that some teeth-whitening manufacturers use supposedly natural ingredients – like strawberries, coconut oil and charcoal. They may remove surface stains but will not change tooth color any whiter.

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation are the two major adverse effects reported with tooth whitening. Whether the treatment is a home remedy or done in-office, consult your dentist when these events happen. If you have sensitive teeth before you start bleaching, your dentist may have to desensitize your teeth for a couple of weeks first.

Teeth-whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are safe to use as maintenance. And while you are under treatment and immediately after, it is best to avoid high-colored and very acidic foods and drinks. The effects of the treatment can last up to three years. However, over time, discoloration may accumulate slowly. To maintain the whiteness and prevent relapse, touch-ups are recommended.

Opting for Safer and Effective Teeth-Whitening

Know more helpful tips for teeth-whitening from your dentist in Downtown Seattle. Consult with us when you opt for a safer, faster and more effective whitening treatment at Smile Art in Seattle.

Aging Gracefully With Your Teeth and Gums

Oral Changes in The Older Patient

Growing older signals a myriad of changes in your body that one can naturally expect. Many of us observe our thinning hair, fine lines appearing everywhere, not being able to see or read well without glasses, joints becoming stiff, a little memory loss here and there. Your mouth and all its structures undergo simultaneous changes as well, and knowing them should prepare you to better manage oral issues through the years.

While the teeth are some of the strongest structures in the body, they, too, undergo ageing. With constant chewing, biting, gnawing, they will inevitably show signs of wear and tear. Teeth grinding surfaces will smoothen out, flattening with time. The hard outer layer of enamel will thin, and perhaps from time to time you will experience tooth sensitivity. Thinning enamel can make you prone to tooth chipping or breakage, so it is advisable to be conscious when biting on hard foods. Teeth often become darker with age, also due to the loss of enamel.

Teeth, however, become generally less sensitive with age. Nerves found in the root and the gums seem to have more pain tolerance. Might be a good thing, but the situation can lead to cavities forming and other dental issues that can be far gone before detection and more difficult to treat. This makes dental visits more important for them. They may also manifest increased sensitivity to drugs used in dentistry, including local anesthetics and analgesics. Nonetheless, expert dental care can handle these situations.

Gum Health is Important too

The same is true with an older person’s gum health. A mild gingivitis can easily lead to its more severe form – periodontitis – if not treated early. It is more common for older people to have bad breath, bleeding and receding gums, and tooth lost as aftermath of severe gum disease.

Dry mouth is another common symptom of ageing. Mouths often get drier beyond middle age, so drinking plenty of water is helpful to avoid caries and mouth infections. Multiple medications, highly common in the elderly, can cause dry mouth, a side-effect of many drugs. While these are essential for treatment of medical conditions, the older patient must be mindful of keeping the mouth properly hydrated.

Diabetes, hypertension, depression, among others, are common among older folks and have a direct impact on oral health. While good oral hygiene is key, a tandem of doctor and dentist can very well co-manage the patient enjoying a better quality of life while gracefully aging.

Caring for Patients of All Ages in Downtown Seattle

Our team at Smile Art in Seattle understand the oral changes going on in our patients advancing in years. While we provide the same quality of care for all, there are special populations with individualized needs.

The Burden of Bad Breath: What’s Causing It?

Not Just a Matter of Poor Oral Hygiene

Bad breath is a fairly common condition that can affect even those who stick to their oral hygiene routine faithfully. If you’re one of those who brush and floss regularly, you’d be surprised one day that someone has the temerity to tell you your breath needs fixing.

The condition does not always connect to poor oral hygiene. There may be other conditions contributing to bad breath.

Lifestyle and Bad Breath

For one, your diet. Can your diet be described as spicy and flavorful that it uses lots of garlic and onion and other exotic ingredients like curry? The odor comes from the breakdown of food debris by bacteria and also when once ingested, the food enters the bloodstream and carries over to the lungs. With every exhalation, odors can be detected.

Another cause is lifestyle habits. Maybe you are a chain-smoker or into chewing tobacco leaves or other such tobacco products. The smell of smoked cigarettes linger for hours in the lungs, hence the stale scent associated with smoker’s breath. Tobacco products leave chemicals on tooth surfaces, on and under the gums, and on the tongue. Needless to say, these chemicals are carried over to the lungs. Because these chemicals are mostly carcinogenic, they can lead to the secondary causes of foul breath, such as cancer.

Certain medications can affect one’s breath, alter taste, or cause dry mouth syndrome. Dry mouth presents as decreased salivation and with that a perfect environment for bacterial growth. Many medications are associated with the syndrome. To name a few: certain antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensives, antianxiety drugs, antiangina drugs, as well as certain drugs for reflux disease, ulcers, migraines, bronchodilators and decongestants. This list is only partial. On the other hand, smoking, alcoholism, snoring and long periods of speaking can also lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth is considered the number one cause of bad breath.

Other conditions can manifest bad odors coming from the mouth. These are mouth infections, like sores, pus, periodontal disease of the gums, as well as nose, sinuses and throat conditions.

Busting Bad Breath In Downtown Seattle

Don’t let bad breath bother you. Know that the condition and its cause can be determined by professional examination of your Downtown Seattle dentist. A visit to Smile Art in Seattle is your first step to fresher, cleaner breath.