Why Go to See a Dentist Twice a Year
You get your car tuned up and rarely skip routine maintenance on your home. But there’s no reminder in your calendar to schedule your dental cleaning and exam every six months—and there should be! Why go to see a dentist twice a year?
Dental professionals have long recommended a teeth cleaning every six months. That’s the length of time it takes for an average person to produce enough tartar that will need to be scraped off by a dentist or dental hygienist. Tartar isn’t just an ugly buildup that catches stain and feels rough to the tongue. It can cause inflammation of the gums and eventually irreversible bone loss around the teeth.
It may be a good idea for some folks to see a dentist three or even four times a year. Examples include people who:
1. Have poor brushing habits.
2. Eat diets rich in sugary foods or drinks. Too much sugar can overpower saliva’s ability to create a neutral pH (basic/acidic balance), thus creating a more acidic environment where harmful bacteria can thrive.
3. Are aging, making them more prone to the damage bacteria can cause to teeth, gums and bones.
4. Take medications that cause the common side effect of dry mouth, which means there is less saliva, making it easier for bacteria to grow.
5. Have physical difficulties brushing and flossing due to crowded or overlapping teeth.
So, let’s say 18 months or two years have lapsed since your last cleaning. You may begin noticing tenderness or bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing, a telltale sign of inflammation due to tartar buildup. A dull ache, increased sensitivity to hot or cold or the discoloration of a single tooth may be signs of more serious problems. If those occur, call the office right away to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, tooth trouble isn’t like a headache—it doesn’t get better or go away on its own!
Look 10 Years Younger with Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures
“It’s like getting a mini-facelift!” one of our patients exclaimed with a wide smile of gleaming pearly white teeth. Looking in the mirror after one of our most popular professional teeth whitening procedures, Zoom!, she felt a big boost in confidence realizing she now looked at least 10 years younger.
With so many costly cosmetic procedures out there, isn’t it great to know you can regain your youthful smile in one dental office visit with Zoom?
Sure, you can try to whiten your teeth at home with one of the many over-the-counter products out there—toothpastes, rinses and strips—but some can irritate your gums or cause undue sensitivity if you use them incorrectly or too frequently. It can also take weeks to get noticeable results—and who really wants to wait that long?
The safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth is under the supervision of your dental professional, who knows your overall oral health, whether you’re prone to sensitivity and how previous dental work, such as veneers, fillings or caps, should be taken into account.
Unlike over-the-counter whitening products that are one-size-fits-all, the Philips Zoom teeth whitening process is tailored to your needs. You’ll receive just the right treatment duration to meet your goals—in fact, your teeth can be up to eight shades whiter in just 45 minutes.
You’ll leave the office with custom-molded trays that offer full coverage of your teeth that you can use for touch-ups. Because one of the most common side effects of Zoom bleaching is tooth and gum sensitivity, we’ll send you home with a tube of Relief gel that will ease any discomfort you may have. The good news is the mild discomfort is only temporary—most patients report all symptoms are gone the morning after treatment.
Want to know more? We’d be glad to discuss what professional teeth whitening procedures would be best for you.
How to Whiten Teeth at Home
If you’re like many of our patients, you’re dreaming of a white Christmas. We’re not talking about dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh, but getting back your set of pearly whites.
Over time, you may have noticed that your smile just doesn’t glisten like it used to. You can chalk it up to certain foods and beverages that are notorious for staining teeth—think red wine, black tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, soy sauce, tomato sauce and certain sweets. (If that grape popsicle stains your tongue, it’s staining your teeth, too.)
What are your best options for home teeth whitening products that actually work?
First, we’d like to steer you away from one home remedy that may actually damage your teeth that’s being popularized in the media. It’s mixing a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and applying it to your teeth with a cotton swab. This mixture has a high acid content that can actually erode your healthy teeth enamel if you leave it on for more than a minute or apply it too frequently. (If you think your teeth aren’t white now, removing healthy teeth enamel will make them look yellow when the dentin underneath is exposed.)
Your best bet for over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products that actually work are relying on a well-known brand you can buy from a popular store or online.
These products include:
• Whitening toothpastes. These gritty cleansers lift surface stain from your teeth, but don’t expect noticeable whitening results.
• Whitening strips. You can apply these to the surface of your teeth for a certain amount of time, and can expect your teeth to lighten about five shades. Our patients report it can be an uneven whitening because the whitening strips skim the surface of the teeth and don’t reach the grooves in between them.
• At-home bleaching trays. Some OTC kits come with a bendable mouthpiece, which work better than one-size-fits-all-trays. Because they are not custom-made to fit your mouth, they may cause irritation. The bleaching gel that come in these kits aren’t as strong as the ones you get from a dental office.
If your teeth aren’t brighter after two weeks, give us a call. You may need a stronger treatment, such as our in-office Zoom procedure.
Your Dental Insurance Benefits: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em!
Did you know that each year insurance companies make millions of dollars off patients who forego necessary and preventive dental care?
If you’re like many people, you may not even realize your dental plan covers up to a certain amount each year. And did you know most benefits expire at the end of the year, meaning those dollars cannot be carried over year-to-year?
It’s sad, but true: What you don’t use, you lose.
That’s why now is perfect time to schedule the dental treatment you need, deserve and have the insurance to cover. We are here to help you secure the insurance coverage available to you on every dental procedure you schedule. Give us a call today, and together let’s make sure you’re in excellent dental health!