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Set New Year's Resolutions for Your Smile

Most people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, start traveling, etc. The thought of improving their smile never comes to mind. Your teeth are just as important to take care of as the rest of your body, so you might as well make a plan to improve your oral health in the coming year. Listed below are some New Year’s resolutions you can set for your teeth that won’t necessarily be hard to achieve. Keep them up, and you will have even more reasons to smile in the future.

Change Your Diet to Improve Your Smile

While you make plans to live a healthier lifestyle, you might want to think about what certain foods and drinks will do to your teeth. For the most part, the foods you eat as part of a healthy diet will inevitably be good for your teeth. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to keep your smile as a deciding factor in what you eat as well. Make an effort to improve your water intake during this transition, and you will see long-lasting results with your teeth.

Schedule to See the Dentist Twice Next Year

We all know that professional dental cleanings should happen twice a year, but most people have a hard time making it into the office for just one of the two appointments. Work, school, family, and life as a whole can often get in the way of maintaining your dental cleanings. Make it a point to actually see the dentist twice next year, even if that means scheduling the appointments right now. You will be glad you did once you make this a habit.

Maintain a Consistent Oral Hygiene Routine

If you are one of those people who brush their teeth just whenever it comes to mind, you should make a resolution to establish an actual routine for your oral hygiene. Start brushing your teeth once when you wake up in the morning and once before bed. Try to floss during the second brushing so you can work that in as well. It may take time to officially make this a habit, but once you do, you’ll wonder what life was like before.

Think about your teeth when you plan out your New Year’s resolutions, and you will have a healthier, better-looking smile by the time the next year rolls around!

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5 Smile-Friendly Stocking Stuffers Your Friends Will Love

Dentistry and gift-giving don’t always go hand in hand. When you think about getting an awesome gift for Christmas, chances are you don’t think about a new toothbrush. Nevertheless, there are some neat stocking stuffers out there that are good for teeth and fun to use at the same time. Before you rush to the store to buy all the candy imaginable, check out these 5 smile-friendly stocking stuffers your friends are sure to love.

1 – Bacon Dental Floss

As you may suspect, bacon dental floss is actual floss that is flavored to taste like bacon. It comes in a bacon-shaped container that is funny and appealing at the same time. While this is mostly considered a gag gift, you can in fat use it like regular floss. Priced under $6, this is a great stocking stuffer that won’t leave you with an empty wallet.

2 – Pearly Wipes

Pearly Wipes are designed to clean your teeth when you can’t get to a sink to brush properly. As the name suggests, these are little wipes that you rub on much like you would use a cleaning wipe to scrub down your counter. They come in a little round tin that can easily fit in a purse, glove box, pocket, etc. Prices vary by seller, but they are usually around $12.

3 – Colgate Wisps

Colgate Wisps have been on the market for a while now, but they can still be a great surprise to see in a Christmas stocking. Think of these as tiny disposable toothbrushes that you can bring to work, school, or even a night on the town. A pack of 24 costs about $7, and you can find them at Walgreens, Walmart, and a number of other large retailers throughout the country. You may very well end up picking out a pack for yourself too!

4 – SuperSmile Whitening Gum

This is not your ordinary whitening gum like what you can find at the drugstore counter for $.99. SuperSmile Whitening Gum is designed to thoroughly remove surface stains without damaging your teeth. The product was developed by Dr. Irwin Smigel, a well-known name in the dental community. The gum will run you $24 for 100 pieces, which makes this one of the more expensive gifts on our list. Nevertheless, it is one your friends are sure to get great use out of.

5 – Floss Picks

Floss picks are great for cleaning teeth on the go. They come with a piece of floss threaded between two picks, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of rolling out the floss and wrapping it around your fingers. There are many varieties of this product on the market nowadays, and most of them cost under $5 for a large set. Your friends might not say “wow” when they see them, but chances are you will catch them using the picks sometime in the future.

Incorporate some of these smile-friendly stocking stuffers into your shopping list this year, and you will be able to spread the joy of healthy teeth for the holidays.

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Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?

Teeth whitening can restore a gloomy, dull smile back to its bright white glory. There are several forms of dental bleaching out there, and some of them work better than others. One of the biggest questions we hear about this process is, “How long will teeth whitening last?” or “Is teeth whitening permanent?” We thought we would set the record straight here, in case you were wondering the same thing. Let’s take a look at how long teeth whitening lasts so you can have a better understanding of the process.

Different Types of Teeth Whitening Have Different Results

Some forms of dental bleaching are more thorough than others. For instance, the whitening you might get from toothpaste or whitening strips at home will not be nearly as thorough as the bleaching you would get from a dentist. Every dental office has different ways of going about teeth whitening, and many of us use more than one method in our practices. There is no way to say “Teeth whitening lasts for X amount of time” because the X will depend on a number of factors. At the end of the day though, none of the teeth whitening processes on the market are completely permanent.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last on Average?

Again, this is a tough question to answer due to the variety of whitening products available nowadays. Most professional bleaching methods will last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Your teeth whitening may come with aftercare products that will allow you to extend that timeframe even further, but expect to redo the process every few years if you want to keep your teeth brilliantly white.

You Control the Longevity of Your Teeth Whitening

We will tell you an estimated timeframe for how long your teeth whitening will last, but your eating, drinking, and oral hygiene habits will play a major role in that timeframe as well. Here are some quick tips to keep your smile white after dental bleaching:

  • Avoid dark or acidic drinks, like coffee, tea, wine, or soda.
  • Avoid foods high in acid as those will wear down your enamel and make your teeth vulnerable to staining.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene, including your professional dental cleanings twice a year.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to constantly flush stains and bacteria out of your mouth.

If you can do all of those things, you will be able to get the longest possible results from your teeth whitening. You will eventually need to come in for bleaching again, but that could be years down the road if you are careful. Worse comes to worse, you could always invest in porcelain veneers if you wanted a permanently white smile. Contact us to learn more about your options.

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Smiling Tips for the Perfect Christmas Card Photos

As the year comes to an end, many families get together to take pictures for their Christmas cards. This is becoming a forgotten tradition in America, but there are still plenty of people who use this as a chance to commemorate another year passing by. If the Kardashians can still do it, you can, right? You just need to have a set of good smiles to make your photos look their best. Here are some smiling tops for Christmas card photos that you can apply with your family.

Try Taking Some Candid Photos

When everyone is looking at the camera and smiling after “cheese,” the grins can look a little fake. If you want to have a picture that looks natural and beautiful at the same time, you can ask the photographer to take candid pictures of your family before and after your shoot. Once someone tells a joke and everyone starts laughing, the smiles will naturally come out. You may not be facing the camera, but you will look like you are genuinely enjoying your time together. Your card recipients will smile along with you when they see that.

Avoid Yellow And Orange Colors

Yellow and orange shirts have a tendency to emphasize discoloration in your teeth. The only exception to this rule is when someone with darker complexion has a brilliantly white smile. Then the yellow doesn’t matter. To be on the safe side though, try to avoid colors that dull your smile. Stick with white, red, green, or blue to get the best looking smiles in your photos.

Make Use of Natural Sunlight

Natural lighting always looks better in photos than artificial lighting because it has a warm glow that you can’t get from a light bulb. If it’s a nice day outside, you may want to bring the family outdoors for your photos. You could also open up the windows in your home, if that is where you are taking the pictures. An overcast day can still have good natural lighting – even better than direct sunlight in a lot of cases. Try to plan your photo around the sunlight outside, not whatever you can plug into an outlet.

Don’t Forget to Brush Your Teeth!

This may be an obvious tip, but the dentist in me could not leave this article without reminding you to brush your teeth for your Christmas card photos. If you have time to get them whitened before the big day, that would be even better! No matter what though, just make sure to show off your brilliant smile when the time comes. Your friends and family members are guaranteed to love your cards after that!

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5 Tips for Using Invisalign

Invisalign is a wonderful alternative to traditional braces. Most people won’t be able to tell when you are wearing your Invisalign trays, so you don’t have to be self-conscious about your smile. The first few sets of trays you wear might be tough, but after that, they will become part of your routine. In an effort to make your transition to this process a little easier, we’ve come up with these five tips for using Invisalign.

Leave Them in for 48 Hours

The first 48 hours that you have your new Invisalign trays are the toughest. This is the time when your teeth move around and try to get into their new positions. Your teeth will be sore and sensitive, much like they are for people with metal braces after they get them tightened. Nevertheless, you have to try to keep your trays in as much as possible during the 48 hours so your teeth can settle. Take them out for eating, brushing, etc., but try to keep them in as much as possible.

Continue Wearing Them as Much as Possible

The more often you wear your Invisalign trays, the less time you’ll have to wear them overall. Don’t get complacent with the idea that you can take them out whenever you want. You still need to try to wear them as if they are traditional braces so you can get through this process quickly.

Brush and Floss Thoroughly

You should always brush and floss your teeth well, but it is especially important to do so whenever you have Invisalign. The trays create a moist, warm place for bacteria to grow, and they act as a barrier against saliva and water that would normally help flush out your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Clean Your Trays Too!

Your trays can get just as nasty as your teeth. You can clean them with a soft bristled toothbrush, or at the very least, rinse them out with water. Do as much as you can to get the trays clean before putting them back on your teeth. That way, you re-inserting bacteria into your mouth that could lead to gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Enamel-Staining Drinks

Try not to drink a lot of soda, wine, coffee, and other dark drinks that are prone to staining enamel. These drinks and the chemicals they leave behind will get trapped in your trays, essentially turning your trays into a tanning bed for your teeth. Sugary foods offer the fuel that bacteria need to grow and prosper. Keep those out of your diet as much as possible to avoid an unhealthy development of bacteria.

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common oral health concern that can happen to almost anyone. With the right habits early on though, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. The information below shows five sure-fire ways to prevent gum disease so you can keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Read on to see what you can do for your mouth.

1 – Brush Your Teeth Regularly

As obvious as this may sound, regular brushing can do wonders for gum disease prevention. Brushing your teeth gets rid of bacteria and plaque that forms around the gums, and it keeps your smile bright and white. Brush your teeth twice a day, every day and keep up that habit for your entire life.

2 – Use a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers are fun to use, and they can remove a ton of bacteria that gets trapped on your tongue. Your tongue is really nothing more than a giant sponge in your mouth, soaking up bacteria that will eventually work its way into your gums. You can use a tongue scraper as a squeegee along your tongue, pulling off bacteria along the way. Your mouth will feel significantly cleaner with just one swipe.

3 – Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste that is used to strengthen teeth on the surface. The fluoride helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay by flecking off bacteria that tries to stick around. If you want to get even more fluoride out of your dental routine, you can use ACT mouthwash or a similar product that boost fluoride levels in your mouth. Also ask your city water supplier if you have fluoride in your tap water, in case you want to start drinking from your sink.

4 – Eat Healthy Foods

Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet will help your smile stay clean and bright. With the proper nutrients in your body, your immune system will naturally fight the bacteria that causes bad breath and gum disease. Drinking water throughout the day will continuously rinse out your mouth, which again will get rid of bacteria. Work on improving your diet so you can improve your smile.

5 – Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

Keeping up with your dental cleanings will get rid of the stuck-in plaque and bacteria that you cannot get out on your own. You should visit your dentist twice a year in order to make your smile as clean as it can be. These visits will also allow your dentist to see early signs of gum disease and suggest ways to avoid them before they fully develop. The sooner you catch the problem, the better off you will be.

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How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a growing problem in the modern world. It comes from a baby’s long term exposure to drinks containing sugar, including milk. Children who are taught to pacify themselves with a bottle or sippy cup often face problems with their dental development. This may decay baby teeth when they come in and prevent adult teeth from growing properly.

The guide below explains how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay from forming.

Don’t Let Your Child Carry a Bottle throughout the Day

Some parents let their children hold bottles throughout the day so their kids can drink over the course of several hours. The bottle acts as a pacifier for the kid, keeping him calm and happy. As much as you may want to do this for your child, you have to find other ways to keep him in a good mood. Long-term exposure to sugary drinks is a guaranteed way to decay teeth, even before they grow in.

Keep the Bottle out of the Crib

A lot of parents will leave a bottle in a child’s play pin or crib so the child can drink it before bed. This is a longstanding process that puts your child at risk of tooth decay. Try feeding your child a big meal right before nap time or bed time, and then use a comfort object like a stuffed animal to keep your child calm in bed.

Start Brushing Baby Teeth When They First Come In

In order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, brush your baby’s teeth early on. This applies to teeth that may not be fully formed. In fact, it would be wise for you to use a clean gauze pad or a washcloth to wipe off your baby’s gums after each feeding. Floss when your child has two teeth that start touching together, and keep up with these good habits even after he is off the bottle entirely.

Check Fluoride Levels in Your Water

Fluoride is a wonderful ingredient for fighting tooth decay. If your child drinks tap water, see how much fluoride your water has in it. If you use a filter on your sink, see if the filter eliminates whatever fluoride is present. If there is not much fluoride in your water, that is fine. Drinking water will be better than drinking milk in a bottle, at least in the realm of tooth decay.

Follow the tips above, and you will be able to avoid baby bottle tooth decay.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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What Toothpaste Ingredients Do for Your Teeth

Ever wonder what’s inside your toothpaste? Most people know about fluoride, but the rest of the ingredients in toothpaste are just a mystery. All of these ingredients serve different purposes, and sometimes it’s just nice to know what’s going in your mouth. Here is a look at what different toothpaste ingredients do for your teeth.

Fluoride

The most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. It has been used for more than 50 years because of its proven ability to fight off tooth decay. Fluoride joins with the enamel on your teeth to strengthen the enamel weakened by acid. This not only makes your teeth stronger as a whole, but it helps your teeth fight off future acid attacks.

Abrasives

These chemicals are used to remove stains and plaque from teeth. They also act as polishing agents to keep teeth shiny and sparkling. Common abrasives in toothpaste include calcium carbonate, silica and alumina. These ingredients are specifically chosen because they are harsh enough to remove stains without being so harsh that they damage tooth enamel.

Detergents

Detergents in toothpaste work much like any other kinds of detergents – laundry detergent, dish detergent, etc. These chemicals help to dislodge food debris and bacterial plaque from in between teeth by creating a lawyer of foam in the crevices. One of the most common types of detergents in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulphate. Detergents are also responsible for giving you that “fresh clean feeling” that makes brushing your teeth fun to do.

Other Ingredients

Here is a quick list of some additional toothpaste ingredients:

  • Humectants: These prevent toothpaste from drying out and they give toothpaste its texture. Example: glycerin
  • Thickeners: They help toothpaste retain its texture and they allow it to stay on the bristles of the brush without sinking in between them. Example: cellulose gum
  • Preservatives: They keep toothpaste clean by preventing the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
  • Flavoring and coloring agents: They help toothpaste taste like specific flavor (bubble gum, mint, etc.) and they give it its distinct color. This is all used for aesthetics, but it makes a big difference in the way you perceive your toothpaste.

Knowing about toothpaste ingredients won’t change the way you take care of your teeth, but at least now you know a little more about what’s going on every time you brush. There is a ton of science behind every tube of toothpaste.

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Keep Your Smile Clean with a Clean Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is supposed to be a tool for keeping your mouth clean, but it can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This may cause more problems in your mouth than it gets rid of. In order to ensure your teeth are as clean as they can possibly be, you need to work on cleaning your toothbrush. The guide below explains how to clean a toothbrush effectively so your smile can shine bright.

Rinse It Off

Every time you brush your teeth, you need to rinse out your toothbrush. You probably do this already to get rid of the toothpaste that gets stuck on the bottom of the bristles. Try to use high pressure water to basically powerwash the debris out of the bristles. This will give you a clean start the next time you go to brush your teeth.

Use Toothbrush Sanitizer

You can buy special sanitizer that is designed to thoroughly clean your toothbrush. You don’t have to use this every single time you brush your teeth, but it would be worth using once a week or even once a month just to get your toothbrush looking its best. Think of this like spring cleaning for your toothbrush, only more frequent and less time consuming.

If you don’t want to use toothbrush sanitizer, you can also throw your toothbrush in the dishwasher. It may seem unnatural at first, but it will make your toothbrush look like new again.

Store It Properly

Don’t store your toothbrush face down in a cup or in a bathroom drawer. The goal is to expose the head of the toothbrush to as much air as possible because that will help kill the bacteria on it. You can buy toothbrush covers that have ventilation holes in them, if you want to keep it covered without suffocating your toothbrush. Otherwise, just keep it head up in a toothbrush holder or something along those lines to make your toothbrush as clean as possible.

Buy a New Toothbrush

After about six months of regular use, your toothbrush is no longer going to be good to use. The bristles will be worn, and you simply won’t get the same fresh-from-the-dentist feeling that you get from a new toothbrush. If you are sick, you might want to replace your toothbrush after healing to avoid infecting yourself once again. Know when it’s time to get rid of your old toothbrush, and you will always have a new one to use.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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7 Creative Ways to Use Dental Floss

Want to get more out of a roll of dental floss than just clean teeth? This simple nylon string has a number of potential uses that reach far beyond the corners of your smile. Listed below are seven creative ways to use dental floss.

Sew with It

Have a button that keeps coming off your shirt? Sew it on with dental floss instead next time. You can also try using dental floss to fix tears in thick material because it can stand up better than most thread.

Bake with It

If you keep breaking your freshly baked cookies with your spatula, try sliding some floss underneath them to pry them off the baking sheet. Once they have released themselves completely, you can use a spatula for the actual lifting process.

De-Badge with It

If you want to take badges or stickers off your car, you can use dental floss to help you do this. Lowly work the floss behind the adhesive backing on the badge until it come loose. You may need to wear gloves for this in case the floss cuts into your hands.

Cut with It

You can use dental floss to cut soft foods, like cake, bananas, hard boiled eggs, and some cheeses. Wrap each end of the floss around one of your fingers and then pull it tight. You can move down on the food after that to create perfect slices even better than a knife would make.

Decorate with It

You can use dental floss to hang pictures, sun catchers, Christmas ornaments, and much more. As long as the item is small or somewhat light, the floss should be strong enough to hold it up.

Repair with It

If you have a leaky faucet that you can’t fix just yet, you could use dental floss for a quick solution to your problems. Tie the floss around the head of the faucet and then set the other end of it inside of the drain. When the leaks come, the water will follow the path of the floss and not make any noise.

Garden with It

Have some unruly vines that need directing? You could use dental floss to tie the vines to a trellis. You could also use floss to hold together groups of bamboo or other plants like that when you want them to grow close with one another. Play around with some different ideas, and you will soon see boring old floss in a whole new light.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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