Posts for: July, 2017
If whitening toothpaste isn’t cutting it, our dentists can help!
Have you been trying every whitening toothpaste or whitening kit possible but still don’t have a dazzling white smile? While these products can be a great way to remove minor stains over time, if you are looking for a quick and effective way to brighten your smile, then it might be time to consider getting professional teeth whitening from our Billerica, MA, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kunio Chan.
Who Should Consider Professional Teeth Whitening?
If you have good oral health and are dealing with dental stains, chances are good that you could be a candidate for professional whitening. If you have yellow stains caused by aging, or the foods you consume, our powerful whitening system is enough to remove these stains (often in just one visit). In just one hour, you could have a smile that’s several shades whiter.
Of course, not all stains will respond as effectively to this treatment. Stains that are brown, blue or gray may not whiten as well as yellow discolorations. Also, if you have dental restorations like fillings or crowns you should know that whitening treatment will not lighten these artificial structures.
The best way to determine whether professional teeth whitening is right for you is to see our Billerica dentist for a consultation. We will be able to determine if teeth whitening is the best approach or whether there are better cosmetic options out there.
Other Options for a Whiter Smile
In most cases we will find that people can benefit from what professional in-office teeth whitening can offer. Of course, if you have gum disease or tooth sensitivity then we may have already told you that your smile isn’t right for whitening treatment. This doesn’t mean that you have to just put up with a yellow smile. There are other options like dental crowns or veneers, which can mask these imperfections and improve the overall appearance of your smile.
One Dental Care in Billerica, MA, is ready to help you get the whiter smile you want. Whether you are ready to take the plunge or you have questions about our whitening treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more.
If you've known anyone who has worn braces, you know what comes after — wearing a retainer. This can be kind of a letdown after all those months with braces, but it's absolutely necessary.
That's because teeth have a tendency to “rebound” to their pre-orthodontic positions once the force to move them stops after the braces are removed. Retainers help keep or “retain” moved teeth in their new positions and prevent them from reverting to the old.
When you think “retainer,” you probably picture a removable appliance with a wire that fits over the front of the teeth. While that may be the most common type, it isn't the only one. There's another called a bonded retainer, a thin piece of wire bonded to the back of the teeth that need to be retained. Unlike the other type, a dentist must remove a bonded retainer when it's no longer needed.
The biggest advantage of a bonded retainer is its invisibility — the wire is behind the teeth so no one can see it as with a removable retainer. The wire is bonded to the teeth with a dental composite material and then light-cured to create a strong attachment.
Another advantage is especially pertinent to younger patients. Because it's permanently attached and can't be taken out, there's no constant reminding of the patient to wear it — and no more worries about replacing a lost one.
They can, though, be difficult to floss around leading to potential plaque buildup that increases disease risk. It's very important you receive proper hygiene instruction for cleaning under the bonded retainer. Another concern is that they can break under excessive chewing pressure. And as with the more common retainer, we wouldn't want to remove it as that will result in the teeth's relapse to their old positions.
To learn which retainer is best for your situation, you should discuss the options with your orthodontist. Regardless of which type you choose, though, a retainer is a must for protecting your investment in that new smile.
If you would like more information on orthodontics and retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bonded Retainers.”
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!