Live. Laugh. Smile!
The first thing people usually notice about someone is their smile. Nothing is more welcoming or as beautiful as a big, happy, toothy smile, and the best way to maintain your beautiful smile is to keep up on good dental health.
If you’ve ever wished you had whiter teeth, chances are you’ve tried one of the whitening toothpastes available at the drugstore. Did you notice any difference in the color of your teeth? Whitening toothpastes do have an effect, but it’s not very strong. They work best as a maintenance treatment following professional whitening.
There are three main methods used by whitening toothpastes,
though not all toothpastes use all of these:
> Abrasives: These are small, gritty particles that rub against
your teeth, similar to an exfoliating body wash.
> Stain dissolvers: These chemicals bond with certain
common staining agents and help to remove them.
> Stain maskers: Another strategy is to use dyes that cling
to your teeth and make them look whiter.
Since all of these treatments target the surface of your teeth, they only provide minimal whitening, at most one or two shades after weeks of consistent use. They can’t affect deeper stains or discoloration caused by genetics, antibiotics, or aging (intrinsic stains). Make sure you always get toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, since these pastes are not regulated in the USA. If you’re still not satisfied with the results, then you should consult with your dentist about more powerful teeth-whitening solutions.
Dental Fillings--Are They Safe?
The safety of silver fillings has been a hot debate for years. Dental amalgam contains mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs.
The FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is NO safe level of mercury. And some feel, “mercury exposure results in permanent nervous system and kidney damage.” To date, there is no definitive answer. If the patient suffers from neurologic conditions, it is still up to the individual doctor and patient to determine the best plan of action for each individual.
Dental Fear: No need to be afraid!
Many patients put off dental treatment due to a strong fear of the dentist. Patients must feel comfortable with their provider and should start off with a simple examination appointment. This allows the patient to get to know the doctor and discuss concerns without the added stress knowing there will be a procedure done that same day. Many dentists will employ the use of oral conscious sedation. Patients will take a few small pills, then sit back and relax, knowing they will be comfortable for their entire visit! It’s safe, works every time and it is a great way to get your teeth healthy again.
Sedation Dentistry makes it possible for patients to sit through longer sessions, meaning a dentist can do a complete smile transformation in a single morning instead of spacing it out over multiple appointments. Many patients are very successful with this plan of action and are able to achieve the smile they dreamed about.
Dr. Elizabeth Sugg is a 1989 graduate of Case Western Reserve University. For 14 years, Dr. Sugg practiced in Chagrin Falls, OH. In 2008, Dr. Sugg and her family relocated to Hilton Head Island, where she opened her practice, Ocean Dental.