Have the years of coffee or tea drinking finally caught up to you?
Are you concerned about the image of the person with the yellow teeth smiling back at you in the mirror?
Your once pearly white smile you were once proud to show off is now concealed and hidden from the world. You no longer feel comfortable being in pictures and you’re careful when smiling and laughing in conversations with friends.
You want to reverse the discolored damage done to your smile that your diet preferences have caused.
Besides the obvious abandonment of foods and drinks (yes, your beloved coffee) that have been known to stain teeth, what are other methods of whitening teeth?
Types of Teeth Whitening
You’ve likely seen or heard about at-home teeth whitening. These kits are sold in most grocery stores. There are two common types: trays and strips.
With at-home teeth whitening trays,
At-home teeth whitening strips contain sticky, clear, thin, plastic strips that are placed onto the outside surface of your teeth. The sticky part of the strip contains a diluted bleaching agent that lifts stains out from weakened tooth enamel.
Both these at-home teeth whitening methods are inexpensive, convenient and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
The downside to these at-home teeth whitening methods is that the results are gradual, taking months to see noticeable improvements in the color of one’s teeth.
The whitening, bleaching agent can also irritate the gums, causing slight discomfort and both methods can be messy and frustrating to be done properly if you don’t follow directions.
An alternative to the at-home teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening done at the dentist office.
A professional teeth whitening can be done on as little as 30 minutes and patients can walk out the door with noticeably whiter smiles.
When you get your teeth whitened at the dental office, the dentist uses a more highly concentrated bleaching agent that is activated by UV lighting. The immediate whitening of the bleaching agent when exposed to the UV light means your teeth will be dramatically whiter within minutes.
The expertise of the dentist ensures that neither the whitening bleach or UV light will neither damage or irritate your gums and other tissues in the mouth.
While professional teeth whitening at the dental office produces immediate, significant results, it is more expensive and you’re required to make an appointment and go into the dental office.
If you’re not in a hurry or simply want to halt further yellowing of your teeth, you can heed the advice you’ve been hearing to stop eating and drinking foods and drinks that stain teeth.
You can also buy teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to use twice a day.
A white smile can make you happier, healthier and more confident.
LeDowns Dentistry has been whitening smiles and changing lives in Denver area for years. Call us today and let our expert dentists help you regain your white, beautiful smile.
If you’re like most Americans, you have a hard time flossing on a regular basis. It’s been reported that only 30 percent of the American population flosses regularly. Why is it so hard for people to floss their teeth? For some, it’s just another inconvenient thing to do right before bed. For others, it’s because it hurts to floss.
While all of these seem like valid enough reasons not to floss, you might not be aware how dangerous it is for your oral health. Brushing your teeth doesn’t get rid of all the leftover food or plaque, especially in hard-to-reach places. If you aren’t able to clean that away, your teeth have a much higher likelihood of suffering from tooth decay. Flossing can change that.
The Benefits of Flossing
Flossing helps you reach those tucked away corners and crevices in your mouth and in between your teeth where food and bacteria like to lurk. Brushing can’t touch these places, and taking the extra effort to floss can significantly increase your oral health and hygiene.
This is the most common benefit to flossing, but there is one more that you need to consider. Your gums also benefit from this oral hygiene practice and it can help prevent the occurrence of dangerous gum disease. If left alone long enough, gum disease can lead to a complete loss of your teeth.
How to Properly Floss
A good flossing habit is made up of several different factors. First, you need to start the habit and stick to it. You can’t expect to see the benefits from flossing if you don’t do it in the first place. Second, you need to choose the right floss for the job. You might think that all floss was created equal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are tons of different types of floss out there and you’ll need to choose one that fits your teeth. If you need help choosing the right kind of floss, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Finally, you need to know how to properly floss.
In order to floss in the right way, follow these simple steps:
- Use a piece of floss between 15 and 18 inches long.
- Slide the floss inbetween your teeth.
- Wrap it around each one of your teeth, using a “C” shape.
- Polish the tooth with an up and down motion.
If you haven’t flossed in a while, you might experience some light bleeding. This is normal, and it shouldn’t be something to worry about. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few flossing sessions, you should ask your dentist if it’s something that needs to be looked at.
Ask Your Dentist
If you just can’t seem to get the hang of this whole flossing thing, don’t hesitate to ask for tips and tricks during your next dental appointment. We can show you exactly how you should be flossing and give you recommendations for the best kind of floss that provides real results.
When you think about getting a cavity, sugar and junk food might come to your mind first. From a young age, your parents likely told you not to eat too much sugar because it will cause cavities to form on your teeth. And while sugar definitely plays a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not in the way you might think. In reality, bacteria is what causes cavities to form, and sugar is the perfect food for these cavity-causing microbes. If left alone long enough, the bacteria on your teeth can form plaque.
What is Plaque?
Simply put, plaque is a sticky film made up of millions of bacteria that can build up on your teeth. This film is constantly forming on your teeth because there is always bacteria present in your mouth. Bacteria can multiply rapidly, especially when fed with the right kind of food, like sugar and other junk food. Every time you eat, you give the bacteria in your mouth more opportunity to grow and spread.
How Is It Harmful?
If plaque is always forming on your teeth, isn’t it a natural thing? While plaque is a natural occurrence in the purest sense of the word, it isn’t healthy in the slightest and should always be removed as soon as possible. If you leave your plaque to grow without treating it, you may find yourself in a predicament where your oral health is steadily declining.
Plaque can cause a whole host of problems with your teeth. The simplest of these is the formation of a cavity. If left alone, the bacteria in the plaque will consistently produce acids that cause damage to your teeth’s enamel—the outermost protective layer of your teeth. However, cavities aren’t the only bad things that can happen to your mouth because of plaque buildup. You may also experience gingivitis and periodontitis, or gum disease. Eventually, plaque can turn into tartar, which is harder to remove and better at breaking down your enamel.
How Can You Prevent Plaque?
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, plaque is always forming in your mouth, and you’ll never be able to fully prevent that process from taking place. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent that plaque sticking around too long.
- Brush your teeth regularly. Everyone knows that brushing teeth prevents cavities, and that’s because you’re really removing the plaque that has begun to build up on your teeth when you brush. The act of brushing scrapes the plaque from your teeth.
- Floss regularly. Flossing takes care of the plaque in hard-to-reach places like between your teeth.
- Regulate your diet. Since plaque is formed from the bacteria in your mouth, it’s important to regulate what you eat. Eating a balanced diet will lessen the amount of plaque that forms on your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Ultimately, the best way to prevent plaque buildup is by receiving comprehensive dental care from your dentist. Regular checkups and cleanings can help you remove plaque that’s too hard for you to get on your own. If you’re late for a cleaning, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us today.
How much do you really know about your teeth? Unless you’re a dentist, it’s likely that you’re not staying up late every night studying dental magazines and text books. There are plenty of dental facts that you might not know about that can really help you with your overall oral health. Let’s take a look at seven dentals facts that you may have not heard before.
- 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal gum disease. It’s a well-known fact that our mouths are full of bacteria. However, you might not know that these bacteria can easily lead to gum disease and that most Americans suffer from that gum disease. If you don’t properly care for your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, you are at a much higher risk for gum disease and it’s very likely that you’ll get it.
- Unhealthy teeth may lead to an unhealthy body. Have you ever heard of the mouth-body connection? It’s the idea that an unhealthy mouth can lead to an unhealthy body. The condition of your mouth can also indicate what’s happening with the rest of your body. Pay close attention to your oral health and try to take the best care of your mouth as you possibly can. It could lead to a healthier body.
- Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense. Most people think that toothbrushes and floss are your primary means of defense against tooth decay. However, did you know that your saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense? Saliva is the body’s natural way of fighting cavity-forming bacteria, and it’s extremely good at what it does. If you find yourself getting a dry mouth, dry to drink some water to get your saliva going again so you don’t suffer from any adverse effects.
- You shouldn’t rinse your mouth out after brushing. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t swallow your toothpaste. The fluoride in the toothpaste can be harmful for your body if swallowed in larger quantities. However, leaving that fluoride on your teeth after brushing may help more at fighting tooth decay
- Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint. Your fingerprints are unique specifically to you, and you can actually be identified solely by your fingerprints. Did you know that your teeth can act in the same way? Your set of teeth is unique and your smile makes you different and special.
- Your teeth’s enamel is the body’s strongest tissue. Your teeth are covered by an incredibly tough and durable layer called enamel. This layer is the strongest tissue in your body, being made up of over 96% mineral content.
- Your smile is more than just your teeth. Technically, your teeth make up your smile, but there’s so much more that goes into it. The way you feel about your teeth can greatly affect your smile, and your smile can greatly affect your overall confidence. A smile makeover can be one of the best things you can do for your teeth and confidence.
Staying informed about your teeth is one of the most beneficial practices you can perform. If your teeth aren’t healthy, it can lead to complications in the rest of your body, so it’s important to know what’s going on with your dental health.
Unfortunately, in today’s world of the Internet and an over-abundance of information, it’s easy to get mislead by myths and misinformation about dental health. This can lead you to making poor decisions about your teeth, which can lead to even more complications.
So, instead of stumbling around in the dark, let LeDowns Dentistry debunk some of the most common dental myths for you.
Sugar Causes Cavities
It’s the myth that’s as old as time. You’ve heard it from your mom. You’ve heard it from your friend’s moms. You may have even heard it from your childhood dentists. Sugar causes cavities. This is suspect number one in our list of myths. And there’s some truth to it.
Sugar doesn’t cause the cavities. Instead, it’s the bacteria that feed off the sugar on your teeth. This means that you can’t continue to just eat a ton of sugar all the time. The more sugar on your teeth, the more food the bacteria have to eat.
Wisdom Teeth Should Always Be Removed
Many people today think that everyone’s wisdom teeth should be removed or else their entire mouth will suffer. While this may be true in some cases, it simply isn’t true in other cases. Another common myth that goes along with this idea is that wisdom teeth don’t serve any purpose. Many experts believe that wisdom teeth were the evolutionary results of our ancestors needing to eat coarser foods than we eat now. In today’s world, we consider these vestigial organs, like your appendix or tonsils.
If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing—and won’t cause—any serious complications in your mouth, it might be best to leave them be.
Teeth Whitening Damages Enamel
Another common myth in the dental world is that whitening your teeth can lead to serious enamel damage. It’s easy to see where this myth comes from. Teeth whitening uses chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to strip away the stains on the surface of your teeth. Some people thing that it goes even further and strips away the enamel, too. This isn’t true.
While most whitening kits are safe, we still recommend coming to our office to get professional whitening services.
You Should Use Mouthwash that Contains Alcohol
While mouthwash that contains alcohol has been linked to oral cancer cases for a long time, some recent studies have claimed that the only reason for those results were because the patients were smokers and drinkers. However, it’s still a myth that your mouthwash should contain alcohol. These kinds of mouthwashes dehydrate your mouth and can tamper with the natural bacteria that live in your mouth.
Ask if You’re Concerned
Remember that we’re always here to answer any questions you have about your dental care and health. If you read something online that you’re not sure about, don’t hesitate to ask us about it. We’re more than happy to help you feel comfortable with your routine oral care.
Researchers have over the last couple years have made the connection between the frequency of one’s smile and laughter to one’s happiness, self-esteem and confidence.
Almost hands-down, people want a beautiful smile with straight, white teeth. You may feel self-conscious if you’re the only one not smiling in group or family pictures due to embarrassing gaps between teeth, yellow stained teeth or crooked teeth.
Smiling makes you relaxed, approachable and more confident.
The smile that you’re too embarrassed to show off may be the source of your lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Like many patients, you want to regain that beautiful, confident smile. How do you go about doing that?
Here are three ways you can get that confident smile you’ve been missing:
Proper Dental Health
The first step in having a smile you can be proud of is to have proper dental hygiene and health. A healthy smile is a pretty smile.
Proper dental care has many other benefits other than a beautiful, confident smile. Healthy teeth and gums have less pain, are less susceptible to injury and infection and require less, expensive dental work in the future.
Proper dental care and hygiene include:
- Visits to your dentist every six months for an examination and thorough cleaning
- Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and a good toothpaste
- Daily flossing
- A healthy diet low in foods and drinks that can stain your teeth or wear off your teeth enamel
- Managing any teeth grinding issues
- Regular rinsing with water or mouthwash
Taking care of your teeth is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. The first step in having a confident smile is taking care of your oral health.
Restorative dental procedures such as dental bridges, crowns, and root canals can also restore the health and look of your smile. They will also diminish the pain and discomfort you may feel. While you may take care of your teeth and gums, your smile may not be as great as it could be because you’ll need some restorative dental work done.
Stained, and discolored teeth, and large, glaring gaps in between teeth are unpleasant flaws that even the best dental care may not do anything about. For such instances, your second-best option is cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry can handle a variety of dental issues, besides teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentistry includes:
- Dental Implants
- Direct Bonding
- Implants and Bridges
- Orthodontics and Aligners
- Porcelain Crowns
- Porcelain Fixed Bridges
- Porcelain Veneers
- Repairing Chipped Teeth
- Teeth Whitening
- Tooth-Colored Fillings
Most of the effective cosmetic dental procedures are done by your dentist in the office. There are some at-home options, mainly for teeth whitening, available. These are effective for patients with minor teeth stains that are mostly on the surface.
While adequate tooth and gum care is the most important way to achieve a confident smile, supplementing it with cosmetic dental work can really do wonders for your smile.
Show Your Smile Off
The final way to a confident smile is to show the world your pearly whites. You won’t be able to appreciate the efforts of your good dental hygiene or your cosmetic dental procedure if you continue to hide your smile.
Embracing your natural smile, flaws and all will greatly improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Whether you’re looking to schedule a routine dental check-up or you’re exploring your cosmetic dental options, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today so we can get you that gorgeous smile you’ve wanted.
Cosmetic dentistry is an ever-evolving industry. Technology is continually improving, bringing new information on how to treat our patients with better tools and education. Some of the latest trends are 3D dentistry, better screenings for oral cancer, and discreet braces.
While 3D graphics are not new, they are continually being improved and put to different uses. In dentistry, these graphics are helpful in taking better x-rays. These images create a model that dentists can zoom in on, get more accurate pictures, and generate more images with a single scan. With this tool, dentists can spot problems easier and faster than with traditional x-rays. Saving these images into the patient’s file is a more accurate health history too.
Even more beneficial is that these images are done with a computer and use little to no radiation. With less exposure, dentists have a safer option for checking inside the gums and is better for every patient.
Oral Cancer Screenings
One type of cancer that most people don’t think much about is oral cancer. It has a high mortality rate though, because it is so hard to spot. Part of a professional dental cleaning is inspecting the mouth for any problems or abnormalities. The biggest hurdle, like with any other cancer, is that it can go unnoticed until it is too late. Catching the cancer in its early stages increases chances of survival and less physical changes to remove it.
New advances in technology have provided us with tools to spot the signs of cancer earlier. Our office is currently using a system that uses blue light to find any lesions or pre-cancerous signs. It only takes a couple of minutes to do the screening.
You also play a part in early detection. Never be afraid to speak up when you are experiencing abnormalities. Some of the signs you can look for are:
- Mouth sores that won’t heal
- Lumps in the mouth or neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Numbness in the mouth or face
- Growths that look like a wart
- Pain during swallowing, speaking, or chewing
If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment and come in to talk about them. We can do a screening outside of your biannual exams. If you have ever been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that your chance of having it reoccur are very high within the next 5 to 10 years of a first diagnosis.
Invisalign is not new, but their advances are continually improving. There are options to do it in a shorter amount of time. Instead of using the traditional bracket braces, you can choose custom trays to adjust your teeth a little at a time, but still faster. Invisalign is a fast, discreet method for straightening teeth, fixing bites, and correcting jaw problems. It is also more convenient for patients to eat and clean their teeth regularly. We highly recommend Invisalign, but we do offer the traditional form of braces so that our patients can use whatever option with which they are most comfortable.
Technology is continually improving in the field of dentistry. We strive to keep learning and bringing what we feel serves our patients. If you need a dental cleaning, or have any concerns with your health, make an appointment to come in today. We would love to talk about how we can help you.
When people are asked what they wish they could change about their smile, the number one answer is to have whiter teeth. There are many foods and habits that work against this desire though, including smoking, coffee, tea, and wine. One walk down a toothpaste aisle at a major retailer will yield dozens of products claiming to work against these lifestyle habits to give you a whiter smile. However, these products just can’t get you the whitest and brightest smile possible.
Professional whitening uses stronger products that can’t be sold over the counter because a licensed doctor is supervising the application. There are different systems available in various forms, like pens, trays, and lights. Each used in a professional office are going to be stronger than anywhere else, but not all methods are created equal. Many dentists will offer free whitening for life because they use an inferior product.
The system we use in our office though is cutting edge technology that gives you a whiter, brighter smile than any of the other products. It is called the Kor Whitening System. Developed by Dr. Rod Kurthy, a renowned bleaching expert, you can see drastic results even after the first visit. Over the counter products can remove some of the surface stains that are most obvious, but the Kor Whitening System works harder to reveal a winter white smile.
Keeping It White
Once you have your white smile, you want to protect it. We strongly recommend that you keep up with your brushing and flossing at home. Most patients have found they prefer to use a whitening toothpaste to help keep their teeth white. This will not reverse the results, and it may help keep away daily staining attempts.
Another important step to maintaining white teeth is coming in for regular professional cleanings twice a year. This helps to protect your smile because our hygienist will scrape off all plaque and tartar before doing a thorough cleaning. This removes any yellowness that builds up on the edges of teeth or along the gum line that brushing and flossing don’t reach.
As part of a regular dental cleaning, we use a special tool called The AirFLow to polish your teeth. This polisher whitens your teeth better than traditional polishers with only water and sodium bicarbonate. The reason it works so well is because it makes it easier to remove significant stains from areas that your toothbrush and traditional dental tools don’t reach during your cleanings. Not only does a clean mouth ensure that your teeth whitening will stay, it helps make sure that your smile is as bright as possible.
Find Your Results
If you are wanting a whiter and brighter smile, give us a call today. After a quick consultation, we craft a plan together to achieve the results you want in the time frame you need them. We want everyone who walks through our doors to leave feeling confident in their smile. Let us help you get your winter white smile today.
Have you ever wondered how you can get the best results for whiter, brighter teeth?
Dental crowns are a common topic of conversation in dentistry, but mayb
e not to the average patient. Before jumping into any major dental work, it’s important to understand the “what” and “why” of what’s going on in your mouth. Here are the most common questions about dental crowns.
Question: What is a dental crown?
Answer: A crown is a fake tooth that caps one of your natural teeth or a screw for an implants. They are typically made from either ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, or an alloy (including gold). Naturally colored materials are much more discreet for those who prefer that option. Crowns are made in a dental lab, based on a mold that the dentist will take after prepping the area. While it’s being made, you will get a temporary crown.
Question: Why do I need it?
Answer: There are several different problems that a crown can correct. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Strengthen a weak or fractured tooth
- Replace a tooth after a root canal
- Attaching an implant
- Cosmetic purposes
- Replace a filling that is too large for the remaining tooth
Some of these problems need immediate dental work, but others use a crown as a prevention of further problems down the road. We never advise getting a crown unless we feel like it is absolutely necessary.
Question: Does it hurt?
Answer: For the crown to be placed over your existing tooth or dental implant, the dentist will need to do some modifications. For this part of the process you will be numb, so the worst of it will be the achiness you might feel after the feeling comes back.
The placement of a crown does not usually hurt. Most people complain when a temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is placed, when air hits the exposed nerves. This lasts for maybe a minute and doesn’t even require numbing. If you have a root canal, this isn’t even a concern since you don’t have feeling in those nerves anymore. For implants, the pain and swelling is managed with over-the-counter medicines.
Questions: What kind of maintenance is involved?
Answer: Crowns are treated just like any other tooth. Stick to your daily oral hygiene regimen of flossing, brushing, and mouth wash. Make sure to come in for your regular dental check-ups twice a year. If there is a need to treat the tooth inside the crown, the dentist can just drill through it and fill it in when the work is done. You really don’t need to worry about doing anything special for your crown.
While you may not want to replace all your teeth with crowns, it isn’t something you need to be afraid of either. Crowns are a great way to
fix a handful of problems or potential problems. If you feel unsure
The dental field has undergone dramatic technological advancements over the last 100 years. The dental field has been around for hundreds of years, but has not been officially recognized until the mid-1800s. As you can imagine, there has been a lot of technological and medical breakthroughs over the last 200 years. Today, complicated procedures such as root canals, dental implants and full-mouth restoration are possible and are done routinely. With current medicine and equipment, the risk of dangerous complications and infections from dental procedures are rare. What kind of technological changes are happening now in dentistry? Look for the following equipment, and technology the next time you visit the dental office:
Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Manufacture technologies provide dentists with a high-quality, accurate design of items that need to be made. The most common dental items that can now be created using this design technology include crowns, veneers, bridges, and onlays/inlays.
The benefit of laser dentistry is that it offers a much less invasive alternative to many procedures. The light energy that is emitted from lasers results in a shortened and almost painless healing period. This option is commonly available for the treatment of benign tumors, cold sores, crown lengthening, decay removal, gummy smile changes, dental fillings, tongue tie and speech impediment improvements, nerve regeneration for damaged nerves and blood vessels and scars, certain conditions related to sleep apnea, TMJ and tooth sensitivity.
Traditional dental sedation involves IV needles and injections. Patients who were afraid of the dentist were even more fearful because of the use of needles. With oral sedation, there are no needles and the patient remains at some level of consciousness. This low state of consciousness allows the patient to respond to the dentist while being relaxed during a dental procedure.
The dental implant procedure is now a routine procedure that offers more stability and support than prior versions. With the use of titanium, the implants are easily grafted into the jaw bone tissue, causing little or no allergic reactions or rejection. Titanium is also strong and durable. Now, there are also same-day crowns, so patients can get both the implant and the crown that goes on top of it in the same day. This is a huge improvement from traditional implants where patients must wait at least 6 months for the crown to be made.
Many people have negative views of the dental office. The needles, the smell and of course, the horrible sound of the drill. With air-abrasion, the traumatizing dental drill is a thing of the past. Air-abrasion removes decayed teeth without the use of anesthetic. This technique is done by the blasting of air pellets and aluminum oxide onto the tooth and gums.
CAT scans allow dentists to accurately place various restorative dental devices such as dentures. CAT scans work well with the 3-D imaging available with digital photography and x-rays. The combination of these technologies allow dentists to have a clear view of the bone and jaw structure of the mouth.
Just like digital photography, digital x-rays use computers to capture high-quality images of the patient’s mouth. Unlike traditional x-rays that involved a lot of bulky equipment and the exposure of potentially harmful radiation.
Intraoral cameras are tiny cameras that can fit inside a patient’s mouth. Dentists and patients can now make better informed dental decisions because they can now see and view images of what is going on inside a patient’s mouth.
Next time you need to get a filling, you now have an option for composite fillings instead of the traditional gold or amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are easier to apply, are more durable and look better. Dentists can now apply composite resin directly to the tooth and shape and color it to make it look like part of the natural tooth.
Gone are the days of low-quality, film photography. Now photography is digital, using computers to manipulate photos. Dentists use digital photography, for instance to show patients what they would look like after a certain dental procedure. This is great for the patient by helping them to determine whether the procedure is worth it or not and whether it will meet the patient’s expectations or goals.
The dental experience is not what it used to be. It involves a lot less pain, has faster service and quicker recovery time. At LeDowns Dentistry, we strive to stay abreast of the latest dental technology and best practices. Call us today to make an appointment or learn how our advanced dental technology and extensive dental expertise can give you a pleasant dental experience.