6 Facts You Need To Know About Teeth Bleaching
July 6, 2018
Everyone wants white teeth. They are generally considered more appealing, and the confidence that a nice set of pearly whites gives is immeasurable. However, not many people know about the entire process behind teeth bleaching. As a result, there tends to be a lot of misinformation. To set the record straight, here are 6 teeth bleaching facts!
1. Professional Teeth Bleaching Does Not Permanently Hurt Your Teeth
This is an incredibly common misconception. Teeth whitening is a well understood and tested practice. Although it does have potential to damage teeth, as long as the instructions that will be given to you by the dental professional at our office in Cambridge, MA are followed closely, the enamel of your teeth will remain intact.
2. Teeth Whitening Works Because Your Teeth Are Porous
That’s right— just like a sponge, your teeth have pores in them. These pores can open, similar to the way that pores in your skin behave. When external agents like coffee, tobacco smoke, or wine rush past your teeth, these pores collect them. These stains are permanent unless you take action to remove them, e.g. teeth bleaching. The chemical compounds in teeth bleaching solutions are designed to carefully push out the staining “stuff” in the pores in your teeth.
3. Sensitivity After Treatment Is Normal
Although many people believe it, professional teeth bleaching will not permanently damage your teeth. However, because of how it works, your teeth can become dehydrated after having their pores cleaned. This leaves them exposed, especially to extreme changes in temperature. This sensation should go away in about 24 hours, but everyone’s teeth are different. You can also try using a special fluoride treatment to help speed up the process if you have particularly sensitive teeth.
4. The Removal Of Teeth Stains Is A Process
You will often see teeth whitening products marketed as “fast-acting” and they “work overnight!”, but these are false promises. UV lights may offer a quick fix, but it is not long lasting unless you couple it with custom teeth bleaching. If you want a safe and long lasting tooth whitening process, you will need custom-fit trays that you get from the dentist. While the active ingredients in most commercially available teeth-whiteners are similar, custom-fit trays offer unparalleled coverage. Furthermore, depending on the extent of the staining and the patient’s unique teeth, the process could take days, weeks, or even months to achieve its full potential. Consider anything that promises “fast results” to be dangerous or a flat-out lie.
5. Your Teeth Have An “Original” Shade Of White
Since teeth bleaching works by removing stains from your teeth, it is impossible to have your teeth become whiter than they are in their natural state. Once your teeth have returned to their original shade of white, your teeth won’t get whiter.
6. Make Sure To Use The Bleach Kit Right Before You Sleep
If you bleach your teeth during the day, you will more than likely need to eat at some point. Remember how your teeth are like a dry sponge after treatment? That means they will “suck up” staining agents significantly more easily until they are rehydrated. To get the best results, consider using your bleach kit before bed.
Curious about how to get started? Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (617) 491-1403!
How Do I Get My Kids to Brush and Floss Their Teeth?
June 13, 2018
We all know oral hygiene is important — but how do we get our children to care about their own oral health? Even if your child knows the danger of cavities and the importance of brushing and flossing, it can be hard to get kids to consistently care for their own teeth. Here are just a few tips for how to help your children brush and floss regularly.
Encourage Kids to Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss
For children, a sense of personal agency is important. The goal of getting your child to brush and floss on their own teaches them to take responsibility for the task — so it’s a good idea to let them have a choice in the matter.
When you go to the grocery store, let your child pick out their own teeth-cleaning supplies. You can add in some restrictions based on your budget, and of course you can make sure they pick out good quality toothpaste and brushes. When you provide your child with a choice between brushes or flavors of toothpaste, you can dramatically improve their independence with oral health.
Make It A Family Activity
Kids don’t just learn from what you tell them — they also learn from what they see you do. To get your child to brush and floss on their own, it helps if they can see you brushing and flossing regularly as well.
When you help your kid get ready for the day, brush your teeth together. Do the same thing at night. Even if you can only manage one or the other, regularly seeing a parent caring for their teeth can really help a child get into the habit themselves. And don’t forget to floss! If you don’t do it regularly, they probably won’t, either. Remember, you should be flossing once a day, and so should your kids!
Keep A Record
You can motivate your child by keeping a record of their dental hygiene routine. There’s no need to make it punitive — rather, make it a fun activity for your kids. Create a calendar and let them put a sticker down for each day they brush and floss. You can also check to make sure that they’re brushing and flossing properly — doing it with them will help — and you can give an extra sticker for when they do a really good job.
If your child earns a certain amount of stickers, you can give them a prize. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but the process of earning a prize through regular brushing and flossing can be a good motivator.
Talk About The Importance of Oral Health
Your child may already know from school and the dentist that it’s important to brush and floss. But it’s also important that they know why they need to care for their teeth. This isn’t to scare them into brushing — asking your child to brush and floss solely out of fear isn’t healthy. Rather, the goal is to try and help your child understand the benefits of good oral health, and the consequences of poor oral health.
Need help explaining good oral health to your kids? You can get excellent home care education at Cambridgeside Dental Associates. Contact our office in Cambridge to learn more!
3 Advantages of Dental Implants
May 18, 2018
Has a missing tooth got you feeling embarrassed? Are you avoiding some of your favorite foods because a lost tooth is keeping you from your full crunching potential? Have you found yourself looking grouchy in pictures due to hiding your incomplete smile? You may be a great candidate for a dental implant.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that is inserted into the jaw bone by your dentist. The post and the bone then bond together over the course of a few months, creating a sturdy foundation for an artificial tooth made to match your natural teeth. The tooth is then attached to the rod in a second procedure.
While dental implants may sound a little scary, the procedure is low on the pain scale and most patients are able to go about their daily lives without much interruption. There are three major advantages to having a dental implant: improved oral health, overall comfort, and confidence.
Improved Oral Health
When one or more of your adult teeth are missing, deterioration of the jawbone can occur. This can actually change the shape of your facial structure over time. Having a dental implant is a great way to prevent such deterioration because the post and artificial tooth help maintain your facial structure. Also, unlike some other procedures, dental implants leave the surrounding teeth completely intact — the more natural healthy teeth you have, the better long-term oral health you will have.
Unlike removable dentures, dental implants become a part of you — they won't slide around when you are eating or speaking. You can eat your favorite foods with friends or nail that speech with confidence! Your dental implant stays put and cleaning it is as simple as brushing and flossing daily. With proper oral care your implant can last a lifetime, so you won't have to go back for another procedure.
Missing a tooth when you are a child can be exciting and downright adorable. Missing a tooth when you are an adult, on the other hand, can leave you feeling self-conscious and prevent you from smiling as much as you normally would. With a dental implant, your smile looks and feels natural. The post provides a strong anchor much like your own tooth root, and the artificial tooth created by your doctor will match your natural teeth. No one will know you have a dental implant!
Considering dental implants? Contact us to discuss your options with our team of dental experts. Our cosmetic dentistry specialists conveniently serve the Greater Boston area. We make the process as easy and painless as possible — we’ll get you back to smiling like your old self in no time!
6 Signs You’re an Excellent Candidate for Porcelain Dental Veneers
April 11, 2018
Porcelain dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available. It’s not hard to see why — the wafer-thin porcelain shells are custom-made to hide teeth imperfections such as cracks, chips, gaps or stains, resulting in a bright, beautiful smile.
While dental bonding is also an option for patients looking to revitalize the appearance of their teeth, the quality of porcelain veneers is exceptionally better. With proper care, veneers can last up to fifteen years!
Wondering if porcelain dental veneers are right for you? Keep reading for six signs that show you’re ready to transform your smile with porcelain veneers.
You want a long-term solution for crooked, gapped or stained teeth
While most people think of braces or Invisalign as the best dental treatment for crooked teeth, porcelain veneers can be a faster, more viable option — the application process is much quicker than applying braces, which can take months or even years of maintenance and routine appointments to achieve your ideal smile.
However, whether or not you’re a good candidate for porcelain veneers depends on how far out of alignment your teeth are — applying porcelain veneers to severely misaligned teeth can ultimately result in cracks in the porcelain. It’s always best to schedule a consultation with your dentist so they can examine your teeth and determine the solution that best fits your needs.
If your teeth are stained from coffee, wine, or cigarettes, porcelain veneers can also be an excellent way to improve the overall color, shape and size of your teeth. The non-porous surface of porcelain veneers is resistant to stains, so you won’t have to worry about regular teeth bleaching or over-the-counter whitening products.
You can clearly articulate your “smile goal” to your dentist
When you’re considering porcelain veneers, it’s important to communicate your expectations to your dentist. During your initial consultation, explain what you don’t like about your teeth and what you hope to change. Describe your ideal tooth shape, size, and color. It also doesn’t hurt to bring in photos of a smile that’s similar to what you want — this will help your dentist determine the amount of time and materials needed to create your ideal smile.
Your teeth have a healthy amount of tooth enamel
In order to prepare your teeth for veneers, your dentist must remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of each tooth. This process helps the porcelain adhere to the tooth during the bonding process. If the enamel on your teeth has been worn away (this typically happens by consuming liquids with a high acid content, such as soda or fruit drinks), there won’t be enough of a foundation for the veneer to bond to your teeth.
During your porcelain veneer consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth to see if you have sufficient tooth enamel for veneers.
You don’t have a habit of grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth wears down the surface of each tooth which can result in loose teeth, fractures or misalignment of your bite over time. Porcelain veneers are typically not suitable for those who grind their teeth, as the constant friction can cause veneers to crack, chip or break.
You’re committed to routine, daily oral hygiene and dental care
Brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis is the best way to care for your teeth and reduce the risk of dental problems down the road. If you have weak teeth due to cavities, tooth decay or gum disease, you are likely not a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Veneers are permanently bonded to your natural teeth, so it’s vital that your underlying teeth and gums are healthy.
You see your dentist for regularly scheduled visits
Here at Cambridgeside Dental, the veneer procedure is divided into three appointments:
- 1. Examine teeth to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan
- 2. Prepare teeth for veneer application
- 3. Bond veneers to natural teeth
These visits may be scheduled over a period of several weeks, as it takes some time to customize the veneers to fit your natural teeth. Before you commit to porcelain veneers, make sure you can meet your appointment obligations. Regular visits to your dental office helps keep your veneers in the best shape possible, resulting in a natural smile that will last for years to come.
Curious to know more about porcelain dental veneers? Call us at (617) 491-1403 or schedule an appointment online to learn how veneers can change your life. Our dentists in Cambridge are happy to work with you to create the smile you’ve always wanted!
5 Tips to Prevent Cavities
March 3rd, 2018
Keeping your teeth healthy and warding off tooth decay can be harder than you think. There are a lot of things stacked against you in the tooth decay fight, so it is important to be constantly on the offense. Healthy teeth are all about prevention - so here are some ways you can prevent tooth decay and keep those dentists visits to a minimum.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay describes the destruction of the tooth - both the enamel and the dentin layer of the tooth. Tooth decay occurs when foods and drinks containing carbohydrates (sugar and starches) are left on the teeth. When remnants of these foods are left in the mouth, the bacteria in your mouth will digest it and turn it into acid. This acid can slowly erode your enamel over time, causing cavities.
Cavities can be painful, not to mention turn into more serious problems. When left untreated, cavities can become infected and result in the need for tooth extraction.
How to Prevent Cavities and Decay
Preventing cavities sounds like hard work, but work these tips into your daily routine and you will find that it is actually quite easy.
1. Brush your teeth.
This seems like common sense, but many people do not brush their teeth often enough or long enough. In order to reap the benefits of brushing, you should brush at least two times per day. Many people brush their teeth upon waking and before going to bed. It is recommended to also brush your teeth after each meal, if you want to up your dental hygiene game.
While we’re on the subject of brushing - you need to brush your teeth for two minutes per brushing. Many people who brush regularly still encounter cavities because they are using the improper technique. Set a timer and make sure you brush for two minutes, using circular motions. While you’re at it, make sure you are using a fluoridated toothpaste.
2. Floss every day.
Many people know that they are supposed to floss, but don’t. As annoying as it may be to make flossing a part of your routine, it is very important that you floss once a day. Food gets stuck between your teeth, and most of the time brushing can’t get it out. This makes the perfect breeding ground for cavities, so get to flossing!
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Many types of mouthwash contain antiseptic properties that can kill cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Rinsing also helps remove any food/debris stuck in your teeth.
4. Avoid cavity-causing foods.
As we mentioned, carbohydrates are the number one culprit for cavities. Avoid foods like candy, chips, and pretzels which can stick to the surface of the teeth. Brush your teeth soon after eating foods high in sugar or that are sticky in texture.
5. Visit your dentist regularly.
You should visit your dentist for a cleaning at least two times per year. During your visit, your dental hygienist will clean any plaque or tartar from your teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. Cavities can also be diagnosed during these appointments.
If you suspect you have a cavity or if you are due for a dental cleaning, contact Cambridgeside Dental Associates in Cambridge, MA to schedule an appointment!
Cambridgeside - 4 Ways to Improve Your Dental Health in 2018
January 22nd, 2018
New year’s resolutions are usually centered around fitness, diet, and forming new habits. This year, why not resolve to work on your dental health? Your dental health directly affects you overall health, not to mention has a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
Flossing and Brushing (the Right Way)
If you aren’t brushing and flossing your teeth every day, that’s a problem. Bacteria and plaque build up on your teeth and in your mouth which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and more. Without brushing and flossing, the plaque build up can turn into tartar. Tartar needs to be removed by a dental hygienist, whereas plaque can be removed by you at home. Be sure to brush your teeth in gentle back and forth strokes for at least two minutes. Floss in between all of your teeth, and make sure to do it gently. Do this twice per day.
You don’t want your gums to be swollen and bleeding after flossing. If you notice bleeding and swelling after even gentle flossing, consult your dentist. This can be a sign of gum disease.
Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
Many dentists agree that the oscillation motion from an electric toothbrush clean teeth more thoroughly and faster. If you are looking to up your toothbrush game, as your dentist for recommendations!
Be Aware of Grinding Your Teeth
If you wake up with a sore jaw, headache, and tooth pain, you may be grinding your teeth at night. This can cause extreme tooth pain by exposing nerves over time, create issues with the shape of your teeth, and create issues with your jaw. If you suspect you are grinding your teeth at night, ask a dentist for help. They may find that a mouthguard is necessary to stop damage from nighttime grinding.
See Your Dentist
This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised (or maybe not) by the amount of people who go years without seeing a dentist! It’s not always apparent when there is an issue with your teeth, and most people only make an appointment when they notice something is wrong. We encourage you not to wait until you are feeling pain or noticing symptoms of a problem, and instead take a more proactive approach. Preventative dental care can help you avoid big problems down the line.
Interested in scheduling an appointment with Cambridgeside Dental Associates? Contact us today!
5 Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety
January 3rd, 2018
Everyone experiences some level of anxiety when visiting the dentist. For some people, however, this anxiety is debilitating enough to avoid going altogether. Even a simple check-up and cleaning can insight fear for some. Here at Cambridgeside Dental, we understand that not all patients enjoy coming into our office. That’s why we are dedicated to making our patients as comfortable as possible during their visit, whether they're here for a routine cleaning or dental surgery.
Your dental health is extremely important, so here are some tips you can use to manage your dentist-induced anxiety and get you through the door!
Get to Know Your Dentist
Getting to know the dentist who will be responsible for your dental health can ease your anxiety. It is normal to feel anxiety when going to the dentist, especially if you’ve never been to that dentist before. Get to know your dentist a little bit before your appointment by reading their online bios, looking at their CV and going to a consultation. This way, you know what to expect before your appointment, and you can decide if this dentist is the best fit for you.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Having a familiar face in the office with you can relieve a lot of anxiety. In some cases, this person can come to your appointment with you. This can help you remain calm and make decisions during your visit.
In most dentists offices, there are televisions set up with movies playing to help distract patients. Focusing on something other than your procedure can be extremely helpful to ease anxiety during your appointment. Find something to distract yourself during your appointment, whether it’s watching a movie or looking out of the window.
Try Relaxation Techniques
There are many relaxation techniques you can learn to help calm you down during your appointment! One technique that we’ve seen success with is controlled breathing. To do this, take in a big breath, holding it for a few seconds, and letting it out slowly. This can help relax your muscles and slow down your heartbeat.
You may also find progressive relaxation helpful. To do this, you must consciously try to relax every muscle in your body, one by one. Start with your toes and move all the way up to your head. Progressive relaxation helps relax your muscles which can reduce pain.
Discuss Other Options
If you have tried these techniques but still can’t seem to bring yourself to your dentist's office, call your dentist to discuss your options. There may be sedatives, numbing agents and prescriptions appropriate for your situation.
If you feel nervous about coming in to see the dentist, you’re not alone. The first step to breaking that fear is to schedule your dental appointment with Cambridgeside Dental Associates here in Cambridge, MA. We’re here to help you keep your dental health in top shape while providing a relaxing and compassionate environment. Contact us to schedule your appointment with us today!
Years of coffee, tea, wine and/or smoking got your teeth looking dull? Here at Cambridgeside Dental Associates, we have a deep understanding of how the state of your teeth can affect your confidence and by association, your life. That is why we offer such a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services - including teeth whitening. Want to get back to flashing those pearly whites? If you’ve been thinking about teeth whitening but aren’t quite sure what to expect, this article is for you.
Cambridgeside Dental Associates offers patients in the Cambridge, MA area two effective teeth whitening options. The Zoom! Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching.
The Basics of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is probably nothing new to you. Gels, strips and other at-home whitening methods have been around for years. If those methods of whitening work, why should you choose to have your professionally whitened?
The answer is that professional equipment and materials deliver professional results. Your teeth will be whiter faster, and in a safer way.
Zoom! In-Office Teeth Whitening System
Cambridgeside Dental Associates is one of few dental practices offering a teeth whitening system that can lighten your teeth eight shades in under a week. The Zoom! Whitening system is quick, safe and extremely effective. Here’s how it works.
The Zoom! Whitening system uses a gel which has the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient helps quickly bleach teeth without changing the structure of the tooth. You will come into our office for the treatment. After a brief preparation period, your teeth will be bleached for around an hour. Afterward, a five-minute fluoride treatment will be applied to end the process. You will take home an at-home gel that will be used as directed by your dentist for the next few days. Typically, at-home treatments last between four and eight hours per application. Some patients are able to achieve a six-shade difference in just three nights of use.
Teeth bleaching is extremely beneficial for people who are trying to correct brown, yellow or mottled tooth stains. It works for people of all ages and is a near-permanent solution for discolored teeth. No more buying expensive whitening strips and gels! Here’s how it works.
You will come into our office to have a custom tooth mold taken. Out of this mold, a custom whitening splint will be created. You will be able to pick this up at the office as well. You will also receive a special bleaching agent to use. With only a few hours of wear each day, the splint and bleaching agents will have your smile looking bright white! After desired results are achieved, you only need to maintain results once every month or so.
Would you like to learn more about your teeth whitening options? Contact Cambridgeside Dental Associates in MA to see if teeth whitening is right for you!