Teeth Whitening Mistakes To Avoid

When people get ready to leave the house, one of the last things many of them do is to throw on some accessories to make a statement. What if there was one accessory that you simply had to flash in order to make your appearance “pop” and stand out? A bright white smile is one of the most attractive accessories that anyone can wear. You can take years off your appearance and make yourself appear more attractive by simply having a beautiful smile to wear and show off. Teeth whitening procedures and products are popular among Americans, with many people choosing professional whitening treatments or at-home products.

While professional teeth whitening procedures will produce the best results, many people choose to use at-home whitening products for the lower cost and convenience. It is true that these products can offer results, but it is important to avoid common mistakes that can damage your smile.

People often miss the simplest way to avoid damaging their teeth because they forget the role that their dentist plays in their oral health. Not asking your dentist before you choose to whiten your teeth at home is a big mistake. Your dentist knows the state of your teeth and your oral health. There are simply times when your teeth may not be healthy enough for whitening, and if you do not know this ahead of time, you can permanently damage your smile.

Using at-home whitening products incorrectly or inappropriately is also another main cause of damage to the teeth. Many people mistakenly assume that leaving a whitening product on “just a little longer” will boost the effects and whiten their teeth faster. In fact, opposite results can occur. Many people are left with uneven whitening, white spots on their teeth and gums, weakened tooth enamel that has a grayish hue, and extreme tooth sensitivity that affects them every time they eat or drink. By using whitening products as instructed, people can have success – but it does require reading the directions and following them!

Another common mistake is that people try a “one size fits all” approach. If using whitening trays is your method of choice, it is imperative that you have custom trays made for your mouth. Otherwise, the whitening gel will ooze out of trays that are too small or the whitening gel will not cover all of your teeth in trays that are too large.

Contact Clover Smile Studio to learn more.

Posted on behalf of Clover Smile Studio

Tobacco: A Real Drag on Your Oral Health

It frustrates doctors and dentists to no end to encounter a young adult who has picked up the habit of tobacco use. Few things are more damaging to every aspect of your health than tobacco use: respiratory issues, cancer, gum disease, tooth loss, and death can all be directly linked to tobacco usage. Tobacco is a plant that has been used as a recreational drug for far too many years. The consequences of tobacco use limit your quality of life and cause irreversible damage and disease.

The two specific and detrimental conditions that affect your oral health are periodontal disease and oral cancer. Of course, these are in addition to stained teeth, bad breath, and wrinkles – none of which are positive results from tobacco use.

Gum disease in its earliest form is known as gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease causes tender, red, swollen gums; it is reversible with habit changes and proper oral care. Yet, if allowed to progress, gingivitis will develop into periodontal disease, which is a severe form of irreversible gum disease. All teeth are securely stabilized by the jaw bone and gum tissues. When the gums are weakened, they lose the ability to hold the teeth in place. Tobacco use causes the oral tissues to become irritated, vulnerable to infection, and the inability to protect the teeth. Once severe infection affects the gums, the teeth will begin to die and fall out – requiring extensive and expensive dental repair. Tobacco use is a leading cause of periodontal disease.

Oral cancer is another detrimental disease that is directly caused by tobacco use. Cancer, in any form, is a scary diagnosis because of its high death rate. Oral cancer is a type of cancer with an exceptionally high death rate: 43% within 5 years of diagnosis. Tobacco kills the antibodies inside the mouth that fight off infection. Without these immune-fighting agents, the mouth is left vulnerable to bacterial infection and susceptible to disease.

The use of tobacco is a real drag on your oral health. Whether you smoke, dip, or chew, tobacco will leave its nasty mark on your smile. At Clover Smile Studio, we want to be your advocate for quitting tobacco. Together we can overcome the damage that tobacco has caused to your oral health and set you up for a brighter and healthier future. Call us today.

Posted on behalf of Clover Smile Studio

Is Mouthwash Necessary?

A frequent question that dentists receive is whether or not mouthwash is a necessary component of oral health care. Media advertisements offer a variety of mouthwash options, yet you have never really used it as a consistent part of your oral routine. While flossing and brushing are essential, not everyone actually needs to incorporate mouthwash into their oral health. Whether or not you need to use mouthwash depends on the health of your mouth and your own oral hygiene habits.

  • Cavity prone: Some people are simply more prone to developing cavities than others. Genetics often determine this, so if your parents are/were prone to cavities, then you are at a higher risk for developing cavities. Using a cavity-fighting mouthwash that contains fluoride will help protect the teeth against the development of cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel.
  • Gingivitis and gum disease: Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth at the gum line. Bacteria-laden plaque irritates the gum tissues and causes infection. Gingivitis is the first form of gum disease, and it can be easily reversed through a positive change in your oral health care routine. If gum disease reaches later stages, the results can be irreversible and set you up for a lifetime of oral problems. Those with gingivitis should use an antibacterial mouthwash that contains alcohol and chlorhexidine to kill the bacteria inside the mouth. Note: mouthwash will not remove plaque from the teeth – only flossing and regular dental cleanings can do this.
  • Pregnancy: Hormones plaque a huge role in the health of the mouth. Women who are pregnant undergo huge fluctuations in hormones throughout their pregnancies, leaving the mouth vulnerable to gum disease. Periodontal disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. Any type of bacterial infection within the mouth can pass into the blood stream, travel to the uterus, and expose a growing baby to life-threatening issues. Mouthwash can help kill bacteria and protect an expectant mother and her growing baby.

Of course, there is no substitute for flossing, brushing, and keeping regular dental visits. Mouthwash is not meant as a replacement, but as an “add on” for those who may need a little more help keeping their oral health at an optimal level. Contact Clover Smile Studio for our top mouthwash recommendations.

Posted on behalf of Clover Smile Studio

Cavity Prevention is Up to You

Dental cavities are a worldwide chronic condition that has the potential to completely ruin a person’s smile. The most frustrating aspect of this chronic condition is that cavities are completely preventable. Dental cavities are directly linked to how well people take care of their teeth and their oral health. Good habits are often hard to implement, and bad habits are hard to break – yet when your entire health is affected by your choices, making the decision to start good habits is essential.

The health of your mouth is a direct indication of the health of your entire body. Your mouth is like a mirror of your overall health, and if that mirror is not reflecting what you want it to, it is time to make a difference.

Dental plaque is the cause of cavities. If you notice a “fuzzy” film on your teeth at the end of the day or have ever scraped off a sticky, white substance from your teeth then you know what plaque is. Plaque is the result of millions of oral bacteria at work inside your mouth. These bacteria are present to help your mouth break down the tiny particles left behind after eating. Yet, as these bacteria go to work, they produce acids to make their job more effective. When plaque coats your teeth, your teeth are coated with acid-producing bacteria that will eat their way through your tooth enamel. This is exactly how cavities are formed. Cavities are permanent damage to your teeth.

Cavities are entirely preventable with proper oral health care and good dietary choices. Flossing is the most neglected oral health care habit, yet it is the most important thing you can do for your teeth. Floss is the only dental tool specifically designed to slide underneath plaque and scrape it away from the teeth. Brushing is also essential as it cleans the surfaces of the teeth and loosens particles trapped in the grooves and pits of the teeth. Regular dental visits are also vital to your oral health and cavity prevention because it allows your teeth to be professionally cleaned and evaluated on a consistent basis. Lastly, your dietary choices have a huge impact on your smile. It is important to limit acidic, sugary foods and beverages, as well as alcohol; for those who smoke or use tobacco – now is the time to quit.

At Clover Smile Studio, we want to partner with you in cavity prevention. Your permanent teeth are meant to last you for a lifetime. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment for your next cleaning and exam.

Posted on behalf of Clover Smile Studio