Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is it better to bleach my teeth at home or at the dentist?

            More and more people are concerned with having white teeth and are worried about their teeth staining. Some are worried about coffee or red wine staining their teeth, and others are simply looking for a touch up. An initial question is whether they should try over the counter or professional whitening? Should they bleach at home over a longer period of time or try to do it in one appointment at the dentist? Below we will talk about the pros and cons of each strategy.
            A newer trend in teeth whitening is Zoom. It appeared on the market and generated a lot of buzz about same day bleaching. There are certainly a number of cases where it worked out really well and there was no post-op sensitivity, but we have found the in-office bleaching techniques are less predictable and are more likely to lead to sensitivity. The bleach concentration is significantly higher for Zoom, which leads to a higher chance of discomfort. The in-office procedure limits us because it leaves little to no opportunity to customize the bleaching process to each person. It also forces you to remain seated with you mouth open for a long period of time which can cause some jaw discomfort. The bottom line is while it can be effective, we feel there are more challenges and limitations with the in-office procedure.
            The professionally made ‘take-home’ bleaching trays are our typical recommendation. It gives us a chance to design a specific plan to your routine and comfort. We are able to choose the concentrations and intervals of bleaching to achieve good results while limiting sensitivity. If your teeth do not get sensitive and you have time to wear the trays, you could bleach as frequently as four times per day. This helps you achieve the results you are looking for in a shorter period of time. But if your teeth become sensitive, we can scale back the frequency, duration, and strength of the bleach used.
            You may also find bleaching kiosks at the mall or other shopping areas that are not run by certified dental professionals. I would recommend against using these stations to bleach your teeth. Even if you are able to achieve some results, there are still risks to bleaching your teeth that they are not capable of diagnosing or treating properly. Error on the safe side and consult with your dentist or dental hygienist before any type of bleaching (including over the counter).
            Even though there are times where in-office bleaching can be done for certain people, our first recommendation is the take home bleaching. Talk with us about your goals and concerns with bleaching, and we can help create a plan to give you the best results for your situation.

For more information, please visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS

Friday, November 13, 2015

Can teeth erode?

                There are two ways your teeth can be worn away: abrasion/attrition and erosion. Abrasion/attrition is from physical trauma or grinding. Erosion is from outside substances or chemicals. Both can be damaging and cause serious long term dental issues. So what can you do to protect against these factors?

        Early detection is essential. Maintain regular dental visits
        Chewable and effervescent formulations should be avoided, especially when experiencing dry mouth
        Use a soft toothbrush and low abrasion fluoridated toothpaste
        Delay brushing for at least 1 hour after consuming acidic foods like citrus fruits
        If you’re using any acidic medications or lozenges, try to avoid holding them in the mouth for extended periods of time.
        When possible, try tablets over liquid medications
        If you have dry mouth, continue to drink lots of water to counteract problems
        Use toothpastes like Pronamel to help strengthen and protect your teeth if you’re at risk for dental erosion

Other ways we can wear our teeth:

        Abrasion is loss of tooth structure due to mechanical action of a foreign element, such as a hard bristle toothbrush or a lip piercing.
o   You can protect yourself from abrasion is to identify the issue and eliminate the habit or problem.
·         Attrition is loss of tooth structure from mechanical forces of opposing teeth.
o   Typically this is treated by some type of mouth guard. In some cases it can be helped by stress reduction, behavior modification, or treating interferences causing the tissue to grind.
·         Abfraction is loss of tooth structure on the side of the tooth that is caused from occlusal (biting) forces.
o   A night guard is usually recommended to protect the teeth from more destructive forces
o   In some cases the worn areas on the side of the tooth will need to be restored with filling material to strengthen and protect the tooth
If you are ever unsure if your teeth are beginning to wear or if you are not sure whether something may cause a problem, be sure to consult your dentist to be safe.

For more information visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Can Trendy Diets Negatively Impact Oral Health?

            It seems like every year there is a new diet trend that Hollywood stars swear by. We see the results on TV or in a magazine and we think that we have to try it. But it is important to consider how these diets can affect your overall health and the health of your teeth and gums. So before you start trying the latest diet trend, there are a few facts to consider.
            Some of the common diets involve ‘liquid cleanses’ that are designed to help you lose weight and rid the body of unwanted toxins. But it is important to consider what you are ingesting with these cleanses. If they involve lots of citrus fruits or drinks, the teeth can be negatively affected. The constant barrage of acid can wear the enamel and expose the underlying dentin. Dentin is not as durable or as strong as enamel and the teeth can continue to wear even faster than before. Not only does this weaken the tooth but it can cause sensitivity and possibly result in the need for a root canal. Toothpastes like Pronamel can help protect your teeth from the acid, but it will not work with 100% efficacy. I recommend discussing these diets and the possible side effects with your dentist before beginning a ‘juice cleanse.’ Each individual is different and you should know the pros and cons before you begin.
            But can other diets actually help your teeth and gums? There are some studies that suggest there is a connection to healthier teeth and gums to people with vegan diets. However, at the time the article was published the actual cause and effect relationship was not known. It is possible it has to do with the foods you eat or it is a result of someone just being more health conscious in general.
            While I am very supportive of finding ways to stay healthy and stay at a healthy weight, it is important to look at all the pros and cons of different diets or workout plans. You should always talk with your doctor and/or dentist before trying anything that you are unsure about.

For more information, please visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS