What Whitening Products Work?

Teeth Whitening

There are a lot of toothpastes out there and a lot of ingredient variety, but at least you can count on there being a few main ingredients: an abrasive for scraping teeth clean, a detergent to foam the paste up and let you know it’s working, flavors to cut through the bad taste of the detergent, and probably fluoride to recrystallize enamel and keep your teeth protected from the damage done by plaque-causing bacteria.

But while the government regulates toothpaste as a health product, tooth whitening kits don’t get the same level of oversight. Much like how health supplements start out with basic multivitamins but go on to include plant extracts and beauty products can include a lot of dubious claims and strange ingredients, teeth whiteners can include chemicals with guaranteed results and a lot of all-natural ingredients that are mostly there to sound good.

For any tooth care product, you should first look for the ADA seal of approval. The American Dental Association isn’t a government organization, so products and companies don’t have to get their approval, but having that square seal on the packaging is a way the product can guarantee that it does what it says and does it well enough to pass lab tests and satisfy a panel of experts. It’s completely possible that a product without the seal can do what it promises, but it’s hard to say for certain without it.

What to look for?

Tooth bleaching products don’t often come with the ADA seal, so the second best thing you can do is check the ingredient list for a bleaching chemical. Hydrogen peroxide and several related chemicals (mostly carbamide peroxide) are popular since they’re safe enough to put on your teeth, and while they can cause sensitivity in teeth and gums that sensitivity goes away faster than the whiteness does. Bleaching products can contain other chemicals, compounds, and natural ingredients, but peroxide is the key ingredient and the ADA has said a product with 10 percent carbamide peroxide is the most effective balance.

Then again, you can always go to your local dentist’s office for professional teeth whitening. Dentists can use stronger bleaching products since you’re in an expert’s care, plus a custom-made tray will keep the peroxide off your gums. So before you decide to try something from the teeth whitening section, think about whether it might be worth your time to get a professional’s touch.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity And What To Do About It

Tooth sensitivity makes it hard to eat certain foods, and it’s often a sign of bigger problems. When you eat or drink something cold or hot, like a cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream, you might feel some pain thanks to a burned tongue or a cold headache. What you shouldn’t feel is a spike of pain coming from one or more of your teeth.

One major cause of tooth sensitivity is dental treatments, and teeth bleaching is a common culprit. If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry: your teeth will go back to normal within a few hours.

But then there’s the problem of enamel erosion. Enamel protects the dentin and pulp layers underneath it from hot and cold temperatures, and if your tooth is sensitive that can mean your enamel is wearing thin.

There are several different reasons this can happen:

• Tooth decay and cavities are so common that almost everyone on the planet has had at least once.

• Enamel never grows back, so after years and decades of acidic drinks and sugary foods the enamel on all your teeth will become thinner and your teeth more sensitive.

• Grinding your teeth will slowly wear them down.

• If you use a hard brush with gritty toothpaste, it can wear down your enamel.

The other major cause is gum recession. Usually caused by infections, gum recession can leave your tooth root exposed, and your roots don’t have a protective layer of enamel.

Since sensitive teeth are always a symptom of something else, the cure depends on the cause. If the problem is regular tooth decay, the solution can be as simple as a cavity filling. In the case that your gums are receding, you might be able to fix the problem with a graft. If the real trouble is that your teeth are getting old, you may be able to treat it using a desensitizing toothpaste that numbs the nerve endings in your mouth.

You may feel a shooting pain coming from your tooth that’s a sign that something in your mouth needs to change. Unless the sensitivity goes away on its own and doesn’t come back, you should see your dentist soon to figure out what’s causing it and what you can do to make things better.

Overcome Dental Anxiety

Do you experience anxiety when you think about going to the dentist? Millions of people all around the United States have some feelings of trepidation or concern when it comes to their dental health.

Trustworthy, reliable dentists understand that you want a calm and relaxing environment when you see them. However, there are also steps you can take to help you reduce your dental anxiety.

Here are some important facts for you to know:

— Dental anxiety is one of the most common fears in adults, so remember that you are not alone.

— Many dental health issues are often quick and easy to address if they are diagnosed early on.

— Restorative and preventative dentistry can help you, even if you haven’t seen a dentist in years.

When it comes to dental anxiety, one of the most important things you can do is be open and honest with your dentist. Being forthright about your concerns and needs will help ensure the dentist can make suitable accommodations.

Some common concerns include:

1) Fear of Pain

Understand that today’s dentistry is very advanced compared to what you might have been used to years ago. Many procedures that might have been invasive at one time are now completed in a much faster manner, with little or no discomfort.

2) Concern About Anesthesia

In a dentist’s office, the utmost care is taken in the use of any anesthesia. Some people have a concern that anesthesia might not work. On the other hand, many patients actually request full sedation so that they needn’t worry during a procedure.

3) Concerns About Personal Space or Embarrassment

If you are self-conscious or concerned about your mouth in some way, speak to your dentist to find out what steps you can take before the procedure. A rinse, flossing, or brushing directly before the procedure might help.

Dental anxiety often fades away after a first successful procedure. Until you feel comfortable, it is a good idea to establish a hand signal you can use if you need your dentist to stop right away. Your comfort is critical to any procedure!

Here are some ideas on making a dental procedure easier:

— Go to bed early the day before and do your best to get sufficient rest.

— Plan for a “reward” that you will get immediately after the procedure.

— Practice deep breathing, which can help anxiety during a procedure.

— Bring a supportive friend or family member to your office visit.

Need a dentist in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, or Westlake Village? Our supportive dental office will help you get the care you need!