How do I know which Toothpaste to pick?

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

How do I know which Toothpaste to pick?

When it comes to choosing toothpaste, sometimes it seems like your options are endless. On the drugstore shelves you’ll see dozens of varieties that claim to whiten your teeth, decrease tooth sensitivity, prevent cavities, heal your gums, protect against tartar—even all of the above! But toothpaste doesn’t just polish teeth; it also removes the bacteria that cause dental plaque and bad breath, so it’s important select a brand that is approved by the American Dental Association. Since everyone has different needs, here are some tips that will help you choose a toothpaste to meet your individual needs.

Types of Toothpaste

  • Anti-cavity: This type of toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride not only helps to prevent decay, it also actively strengthens tooth enamel.
  • Anti-gingivitis: If have tender, swollen gums that bleed when you irritate them, this is probably an early sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Anti-gingivitis toothpaste helps fight oral bacteria and restore gum health, preventing more serious gum disease.
  • Desensitizing: If your teeth hurt when you consume things like ice cream or cold drinks, this toothpaste can help you. It will provide relief by blocking the tooth’s pain signal to the nerve so that sharp changes in temperature aren’t so painful.
  • Tartar-control: This toothpaste will help control tartar. However, the best way to remove tartar is by scheduling a professional dental cleaning with your Dental Hygienist.
  • Whitening: This toothpaste contains chemicals that are able to help whiten and brighten tooth enamel, thus maintaining the natural color of your teeth. If your teeth are sensitive this is a toothpaste you want to avoid.
  • Children’s: Fluoride or Fluoride free?  When making this decision it is important that you are aware if your child is swallowing the toothpaste.  If they have not learned to spit it out, stick with a non Fluoride toothpaste.  Fluoride is a great benefit for children as it helps remineralize teeth and prevent tooth decay.

It is recommended that everyone brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes and floss daily.  You only need a pea size amount of toothpaste. Today there is toothpaste to meet the oral needs of everyone. But while all of the products on the shelf might seem the same, with a little help from your Dentist or Dental Hygienist, you can determine which is right for you. It is important to schedule dental checkups and professional cleanings twice a year to prevent tooth sensitivity, gum disease, tartar buildup, and tooth decay. We hope to see you soon in one of your dental offices.

Sources:

www.colgate.com

www.ada.com

Why are My Teeth Yellow?

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Nora Torrez, RDH

Why are my teeth yellow?

What causes teeth stains?

Four classifications:

Extrinsic stains:  is when our enamel becomes stained. The main causes would be coffee, wine, soda, dark colored beverages or smoking.

Intrinsic stains:  is when our dentin (inner structure of tooth) darkens or has a yellow tint. This often occurs due to trauma.

Exogenous stains:  May be extrinsic or intrinsic. It occurs once the tooth has developed.

Endogenous stains:  happens during the development of the teeth. Tetracycline (antibiotic) stains is one of the common causes. If the antibiotic was taken during the development stage it binds to the dentin causing a grey or brown color. Best treatment for this type of staining would be crowns or veneers.

Stains that are on the enamel may be removed by your Dental Hygienist.  Professional whitening can also help. In office bleaching or take home trays.  Check out this recent blog about our Smiles for Life program, going on until June 30th.

Poor homecare can also cause our teeth to appear discolored. Thick, heavy plaque will appear yellow if left on teeth.

Make sure you are on track with your homecare! Brushing twice daily, morning and before bed. Make sure you are doing it 2 minutes each time. And don’t forget the flossing before bed.

If you drink coffee, wine or tea regularly using a straw or rinsing with water afterwards can help with the staining.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask your Dental Hygienist or Dentist at your next visit.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

www.oralb.com

www.colgate.com

www.rdhmag.com

Whitening Options

PeggyS

Peggy Storr RDH

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When considering whitening your teeth, the options may seem confusing. There are many products that you can buy over the counter, online, or in your dental office; should you whiten at home, should you go in and have it done professionally, or just cross your fingers and hope that your toothpaste will do what it says it will do?

For starters, many whitening toothpastes can often have positive whitening and brightening effect because they have abrasive agents that remove surface staining. However, these toothpastes don’t lighten the tooth from the inside. The jury is out on too much use of abrasive products. I think occasional use of these kinds of toothpastes is not harmful.

Another inexpensive option is of course the whitening strips, which some patients of mine have had good results with. They are peroxide based and seem to work best in young adults. The disadvantage to these is they can sometimes be tedious, as you need to use them twice daily and they slip and slide.  Whitening rinses are also peroxide based like the strips, but they definitely are less effective than the strips and take up to 12 weeks to see results.

The fastest and most effective way if you’re willing to make the investment is in-office whitening. In our office, for example, a dental assistant will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth and you will have results in about 60 minutes. My daughter had this done after she got her braces off and the results were dramatic! You can also have trays made custom to your teeth and then take the product home and do it yourself. These trays will fit your teeth perfectly, and thus, work better than the over-the-counter trays. In addition, they won’t irritate your gum tissue.  Now is a great time to whiten your teeth professionally.  The Smiles for Life program is open from now until the end of June.  100% goes to children’s charities and it’s tax deductible for you.  Contact us for more details!

Overall, there really is no wrong way to go. It’s all in your preference, your budget, and your time frame. For example, if you want to get your teeth whitened for your wedding, the in-office treatment is the way to go for sure. ☺ But remember, your oral health is most important before you consider any bleaching option. Always check with your dental professional first!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sourcehttp://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening

Smiles For Life

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

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From March – June, our offices will be participating in Smiles for Life.

What is Smiles for Life? The Smiles for Life Foundation raises money for seriously ill, disabled, and underprivileged children in our local communities and around the world.  It also helps sponsor Dental Humanitarian trips throughout the world.

How does it work?  We welcome you to our office, whether it’s your first visit or you are a long time patient.  Ultradent donates the whitening materials, and our Dentists donate their time.  Together, we offer professional teeth whitening services at substantially reduced prices (donations).  You may choose between three different whitening options:

1. Professionally made-to-fit-your-mouth trays and 8 tubes of take home whitening gel
2. In Office Whitening
3. In Office Whitening with take home trays and 8 tubes of take home whitening gel

Where does my donation go?  No proceeds stay in the office.  100% of your donation goes to children’s charities!  50% will go to Hope Arising, a charity that our offices work directly with.  The other 50% is given to a children’s charity approved by the Smiles For Life Foundation. And for you, it is all tax deductible!

What are the benefits to professional whitening? Whitening helps you look and feel younger.  And when you professionally whiten your teeth, you are ensuring a safer, more effective way of whitening.  Over the counter items may be quicker and cheaper, but they are not tailored to your specific mouth and are not as effective.  If you have ever wanted to whiten, now is the time.  Everybody wins!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

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Sources:

If you would like more information on Smiles for Life, please check out this short video: http://youtu.be/asAom_V5ukY or visit them at: http://www.smilesforlife.org

If you would like to learn more about the organization we specifically work with, Hope Arising, you may check out this video: http://youtu.be/zi06jlAVQOc or visit their website here: http://hopearising.org  (you may even see some of our great Doctors pictured on their page!)

Hydrogen Peroxide

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Lora Cook RDH

 Is Using Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouth Rinse Safe?

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Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action!  When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in.  Best of all it is inexpensive. 

 However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long.  It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush.  Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections. 

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers. 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/hydrogen-peroxide-as-mouthwash.html

http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/tooth-whiteners/l-3/6-tooth-whitening-side-effects.htm

http://www.healthline.com/health/thrush#Symptoms4

Toothpaste

Kara

Kara Johansen BSRDH

The dental isle in the grocery store can be very overwhelming. Rows and rows of toothpastes, mouth rinses, and floss. We are here to help make that isle less confusing.  In a previous post Julie West BS RDH wrote about mouth rinses, thanks Julie! So here is the breakdown of toothpaste.

What is the purpose of toothpaste?

There are 4 reasons to use toothpaste. 1. Fluoride 2. Bacterial Plaque reduction 3. Tartar Inhibition 4. Desensitization. Here is the breakdown of each type of toothpaste.

Fluoride-

  • Fluoride has been the greatest public health venture in the United States. The most rampant form of disease in children is dental decay. Fluoride can cause a 20-30% decrease in decay (451, Wilkins). The fluoride remineralizes areas of decay that are in the beginning stages. When your dentist says they are going to “watch” a tooth it means that the he/she understands the decay can remineralize with good oral hygiene, great nutritional habits and fluoride use.
  • Here is a tip: switch up your oral hygiene routine.
  1. Mouthwash
  2. Floss
  3.  Brush for 2 min with fluoridated toothpaste.
  4. Walk away. Do not rinse after you brush. You want the fluoride to stay on your teeth and remineralize that weak spot that the dentist is watching.
  • Fluoride also helps with: tooth sensitivity, deceases tooth loss, promotes less frequency of periodontal diseases, overall bone health and bacterial reduction.

Bacterial Plaque Reduction-

  • There are different products in toothpastes to decrease the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Some of these products are: Triclosan, fluoride, Chlorhexidine, peroxide and bicarbonate, sanguinaria, and essential oils.
  • Brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce the majority of cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. Plaque is like pancake batter, it is sticky. Mechanical Removal will have the greatest affect on decreasing plaque levels in the mouth.

Dental plaque

http://mpkb.org/home/pathogenesis/microbiota/biofilm

Tartar Inhibition

  • The goal of these toothpastes are to reduce the production of tartar. These toothpastes however, do not have any effect on existing tatar. The toothpastes is meant to reduce the amount of tartar initially created. The only true way to get rid of tartar is mechanical removal by your dentist or hygienist. Come for you cleanings, they would love to help you out with that part. If you don’t love the scrapping do you part at home, brush with an electric toothbrush and floss two times per day.

pp002

http://colgate-sensitive-pro-relief.colgateprofessional.com.hk/patienteducation/Plaque-and-Periodontal-Disease/article

Desensitization

  • Sensitive teeth are no fun. Cold, hot , sweet foods or drinks, and mechanical forces can cause sensitivity.
  • How did I get sensitive teeth? This can be caused by multiple factors. The most common is tooth root exposure. When the gums recede a part of the tooth called dentin is exposed. It is a much more porous structure and sensitivity happens frequently.
  • pated_GingivalRecessionWithExposedRootDentine
  • colgateprofessional.com
  • When you are seeking out a toothpaste for sensitivity look for the active ingredients. Flip that tube of toothpaste over and take a peek. Potassium Nitrate calms down the nerve that is more sensitive with exposed dentin.  Sodium and stannus fluoride strengthen and occlude the more porous dentin.  A mix of Potassium Nitrate and fluoride is your best bet for desensitization.
  • MI Paste RECALDENT (CPP-ACP) has been found to help with sensitivity. Like fluoride it blocks the small porous openings of dentin. You can get a prescription for it from your dentist.
  • Other Products: Sensodyne, Pronamel, Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, etc. Scan the dental isle.

images

http://www.recaldent.com

sensodyne-group-products-page-10_9_2013

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us.sensodyne.com/products.aspx

Colgate-Sensitive-Pro-Relief-TP-triBox

http://www.colgatesensitiveprorelief.com.sg/products/toothpaste

What is in my toothpaste?

Cleaning and Polishing 20-40%

  • An abrasive is used to clean and the polish smooths the surface of the tooth. These agents help to decrease the adherence of stain and plaque buildup.
  • Possible agents: Calcium carbonate, IMP, dicalcium phosphate, hydrated aluminum oxide, and silica

Detergents 1-2%

  • Detergents make your toothpaste foam and are surfactants. They lower the surface tension, loosen stains, foam, and emulsify debris.
  • Possible agents: sodium laurel sulfate, sodium cocomonoglyceride sulfonate
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate can cause sloughing of the tissue, make one more prone to canker sores and decreases healing time of mouth sores for some people. Patients who experience this should avoid Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Sensodyne does not use sodium laruel sulfate, this product would be a good choice for you.

Binders 1-2%

  • Binders keep your the solid and liquid ingreadients together

Now the next time you walk down the dental isle hopefully you will know exactly what type of toothpaste is perfect for you and your needs. If you have more questions ask your dentist or dental hygienist.  Watch out for the next post on what type of floss to choose, its going to be a duesy. Happy brushing and don’t forget to floss.

 

Sources:

GC America Professional Dental Site. Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.mi-paste.com/faq.php

Wilkins, E. M. (1994). Clinical Practice of the Dental Hyginienist: Seventh Edition. Media, PA: Williams and Wilkins.

STOP IT!! These habits can harm your teeth!

photo

Ann Clark RDH

Enamel is the toughest substance of the body.  But teeth can still be vulnerable when it comes to neglect, abuse or misuse.

1) Chewing on ice, pencils- Harmless? think again.  This habit can chip or crack your tooth.  It can also irritate the inside of the tooth causing toothaches or sensitivity.

ice chewing

2)Sports without mouthguards-Many sports require a mouthguard, a molded piece of plastic protecting your teeth.  Without one you an chip or even knock one out.  Get a custom fit one from your friendly dentist.

3)Bedtime bottles-Giving baby juice, milk or formula at bed can lead to decay.  The remnants bathe the teeth in sugars over night.

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4)Tongue piercing-Biting on a stud can crack a tooth.  Metal rubbing against gums can cause damage that may lead to tooth loss.  The mouth  is a haven for bacteria increasing the risk of infection.  Over time the metal can also wear down the enamel changing its shape.

piercing

5)Drinking coffee-The dark color and acidity can cause yellowing over time.  Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to treat with a little whitening.

coffee-black

6)Smoking/tobacco products-These stain the teeth and lead the way to periodontal disease.  Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue.

cigarette

7)Drinking wine-The acids in wines eat at the enamel creating rough spots.  A stained tooth is like sandpaper attracting more bacteria.  Red wine contains chromogen and tannins which help the color to stick…rinse with water, alcohol dries out your mouth.

8)Constant snacking- This produces less saliva than when eating a meal, leaving food bits in the teeth longer.  Snacks should be low in sugar/starch…try carrots.

9)Binge eating-Binging and purging(Bulemia) can do damage from acids found in vomit that erode enamel, leaving them brittle and weak.  Acids also cause bad breath.

10)Whitening too often- Chronic whitening or not following directions acn lead to gum irritation and increased sensitivity.

11) Bottled water- Most have little to no Fluoride as do home filtration units.  Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth structure.

12)Grinding/Clenching-Bruxism wears the tooth down over a period of time.  If worn to the  inner dentin your teeth become sensitive.  Stress, boredom, and sleeping habits make it hard to control. Worn down teeth make you look older and cause pressure to fracture the teeth.

13)Medications-Oral contraceptives can change your hormones and lead to periodontal disease.  Cough drops are high in sugar content leading to decay.  Antihistamines asue dry mouth as do many meds.  We need our saliva to protect our teeth!

14)Drug Abuse(Meth)- Crystal Meth, an illegal and addictive drug can destroy your teeth.  Users crave sugary drinks and foods, clench and have dry mouth.  They notoriously lack in taking care of themselves.

15)Gummy candy-Sticky foods keep sugars and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours.  Eat them with a meal as more saliva is produced helping to rinse your mouth.

gummy bear

16)Sodas/Sports drinks/Fruit juice-Sodas have 11teas. of sugar per serving.  They also contain phosphorus and citric acids which eat at enamel.  Diet skips the sugar but adds more acid (artificial sweetners).  Don’t sip these beverages keeping the teeth bathed, chug them and rinse with water

17)Potato chips-Bacteria in plaque will break down starchy foods into acid.  This acid can attack teeth for 20+ minutes if stuck between the teeth…floss!

18)Using your teeth as a tool-It’s convenient to open a bottle or package this way but it canlad to a chip or crack and nail biting is full of germs and bacterias, don’t chew on them.

tooth tool

19) Brushing too much, too hard or with a hard bristle brush-This can erode enamel. Toothpaste can be abrasive, technique is important so as not to take away enamel.  Skipping check ups and not flossing will, of course, cause problems as well.

Being informed is your best defense!

Ann Clark RDH

 
Photo cited:
 
Cigarette  www.webmd.com
Baby bottle www.webmd.com
Gummy Bear www.markmatters.com
Tooth Tool www.webmd.com
Ice Chewing. www.personal.psu.edu

Wonders of Whitening

There are so many different types of teeth whitening out on the market now-a-days, ever wonder if they all work? Which ones are the best for you? Do they last long? Are they good for your teeth and gums? Do they damage your tooth structure? Often, people whiten their teeth with different products without really knowing what it is, the effectiveness, and do they have that long-term effect that everyone wants. If you’re anything like me, you strive for whiter teeth every day. I have been obsessed with whitening my teeth ever since I got my braces off 6 years ago. I have tried every method under the sun and have found positives and negatives about each one.

The first method I started out with were the whitening strips. I found these to be most convenient and affordable at a young age. I purchased the 60 pack of Crest White Strips at Costco for around 100 dollars. I started using them as soon as I got home! I found they were a little odd at first. Teeth whitening strips are clear, flimsy plastic that you place on your teeth and hope that they don’t slide or fall off so you won’t have to taste the yucky bleach. They are coated on one side with a film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent. You open a bottom strip, and a top strip and place them on your teeth. I found them to be a bit awkward because I felt like I had to keep my mouth open, and smiling the whole time so I wouldn’t swallow the bleach, or get it on anything but my teeth. The strips definitely made a difference, it just took a while. If you’re an impatient person like I am, this is not the route to go.

Another option I tried was ordering trays online that you boil and then shape them to your teeth. Let me tell you one thing before I continue, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS. They do not work, and are the most frustrating things on the planet. Trying to boil something, and put it into your mouth right after, HURTS! They didn’t mold correctly, and they were uncomfortable. I had a hard time having them in my mouth for an hour each day. I just couldn’t do it anymore. After about 2 weeks of no difference in my teeth what-so-ever. Definitely recommend steering clear of an online order for bleach trays.

I am an aspiring Dental Hygienist. I have a passion for teeth, and have had that passion ever since I would beg my friends to allow me pull their teeth out when I was 5 years old. Teeth are a big deal in my life. I started working in a dental office about 7 months ago while I go to school for Dental Hygiene. While working there, I have been introduced to a whole new world of whitening. I have learned more about whitening then I have ever hoped. The first week of working, I purchased the custom trays. Let me just say this before I continue, this has been the best decision I have ever made (next to some other life altering choices). The trays are affordable and range depending on the office, mine were obviously at a discounted price being an employee of the practice. These trays are custom, like I said. Getting set up does take the most time by far, but the results are more than worth the time invested. First you come in for impressions, usually later that day we have the trays ready for you. The material we use comes in a prefilled syringe like tube which makes it easier to apply in the bleach trays. The syringes contain 16% hydrogen peroxide which is more than enough to remove those stubborn stains, or even effects of tetracycline use (see previous blog). I have a bonded tooth that can sometimes get a little discolored, and what I love most about this bleach is that it makes a huge difference even on my bonded tooth. The best thing about custom trays is that they are comfortable, and you only have to use a little bit of gel, so when you put the trays in, they aren’t over flowing with bleach making it awkward to close your mouth. I wore my trays consistently for one hour every night for 7 days and saw a huge difference. The trays are a good choice if you’re the type of person that wants results fast and loves convenience at a reasonable cost. The only downside to this method of whitening is that when you put too much bleach in your trays and it makes contact with your gums, it may cause a little bit of discomfort or a little bit of pain. But other than that, this is my go to whitening!

My office, as well as many other dentist offices offer in office whitening. It is a one day office visit, pain-free, short chair time procedure, with lasting results. This is by far the most popular procedure. It is popular because of the long-lasting effects. You have one visit, and your teeth are up to 7 shades lighter. A lot of people are very hesitant of in office whitening due to the fact that they are afraid their teeth may become sensitive. With the in office procedure, 4 separate tubes of whitening are applied to your teeth over an hour period in 15 minutes intervals there is little to no sensitivity.

All of this talk about whitening leads me to my most exciting discovery. In talking about my pursuit for excellence in whitening around the office, I discovered that my office participates in an annual Zoom Whitening campaign called Smiles for Life. Smiles for Life is a whitening campaign partnered with the Crown Council that whitens teeth on a donation basis. During March – June of every year my office joined with Philips Oral Health makers of ZOOM whiten teeth and all the proceeds go directly to charity, 50% of proceeds benefit national children’s charities, 50% benefit a charity of our choice – Hope Arising, visit http://www.smilesforlife.org for more details. Hope Arising is a sustainable organization that helps people of Ethiopia, we work very closely with Hope Arising , even traveling to Africa twice a year to aid in their stabilization efforts. While in Ethiopia we provide dental services to those in need as well as aid in other efforts to stabilize agriculture and water delivery systems to local villages, visit http://www.hopearising.org for more details or information on how you can help. In the 2012 Smiles for Life campaign we raised over $10,000 and donated approximately $5,000 to Hope Arising, were hoping for an even more successful 2013.

Different whitening methods apply to different people. You may love the strips, and hate the trays. You may love the in office whitening and hate everything else. These are just some of Cassie’s (me) tips to whiter teeth! And for a good cause, too  If you need any more information on whitening, please feel free to email me at appt@shalimarfamilydentistry.com or call me at (480)838-3355. I am very reachable by both.teeth-whiteningpress_release_distribution_0301198_57938