Professional Teeth Whitening – Your Secret To The Perfect Smile

When it comes to making a first impression, your smile can go a long way in making that happen. Not only will your smile make you feel better about yourself, but it will also help you to attract people towards you. It is one of the first things people notice about you, and when done right, it can make all the difference in how successful your day goes. Having discolored teeth can make it impossible for you to smile confidently. That is probably the reason why teeth whitening treatment has become very popular.

It is important to have your teeth whitened professionally to avoid any complications. But before you can get any teeth bleaching, it is essential to what causes the teeth to whiten in the first place.

What Cause the Teeth to Discolor?

Teeth can turn yellow because of a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is the consumption of too much coffee or tea. Other causes include smoking and drugs, pregnancy, thyroid problems, and hereditary diseases.

While some teeth may turn yellow with age, at times, this is not the case. Some people may have teeth that are already discolored when they are young. This usually happens because their diet includes more refined carbohydrates than their stomach can handle, which causes them to release excess acid in their bodies which stains the enamel on their teeth.

What Are the Available Teeth Whitening Options?

There are a variety of teeth whitening options available, from over-the-counter treatments to professionally applied services. However, of all the whitening options, professional in-office whitening is the most recommended.

Professional whitening treatments are more effective than DIY at-home whitening. They may be less time-consuming and cheaper, but professional treatments usually come with a guarantee.

Professional teeth whitening treatment is a good option for those who want to avoid the potential complications that might arise from DIY whitening.

Professional teeth whitening treatments are more gentle on your gums, and they can be done with the help of a professional dentist in a matter of minutes, unlike DIY whiteners, which need to be done over time.

What are the Side Effects of At-home or DIY Teeth Whitening?

Many side effects come with DIY teeth whitening. For example, the user can bleach their gums or teeth, leading to other problems with their health. There is also a risk of damaging one’s crowns or root canals.

How is Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment Done?

In most cases, professional tooth whitening treatment is done with the help of a light-activated bleach. The bleaching agent is applied to the teeth and activated by an LED light.

When this treatment begins, it takes about 30-60 minutes for the bleaching agent to work and gradually wash away all the color from teeth. The process may be repeated three to four times, depending on how severe their stains are.

Who Can Get Teeth Whitening Treatment?

Teeth whitening treatment is a cosmetic procedure that can make your teeth whiter and brighter. It’s recommended for individuals with stained or discolored teeth, but it’s also good for people who want a more natural look.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that teeth whitening may be safe and beneficial for some people, but it should not be done without consulting your dentist.

The ADA recommends waiting six months after taking any medication to whiten your teeth, and then only using mild whitening treatments, such as toothpaste or gels.

However, if you have active gum disease or suffer from tooth sensitivity, a teeth whitening procedure is not ideal. Our Jackson dentist may recommend another treatment to remove the stains from the teeth.

What are the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening can increase the sensitivity of your teeth which might be uncomfortable for some people. You also need to use mouthwash regularly if you have used teeth whitening treatments.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Spring Arbor Dental for more information about teeth whitening and what you can expect.

Tooth Extraction vs. Root Canal— Which One is the Most Suitable Solution

Both tooth extraction and root canals are dental procedures used to treat infected teeth. One procedure focuses on removing infected pulp tissues, and the other, pulling the teeth. A dentist will choose any of the procedures depending on the severity of the tooth infection.

Dentists have traditionally used extractions to solve tooth problems. However, root canals are becoming the most popular solution in modern dentistry. It is cheaper and is less invasive than having to remove your teeth.

It is worth noting that a root canal procedure is the first treatment of choice for infected teeth. If the infection spreads to the inner parts of the teeth but does not cause severe damage, then an endodontic treatment is the treatment of choice.

However, there are times when a tooth extraction procedure is the only option, like impacted wisdom teeth.

What is a Tooth Extraction Procedure?

A dental extraction procedure removes a tooth from the mouth by using a dental drill or dental forceps.

A dentist or oral surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb your gums and muscle to make the extraction less painful. Finally, she will close up your wound with sutures.

What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Root canal treatment is performed by a dentist when the nerve in the tooth becomes infected. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and infection that can spread to other teeth.

A root canal procedure is an invasive procedure in which a dentist removes diseased tissue from the inside of the root of a tooth. Once this tissue is removed, it is replaced with an inert material such as a dental crown or filling material.

Most patients who undergo this procedure experience minimal discomfort during and shortly after the process, with some having more severe symptoms during and shortly after the procedure.

When is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Tooth extraction is an invasive practice that is usually done to fix a problem. There are times when patients need to have teeth removed to accommodate other procedures that are needed.

One of the common reasons for extracting teeth is due to dental caries. This is a type of tooth decay that causes damage to the surface of teeth. This can happen when bacteria enter between the teeth and gums and break down the organic material in the tooth, causing cavities or holes.

Tooth extractions can also be performed when an infection has become so severe that it has damaged the nerves surrounding the tooth or bone, creating a hole for bacteria to get into and causing further damage.

Impacted wisdom teeth and dental overcrowding are common reasons a dentist in Jackson, MI, can recommend a tooth removal procedure.

What Is the Difference Between Tooth Removal and a Root Canal?

There are many differences between a tooth removal and a root canal like;

  • How long it takes to perform both procedures
  • What is removed during each procedure
  • What happens after each procedure?

With a root canal, your dentist has access to the inside of your tooth and can remove any diseased tissue. After this, he can fill the cavity with a material, like dental putty or gutta-percha. After the endodontic procedure, you will still have your natural teeth intact.

In tooth extraction, your dentist will make an incision on one side of your mouth using special tools and pull out your tooth by its crown (the part that sticks up).

What Are The Dangers of Tooth Removal?

There are present dangers involved with tooth extraction, including pain, swelling, bleeding, and dry sockets.

However, the chief drawback of getting your teeth removed is the gaps left behind. These spaces can cause the supporting bone to start deteriorating if left unfilled. Once your teeth are removed, you will need other cosmetic and restorative procedures to replace the teeth and preserve your jaw.

Tooth Extraction or a Root Canal Treatment— Which one Should You Choose?

This will depend on several factors, and the dentist will choose the most suitable treatment after assessment.

Visit Spring Arbor Dental for more information on tooth extraction and root canal procedures.

Are Invisible Braces Right For You?

Now is a great time to correct an imperfect smile, especially if you are an older teen or an adult. There are more orthodontic solutions than ever, and many are quite discreet. So, if you don’t want to straighten your teeth with traditional metal braces, you have options.

Some patients fear the pain or the chance they might get teased. Others want to avoid wearing a mouthful of metal. This especially holds for older patients who want to look their best. Fortunately, traditional brackets and wires are just one available treatment. Invisible or clear braces at Spring Arbor Dental are the modern alternative. With clear braces, you can quickly achieve the smile of your desire.

The Benefits of Clear Braces in Jackson, MI

Orthodontic correction with invisible braces involves wearing a series of plastic aligner trays. The custom-made aligners are both removable and virtually undetectable. Each tray in the set should be worn for about two weeks. Then you graduate to the next tray in the collection and repeat. This cutting-edge method allows your dentist in Jackson, MI, to map out the precise movements of your teeth.

Invisible Braces Near You

Aligner trays work by gradually shifting each tooth into the predetermined position. But that is just one reason why clear braces in Jackson, MI, are so popular. Spring Arbor Dental patients also enjoy other benefits, such as:

Convenience: They are also custom fitted for maximum comfort. What’s more, plastic aligners are removable, so there are no food restrictions. You can also take them out to brush and floss your teeth.

Undetectable: Unlike bulky metal brackets and wires, clear braces are virtually invisible. So, no one besides you and your Jackson, MI dentist knows you are straightening your teeth. Also, teens feel more confident at school and in social situations with invisible braces.

Fast & Efficient: At Spring Arbor, Dental orthodontic treatment is quick and efficient. The customized procedure is designed for each patient. Your set of aligners fit only your mouth. As a result, we can achieve optimal results in a minimal amount of time.

If you want a straighter, healthier-looking smile without traditional braces, schedule your orthodontic consultation today.

Build Mouth-Healthy Habits For Your Kids

AS PARENTS OF SMALL CHILDREN, you probably feel like you barely have time to take proper care of your own teeth most days, so wrestling your kids into the bathroom to brush their teeth too can seem close to impossible. Parenting will always have its struggles, but this is one we can help you out with.

Yes, Healthy Baby Teeth Are A Priority

Some parents might mistakenly believe that it isn’t important to take care of their kids’ baby teeth—they’re just going to be replaced in a few years. While it’s true that they’ll get their adult teeth eventually, baby teeth serve the important function of setting the spacing for those adult teeth.

It’s better to invest the time it takes to properly care for your children’s teeth now rather than increasing the chances that they’ll need years of expensive orthodontics as teenagers.

Watch the video below to learn how to brush your child’s teeth properly:

Now that we’ve seen the proper technique, how do we get those toddlers to sit still long enough to brush their teeth?

Handy Tricks For Squirmy Toddlers

When it comes to brushing a toddler’s teeth, sometimes things don’t go as planned, but that’s okay! The most important thing is not missing any brushings.

  • Please don’t feel like you can only brush their teeth in the bathroom. If you have a toothbrush on hand, you can use it wherever you are. It’s easier to ambush the three-year-old when you don’t have to drag him all the way to the sink.
  • Out of toothpaste? Brush anyway! Maybe you can’t find it one day, maybe you ran out, or maybe the entire bottle was used to make a portrait on the bathroom mirror or floor. Just brush their teeth without toothpaste until you can restock.
  • Encourage them to “brush” a toy’s teeth if they’re too young to brush their own teeth without help but old enough to understand what a toothbrush is for. Help your kids see how important dental hygiene is by having them take care of their favorite toy’s smile! Use an old toothbrush and skip the water and toothpaste.
  • Play fun music or use an hourglass to get them to that two-minute goal. These might work better than a digital timer.
  • Brush in front of the mirror. Instead of parking them on the toilet to get them to hold still, let your child see the toothbrushing process in the mirror, like they will when they can do it themselves. They’ll feel much more involved this way, and they won’t associate brushing with using the potty.
  • Treat brushing as a priority. Don’t act impatient about it around your kids, or they’ll get the message that brushing is an inconvenience.
  • Have fun! Brushing shouldn’t feel like a punishment for them. Even if they sometimes make the process difficult for you, the more you can act like brushing their teeth is fun, the happier they’ll be to cooperate!

Building A Life-Long Habit

Brushing your children’s teeth is about instilling them with good habits they’ll maintain for the rest of their lives. Do you have a good tooth-brushing routine already? We’d love to hear about it. Otherwise, let us know which of these strategies helped you and your kids the most!

Ever Wonder How Teeth Whitening Works?

IT IS NOT UNCOMMON for your teeth to lose their luster over time, which is why so many people are interested in whitening them!

Teeth Get Yellow For Several Reasons

Teeth becoming yellow over time is as normal as graying hair–it is a natural part of the aging process. As we get older, our tooth enamel begins to thin due to everyday wear and tear. This causes the layer beneath our enamel, called the dentin, to show more, giving our teeth a more yellow appearance.

Other factors can cause teeth to be yellow other than aging, however, such as:

  • Tobacco use
  • Food and drink
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dental trauma
  • Certain medications

If you want to prevent your teeth from yellowing as best you can, we suggest changing some of your lifestyle habits. If you use tobacco in any form, quit. Consume acidic food and drink in moderation and monitor your intake of beverages that can stain your teeth, such as wine, coffee, tea, soda, etc. And as always, brush up on your oral hygiene habits and make sure you’re getting frequent cleanings!

The Way You Whiten Your Teeth Depends On The Stain

There are two types of stains that you can have on your teeth. Surface, or “extrinsic” stains, caused by smoking and diet occur on the surface of the enamel. “Intrinsic” stains are deeper and happen inside the tooth.

You can remove surface stains on your teeth by using a whitening toothpaste. These kinds of toothpaste usually contain special abrasives that gently polish the teeth and certain chemicals that can help break down stains. These toothpastes can be tough on tooth enamel, so always read labels when using them–some should only be used temporarily.

Intrinsic stains can’t be helped by whitening toothpaste. To get that brighter smile, you’ll actually need to change the color of your teeth. You can do this using a bleaching agent. The bleaching agents most products use are hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals break stains into smaller pieces, making their color less concentrated and leaving your teeth much whiter! Some of the most common ways to bleach your teeth are whitening strips and gels, tray-based tooth whiteners, and in-office whitening services supervised by a dentist.

We Would Love To See You At Our Office

At our practice, we offer in-office whitening that will get you the white smile you’ve been dreaming of in half the time or less than other whitening options. We will also carefully monitor the whole process to ensure its safety and efficacy.

Or, if you’re looking to use a tray-based whitening system, we can customize your mouthpiece to exactly fit your teeth! This will protect the soft tissues of your mouth, especially your gums, and ensure maximum contact between your teeth and the whitening solution.

Either way, we’d love to see you, whether that’s for a cleaning, checkup, or whitening treatment!

Have any questions? Call us or let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading our blog!

Looking Back On Our Summer Jobs

WHETHER IT WAS DURING high school or college, whether the goal was to have spending money or to pay rent, most of us know the struggles and the joys of working a summer job, because we are feeling nostalgic as summer draws to a close, we’ve collected summer job stories from members of our team!

Worst Summer Job Ever

Sometimes we find ourselves in summer jobs where the only good thing about them is that they only lasted a summer. Do any of our family friends’ stories sound familiar?

Jackson

I worked in a front desk job one summer, and in my third week, all our computers were stolen.

McCall

I worked at a drive-in shake place, and I made shake after shake after shake until I was a splattered mess of Oreo, raspberry, chocolate, and banana from head to toe every day by the close. This job cured me of any cravings for ice cream for a while. In the three weeks I worked there, it was enough for me to decide the fast food industry was not for me.

Check out this video from Jimmy Fallon to hear about some more bad summer jobs!

The Good Times

Just as there are bad summer jobs, there are also good ones. Maybe nothing particularly dramatic happened, but they still hold a fond place in our memories.

Mel

I worked at a music store. One of my best friends worked with me, and I remember us sitting on the counters, having deep life discussions, and not getting much work done.

Michela

I worked at a booth that sold Dave’s Killer Bread at various Costco locations, and even though it was just a couple of weekends that summer and we didn’t have much time to get to know each other, everyone on that team worked so well together. We were the supervisor’s only team to get the booth completely sold out, which was pretty cool.

Wacky Hijinks

Whether the summer job itself is good or bad, it’s the funny stories and the crazy moments that stand out the most.

Michela

I graded AP exams two summers in a row, and the first year, a crazy drunk guy chased two of my friends outside the convention center and me. The second-year was better because we got to see an outdoor Twelfth Night production.

Colin

I spent a summer as a cook at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory when I was 16. Standing over a boiling cauldron of fudge and caramel all day wasn’t the best way to escape the summer heat, but at least I got free chocolate!

Now, It’s Your Turn!

What was YOUR most memorable summer job? Please share your own experiences in the comments section below, or send us a message on our Facebook page!

Swimmer’s Ear? More Like Swimmer’s Tooth!

HAVE YOUR TEETH ever felt extra sensitive after a swim at the pool? That’s no coincidence, although it can take quite a lot of swimming before the effects become noticeable. What is it about the water in swimming pools that damages teeth?

Chlorine: Good For Sanitation, Bad For Teeth

That’s right: the same chemical that kills many germs that love swimming in freshwater as much as we do can also be pretty hard on our teeth if the pool’s pH isn’t carefully regulated. The proper pH for pool water is 7.2-7.8, but chlorine can easily become acidic.

Swimmer’s Calculus: A Risk For Serious Swimmers

Swimmer’s Calculus isn’t the name of an underwater math class; it’s what happens to tooth enamel after prolonged exposure to acidic chlorine ions. The pH of saliva in a healthy mouth is very close to neutral. It’s the perfect pH to keep your teeth strong (as long as we’re also brushing and flossing).

Like the diluted hydrochloric acid that forms in pools with chlorine, the acid will erode more tooth enamel the longer we swim. This can lead to “swimmer’s calculus” or yellow and brown stains on our teeth. It can also make our teeth extra sensitive after swimming because erosion of the enamel exposes the more vulnerable dentin underneath.

Other Underwater Tooth Problems

Maybe you’re not a huge fan of the public pool, but you love snorkeling and diving in natural bodies of water. While you probably won’t have to worry about swimmer’s calculus, those activities come with their own set of tooth-threatening problems.

Scuba Diving And Tooth Squeeze

Diving in the deep end of a pool is enough to make us feel the water pressure in our ears, but did you know that when you dive deep enough, you might feel it in your teeth? Barodontalgia, or tooth squeeze, happens when tiny air bubbles trapped in cracks, crevices, and holes in our teeth change size due to pressure. This can cause significant tooth pain, and it can even fracture teeth. The best way to prevent it is to visit the dentist before diving season begins.

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)

Most divers know the inconvenience of the mouthpiece design, but you might not know all the specific ways it’s bad for your teeth. The shape has been described as “one size fits none” because it’s too small and doesn’t really fit most divers’ teeth. Despite the less-than-ideal size and shape, we still have to grip it between our teeth the entire time we dive.

Clenching our jaws for so long, especially when the pressure is mostly on the front teeth, can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), which causes jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing. A good solution, particularly for a frequent diver, is to get a custom-fitted molded mouthpiece.

To learn more about TMJ and the treatment options available, watch the video below:

We’ll Help You Prepare Your Teeth For The Water!

We want to make sure you have a great summer enjoying all of your favorite water activities without fear for your teeth. Please schedule an appointment to come up with the best plan to help you avoid these common underwater tooth problems!

The Bare Bones Of Gum Recession

NO ONE LOOKS FORWARD to getting “long in the tooth” because of gum recession.

However, while tooth length might be an accurate yardstick for judging the age of a horse, age is not the culprit behind receding gums in humans. Gum recession is such a gradual process that it can take decades before the effects are noticeable.

Not All Gum Recession Is Avoidable

There are many contributing factors to gum recession, and some, unfortunately, include genetics. Some people have fragile gums or don’t have enough jaw bone covering the front of the roots of their teeth to support gums up to the crowns. The good news is that many of the other contributing factors can be controlled, and even if you’re predisposed to gum recession, there are ways to minimize it.

Bruxism Versus Your Gums

Chronic teeth-grinding, or bruxism, causes a whole host of problems for your oral health, and one of them is increasing your risk for gum recession. All that grinding puts too much pressure on the gums, so they begin to retreat. Bruxism can be a difficult habit to break, especially if you’re doing it in your sleep, but you can minimize the damage to the jawbones, gums, and teeth by using a mouthguard.

Overbrushing Damages Gum Tissue

It might sound counterintuitive, but you can actually brush your teeth too much. Or, at least, too hard. Brushing teeth isn’t like scrubbing the grime out of tile grout; gums are not built to withstand the abrasive assault of hard-bristled brushes (and neither is the enamel on our teeth). Soft bristles are actually ideal for scrubbing away plaque and massaging the gums without damaging them. The same principle applies to flossing; you should definitely floss once a day, but go easy on those gums.

Tartar Buildup And Gum Disease

When plaque isn’t removed by brushing and flossing, it will eventually harden into tartar, which dental professionals can only remove. This means that the longer you go without routine dental cleaning, the more tartar builds up along your gum lines, which puts you at risk for gum disease. Speaking of which…

In the early stages of gum disease, also called gingivitis, the health of your jawbones is not yet at risk, which is good for avoiding gum recession. If your gums are tender, swollen, and bleed easily, it’s likely gingivitis. You can combat it with healthy brushing and flossing habits, but it’s also wise to bring the problem to us.

If untreated, gingivitis advances to become periodontitis. This is when gums start pulling away from the teeth, and the integrity of the jaw bones is compromised. There are many risk factors for gum disease, including smoking, hormonal changes (like during pregnancy), diabetes, and dry mouth as a side effect of medications. At this point, better oral hygiene habits aren’t enough, and professional treatment is necessary.

Help Us Help You Keep Those Gums Healthy!

If you’re worried about the structure and health of your gums, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us! We can help you get your gum health back on track and discuss treatment options.