Posts for tag: teeth whitening
Like other aspects of our lives, aging can take a toll on our smile. Over a lifetime the effects of disease, teeth wearing and the foods we eat can cause our teeth and gums to look unattractive.
Here are 3 of the most common age-related dental problems and how we can help you "turn back the clock" on each one.
Discoloration. Teeth can dull and grow darker over time. And not just from what we eat or drink—age-related structural changes in the tooth can also cause discoloration. We can often alleviate external staining temporarily with teeth whitening. If the staining is heavy or it originates inside the tooth, then we can install life-like porcelain veneers or crowns to cover the discoloration. We can also use composite dental materials to alter the color of one darkened tooth so that it doesn't stand out from the rest of your teeth.
Wearing. Our teeth naturally wear down over time. If the wearing is excessive, though, teeth can look shorter and less youthful. Again, we can use veneers or crowns to change a tooth's outward appearance and make them look longer. We can also employ enamel contouring and reshaping that smoothes out sharper edges caused by wearing to give your teeth a softer, more youthful look.
Receding gums. On the other end of the spectrum, gums that have shrunk back or receded from the teeth can make them look much larger and unattractive. Our first step is to treat any gum disease present—the most common cause of recession—which often helps the tissues to regenerate. If your case is more advanced, though, you may also need grafting surgery to restore lost gum tissue. Using in-depth microsurgical techniques, surgeons attach grafted gum tissue at the recession site. Over time new tissue will grow, restoring adequate gum coverage.
You can also improve your appearance at any age with orthodontics. Besides a more attractive smile, properly aligned teeth tend to wear more slowly and evenly. This and proper daily oral hygiene and regular dental care can keep your teeth looking younger even in your later years.
If you would like more information on gaining a more youthful smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist can help you Look Younger.”
Have you ever noticed a bright, white smile and wished yours was, too? Yes, over the years, stains build up within tooth enamel and change how you look and feel about yourself. Take heart, though; Dr. Ashley Lloyd offers safe and effective professional teeth whitening in her Raleigh, NC, dental practice. This cosmetic service could be just what you need.
The biology of stains
How can something as hard as tooth enamel become discolored? Tooth enamel really is a network of calcified fibers which easily catches and holds onto a wide range of organic materials such as:
- Dark foods such as blueberries and soy sauce
- Dark beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, sport drinks and wine
- Acidic foods (which soften enamel)
Also, when tooth enamel is not maintained (poor at-home oral hygiene and infrequent in-office visits), stains accumulate. While over the counter strips, toothpastes and other products may brighten teeth somewhat, stubborn stains need professional help.
Professional teeth whitening
Most healthy adult smiles could brighten if patients elect professional whitening services from a skilled dentist such as Dr. Lloyd. Available in at-home or in-office versions, whitening treatments use highly concentrated hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to release stains from tooth enamel.
Because Dr. Lloyd makes sure your smile is free from decay and other conditions before clearing you for whitening, you know your teeth and gums are safe from painful sensitivity. Also, you know your whitening gel is correctly applied--whether in the dental chair or at home using trays custom-fit to your upper and lower teeth. Whichever method you use, you'll see teeth which are noticeably brighter--up to eight shades of color!
Making it last
The exact duration changes with how diligent you, the patient, are about maintenance. Here's how to keep that renewed smile bright and shiny:
- Floss daily and brush twice a day as the American Dental Association recommends.
- See Dr. Lloyd twice a year for your usual preventive check-ups and cleanings.
- Avoid tobacco.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Restrict the amounts of coffee, blueberries, curry and other dark dietary choices you consume.
- Drink a lot of water--several glasses a day--because good hydration washes tooth surfaces and stimulates saliva production.
- Get periodic whitening touch-ups as you and your dentist see fit.
What a great smile!
You'll feel as rejuvenated as you look when your smile is whitened by Dr. Ashley Lloyd and her team. For a cosmetic dentistry consultation to talk about professional whitening, contact the office for an appointment: (919) 828-1001.
A relatively easy and inexpensive way to improve your smile is to whiten your teeth. In fact, you may even be able to do it yourself at home. Although there are differences between at-home and professional whitening, the former can still be effective.
That effectiveness, though, might be dependent on how well you understand what home whitening can do and what it can’t. So before you purchase your kit, here are a few things to know about DIY teeth whitening.
Home kits are safe—when used as directed. Although nothing in life is completely risk-free, home whitening kits are relatively safe. But only if you follow the directions: If you overuse the bleaching solution beyond its intended use, you could wind up with permanent damage to your tooth enamel that can be costly to treat.
Bleaching solutions are relatively mild. Nearly all home kits use carbamide peroxide, a form of hydrogen peroxide, as their bleaching agent. Home kits usually contain no more than 10% of this agent, much lower than professional solutions. Used as directed, this amount of bleaching agent poses little to no risk to dental or general health. On the other hand, the weaker home kit solution does limit the extent of brightness you can achieve compared to stronger professional treatments.
For top results (or certain conditions), consider professional whitening. While you can obtain good results with a home whitening kit, professional whitening provides more precise brightness control and range, and may possibly last longer. That’s because your dentist has more advanced techniques and equipment, as well as stronger bleaching solutions. And, if your discoloration originates inside your teeth, a home kit won’t help—only a dentist can address that kind of discoloration.
Even if you decide to “go solo,” your dentist can still give you advice on what to look for in a home kit, as well as tips for the actual procedure. But whether you whiten at home or let your dentist do it, teeth whitening can take years off your smile and give you a more attractive look.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips: Are Bleaching Products Safe?”
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
In an age where first impressions occur both in person and digitally, confidence in your appearance is more important than ever. According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, almost half of adults say they remember another person’s smile the most upon first meeting them. A professional teeth whitening session can lift the color of your teeth, giving your smile the makeover you need to feel proud of the way you look. Find out more about teeth whitening with Dr. Ashley Lloyd in Raleigh, NC.
Can professional teeth whitening help my smile?
Teeth whitening can help most people who wish they had a whiter, brighter smile. However, dentists do not recommend teeth whitening procedures for children under the age of 16 or those patients who have porcelain dental restorations in obvious places. Whitening works on natural teeth and does not lift the color of porcelain, meaning that those with restorations may end up with an uneven result. Those with tooth decay or periodontal disease need to consult with their dentist to resolve these issues before considering teeth whitening.
How does a teeth whitening treatment work?
The active ingredient in the whitening gel used during a teeth whitening procedure penetrates the teeth’s outer enamel layer, removing stains deep within the tooth to provide a whiter appearance. Your dentist will apply the gel to your teeth, then let it remain on the teeth for about an hour. During this time, the chemicals work to break the molecular bonds holding the stain together, allowing the stain to dissipate and that area of the tooth to appear whiter.
Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments in Raleigh, NC
If you think you could benefit from a professional teeth whitening procedure, consulting with your dentist is the best way to determine if this is the best treatment option for you and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Your dentist will examine your mouth to ensure you are in good dental health before administering the whitening treatments.
For more information on professional teeth whitening and how it can help you with Dr. Ashley Lloyd in Raleigh, NC. Call (919) 828-1001 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lloyd today!