Costs for whitening your pearly whites

by MikeMeehan 6/7/2018 8:33 AM

Need to prep your smile for a big summer event? Take a look at the most common whitening methods from least to most expensive. Whitening toothpaste can often be purchased for under $20 and will take two to six weeks to show a noticeable difference. This method works by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. Since whitening toothpastes don’t alter the natural color of your teeth or lighten stains that go deeper than the tooth’s surface, the effects won’t be as significant as other methods.  Over-the-counter whitening strips and gels usually fall between $10 and $100 and can take 10 to 14 days to whiten teeth. The bleaching agents used for these products are weaker than those used by dentists, so they require longer application times than professional whiteners to achieve similar effects. Each product will be applied differently based on the instructions included in the package.  At-home whitening trays typically cost between $150 and $600 and take full effect in one to four weeks. Your dentist will customize a bleaching tray for you to take home and wear as instructed. The bleaching tray looks somewhat like a retainer or mouth guard in which peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste is contained during the whitening process. You may wear it overnight or during the day for several hours at a time.  In-office bleaching can cost between $500 and $1,000 and normally takes less than two hours. The process is completed painlessly at the dentist’s office. After applying a bleaching agent, your dentist may also use light, heat or both to enhance the whitening effect. Depending on your situation, you may need to complete more than one session. Before choosing a whitening method, consult with your dentist to determine the best option for you. Whiteners may not work on all teeth. For example, teeth with porcelain crowns and composite fillings won’t whiten along with your natural teeth, so their color may no longer match. Your dentist can also advise on the safety of your intended method. After or during your whitening process, you may experience a temporary increase in teeth sensitivity. Talk to your dentist if this happens to you.   

Prevent oral cancer from growing

by MikeMeehan 4/12/2018 1:03 PM

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, but every month is a chance to take steps to prevent oral cancer from growing. Oral cancer is known as a lifestyle disease, meaning that you can dramatically reduce your risk by adjusting your daily habits.   Tobacco, alcohol and diet are some of the biggest lifestyle factors that lead to oral cancer. Tobacco is involved in roughly 90 percent of oral cancer instances, while 7 out of 10 people who develop oral cancer drink heavily.  Heavy drinking is considered to be more than seven drinks per week for women and more than 14 for men. These high levels of alcohol consumption decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients that may help prevent cancer. When combined with tobacco use, alcohol has an even greater chance of causing cancer. In addition, not getting enough fruits and vegetables increases your risk. Adding non-starchy fruits and vegetables such as berries and broccoli to a diet has been shown to reduce the chances of developing oral cancer. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is another leading cause of oral cancers, especially oropharyngeal cancers found in the back of the throat. Luckily, there is an HPV vaccine that’s effective against the most common strains of HPV that cause oral cancer. This vaccine only works before becoming infected, so it tends to be most appropriate for preteen and adolescent girls and boys. When it comes to oral cancer, early detection can be a lifesaver. Perform home screenings and ask your dentist about oral cancer screenings during regular checkups. Mouth symptoms to look for can include sores, red or white patches, persistent pain or numbness, lumps or rough spots, and issues chewing and swallowing.  By avoiding risk factors, adjusting your daily habits and staying vigilant for symptoms, you can help protect your future from oral cancer. 

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Teeth

by MikeMeehan 3/7/2018 9:25 AM

It’s common to indulge in a libation or two to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – but will your smile feel the effects the next day? Here are a few ways to combat potential dental health issues while raising your glass to the Irish. Stay hydrated. Drinks containing spirits are especially drying to the mouth. A lack of saliva means food particles and plaque can stick to teeth longer than usual, potentially resulting in more cavities. Anytime you imbibe, especially liquor, offset the drying effects by drinking water throughout the evening. Skip the “twist.” Many martinis come with a garnish or a squirt of lemon or lime to bring out the flavors of the drink. Even a “squeeze” of lemon contains enough acid to harm tooth enamel, according to the American Dental Association, so it may be best to try a drink with a different garnish (olives are good!). Don’t go to the dark side. Red wine – and green beer – can stain teeth. If you have a drink that’s dyed or naturally dark, be sure to swish with water afterward. Though you may feel the urge to brush, it’s best not to do so immediately afterward: Acidic drinks can make tooth enamel soft, so brushing after enjoying a drink will likely do more harm than good. The bottom line: One night of celebrating probably isn’t going to cause tooth decay or damage. Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit, and remember to maintain good dental health habits like regular brushing and flossing.   1 https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/what-does-alcohol-do-to-your-teeth

Archive



©Delta Dental of Missouri 2012