To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

To whiten or not to whiten your teeth is a question dentists get asked regularly.   Many patients wish their teeth were whiter, but are worried about health risks such as tooth sensitivity and damage to the teeth’s’ roots.

On the upside, dentists may be able to predict if you will experience any problems with or sensitivities related to a treatment. They can also recommend different treatments and toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth.

What causes teeth to become darker or yellowed?

  • Coffee, tea and other dark liquids
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products that contain tar
  • Not brushing your teeth often enough
  • Not brushing correctly
  • Tooth injury or trauma
  • Medications
  • Age
  • Dental Fluorosis
To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

As a rule, teeth that have yellowed react well to whitening whereas brownish-colored teeth don’t react as well.

Treatment Options

One option is to have your dentist do the procedure.  Another option is an over-the-counter product. The biggest difference is the amount of bleaching agent used.  A dentist’s office, with training and experience,  will use a higher concentration of peroxide.

Many dentists, like Dr. Abeyta, will design custom bleach splints that are ready in a day. She will provide a special bleaching agent to put into the clear, nearly invisible splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, their special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way.

Once your teeth are as white as you want, only occasional treatments are needed to maintain your dazzling smile.

If you decide to use an over-the counter product, be sure to follow the directions on the package very carefully.  Each one has its own guidelines for how long it should remain on your teeth and how often you should apply the whitener.

Other Considerations

While the American Dental Association considers teething whitening safe, it is generally not recommended for nursing mothers or pregnant women or nursing mothers.

Dr. Abeyta and her team can help you decide whether teeth whitening is right for you, and what approach might work best to get the smile you are looking for. Contact their office at (505)-293-7611 to learn more about their comprehensive, same day services. Remember your best defense is your daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and yearly checkups and cleanings.

Happy Holidays from Dr Abeyta and her staff in Albuquerque, NM!

 

Oh No, My Filling Just Fell Out!

Oh No, My Filling Just Fell Out!

Oh no, my filling just fell out and I don’t know what to do! First step, don’t panic.

Tooth fillings come loose and fall out for different reasons. Sometimes flossing will dislodge a filling as will biting down on something hard. Plaque can also be a contributing factor. When plaque builds up around the margins of the filling it can force or push out the filling. Other times a second cavity or decay under the filling can be the culprit.

Get your missing filling replaced at Dr. Aberyta's office.

Next step, contact your dentist. A broken or missing filling should be replaced as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the chance for the cavity to enlarge or for an infection to begin.

Third step,

  • Keep the area clean and avoid chewing hard or sticky foods on the affected side of your mouth. You don’t want to further damage the tooth.
  • If the tooth is sensitive, a little clove oil applied with a cotton swab will dull the pain. It can be found at pharmacies or in the spice section of many grocery stores.
  • Watch for fluids leaking out of the tooth or bad odors. This could be a sign of infection. If you do notice any of these symptoms contact your dentist immediately.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal to keep the area free of food particles.
  • Swish with salt water a few times a day. This will also help keep the tooth clean.
    In many cases, the process of fixing the tooth is simple – the tooth is cleaned out and the filling replaced. In other instances, a dental procedure may be needed. If the filling was metal it is recommended to replace it with composite. In any case, the tooth will be restored and healthy when your visit is complete.

Maintaining your dental health is critical to overall health. Good oral health allows a person to speak, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and smile. Comprehensive dental care considers every aspect of your life, medical condition, and your dental condition. The office of Dr. Abeyta understands this concept and will work with you to create a dynamic action plan for your best oral and overall health. Call today to schedule your appointment at (505) 293-7611 and if you’re calling about a lost filling, don’t panic, they’ve got you covered.

You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet

You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet

You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet was an adventure game developed and published by Humongous Entertainment.  The aim of the game was to get the delegates to declare happiness between the food groups, with the intent of teaching children about healthy eating.  The main character, Pajama Sam, battled “villains” that were high in sugar (a box of rogue cookies), starches and carbohydrates in the game. 

You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet

So, what are healthy foods vs. “villains” and how do they affect the teeth?

Fruits and vegetables are at the top of healthy foods, especially ones that have a high-water content like melons, celery, cucumbers and pears.   Though most kids love bananas and raisins, they contain concentrated sugar. 

Foods like broccoli, yogurt, eggs and cheese are high in calcium and help to build strong teeth. 

Monterey Jack, cheddar and other aged cheeses trigger saliva.  Saliva helps wash away pieces of food from the teeth.

Chewy or sticky foods are not recommended.  Foods like dried fruits, gummy bears, caramel candies, peanut butter and syrup stick to the teeth.  When children eat these foods encourage them to brush immediately after finishing their food to help halt bacteria and plaque.   

Hard candies, cough drops and breath mints are also considered “villains”.  They coat the teeth with sugar.   Studies have directly linked sugar to tooth decay.

Limiting the number of snacks your child eats in a day can help combat tooth decay.  Snacking constantly, without brushing in between, provides constant fuel to feed bacteria, which in turn leads to plaque development and tooth decay.  

Provide water for a drink.  Sodas, juices and even milk contain sugar.  The body needs water and water helps wash away food particles from the teeth. 

You don’t totally have to deprive kids of sweets.  Dessert after the main meal can be just what the doctor ordered.  With the increased amount of saliva in the mouth that comes at mealtime and the beverage served with the meal, food pieces and sugar get washed away from the teeth.

Brush your child’s teeth after giving them any liquid medicine. Cough syrups contain sugar that the bacteria in the mouth uses to make acids. These acids eat away at the enamel which is the protective top layer of the tooth.

And like Pajama Sam said, “no food is an island“.  Sam gives the delegates an inspiring speech about working together and at the end of the game the delegates declare peace among the food groups so that they can join forces to ensure overall healthy kids.

Dr. Abeyta offers comprehensive, same-day dental care for your overall health as well as giving you the best smile in Albuquerque.   Your first visit will be one-on-one to talk about healthy choices for you and your family. Call today to make your child’s first dental appointment (505) 293-7611.