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Teeth Whitening – also known as dental bleaching, is a common procedure in general dentistry but even more so in the field of cosmetic dentistry.

With the national unemployment rate sitting above 8% for the better part of 3 years now, many Americans are either unemployed or under employed. Getting a job with so much competition becomes very difficult even for those with great resumes. But, did you know you can make yourself stand out from the rest of the applicants simply by having whiter teeth?

Studies on teeth whitening have shown that there is a definite boost in self confidence and self esteem as well as how others perceive us. People with whiter teeth, smile more, and definitely have an advantage over those with yellow, stained teeth. Teeth whitening can be an inexpensive investment to to your future.

Types of Teeth Whitening Products

There are several different ways to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening products and procedures are generally distinguished as,  the in office type (performed by your dentist), at home types, and over the counter whitening.

1) In Office Teeth Whitening. This type of teeth whitening is the most effective but also the most expensive. This procedure is done  in your dentist’s office and usually completed in one hour. It uses a teeth whitening gel that is of higher concentration than the other types and is activated by a special light used by the dentist. In general, a customized impression tray is given to the patient to take home for future whitening touch ups.

2) At Home Teeth Whitening. This type still involves your dentist but is completed at home by the patient. Your dentist will fabricate custom mouth trays for you and give you the trays and teeth whitening gel to take home. This is generally completed over a 1-4 week period wearing the trays a few hours each day or at bedtime each night. You will get similar results as the in office teeth whitening but it will take longer for optimum results. For some, bleaching gel can make their teeth highly sensitive and for others wearing a mouth tray may be uncomfortable.

3) Over the counter Teeth Whitening. These products are readily available in your local drug store and can include teeth whitening strips, teeth whitening toothpastes, paint on gels, and even teeth whitening mouth rinses. This technique is the least effective but is also the cheapest way to gain whiter teeth. It works best on teens and younger adults who do not have the deep staining that develops with age. This process takes longer and usually achieves lesser results than the first two types of teeth whitening.

Process of Teeth Whitening

All of the teeth whitening procedures will whiten teeth,  as all them use the same basic peroxide based products. The main differences are in quality, concentration, and ability to keep the undiluted, activated product in contact with the tooth surface for the duration of the process.

Over time our teeth will build up stains that we are no longer able to remove from brushing alone. These stains will begin to darken our teeth as we age. Teeth whitening works to chemically lift those stains away from your teeth leaving them whiter and brighter. The main ingredient in teeth whitening products is carbamide peroxide. The carbamide peroxide is able to lift and clean out the stains.

The peroxide chemical works by opening up the surface pores of enamel to get into the deeper layers of the teeth, removing inner (intrinsic stains) as well as surface (extrinsic) stains. These surface openings or pores, close and recalcify after about 1 month after cessation of whitening. Once the initial whitening procedure is complete, it is important to give your teeth a break, so that they may remineralize. Constant whitening will cause sensitivity, damage to the teeth nerves, and possible need for root canal therapy. Staining habits tend to continue, so teeth whitening needs to be maintained if you wish to keep that whiter, brighter smile. It is recommended to whiten a for a few days directly after your dental cleaning to keep your teeth their whitest.

Drawbacks to Teeth Whitening

There are some possible side effects from teeth whitening. These include teeth sensitivity and gum tissue irritation. Usually either of these are extremely temporary, but in cases of chronic whitening, permanent nerve damage can occur. If sensitivity occurs, it is recommended to stop, for a day, and be sure to use sensitivity toothpaste. If sensitivity is still a problem you should stop whitening until the symptoms subside. The teeth sensitivity can be treated with a sensitivity toothpaste (like colgate sensitive pro relief) or an application of fluoride in the dental office. Gum irritation is generally caused by getting bleaching product directly on the gums.  This will heal on its own once the irritant is removed (i.e. the carbamide peroxide). You will need to better position your strips, more carefully paint on gel, or if using a tray, use less gel and wipe off any that extrudes past the tray so that it doesn’t sit on the gum tissue and irritate it.

Teeth Whitening and Employment Connection

The first thing that others notice about you is your smile. When you know you have a nice smile, you smile confidently. A show of self confidence can help a person to get a job. Teeth whitening can give people that self confidence to succeed. When a person goes out for a job interview they are usually greeted by the interviewer and expected to give a firm handshake and smile. This is all part of the evaluation process. A person lacking self confidence may be unable

to smile fully or even give that firm handshake needed to impress the interviewer.

A firm handshake combined with a smiling face will send a strong message. An interviewer wants to hire someone who is enthused about the possibility of working at the job.

That is why teeth whitening products can help people to land employment. It can help them to not only achieve a whiter smile but it will allow them to smile more often. This in turn can make them more marketable when they show up for a job interview.

The self confidence will not end once a person gets that job either. Whiter teeth can help a person advance on their job or even move onto a better one. Confidence starts within and projects outward towards others. Whether it is a sales job, a job that requires presentations or even one in a back office. A more confident person will be a better worker and more valuable to their employer.

Teeth whitening can give you what you need to help you start your path to success!

 

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Flossing is one of those things that everyone knows they should do but probably do not do regularly or correctly. Flossing, along with brushing is one of the most important things you can do to keep your smile healthy. Flossing is a simple 1-2 minute activity that is recommended to after meals. Once it becomes part of your routine it becomes an easy habit to keep. Everyone should floss at least once a day. The most important time of day to floss is before bedtime. When you sleep, saliva flow slows down and if food is left in between teeth, bacteria have a solid 8 hours to break teeth down with their acids without worry of being rinsed away by saliva.

Signs You are Not Flossing Properly?

-Bleeding gums upon brushing or flossing. If your gums are bleeding when brushing or flossing you have a form of periodontal disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible once you are regularly brushing, flossing, and go for regular professional cleanings. If the supporting tissues surrounding your teeth begin to breakdown then you have a more advanced form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is not reversible without intervention.

-Build up of plaque and food debris along gum line and between teeth. Flossing is able to reach areas that brushing alone can not reach. Lack of flossing will lead to tooth cavities in between teeth (also called interproximal decay). A good tip is to use a disclosing solution before brushing and flossing. It will color your plaque a color like bright purple. This will give adults and children a good visual to see what areas they might be missing.

Flossing the proper way

Flossing – The Proper Technique

Proper Flossing Technique

-Start with about 18-24 inches of floss. Then wind a good portion of the floss around each middle finger. Make sure to leave an inch or two of floss to use for the actual flossing of your teeth.

-Hold the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up and down between your teeth. Do not shoeshine side to side as you can wear notches into the teeth over time. Some teeth with tight contacts may be difficult to floss thru. Try using a thinner Teflon type of floss such as Glide. Be diligent and make sure to get in between the tight spaces.

-Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth one by one. It is important to ensure you go below the gumline. Never try to snap the floss in between the teeth as this may injure the gum tissues.

-Make sure to use clean sections of floss as you advance around your mouth.

-To remove the floss, use the same up and down movement to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

Best Types Of Floss

Depending upon your particular needs, there are many types of floss to choose from:

-Dental tape is great for teeth with space between,

-woven yarn floss is for periodontal problem areas,

-thin Teflon floss is for tight contacting teeth,

-fluoride floss is for people who are prone to cavities between teeth,

-Stain removing floss is for smokers and heavy tea/ coffee drinkers,

-all in one or threader floss is for flossing under bridgework.

Any flavor or type of floss that you feel comfortable using and use regularly is fine.

What if I find it hard to floss properly?

Let’s face it, flossing requires dexterity and work for all of us. Under some conditions or even as we age, we may lose some of our natural dexterity. This does not give you a free pass to avoid flossing. There are various aids on the market to deal with this problem. The most popular of these products are called flossers. They allow anyone to floss

Flosser - Reach Access

Flossing Using the Reach Access Flosser

their teeth easily with little to no effort.

-Wishbone type flossers- allow you to wind your own floss onto the holder, maneuver into position, floss.

-Reach access flossers- come with pre- threaded disposable floss ends, even easier to use than the previous type, just bite down, it snaps between the teeth, floss.

-disposable small plastic handled floss, (usually come in a large bag of 100 or so)

-Hummingbird, electric type flosser

There you have it, an easy guide to flossing to help maintain your oral hygiene and your smile for years to come!