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We all have those times when we are seeking some kind of life change. It can make a difference to shake things up, and to gain a new lease on life. But finding that source of renewed enthusiasm can be easier said than done. What if a dramatic transformation were possible with just one simple visit to the dentist’s office? Teeth whitening offers that significant change. Don’t underestimate the changes a brighter smile could bring into your life. Read on for a preview of your potential post-whitening experience.

Teeth whitening has become a routine practice for many. They have found that the  benefits of a white smile are worth the effort. Below you will find some of the best reasons to whiten your smile.

Can Whiter Teeth Change Your Life?

While teeth whitening alone will not change your life it can be the start along a path of feeling better about yourself. So what can teeth whitening do for you?

-Increased Self Confidence. Studies have shown the better we feel about ourselves in front of the mirror, the more confidence we will portray to others when we venture out into the world. When you look good, you will feel good about yourself.

-Healthier Appearance. When we have a whiter, youthful looking smile it conveys health to others. Studies have shown that a person’s smile is a big influencer in how we are perceived on a first impression. It also shows others you take pride in your appearance.

-Stand Out In A Crowd. A whiter, brighter smile will draw others attention to you.

-Increased Business. When a person has a bright, white smile they tell the world they are ready for success.  Once you are feeling better about yourself, you will see a boost in work performance as well.

Recent Research

In 2007, Loyola Marymount University carried out a series of three studies regarding teeth whitening and the results confirm the previous statements.

1st study examined men and women going for a simulated job interview, with the interviewers being in qualified human resource positions. The interviewees were randomly selected from a wide range of people. Some of the subjects had previously whitened their teeth, and others had not. The results of the study showed that more people who had whitened their teeth were given a job (58% to whitened Vs.42% to non whitened), and the tooth whitened subjects were offered higher salaries (53% to whitened Vs. 47% to non whitened).

2nd study examined people going on a simulated date, again with some subjects having had tooth whitening and others not. This study revealed a similar pattern with more of the tooth whitened people being asked for a follow up date.

3rd study showed subjects various pictures of people and were asked to rate quality and attributes for each person. The results showed improved perceived qualities for the tooth whitened group over the non tooth whitened group. The personal qualities deemed to be better in the group with whitened teeth were trustworthiness, increased professionalism, confident and outgoing, seen as having professional success and financial success.

Teeth Whitening Methods

The various methods all have the same goal in common, to make your teeth whiter. Some are able to be done on your own and others are done under the supervision of a dentist.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste. This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use. It is easy because it is something we already should be doing every day, at least twice a day….tooth brushing. Many toothpastes now include teeth whitening agents, or strong stain removers to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have variable results from person to person. If you have very deep staining, these toothpastes may not work as well for you. Long term use may cause sensitivity, so use as directed.

Teeth Whitening Strips/ Whitening Pens. This method costs a little bit more and can give better results. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips, gel pens or Trays over-the-counter at your local drug store or at the dental office. It is important to Check the expiration date on this product as it does have an effect on the whitening agent. The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips and pens are the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening procedures however, the concentration of the teeth whitening agent in the store bought products is at a much lower level. The lower concentration may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you would like. The other drawback is the strips and pen may be difficult to place and may be messy. The strips must be placed across all the teeth, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is not great, and they may irritate oral tissues.

Teeth Whitening With Custom Trays. This method is done through the supervision of your dentist. The whitening trays are fabricated to custom fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or only applied to specific teeth. The trays can be worn day or night (even comfortable during sleeping) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for busy schedules. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening will use stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantage to this type of teeth whitening vs the at home techniques is that it costs more, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are better.

In Office Teeth Whitening. This is the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option. This procedure is performed by the dentist using a special light and teeth whitening gel. This type of whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 to one hour. This technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent  accelerated by heat and light  to speed up the Teeth Whitening process.

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

If you have ever considered teeth whitening, now might be the opportunity to take the leap and have a new smile. Teeth whitening is a simple procedure that can give you maximum results. Talk to your dentist before whitening. You may have dental fillings, surface irregularities, or dental crowns that will stand out if not addressed before beginning teeth whitening procedures. Decide which procedure is best for you and enjoy your new white smile.



Whiter teeth have been a hallmark of youth and health for many years. Over the last 15 years or so, many different methods and products have come to market to allow everyone to achieve the goal of a whiter smile if they so choose. There are so many different methods it is not always easy to choose the one that is right for you. Below you will find a detailed description of each type of teeth whitening to help make your choice easier.

Teeth Whitening Methods

The various methods all have the same goal in common, to make your teeth whiter. Some are done on your own and others are done under the supervision of a dentist.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste ($5-$12 per tube). This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use. It is easy because it is something we do every day at least twice a day….tooth brushing. Many toothpastes now incorporate teeth whitening agents to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have their drawbacks. The results are very variable from person to person. If you have very deep staining, these toothpastes may not work as well as for someone who has very light staining. However, as mentioned earlier, we are brushing anyway, so why not give it a try and see what the results may bring for your particular smile.

Teeth Whitening Strips/ Gel Pens ($20-$55 per box). This method costs a little bit more and can give very good results as well. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips, gel pens or Trays over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Check the expiration date on this product as it does matter. The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips and gels are the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening procedures however, the concentration of the teeth whitening agent in the store bought products is at a much lower level. The lower concentration may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you’d like. The other drawback is the application of the strips and gels. The strips must be placed across all the teeth, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is not great, and they may irritate gum tissues. The gels can be messy, and may be uncomfortable to swallow.

Teeth Whitening W/ Custom Trays ($200-$500). This method is done through your dentist‘s office. The trays are made to custom fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or only applied to specific teeth. The trays can be worn day or night (even while sleeping) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for busy schedules. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening will use stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantage to this type of teeth whitening vs the at home techniques is that it costs more, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are better.

In Office Teeth Whitening ($300-$800). This is the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option. This procedure is performed by the dentist using a special light and teeth whitening gel. This type of whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 to one hour. This technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent  accelerated by heat and light  to speed up the Teeth Whitening process. The disadvantages are, you have no idea what the results will be in the one hour, and the higher cost of  Teeth Whitening.

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

As you can see above there are many choices available for teeth whitening. Discuss the various options for teeth whitening with your dentist to see what would work best for you. Teeth whitening is a rapidly growing trend. Be financially and proceduraly aware when choosing the best option for your smile.

 



Geographic tongue is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the tongue (can also affect other areas of the mouth) affecting approximately 3% of the population. It is characterized by discolored regions of taste buds or sometimes even cracks in the surface of the tongue. Geographic tongue will frequently show up after eating any of a range of exacerbating foods, or during times of stress, illness, or hormonal surges (particularly in women just before menstruating). The name “geographic” comes from the map like shape of the lesion. Fortunately, geographic tongue is a harmless benign condition that will not lead to oral cancer or infection.

Geographic Tongue Symptoms

The hallmark signs of geographic tongue include irregular, smooth, red patches on parts of the tongue (can be on top or the sides). These patches have the following characteristics:

-A white or light-colored outlining border.

-Varying  size, shape, and color patches across the tongue.

-They move from one place to another. May start in one area and then appear in another.

-Come and go or change very quickly  in days, weeks, or months

-Long lasting. Geographic tongue can last up to a year at a time.

-About 10% of all geographic tongue patients may experience mild discomfort or a burning/painful sensation. This sensation is often triggered by sensitivity to cigarette smoke, toothpaste, coffee,or hot, spicy foods.

What Causes Geographic Tongue?

Geographic tongue occurs when parts of the tongue are missing layers of small bumps called papillae. They normally cover the entire upper layer of your tongue. It is unknown why some people lose this papillae. Geographic tongue does tend to run in families so a genetic link is suspected.

Geographic tongue has also been seen more frequently in people with psoriasis and in those with fissured tongue. In fissured tongue, cracks and grooves appear on the tops and sides of the tongue.

Geographic Tongue Treatment

As with any lesion in the mouth, you should see your dentist to ensure the proper diagnosis. In some cases tests may need to be run to rule out something more serious. But usually your symptoms coupled with a visual examination is enough to diagnose geographic tongue.

In most cases, any pain or discomfort will get better without treatment. But for some there are medications that can help relieve the symptoms. These include zinc supplements, mouthrinses with anesthetic, topical corticosteroids (applied directly to the tongue), and over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS).

At home self care should include limiting use of tobacco products, choosing toothpaste without extra additives (toothpaste for sensitive teeth works best), avoiding hot, spicy foods, keeping the tongue clean by scraping or brushing daily.

Conclusion

For most people with geographic tongue, it is symptomless. Some people experience anxiety about the appearance of their tongue. Understanding that it is a variation of normal, and nothing serious, may alleviate some of the anxiety. Some habits can help decrease the cosmetic appearance, and some increase it’s intensity and duration. Rest assured that, while different looking, geographic tongue is not contagious, nor is it indicitive of poor health. Geographic tongue need only be understood so that symptoms can be managed to the best of your ability.

 



Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort in one or more teeth that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. The pain can be sharp, sudden, and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.

Sensitive teeth is a very common issue for many adults in America. Sensitive teeth occur when the layer under the enamel (the dentin), or cementum (root area) of your teeth becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue. These unprotected surfaces, which are not covered by hard protective enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve center (also called the pulp). These dentinal tubules allow the hot, cold, or sweet food to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.

Sensitive Teeth Home Remedies

If you develop tooth sensitivity in one or more teeth, first see your dentist for an examination to determine the cause. Then, if your sensitivity is caused by simple enamel abrasion or by gum recession, try the following home remedies for relief:

-Desensitizing Toothpaste. Unfortunately, tooth sensitivity over a wide area due to enamel abrasion or recession at the gum line usually cannot always be treated with dental fillings. Instead, it may be recommended that you try brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes are available at your local drug store. These toothpastes contain ingredients that reduce tooth sensitivity by filling in the tubules in the dentin. Another good tip is to put some of the toothpaste on your finger and spread it over the sensitive spots in your mouth before you go to bed. You can spit out excess but do not rinse otherwise you will wash it off. The tooth sensitivity should be reduced over the course of a few weeks. A good toothpaste for sensitivity is Colgate sensitive Pro-relief.

-Fluoride Rinse. Stannous Fluoride rinses can help decrease sensitivity, especially for people plagued with decay issues. There are certain instances where patients need a stronger fluoride rinse than available at the local drugstore. During some periodontal disease treatment, teeth can become more sensitive than usual until the gum tissue heals. Dentists will then prescribe a higher concentration fluoride rinse to use.

-Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. Keep your teeth clean through brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Plaque, the white substance that forms on and around teeth, produces an acid that irritates teeth, especially if your teeth are naturally sensitive. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after eating and definitely before bed) and flossing at least once per day.

-Use a Soft Bristled Toothbrush or a Mechanical Toothbrush. Using a tooth brush that is too hard or being too aggressive while brushing can actually damage your teeth’s enamel. When the gum line recedes, the exposed dentin along the root becomes even more vulnerable to abrasion. Using a brush with soft bristles along with a gentle touch works far better in the long run. A good option is the Rotadent electric toothbrush. The Rotadent has very soft bristles and the action of the brush does all work effectively cleaning your teeth without doing any unnecessary harm.

Decrease Acids in Your Diet. Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and vinegar can increase sensitivity. If you combine acids with sugar as in sour gummies, you can cause yourself hours of aching teeth.

Be Careful of Temperature. Extreme hot or cold should be limited. If cold, use a straw. If too hot, let it cool down a bit before consumption. Never follow one temperature extreme with the other. Drinking hot coffee after ice cream is sure to increase your sensitivity dramatically.

Sensitive Teeth Conclusion

These at home remedies are to be utilized after seeing your dentist to get a full evaluation as to why your teeth are sensitive. Figuring that out should always be the first step to ensure the sensitivity is not from a tooth fracture or tooth decay. The remedies above will help resolve limited tooth sensitivity so it is not as big an issue for you and you can resume eating and drinking your favorite items.