Dental Excellence

Myths About Teeth Whitening

myths about teethe whitening

Everyone wants to have a whiter smile, but making the decision to pursue whitening treatment can be tough. Myths and stereotypes can lead to negative connotations, inhibiting you from moving forward with treatment. Below are three misconceptions about teeth whitening:

 

Teeth whitening treatments at my doctor’s office are no more effective than those purchased at drugstores.

On the contrary, the maximum strength bleach that our dentists provide delivers the best and fastest teeth whitening results. Another factor that makes dentist-provided whitening kits most effective is the fact that the trays are customized to fit each individual patient perfectly which keeps the gel in closer, more precise contact with your teeth. Don’t waste your time at the drugstore when you can get a brighter, whiter smile from us in record time!

 

Tooth whitening harms enamel.

Despite this negative misconception, teeth whitening does not actually harm the enamel of a tooth. Bleaching works by opening the pores of a tooth. This allows for the peroxide to enter the inner structure of the tooth and remove stains. The pores will close again over time, leaving the enamel unharmed.

 

You can never drink coffee or wine again after whitening.

While patients are told to stay away from heavy staining and acidic foods, such as red wine and coffee, it’s not forever! Dentists recommend this just for the first few days after treatment because the pores in your teeth remain open and the chemical reaction takes place over the course of a few days.

 

Whitening treatments can be intimidating, especially if you are not properly informed. It’s important to know the facts when making decisions about your teeth. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, contact our office today at 360-835-3738

What is Periodontal Disease?

woman smiling, healthy gumsPeriodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It is caused when bacteria are not removed through regular brushing and flossing, causing inflammation and infection of the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can affect the bone supporting your teeth and in some cases, can result in the loss of teeth.

Periodontal disease occurs in three stages:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the initial state of periodontal disease. It is typically characterized by red swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. An early sign of gingivitis is bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, even after rinsing. Gingivitis is a relatively mild form of periodontal disease that can be reversed if treated early enough. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis.

Periodontitis

At this stage of periodontal disease, plaque hardens and turns into tartar that cannot be removed with brushing alone. Tartar must be removed with professional dental tools, or the tooth is at risk for further damage. Signs of periodontitis include increased bleeding of the gums that occurs while brushing (or spontaneously), and you may also notice gum recession resulting in lengthening of the teeth.

Advanced Periodontitis

This stage of periodontal disease involves tooth decay and permanent bone loss. Deep pockets form between the tooth and gums, and may be filled with pus. At this state of periodontitis, your bite becomes affected, and permanent teeth may need to be removed.

Preventing Gum Disease

The early stages of periodontal disease can be reversed with proper brushing and flossing techniques at home plus regular dental visits. The earlier you treat periodontal disease, the easier it is to manage and can help to restore your gums with minimal to no lasting damage.

If you start to notice symptoms of gingivitis, contact our office at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738 for an examination.

Make A Difference on the Scale and in Your Mouth

make a differenceOne of the biggest topics that people buzz about is losing a few pounds and making healthier decisions when it comes to food. But did you know that making those changes could not only make a difference on the scale but also in your mouth?

Here are 3 food tips that bring benefits to your body and your mouth.

  1. Meal Planning: When you’re meal planning, you are taking the time to choose healthier options. You won’t be wondering what your next meal will be and you won’t be choosing fattier, sugary foods. Keep in mind when you are planning to always have a protein, vegetable and grain. You will find yourself eating a fully balanced and healthy meal and saving money by not eating out.
  2. H20 on the Go: you might have chosen the soda over water, but lately, flavored water is the trendy choice. You can buy flavored water or create your own. Cut up some fruits like lemons and strawberries, add those to your water and let it sit overnight. The next day you can grab this flavor-packed water and not feel bad while drinking it. Not only are you staying hydrated, but you aren’t consuming all the sugar that comes in one can on soda.
  3. Snacking Smart: We all love to snack, but you may find that during your snacking time, you tend to choose unhealthy options. Surround yourself with healthy snacks that you won’t feel guilty about eating after and snacks that you will enjoy. Cut up some veggies on the weekend and create snack packs that are easy to grab on the go. Hard-boil some eggs, cheese sticks, individual yogurts, a variety of nuts, the list could go on. Mix and match and make different snack packs. If you are surrounding yourself with better choices, then you will be more likely to eat them!

These three tips might not seem like a big difference, but in the end you will notice that you look and feel heathier. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your mouth. If you have more questions about what foods are good for your body and your mouth, contact our office at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738.

Tips to Maintain Your Bright White Smile 

woman smiling white teethIf you have recently whitened your teeth and are looking for ways to keep your teeth bright and white, there are a few easy steps you can take to keep stains at bay.

Avoid Staining Food and Drinks

One of the most important things you can do to prevent tooth discoloration is to avoid eating and drinking foods that can stain your teeth. Foods such as pasta sauce, dark berries such as blueberries and drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine all have the ability to stain your teeth.

Use a Straw

Using a straw when you drink will keep liquids away from your teeth. If you cannot stop drinking your morning coffee, try drinking with a straw to limit its contact with your teeth. If you are unable to use a straw, drink water after drinking staining beverages to wash away any potential stains.

Quit Smoking

Not only is it good for your health but also for your teeth! Teeth are naturally porous, and the nicotine and tar present in cigarettes build up in the pores, causing significant tooth discoloration over time.

Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth is also important in maintaining your pearly whites. Brushing your teeth after eating and drinking staining foods will help deter stain-causing plaque from sitting on your teeth too long and causing damage.

Keep Up with Whitening

While doing the above steps will help prevent your teeth from staining, you will need to continue to do whitening treatments to keep your teeth vibrant and white. A whitening tooth paste and mouthwash will help to keep your teeth white between whitening treatments in our office.

If you want a bright, beautiful, confidence-enhancing smile, contact our office at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738 to learn more about teeth whitening!

Gingivitis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

woman brushing teethWhat is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, a very common and early form of periodontal disease. It causes infection and inflammation of the gum and teeth tissue, the periodontal ligaments that connect your teeth to the bone and the tooth sockets.

When there is a long-standing build up of plaque on your teeth, that’s when gingivitis can creep in. This is why brushing and flossing daily is a key component to the prevention and treatment of gingivitis. If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it turns into tartar, or calculus, which gets trapped at the base of your teeth and can cause tender, infected, and swollen gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis and cause receding gums.

Brushing and flossing twice daily will help to prevent plaque buildup. If plaque is left too long on your teeth, it can form a hard outer shield, which locks in bacteria and can be very difficult to penetrate. If the plaque hardens, it can only be removed by your dentist. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to get a professional teeth cleaning every six months!

What are factors that can increase my risk for Gingivitis?

Health Factors:

  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Substance Abuse
  • Age
  • Gender- woman are more likely to suffer from gingivitis due to their hormonal changes
  • Certain medications

Symptoms

  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Shiny gums
  • Bleeding gums- especially while brushing and flossing
  • Mouth sores
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath

If you are currently or have recently experienced any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your as soon as possible and make sure to keep up with your routine dental cleanings. Practicing proper dental hygiene is a great way to treat and prevent gingivitis from occurring in the first place as well as preventing it from progressing any further. Brushing and flossing twice daily is the biggest step you can take towards a healthier, happier smile!

5 Tips for a Healthier Smile

woman smiling with healthy teethSometimes we skip a tooth brushing every now and then, which may seem like no big deal. While, in the grand scheme of things, it may seem like missing a tooth brushing here in there isn’t the end of the world, it may lead to unhealthy dental habits, which eventually could result in serious dental damage! By adopting healthy, regular dental habits, you can lower your chance of tooth decay and cavities. Here are some helpful tips towards a healthy, happier smile!

Brush and Floss Regularly:

You should brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once. If you want to have impeccable oral hygiene, you may also brush your teeth after each meal or snack. If brushing isn’t a post-meal option for you, thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water will help as well.

Use Mouthwash:

Using mouthwash twice a day after brushing is a great way wash away leftover bacteria and give your mouth that super clean feel.

Eat Tooth-healthy Foods:

Believe it or not, there are certain foods that are good for your teeth and will help to strengthen them and fight against bacteria and plaque build-up. Some foods that will benefit your dental health include but are not limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum.

Make Routine Dental Visits:

Professional teeth cleanings and dental check-ups should be scheduled for every six months. If you have a history of dental issues, or if you know you need special attention, visiting your dentist more often than every six months may be best for you.

Consider Dental Sealants:

During your next dental visit, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants will seal up small grooves and nooks in your teeth, preventing bacteria build-up in those hard to reach places. They can also help prevent tooth decay and can last up to ten years with proper dental care!

If you have any questions about your oral health, please give us a call at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738.

Straight Talk: All You Need to Know About Invisalign

woman smiling with invisalignAre you ready to start your journey to straighter teeth? Do you dislike the look of regular metal braces? If so, Invisalign may be for you.

Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a different take on traditional braces. This treatment is used to straighten crooked or crowded teeth with the use of clear plastic trays. Invisalign is designed to be invisible on the teeth, allowing for discreet treatment. Invisalign uses modern computer imaging to map out the future progression of your tooth movement for your aligner trays. This allows for completely customized aligner trays for your teeth.

How is Invisalign different from ordinary braces?

Invisalign allows the wearer to remove the trays whenever they would like to. This gives you the ability to eat and drink whatever you want during your treatment time. With its removable trays, Invisalign also allows the wearer to have improved oral hygiene over those who wear traditional braces.

The Process

Once you have had a consultation with your doctor to determine if Invisalign is right for you, your custom made Invisalign trays will be made. You will need to wear your trays up to 22 hours a day to maximize your treatment. Be sure to take your trays out for eating, drinking and of course to brush and floss. You will have new trays every two weeks and over the duration of your treatment you will begin to see your teeth shift into place. You can expect to have routine visits with your doctor every four to six weeks to check on your progress.

Aftercare

Once your treatment is over, you will have beautiful straight teeth. However, even though your treatment is done, you still need to wear a retainer at night. This is done to prevent your teeth from shifting.

If you are interested in starting Invisalign treatment, give us a call at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738 to schedule a consultation.

Teeth Whitening: At Home vs In-Office Treatments

woman smiling with white teethOver the last decade, at-home tooth whitening systems have become more abundant, more varied, and more affordable. A quick walk through your local drug store is all you need to do to know that there is an endless supply of teeth bleaching treatments that you can do at home to achieve a whiter smile.

You may be wondering, “If it’s so easy to access these products in a store, why would I want to spend the time and money to have my teeth whitened in my dentist’s office?”

Here are the top five reasons that we recommend that you come see us first if you are interested in whitening your smile:

1. Whiter whitening: Over the counter bleaching products can only contain 10% peroxide, while our in-office treatments can contain 25-40% peroxide, offering a whiter white!
2. Quicker: The higher concentration of peroxide combined with other safety and acceleration tools like lasers allow us to whiten your teeth much more quickly than can be done at home.
3. Fewer Side Effects: At home, some people experience damage to the tooth or surrounding gum area when whitening their teeth, causing pain or sensitivity. By contrast, in the office, we have access to preventative tools that can protect your gums and teeth from damage from bleaching.
4. Always Examine First! It is always wise to have an oral exam prior to your whitening procedure, as we can detect potential problems, areas that are prone to sensitivity, and even help you choose your best path to a whiter smile.
5. Best of Both Worlds: If you still want to try at-home treatments, give us a call. We can send you home with approved whitening treatments to give you the protection, convenience and the whiter smile that you desire.

4 Foods That Can Cause Dental Emergencies

tooth and emergency kitEvery day, we have patients visit our office for help with a dental emergency. A lot of these emergencies are caused by biting into foods that are too hard, resulting in a cracked tooth, loss of a filling or a broken dental crown.

To avoid a painful and inconvenient dental emergency, here are some foods you should avoid (or be extra cautions while eating):

Popcorn
As delicious as this buttery snack may be, it’s not as innocent as it seems. The husks can get wedged between your teeth or underneath your gums causing a popcorn abscess. Be sure to floss after you eat popcorn to avoid that from happening. However, the true culprits here are the kernels. If you grab a large handful of popcorn and don’t know that a kernel is hiding in the middle, all it takes is one chomp down and oops! there goes your tooth! The next time you eat popcorn, chew slowly to avoid those kernels and enjoy the fluffy buttery goodness that is on top.

Almonds
You might be surprised by this fact: As nutritious as almonds can be, they also cause a lot of chips, fractures and cracks in teeth. Instead of eating the almond whole, try slivered or sliced versions, which make them softer and easier to chew.

Carmel Candies
Yes, this delicious and chewy candy seems harmless with its soft exterior, but it can cause issues with your teeth. When you chew down, the candies wedge between your teeth and pull out any loose dental work/restorations that you have had. Other candies that have the same sticky qualities are starburst and taffy. They might be hard to resist, but doing so is key to avoiding dental emergencies.

Ice Cubes
You might find this strange but many people love to chew on an ice cube on a hot day. But before you put an ice cube in your month, imagine chewing on a rock, which would basically have the same effect as ice. Ice is hard on enamel, and can easily crack and break teeth.

These are just a few kitchen items that you should avoid if you want to save your teeth. Some foods may be more tempting than others, but at the end of the day, one little snack isn’t worth a busted tooth!

If you experience a dental emergency, call our office at Washougal Dental Office Phone Number 360-835-3738 to schedule an appointment.

A Better Breakfast for a Better Smile

healthy breakfast foodsBreakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your body and provides you with enough energy to make it through your hectic morning as well as keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Eating a balanced breakfast is not only good for you body, but also good for your teeth. Being mindful of the acidity and sugar levels in your food is key to keeping your teeth in tip-top shape!

When it comes to breakfast foods, there are a few foods we recommend eating in moderation! These include, but are not limited to, orange juice and sugary cereals. Orange juice has a very high acidity and by drinking too much, the acid can wear down your tooth enamel. Cereals that are high in sugar have a similar effect on your teeth, but the sugar can also cause cavities.

Eating a balanced breakfast that is low in sugar and acid, but high in protein will make your body and teeth feel great! Protein rich foods will help to build up your enamel and keep your teeth stronger than ever.

Here are a few recipe ideas for a healthy and balanced breakfast:

Overnight Oats:

o 1/3 cup of oats
o 1/3 cup of milk (or substitute almond, soy, coconut, etc.)
o 1/3 cup of plain Greek Yogurt
o 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds OR ¼ cup chopped nuts
o Fresh fruit/ berries of your choice!

Mix all of the ingredients together in a sealed container, or mason jar, and place in fridge the night before. Open and enjoy the next morning for a healthy and balanced breakfast!

Avocado Toast:

o 1-2 slices of whole grain toast
o 1 ripe avocado
o 1 egg (cooked to your preference)
o 1 ripe tomato
o Seasonings of your choice (salt & pepper, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, etc.)