Improving the look of your smile is as important today as optimizing its health. That importance is due in part to the many benefits that a confident smile can bring your health and quality of life. It is also due to the fact that many of the issues that mar your smile’s appearance also create conditions that can increase the risk to your oral health. One of the most common aesthetic issues afflicting people’s smiles is staining, and teeth whitening has become a popular reason to visit the dentist. There are also numerous products on the market which cater to patients’ wishes for brighter smiles, each with its own varying degree of success. Before turning to chemical teeth whitening products, however, Lake Forest cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Fondriest advises reaching for the baking soda.
Like A Thousand Little Scrub Brushes
Baking soda has been a fan favorite in tooth care for decades. Its effectiveness as an oral health product and as a household cleaner lies in its natural abrasiveness. Although it appears as powder, baking soda actually consists of countless little crystals that act as tiny brushes, scrubbing away stains from the surfaces of your teeth (or countertops and floors). Baking soda should be used on your teeth with care, though, or this very same quality may cause it to scrub the enamel, and therefore the protection, from your teeth.
Another of baking soda’s most favorable uses is deodorization. Many common odors are acid-based, and as an alkaline (acid’s opposite), baking soda helps neutralize acidic substances and render them neutral. Acidity does more than cause odor, however. As far as your teeth are concerned, acid is a ferocious enemy. It erodes your tooth enamel and allows stains to adhere to your teeth more easily, as well as making teeth vulnerable to bacterial infection and decay. Using baking soda in your oral hygiene routine helps neutralize harmful acids and protect your teeth’s health, as well as their appearance.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Unfortunately, even the addition of baking soda to your hygiene routine won’t necessarily guarantee the prevention of teeth stains. Discoloration can occur from a lifetime of use, or as a side-effect of certain illnesses and medications, as often as from poor oral hygiene. When baking soda and toothpaste fail to prevent teeth stains, professional teeth whitening at our Lake Forest dentist’s office can help eradicate the blemishes and improve your smile’s appearance. Our take-home whitening kits, Night White and Day White, can noticeably brighten your smile up to ten shades in as little as two weeks when used as directed.
While highly effective, teeth whitening may not always achieve the brighter smile that a patient wishes for, depending on the nature of the stains marring the patient’s teeth. If a tooth’s changing color is an internal reaction (intrinsic) rather than a blemish on the enamel’s surface, then chemical teeth whitening may not suffice to improve their color. In cases of severe or intrinsic teeth stains, Dr. Fondriest may recommend dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or dental crowns, depending on the patient’s specific needs and goals. Common reasons for intrinsic tooth stains include;
- Fluorosis (stains resulting from an overabundance of fluoride exposure as a child)
- Tetracycline antibiotics, either used by the mother during pregnancy or by the patient as a child under the age of eight
- Trauma, such as bleeding, or infection that affects the internal structures of the tooth
- Genetics (a rare disorder called dentinogenesis imperfect can cause teeth to become slightly gray, amber, or purple
About Lake Forest Dental Arts:
Aside from providing expert general and cosmetic dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds highly-respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff. To schedule your smile restoration or smile improvement consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.
Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States