Posts for tag: teeth whitening
Bright, naturally white teeth are a key component in a beautiful smile. But the opposite is also true: nothing diminishes an otherwise attractive smile more than stained or discolored teeth.
There is good news, however, about tooth staining: it can be greatly reduced with the right whitening technique. But before taking action we need to first uncover the cause for the staining — whether from the outside or inside of the tooth, or a combination of both.
If it’s an external cause — known as extrinsic staining — our diet is usually the source. Foods and beverages that contain tannins, like red wine, coffee or tea fall in this category, as do foods with pigments called carotenes as found in carrots and oranges. Besides limiting consumption of stain-causing foods and maintaining daily oral hygiene, you can also diminish extrinsic staining with a bleaching application.
There are two basic ways to approach this: with either a professional application at our office or with a home kit purchased at a pharmacy or retail store. Although both types use similar chemicals, the professional application is usually stronger and the whitening effect is obtained quicker and may last longer.
Discoloration can also occur within a tooth, known as intrinsic staining, and for various reasons. It can occur during tooth development, as with childhood overexposure to fluoride or from the antibiotic tetracycline. Poor development of enamel or dentin (the main sources of natural tooth color), tooth decay, root canal treatments or trauma are also common causes of intrinsic discoloration.
There are techniques to reduce the effects of intrinsic staining, such as placing a bleaching agent inside the tooth following a root canal treatment. In some cases, the best approach may be to restore the tooth with a crown or porcelain veneer. The latter choice is a thin layer of dental material that is permanently bonded to the outer, visible portion of the tooth: it’s life-like color and appearance covers the discoloration, effectively renewing the person’s smile.
If you’ve been embarrassed by stained teeth, visit us for a complete examination. We’ll recommend the right course of action to turn your dull smile into a bright, attractive one.
If you would like more information on treatments for teeth staining, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening.”
To anyone immersed in the “X-Men Universe” Hugh Jackman will always be Wolverine, a role he played in seven movies. But there’s more to this Australian actor than mutant bone claws and mutton chops that would make Elvis envious. Jackman has also starred in over 20 non-superhero films, including Les Misérables, for which he won a Golden Globe. He is also a Tony award-winning Broadway performer—with a winning smile.
With his famed character Logan/Wolverine fading in the rearview mirror, Jackman has returned to his musical roots. He will play Harold Hill in the Broadway revival of The Music Man, set to open in Fall 2020. And since May 2019 he’s been on world tour with Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show., featuring Jackman and a supporting cast performing songs from favorite shows and films, including Les Misérables and the 2017 hit The Greatest Showman.
The Show, with 90 planned stops throughout Europe, North America and Oceania, is a decidedly different “universe” from the X-Men. As Wolverine, Jackman could get away with a scruffier look. But performing as Jean Valjean or the bigger-than-life P.T. Barnum, he has to bring a vastly different look to the role, which brings us to Jackman’s teeth…
Once upon a time, Jackman’s teeth were an unflattering gray—definitely not a good look for stage or film. So with the help of his dentist, Jackman set about upgrading his smile with teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a great way to take a dull, stained smile and turn up the volume on its brightness—and attractiveness—a notch or two. A dentist applies a bleaching solution that stays in contact with the teeth for a few minutes. The process is often aided by special lighting.
A professional application is especially desirable if, like Jackman, you want “Goldilocks” brightness: not too little, not too much, but just right for you. Dentists can precisely control the tint level to get a brighter but more naturally looking white. Of course, you can also get a dazzling “Hollywood” smile if you so desire.
And although the effect of teeth whitening isn’t permanent, a dental application can last a while, depending on how well you manage foods and beverages that stain teeth. With a touchup now and then, you may be able to keep your brighter smile for years before undergoing the full procedure again.
One important note, though: This technique only works with outer enamel staining. If the discoloration originates from within the tooth, the bleaching agent will have to be placed internally, requiring access to the inside of the tooth. An alternative would be porcelain veneers to mask the discoloration, an option that also works when there is ultra-heavy enamel staining.
If you’re tired of your dull smile, talk with us about putting some pizzazz back into it. Teeth whitening could be your way to get a smile worthy of Broadway.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”
Even the brightest smile can become duller over time due to food and beverage stains. Teeth whitening removes the stains that make you reluctant to smile and offers long-term results. Our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, explains how whitening can revitalize your smile.
What type of stains does teeth whitening treat?
Teeth whitening is very effective for removing stains that develop in your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. Stains in tooth enamel can occur due to:
- Smoking: Years of exposure to cigarette smoke can turn a white wall yellow. The same thing happens to your teeth if you smoke.
- Eating: Foods that contain dark pigments, including berries, cherries, soy sauce and tomato sauce, stain teeth.
- Drinking: Your morning cup of coffee may be the reason that your teeth have become discolored. Coffee, tea, cola, red wine and sports drinks are common staining culprits.
- Aging: Tooth enamel tends to get thinner as we age. Unfortunately, when enamel thins, it exposes dentin, a darker layer of your teeth.
How does the teeth whitening process work?
Hydrogen gel, the agent used to remove stains, can lighten your teeth by three to eight shades. Before your teeth are whitened in our Lansing office, we'll clean and examine them. An examination is particularly important because it may reveal a dental problem that could cause discoloration. If we do find a problem, it must be treated before your teeth are whitened.
Your comfort is a priority in our office. A protective gel will be applied to your roots to prevent sensitivity. Your cheeks and lips will be pulled away from your teeth with retractors to ensure that the hydrogen peroxide doesn't come in contact with the sensitive tissues. Once the hydrogen peroxide gel is applied, it will remain on your teeth for about an hour.
You can also choose at-home whitening. We'll provide you with trays custom-made to fit your upper and lower teeth. You'll apply whitening gel to the trays several times a week for a few weeks. At-home whitening trays also offer a convenient way to occasionally touch up your results.
Regardless of the whitening method you choose, your teeth can stay whiter for several years or more, as long as you avoid or limit foods or beverages that can stain teeth.
Ready to schedule your teeth whitening appointment? Call our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Scott-Hetchler, at (517) 487-6333 to arrange your visit.
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
Find out more about what getting teeth whitening in Lansing can do for your self-esteem.
Want to feel better and more confident in your smile? It’s never too late to consider getting teeth whitening in Lansing. Find out what our in-office whitening session entails.
What should I expect when I get teeth whitening in Lansing?
Whitening sessions are simple, safe and effective for getting a whiter smile. When you come in for your treatment we will use a separator to keep lips and sensitive tissue away from the bleaching gel. Then we will apply a layer of whitening gel to the aesthetic zone of your smile (the teeth that are visible) and direct an activating laser at your teeth to activate the gel. After 15 minutes, we will remove the gel, reapply a fresh layer and reactivate it. One whitening session usually performs two or three different applications.
How white will my smile get with teeth whitening?
After your whitening session, we will pull out a shade chart to find out how much whitening has improved your smile. Some patients can get their smile up to 10 shades whiter with just one whitening treatment in Lansing. A lot will depend on the severity of your dental stains.
Is teeth whitening safe?
While some people may have concerns about the safety of using bleach on their teeth, there is no documented research that proves that this is unsafe or even damaging to tooth enamel. Especially since in-office teeth whitening is performed by your Lansing dentist, we know how to properly and effective us our highly concentrated gel to get the brighter results you want without worrying about the health of your smile.
Should I get teeth whitening in Lansing if I have sensitive teeth?
Many people with sensitive teeth are concerned that whitening treatment will only make things worse; however, not only can we monitor your sensitivity during your treatment but we can also tailor your whitening session so that you get the look you want without having to deal with the uncomfortable effects that whitening can sometimes have on sensitive teeth.
To find out just how much teeth whitening could improve your smile in Lansing, it’s time to talk to Dr. Holly today. Call our office today and start your journey to a brighter smile.
After your professional dental whitening appointment, you'll probably be so pleased with the results that you won't want to stop smiling. But in between smiles, it's a good idea to think about the future—how can you protect your newly whitened teeth so that they will stay bright and beautiful for many years? Here are some tips from Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler on how to keep your teeth pearly white.
Eat Better Foods
One of the best things you can do for your newly whitened teeth is to watch what you eat. Teeth become discolored over time because of constant contact with foods and drinks that cause or promote staining. They wash over the teeth and residue sticks to the surface that causes yellowing over time. So if you want to protect your teeth, avoid the following items as much as possible:
- Red Wine
- Blueberries and raspberries
It’s a good idea to limit your consumption of any food that can leave a dark stain behind. If you do eat these foods, be sure to brush or rinse afterwards. When you drink beverages, use a straw whenever possible and talk to Lansing dentist Dr. Scott-Hetchler about other ways to avoid contact with your teeth, such as wearing a mouth guard or plastic retainer.
Brush with a Whitening Paste
Now that your teeth are gorgeous, you have to invest in a good toothpaste that will help maintain the new color. There are plenty of whitening pastes on the market that not only brighten but also protect the enamel of your teeth. You can also brush with a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for a natural solution.
Keep Up with Your Visits
Regular dental cleanings at the office of Lansing dentist Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler are crucial to protecting your teeth and maintaining your new smile for a long time into the future. Call (517) 487-6333 or visit http://www.hollydds.com to schedule your next visit for cleaning and polishing your teeth.
Vanna White has been a household name for the last 27+ years and is best known as the first female co-host of the game show, Wheel of Fortune. She radiates a warm, friendly, down-home appeal and says when describing herself, “what you see is what you get!” While this is quite true, there is so much more to her. She has received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame, has starred in an NBC movie and written a book. She is even featured in The Guinness Book of World Records as TV's most frequent clapper, and most recently started her own line of yarn called Vanna's Choice with half of the proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. And while any one of these accolades could serve as the highlight of a lifetime for most, for Vanna they fall slightly short. Her favorite job is being mother to her son, Nicholas, and daughter, Giovanna.
The following are excerpts taken from an exclusive interview in Dear Doctor magazine, the premier oral healthcare resource for patients and consumers.
What is the secret to her dazzling smile?
Vanna's oral healthcare routine is the same today as it has been since her childhood — and one everyone can follow. She brushes her teeth at least twice a day (morning and at bedtime) and flosses her teeth daily. She also has strong feelings about flossing. “I think that flossing is the most important thing. I believe that dental floss helps a lot as it keeps your gums strong and looking younger.”
What about bleaching, has she done it?
Absolutely! Vanna bleaches her teeth once or twice a year to help retain her naturally white teeth and to offset any discoloration from coffee and an occasional glass of red wine. “I have done over-the-counter and professional bleaching, but I do like the trays my dentist made because they fit perfectly.” She also states, “Anything you can do professionally is probably better because I would assume that a dentist's ingredients are stronger than over-the-counter products.”
Has she had any cosmetic dentistry?
When it comes to answering a question about cosmetic dentistry, Vanna is just as open and honest as she is about everything else — a trait for which she is known. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago, where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space. And I did have a little tiny chip on one of my front teeth years ago that my dentist fixed. But that is it. Again, I feel very fortunate to have good teeth. The braces [from her childhood] straightened them out and there has been no need for any cosmetics since then.”
Does she do anything to protect her teeth?
While she admits to occasionally forgetting to use her nightguard, a protective mouthguard worn during sleep, she firmly believes in their need. “I do sleep in a nightguard because I grind my teeth. I have a filling in the back that probably has been filled five times from grinding.” She added, “Both of my children do have mouthguards that they wear for their sports.”
Want a smile like Vanna's?
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about bleaching, cosmetic dentistry or mouthguards. You can also learn more about Vanna by reading the entire interview in the Dear Doctor article, “Vanna White — The Smile Defining America's Favorite Game Show — Wheel Of Fortune.”