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Why it’s Time to Consider Professional Tooth Whitening

November 11, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Your smile is like a handshake – it’s what most people notice first about you. When you have darkened, discoloured teeth, you may become self-conscious about your smile which can cause anxiety and impact your self-confidence.

There are many options to treat tooth discolouration that range from inexpensive store-bought whitening treatments available at any pharmacy, to customized tooth brightening treatments that are applied by a team of experienced professionals.

While store-bought solutions are effective for mild discolouration, if you’re after safe, effective, long-term correction of mild to severe discolouration, talk to your Caledon dentist about the options available.

What causes tooth discolouration?

There are two main types of tooth discolouration.

Intrinsic discolouration

Intrinsic discolouration is caused by tooth injury, childhood illness, infection, the side effects of medication, or the aging process. For patients with intrinsic discolouration, professional tooth whitening is the only solution.

Extrinsic discolouration

Extrinsic discolouration refers to stains on the surface of the tooth that are caused by consuming products like coffee, red wine or tea, or using tobacco products. The good news is that these stains can be significantly improved through the professional teeth cleanings you get as part of your regular dental checkups. Professional whitening will help take care of any stain left.

What is involved in the professional tooth whitening process?

Professional tooth whitening is an eight-step process:

  1. Before your treatment starts, your dentist will examine your teeth and record their current shade.
  2. Next, your teeth will be cleaned and polished to ensure that they’re clear of any plaque or debris
  3. Then, the dentist will apply a solution containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to the surface of your teeth
  4. Depending on the specific treatment program you’re using, a light or laser will be applied to the teeth to activate the peroxide
  5. The solution and light/laser will sit on your teeth for 30 minutes or an hour
  6. Finally, you can rinse your teeth
  7. In some cases, the dentist will apply fluoride to minimize discomfort or sensitivity
  8. You will review the results with your dentist and determine if additional treatments are needed.

If you’re not happy with the colour of your teeth and are wanting a brighter, whiter smile, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule some time to assess your teeth, discuss the options available for you, and work with you to develop a treatment plan that will help you meet your goals.

Dental X-Rays: When and How Often Do You Need Them?

October 10, 2022 / DENTISTRY

If you’ve been keeping up to date on your regular dental visits, chances are you’ve experienced dental x-rays at some point. Dental x-rays are an easy, comfortable, non-invasive element to every comprehensive oral care regimen, and an important service offered by your family dentist in Caledon.

What is a dental x-ray?

X-rays use a special type of radiation called electromagnetic waves to see through the skin, muscles, and fascia in the body to create images of what’s happening beneath the surface. Dental x-rays are a special form of x-ray that’s focused on the head and neck, giving your family dentist the opportunity to get a true picture of the health of your teeth and jaw. While the radiation from dental x-rays is low, because this is the only area being x-rayed, the rest of your body will be covered by a lead apron to protect you from any excess radiation.

Why do I need dental x-rays?

While family dentists are highly skilled professionals, there’s only so much they can see using their eyes and intraoral cameras. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to see if there are any cracks, fissures or cavities forming in the teeth, giving them the opportunity to fix small problems before they develop into more serious issues. These x-rays will also show any bone loss or decay that can result from periodontic disease or simply the aging process.

Dental x-rays are quick and painless.

How often do I need dental x-rays?

It’s important to keep a close eye on children’s teeth as they develop. Children and teens with a history of cavities should consider dental x-rays every 6-12 months. Children and teens who are not at increased risks can reduce that frequency to every 12-24 months.

Adult smokers and tobacco chewers are at higher risk for enamel erosion and tooth loss, so it’s recommended that they have dental x-rays every 6-12 months.

For adults who have had dental restorations and appliances like fillings, crowns, implants, and bridges, it’s recommended to have dental x-rays every 12-18 months to ensure that any decay or developing cavities are identified before they progress and impact the appliances in place.

Adults who do not fit in these higher-risk categories can have dental x-rays every 2-3 years.

Has it been a while since you’ve had a dental x-ray? Do you think you may be overdue? Call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule an appointment to have an overall checkup of your mouth, perform any dental x-rays that are needed, and get you on the path to a lifetime of good oral health.

The Differences Between Store-Bought and Custom-Fit Mouthguards

September 9, 2022 / DENTISTRY

If you or your child participate in team sports, chances are you’ve either encountered a mouth injury or know someone who has.

We’ve all seen the grin of a professional hockey player with large gaps between their teeth. This is something that can often be avoided by using a mouthguard when you play.

What is a mouthguard and why do I need one?

Sports mouthguards are worn in the mouth to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from being injured during sports. When they were first introduced, these devises were only used for high impact, contact sports like football, boxing, and hockey, but that has changed. With increased awareness of the benefits of wearing mouthguards and the potential for injury from sports like martial arts, skiing and skateboarding, the use of mouthguards is now more common than ever.

Mouthguards provide a barrier between your teeth and the tissues that surround them, so if your mouth ever sustains a heavy impact like a fast-moving elbow or hockey puck, you have an extra layer of protection. They also act as a shock-absorber to protect the head and neck from impact-related injuries like whiplash.

People often choose a store-bought mouthguard over a custom-fit mouthguard made by their family dentist without knowing the difference between the two options.

Store-bought mouthguards

You can find generic, one-size fits all mouthguards at your local sports store or pharmacy, and if this is your only option, it is better than nothing. These are far less expensive than custom-fit mouthguards and they are easy to find if you’re ever in a pinch.

Unfortunately, because these mouthguards were not custom fit to the size and shape of your mouth, they are not as effective in protecting the teeth from injury. Plus, users report that they’re large and bulky, making them less comfortable to wear than the custom-made alternative.

An improvement to the one-size fits all option is something called a boil-and-bite mouthguard. Essentially, this is a store-bought option made of a pliable material that, when dropped in hot water, softens to allow the wearer to bite down into a mold to create an option that more closely fits your teeth. These are slightly more expensive than the other store-bought option, and they don’t tend to last as long.

Custom-fit mouthguards

If you play sports regularly, we highly recommend investing in a custom-fit mouthguard to protect your mouth and teeth from injury. While they are more expensive than the store-bought options, custom-fit mouthguards are more comfortable, longer-lasting, and provide far better protection than the options mentioned above.

Are you an athlete that wants to protect their teeth while they play? Call your family dentist in Caledon today. We’ll walk you through your options and determine whether a custom-fit sports mouthguard is right for you.