Spring Cleaning and Your Dental Health

Now that the weather is warming up, many of us are throwing open our windows and working on getting the house into tip-top shape. This is traditionally done in the spring and is aptly called spring cleaning! While you’re doing your spring cleaning, it’s a good idea to go through your dental hygiene products to get them cleaned out as well. Here are some tips.

Spring is time to clean your house and your body
Websi / Pixabay
  1. Check expiration dates. This mainly applies to mouthwashes and toothpastes; particularly if you stock up on these items or purchase them at a discount store, you might have some packages that are expired. Another date to check is the one on any prescriptions that relate to your dental health. For example, if you need to take antibiotics prior to dental cleanings and you have a standing prescription, make sure that your bottle of pills hasn’t expired yet.
  2. Buy new toothbrushes. It’s best to replace your toothbrushes every three months. Some people get toothbrushes in their Christmas stockings; if you’re one of them, you might not have changed out your toothbrush since then. Now’s the time! Another factor to consider, even if you’ve gotten a new brush recently, is that you should get a new toothbrush after you’ve had a cold or the flu. Since we’re at the end of cold and flu season, you might be able to avoid further illness by spending a few bucks on a new toothbrush.
  3. Grab floss while you’re at it. If you’re already in the dental health aisle of your pharmacy, you might as well pick up some floss, too. Was flossing every day one of your New Year’s resolutions? If it was and you’ve forgotten about it, don’t worry: Starting to floss regularly now can positively impact the health of your gums.
  4. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that can improve your dental health, as well as your overall health. Spring is a great time to make a dietary switch, particularly since many of us are also trying to lose a few pounds before swimsuit season! Even if you don’t need or want to lose weight, however, fresh springtime produce is delicious and can give your smile a boost.
  5. Make an appointment for a dental cleaning. You should be seeing your dentist twice per year, so if it’s been a while, give us a call to schedule an appointment. You can talk to your hygienist about ways to improve your oral health, and your dentist will check to see if you have any cavities or other issues that need to be taken care of.

Any time of year is great for improving your dental health, so why not take some time this spring to focus on your pearly whites? Please call us if you have questions or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

Teeth Whitening: When It’s Too Much of a Good Thing

Many dental patients choose to use teeth bleaching to help themselves feel better about their smiles. Done correctly, teeth whitening can help erase stains and give your teeth a pearly sheen. Whether you use an over-the-counter bleaching aid or you have your dentist make you a bleaching tray and provide you with the whitening agent, tooth whitening is a simple way to make your smile sparkle! Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing; using tooth whitening substances too often or using substances that aren’t meant for teeth can permanently damage your smile. Read on to find out more about what some dentists are calling “bleachorexia.”Too much teeth whitening bleach can be bad

What Are Dangerous Ways to Whiten Teeth?

In general, anything outside of using your teeth whitening product as directed can be risky. When you use these products properly and under a dentist’s supervision, they are very safe; common side effects might be increased tooth sensitivity or some gum irritation, but as long as you heed the warnings and see your dentist if you are having trouble, using teeth whitening trays and solution as directed is fine.

Using the trays for a longer period of time than directed, using the solution more frequently than directed or using a product that is not recommended for use on teeth, however, can all contribute to permanent damage. Also, continuing to use a bleaching product after experiencing minor side effects without talking to your dentist first could lead to further problems.

Signs of Damage

The very first signs of problems related to whitening trays and solutions are usually mild and easy to reverse. If you see that your gums are looking red and feeling irritated, or that hot and cold foods are making you wince, make an appointment with your dentist to get it checked out. In the meantime, you should stop using your bleaching trays unless your dentist tells you otherwise.

If left unchecked and you are misusing your teeth whitening trays, there are some irreversible problems that can occur. These include:

  • Brittle teeth
  • Chalky teeth
  • Translucent teeth
  • Receding gums

Note that these will not be a problem if you are using your trays correctly and as directed!

If you are whitening your teeth, either with a tray fabricated by us or with one that you bought over the counter, be sure to keep in touch and let us know if you are experiencing any problems. Though they are considered safe and effective, tooth whitening treatments are like anything else in that you can have too much of a good thing! Please call your dental office if you have any questions.