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The Safest Way to Naturally Whiten Teeth

There’s a reason we refer to great smiles as “showin’ your pearly whites.”



There’s a reason we refer to great smiles as “showin’ your pearly whites.”

In fact, the popular writer Malcolm Gladwell wrote that good teeth were the new distinguisher of social class.

With the teeth industry booming, you might be interested in knowing what the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth is.

<h2>To Bleach or Not to Bleach?</h2>

There are actually two types of tooth whitening techniques. There are whitening techniques, and there are bleaching techniques.

What’s the difference?

Whitening techniques use purely mechanical methods, while bleaching techniques use chemical methods.

The first only removes extrinsic stains, while the latter can remove both extrinsic and intrinsic stains.

Before you reach for the chemicals, you should know that the jury’s still out on whether bleaching is completely harmless for your teeth.

Some research suggests it’s perfectly safe, while other research suggests it could damage enamel and cause tooth hypersensitivity.

<h2>Remove Those Surface Stains With Abrasives</h2>

One of the best mechanical methods to remove stains is abrasives – ingredients that literally scrub the stains off.

Unfortunately, these can also wear on enamel, especially if you use rough brushing technique.

Thankfully, there’s actually a metric that can help us out. Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) tells us how powerful or, rough an ingredient is. The scores go from 0 to 269.

Another metric, called pellicle cleaning ratio (PCR), tells us how effectively the product removes stains.

Typically, RDA and PCR go hand in hand. But some ingredients have a better ratio of the two metrics, leading to another and more directly useful metric: the Cleaning Efficiency Index (CEI.)

On a scale of 1 to 100, products were rated on their bang for their buck.

Amazingly, one product managed to score a whopping 98 on the index: white kaolin clay, a sort of teeth whitening miracle substance with low abrasivitity and high cleaning value.

Want to know the full gamut of tooth cleaning products? Call a local dentist in your area today.

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What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Taking care of your teeth often isn’t just about keeping plaque away.



Taking care of your teeth often isn’t just about keeping plaque away. There’s a specific type of dental practice called cosmetic dentistry, which works to make your smile look like you feel inside.

What Separates Cosmetic Dentistry From Normal Dentistry?

Your smile is part of how you communicate to the world. It’s a small miracle of the world: smiling more often improves your confidence, relieves stress, and can even boost your immune system.

In fact, smiling can add seven years to your life!

Cosmetic dentistry, as a practice, recognizes that the health, oral or in general, of the patient is part of their smile’s beauty. Therefore any sound cosmetic dentist, first and foremost, looks out for the strength and healthy functioning of your teeth.

But what else do they do? Cosmetic dentists train in a number of techniques not available in dental school general education.

The Techniques of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is known mostly for veneers, but there are many techniques that can be used to improve the aesthetics of your teeth. These include: bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers, and teeth contouring and reshaping.

Bleaching is a chemical process to undo discoloring in the enamel. The process can be done at home, but any patient should go to their dentist for a custom mouthpiece to facilitate the bleaching process.

Bonding, meanwhile, is using material the same color as the teeth to fill in gaps. This is used for chipped or decayed teeth. Bonding can also be used to change a tooth’s shape by covering its entire outside surface.

Crowns are a porcelain replacement for the exterior portion of a tooth. They’re the most thorough of these procedures, functionally replacing a tooth that has had its external structure compromised. But they are also the most expensive.

Veneers are very similar to crowns, though not as extensive. They can be used for chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. An impression is made of the patient’s tooth, and a custom-made veneer is placed onto the tooth using cement. Then a light beam is used to harden the cement.

Contouring or reshaping also fixes crooked or chipped teeth. The shape of the tooth is altered by the dentist- this can also help with bite problems. Typically, contouring and bonding are two techniques used in conjunction with each other.

How Do I Know What Procedure I Need?

With so many procedures, you might not know which is correct for you. It all depends on what’s best for your oral health and what aesthetics you want to achieve.

For example, contouring and reshaping is a procedure best for individuals who already have a healthy set of teeth. Still, there are those with completely healthy teeth who decide they want to change some aspects of their smile.

When choosing between crowns and veneers, patients would typically decide based on the severity of the issue. While veneers are largely aesthetic in nature, crowns will replace the entire structure of the tooth. But because they are so expensive, they are closer to a last resort option.

Veneers and bonding solve many of the same problems, although bonding is also used specifically as a tooth-colored filling for cavities. The drawback to bonding is that it can chip more easily than other techniques of tooth restoration, as well as lose its color. Veneers, meanwhile, will tend to last longer and resist discoloration.

Always remember that there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ smile. Every individual has their own uniqueness to their smile, and responsible cosmetic dentistry augments each individual’s uniqueness rather than erases it.

Therefore, in choosing a procedure, you should talk to your dentist and have an in-depth discussion about what options are correct for you. If you want to know more call Natural Horizons Wellness Centers in Virginia for expert advice and a consultation.

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