What Types of Whitening Treatments Are Available?

When your teeth are white, you may look younger and healthier. As there are different methods for teeth whitening, there is no reason to hesitate. You can be on your way to a confident smile.  

In-Office Whitening

An effective, easy approach is to ask your dentist to whiten your teeth in his office. This simple process is monitored for safety, and you may experience only minor discomfort. The bleaching solution will not harm your teeth or gums. teeth whitening

In-office whitening produces immediate results. You will see an amazing improvement in your teeth, even if they are badly stained or discolored. You can leave the office with a dazzling smile.

Home Bleaching With Dental Trays

If you prefer to whiten your teeth in the privacy of your own home, you can still receive assistance from your dentist. You will receive the supplies you need for home bleaching.

A tray can be custom-designed to fit your bite. You will also be given a special peroxide solution to use with the tray.  All you need to do is apply the peroxide to your teeth, place the tray over your teeth, and wear it for a few minutes.  For the best results, plan to repeat the process several times.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive alternative. Some of these kinds of toothpaste have the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Look for this seal if you decide to buy a whitening toothpaste.  

While whitening toothpaste that carries the ADA seal are safe, they do not work equally well for everybody. The toothpaste removes surface stains, so teeth are cleaner and whiter.  Teeth that are extremely stained may not respond as well to a whitening toothpaste, as these kinds of toothpaste do not contain bleaching agents.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You can also purchase over-the-counter products that contain peroxide. While these products can be effective, some people experience sensitivity to their teeth or gums. In some cases, the peroxide can irritate the mouth.

Why You Should Talk To Your Dentist

These popular approaches are not the only options for whitening teeth. You will also find mouth rinses, special chewing gums, and numerous other inexpensive products, in addition to old-fashioned baking soda. You are not likely to experience complications from using these products, but the results can vary.

When you want the best results, it should not be a spur of the moment decision. The wisest approach is to discuss it with your dentist. As you do not want to waste money on a product that is ineffective, difficult to use, or does not produce the results you want, Dr. Walters can help you choose the whitening method that is best for your particular situation.

You may feel like a new person after your teeth have been whitened. Whether your teeth have been stained from foods, tobacco, poor oral habits, or natural aging, it is neither too soon nor too late to make some improvements. When you have healthy, winter-white teeth, you will always have confidence in your smile.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and find out which whitening treatment is for you.


Is There a Connection Between Teeth Grinding and Headaches?

One cause of headaches is teeth grinding or clenching. If you experience headaches or migraines, consult with your dentist and physician.

How Can Grinding and Clenching Cause Headaches?

A person’s skull and jaw are connected by a hinge known as a temporomandibular joint.  This joint, the TMJ, is responsible for your ability to yawn, chew, and talk.  However, the muscles that support your jaw and help it move may cause pain.

When you chew, the muscles in your jaw tighten.  They also tighten when you clench or grind.  When the clenching causes pain in your jaw, the pain can move to other parts of your skull.  This can result in headaches or migraines.  In some instances, shoulder pain, earaches, or toothaches may occur.

What Can You Do About Grinding And Clenching?

Teeth grinding and clenching can have many different causes.  You may wish to talk to your doctor or dentist to determine the cause in your particular situation, but you can also take steps to reduce the problem.  

Stress is a common cause.  If you have a great deal of stress in your life, learning some relaxation techniques can be helpful.  You can also try massages to the jaw muscles, and exercises that involve stretching your neck.

Nighttime grinding can be trickier because you cannot notice or control grinding when you are asleep.  You may be having headaches but were not aware of nighttime teeth grinding unless someone in your home brought it to your attention.  Your dentist may notice unusual wear on your teeth, which is a common sign of grinding.

Your dentist can help you avoid nighttime clenching and grinding by providing a night guard.  It is similar to the mouth guards worn while playing sports, but it is meant to be worn during sleep.  The night guard will prevent grinding, and protect your teeth and jaw.  

A night guard is easy to use, comfortable, and effective.  While you can purchase a device online, it is better to consult with your dentist.  Oral health problems and medical issues can cause grinding, but grinding also affects your teeth.  Tooth enamel can become worn down, and teeth can become loose.  This is why you should have a complete examination at the dentist’s office instead of simply buying a night guard on your own.

You Can Be Healthier

If teeth grinding and clenching is causing your headaches, you may not experience headaches after you have received treatment.  You can avoid stress and worry, and not need to rely on pain medication for your headaches.  You can have better oral health, and better physical health, too.

The most important point to keep in mind is teeth grinding does not need to continue.  Regardless of the specific cause, treatment is available.  Whether you have been grinding your teeth since childhood, or whether the problem only started recently, there is a treatment that is right for you.  Contact our office to schedule an appointment and be on your way to better health.



How Do Teeth Whitening Products Work?

If you want whiter teeth, there are many options. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each, so you can choose the option that is best for you. You will love your beautiful new smile.

Professional Whitening  

You have two options for professional whitening: whitening at the dentist’s office, or a tray prepared by your dentist for you to use at home. Professional whitening is the most effective method, as it changes the color of your teeth. It’s often referred to as bleach, but hydrogen peroxide is used in these cases.teeth whitening

These methods are appropriate if you have deep stains or severely discolored teeth. If you use either of these methods, the stains will be broken up and disappear. While it is the most expensive option, the results are impressive. Your teeth can become four to six times whiter with professional whitening.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive approach to whitening your teeth. Instead of bleaching agents, there are mild abrasives in the toothpaste.  

For minor, surface stains, these kinds of toothpaste can be effective. If you use the toothpaste daily to polish your teeth, your teeth will be whiter and brighter over time.

Choosing A Whitening Method

Cost is only one factor when choosing a method to whiten your teeth. The condition of your teeth should also be taken into consideration. Abrasive products cost the least, but they are not as effective on deep stains.

If your teeth are severely stained or discolored, professional whitening can be a wise investment. It is the most effective approach and produces the best results.

Equally important, professional whitening is either performed by or overseen by your own dentist.  Whether you choose to have your teeth whitened at the dentist’s office or take the whitening products home, teeth whitening can be a safe, healthy experience.  

Contact our office to make an appointment and ask which option is right for you


Should You Really Brush Twice a Day?

When you want oral health and a nice smile, you must keep your teeth and mouth clean. Some prefer to brush after every meal, but you do need to brush at least twice each day.

How To Reduce Plaque Build-up

If you have noticed a sticky, soft film on your teeth when you have not brushed, this substance is known as plaque. Plaque is filled with bacteria. Much damage can occur if plaque is not removed. It can start to destroy the tooth enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay. The plaque build-up can also harden and create tartar. While tartar can lead to gum disease, it can only be removed by dental instruments.should you brush twice a day?

You can avoid all of these complications by not allowing plaque to build up on your teeth. As the bacteria accumulates while you sleep, as well as during the day, a good start is to brush every morning and every night.  

However, it is a good start but it is not your only option. To further reduce plaque build-up, brushing after eating is a helpful habit to develop. When you eat, you do not swallow every bit of food.  Tiny food particles stick to your teeth and between your teeth. Bacteria feed on these particles, and more plaque is produced. While products containing sugar cause the most damage, brushing after eating will keep your teeth healthy.

As plaque can build up between the teeth, you should also floss regularly. It only takes a couple of minutes to use dental floss, and you will be rewarded with plaque-free teeth.  

You Can Have Fresh Breath, Too

If you think about it, your mouth does not seem fresh in the morning. It may have an unpleasant taste, even if you do not notice the odor. Fresher breath starts with brushing twice a day, but it will be fresher yet if you brush after eating.

Perhaps you notice a lingering taste when you eat food that has a strong flavor. People you talk to notice it, too, even if they do not comment.  You do not need to eat fish or garlic to have unpleasant breath. If you want to eliminate bad breath entirely, always brush after you eat.

Good Oral Care Habits Make A Difference

It’s not difficult to schedule brushing and flossing into your day, but not doing so can cause many problems. Oral health must be a priority because you do not want to cope with gum disease or cavities. Your personal confidence is important, too, because you want to present yourself to others with clean teeth and fresh breath.

Whether you choose to brush twice per day or after every meal, this can be the day you develop good oral care habits. When it is time for your next visit to the dentist, do not be surprised if there has been an improvement in your oral health. You may not have any plaque build-up or tartar, and your breath will be sweet and fresh.

Contact our office for more tips or to schedule an appointment.


Can Flossing Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

Most people do not floss regularly. However, dentists advise that patients perform this oral health task daily. It is a way to remove plaque or trapped food from between teeth. Recent scientific studies have analyzed whether or not flossing can help to prevent tooth decay.

Articles have been circulating in the Associated Press that reports little evidence exists that proves how well flossing actually works. To counterbalance these claims, the Journal of Dental Hygiene has explained that flossing does help to lower the likelihood of developing gingivitis and reduces plaque in the mouth. This means that cavities are lessened as well. can flossing prevent tooth decay?

What Happens if You Do Not Floss?

If you do not floss your teeth regularly, you run the risk of developing cavities and a host of gum problems. Without flossing, it is not possible to eliminate plaque that builds between each tooth.  Plaque contains a high level of bacteria that irritate your gums.  When this occurs, gums get red, and inflammation occurs. This often makes bleeding an issue. Also, this bacteria destroys enamel. Without flossing, the enamel between your teeth become susceptible to decay.

Other Reasons that You Should Floss

When you do not floss, you may develop gum disease, which can lead to periodontal disease. The bacteria that accompanies this condition may enter the bloodstream and travel to vital parts of your body, including your heart and lungs. This condition has also been associated with diabetes. To lower the chances of developing these issues, it is essential to practice a solid oral hygiene routine that includes flossing.

Correct Flossing Technique

The American Dental Association recommends that it is best to floss once a day, especially before bed. Understanding the proper flossing technique is crucial if you want to keep your mouth healthy. You should begin with approximately 18 inches of floss that is wrapped around your middle fingers. The floss should be held tightly while you slide it up and down each tooth. At the bottoms, curve the floss and get under the gumline.  Use a gentle motion so that you do not harm your delicate gum tissue.  As you move along, use clean parts of the floss.

There are a number of floss types on the market, so it may be challenging to uncover the best one to use. Depending on your individual preference, you can select a waxed or unwaxed product. Floss comes in a multitude of flavors as well. Since normal floss is crafted from nylon, you may find that it shreds easily. If you have teeth that are very close together, you may wish to use a single filament floss. This makes it easier to penetrate tight spaces.

No one wants to worry about developing cavities. The best way to prevent decay is to follow an oral care routine that includes flossing. If you are still wondering if flossing helps to eliminate plaque and helps to avoid decay, discuss the topic with your dentist. For flossing tips or suggestions on how to keep your mouth healthy, call for an appointment today.


Best Brushing Tips To Prevent Tooth Decay

You know the importance of home oral care, but the way you practice it does make a difference. When you take a few minutes to consider how you practice your daily routines, you can have better oral health. 

Choosing The Right Toothbrush

For brushing to be effective, you need appropriate supplies. You can start with your toothbrush. If your brush is old or frayed, it will not work as well.  You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. It is also a good idea to buy a new toothbrush if you have had a cold, the flu, or other illness or infection that affected your mouth.  best brushing techniques

Choose a brush with soft bristles. You do not need a hard-bristled brush to do a good job. In fact, bristles that are too hard can cause discomfort to your gums.  

When you want the best toothbrush for the best results, choose one that has the American Dental Association‘s Seal of Acceptance on the package. Whether you prefer a manual toothbrush or a powered toothbrush, you can find the seal on both types of brushes.   

Brushing To Prevent Tooth Decay

Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes. You can use a clock with a second hand, or an old-fashioned egg timer. Brush each tooth gently, using a circular motion.  The circular motion will ensure the tooth is completely clean.  

Side-to-side brushing and up-and-down brushing can cause food particles and bacteria to become lodged between the teeth and in the gum line. Both of these practices should be avoided. Circular brushing is much more effective.   

Oral health is not limited to your teeth. When you want to prevent tooth decay, there are other areas of your mouth that need to be cleaned. Brush your gums and the gum line where your teeth meet your gums. Bacteria and small particles of food can accumulate in this area and can damage your teeth and gums.

Dentists recommend brushing at least twice per day to ensure healthy teeth and gums. However, the old-fashioned approach of brushing after every meal is still useful for oral health. If you cannot brush after a meal, you should at least rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. Never skip brushing and flossing in the morning and at bedtime.  

prevent tooth decayLearning To Prevent Tooth Decay

It is never too early to teach your children proper brushing techniques. Your youngsters can have fun with this learning experience. When they learn good habits at an early age, they can have excellent oral health for life.

If you have not been brushing correctly, it is not too late to make changes. When you take time to brush properly every day, it can reduce your risk of cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. You can avoid all the complications that come with tooth decay, and have a lifetime of oral health.

Brushing is an oral care practice that you cannot afford to neglect. You do not want to have cavities filled or lose your teeth.  You may never have these experiences when you make brushing a priority every day.

Contact our office for more tips and to schedule an appointment.


What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Soda?

Carbonated soft drinks have existed for centuries, but their popularity has risen in recent decades. Individuals of all ages reach for a can of soda whenever they are thirsty, crave sugar, or want a treat. If you want good overall health as well as dental health, encourage everyone in your family to avoid this habit.

Soda And Your Teeth

The large amounts of sugar in regular soda make it a very unhealthy substance for your teeth. This sugar will build up and damage your tooth enamel. Sugary soda and other foods and drinks greatly increase your risk of tooth decay. what happens to your teeth and body when you drink soda?

Diet soda, however, is not the solution. A diet soda will also weaken your tooth enamel.  This can lead to cavities because it is easier for bacterial plaque to penetrate the tooth.

If your tooth enamel is damaged, this will affect the tooth’s appearance. Enamel damage causes the dentin to be seen, and you will experience tooth yellowing, and they will look duller.

Less enamel can affect a tooth’s chewing surface as well, which can result in tooth sensitivity and pain.

Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking soda can cause more damage. The acidic effects of soda leave the enamel weak, so brushing aggressively after drinking pop can cause even more damage. If are concerned about oral health, soda is not the right beverage for you.

Soda And Your Body

Soda can be harmful to your overall health, too. Short-term effects include an increase in blood sugar and blood pressure, increased dopamine production, and dilated pupils. After the sugar high wears off, mental fogginess, lethargy, fatigue, and mood changes can follow.

Drinking too much soda can increase your risk of lung issues, coronary heart disease, kidney stones and kidney disease, osteoporosis, and problems with cognitive function.

The cans and bottles that soda comes in also often contain BPA. This is a chemical that can cause cancer. It can also lead to reproductive abnormalities and premature puberty.

You Have Other Choices

The simplest way to avoid complications associated with carbonated beverages is to not drink them at all. Whenever you are tempted to drink soda, choose a healthier alternative. The best drinks for your body are water and milk. 

Sugar addiction is learned, and it can be unlearned. If you are like most people who crave sugar, this habit started when you were young. Each time you feel the need to drink soda, have fruit juice or a piece of fresh fruit instead because these contain natural sugars.

You can take this approach to everyone in your family. Instead of rewarding your children with sugary treats, introduce them to healthy options. While citrus fruit is acidic and too many can be bad for tooth enamel, you can encourage your kids to eat apples, plums, bananas, peaches, pears, and non-acidic berries. It should not take long for your kids to prefer healthy treats over sugar.  At the same time, set a good example by avoiding soda in favor of products that are good for your body and your teeth.

You do not need to avoid sugar entirely when you want overall health and oral health.  An occasional treat is not a problem when you practice good dental care. However, soda is a harmful product that has no real benefits. You can eliminate it from your diet and be healthier.

Contact our office to learn more about healthy foods for your teeth or to schedule an appointment.


The Best Ways To Prevent Plaque Build-Up

There are many ways teeth can be damaged, and plaque is a common example. When you are familiar with this topic, you can avoid plaque build-up and have healthier teeth.

What is Plaque?

A small amount of plaque is not always visible. The sticky substance consists of food particles, mucus, and bacteria. The substance can cause tooth decay, and increase your risk of gum disease. If there is enough plaque to be visible, it may already be causing damage. The Best Ways To Prevent Plaque Build-Up

When plaque is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. Tartar can contribute to bacteria growth. It is much easier to control plaque than to have tartar removed with dental instruments.

Avoid Sugary Foods

Foods that contain carbohydrates leave a residue on your teeth. This causes the bacteria that is naturally in your mouth to grow. The acids produced by the bacteria can destroy your tooth enamel. When plaque forms, it can also harm the tooth’s roots, and damage the bone that supports the tooth.

While starchy foods also contain carbohydrates, it is easier to eliminate or reduce the sugary foods in your diet. Instead of sugary carbohydrates, choose tooth-friendly products. Fresh vegetables and fruits, plain yogurt, cheese, black or green tea, and sugar-free gum are good alternatives to candy, cookies, and other sweets.

Avoid sugary foods as much as possible, but be especially cautious of products that cause the most damage. Chewy candies and hard candies that linger in your mouth should never be eaten. Avoid carbonated beverages, too. When you want to avoid sugar and promote dental health, choose fluoridated water or a cool glass of milk.

Limit starchy carbohydrates in your diet. While some starchy foods are important for good health, you do not need crackers, potato chips, and similar starchy foods that provide empty calories and no nutritional value.

Daily Dental Care

To reduce plaque and prevent build-up, practice home dental care conscientiously. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush at least twice every day. Brushing carefully along the gum line can remove additional residue. Brush the areas where your teeth and gum meet.

Make flossing and mouthwash part of your dental care routine. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash if you eat or drink between meals.

Dental Visits Twice Each Year

When you want healthy teeth, you should be at the dentist’s office every six months. Home dental care cannot replace professional dental hygiene. The instruments will remove excess plaque and hardened tartar that you cannot remove at home. Hard-to-reach places in your mouth will also be cleaned. You can be free from plaque and on your way to excellent oral health.

It is not possible to completely prevent plaque build-up, but these few tips can make a difference. If you want more information on how your diet and home dental care routines affect your health, call today to make an appointment with our office.


What is the Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease?

Without any type of cardiovascular testing, it may be possible to detect an early heart problem. However, scientists have done research that shows a person’s mouth may be able to tell if he or she is at a high risk to develop heart disease. Individuals with periodontal disease (or gum disease) are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Since there is this link between the two conditions, your dentist may be able to help with your overall health.connection between periodontal disease and heart disease

What is the Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease?

Many researchers believe that these two conditions are both caused by bacteria. When your gums become infected, the bacteria that is causing the problem breaks the wall between your gums and the connective tissue. As you chew and brush, this bacteria enters the bloodstream, which means that it may be carried to other parts of your body, including your heart.

Swelling is your body’s own way to fight an infection. When bacteria from your mouth moves to other places in your body, more inflammation occurs and often forms arterial plaque. This causes your arteries to become blocked, which may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Should I Be Worried About Having Dental Procedures Performed?

If you have a pre-existing condition that involves your heart, you may be at a heightened risk for the development of bacterial endocarditis. This is an infection that affects the heart’s valves and inner lining.  At any point that your mouth bleeds, some bacteria may enter your bloodstream and settle on weakened tissues or valves. If this is the case, the infection may cause extreme damage. Before any dental procedure, make sure to inform your dentist about any heart conditions that may be of concern.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease infects the tissues that support your teeth. With this condition, you may lose your teeth. The American Dental Association explains that the best way to prevent this from happening is to properly care for your oral health, including:

  • Brushing Twice Daily
  • Flossing
  • Eating a Balanced Diet
  • Visiting Your Dentist for Semi-Annual Exams

Recognizing the Early Signs of Periodontal Disease

Usually, gum disease presents itself with red or swollen gums. You may also experience bleeding when you brush. You may notice that your gums begin to recede as well. Oftentimes, a person suffering from periodontal disease will have bad breath or a sour taste in his or her mouth.

Treating Gum Disease

If you believe that you have gum disease, you should consult with your dentist immediately. During the early stages, it is possible to reverse the condition. However, when periodontal damage has become severe, it may be necessary to perform surgery, tissue or bone grafts, or further invasive treatments.

At the office of Dr. Dana Walters, all patients receive top dental care. At each visit, the doctor will examine every patient’s mouth. If he detects periodontal disease, he will recommend the best course of action to protect the patient’s overall health. For an appointment, contact our office today.


The Mouth-Body Connection: How Can Taking Care of My Mouth Affect My Overall Health?

When you have healthy or unhealthy teeth, they affect more than your mouth. The condition of your teeth and gums affects your overall health, too. You can reduce your risk of serious medical issues by making your oral health a priority. how oral health affects overall health

The Relationship Between Your Oral Health and Overall Health

The connection between oral health and general health is bacteria. While bacteria are naturally found in your mouth, poor oral habits can cause an overgrowth.  When bacteria are allowed to remain in your mouth and grow, they may enter your bloodstream. Then, they will circulate throughout your body, and endanger your overall health.

Bacteria and Medical Issues

Many medical issues can occur from poor oral health. Cardiovascular disease is one example.  Bacteria can reach your arteries and block blood flow. The endocardium of your heart can also become infected. If this happens, your risk of a stroke or heart attack can increase.

Poor oral health during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications.  Women are more likely to experience premature birth and low-birthweight babies.

Diabetics can also experience complications with poor oral health because it can be more difficult to control blood sugar.

If bacteria spreads throughout your body, it can also increase your risk of respiratory infections.  For example, lung infections, such as pneumonia, are more likely when you have poor oral health. 

A Healthy Mouth for Overall Health

One of the most important steps to good health is to avoid gum disease and tooth decay. Start out by making a healthy diet a part of your daily life. Consume plenty of calcium-rich foods and beverages to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Also, limit sweets and acidic products that can damage your teeth.

Home oral care is only useful when you practice it regularly.  Brush, floss, and use a fluoride mouthwash at least twice each day. It’s a great habit to brush your teeth or rinse with mouthwash after each meal.

Routine dental visits will help keep your mouth and body healthy. When plaque and tartar are removed with dental instruments, there will be fewer bacteria in your mouth. Every professional cleaning will contribute to your better overall health.

However, dental care is not limited to routine visits. There are reasons to contact your dentist when it is not time to schedule a semi-annual checkup. If you have a cavity or notice signs of gum disease (bleeding or receding gums), make an appointment immediately. You should also call if you experience a dental emergency, such as an injury to your mouth or a severe toothache. Prompt, effective treatment can prevent further problems.

When you take proper care of your mouth, your general health will benefit. Not only can you have a full set of healthy teeth throughout your lifetime, you will be taking an important step to safeguard your general health. Oral care is a simple process that makes a difference.

Your mouth and body do not have to be connected by bacteria. Good habits can reduce the bacteria in your mouth, and reduce the bacteria that flows through your bloodstream. Your physical health can benefit greatly, and you may never experience the complications that come with poor oral health. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.