Whitening Your Teeth Naturally: What You Should Know

“Natural” is the latest trend, from organic skincare to whole foods. Teeth whitening is no exception, as a quick Google search will demonstrate. Natural doesn’t always mean healthy, though. Even if you notice whitening, you could be damaging your teeth. Here is what you should know.

girl checking her teeth whitener

Acidic Fruits

The theory states that natural citric acid from lemons, oranges, or similar fruits, will remove stains from the teeth, leaving them whiter. Some people choose fruits with digestive enzymes, such as mango or pineapple, and some mix the fruit with baking soda or another abrasive.

The truth is that consuming acidic fruits as part of your diet can help reduce tooth staining. Scrubbing your teeth with them, though, is not the best idea. Prolonged contact with acids or enzymes will wear down your tooth enamel. This not only increases your risk for cavities and tooth decay, but it will actually turn your teeth yellow—the natural color of the dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Natural Scrubs

Natural tooth scrubs typically consist of pastes made from either baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal and water. Allegedly, these pastes remove staining and yellowing, making your smile shine.

In reality, like acidic fruits, natural tooth scrubs can cause damage to the tooth enamel. There is no definite proof that they whiten the teeth, and they are likely to reveal the yellow dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Spices and Oils

Numerous spices and oils, such as turmeric and coconut oil, are alleged to whiten teeth. They are unlikely to cause damage, but they are also unlikely to work. Instead, return your oils and spices to the kitchen cabinet and pick up an ADA (American Dental Association) approved whitening toothpaste instead.

Better Ways to Whiten

There are several steps you can take to whiten your teeth using methods that are proven both safe and effective:

·         Brush your teeth twice per day for 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth

·         Use a whitening toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval

·         Floss once per day

·         Limit the consumption of dark berries, coffee, red wine, and other tooth-staining foods and beverages

·         Rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal, snack, or sugary beverage

·         Don’t smoke or use tobacco

·         Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year

·         Talk to your dentist about specific whitening products and services that are approved by the ADA

·         Have your teeth professionally bleached once per year or as suggested by your hygienist

Many people want a whiter smile, but not all internet-recommended methods are smart choices. Choose whitening methods that are proven to be safe and effective rather than raiding your pantry in a quest to follow the latest fads.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appo

How Your Dental Health Predicts Your Overall Health

Your dental health can serve as a strong predictor to your current overall health, as well as what future health conditions you might be at risk for. Your dentist will monitor your teeth and gums to see what to further address. Here are some of the ways that your dental health can predict your overall dental health.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

If you have advanced gum disease, such as periodontal disease, you have an increased risk of heart disease. This is because bacteria in your gums can travel through your cardiovascular system into your heart. If you have gum disease and a family history of heart disease, your dentist will pay extra attention to your gum health to reduce your risk.

Early Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become brittle and less dense over the progression of the disease. Many people think of osteoporosis as a condition that only impacts seniors, but this isn’t the case. Without other reasons to suspect osteoporosis, some patients aren’t aware that they have it. However, your dentist might be able to see the signs of osteoporosis by seeing receding gumlines or loose teeth. This could help to prevent further loss of bone density.

Diabetes Risk

Your dental health strongly correlates your diabetes risk. If you have inflamed gums, oral infections, and poor dental health, you’re at an increased risk for diabetes. Gum inflammation interferes with how fat and sugar are metabolized, which negatively impacts insulin secretions from your pancreas. Additionally, cytokines can build up by inflamed tissue and can also enter the bloodstream and interfere with the body. Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums can be a good defense against your personal diabetes risk.

Possible Premature Birth

Pregnant women with poor dental health are at an increased risk for premature birth. This means that your unborn baby and the welfare of the mom could be at risk because of poor dental health, which could impact the duo for a lifetime. This is due to signals from the inflamed gums that make their way into the placenta. This makes the body think that it is time to expel the baby out of its mother’s body early to prevent further damage.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The best way to keep your teeth sparkling white is to practice scrupulous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing and twice-annual professional cleanings. You can also have your teeth professionally whitened either in our office or with our take-home bleaching system. To maintain your beautiful white smile, though, you should also pay attention to what you eat and drink. Here are some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. (more…)

Sports Mouth Guards: What You Should Know

Sports are an excellent way for kids as well as adults to stay active, boost their overall health, learn new skills, and build lifelong friendships. Yet like anything else, sports carry certain risks. It is impossible to prevent all injuries, but protective gear is a key component in keeping athletes safe. A mouth guard can help to protect against damage to the teeth and oral structures, but not all mouth guards are the same. Here is what you should know about sports mouth guards.


Baby Pacifiers: Myths vs Reality

Baby pacifiers tend to inspire strong feelings among parents on both sides of the debate. Some claim that any pacifier use at all is dangerous for the developing teeth, while others argue that pacifiers are a harmless and highly useful tool. The reality is that pacifiers are neither all bad nor all good. Here is a look at the reality of baby pacifiers.


Brushing, Flossing, and Seeing the Dentist

A clean mouth is a healthy mouth. If you keep your mouth meticulously clean, you are significantly less likely to develop tooth decay, tooth loss  or gum disease. There are many systemic illnesses associated with chronic oral issues. Many people are not sure exactly how to plan their oral hygiene schedule. Here is a guide to scheduling your brushing, flossing, and dentist visits.


Conserving Water When Brushing Your Teeth

The Earth is covered with water, but only around one percent of the Earth’s water is clean enough for humans to consume. Therefore, even a small reduction in home water use can make a real difference in the global effort to conserve water. It can also save significant money on your water bill over time. Here are some easy tips for conserving water when brushing your teeth. (more…)

Why and How to Floss Your Teeth

A stunning 50% of all Americans have some type of gum disease. To combat this issue, in addition to brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association recommends flossing once per day for all children and adults. There is a minimal financial outlay and no risk of harm, so it only makes sense to follow this recommendation. Yet many people do not know much about flossing. Here is why and how to floss your teeth. (more…)

Financing Dental Work: Understanding Your Options

Regular dental work is vital to not only oral health, but overall physical health. Without dental care, you may risk tooth loss, painful abscesses, and even systemic infections. Yet significant dental treatment can be pricey, and dental insurance is not anywhere near as comprehensive as today’s health insurance. Fortunately, you have several options for financing the dental work you need.


4 Tips for Dealing with Teething Problems

When the baby teeth erupt through the gum tissue, the process is known as teething. Every baby’s experience is different, and the same baby might react very differently depending on which tooth is erupting. Every once in a while, a new tooth might come in without much reaction from your baby at all. In general, though, babies tend to display some common symptoms of teething. Here are 4 tips for dealing with teething problems.