Trouble with Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening Toothpaste

Have you ever considered employing whitening toothpaste as an alternative to a professional cosmetic treatment from our Bellevue dentistry? If you have, we encourage you to reconsider. The truth is that the so-called “whitening” toothpastes are probably harming your teeth far more than they are brightening your smile.

If your toothpaste identifies itself as a whitener, take a good look at the fine print on the package. You’ll likely find that it only claims to “whiten teeth by removing surface stains”. This means that it’s only wiping away potential stains on your teeth that have not yet settled. This is decent as a preventative measure, but it does nothing for the stains that you already have. To remove real stains, you need whitening agents that are too strong to come in toothpaste form; any bleach in a toothpaste gets rinsed away too quickly to have any real effect, and only serves to make your paste more abrasive on your gum tissues.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Do the right thing for your teeth, and restore their whiteness with Bellevue Overlake Dental.

Change Where You Start Your Brushing!

When our Bellevue dentist examines your teeth, we commonly discover plaque in a lot of the same places. Sometimes this is because you’re just neglecting a certain area, but this can also happen to people who know enough to cover every surface of their teeth. If you feel like you’re doing a thorough job brushing, but you’re still seeing the same problem areas whenever you go in for your check-up, the answer may be simple: you need to rotate your starting point.

Start Brushing at Different Areas

It’s a fact that people tend to fall into a strict pattern. You likely start brushing your teeth in the exact same place every morning and night, and the rest of your brushing routine probably looks surprisingly similar as well. This means that only one area is getting the best of your attention every day, and you’re only reaching other areas after you’ve grown tired of brushing, diluted your toothpaste, and aren’t as focused on doing a good job.

To deal with this, take note of where you start every day and try to mix it up. Break your mouth into quadrants, and focus on starting in a different place every morning and night. You may be surprised by how much better your next dental visit goes!

Are You Brushing Right?

Most of the problems we see at our Bellevue dental clinic can be linked to poor brushing technique. Even if you consider yourself a pretty decent brusher, the difference between “good” oral hygiene and “great” oral hygiene is noticeable in the dentist chair. Take a look at this simple list of brushing tips, and see if your own routine could benefit from a little more care.

Flossing and Brushing Tips

  • Floss before brushing. This allows the fluoride of the toothpaste to get in between your teeth better.
  • Brush twice a day, once after you wake up and once before you go to sleep, after your last meal of the day. Plan not to eat or drink anything except water between your last brushing of the day and your bedtime; your mouth is less able to defend itself while you sleep.
  • Brush for about two minutes at a time. Too little may leave you insufficiently cleaned, and too much might be too hard on your gums.
  • Do not brush directly after eating. Acids in your food can weaken your tooth enamel for a short while, making them vulnerable to being stripped away by your brush.
  • Hold your brush at a forty-five degree angle to your teeth and brush in a circular motion, gently massaging your gums.

Additional Dental Care Steps

Remember that plaque can gather on your tongue as well. Use a tongue scraper, or simply brush your tongue if you need to. Follow up your brushing with a quality mouthwash; there are several good antibacterial and fluoride rinses available, which can work wonders to giving your teeth the extra edge they need.

Toothbrush Maintenance

Many people come to our Bellevue dentist wondering how frequently they should be replacing their toothbrushes. This is a valid concern, as your brush can quickly become a hotbed of bacteria. Aside from this, the bristles of your brush are also getting worn out and bent out of place, gradually acting as a less and less effective cleaning tool. Not being mindful of a proper replacement schedule can eventually compromise the good that your brush is doing for your teeth.

How often should you be changing your toothbrush?

The common wisdom is to get a new toothbrush every three months. However, this number can vary from person to person. Some people brush harder than others, and will see their bristles splaying out far sooner than the three month mark. This is a clear sign that you need a new brush. Other people may be suffering from gum disease, and can benefit from getting a fresh brush every few weeks or so. This helps them avoid exposing themselves to rampant bacteria colonies.

How to Maintain your Toothbrush

In the meantime, you can keep your brush cleaner for longer by observing some simple sanitation practices. Remember that bacteria thrives in damp environments, and so storing your brush upright to let it dry out is a good habit to get into. If this isn’t enough, consider periodically dipping the bristles in either hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash. Do not microwave your brush or wash it in the dishwasher, as this can destroy the fragile material of the bristles.

If you have further questions about your toothbrush, consult Overlake Family Dental in Bellevue, WA.

The Effects of Stress On Your Oral Health

Stress and Your Oral Health

Excessive stress can have a strong effect on your overall health. It invites heart disease, reduces your immune system, and can even take a disastrous toll on your teeth and gums. There are numerous ways that stress can be detrimental to your oral health, including all of the following:

  • Stress often serves as the root cause of tooth grinding and clenching of the jaw, which breaks down tooth enamel and pushes teeth out of alignment.
  • Some people have a nervous habit of chewing when they feel stress, which puts you at risk of breaking a tooth.
  • Canker sores, cold sores, and similar sores may sometimes be caused or aggravated by stress.
  • Excess stress can aggravate gum disease.
  • Many people overeat when they feel stressed, favoring sugary comfort foods that invite tooth decay.
  • Stress can lead to depression, which causes people to neglect their dental care routine.

Talk to our Bellevue Dentist

If you have too much stress in your life, our Bellevue dentistry clinic advises that you take measures to manage it. Further, be sure to always keep your regular dental appointments to best assure that you catch any dental problems before they become serious.