More people than ever are looking for tooth whitening options to make their smile look whiter and brighter, and to improve their overall appearance. With so many whitening options, there’s bound to be one right for you.
There are two types of stains that cause discoloration. The first are intrinsic stains that develop inside the tooth enamel. Intrinsic tooth stains can be due to a mother’s antibiotic use while pregnant or childhood exposure to fluoride. Extrinsic tooth stains are the result of drinking beverages such as tea and coffee, age, the development of plaque and tartar or the use of tobacco.
Before begining a home or in-office treatment, it is a good idea to see a dentist to determine the type of stain you have and assist in deciding which option treatment would work best for you.
The options include:
1. Whitening at Home — There are several options in this category of whitening. You can choose over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes, white strips or paint-on gels. Gel trays are popular, but may require a dentist to take an impression of your teeth and to help you select a whitening kit. The expense is less than an office whitening visit.
2. Whitening at the Office — This option may include one to three visits depending on the whitening procedure that you and the dentist choose. It is usually more expensive than the over-the-counter whitening products, but can be more effective. Speak with Dr. Jaleel to find out which options are available at our clinic.
Baking soda is a common household product that has many uses around the home, from eliminating smells to cleaning carpets. Now, baking soda can be found in many toothpastes and teeth-whitening products. Using it to remove stains from teeth is common practice. But does baking soda whiten teeth, really? It does an excellent job at removing surface stains, but you should proceed with caution to prevent damage to your enamel.
Home Remedies to Whiten Teeth
How can a simple mixture of equal parts baking soda and water whiten teeth? Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is composed of a chemical compound that makes it a great mild abrasive. It is this same abrasiveness that effectively removes surface stains from your teeth and make them appear whiter. However, if your goal is to remove deeper, older stains, then baking soda will not be as effective. You will need to see your dentist or use a product that was specifically created for whitening teeth.
If you’re considering using this method to help whiten your teeth, you need to be aware of possible side effects. With continual use, you could cause damage to the enamel that coats your teeth. In addition, baking soda doesn’t contain fluoride, which helps strengthen teeth and prevent dental cavities, so you will still need to use regular toothpaste. If you have braces that contain orthodontic glue or use a permanent retainer, don’t brush with baking soda. It will soften the glue.
Who doesn’t want a beautiful, bright smile free of stains? Getting that smile shouldn’t be at the expense of the health of your teeth. For a safer alternatives, you should seek teeth whitening services from your dentist. Learn more about tooth whitening, contact us today at 613.829.6868.
Most of us Ottawans can agree last winter was a particularly chilly one, and most of us are glad to see the green grass and flip flops. Only two more months left until the kids are done school, and some of you may already be thinking about summer vacation plans. While vacations are an opportunity to relax, your dental health should not be away on vacation. Today, Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist is here to provide five tips to maintain your oral health routines while on vacation.
Your toothbrush – don’t leave home without it
Stick to your routine — continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. Carry travel-sized packets of floss or dental picks in your purse or pocket if you’ll be out for most of the day. If you’re travelling, a collapsible toothbrush and a roll of floss fit nicely into your purse or carry-on luggage. If you have a cottage, stock up on toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste for the season.
See Dr. Jaleel Before Leaving
Book a dental exam well before your vacation. Dr. Jaleel can detect problems before you may experience any symptoms, and any necessary treatment can be taken care of before you leave. If a family member has braces and will be away for several weeks, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist prior to leaving.
If you plan on participating in any sport or activity where there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces — soccer, racquetball or in-line skating in the summer, (or skating, snowboarding or skiing in the winter) — you may want to talk to your dentist about a mouthguard.
Do your research before your trip on the dental care available in the area where you will be staying. Get the contact information for local dentists and phone ahead for information on office hours. Or, Dr. Jaleel may be able to recommend a dentist in the area. This will save you precious time in case of a dental emergency.
Indulging in sweet and sticky foods while on vacation may be fun, but try to minimize the amount you consume. Keep those s’mores around the campfire to a minimum. Best bet? Stick to fruits and vegetables as they contain the essential vitamins and minerals teeth and gums need to stay strong and healthy.
Drink plenty of water, every day. It is the best way to stay hydrated, no matter if you’re sitting on a beach or hiking in the hills.
Beware the rays
Moderate exposure to sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D, which is used by the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous, helping to keep teeth and bones strong. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can increase your risk of cancers, including to the lips and the mouth.
When applying sunscreen, don’t forget your nose and lips. Use a lip balm that contains protection against UVA and UVB rays.
If you feel uncomfortable about showing your smile in public, or if you have tooth discoloration that regular whitening treatments have not been able to correct, dental veneers may be the answer. Dental veneers are naturally tooth-colored permanent material shells that are placed over the visible surfaces of your existing teeth with permanent adhesive. They are thin and mimic the way light reflects off natural teeth.
What issues can dental veneers fix?
In addition to looking and feeling like real teeth, dental veneers can fix a variety of cosmetic dentistry problems that ordinary teeth whitening can’t, such as:
- Cracked, chipped or broken teeth
- Minor gaps between teeth
- Misaligned, irregularly shaped, or worn down teeth
- Tooth discoloration due to overuse of antibiotics such as tetracycline or too much fluoride.
- Tooth discoloration due to root canal treatment
Dental veneers provide better results than simple teeth whitening, and are a great way to get the bright, white, and confident smile that you’ve always wanted. Unlike regular teeth whitening procedures, dental veneers are stain-resistant. This means that you can continue eating and drinking without avoiding things like red wine, juice, soda or coffee. It also reduces the need for whitening treatments. In fact, many people choose to get dental veneers to improve the look of their smile before an important event such as a wedding or a reunion.
Lumineers ® (by Cerinate)
At the Fairlawn Dental Clinic, we believe in providing the best care to our patients, which is why our dental office chooses to provides a leading brand of veneers: Lumineers ®. Lumineers ® are custom-made from patented Cerinate porcelain from Den-Mat Corporation, a trusted name is dentistry and oral care. These dental veneers are extraordinarily strong – clinically proven to last up to 20 years – and extremely natural looking.
How are Lumineers different from traditional veneers?
Dr. Jaleel believes you will enjoy Lumineers because they are unique in that they are ultra-thin (approximately 0.2 mm) and highly translucent, allowing them to replicate the natural appearance of enamel. While traditional veneers are much thicker, requiring the grinding down of your original tooth structure, Lumineers are so thin that little to no tooth reduction is necessary. Additionally, the durability of Lumineers allows them to resist wear and remain resilient to last over 20 years.
What’s involved with a Lumineers procedure?
On the first visit, Dr. Jaleel will create a precise mold. When that is completed, Dr. Jaleel will determine the shade of white that is right for you. After your first visit, your teeth mold will be sent off to the DenMat Lab for your custom Lumineers to be created. With Lumineers, you don’t have to wear temporaries. During your second visit, your Lumineers are painlessly applied without shots or drilling of sensitive tooth structure. And you’re ready to start smiling out loud!
Is the Lumineers procedure painful?
Rest assured, the Lumineers procedure is a completely pain-free way to reshape and permanently whiten your teeth. Because they are ultra-thin, in most cases you will get a perfect fit without shots or grinding down of the original tooth structure. Once the procedure is completed, there is no post placement discomfort or sensitivity, which means Lumineers will look natural and feel comfortable from the moment they are placed.
With Lumineers, can I still chew gum and eat my favorite sticky foods?
Drink and eat what you want with confidence because Lumineers are applied in the most durable way possible. However, Lumineers don’t replace good hygiene, so you should continue to visit your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning to keep your Lumineers looking their best and the rest of your teeth and gums healthy.
What medications should I avoid during pregnancy?
Many over-the-counter drugs may have warning labels that alert you to the use of the product before, during and even after pregnancy. We encourage you to consult with your doctor and dentist to discuss any of the risk vs. benefits of the medications.
- Antibiotics – are prescribed with caution to prevent or treat infections. Only those that are known to be safe such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin should be used during your pregnancy. There is also an antibiotic called tetracycline that is routinely avoided since it can cause permanent staining to your baby’s developing teeth.
- Chlorohexadine – is a germicidal mouth rinse that is used to treatment gingivitis or gum disease. It is considered safe to use throughout pregnancy.
- Lidocaine – is an anesthetic used to numb your mouth tissue and can be safely administered during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Only the lowest amount necessary will be used to make you comfortable enough during treatment. Although some dentists may consider the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) safe, we do not use it for expecting mothers.
It is a good idea to to consult with your OB/Gyn before your dental appointment. Take note of any special medications or caution your OB.GYN prescribes. This will decrease the likelihood of drug-drug interactions come your dental treatment with Dr. Jaleel.
Can I whiten my teeth during pregnancy?
There is not a enough reliable data available yet concerning the use of products to whiten your teeth during pregnancy. Until we know more about whether it poses a significant risk to your baby, we advise against teeth whitening during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.
Are x-rays safe during pregnancy?
Today’s advances in technology have made the new dental digital x-rays much safer. In fact, the radiation exposure is so low that you can take 1 digital x-rays for every 10 of the old, paper-type dental film. Dentists will usually hold off taking any x-rays until after your pregnancy, however, in the event of a dental emergency or infection, an x-ray may be necessary.
Safety precautions will be taken, and, if possible, the dentist may wait until your second or early part of your third trimester to take an x-ray or begin treatment. The use of a lead dental apron with thyroid collar is a standard practice in dentistry, so make sure one is used and is fastened snugly.
Word of Caution…
According to several studies that have been published in the Journal of Periodontology, there is evidence that women with gum disease are more likely to have premature or low birth weight infants. Gums that are free of disease are important in having a healthy mouth and a healthy body.
By practicing a few healthy steps you can help reduce the likelihood of dental problems during your pregnancy:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once daily
- Rinsing and gargling with an antiseptic mouth rinse recommended by your dentist.
- Reducing the frequency of snacking in between meals.
- Maintain a well-balanced, health diet avoiding sugary snacks as much as possible.
- Maintain regular dental hygiene care.
Can I get dental treatment done during my pregnancy?
If possible, arrange to visit with Dr. Jaleel, one of the top family dentists in Ottawa, for an examination before you become pregnant. In doing so, any treatment or cleanings that are advised can be done before conception. The second trimester is the safest time for a routine check-up/cleaning and any recommended, non-invasive treatment.
When routine and preventive dental care is avoided, dental emergencies are more likely to occur. Through good, preventive care most dental problems associated with pregnancy can be minimised or avoided.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a common name for dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth or a tooth sensitive or painful then you have sensitive teeth.
Is Tooth Sensitivity Common?
Tooth sensitivity is very common and it has been estimated that approximately half the population experiences tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time.
Why does Tooth Sensitivity (Dentin Hypersensitivity) Happen?
Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by dentin on root areas exposed due to receded gums or periodontal disease. Receded gums are very common and up to four fifths of people have gum recession by the time they are 65.
When the root of a tooth becomes exposed, it leaves the dentin of the root exposed. Overzealous brushing or using a very abrasive toothpaste can also cause abrasion of the tooth’s enamel surface and expose dentin. A very acidic diet – for example a diet with a lot of citrus food, pickles or sodapop — can cause tooth erosion and dissolve the tooth surface, exposing the dentin.
Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?
You can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene to help prevent receding gums and periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing properly as recommended by your dentist or hygienist and using a low abrasion toothpaste can help reduce the chance that you will have tooth sensitivity. A diet that is not acidic also helps prevent tooth sensitivity. Read our article on nutrition tips for healthier teeth for more details. Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems, especially if the pain causes you to brush poorly making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
What Can I Do if I Have Sensitive Teeth?
It is important to notify us of your sensitive teeth. We can help you and see what the best treatment is. It is also important to tell Dr. Jaleel or a member of our team in case the cause is not dentin (root) hypersensitivity and the tooth is sensitive due to a more serious problem.
- In Office Procedures:
- Fluoride varnish can be applied to exposed areas, strengthening the enamel and dentin
- Fluoride foam or gel can be placed into a mouth tray; you then sit with this in your mouth for 3-5 minutes, providing the teeth with a high concentration of fluoride to strengthen the areas
- Bonding agent, the material used to stick tooth colored restorations to teeth, can be used to seal the dentin surface and provide a barrier to the stimuli that cause sensitivity
- At Home:
- Use a very soft bristle tooth brush, with low abrasive tooth paste
- Brush correctly and do not over brush
- Use a tooth paste specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth
- Use a high concentration fluoride toothpaste (given to you by the dental professional) to strengthen the tooth surface
To treat tooth sensitivity, Dr. Jaleel may recommend that you use a low abrasion toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth — a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes make the teeth less sensitive if you brush with them twice a day and also contain fluoride to help protect your teeth against decay. Alternatively, we may prescribe a brush-on fluoride gel or a fluoride rinse, or a high fluoride level toothpaste that is specially formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and provides extra protection against decay. These treatments happen at home when you are brushing your teeth and are inexpensive.
If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, feel free to give us a call and book an appointment with Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist. She will be happy to address your concerns and provide you with a list of alternatives. We’re conveniently located across Carlingwood Shopping Centre at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic.
2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1
Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3
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Put Away Your Photoshop
In the blossoming world of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening reigns supreme. Universally valued by men and women alike, whitening (or bleaching) treatments are available to satisfy every budget, time frame and temperament.
Whether in the form of one-hour bleaching sessions at your dentist, Dr. Jaleel’s office, or home-use bleaching kits purchased at your local drugstore, teeth whitening solutions abound. The long and the short of it is that teeth whitening works. Virtually everyone who opts for a teeth whitening solution sees moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. That said, whitening is not a permanent solution to discoloration and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” for a prolonged effect.
Tooth Discoloration: The Two Types of Tooth Stains
There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.
Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods and tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains are minor and can be removed with brushing and prophylactic dental cleaning. Stubborn extrinsic stains can be removed with more involved efforts, like teeth bleaching. Persistent extrinsic stains can penetrate into the dentin and become ingrained if they are not dealt with early.
Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride. In the past, it was thought that intrinsic stains were too resistant to be corrected by bleaching. Today, cosmetic dentistry experts believe that even deep-set intrinsic stains can be removed with supervised take-home teeth whitening that is maintained over a matter of months or even a year.
Teeth Whitening Options
Three major teeth whitening options are available today. All three rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times.
Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dentist or trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 to 20 minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most). Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use whitening system.
Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
Many dentists are of the opinion that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can produce the best results over the long haul. At Dr. Jaleel’s Fairlawn Dental Clinic, we are proud to offer dentist-prescribed-home-whitening kits. Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
The cheapest and most convenient of the teeth whitening options, over-the-counter bleaching involves the use of a store-bought whitening kit, featuring a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than that of the professionally dispensed take-home whiteners. The gel is applied to the teeth via one-size-fits-all trays, whitening strips or paint-on applicators. In many cases this may only whiten a few of the front teeth unlike custom trays that can whiten the entire smile.
One Thing To Note About Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
Although you can get over-the-counter whiteners without a dentist’s recommendation, if you over-use them or use them incorrectly, they can harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Also, over-bleaching can produce an undesirable bluish hue, chalky whiteness or uneven results (otherwise known as “the technicolor effect“).
Consulting with Dr. Jaleel, one of the leading dentist in the Ottawa region, can prevent these problems. To ensure the health of your smile, come visit us at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic before choosing an over-the-counter tooth whitener and beginning the bleaching process. Dentists know a lot about these products and can help you choose the right one and use it correctly.
Want to learn more about what we can do for you? Visit our Teeth Whitening page.
Feel free to call us. We are happy to book you an appointment with Dr. Jaleel. Our team is happy to assist you and address your concerns. We are located right across Carlingwood Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. We can be easily reach by public transit. Coming by car? We offer free parking and are wheelchair-friendly.
2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1
Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3
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It’s a New Year and one of your resolutions likely involves bettering yourself. Why not start the year off right with a dazzling smile? If you’ve been ashamed over the shade of your teeth and have been finding yourself hiding your smile, we wouldn’t want you to give off the wrong impression about yourself. Having your teeth as white as they can be will rejuvenate your smile, bring a new sense of self-confidence, and will give you more reasons to smile in the first place!
Boost your confidence with whiter teeth.
The colours of our teeth are inherently within a range of yellowish-to greyish shades. Although our teeth fall within this natural range, it is the whitest of smiles that we associate with health, vitality, happiness and beauty. Luckily, turning this perception into reality is well within our reach with the latest advancements in bleaching and whitening technologies. For this reason, teeth whitening can be an effective and simple makeover for your face at any age!
Before and After Teeth Whitening Treatments.
Teeth naturally darken with age. Just as our hair turns white, so do our teeth begin to yellow. (Too bad the opposite couldn’t be true!) The accumulation of stains from food, drink and smoking accelerates the darkening process that comes with age. Teeth may also be darkened by certain medications, root canals or trauma to the teeth. But there is no need to kick the coffee habit just yet!
A peroxide-based concentration penetrates tooth enamel, removing stains while lights in the form of lasers catalyze the reaction to speed up the process. Although the agents used by a professional dentist in Ottawa are stronger than at-home treatments, the precision and care taken during application increases effectiveness and reduces any possible irritation.
Some teeth and gum sensitivity may be a possible but brief side effect. However, friendly and accommodating, just let Ottawa dentist Dr. Jaleel aware of any personal sensitivities to make the process as comfortable for you as possible. Teeth whitening treatments are worth making the visit to your Ottawa dentist to ensure the most efficient and effective treatment to serve your personal needs. Based on the current colour of your teeth, sensitivity and medical history, cosmetic dentists will tailor your treatments. Accordingly, you can begin seeing results as quickly and comfortably as possible for you personally.
Don’t wave your white flag of surrender. Instead flash a new set of pearly whites! Stop by Dr. Jaleel, your local dentist in Ottawa, to see if you can turn your discoloration from coffee into a declaration of confidence!