Keeping Smiles Bright

When you are walking down a store aisle of yesteryear or walking outside and see a friend from a distance, one of the things that we are most excited to see are smiles.  It is naturally the first thing that is done in our culture and along with that comes the look of the teeth beneath the smile.  We are conscious of the looks of others and subconsciously we actually can see the friendliness of that smile go away with a not to a bright smile.  That is based on a lot of different things, but the truth is that a yellow-toothed smile can actually end up making you look and seem more unfriendly.  It can also have many other stereotypes give along with it, but the fact is that people judge you.  So I want to make sure that we are doing what we can to seem how we actually feel when we great others.  This is why I want to go over a few things that can be done to keep our smiles bright and teeth white.

The looks of our teeth actually end up being a variety of different things. But many people like to start with what can be done in their daily dental routine first to brighten their smile.  The ADA suggests that we actually brush our teeth twice a day with a high in fluoride toothpaste.  This actually has something to do with things that can help cause your yellow smile, but generally does not help brighten your smile at all.  Now brushing and protecting your teeth with a high in fluoride toothpaste is a great thing and helps to keep food and drinks from breaking down your enamel and causing yellowing.  So it is really important to make sure you are brushing twice a day for that protection from further yellowing.

One thing you can add to your dental routine is that you should substitute one brushing or add in another brushing with a whitening toothpaste.  I added an extra brushing in my daily schedule as to not harm my teeth in any way but to make sure they were fully protected.  So for my night brushing, I put a whitening toothpaste in my schedule.  What I decided to do was to go with a natural toothpaste.  It is a charcoal paste that is proven to whiten your teeth over time.  The benefit of this to me was that it was not a paste that would cause sensitive teeth.  I have had sensitivity issues with whitening devices in the past and really didn’t want to experience that pain in my life again simply for brighter teeth.  The charcoal toothpaste has helped brighten my smile and not cause me pain.

There are also tooth whitening strips that most people can buy quickly and get a super bright smile within a few weeks for less than 100 dollars.  It is a really good process for bright smiles and in a fast amount of time.  What I found for myself was that my teeth do not like them.  My teeth get really sensitive and lots of pain ended up happening. So this is not my favorite way to a bright smile, but It did work very well.

I hope these tips help you with a brighter smile!

Foods and Drinks for your teeth during the Holidays

This is the time of year for all of those fantastic snacks.  The wonderful cakes, pies, and incredible deserts of the holidays are what I live for.  There is nothing better than having a family dinner and having my Mom bring out her deserts.  It is something I look forward to every single year and it is also something I am certain by body dreads each year.  Yes, I probably pick up about 5 to 10 lbs through the holiday months, but there is one area of health that probably suffers more, and it’s an area that most people neglect during this time of year.  I am talking about my dental health. I know that this is a part of my body that really suffers and it is something that I should work on.  So I want to hit up some tips for you and for me this year to help keep our health up and our mouths happy later in life.

The first thing I want to go over and to work on is staying hydrated.  I know that water is the answer to a whole lot of dental issues and body issues.  When it comes to eating and drinking sweets and yummy holiday things the excess sugar and acid can really be a big problem.  By drinking more water I know I will be able to help rinse my mouth and keep my teeth safer.  The rinsing of that sugar and acid off my teeth helps to keep the bacteria from growing that causes dental erosion.  It also keeps the acid off your teeth which slowly eats away at your teeth too. 

Water is a key ingredient to a healthy holiday.  The benefits of staying hydrated are also that your mouth simply has more salvia to clean your mouth with as well.  The cleaning effects from your natural saliva are incredible and will help to keep your body safe.  So by not getting dehydrated and drying out your mouth, you are doing a big favor to you and your dentist.  I am planning on keeping my stainless steel water bottle with me this year and rather I pretend I am drinking coffee or not I know that the water in it will help me not have an emergency visit to the dentist this year.

Now another thing I learned is how to help alleviate the effects of highly acidic drinks as well.  When you are having an adult beverage it is most likely really highly acidic.  Most drinks like that are and even coffee is too. But for those parties that you find yourself drinking at try to indulge in some cheese in-between.  The cheese actually has the ability to neutralize acid because of its a base.  This allows your teeth to not get the enamel eating substance constantly attacking your teeth.

I know this one is going to sound weird, but I started to create a mouth kit for parties.  I am always hitting up the restroom once or twice during a party and having a disposable toothbrush and floss stick can help save your mouth.  Once or twice at a party, after I do my thing in the bathroom I do a super quick brush and floss and trash the evidence.  It is an amazing way to keep a good breath and stay safe. I hope these tips keep your holiday a little fresher for you too.

Treating TMD And Myofascial Pain With Trigger-Point Injections

According to a report by the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 21 to 30 percent of Americans suffer from myofascial pain. Myofascial pain refers to a sensation of discomfort in the muscle tissues in the upper and lower back and neck area. You can manage this pain by contacting your dentist and other health professionals. There are many treatment options available. One of them is the administration of trigger-point injections.

Things that result in trigger points

A trigger point refers to the tension or muscle spasm in the shoulder or back region. It can sometimes happen due to a nodule, which is a muscle knot. A nodule radiates pain when you touch it. A trigger point can also occur due to temporomandibular disorders (TMD), myofascial pain, or headache.

The pain can occur in the temporomandibular joint or its surrounding structure that includes muscles in the neck or facial area. A trigger point can accompany clicking or popping of jaw joint and facial pain during routine activities such as chewing, talking, and moving your lower jaw.

Pain relief with trigger point injections

You may get pain relief by having injections in the tender muscle areas. Your doctor can use medications, such as an anesthetic or corticosteroid, or just dry needles without any medication to treat the trigger points. The insertion of needles aims at relieving the tension between muscles, thus treating the trigger point. One injection session may be enough to treat trigger points. Patients with chronic disorders may, however, need to have regular sessions to treat the problem.

There are generally no side effects of having these injections as a means to treat trigger points. Some patients, however, experience mild pain at the site of injection. This pain subsides on its own within a few days, but you can consider applying ice or using over-the-counter pain relievers to have quick relief.

Who can administer these injections?

Due to the complexity involved in facial pain and TMD, there is no single dental specialty that can be designated as the sole resolver of these issues. Generally, you will want to contact a dentist who has had training in pain management. Alternatively, you can consider going to a medical expert who specializes in pain management. Trigger point injections are not painful when administered by a medical expert who has vast experience in managing pains.

Other ways to manage TMD pain

In most cases, medical experts do not suggest anything other than conservative methods to manage TMD pains. Eating a soft diet and exercising are the safest and, sometimes, most effective methods to treat TMD and facial pains. Your dentist or health physician may also recommend physical therapy or the use of an appliance to reposition your jaw.

Your doctor might also recommend botulinum toxin (botox) injections to treat such pains. Botox injections are generally known for their application during cosmetic facial procedures, but a study suggests that they might also be effective when it comes to treating TMD and facial pains.

You may want to discuss all of these options with your dentist or health physician before deciding what you need to choose.