We’ve all seen the advertisements and television commercials for oral health care products that claim to make your smile healthy and beautiful. These include whitening strips, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and chewing gum. Even more, many of these products are easy to find at your local grocery store and come in a variety unique flavors while promising fast results. However, many of these products can actually be harmful to your teeth over time. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental would like to keep you informed and educated about the truth behind many of these popular over-the-counter oral health care products.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Strips
Whitening strips come in a wide variety of brands and promise fast, easy results. Easily applied they claim to whiten your smile in a few as two weeks. The truth behind whitening strips is that they contain hydrogen peroxide, which works to whiten your teeth by penetrating the porous enamel. Hydrogen peroxide then produces oxygen that reacts with the discolored enamel of your teeth to chemically change it, providing you with temporary results. However, this chemical reaction can weaken the outer layer of your enamel, causing it to erode over time. In some cases, the damage done can be permanent. Teeth can also become darkened and more susceptible to staining than they were before.
It is far better to seek out a teeth whitening treatment from a Boise dental professional. Your Boise dentist will check your teeth to ensure they are healthy and that discoloration isn’t the result of something far more serious than staining. Whitening under the supervision of a Boise dentist can also prevent burns and other potential damage that many over-the-counter products can cause.
Using a whitening toothpaste may seem like the easiest way to control unwanted stains. However, whitening toothpaste can also cause permanent damage your teeth. That’s because many kinds of whitening toothpastes contain tiny abrasive particles that remove stains by scratching the outer surface of your enamel. After scratching away the stained layer of your teeth the layer below the stain starts to appear whiter. However, this can result in the loss of enamel which can lead to tooth decay and other expensive Boise dental procedures. That’s why you should always consult with your Boise dentist about what toothpastes they suggest using and more importantly the safe teeth whitening treatments they provide.
Some people think that a hard-bristled toothbrush is a perfect tool for obtaining a whiter, brighter smile. However, they can actually damage your teeth. While toothpaste is already somewhat abrasive, adding the harsh scrubbing of a hard-bristled toothbrush can further scrape away your enamel. Additional damage can also be caused if you brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking something acidic. Acid softens the enamel of our teeth making the top layer much more susceptible to erosion. That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental always suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush for the best and safest results.
Some brands of chewing gum use xylitol instead of sugar as their main ingredient. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can help prevent cavities and reduce plaque. However, there are some negative effects of chewing gum on a regular basis. For people that chew gum in excess, sticky residue can be left behind making your teeth the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Gum can also potentially pull out fillings while stressing the jaw over time. Instead of chewing gum, you may want to consider the occasional sugar-free breath mint to help freshen your breath while increasing bacteria-fighting saliva production.
Summit Dental Group
It’s important to spend a little time researching the oral health care products you use to maintain the long-term health of your teeth and gums. At Summit Dental Group we believe that preventative care and education are extremely important to optimal dental health. We focus on thorough exams, checking the overall health of teeth and gums, knowing how crucial this is to preventing dental disease.
Not only are we concerned about the beauty of our patient’s smile, we are also concerned about the overall health of our patients. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full mouth restoration, or anything in between, Summit Dental Group will provide exceptional care as we restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile.