Pearly white is always in fashion when it comes to our teeth. According to Dr. Maryam Adibfar, a Toronto-based dentist, tooth bleaching is the most popular cosmetic procedure she performs in her office.
“I find that more and more people are interested in the aesthetics of their smile,” she says. She explains that we are taking better care of our teeth. “Now a days people are less prone to cavities, visit the dentist regularly, have a healthier lifestyle, so basically when they come to the dentist it is not drill and fill all the time, they are more inclined to having a nicer smile.”
There are three common ways to whiten your teeth. The first is through over-the-counter drugstore products. “The ones in the drugstore do a good job for what you pay for,” says Dr. Adibfar. The second and third are performed at the dentist’s office. The second is the whitening trays, which exactly match the form of your teeth, and are worn for part of the day or night. This process usually takes about 1-2 weeks depending on the original state of the teeth. The last option is in-office tooth bleaching, where a laser light accelerates the tooth bleaching process in just one and a half hours.
“Whitening is perfectly safe,” says Dr. Abidfar. “But your teeth could be sensitive for a little while.” She says she usually gives patients fluoride after their treatment and recommends they use a tooth paste designed for sensitive teeth for a while.
“I definitely wouldn’t bleach the teeth of someone who has not had proper cleaning done or recent x-rays to make sure there aren’t any cavities or infections,” explains Dr. Abidfar. “The basics should be done.
Abraham Maslow proposed in his paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, people have a hierarchy of needs. Once their basic needs are met, they are ready to move onto the next step. It seems today, we have mastered the basic principles of oral care, or at least we think we have. I was shocked when I visited Crest’s website and took its Tooth True or False Quiz…and nearly failed! I got two out of the five questions wrong. OK, I answered very quickly, but still.
Here are the two that I can’t believe I didn’t get right.
Question: Cavities are the #1 cause of adult tooth loss.
Answer: I answered True, but the answer is False. “Gum disease is the number 1 cause of adult tooth loss and it often develops slowly without causing pain,” says the website. OK, OK, I should have known that one, but it didn’t come to mind at first.
Question: The correct sequence for cleaning your teeth is brush first, floss second.
Answer: I answered True, but the answer is False. “Floss first, brush second. Flossing removes plaque and loosens food particles that you can then brush away.” Yes, it all makes sense now.
I didn’t feel too badly when I saw the average score was 3.78 out of 5…it seems there are a few of us out there still trying to master the basics.
If you have any questions about which tooth bleaching or oral health in general, contact me directly or drop by our Davisville dentist office. We’d love to chat with you!