Taking Happiness to a Brighter Level PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenna Sullivan   
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 04:39

Taking Happiness to a Brighter Level
Who says doctors only specialize in health concerns? One area dental office shares some enwhitening information to give you a beauty makeover fit for Kodak moments.

Your smile can say a lot about you, and flashing those pearly whites is often a surefire way to make a good impression. If your teeth aren't as white or well-maintained as you'd like them to be, it can get in the way of your self-esteem and overall chic-itude.


Drs. Edward Maag and Christopher Balsly of Riversbend Dental have some practice in the whitening game. And dental hygienist Nancy Hilliard shares some whitening methods ranging from the foods you eat to in-office procedures to achieve beautiful teeth.


Building Protection


The whitest smile isn't always the healthiest, so setting your teeth's health as a priority over how bright they shine is worth it in the long run. But you don't have to go to great lengths to keep your teeth protected. Instead, you can incorporate some common foods and beverages into your diet.


Raw carrots and celery protect your teeth in two ways: The extra chews it takes to munch on these goodies produces saliva, which in turn counteracts cavity-causing bacteria. These crunchy raw vegetables also clean between teeth and provide a natural gum massage.


Even dairy products like cheese, with its high calcium and phosphate content, can benefit your smile. Cheese helps your mouth's pH avoid acidic levels that encourage the growth of bacteria. Similar to carrots and celery, cheese also produces saliva while protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.riversbend_instory.GIF


The natural substances in green tea, apples, kiwi and parsley can also work magic on your oral health. They do everything from fighting plaque to fixing bad breath and strengthening gums.


Just as you should find ways to work the above foods into your diet, there are also specific products you ought to avoid. Blueberries, darker juices (like grape and cranberry), coffee, colas and red wine have a high chance of staining your teeth.


Giving Your Teeth a Professional Grade White


With teeth protection secured, Riversbend patients looking to up their smile's intensity can choose from two bleaching procedures: Zoom! Whitening, an in-office procedure with quick, intense results, and at-home whitening using custom-fitted bleach trays.


Hilliard uses a creative analogy to describe the difference in effectiveness between the two methods: "Think of it this way: Home bleaching is kind of like driving to California, and Zoom! whitening is like taking a jet," she says.


The Zoom! process requires a two-hour trip to the office and involves a chemical change via bleaching that will not damage the surface of tooth enamel. For the more gradual, at-home option, patients choose from two different strengths of home-use bleach: 10 percent or 22 percent.


After a quick office visit to get impressions for custom bleach trays, patients will wear the trays every night while sleeping (10 percent) or for half an hour each day (22 percent). On average, it takes eight to 10 sessions of home bleaching for teeth to become a stunning five to eight shades brighter.


Hilliard also stands by the use of over-the-counter home whitening agents, like Crest Premium White Strips. While they do make a difference, "naturally, they cannot dispense the bleaching level that a dentist can, so it takes longer to get a whiter shade," Hilliard says.


Keep Your Eyes Peeled


If you decide to purchase your own whitening tools, it's important to recognize their ingredients. "There are two types of whitening products: peroxide containing whiteners or bleaching agents and whitening toothpastes or dentifrices (cleaning agents) that work by chemical action or physical action to help remove surface stains," Hilliard says.


Safe whiteners and bleaching agents available at the store or in your dentist's office include the chemical carbamide peroxide. But leave the product on the shelf if you notice the ingredient diethylene glycol (or DEG) in the product. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration urged consumers to avoid toothpastes containing this chemical, as it is often used in antifreeze and can be fatal.


Also be sure to keep an eye out for the ADA Seal of Acceptance while beautifying your teeth. These products are tested in American Dental Association labs to verify safety and effectiveness.


Combine these practices with regular brushing and a good balanced diet, and you'll be sure to turn heads with your healthy sparkling smile.



Photo courtesy of Riversbend Dental

Brenna Sullivan -

Brenna Sullivan is Cincy Chic's multi media intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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