Unless all your teeth are false, you need to floss. Your gums will get puffy and will bleed easily when the hygenist tries to clean them. You’ll get hard deposits between your teeth that the hygenist can feel, and eventually see on an x-ray. We may also notice the deterioration of the bone around your teeth. You may also have bad breath and even have pus coming out of your gums that you may be unaware of.
Professional bleaching differs from drug-store bleaching in that the strength of the bleach used in the office is much greater and has to be applied by someone trained to do so. In our office, our hygenist does most of the bleaching procedures. Before the bleaching, the teeth are cleaned and the gums are protected with a special sealer. There is also a lip retractor to keep your skin and lips from getting in contact with the bleach. The bleach is then applied for the next 30-60 minutes. Some systems use a bright light to help them work more effectively. We currently use this system.
In addition to the in-office treatments, we also make custom bleaching trays for patients to use at home to maintain their bleaching treatments. The solution used in the at-home bleaching kits is also stronger than the over-the-counter variety. Trays are needed to keep the bleach isolated on the tooth surface so that it can work effectively. As with any bleaching products, tooth sensitivity does occur, but can be managed by discontinuing their use for a few days.
We also carry Crest Whitestrips in a stronger Professional Strength (only available at dentist’s offices).
Tooth decay, or dental caries, as they referred to it in dental school, happens when acid is allowed to break down the normal structure of the tooth, leaving it soft, weakened and open to further decay. The acids are mainly produced by bacteria that live in our mouths and produce acid as a by-product of the foods we eat.
There are areas on our teeth that are more susceptible to acid attack. The grooves in our teeth sometimes have little or no enamel and allow the acid to penetrate. Our Kavo laser allows us to find these early and then we can treat them with our air abrasion so that no drilling and big fillings need to be done, restoring the health of the tooth and sealing it off from further decay.
The spaces in between our teeth are susceptible to acid as well. These areas are isolated from places where ones tongue or a toothbrush can reach to periodically disrupt the bacteria and their acid production. That's why flossing is important. It can get in-between and rub off the bacteria that has settled there. Disruption of the bacteria is the key to prevention.