Tag Archives: teeth whitening

Bazooka Joe Is Saving Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

Chewing GumOkay so, maybe that isn’t exactly true. But it is safe to say, millions of Americans chew gum. Some use it for the fresh breath, some us it to curb food cravings, some just like to chew gum for the bubbles, but chewing gum is really good for your teeth. But all chewing gum isn’t the same.

First, the science. The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. In fact, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. It’s always best to brush and floss, but if a toothbrush isn’t handy, sugar free gum is a great second option.

It’s important to note that it’s important to chew sugarless gum, and if possible, choose gum sweetened with Xylitol. Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your mouth consumes sugar – whether that sugar comes from a sugary drink such as cola or ice cream from dessert, it stays within your mouth and attaches to the surface of your teeth. When that sugar is allowed to stay in contact with your teeth, it provides an opportunity for decay to set in as bacteria has food to grow and multiply within your mouth. When you chew gum, the additional saliva neutralizes oral acids and flushes sugar away from the teeth, starving bacteria and protecting your teeth from cavities.

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Grin Bright at Home | Indianapolis Dentist

Getting teeth whitened in the dentist’s office is one way to improve your confidence and make you want to smile a lot more. However, the maintenance of this whitening treatment really comes into play once we leave the dental chair. It’s still important that you continue to look for ways to maintain your smile, or if possible, make it whiter and brighter. Listed below are four very useful tips for those who want to have a brighter and whiter smile:

Use whitening toothpaste. Visits to the dentist are important not just to get treatment to have your teeth whitened, but also to remove the bacteria and plaque that have built up over time. Ask for any tips they may have for upkeep.

Chew gum and crunchy produce. Saliva is your mouth’s naturally means of cleaning bacteria and plaque, so pop in a stick of sugar-free gum. Speaking of consumption, munching on crunchy produce such as apples, carrots and celery can also help you keep your teeth bright and clean.

Take better care of your tooth enamel. Although considered as the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel cannot repair itself if it breaks down. It is important that you take good care of your tooth enamel by providing it with necessary protection, such as by getting fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office and using a fluoride-toothpaste.

Drink plenty of milk. Dairy products are high in calcium, which helps keep your teeth white and bright. Dairy gives your teeth the calcium it needs to keep enamel strong and helps rid your teeth of food particles that can cause stains and discoloration.

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

The Five Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is what’s often used to refer to mostly elective dental work done to improve the appearance of one’s smile. However, even though cosmetic dental procedures primarily focus on aesthetics, the treatment can also provide certain functional and restorative benefits.

The different types of cosmetic dental procedures can range from simple, single-visit treatments to more complex and involved treatments.

  1. Inlays and Onlays – Also referred to as indirect fillings, these are made in a dental laboratory using composite resin material and are attached to the teeth by dentists using adhesive dental cement. These are used to treat and strengthen the structural integrity of teeth, restore their natural shape and avoid any further damage from mild to moderate decay, especially when a tooth can no longer support a filling. Inlays are placed directly onto the tooth’s surface if the tooth cusps are not damaged. However, when there’s too much damage to the tooth’s cusp or the tooth itself, onlays are instead used to cover its entire surface.
  1. Composite Bonding – Composite bonding refers to the cosmetic dental technique that utilizes dental material resembling the color of tooth enamel to restore the appearance of discolored teeth. Dentists can also use the same material to repair badly damaged or decayed teeth. Also referred to as bonding, the technique is capable of covering much of the damage to the tooth and make it look as good as new. Cheap and very effective, bonding is one of the best treatment methods available for those with decayed, chipped, cracked or worn-out teeth.
  1. Dental Veneers – Made from medical-grade ceramic, dental veneers are custom made dental appliances that perfectly resembles a patient’s natural teeth. It is very hard to tell dental veneers from the real thing and it can be used to treat various aesthetic issues, including crooked and cracked teeth, damaged enamel and even tooth gaps.
  1. Teeth Whitening – Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to restore the teeth to their natural appearance, or in some cases, make them look a shade lighter than they originally do. This is often only recommended for teeth that have been rid of plaque, tartar and other debris via other non-cosmetic and conventional dental procedures.
  1. Dental Implants – Used to replace teeth after tooth loss, dental implants are inserted into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth via a small titanium screw. Then, it is given time to heal and fuse with the bone to make sure that they’re permanently secured in place. Unlike other cosmetic dental procedures, dental implants are used mainly for their functional and health benefits.

Make an appointment today to get a beautiful smile by calling 317-841-1111. Or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Home Teeth Whitening Vs In-Office Teeth Whitening

 

You can bring the shine back on your smile by going to the dentist for an in-office teeth whitening treatment. Or, you can buy over-the-counter whitening products and so at home.

If you’re interested in brightening up your smile, it’s important you take note of each method’s pros and cons.

 

Home Teeth Whitening

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, over-the-counter products can help you get whiter teeth, which includes:

  • Whitening rinses are very easy to use, as all you need to do is swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds. Don’t take too long, just swish it enough to make sure that the whitening agent in the product makes contact with your teeth. Then after, spit out. Although the results are not instant, your choppers will get brighter eventually with continued use. Using rinses regularly can also help prevent new stains from forming.
  • Whitening toothpaste contains ingredients that remove surface stains with regular brushing. Make sure that you brush gently. Remember, brushing aggressively won’t make the toothpaste more effective and will only wear out tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and various oral problems. Speaking of tooth sensitivity, prolonged use of whitening toothpaste have been known to cause sensitive teeth.
  • Whitening gels are very convenient to use as you just need to put them on your teeth once a day for around two hours. And, depending on how strong the product is, you may need to wear them for as long as a month, or for just 10 days.
  • Whitening strips are also very easy to apply, but sometimes very confusing because it can be hard to tell which one of the strip is for the front teeth and which is for the bottom teeth. On average, you can expect to see results in 7 days.
  • Whitening trays fit over your teeth and filled with gel. They work extremely fast, but have been known to rub and irritate gums. It’s best to be careful and follow the directions on the package properly when using whitening trays.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

A very common in-office teeth whitening procedure don’t really occur in the office. Rather, it’s done at home, but with the supervision of the dentist. It involves using whitening trays, but instead of over-the-counter ones, custom-made trays filled with stronger bleaching solution are used. And, because the dentist supervises the procedure and the trays are custom-made, the results come faster and irritation is minimized.

Another in-office whitening procedure involves applying a powerful whitening gel on your teeth and using a specialized light or laser to activate the gel and make the process go a whole lot faster. Depending on just how badly colored your teeth are, your teeth may already be white after just one visit or you may need to go back a few more times.

You can also consult your dentist about laser teeth whitening, as well as other in-office whitening procedures.

It’s up to you whether you go to the dentist’s office or buy over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. But, what’s important is you don’t forget to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help keep your teeth white and healthy. This includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing and avoiding smoking. It will also help to avoid certain types of food and beverages that are notorious for causing stains, such as coffee, tea, white and sports drinks.

For the brightest, whitest smile, call Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment at 317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

DIY Remedies: The All-Natural Edition | Indianapolis Dentist

Vector cartoon sick tooth. Decay and destroy tooth.There are lots of dental problems that arise as we progress in life, and they range from minor to serious. Sometimes you don’t have time to make it to the dentist, and sometimes you are just waiting for your appointment. There must be something you can do in the meantime to help remedy a few of the more common problems that may present itself. There are loads of different over-the-counter remedies to counter these issues, but there are also natural remedies you could actually have in your home at this very moment. The following is a list of things you can do at home for a quick fix to various dental issues, listed from minor to major:

Bad breath. No one likes to know they have bad breath. It’s awkward and embarrassing, for everyone involved. Try chewing on fennel seeds or parsley. Fenugreek leaves boiled into a tea can be used as a mouthwash. Grab a handful of leaves and swish the tea around in your mouth twice a day.

Discolored teeth. There are a few things you can do to gradually turn your yellowed teeth to a sparkling white grin. Make a paste with some baking soda and water and brush your teeth with it once a week. Turn some strawberries into a paste and rub it onto your teeth. It may sound strange but the acids in strawberries scrub your teeth in the most delicious way possible. If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, mix mustard oil with holy basil leaves. The paste is fantastic for fading your teeth’s tinge.

Gum infections. If you find that your gums have become inflamed, chances are you will need to take a trip to the dentist. But in the meantime, rinse with warm saline water three times a day. It will keep the area clean and plaque-free. Chewing basil leaves is also known to sooth gums so have some handy if you begin to feel some discomfort. Mustard oil come in handy here too. Mix a little with a pinch of salt to help relieve any mild infection, or loose tooth, you may have.

Toothaches. If your pain has progressed all the way to full-blown toothache, it may feel like nothing will help it. Would you believe it can be fixed by pressing a clove of garlic on the pain? It works. Turmeric powder pressed on a cavity will work wonders on a cavity. Similar to a topical anesthetics we use for cuts, clove oil will do the same anti-bacterial things, but for your mouth.

Dental problems are bound to happen at some point. It’s natural. And as you can see, there are lots of natural ways we can help relieve some of our dental problems. They may not be total solutions, but they will work great until you can get into the dental chair.

For more information on dental emergencies and/or to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

The Terrible Ten Smile Saboteurs | Indianapolis Dentist

Beautiful smile with withe teethThere are lots of reasons our teeth may not be the brightest at all times. We go to the dentist for regular cleanings, but in the end, they always seem to go back to the way they were. But why? What are we doing to make our smile dingy or flawed? A lot of times, it isn’t how well we clean our chompers. In many cases, discolored or damaged teeth are the result of our own bad habits, says Indianapolis dentist George Kirtley; other problems are caused by chemicals that entered teeth during childhood. The way we eat,what we put into our mouths, even habits you don’t realize you’ve picked up, like biting your pencil, can all do small damages to our teeth. The biggest offenders he sees in Indianapolis:

  • Drinking tea. Hot or cold, tea stains teeth more than any other kind of drink.
  • Smoking, because tobacco yellows teeth.
  • Drinking coffee; it stains the teeth.
  • Drinking red wine; it stains the teeth.
  • Consuming too many soft drinks, which leave sugars on teeth that can create cavities.
  • Eating highly acidic foods, including starchy snacks such as potato chips and tortilla chips. They can drive enamel-busting acids deep into teeth, breaking the teeth down.
  • Ingesting too much fluoride during childhood, which can actually damage teeth.
  • Treating childhood diseases with antibiotics, such as Tetracycline, that can discolor teeth.
  • Chewing ice or your nails; it cracks teeth.
  • Grinding teeth; habitual grinding damages teeth.

For more information on habits that can cause damage to your smile and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

Whiten Your Teeth the DIY Way | Indianapolis Dentist

187957730We call them pearly whites. The more brilliant your teeth, the better your smile looks. The problem with white teeth really lies in the degree you take your oral hygiene. You can brush & floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. You can make appointments with your dental professional to have teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. There’s always over-the-counter versions you can buy to do it at home, but what if there was a way to do it without going the chemical route? Here are six easy ways to DIY your smile back to the pearly white scene you’re used to:

The version most people are used to hearing about is a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste, or “old reliable”. You can find a lot of toothpastes with these ingredients, but if you want to do it DIY style, just drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into a little bit of baking soda makes a paste. Apply it as you would regular toothpaste.

These next couple are sure to throw you off, but they take natural to a whole new level. Strawberries and banana peels. Yes, having these fruits handy will help brighten your smile in the most delicious way possible. Strawberries contain malic acid, and malic acid is fantastic at breaking down stains you would get from drinks like wine or coffee. So grab a couple, add about a teaspoon of baking soda & rub the paste on your teeth for 5-7 minutes. When it comes to the banana, it’s the peel that will shine up that smile. After you brush your teeth, peel a ripe banana and rub a piece along the inside of your teeth for two minutes. Minerals like potassium, magnesium, etc. will absorb into the enamel on your teeth, brightening it in a very nutritious way.

If you have some apple cider vinegar in your pantry. By diluting it with some water (3 parts water, 1 part vinegar) and mixing it with an all-natural toothpaste, you’ve made yourself a pretty efficient tooth whitening solution. If you are one that has discovered the many uses for coconut oil, you may also know that swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes also helps dingy teeth. But did you also know that you can turn it into a paste, just like apple cider vinegar? Heat a cup of coconut oil, add two teaspoons of baking soda & five to ten drops of natural spearmint essential oil. Not only does the coconut oil turn into a teeth whitening enzyme when mixed with saliva, but the spearmint adds antimicrobial benefits for your gums. It’s a one two punch of smile brightening goodness!

One of the latest detoxifying trends is to use activated charcoal. The porous nature of the charcoal turns out that it can also be fantastic at binding to bacteria before it can leave stains on teeth. The recipe is just as simple as all of these others: mix with a little bit of water, gently apply it to your teeth, leave to set in your mouth for two minutes, then rinse.

As you can see, it is possible to keep your smile the brightest it can be without busting your budget or using harsh chemicals. None of these DIY ideas should completely replace your oral practices in any way. In fact, no whitening solution can replace your daily brushing and flossing regime. These teeth whitening recipes are intended to be used every couple months when you want your smile the best it can naturally be.

For more information on teeth whitening sessions and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

Four Useful Tips For A Whiter and Brighter Smile

Chewing GumGetting teeth whitened in the dentist’s office is one way to improve your confidence and make you want to smile a lot more. However, getting treatment is just a start. It’s still important that you continue to look for ways to maintain your smile, or if possible, make it whiter and brighter.

Listed below are four very useful tips for those who want to have a brighter and whiter smile.

  1. Use whitening toothpaste. Visits to the dentist are important not just to get treatment to have your teeth whitened, but also to remove the bacteria and plaque that have built up over time. Also, during dental visits, you may want to ask your dentist to recommend you a specific type of whitening toothpaste to use at home, as well as further instructions on how to use such whitening products.

 

  1. Chew gum and crunchy produce. Saliva is your mouth’s naturally means of cleaning bacteria and plaque. The more saliva you have, the cleaner your mouth will be and chewing gum has been known to increase saliva production. Although make sure that you chew gum that’s sugar-free and with Xylitol so you do not end up damaging your teeth by consuming too much sugar.

 

Speaking of consumption, munching on crunchy produce such as apples, carrots and celery can also help you keep your teeth bright and clean. Although such vegetables and fruits don’t necessarily whiten your teeth, they are naturally abrasive and help remove from your teeth the substances that can cause stains and discoloration.

 

  1. Take better care of your tooth enamel. Your smile may already be white, but it may not be as bright as you want it to be because of weak enamel. Although considered as the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel cannot repair itself if it breaks down. This means that if the tooth enamel has been affected by gum disease in the past, there’s no way to restore it. If it’s weak, it’s also much more susceptible to stains. As such, it is important that you take good care of your tooth enamel by providing it with necessary protection, such as by getting fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office and using a fluoride-toothpaste.

 

  1. Drink plenty of milk. Or pretty much any other dairy product you can think of. This is because dairy products are high in calcium, which helps keep your teeth white and bright. Also, aside from giving your teeth the calcium it needs to keep enamel strong, cheese can also help rid your teeth of food particles that can cause stains and discoloration.

Seeking professional treatment to have teeth whitened are certainly the best way to improve the appearance of one’s teeth. However, the effects of such treatment can only last for so long if you don’t take proper care of your teeth.

To help keep your teeth white and bright all the time, make sure that you follow the teeth whitening tips given above, practice good oral hygiene at home and of course, visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

If you’d like to whiten your smile, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to help treat the underlying cause, or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for information about Dr. George Kirtley and his practice.

Two of the Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

teeth whitening

Some people are just born with much more yellowish teeth compared to others. That’s a fact. It’s also a known fact that our teeth also become yellow as we age. Though, there are also other factors affecting the color of our teeth, such as:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Drinking certain beverages such as red wine, tea, coffee and others.
  • Eating cherries, blueberries and other highly pigmented types of food.
  • The hardening of plaque resulting from the lack of proper oral hygiene.

Whitening Your Teeth

Frequent dental cleanings can easily remove most of the stains caused by certain food, drinks and tobacco. Using a whitening toothpaste can also help remove such stains in between visits to the dentists. Though, if your stains have been present for years, simply cleaning and brushing just won’t cut it.

Stubborn stains will have to be removed either by bleaching, bonding or capping. All of these methods are considered by dental care experts as very safe and effective. However, it’s usually up to your dentist to determine which type of treatment is based on both the results you want to achieve and the current state of your teeth.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Bleaching requires the use of tooth-bleaching gels to oxidize out the stain and can be done either by the dentist or at home.

A common side effect during the process is for teeth to become slightly more sensitive than usual.

  • At-home whitening. This is usually the preferred method by many people since it’s much more convenient. This is done by letting your dentist take an impression of your teeth and making a custom-fitted tray. You’ll then have to fill the tray with whitening gel and wear it for two hours a day for as long as two weeks. If done correctly, at-home whitening can be a very effective teeth whitening solution.
  • In-office whitening. This type of procedure is done in the dentist’s office. Each visit takes somewhere around 30 minutes to one hour and multiple visits are usually required to achieve the desired results.

Of the two, in-office whitening is considered the most effective solution, but it’s also much more expensive.

Tooth Bonding

Bonding is another dental procedure that relies on the use of composite resins and porcelain/composite veneers to cover the surface of stained teeth. This procedure can help not just in whitening teeth, but also giving broken and misshapen teeth a better appearance.

There are generally two types of bonding techniques:

  • Composite bonding. In this procedure, the front teeth are usually reduced so that once the composite resin is bonded or fitted, the teeth will not look too bulky. The composite resin is carefully matched with the color and shape of the surrounding teeth, so you don’t have to worry about them standing out.
  • Veneer bonding. The process is generally the same with veneer bonding, but with minor differences. Though, the biggest difference between the two is that porcelain veneers are considered to be much more durable and may last for as long as 10 years.

Taking Care of Your Newly Whitened Teeth

Whether it’s been whitened in the office, or at home, or if you’ve had veneers or bonds, your teeth can and will stain over time. The best way to prevent that from happening is to avoid smoking, heavily colored foods and generally, practicing good oral hygiene, including frequent trips to the dentist.

 

In-Office and Home Teeth Whitening

teeth cleaning

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. This is why it’s important that you invest in them to make sure that they always leave a good, lasting impression.

Chances are, though, that your pearly whites aren’t exactly as white as you’d like them. This may have caused you to become conscious about them and as a result, your self-esteem has suffered because of this.

Now, while white teeth aren’t the only ingredients of a bright and radiant smile, they are one of the most important, which is exactly why you should take the time to learn about teeth whitening treatments.

Teeth Whitening Treatments

Generally, there are two types of teeth whitening treatments – home tooth whitening systems and in-office teeth whitening.

The former is widely considered as more popular because there are plenty of available tooth whitening systems out there that are easy to use and very cheap.

Even without the prescription or the supervision of a dentist, anyone can use over-the-counter teeth whitening products. The most common are paint-on tooth gel, mouth trays, whitening gum and toothpaste, as well as whitening strips.

Safety is very rarely an issue with these products as well, but if you’re having reservations, you can ask your dentist first.

In-office teeth whitening

Less popular compared to home tooth whitening systems, in-office teeth whitening is the preferred whitening method by most dental professionals. This is because these types of treatment are just much more effective and safer too.

Generally falling under the category of cosmetic dentistry, it’s important that you find a certified and experienced cosmetic dentist before you undergo such a treatment. Otherwise, you may just end up wasting your money.

Once you’ve found the right cosmetic dentist, the fun starts.

There are various ways dentists can professionally whiten your teeth, but what’s widely accepted as the most effective is the use of a buffer in the gel, which protects the tooth enamel from any kind of damage. The use of such a gel makes the procedure not only safe, but also very effective and has been known to transform teeth many shades lighter in just a single visit.

As effective as in-office teeth whitening treatments are, it does have its limits.

This type of treatment can only affect the front teeth, usually the eight that are most evident when you smile. But, still, eight much whiter teeth are still better than none at all and is a great way to jump start your whole teeth whitening program, something that you can or, rather, should continue at home.

Have a brighter smile today

While it is impossible for you to have a totally brighter smile immediately, you can at least rejoice in the fact that it will happen, so long as you work at it.

With your cosmetic dentist’s help and proper oral care, as well as the use of dentist recommended home whitening products, not only will you have whiter and better-looking teeth, but they’ll also be much healthier too.

Learn more about teeth whitening today by calling George Kirtley D.D.S. at 317-841-1111. Learn more about Dr. Kirtley by visiting his website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.