Whitening Your Teeth for a Brighter Smile
Written by DDS Miami
Teeth whitening is important for a bright and healthy smile. It is equally as important to ensure your dental office provide the right whitening depending on the quality of your teeth. Certain factors have to be evaluated when considering teeth whitening. For example, the color of your teeth, the reason why your teeth color has changed, and what type of teeth can be whitened. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening. Why do so many patients request tooth whitening? Sharing a brighter, whiter, and healthier smile is one of the many reasons joy is promoted.
Understanding why our tooth color change is important in determining if whitening is for you.
According to the American Dental Association, food, drink, tobacco use, age, trauma, and medications are all reasons teeth change color. Certain drinks like coffee, sodas, and even tea can stain your teeth. Some medications also affect your teeth. For instance, certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications enable a side effect of tooth darkening. Other health related issues can cause tooth darkening like chemotherapy. An effective way to whiten your teeth is doing an in-office procedure known as chairside bleaching. A protective gel is applied to your gums and the dentist or dental hygienist begin to bleach your teeth. There are also other options like over-the-counter bleaching, stain removal toothpastes and many others. While you can do over-the-counter bleaching, it is still advised that you discuss the product and procedure with your dentist. Whitening and bleaching can be beneficial for your teeth when done with proper supervision and advice. Nonetheless, whitening and bleaching have a common side effect known as tooth sensitivity. Typically, the tooth sensitivity is only temporary, but the beautiful and bright smile is long-lasting.
Dental Implant History 101
Written by DDS Miami
Not surprisingly, implants have a long history due to the necessity of being able to chew. Implant history also steams from the human want of having a confident smile. Implant dentistry has come a long way for what it is today. According to an article from The Open Dentistry Journal, “In approximately 2500 BC, the ancient Egyptians tried to stabilize teeth that were periodontally involved with the use of ligature wire made of gold.”(1). The work of dentistry has existed and evolved throughout time. Nowadays, dentists use all kinds of techniques to restore smiles.
The deep-rooted history of implants emphasizes the need for people to address their oral health. It also exemplifies the value and innovation of dentists worldwide. An array of different civilizations from the ancient Egyptians, the Phoenicians to the Mayans impacted the history of dental implants. For example, the Mayans used shell pieces as implants to restore missing teeth (2). It shouldn’t be too surprising that these civilizations were able to be creative considering the other wonders they’ve imprinted in history.
However, the history of implants isn’t always as imaginative as one would think. According to The Dental Geek, “2000 years ago people often tried to replace lost teeth with animal ones, or teeth bought from slaves and poor people.”(3). In those times, you could buy teeth from slaves or poor people apparently to fix your own. You must be wondering, “do they still do something like this?” Hopefully not, but real human teeth are sold for educational and demonstrative purposes. As can be seen, dental implants have quite an interesting history. The evolution and innovation of dental implants now are all partly thanks to these fascinating histories.
Photo: Denta Gama (4)
Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth this Summer
Written by DDS Miami
Children start to lose baby teeth at age 6. They look adorable when they are missing the two front teeth. However, brushing your teeth is important to do as soon as baby teeth start developing and especially when adult teeth set in. We want to inform you of certain tips to encourage your child to maintain dental care.
Let your child choose his/her toothbrush and toothpaste
2 to 4 minutes of fun while brushing
Playing a children’s song
Telling a short story
Establish and maintain a routine
Brushing is a family affair (lead by example)
Now, especially considering the summer vacation from school, it is important parents pay attention to their child’s brushing habits. Encouraging younger kids to brush their teeth can be easier than older kids. For this reason, it is important to develop healthy dental habits at a young age.
According to ADA dentist Dr. Maria Lopez, “The new college student is up late either studying or socializing. They don’t have a nightly routine, so they may be more likely to fall asleep without brushing.” (1). Evidently, kids of all ages are at risk of not maintaining healthy dental habits. College students often times have summer breaks as well. Dental care is extremely important in maintaining a healthy and happy smile.
Photo: American Dental Association
Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Written by DDS Miami
April is oral cancer awareness month and we want our patients to be knowledgeable about oral cancer and its symptoms. Oral cancer is not just about oral health, but overall bodily health. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one person every hour of every day dies from oral cancer. Surprisingly, awareness about oral cancer is an all time low in the American population. Therefore, it is of great importance that our patients be aware of oral cancer.
General risk factors are:
- Smoking and Tobacco
- HPV Virus
- Excessive Alcohol Drinking
Oral cancer is divided into 2 categories. The first category of oral cancer can occur in the oral cavity which is your lips, inside your lips, cheeks, teeth, gums, the tongue and your whole mouth (floor and roof). The second category of oral cancer can occur in the oropharynx which is the middle of your throat including the tonsils and base of the tongue. Most of us don’t think much about checking our mouths so thoroughly, but evidently it is important for our health.
According to Mouth Healthy, the symptoms of oral cancer last for longer than two weeks and you should let your dentist know if you have any of the following:
- A sore or irritation
- Red or white patches
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
- Feeling of a Sore Throat
Prevention consists of being aware of your risk factors. According to the American Dental Association, the top 7 risk factors are:
- Human Papillomavirus
These are common risk factors for other cancers as well. However, in the case of gender men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer due to alcohol and tobacco use. Men of younger age being diagnosed with HPV also factors in for oral cancer. As with many other types of cancer, ages 55 and older are at risk for oral cancer according to the American Cancer Society. Nonetheless, as previously mentioned HPV is a huge factor in oral cancer. Heavy drinking is another risk factor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heaving drinking is an average of 2 drinks a day or more for men and one drink a day or more for women. Heavy drinking and heavy smoking increase your risk of oral cancer significantly. The sun’s UV rays affect your lips which could put you at risk for lip cancer. Make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet to help prevent oral and other cancers.
Overall, oral cancer is like any other cancers, a scary thing. However, regular check ups at the dentists help prevent oral cancer or allow for early detection of oral cancer. Make sure to spread awareness this month of April, oral cancer awareness month!
Perfect Skin for your Perfect Smile
Written by DDS Miami
Besides using your own plasma to restore your smile, you can also use your plasma to restore your skin. According to MEDTube Science, “The use of platelet-rich plasma, which is concentrated blood plasma enriched with platelets, is a relatively young but dynamically developing technique used in many fields of medicine.” (1). For example, it has been used in dentistry, known as L-PRF to help establish osseointegration with dental implants. Now, it is also being used in aesthetic medicine for skin rejuvenation.
Understanding When and Why We Age
Skin-aging becomes more apparent as we enter our 30s. The biological processes that kept us looking young begin to decrease and slow down. Many internal as well as external factors affect our aging like melanin production, genetics, environmental factors, and UVA radiation (2). While putting sunscreen on and eating foods high with antioxidants can help, nothing can protect against certain biological activities that may happen.
Solutions to Aging
The new and innovative use of plasma has become revolutionary in maintaining young healthy skin. The use of plasma can reduce furrow and wrinkles which improves skin structure, tone and dentistry (3). Being that is it your own plasma, it is not going to be rejected by your body. It will actually easily and naturally assimilate. Research suggests that for getting the best results with plasma its best to do it for one year every 4-6 months and maintain yearly procedures (4). The procedure of using plasma is simple and relatively painless. The certified doctor will withdraw your blood and use a centrifuge to obtain the plasma. The plasma will be administered using a needle. It is not that different from typical options like botox. However, the plasma is yours so its natural, its safer, and its versatile. It can be used to rejuvenate skin, heal scarring, stretch marks, and for many other restorative procedures.
A Healthy Meal, A Healthy Smile
Written by DDS Miami
March is the month of nutrition. What you eat impacts the condition of your teeth and how often you eat can affect your tooth decay. Diet and nutrition impact your smile. Depending on what you are eating plaque builds up in your teeth, that’s why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day. Foods and drinks interact with our teeth differently. For example, drinking water is more beneficial for the care of your teeth, than a sugary soda drink. According to Mouth Healthy,
drinking water can strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities because of the fluoride in water (1). Enamel is an important aspect of your dental care because it protects your teeth and smile. Drinking sugary drinks attracts bacteria and some drinks are acidic causing the enamel in your teeth to wear. It also increases your chances of cavities. However, water is not acidic and maintains your mouth clean by flushing out left-over food. Mouth Healthy provies 4 reasons why drinking water goes a long way for a healthy smile. Besides strengthen and keeping your mouth clean, water also prevents dry mouth and is calorie-free (2). Therefore, make sure you are drinking plenty of water during the day to ensure a better, brighter and cleaner smile.
Teeth are made from calcium, so what better to eat than diary? Milk, cheese, and yogurt are low in sugar, so they will not attract bacteria causing cavities. Foods that are rich in protein also help maintain a healthy smile. We cannot forget about such important foods like fruits and vegetables. Nuts are also a great option. According to Mouth Healthy, “...nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities.” (3). So, next time you’re preparing a meal or deciding what to munch on. Replace the candy bar, for a nutty granola bar. Replace the sugary soda drink, for a 100% fruit juice. Replace a bag of chips, for a some baby carrots. There are many nutritional options for maintaining a healthy smile and make sure to always brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
What Patients need to Know about ImplantsWritten by DDS Miami
What Patients need to Know about Implants
Written by DDS Miami
First, we would like our patients to understand dental implants, so they feel confident and comfortable when making the decision to do an implant procedure. A dental implant is made of strong and lightweight materials to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is outlined in 3 different parts: the first part is the implant device which is placed within the bone. In cases that lack bone, Dr. Buitrago can discuss options to place human or animal bone as well as use your own plasma to allow the implant to integrate to the bone. The second part is the abutment which is like the middleman between the implant and the final part, the crown.
The abutment maintains the implant and the crown connected. An important aspect of implants is osseointegration. Implants need to osseointegrate with the jawbone where they are placed. Procedures like L-PRF (your own plasma is used) and bone grafting make it possible for the implant to osseointegrate. These procedures help the bone grow around the implant in order to strongly hold it in place. Finally, the crown is made according to the size, shape, color and fit that is best for your smile. We want you to be able to have the most natural and beautiful smile possible.
According to the American Dental Association, “Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth.” (1). Not only are dental implants an exceptional treatment option, but as a patient you also want top-tier care for your smile. Dental implants are an investment towards your oral health. When comparing other treatment options such as dentures or bridges, implants are definitely the better choice. The benefits of implants are that they provide more stability in your mouth, feel more real and comfortable. Implants are a durable option to maintaining a healthy and aesthetic smile. Now, that you understand the procedure and science behind implants. We can offer you the best services and answer any other questions you may have.