Dental Care for Toddlers 101

Parents of toddlers know the struggle that goes into getting kids at this age to do pretty much anything. A toddler’s day can be one long “no:” No to getting dressed, no to putting on shoes, no no no. Getting them to brush their teeth is a challenge, and while you know as a parent how important it is to keep their teeth and gums healthy, you also know how strong-willed they can be.

Here are some tips for getting your toddler to brush their teeth (and even enjoy it!):

Exciting Tooth Tools

Toddlers often latch on to favorite books, songs, TV shows, and fictional characters. Use this to your advantage by picking out a toothbrush and toothpaste with a favorite character, or let your toddler help pick one out. Odds are your toddler will be more willing to brush their teeth if Elmo is part of the process. Just make sure the toothbrush and toothpaste you choose are age-appropriate and ADA recommended.

Songs and Podcasts

A tooth-brushing podcast for kids? The Chompers podcast offers a series of two-minute episodes (about the time it should take to brush teeth) aimed at keeping kids engaged while they brush. Episodes cover everything from robots to animals to folktales, and each episode has helpful reminders to switch to different areas of the mouth while brushing.

Some toddlers might be too young for a podcast, but many will respond well to fun songs. You can always find some inspiration online, or make up your own entertaining song. Make sure it’s long enough to encourage them to brush properly and be sure to customize it to their particular interests.

Engage the Imagination

Brushing their teeth twice a day might sound boring to busy toddlers, but what if they can pretend they’re a lion with huge teeth that need cleaning? Or a dragon who needs to polish their fangs? For most toddlers, adding in some imaginative play can get them engaged when they would otherwise struggle. Keep trying until you find something that sparks their interest.

Just Like Mom

Your toddler loves to do “grown-up” things just like mom or dad, so make sure they see you taking care of your own teeth. Invite them into the bathroom while you’re brushing and give them a rundown of what you’re doing. Tell them that you go to the dentist to make sure your teeth are healthy and introduce topics like flossing and mouthwash.

Besides helping your toddler brush their teeth regularly, there are other steps you can take to keep a toddler’s teeth healthy:

Keep sugary foods to a minimum. At this age, you still have a lot of control over what goes on their plate, even if you can’t make them eat their vegetables. By choosing water over sugary sodas, for example, you can build a foundation of healthy teeth.

Take them to a pediatric dentist. The ADA recommends taking kids to the dentist before their first birthday to stay ahead of any oral health issues. If you still haven’t scheduled your toddler’s first visit, don’t put it off any longer. Going to the dentist can be scary for young kids, so make sure to talk to them positively about it beforehand. You might act out what the visit will be like, or read a book about going to the dentist.

While it might seem impossible to help your toddler take care of their teeth, with some creativity and persistence you can instill healthy dental habits in even the youngest children. For more information about toddler dental health, or to schedule an appointment for anyone in your family, contact Simply Beautiful Smiles today.

 

Myths and Facts About Flossing Your Teeth

Fact: Only 2-5% of the population flosses their teeth regularly.

Common excuses people give for not flossing range from not having time to not knowing how to do it to just plain forgetfulness.

Does this statistic surprise you? Are you in the nearly 95% of the US that don’t floss their teeth? Despite some research results released in 2016 that suggested flossing might be unnecessary, subsequent reports have emphasized that the benefits outweigh the risks and that dentists should encourage everyone to floss regularly.

Yet myths about flossing persist. Here are some common ones, as well as the factual explanations debunking those myths.

Facts About Floss and Floss Products

  • Dental floss is used primarily to prevent gingivitis (gum disease) and tooth decay from plaque buildup.
  • Originally made of silk threads, floss is now composed of nylon or plastic filaments.
  • Whether waxed or unwaxed, there’s no evidence of a difference in effectiveness.
  • Floss can be flavored, with mint being the most common choice.
  • Additional products include floss holders, floss picks, and floss threaders.

Common Myths About Flossing

Myth One: Flossing is bad for my gums. After all, they bleed every time I try.

Fact: Your gums usually will only bleed at first, especially if you don’t floss regularly. Once they become accustomed to flossing (don’t do it too hard!), they should be less likely to bleed from sensitivity. However, if you continue to floss regularly and your gums bleed each time, then you should contact your dentist.

Myth Two: I should only floss when I have food in my teeth.

Fact: Regarding plaque:

Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar.

Myth Three: Mouthwash accomplishes the same thing as flossing.

Fact: You simply can’t get the same results using mouthwash. While it may rinse away some food particles and make your mouth feel cleaner, it isn’t as effective at cleaning between the teeth.

Myth Four: Flossing is too hard.

Fact: With proper instruction and practice, flossing your teeth can become an easy daily habit. Ask your hygienist to show you the proper technique, or consult one of the many online dental health resources. Tools like floss holders can help you get to those hard to reach places.

Myth Five: I should not floss if I have braces, fillings, or crowns.

Fact: It may be difficult at first, but you can’t afford to wait until your braces are removed to start flossing. Flossing shouldn’t impact fillings and crowns in good condition. If they loosen or fall out, it’s an indication that they already needed to be replaced. In either case, ask your dentist how to floss properly if you’re worried.

Myth Six: Young children don’t need to floss their teeth.

Fact: WebMD recommends: “Start flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge that touch. The use of floss sticks or picks instead of regular string floss may be easier for both you and your child.”

Don’t let these six common myths keep you from protecting your oral health.

Make flossing part of your routine by doing the following:

  • Flossing at the same time each day.
  • Keeping dental floss in a convenient, visible location.
  • Getting the whole family involved.
  • Asking your dentist for tips and advice.

At Simply Beautiful, we recommend a routine oral exam every six months. Contact us today to book your appointment.

 

Do’s & Don’ts of Healthy Teeth Brushing

You brush your teeth every day (we hope!), and it’s not that complicated, right? Wrong! There are actually some crucial rules to follow to keep those pearly whites sparkling day in and day out. Being mindful of bad habits and perfecting your brushing techniques will leave your mouth happy and healthy for years to come.

Let’s read about the important “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to healthy teeth brushing.

Healthy Brushing DO’s:

  • Brush morning and night – Whether you’re a night owl or an early morning riser, it’s important that you incorporate brushing into both your morning and night routines! If you’re a late night snacker it’s even more important since sleeping increases your risk for cavities.
  • Use proper techniques – Make sure to tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line and continue brushing in small, soft circles. This gentle technique is proven to remove the most plaque!
  • Brush long enough – A great brush takes about two minutes. Make sure you’re brushing for the right amount of time by listening to your favorite song or simply by setting a timer on your phone.
  • Opt for electric – Choosing an electric or battery operated toothbrush can further reduce plaque and the chances of getting gum disease (gingivitis) more so than a traditional toothbrush. Electric brushes are also great for those with arthritis that have troubles brushing effectively.
  • Toss your toothbrush – The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Over these months, the bristles on the brush wear down and become less effective in removing bacteria and plaque on our teeth. Also, if you get sick make sure to swap out your toothbrush right afterward to avoid any germs and risk catching the illness again!
  • Store it right – To keep your toothbrush clean, always rinse it thoroughly with water after brushing. Then, store it in an upright position to air dry until its next use. Covering toothbrushes in closed containers can potentially encourage the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast.

Healthy Brushing DON’Ts:

  • Avoid brushing right after eating – Wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten to brush your teeth. By brushing too soon you can actually damage your enamel since eating foods puts it in a much weaker state. Instead, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production and help wash away any bacteria.
  • Don’t forget your tongue! – If you aren’t brushing your tongue, start now! 90% of bad breath is due to a dirty tongue. It’s very important to either brush your tongue daily or invest in a quality tongue scraper.
  • Stop the aggression – Avoid hard bristles and stick to only soft-bristled toothbrushes. Use soft strokes rather than aggressive hard strokes as it can cause gum recession which exposes the root of the tooth. It’s very painful and causes unwanted sensitivity.
  • Don’t ignore the dentist – Even if you practice incredible tooth brushing skills regularly, biannual visits to your dentist are crucial for maintaining optimal oral health. Dentists have tools and training you simply can’t compete with at home. Professional checkups, cleanings, and X-rays will keep your smile shining and help avoid any future issues.

If you’re not following these helpful tips, make sure to make adjustments to your oral health care routine to get on the right track.

Simply Beautiful Smiles wants to ensure you’re getting the best oral health care possible. Our highly skilled team of dental professionals not only uses state-of-the-art-treatments but also takes the time to build long-lasting relationships with each and every patient that walks through our doors. To schedule an appointment or consultation with our incredible staff, contact us today!

How Missing Teeth Affect Your Oral Health

Usually, when you think of missing teeth, appearance is the first thing that comes to mind. If you’re missing a few teeth in the back of your mouth it’s no big deal. Right? That’s definitely not the case. Missing teeth anywhere in your mouth can have major effects on your overall oral health. Missing teeth can affect how you chew and talk. They can also change the shape of your healthy teeth and surrounding bones.

The Long-Term Effects of Missing Teeth

Directly after you have a tooth extracted, it takes some time for the surrounding gum tissue to heal. When the healing period is over it’s time for you to think about how you will fill the gap. Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime. Each tooth holds a space in your mouth. When a tooth is extracted, the resulting gap between healthy teeth is a breeding ground for oral health conditions. Some problems caused by missing teeth include:

  • Decay in nearby teeth.
  • Shifting of healthy surrounding teeth.
  • Jawbone loss.
  • Sagging facial skin.
  • Receding gums and gum disease.
  • Loss of confidence.

Permanent Tooth Replacement Options

Whether your teeth have been missing for a long period of time or they were just extracted, there are options for replacement. Fixed replacements (false teeth that remain in place all the time) are the most popular choices. When making a decision about how to replace your missing teeth, it’s important to discuss your options with a dentist. Some factors used to help you make the choice will include your budget, the health of surrounding teeth and gums, and how long your teeth have been missing. The most common permanent tooth replacements are dental implants and crowns and bridges.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. A crown affixed to the implant replaces the visible part of the tooth. Dental implants are a breakthrough in solving some problems caused by missing teeth. These implants effectively replace the root, creating a tooth replacement that functions exactly like your natural teeth. Made of titanium, implants are surgically placed into the jawbone where they eventually fuse to the existing bone.

Some benefits of dental implants include:

  • Strength.
  • Prevention of jawbone loss.
  • Never need to be replaced.
  • No burden to surrounding healthy teeth.
  • Maintain face shape.
  • Look and feel like natural teeth.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges work together to fill the gaps left by missing teeth. Crowns can be used to repair damaged, misshapen, or cracked teeth. However, when used with bridges, crowns are affixed to healthy teeth or implants on either side of the gap to anchor an attached bridge. The crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth or implant. A dental bridge consists of two crowns (one on each side) with a false tooth or teeth in between. The bridge is placed by first preparing the surrounding teeth (abutments). The dental bridge is permanently placed by fixing crowns to the prepared teeth.

Some benefits of crowns and bridges include:

  • Match your natural teeth.
  • Prevention of tooth shifting
  • Non-invasive procedure.
  • The ability to replace a row of missing teeth at once.
  • Maintain face shape.

Both options restore your smile with long lasting natural looking replacements. Your dentist will help you decide which procedure is best for your situation. Replacing your missing teeth is an important part of your lasting oral health. Avoid the potential damage caused by gaps between your teeth and learn about your replacement options today.

Protect your smile from further deterioration with one of these services. If you have missing teeth or other unsightly or worrisome oral conditions, contact us to schedule an appointment. The friendly professional dental specialists at all of our locations are happy to answer any questions you have and welcome you to the Simply Beautiful Smiles family.

 

 

The Philosophy Behind Tooth Brushing: How to Brush for Real

Are you brushing on automatic every morning? If so, your teeth aren’t as clean as they could be.

There are two ways most people learn to brush their teeth as children: By rote and just guessing. If you learned to brush by rote, then your parents likely walked you through the brushing process once step at a time. “Brush the tops, then back-and-forth. Now brush the front of your teeth.” And if you learned to brush by guessing, then your parents were the type that just said “Brush your teeth!” and expected you to figure it out.

Believe it or not, both approaches are about as likely to be the ideal way to brush your teeth. In fact, many people don’t actually understand why they brush the way they do. Just that brushing is good, and they have a way to do it. But to really get your teeth sparkling clean and gain the full benefits of daily tooth brushing, you’ll actually need to understand how tooth brushing works. And why the right way is the right way.

The Philosophy Behind Tooth Brushing

We can all agree that the purpose of tooth-brushing is to get your teeth clean (and make sure your breath smells nice). But are your teeth really getting clean? Have you thought carefully about what the toothbrush is doing to get you toward that goal? Or do you just go through your normal routine, thinking about the work or breakfast that’s next on your schedule?

The next time you brush your teeth, try getting your brain involved. Think about the surfaces of your teeth and where plaque might be hiding in there.  Think about how the movements of your brush should be getting the bristles into every groove and crevice to scrub your teeth clean. And think about how plaque likes to hide and dig into the gums when you’re wielding the floss string.

Simply applying your mind to brushing can seriously increase the effectiveness and, in time, your overall dental health.

Your Teeth Have 6 Sides

If you’ve ever looked closely at a molar, you can see how a tooth can be thought of as a ridgy-cube with 6 sides. 3 for brushing, 2 for flossing, and one buried deep in your gums.

Top: The Chewing Surface

The top side is your chewing or cutting surface, what bites into your food for you. This side is the most important for molars, because you can get food (which grows into plaque) stuck in the top ridges. You want to brush the top thoroughly, using enough pressure to push the bristles down into the grooves of your molars.

Front and Back: Vanity vs Cleanliness

The front and back sides are also for brushing, though most people are far more concerned with the front of their teeth than the back. So you brush the front flats carefully to look good. But if you feel ‘roughness’ on the back of your teeth with your tongue, then you’ve been neglecting the back of your teeth in favor of appearances. Be sure to brush both sides just as thoroughly, with bristles hitting all the way down until your gums tingle.

In Between: The Flossing Sides

The sides of your teeth are the toughest to deal with because they touch each other. And your experience will vary significantly based on how close and/or straight your teeth are. When brushing, do try to get the bristles between your teeth. But remember, that’s what flossing is for. When flossing, make sure to scrape the entire sides of both teeth for every space you floss. And dip the string down into the ‘pit’ in your gums in between. That’s where plaque likes to hide and cause painful gum problems.

Don’t Skip the Mouthwash

Mouthwash is one of the best at-home dental solutions we’ve ever come up with. It kills bacteria, discourages plaque, and can be used to swish little particles of food out of your mouth. Plus, it makes your breath minty-fresh. Something that matters a lot in modern adult life.

But mouthwash isn’t just convenient, or a great fix if you don’t have time to brush. It’s also very important after you brush. You see, the toothbrush didn’t necessarily carry away the plaque, just dislodged it from your teeth. Rinsing and mouthwash will make sure every bit of plaque and food is washed out of your mouth so they don’t just re-establish after you brush.

And, of course, try to hold the mouthwash in for as long as you can stand up to a minute. This gives it time to disinfect.

If you are brushing on automatic every morning, you’re doing your teeth a disservice. Ideal toothbrushing takes attention to detail, thinking about the 5 surfaces of your teeth and the gumline. Fortunately, you only need to focus on your teeth a few times before your hand learns the new, more thorough routine and you can go back to thinking about work or breakfast while you brush. Just remember to check-in with your brushing procedure from time to time to ensure that you are still adhering to the philosophy of tooth brushing. For more insights into your tooth health, contact us today!

How to Help Your Kids Make the Best Lifestyle Choices for their Teeth

Healthy dental habits should start early. In fact, getting your child to feel excited about dentist visits and brushing their teeth will help establish those great habits for a lifetime. Here are a few of the best ways to help your kids develop healthy dental habits:

1. Keep them from developing a thumb-sucking habit. 

Yes, we understand. Sometimes, when thumb-sucking is the only thing that will keep a child quiet, we parents are tempted to shut our eyes. Only every once in a while, right? However, you will make things far more difficult for yourself and your child if you allow a habit to form. Plus, by the time the child is a little older and thumb-sucking is not acceptable anymore, the damage to their teeth is often already done. Feel free to ask your dentist for other healthy solutions for the thumb-sucking problem!

2. Show them how to brush their teeth well. 

Teaching children to brush their teeth can be one of the most difficult and hilarious things in the world. It is also a very important skill to teach early on! Once your child is old enough to brush their own teeth on a regular basis, make sure you show them how to brush correctly.

In other words, make sure they aren’t missing any teeth when they brush. You may want to consider taping a chart onto your bathroom mirror so your child can visualize what they are supposed to do. Also, make sure they are brushing twice a day and for the appropriate length of time. Once they develop this important habit, it will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

3. Encourage them to stay away from sugary drinks.

Besides the fact that too much sugar is not very good for your child’s health, soda can be extremely harmful to their teeth. It eats away the protective enamel on teeth like rust eats away metal. Either don’t allow soda at all or make it an occasional treat. Be honest with them, and tell them your concerns. Help your kids build the habit of being health-conscious and taking care of their teeth. They will thank you for it later!

4. Teach them to be careful with hard candy (and any candy!).

Once again, there is more than one reason to do this. Limiting your child’s sugar spikes is extremely beneficial to their overall health and your overall sanity! It is okay to allow your children to have candy in judicious amounts. But be especially careful of hard candy. If your children are very young, definitely do not hand them sucking candy! Often, children will mistakenly try to chew it, damaging their teeth in the process! So keep a close eye on what candy your child is eating – and make sure they brush well afterward.

5. Help them create a habit of visiting a dentist regularly. 

As we have said before, once you develop a habit in your child, it will most likely continue later in their lives! We understand that some children will only go into a dentist’s office kicking and screaming. Thankfully, however, we have specialists who know how to help children feel at ease. By scheduling your child regular dentist appointments, you show them how important it is to take good care of their teeth. And this will serve them well down the road.

6. Tell them you love their smile. 

Here at Simply Beautiful, we are all about the beauty of a smile. We love to see people happy! And we love to see people with a smile they can be proud of. We do not want any child (or adult, for that matter) to feel insecure about their smile. So maybe on your way to or from your child’s dentist appointment, take a moment to remind your child of his or her unique beauty. Tell them you care about their dental health because you love to see them smile. You will really love to see the smile they give you then.

For more information, feel free to contact us. We are here to keep you and your child smiling all day long!

Dental Insurance Plans 101

Visiting the dentist is one of the many responsibilities we take on to stay healthy. It’s up there with visiting your doctor at least twice a year, making time for exercise, and brushing your teeth. Maintaining a modern healthy lifestyle isn’t free, but you can build your life in a way that makes it easily possible. Insurance plans are built to help professionals and their families take care of their regular health needs by preparing for emergencies and making it easier to afford preventative care.

However, anyone who’s ever looked closely at their dental plan knows that the policies aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem. Insurance surprises are almost never a good thing. Today, we’re here to lay out the basics of dental insurance plans in the US that any professional or family can use to make sure their dental needs are covered.

Expect a Co-Pay

Dental insurance plans are almost never designed to cover the full cost of dental care. It’s built to be supplemental to help you pay for yearly dental care, not to cover you entirely. Expect to pay a percentage of the cost for each visit, or for your yearly total. There may also be an annual cap on how much dental insurance you can receive.

If you do have a cap, that cap will be less than whatever your employer is paying in for the insurance plan. Remember, the insurance company only makes a profit by the difference of what they are paid to what they pay out.

Know your policy. And expect to pay a larger percent than was advertised. The phrase “up to __%” means that it’s probably well below, but couldn’t possibly go above that percentage that the insurance company will pay.

Always Confirm Procedure Coverage

People are always surprised when small preventative procedures or common dental treatments are not covered by their insurance. This can include things like extra cleanings or tooth-colored crowns. The insurance companies did a formula 10 or more years ago ‘defining’ what minimum health coverage would look like and likely haven’t updated since. They may allow only for the cost of now-rare silver amalgam fillings instead of modern tooth-colored plastic. Or they’ll cover regular cleanings, but deep preventative cleanings are on you.

Always, always, always confirm whether or not a procedure is covered by your insurance. Even if you decide to go ahead without coverage, no one likes a surprise with a price on it.

The Dentist is On Your Side

Dentists dislike jumping through insurance hoops as much (or more!) than you do. Understand that as dentists, we just want to help patients keep their teeth clean and get the best treatments for each situation. It’s just as frustrating for us when the insurance company denies a procedure or puts bizarre restrictions on your choices.

It’s unfortunate, but patients often get mad at their dentists and dental staff when insurance gets in the way. Please know that we’re on your side. Talk to your dentist and their staff about how to get the best out of your insurance, or what to look for in a new dental insurance policy.

You Always Have a Choice

Finally, we’d like to point out that the insurance companies don’t actually have the final say. You don’t have to limit your choices only to what insurance will cover.  And if your dentist says you need a solution that the insurance company doesn’t cover, don’t put yourself in danger because of an insurance company policy.

If your insurance company has “preferred” dentists but you don’t personally prefer them, you don’t have to go to them. Chances are that procedures will be covered elsewhere, they just won’t be as cheap.

And never forget that you have a choice of insurance providers. This may seem like something set in stone but if an insurance company is consistently treating you poorly, you have every reason to make some changes to get the coverage you need. This is especially true if you are being subjected to policies like down-coding claims to make you pay more out of pocket at the last minute.

Dental insurance can be a breeze with the right provider and plan for your needs, or it can be a bit more complicated. Why not work with your dentist to determine what your needs are and how your current coverage can be worked to accomplish that. For more dental insights or to make an appointment, contact us today!

What To Look For in Your Child’s Toothpaste

With a large variety of colorful, eye-catching children’s toothpaste on the market, it can be difficult for any parent to pick the right one. Do I choose the one with Batman on the front or a more natural paste? Will the Disney princesses suffice or should I go with a well-known brand name? And why should I get toothpaste that’s fluoride-free?

If you’re a parent agonizing over the choice of toothpaste, read on. In this article, you’ll find a ton of helpful information that will make that choice a no-brainer. With luck, your child will enjoy brushing his teeth every day; all it takes is a little know-how.

Age Before Brushing

First and foremost, you want to take into account your child’s age when selecting a toothpaste, Why? Because children under 3 are less likely to spit out their toothpaste.

Ingesting too much fluoride at a young age can be harmful to a child. This can result in a condition known as fluorosis in which the teeth are stained with faint white lines. Fortunately, most cases are very mild and can be prevented by becoming aware of the fluoride concentration in your drinking water. Starting very small kids out with a fluoride-free toothpaste is the way to go, until their dentist says it’s time to add fluoride.

Fluoride Forever

Once your child is old enough, you can gradually switch to fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride, in the proper amount, strengthens enamel and prevents tooth decay. It’s an essential component of most types of toothpaste and is important in preserving the health of your child’s teeth.

Take into consideration these three factors when picking a fluoride toothpaste for your child:

ADA Sealed

Much like a plane cleared for take-off, the ADA gives the stamp of approval that your choice of toothpaste is effective. This means that it has undergone testing and experts agree it does its job well. The ADA seal on your child’s toothpaste proves you’re picking the best option, not just the one that looks nice.

Flavorful

We all love something that tastes good and is healthy for us. Luckily, most children’s toothpaste options are just that! Yummy flavors like strawberry, mint, and bubblegum entice children to brush twice daily.

Knowing your child’s flavor palate can be an asset in the selection process. Think about the snacks your child craves and pick a toothpaste that matches their taste profile. Find options that are bursting with flavor and personality.

But remember — never sacrifice tooth protection for taste. Additives like artificial sweeteners improve taste and appearance but can worsen your child’s preexisting conditions. Consult your pediatrician to be sure if your toothpaste is safe to use.

Few Abrasives

Abrasives are a common ingredient found in most toothpaste brands, but many people don’t understand their purpose. In simple terms, an abrasive’s job is to remove debris and surface stains from teeth. However, they can also remove precious enamel.

Enamel is the substance that protects your teeth from sensitivity and further decay. And it cannot be regenerated once it’s destroyed. That’s why you should aim to preserve your child’s enamel as long as possible.

Sadly, some children’s toothpaste includes harmful abrasives like silicates and calcium carbonate. Be wary of any abrasives lurking in your child’s toothpaste or they could end up damaging their smile in the process.

Fluoride Options

So how do you know what toothpaste to choose? Business Insider compiled a list of the best options in a variety of categories. Their overall pick is Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste in Silly Strawberry. Though it does contain hydrated silica, Tom’s of Maine is an ADA-approved brand with a toothpaste that is both tasty and effective.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you take a stroll down the toothpaste aisle. That way your child will be healthy and you’ll be relieved.

Want our recommendation? Contact Simply Beautiful Smiles today and we’ll enlighten you about your child’s toothpaste or help you schedule a check-up. And while you’re at it, come visit us at one of our many locations in the greater Delaware Valley. We can’t wait to see your smile!

 

Want a Brighter Smile? You Have Options!

woman smilingMost of us would like a brighter smile. Our teeth are stained yellow by age, certain foods, drinks (coffee and red wine are the worst), and tobacco use. Some medications can also cause teeth to darken. In other words, it is nearly impossible to prevent your teeth from becoming stained, which means that many of us want to have our teeth whitened. Whitening uses bleach or peroxide to break up the stain and make the color lighter.

There are three ways to whiten your teeth.

1. Store-bought strips.

Whitening strips can be purchased from any drug store without a prescription. They are cost effective, easy to use, and generally work quickly. There are two kinds of strips. One kind has to be put on your teeth for about 30 minutes and then removed. The other kind dissolves. The treatment generally lasts fourteen days, with the strips being applied twice a day. There are some downsides to this approach.

First of all, some strips contain chlorine dioxide. Never use these strips as they will weaken your tooth enamel and increase your risk of cavities. Second, the strips will only effectively whiten your front teeth, not your molars. Also, over the counter products will generally not get your teeth as white as options you can get from your dentist. Whitening toothpaste, incidentally, do not really do much more to lighten your teeth than normal toothpaste. One set of the strips generally costs between $40 and $50, for the full fourteen-day treatment.

2. In-office whitening.

In-office whitening generally requires a single visit to the dentist. It consists of cleaning with pumice and then applying a whitening solution to the front surface of your teeth, followed by rinsing. Some solutions require a light to cure them.

The visit will take 30-60 minutes. For extremely stained teeth, more than one visit may be required. After the procedure, you should avoid foods and beverages with a lot of pigment and smoking for at least 24 hours. This is often the quickest way to get results, but is the most expensive option, running an average of $650 a visit. If you need your teeth to look good for a special occasion, though, an office visit is your best option. In-office bleaching is a one shot, so it is possible that the dentist may recommend follow up treatments.

3. Take home whitening.

This is not a good option if you are in a hurry, as it requires making custom trays which can take up to two weeks to make. However, it is cheaper than in-office whitening and much more effective than over the counter strips. The time requirement is about the same – an hour a day for fourteen days, although your dentist might recommend a shorter or longer period depending on the level of stain.

Trays generally cost about $400 per treatment and are a lot easier to use than strips, which might be mis-positioned or left on for the wrong time. Take home trays are particularly good for recalcitrant stains that require a lot of treatment and for people with sensitive gums, who may react to the bleach.

Teeth whitening is simple no matter which way you choose, but in-office treatments or custom take-home trays will give you much better results.

You should consider the option that is best for your schedule. For example, a single in-office visit may take up far less of your precious time than messing around with strips or trays once or twice a day.

For some people that might end up being the cheapest option. In-office visits are also good if you have a special occasion and want your teeth to be perfect for it. Take home trays are often the best option for long-term results. To find out more, contact Simply Beautiful today.

Five Ways Straighter Teeth Will Change Your Life

straight teethAre you unsure about whether or not to get a tooth straightening treatment? Do you really want a straighter smile but are not sure if it is worth the effort? We understand. The decision of whether or not to get straighter teeth can be a difficult one. But here at Simply Beautiful, we have seen hundreds of smiles brightened. And we can tell you honestly that it is totally worth it! Here are five ways that straighter teeth will change your life forever.

1. Having straight teeth increases your self-esteem.

We all know what it is like to feel bad about the way we look. That feeling really hurts, doesn’t it? And honestly, self-depreciation is not healthy for us. The good news is that you don’t have to cringe every you look in the mirror. You can and should be thrilled with what you see every time you brush your teeth! With a simple straightening treatment, you can transform your face from something that makes you uncomfortable into something that makes you smile.

2. Having straight teeth makes you more photogenic.

Are you that person who always volunteers to take a photo because you are uncomfortable being in front of a camera? You are not alone! But we want to make sure you aren’t afraid to hide your beautiful smile. With straighter teeth, you will be able to enter into the picture taking without hesitation. You’ll be so glad that all those great memories are captured forever. And who knows? You may even be able to use your newfound smile to start a modeling job, a YouTube channel, or even a career as an actress/actor.

3. Having straight teeth makes a positive impression on others.

Let’s be honest. Straight teeth are just more attractive than crooked teeth. Most of your friends will probably not even realize that they find you more attractive after treatment, but their subconscious minds will be far more ready to identify you as beautiful or handsome. Straight teeth make a difference in the workplace as well. Remember that first impressions are usually based on sight. Interviewers, employers, and customers will be drawn toward a person who has a beautiful smile and is not afraid to use it!

4. Have straight teeth makes self-care a whole lot easier.

Have you ever bitten down on something and felt a sudden pain shoot up your tooth? Or have you ever had something wedged in between two teeth and just could not get it out? Have you ever ended up with bleeding gums because you were trying to floss between overlapping or uneven teeth? All these feelings are rather uncomfortable, aren’t they? Thankfully, having straight teeth can eliminate many of these problems. It not only makes talking and eating enjoyable experiences, it also makes brushing and flossing far easier.      

5. Having straight teeth gives you confidence.

In the end, straight teeth will do something for you that not many other things can do. Straight teeth will let you be yourself without fear. You can laugh, smile, go out for a dinner date, schedule that job interview, introduce yourself to new friends, and post all the selfies you want to without one shred of regret! Can you believe it? No more hiding for you! With straighter teeth, you will be able to enter into every situation with your head held high and with a smile on your face. And, believe us, that makes all the difference.

The best part about getting straight teeth is that it doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. We do the hard stuff and let you sit back and watch your smile become what you’ve always wanted it to be. If you would like to learn more about the different treatments or if you would like to schedule a consultation, make sure to contact us! We would love to hear from you!

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