Monday, December 14, 2009

A Winter White Smile

As the holidays approach, everyone's stress levels seem to be increasing. Whether it's planning your holiday soirée , last minute gift shopping, travel arrangements, or untangling that pesky strand of Christmas lights, we all have multiple tasks to complete. One thing you shouldn't have to worry about is having the perfect smile.

One of the most amazing cosmetic dentists, Smile Stylist Dr. Jason Olitsky, recently shared with us the perfect tips and tricks to have an amazing winter white smile.

Thirsty.Threads: We all want a whiter smile. What are some simple steps we can do at home to help brighten our teeth?

Dr. Jason: Avoid foods and beverages that stain the teeth. Beverages like coffee, tea, red wines, and sodas submerge the teeth in staining liquids that result in teeth discoloration over time. Try drinking dark beverages through a straw to bypass the front teeth. You will be the hit of the holiday party with a bendy straw in your red wine! Foods are culprits for stained teeth too. Anything that would stain your white T-shirt will stain your teeth, so think about chasing stain causing foods and beverages with a rinse of water to dilute and remove the staining compounds. Cigarettes and cigars are the worst offenders for staining teeth.

Thirsty.Threads: Are they any holiday foods (like cranberries, dark chocolate, caramels) that we should avoid to keep a brighter smile/healthier teeth?

Dr. Jason: Most people splurge during the holidays with all the good food and drink during the festivities. To keep the teeth looking healthy and white pick holiday treats that are not sticky. Chocolate is premium choice for sweets, because it is removed quickly from the teeth by the saliva in your mouth. Remember to rinse your mouth out with some water after eating foods that can stain your teeth. Dipping into the vegetable trays is a good call, not just for your health, but the natural tooth cleansing properties of vegetables can help remove surface stains from your teeth as you chew. Strawberries actually contain Malic acid which is natures on version of a tooth whitener.

Thirsty.Threads: Many of us have holiday parties to attend directly after work - what recommendations do you have for freshening up our breath?

Dr. Jason: Party time is a chance for great first impressions. Team up with a trusted friend to let you know when you have a piece of food in your teeth. Nobody will tell you, but they will eye it up while you talk and smile. Breath check? Try popping in a Listerine breath strip , it goes great with a sip of water to make some instant mouthwash on the go. If leaving from work, make sure you brush and floss your teeth before you go. Going the whole day with coffee and the same pieces of food stuck in your teeth before a party makes for bad breath.

Thirsty.Threads: In the media, there has been a lot of talk with celebrities about porcelain veneers, lumineers, laser whitening, etc. What is the difference between these procedures?

Dr. Jason: Porcelain veneers are contact lens thin pieces of porcelain that cover the fronts of teeth. Celebrities use porcelain veneers to get a whiter smile, fix crooked teeth, spacing, make teeth longer and more beautiful. Traditional veneers can require a small amount of tooth removal before placing the porcelain veneer over the tooth to make room for the veneer. A very trendy procedure called no preparation or minimal preparation veneers is getting more popular. A company called Den-Mat has been doing a substantial amount marketing to the general consumer about a product called Lumineers. This is advertised as a veneer that does not require any removal of tooth before placing. Lumineers is one option for the treatment of porcelain veneers with out the removal of tooth, but not the only option. The most experienced top cosmetic dentists do not place Lumineers, because they are unhappy with the unnatural looking aesthetics and poor fit. Doing your research before choosing a dentist for a new smile with porcelain veneers is the best option. Ask about alternatives like minimal or no preparation veneers like Emprethins by Gold Dust Dental Lab.

One hour whitening is hottest trend in teeth whitening. You can go the dental office and in about an hour leave with your teeth 8-10 shades whiter. Zoom! is the most common in office whitening treatment available popularized by Extreme Makeover on NBC. Zoom whitening treatments can be repeated at your cleanings or once a year to maintain your white color. Some people will have whitening effects that can last years, but it depends on your eating habits. Avoiding foods and beverages that stain and smoking can help keep white teeth white longer.

A great budget option is to have the dentist make you custom trays that you can wear at home. The whitening gels that come with the trays are stronger than ever and can be worn for as little as 15-30 minutes at a time. The benefits of trays is that it is less money and can be continued at home until your teeth reach the level of white you desire. You can also throw in your trays the day before a party to get a little bump in whiteness before the event. Need to pick up a whitener quick? Grab some Crest White Strips, the strip technology does the best over the counter job of delivering the whitening gel to your teeth.

Gum lifts and gingival contouring is a new treatment that can reduce the gummy look of some smiles and level out uneven gums. This procedure can be preformed with a special laser that eliminates the need for surgery and long healing times.Braces that focus on short wearing times, like 6 months compared to 2 years are now available for cosmetic concerns.

Drs. Colleen and Jason Olitsky practice in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and NYC. They have been featured in publications like Self, Woman’s Health, Real Simple, Fitness, and First For Women. They are members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Drs. Colleen and Jason lecture on cosmetic dentistry nationally and Dr. Jason is an instructor with the Gold Dust Clinical Mastery Series based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Jason is also on the board of directors with the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and an accreditation candidate with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Looking for a comsetic dentist? Check out Dr. Colleen’s tip sheet on how to choose a cosmetic dentist by contacting the Smile Stylist!


Anonymous said...

Excellent article! Who knew that strawberries whiten your teeth??

haircutting in high heels said...

Too funny, I just happened to visit the dentist today with my follow up visit for a new crown! I asked him how I could avoid ever coming back for this annoying procedure ever again, he said "Age honey, we all have to endure." BTW I do rinse after drinking coffee in the a.m. immediately, currently drinking red wine and will do the same, Cheers love.