The Secret Behind Whitening Toothpastes

You head to the oral health section or the grocery store, and you stare at the full shelves. There are so many product to choose from it is hard to know what too choose. You’ve been trying to whiten your teeth, but the whitening toothpastes probably don’t really work, right?

You may be worried that whitening toothpastes either don’t work or will hurt your teeth. Today, we are going to set the record straight by explaining just how exactly whitening toothpastes differ from normal toothpastes.

First, all toothpastes are mildly abrasive as it is their job to remove stains on your teeth and keep your teeth clean. However, some whitening toothpastes have additional ingredients that allow this process to be more effective. These can be gentle polishing or chemical agents.

Don’t worry though, these toothpastes can only help fight to remove surface stains as not to harm your teeth. They cannot contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. In order for more serious whitening, you must get professional or over-the-counter medications for it.

Therefore, you do not need to worry about whitening toothpastes hurting you teeth. Also, whitening toothpastes can actually be effective because there is a difference between normal toothpaste and whitening toothpastes, just check the ingredients.

Keep in mind though, these toothpastes will likely only lighten your teeth by one shade, whereas professional medications would show much more drastic change of many shades.

If you are considering professional whitening or even want to consult about the types of toothpastes that would be best for your mouth, Masters Dental is here for you.

Root Canal Survival Guide

Do you have or think you may have a root canal? Have no fear, the root canal survival guide is here. We have everything you need to know in two minutes or less about what root canals are and the process of getting a root canal.

First and foremost, a root canal is a procedure done when the pulp in your root canal is infected and needs to be removed and replaced with other material. This will save the whole tooth from decay and your overall oral health from more issues.

Some of the various causes include poor oral health, repeated dental procedures in and around the tooth, cracks and chips, pulp damage, and just general deep decay. It is important to know that left untreated, the problem will not resolve itself, but worsen and lead to serious pain and possibly and abscess. Generally, the first sign you will see of needing a root canal will be persistent and continual inflammation as it is a sign of infection.

What happens when you have a root canal? Don’t worry, it is actually a fairly quick, easy, and painless procedure. Your dentist will simply remove the infected pulp in your root canal and the fill the area. This material will most likely be a material called gutta-percha. Then, your tooth will be restored with a normal crown or filling.

Following the procedure is when you will experience some discomfort, but this is normal. However, as a serious benefit, your tooth will be saved. You can eat and chew normally again, and your teeth will appear normally and no longer inflamed.

For a detailed perspective, you can find more information at the American Association of Endodontist, and if you have more questions that have not been answered, Dr. Masters would love to talk to you. Contact Masters Dental at 864-877-8008.

Got Floss?

Let’s face the music – no one loves to floss. Well, except maybe dentists and their friends. However, flossing is extremely important to your oral health even if you don’t want to do it.

Most people think that flossing is about taking care of your teeth and that brushing your teeth takes care of that, but flossing is actually more about your gums and taking care of them.

Often people start flossing and stop because it hurts and makes your gums bleed. However, if you floss for more than a week, your mouth and gums will become accustomed to the flossing and stop hurting and bleeding.

While it may seem like flossing is just another chore, there are actual serious reasons why flossing is important. Here are the top three reasons why you should start flossing today.

First, flossing can help dislodge food that gets trapped in the gums. When it doesn’t get removed, plaque and tartar form and build up. This is what your dentist is removing when you visit the dentist. It must be removed with a scraper.

The second reason is that this buildup can lead to further oral health complications. Not flossing will lead to gingivitis and other issues. It is such a simple thing that can be done to avoid big and expensive problems. Flossing can and will save your money.

According to the American Dental Association, you should try to clean your teeth twice a day and that includes floss. Stop waiting and pushing flossing off till tomorrow, floss today!

Child’s First Dental Visit?

Never fear, the dentist is here not to hurt you, but to protect you! If your little one is about to have their first dental visit, you may be worried about how they will react. While there is nothing to be worried about, it is good you care enough to make sure they feel comfortable and secure.

Your dentist wants your child to like the dentist just as much as you do, and making sure the first trip goes well will put you on the path to success for the future. Typically a child needs to go to the dentist about six months after their first tooth erupts, so children tend to be between one and two when they first come to visit.

Here are a few simple things you can do to relieve anxiety for your child:

Act normal. Nothing will upset your child more than you being upset. Act natural. I know it sounds easier said than done, but if you can try to act like there is nothing to worry about, you child won’t worry. Plus, there is nothing to worry about.

Brush with you child. While you should be doing this anyway, you want to make sure that your child brushes their teeth at home. This will not only keep those teeth clean, but it will make a trip to the dentist feel normal.

Let them watch you. Schedule your dental appointment right before your child’s appointment. This way they can watch you and see what the dentist will be doing. They will also see that everything is okay. Lead by example. All of this will make it easier for them to get their first checkup.

We are excited to introduce your child to good oral hygiene, and we are so happy that you care about your child’s oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Masters Dental!

Understanding Dental Fistulas

Fistula seems like a made up and confusing word, but for your health, it is important you understand what fistulas are and how to identify them. If you have a fistula, you will want to contact your doctor right away to seek advice and treatment.

Fistula is a general medical term that is used to explain a connection between an organ and the body’s surface. This connection though should not exist, and it is not good for you.

Specifically, in dental health, “a fistula is defined as a non-natural or non pre-existing tube connecting the inflammation centre or an organ with the interior body parts and/ or exterior surface of the body” according to checkdent.

One of the biggest signs of dental fistulas is persistent and painful inflammation concentrated in one specific site. When this happens, puss is created and eventually, a puss corridor can be created. Once this corridor reaches the surface, the resulting mass is called a gum boil.

Gum boils can be very painful, but even ones that are not painful still need to be seen by a doctor. Some of the puss can be released temporarily, but this is not a permeate solution. The pus corridor is lined with special cells that form a – you guessed it, fistula.

Fistulas are an infection, and untreated the infection will continue to expand damaging your mouth, teeth, and oral health. It can also lead to more dental procedures in the long run such as root canals.

If you believe you have a fistula or a gun boil, be sure to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner it is identified, the more help can be provided and the more complications that can be avoided.

Fun in the Summer Sun

It is finally summer, and we hope you are all enjoying summer vacation. As you soak up the sunshine though, we don’t want you to forget about your oral or overall health.

Summer is a great time to take care of all of your doctors’ appointments, especially your dental check-up or to take care of that procedure you’ve been putting off. If you call now at the start of summer, it should be easy to find a convenient time that works for you and your teeth.

Summer is also a time for sugar popsicles, delicious candy, and sticky treats. We love these treats as much as anyone, but don’t forget about your teeth. As always, moderation is key. Make sure to spread out the love and snack on your delicious treats all summer long a little bit at a time.

If you do snack on these treats, also make sure that you are practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after and frequently flossing. If you can feel something getting stuck in your teeth, make sure to work to get it out!

Finally, our last summer tip is to hydrate, but not chew ice. Chewing ice is bad for your teeth and can end you up in the dentist office instead of the beach. In the heat, you will need lots of water to keep from getting heat exhaustion, so carry a water bottle with you. Make sure you are wearing sunblock to protect from those UV rays too!

Becoming a Dentist

As a part of the medical field, the dental profession is both a challenging and rewarding one. Our dentist are responsible for our oral health and well-being and are an important part of our lives. For those of you considering pursuing the dental profession, we encourage you to put time and thought into this decision. Here may be some things you want to start thinking about:

The biggest thing to keep in mind if you are considering becoming a dentist is the extensive educational requirements as there is with any medical field. First, you need your bachelor’s degree. While a pre-dental track or other related degree is helpful when you go onto dental school, it is not required.

Then, you will need to take the Dental Acceptance Test given by the American Dental Association, which is a five hour test on the natural sciences, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. This is a portion of your dental school application.

Finally, once you have been accepted, dental school is your next hurdle to getting your doctoral degree. There are nine different speciality areas you can choose from currently recognized by the ADA. At last, you will need to get you license to practice. Specifics will vary from location to location. Learn more about specific requirements here.

Being a dentist is not just about the classes and teeth. It can be an both an interesting and intriguing field of medicine. One of the major benefits and challenges of the dental profession is that you see a broad range of patients. Instead of specializing in pediatric care or geriatric care, you see patients of all ages and background. This requires dentists to be well and broadly educated

Additionally, the field is constantly evolving and adapting as technology and techniques change. Your learning will never end. New technology will continue to make your job interesting, and new techniques will challenge you.

Being a dentist, or even a hygienist, can be an extremely rewarding profession. We may be biased, but the work done by dentists is critical to not just your oral health but your overall health as well. If you have questions about the dental profession, feel free to contact us at Masters Dental!

Dangers of Tobacco

Whether it is cigars, cigarettes, or chewing tobacco, these various types of tobacco products have a real and lasting impact on your teeth. It is important you understand the dangers associated with tobacco before you choose to use those products.

Beyond just your teeth, these various different types of products have a number of negative health effects. Tobacco products have been shown to be highly addictive and to be linked at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. Thus, tobacco can lead to cancer and other health problems like COPD.

Since tobacco is consumed however through the mouth, your teeth are especially at risk. When you use smokeless tobacco, you can irritate your gums. This may cause them to recede or become damaged. As a result, people using tobacco are at a higher risk of other oral health issues such as cavities or tooth decay. Increased sensitivity in the teeth is also common in people who frequently use tobacco products.

Tobacco use also commonly leads to oral cancer. For more information on oral cancer, see our blog post specifically on oral cancer. Common signs of oral cancer include general tenderness and irritation, pain, development of lumps or patches inside the mouth, and sores. Your mouth may also experience a change in color, and you have have trouble eating, speaking, and essentially using your jaw and tongue.

While using tobacco products is a choice, it is important you understand the risks you are taking. Your teeth and your body will be healthier and happier without tobacco products. If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer or tobacco use, contact Masters Dental today!

The Aches of Aging

As we get older, our bodies change whether we like it or not. We become less able to do the things we once could and we can struggle with staying healthy. Since aging affects every part of our body, even our teeth and oral health, it is important we understand how to best work to prevent and deal with the complications linked to aging.

The good news is people are now living longer, and the number of people age 65 and above is increasing. At the same time, it is important though that we make sure to take even better care of our bodies, especially as we age as aging generally makes pre existing conditions worse and harder to deal with day in and day out.

The first step is to do your best to take care of your teeth while you are still young. This will lead ultimately to better oral health in the future. As you age, physiological changes associated with aging can lead to other oral health problems. Generally, the better health you are in when you turn 30, the better health you will be in when you turn 65.

There are also many dental symptoms that are associated with aging. Most frequently, people experience more frequent problems with dry mouth and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, advanced age can lead to more cases of periodontitis and root and coronal caries.

Finally, as we age, we tend to use more prescription and over-the-counter medications. As age increases, you will find yourself more likely to have complications with drug interactions or adverse drug reactions. People can also find themselves more sensitive to medications and drugs used in dentistry such as anesthetics.

While aging is never fun, it is even less fun if you are not ready for it. To better prepare yourself, start practicing good oral health today, and the stay informed about how aging will affect your body, especially your teeth.

Recipes for a Beautiful Smile

One of the hardest parts of living a healthy life is finding the time to eat well. Choosing you diet carefully though can have a lasting impact on everything from your heart to your teeth and oral health.

In fact, one of the biggest ways to promote strong oral health is by choosing a nutritious diet. However, we know it can be difficult. Amongst the business of work and everyday life, it can be hard to find the time to shop and find health options.

To help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle, we have done some research on some delicious and healthy recipes to help your oral health. From a smoothly to a chicken, these recipes sound delicious. All of these recipes are from youbeauty and Deborah Dunhams’ Recipes for a Beautiful Smile article!

Kaleberry Smile Booster Smoothie Recipe
Recipe by Dr. Shawn Frawley

Ingredients:
1 banana
8 ounces brewed green tea (plain, chilled)
4 ice cubes
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
1⁄2 cup frozen strawberries
4 kale leaves
1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon xylitol (can be bought in most health food stores, such as Whole Foods, and is available online)

Directions:
Brew green tea and chill. In a blender, add ice, green tea, Greek yogurt and kale. Blend until no large pieces of kale are visible. Add the other ingredients and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Shiitake Mushroom Chicken with Millet Recipe
Recipe by Karen D. Krchma

Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 pounds chicken breast (preferably, organic, hormone- and antibiotic free)
2 teaspoons sea salt, Himalayan or Celtic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped, or 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed, trimmed and patted dry. Remove the tops and slice; finely chop the stems.
1 small onion, chopped
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, removing the leaves from the stem, or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3-4 green onions, trimmed and sliced diagonally, or increase onion to 1 medium onion
1⁄2 cup fresh pea pods, washed, trimmed, sliced diagonally (optional)
1⁄2 cup sliced red pepper (optional)
1⁄4 cup white wine, dry preferred
1 cup fresh or prepared chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter, organic preferred, or Ghee (clarified butter)
2 tablespoons, fresh coarsely chopped parsley, or 1 scant tablespoon dried parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Wash and scrape chicken (scrape a sharp knife over the chicken while rinsing under running water). Place chicken breasts on a glass cutting board. With a sharp knife, pierce each chicken breast 10-12 times. Using a wooden or stainless steel meat tenderizer (mallet), pound each chicken breast down to 1⁄4-1⁄2-inch thickness, as evenly as possible. Tent a paper towel over the mallet to prevent “chicken splash” when pounding. Never use plastic wrap when pounding chicken. Cut each breast in half, or palm-size pieces. Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and garlic powder if using.

Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add chicken, mushrooms and onions, as well as fresh garlic if using. Sauté chicken about 5-7 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring mushrooms and onions to brown evenly. Turn chicken to brown both sides, cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes, making sure juices in the thickest part run clear. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and cover to keep warm.

In your skillet with the mushrooms and onions, add rosemary, green onions, pea pods, and red pepper. Add the wine, stirring to loosen cooked juices in the pan. When the wine is slightly reduced, add the broth, and then continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in butter or Ghee. Add the chicken and bring back to serving temperature. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and parsley and serve.