New Year, New You?

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Around this time of year many people make a commitment to themselves to work on changing their current lifestyle, health related habits, and fitness routines. Making a list of achievable and realistic goals at the start of any new year is a good thing – as long as you make sure those goals are reasonable and that you are not too hard on yourself if it takes a bit of time to establish those new routines. One thing that might help give your new year plans a quick boost is doing something for you that IS realistic, IS achievable and can be accomplished reasonably fast. What are we talking about? If you’ve been contemplating a new year and a new you, perhaps teeth whitening is on your list. If so, we can help!

It has been quite some time since we last spoke about teeth whitening and the new year seemed like an appropriate time to do so. In fact, teeth whitening has rapidly become the most commonly sought after cosmetic dentistry treatment across the field of dentistry. There are a number of reasons people seek out whiter, brighter teeth that may include: stained or yellowing teeth that could be a result of age, poor health (certain medical conditions can impact our teeth) or from the foods we eat and the drinks we consume. Red wine, and tea or coffee for example, are notoriously hard on teeth. Poor oral health care can also sometimes result in discoloured teeth and that’s why at Brinkley Dental, one of our first recommendations before one considers a teeth whitening process, is to first schedule an appointment to have your teeth cleaned! Regular cleaning appointments (2x per year if you’re able to) are crucial to helping keep your teeth, mouth and gums healthy – AND – whiter and brighter.

Considerations for those considering Teeth Whitening:

  • First, schedule an appointment with your Dentist to ensure you have good oral health. Dealing with cavities, addressing any issues with your gums and talking about your general health are an important first step before planning for any cosmetic procedure.
  • Next, consider the type of treatment you are looking for and what kind of smile you hope to achieve. We might be dating ourselves here but if you recall that episode of Friends where Ross whitens his teeth, you’ll also recall they assumed an almost “glow in the dark” ability! Sure it was exaggerated for TV but we assume you want your teeth to look naturally and pleasantly white – not so white they are visible from outer space!
  • You might want to explore over the counter options first. If you do, there are some facts you need to look for such as understanding whether the products offer permanent or temporary results. According to the Canadian and American Dental Associations, bleaching products exist in two categories: whiteners – that deal with temporary stains, or bleaches (peroxide based) that are “capable of altering the colours of the tooth itself.” However, not all teeth will respond the same way to bleaching treatments so they may not necessarily address all of your tooth discolouration concerns.
  • The best way to approach teeth whitening is to involve your dental practitioner. They know your teeth best and know your oral health care history. At Brinkley Dental for example, we would review your history, schedule an appointment to address any immediate dental concerns and then create molds of your teeth to allow for a customized dental tray to be made just for you. Next up, when your trays are ready, we’ll bring you in to ensure a good fit, provide you with the tools and training you need to use your dental whitening trays at home and discuss reasonable options and timeframes for any follow up treatments. Factors to take into consideration include those we’ve already talked about, like how often you consume products known to cause discolouration. If it’s daily – you may need whitening “touch-ups” more often.

So there you have it. That’s the “down low” on how to contribute to the “new you” this new year. As with any new health and fitness routine, do your research, start slow and set realistic expectations. Schedule visits with your health care practitioners first before starting anything new in order to guard against accident or injury. At Brinkley Dental we’re happy to be an ongoing part of supporting your wellness journey and as part of that we’ll also leave you with our usual friendly reminder: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”

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