3 Surprising Ways Your Toothbrush Can Affect the Brightness of Your Smile

Teeth whitening is an easy way to make you and your smile look younger. Although your teeth get stained and darken over time, regularly brushing them will help remove surface stains and prevent a buildup of discoloration. But does your toothbrush matter?

1. Lifespan of a Toothbrush

Photo of a yellow toothbrush with toothpaste being applied to it; for information on free teeth whitening in Plano, TX

The lifespan of a toothbrush is three to four months. If you haven’t switched your toothbrush in a year, your brushing might be in vain. And the brush won’t make your teeth any whiter. Scattered, worn bristles aren’t doing the job. Settle the issue by keeping a few toothbrushes on hand so you can switch to a new one when the current one is worn. Can’t remember to switch to a new brush? Make a note in your calendar—hardcopy, phone, tablet, or iPad.

2. Hard or Soft?

Is a hard toothbrush more effective at removing surface stains from your teeth? That might seem logical, but below are a few facts:

  • Hard and medium bristles can promote gum recession.
  • Exposed tooth roots from gums that recede will make your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold.
  • A soft-bristled brush with long, angled bristles can easily clean between each tooth. It will be effective without harming your gum tissue.

3. Manual or Electric?

The American Dental Association reports that manual and electric toothbrushes are equally effective. Does this mean that your loved one needs no longer needs to gift you with an electric brush? An electric toothbrush has several advantages.

  • If you have dexterity issues, lack the motivation to brush properly, or don’t brush long enough, an electric toothbrush can help. Many electric brushes have a two-minute timer.
  • Just hold the brush and move it along the front and back of each tooth.
  • Don’t brush aggressively. Let the toothbrush do the work.

It’s all about you

Often, the brightness of your smile is related to the effort you put into maintaining good oral health. Brush your teeth twice daily. If you want a bright smile—even if you received professional teeth whitening—there is no substitute for brushing your teeth. Floss between your teeth to remove food debris that can lead to a buildup of plaque and discoloration.

In some cases medication or medical issues can change tooth color. A cosmetic dentist can help improve your smile.

If you’re doing all you can keep your teeth clean, but some stains remain, ask your dentist if professional teeth whitening is right for you. It can break down stains beneath the enamel and will give your teeth the sparkle you want.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy of Plano, TX. She provides free teeth whitening to patients who keep their dental cleaning and exam appointments.

5 Reasons Not to Be Afraid of Sedation at the Dentist

Isn’t sedation dentistry supposed to relieve your fear of the dentist? It does. But many patients are still nervous about receiving sedation. Consider five facts that can give you the confidence to move forward.

1. Your Dentist Is Trained

State dental boards regulate the practice of sedation dentistry. If your dentist administers it, he or she has completed training to do so. Ask your dentist about his or her training or certification in administering sedation. You can also increase your comfort level by asking how many sedation patients your dentist has seen. Your dental team is CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) trained, and your dentist has received training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

2. Communication Helps

You won’t be given sedation without your consent. In advance of your dental procedure, your dentist will explain what to expect before, during, and after the appointment. You will still be conscious and able to respond, answer questions, and speak to the dental team.

3. You’ll Never Be Left Alone

During your dental procedure, a staff member will be with you. If you’re afraid of a medical emergency or some other event that might endanger your health, let it overwhelm you. The dental team will monitor your vital signs throughout your appointment, and you will not be left alone in the treatment room.

4. Your Health History Will Be Reviewed

Be certain to let your dentist know your medical and dental history, including prescription medications. Your dentist will ensure that the sedative you receive will not conflict with any of your current medications.

5. Other Benefits than Being Drowsy

Sedation dentistry has several benefits that result in a better dental visit.

  • You’ll feel relaxed and have a sense of well-being.
  • It decreases your sensitivity to pain.
  • It prevents you from recalling what happened during your dental appointment.
  • While you’re relaxed, your dentist will be able to complete more work than it is possible to complete without sedation.
  • You can ask for sedation for dental cleanings, root canal treatment, and cosmetic work. Regardless of how simple or quick your dental procedure is, sedation can help you relax and get the care you need.

No Pressure

You don’t need to commit to sedation right away. Schedule an appointment to speak with your dentist about it. The consultation can include:

  • Discussing the cause of your anxiety
  • Learning about the types of sedation your dentist offers, as well as which medication will be used
  • Asking questions that will help you understand the process and what you can expect

Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this blog.