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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stand Firm Against Teeth Sensitivity

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? If so, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Something as simple as taking a sip of water or biting into an apple can become extremely painful!

Sensitive teeth are a common condition that can arise due to a number of different health conditions or medications. Many people will suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. In fact, a study released in 2013 claims that 1 in 8 people experience sensitive teeth.[1]

The most common reason people suffer from sensitive teeth is when enamel is worn away, and dentin is exposed. Dentin is the tissue inside the tooth which contains nerve fibers. Dentin may become exposed due to trauma, decay, or recessed gums. And when your dentin is exposed, every change in temperature and every movement in your mouth can affect the nerve endings and send shooting pain through your mouth!
73232521 Visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups is vital to keeping tooth decay, periodontal disease and other oral problems at bay, and so that may be detected and treated in the early stages.

Below are some tips to help you deal with your sensitive teeth and ease your discomfort. Of course, if symptoms persist or worsen, make sure to pay a visit to the dentist.

  1. Blush and Floss: Cleaning teeth properly and regularly is the first defense against sensitive teeth – preventing the growth of plaque that wears down the enamel in the first place is an important step.

  2. Try desensitizing toothpaste: Some over-the-counter solutions contain compounds that help block sensation from travelling to the tooth surface, which may help soothe teeth.

  3. Use a fluoride rinse or gel: Fluoride rinses—found with or without a prescription—can help decrease sensitivity, especially in people with a greater amount of decay. If the pain persists, your dentist may suggest an in-office treatment such as fluoride gel, which may be applied to the sensitive areas of the teeth to reduce the pain.

  4. Update your toothbrush & brush gently: Dentists also recommend using soft-bristled toothbrushes to limit abrasion and keep your teeth feeling healthy. Be sure to avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing as well as excessive brushing/flossing, as this will increase the symptoms.

  5. Quit the dip and limit the drinks: There is no safe tobacco. Chewing it or using it as “dip” or “snuff” is known to cause mouth cancer and increase teeth sensitivity. Also, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, wine and yogurt all can wear away at tooth enamel. Try cutting back on these substances to help decrease your sensitive teeth.

  6. Cover exposed root surfaces: If receding gums are the cause of your sensitive teeth, your dentist might apply a sealant to cover the exposed tooth roots. But if the sensitivity continues or worsens, your dentist may recommend you have a root canal.

Remember, you are not alone when it comes to sensitive teeth! Don’t let sensitive teeth wear you down – your dentist will be able to work with you to ease your pain.









[1] Storrs, Carina. "1 in 8 Adults May Have Sensitive Teeth." Consumer HealthDay. HealthDay, 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. <http://consumer.healthday.com/dental-and-oral-information-9/misc-dental-problem-news-174/1-in-8-adults-may-have-sensitive-teeth-673981.html>.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are you Afraid of the Dentist? Options for Dental Chickens

Have you heard of the phrase “dental chickens?” Turns out that many more people are afraid of the dentist than you may think and “chicken” away from seeking proper dental care due to their anxiety. Dental anxiety is very common and can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as fear of pain, embarrassment of the appearance of one’s teeth, fear of costs, or a bad childhood experience. Some patients postpone necessary treatment indefinitely due to their crippling fear of the dentist, putting themselves at risk for much more serious dental complications in the future.

If you face dental anxiety, know that you are not alone. Dentists see patients every day who feel some form of nervousness, and they are there to work with you and make you feel at ease during your treatment. Be sure to tell your dentist and their staff about your dental anxiety before your visit so that they know to take extra gentle care of you. You may even want to arrange a meeting with the dentist before your procedure so that you can become comfortable with them before you are even in the chair.

Many dentists’ offices now feature various activities and distractions to help you relax during your visit. In recent years, practices have begun to recognize the need to address and ease their patients’ fears. For example, they may offer soothing music or the option to watch television while you are being examined. Some patients even report being encouraged to play on their cell phones while in the dentist’s chair to distract themselves from a procedure. Who knew that texting or games could help ease your fears?
77894260 The most important thing to remember is that going to the dentist on a regular basis is the only way to ensure good oral health for years to come. Regular cleanings will help prevent serious dental problems that require more lengthy and painful procedures. There are so many options for patients who face dental anxiety today, from simple distractions to sedation dentistry, that you will be able to face your fears in stride.

Call Brighter today to find the right dentist for you to help calm your dental fears.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, New You, New Toothbrush!

Happy New Year from all of us here at Brighter! ‘Tis the season for making (and hopefully keeping) New Year's resolutions, which often revolve around improving health and appearance. If you haven’t already made your resolutions, consider taking the necessary steps to improving your dental care routine. A healthy mouth will not only improve the look of your teeth, but it will also help improve your overall health as well. Your toothbrush is the first (and easiest) step to keeping your oral health in tip-top shape. So why not start the year on the right foot with a new one? Below is a simple shopping guide to help you choose your new toothbrush with confidence.

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  1. Consider the bristle: For most people, soft bristles are the safest and best choice for your teeth? Medium to hard bristles, when used incorrectly, can actually damage your gums and wear away enamel.

  2. Heed the experts’ advice: Look for brushes marked with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval. You can be rest-assured that an ADA-approved brush has undergone rigorous testing and is safe and effective for cleaning your teeth.

  3. Consider switching to electric: Have you tried an electric toothbrush? Some people find it easier to brush effectively with a powered brush. While it’s certainly not necessary to purchase an electric brush, if you find it more comfortable to use one, then it may be the right choice for you, as it will encourage you to brush more often and for longer.

Below are some of Brighter’s top-rated toothbrushes.

Power Toothbrushes:

  • The Waterpik WP-900 Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush Complete Care is one of the highest rated power toothbrushes. Not only does this kit include multiple brush heads, it also includes a “water flosser” that shoots water between teeth and at the gumline to clean your teeth from all angles. The water flosser is especially useful for people with braces. For those who are serious about dental health, the Waterpik kit is your answer!


  • One of the most popular power toothbrushes is the Philips Sonicare EasyClean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush. This toothbrush is slightly more affordable than the Waterpik system and is very highly recommended by users and dentists alike. It features two timers to help you brush for the recommended two minutes and cover all four quadrants of your mouth.


  • A more affordable power toothbrush  (coming in around $25) is the Oral-B Vitality ProWhite Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush. This brush recharges easily overnight and gives you the benefits of a powered brush without the higher costs of the brushes mentioned above. Perfect for the first-time user.

Manual Toothbrushes:

  • If you have sensitive teeth or gums and are in the market for a very soft brush, the Nimbus Microfine Toothbrush is well-loved by its users. The Nimbus brush features extremely soft, fine bristles that get between your teeth without irritating them.


  • Another popular toothbrush is the Radius Scuba Toothbrush, which features an oversized head to thoroughly clean and stimulate your gums. They manufacture the brushes in both right-handed and left-handed versions for ergonomic comfort and ease in brushing, and are made with all-natural materials.


  • A more traditional toothbrush option is the Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Pro-Flex Toothbrush, which features flexible sides to reach every side of your teeth and varied bristle height. Dentists note that varied bristle height is essential in reaching obscure corners of your mouth and underneath the gumline, and this toothbrush is a great, affordable option.

What’s your favorite brush to use?  Remember to schedule your next dental exam at Brighter.com! Happy New Year!