What Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Treatments CAN’T Do for Your Teeth

Before and after shots of a man's smile with whiter teeth

A whiter smile can make you feel more confident almost instantly. But some over-the-counter whitening treatments, including teeth whitening strips, mouthwashes, and toothpastes, won’t give you the same results as professional teeth whitening will. Dentists, such as those at Meridian Dental, offer in-house teeth whitening services so that patients can get long-lasting and great-looking results they won’t be able to stop smiling about.

Still unsure about professional teeth whitening? Consider these few things that over-the-counter teeth whitening products won’t be able to accomplish like professional teeth whitening can. For more information, visit your local Wasilla dental office, Meridian Dental, serving patients in Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley.

  • Effective Results for Straight and Misaligned Smiles

Teeth-whitening strips are a popular alternative to professional teeth bleaching treatments. However, since the strips are meant to rest flat along teeth, patients with misaligned teeth won’t get the same results as patients with straight teeth. These individuals with crooked teeth may have less than optimal results if the strip can’t rest evenly on all teeth and in between tooth crevices.

  • Personalized Teeth Bleaching Treatment

Man compares the shade of his teeth with prosthetic teeth to see effects of professional teeth whitening treatmentWith professional teeth whitening, dentists can can get in those tight spaces and uniformly whiten even misaligned teeth. Your dentist will also discuss with you the shade to which you would like to bleach your teeth and evaluate how much staining there is to treat. Each treatment is personalized to the patient for improved results.

If you have tooth crowns or composite fillings, they may not bleach with over-the-counter or professional teeth whitening products. In these cases, seeking a professional treatment is usually the best course of action to match remaining teeth to the same shade as crowns, fillings, bridges, and more. Or these restorative dental products can be replaced in lighter shades to match newly bleached teeth.

  • Even Coating

These personalized solutions help ensure that all your teeth match the lighter shade you’re wanting. This even coating applies not only to your front teeth but to all teeth, unlike some whitening strips that only reach the first few teeth. If teeth aren’t whitening as they should, dentists can adjust treatment so that you get a nice even bleaching and an all-around, fantastic smile.

Also, because the solution used is much more concentrated than over-the-counter products, you get that even coating faster than you would with other treatments. Our in-house whitening program gives you improved results within just 30 minutes!.

  • Removes Stains On and Below Exterior Surface

Many stains are noticeable on the tooth’s enamel, but other stains lie deeper on parts of the tooth closer to its roots. Consulting with a cosmetic dentist can help uncover which type of staining you have and how to solve it. Several over-the-counter treatments just treat for staining on the exterior surface of the tooth. If those treatments don’t seem to be working, it may be a sign that staining also exists in other layers.

  • Great Results Without Wearing Down Enamel

Sometimes, even after boxes and boxes of teeth whitening strips, you may not see the results you would like. Continued application of these products will wear down tooth enamel, making teeth more sensitive to extremes and more susceptible to decay, cracking, and infection.

Depending on how sensitive your teeth already are, dentists can adjust the strength of the teeth bleaching solution so that it doesn’t leave your teeth feeling quite as sensitive.

Before and after shots of a man's smile with whiter teeth

Should I Get My Teeth Whitened Professionally?

If you’ve ever considered whitening your teeth, there’s no time like the present to begin! You deserve a smile you’re proud to show off for an affordable cost and withedramatically superior results. Not only is treatment personalized to you and your desired goals, but those cosmetic goals can be reached sooner, last longer, and exhibit an apparent higher quality.

For patients in Wasilla and Palmer, AK and other surrounding areas, learn more about professional teeth whitening available at Meridian Dental. Contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation appointment and see if our program is  right for you. Let us help you reach the goals you have for your smile.

Why is My Tooth Feeling Sensitive? 5 Possible Culprits

Woman touching her cheek and experiencing tooth pain after biting into an ice cream bar

Do you feel a sharp pain in one or more of your teeth when eating or drinking substances that hot, cold, acidic, or sweet? Or does even breathing in the cold winter air cause your teeth to tingle? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience some type of teeth sensitivity every year. But this is a condition that, with help from a trusted local dentist, can be treated fairly easily, depending on the basic cause for sensitivity.

Patients in Wasilla and Palmer, AK can request an appointment with Meridian Dental to learn more about the source of their tooth sensitivity. In most cases, the problem is the result of one of the following culprits.

But first, understand that your tooth is equipped with features to protect itself from extreme temperatures, tastes, or other stimulants. It contains a protective enamel layer at its crown and neck. Your tooth also has a thin cementum layer and surrounding gums to protect the tooth’s root. When these layers start wearing away, your tooth’s sensitive dentin layer and its roots become exposed to the elements. When this happens, you begin to notice it acutely by those tooth pains we are all too familiar with.

Illustration depicting the internal structure and layers of a tooth

Potential Causes of Sensitive Teeth

So what breaks down those layers or makes the sensitive parts of your tooth vulnerable to the elements?

1. Cracked Teeth

A crack in your tooth can open the way for decay to build up and weaken the entire tooth structure. This may be a large crack formed by years of grinding teeth, a sudden trauma, or a fracture so small you can hardly notice it or get a toothbrush in it to clean them out. But without restorative dentistry, a little fracture can become even more painful in the future.

2. Cavities

Another culprit may be all that Halloween candy coming back to haunt you. Sugar and plaque can build up in and around your teeth, forming cavities. If just a single tooth is experiencing sensitivity, a cavity will often be the reason behind the pain.

3. Receding Gums or Periodontal Gum Disease

Enamel doesn’t coat teeth much lower than your gum line. So when gums begin to recede, whether due to gum disease, plaque buildup, or even excessive brushing, the cementum layer is exposed. Cementum is more sensitive to extremes it comes in contact with and only provides a small amount of protection for the even more sensitive dentin layer.

4. Root Infection

The root of the problem often lies with, well, the roots. Each outer layer of your tooth protects its roots which are the most sensitive part of your teeth. Sometimes, because of a cavity or cracked tooth left alone, an infection may make its way into your tooth. This can be extremely painful and needs quick attention from a dentist to preserve the tooth.

5. Acidic Diet

It may turn out that the acidic foods themselves are the reason behind why those foods and others are hurting your teeth. Whether that’s your daily Dr. Pepper, morning meal of grapefruit juice and scrambled eggs, or those cashews you munch on, these and other foods with high acidity are quick to break down that protective layer of enamel.

Treatment Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

Woman touching her cheek and experiencing tooth pain after biting into an ice cream barEach case is different, so each sensitive tooth treatment will vary from patient to patient as well. Seeking help from a general dentist or family dentistry practice should be the first steps taken to determine which treatment your teeth require.

Cracked teeth may need a protective cap so that the fracture doesn’t expand down to the roots. This can be done in a single appointment with same-day crowns. If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouthguard to prevent more cracks from forming. For small cracks in the grooves of the tooth, a sealant coating may be enough to help keep teeth clean and free of decay.

A cavity, on the other hand, may just need a simple composite filling for the sensitivity to subside after a few days. For receding gums, Meridian Dental offers non-surgical gum treatment that cleans out the area and smooths roots so they can reattach to the gums and hopefully prevent more plaque. Gum grafts or a fluoride resin may need to be applied in other cases.

In cases when a root infection is causing your sensitivity and pain, a root canal usually is the prescribed course of action. A tooth crown may also be sculpted and placed on the tooth to help protect it and prevent additional infections. When consuming foods and drinks with high acidic levels, your dentist may encourage a diet that limits the number of acidic substances you eat or drink among other precautions.

Find Relief for Your Teeth at Our Wasilla Dental Office

Woman smiles in dentist chair before dental hygienist cleans and exams her teethIf you’re suffering from sensitive teeth, contact our Palmer and Wasilla, AK dentist, Dr. Kris Gurr, DDS. To prevent more complications down the road, come in as soon as you notice symptoms of sensitivity.

Our advanced family dental office in Wasilla serves patients throughout the Mat-Su Valley with regular dental health services, advanced dental procedures, as well as cosmetic dentistry. We’ll identify that main cause for your overly sensitive teeth and determine the best course of action for your particular situation. Come get the relief your teeth need at Meridian Dental!

Leave Behind these 5 Worries with ClearCorrect Aligners

Woman holds up ClearCorrect aligners for top and bottom teeth

Woman holds up ClearCorrect aligners for top and bottom teethThe path to straightening teeth is often a crooked one. But it doesn’t have to be! ClearCorrect treatment makes aligning teeth a simpler process, with less hassle and pain for the patient.

ClearCorrect providers, like those at Meridian Dental, offer their patients this orthodontic treatment that uses transparent, plastic aligners to move teeth into proper alignment over several months. The length of the treatment will vary depending on the patient’s malocclusion. Around every 2-3 weeks, the patient will receive a new set of custom ClearCorrect aligners. Each set moves teeth into straighter alignment than before.

We want patients to be excited about receiving this teeth aligning treatment, not anxious. You should have a smile you aren’t afraid to hide and ClearCorrect can make that possible! Here are 5 worries you can leave at the door when you step into Meridian Dental for your ClearCorrect aligners. We serve patients in Wasilla, Palmer, and surrounding areas in Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley.

Worry #1: Getting Food Stuck Between Teeth

Braces may be the most common orthodontic treatment, but its metal brackets or wires can’t be removed, except by your orthodontist or dentist. ClearCorrect aligners, however, are an alternative and removable orthodontic treatment!

This means that you won’t have to trouble with food getting lodged between teeth or around brackets. Plastic aligners can and should be removed during meals, giving you a lot more freedom to continue eating what you would like.

Worry #2: Difficulty to Maintain

Because a patient is unable to remove braces, building up food and plaque, this treatment also makes it hard to keep teeth clean. Many patients even floss less frequently (or not at all) because flossing under the metal wires is such an ordeal.

Patients with ClearCorrect should remove their aligners when brushing as well. With no brackets or wires to get in the way, teeth can be cleaned thoroughly without any obstructions for better dental health. Keeping the aligners clean doesn’t require much maintenance either.

Worry #3: Discomfort During Treatment

Many patients hear disheartening stories about friends experiencing extreme discomfort from tightened braces, or when a wire pops out and forms sores on the walls of their mouth. But not with ClearCorrect!

The pressure you’ll feel with each new set of ClearCorrect aligners is not nearly as painful as tightening braces. Furthermore, the edges and surface of aligners are smooth and won’t cause extra pain from sores in your mouth.

Worry #4: People Noticing Aligners

ClearCorrect’s clear aligners are nearly invisible when a patient is wearing them. This is especially important for adults who want to correct teeth alignment, but don’t want braces or aligners to affect how they look. While braces can be an eyesore, ClearCorrect is a convenient treatment for patients by not drawing any unwanted attention to your mouth.

Man with straight teeth after using ClearCorrect aligners shows off his smile

Worry #5: The Results

We understand that the final results of ClearCorrect treatment is a big concern for patients. Results will vary from person to person and effectiveness depends a lot on the severity of misalignment. That being said, ClearCorrect often aligns teeth quicker than braces can with the same beautiful outcome.

One key to getting the best results from your ClearCorrect aligners is to wear them as much as you can. The preferable amount of time is 20-22 hours per day. Keep them in except to eat and brush teeth! More responsibility is on you to make ClearCorrect treatment work well. However, when you do keep aligners in, the results are remarkable.

Schedule a ClearCorrect Consultation Appointment

ClearCorrect teeth alignment is a great solution for adults and teenagers alike who want to straighten teeth, without the hassle of braces. A less painful, quicker, and more convenient treatment, ClearCorrect is helping millions of patients get the smiles they’ve been wanting.

Talk with Meridian Dental’s dentist today to see if ClearCorrect is the best orthodontic option for straightening your crooked teeth, closing teeth gaps, or fixing other alignment issues.