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In our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office, we’ve found that many patients are looking for the same thing—a whiter, brighter smile. As teeth become stained and discolored through years of wear and tear, it’s only natural that many patients want to reclaim the young-looking, white teeth they remember. As we know the first step to achieving this white smile is diligent dental hygiene. Patients should brush and floss at least twice daily and maintain a schedule of regular dental appointments. But what if this isn’t enough?

If dental hygiene alone isn’t keeping your smile as sparkling as you’d like, it may be time to investigate teeth whitening products to rejuvenate dental enamel. What we commonly refer to as teeth whitening products are actually teeth bleaching products, because they use either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to whiten teeth. These products do more than simply remove surface debris and plaque, they have the ability to whiten teeth beyond their natural, or base shade, of whiteness.

The effectiveness of a teeth bleaching product depends on the formulation of the whitening agent and the way that the product is applied. Over the counter whitening strips and gels utilize less potent bleach formulas. The goods news is that this means that these products can be used at home without dentist supervision. The bad news is that at-home strips and gels take longer to whiten teeth, and ultimately don’t provide the same level of whiteness.

Professional teeth whitening treatments, on the other hand, are administered in a dental office. Most patients see results after only one or two appointments. Professional bleaching is suitable for a wide variety of patients, and may be the only effective treatment for patients with persistent staining or tetracycline-darkened teeth.

Before you begin a whitening regimen, discuss your plans with your dentist. He or she can help you decide what bleaching treatment will work best for you situation. Give our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists a call if you have any questions—(636) 614-1217.

Our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office treats a wide variety of cosmetic issues, and offers a number of different cosmetic solutions for patients of all ages. What we’ve found, through years of treating patients, is that all patients want a whiter smile. In-office teeth bleaching treatments can be used alone or as the finishing touch on a complete smile makeover. Once you’ve whitened your smile, however, you’ll want to maintain it, which is why so many patients as the question, “why are my teeth becoming discolored in the first place?”

The truth is dental enamel changes color for a variety of reasons. Some causes of staining are avoidable and some are just natural byproducts of aging. Here are some common causes of dental discoloration:

  • eating and drinking—discoloring substances such as wine, cola, coffee, and tea can leave stains on white enamel.
  • chewing or grinding—chronic bruxism—dental clenching and grinding—can cause small cracks in dental enamel. Eventually discoloring substances accumulate in these weak areas, causing dental stains.
  • dental trauma—dental trauma or accident may cause your tooth to darken because it is no longer healthy.
  • poor oral hygiene—plaque and tartar make dental enamel appear yellow or brown. If you are not cleaning plaque off of your daily and having professional cleanings for tartar control, you’ll notice that your teeth appear darker and dirty.
  • tobacco use—both chewing and smoking tobacco can drastically change the color of dental enamel. To keep your smile sparkling white, avoid tobacco products!

 

If you want to maintain a bright, white smile you can take certain steps to avoid stains. Don’t use tobacco products, seek treatment for bruxism, and limit your use of staining substances. If you do find that your smile is still darker than you’d like it to be, know that there are cosmetic whitening options available to you. Give our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists a call for more information or to schedule an appointment—(636) 614-1217.

Sleep apnea is a pervasive and disruptive disorder that can contribute to a number of health complications. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused with soft oral tissue relax and fall into the airway during sleep. Sleep apnea patients may experience snoring, restlessness at night, and extreme fatigue and mood changes during the day. In extreme chronic cases sleep apnea can lead to anxiety, depression, and memory problems due to exhaustion.

 

The traditional treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP machine. The sleep apnea sufferer wears the CPAP machine over his or her mouth in the night. The CPAP mouthpiece delivers a forceful, steady stream of air into the patient’s airway, preventing the patient’s soft tissues from relaxing back into the throat and obstructing breathing.

 

Although CPAP machines are somewhat effective, patients often resist using them because the apparatuses are so cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear. Our O’Fallon sleep apnea dentists understand that CPAP machines simply don’t cut it for many patients. That’s why we’re proud to offer an alternative to CPAP sleep apnea treatment.

 

Our office strives to treat sleep apnea with simple, comfortable oral appliances. Sleep apnea oral appliances are designed to fit into a patient’s mouth like a mouth guard or retainer. It is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth, and designed to keep the jaw in proper alignment, thereby preventing soft tissues from obstructing airflow.

 

These appliances are FDA-approved, and many patients see results in just days or weeks. When you meet with our sleep apnea team, we determine whether or not you’re a candidate for CPAP-alternative sleep apnea treatment. If you could benefit from a sleep apnea mouth guard, we’ll explain your treatment plan in greater detail.

 

Give our O’Fallon sleep apnea dentists a call for more information or to schedule an appointment. As always, we’re here to help—(636) 614-1217.

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