Teeth Whitening at Kirby Smiles Pearland Dentist

Teeth Whitening at Kirby Smiles Pearland Dentist

Just about everyone dreams of having a pearly white smile for many reasons. Whiter teeth can make you look younger and healthier and can certainly boost your confidence. Here at Kirby Smiles, we offer professional teeth whitening services so you can enjoy those benefits. We will even allow you to do it in the comfort of your own home.

Why Our Pearland Dentist Recommends Professional Teeth Whitening

Many affordable over-the-counter products exist, especially now that there are quite a lot of companies on the rise out there that sell at-home whitening products. Part of what makes them so appealing is that they use celebrities and influencers to help sell their product. However, as accessible and user-friendly as these products seem, the opposite is often the case. These kinds of products make it easy for users to accidentally over-bleach their teeth, which causes sensitivity that can grow worse over time. 

Additionally, the results for most of these products only last a few weeks, so they will need to be purchased and used very often, costing more in the long run. Excessive use of these teeth whitening products will inevitably cause excessive sensitivity and regular discomfort when eating or drinking anything. For some, this can interfere with their day-to-day life. Unlike those companies, we offer safer and far superior professional whitening trays. Using our whitening trays allows our cosmetic dentists to offer guidance and advice so that you can achieve the results you want without going overboard.

How Our Pearland Dentist Completes Whitening

We customize whitening treatments to each individual patient by creating their custom clear whitening trays in office. Along with the trays, we give each patient a professional-strength whitening gel. We offer this method because it's safe and gradual and allows for the patient to have greater control over how much whiter their teeth become.

Our professional-grade gel is made of specialized hydrogen peroxide and is applied directly to the teeth, releasing oxygen ions upon contact. These ions will go inside the teeth and remove any stains and discoloration, as opposed to simply polishing the surface like most over-the-counter products do. This allows for true treatment of the root cause, which allows the results to last much longer. One use of our customized whitening trays can leave the patient's teeth up to eight shades whiter. 

If you would like to have whiter, brighter teeth, please book an appointment today so that we can help you safely achieve the smile of your dreams.

woman receiving dental crowns as a restorative dentistry service

Dental Crowns in Pearland and Why Some Patients Need Them

A dental crown, which is also called a dental cap, is one of the many types of restorative dental services we offer at our Pearland dentist office. Made in a dental lab, a crown is fully customized to the tooth it will restore in order to save it and protect it. 

Why Do People Get Dental Crowns?

People get crowns for many reasons, both restorative and cosmetic. A crown may be needed in order to hold a cracked tooth together so that it doesn't crack even more. It can also be used to protect a tooth that has been weakened and damaged by excessive tooth decay, and to offer support and protection for an already broken tooth. For a more cosmetic procedure, crowns can be used to cover misshapen or discolored teeth.

Children Can Also Get Crowns

Children may get crowns fitted over their baby teeth for a number of reasons. A major reason that pediatric dentists recommend crowns to children is so that they can protect their teeth if they happen to be at risk of decay. This is usually attributed to children who may struggle with keeping up with their daily oral hygiene routine. It is also not rare for children who have a hard time with daily dental care to experience tooth decay that causes their now-damaged tooth to no longer support a filling.

The Steps for Getting a Dental Crown

Getting a crown will typically require two visits to our Pearland dentist office. First off, the tooth that needs a crown will be numbed. Depending on the type of crown, the dentist may need to find the exact shade of the tooth that requires restorative dentistry. Next, because the crown has to be the most perfect fit to fully encapsulate the tooth, the dentist will need to shave down precise bits of it in order to allow for the hollow dental cap to fit snugly.

After the tooth is shaped, we take an impression and send it to the dental lab. This helps ensure a proper fit. Later on, a temporary crown will be custom fitted over the re-shaped tooth in order to protect it and keep the patient comfortable while the new, permanent crown is being prepared. 2-3 weeks later it will be permanently fused to the tooth with a dental cement.

If you are in need of a safe and comfortable dental restoration, please schedule an appoint with our dentists. We will ensure you are properly fitted for a crown so that you can have a healthier and more confident smile.

Q&A: Fluoride for Babies and Kids

There’s a dizzying array of toothpastes and children’s oral care products available in stores today, and the surrounding confusion is understandable.  In addition to a myriad of flavors and cartoon characters, certain toothpastes are marketed as specific to “children”, “toddler”, or “infant” with no discernable difference in ingredients.  Even more mystifying, there are fluoride-free toothpastes that are more “natural” and position themselves as healthier alternatives to "dangerous" adult toothpastes. We all want to do what’s best for our kids - what’s a parent to do??

Well here at Kirby Smiles, we are huge advocates of fluoride, and we want to ensure that our we address our patients’ concerns and clear up any confusion or misperceptions about fluoride.

Q: Isn’t fluoride a chemical?  I want to use only natural products for my kids.

A: Fluoride is in fact a naturally-occurring mineral found in drinking water and in many foods.  Unless you have a very specific medical concern, fluoride is completely harmless and actually GREAT for babies and children!

Q: Should I purchase a toothpaste that has fluoride for my baby?

A: In short, YES!  The ADA recommends using fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child’s baby teeth erupt.  We do caution that everyone follow the recommended dosages; for children age 2 and younger, use only a “smear” - a dab approximately the size of a grain of rice.  A pea-sized amount is appropriate for older children, aged 3 to 6.

Q: Is swallowing fluoride toothpaste harmful to my child?

A: As long as children use toothpaste in recommended dosages as outlined above, the trace amounts of fluoride that may be ingested will be harmless.  That being said, we always encourage children to spit out their their toothpaste (fluoride or not!) as soon as they are able to understand. Please note that for our younger patients under the age of 7, we strongly recommend that parents take a very active role in their child’s oral hygiene, helping the child brush if necessary until the child is able to sufficiently do a thorough job on his/her own.

Q: What if my child persists in swallowing their fluoride toothpaste?  Could this be harmful?

A: The amount of ingested fluoride would have to be quite substantial and sustained over time.  However, if your child is regularly eating large amounts of fluoride, there is a risk of pitted tooth enamel and fluorosis, which manifests as white staining on teeth.  We would like to reiterate though that the vast majority of dental organizations and dental experts across the board agree that the benefits of using fluoride far outweigh the risks, especially with adequate parental guidance.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact our Houston dental office!  Our licensed pediatric dentists are always available to help with any concerns you may have regarding your child’s oral health.

General dentistry patient after receiving a cleaning

Common Foods and Beverages Containing Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil and water that is essential for ensuring that both adults and children have strong teeth. Regular use of fluoride can build up the strength of our teeth and prevent sensitivity and cavities. Our Pearland family dentists highly encourage their patients to use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash, but it turns out that some of the everyday food and drinks they consume also contain fluoride. This can offer an extra boost of protection.

Drinks That Contain Fluoride

Tap Water

In the greater Houston area, our tap water is drinkable and it's treated with fluoride. For those who do not like the strong flavor of tap water, we recommend filling a water bottle with both tap and filtered water throughout the day. This is a great way to continue protecting your teeth and is a healthy practice for your overall health.

Tea

Tea is another beverage that offers the protection of fluoride. Both black tea and green tea contain trace amounts of fluoride from their dried leaves. As a bonus, these teas are very rich in antioxidants, so not only are you protecting your teeth by strengthening them, but you are also improving your immune system and helping decrease your risk of chronic diseases.

Wine

Another drink that contains fluoride is wine. Enjoying a glass with dinner is very popular among our adult patients. Even though drinking wine in moderation can offer health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and aiding in blood pressure regulation, it is important not to drink excessively and to completely avoid it if you have liver problems or if you are pregnant. 

Foods That Contain Fluoride

Broccoli

Broccoli contains vitamins K and C, iron, and fiber, which aids in digestion and gut health. It also has antioxidants to protect your body from free radicals and it contains collagen, which is fantastic for forming new body tissue and bone. 

Grapes

Grapes are great not only for wine, but also as a snack for children. Kids can enjoy table grapes and achieve the strengthening benefits of fluoride and the antioxidant properties obtained from vitamin C. Grapes are rich in Vitamin K, which is great for blood clotting and healthy bones.

Squash

Another great vegetable is squash. Squash contains vitamins A and B6. Vitamin A is fantastic for healthy vision, boosting the immune system, and encouraging the organs to work properly. B6 is great for brain development in children, as well as brain function for people of all ages. Additionally, B6 may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Our Pearland Family Dentists Encourage the Use of Fluoride

At Kirby Smiles, our family and pediatric dentists complete fluoride treatments at the end of each cleaning. If you would like stronger teeth, please request an appointment for your next cleaning and our team will gladly help you achieve a stronger smile. 

 

Bad Breath: Causes of Halitosis and Treatment

If you are looking for a home remedy for mouth odor, you may already know how embarrassing bad breath can be. Having bad breath could imply that you have poor oral hygiene. Needless to say, this isn’t always the case. Here, we’ll look at some common causes of halitosis and what treatment options are available at your local Pearland dentist.

 

Talk To Your Dentist

If you suffer from bad breath, you are not alone. Your family dentist will be the first to assure you that bad breath affects one in four people at some point in their lives.

Because halitosis is often caused by poor oral hygiene, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your local Pearland dentist. During dental checkups, your family dentist will assess your present level of oral hygiene. If there appears to be a problem, a dentist may recommend scheduling a complete teeth cleaning appointment. This will typically involve a thorough cleaning of teeth and dental X-rays.

Cleaning will remove any food particles which might have lodged in hard to reach areas, before surrounding teeth begin to decay.  Dental X-rays will reveal possible dental problems contributing to halitosis above and below the gum line. Examinations may reveal oral bacterial infections which can cause bad breath.

 

Other Bad Breath Causes and Treatment 

Halitosis can affect everyone. When visiting a family or kids dentist in Pearland, there’s no need to feel embarrassed. More importantly, scheduling an appointment with a dentist can also rule out more serious causes of mouth odor.

Other causes of bad breath may include:

  • Poor diets and crash dieting
  • Consumption of alcohol and tobacco
  • Mouth, nose, and throat bacterial infections
  • Disruption of normal saliva production by certain drugs

In rare cases, bad breath can also be a symptom of more serious medical conditions. These can include certain cancers, liver failure, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In every case, it is important to have halitosis causes professionally investigated. 

 

Home Remedies for Bad Breath

The easiest, most effective way to prevent/reduce halitosis is to brush and floss teeth regularly. Sufferers can also use over-the-counter products like anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill odor-causing germs. In every case, though, persistent halitosis should be investigated by your family dentist. This is especially true if symptoms are accompanied by difficulty swallowing, oral pain, and/or other oral problems.