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Posts for tag: teeth whitening

May 11, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Even people who take good care of their teeth can experience teeth staining or yellowing over the years. Dr. Steven Erlandson helps scores of patients with their cosmetic dentistry needs in his Grand Forks, SD, office. He can help you achieve and maintain a white smile.

Dental stains

Most stains begin from contact with food particles, dark beverages, such as coffee, and tobacco smoke. Poor oral hygiene habits can add to the dulling of teeth. ToothIQ says many of these surface stains respond well to better brushing in the home and to in-office cleanings.

Other stains, however, are intrinsic, resulting from pulp inflammation and death or subsequent root canal therapy. Oral injury also changes tooth color. Intrinsic stains are very stubborn.

Maintaining a white smile

As with any aspect of your oral health, prevention always is best. Your cosmetic dentist in Grand Forks recommends diligent at-home hygiene habits such as:

  • Twice a day brushing with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Daily flossing to counter plaque and tartar
  • Six-month check-ups and professional cleanings
  • Smoking cessation for better overall and oral health and to stop tar staining
  • Limiting dark drinks and foods
  • Limiting acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomato sauce which de-mineralize tooth enamel
  • Using a whitening rinse or toothpaste as your dentist or hygienist recommends

When you need extra help

If you experience unresponsive dental staining, please contact Dr. Erlandson's office for a cosmetic dentistry consult. He'll examine your teeth and gums and suggest ways to remove or camouflage stubborn stains.

Available in-office services include:

  • Professional teeth whitening Offered as either a one-hour in-office service, or via take-home trays, whitening lifts extrinsic stains from tooth surfaces. The hydrogen peroxide gel is safe and improves tooth color by up to eight shades.
  • Tooth bleaching Used after dental trauma or root canal therapy, this procedure places a strong bleaching agent into the tooth's interior chamber as part of root canal therapy.
  • Porcelain veneers These thin ceramic laminates bond to the front side of teeth damaged by chips, cracks, surface pitting or deep stains. Veneers are custom-made, durable and stain-resistant.
  • Composite resin bonding Dr. Erlandson repairs chips, cracks and stains with a tooth-colored blend of plastic and glass.

Look your best

Gain confidence and give yourself a reason to smile again. For more tips on excellent smile aesthetics, contact your cosmetic dentist in Grand Forks, Dr. Steven Erlandson (701)772-6581.

By Steven M. Erlandson, DDS
February 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Like other aspects of our lives, aging can take a toll on our smile. Over a lifetime the effects of disease, teeth wearing and the foods we eat can cause our teeth and gums to look unattractive.

Here are 3 of the most common age-related dental problems and how we can help you "turn back the clock" on each one.

Discoloration. Teeth can dull and grow darker over time. And not just from what we eat or drink—age-related structural changes in the tooth can also cause discoloration. We can often alleviate external staining temporarily with teeth whitening. If the staining is heavy or it originates inside the tooth, then we can install life-like porcelain veneers or crowns to cover the discoloration. We can also use composite dental materials to alter the color of one darkened tooth so that it doesn't stand out from the rest of your teeth.

Wearing. Our teeth naturally wear down over time. If the wearing is excessive, though, teeth can look shorter and less youthful. Again, we can use veneers or crowns to change a tooth's outward appearance and make them look longer. We can also employ enamel contouring and reshaping that smoothes out sharper edges caused by wearing to give your teeth a softer, more youthful look.

Receding gums. On the other end of the spectrum, gums that have shrunk back or receded from the teeth can make them look much larger and unattractive. Our first step is to treat any gum disease present—the most common cause of recession—which often helps the tissues to regenerate. If your case is more advanced, though, you may also need grafting surgery to restore lost gum tissue. Using in-depth microsurgical techniques, surgeons attach grafted gum tissue at the recession site. Over time new tissue will grow, restoring adequate gum coverage.

You can also improve your appearance at any age with orthodontics. Besides a more attractive smile, properly aligned teeth tend to wear more slowly and evenly. This and proper daily oral hygiene and regular dental care can keep your teeth looking younger even in your later years.

If you would like more information on gaining a more youthful smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist can help you Look Younger.”

August 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Find out how teeth whitening could improve your smile.

You looked in the bathroom mirror for a moment and quickly realized that your teeth aren’t as pearly white as they used to be. You pull out teeth whiteningthe whitening toothpaste immediately and brush, hoping those yellow stains will just instantly go away. No such luck. Now what? Our Grand Forks, ND, cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Erlandson has a faster and more effective way to revive the brilliance back into your smile.

Sure, you could try whitening  toothpastes  and over-the-counter whitening options, but if you aren’t noticing much of a change in the state of your smile then you may want to consider professionally supervised teeth whitening. If your teeth are a little less than radiant because you love red wine, coffee and delicious pasta with tomato sauce (because who doesn’t love these things?) then our professional in-home whitening treatment could remove these stubborn stains in a way that other options just can’t.

What happens when I get professional teeth whitening?
When you come into our office, we will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth to make your customized trays. These trays are custom made to ensure the whitening solution is properly distributed. When the trays are ready, we will show you how to properly dispense and apply the solution and give you any other instructions needed to obtain your desired results.

For the best results, you should apply the whitening solution for an hour every day for two weeks. You need to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while wearing your trays and continue to abstain from such for 30 minutes after. Before starting the procedure at home, you will need to brush, floss, and rinse completely. After two weeks, you will come back to the office to check the results and make any further treatment plans if necessary.

What are some of the benefits of teeth whitening in Grand Forks?
With our custom-fitted trays, the whitening solution stays on the surface of the tooth, keeping your gums safe from it. Our whitening solution is also made of a high concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and stronger than what you can get over-the-counter, so you will be able to see results in one to two weeks of use. Plus, we have the professional training needed to be able to whiten your smile safely and effectively while also monitoring for any issues such as tooth sensitivity.

Are you interested in getting teeth whitening in Grand Forks, ND? No matter whether you just want to give your appearance a little boost or you have a special occasion coming up, teeth whitening is an amazing way to get a more radiant smile. Call us today to find out if whitening is right for you.

By Steven M. Erlandson, DDS
February 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What does it take to win a gold medal in figure skating at the Winter Olympics? Years and years of practice…a great routine…and a fantastic smile. When Tara Lipinski won the women’s figure skating competition at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan, she became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event in Winter Olympics history—and the whole world saw her winning smile.

“I love to smile, and I think it’s important—especially when you’re on-air,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “I am that person who’s always smiling.”

Tara’s still skating, but these days you’re more likely to see her smile on TV: as a commentator for the 2018 Winter Olympics, for example. And like many other athletes and celebrities in the public eye—and countless regular folks too—Tara felt that, at a certain point, her smile needed a little brightening to look its best.

“A few years ago, I decided to have teeth whitening. I just thought, why not have a brighter smile? I went in-office and it was totally easy,” she said.

In-office teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. In just one visit, it’s possible to lighten teeth by up to ten shades, for a difference you can see right away. Here in our office, we can safely apply concentrated bleaching solutions for quick results. These solutions aren’t appropriate for home use. Before your teeth are whitened, we will perform a complete examination to make sure underlying dental problems aren’t dimming your smile.

It’s also possible to do teeth whitening at home—it just takes a bit longer. We can provide custom-made trays that fit over your teeth, and give you whitening solutions that are safe to use at home. The difference is that the same amount of whitening may take weeks instead of hours, but the results should also make you smile. Some people start with treatments in the dental office for a dramatic improvement, and then move to take-home trays to keep their smiles looking bright.

That’s exactly what Tara did after her in-office treatments. She said the at-home kits are “a good way to—every couple of months—get a little bit of a whiter smile.”

So if your smile isn’t as bright as you’d like, contact our office or schedule a consultation to find out more about teeth whitening.  You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”

By Steven M. Erlandson, DDS
March 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”