Which Teeth Whitening Procedure Is Right For You?

Are you unhappy with your lackluster smile? Fortunately, there are several different ways that you can whiten your teeth. You can either visit a dentist that specializes in cosmetic dentistry to have whitening treatments completed, or you could try several whitening treatments at home. Before you try to whiten your teeth, learn more about the available options so that you can choose the one that fits your needs the best.

Whitening Strips

You can purchase whitening strips at most drugstores. The strips are fairly simple to use. The whitening agent is on the strips, and you use the strips according to the the directions on the box. In most cases, you’ll wear the strips on your teeth daily for up to two hours each day. The entire process can take between 10 and 20 days depending on the product that you purchase. Keep in mind, whitening strips typically only whiten your front teeth, so they aren’t a good option for people who need to whiten all of their teeth. They are a good option for you if your back teeth are capped.

Professional Whitening Gel

You can visit a cosmetic dentist to purchase professional whitening gel that you will use at home. Typically, a silicone tray that’s made from a mold of your teeth will come with the professional-strength whitening gel. To use the gel, you’ll squeeze the gel into the tray and place the tray over your teeth. In most cases, the tray is worn overnight — or at least for several hours at time. Your dentist will tell you the proper amount of time to wear the trays. You should follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to ensure the whitening gel doesn’t damage your tooth enamel. 

Laser Teeth Whitening

If you’re looking for the fastest way to whiten your teeth, you should consider having a laser teeth whitening procedure completed. The procedure is completed in your dentist’s office, and typically only takes a couple of hours to achieve the desired results. However, laser teeth whitening is more expensive than using a professional whitening gel at home, so if you’re on a budget you should discuss the differences between whitening your teeth with professional whitening gel or laser treatments to determine which option is best for you.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what process you’d like to use to whiten your teeth. However, before you make a final decision, you should discuss the matter with a cosmetic dentist to determine which procedure will give you the results that you want without going over your budget. Talk to a company like Karo Dental about which treatment is right for you.

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Can You Write Off The Cost Of Dental Work On Your Income Tax Return?

If you file a Canadian tax return, you are allowed to claim a medical tax credit for qualifying medical expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your income. There are range of medical expenses you can include, including some dental expenses. Wondering if you can write off your dental expenses? Here’s what you need to know: 

1. Necessary dental expenses are deductible.

If you incur bills for necessary dental expenses, in most cases, you can include those bills when filing your tax return. In particular, the list of eligible dental work includes preventative care, fillings, root canals and similar services.

2. Purely cosmetic procedures cannot be included with the medical expenses tax credit.

Unfortunately, the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow you to include cosmetic work when you are calculating your medical expenses tax credit. This ban specifically applies to teeth whitening, but it applies to other purely cosmetic dental procedures as well.

For example, if you have your teeth shaved just for cosmetic reasons, you likely cannot include that cost when factoring your medical expenses tax credit. However, if you have your teeth shaved to address specific issues with your bite, that may be a considered a necessary and deductible procedure.

3. Not all cosmetic dentistry is for purely cosmetic purposes.

Cosmetic dentists specialize in procedures that make your smile look more beautiful, but these procedures aren’t necessarily purely cosmetic. In some cases, they are both cosmetic and necessary.

For example, cosmetic dentists help their patients with dentures, bridges and other solutions for missing teeth. In many cases, this is not about vanity. Instead, it’s about helping the patient to chew or talk properly.

Because of that, you can typically write off these types of bills from a cosmetic dentist when completing your tax return. In fact, the Canada Revenue Agency specifically identifies dentures and dental implants as qualified procedures for the purposes of the medical expenses tax credit.

4. Traveling costs can be considered medical expenses.

If you have to travel to receive medical or dental care, you can also include the cost of your travel expenses when calculating your medical expense tax credit. For example, if you need a cosmetic dentist to fit you for dentures, but there are no cosmetic dentists in your area, you can write off the cost of train tickets or gas, and if you travel more than 80 km to reach a cosmetic dentist for necessary dental work, you can write off the cost of your accommodations and some meals.

For further assistance, contact a local dental office, such as Willow West Dental Office Crowns & Bridges.

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3 Oral Hygiene Tips for Thrombocytopenia Sufferers

Thrombocytopenia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low platelet count. Platelets are blood cells that are essential for clotting, so without enough of them, you will bleed easily and will have a harder time stopping the bleeding. This can cause problems throughout your body, and your mouth is no exception. Thrombocytopenia can make your gums bleed, and when this happens, it’s hard to keep up your oral care routine. Here are three tips for caring for your mouth when you have thrombocytopenia.

Use a softer tooth brush

When you have thrombocytopenia, your gums bleed easily, so you need to choose a toothbrush that won’t aggravate your gum tissue and cause bleeding. Your dentist may tell you to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. If even a soft-bristled brush causes bleeding, you may need to use a sponge toothette, instead. Sponge toothettes are similar to toothbrushes, but instead of bristles, they have sponges; these sponges are more delicate on your gums.

Avoid flossing

Dentists generally recommend flossing your teeth at least once a day, but when you have thrombocytopenia, this can be dangerous. This is because it’s easy to cut your gums while you’re flossing; this bleeding may be hard to get under control. The other issue with flossing while your platelets are low is that it predisposes your gums to infections.

Once your platelet count has returned to a safe level, you’ll be able to start flossing again. Your dentist will let you know when it’s safe to resume flossing.

Use a mouth rinse

If you’re not able to brush and floss due to excessive bleeding, you still need to find a way to keep your mouth clean. Your dentist may tell you to use an antiseptic mouth rinse until your platelet levels have returned to normal. Mouth rinses aren’t a permanent substitute for brushing and flossing, but for short periods of time, they can help control bacteria inside your mouth as well as provide some protection against cavities and gum disease.

Your dentist may recommend an appropriate over-the-counter mouth rinse or prescribe you a stronger mouth rinse, depending on your needs. Your dentist will tell you how often you should use the product. Make sure to start brushing and flossing again as soon as it is safe for you to do so.

Thrombocytopenia can make it hard for you to keep your teeth and gums clean, but with the help of your dentist, you can maintain your oral hygiene routine. For further information or advice, go to websites of dental establishments in your area.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Erythematous Candidiasis

Erythematous candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by candida albicans. This fungus is naturally present inside your mouth, but in some cases, the fungus can overgrow and lead to an infection. Here are four things you need to know about this infection.

What are the signs of erythematous candidiasis?

If you have erythematous candidiasis, your oral soft tissues will be red and sore and you may notice red patches. The tongue is usually the most affected. If your tongue is affected, you will see a red patch on the back two-thirds of your tongue.

Who is at risk?

Candida albicans is a normal part of the oral environment, and for people with healthy immune systems, this isn’t a problem as the immune system keeps the fungi in check. However, candida albicans can be an opportunistic pathogen in people with compromised immune systems. The following groups of people are at risk of this infection:

  • AIDS patients;
  • Organ transplant recipients;
  • Cancer patients;
  • Diabetics;
  • Smokers;
  • Very young or very old people;
  • Steroid inhaler users;
  • Others with compromised immune systems.

Other factors can also make you more likely to develop erythematous candidiasis. Poor oral hygiene and wearing dentures overnight can help the fungus grow within your mouth. If you are immunocompromised, make sure to follow a good oral hygiene routine, and if you wear dentures, make sure to follow the care directions from your dentist.

How is it treated?

Your dentist will treat your infection with antifungal medications. These medications can take a few different forms, including pills and mouth rinses. Your dentist will choose the medication best suited for your individual case. Make sure to keep taking the antifungals for as long as your dentist recommends; stopping the treatment early can allow the fungi to become antifungal-resistant.

If possible, contributing factors will also need to be controlled. Your dentist may recommend brushing and flossing more often, cleaning your dentures with an anti-fungal denture cleaner, and taking your dentures out when you go to sleep.

How common is erythematous candidiasis?

Erythematous candidiasis is a fairly common infection among immunocompromised people. One study of patients who had received kidney transplants found that 3.8% of them suffered from erythematous candidiasis while no one in the control group did. A study of HIV-positive people found that 48% of them had erythematous candidiasis.

If you are immunocompromised and notice red patches on your tongue or on your other oral tissues, see a dentist, like Prairie Mall Dental Clinic, for treatment right away.

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How Flap Surgery Can Save Your Teeth

Periodontitis is a gum disease that affects millions of Americans. The disease causes the gums in your mouth to become sore and inflamed, and when the body works to fight the disease, your gums can be adversely affected. Your dentist may refer you to a periodontists to have a specialist treat the disease. One treatment being used to address severe periodontitis is called flap surgery. Flap surgery is a procedure periodontists use to remove the plaque and tartar that can cause gum damage and tooth loss. Here is how flap surgery works.

Local Anesthetic

The periodontist will numb the area they will be performing the flap surgery. The surgery is typically performed on a couple of teeth at a time to limit the amount of soreness in your mouth while you heal.

Expose Periodontal Pocket

The periodontist needs to get to the periodontal pockets to remove the plaque bacteria and tartar that form along the root structure of your teeth. A scalpel is used to cut two vertical incisions on both sides of the tooth they are working on. The gums are then folded back (which forms a “flap”) to expose the periodontal pocket.

Clean the Pockets

A periodontist will then use a hand-held scalar, an ultrasonic scalar, or a combination of both the scrape the plaque and tartar off of your teeth all the way down to your jaw bone. The periodontist will check the condition of your gum tissue and remove any that is infected or dying.

Bone Resurfacing

The periodontist will also be looking for sunken areas on the surface of your teeth caused by the bone loss that often accompanies the gum damage when you have periodontitis. They will grind down any irregular surfaces so the gums adhere to the sides of your teeth better once the gums heal after surgery. This also helps control your periodontal disease by limiting the places the plaque and tartar like to hide in.

Closing the Incisions

The periodontist will fold the gum flap back into place and use sutures to hold everything together while the gums heal. Many periodontists like to use dissolvable sutures that will melt away before your next office visit.

Your teeth and gums will be healthier and cleaner after the procedure is done, and you should be able to avoid further damage and tooth loss that typically comes with advanced periodontal disease. If you have red, swollen, and bleeding gums, you should see a dentist right away to find out if you have the disease and to start a treatment plan that could save your gums and teeth.

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3 Potential Causes Of A White Patch On The Soft Tissue Of Your Mouth

Optimal oral health consists of proper maintenance of both the hard teeth and bone on your mouth as well as the soft tissues of the tongue, gums, lips, and inner cheek area. Have you recently noticed a discolored white patch on your soft tissue? Make an appointment with your dentist for a proper evaluation and diagnosis, but here are a few of the potential causes.

Cheek Patch: Linea Alba

Do you have a white patch on your inner cheek that looks like a horizontal line near where your teeth come together? This is likely a harmless condition called linea alba. 

Linea alba is simply an area of soft tissue that has slightly worn away due to the friction of the neighboring teeth or the usage of oral tobacco products. While linea alba usually doesn’t require any treatment, you should still visit the dentist to make sure that’s what is causing the discoloration.

If you have linea alba and recurring cheek pain, you might have a crossbite that’s pushing the teeth on one side of your mouth further into the cheek than normal. Orthodontic treatment can help correct this bite issue.

Tongue Patch: Sloughing or Thrush

White discoloration on the tongue can stem from the sloughing of dead cells. Sloughing tends to happen when you start using a new oral healthcare product that contains sodium lauryl sulphate, which is overly abrasive and drying for some people. Switching to an oral healthcare product that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate can clear up the problem over time.

An oral yeast infection called thrush can also cause tongue discoloration. Thrush tends to cover the entire surface of the tongue in soft-feeling white sores that can break open while brushing. Those with systemic illnesses such as cancer or diabetes are more likely to get thrush. Your dentist can treat the thrush with a course of antifungal medications.

Any Soft Tissue: Leukoplakia

White patches appearing on the sides of the tongue, inside the cheeks, or — more rarely — on the gums can be caused by leukoplakia. The exact cause of leukoplakia is unknown but the condition tends to be more common in elderly patients and might be due to friction-based irritation, or tobacco or alcohol use. A textured version — called hairy leukoplakia — is more common in those with a weakened immune system. 

Treatment will vary due to the cause. Avoiding oral irritants such as spicy or acidic foods or tobacco can be enough to make the leukoplakia clear up on its own. Otherwise, your dentist might apply a topical medication, prescribe an antiviral, or surgically remove the white layer.

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Four Foods To Avoid In The First Few Weeks And Months Of Wearing Dentures

Getting a good pair of dentures is essential if you want to protect your mouth and maintain a somewhat normal diet into old age. But annoyingly, having to apply more adhesive and refit a new pair of dentures that fell out isn’t uncommon while you and your body are first getting used to your dentures. If you’re careful to avoid these four foods in the first few weeks and months of wearing dentures, you’re significantly less likely to have excessive problems.


Steak is generally so tough that it can only be broken apart with the help of your front incisors. Even if you cut your steak up into little pieces to make it compatible with your dentures, your back molars will have a very hard time grinding it down without causing your whole denture set to become dislodged.

However, since steak isn’t as hard as something like a large nut, you won’t need to avoid it indefinitely after you get your new pair of dentures. Just refraining from eating steak for a few months to give your dentures time to set in your mouth is sufficient.

Gummy Bears

Even though gummy bears are relatively soft, their gelatinous nature means that you’ll have to press your molars together quite forcefully in order to break them apart into pieces that you can swallow. Since doing this will put more strain on your molars than a set of dentures can normally take in the first few weeks of wearing them, avoiding gummy bears for at least a short amount of time is advisable.


Rice and other vegetables that come in small pieces have a very annoying tendency to get under a new pair of dentures and disrupt the adhesive holding the teeth in place. So until your mouth adapts to your dentures so well that no gaping holes are showing between your gums and your teeth, avoid vegetables with lots of small parts in them like rice.

Hot Soup

Any hot liquid will wreak havoc on the partially exposed adhesive layer binding your dentures to your mouth. Since tomato and other types of soup are generally much thicker than water, they have an even greater potential to push around and dislodge part of the adhesive.

Just as with rice, waiting until your mouth adapts to your dentures before you consume hot soup is a good idea. Even after a few months have passed, you should never let a hot liquid into your mouth that’s capable of burning your tongue.

You don’t need to swear off eating interesting foods just because of a new pair of dentures. On the contrary, if you maintain good eating habits while your mouth adapts to your new dentures, there aren’t too many foods that you’ll need to avoid eating indefinitely.

For more information, contact Calgary Denture Clinic or a similar location.

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