Tag Archives: teeth whitening

6 Remarkable Ways To Get A Smile Makeover

6 Remarkable Ways To Get A Smile MakeoverEver seen a hot model on the cover of a magazine? Of course you have. The seductive pose, the trendy outfit (or part of it) and often, a dazzling smile.

Have you stopped to think why that model, male or female, has beautiful white teeth?

Because it’s attractive and it sells.

Granted most of us will not be making the next cover of Glamor, but what if you’re single and looking for that special someone? Or if you’re hoping to ace that job interview? Or maybe, when you look in the mirror your smile doesn’t make you look as young as you feel?

Ladies and gentleman, the eyes may be the window to your soul but your smile holds the key.

A beautiful smile is by no means the only deciding factor, but it sure does make you–and your case–a whole lot more appealing. Study after study reports people with an attractive smile are perceived to be more friendly, intelligent and successful.

So how do you get there? These days, there are several options available, at all cost levels. Whether you’re a busy teacher, a high level executive or a parent who chauffeurs his kids to the orthodontist every month and forgets about himself, check these out:

1. Teeth Whitening

From over-the-counter whitening strips to home whitening kits to in-office treatments, teeth whitening has never been so accessible or affordable. With proper follow up (yes, you do have to do that) and use of a desensitizing toothpaste (like Sensodyne) for sensitivity, whitening is the simplest place to start. It may be the only boost you need for a brighter smile, fresher smile.

Add an electric toothbrush to your regimen for daily stain removal, and get double the benefit.

2. Cosmetic re-contouring

Minor chips at the edges of front teeth can leave your them looking ragged, and often they’re too small to place fillings. But some quick and snazzy smoothing can make them look better in just a few minutes. This also works in some cases where teeth are uneven in height and the discrepancy is minor. Ta-daah! Talk about a quick, easy and painless fix.

3. Clear aligners to straighten teeth

Had braces years ago but a few teeth have shifted slightly? Our clear aligner system can get your teeth back in line, usually in a few months without traditional braces.

4. Cosmetic fillings

The days of silver fillings are (mostly) behind us. That silver tooth will end up in the white range in most dental offices today. In my practice, rarely do I hear the words “I miss how dark my tooth use to look!”. Okay, never.

5. Porcelain Veneers

For resistant or internal dark stains that have nothing to do with drinking red wine (so drink away), or misaligned front teeth that would rather bypass braces, porcelain veneers are a great option. You can change the shape, size and color of your teeth and a couple of weeks later, end up with a brand new smile.

Caveat: you have to be a good candidate, or else these will not be successful long-term.

6. Cosmetic crowns (“caps”)

Despite my almost daily offer to add bling to teeth, I have yet to see any takers. I could easily add a diamond or a blinking LED light to that front tooth and virtually guarantee a one-0f-a-kind smile that stands out.

Surprisingly, my patients prefer beautiful, tooth colored crowns. And because they do, we have porcelain crowns to match and blend in with the rest of your pearlies.

As you can see, there are several ways to get a nicer, brighter smile without breaking your budget. While a full makeover is optimal for some, most times a few small or short term treatments can get you smiling bigger, brighter and look your best. Remarkable!

Want to know more about cosmetic procedures, or ready to start on your best smile?

Call or email us today!

(214) 522-3110                  www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Teeth Whitening

7 Ways To Whiten Your Teeth, Without Professional Help

DIY Whiten TeethYour precious teeth. You know they’ve got the right to be as white as they can.

You’ve looked and looked in the mirror…..then looked some more, willing them to be their whitest.

But, to no avail.

Actually, the answer may be a lot easier than you’d expect.

There are two paths to a whiter, brighter smile

  • slow, steady, continuous–things you can do to improve your smile
  • faster, as-needed (or wanted)–whitening products and whitening options dental professionals can provide.

Your results will be better and last longer if you do both.

Here are the “slow and steady”, but very effective, ways:

1. Use an electric toothbrush

A good quality electric toothbrush will not only clean your teeth and gums more effectively, it will also remove stain better than a manual toothbrush (unless you’ve got sonic hands), especially when combined with a whitening toothpaste.

2. Floss

There just doesn’t seem to be getting away from this one, is there?

If keeping plaque and gum-disease away are not enough motivation, think of it this way: with last night’s dinner still stuck between your teeth, how are your toothpaste and toothbrush bristles going to remove stain?

3. Modify soda and other dark liquid consumption

Dark liquids may excite your taste buds, but in terms of stain (and many, to your general health)–they’re doing you no favors. One solution is to use a straw to drink them, which reduces exposure to stain.

Of course, it’s not exactly a classy way to enjoy a glass of red wine (the waiter at Chez Paree might frown), so try a different solution–sip some water right after, and be sure to brush as soon as possible.

It also helps to drink your sodas and ice teas in a few minutes rather than sipping on them for hours.

4. Curb/quit smoking

If vanity can ever be the final straw, let it be for white teeth. Smoking will take your teeth nowhere but the dark side. Cut back on (or cut out) smoking and the stain will go with it. Pipe stains can be especially tenacious.

5. Eat raw fruits and vegetables

The most delicious tip of the bunch. Crunchy foods like raw apples and celery, and fruits like strawberries have natural stain-removal properties. If you eat these foods anyway, give yourself bonus points!

6. Keep up with your dental visits

Those dental tools may not be much to look at but boy, in the right hands–like your dentist’s or dental hygienist’s–not only do they provide better oral health but get to nooks and crannies you can’t.

Stay on schedule with your teeth cleaning and check up appointments and they’ll get your pearlies spruced up before stain gets out of hand.

7. Start early

Don’t shoot the messenger, but……age definitely contributes to staining of teeth. With the exception of internal stain due to antibiotics or other developmental reasons, external stain is a factor of our oral care and diet, and gets more stubborn over time.

Start good habits (as listed above) early, and maintain them, and you’ll reap the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Ready for a brighter smile? Then get started on these tips today. Combine them with professional whitening, and you’ve not only got a winning combination, but a winning smile too 🙂

Call us: (214) 522-3110         Visit us: www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Oral Health, Smile, Smoking, Teeth Whitening

7 Tips for the Best Teeth Whitening Experience, Ever

You want a smile that dazzles.

That entices.

A smile that gleams, that lights up your face and the room.

And you can get it.

Teeth whitening may be the only thing standing between you and that bright, white smile you desire. Luckily, there are plenty of options available today.

Your first stop may be partaking the offerings of the drug store i.e. whitening strips. If that gets you results, great. Mission accomplished.

If that doesn’t quite do the trick, head over to your dentist’s office for the next level of whitening pizazz.

From your dentist, the take-home kit is (in my opinion) THE way to go. It includes trays made to fit your teeth that you keep for good, and enough whitening gel to get started plus a few touch ups. For the money, it’s the best bang for your whitening buck.

This option is truly individual, and can be used as much or as little as needed to get the result to you want.

Once you get home and get into DIY mode, however, following through the process can be confusing.

So, to avoid getting a bald spot from scratching your head (pass the Rogaine), here are some tips to help make it a comfortable, convenient and easy experience:

1. The best time to whiten your teeth . . .

. . . is right after you get your teeth cleaned professionally (cuz your 15 seconds at home isn’t “professional”). It’s not critical, but this is when your teeth are their squeakiest clean, with all external stains scrubbed off.

2. The all-important PREP

Before you start whitening, start brushing your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity. This prepares your teeth for whitening and keeps sensitivity ‘zings’ to a minimum. Continue using it during and a few days after you’re done.

3. Follow the instructions

Your dentist will go over some do’s and don’ts regarding how long to wear your trays and for how many days. Different brands means times can vary. This is simple, but easy to forget.

4. Less vs. more

Many people make the mistake of using too much gel in their trays. Result: waste of gel and more sensitivity. Only use a pea-size amount, primarily for your front 8 teeth (top and bottom). Most people don’t show any more when they smile (unless you’re Julia Roberts), so whitening your molars waaay back there is unnecessary.

5. Keep ’em clean

Remember to keep up with flossing, and preferably brush with an electric toothbrush, which minimizes surface stains. And don’t forget to brush the inside of your trays to keep them clean. If they get gunky, they’ll smell funky. Eww.

6. Keep ’em cool

When not in use, put the gel and trays together in a plastic baggy in the fridge. This helps prolongs the shelf life of the gel, and keeping everything together prevents them from getting misplaced (yes, that happens more than you might think).

7. Don’t fall for the hype

No matter how easy the TV commercials make it look, whitening is not a one time deal. Maintenance, i.e., “touch ups” are needed periodically to keep your pearly whites gleaming. Over time food and drink can dull your teeth, so stay on a regular schedule (once a month or few months, depending on how white you want your teeth). It’s like working out-you have to keep doing it to get the results you want.

These simple yet often overlooked details can make a big difference, making a messy and cumbersome process into one that’s easy and comfortable enough to repeat as and when needed.

As far as I can see, a whiter smile is the easiest way to add some bling to yourself. What’re you waiting for?

Questions? Comments? Or are you ready to start? Call or email us at:

(214) 522-3110             www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Smile, Teeth Whitening

Easy Tips to Keep Your Smile Holiday Happy and Healthy

Temps in the 60s. A light sweater. Tamales. Pecan pie.

In other words, Christmas!

That’s how we do it in Texas.

The anticipation builds for months, and for a few days we get together with family and friends to celebrate one of the (if not THE) happiest times of the year.

With much food, drink and merry-ing, you’re bound to use your teeth at some point. Maybe to chew, to smile, perhaps even to open a beer bottle. Don’t smirk…it happens.

Having a dental difficulty is hardly convenient in everyday life, let alone the holiday season. While it helps if you’ve been keeping up with your regular check-ups, it makes good sense to prevent getting into a pickle.

Here are some easy tips to keep your teeth out of holiday hoopla:

From yummy to crummy

Peanut brittle, peppermint bark, toffee chunks–as delicious as they may be, they’re not kind to your teeth, especially if you have a lot of old fillings. These hard treats can chip or break them quite easily. Bite carefully, in small portions and be mindful while chewing.

Floss schmoss

If you’re gonna do the crime, you gotta make the time….to floss. Sugar consumption goes way up during the holidays, and so should your flossing. Don’t skimp on brushing your teeth either.

Glam ’em up

Holiday time means lots of pictures. Don’t be caught with anything less than your brightest smile. Be sure to touch-up your teeth whitening at home a few days before and you can show off your pearlies with confidence. 

Get a handle on these handy tips and any of you city-slickers will enjoy a family hoedown without any tooth trouble on the horizon.

Yee-haw.

Happy Holidays, y’all.

(214) 522-3110         www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Emergency

Are Veneer Or We Far? Your Porcelain Guide Is Here

99 porcelain veneers on the wall, 99 porcelain veneeeers……

take one down and pass it around, 98 porcelain veneers on the wall!

Yikes! This song makes no sense whatsoever. You can’t put porcelain veneers on a wall.

They go on your TEETH.

And for a lot of people, veneers have given them the smile they’ve always wanted.  

Luckily, no human has ever been discovered with 99 teeth, so the good news is that they’re quite achievable. In fact, they can be a reality.

Your reality.

If mother nature did not bless you with naturally straight, even, white teeth (the nerve!), what is a guy or gal to do in the 21st century? If a prettier smile is what your heart desires, well, modern cosmetic dentistry can offer you some options.

Might you be a candidate for braces or Invisalign? It may take some time but getting your teeth all lined up may do the trick. Perhaps add a dash of whitening to glam them up.

Not enough? Well, next step up might be some tooth colored fillings or minor re-shaping that you’d be amazed could make a major difference.

If you need to make some bold changes, however, it would be advisable to have a sit-down chat with your dentist about veneers.

But what are veneers, aka “laminates”?

Veneers, my friends, are thin shells of porcelain (or sometimes tooth-colored filling material, called “resin veneers”) that are placed on your front teeth to improve their appearance.

If you have healthy but misaligned, severely discolored, chipped or uneven teeth, veneers could be a GREAT choice.

Typically, a minimal amount of enamel is removed from the front of your teeth, and 2 to 3 weeks later, veneers are bonded to your teeth. They can be made to match any tooth shade, and once placed; voila! Straight, even, white teeth are yours.

Porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 5-10 years, sometimes longer, and are much less invasive than crowns. They look very natural, and your smile becomes a thing of beauty once again.

Before you decide on an option, a pro/con discussion is always advisable.

If your teeth have decay, you have gum disease, you clench or grind your teeth, you chew ice, or your bite is off kilter, you may need to drop veneers off your list.

Smile transformations are possible; miracles, perhaps not. Be sure not to force it, or else you’ll find yourself in the land of lamination damnation. *Shudder.

Costs vary, and most insurances don’t cover them. And no, you can’t skimp on brushing and flossing. If they chip or break, repairs are rarely possible, so you may need to wear a night guard to protect them.

Be honest, and realistic, with yourself and your dentist so you both pick what’s best for you.

But be careful; if you make the RIGHT choice, you may end up with a smile better than you’ve ever imagined, and won’t be able to help yourself giving it away, perhaps 99 times a day.

If you have questions, we have answers! Feel free to ask in the comments, or visit our website, or give us a call. See, lots of options!

www.raodentistry.com     (214) 522-3110

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Filed under Cosmetic, Teeth Whitening

7 Things You Should Already Know About Your Dentist

In 2008, I started working with a company called Demandforce, and haven’t looked back.

Demandforce enables our practice to send email and text reminders for appointments, and newsletters to keep you updated about what’s going on with us.

This makes our scheduling process very efficient, and more importantly, gives our patients a convenience much-needed in today’s busy life. This service is opt-in only, so you decide if you want it.

And that’s not even the best part.

The best part, in my opinion, is the ability for you to tell us how we’re doing on surveys and reviews that are emailed to you after your appointment.

The survey asks 10 short questions regarding your visit, and the reviews are based on a standard 1-5 star system. Both give you opportunity to leave comments.

To date, we have about 250 reviews.

I can say this with confidence today, because we have some damn good feedback. Not to say we’ve never received not-so-glowing words, but overall, I am pleased, proud, humbled and grateful to hear that all our efforts are worth it.

A sampling (7), if you will:

i love my dentist

This is such a fabulous and caring practice. They treat our whole family- and by treat, I mean with respect, care and love. My children love visiting Dr. Rao, Michele, and Tambi because they know they will be gentle and kind.

Cynthia, February 2011

Always a great experience

If you can post “I’m excited for my dental appointment this afternoon!” on your Facebook wall, you know you’ve found the right dental practice. I am pleased to say that I’m one of the lucky ones who can make that proclamation and be 100% honest with my family and friends. When you visit Rao Dentistry, it feels like your spending time with close friends. The office is spotless, the staff is unbelievably friendly, and the care is always painless.

Gretchen, May, 2011

Highest recommendaiton

From hygienists, receptionists to dentist…the best dental experience I’ve had in 36 years!

Katherine, April, 2011

Teeth whitening 101

I received an excellent education on home teeth whitening systems, even though my gear was purchased with a prior dentist.

Amy, October 2010

Great, very helpful

I had an emergency, and they got me right in and taken care of. They went the extra mile for me and I’m deeply appreciative. When you’re in pain, you just need someone to help you. I have been a patient of Dr. Rao’s from her start. She and her staff have been great to deal with. Very professional.

Jodie, November 2009

Wonderful time at the dentist

I wish I had known about Dr. Rao’s office before. I wouldn’t have dreaded going to the dentist. I really enjoyed the relaxed, comfortable, positive atmosphere. No one scolded me for going a year w/o an appt either. (Dentists often reprimand adults like their children.) Competent, gentle, knowledgable. Enjoyed downtown views from chair. Most Importantly, not scared to go back.

Jennifer, July 2009

Great

Dr. Rao makes going to the dentist easy.

David, September 2008

There’s a lot more where that came from, and you can read those here. For us, they add fuel to the fire and keep us trying to do our the best 🙂

Do you have more to say? We want to know! Call us at (214) 522-3110, or say it right here in the comments.

www.raodentistry.com

PS: If you like what you see, please share it!

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Filed under Experience

5 Embarrassing Questions You’re Afraid to Ask . . . Answered!

Have you ever lost your nerve when trying to ask a question, for fear that it was too embarrassing?

I bet you have. So have I.

Worrying what others may think often inhibits us from getting the solutions we want. As a result, the problem becomes a nagging stress and we either try to ignore it (bad idea) or watch from the sidelines as it gets bigger (even worse idea).

Questions about teeth and oral health are no exception, so to make it easy for you, here is a list of some questions you might hesitate to ask, and their answers.

1. Q: How can I get rid of bad breath?

A: Unless you are open to relocating to a desert island to live a life of solitude, bad breath should be acknowledged and addressed. The easiest way to fresher breath is one that most people neglect-brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth and floss! Beyond this, avoid mouthwashes high in alcohol (too drying), smoking (too many toxins), and dehydration (so drink plenty of water).

2. Q: Do I really need teeth whitening?

A: While there is no functional benefit to whiter teeth, there is no denying our society considers it an attractive feature. From boosting your self-image to creating a good impression at your job interview, a winning smile can make a difference. With so many safe and affordable options available today, you can definitely give it a try. And if you are happy with the way your teeth look as they are, go on your merry way.

3. Q: Which floss is the best?

A: The kind you use in between your teeth and go up and down with. No kidding.

4. Q: Do I really need x-rays on my teeth every year?

A: Unfortunately, dentists are human and thus not blessed with Superman-like x-ray vision. To make matters worse, cavities in between teeth, random tumors in the jaw bone or bone defects positively refuse to show themselves to the naked eye. So if you want your dentist to provide you with best care he/she can with their non-superhero powers, the answer is “yes”. (However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.)

5. Q: Why should I get my teeth cleaned every 6 months?

A:  Maintenance. Almost anything worth having requires consistent effort, and that includes a healthy human body. The 6-month teeth cleaning schedule is based on how long it takes for bacteria in your mouth to grow to levels that can increase risk of decay and gum disease. Some people need to be seen even sooner. At the end of the day, however, it is a recommendation, not law. Discuss it with your dentist to see which fits you best.

I will also add that almost all dental insurances cover two check-ups and cleanings per year, and if dental fear is a concern, click here.

I hope you found these answers helpful, and I encourage you to ask these (and other) questions of your dentist. Just so you know, any good dentist will NOT find them embarrassing at all. In fact, your honesty will be appreciated and so will the opportunity to help solve problems and be of service!

Have more questions, embarrassing or not? Call (214) 522-3110, ask on our Facebook page here, or in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com

PS: It is our aim to make this blog a helpful (and somewhat entertaining 😉 ) resource for YOU. We would love for you to be interactive and offer feedback, so don’t hesitate-get your fingers tapping on the keyboard and let us know!

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Filed under Oral Health, Teeth Whitening, Wellness