1. What are the pros and cons of bleaching my teeth?

    One of the most frequently asked questions at Preservation Dental is: "What are the pros and cons of bleaching my teeth?" According to Dr. William Demray, the number one rule for the natural, most appealing look is that the whiteness of your teeth should not be equal to or greater than the whiteness of your eyes.

    The pros – It does work. It lightens your teeth. The important distinction to be aware of is: bleach lightens your teeth, not whitens your teeth. Internal stains, far below the level of enamel, can be neutralized by bleaching products containing various peroxides. The process helps return your teeth to their natural color. You should be cautious with regard to bleaching. Claims that some toothpastes whiten teeth are based on the removal of surface stains by increased levels of ingredients that contain abrasive materials. Few contain bleaching agents.

    The cons – the results of bleaching are not permanent. Any colored food or drink re-stains the teeth, especially right after bleaching. Bleaching can be injurious to the soft tissue of the mouth and dehydrates the teeth. It is also implicated in creating tooth sensitivity that may be reversed by re-hydration, application of desensitizing chemicals and time away from the bleaching process.  Over-bleaching can result in increasing translucency of the teeth, resulting in blue-ish or gray-ish looking teeth.

  2. What’s the deal between silver fillings or white fillings?

    Both are good materials and are approved by the American Dental Association. They are not always interchangeable. Silver fillings (also known as amalgams) do contain mercury that is chemically bound to other components to form a highly stable intermetallic compound. It does not contain free methyl mercury. It is one of the most widely studied dental filling materials. While it is not an aesthetically pleasing material, it is very economical and functional. Amalgam bans by some countries were initiated by environmental ministers, not medical or dental scientists. White fillings (also known as composites) while aesthetically pleasant by nature are subject to shrinkage while curing and contain Bisphenol A, a controversial compound found in plastics. Composites work well in the biting surface of a tooth, but not as well on certain side surfaces (the proximal side) of the tooth. The only dental material without some form of toxicity controversy is gold.

  3. Does soda pop give me cavities?

    Soda pop is a double dental whammy. Sugar and acid are on the attack. Dental decay is the result of acid attack on the teeth. Certain types of bacteria produce acid as a bi-product of consuming carbohydrates, especially sugar. Soda pops are acidic by nature. A combination of an acidic solution containing sugar in the presence of bacteria doubles the acid attack on teeth. Popular colas have a ph level of around 2; the least acidic soda is root beer with a ph level more than 4. Remember ph 7 is neutral. 

On a side note – sour candies get the tartness from maleic acid.