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How to lighten up your smile for the holidays

Along with a snowy white Christmas, everyone longs for a bright white smile for their holiday gatherings and photos.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they would like to improve most regarding their smile. The overwhelming response: white teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontists found that nearly 90 percent of its patients request tooth whitening.

Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer with Western Dental, offers helpful teeth whitening information and tips below:

  • Why do teeth change colors? Coffee, tea and red wine are three primary staining culprits. So are tobacco (tar and nicotine), aging, and certain medications (some antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure).
  • How does teeth whitening work? Whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, two tooth bleaches. They break stains into smaller pieces, making the color less concentrated and the teeth brighter and whiter.
  • Does whitening work on all teeth? No. Bleach works well on yellow teeth, but not as much on brown teeth. And gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening doesn’t work on caps, veneers, crowns and fillings.

Three ways to put a shine back in your smile:

Whitening ToothpastesWestern Dental recommends Opalesence as a safe toothpaste that has polishing agents to provide additional stain removal effectiveness.

In-Office BleachingChairside appointments usually require only one office visit at Western Dental. A dentist will apply either a protective gel to the gums or a rubber shield to protect the gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. A special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-Home Whitening KitsWestern Dental suggests using kits that include 10 upper and lower whitening trays with a 10-percent hydrogen peroxide gel solution that are applied to each arch for an hour a day, whitening teeth up to six shades lighter. Over-the-counter whitening strips are available, but the results are not as dramatic.

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town!
We invite you to join Santa for a free holiday photo opportunity at your Western Dental Kids dental office! Bring your little ones and your camera to snap holiday pictures with Santa during the dates and times below. Check below to see when Santa is coming! Baldwin Park 14510 Baldwin Park Towne Center, Suite G-1Baldwin Park, CA 91706 Dec 6th from 1:30pm-5pmDec 7th from 1:30pm-5pm Burbank 1400 West Olive AvenueBurbank, CA 91506 Dec 21st from 11:30am-1:30pm   Carson 20700 S Avalon Blvd, Suite 600Carson, CA 90746 Dec 20th from 1:30pm-3:30pm   Crenshaw 3015 Crenshaw Blvd, Suite BLos Angeles, CA 90016 Dec 21st from 11:30am-1:30pm   Eagle Rock 2700 Colorado Blvd, Suite 263Eagle Rock, CA 90041 Dec 4th from 11:30am-1:30pm   East LA 4900 Whittier BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90022 Dec 13th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   El Monte 11017 East Valley BlvdEl Monte, CA 91731 Dec 4th from 3pm-5pm   Fresno 3920 North Cedar AveFresno, CA 93726 Dec 21st from 10am-2pm   Hollywood 1155 North Vermont AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90029 Dec 5th from 3pm-5pm   Huntington Park 1357 East Florence AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90001 Dec 11th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Lynwood 10900 Long Beach Blvd, Ste 105Lynwood, CA 90262 Dec 14th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Modesto Prescott 1705 Prescott Rd.,Modesto, CA 95350 Dec 17th from 1pm-4:30pm   Norwalk – Firestone 10965 Firestone Blvd, Ste BNorwalk, CA 90650 Dec 12th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Norwalk – Pioneer 14119 Pioneer BlvdNorwalk, CA 90650 Dec 12th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Oxnard 1200 Saviers RoadOxnard, CA 93033 Dec 17th from 2:30pm-4:30pm   Panorama City 8214 Van Nuys BlvdPanorama City, CA 91402 Dec 18th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Paramount 14101 Paramount BlvdParamount, CA 90723 Dec 20th from 4pm-6pm   Pasadena 1127 East Green StreetPasadena, CA 91106 Dec 18th from 3pm-5pm   Santa Ana 2144 South Bristol StreetSanta Ana, CA 92704 Dec 7th from 11:30am-1:30pm   San Jose 1153 S. King Rd Suite B,San Jose, CA 95122 Dec 7th from 1:30pm-5pm   South Gate 4444 Tweedy BlvdSouth Gate, CA 90280 Dec 10th from 11:30am-1:30pm   Sunnyvale 897 W. El Camino RealSunnyvale, CA 94087 Dec 1st from 1pm-4pm   Whittier 15634 Whittwood LaneWhittier, CA 90603 Dec 19th from 11:30am-1:30pm  
How to choose the right Halloween candy
It’s October and time for Halloween! It's great fun for children, trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, collecting candy, coming home to admire their haul, and sometimes stockpiling it for months. But dentists aren’t nearly as enamored with Halloween, because they know the possible ramifications of eating candy: not only damage to the teeth and gums but also possibly to a child's overall health. You already know that having healthy teeth and gums has an impact that goes far beyond the mouth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, periodontal disease and infection, which can impact a patient's heart, lungs, and entire body. Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental & Orthodontics, has five tips on candy for patients of all ages: 1. Choose candy carefully. Avoid hard candy, such as lollipops, and other sweets that stay in the mouth for a long time. These candies increase the risk for tooth decay. 2. Avoid chewy candy. Chewy, sticky treats, such as caramels or gummies, are particularly damaging as they are high in sugar, spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth, and are more difficult for saliva to break down. 3. Chocolate is preferable. Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and can be eaten easily, decreasing the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. 4. Eat Halloween candy only after mealtime. Parents should avoid letting their kids snack on candy throughout the day. Saliva production increases during meals, helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles. 5. Take preventive steps. Drinking water intermittently helps to keep the sugar from resting in the grooves of their teeth. And while you might be tired of hearing it, brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly before going to bed are crucial. By exercising good common sense, you’ll maintain a bright smile and healthy gums throughout the Halloween season and beyond. Happy Halloween!