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Dr. Sean Reed

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Posts Tagged: teeth whitening

Brushing Your Tongue – Is It Important?

Most people just brush their teeth day in and day out, not knowing that this won’t remove all the harmful bacteria in their mouth.

For you to gain the best oral health, you need to brush both your teeth and your tongue.

Bacterial Live and Proliferate on Your Tongue

Biofilm, a specific type of bacteria, makes up a huge amount of the bacteria in your mouth. Similar to other bacteria, biofilm will contribute a lot to creating different oral health problems for your teeth, gums and mouth. These bacteria live on your tongue in the ridges and spaces you can’t see. A few hours after brushing your teeth, these bacteria can transfer from your tongue to your teeth. Mouthwash alone won’t eliminate them, which is why brushing your tongue is very important.

Tongue Brushing Tools and Techniques

  • Toothbrush – Focus on brushing your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush or a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner. Start brushing by reaching to the back of your tongue, and working forward toward your mouth’s opening. You must brush the entire tongue’s surface with gentle pressure. After that, rinse with water.
  • Tongue Scraper – This is a flat, soft and flexible plastic tool that is used mainly for brushing your tongue. When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue going forward. Since it lacks bristles, it may be more difficult for you to reach certain areas. After each swipe of the tongue, you must rinse the scraper. Avoid using the scraper with too much force to prevent tongue sores and bleeding. And since the center of the tongue has the bulk of bacteria, concentrate on this area when scraping.
  • Cleaner – This is an excellent tool for brushing your tongue because this is a scraper with bristles. It combines the best of a scraper and a toothbrush. The bristles, though, are rubber.

How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue, a Prescott, AZ dentist says, must be done at least once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Whenever you feel your mouth is dry or has a foul taste in midday, cleaning your tongue immediately will be the best solution.

Aside from that, consider using a mouthwash rinse after brushing your tongue to moisturize your mouth and to kill other bacteria.

Indeed, maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth is not just about brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to give your tongue sufficient attention to ensure fresh breath and good oral health. Call us today!

How Smoking Affects Your Mouth (and Ways to Treat This)

If you think smoking is bad enough because it destroys your lungs, then you haven’t gotten to the most obvious effects yet.

Tobacco and cigarettes contain tar and nicotine that build up inside your mouth. These gather in between teeth, allowing more bacteria to take refuge in these spaces and attack the surrounding teeth. Since there are about 600 bacterial species that make up the oral microbiome, just imagine how much the act of smoking further aggravates the problem by boosting the growth of the bacteria.

One of the most important things to understand about how smoking affects your mouth is that it also has other effects on your teeth. When plaque or tartar accumulate and harden around your teeth, for example, they create stains, usually yellowish and black in color, that can give you a less attractive smile.

The stains can be very difficult to remove and often cause damage to the surface of your teeth as well. Your teeth are coated with a protective layer called enamel; once the enamel is damaged, bacteria can freely contaminate and infect the core of your teeth, which eventually leads to rotting and extraction.

Another serious effect of smoking is gum disease. Because the nicotine coats the teeth and gums in plaque, oxygen is blocked from properly reaching the bloodstream. This prevents gums from healing as fast as it can, causing in the further development of different kinds of oral diseases. Although smoking can severely damage one’s dental condition, there are ways that can help you treat the damage it has done on your gums and teeth.

Brushing and flossing the right way

Brushing your teeth and flossing should be done the right way in order to achieve optimal results. Brushing three times daily and flossing after every meal is the typical advice, but keep in mind that you also have to do these correctly — you have to use the right strokes and perform the right procedures to remove every bit of tartar stuck on the surface of your teeth. By making a real effort to make a habit out of brushing and flossing regularly, you prevent the cavities from spreading further to your other teeth.

Installing crowns or veneers

When the degree of staining on your teeth is too serious too remove, you can simply cover it up with dental crowns or veneers. These dental solutions can be easily installed by your dentist and would not take too much time to accomplish. They serve as protective coverings and come in a porcelain white color to improve not just function of the teeth, but also their appearance.

Do not allow your teeth to deteriorate and completely lose their beauty. Visit a Prescott, AZ dentist today; these credible dental experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help bring back the perfect smile you lost from smoking.

Dental Health Facts and Fiction

People can become so concerned with their teeth that they tend to believe any information they receive about ways to care for them, which may not always be true or advisable. As a result, they observe dental routines that could be causing more damage to their teeth instead of helping them maintain strong and healthy set of chompers.

Keeping this in mind, it is important to learn about and adopt clinically proven and effective dental habits that you should practice to keep your teeth healthy — and to determine whether a piece of information about dental health is a fact or fiction.

Some examples of dental health facts and fiction include the following:

STATEMENT: Your teeth should be looked at and cleaned by a dentist once a year

VERDICT: Fiction

The frequency of your visits to the dental clinic relies entirely on your dentist and not any self-established schedule. Each person’s dental condition is different from the next one’s, so the recommendations for dental check-ups would depend on the patient’s specific dental needs.

Some individuals with relatively healthy teeth may only need to see their dentist every few months, for example, while others with more delicate or serious dental issues may be advised to head to the dental clinic to undergo treatments or procedures once a month.

Since people consume different kinds of food and drinks, follow different oral hygiene practices, and have varying health conditions that could affect the state of their teeth, mouth and gums, required dental procedures also vary from patient to patient.

STATEMENT: Popcorn is a snack that is good for your teeth

VERDICT: Fiction

Popcorn doesn’t always look the way it does when you buy it at the cinema. Its uncooked form is a hard, tough corn kernel. However, cooking doesn’t always turn every single kernel into soft, tasty and fluffy popcorn, and when your teeth accidentally bite hard on those un-popped kernels, precious white enamel on your teeth might end up chipped or cracked.

And because popcorn is often flavored with butter and powdered artificial cheese and butter, popcorn is not exactly the best choice of food to keep your teeth healthy.

STATEMENT: Sugar is the cause of cavities


It is true that sugary food or drinks cause cavities in teeth. Keep in mind, though, that they are also not the only reasons why people suffer from tartar build-up. There are other harmful chemicals and foreign contaminants that can cause plaque, such as nicotine and alcohol. Meat is also a culprit when it comes to cavity build-up; however, it does not directly affect the surface of your teeth. Instead, meat leftovers get stuck between teeth, allowing bacteria to gather and attack the enamel of your teeth.

In order to get helpful tips for improving the health of your teeth, you can consult dental experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist in a fully equipped dental clinic near you.

Teeth Whitening Options in Prescott

Teeth Whitening Options in PrescottTeeth Whitening Options in Prescott

Teeth whitening is such a popular dental procedure for achieving a great smile. People can use different methods to whiten their teeth — from using kitchen ingredients like baking soda, lemon and salt, to purchasing home teeth whitening kits available at local supermarkets and beauty stations, to professional whitening treatments at dental offices where ideal results can be achieved in a single session.

If you’re in search of the best whitening treatments available that will deliver ideal results fast, these are the teeth whitening options in Prescott you should consider:

The budget-friendliest: Whitening Strips

You can buy these in a set and they usually just cost around $20 to $40 (price always depends on the brand). These are available at local pharmacies and supermarkets, and you can even order them online.

This DIY option delivers ideal results but you will need to go through the whole box (and another) if you want the brightest teeth, so you need to be patient. Also, you need to be meticulous when using whitening strips and coating all your teeth with gel, or else you may end up with uneven colored teeth, says a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist.

The best investment: Custom Bleaching Trays

These are way pricier than whitening strips (price ranges between $150 and $1,500), but you can whiten your teeth more conveniently if you have these custom bleaching trays. You can purchase these from your dentist so you can take the best DIY route to teeth bleaching.

Custom-fit trays are perfect for the even application of whitening gel over all your teeth; plus, they feel very comfortable. Be careful, however, with the whitening gel you use because some on the market can be too harsh. Use whitening gel formulas that have Carbamide Peroxide – they tend to be gentler on the gums compared to Hydrogen Peroxide formulas.

The fastest teeth whitening: Laser Teeth Whitening

Dental offices offer this for $500 or up to $2,500. It’s definitely the costliest option, but if it’s fast whitening you want, this is the option that will deliver that. This treatment uses highly concentrated formulas that are properly activated by the heat and light of the laser. In a single session, you’ll see a significant difference in the shade of your teeth.

However, teeth whitening using laser can cause the teeth to become more sensitive than other options tend to do, but you don’t have to worry much about this because your dentist has solutions that can diminish sensitivity during and after the treatment.

These are the best teeth whitening options in Prescott. Consult with your dentist in Prescott to decide which one to use based on your budget and how fast you want to see target results. Contact the teeth whitening professionals at Horizon Dental Group.


Is Dental Whitening Safe?

Dental WhiteningDental Whitening | Is it Really Safe?

One of the easiest ways to enhance your appearance is to invest in teeth whitening. Studies show that having brighter teeth makes an individual look healthier, younger and more put-together. Some even believe that getting rid of teeth stains and discoloration can result in a more impactful transformation than other forms of makeovers, such as facial cosmetic procedures, can provide. It’s no wonder why statistics from The American Association of Orthodontists reveal that 90 percent of patients request for teeth whitening treatment from their dentist.

Teeth whitening methods have become more varied and sophisticated through the years. Today, patients can choose from a wide range of solutions, including:

  • Dental hygiene products with add-on whitening features such as a whitening toothpaste and whitening mouthwash.
  • At-home solutions such as whitening trays, gels, strips or pens.
  • In-clinic procedures performed by or under the supervision of a dental professional.

Despite its increasing popularity and proven efficacy, many are still hesitant about trying out teeth whitening. Many would like to confirm and are asking, “is dental whitening safe?”

Side Effects of Dental Whitening 

This hesitation may have stemmed from reports of adverse side effects due to the use of inferior, old-school or unsafe products in the early years of teeth whitening. Today, permanent and serious side effects should not be an issue anymore, as whitening solutions have become safer and more effective since teeth whitening technology has also become increasingly sophisticated.

Aside from the advances in technology, another reason why teeth whitening is now safer is the shift in patient perspective and behavior. People now have access to relevant and updated information on dental care and oral care solutions. Thus, they are able to make more informed decisions when it comes to protecting the health and appearance of their teeth. They know that the only way to get the most out of the benefits of teeth whitening is to use only established, expert-approved products and to go only to their trusted dentist for any tooth whitening procedure.

Tooth Sensitivity

One of the most known side effects of whitening your teeth is experiencing tooth sensitivity, which can still happen albeit in very low or negligible intensities, and within a short, temporary period only. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help alleviate the discomfort. Your dentist should also send you off with clear after-care instructions, which you should follow. Within 24 to 48 hours, the sensitivity will completely subside.

To determine if you are qualified to undergo teeth whitening, consult your trusted dentist in Prescott, at Horizon Dental Group. 

How Professional Teeth Whitening Works

Professional Teeth WhiteningHow Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

Aging, some types of foods and beverages and smoking. All of these can stain your teeth and rob these of their luster.

If you want to whiten your teeth and regain your confident smile, one option that you can consider is professional teeth whitening.

What’s the difference?

Professional teeth whitening (also known as in-office whitening, power bleaching, power whitening, chairside whitening and professional whitening) entails the use of bleaching agents in a safe and controlled manner which leads to fast and visible results.

Professional whitening offers a few advantages over over-the-counter remedies. For one, the results are faster. And because the treatment is administered by professionals, you are assured of your safety and comfort. In fact, gum and tooth sensitivity problems which were once associated with the treatment have been virtually eliminated through the use of thicker peroxide gels and desensitizers.

Are you a good candidate for the treatment?

Professional whitening is not for everyone. This treatment is ideal for cases of discoloration due to aging, consumption of foods and beverages, and smoking.

If the cause of your tooth discoloration can be attributed to overexposure to fluoride, trauma, antibiotics, and inorganic causes, professional whitening is not for you.

The treatment is also not recommended for patients with sensitive teeth and gums and those who have teeth which have become transparent due to aging.

How does it work?

Before beginning the treatment, Dr. Mark Costes and Dr. Sean Reed of Horizon Dental will need to prepare your teeth. Your teeth will need to be cleaned to remove the buildup of plaque and other debris. Afterwards, our dentists will carefully examine your teeth and look for dental problems which may lead to irritation while your teeth are being bleached. In some cases, pictures of your teeth may be taken and the color of these may be measured against a shade guide.

The actual treatment is pretty straightforward and should not involve any pain or discomfort.

The treatment begins with the insertion of a cheek retractor into your mouth. This device exposes the teeth that are visible when you smile.

After that, the dentist will put either a hardening resin or liquid rubber dam onto the gums to avoid irritating these. Afterwards, the bleaching gel will be applied onto the teeth. This can take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes.

Depending on the specific teeth whitening treatment you have chosen, intense light may be focused on the teeth to either activate or enhance the bleaching action.

All throughout the application process, the dentist will check the teeth and add more bleaching agent when needed.

The Final Step 

Once the final layer of gel has been applied, the cheek retractors are removed and you will be asked to rinse your mouth. Then, the color of teeth will checked against the initial measurement taken by the dentist. In some patients, their teeth can whiten by as much as two to eight shades brighter.

Do take note that immediately after the treatment, the color of the teeth may be whiter than the actual new color. The true color of your teeth will appear a few days after the treatment.

If you haven’t achieved your desired tooth color, you may be asked to come back to the dental office for a follow up treatment or you may have to supplement the in-office procedure with an at-home treatment.

If you are interested in achieving a whiter smile, contact your local Prescott Valley dentist at Horizon Dental Group.

Teeth Cleaning Myths to Stop Believing Right Now

Teeth Cleaning MythsTeeth Cleaning Myths to Stop Believing Right Now

People now are more knowledgeable about how to take good care of their teeth. This is in huge part due to today’s technology that makes up-to-date dental care information easier to access than ever.

Another reason for this development is that the fear of the dentist has waned in the past several years. Leading dental clinics are now much more committed to making every visit comfortable, informative and even fun for patients. These visits are also a way for patients to receive more expert advice on better oral care.

Still, some myths on teeth and gum health remain, and many of these have to do with teeth cleaning. These teeth cleaning myths can wreak havoc on the strength, structure and appearance of your teeth and may do long-term damage to your overall oral condition.

It’s important to separate the truth from fiction to prevent damage to your pearly whites. Protect your smile by uncovering the real score behind these harmful teeth cleaning myths:


Brushing is a no-brainer

Brushing isn’t enough. You have to do it right to get value from it. Some best practices to follow:

– Brush at least twice a day.  

– Brush for at least two minutes to get a thorough clean.

– Apply firm pressure. Vigorous brushing can damage tooth enamel or irritate gums.

– Angle your toothbrush in a way that allows you to brush every surface; pay attention to hard-to-reach areas.

– Complement your brushing routine with regular flossing.


Whiter is better.

The color of your teeth is not often a good indication of the state of your dental health. Off-white teeth can sometimes be healthier than sparkly whites, which can still conceal cavities and diseases. Make sure to invest in regular visits to the dentist even if your teeth look perfectly pure white so the dentist can check for not-so-obvious damage and issues.  


Any toothbrush will do the job.

The type and quality of toothbrush you use will have an impact on the effectiveness of your oral care routine. If the bristles are too hard, you risk damaging your teeth, but if they’re too soft, then you may not be able to clean away debris effectively. A good choice is a toothbrush with a seal from a reputable dentists’ association. Better yet, follow your dentist’s recommendations.    


Don’t brush if your gums are bleeding.

People with teeth sensitivities, inflamed gums and other conditions that make them prone to pain while brushing can and will still need to brush. The difference is that their dentist may provide specific instructions, such as using a baby toothbrush or a special soft-bristled brush so as not to further irritate the affected areas.


Bleaching weakens teeth.

Not anymore. Teeth whitening solutions are now safer and more effective than ever, as long as you use dentist-approved products or undergo whitening under the supervision of a reputable dentist.


If you live in the Chino Valley area and are searching for professional dental services, contact Horizon Dental Care.



Learn More About Corrective Dental Procedures

Corrective Dental Procedures

Learning About Corrective Dental Procedures

A visit to a dentist is generally brought about by a need to undergo a routine examination or to have an existing dental issue addressed. Whether it’s to treat a cavity, extract a troublesome tooth or to go through cleaning, the reasons that bring people to their dentists are often either urgent to reduce pain and discomfort, or simply necessary for good oral health.

However, there are also times when a dentist’s expertise does not just improve the condition and therefore the basic function of your teeth. They are also able to perform their treatments and procedures with your aesthetics in mind — with the goal of enhancing your teeth’s appearance, and therefore your overall appearance, as well. When you approach a dentist for cosmetic or corrective dental procedures, then that is what you can expect.


Seeing a Cosmetic Dentist

When you want whiter teeth or you wish to have dental issues resolved so you can have a more beautiful smile, a cosmetic dentist is the person to see. Aside from restoring the proper function of your teeth, a cosmetic dentist will also have an extensive understanding of dental anatomy, use the right equipment, and have an excellent eye for creating the right look according to the patient’s needs and preferences.


The following are examples of corrective dental procedures that a cosmetic dentist can perform to improve your smile:


Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a common procedure recommended to patients with discolored and stained teeth.


Composite Bonding

For people with chipped teeth, composite bonding is necessary to improve the strength and appearance of teeth. A composite resin, with color similar to a natural tooth, is attached to the affected tooth.



Veneers are helpful in masking a range of dental imperfections. The dentist can recommend either composite or porcelain veneers, which are thin, hard, wafer-like shells.


Dental Implants

Missing teeth can be addressed with dental implants. An implant, often made of titanium, serves to replace the root of a tooth and is placed on the jaw. It then gets fitted with a crown and gains the appearance and function of a whole new tooth.

If your tooth is heavily damaged, you can consider rebuilding the tooth using porcelain crowns.


Tooth Contouring and Reshaping

Teeth that are irregularly shaped can undergo tooth contouring and reshaping; this is performed using a drill or laser.


Tooth-Colored Fillings

Fillings are popular dental devices that often come in porcelain or composite materials. There are two kinds: inlays (fillings applied to the inside of a tooth) and onlays (fillings attached to a tooth’s biting surface). Alternatively, a patient can choose tooth-colored fillings so they won’t be easily visible and unsightly.


Cosmetic Gum Surgery

For patients with gum issues, cosmetic dentists can perform cosmetic gum surgery so that the gums can gain a more leveled look.

For other cases of missing teeth, porcelain bridgework can be selected. This device replaces a missing tooth by being attached to the existing natural teeth on either side of the empty space.


A cosmetic dentist in Prescott Valley is your best ally in achieving a healthy, beautiful smile that you can confidently show the rest of the world. Set an appointment with your dentist and discover how good teeth can positively transform your appearance.

Top 5 Tips on Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Discover Top 5 Tips on Teeth Whitening with Horizon DDS.


Your pearly whites have an effect on your appearance as well as self-confidence. When you have whiter teeth, you smile more often. When you smile more often, people naturally feel more comfortable around you. Anyone who has that happy expression will always look attractive, too. Of course, whiter teeth are also associated with healthier teeth.


Clearly, you’re doing your teeth a world of good when you try teeth whitening methods. But which one should you do? How do you maintain results longer? And what limitations should you know about?


Here are our top 5 tips on teeth whitening to help you sort out the answers.


  1. Consider in-office teeth whitening.

You can get teeth whitening products over the counter. Take them home and basically do the teeth whitening process on your own. While this might sound like the more affordable way to go, it might not always deliver the “snowy” white results you want. Most at-home teeth whitening kits could also take longer to work. You’re not likely to get instant results. Moreover, a higher concentration of bleach on some products could lead to post-op sensitivity.


In-office teeth whitening provides you with several options, from professional whitening to power bleaching to chairside whitening. With a dentist doing the treatment, it is also the safest way to whiten your teeth.


  1. Take a “before” photo.

Your dentist might do a “before” photo because this helps to keep track of the results from the procedure. You will know right away if you have moved a shade or two since your procedure.


  1. If it’s dark, don’t put it in your mouth.

Maintain the results from your teeth whitening procedure by going on a white teeth diet. That means nothing dark to eat or to drink. You’ll want to stay away from curries, red sauces on pasta, chocolate, beets, berries, red wine, colas, black tea, and anything that will stain your teeth.


But don’t panic when you do consume such foods; rinse with water immediately, and eat an apple to naturally clean your teeth.


  1. Don’t go to extremes with teeth whitening.

You can overdo it by over-bleaching, with multiple whitening products. When you over-bleach with whitening strips and toothpaste, you’re harming your teeth. And your dentist may deem you an unsuitable candidate for teeth whitening.


  1. Think about other whitening options.

Finally, your dentist can still recommend other options if a teeth whitening treatment isn’t for you. Veneers or bridges can fix dental issues, like malalignment, which can make your teeth appear darker. So don’t lose hope when your teeth are sensitive because with today’s modern treatments, the right dentist will always find a solution for you.