Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening for a Brighter Smile

smile white backgroundDes Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, will be the first to admit that certain cosmetic dental procedures are not definable as “easy” or “simple.” One of the most popular and significant, however, is also one of the fastest and most comfortable. We are talking about teeth whitening, and the options you have are many. However, to achieve significant results, professional teeth whitening procedures are the way to go.

Understanding Tooth Stains

There are two types of tooth stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains begin inside teeth and are often the result of trauma, medication, or overexposure to fluoride. Teeth with intrinsic stains require treatments such as dental bonding or veneers as this form of discoloration will not respond to bleaching. Teeth whitening treatments remove extrinsic stains very well, however. These are on the outer surfaces of teeth. Extrinsic stains are the most common because they are usually caused by overexposure to dark foods and drinks. Some of the common tooth stainers which you might consume on a daily basis include:

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Can Baking Soda Really Whiten Teeth?

Baking SodaBaking soda is well known to be a versatile household cleaning item. Technically called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is thought of as environmentally friendly. What better and cheaper way is there to give your teeth a good cleaning, right? Well, Des Moines family dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, would like you to be forewarned that baking soda might offer temporary whitening on a sporadic basis, but it’s not a recommended means for regular teeth whitening because of the abrasive nature of the compound.

Uses for Baking Soda

Baking soda is probably most frequently known in America for getting a rise out of baked goods. When introduced to an acidic ingredient, sodium bicarbonate has a chemical reaction that allows gas bubbles into your confections so they are light as air and fluffy as clouds. Without baking soda, you might end up with cookies as flat as sheets, cakes and muffins that sink in the middle, and no luck erupting that volcano for your child’s science fair. Baking soda is also great to have on hand to relieve sunburn pain, bug bites, and heartburn. And let’s not forget about what a great odor absorber a box of baking soda in your refrigerator, or a sprinkle inside your teenager’s gym shoes can be.

Keep the Baking Soda in your Kitchen

Another less extreme reaction occurs when you mix baking soda with water. People have been brushing their teeth with such a homemade concoction for many years. Whitening has been seen when people use baking soda to brush their teeth. Here is the caveat, however: a compound like baking soda (or really any home whitening treatment) should be exposed to your teeth at a maximum of once a week. You will only see slight whitening results with baking soda, but you can scratch your tooth enamel if you overdo it. Long term damage in exchange for very short-lived and subtle results hardly seems worth it.

Visit Your Des Moines Family Dentist

Dr. Jessica Johnson is a dedicated family dentist who focuses on overall oral health and the value of preventive dental care for your whole family. Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, the Des Moines District Dental Association, and the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Valley Ridge Family Dental gladly welcomes patients and their families from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and all surrounding Des Moines communities. To schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling our office at (515) 223-9764.

Do Porcelain Veneers Look like Natural Teeth?

man smiling 2Are you considering a smile makeover with porcelain veneers from your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson? If so, you probably want to make sure that the cosmetic results you get will look completely natural. Therefore, you will be happy to learn that many people consider porcelain veneers to boast the best results of any cosmetic treatment. They have achieved this status by the ways in which they mimic living teeth to create astounding levels of realism. For instance, our natural teeth are partially translucent, meaning they allow some light through them. Porcelain veneers mimic this quality and thus will look realistic in many different lighting conditions. In addition, porcelain veneers can replicate the reflective quality of teeth for a sheen that is very convincing.

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Des Moines Dentist Answers FAQs About Porcelain Veneers


Between work and home, our hectic schedules often leave little time for the dentist. As a result, common smile imperfections, such as misalignment and teeth stains, hinder the beauty of our teeth. Fortunately, At Valley Ridge Family Dental, we offer instant smile rejuvenation with porcelain veneers. Cosmetic veneers allow your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, to improve smiles in as little as two visits. In today’s blog, Dr. Johnson answers a few questions about our innovative veneers.

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Des Moines IA Cosmetic Dentist Discusses Teeth Stains

hiding teeth des moinesIf you have stained teeth, you may be resorting to hiding your teeth behind your hand whenever you smile. Unfortunately, by taking this approach, your self-esteem may be suffering. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry offers better solutions. To learn about teeth stains and your cosmetic options, read the following information provided by your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson.

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MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm