My Blog

Posts for: February, 2021

By P Steven Wainess DDS
February 22, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

We can't stop getting older or completely avoid many of the consequences that come with aging. Even so, there are things we can do to age more gracefully.

That includes your smile, which can also suffer the ravages of time. Teeth naturally wear and yellow over the years. We're also more susceptible to both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease as we age.

You can help slow some of these age-related dental problems by simply caring for your teeth and gums. This includes not only brushing and flossing every day to remove dental plaque (which can cause disease and dull your smile), but also seeing a dentist every few months for more thorough cleanings.

You can also take advantage of certain cosmetic enhancements to address some of the age-related issues that could keep you from having a more youthful smile.

Discolored teeth. Teeth tend to get darker over time, the combination of stain-causing foods and beverages, habits like smoking and age-related changes in tooth structure. You may be able to temporarily attain a brighter smile with teeth whitening. For a more permanent effect, we can cover stained teeth with porcelain veneers, dental bonding or dental crowns.

Worn teeth. After decades of chewing and biting, teeth tend to wear, with habits like teeth grinding accelerating it. This can cause teeth to appear abnormally small with hard, sharpened edges in contrast to the soft, rounded contours of younger teeth. In some cases, we can restore softer tooth edges with enamel contouring and reshaping. For more severe wearing, veneers or crowns could once again provide a solution.

Recessed gums. Because of gum disease, over-aggressive brushing or a genetic disposition to thinner gums, gums can shrink back or “recede” from normal teeth coverage. This not only exposes vulnerable areas of the teeth to harmful bacteria, it can also make teeth appear longer than normal (hence the aging description, “long in the tooth”). We can address recession by treating any gum disease present and, in extreme cases, perform grafting surgery to help rebuild lost tissue.

Losing your attractive smile isn't inevitable as you get older. We can help you make sure your smile ages gracefully along with the rest of you.

If you would like more information on keeping a youthful smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”

By P Steven Wainess DDS
February 17, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth whitening is the easiest and fastest cosmetic dentistry procedure used for whitening stained teeth to create a more youthful and radiant smile. It entails the application of bleaching agents to eliminate surface and deeper stains to completely change the tooth enamel’s color.

Dr. Steven Wainess, DDS in St. Clair Shores, MI regularly performs and supervises teeth whitening treatments to improve the radiance and shade of natural teeth.

The Teeth Whitening Process

With at-home whitening, your dentist will fabricate a custom mouthpiece for you and give you a professional-grade bleaching product that you’ll use for whitening your teeth in the comfort of your home. Depending on the current shade of your teeth, you may be instructed to wear the custom mouthpiece with bleaching product inside for an hour to several hours daily. Avoid placing too much bleaching product inside the mouthpiece to prevent it from leaking out and irritating your gums.

Other Important Things to Know About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening isn't the only procedure that can improve the look and shade of the teeth. In some people, particularly those with deeper stains that whitening can't address, dental bonding, crowns, or veneers may be a better option. Discuss with Dr. Wainess all suitable whitening solutions to figure out which one will be most effective for your specific needs and circumstances.

It’s also vital to note that you should have generally healthy gums and teeth before undergoing any bleaching treatment to prevent potential irritation during the procedure. Otherwise, you will need to address your dental issues first and then have your teeth whitened.

Interested in Teeth Whitening to Get That Perfectly Radiant Smile? Talk to Us

Call (586) 293-1515 to arrange an appointment here at P Steven Wainess DDS with Dr. Steven Wainess in St. Clair Shores, MI.

By P Steven Wainess DDS
February 12, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Your dream smile is waiting, and our dental team can help.

Do you feel embarrassed by your smile? Do you hide your smile in photos or avoid social interactions because of discolored, misshapen, or crooked teeth? If so, our St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist Dr. Steven Wainess can help you get the smile you’ve been dreaming about. Cosmetic dentistry has helped millions of Americans feel more confident in their appearance, and it may be able to help you, too.

What are the types of cosmetic dentistry treatments?

If you’ve been curious about turning to our dentist here in St. Clair Shores, MI, for cosmetic dentistry you may be wondering what types of treatments we offer. Our cosmetic dentistry team can help to completely reshape, brighten, and makeover your smile with one or more of these options,

  • Dental bonding
  • Tooth reshaping
  • Teeth whitening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental implants

What should I know about cosmetic dentistry?

As with any procedure, it’s important to come in with realistic expectations. Write down the issues that bother you about your smile and things you want to change and Dr. Wainess can sit down with you and map out a treatment plan based on your needs. Some people may only require one treatment such as teeth whitening to remove stains and whiten their teeth, but people with more extensive problems may benefit from two or more treatments.

It’s important to write down any questions you may have regarding the treatment or treatments you’re interested in so we can answer your questions during your consultation. Some treatments are completely non-invasive and provide subtle changes while others may require weeks or months of recovery but impart more extensive or long-term results. You must understand what cosmetic dentistry can and can’t offer before you get treatment.

How long do results last?

This will depend on the type of treatment you get and how well you care for your smile. Some options such as teeth whitening may fade after six months or last up to 2 years, while other options such as dental implants can last the rest of your life.

Our St. Clair Shores, MI, family dentist, Dr. Wainess, and his dental team are here to make sure that you get the treatment and care you need for a smile you can’t wait to show off. If you’d like to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with our team, call us today at (586) 293-1515.


Howie Mandel, one of America’s premier television personalities, rarely takes it easy. Whether performing a standup comedy gig or shooting episodes of America’s Got Talent or Deal or No Deal, Mandel gives it all he’s got. And that intense drive isn’t reserved only for his career pursuits–he also brings his A-game to boosting his dental health.

Mandel is up front about his various dental issues, including multiple root canal treatments and the crowns on his two damaged front teeth. But he’s most jazzed about keeping his teeth clean (yep, he brushes and flosses daily) and visiting his dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

To say Howie Mandel is keen on taking care of his teeth and gums is an understatement. And you can be, too: Just five minutes a day could keep your smile healthy and attractive for a lifetime.

You’ll be using that time—less than one percent of your 1,440 daily minutes—brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque buildup. This sticky, bacterial film is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Daily hygiene drastically reduces your risk for these tooth-damaging diseases.

But just because these tasks don’t take long, that’s not saying it’s a quick once-over for your teeth: You want to be as thorough as possible. Any leftover plaque can interact with saliva and become a calcified form known as calculus (tartar). Calculus triggers infection just as much as softer plaque—and you can’t dislodge it with brushing and flossing.

When you brush, then, be sure to go over all tooth areas, including biting surfaces and the gum line. A thorough brushing should take about two minutes. And don’t forget to floss! Your toothbrush can’t adequately reach areas between teeth, but flossing can. If you find regular flossing too difficult, try using a floss threader. If that is still problematic, an oral irrigator is a device that loosens and flushes away plaque with a pressurized water stream.

To fully close the gate against plaque, see us at least every six months. Even with the most diligent efforts, you might still miss some plaque and calculus. We can remove those lingering deposits, as well as let you know how well you’re succeeding with your daily hygiene habit.

Few people could keep up with Howie Mandel and his whirlwind career schedule, but you can certainly emulate his commitment to everyday dental care—and your teeth and gums will be the healthier for it.

If you would like more information about daily dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health” and “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”

By P Steven Wainess DDS
February 02, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Two important practices boost your protection from dental disease: twice-a-year dental visits; and daily brushing and flossing. Of the two, that second one could be the most important.

Personal oral hygiene cleans the teeth of dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on them each day. This plaque buildup is the number one cause for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, so removing it reduces your risk of an infection.

But it's not just a matter of doing these tasks—it's also doing them well. A quick once-over isn't going to have the same preventive power as a more thorough job.

Here then are 4 tips for improving your daily oral hygiene efforts.

Time yourself brushing. It usually takes about two minutes to thoroughly brush all tooth surfaces. So, set a timer for two minutes, focusing on methodically brushing the front, back and biting surfaces of each tooth.

Easy does it. Brushing teeth requires only a gentle bit of manual force as the mild abrasives and detergents in your toothpaste provide most of the action of loosening plaque. In fact, aggressive brushing can lead to enamel and gum damage. Practice gentle scrubbing action when you brush.

Don't neglect flossing. While brushing gets most of the hygienic attention, it can't effectively get to areas between teeth where over half of built-up plaque can accumulate. Be sure then to floss at least once a day to remove plaque between teeth that brushing can miss.

Test yourself. Your dentist may be the ultimate judge for the quality of your hygiene, but you can check your effectiveness between visits. For instance, run your tongue across your teeth—it should feel smooth, not rough or gritty. Using a plaque disclosing agent periodically can also reveal missed plaque.

And don't forget to keep up your regular dental visits, which are necessary for removing plaque you might have missed or tartar that may have formed. They're also a great time to get advice from your dentist or dental hygienist on how you can further improve your own efforts in daily dental care.

If you would like more information on best oral hygiene practices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”