Can Dentures Be Whitened?

Older man in a green sweater smiles with white dentures in Temple Terrace, FL

Losing teeth can negatively impact your quality of life. Dentures restore your smile and ability to eat your favorite foods, to speak, and to smile with confidence! Some patients wonder if dentures will change color and need to be whitened. Read on to learn the answer!

Types of Dentures

There are several types of dentures. Partial dentures are great if you still have some natural teeth. Using plastic or metal clips, we connect the partial dentures to your remaining teeth to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. We customize the look and color of your artificial teeth so they blend in with the rest of your smile.

Full dentures are for when you’ve lost all or nearly all the teeth in your upper or lower arch. These consist of an acrylic base with realistic-looking artifical teeth attached. They can be held in place with dental adhesive, fixed with dental implants, or be clipped into implants while still remaining removable.

Whether you get partial or full dentures, there are many benefits. They help prevent sunken cheeks, restore your appearance, and let you chew properly again!

Can Dentures Be Whitened?

Dentures are made of a different material than your natural teeth. That means professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening strips won’t work. We also don’t recommend household cleaners, harsh teeth-whitening toothpaste, baking soda, or lemon juice. You can actually damage your dentures using these.

The good news is that porcelain dentures are more resistant to stains than your natural teeth. To keep your dentures looking their best, prevention of stains is the best course of action.

Rinse your dentures after consuming anything that stains, like coffee, tea, wine, or tomato sauce. When cleaning your dentures, a special denture cleaner and denture brush works best. Store your dentures in a dentist-approved soaking solution when you’re not using them. With good care, your dentures will stay clean and white.

If you feel self-conscious about the color your dentures, consult with our team about your options!

More Questions? We Have Answers!

Henson Family Dental custom-crafts your dentures to feel comfortable and look natural so you are satisfied with them! Our Temple Terrace office is also family-friendly, modern, and equipped with relaxing patient amenities.

If you have questions about how to care for your dentures or you are interested in our other dental services, please contact us today.



Smile Makeover with Veneers

Brunette woman smiles after a smile makeover with veneers in Temple Terrace, FL, in a yellow blouse

A smile makeover is just what its name suggests – a makeover for your smile! For a smile makeover, your dentist will tailor a plan to improve the appearance of your smile.

At Henson Family Dental, we offer smile makeovers for patients in Temple Terrace and Tampa, FL, and surrounding areas. One of our cosmetic dental services is include porcelain veneers, which enhance the color, size, and shape of your teeth.

What Is a Smile Makeover?

The purpose of a smile makeover is to improve the appearance of your smile, thereby boosting your confidence. The treatments address cosmetic and structural imperfections, such as small gaps, irregularly shaped teeth, cracks, fractures, and chips. Additionally, a smile makeover can address staining and discoloration.

Process of a Smile Makeover

If you opt for a smile makeover, you will first sit down with your dentist and discuss your dental needs and budget. The dentist will conduct a full evaluation of your teeth and gums, identify what you dislike about your smile, and come up with your personalized treatment plan.

Importance of Veneers During a Smile Makeover

Veneers are a versatile treatment that can correct a wide range of problems, such as gaps, cracks, discoloration, and issues with the size and shape of your teeth. These thin shells of porcelain are bonded to the front of your teeth, making them a permanent enhancement to your smile.

This cosmetic solution is stain-resistant, long-lasting, and fully-customizable. As part of a smile makeover, veneers can transform your smile. Moreover, you regain your confidence with a treatment specialized to your needs.

Your Smile Awaits at Henson Family Dental!

Ready to learn more about how you can achieve a dazzling smile? Book your consultation with Henson Family Dental in Temple Terrace, FL. We also offer comprehensive dental services for individuals and families, with relaxing patient amenities to make your visit as comfortable as possible.



What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Methods?

two blond women hug and smile after professional teeth whitening treatments

When you see your smile in pictures, do you wish your teeth were whiter? What are the best teeth whitening methods? DIY methods like baking soda and lemon juice are too abrasive and risky. Here are the safest, most effective ways to lighten your tooth color:

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste has ingredients that polish your teeth and break down surface stains. Over time, your teeth can appear lighter. You want a brand with a seal from the ADA. While easy and affordable, whitening toothpaste doesn’t change your teeth’s natural color. If the stain is too deep, the toothpaste can’t remove it.

Whitening Strips & Trays

Whitening strips work by using peroxide to bleach your teeth. Always read the instructions beforehand. You’ll learn how many daily applications you should perform and how long the strips stay on. They’ll also let you know when you can expect to see results.

Many strips recommend that you don’t brush your teeth beforehand, so the strips stick better. If you don’t want to mess with strips, there are also over-the-counter trays that mold to your teeth. While each whitening session with trays is longer than with strips, you don’t need as many sessions.

Custom Take-Home Trays

At Henson Family Dental, we offer you the option of professional teeth whitening at home. We’ll make custom take-home trays that are like trays at the store, but more effective. Be sure to always wear the trays for the intended length of time per day for 7-10 days to see results.

In-Office Professional Whitening

For fast and more effective results, in-office professional whitening is one of the best teeth whitening methods. We use Zoom®, so the whitening session lasts only 90 minutes. Professional methods typically work better than store-bought treatments. This is because we use gels with higher concentrations and consider your specific needs.

Want Whiter Teeth?

If you’re not 100 percent happy with your smile right now, contact us to set up a consultation at our Temple Terrace office. Our team can recommend the best whitening option for you based on your goals and budget!



How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Repair Your Smile

woman pointing to her white teeth with both forefingers after cosmetic dentistry

Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but very few people have naturally perfect teeth. If you aren’t happy with your smile, cosmetic dentistry can help. Damaged, chipped, and discolored teeth can be repaired with certain treatments such as whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, and fixed bridges.

Teeth Whitening

If you want a brighter, whiter smile, getting a custom take-home kit from Henson Family Dental is one of the most simple ways to get there. Our kits are much more effective than what you’ll find in a store and much safer than risky DIY treatments.

Porcelain Veneers

For teeth that are chipped, have gaps, or are too discolored for whitening treatments, porcelain veneers can be used. Porcelain is a great material because it looks very natural. Veneers are thin casings bonded to the front side of your teeth for a brighter, whiter look. Teeth with porcelain veneers should be cared for just like your natural teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

If your tooth is damaged or worn, a porcelain crown can fix it. We shape the cap and adhere it in the right spot, so your tooth’s shape, strength, size, and appearance are restored. The crown takes the place of your natural enamel, protecting your tooth. In addition to restoring a broken or worn tooth, crowns can support teeth with large fillings, hold a dental bridge in place, cover a dental implant, and modify a misshapen tooth.

A Fixed Bridge

If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a fixed bridge can restore your smile. When replacing a missing tooth with an artificial one, a fixed bridge is needed to hold it in place. The bridge consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of your new fake tooth.

Want to Repair Your Smile? Visit Us at Henson Family Dental!

If you’re interested in any of the cosmetic dentistry treatments we offer, please let us know! Dr. Henson and the team can give you all the information and recommendations you need to get the smile of your dreams.



Chipped or Broken Tooth Treatment & Repair

Whether you’re dealing with a chipped tooth yourself, or if you just want to be prepared, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll brief you on what can be done to treat and repair a chipped or broken tooth.

cartoon man pointing at a frowning broken cartoon tooth

At-home Treatment

If you break or chip a tooth, you will have to see your dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, though, there are a few things you can do. Gently rinse out your mouth with warm water. Depending on the severity of the break, you may experience a lot of pain, and even blood. Quel any blood with gauze and, if needed, reach for a NSAID, like ibuprofen, to ease the pain.

Filling or Bonding

Once you get to the dentist, one of the options they may choose to repair your broken tooth is a filling or bonding. These are methods that are used to repair minor chips. If it’s a visible, front tooth that has been affected, your dentist is likely to opt for a tooth-colored bonding for a seamless restoration. Both procedures are straightforward and can be accomplished in an office visit.


In instances where a more significant chunk of the tooth has been broken off, your dentist may decide that a crown is the answer. A crown is tooth-shaped, and it covers and protects the damaged tooth. Crowns can be temporary or permanent, and come in a variety of different materials including metal, porcelain, and resin.


Especially in cases where one of the front teeth has been significantly damaged, a dental veneer may be the best way to fix the look and feel of the tooth. A veneer is a permanent solution in which a thin, tooth shaped shell covers the affected tooth, leaving you with a tooth that looks as good as new.

If you do happen to break a tooth, don’t panic! Contact us here at Henson Family Dental and a member of our team will be happy to walk you through your options.


5 Celebrities That You Didn’t Know Had Fake Teeth

Dental care is important for everyone, whether you’re young, old, rich, poor – or famous! Those bright white smiles that celebrities flash on the red carpet are usually thanks to a little (or a lot) of help from their dentist. In fact, there are many celebrities that have worn dentures or received cosmetic dentistry enhancements. Our Henson Family Dental team has compiled the following list of celebrities you may be surprised to learn had/have fake teeth.

1. George Washington

George Washington, one of the founding fathers and our beloved first president, had notoriously terrible teeth. Throughout much of his adult life, he wore dentures made of ivory that were fixed to his natural teeth with wire. Luckily, modern advances in dentistry have resulted in dentures that both look like natural teeth and are comfortable to wear.

Drawing of George Washington, our first president and the military commander during the Revolutionary War

2. Ben Affleck

Even the Batman doesn’t have naturally perfect teeth! Ben Affleck supposedly has a full set of porcelain veneers to give his teeth that perfect, pearly-white appearance.

3. Clark Gable

Clark Gable, star of Gone With the Wind, Call of the Wild, and many other films, used dentures from the age of 32 as a result of a severe gum infection. To avoid his fate, be sure to brush and floss daily and visit our office every six months for cleanings and checkups.

Black and white image of Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in Gone with the Wind

4. Emma Watson

During the filming of the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson wore a partial denture after her own baby teeth fell out in order to preserve Hermione’s smile.

5. Nicole Polizzi, a.k.a. “Snooki”

Like any of us, Snooki wants her smile at its best when she’s in front of the camera. To achieve that perfect white smile, Snooki has Lumineers®, a type of porcelain veneers.

Your Dream Smile Is Within Reach!

Porcelain veneers, dentures, and professional teeth whitening are great solutions for folks looking to improve the look of their teeth. Discuss with Dr. Henson whether you’re a candidate for dentures or porcelain veneers to make sure they fit with your smile goals. To ask our team any questions about our restorative or cosmetic dentistry services or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!


The Dental Veneers Process

young blonde woman going through dental veneers process

So you’re ready to make over your smile with porcelain veneers. But what’s the process going to look like? After you come in for a consultation and we’ve decided on a new look for your smile, the process is pretty straightforward. Two appointments is all it takes to get your new smile red carpet ready!

Step 1: Prepping the Teeth

When you come in for your first appointment, we’ll begin by prepping your teeth for your new dental veneers. Veneers are a permanent process because we do remove some tooth enamel from the teeth getting veneers. We have to do this in order to ensure that the teeth with veneers don’t feel larger than your other teeth. Veneers are essentially shells that go on top of your teeth, so in order to not add bulk, we first have to take away some of the natural tooth structure. We file down the teeth just a bit until they’re a good size to hold your veneers.

Step 2: Impressions & Shade

Once we’ve filed down the teeth, we take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab. This gives the lab an idea of the shape your new veneers need to be. We also use a color guide to determine the shade of your new veneers. We want them to look natural and blend in with surrounding teeth. If the goal is to give you a whiter smile, we’ll do this in a way that still looks natural instead of brightening them so much that it’s obvious they don’t match other teeth. We send your impressions and the tooth shade information to the lab to have your veneers made.

Step 3: Temporaries?

If you need temporary veneers while we wait for your permanent ones to come in, we’ll make those in-house and place them during your first appointment. Whether we place temporaries depends on how much tooth enamel we removed. While your temporaries are on, you’ll want to be careful about what you eat and drink. If you have any trouble with your temporaries, just give us a call!

Step 4: Evaluation & Cementation

When your permanent veneers are ready, you’ll come in for your second appointment. We’ll first try them on and make sure everything fits and looks right. Once we’re sure that you’re satisfied with your new look, we’ll bond the veneers in place. Your new smile is complete and you’ll be on your way!

It may take a few days or weeks to get used to your new smile, depending on how drastic the change is. We may recommend one more follow-up appointment just to see how you’re doing. And remember, once your new veneers are set, you can care for them just like your natural teeth! Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call!


Do Teeth Shift with Age?

multigenerational african american family

When we think of aging, we think of wrinkles and gray hair. But your teeth may also be affected as the years go by.

Teeth Spread Apart

Teeth can spread apart when a muscle in the front of the mouth relaxes as we age. Periodontal disease, caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to spreading. The bacteria cause inflammation and the destruction of the bone which holds the teeth in, resulting in a flaring of the front teeth that can cause them to space apart. The spread could also be the result of an unconscious oral habit like tongue thrusting or nail biting, or bite collapse due to the loss of some of your back teeth.

Teeth Overlap

As we age, our teeth sometimes start to move, shifting the midline as our jaw bone changes. The midline is, of course, the middle line of the teeth and the ideal positioning of teeth is on either side of the midline to be symmetrical. When your jaw bone changes with age, this can make the teeth crowd towards the middle and overlap.

Teeth Collapse

Teeth can collapse inwardly if you have gapped teeth, don’t replace a missing tooth, or if your teeth are severely worn down. This alters the structure of your teeth, but can also change your facial features and jaw position. Like most other issues, poor oral health can contribute to teeth collapse.

It’s interesting to note that if you had orthodontic treatment when you were younger, it’s actually more common for your teeth to shift slightly. This can happen because you neglect to wear your retainer, you grind your teeth, or you don’t treat underlying oral problems like gingivitis that can lead to crooked teeth if gone untreated.

So how can we fix these problems or stop them in their tracks?


Nightguards are for people who grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. You might not even realize you are doing it! We fit nightguards specifically to your teeth so you can sleep comfortably while protecting your teeth from harmful grinding.


If some of your teeth have cosmetic flaws like gaps or crookedness, porcelain veneers can fix all of that and more with a natural look and feel. Veneers are a wafer-thin material that we place on the front side of the tooth, and they are a permanent solution.

Regular Checkups

Perhaps most importantly, keeping up with your oral health is the best way to keep any shifting at bay. Be sure you’re coming in for regular checkups and practicing good dental hygiene at home!

Whether you are looking to fix an already existing issue or want to keep teeth shifting at bay, call us to make an appointment. At Henson Family Dental, our commitment is to provide you with the best treatment to give you the smile of your dreams.


How to Have a Healthy Smile for the Holidays: 4 Tips for Success


While many people are worried about weight gain over the holiday season, it’s also important to take care of your oral health this time of year. For many of us, with the holidays come unwelcome stress and the temptation to indulge in sugary foods that can be bad for our teeth. Fortunately, we’ve put together a few tips on how to have a healthy smile for the holidays.

Take Steps to Fight Tooth Decay

The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, so when you indulge in a candy cane, cookie, or other sugary holiday treat, you’re giving that bad bacteria the fuel it needs to potentially cause cavities. Try to shy away from sugary snacks as much as possible; if you know you’re going to give into temptation, brush your teeth shortly afterwards (or, at the very least, rinse with mouthwash). A little prevention can go a long way.

Avoid Drinks That Stain/Damage Teeth

Wine and other acidic beverages often flow like water at holiday parties, and these can be damaging to your teeth in several ways. For starters, acidic beverages gradually wear away tooth enamel, which can result in hot/cold sensitivity as well as a greater risk of tooth decay. Some beverages, such as red wines, can also stain teeth. If you indulge in these beverages this holiday season, at least alternate your drinks with glasses of water to help prevent staining and enamel wearing.

Work to Reduce Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a stressful time for many; and for some people, stress and anxiety leads to unhealthy teeth grinding. If you’re one of many people who has a tendency to grind or clench your teeth when stressed, now would be a good time to get fitted for a mouth guard, which you can wear while you sleep to protect your teeth from damage, such as cracking and chipping. Taking steps to reduce your stress during the holidays (whether through exercise, meditation, or anything in between) can also help.

Don’t Forget Your Dental Exam!

Last but not least, remember that you should have two dental exams a year to maximize your oral health! If you’re overdue for an exam, contact our team at Henson Family Dental to schedule your appointment before the end of the year! We’ll get your teeth cleaned up so your smile looks its brightest for those holiday parties.


How to Save Money for Cosmetic Dental Care


If you’re unhappy with your smile, it can really damage your self-confidence. Hiding your smile from the world isn’t the answer. Cosmetic dentistry offers a solution, but it’s one that your dental insurance probably won’t cover. At Henson Family Dental, we don’t want that to keep you from the smile you’ve been dreaming about. Alongside our affordable service, we’d like to give you a few tips on how to save money for cosmetic dental care.


CareCredit is a wonderful option for cosmetic dentistry, because it allows you to make monthly payments on the dental services you require. So, instead of paying all at once, you can space out your payments, making it more manageable. We, at Henson Family Dental proudly accept CareCredit. 

Cut out Cable

Cable often costs over $100 a month. You can find most, if not all, your favorite shows on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Why pay more when you can get the same shows for a fraction of the cost?

Make Coffee at Home

Making coffee at home can save some serious cash. You can easily spend five or six dollars on one cup of coffee at a coffee shop. Limiting the number of fancy coffee shop beverages you drink per week will help you save up for your cosmetic dentistry, and it will likely do your teeth a few favors in the process. Most coffee shop coffees are packed with sugar, which can cause tooth decay. Drinking coffee at home will benefit your smile in more ways than one. 

Use DIY Tips

Don’t pay a fortune for hair products and face masks when you can get the same results from DIY treatments. There are a lot of great, and cheap, alternatives online. Simply search through a few blogs or websites, and find a DIY project that will work for your hair and skin care needs. 

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Yes, making sacrifices is never fun, but you have to remember why you’re doing it. If your smile makes you insecure, and you want veneers, porcelain crowns, or professional teeth whitening, then you have to remind yourself that that’s what you’re saving for. You have to remember that the sacrifices you make now will be worth it when you look in the mirror and see a smile that you’re proud of. 

At Henson Family Dental we want you to take pride in your smile. We want you to show the world those pearly whites, and gain some confidence in the process. We provide quality service at affordable rates so that you can achieve your dream smile. For more information about our complete smile makeover, or any of our other services, please contact us today.