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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Oral Health Myths—Busted!

WE’VE ALL HEARD VARIOUS “FACTS” when it comes to our oral health—different ways to clean our teeth and gums, what is good or bad for them, etc. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight about some of the most common oral health myths.

Myth #1: “If my teeth don’t hurt, they are healthy.”

In reality, many dental problems don’t hurt in their beginning stages, such as chronic gum disease and cavities. When they have progressed, however, to where treatment is quite extensive and expensive, you may begin to feel discomfort. Preventing a problem is always better than treating one. Visiting your dentist as frequently as recommended is key in maintaining a healthy body and mouth.

Myth #2: “Bleeding gums are normal.”

When you wash your body, does it bleed? No! It’s not normal for your gums either. In fact, bleeding gums are the first sign of infection. Gums will bleed because plaque accumulates where toothbrushes cannot reach to remove it. This is why flossing daily is so important! Flossing will help reach these plaque-ridden areas, which adds up to about 35 percent of your tooth surface. To heal bleeding gums, consistently brush and floss gently twice a day. If bleeding continues, come see us so we can evaluate your gums for possible gum disease.

Myth #3: “Always rinse your mouth out with water after brushing.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Spit, don’t rinse”? Keep this tip in mind while brushing. Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps protect our teeth from dental decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and even reduces the amount of cavity-causing acid that bacteria produce. So, when brushing, spit out excess toothpaste, but refrain from rinsing your mouth out with water. This will help your teeth remain protected far longer throughout the day!

Myth #4: “Mouthwash will solve my bad breath.”

There can be many causes for bad breath and mouthwash alone is not the solution. Bad breath can be caused by certain medications, illnesses, foods, and poor dental hygiene. The most effective way to fight bad breath is through regular brushing, daily flossing, and especially tongue scraping. Tongue scraping gets rid of any remaining bacteria on your tongue, which is the real culprit behind bad breath.

Myth #5: “Brush your teeth immediately after eating.”

We may think that brushing right after eating is good because it gets any food particles that are left behind in our teeth. But brushing within 30 minutes of finishing a meal can actually weaken tooth enamel, especially if you’ve consumed anything sugary or acidic, such as citrus. After a meal, it is best to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. After about 30 minutes, however, brush away!

Busted!

We’ve loved busting these oral health myths so that you have the best and most accurate information out there. If you have any questions, call or come in to see us!

Thank you for reading our blog and placing your trust in our practice!

Top image by Flickr user paurian used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Cavities All Of A Sudden?

SOMEONE CAN GO THEIR WHOLE LIFE without having a cavity, and seemingly out of nowhere find themselves at the dentist for a filling or two. How does this happen?

Here are some reasons your dental status might be in sudden flux:

Changes In Your Daily Routine 

The stress of changes in your daily routine, like starting a new job, starting school, or starting a new habit, can adversely affect your health—oral health included. It may even be the reason for the sudden appearance of a cavity.

Stress affects us all differently, but a common side effect is experiencing a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is an absence of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay and cavities. If you’re experiencing some of these changes or exercising more than usual, make sure you’re getting enough water to drink throughout the day to prevent a dry mouth.

A New Diet

Another reason for unforeseen cavities may be a change in diet. Are you consuming more acidic foods or drinks? Some common culprits are citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and sports drinks. What about more frequent consumption of sugar or soda? The amount of sugar you eat matters less to dental health as the time of exposure does. Sipping on soda all day can be worse than eating a large chocolate bar all at once.

Illness

If you have a sore throat or the flu, sucking on cough drops all day long can easily cause cavities. Chemotherapy is also a common offender and in many cases results in dry mouth, making one more prone to cavities.

Changes In Dental Habits

Are you brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and with the proper technique? This one goes without saying. Make sure your home hygiene routine is up to par.

Avoid overbrushing as it can damage your teeth and may result in cavities. If you brush more vigorously than necessary, you risk cutting away the protective enamel of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to decay.

Gum recession is also a result of overly aggressive brushing. Receding gums expose the root of the tooth that is usually below the gumline. The root does not have the enamel covering like the rest of your tooth, which protects it from cavities.

Additionally, if you’ve recently gotten braces, you may have noticed that it’s harder to floss and brush than it used to be. Talk to us about how you can improve your technique so that braces don’t interfere with your dental hygiene.

We’re Here To Help

Getting to the root of the problem is the most important thing when it comes to your dental health. We’re here to work with you in treating and preventing tooth decay, so that you can have a healthy life and a cavity-free smile!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Jeff Djevdet used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What You Should Know About Your Child’s Loose Tooth

DO YOU REMEMBER losing your baby teeth? For children, it is an extremely important milestone that symbolizes becoming a “big kid!” Losing their first tooth—and every tooth after that—is a special moment, not only because they’ll be receiving a visit from the tooth fairy, but also because it is a sign they are growing up.

Here’s some information to help you and your child get through this phase with a smile!

Let It Happen Naturally

Many parents wonder if they should be trying to get their child’s baby teeth out as soon as possible after they become loose. A child’s baby teeth fall out naturally and oftentimes painlessly if we simply let nature take its course. Usually, a baby tooth becomes loose while a permanent tooth starts coming in. This causes the roots of the baby tooth to dissolve until the tooth is loose enough to fall out painlessly.

It may take a few months for the baby tooth to become loose enough to fall out. You can encourage your child to wiggle the tooth to loosen it, but don’t try to force it. For example, don’t pull the classic “tie your tooth to the door knob” stunt. If the root is only half dissolved, and therefore not ready to fall out yet, it could break and become infected if yanked out abruptly.

Knocked Out Baby Teeth Require Special Attention

If your child’s baby tooth was knocked out long before it would have fallen out, it may be a good idea to visit us to get it checked out. When a tooth is prematurely knocked out, there is a risk of infection and damage to the permanent tooth.

We Want The Best For Your Child’s Smile

This is an exciting time for your child! Getting presents from the tooth fairy as well as having their permanent teeth grow in are special moments for them. As your trusted dental practice, we are here to make these experiences as positive as they can be for both you and your child!

Thank you for reading our blog and being a valued patient and friend! We appreciate you.

Top image by Flickr user Suzanne Schroeter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Alcohol’s Effect On Our Gum Health

EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Drinking Can Raise Our Risk For Gum Disease By 27 Percent

Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.

  • Men who drank regularly were shown to have an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of gum disease.
  • For people who already had periodontal disease, levels of alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • In participants without periodontal disease, heightened alcohol consumption increased risk factors for gum disease: symptoms like gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased plaque levels.

Correlative Relationship May Be Caused By Dry Mouth

While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.

Effective Flossing Will Protect Gum Health

Preserve Your Smile By Taking Gum Disease Seriously

Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with strategic oral care.

Here at our practice, we know how to deal with gum disease and we can help you get control of it.

Talk With Us About Your Habits So We Can Give You The Best Care

Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you.

Top image by Flickr user San Sharma used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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