Dental Tips Blog


Do You Have an Ice-Chewing Habit? Why You Need to Quit

Chewing ice. A lot of people do it, so what’s so wrong with the habit? Even if you’re not into crunching on an ice cube, you probably know someone who is.

The need to chew on ice stems from a few different possible reasons:

  • Dry mouth
  • Urge to snack while on a diet
  • Relieve stress or boredom
  • Medical condition that causes cravings for non-nutritional food

It’s even suggested that being iron-deficient could cause you to crave something like ice. But ice in itself has no nutritional value. In fact, it can be downright dangerous to your smile.

Ice-Chewing – Why So Bad?

Frozen water is a uniquely hard substance. So unique that some people are actually compelled to chew it.

The unfortunate part is that our teeth weren’t meant to handle such a tough item on a regular basis. Perhaps the occasional chomp on an ice cube from your drink won’t crack your teeth. But regular exposure to a hard substance will weaken enamel.

Over time, you could wear your enamel away and open up your teeth to a whole new host of problems such as a cavity, chipped tooth or cracked tooth.

Signs Ice-Chewing Is Harming Your Teeth

You might need to rein in an urge to chew ice if you notice:

  • Sensitivity
  • Yellow teeth
  • Worn areas around fillings
  • Broken or chipped restorations
  • Flattened chewing surfaces

All such signals indicate that your teeth’s protective enamel layer is quickly disappearing.

To get help kicking the ice-chewing habit, schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she will help you find out if any biological factors could be playing into your urge to crunch on ice. You’ll also get an in-depth understanding into how the habit affects your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 390-8484


4 Simple Diet Changes For a Healthier Smile

A new year means a new start and that’s worth smiling about! Speaking of smiling, here are some great ways you can make your diet a lot more smile-friendly on your teeth:

  1. Choose Whole Grains

The processed, sweet, cheap, refined, and enriched grains are, admittedly, easy to choose.

By switching to whole grains, you benefit it with:

More nutrients

Less sugar exposure

Higher fiber content that naturally nabs up some plaque

  1. Snack On Cheese

Cheese stimulates your saliva glands, which is a good thing for your mouth. It’s also high in calcium to reinforce bone and enamel. It may even help fight off cavity-causing bacteria and reduce the need for dental fillings or crowns.

Enjoy cheese in salads, on whole grain crackers, or on its own alongside fresh fruit.

  1. Pick The Healthier “Crunch”

Along the lines of incorporating more whole grain items into your diet, crunchy whole foods (not potato chips!) are a great way to keep your teeth clean. These foods also make for very satisfying and guilt-free snacks:







  1. Set A Time Limit On Snacking

Maybe you congratulate yourself on choosing a bowl of healthy trail mix to munch on during a movie. That’s a great decision! But you still need to watch how long you’re snacking.

Foods like nuts and dried fruits can still get stuck in your teeth and trigger acid attacks that weaken enamel. The longer you snack, the longer your teeth are exposed to acids and sugars.

Try to finish off your snacks within several minutes rather than slowly enjoying them for an hour or more. Talk with your dentist about other ways you can improve your oral health through diet.

Posted on behalf of:
Brentwood Dental Group
2440 S Brentwood Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 962-6643


4 Signs You Could Be Brushing Incorrectly

Yes, the way you brush does matter! This isn’t just one of your dental hygienist’s pet-peeves. It’s something that has a big impact on your smile.

Here are four of the most common signs that something about your brushing technique just isn’t working for you.

  1. Abrasion to Your Teeth

Signs of horizontal wear on the tooth enamel usually indicate that someone has a heavy hand while brushing. Stiff scrub-brushing will erode enamel with time.

  1. Gum Recession

It’s not just your teeth that can suffer from aggressive brushing. Gums will probably respond sooner to the irritation by receding away from the teeth.

  1. Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Are you sick of that constant tartar growth on your lower front teeth?

Brushing there a little longer each day with the toothbrush properly angled could help you slow down the development of that unsightly, odorous buildup.

  1. Splayed Toothbrush Bristles

It’s normal for the bristles on a brush to wear down over time. They get bent and splayed and that usually means it’s time for a fresh toothbrush.

But if your brush bristles are splayed within just a couple of weeks, then that’s another sign that you’re brushing way too hard. You should be getting more mileage out of your brush than that!

What Can You Do?

Try out different kinds of toothbrushes. A powered toothbrush could even help ensure that you’re brushing with the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time.

Practice brushing during your dental checkup and cleaning. At your next dental visit, show your hygienist how you are brushing and you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559


5 Ways to Protect Your New Smile

At long last, your smile makeover is complete, and boy, do you look good!

Next on your list of priorities is making this gorgeous investment last a long time. How can you do so? Keep the following five tips in mind as you go about your daily routine.

  1. Avoid Staining Foods

Most of your new restorations should do well with resisting stain. But your natural teeth will be just as prone to stain as ever before.

If your teeth darken because of exposure to staining foods and drinks, they’ll stand out in contrast with all your shiny white restorations.

You may need to whiten your teeth on occasion to keep them bright. Limit how often you eat things like:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Curry
  • Soda and sports drinks
  1. Wear Mouthguards For Sleep and Sports

One of the deadliest things to a new smile is trauma. Grinding your teeth in your sleep or taking a blow to the mouth during a sports game are quick ways to undo all that beautiful dental work.

  1. Wear Your Retainer

If your smile makeover included orthodontic treatment, make sure you wear your retainer as directed. This ensures that you won’t need to repeat any expensive tooth realignments.

  1. Practice Great Oral Hygiene

Keep your gums plaque-free to ward off inflammation and avoid getting any more cavities! Daily flossing is a must.

  1. Keep Your Dental Appointments

Now that your smile is “fixed,” it’s easy to forget that it won’t stay that way on its own.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings will ensure your smile makeover is still holding strong. Your dentist will alert you to potential problems so that you can fix them while they’re still small.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095


Could Chocolate Be Good for Your Smile?

In spite of its sugar, caffeine, and fat content, chocolate is receiving more attention for its ability to ward off dental disease.

Why Candy Is Bad For Teeth

All of those simple carbohydrates are very acidic to tooth enamel, to begin with. Throw in the fact that these carbs help power acid-producing bacteria to do their dirty work, and you’ve got a recipe for cavities.

Worst of all are candies that stick to teeth for a long time or that you suck on slowly over the course of an hour or so.

What’s In Chocolate?

If you’ve got to have your sweets, chocolate is a good choice. It melts quickly, so it doesn’t leave behind too much residue that can cause enamel erosion.

Even better is the fact that chocolate contains some key ingredients that can give your smile a healthful boost:

  • Antioxidants – can help fight gum disease
  • Polyphenols – natural chemicals that limit the effects of harmful bacteria
  • Epicatechin – a flavonoid that helps slow tooth decay
  • Tannins – plant compounds which prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth

Smile-Healthy Chocolate Habit

This isn’t to say you can just munch on a chocolate bar in place of brushing your teeth. You still need to maintain a steady routine of flossing, rinsing, and wielding a toothbrush.

To get the fullest benefits from chocolate, choose a kind that’s as dark as possible; at least 70% cocoa is ideal. You still need to eat it in moderation.

Don’t forget to keep your regular dental appointments for checkups and professional cleanings. Your dentist will let you know whether your chocolate addiction is helping or harming your smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Hills Dentistry
53 North Street
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 743-0783


How to Soothe Your Baby’s Teething Troubles

There are few events during infancy which are as stressful as teething. It’s exhausting to both the baby and the parents!

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ease your child’s discomfort and shorten the crying episodes.

Provide Icy Cold Toys

There are plenty of baby chew toys designed specifically for tooth-cutting toddlers. These simple gadgets have gel- or water-filled components which you can toss in the freezer for a little while. Your baby will love the numbing feel of an icy, rubbery toy between their sore gums.

Massage Baby’s Gums

In a pinch, just massaging your frustrated baby’s irritated gums with a clean finger could do the trick. Cutting teeth is a painful process! There’s not much your child can do to rush them through it. As the first teeth come in, gums feel tight, itchy, and sore. A gentle massage would provide a lot of relief.

Introduce Teeth Cleaning

Teething is actually a great time to get your baby started on a healthy routine of oral hygiene. As with the teething toys and a gum massage, your baby will love the feel of a soft moist cloth in their mouth.

Gently wiping out baby’s mouth after feedings with a clean damp rag will not only reduce bacteria and debris, but it also helps your child get used to the sensation of having their mouths and teeth cleaned. They’ll be more accepting of a toothbrush when you introduce that later on.

Like all other taxing childhood events, this too will pass. Keep a positive outlook, stay patient and calm, and don’t give up! Visit your family dentist to get more personalized advice.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055


Do Sensitivity Toothpastes Actually Work?

Most “whitening” toothpastes don’t work as quickly as you might think.

In other areas, though, your toothpaste is likely well-suited to the task at hand. This includes fighting cavities and preventing plaque buildup.

How about the claim that your toothpaste can make your teeth less sensitive?

What Makes Teeth Sensitive?

Your toothe enamel is covered with small holes. These openings lead to microscopic nerve-filled chambers. Yes, your teeth are alive and filled with tiny nerves.

If your enamel layer wears away because of decay, acid, or mechanical erosion, then those nerves are more likely to be exposed to the outside environment and you may experience tooth sensitivity.  Also, some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening.

Why Sensitivity Toothpastes Work

Toothpastes formulated to protect sensitive teeth all contain an ingredient called potassium nitrate. This key ingredient blocks up small pores on the surface of your enamel. Reinforce them with a layer of potassium nitrate, and your poor nerves won’t be as exposed to temperature change or acid.

Additionally, sensitivity toothpastes usually contain plenty of fluoride. This mineral is key to strengthening the enamel you do have left, preventing further wear.

How you use the toothpaste is important. If you rinse your mouth with water right after brushing, then you’ll be washing away all those minerals. It’s better to let the paste rest directly on your teeth to give them time to soak it up.

If you struggle with sensitive teeth, then a specially-formulated toothpaste could be worth a try. In all honesty, it does work better for some patients than it does for others, but it can’t hurt to give it a go!

To find out which brand is right for your needs, consult your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642


What a Full Mouth Restoration Could Mean for You

Do you know the difference between a full mouth restoration and a smile makeover?  Completely rebuilding a smile has to do with far more than just looks alone.

Purpose of an Full Mouth Reconstruction

Full mouth reconstruction or restoration (FMR) restores function that you lost. It’s basically just rebuilding your mouth so that you can use it comfortably once again.

Your smile may be suffering the effects of:

  • Extreme enamel wear
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Cancer
  • Trauma

Benefits of Renewing Your Smile

You might say that you don’t mind how your smile looks, but the issue goes way beyond just appearances. By taking the time and effort to recreate your original smile, you’ll be able to enjoy eating all the foods you love.

You might even find that the way you speak will be vastly different once you’ve replaced missing teeth. Most noticeably, your jaw will one day close together in a comfortable and natural bite. Restoring your whole mouth will save the shape of your smile.

What’s Involved

Each case is unique. Some patients need more help than others and not everyone needs the same procedures.

Most full mouth restoration procedures follow a basic pattern:

  1. Eliminating disease
  2. Stabilizing teeth
  3. Correcting the bite (possibly with braces) and replacing missing teeth
  4. Addressing cosmetic concerns such as the color of your teeth

If your smile is getting in the way you nourish your body and interact with others, then you need to plan an full mouth reconstruction. It’s not just about having a beautiful smile – it’s about having one that works! Ask your dentist about how to get started.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123


For a Healthier Smile, Drink Water!

No living thing can function without water. Humans are no exception. However, we tend to take our need for it granted. As we’re so creative and varied in our tastes, we’ve found other, tastier ways to enjoy drinks.

But when it comes to oral health and preventing tooth decay, nothing is going to beat plain tap water.

Keep Your Mouth Hydrated

Our mouths are loaded with saliva-producing glands. We need saliva to keep our oral tissues comfortable and functional. Spit also helps rinse away bacteria, food leftovers and neutralizes acids in the mouth.

When you’re consistently low on fluid, your mouth will suffer. Not only is it uncomfortable, but chronic dry mouth increases your risk of developing dental diseases such as tooth decay.

Stay hydrated to stay smiley!

Sweet Stuff Spikes Blood Sugar

Our habit of reaching for soda, juice, sports drinks, or sweetened coffee could be causing damage to more than just our teeth.

Do you know your risk for diabetes or high blood sugar levels?

Constant sugar-sipping will elevate the amount of sugar in your system. Over time, this can even affect your gum health and raise your cavity risk. So whenever possible, choose water over anything else.

Water Doesn’t Stain

Finally, think about how water runs zero risk of staining your teeth and beautiful white restorations. Soda, tea, coffee, and red wine, while tasty, leave horrible stains. At the least, try to drink water along with a dark beverage so that you can keep rinsing your teeth.

Keep your smile healthy and bright by opting for simple H2O. Remember to visit your dentist regularly to stay on top of your dental health.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955


Mouthwash: Read the List Before You Rinse!

Commercials make it look like a swish is all you need to keep your smile healthy and attractive! You might even think that a rinse is an acceptable substitute for brushing.

In reality, even that simple little bottle of mouthwash should be used with caution.

You should know what’s in a bottle of mouth rinse before you use it. Otherwise, it could be completely pointless. Here are some of the most common active ingredients in mouthwash:

Essential oils – these include menthol and eucalyptol. Essential oils are very effective against plaque bacteria.

Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) – much like essential oils, this antibacterial agent helps keep down the populations of bacteria that cause gum infection. On the downside, it can leave some odd brown stains on the teeth after a lot of use.

Fluoride – needed for strengthening tooth enamel against cavities, fluoride is often found in higher concentrations in rinses for kids. The sweet taste is usually irresistible, so make sure you are monitoring your kids’ use of mouthwash. Check that they don’t swallow it. Please note, not all mouth rinses contain fluoride – read your labels carefully.

Alcohol – that burn you may feel in some rinses usually comes from the alcohol content. Don’t let it fool you, however. While alcohol does help kill some germs, it’s not effective like essential oils or CPC.  It’s just in the mouthwash to help dissolve the active ingredients. If you suffer from dry mouth, avoid rinses containing alcohol as these will only make your condition worse. Watch out for rinses that contain little more than alcohol, coloring, and a sweetener; these might taste effective, but they won’t do much for you.

Ask your dentist whether you should use a mouthwash.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

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