Dental Tips Blog

Jun
28

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:

Almonds

Walnuts

Cashews

Carrots

Celery

Apples

  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

Nov
18

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Your permanent teeth are supposed to be just that – permanent. With proper care of your teeth and gums, your mouth can stay healthy throughout your life. The better care you take of your mouth the less risk you have for tooth decay and gum disease which not only helps prevent tooth loss, but also reduces the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives four basis steps for taking care of your oral hygiene:

  • Flossing
  • Brushing
  • Healthy diet
  • Regular dental visits

You should floss your teeth once a day. While this is typically the most neglected grooming chore, dentists say that it is the most important. Flossing is more important than brushing because flossing gets rid of food particles in between the teeth that are left behind by toothbrushes. When food particles sit between the teeth, they decay; when those food particles decay, the same bacteria that is breaking the particles down starts breaking down the enamel of your teeth.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, or after every meal if possible. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to tooth enamel. Finding a toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval and a taste that you enjoy can help to encourage you to brush your teeth.

A healthy diet can improve more than just your waistline. Foods high in sugar and starches produce the most oral acids, and the longer the acids are in your mouth the more damage they can do to your teeth. Dentists recommend avoiding hard candies, sugary gum, soft drinks, dried fruits, crackers, and chips.

Visiting your dentist twice a year is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth. Your dentist can not only clean your teeth properly and remove any lingering plaque, but your dentist can also screen for any abnormalities not visible to you. Your dentist’s goal is to promote good health – and good health starts in the mouth.

Posted on behalf of Springfield Lorton Dental Group

Aug
21

5 Foods That Are Surprisingly Bad For Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Candy and caramel top the list of foods that are bad for your teeth. This fact may not be of any surprise; after all, we’ve been taught since early childhood that sugar is bad, bad, bad for our teeth and to avoid high sugar foods such as candy like the plague.

But there are some foods that you may be surprised to see on the list of foods that are potentially harmful to your pearly whites. They include these five:

1. Fruit Juice – Want your kids to drink something else besides soda? Well, here’s a news flash: fruit juice typically has a high concentration of sugar, which is bad for the teeth. Try diluting the juice with water, or offer milk instead. It is always a good idea to rinse the mouth with water after eating anything with sugar content.

2. Lemons and Oranges – Sure, citrus is packed with vitamin C and other good things, but it is also very acidic. Foods that are acidic are just as bad for your teeth as sugar, so, again, rinse with water after eating. Most dentists also warn against brushing immediately after consuming acidic or sugary foods, because they tend to soften the enamel for a half hour or so and brushing vigorously could erode the surface of the teeth.

3. Smoothies – Don’t think that because that smoothie contains kelp or banana that you are out of danger when it comes to protecting your teeth. Smoothies that contain fruit juice may be disguising sugar content. If possible, opt for smoothies made with whole fruit and water or yogurt.

4. Wine and Alcoholic Beverages – You’ve heard the studies that say one glass of wine a day is good for your heart. Well, that may be true, but if you are letting that wine sit in your mouth for a period of time, you are also making your teeth vulnerable to decay. Alcohol contains high levels of sugar and it can slow the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize acid.  It’s best to limit alcohol intake, and follow up with a glass of water to maintain your optimum oral health.

5. Dried Fruits –  Dried fruits may be a great alternative to fresh fruit nutritionally speaking, but they are as sticky as caramel and so they keep that sugar on the teeth longer. If you have a choice, choose fresh over dried fruit or drink water afterwards to reduce the risk of plaque build-up.

Lists aside, as a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid foods with a high level of sugar, acid or stickiness and brush or rinse afterwards if you can’t avoid them. This will reduce the need for metal or tooth colored fillings and other restorative dental work and help insure a long lasting, bright healthy smile.

Posted on behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

Google

Jan
29

How Long Do Teeth Last?

Posted in Dentures

Many people think that losing your teeth as you age and needing dentures is inevitable. This is not true; in fact, with a little care, your teeth can last as long as you do!

We all know how important it is to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly.  There are other steps you can take as you age to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

First, don’t forget those routine dental cleanings and checkups!  Just because you don’t feel pain, that does not mean you may not have a problem. As we age, the size of the nerves in the teeth and gums shrink, becoming a bit smaller. This change means that our teeth and gums are less sensitive, and we are less likely to notice a dental problem.  Routine teeth cleanings and  checkups will help keep an eye on things before they get out of hand!

Other things you can do to help maintain your teeth and oral health include:

Not forgetting to brush twice a day with soft bristles.  If you are having problems brushing because of arthritis, consider getting a modified toothbrush to help.

Use your dental floss at least once a day. It is best to floss before you brush.

If you do have full or partial dentures, don’t forget to clean them daily, and to remove them for at least four hours every night.  Don’t use regular toothpaste to clean your dentures, and if you dentures become loose as you age, see your dentist for a check-up.

If you still smoke, consider quitting.  The longer you smoke, the more likely you are to develop diseases related to smoking, including oral cancers and tooth disease.

Drink plenty of tap water. During an age when bottled and filtered water is popular, tap water is still a great option.  Besides saving you money, most tap waters have fluoride, and that is still helpful in preventing tooth decay.

Eat healthy – healthy eating provides the right environment for health for all parts of your body, including your teeth.

A healthy mouth is a sign of a healthy person. A few steps will go a long way in keeping you healthy no matter how old you are.

Dec
1

Holiday Sweets

Halloween may be known as the holiday for getting candy, but it really just marks the start of an entire season of holidays dominated by rich and starchy foods, sugary desserts and candy. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day are all days of sugary indulgence. To avoid needing fillings dental fillings and other expensive dental work, it is also the time of year when you should be vigilant about dental care for yourself and your family.

Dentists say next time you reach for a slice of pumpkin pie, a piece of ribbon candy or a candy cane, keep the following guidelines in mind for optimum dental health:

  • Avoid foods that cling to your teeth, such as gooey cakes or caramel, as they promote tooth decay. Instead, choose nuts, fruit, cheese or sugarless candy.
  • When you eat carbohydrates like crackers, cookies or potato chips, don’t eat them alone, as they will encourage the build up of decaying bacteria on your teeth. Instead, eat them as part of a meal or eat them with a neutralizing food like cheese or milk.
  • Whether red or white, wine is an acidic beverage that can wear away your tooth enamel, which helps protect against decay. Avoid swishing the wine in your mouth, and drink water to help rinse your teeth.
  • It is not always possible to brush soon after eating holiday treats, so do the next best thing and either rinse your mouth out with water or chew on some sugarless gum.

Of course, with all the temptations that friends and relatives put before you during the holiday season, refraining altogether from treats and sweets is virtually impossible.  But with a little common sense, along with a regular routine of brushing and flossing, you should be able to make it through the holidays cavity-free. After all, the best gift of all is a great smile!

Sep
13

Tooth Loss Prevention

According to the Center For Disease Control, about a quarter of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their natural teeth.  More than half of older Americans are missing at least ten teeth and only a small percentage still have all of their natural teeth.  Many Americans mistakenly believe that tooth loss is a natural function of the aging process, but in reality, most tooth loss is due to the effects of poor oral health habits.  These effects add up over time which creates the perception that tooth loss is natural in older Americans similar to a decline in vision.

Tooth loss is actually caused by gum disease and tooth decay, both of which are caused by plaque build-up.  Plaque is a sticky film made of naturally occurring bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth.  The bacteria in plaque attack the surface of the teeth causing tooth decay and can also irritate and inflame the gums.  This irritation of the gums is called gingivitis.  If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to gum disease and infection can take hold in gums and tissues that support the teeth.  Eventually, the teeth become loose must be removed.

Good oral health habits can help reduce plaque formation and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  Daily flossing and twice-daily brushing combined with regular dental cleanings and checkups are an excellent to reduce plaque and prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

It is never too late to begin a good oral health program.  Schedule a dental cleaning and check up with your dentist today.  He or she will help you get started on an oral health program that can help prevent tooth loss.

Jul
12

Why Dental Care Matters

Taking good care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining your oral health.  Developing good oral health care habits will help your natural teeth stay strong and healthy and can avoid tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.  Many people take their oral health for granted, but despite being very preventable, oral health problems are widespread throughout the U.S.

About half of all children suffer from tooth decay as do many adults.  In addition, about ten percent of adults suffer from gum disease that can destroy gum tissue and bone causing painful loose teeth that makes chewing difficult.  Gum disease ultimately leads to tooth loss and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Tooth loss in older adults is a serious problem.  About one quarter of Americans aged 65 and older have lost all of their natural teeth and about 40 percent have lost six or more teeth.  Tooth loss leads to poor diet, loss of jaw bone, and lower overall health.

Most older Americans with full or partial tooth loss rely on dentures to replace their missing teeth, but many denture wearers have trouble eating properly, learning to speak, and have reduced confidence levels due to loose or slipping dentures.  Tooth implants are a better alternative because they are as stable and strong as natural teeth and also stop bone loss, but the initial cost of implants can be expensive.

You can avoid the hassle of dealing with dentures later in life or the expense of tooth implants by taking good care of your teeth.  Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups will go a long way toward keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

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