Dental Tips Blog

Jul
4

Is Chewing on Ice Really Bad For Your Teeth?

Posted in Fillings

In short, yes. Chewing on ice can cause problems if you have existing fillings, areas of tooth decay, or sensitive teeth. The hardness of the ice may result in too much pressure when you chew, causing broken down teeth to crack apart or break. The cold temperature of the ice may also lead to contraction of dental materials in fillings that you may have, weakening their bond with the surrounding tooth enamel. Whether it’s a one-time thing, or an everyday occurrence, chewing ice may lead to fractured teeth or fillings in your mouth, resulting in a dental emergency. Even if it isn’t too traumatic, chewing hard things like ice can cause small areas like those with bonding to fall off of the teeth.

In addition to the risks associated with chewing ice, the habit may also be linked with anemia. Once thought to be just an old wives tale, the medical community has spoken out and let people know that it very well may mean you are suffering from anemia if you’re prone to chewing on ice. An increase of iron in your diet through foods or supplements can help regulate your blood levels. Oral symptoms of anemia may also be visible by your dentist, so be sure to let your dental provider know if this is something that you find yourself doing on a regular basis.

If your teeth are sensitive to ice or cold in general, you may have areas of exposed pores that are hypersensitive to temperature changes in the mouth. Using toothpaste designed for sensitivity can help block these areas and reduce symptoms within about 2 weeks. After this point if symptoms are still evident, you should see a dentist.

Posted on behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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Jan
28

Bottled Water and Flouride

Posted in Fillings

You know that eating and drinking too many sugary foods and drinks can cause cavities. You may have wondered if having bottled water is actually better for your teeth, too.

Interestingly, many bottled waters and water purifiers or filters remove fluoride. It has been known for years that drinking water with fluoride helps prevent cavities. Unfortunately, because of the increase in bottle water, many dentists are now seeing an increase in cavities and more patients who need dental fillings and other restorative dental work.

There are a few ways to help combat the lack of fluoride. The first is to purchase bottled water that has fluoride added. Some manufacturer’s make bottled water especially for children that has fluoride added. In some cases, you can add fluoride drops to the water to reach the recommended amount of fluoride daily.  Your dentist can recommend the amount of fluoride drops to use. To check and see if bottled water has fluoride, read the water bottle label.

Bottled water is expensive, though, and if you want to remove impurities and improve taste, you might decide to simply filter your own tap water. If that is the case, the American Dental Association provides a list of water filters that will not remove fluoride. This may be an acceptable option for you and your family.  Water filters are available for pitchers that store in your refrigerator, or to simply place on the tap of the faucet.

Removing sugary drinks from your diet is an important step in keeping your teeth healthy.  Just don’t forget the fluoride while you are drinking!

Jun
22

Are White Fillings Worth the Cost?

Posted in Fillings

These days it seems like we are offered a choice no matter where we go: paper or plastic, diet or regular, hot or mild – the list goes on and on.  Our dentist even offers us a choice of material for filling cavities:  white or silver?  Silver colored amalgam has been used for filling cavities for over a hundred years, but in recent years white composite dental fillings have emerged as an alternative material for filling dental cavities.

Composite fillings cost a little more, but they have numerous advantages and are clearly superior to amalgam fillings.  The most obvious advantage of composite fillings is that they are tooth colored so the filling blends in with your teeth.  In fact, your dentist can adjust the shade of the composite material so it matches your natural tooth color almost exactly.

In addition to cosmetic considerations, composite fillings result in a stronger, more stable tooth.  Amalgam fillings are essentially wedged into place, but composite fillings bond directly to the surface of the tooth which adds strength to the tooth.

Less tooth material has to be removed for a composite filling to be placed.  That means that there will be more natural tooth material remaining if the filling later needs to be replaced and there is less likelihood that a crown will be needed to restore the tooth.

And if the clear advantages of composite fillings is not enough to convince you, there is some concern about the safety of amalgam fillings due the mercury content.  So far most experts have concluded that amalgam fillings are safe, but why take chances when there is a better alternative readily available?

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