Most of us adults have fond memories of opening our lunch bags to find mom packed us a goody to brighten our day at school.
If you have kids, you likely continue the tradition.
Yummy as sweet snacks may be, it’s important to think carefully about such decisions.
Dentists recommend that you avoid adding these items on a regular basis:
Sports drinks. Save these for game day when your kid is on the verge of dehydration. Consumed unnecessarily, sports drinks are an unbelievable source of enamel-eating acids and sugars.
Snack cakes. These are the highlight of any kid’s day! Just don’t make it their daily highlight. Sugary sweets contribute to diabetes and obesity as well as tooth decay.
Sugary granola bars. Although this sounds healthy, chewy refined grains smothered in syrup is a recipe for disaster if it all camps out on your child’s teeth for the rest of the day.
Don’t Forget A Toothbrush!
Whether your little mini-me likes healthy lunch options or not, you should always encourage diligent oral hygiene.
Actually, if you have a hard time getting your child to eat smile-friendly foods, then frequent proper brushing is all the more important. Keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste handy in their lunchbox, if they are old enough to use it appropriately.
By starting now, you can help your child lay the foundation for a bright and healthy future. Even if they don’t appreciate it now, they will thank you later! Smart snacking and regular brushing and flossing are the keys to avoiding tooth decay and cavities, spending less time in a dental chair, and spending less money on fillings, crowns and other dental restorations.
Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
It’s an age-old remedy for many common health ailments. It’s a vital ingredient in many baked goods. It helps remove stains in laundry and is a chemical-free household cleaning agent. It deodorizes refrigerators and cupboards.
What is it? Baking soda.
This cheap and simple product can be a handy helper in your home. You may also know it as a popular toothpaste substitute.
This begs the question, however: is it safe to brush with baking soda instead of toothpaste?
Why Use Baking Soda?
Daily brushing is important to help reduce or prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Baking soda can be a cost-effective and quick way to get your teeth scrubbed up.
People choose this alternative toothpaste mainly because it’s gritty enough to polish out some stains on enamel. Baking soda can help remove some plaque and debris and its basic nature allows it to neutralize acids in the mouth. These acids are responsible for triggering tooth decay.
What’s Not So Great About Baking Soda?
Despite its benefits, baking soda also has a few downsides:
Perhaps the worst part about baking soda is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.
Most toothpastes have some kind of detergent to help gently loosen plaque from the teeth. That’s what creates all the foam when you brush. Some toothpastes even have agents that prevent bacteria from growing back.
Most importantly, other toothpastes generally have fluoride. This vitamin is essential for strong teeth, but it’s not found in baking soda, by itself.
Ask your dentist whether using baking soda to regularly brush your teeth is good for your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants
You may already know that dental sealants are not the same thing as fillings. A restoration like a filling is something the dentist places after a tooth is damaged by a cavity. Sealants help to block out damage before it starts.
So what determines whether your child is a candidate for sealants?
Kids tend to have a hard time with proper brushing. They also love to eat sticky sweet snacks that pack into teeth and promote cavities. Sealing it off with a tiny bit of white resin-based material provides a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria or acid.
Sealants are instrumental in giving kids the upper hand over cavities. They’re now routinely offered in most dental offices as a preventative treatment. Sealing your child’s molars as early as possible can help them avoid getting cavities and spare them a lot of headache down the road.
How Groovy Are Your Kid’s Teeth?
Sealants are recommended for all kids. But, some kids need them even more than others. If your child has molars with really deep grooves on the chewing surfaces, then they could benefit from getting those sealed off shortly after the tooth erupts.
Generally-speaking, most dentist don’t recommend sealing baby teeth. Even though your child’s first teeth are important, the grooves are usually quite shallow. It’s the permanent teeth that have deep grooves, making them a priority to protect.
To find out whether your child is ready for sealants, schedule an appointment with your kids dentist. You’ll find out which teeth need to be repaired with fillings. . . and which teeth can avoid fillings with the help of dental sealants!
Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Dental sealants are an increasingly popular preventive dental procedure for kids. But does this mean you should jump on-board and have them placed for your child’s smile?
What Sealants Do
With dental sealants, a thin layer of a resin material is painted into the grooves of the back teeth. This “paint” reduces the depth of the grooves, making it easier to keep them clean. It also prevents cavity-causing bacteria from settling in too deep.
The sealant placement process involves:
Are Sealants Safe?
Yes! Dental sealants don’t cause irreparable damage to tooth structure. They don’t leak any harmful toxins into the body system, and the placement process is drill-free. There is virtually nothing that you or your child should fear (not even shots!)
Benefits Now and Later
Dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the deep grooves of teeth. This makes them ideal for kids that have a hard time remembering to brush. By sealing out cavity-causing bacteria, you can reduce your child’s cavity risk altogether. Sealants can spare your family with the frustration of having longer appointments later on to repair the damage done by cavities.
Find out whether dental sealants are right for your kids by scheduling an examination with your local dentist. Regular check-ups will ensure that your children are given the best foundation possible for a future of healthy smiles!
Posted on behalf of:
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
You’ve likely heard mixed opinions on the value fluoride has for dental health. There are individuals who believe fluoride is toxic. But the vast majority of dental professionals promote fluoride for its unequaled ability to prevent tooth decay.
Which side you believe will affect the health of your family. Before you rule out fluoride use as dangerous or inconsequential, carefully consider the benefits of fluoride that the latest research shows. It can make a big difference in your child’s dental health!
How Fluoride Works
Fluoride is absorbed systemically by teeth that are still developing. This helps strengthen the enamel before the tooth emerges. Fluoride can also reinforce enamel when teeth are exposed to it in the mouth. Topical fluoride can even help remineralize areas that are prone to tooth decay.
Fluoride comes in a variety of forms:
Supplement Oral Hygiene
Children often have a hard time removing harmful plaque from their mouths during brushing. The great thing about fluoride is that it can penetrate plaque. Teeth will still get some protective benefit from this mineral even if some acidic plaque is left on them. Plaque is also easily trapped in the mix of adult and baby teeth that many kids have. Fluoride is especially effective for kids!
Avoid Future Dental Expense
By preventing cavities now through fluoride use, you’re helping your child plan for a future of dental health. Strong tooth enamel and excellent oral hygiene will ward off problems that can lead to a lot of pain and cost down the road.
Get your child’s dental health off to the best start by scheduling an examination at your local dental office.
Posted on behalf of:
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
Growing up, you probably heard how important fluoride was for your teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that encourages proper tooth development and also helps tooth enamel resist decay. Just like calcium, it’s a necessary part of the human body. Kids aren’t the only ones that can benefit from fluoride – adults do too!
Fluoride at Your Dental Appointment
Professional strength fluoride applications help fight sensitivity and provide the pores of the teeth with a chance to absorb minerals that greatly decrease your risk of tooth decay. Applications such as varnishes can last for several hours, making them much more effective than gels or foams that were previously used by dentists.
Fluoride in Your Drinking Water
Systemic fluoride helps strengthen bones and teeth as they grow. When your finished growing, the superficial fluoride strengthens the teeth as you drink. Municipal water supplies are required to have monitored fluoride levels while bottled waters do not. In fact, many bottled waters do not contain fluoride at all and even have a slightly acidic pH.
Fluoride in Your Toothpaste or Mouth Rinse
The small amount of fluoride in your home products provides your teeth with a minimal, daily dose of the mineral to help repel new tooth decay. It can also help early signs of demineralization to reverse, before they become cavities. If you have a high risk of cavities such as a large number of restorations or frequent tooth decay, then daily fluoride is a must.
Your dentist may prescribe a stronger fluoride for daily use if you are at risk for decay or undergoing orthodontic treatment. Even if you use fluoride, regular dental check-ups are important to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. Book your preventive care visit every 6 months.
Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
Brushing and flossing helps remove debris from the teeth, but daily contact with plaque bacteria also weakens tooth enamel, damaging the teeth and gradually wearing on them over time. While it’s true that toothpaste does contain small amounts of fluoride, it may be necessary to use a supplemental fluoride each day to help remineralize tooth enamel that is susceptible to forming cavities.
One of the benefits about choosing a fluoride rinse is that it can access all surface areas of teeth throughout the mouth. Areas between the teeth or that have deep areas inaccessible by a toothbrush can easily soak up fluoride when a rinse is used. The use of an over the counter fluoride rinse each day can keep enamel strong, deter decay from forming, and reduce the need for dental fillings and other restorative dental work.
A fluoride rinse should be used after thorough brushing and flossing, so that the liquid has direct contact with clean tooth enamel. Most dentists recommend using the fluoride in the evenings before bedtime, as the saliva glands slow down production when a person sleeps. After rinsing with the fluoride for 30+ seconds, spit the rinse into the sink but do not rinse the remainder of the fluoride rinse out of your mouth. This allows a very small amount to remain on the surface of the tooth enamel. If the rinse is used in the morning, then a person should wait at least 30 minutes or more before eating or drinking after applying fluoride.
Implementing a fluoride rinse into your daily oral hygiene routine can help stop new cavities from forming between your dental visits. It is not however, a substitute for regular brushing or flossing!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
What if your dentist told you that there was something so simple to do, even easier than brushing that could help your teeth and lower the levels of plaque bacteria in your mouth? That’s exactly what Xylitol does; an ingredient in specific gums at major retailers and found in products at health food stores. Xylitol is a sweetener, but it’s not like other kinds of sugars or artificial sweeteners. Its carbon molecule is different, and it physically interferes with plaque’s ability to cling to the teeth or build up in the mouth.
Xylitol exposures at least 5 times a day, through gum, spray, rinse, or toothpaste can dramatically decrease bacterial plaque levels in the mouth leading which reduces the incidence of tooth decay which means fewer fillings, crowns and other dental restorations. Some people also use variations to treat other types of conditions, like earaches for example. Chewing a piece of Xylitol gum after meals, during an afternoon break, or after your cup of coffee can become a habit that makes a positive impact on the health of your teeth.
Many chewing gums available at the supermarket contain Xylitol, but you just have to check the label to be sure (most companies put it on the front of the package.) Simply being “sugar free” isn’t enough, because plaque bacteria can still form on the teeth; Xylitol actually breaks these bacteria up. It can also be purchased as a sugar substitute for cooking or baking, but consuming too much of the ingredient can cause stomach irritation.
If your oral hygiene isn’t quite what it ought to be, or you’ve always had a problem with plaque build up no matter what you’ve tried, start chewing gum with Xylitol. Your dentist will notice!
Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental
Home fluoride treatments can be one of the most effective ways to avoid problems like tooth sensitivity, enamel demineralization and cavities. Most of the time, fluoride is prescribed to you by your dentist if you have a high risk of cavities, sensitivity, or are wearing braces. Other times, a lower dose of fluoride such as that found in over the counter rinses are recommended.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps restore strength to weakened tooth enamel. For instance, if you’re not brushing well, the enamel will begin to be etched by the acidic plaque bacteria. Before these areas become decay, they are evident as white spot lesions on the tooth (something that is often seen in orthodontic patients that do not have good oral hygiene.) A topical fluoride that is used after thorough plaque removal can help strengthen this weak enamel to stop and prevent further destruction of the area.
It’s best to use a fluoride rinse or gel just before bedtime, so that it can have an extended time on your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth as normal, and then rinse thoroughly or brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride gel. Spit well, but do not rinse the excess fluoride away. You don’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes; so using it at bedtime is highly convenient. Although it’s safe to use on a daily basis, you don’t want to ingest topical fluoride because it can affect tooth formation or cause an upset stomach. Routine topical use is safe and extremely effective.
If you’re already using an over the counter rinse, that’s great. If your dentist prescribes you fluoride, you may need a higher strength due to your weakened tooth enamel. There’s a big difference in the quantity of the mineral, so be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendation.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care
Every patient will at one point ask their dentist what their opinion is on toothpastes. The most common questions your Atlanta dentist gets is “what toothpaste is best?” While there’s no point-blank answer, there are a couple of key points you should keep in mind when you’re trying to find which toothpaste is the best for you.
What do you want to achieve with your toothpaste? If you have sensitive teeth, using a toothpaste that is formulated specifically for sensitivity can help alleviate symptoms within 2 weeks of constant use. On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid whitening toothpastes that lift stains and open the pores of your teeth (which in turn can make your teeth more sensitive.) Whitening toothpastes won’t take years of stains off of your teeth, but they may lift a shade or two of stain. Most of all, whitening toothpaste can help repel new stains from coffee, tea and red wine, keeping your teeth whiter between professional treatments.
For teeth that are prone to tartar, decay or gingivitis, there are also toothpaste formulas that contain specific ingredients that can help repel tartar, strengthen tooth enamel or fight gingivitis. The downside to tartar control toothpastes is that they also sometimes make you prone to developing more stain.
Ultimately, what determines if your toothpaste is good enough is how you use your toothpaste. If you’re not brushing properly or often enough, then you’ll still have gingivitis, tartar, tooth decay and bad breath. Remember to always brush twice each day for two minutes at a time. Take special care to brush along the gumlines, and always be sure to clean between your teeth with floss.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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