Dental Tips Blog

Mar
14

Can Chewing Gum Help Your Smile?

Posted in Fillings

There are many different chewing gums available and while some are beneficial for your oral health, some can actually promote cavities in your teeth. In order to make the right decision for your smile, it helps to know about your body’s natural way of protecting your teeth and how chewing gum effects it.

It’s All About Saliva

Did you know that saliva helps clear your mouth of acids, that affect the enamel of your teeth, as well as food particles? The less harmful bacteria, plaque and acids in your mouth, the healthier your mouth will be and the harder it is for cavities to form.

Which Chewing Gum Is Right For Your Smile?

When it comes to gum, there are two types to choose from:

  • Sugar-free gum – Alternatively sweetened chewing gum can be very helpful in maintaining your good oral health because it encourages saliva flow. The more saliva in your mouth, the better capable it is of neutralizing and washing away harmful debris and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
  • Sugar-sweetened gum – While sugar-free gum can have many oral benefits, the same cannot be said of sugar-sweetened gum. While your mouth may enjoy the treat, your teeth do not. The sugar contained in chewing or bubble gum acts as food for the harmful bacteria thrive on, encouraging rampant tooth decay.

Xylitol Sweetener For A Healthier Smile

When it comes to selecting a sugar-free gum, opt one that contains Xylitol. This sugar substitute doesn’t just sweeten chewing gum, but it also actively prevents plaque bacteria from adhering to your teeth – inhibiting the growth of some bacteria, and even tooth decay.

Opt for a cleaner smile, by chewing a xylitol-containing gum after eating and by seeing your dentist regularly!

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

May
4

4 Common Factors that Increase Your Risk of Tooth Decay

If you want to avoid getting cavities, you probably think that you should brush your teeth regularly and avoid eating sugar. Although these are both really great pieces of advice, there are a lot of other everyday causes that lead to tooth decay. Here are 4 examples of cavity-increasing risk factors that you need to be aware of:

Mouth Breathing

Having a dry mouth will make your teeth decay more quickly, because there is no saliva lubricating them or cleaning them throughout the day. Manage your sinus allergies and drink plenty of water to prevent this from happening. 

Drinking Sports Drinks, Diet Soda or Juice

If you work out a lot, you probably eat healthy and also consume sports drinks. Or, you might even stick to diet soda and juice because they seem healthier than other alternatives. Not so. All of these drinks contain some type of acidic-causing sweetener that can cause tooth decay to multiply rapidly. Instead, stick to tap water, which is fluoridated and also cleanses your teeth while you drink it. 

Not Flossing

You’ve heard it a million times, but flossing is extremely important. Even the most expensive toothbrush won’t clean between your teeth. Every day that you forget to floss, cavity-causing germs work away at the enamel in these hard to reach areas. 

Putting Off Trips to the Dentist

Going to the dentist doesn’t keep you from getting cavities, but it does allow you to find cavities when they first start. Some people wait until their teeth begin to hurt before they visit a dentist. By this point, cavities are not only large; they have also spread to several teeth throughout the mouth!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188

Dec
31

Four Foods that Keep Teeth Strong

Choosing smart snack foods can help you curb your diet and strengthen your teeth at the same time! Some foods contain rich nutrients that support healthy tooth and gums, while others actually clean your teeth while you eat them. Here are a few foods to keep in mind the next time you’re at the market:

Crisp Veggies and Fruit

Crispy produce like carrots, apples, or celery will stimulate your gum tissue as you chew them. This promotes a healthy blood supply to aid in healing of areas of gum disease. Their firm texture also cleanses the teeth as you eat them; not to mention, their loaded with important vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system to keep you healthier.  

Popcorn

Air-popped popcorn is a guilt-free snack that you can have all day long. The popcorn wipes away biofilm from the teeth, limiting the amount of plaque in your mouth. If you have areas where kernels tend to stick in your mouth, it’s time to re-vamp your flossing routine! 

Cheese and Yogurt

Eating cheese is actually known to neutralize the pH levels inside of your mouth, preventing plaque from causing tooth decay. The calcium also aids in healthy bones throughout your body, including the bone that supports your teeth. 

Nuts

Nuts are packed full of a wide variety of nutrients that promote healthy oral tissues. Cashews especially are loaded with fatty acids that help eliminate infections like periodontal disease when paired with a rigorous oral hygiene routine.

Caring for your mouth goes beyond just reaching for your toothbrush. Make smart choices when you’re making your menu for the week, and you’ll benefit from a healthier smile as well as a healthier life!

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872

Dec
28

Three Drinks That Can Destroy Your Smile

When you think about what causes cavities, you probably think about eating candy and other sweets. It might surprise you to find out that some of the biggest cavity-causers aren’t related to candy – they’re actually things that we drink. Thinking that we’re drinking something good (or “less bad”) for us may actually be doing harm. Here are 3 common drinks that can literally destroy your healthy teeth.

Diet Soda

Diet soda doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better for your teeth than regular soda. Low pH levels and artificial sweeteners still cause damage to your enamel. Don’t drink diet soda more often because you think it’s better for you, because it will still erode your tooth enamel. 

Sports Drinks

You eat healthy, you work out, and you bring your sports drink with you to the gym or to rehydrate after a game. Did you know though, that sports drinks could actually cause more cavities than sodas? It’s true. Unless you’re a professional or Olympic athlete, it might be best to rehydrate with water instead. 

Fruit Juice

A lot of parents put fruit juice in their children’s sippy cups or bottles because they know that juice is a natural drink choice for their child. That being said, it contains natural sugars, which still create an acidic environment inside of the mouth. When your child carries their cup along with them for hours a day, be it filled with milk or juice, they have almost a constant acid exposure. This is a recipe for extensive tooth decay!

The best way to prevent cavities from becoming aggressive is by scheduling a dental exam and check-up every 6 months. Your dentist will take x-rays to see between your teeth, where these types of liquid-induced cavities begin to form.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

May
6

When Snacking Damages Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Eating on a few things here and there throughout the day, or a midnight snack every now and then might not seem like a bad thing, but it can actually increase your likelihood to develop tooth decay. It doesn’t really matter how “sugary” those snacks are, the fact that there are food particles to be broken down doesn’t make them any better. Anything from raisins, potato chips, fat free gummy bears or sports drinks has the potential to cause dental complications if you aren’t careful.

When you eat, those food particles are broken down and acidic byproducts form to aid in the digestive process. Some of these byproducts are seen on the teeth, as plaque. Constant plaque exposure to the teeth will cause enamel to demineralize, weaken, and eventually become decay. Tooth decay leads to the need for dental restorations such as fillings and crowns.   The acid is active for about half an hour, so every time you eat another snack, your teeth are getting an additional half hour of acidic exposure. Instead, it’s best to eat the food all at once rather than to drag it out for hours.

If you do find yourself craving a snack, be sure to drink lots of water afterwards to help reduce acid levels in the mouth. Reach for healthy snacks like fresh fruits or vegetables, which clean teeth while you eat them. Cheese is another great snack that can neutralize the pH in your mouth and give you much needed calcium. Restrict snacks to just once or twice a day, rather than eating a little bit on them all day long, and fill up on well-balanced meals that will satisfy you rather than leave you wanting something 30 minutes later.

Posted on behalf of Linda King DDS

Google

Feb
14

Pediatric Dentistry

As a parent, you may have applauded the end of the winter vacation. The kids are back in school, and you are back to your daily routine.  Until the dreaded ‘parent / teacher’ letter shows up one day, saying that your son or daughter seems to not be paying attention in class.

A common cause for a loss of concentration in school is tooth decay.  After seeing your pediatrician, make an appointment to see a pediadrict dentist. If there are no medical reasons that your child is not paying attention, and especially if this is a new problem, the cause may simply be that your son or daughter has a toothache.

Annually, in the United States, tooth aches and tooth decay account for over 50 million lost days at school. Tooth decay is an infectious disease, and while your son can not pass this to his friend in school, tooth decay will spread to other teeth if not treated promptly.

Tooth decay causes cavities in children. If these cavities are caught promptly, they are easy to fill and treat.  Other problems that may arise if a child has tooth decay is a new problem in speaking or eating.

There are ways to prevent tooth decay, but if your child is experiencing new concentration problems at school, consider adding in a visit to your dentist as you try to determine the cause.  Until then, encourage your child to brush twice daily, floss at least once a day, and help them by encouraging a healthy diet. One of the best ways a parent can help build good dental habits is by displaying these habits themselves. Parents are great examples of what to do (and not to do!). Help your child by making good brushing and flossing part of your daily routine in your home.

Dec
18

Acid Erosion of the Teeth

Acid erosion of the teeth is a serious condition that causes permanent damage to your tooth enamel. Severe erosion of the teeth can weaken the tooth and cause sensitivity, or make it more likely to develop decay in addition to causing a severe aesthetic impact.

People who commonly suffer from acid erosion of tooth enamel include people with:

•           GERD (acid reflux disease)

•           Chronic heartburn

•           Bulimia

•           High frequency consumption of acidic drinks (soda, lemonade, etc.)

As the acids from your food or those that regurgitate into the mouth come into contact with your teeth, the tooth enamel becomes etched and erodes away over time. The erosion can occur on the cusps of the teeth, around older restorations, between the teeth and on smooth tooth surfaces. If the cause of the erosion is not addressed, teeth will eventually weaken, break down, become sensitive or decay.

If you are undergoing treatment for conditions like GERD, bulimia or heartburn, you can also choose to use a supplemental fluoride treatment to help remineralize tooth enamel each day. It’s best to avoid overzealous brushing, as this can cause the acid to be spread throughout the mouth. Instead, choose to rinse your mouth frequently throughout the day with water or a fluoride rinse. Don’t let your condition go untreated, see your medical professional in a timely manner as these conditions can cause other systemic problems that don’t affect your teeth at all.

Acidic drinks are a major factor in tooth decay. Even diet sodas and natural juices can cause enamel decalcification. Instead, choose to drink more water, which is also a natural lubricant to wash away acid.

Jul
17

Prevention of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, yet the incidence of tooth decay in young children has begun to increase.  This trend is a serious concern because it reflects the first such increase in years.  For decades, the incidence of tooth decay has been declining across the board, but this new trend indicates that we may have become complacent or drifted away from good oral health care.

The lifetime benefits of good oral health and dental care are well known.  Tooth decay and cavities are known to cause a reduced quality of life due to the associated discomfort and poor aesthetics.  Children with poor dental health do not do as well in school and often have a lower level of self-esteem, both of which lead to lower levels of success.  Tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to cardiovascular disease and other health concerns.

You can give your child a head start by taking steps to prevent tooth decay.  Preventing tooth decay starts early.  Experts point to several causes of tooth decay in young children. According to the American Dental Association, you should avoid giving bottles at bedtime or nap time, especially those containing sugary drinks.  The sugar and bacteria will sit on the child’s teeth while he or she is sleeping.  Also, cleaning a child’s pacifier or spoon with your mouth can transfer bacteria from you to your child.

Wipe an infant’s gums with a soft cloth or brush very lightly with a soft child’s tooth brush to help remove food particles and to help the child become accustomed to regular brushing.  Once the child’s teeth begin to come in, brush after meals with a soft toothbrush.  Start your child on regular dental visits by age one and follow your dentist’s recommendations for good dental health.  Experts recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist instead of your regular dentist.   Pediatric dentists have the skills and experience to address the dental needs of children.

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