Dental Tips Blog

Mar
31

Are You a Neat Freak? Use These 6 Oral Hygiene Tips for the Cleanest Mouth Ever

Bad news for germophobes: your mouth is crawling with bacteria!

Humans host bacteria that lead to gingivitis, decay, and bad breath. These germs can literally multiply overnight!

The following tips will help you keep your mouth as clean as possible.

  1. Use a tongue scraper. You can use your toothbrush itself as an alternative to a tongue scraper. Your tongue hosts most of the germs which cause breath to stink.
  1. Use a rinse. It’s no substitute for brushing, but an antimicrobial mouthwash can reduce the damage done between brushing sessions.
  1. Try a water flosser. A powerful jet of water blasts plaque bacteria away. It can be used on its own or in addition to regular floss. Water flossers are ideal for braces or lots of bridgework.
  1. Drink more water. Staying hydrated replenishes your saliva, which is your mouth’s natural cleanser. Lots of clean water keeps bacteria at bay.
  1. Clean your toothbrush. Did you know that you can reinfect yourself from a previous illness by using your toothbrush that’s loaded with germs? You may opt for a UV sanitizer to cleanse your brush. Alternatively, rinsing it routinely in hydrogen peroxide or an antibacterial rinse can also help. Don’t forget to change out your brush altogether every 3-4 months for optimum brushing efficiency.
  1. Chew on something healthy. Xylitol gum or a spice like clove or fennel are naturally sugar-free options which stimulate a cleansing saliva flow. As an added bonus, this freshens breath and strengthens teeth.

You’re now on your way to perfectly clean smile! But your smile may need more specific attention. To find out what more you can do to keep teeth ultra clean, schedule a routine checkup and teeth cleaning at your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Feb
16

What’s Making My Kid’s Teeth Orange?

You’ve just got to love those baby pearly-whites!

Until they become not-so-white.

Your child’s baby teeth are gradually being replaced by adult ones as their smile matures. But lately, that beautiful white smile has turned dull and rather . . . orange.

Now you’re worried. What happened?

Orange stain on teeth is typically attributed to specific kinds of bacteria that can get pretty colorful themselves. When they collect in high numbers, they leave a characteristic orangey-yellow stain on the teeth.

These germs are associated with food debris and poor oral hygiene. Children’s mouths are the perfect host for these bacteria for a few reasons:

  • Kids are notoriously bad at brushing regularly (it can be like “pulling teeth” to get them to do so!)
  • Young children often don’t have the needed dexterity to move their toothbrush where needed
  • Food debris quickly gets trapped in the messy mix of outgoing baby teeth and incoming adult ones

What can you do if you notice your kid’s teeth turning orange?

Start off with a trip to the dental office. The orange should come right off in a thorough teeth cleaning. While you’re there, chat with the dentist and dental hygienist to get tips on improving your child’s oral hygiene.

Keep in mind that this orange plaque doesn’t just discolor teeth – it can also wear away enamel and cause cavities. That’s why it’s a good thing to worry about the color of your kid’s teeth. If you notice something a little off about your little one’s smile, you could have a potential problem on your hands.

Schedule a dental checkup and cleaning asap! For your child, a beautiful smile is a healthy one.

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

Feb
11

Have You Been To The Dentist Recently?

When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you’re keeping up with your cleanings and exams, it was probably less than six months ago, which is fantastic.

Unfortunately, not everyone stays on schedule to visit the dentist twice a year. Some people have a change in insurance or a family emergency that causes the need to reschedule. But we also know there are many people who simply don’t book their dental exams or preventive cleanings due to anxiety.

New Techniques for a New Age

Modern dental practices have moved far beyond the black and white mental picture that makes you so anxious. The chairs are comfortable. The anesthetic really works, so you shouldn’t feel anything at all. Your dentist does everything possible to help you relax and feel comfortable, whether it’s by having movies to watch, a blanket to stay warm in, or the chance to listen to your own music and tune out everything else. But more importantly, your dentist also offers sedation dentistry.

There are two forms of sedation that most dentists offer to patients with heightened feelings of trepidation: Oral Conscious Sedation and Nitrous Oxide. You might be familiar with Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas.” Inhaling it allows you to remain aware of your environment, but without the edgy nervousness that dental anxiety can provoke. Oral Conscious Sedation comes in pill form that’s taken about 30 minutes prior to treatment. The pill, a light sedative, allows you to remain conscious, but feel like you are taking a light nap. You probably won’t even remember the appointment afterwards!

Your six months dental cleanings and any necessary dental treatments are a big part of staying healthy. Contact your dentist to find out if sedation dentistry is right for you!

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Jan
10

Do You Need to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

For some of us, our dog is more than our best friend – he or she is family.  We’ll do anything for our cold-nosed companions! True dog lovers will go out of their way to get the perfect food formulas, the perfect accessories, and the perfect hair cut for their pets.

One important element of dog health is dental care. Yes, pooches need that too, and once again, those die-hard dog fans are already all over that.

Caring For Dog’s Teeth: What To Know

Dogs are not very susceptible to cavities. But like us, they can develop the heavy tartar buildup and bad breath that accompany gum disease. If not treated, gum inflammation can lead to serious health problems. Daily brushing is a great way to prevent bacterial buildup in your dog’s mouth.

What You Need

A pet store will have toothbrushes and toothpastes appropriate for dogs. NEVER use human toothpaste! Most of our toothpastes contain fluoride which is great for our teeth, but like chocolate, it’s not meant for dogs. Hard chew toys are good for cleansing dog teeth.

What To Do

Start small. You can ease your dog into brushing by starting when they’re young. Brush only for as long as they’ll tolerate, slowly increasing the brushing time each day. Reward your pooch’s cooperation with a treat.

Don’t forget that you need dental care, too! People need routine dental cleanings and checkups twice a year and daily brushing and flossing. We’re more prone to dental health problems than dogs are. To find out what your teeth need to stay healthy and strong, visit your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Amber Hills Dental
771 E. Horizon Dr
Suite 176-180
Henderson, NV 89015
702-831-4686

Dec
31

9 Herbs and Spices That Are Good for Your Smile

Ready for something fresh? These nine herbs and spices are great natural sources of smile-boosting factors.

  1. Green tea. Loaded with antioxidants and an excellent natural breath-freshener, a cup of green tea every morning could do you a lot of good. Just take it without sugar so that it doesn’t become a cavity hazard.
  2. Cloves. Did you know this simple kitchen staple is the foundation for a lot of numbing agents in dentistry? You can enjoy clove’s anesthetic properties by chewing on a whole one when something in your mouth hurts.
  3. Cinnamon. Enjoy it in a hot drink, yogurt, or oatmeal every day to experience the way it can regulate blood sugar and cut down your sugar cravings. This is good for lowering your cavity risk!
  4. Fennel, 5. Cardamom, and 6. Parsley. These get grouped together as a trio of powerful breath-refreshers. Munching on them stimulates saliva flow which washes away traces of acid from your last snack.
  5. Rosemary. A tablespoon of this very average herb actually contains about 4% of your recommended daily value of calcium. Add it to a cheddar sauce over steamed broccoli for a calcium-loaded dinner.
  6. Turmeric. This spice is up-and-coming in research in terms of how powerfully beneficial it is. It lends a bright golden glow to Indian foods. Turmeric could potentially work better than the best mouthwash. Enjoy this spice in a variety of stir-fries and curries.
  7. Garlic. While this one may not be the best for breath, it is great at fighting virtually everything else. It’s best eaten raw, so try to incorporate it into salads, dressings, and sauces.

Remember, no natural herbal remedy can replace the help of your dentist so schedule a dental checkup and cleaning soon!

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Dec
26

Serving Smile-Safe Summer Snacks

Tasty treats are a part of what makes summer special. But keep these healthy tips in mind so that your kids’ smiles stay in great shape and are ready to go by the start of next school year.

Get Creative!

Look to Pinterest and other online DIY articles for inspiration. It doesn’t have to take much work to up the wow-factor of some pretty basic foods. Turn plain fruits and vegetables into eye-catching displays of creativity to encourage your kids to eat them.

  • Freeze berries in ice cubes to chill a glass of water
  • Arrange sliced apples, celery, carrots, strawberries and bananas to form a smiley face or make food look more appealing
  • Sneakily swap whole grain bread for the white in French toast
  • Offer whole grain tortilla chips as a snack with a few healthy dip options like hummus or low-fat yogurt.

Check Ingredients

Even products that you would never consider a sweet or dessert often have some added sweetener to enhance flavor (i.e., sliced deli meat, pasta sauces). High-fructose corn syrup is a major culprit of obesity, digestive problems, and tooth decay but it’s the number one sweetener out there.

Be careful when selecting carbs like pretzels, crackers, and breads which often contain lots of sweeteners. Get smart about checking the ingredients, and you can serve your family with peace of mind.

Encourage Balance

You want to be a cool parent who lets their kids enjoy traditional summer treats. But balance is necessary. Make sure your kids are fueling up on necessary nutrients, not just freezer waffles all day. Encourage munching on calcium-rich snacks like cheese slices and sugar-free yogurt to support strong teeth.

Also, don’t forget to visit your dentist.  Summer is a great time to schedule your kid’s dental cleanings and checkups and taking care of any dental issues before the school year starts.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Dec
19

5 Foods You May Not Realize Are Destroying Your Enamel

Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the body. Yet, it can be gradually worn away by the most surprising things. Foods with acid in them can cause enamel to thin out, making it prone to sensitivity and decay.

Coffee

Java, joe, hot, or cold, call it what you want and take it how you want. Coffee is right up there on the list of acidic foods and there’s a lot of it out there!

Tomato Sauce

Pasta-lovers, be warned! Fresh or simmered into a sauce, tomatoes find their way into our diet in manifold ways. They’re also highly acidic. Take a break from the ketchup, pizza, and spaghetti once in a while and give your enamel a break!

Bagels

What’s so acidic about a bagel? This one’s on the list to remind you that simple sugary carbohydrates are actually harmful to enamel. Doughy products like bagels are apt to stick in and around your teeth long after you eat them.

Citrus Fruits

High in vitamin C, these fruits are great for your health. Eaten straight-up too often, however, they will leave a mark on your teeth.

Vinegar

At this point, you’re not surprised to see tangy acidic vinegar on the list. But you should stop from time to time to check and see just how often this enamel-eating substance winds up on your plate. Vinegar is present in bottled sauces, marinades, dressings, pickles, and more.

Enjoy acidic foods in moderation. Pair them with less-acidic foods and rinse well with water after a meal. Visit your dentist often for routine dental checkups and cleanings to make sure your teeth are holding up against the effects of acid in your diet.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Dec
12

Will Calcium on My Teeth Cause Cavities?

Two dental cleanings and exams a year are usually enough to help you avoid a heavy buildup of tartar —  or calcium deposits — on your teeth. Besides the fact that buildup looks unsightly, there are some health reasons for getting it removed on a regular basis.

You might be surprised to learn that cavities have nothing to do with it.

What Is That Calcium?

The mixture is actually bacteria that are calcified (hardened) into a cement-like substance with minerals found in your saliva. Calcium phosphate, to be precise. This conglomerate debris is more technically called “calculus” in the dental setting. You might know it as tartar.

You can’t necessarily control the rate at which you form calculus. But you have some control over how heavily it develops. Frequent brushing and flossing will remove that plaque before it has time to harden and calcify.

How Calculus Affects Teeth

Once a layer of calculus forms on tooth enamel, not much can happen to the tooth. The cavity-causing bacteria inside calculus are dead and immobile so they won’t be able to produce acids that wear away teeth.

Even though tartar does not cause cavities, it can seriously irritate your gums. The rough texture of calcified bacteria provides the perfect hiding place for living colonies of bacteria. The kind that cause problems like gingivitis and periodontitis.

So those biannual teeth cleanings don’t just keep your smile sparkling. They help you avoid a buildup of calculus that can negatively impact your gum health. Without professional cleanings, your gums can develop an infection that results in losing your teeth themselves.

Do yourself, your teeth, your gums, everyone a favor by visiting your dentist regularly to remove that “tartar!”

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Aug
30

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

You might be surprised to learn that a hygienist’s job involves more than just teeth cleaning. Understanding your local dental hygienist’s role in healthcare could even motivate you to make some changes in your oral hygiene routine.

Hygiene – Not A Job Just Anyone Can Do!

Hygienists are registered and licensed in various ways depending on the state they live in. But one thing they all have in common is a solid education. Most dental hygiene programs are rigorous 2-4 year long college courses that are very similar to nursing.

Dental hygienists also get hands-on training in a disciplined environment to prepare them for their work responsibilities. As a result, they pick up skills and habits like:

  • Cleanliness
  • Attention to detail
  • A sharp eye
  • Compassion
  • Adaptability
  • Good manual dexterity

If you had to pick someone to clean your teeth with small and very sharp tools, wouldn’t you want someone who fits that description?

Your hygienist is a respected professional in the medical community.

Beyond The Brush

A dental hygienist’s work doesn’t end with cleaning teeth.

Perhaps most important of all is their role in educating patients on the importance of oral hygiene. This aspect often has them actively promoting preventive dental care in schools, nursing homes, and underserved areas.

For the record, your hygienist doesn’t get on your case about flossing for no reason! He or she wants you to understand the deeper connection between clean gums and a healthy body.

If you pay attention to what your dental hygienist has to say, you’ll learn lots of practical tips that can make your flossing and brushing routine worlds easier – and improve your overall health.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Jun
4

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

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