Dental Tips Blog

Sep
17

4 Surprisingly Horrible Drinks for Kids’ Teeth

Is your son or daughter’s favorite beverage on this list?

Juice

It’s made from fruit, so it has to be healthy, right?

Fruit juice is often fortified with sugar. Even pure forms of juice are high in natural sugars and acids. Drinking juice is worse for your teeth than eating fresh fruit, because it bathes them in liquids that are harsh on enamel, sans the healthy fiber.

Energy Drinks

You’re just glad it’s an alcohol-free substitute for your teen. But these “cool” drinks that get kids pumped up for an all-nighter of homework contain just as many harmful ingredients as soda does. Studies also indicate that these beverages can trigger seizures and heart problems in kids.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain a lot of sugars; even more than soda in most cases. They’re only necessary in cases where there’s an actual risk of dehydration. Habitually guzzling these bright liquids at every sports practice will quickly lead to tooth decay.

Milk (in a Bottle) 

Putting an infant or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk may help them sleep. But it also unnecessarily allows milk sugars to pool in their mouth overnight. This habit is the number one cause of severe toddler and childhood tooth decay.

What’s the best drink for healthy kids’ smiles? Plain and inexpensive tap water! Water helps maintain a healthy saliva flow to keep teeth strong and cleanse the mouth of bacteria. Pure water won’t wear down enamel and it’s the best thing for kids’ bodies, too.

Allow fun and tasty drinks on occasion. But make sure your kids have access to water as their main hydration source throughout the day. Remember to schedule dental checkups and cleanings for your children to stay on top of their cavity risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Sep
12

Dental Health Alert! 7 Favorite Holiday Foods That Can Wreck Your Smile

We’re coming up on that time of year when we look forward to time with family, vacation days, and lots of food…but mostly the food.

So here are seven of the worst (and tastiest!) holiday foods that you’ll want to enjoy in moderation if you want to avoid getting cavities.

Candy Canes

Candy canes are pure sticks of sugar. If you slowly lick on one for close to an hour at a time, you’re exposing your teeth to sugar acids for just as long.

Mulled Cider

Apples are good for you but sipping on juice that’s laced with sweeteners and oranges is makes for an acidic concoction.

Sweet Potatoes

Yams may be packed with vitamin C and fiber, but that goodness gets cancelled out when baked with enamel-eating ingredients like brown sugar, syrup, and marshmallows. Alternatively, bake your potatoes whole and season them with a little cinnamon.

Anything with Dried Fruit

Just think pure natural sugar that gets stuck in teeth for hours on end. Enough said.

Glazed Ham

Just because it’s a meat dish doesn’t mean it won’t affect your teeth. A sugary glaze is yet another acidic carb that can weaken enamel.

Stuffing

It’s not always sweet, but stuffing is still a sticky carb that will get stuck in every nook and cranny of your mouth.

Popcorn

There’s no worse culprit for getting stuck in teeth than popcorn! Hard kernels have been known to break teeth and dental crowns and the pesky hulls are good at slipping under the gums and causing infection.

Take time out of your busy schedule to get dental checkups for all in your family before indulging on your holiday break!

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

Aug
19

It Doesn’t Hurt to Get a Deep Cleaning!

If you have gum disease, you might already be anxious about getting a deep cleaning. After all, the name alone sounds uncomfortable. How can it NOT hurt to clean deep under the gums?

It’s actually far less painful than it sounds. The true name of the procedure is a periodontal scaling and root planing.

What Happens During a Deep Cleaning

A deep cleaning is when your dentist or hygienist smooths out the roots of teeth using specially-designed hand tools.

The small edges lift off tartar and bacteria embedded across the tooth roots in tiny increments. While this happens, you may feel a slight tugging sensation and pressure on your tooth, but don’t worry – the tooth isn’t going anywhere!

What about the fact that the tools have to slip below the gums?

Gums lose their attachment to teeth when they’re swollen and infected, creating “pockets” that trap buildup like bacteria and tartar. This debris builds up on tooth roots as far down as the gum pockets extend.

During a deep cleaning, the instruments only go down as deep as the base of the gum pockets.

You may notice some bleeding during the procedure, but it’s not painful. All that swollen gum tissue is loaded with tiny capillaries that bleed instantly when bumped. This side-effect only serves as yet another indicator that you really needed the treatment!

For Your Comfort

If necessary, you can have local anesthesia, topical numbing jelly, or mild sedation to get through your root planing. But you’re likely to find that the only difficult part is keeping your mouth open for the procedure! Taking breaks as needed or using a small, soft prop can help you out.

Ask your dentist or hygienist what else can help you stay comfy during treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Aug
1

Could Selfies Improve Your Oral Hygiene?

Oxford Dictionaries dubbed “selfie” the word of the year in 2013, and there’s no sign that it will leave our vocabularies anytime soon.

But tooth brushing and flossing have been around since long before that.

Here’s how your selfie habit may be providing a much-needed boost to your oral hygiene routine.

You Care About Having Clean Teeth

Selfies focus on smiles and close-up smiles, at that (unless you’re going for the pouty look that is!) You want yours to look good. The trend of sharing self-portraits on social media may have you comparing your tooth color with that of others’… or even talking to your dentist about a cleaning and professional teeth bleaching.

You Focus on Technique and High-Tech Tools

When you take a selfie, all the details count. These days, some people even snap pictures of themselves at the bathroom sink. You may think twice about what kind of brush you’re using in the selfies you take while brushing your teeth. If you’ve invested in a great new electric toothbrush to keep your smile bright, now is the time to share it!

When you have an audience watching you brush, you’ll make sure you’re doing it right.

You’re Bringing the Family Together

There’s probably no better incentive to brush than to have your picture taken as a reward! Even the tiniest tots are likely to cooperate with brushing if you offer to take a picture of everyone with toothpaste foam mustaches.

You’re Spreading Awareness

Brushing is just as important as heading to the gym. Most people love to share their healthy habits and fit figures on social media in an effort to inspire others. If you’re posting the occasional selfie while brushing your teeth, then you’re highlighting yet

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jul
12

Here’s Why You’re Getting Food Stuck in Your Teeth

Ever wonder why that one annoying tooth keeps catching bits of food?

One of the following situations may be to blame…

Decay

Cavities cause roughness and hollow spots in teeth which trap food debris. You may notice this particularly if the top of a molar keeps getting doughy bread and crackers and pasta wedged into it.

Gum Disease

Inflamed gums pull away from tooth surfaces creating gaps for food and bacteria to accumulate. As the infection progresses, those gaps deepen and form the perfectly-sized slot against the tooth root for popcorn kernels to slip into.

Open Contact

Healthy teeth are supposed to be in snug contact with their neighbors. If you have a couple teeth with a gap between them, no matter how small, food will find its way in. This is especially troublesome when the gap is big enough for food to get stuck, but too small for your tongue to wiggle loose the debris.

Flossing

No, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be flossing. But if you aren’t flossing correctly, you could actually be shoving food particles deeper below your gums every time you do floss.

Make sure that when you floss you wrap it around your tooth crown in a snug C-shape before gently shimmying it below the gum line. Then gently shimmy it upwards to pull plaque and food clear of the gums.

Get some relief by:

  • Gently flossing the area
  • Using a water flosser
  • Rinsing with warm salt water
  • Having your teeth restored to close up a gap
  • Scheduling regular dental cleanings and checkups

To find out what’s causing your dinner time distress, visit your local dentist. You’ll learn the best ways for preventing food from getting trapped in your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Apr
22

4 Reasons Your Dentist Wants You to Floss Daily

Flossing isn’t a “dentist thing.” It’s a health thing. Here are four reasons your dentist is hammering the flossing issue.

  1. Your cleaning appointments will be easier for you.

Daily flossing reduces buildup between teeth. If you don’t floss, you’re more likely to develop tartar, or calculus, deposits.

These rock-like formations can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. The bigger and tougher the calculus deposits, the more your dentist or hygienist will have to work at removing them. That doesn’t make for a very pleasant cleaning session.

  1. Flossing could lower your risk for heart problems.

Along with tartar, bacteria also like to hide out between teeth. Certain germs are responsible for triggering gum inflammation.

If bacteria cause inflammation in your gums, then they can travel in your bloodstream and affect parts of your arteries. This could potentially cause a dangerous blood clot.

Preventative flossing disrupts those bacteria, lowering your risk for gum disease, and thereby reducing your risk for other serious complications.

  1. Your cavity risk will go down.

Any little bit you do to disturb bacteria between your teeth is going to keep the cavity-causing germs from wearing away enamel. Besides that, flossing removes food debris that your toothbrush misses. Those leftover bits could contain acids that only erode enamel further.

  1. You’ll have better breath.

Bacteria and leftover food get lodged between teeth. It’s just a fact: the more buildup between teeth, the more you’ll smell.

Flossing to keep your breath fresh isn’t just a courtesy to your dentist when he or she checks your teeth. Others around you will thank you, as well!

Schedule a dental checkup to get some tips on easier flossing.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

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

Mar
27

Going on Vacation? Get Your Teeth Checked First, Dentists Urge

When you’re making plans for a trip out of town, visiting a dentist isn’t exactly at the top of your list of priorities.

It’s not exactly reasonable to head to the dental office every time you take a roadtrip. But what if you have more serious plans in the works…say, international travel? Getting a dental checkup could be the smartest thing you do before your trip!

For one thing, it’s a pain and inconvenience to develop a toothache while you’re out of the country.

Where would you go for treatment in a dental emergency?

Who could you trust to safely repair your smile?

What about all those expensive tours and activities you booked? That dental pain won’t let you enjoy a minute of what you planned.

There’s also this thing called “barodontalgia” that’s worth considering.

Barodontalgia is tooth pain that results from a change in pressure. A previously unnoticed fracture in a tooth can suddenly explode with throbbing pain at an extremely inconvenient time. Some call this issue “tooth squeeze.”

What changes in pressure, you ask? Flying. Commercial jets fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet.

Tooth squeeze starts to be felt at altitudes over 9,000 feet.

How does a killing toothache on a nine-hour flight sound?

If your vacation package includes scuba diving at any tropical destinations, then that can trigger a tooth issue, as well. Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go.

So consider this your friendly reminder to make sure your teeth are good before you head out! The point of a vacation is to forget your worries, for a while. Tooth pain will only add unwanted stress.

Schedule a dental checkup before your next exotic excursion!

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Mar
27

Fight Tooth Decay . . . With Sweets?

Lollipops, caramels, chocolate – oh my! The list of snacks that promote tooth decay goes on and on. It’s not just limited to sweets, either. Foods containing simple carbohydrates like crackers and bagels and juice are also culprits.

The fact that there’s actually a kind of sugar out there that’s proven to help prevent cavities sounds ironic.

Xylitol is a specific type of sugar alcohol. It’s commonly derived from plant sources such as corn and used as a sugar alternative.

Xylitol benefits over regular sugar:

  • 40% fewer calories
  • Just as sweet as sugar while preventing cavities
  • It’s lower on the glycemic index

But what makes xylitol different?

First of all, it’s a carbohydrate that cavity-causing bacteria can’t digest. Those germs live off of the sugar you eat. So when that sugar is replaced by a kind they can’t break down, they starve to death.

Secondly, xylitol helps to deconstruct the “slime layer” that those bacteria live in. Without their sticky texture, they can’t adhere to teeth and cause cavities.

This sugar substitute can often be found on the shelves of health food stores, as well as specific types of gum.

But be careful – xylitol isn’t recommended in large amounts. Just as bacteria have a hard time digesting this substance, so do humans. Too much xylitol probably isn’t toxic, but it does act as a sort of laxative.

The best way to get the dental benefits of xylitol is to chew gum made with it. People with dry mouth especially like to munch on sweet things to encourage saliva flow. Xylitol sweets are the way to go!

In conjunction with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental cleanings and checkups, xylitol can help prevent tooth decay.  Find out more ways to lower your cavity risk by scheduling a visit with your local dentist.

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

Mar
6

4 Reasons to Schedule that Dental Check Up Right Now

It’s time to stop putting it off. Here are four reasons to pick up the phone in the next five minutes and call your dentist for a visit.

  1. You Have the Time.

Given the choice, which would you prefer?

A.) Have a routine dental cleaning and checkup at your convenience

B.) Use up a sick day at work to call in for an emergency root canal

Surprisingly, most people somehow make time for option B.

It’s simple, really. Get it over with so that you can stay more in control of your life.

  1. Your Health Depends on It.

Many a routine dental visit has revealed health problems patients never knew they had. Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. Dentists know what is and isn’t normal in the oral environment. A simple dental examination could uncover early signs that you should see your doctor.

  1. You Can Take Advantage of Your Insurance Benefits.

Insurance benefits usually reset at the start of the new year. If you have a dental checkup now, you can get a good idea of what your oral health priorities are. Your dentist will help you create a to-do list that suits your schedule and budget and lets you strategically maximize your benefits right through the end of December.

  1. You Just Never Know What’s Lurking Beneath the Surface.

A lot of dental issues can be kept manageable (and affordable) just by catching them early enough. Routine x-rays, examinations, screenings, and preventative treatments will keep you on top of your oral health and minimize any unpleasant surprises.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a dental office near you today.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….