Dental Tips Blog

Oct
18

5 Ways to Avoid Sensitive Teeth This Winter

Does just the thought of the fast-approaching cool weather make your teeth sting? Many people struggle with having teeth that are unusually sensitive to cold air.

Here are a few ways you can minimize that wintery zing and keep your sensitive teeth comfortable in the upcoming chilly season.

  1. Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Fluoride is a mineral that can fill in microscopic pores of weak and worn areas in your enamel. It’s important for preventing cavities, but this process also improves insulation on sensitive tooth surfaces. Increasing your teeth’s exposure to fluoride with toothpastes and rinses can reduce sensitivity.

  1. Get a Professional Fluoride Treatment

Your dentist may be able to offer a special kind of fluoride varnish. This varnish sticks to your teeth for several hours. It allows your enamel to absorb the maximum amount of fluoride possible.

  1. Try Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpastes contain potassium nitrate which helps block up open pores on the enamel surface. This provides extra insulation for sensitive or worn teeth.

  1. Switch to a Softer Toothbrush

Brushing gently with a toothbrush with soft bristles will help you avoid wearing away more enamel. Soft bristles also feel better on sensitive teeth.

  1. Avoid Acidic Foods

Foods high in acid can further dissolve your tooth enamel. Stay away from things like soda, citrus fruits, and vinegar.

  1. Ask Your Dentist About Treating Sensitive Teeth

When nothing else seems to work, ask your dentist for help in relieving tooth sensitivity. You may need a filling or crown to protect very sensitive teeth. Sometimes, dental sensitivity is due to a serious oral health issue.

Call your dentist today for more tips on preventing sensitive teeth.

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

Jun
19

Should You Get an Electric Toothbrush?

A powered toothbrush might seem like an “unnecessary” gadget. Who wants to pay for a machine that does the same thing a cheaper manual toothbrush can? As a matter of fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that both electric and manual brushes are effective at cleaning teeth.

So why should you make the switch to a powered toothbrush?

Powered Brushes Are Good for Limited Hand Mobility

The bristles on an electric toothbrush vibrate so that your hand doesn’t have to move around quite so much. This makes a powered brush perfect for those with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, which make it difficult to grasp a toothbrush.

Did you recently injure your dominant hand in an accident? It can be tricky to brush with the opposite one, so using a powered toothbrush will ensure that you can still get your teeth clean.

Powered Brushes Are “Smart”

Most electronic toothbrushes have built-in systems to time your brushing routine and even gauge how much pressure you’re using when you brush. These features can help you brush thoroughly yet gently to preserve your gums.

Powered Brushes Can Help You Get a More Thorough Clean

Electronic brushes have some other surprising benefits. For example, using an electronic tooth brush has proven to help people pay more attention to their dental health.

Power toothbrushes also make brushing easier for people with braces. What’s more, you only have to change out the head on a power brush every few months instead of throwing out the whole thing.

If you’re interested in trying an electric toothbrush, ask your dentist which brand they would recommend for your specific situation.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

May
15

Why Did the Pediatric Dentist Prescribe Fluoride for My Child?

There’s fluoride in toothpaste, fluoride in mouthwash, and fluoride in tap water…so why did the pediatric dentist just advise for your child to start using a prescription strength fluoride before bed each night?

Here are a few reasons why it might be the case:

There’s a cavity starting to form. If caught early enough, enamel demineralization can be reversed before it completely evolves into an active cavity (hole) in the tooth. Adding extra minerals back into the tooth can help the weak spot to remineralize. 

Your child recently got braces. It’s hard to clean around orthodontic appliances, so adding fluoride can help to prevent those dreaded “white circles” that pop up when plaque hangs out around fixed brackets on the teeth. 

Fluoride levels in the water aren’t regulated. If you’re using well water or live in a certain area where fluoride isn’t controlled in the water supply, it’s important for your child to get the recommended amount while his or her teeth are still growing. 

They’ve had several cavities lately. Maybe all of your child’s cavities have been filled and there aren’t any more fillings left on the treatment plan. But the fact is that cavity-causing bacteria are still hiding somewhere in their mouth, and since your child is prone to getting more cavities than normal, upping the fluoride use each day can help prevent new tooth decay from forming.

Prescription fluoride for daily use is different than the single fluoride treatment that’s applied to your child’s teeth after they’ve had a cleaning. Talk to your pediatric dentist to learn more about the types of fluoride and what they’re used for.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Apr
9

5 Healthy Foods That Are Actually Bad for Your Teeth

You know that soda and sugary treats are bad for your smile. But you might be surprised to learn that even some healthy foods can be harmful to your dental health.

  1. Oranges

Loaded with vitamin C and water, oranges are the perfect defense against the common cold. On the downside, all that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is harsh on tooth enamel. Try to sip your orange juice through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.

  1. Popcorn

Popcorn is a very versatile snack – light, yet satisfying and a good source of fiber. But it can be bad for your teeth if your popcorn is coated with caramel. Even if you opt for no toppings, those popcorn hulls can get wedged in your gums and cause inflammation.

Crunching on half-popped kernels is very damaging to teeth and can cause a cracked or chipped tooth.

  1. Raspberries

Some research suggests that raspberries can help regulate mood swings. But the little seeds in these healthful berries can be painful when they get stuck between teeth or wedged in a molar.

  1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants, calcium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. But to keep those pesky seeds from getting lodged in your teeth, try enjoying this dietary supplement ground up into a gelatin-like powder.

  1. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a convenient way to get your daily fiber and vitamins. Chew with caution, however, since sticky dried fruit is also high in sugar and can get stuck in your teeth, increasing your risk for cavities.

Is your diet smile-friendly? Find out by scheduling a checkup at your local dental office.

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

Feb
17

Do You Know the Signs of a Dental Abscess?

“Dental abscess” is a scary term since it usually refers to pain or the loss of a tooth. Do you know the signs? Here are some things to watch out for.

Pain That Spreads

An abscess occurs when the nerve in a tooth dies because of decay or trauma. This is naturally a painful process, but the pain from an abscess isn’t limited to just the tooth. You could have an abscessed tooth if you have a throbbing pain that radiates from your tooth to other parts of your mouth and face. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
8

How to Stop Biting Your Lips, Cheeks, or Tongue

Lip, cheek, or tongue-biting is usually due to one of three causes:

  • Something in the mouth is causing irritation
  • Accidentally biting down while talking or eating
  • Nervous habit

Depending on your reasons, here are three ways to stop yourself from biting your lips, cheeks and tongue.

Irritation in the Mouth

The insides of cheeks and lips can develop scar tissue from being chafed by something like braces. A misaligned bite can cause teeth to press into the sides of the tongue. Such irritation may cause injuries that never seem to go away.

Talk with your dentist or orthodontist to see if treatment to align your bite will help you stop injuring yourself. Orthodontic wax and other devices can also spare your cheeks the irritation of metal braces.

Accidental Injury

An accidental bite can leave you with a painful, bleeding, swollen lump on your tongue, lip, or cheek. This can also be due to misaligned teeth.

Ice an injury as soon as it happens to bring down the swelling. This will relieve pain and minimize the chance of accidentally chomping on it again. Eat only soft foods for a couple days while it heals, and focus on chewing slowly.

Anxious Habit

Some people bite their cheeks without even realizing it. This habit is tough to break, but not impossible. When you have a numb mouth from getting dental work completed, be careful not to chew on your cheeks! It’s a common habit, especially for children.

Chronic biting will leave chronic sores, so it’s good to try to stop.

Identify triggers that make you nibble such as boredom or anxiety. Substitute another distracting activity like humming, knitting, or chewing sugar-free gum. Use flavored lip balm to keep your lips smooth to serve as a reminder if you accidentally start to chew on your lips.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57
th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Jan
8

How to Reverse the Effects of Rough Tooth Brushing

Are you an aggressive tooth-brusher?

You may be if you notice signs like:

  • Receded gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Notches worn into the outer surfaces of your teeth near the gumlines

Most toothpastes are abrasive by nature. Combine that with a heavy hand and a hard-bristled toothbrush, your teeth and gums will likely experience wear every time you clean them.

Is there any way to stop and reverse the damage?

Irreplaceable Gums and Enamel

Gums, once lost to recession, don’t grow back on their own. Similarly, tooth enamel doesn’t come back if it’s worn away.

Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to reverse the damage.

How to Fix Abrasion and Gum Recession

The first thing to do is address whatever is wearing down your gums and enamel, to prevent it from getting worse.

Throw out your current toothbrush and look for one with extra-soft bristles. A brush with a small head can also help you avoid carelessly scrubbing your gums. Use a non-abrasive sensitivity toothpaste.

You may find that a powered toothbrush is a good solution. Electric brushes do the work for you so there’s no need for much force. Some brushes even come with a sensor that warns you if you’re pushing it against your teeth too hard.

Worn enamel can often be repaired with dental bonding or fillings. A severe case may need to be capped with a dental crown. Similarly, small restorations can cover up tooth roots exposed by gum recession. If your gums have receded too much, then your dentist may suggest gum grafting to replace lost tissue.

Contact your local dentist if you need help with finding a gentler toothbrushing method or offer tips on how to repair the damage from aggressive brushing.

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

 

Jan
7

Save the Environment and Enhance Your Smile with These Green Oral Hygiene Tips

Looking for some eco-friendly dental hygiene tips? The following will help you get started.

Use Biodegradable Toothbrushes

There are several varieties of “natural” toothbrushes out there with handles made from materials like bamboo. This means that you’re throwing away less plastic every time you toss your old toothbrush (most bristles are still made with some kind of nylon).

Natural fibers like silk floss may also be an option since it breaks down quicker than the regular nylon varieties.

Get a Reusable Straw

Straws are great for preventing decay and tooth stain. They allow you to enjoy sweet coffee, tea, and soda without washing your teeth in the beverage.

But plastic straws have been so widely used that they are starting to pose a threat to the environment.

Carry around your own supply of biodegradable straws (often made from straw, bamboo, or paper) or purchase a reusable steel or glass one.

Shut Off the Water When You Brush

Shutting off the water obviously saves on a valuable resource.

What are the benefits to your smile, though?

In reality, you don’t need much water when you’re done brushing, anyway. The toothpaste residue in your mouth should be left behind to keep fighting plaque long after you brush. Spit out any excess and leave the rest in place.

Shop Recyclable Packaging

Eco-friendly dental product suppliers will make sure that their products come in biodegradable packing. It may take a little research to find a toothpaste or mouthwash you love, but it’s worth your contribution to the environment.

Don’t forget those regular dental checkups! If you stay on top of your oral health, you can avoid the need for costly treatment. Talk with your dentist about more ways to prevent dental disease and stay green.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Jan
6

My Child Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth!

You don’t always have the time or energy to fight back when your child pitches a fit over an everyday task like tooth brushing. But oral hygiene is vital to overall health for kids as well as adults.

Tooth brushing prevents bacterial buildup that causes gingivitis and cavities. You know your child needs to have her teeth brushed every day, but it’s a real challenge when she resists.

What can you do? The following tips may help.

Make brushing a fun family affair.

Your child may take up an interest in brushing when she sees that you and others in the family are having fun.

Stir up a little friendly competition and challenge each other to see who can make the most toothpaste bubbles. Let your child brush your teeth in return for letting you brush hers. Play some music, do a dance – just make it so lively that she won’t be able to resist!

Set up role models.

Praise older siblings for obediently brushing in the presence of the more resistant child. At sleepovers, make sure she sees that even Grandma and the cousins have to brush. Look up kids’ books and cartoons featuring a well-loved character who obediently brush their teeth.

Let her choose her own brush and toothpaste.

Give your child some autonomy when it comes to selecting oral hygiene products. A toothbrush with her favorite cartoon characters, the bubblegum- or fruity-flavored kids’ toothpaste she likes, or a bright-colored rinse your dentist recommends. The more involved your kid is, the more likely she’ll take her responsibility to brush seriously. 

Get more fun and creative tips for brushing kids’ teeth from your family or pediatric dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

 

Jan
6

Does Your Mouthwash Dry Out Your Mouth?

Your mouth rinse is probably more than just a breath-freshener. Mouthwashes typically contain multiple ingredients that contribute to healthy teeth and gums.

For example, things like essential oils and cetylpyridinium chloride prevent plaque formation that causes gingivitis. Fluoride prevents tooth decay, and hydrogen peroxide helps lift surface stains.

However beneficial and minty-fresh your mouthwash may be, there is a big reason it may be drying you out.

Why There’s Alcohol in Mouth Rinse

Many kinds of mouthwash contain a high concentration of alcohol (ethanol, specifically).

This kind of alcohol makes for a powerful immediate disinfectant. It’s also an emulsifier, which helps keep the oil-based ingredients in the solution well mixed with the water.

Unfortunately, alcohol isn’t always the best thing for delicate oral tissues.

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Alternatives

Alcohol is very drying, which can leave you feeling even worse if you already suffer from dry mouth, sores, or a burning sensation in your mouth. Some studies even suggest that alcohol-containing rinses can gradually damage tooth-colored dental restorations.

The good news is that there are plenty mouthwash formulations that don’t contain drying alcohol.

Just look for one that’s clearly marked “alcohol-free,” “zero,” “zero-alcohol,” and the like. You can get some suggestions and even some free samples from your dentist or dental hygienist.

Whichever kind of mouthwash you choose, remember that none are a replacement for daily brushing and flossing. Your rinse should be an adjunct or complement to your usual plaque removal routine.

Still searching for that perfect rinse that doesn’t dry out your mouth but still meets your oral health needs? Schedule a dental health checkup and oral hygiene consultation at your dentist’s office.

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

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