Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

Should You Brush your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

It’s that one topic couples, roommates, and siblings will always argue about: when to brush your teeth in the morning.

Is it better to brush before or after breakfast?

Brush Before Breakfast

Brushing as soon as you wake up is a good way to remove the bacterial plaque that has accumulated overnight while you slept. It’s also considerate of others you may interact with in the early morning hours (no morning breath!).

The biggest complaint is that your breakfast will then get your teeth dirty all over again until you have time to brush a second time.

Brush After Breakfast

Why let toothpaste ruin the taste of your orange juice? Brushing after breakfast will help you get rid of coffee or onion bagel breath before you head to work or school.

But there is such a thing as brushing too soon after breakfast. Acid and carbs from your meal don’t disappear with brushing – they only get scrubbed around and massaged into your enamel even farther.

When to Brush Your Teeth in the Morning

The winning argument is this: you should brush your teeth after breakfast as long as you wait close to a half hour after eating. This gets rid of all the bacteria but allows time for saliva to neutralize food acids before brushing.

However, most people are in a hurry in the mornings. So one compromise is to brush right after you wake up so that you don’t forget. You get rid of the buildup that has formed on your teeth overnight and avoid scrubbing breakfast remains around your enamel.

Visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings in addition to customized advice on your tooth brushing routine.

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

Sep
9

Why Your Dental Crown Feels More Sensitive in the Winter

Icy air doesn’t mix well with sensitive teeth.

Your teeth are covered with tiny pores that expand in warm temperatures and contract in cold ones. This is a natural reaction to protect the nerves inside teeth.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to you that cold air can create a zinging sensation in teeth. But you may be wondering why your crowned tooth is suddenly more sensitive than the others.

Sensitive Dental Crowns

Is your dental crown new? It can take time for a tooth to “settle” with its new covering. Your tooth experienced quite an adjustment when the outer layer was removed to make way for a crown.

In cooler temperatures, your newly-crowned tooth might complain a bit more than your other teeth!

If you’ve had your crown for years, then sudden cold sensitivity could be a sign of trouble. It may mean that your crown has worn to the point of breaking or loosening. This would once again expose your sensitive tooth to the outside world after so much time under a restoration.

What You Can Do

The next priority on your list is getting relief from the sensitivity.

You can try:

  • Breathing through your nose rather than your mouth
  • Avoiding hot drinks while outside in icy temperatures
  • Using a desensitizing toothpaste
  • Cutting back on acidic and sugary foods that wear down enamel
  • Not using OTC teeth bleaching kits
  • Brushing gently so as to not cause gum recession around tooth crowns

These tips may not be enough. You should also see your dentist to have your crown examined for signs of failure. If everything checks out, ask for more tips on keeping your smile toasty in cool weather!

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Aug
22

Yes! Fluoride Is Safe for Kids

Fluoride is perhaps the most hotly debated dental topic. Parents on both sides of the issue have strong feelings.

The mineral use is backed by decades of research proving it dramatically reduces tooth decay. But other research indicates that excess exposure leads to weakened enamel, toxic poisoning, and possibly neurological problems such as ADHD.

What’s the final stand on fluoride? Is it really safe for your kids?

It’s the Amount that Matters

Like most other drugs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements, fluoride is beneficial, but dangerous in large amounts.

This is a serious matter when it comes to kids. Because children are small and still-developing human beings, they will be more sensitive than adults to high levels of supplements.

The key here is to monitor your children’s fluoride use and know the levels of fluoride in the water your kids drink. Some fluoride is essential, but unnecessary amounts can cause problems.

How Much Fluoride Is Safe?

From the day they get their first tooth, babies should have their teeth brushed with a rice grain-sized smear of toothpaste twice a day. Once your child is old enough to spit out excess toothpaste, they can have a pea-sized amount.

In these ADA-recommended portions, children can get the benefits of fluoride at an extremely low risk of ingesting any.

External fluoride use via toothpaste will safely strengthen teeth without ill-effects. Fluoride supplements and fluoridated water should be prescribed according to your child’s needs, so you’ll need to consult a dentist to find out more about that.

With the help of your local dental office, you can get the latest in fluoride research and help your kids safely benefit from fluoride!

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

Aug
22

Why Dental Plaque Is Bad for Gums

Plaque is the word you hear every time you get your teeth cleaned or see a toothpaste commercial.

What exactly is plaque, though?

Dental plaque is a natural film that grows on your teeth, gums, and tongue. It’s mainly made up of bacteria that mix with a fluid produced by your gums. Plaque also contains traces of the food you eat. The germs surround themselves in a protective slime layer and feed off the food remnants.

All of that gunk combines into a thin and invisible film called plaque.

If that plaque isn’t frequently removed, the layers will thicken and turn more yellow and cloudy. So if you can see a thick layer of “gunk” on your teeth, that’s a germ metropolis!

Why is plaque bad news?

Besides the obvious fact that plaque makes teeth look dirty and dull, it also poses some serious risks to your gum health.

Bacteria in dental plaque include those responsible for triggering gum inflammation. How severely gums respond to the presence of plaque varies from person to person. But plaque almost always causes gums to swell and become more sensitive.

A little gum inflammation is called “gingivitis.” But if not treated, gingivitis can advance to a serious disease called periodontitis. That’s when the swelling and infection infect bone and ligaments around teeth.

On top of all this, when plaque calcifies with minerals in your saliva, it hardens into that ugly tartar. There’s no way you’re getting that off with a toothbrush! Tartar, or dental calculus, needs professional dental tools to remove it.

Clearly, controlling plaque is important to having healthy gums. Contact your dentist for a gum health evaluation to learn more.

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

Aug
22

Can Pregnant Women Have Dental X-Rays?

As a mom-to-be, you’re understandably anxious about anything and everything that could go wrong with your pregnancy.

How does your pregnancy affect something as common as routine dental x-rays?

Dental X-Rays Won’t Harm Your Baby

The radiation in a dental x-ray machine shoots out a straight beam of energy. This energy is absorbed to some degree only by the tissues it’s aimed at. So dental x-rays are the safest ones you could get during pregnancy. They stay focused in a small beam right at your teeth. That radiation won’t go anywhere else.

You’ll be covered up with a lead shield. This blocks scattered radiation from affecting any other part of your body. The apron shield completely covers the baby.

Are X-Rays Really Necessary?

Yes, dental x-rays play an important role in detecting problems and mapping treatment. Getting a few x-rays each year is perfectly normal and sets the standard in dental care.

However, if you don’t have any dental complaints and you have a healthy dental history, you may be able to postpone your routine x-rays during pregnancy. This can give you some peace of mind and keep you comfortable.

If you end up with a large cavity, infected tooth, or raging gum disease during the course of your pregnancy, then treating it is imperative. It’s best to put off unnecessary dental treatment until after the baby arrives. But leaving a serious matter untreated could actually complicate you and/or baby’s health.

So there may come a point at which your dentist strongly recommends a dental x-ray during pregnancy. In that case, don’t worry – the x-ray will do you (and your baby) far more good than harm! Talk to your dentist about your concerns and they will recommend an appropriate course of action.

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

Aug
21

How Long Does it Take to Get a Full Mouth Restoration?

Getting a completely brand-new smile may be the best financial investment you ever make. Although worth every penny, you’ll likely also find that it’s a major investment of time.

Beyond just white straight teeth, a full mouth restoration (FMR) or “reconstruction” involves repairing the function of your bite. FMR means bringing every tooth in your smile into perfect harmony.

How much time should you expect to put into your FMR?

Why FMRs Take Time

It takes a lot of careful planning with your dentist to determine what changes are needed to get your mouth working comfortably again.

In addition to planning treatment for restoring teeth, your FMR could also include:

  • Gum therapy and surgery
  • Bite adjustment
  • Tissue grafts
  • Alterations to improve esthetics, such as the shape of your chin’s profile

Planning for all these procedures and consulting with other specialists takes time.

How Long Treatment Takes

Your FMR from start to finish may take about year. For many patients, even more time is needed. This is because a full mouth restoration can include procedures that take months to complete. Dental crowns and fillings can be done in a matter of weeks. Fitting a partial denture can take up to a month. Implants, however, may need several months before they are healed and ready for use.

Procedures like those just listed can take even longer if you need a root canal, extractions, or some other surgery.

Speed Up Your FMR

You can cut out a lot of time by planning a longer appointment so that you can get all necessary fillings and crowns done in one day.

Contact your local dentist to find out whether an FMR is right for you and how long it may take.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Aug
21

Boost Your Gum Health from the Inside Out: 8 Superfoods for Healthy Gums

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, here are a few ways you can eat your way to stronger gums.

Celery

The longer you have to process chewy celery, the more cleansing saliva you’ll generate to keep your gums nourished. Celery’s water content makes it a healthy and refreshing snack. Hate celery? Apples have similar benefits, so opt for that alternative if you prefer.

Dark Leafy Greens

Greens like kale are rich in calcium and folic acid, which, it’s suggested, can treat gum disease in pregnant women. Boost your gum-fortifying levels of folic acid by tossing some spinach in a salad or smoothie.

Ginger

Ginger root is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy fresh ginger in juices and smoothies or steeped in a tea to help reduce gum inflammation.

Onions

Onions in your salad or sandwich may not give pleasant breath, but they do inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause gum infections.

Aged Cheese

Dairy is an excellent source of the calcium your bones and teeth need and the protein your gums need. A sharp cheese is also good for triggering that mouth-watering sensation that keeps teeth and gums clean. It also neutralizes acidic pH levels, to limit decay.

Green Tea

Load up your day with the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea. Keep it sugar-free, however, for the sake of your teeth.

Red Peppers

Did you know that red peppers have more vitamin C than oranges? Vitamin C is essential to maintaining a strong immune system to ward off foreign invaders. Getting lots of this vitamin in foods like red peppers will keep your gums healthy.

Remember that regular dental checkups are another key part of maintaining healthy gums. Call your dentist to schedule.

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

Aug
21

Are You Skipping This Important Part of Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

Floss, brush, rinse. If you’re checking all these activities off your to-do list each day, then you’re already in great shape.

But something more may be needed: tongue cleaning.

Why You Should Be Cleaning Your Tongue

Your tongue is a collection of muscles that help you speak, eat, and taste. It’s also a vast surface area for plaque bacteria to collect on and create bad breath. Cleaning your tongue every day comes with these benefits:

  • Fresher breath
  • Less bacteria in the mouth to cause cavities and gum disease
  • Enhanced sense of taste
  • A healthy-looking pink tongue

How to Clean Your Tongue

Start by brushing your tongue with your toothbrush after you’re done with your teeth. The toothpaste residue will help loosen bacteria, prevent plaque, and freshen breath. You only need light pressure to clean your tongue with a toothbrush. If you have a sensitive gag-reflex, try exhaling slowly out your mouth while your brush is in contact with your tongue.

Next step up is an actual tongue cleaner. A cleaner is often a thin flexible strip of plastic suspended on a toothbrush-like handle. You may choose to use this only in the morning or twice a day, either before or after brushing. Gently scrape your tongue from back to front, concentrating on the middle area and rinsing the scraper after each pass.

End your routine with a refreshing antibacterial mouthrinse. But beware – many rinses contain alcohol which can dry out your mouth and cause more plaque and bad breath. So if dry mouth is a problem for you, stay away from strong minty mouthwash.

Schedule a visit with your local dentist to learn more about the benefits of tongue cleaning.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Aug
20

The Worst Candy for Your Smile

We’re nearing that time of year when our teeth really take a beating. Nothing is worse for tooth enamel than a fun-filled and yummy holiday!

Which candies are the absolute worst for your teeth?

Skittles

Sugar is bad enough, as is. But add to it some sour and sticky ingredients, and you’ve got a recipe for cavities on your teeth! That acidic zing can damage your enamel with prolonged exposure.

Swedish Fish, candy corn, and Starbursts also fall into this category of sticky taboo sweets.

Caramel-Filled Anything!

Caramel is synonymous with autumn. It goes with pretty much everything, too: apples, ice cream, cookies, iced coffee, chocolate. Anyone who doesn’t like salted caramel just doesn’t have a heart.

But be warned! Caramel notoriously gums up braces and wedges itself between teeth. It’s one thing to enjoy caramel sauce with your custard. But Twix candy bars and other goodies stuffed with chewy caramel will pack sugar into spots in your teeth you didn’t know existed.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes

We’ve all got our favorite seasonal warm drinks. One thing such beverages have in common is sugar and sugar in liquid form is deadly to teeth.

You probably don’t realize just how much sugar you’re washing your enamel in as you slowly sip that double-mocha-extra-whip-peppermint-flavored-medium-americano!

Candy Canes

Christmas is coming before we know it. You’ll want to be cautious of hard candies that you just lick or suck on for hours on end. This makes your saliva very sugary and acidic and fuels cavity-causing bacteria for as long as you savor that sweet. Say no to lollipops and candy canes in mass quantities!

Don’t let the holiday rush distract you from scheduling your family’s dental health checkups!

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

Aug
20

Is Your Mouthwash Staining Your Teeth?

Are you a fanatic when it comes to keeping your smile bright? You won’t like hearing that something supposed to clean your mouth could also stain it.

Which Rinses Cause Staining?

There are a few very common ingredients in dental products which can contribute to unwanted staining. These include:

  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Stannous fluoride
  • Essential oils

These ingredients tend to react with pigments from your food and leave marks on teeth. It may be subtle, at first, but over time your teeth could take on a yellowish tinge or develop brown marks.

Some antiseptics, natural, and even whitening rinses may be rather acidic. When your teeth are regularly exposed to acidic mouthwash, the enamel can start to erode a bit and roughen. This makes it more likely to pick up staining pigments from other sources.

The Good News

Surface staining caused by mouthwash isn’t harmful nor permanent. You should see the unpleasant staining disappear after a routine dental cleaning. The tools your dental hygienist uses will remove the stains your toothbrush doesn’t.

In the meantime, try to avoid eating or drinking within a half hour of using a rinse. Better yet, use your rinse at bedtime after brushing and before going to sleep. As long as your oral health can afford the cut-back on using mouthwash, then limiting how often your rinse will help you avoid stain.

If your dentist recommends that you use a staining mouthwash, there’s a good reason to do so. Follow the usage directions and just rest assured that your dentist will help you get rid of the stains later on.

Ask your dentist for more tips on maintaining the whitest and healthiest smile possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

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….