Dental Tips Blog

Aug
4

6 Things That Increase Your Tooth Decay Risk

Just about everyone is affected by tooth decay at some point in their life. Cavities are caused by a bacteria that finds its way into every person’s mouth at some point or another. There are several factors that influence just how susceptible you are to these germs.

By identifying where you can make changes in these areas, you may be able to lower your risk of getting cavities.

Sugary Diets

Sugar doesn’t directly cause cavities, but it does fuel the bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel. If you have a habit of snacking or sipping sweet treats throughout the day, then you’re more likely to develop cavities.

Acid Exposure

Acids from your diet or even your stomach (reflux or GERD) can quickly dissolve tooth enamel and make it susceptible to decay.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Daily brushing and flossing are essential for removing the acidic bacterial plaque that causes decay. If you aren’t good about cleaning your teeth every day, then your cavity risk will be higher.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally neutralizes acids in the mouth and flushes away bacteria. Medications or certain medical conditions can dry up saliva flow and create the perfect environment for cavities to form.

Age

As you age, your enamel thins out with use. Worn teeth easily break and develop cavities.

“Natural” Dental Products

All-natural toothpastes sound healthy, but they usually lack fluoride. Fluoride is your enamel’s best defense against decay. Using organic dental products that don’t have fluoride protection could lull you into a false sense of security. You’ll think your teeth are safe when they really aren’t.

Visit a general dentist for a cleaning and checkup to find out what your decay risk is and learn ways you can lower it.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

Jul
28

Tooth Brushing Dilemma: Should You Brush Before or After Breakfast?

If you want to ruin any party, just suggest a debate about the right time to brush your teeth in the morning.

Is it better to brush before or after breakfast?

Benefits of Brushing Before Breakfast 

Some people will argue that everyone should brush right after waking up. This is a courtesy to others around them since brushing will freshen up their breath and spare their neighbors from gagging on the fumes of morning halitosis.

There is a more serious reason for brushing immediately in the morning. The germs in your mouth build up overnight and collect in a sticky film called plaque. Your teeth are coated in this acidic and potentially cavity-causing buildup for several hours while your mouth stops producing a cleansing flow of saliva. The sooner you get that icky stuff off your teeth, the better!

Brushing After Breakfast – The Catch 

For those who don’t want the taste of toothpaste ruining their morning glass of orange juice, they may prefer to brush their teeth after breakfast.

The only problem here is that brushing immediately after eating can be destructive to tooth enamel. All those acids and sugars from your meal don’t just magically go away when you brush. Instead, you’ll end up spreading them around even more.

If you want to brush your teeth after breakfast, then at least wait a half hour before doing so. This will give your saliva a chance to neutralize the acids and flush them away.

So, the next time someone asks you about the brushing before or after breakfast debate, you can confidently say that either option is fine. Get more oral hygiene tips from your dentist or dental hygienist at your next routine dental cleaning and checkup.

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

Jun
19

Is Your Oral Hygiene Routine Destroying Your Smile?

Oral hygiene is supposed to be healthy for your teeth. Even doing the bare minimum is essential. How can something dentists beg you to do be bad for you?

Technique Matters!

Keeping your teeth clean shouldn’t be difficult, but you do need to put some effort into doing it the right way. An incorrect technique can actually be harmful.

Some common oral hygiene mistakes include:

  • Brushing immediately after eating
  • Scrubbing too hard while brushing
  • Pulling the floss straight down into the gums between teeth
  • Choosing an abrasive toothbrush or toothpaste
  • Rinsing with the wrong kind of mouthwash
  • Excessive teeth bleaching

If you aren’t mindful of avoiding such mistakes, your mouth could start showing signs of damage.

How Does Your Oral Hygiene Affect Your Smile?

Your oral hygiene methods may need some tweaking if you notice things like sensitive teeth, gum recession, or worn notches in your tooth enamel.

The goal of brushing and flossing is to remove dental plaque bacteria. Plaque is sticky and can get into some hard-to-reach places, but it doesn’t take a lot of force to get rid of it. Gentle brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and careful flossing will get the job done. Taking plenty of time to carefully clean your teeth is better for your mouth than doing a rough and hasty job.

No matter how vigorously you scrub, aggressive brushing won’t get rid of tartar and stain deposits. You’ll have to see a dentist for a professional teeth cleaning to clean such areas.

Learn to Brush and Floss the Right Way

Visit your dentist or dental hygienist to get some more tips on a gentle yet thorough home care technique.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

May
20

How Acidic Is Your Mouth?

The pH scale measures the acidity of an environment. It starts at 1, which is the most acidic, and maxes out at 14, the most alkaline or basic. The balance of alkaline versus acid is an important one in body chemistry, especially when it comes to your mouth.

Too Much Acid in Your Mouth?

Having a low pH (too much acid) is disastrous for your teeth. Your pH only has to drop to 5.5 for the oral environment to become so acidic that it starts dissolving your tooth enamel. Enamel loss leads to sensitive teeth and cavities.

A healthy mouth should have saliva with a neutral pH of close to 7. That’s where pure water falls on the scale. But a saliva shortage and/or a lot of acids in your mouth can throw that off and cause an unbalanced environment.

A higher pH, on the other hand, allows teeth the chance to recover from acid exposure. Tooth enamel has the ability to remineralize in a basic environment. Saliva is basic and is a good source of the minerals your teeth need to protect themselves.

Prevent Acid Attacks

You can avoid the need for fillings, crowns and other dental restorations by cutting back on acidic foods like sugar, processed carbs, and citrus fruits. Foods like aged cheese and nuts are good for promoting remineralization. Rinse your mouth with water after every meal. Take saliva substitutes if you suffer from dry mouth.

Dental plaque is loaded with acidic bacteria, so daily brushing and flossing are essential to removing this source of acid. Fluoride-rich dental products will boost enamel remineralization and make your teeth more resistant to erosion.

See your dentist to learn more ways to reduce oral acidity and prevent enamel loss.

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

Jan
7

Top 6 Reasons People Hate Flossing

Do you struggle with flossing?

Here are some of the most common complaints about flossing and how to remedy each situation

  1. Your Fingers Don’t Fit in Your Mouth

You may need to floss with a long-handled device that does the reaching for you.

  1. Floss Hurts Your Hands

You might be pulling the floss too tight. It doesn’t have to be wrapped so snugly that it cuts off circulation. If your fingers hurt from flossing, then it may be time to switch to floss picks or some other finger-sparing device.

  1. Sensitive Gag Reflex

Does just the thought of putting your fingers near your tongue send your stomach somersaulting? Try a water flosser that sprays a stream of water between teeth in lieu of a string.

  1. Floss Gets Stuck Between Tight Teeth

Floss getting stuck in teeth may be sign that you need a thinner type of floss. Waxed floss is also easier to slip between teeth. If you can’t get a ribbon between your teeth, a water flosser is your best option.

  1. Flossing Cuts Your Gums

If your floss cuts into your gums, it says more about your technique than the floss itself. Be gentle and avoid snapping the strand into place. Too much force can cause permanent damage. Wrap it around your tooth in a “C” shape instead.

  1. It Takes Too Long

Who has the time to floss, right? With a little practice and diligence, a flossing routine should take no longer than two minutes. You just have to find a method that you can stick with long enough to make it a habit.

Ask your dentist for more tips on easy flossing for a healthy smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Aug
19

Could You Be Allergic to Your Toothpaste?

You encounter so many more potential allergens in day-to-day life than you may realize. Fortunately, toothpaste is not a common one, since the formulas only get safer as time goes on.

Still, it’s not impossible to have a reaction suggesting a new kind of toothpaste is irritating your mouth.

Signs of a Toothpaste Allergy

Swelling, hives, and anaphylactic shock are all potential outcomes for an allergy.

But if your toothpaste bothers you, it’s probably not going to be that bad.

Toothpaste irritation tends to manifest itself in symptoms like:

  • Cracked, dry lips
  • Sores, redness, or scaly skin near the corners of the mouth
  • Painless peeling (sloughing) of the skin on your gums or the inside of your cheeks
  • Some redness, swelling, or soreness inside your mouth

What Causes Toothpaste Irritation?

Irritants found in toothpaste include:

  • Flavorings
  • Essential oils
  • Foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Preservatives

You can talk with your doctor about getting allergy tested for any of these if changing toothpastes doesn’t help.

When You Suspect a Toothpaste Allergy

A serious allergy to ingredients in toothpaste is not common. It’s is common, however, to have a little minor irritation from certain products.

Contact emergency services if you suspect a life-threatening reaction. Otherwise, you can take a process-of-elimination approach. Try a toothpaste free of known irritants and see how you go for a week or so.

Gradually add back in products that contain tooth-healthy ingredients like fluoride and stick with brands that don’t bother you. The same goes for mouth rinses and flavored floss.

Best of all, check in with your local dental office for advice if you suspect your toothpaste doesn’t agree with your smile! There could be something else going on.

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

May
20

Are You Using Toothpaste the Right Way?

Toothpaste may sound like it’s too simple to be particular about. But between dental cleanings and checkups, effective use of toothpaste can play a big role in maintaining your oral health.

Just A Dot Will Do

Toothpaste packaging and advertisements make it look like more is better when it comes to toothpaste.

Remember, however, that those big globs of paste are purely for promo purposes. They show off the color and texture to make the product look more appealing.

In reality, adults only need a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste every time they brush. Toddlers under the age of 3 get a rice grain-sized smear.

Too much toothpaste could actually make your toothbrush bristles too slippery to scrub your teeth.

Don’t Rinse Too Much

It’s a habit for most of us to rinse out with water after brushing with a mouth full of foamy toothpaste.

But did you know that if you rinse you’re only getting 50% of the benefits?

Toothpaste helps clean teeth. But it also contains ingredients to inhibit germ growth or strengthen enamel. When you leave that last bit of minty residue on your teeth, it helps freshen your breath and gives the toothpaste more time to boost your oral health.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Not just any toothpaste will work. Sure, you won’t get sick from using the wrong kind, but it helps to choose a formula that will address your oral concerns.

For example, some toothpastes meet needs like:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Anti-cavity
  • Anti-gingivitis
  • Sensitivity
  • Remineralizing enamel

Take a minute to check the packaging of your next tube of toothpaste to make sure it does what it claims.

Ask your dentist for tips on selecting a toothpaste that’s right for you.

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

Apr
22

3 Things You Need to Know About Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is underestimated far too often. Knowing the facts can help you make smart decisions for your family’s health.

  1. Decay Is Highly Preventable

Cavities are a disease caused by a specific kind of bacteria, called Streptococcus mutans.

While you can’t avoid this bacteria, you can keep it from wreaking havoc on your teeth.

A diligent routine of brushing and flossing will help you keep the germs at bay. Limit how often you have simple carbohydrates in your mouth since these are what the bacteria feed on. Strengthen your tooth enamel with fluoride and other remineralizing agents.

A little prevention can help you completely avoid a costly root canal.

  1. Decay Is Contagious

At this point, you already know that tooth decay is a bacterial infection. We often acquire the bacteria from our parents and continue to share the germs back-and-forth with anyone else we kiss or share a straw with.

This also means that decay spreads tooth-to-tooth. If you have one cavity, you can’t afford to ignore it since it will only go on to infect the next tooth, doubling your problems.

  1. Decay Is Dangerous for Kids

Just because they’re baby teeth doesn’t mean they should be allowed to continue decaying. Children’s cavities can hurt and abscess just like adults’ do. Dental abscess in children can even spread to the brain. When a baby tooth decays untreated, that can also affect the health of the adult tooth yet to arrive.

The takeaway here is that tooth decay is not something to view lightly. If you suspect a cavity in you or anyone else in your family, ask your dentist to look at it right away.

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

Mar
30

Can Toothpaste Really Cure Acne Breakouts?

If you haven’t tried it, at least you’ve heard about it – dabbing toothpaste on that unwelcome blemish to shrink it ASAP.

But does this work?

This old trick for banishing pimples in a hurry is hard to prove effective. It seems to work for some people, but that could just be mere coincidence.

Why Toothpaste?

Almost any toothpaste will contain ingredients that can dry up pimples. Some of these include:

  • Peroxide
  • Alcohol
  • Essential oils
  • Triclosan
  • Baking soda

But these ingredients aren’t any more powerful than those found in formulations meant for acne. What’s even more important is to establish whether it’s safe to be using toothpaste on your skin.

Proceed with Caution

Some people can have a reaction to toothpaste if it’s left on the skin for too long. The stuff that’s in there is meant to dissolve slimy bacteria off of teeth and moist gums. It’s not exactly intended for use anywhere else on your face.

Worst case scenario, you could go from having a zit to having a big red peely patch on your face, if you treat it with toothpaste. Choose at your own risk.

If you want to try a DIY blemish treatment, you’re better off sticking with plain baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Toothpaste contains far too many other specialized ingredients to get experimental with it!

Benefits of Toothpaste 

Keep your toothpaste out of your cosmetic bag and next to your toothbrush. Toothpaste contains surfactants which help it foam up and spread tooth-strengthening bacteria-fighting goodness all over your mouth.

Regular brushing and routine dental checkups will help you enjoy a gorgeous smile, no matter what breakouts come your way!

Ask your dentist which toothpaste is right for you.

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

Mar
27

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Early childhood caries (ECC), also known as baby bottle tooth decay, is a serious condition affecting millions of toddlers around the world. Your child could also be at risk.

As common and dangerous as this disease is, it’s entirely preventable.

These four steps are simple, free, and can give your baby the best start in life.

Give Them Water

Desperate parents are quick to appease a tantrum-throwing toddler with a cup of juice. Fruit juice sounds healthy. But it actually contains unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Regular exposure to acid in juice can weaken young enamel and the sugar will fuel bacteria, which causes decay.

Practice Great Oral Hygiene

It’s never too early to start getting your baby used to having his or her mouth cleaned. Some toddlers put up a fight come teeth-brushing time, but every effort you make is worth it. With time, your child will accept that keeping our teeth clean is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Limit Snacks

Similar to drinking too much juice, constant snacking throughout the day is bad for baby teeth. Gradually cut back on your child’s snacking habit. One snack session in between meals should be enough.

No Bedtime Bottles

This is perhaps the biggest culprit behind ECC. Tiny ones in the habit of sleeping with a bottle of milk or juice are only letting their teeth soak in natural sugars for hours on end. If your child has to go to bed with some kind of drink, fill the bottle with water, only.

If your child has at least one baby tooth in, it’s time for their first trip to your pediatric dentist. Call today to schedule a visit.

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

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