Dental Tips Blog


Is Tap Water or Bottled Water Better for Your Teeth?

Bottled water is a big convenience when it comes to ensuring that you’re getting enough to drink each day. Many people grab a bottle on their way to the gym, when they’re heading around town running errands, or at weekend activities. While it may look exactly the same as the water that comes out of your tap, is there a difference between the two?

Municipal water supplies that bring you the tap water in your home are regulated when it comes to contents like fluoride. This information is typically published for residents to access and read if they are concerned about their water source. Added fluoride is monitored so that it remains in the guidelines of healthy parts per million standards. The levels are lower in the summer, and higher in the winter, based on the amount of water content that people consume in these seasonal changes. People drink more water in the summer, so fluoride levels are lower. They drink less int he winter, so fluoride levels are elevated.

Fluoride levels are usually not monitored in bottled water at the supermarket. The source of this water may come from a spring, glacier or even municipal water supply in another state. There is no way of knowing what levels, if any, of fluoride you are consuming. As a result, people with dental problems who are prone to developing decay may not have an adequate level of fluoride intake if their consumption of water is predominantly restricted to water that is bottled. For optimal mineral supplementation that benefits your oral health, fill a reusable bottle with tap water each day. You’ll save a few bucks as well!

Posted on behalf of Juban Dental Care



Does GERD Damage My Teeth?

It’s no mystery that acidic foods can damage your teeth. Consequently, acid reflux disease can also cause irreversible destruction to otherwise healthy tooth enamel. You may or may not experience any related tooth sensitivity, but your dentist or hygienist can see visible evidence of the condition. Typically the erosion caused by gastrointestinal reflux disease is evident on the tops of the cusps (on the chewing surfaces) of the back teeth. Shallow divots on the cusps of molars are a side effect of unmanaged reflux disease. If severe, this acid may affect other areas in the mouth, leading to advanced wear or tooth enamel on a broader scale.

Simply treating your disease with over the counter medication is not enough. Unmanaged GERD damages soft tissue including your esophagus and should be treated by your medical practitioner. Prescription medications, a managed dietary intake or even surgery may be needed. If avoiding certain foods isn’t enough, and your symptoms persist for over a week, you should see your doctor.

Dental patients who battle GERD may need to be placed on a supplemental fluoride to reduce tooth sensitivity and strengthen areas of weakened tooth enamel. Let your dentist know how active your reflux has been, so that the integrity of existing fillings and compromised tooth wear can be managed, avoided, or treated as soon as possible. Unmanaged acid in the mouth can cause teeth to break down, chip, wear quickly, fillings to fail, and contribute to bad breath.

Stay ahead of your reflux symptoms. Remember that when you experience problems, it’s your body trying to tell you something is wrong. Simply avoiding it can damage tooth enamel – the strongest material in your entire body!

Posted on behalf of Juban Dental Care



Fluoride Varnish

Traditional fluoride treatments in the dental office involve a slightly sour tasting gel or foam that is applied to the surfaces of the teeth through a foam tray, or through application with a brush or sponge. Because of the viscosity of these solutions, they must have a longer application time to help ensure that the teeth uptake an adequate amount of the mineral during the treatment.

Fluoride varnish is a newer delivery method that is actually found to be more effective in the prevention of tooth decay than traditional fluoride applications because it adheres to the tooth longer. (1) The thick solution clings closely to the tooth and extends the exposure time, allowing the enamel to uptake enough fluoride to strengthen the tooth surface in a very fast application.

Varnish is ideal for patients with sensitive gag reflexes, young children, or patients who have areas of tooth hypersensitivity. The thick gel is yellowish in color and applied in a thin layer across the teeth with a very small brush. Patients who have fluoride varnish applied to their teeth may notice a slightly fuzzy appearance on the teeth that should not be brushed off for at least 6 hours after the application. However, there is no need to wait to consume food or drink afterward because the varnish adheres that well to the tooth.

Varnish treatments are very effective for preventing tooth decay, making them useful for people that have weak enamel, a history of extensive dental treatment, are undergoing orthodontic treatment and even traditional dental patients who prefer to avoid topical gels.


Home Fluoride Use

Fluoride plays a key role in tooth strength, sensitivity reduction and deterring tooth decay. When used at home as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, fluoride treatment can be extremely beneficial, especially for people who are at an increased risk for dental problems. Dry mouth can compound these problems.

People who benefit from additional home fluoride use include those with conditions like:

  • Undergoing orthodontic treatment
  • History of rampant tooth decay
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation therapy
  • Exposed root surfaces
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth sensitivity

By using fluoride, the tooth enamel can remineralize areas that are weak or beginning to shown possible signs of decay. This can prevent, reverse or delay tooth decay altogether. Fluoride also helps treat tooth sensitivity and may be a useful part of whitening routines.

Home fluoride treatment can be delivered by:

  • Prescription fluoride gel
  • Fluoride rinses found over the counter

Home fluoride gels are usually brushed on in the evening before bedtime, after typical oral hygiene routines. You may expectorate, but do not rinse the gel from the teeth. This allows it to have an extended period of time in the mouth while you sleep – a time where our saliva glands shut down and the mouth is much drier than normal. As an alternative to a prescription gel, over the counter rinses that contain fluoride are also safe to use. You should note that many popular mouth rinses do not contain fluoride and are typically formulated for gingivitis or bad breath. Be sure to choose one that specifically displays fluoride content on the front label.


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