Dental Tips Blog


Lunch Ideas That Are Great For Smiles

Packing a lunch can save you several bucks a day, and makes it easier for you to be sure that you’re eating healthy options. As parents get ready to send their children back off to school, most of them are also considering ways to make a fun lunch that is also part of a balanced diet. Whether or not you’re packing a lunch for your child, or yourself, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to keep your smile healthier as well.

Opt to drink tap water with your meal. This is an excellent calorie saver, a natural tooth cleanser, and the fluoride inside of the water will keep teeth strong. Other options will just add to plaque buildup, and if you’re away all day you won’t be able to brush between meals.

Always add crisp, fresh produce to your lunches. Fruits and vegetables are healthiest when they’re fresh and uncooked. The fibrous texture cleanses the teeth as you chew, and also massages the gum tissue for optimum blood flow. Vegetables are also very low in calorie counts, so you can eat more of them without the guilt of feeling like it’s bad for your teeth or your health.

Remember your dairy! Eating sliced or cubed cheese can help you feel fuller, get necessary calcium, and even neutralize the pH inside of your mouth. Studies suggest that eating cheese during a meal will reduce the acidic levels inside of the mouth, preventing enamel from being eroded or an increased risk of tooth decay.

Keep it fun! Compartmentalized lunchboxes and colorful food are an easy way to spruce up your meal and make it more enjoyable for your child (or for you!)

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Why People With Asthma Need to Take Note About Their Teeth

Certain types of health conditions can affect the overall nature of your smile. So can medications. While side effects of some medications cause dry mouth or changes in the gum tissue, medication used to control asthma can actually cause your teeth to develop cavities at a much quicker rate.

Regular use of an inhaler places medication across the surfaces of the front teeth. The ingredients in these medications will cause accelerated tooth decay when exposure rates are frequent. Although breathing is a top priority, you still want to take measures to limit the effects of these medications and control how frequently they are exposed to your teeth.

Always follow your doctor’s recommendation when it comes to controlling asthma symptoms. If you have to use an inhaler, especially on a frequent basis, here are some steps to take to protect your teeth:

•       Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after using your inhaler

•       Use a supplemental fluoride rinse or prescription toothpaste every day

•       Drink water frequently throughout the day

•       See your dentist for regular check-ups to catch cavities as early as possible

Removing the medication from your teeth in a timely manner is very important. Brushing can simply scrub medication across the teeth, creating more of an impact on your enamel. Instead, rinse thoroughly with water immediately after using your inhaler. By using fluoride at the end of each day, you can restore necessary minerals to your teeth. This prevents enamel from weakening and developing decay. An over the counter fluoride rinse is appropriate, or your dentist can prescribe a stronger fluoride if you have a history of frequent cavities.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Fluoride Varnish and Tooth Sensitivity

There’s a new way to treat tooth sensitivity, and the results can last up to 3 months! What is it? Fluoride varnish. Varnish is a newer take on fluoride treatments that not only is much more effective at preventing tooth decay, it also helps seal off areas of the teeth that are prone to sensitivity.

Application of the varnish takes just a few minutes. The teeth are cleaned, wiped dry, and then a small brush is used to apply the fluoride varnish along the sensitive areas as well as the rest of the teeth. Although the varnish feels slightly sticky, it provides almost instant results that can last as long as 3 months after application. Some patients find it so effective that they come in between their preventive care appointments for a re-application. It’s also very affordable.

Varnish works by blocking the pores of the teeth and encouraging the minerals to calcify in place, repelling decay and preventing nerve sensitivity. It’s important not to brush your teeth for several hours after the application so that the varnish can stay in place as long as possible. However, you can eat or drink anytime after the application without having to wait.

Patients of all ages can benefit from fluoride varnishes. Many dentists are now replacing traditional forms of fluoride gels with brush on varnish because of how effective it is at repelling decay, rebuilding enamel, and preventing sensitivity. If you’ve tried other types of methods to eliminate symptoms of sensitivity, then it’s time that you gave fluoride varnish a chance. You might just be surprised at the results!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Modified Oral Hygiene Aids for Special Needs Patients

Regular oral hygiene practices like flossing can be hard enough for everyday dental patients, but just imagine what type of challenges a special needs patient can face. Even brushing can become a daily battle, depending on the physical limitations or needs that these patients face. Instead of trying to do things a set way just like everyone else, it’s important for each person to figure out what methods work best for their personal needs, and the needs of their caregivers.

It’s important to support and encourage the independence of each patient, no matter their age or capabilities. A patient without the ability to firmly grasp a small toothbrush handle may be able to function just fine if the end of the brush has a tennis ball or bicycle handle over it, enlarging the grip area. Electric toothbrushes further reduce the hand movements necessary for efficient plaque and food removal. Even a brush permanently mounted onto a hard surface area can allow a patient to move their mouth around it if arm movement is not possible.

A variety of flossing aids are available, and can be explored to find out which ones work best for a patient and their caregiver. Water flossers prevent the need for floss altogether, and use a steady stream of water to clean between the teeth and along the gumlines.

Because physical limitations can prevent 100% bacteria removal at all times, it is useful to utilize a topical fluoride once each day. An over the counter rinse used each night, or a prescription fluoride paste can help remineralize weakened tooth enamel and stop decay that is beginning to develop. See your dentist at least 2 or 3 times a year to monitor the health of teeth and existing restorations, catching needs as early as possible and preventing complications later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Water Fluoridation on Rise, Study Says

Despite a great deal of controversy over the subject in communities across the United States, fluoridation of community water systems is on the rise, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The report, released online, indicates 6 million more Americans had access to fluoridated public drinking water in 2012 than in 2010.  The information was based on research done by the Centers for Disease Control and the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The report noted that more than 210 million people had access to fluoridated water through their public drinking water supply in 2012, or about 75 percent of all people who have access to public drinking water. The figure also represents about 67 percent of the total U.S. population.

But despite the overall increase in fluoridation, there have been several major cities in the U.S. that have debated the subject heatedly. Portland, Oregon voted down a measure to move toward fluoridation, while Tampa, Florida suspended their program, only to reinstate a couple years later.

Proponents of fluoridation say it is an effective measure against tooth decay while opponents say it represents medicating without informed consent. Opponents also say some studies suggest it may be toxic or lead to fluorosis, a browning or mottling of the teeth caused by too much fluoride. Supporters, however, argue that such adverse effects only occur after exposure to very high concentrations of fluoride and most public water supply levels are very safe.

The CDC survey also showed that Kentucky was the state to have the most access to public fluoridation, while Hawaii came in at number 50.  For those who live in an area without fluoridated water or are on well water, fluoride treatments by your dentist has been proven to reduce tooth decay and decrease the incidence of cavities.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



The Benefit of Fluoride for Children

Do you know what fluoride is? It is a natural mineral that is found in nature. Do you know what it is used for? It’s used to make teeth more resistant to cavities and decay. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities by strengthening the enamel on your teeth. If you have a child that seems to keep getting cavities then fluoride could be a way to help avoid cavities.

To get more fluoride in your system you can either drink it or brush with it. To find out if there is fluoride in the water you drink – call your water company. And as far as brushing goes, simply be sure that fluoride is a large portion of their toothpaste.

Doing this will strengthen your child’s teeth and help keep cavities away. As with anything like this, you will need to fully discuss with your dental professional to see if it’s the best course of action for your child.  And if your child has had many cavities already – ask your dental professional about the prescription grade version of fluoride. Your child might benefit from fluoride treatments.

It’s imperative that your children take excellent care of the their oral health. To do that – they need to brush at least twice per day, floss, and have dental examinations. Good habits along with the use of fluoride can keep cavities away!

Research shows that almost half of all children from ages two to twelve have had more than one cavity. Let’s do what we can to help prevent more cavities now! The American Dental Association and many other organizations do recommend using fluoride to aid fighting tooth decay and cavities.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Home Fluoride Treatments: Why it Matters

Home fluoride treatments can be one of the most effective ways to avoid problems like tooth sensitivity, enamel demineralization and cavities. Most of the time, fluoride is prescribed to you by your dentist if you have a high risk of cavities, sensitivity, or are wearing braces. Other times, a lower dose of fluoride such as that found in over the counter rinses are recommended.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps restore strength to weakened tooth enamel. For instance, if you’re not brushing well, the enamel will begin to be etched by the acidic plaque bacteria. Before these areas become decay, they are evident as white spot lesions on the tooth (something that is often seen in orthodontic patients that do not have good oral hygiene.) A topical fluoride that is used after thorough plaque removal can help strengthen this weak enamel to stop and prevent further destruction of the area.

It’s best to use a fluoride rinse or gel just before bedtime, so that it can have an extended time on your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth as normal, and then rinse thoroughly or brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride gel. Spit well, but do not rinse the excess fluoride away. You don’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes; so using it at bedtime is highly convenient. Although it’s safe to use on a daily basis, you don’t want to ingest topical fluoride because it can affect tooth formation or cause an upset stomach. Routine topical use is safe and extremely effective.

If you’re already using an over the counter rinse, that’s great. If your dentist prescribes you fluoride, you may need a higher strength due to your weakened tooth enamel. There’s a big difference in the quantity of the mineral, so be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendation.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care



Fluoride Treatments Reduce Tooth Decay

Recent generations have benefitted greatly from fluoride use as a means to decrease overall decay rates. Fluoride works to reduce dental decay by remineralizing any areas of the tooth that have become decalcified. While many people think of fluoride as being in the water supply or from the dental office, fluoride is also found naturally in some foods. The FDA has approved the use of fluoride for preventive care purposes.

Most over the counter toothpastes contain fluoride. Small children who are unable to rinse or expectorate should use a training toothpaste that is fluoride-free, to prevent excess consumption of the mineral.

Supplemental fluoride treatments may be necessary for people who are at an increased risk for decay. Examples of increased risks include:

  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Gum recession
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Poor nutrition habits
  • Past history of rampant decay
  • Family history

In-office fluoride application is usually done with a gel or varnish. Varnish is much thicker and is brushed onto the teeth. The low viscosity increases the contact time and makes it more effective for decay reduction.  Most dentists prefer to only apply topical fluoride up to the age of 14 while permanent teeth are still erupting and forming. In some cases at-risk patients may continue to need fluoride applications.

Prescription strength fluoride may be needed for patients with persistent dental decay needs. Only a small pea-sized amount is needed and is applied, usually in the evening, after normal brushing and flossing. It is recommended to not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after the application. Routine use can greatly decrease the risk of persistent tooth decay.

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