Dental Tips Blog


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


3 Simple Floss Alternatives

Posted in Braces

Is flossing more a form of torture than just a daily chore?

Some people genuinely have a hard time flossing.

Flossing challenges typically include:

  • Having fingers too large to fit in your mouth
  • Limited jaw opening
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Limited hand dexterity
  • Very crooked and tightly overlapping teeth
  • Braces or other fixed appliances

If you can relate to any of those, then you may need an alternative to the traditional method of flossing with a piece of waxed tape floss.

Try a Water Flosser

A powered flosser shoots a strong flow of water in a steady stream. You can angle it in any direction, keeping your hand outside your mouth the entire time. The water blasts away plaque and debris from tight and hard-to-reach places.

Water flossers are especially handy for braces since the water stream can rinse away bacteria from all sides of the brackets.

Use a Handled Flosser

There are some devices that look a little bit like a toothbrush handle, but instead of bristles there is a U-shaped prong that suspends a small length of floss. You can hold the handle like you would a toothbrush and reach the floss head to those back teeth your fingers can’t get to.

Long-handled flossers are good for those who can’t open wide enough to fit their fingers into their mouths.

Interdental Brush

When all else fails, an interdental brush is a great way to reach those spots between teeth. An interdental or proxy brush has a narrow tip covered in bristles that you can slide between teeth from the outside.

To make sure you choose a flossing alternative that’s right for you, call your dentist to book an exam.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118


Don’t Forget To Clean Your Tongue

Do you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly? That’s wonderful, but you still might not be adequately cleaning your mouth! Did you know that the tongue contains more bacteria than any other part of your body? If you’re not cleaning your tongue, then you might suffer from bad breath, an increase in tooth decay and your tongue will look unattractive when you’re laughing. If that makes you cringe, there are several tips to help you maintain proper tongue hygiene.

  • Use your toothbrush! Brush away the food particles and bacteria that’s harbored on the bumpy surface and mucus of your tongue. Use a small amount of toothpaste and beginning at the back of your tongue, gently, but firmly, brush the entire top surface of your tongue. Some toothbrushes even have a tongue cleaner built in. When you’re finished, rinse with water.
  • Use a tongue scraper for a more thorough tongue cleaning. This soft, flexible tool gently lifts off the buildup of debris and bacteria from your tongue.  Extend your tongue and scrape from back to front, being sure not to break the skin. Rinse your mouth and your scraper frequently.

Once your tongue is clean, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash to remove any lingering residue and freshen your breath. Take care to avoid alcoholic mouthrinses, as they can alter the natural flora inside of your mouth.

When Should You Clean Your Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, and again before bed. Your food might even taste better!

A quick oral exam can screen for potential infections over the surface of your tongue. Call your dentist today to schedule an appointment for the healthiest, freshest smile possible.

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


Keeping Your Smile Healthy Through the Holidays

The Holidays are filled with enjoyable times shared with friends and family.  There is usually a variety of food involved in the holiday festivities, including all kinds of sweet treats.  This can cause some problems with your health and more specifically, your oral health.  Sweet foods can contribute to causing cavities in your teeth and gum disease.  So how can you keep your gums and teeth healthy throughout the holidays?

Consider the following recommendations:

Limit the Carbohydrates and Sugars- Cake, pie, crackers, rolls and candy are some popular holiday treats that should be limited because they can cause cavities and gum disease.  It is ok to have some of this food during the holidays season…just limit the amount.

Drink Through a Straw- If you must have sugary drinks like soda or fruit juices, try to drink through a straw to push the drink back behind your teeth and not flush your front teeth with sugar.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene- As with any other time of year, daily oral hygiene practice is completely necessary to protect your teeth from cavities and gum disease.  Your teeth should be brushed twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and flossed at least one time a day.  If you are unable to brush your teeth right after you eat any sugary types of food, at least rinse your mouth out with water to help protect your teeth and gums.

Are you concerned about your smile?  Visit your local dentist to get your teeth examined as well as discuss treatment options for your smile.  Call your dentist today!

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


Choosing the Best Mouth Rinse

Mouthwash or mouth rinse is often a part of our oral hygiene routine each day. Other than judging it by its taste or flavor, most of us don’t put a lot of thought into the type of rinse we’re using. There are some important things to know about mouth rinse before you find the one that will help your smile the most. 

Mouth rinse does not replace other oral hygiene steps.

Unfortunately, mouth rinses do not mean you can skip brushing or flossing. Rinses are a nice additional step when they are applied to clean, plaque-free teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing should be done first for the mouth rinse to really do its job. 

Fluoride isn’t always included.

A fluoridated rinse can help restore weakened enamel that is beginning to develop cavities. Many major brands do not include fluoride in their rinses. Your dentist can offer a fluoridated rinse that’s perfect for sensitive, weak teeth, or for patients with braces. 

Avoid alcohol.

Some rinses contain alcohol. This can dry out the oral tissues and is problematic for patients that constantly battle dry mouth. 

Essential oils boost breath for hours.

Essential oils are a natural antimicrobial and also freshen breath. Some people prefer to purchase blends specifically for oral health, and place one or two drops in a cup of water to use for hours of fresher breath. 

From time to time, patients will require a prescription strength mouth rinse to fight severe gum disease and tooth decay. Due to the concentration of medication, these rinses do not have an equivalent product that is available at the supermarket. Ask your dentist which type of rinse you should be using, if any at all!

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists


Can Oral Diseases be Spread to Loved Ones

We all know that poor oral hygiene or increased intake of certain foods can make us susceptible to developing tooth decay, but believe it or not – so can bacteria spread between family members. Over the past few years, research has suggested that saliva passed from parent to child during kisses or sharing food allows oral bacteria to be passed on to the child and place them at risk to conditions which the parent has.

Active tooth decay in a parent can cause the decay bacteria to be passed on to the child, making them develop cavities in otherwise healthy teeth. This can be done by a parent sharing an eating utensil or using their own mouth to clean off a pacifier before putting it back into the mouth of their child. We’ve already known that decay can spread tooth to tooth, but now we know it can spread from parent to child.

The bacteria that causes gum disease can also be passed between loved ones. Having parents that suffered from gum disease and tooth loss may make children susceptible to future problems, because the bacteria now thrives in their own mouths.

To help prevent the spread of oral bacteria between family members and loved ones, it’s important to have your conditions treated as early as possible, and manage them through proper oral hygiene each day. By treating cavities while they are small, you can eliminate the infection from your mouth and prevent other teeth (or those of your child) from becoming infected. Professional treatments and dedicated home care can eliminate and reverse gum disease, helping everyone keep their smiles longer.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts



Waterpik Sexy Smile Survey

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may want to brush up on your oral hygiene to make a great impression on your date or significant other.  A recent survey conducted for Waterpik by Kelton Research reveals that good oral hygiene was far more important for a romantic evening than traditional mood setting techniques such as dimming the lights, romantic music, lighting candles, or wearing perfume.

According to the survey results, 59% of people surveyed said that they would be most disturbed by a partner who did not brush or floss their teeth for a week.  Only 24% of those surveyed chose chose not wearing deodorant as the most disturbing, and even fewer chose failing to comb your hair, trim your toe nails, or shaving as the most disturbing.

At the same time, the survey revealed that the flossing habits of most Americans leave a lot to be desired.  The majority of respondents gave themselves a low grade on efforts to floss daily and that they were most likely to floss just before visiting the dentist, if there was food caught in their teeth, or they had bad breath.

The bottom line of the survey was that American’s oral hygiene habits leave a lot to be desired.  Studies have shown that brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  It also helps prevent bad breath and helps keep your teeth their whitest.

Combined with preventative dental services such as regular teeth cleaning, good oral hygiene habits can help you achieve a sexy smile that will last a lifetime.

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…

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….

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,…