Dental Tips Blog

Nov
27

Does Sugar Really Give You Cavities?

You might be surprised to learn the truth about this long-held dental belief.

Sugar is harmful to teeth and is connected to the cavity-making process. But it’s not as directly related as you previously thought.

How Sugar Harms Your Teeth

Sugar fuels a certain bacteria in your mouth that thrives on carbs. This species, S. mutans, produces an acidic waste product after consuming sugar. This acid is what creates cavities.

As the germs continue feeding on sugar, they wear away tooth enamel and move into the hole. Over time, these patches of bacteria and decaying structures can reach the nerve of the tooth where it causes an abscess.

Sugar is also to blame because sweet drinks, desserts, and candies also tend to contain acids. Acidic foods like vinegar and fruit juice are notorious for wearing down and weakening enamel. After regular exposure to acids, teeth become more susceptible to decay.

Avoiding Sugar

It’s now up to you to lower your risk for cavities by limiting simple carbohydrates in your diet.

You might choose to cut out some items altogether, such as soda. However, you can still enjoy sweet things from time to time. The trick is to limit the amount of time they’re on your teeth and fueling the bacteria.

Have a sweet drink with your meal rather than sip on it afterwards. Avoid snacking. Switch processed snacks for healthy foods like nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, sliced cheese, and whole grain crackers. These foods are less likely to lead to feed bacteria.

Above all, maintain a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and fluoride use to prevent cavities. Also don’t forget your routine check ups twice a year. Ask your dentist about other ways to reduce your tooth decay risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Aug
29

How Acidic Is Your Mouth?

Most of us aren’t too concerned with measuring the pH of our mouths on a regular basis. Your dentist probably won’t tell you to do that every day, anyway.

Even so, it’s good to educate yourself on a few basic facts of how acidity affects your smile.

What Is pH?

The pH scale goes from 1 to 14 with lower numbers being the acidic ones (like lemon juice and vinegar) and the higher numbers being basic (think baking soda and soap).

On the pH scale, 5.5 is a golden number: below this, tooth enamel starts to wear down. That’s right, under acidic conditions your teeth get weaker and more prone to cavities.

Another fun fact about high acidity: cavity-causing bacteria love acid and produce lots of it themselves. So an oral environment with a low pH, even by just a margin, is ripe for tooth decay.

Fighting Acid In The Mouth

Healthy human saliva clocks in at close to 7 on the pH scale. That’s a nice neutral number. In fact, it’s Nature’s way of cleaning your teeth and neutralizing any acid that is there. When people suffer dry mouth, they miss out on these great benefits.

On top of using saliva substitutes, you can also bring your pH levels up to par by:

  • Avoiding acidic drinks (juice, soda, sports drinks)
  • Cutting back on sugary carbs which metabolize into acids in the mouth
  • Snack on dairy items which neutralize pH
  • Up your fluoride intake and oral hygiene game to keep your enamel strong

See your dentist for more tips and product recommendations to fight the effects of acidity on enamel and reduce the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other tooth restorations.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Aug
10

Your Child’s First Filling

You might have felt your stomach sink in dread when you learned that your little son or daughter has a cavity. But you should know that this is a very common event.

What can you expect? And how can you prepare your child for treatment?

Kids and Cavities

Baby teeth are thinner than adult teeth. This makes them prone to developing cavities. Diet plays a role in your child’s cavity risk. A diet high in acids, sugars, and other carbohydrates will weaken tooth enamel. Young children tend to have a hard time brushing well and avoiding their favorite junk foods! Cavities happen.

Fortunately, some cavities don’t show up until that tooth is ready to fall out. But if the cavity is in an adult tooth or a baby tooth that has many months left, a filling will be necessary.

Your Attitude Makes a Difference!

If you are nervous about the filling appointment, then your child will become unduly more nervous, as well. Treat the appointment as you would any other routine visit and your kid will see that it’s nothing to be afraid of. If you feel that your child will benefit from sedation or specialized pediatric dental care, then that can be arranged.

Be honest and calm in explaining the process to your child. Encourage them to ask questions. Help them to appreciate that this is a good thing that will help their smile stay strong and healthy.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Your dentist will probably recommend preventive treatments such as fluoride and sealants to avoid cavities in the future. Continue to work with your child on improving their oral hygiene routine, and a dental filling will be a rare occasion!

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Feb
16

Throw Out Your Floss

What would you say if your dentist told you that you never had to floss your teeth again? Really! All your life you’ve heard how important it is to floss at least once a day to clean between your teeth. It’s still important to clean between every day, but now there’s another option to reach those areas inaccessible to your toothbrush: a water flosser.

Reach What Floss Can’t

Flossing only reaches so far under your gumlines. Add curves and dips in your tooth surfaces, and floss isn’t a match at all. Using a water flosser to trace around the gums and aim between the teeth will rinse bacteria out of these areas with no problem. In fact, water flossing can clean as deep as 7mm in patients with gum disease! 

More Comfortable Options

One of the biggest reasons people don’t like to floss is because flossing is uncomfortable and makes their gums bleed – Especially if they have gingivitis or gum disease. Water flossing doesn’t! In fact, water flossing is so comfortable that you can clean those tender areas quite easily without any irritation or sensitivity. Depending on your model of water flosser, you should be able to choose the temperature and pressure of your choosing. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Water flossing can seem a little messy at first. With practice, you won’t have any problems though. Some models are available online and have settings so that you can hook them up inside of your shower for a mess-free experience.

Many people find that their tooth and gum health greatly improves when they switch to a water flosser. It’s ease of use and convenience is just a couple of great reasons why water flossing may be the best option for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Envy Smile Dental Spa
1738 East 13th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 891-0606

Jul
11

Preventing Cavities with Dental Sealants

Cavities have common areas of occurrence: between the teeth and on the chewing surfaces of the back molars. The decay between teeth typically forms where the teeth touch each other and is prevented only by cleaning the area each day with floss or a water flosser. The chewing surfaces of molars may develop decay even with dedicated brushing. This is because the pits and grooves on the chewing surface can be so narrow and deep that not even toothbrush bristles are able to reach down into them. As a result, perfectly healthy teeth that belong to a person dedicated to preventive dental care can still develop cavities.

Dental sealants are a preventive procedure that helps repel bacteria from entering into these areas and causing tooth decay. The clear, plastic-like material is brushed onto a tooth that has been gently conditioned, and then is cured using an ultra violet light. After it has hardened, the sealant leaves a smooth protective layer over the small grooves, making it easy to brush any food or bacteria away from the tooth. Sealants do not protect the areas between the teeth, thus flossing is still necessary for optimal decay prevention.

Unlike fillings, sealants do not require tooth preparation, anesthetics during the application, and are not permanent. Very sticky foods such as taffy may pull the sealant off of the tooth and should be avoided. Otherwise, sealants can last several years. They are primarily placed on permanent molars just after they have erupted, helping children limit tooth decay in an early age where their oral hygiene habits may not be adequate. Permanent molars erupt around ages 6 and 12, but vary from child to child.

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