You’ve heard that eating a lot of sugar leads to cavities. But you may not realize how big of a role your overall diet plays in determining your cavity risk.
Here are a few changes you might make to your family’s eating habits:
Drink More Water
Beverages are a major source of the sugars that contribute to tooth decay. They literally soak the teeth in sugar for minutes at a time. Sweet drinks provide fuel for cavity-causing bacteria and they also impact the acidity of the mouth, which is what causes enamel erosion.
Cut back on sweetened drinks by encouraging your family to switch to water. This will keep the mouth hydrated and your teeth cleaner.
Fresh fruits and veggies are great sources of water (which helps clean teeth) and fiber. The fiber is good for your digestive health, but it also does your teeth a favor. Natural fibers in plants help scrub away cavity-causing plaque and sugar while you chew.
Who knew an apple a day could keep the dentist away?
Get More Fiber
Speaking of fiber, you can get similar dental health benefits by upgrading your processed carbs to high-fiber whole grains. The hearty texture can wick away bacteria and slows down plaque-formation, unlike simpler carbohydrates.
Dairy is the perfect snack for strong tooth enamel. Minerals found in dairy products such as calcium are necessary for remineralizing the structure of weak teeth. Cheese in particular is good for preventing decay since its tangy flavor stimulates saliva flow. Your teeth rely on saliva to stay clean and to soak up more minerals!
Modest changes in your diet along with routine dental exams and checkups can help fight tooth decay and prevent cavities. Want more tips on keeping your smile healthy, naturally? Visit your dentist or hygienist to learn more.
Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
School is getting ready to let out, and parents everywhere are planning out their summer activities. From day camps to water parks, there’s no more exciting part of the year for your kids (except for maybe Christmas break.) With all that energy they’re burning, they’re sure to be hungry too! Here are some healthy snack ideas that can keep tummies satisfied without being hard on teeth:
Cheese Sticks — Sharp cheddar cheese is rich in calcium for strong teeth and bones. It’s also been proven to neutralize acid inside of the mouth, helping people reduce their risk of tooth decay.
Apples — Biting into crisp, fresh fruit keeps teeth clean and adds important vitamins to your child’s diet. Stick to anything that can be picked. The texture of apples and carrots in particular, are great for teeth and gums.
Nuts — Assuming your child doesn’t have a nut allergy, nuts like almonds and other varieties are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient helps keep gums healthy, but it’s also essential to healthy brain development.
Be Sure to Avoid the Sports Drinks — If your child is active in a summer soccer or baseball league, you’re probably bound to see tons of sports drinks on the team bench. However, unless your child is physically exerting themselves at the level of an Olympic athlete or at risk of a heat stroke due to temperatures, water is all they need to stay hydrated. Sports drinks cause rapid tooth decay (worse than soda) so it’s better to find a fun, personalized bottle and keep it full of fluoridated tap water.
Don’t forget to schedule that next dental cleaning and check-up for your child. Call your dentist today.
Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103
If your history is marked with more dental procedures than any other memory, then it’s a great idea to take steps that lower your cavity risk! Here are ten tips to help prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns and other tooth restorations
Cut out sweet drinks. Sipping on sugary coffee, soda, or juice on a daily basis is basically soaking your teeth in enamel-eating acids.
Keep your mouth hydrated. A dry mouth is a playground for cavity-causing bacteria. Drink lots of water and chew sugarless gum to keep your saliva flow going strong.
Switch to whole grains. Simple sugars are the main fuel for enamel-eroding bacteria. High-fiber foods and complex carbs are good for your body in general and don’t stick around in the mouth to create sticky plaque.
Eat fresh, whole food snacks. Opt for fresh veggies and fibrous fruits like apples over chips and cookies. These will help to naturally cleanse your mouth.
Fluoride, fluoride, fluoride. Need we say more? Use a rinse daily and take advantage of any professional fluoride treatments your office provides.
Brush/floss even more. No matter how often you brush or floss, try to do it a little more frequently.
Get sealants. They’re not just for kids! Dental sealants prevent decay from starting in the grooves on molars.
Eat dairy. Cheese and milk neutralize acids in the mouth and fortify teeth against decay.
Rinse often. Don’t take any chances – rinse your mouth with water after every meal or snack.
See your dentist regularly. Never skip an appointment. Regular exams and yearly x-rays are key to detecting the signs of decay and stopping it before it can cause too much trouble.
Posted on behalf of:
481 Garrisonville Rd. #105
Stafford, VA 22554
Most of us adults have fond memories of opening our lunch bags to find mom packed us a goody to brighten our day at school.
If you have kids, you likely continue the tradition.
Yummy as sweet snacks may be, it’s important to think carefully about such decisions.
Dentists recommend that you avoid adding these items on a regular basis:
Sports drinks. Save these for game day when your kid is on the verge of dehydration. Consumed unnecessarily, sports drinks are an unbelievable source of enamel-eating acids and sugars.
Snack cakes. These are the highlight of any kid’s day! Just don’t make it their daily highlight. Sugary sweets contribute to diabetes and obesity as well as tooth decay.
Sugary granola bars. Although this sounds healthy, chewy refined grains smothered in syrup is a recipe for disaster if it all camps out on your child’s teeth for the rest of the day.
Don’t Forget A Toothbrush!
Whether your little mini-me likes healthy lunch options or not, you should always encourage diligent oral hygiene.
Actually, if you have a hard time getting your child to eat smile-friendly foods, then frequent proper brushing is all the more important. Keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste handy in their lunchbox, if they are old enough to use it appropriately.
By starting now, you can help your child lay the foundation for a bright and healthy future. Even if they don’t appreciate it now, they will thank you later! Smart snacking and regular brushing and flossing are the keys to avoiding tooth decay and cavities, spending less time in a dental chair, and spending less money on fillings, crowns and other dental restorations.
Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
It’s an age-old remedy for many common health ailments. It’s a vital ingredient in many baked goods. It helps remove stains in laundry and is a chemical-free household cleaning agent. It deodorizes refrigerators and cupboards.
What is it? Baking soda.
This cheap and simple product can be a handy helper in your home. You may also know it as a popular toothpaste substitute.
This begs the question, however: is it safe to brush with baking soda instead of toothpaste?
Why Use Baking Soda?
Daily brushing is important to help reduce or prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Baking soda can be a cost-effective and quick way to get your teeth scrubbed up.
People choose this alternative toothpaste mainly because it’s gritty enough to polish out some stains on enamel. Baking soda can help remove some plaque and debris and its basic nature allows it to neutralize acids in the mouth. These acids are responsible for triggering tooth decay.
What’s Not So Great About Baking Soda?
Despite its benefits, baking soda also has a few downsides:
Perhaps the worst part about baking soda is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.
Most toothpastes have some kind of detergent to help gently loosen plaque from the teeth. That’s what creates all the foam when you brush. Some toothpastes even have agents that prevent bacteria from growing back.
Most importantly, other toothpastes generally have fluoride. This vitamin is essential for strong teeth, but it’s not found in baking soda, by itself.
Ask your dentist whether using baking soda to regularly brush your teeth is good for your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants
You may already know that dental sealants are not the same thing as fillings. A restoration like a filling is something the dentist places after a tooth is damaged by a cavity. Sealants help to block out damage before it starts.
So what determines whether your child is a candidate for sealants?
Kids tend to have a hard time with proper brushing. They also love to eat sticky sweet snacks that pack into teeth and promote cavities. Sealing it off with a tiny bit of white resin-based material provides a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria or acid.
Sealants are instrumental in giving kids the upper hand over cavities. They’re now routinely offered in most dental offices as a preventative treatment. Sealing your child’s molars as early as possible can help them avoid getting cavities and spare them a lot of headache down the road.
How Groovy Are Your Kid’s Teeth?
Sealants are recommended for all kids. But, some kids need them even more than others. If your child has molars with really deep grooves on the chewing surfaces, then they could benefit from getting those sealed off shortly after the tooth erupts.
Generally-speaking, most dentist don’t recommend sealing baby teeth. Even though your child’s first teeth are important, the grooves are usually quite shallow. It’s the permanent teeth that have deep grooves, making them a priority to protect.
To find out whether your child is ready for sealants, schedule an appointment with your kids dentist. You’ll find out which teeth need to be repaired with fillings. . . and which teeth can avoid fillings with the help of dental sealants!
Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Dental sealants are an increasingly popular preventive dental procedure for kids. But does this mean you should jump on-board and have them placed for your child’s smile?
What Sealants Do
With dental sealants, a thin layer of a resin material is painted into the grooves of the back teeth. This “paint” reduces the depth of the grooves, making it easier to keep them clean. It also prevents cavity-causing bacteria from settling in too deep.
The sealant placement process involves:
Are Sealants Safe?
Yes! Dental sealants don’t cause irreparable damage to tooth structure. They don’t leak any harmful toxins into the body system, and the placement process is drill-free. There is virtually nothing that you or your child should fear (not even shots!)
Benefits Now and Later
Dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the deep grooves of teeth. This makes them ideal for kids that have a hard time remembering to brush. By sealing out cavity-causing bacteria, you can reduce your child’s cavity risk altogether. Sealants can spare your family with the frustration of having longer appointments later on to repair the damage done by cavities.
Find out whether dental sealants are right for your kids by scheduling an examination with your local dentist. Regular check-ups will ensure that your children are given the best foundation possible for a future of healthy smiles!
Posted on behalf of:
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
You’ve likely heard mixed opinions on the value fluoride has for dental health. There are individuals who believe fluoride is toxic. But the vast majority of dental professionals promote fluoride for its unequaled ability to prevent tooth decay.
Which side you believe will affect the health of your family. Before you rule out fluoride use as dangerous or inconsequential, carefully consider the benefits of fluoride that the latest research shows. It can make a big difference in your child’s dental health!
How Fluoride Works
Fluoride is absorbed systemically by teeth that are still developing. This helps strengthen the enamel before the tooth emerges. Fluoride can also reinforce enamel when teeth are exposed to it in the mouth. Topical fluoride can even help remineralize areas that are prone to tooth decay.
Fluoride comes in a variety of forms:
Supplement Oral Hygiene
Children often have a hard time removing harmful plaque from their mouths during brushing. The great thing about fluoride is that it can penetrate plaque. Teeth will still get some protective benefit from this mineral even if some acidic plaque is left on them. Plaque is also easily trapped in the mix of adult and baby teeth that many kids have. Fluoride is especially effective for kids!
Avoid Future Dental Expense
By preventing cavities now through fluoride use, you’re helping your child plan for a future of dental health. Strong tooth enamel and excellent oral hygiene will ward off problems that can lead to a lot of pain and cost down the road.
Get your child’s dental health off to the best start by scheduling an examination at your local dental office.
Posted on behalf of:
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
Growing up, you probably heard how important fluoride was for your teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that encourages proper tooth development and also helps tooth enamel resist decay. Just like calcium, it’s a necessary part of the human body. Kids aren’t the only ones that can benefit from fluoride – adults do too!
Fluoride at Your Dental Appointment
Professional strength fluoride applications help fight sensitivity and provide the pores of the teeth with a chance to absorb minerals that greatly decrease your risk of tooth decay. Applications such as varnishes can last for several hours, making them much more effective than gels or foams that were previously used by dentists.
Fluoride in Your Drinking Water
Systemic fluoride helps strengthen bones and teeth as they grow. When your finished growing, the superficial fluoride strengthens the teeth as you drink. Municipal water supplies are required to have monitored fluoride levels while bottled waters do not. In fact, many bottled waters do not contain fluoride at all and even have a slightly acidic pH.
Fluoride in Your Toothpaste or Mouth Rinse
The small amount of fluoride in your home products provides your teeth with a minimal, daily dose of the mineral to help repel new tooth decay. It can also help early signs of demineralization to reverse, before they become cavities. If you have a high risk of cavities such as a large number of restorations or frequent tooth decay, then daily fluoride is a must.
Your dentist may prescribe a stronger fluoride for daily use if you are at risk for decay or undergoing orthodontic treatment. Even if you use fluoride, regular dental check-ups are important to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. Book your preventive care visit every 6 months.
Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
Brushing and flossing helps remove debris from the teeth, but daily contact with plaque bacteria also weakens tooth enamel, damaging the teeth and gradually wearing on them over time. While it’s true that toothpaste does contain small amounts of fluoride, it may be necessary to use a supplemental fluoride each day to help remineralize tooth enamel that is susceptible to forming cavities.
One of the benefits about choosing a fluoride rinse is that it can access all surface areas of teeth throughout the mouth. Areas between the teeth or that have deep areas inaccessible by a toothbrush can easily soak up fluoride when a rinse is used. The use of an over the counter fluoride rinse each day can keep enamel strong, deter decay from forming, and reduce the need for dental fillings and other restorative dental work.
A fluoride rinse should be used after thorough brushing and flossing, so that the liquid has direct contact with clean tooth enamel. Most dentists recommend using the fluoride in the evenings before bedtime, as the saliva glands slow down production when a person sleeps. After rinsing with the fluoride for 30+ seconds, spit the rinse into the sink but do not rinse the remainder of the fluoride rinse out of your mouth. This allows a very small amount to remain on the surface of the tooth enamel. If the rinse is used in the morning, then a person should wait at least 30 minutes or more before eating or drinking after applying fluoride.
Implementing a fluoride rinse into your daily oral hygiene routine can help stop new cavities from forming between your dental visits. It is not however, a substitute for regular brushing or flossing!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
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