Dental Tips Blog

Sep
17

4 Surprisingly Horrible Drinks for Kids’ Teeth

Is your son or daughter’s favorite beverage on this list?

Juice

It’s made from fruit, so it has to be healthy, right?

Fruit juice is often fortified with sugar. Even pure forms of juice are high in natural sugars and acids. Drinking juice is worse for your teeth than eating fresh fruit, because it bathes them in liquids that are harsh on enamel, sans the healthy fiber.

Energy Drinks

You’re just glad it’s an alcohol-free substitute for your teen. But these “cool” drinks that get kids pumped up for an all-nighter of homework contain just as many harmful ingredients as soda does. Studies also indicate that these beverages can trigger seizures and heart problems in kids.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain a lot of sugars; even more than soda in most cases. They’re only necessary in cases where there’s an actual risk of dehydration. Habitually guzzling these bright liquids at every sports practice will quickly lead to tooth decay.

Milk (in a Bottle) 

Putting an infant or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk may help them sleep. But it also unnecessarily allows milk sugars to pool in their mouth overnight. This habit is the number one cause of severe toddler and childhood tooth decay.

What’s the best drink for healthy kids’ smiles? Plain and inexpensive tap water! Water helps maintain a healthy saliva flow to keep teeth strong and cleanse the mouth of bacteria. Pure water won’t wear down enamel and it’s the best thing for kids’ bodies, too.

Allow fun and tasty drinks on occasion. But make sure your kids have access to water as their main hydration source throughout the day. Remember to schedule dental checkups and cleanings for your children to stay on top of their cavity risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Mar
27

Fight Tooth Decay . . . With Sweets?

Lollipops, caramels, chocolate – oh my! The list of snacks that promote tooth decay goes on and on. It’s not just limited to sweets, either. Foods containing simple carbohydrates like crackers and bagels and juice are also culprits.

The fact that there’s actually a kind of sugar out there that’s proven to help prevent cavities sounds ironic.

Xylitol is a specific type of sugar alcohol. It’s commonly derived from plant sources such as corn and used as a sugar alternative.

Xylitol benefits over regular sugar:

  • 40% fewer calories
  • Just as sweet as sugar while preventing cavities
  • It’s lower on the glycemic index

But what makes xylitol different?

First of all, it’s a carbohydrate that cavity-causing bacteria can’t digest. Those germs live off of the sugar you eat. So when that sugar is replaced by a kind they can’t break down, they starve to death.

Secondly, xylitol helps to deconstruct the “slime layer” that those bacteria live in. Without their sticky texture, they can’t adhere to teeth and cause cavities.

This sugar substitute can often be found on the shelves of health food stores, as well as specific types of gum.

But be careful – xylitol isn’t recommended in large amounts. Just as bacteria have a hard time digesting this substance, so do humans. Too much xylitol probably isn’t toxic, but it does act as a sort of laxative.

The best way to get the dental benefits of xylitol is to chew gum made with it. People with dry mouth especially like to munch on sweet things to encourage saliva flow. Xylitol sweets are the way to go!

In conjunction with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental cleanings and checkups, xylitol can help prevent tooth decay.  Find out more ways to lower your cavity risk by scheduling a visit with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Feb
11

Here’s Why You Should Be Using an Electric Toothbrush

It’s easy to think that a powered toothbrush is an unnecessary gadget. It’s just one more simple daily task that’s been automated to attract consumers. But electric toothbrushes hold out many health benefits. Here’s why so many family dentists recommend you give one a try.

They Get Your Teeth Cleaner

It’s true! Powered toothbrushes have bristles that vibrate at a rate which disrupts plaque bacteria faster than is possible by hand. It is possible to keep your smile clean and healthy with a manual toothbrush, but that can be a trick for those with limited hand dexterity.

An automated toothbrush gets the work done for you.

A Powered Brush Is Gentler Than a Manual One

Some electric toothbrushes come with a feature that warns you if you’re pushing the brush too hard against your teeth. Rough toothbrushing damages gums and enamel and it’s a tough habit to break. Making the switch to a powered toothbrush could be what saves your smile.

You Could Use a Reminder for Your Brushing

On average, you need to spend a full two minutes brushing your teeth. That ensures you tackle almost all the plaque. But it’s so easy to forget when you’re in a hurry! An electric toothbrush that beeps at intervals or has a timer will help remind you to do a thorough job.

In the end, the best toothbrush for you is the one you’ll use. If you’ve kept your smile in great shape for years with a manual toothbrush, then you might not need to switch to an electric one.

Find out what your smile needs by scheduling a routine dental cleaning and checkup with your family dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Jul
31

Is There a Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?

You’ve heard the ads. Just about any product promoted for cleaning your teeth claims to fight plaque and tartar. But just what are these icky and unwelcome substances? Why should you be trying to fight them off?

The Daily Battle with Plaque

Plaque is a clear or white film made of:

  • Bacteria
  • Food debris
  • Natural fluids from your mouth

There’s no way that you can avoid plaque 100% of the time. It’s a natural biofilm, but it is also potentially very dangerous.

Plaque trapped between teeth can trigger cavities because of the acids produced by some bacteria. Plaque left along the gum line for more than a day can irritate your gums. This results in the inflammation known as gingivitis. If left unchecked, gingivitis can advance to a more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis.

When germs collect on a tooth surface and begin multiplying, they develop a protective film. This is the start of dental plaque, and this process can begin on a clean tooth surface within hours!

Why Tartar Is Not Good for Teeth Either

Undisturbed plaque deposits mix with minerals in your saliva and turn into – yes, you guessed it! Tartar.

Better known as “tartar,” calculus is the substance that results when plaque is not removed regularly. It can form at a more rapid rate in some individuals than others. Calculus provides the ideal surface for disease-causing bacteria to hide out on. Unless it is removed, it can easily encourage gum inflammation.

A Clean Smile is a Healthy Smile

Adult mouths, young mouths, and even mouths with few natural teeth can all develop dental plaque. A good routine of oral hygiene is important for keeping plaque and tartar deposits at bay. Visit your local dentist for professional dental cleanings at least every 6 months.

Posted on behalf of:
Meadowbrook Family Dental
8848 Calvine Rd #120
Elk Grove, CA 95828
(916) 912-4126

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