Dental Tips Blog

May
6

3 “Healthy” Foods that Can Hurt Your Teeth

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever eaten more of something because it was supposed to be “good” for you? Foods that are marketed as health foods or “less bad” foods may actually be just as bad if not worse for your tooth enamel, depending on the circumstances. Here are 4 foods that many people don’t think twice about consuming, thereby causing them to consume them far more often than they should.

Sports Drinks, Diet Sodas, Milk & Juice

You probably just read that and wondered why one or more of those drinks were listed there. Yes, milk is good for you and has important vitamins, but all of these drinks contain natural or artificial sugars that if drunk on a frequent basis throughout the day, will increase plaque levels in the mouth and lead to a very increased risk of cavities and the need for dental fillings. Even the very most athletic individuals who eat healthy throughout the day but drink 2 or 3 sports drinks when they’re at the gym can have extremely unhealthy teeth. 

Sugar-Free Candy

Candy has the ability to cling to the teeth, causing it to stay in place longer than other foods, especially chewy snacks like gummy bears. Acid levels rise, and tooth enamel is eroded, even with sugar substitutes. 

Fruit Chews

These “healthy” snack alternatives for kids that include gummy fruit snacks are not all what they seem to be (which is fruit.) They are also sticky and act just like the sugar free candy mentioned above. Instead, reach for fresh fruit, which provides more vitamins, nutrients, and actually cleans your teeth while you eat it.

Fresh is best. Fruits, vegetables, popcorn, cheese and water all make excellent snacks that improve your smile and your overall health!  

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rosenman, Springfield Lorton Dental Group

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Dec
5

Supervising Your Child’s Dental Care Routine

Posted in Fillings

Watching your child learn to take care of daily responsibilities like getting dressed, brushing their teeth, or putting on their shoes is something that makes parent’s lives easier and gives children a sense of accomplishment. But sometimes it’s important for parents to still step in. For instance, making sure your child has their shoes on the correct feet is wearing clothes that match, or is brushing their teeth the right way.

Until your child can tie their own shoes, they most likely don’t have the dexterity that they need to fully remove all of the plaque from their teeth with brushing and flossing. Brushing along the gumlines on the outside and inside of each tooth, as well as flossing between every tooth can take a lot of coordination. To make sure that your child isn’t accidentally putting themselves at risk for cavities and fillings on certain teeth, it’s best to help “check” their oral hygiene at least once a day.

Encourage your child to brush and floss on their own, no matter how old they are. After your child “finishes” brushing or flossing, let them know that you’re going to check to make sure their teeth are clean and shiny, but need to check with their toothbrush and flosser. At this point you should brush their teeth for at least two minutes to ensure thorough plaque removal, as well as floss between every tooth, even if they’re not touching.

You know your child better than anyone else, but sometimes you can’t see plaque because it’s the same color as their tooth enamel. Until your child is easily tying their shoes, you should brush their teeth for them at least once each day. As they get older, it may also be a good idea to check in on their oral hygiene throughout the week.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rosenman, Springfield Lorton Dental Group

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Nov
18

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Your permanent teeth are supposed to be just that – permanent. With proper care of your teeth and gums, your mouth can stay healthy throughout your life. The better care you take of your mouth the less risk you have for tooth decay and gum disease which not only helps prevent tooth loss, but also reduces the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives four basis steps for taking care of your oral hygiene:

  • Flossing
  • Brushing
  • Healthy diet
  • Regular dental visits

You should floss your teeth once a day. While this is typically the most neglected grooming chore, dentists say that it is the most important. Flossing is more important than brushing because flossing gets rid of food particles in between the teeth that are left behind by toothbrushes. When food particles sit between the teeth, they decay; when those food particles decay, the same bacteria that is breaking the particles down starts breaking down the enamel of your teeth.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, or after every meal if possible. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to tooth enamel. Finding a toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval and a taste that you enjoy can help to encourage you to brush your teeth.

A healthy diet can improve more than just your waistline. Foods high in sugar and starches produce the most oral acids, and the longer the acids are in your mouth the more damage they can do to your teeth. Dentists recommend avoiding hard candies, sugary gum, soft drinks, dried fruits, crackers, and chips.

Visiting your dentist twice a year is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth. Your dentist can not only clean your teeth properly and remove any lingering plaque, but your dentist can also screen for any abnormalities not visible to you. Your dentist’s goal is to promote good health – and good health starts in the mouth.

Posted on behalf of Springfield Lorton Dental Group

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