Dental Tips Blog

Apr
22

3 Things You Need to Know About Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is underestimated far too often. Knowing the facts can help you make smart decisions for your family’s health.

  1. Decay Is Highly Preventable

Cavities are a disease caused by a specific kind of bacteria, called Streptococcus mutans.

While you can’t avoid this bacteria, you can keep it from wreaking havoc on your teeth.

A diligent routine of brushing and flossing will help you keep the germs at bay. Limit how often you have simple carbohydrates in your mouth since these are what the bacteria feed on. Strengthen your tooth enamel with fluoride and other remineralizing agents.

A little prevention can help you completely avoid a costly root canal.

  1. Decay Is Contagious

At this point, you already know that tooth decay is a bacterial infection. We often acquire the bacteria from our parents and continue to share the germs back-and-forth with anyone else we kiss or share a straw with.

This also means that decay spreads tooth-to-tooth. If you have one cavity, you can’t afford to ignore it since it will only go on to infect the next tooth, doubling your problems.

  1. Decay Is Dangerous for Kids

Just because they’re baby teeth doesn’t mean they should be allowed to continue decaying. Children’s cavities can hurt and abscess just like adults’ do. Dental abscess in children can even spread to the brain. When a baby tooth decays untreated, that can also affect the health of the adult tooth yet to arrive.

The takeaway here is that tooth decay is not something to view lightly. If you suspect a cavity in you or anyone else in your family, ask your dentist to look at it right away.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

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

Jan
4

Stay Far Away from DIY Cavity Remedies, Dental Experts Advise

Often motivated by fear or a lack of time, a few brave souls try treating and preventing tooth decay through at-home methods they discovered on the Internet.

If you’re one to take your dental health into your own hands, you are to be commended for your initiative. But a word of caution is in order as most DIY dental remedies come at a steeper price than what you’d pay in a dental office.

Preventing Decay With Diet

Certain dental health advocates point to virtually cavity-free civilizations that don’t eat sugar as a sign that the correct diet can eliminate the need for fillings.

Cavities start when tooth enamel is demineralized by acids. These acids do come from broken-down sugars we eat. But actual tooth decay is propagated by bacteria found in every single human’s mouth.

As of yet, no human has been successfully in totally killing off these cavity-causing germs. Starving the bacteria through a strict low-carb diet can certainly help. But it isn’t always practical to go to dieting extremes which may cost a lot of money and time and impact your family’s nutritional health.

What About Oil-Pulling?

There are no scientifically documented benefits that oil-pulling will reduce decay. If you find that you enjoy the practice, that’s fine, you’re probably not in harm’s way. Just don’t let the oil-pulling craze distract you from methods that are proven to work: brushing, flossing, and fluoride.

DIY Filling Kits

These kits only provide temporary relief and protection for your tooth but should never be used to forestall getting professional tooth restoration treatment such as a composite filling or a dental crown. The cavity can still spread, potentially reaching a point of abscess.

Talk with your local dentist to learn some practical steps you can take at home to prevent decay.

Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 691-7371

Sep
29

4 Uses for Old Toothbrushes

Posted in Fillings

Regular brushing with a fresh toothbrush is part of a good oral hygiene routine that will help prevent tooth decay and reduce the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other tooth restorations. Most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles have become frayed or if you have been sick.   Before you throw that old toothbrush away, why don’t you see if you can put your brush to use in one of these areas?

  1. Scrubbing Tile Grout

There’s nothing like a toothbrush to loosen grime trapped between tiles or even around the sink faucet. It’s especially effective when used with a cleaning solution of baking soda and vinegar.

  1. Cleaning Jewelry

Toothbrush bristles are the ideal way to add some shine to your jewelry. Their small size makes them perfect for scrubbing the hard-to-reach inside of rings where dirt can accumulate. Use a jewelry cleaning chemical to treat your favorite treasures and then loosen debris with your old brush.

  1. Pre-Treating Stains On Clothes

Need a way to dab just a little pre-treat laundry soap on your favorite blouse? Your old toothbrush makes the perfect applicator. It’s also good for scrubbing out isolated stains.

  1. Unclogging Filters

Lots of household appliances come with filters that you probably overlook more often than not. A good cleaning will keep your refrigerator or clothes dryer running smoothly. A toothbrush can not only nab gunk stuck in the screen of the filter, but it’s perfect for reaching the angles at the corners of the filter.

Naturally, you can’t retire your toothbrush without having another at the ready to take its place. Use this opportunity to find a brush you’ll love even more. Schedule a dental appointment and ask your dentist for some tips on selecting a new toothbrush that suits your smile care needs.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481

Sep
29

10 Ways to Avoid Getting a Cavity

Posted in Fillings

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:
Garrisonville Dental
481 Garrisonville Rd. #105
Stafford, VA 22554
540-318-1794

Sep
27

Soft Enamel Or Soft Drinks – Which Is to Blame for Tooth Decay?

Posted in Crowns

“Soft enamel” is one of those myths that people still believe in today.

It’s tempting to blame poor oral health on genetics.

But if you think that tooth decay runs in your family because of weak enamel, then you may be surprised to learn the truth.

Is Soft Enamel a Real Thing?

Yes, it is possible to have weak enamel. But it’s a very rare condition, called amelogenesis imperfecta. It’s a developmental defect in which enamel doesn’t properly form. If you had this condition, you would notice that your teeth look brown, mottled, pitted, and splotchy.

If you had this condition, you would likely already know it. But it doesn’t hurt to have your dentist check your teeth to make sure.

The Real Cause of Tooth Decay

While it’s possible for some people to have an enamel defect making their teeth prone to cavities, the biggest factor behind decay is controllable.

You could be actively weakening your enamel by regularly exposing your teeth to acids in your diet.

Soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, wine, tea, and coffee are all acidic beverages that can wear down tooth enamel over time. Regularly sipping on virtually anything other than water puts your teeth at risk of decay since weak enamel lets cavity-causing bacteria attack your teeth.

How to Prevent Cavities

You can help prevent tooth decay and the need for dental restorations such as fillings and crowns by limiting how often you enjoy acidic or sugary drinks and shortening the amount of time it takes you to finish one. This will reduce the length of time your enamel is weakened by acid.

Remineralizing toothpastes and rinses containing fluoride are a great way to strengthen “soft” enamel. Ask your dentist for more ways to lower your risk for tooth decay.

Posted on behalf of:
True Dental
1257 Annapolis Rd.
Odenton, MD 21113
(443) 438-1054

Aug
3

3 Worst Drinks for Your Smile

Why, oh why, do we have such a love-hate relationship with beverages?

In the non-stop pace of daily life, we’ve come to depend on the sugary and energizing drinks that are so readily available to us. The issue is simply that the most popular (and tastiest) beverages tend to be the worst for our teeth.  They cause tooth enamel erosion leading to tooth decay.  You can avoid unnecessary dental work such as fillings and crowns by limiting your consumption of certain beverages.

Take a look at just three examples:

  1. Soda

We all know sugary soda is bad news for teeth. But did you realize just how bad? Other tooth-harming ingredients in soda include:

  • Carbonation
  • Citric acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Caramel color

This makes for a powerhouse combination of enamel-eaters!

  1. Sports Drinks

Because sports drinks tend to be affiliated with physical activity, people tend to think that they are a healthy drink option.

Actually, they’re intended for cases of dehydration, which is why they’re loaded with sugar. That, in turn, is what increases the chance of tooth decay. On top of this, these liquids are also packed with citric acid which is also bad for enamel (it’s even worse than soda.)

  1. Coffee

How many sugary iced lattes do you sip on throughout the day?

Even if you take your coffee straight up, you aren’t sparing yourself the acidic effect it has on tooth enamel. Also, whether you like your coffee plain or loaded with cream, the dark pigments will leave a stain.

These drinks in moderation keep life interesting. But the next time you crave a pick-me-up, why not give your body what it needs? Good old water!

Get tips on making smile-smart drink choices. Check in with your local dentist to find out how you can keep your teeth strong, clean, and cavity-resistant.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Aug
3

How Fluoride Can Damage Kids’ Teeth

Is fluoride good for kids or not? There is a lot of information out there on behalf of both schools of thought. Some people believe that fluoride is a toxin while others advocate it passionately.

What do you know about how fluoride affects teeth?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found all over the world. It’s an established fact that it strengthens enamel, but since it isn’t vital for life, it’s not considered a vitamin.

Cavities start when tooth enamel is worn down through a process called demineralization. Fluoride reinforces enamel to make it resistant to acids and bacteria.

Because fluoride is so good for building up tooth defenses, it’s good for kids to get plenty while their teeth are still developing.

But opponents of the mineral point to something called “dental fluorosis” to illustrate why the mineral is potentially dangerous.

What is Dental Fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis is when too much fluoride is ingested during tooth development, causing incomplete enamel formation. The affected teeth may sport just a few chalky spots of decalcification or, in extreme cases, be mottled brown and pitted.

While these affected teeth are plenty resistant to cavities, they lose their potentially luminous appearance.

Why it Matters When the Exposure Occurs

Depending on how much fluoride a person is exposed to and when, the degree of fluorosis can vary. Typically, from birth until age 6 or 7 kids are most vulnerable to the effects of fluoride. After that point, the teeth are fully developed and cannot be adversely affected by fluoride any longer.

Young children need to have their fluoride levels carefully monitored. Some of this mineral, both topical and ingestible, is necessary for healthy teeth. But swallowing too much over time can cause unwanted changes in the teeth.

Talk with your dentist about safe fluoride use for your family.

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

May
1

For a Healthier Smile, Drink Water!

No living thing can function without water. Humans are no exception. However, we tend to take our need for it granted. As we’re so creative and varied in our tastes, we’ve found other, tastier ways to enjoy drinks.

But when it comes to oral health and preventing tooth decay, nothing is going to beat plain tap water.

Keep Your Mouth Hydrated

Our mouths are loaded with saliva-producing glands. We need saliva to keep our oral tissues comfortable and functional. Spit also helps rinse away bacteria, food leftovers and neutralizes acids in the mouth.

When you’re consistently low on fluid, your mouth will suffer. Not only is it uncomfortable, but chronic dry mouth increases your risk of developing dental diseases such as tooth decay.

Stay hydrated to stay smiley!

Sweet Stuff Spikes Blood Sugar

Our habit of reaching for soda, juice, sports drinks, or sweetened coffee could be causing damage to more than just our teeth.

Do you know your risk for diabetes or high blood sugar levels?

Constant sugar-sipping will elevate the amount of sugar in your system. Over time, this can even affect your gum health and raise your cavity risk. So whenever possible, choose water over anything else.

Water Doesn’t Stain

Finally, think about how water runs zero risk of staining your teeth and beautiful white restorations. Soda, tea, coffee, and red wine, while tasty, leave horrible stains. At the least, try to drink water along with a dark beverage so that you can keep rinsing your teeth.

Keep your smile healthy and bright by opting for simple H2O. Remember to visit your dentist regularly to stay on top of your dental health.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Jan
30

6 Foods That Help Fight Tooth Decay

Oral hygiene plays the biggest role in keeping your teeth free of cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride is famous for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel against decay. But did you know that including a steady supply of the right food choices into your diet can boost your dental health?

Try out these very common and simple suggestions.

  1. Apples

High in fiber and water, fresh apples make for a refreshing snack or salad-topper. This fruit’s texture makes it something of a natural tooth cleanser.

  1. (Sugar-Free) Candy

One of your best defenses against cavities is none other than your own saliva. Dry mouth means you don’t have enough natural fluid washing away harmful plaque bacteria.

An artificially-sweetened treat can activate those saliva jets minus the damage caused by actual sugar.

  1. Nuts

Protein and fiber in nuts are beneficial to keeping your teeth clean and strong. Keep a few almonds or cashews handy to munch during the day.

  1. Seafood

Seafood is high in protein and also tends to contain natural traces of fluoride. Double bonus!

  1. Water

Don’t underestimate the benefits of good old tap water. It beats sweet drinks any day, keeps your mouth clean, and refuels your saliva glands.

  1. Cheese

This dairy favorite is high in calcium, which is essential to strong teeth and bones. Not only is cheese also a healthy source of protein, but its tart, mouth-watering tingle is another great way to boost saliva production.

Emerging evidence suggests that there could be key compounds in wine and raisins that may contribute to the fight against bacteria. Stay tuned to the latest developments by visiting your dentist on a regular basis.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

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…

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,…

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….