- 1. Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse, desk at work, or your car. Basically, have a toothbrush on hand wherever and whenever you snack. It’s important to brush right after eating (even if it’s just a tiny snack) to get rid of as much bacteria as quickly as possible.
- 2. Many people make a habit out of sipping coffee or tea all day. Unfortunately, both of these drinks can do some serious damage to your teeth, as they contain staining ingredients for your smile. You’ve heard it a million times, but that’s because it’s true: drinking water is the best thing that you can do for your body (and your enamel). If you prefer something hot, try simply heating up your water before drinking. If not, try to cut down your daily intake of other beverages.
- 3. Drink soda or coffee through a straw whenever possible. This minimizes the amount of enamel that the staining beverages come into contact with. Your pearly whites will thank you in the long run, and you’ll be able to continue to show off your smile.
- 4. Don’t use your teeth to open anything! They are specialized tools which are solely meant for biting foods and chewing. Think of it this way: opening a container with your teeth is like using a screwdriver to bang in a nail. You want your teeth to stay with you for life, so don’t do actively destructive things to them!
How much do you think you influence your little one? If you think the answer is “Not much,” guess again. According to a study published by the Journal of Dental Research, parents have an enormous amount of influence on their children, and that extends to areas of health and wellbeing. The study found that if a mother had a cavity, her child was twice as likely as other children to also have a cavity.
The takeaway? Teaching your son or daughter about brushing and flossing—not to mention practicing what you preach—can help your child develop healthy habits that will stick with them throughout their life.
Also important are regular dental visits every six months. Regular visits will give your doctor a chance to look for common oral health conditions and provide treatment if necessary. Conditions like gum disease and tooth decay need to be caught early so they can be treated quickly, before they have a chance to become more serious.
How long has it been since you or your child saw a dentist for a regular visit? If it’s been more than six months, call your local dental office today to reserve an appointment. During your and your child’s visit, your doctor can talk to you both about brushing and flossing and can offer helpful advice you both can use on a daily basis.
Remember, the behavior you model at home makes a real difference. Help your child develop diligent brushing habits by demonstrating them yourself.
When asked to come up with a list of foods that dentists hate, gum will almost certainly appears in your top five. After all, this sticky, chewy candy can leave your jaw sore and work its way into tricky places in your smile – not to mention that it’s a natural enemy of traditional braces. But have you heard that the treat can actually improve the health of your teeth and gums instead of hurting them? It’s true! The American Dental Association has officially recognized that specific types of sugarless chewing gum have been scientifically proven to bolster optimal dental health.
Chew Up a Storm and Keep Smiling
The act of chewing gum helps to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, which can help clear away stray food particles and acids that are left by bacteria. Over time, these acids can wear down your tooth enamel and cause unwanted damage and decay. More saliva helps relieve this problem while also bringing with it more calcium and phosphate, which help to strengthen enamel. By chewing sugarless gum after meals for around twenty minutes, you can effectively keep your teeth cleaner than ever before!
Of course, chewing gum is not an adequate substitute or replacement for brushing and flossing. Instead, these techniques should be used in conjunction in order to ensure that your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible through the years. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride and flossing at least once.
Additionally, when choosing gum to chew, look for the ADA seal. This is a reliable assurance that the product will be safe and effective for your oral health. As of right now, the choices of gum that have earned this seal are sugarless, having been sweetened by non-cavity inducing products. While gum that contains sugar also helps to increase the production of saliva, it can also lead to an increased risk of cavities.
Be sure to talk to your local dentist if you have any concerns about chewing gum!
It’s common knowledge that the use of tobacco products can increase your overall risk of oral cancer, but there are other factors at play as well. Regular exercise, proper diets, and good habits are the
building blocks for any healthy lifestyle, but they can significantly lower the possibility of many diseases. As always, regular brushing, flossing, and other beneficial dental care are your best tools for preventing the development of many diseases, and can aid in the fight against cancer. If you are already affected by oral cancer, this information may also help during your treatment and after.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Tobacco usage, especially smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, is the only known cause of oral cancer. The best way to prevent oral cancer from developing is to completely stop the use of tobacco products. We know that it can be hard to quit this addictive habit, but it’s one of the best things that you can do for your health, and the health of your loved ones (secondhand smoke is a proven cause of other types of cancer). Your dentist and doctor can give you great advice and other tips to help you quit using tobacco products. Please turn to them for advice and let them know that you want to quit. They will be 100% supportive, which can really make a difference in your quest to stop!
If you drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day, you have a greater chance of getting oral cancer, as well as additional health problems. Drinking and smoking often coincide, which may attribute to the high cancer rates in those who use drink. However, studies have shown that frequent binge drinking also corresponds with an unhealthy diet, which can increase one’s risk for cancer. The best way to control these factors is to limit alcoholic beverage intake, and choose healthier foods. Leafy, green vegetables, foods which are high in vitamin B, green tea, and other antioxidant-rich foods have been continually linked to fighting or preventing cancer. You should avoid frying the vegetables as well, as this form of cooking effectively zaps the foods of any nutritive content.
Vitamin D is great for overall health, and has been known to lessen chances of acquiring cancer. High levels of vitamin D enable bones and teeth to absorb the calcium they need to stay strong and healthy. The natural way of getting vitamin D is from safe levels of sun exposure. Unfortunately, sun exposure is a risk factor for oral cancer on the lips, and for other types of cancer on other places in the body. Regular sunblock and limited time in the sun can help deter these unwanted effects. If you want to play it safe or if you’re exposure to the sun is already limited, you may want to talk to your dentist or doctor about vitamin D supplements. Adding these to your healthy diet could help you avoid oral cancer.
Need help? Don’t hesitate to ask!
If you’re unsure about your chances of developing oral cancer or other cancers, please turn to your healthcare professional. Your dentists and doctors want what’s best for your well-being, and should be able to provide helpful tips, or refer you to a trusted colleague who can. It’s never too late to improve your health!
Now that we’re heading into warmer weather, people are likely to spend more time outdoors doing a variety of activities, including sports. Taking advantage of the higher temperatures to get some exercise and to spend time with friends is a good thing, of course, but athletes should keep a few pointers in mind related to their oral health.
Don’t forget your mouthguard
A large percentage of sports-related injuries—perhaps as many as 40%–involve the face. That’s why wearing a mouthguard is so important. With a custom-made mouthguard from your local dentist, your chances of experiencing tooth loss are almost completely eliminated. It’s also been shown that a custom-made mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of having a concussion. All of this can, in turn, improve your performance and keep you safer as you play, no matter what your sport is.
Limit your consumption of sports drinks
Sports drinks may have a refreshing taste, but they’re not good for your smile. That’s not just because they contain high amounts of sugar; it’s also because of their acidity. Consuming too many sports drinks can eventually lead to tooth erosion, hypersensitivity, and staining. To protect your smile, limit how many sports drinks you consume. You will also want to use fluoride toothpaste and even a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen your smile by re-mineralizing teeth.
Stay hydrated with water
If acidic sports drinks can damage teeth, fluoridated water can help you strengthen them. That’s because fluoride draws important minerals and nutrients to teeth. Outside of that, water can help you keep your smile clean and will help you keep your keep your body cool and hydrated. Best of all, you can drink as much as it as you want without any ill effects.
Do you questions about how else you can protect your smile and your body this summer as you hit the field? Talk to your local dentist today.
The health benefits of weight loss are many. Being overweight can contribute to heart disease, heart attack, joint pain, and diabetes. And now, research shows that being overweight can put you at risk for another type of health problem: gum disease. You may not connect your weight with your oral health, but the truth is that your smile can benefit from you maintaining a healthy weight.
How does your weight affect your risk of gum disease? Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums, and cytokines are proteins produced by the body that have inflammatory properties. Overweight individuals produce more cytokines, which can then cause gum disease. With a third of Americans suffering with weight problems and over half experiencing gum disease, getting a handle on these two health risks is a big goal for dentists and other health professionals.
How can you lower your risk of gum disease? Here are a few simple steps you can take that will make a big difference.
Brushing and Flossing
The single best thing you can do to lower your risk of gum disease is to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Many people skip the flossing, but this is an essential part of your gum disease prevention routine. Brushing alone cannot get below the gum line or between teeth, and it’s below the gum line that gum disease flourishes. When you floss, you can remove the plaque and bacteria that hides in the gum pockets and inflames the soft tissues of your mouth. Don’t skimp on the flossing; make sure to floss once every 24 hours.
Flossing is a crucial part of dental hygiene, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly; after all, it’s a tried-and-true method for getting rid of stubborn food particles that settle in hard-to-reach places between teeth, as well as an effective way to disrupt cavity-causing bacteria and keep them getting too comfortable. Of course, you might be thinking: how hard is it to drag some string between your teeth? Harder than you might think. Countless people make casual errors every day when flossing, and while it might not seem like a big deal at the time, you could find yourself in need of fillings or other restorative dental work before you know it. Here are five common mistakes that are made during flossing that you should watch out for:
When You Use the Same Section of Floss the Entire Time
As we said above, flossing removes harmful bacteria from between your teeth. Why would you want to move that bacteria around your mouth into new areas instead of getting rid of it altogether? It might seem wasteful, but when you use the exact same area of floss on multiple teeth, you can replace plaque that’s already been removed into a brand-new home.
When You Skip the Teeth in the Very Back
While some of your teeth may have an open space next to them, it’s still important to work the floss behind them and do some cleaning. By doing this, you can make sure to remove bacteria that sometimes finds its way between your tooth and gums.
When You Snap the Floss between Your Teeth
Some of your teeth have very tight adjoining spaces. When you notice an area like this, try not to force the floss so that it jumps down against your gums. Instead, work the floss back and forth until it slides through. Snapping the floss not only hurts your gums, but it can also cause them to recede. Gum disease might not be far behind, too.
When You Quit Because Your Gums Start Bleeding
We understand that the sight and taste of blood can be scary sometimes, but don’t worry! You’re not hurting your gums. You’re just suffering from gingivitis, a condition that happens when your body sends more blood to the gums so that they can fight off growing plaque. You can alleviate this condition by removing that plaque with flossing. After a few days of dedicated flossing, your gums should return to normal!
When You Floss Aimlessly Without Keeping Track Of Your Teeth
You have a fair amount of teeth, and when you’re flossing, it can be easy to become distracted and accidentally skip one or two. Creating a plan that you follow whenever you floss will guarantee that you leave no area untouched. As long as you stick to it, you shouldn’t have any problems!
Just be sure to watch out for these common mistakes, and keep flossing! Your teeth will thank you.
Choose cheese for your next sandwich ingredient or salad-topper! As a child, everyone has heard parents and other adults lecturing on the importance of eating vegetables and drinking milk to grow up big and strong. But did you know that eating certain types of cheese at any age can also help you stay healthy?
Multiple studies have shown that chewing processed cheese can prevent cavities and other decay from taking place. During a clinical study performed by Dows Institute for Dental Research, it was shown that after chewing just a single cube of cheese, a tooth’s surface re-hardened and strengthened by over 100%, thanks to the cheese’s mineral-boosting components. It’s understood that regular servings of this dairy product prevent the demineralization of teeth, and will help boost the remineralization process. This means that enamel, the protective layer of your pearly whites, is reinforced, and can better shield your teeth from decay-causing bacteria.
It doesn’t hurt that cheese contains substantial amounts of calcium, which has long been known to prevent osteoporosis and keep bones resilient.
Cheeses that can protect and increase your oral health include:
- sharp cheddar.
Think twice about skipping the cheese on your next sub! There are many benefits of this delicious snack that can improve your oral health. Many doctors also praise its metabolism-boosting effects. You don’t have to cut it completely out of your diet, so those of you who have managed to stick with your New Year’s resolutions can incorporate moderate amounts of dairy intake back in your daily life. (And congratulations on sticking with your goals).
As with any meal, it’s still important to brush and floss after eating. If you’re concerned about your tooth’s sensitivity for any reason, or suspect that you may have a cavity, please contact your dentist at the earliest convenience. No food, diet, or beverage can replace the educated and skilled eye of your dental professional.
One common issue patients raise with their dentist is tooth sensitivity. Many experience it without knowing what causes it. In today’s post, we’d like to look at that question.
Often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the gums have receded, leaving tooth roots exposed. Tubules in the roots lead down to the tooth’s nerve. These let stimuli like hot and cold reach the nerve, creating a shock of sensation.
Gum recession is spurred by a variety of factors, including:
Also known as periodontal disease, this is the primary cause of gum recession. What’s more, it’s been estimated that a majority of American adults have some form of the disease. Gum disease can be treated or prevented through regular oral care at home and regular visits to your local dentist.
How you brush can impact your oral health. When you brush aggressively using a hard-bristled toothbrush, you aren’t doing your smile any favors. This kind of brushing can harm your gums and your teeth alike. Brush thoroughly but gently, and ask your doctor for advice on what kind of brush you need.
Teeth Grinding/Cracked Teeth
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a common sign of stress. Over time, grinding will damage teeth, possibly to the point that teeth become cracked. When teeth are cracked, bacteria can gain access to a tooth’s pulp, causing sensitivity. See your dentist about treating your teeth grinding with an oral appliance.
It’s not uncommon for patients between 25 and 30 to experience sensitivity. If that fits your situation, talk to your doctor about what you can do to treat your discomfort.
Is sensitivity putting a damper on your sense of health and wellbeing? Call your local dentist. Sometimes changing hygiene products is all it takes to tooth sensitivity. You don’t have to live with your discomfort. A long-term solution is possible!
Vitamins and minerals have been shown to have a countless number of various benefits for the human body, and some may have benefits specifically for your smile. New research has shown that vitamin D may help lower your risk of tooth decay. And because the modern lifestyle often keeps us out of the sun (the main source of vitamin D) and few of us drink vitamin D-enriched whole milk these days, vitamin D supplements may be a vital part of your oral health regimen.
According to a review of research published in Nutrition Reviews, vitamin D was linked to a possible 50% reduction in tooth decay. Vitamin D has long been known to help strengthen bone, but dentists were long uncertain about the role this nutrient played in tooth health. However, after reviewing 24 different clinical trials from the 1920s to 1980s, it is now believed that Vitamin D helps keep cavities at bay, which is great news for your smile.
How can you up your vitamin D? When you’re exposed to sunshine, your body will naturally produce vitamin D. Just 10 minutes in the sun every day is about what’s needed to maintain healthy levels, but some of us don’t even get that much. You can also drink vitamin D enriched milk, and fish and eggs are a good natural source of vitamin D. Because vitamin D isn’t found naturally in very many foods, various foods are fortified with added vitamin D, like soymilk and orange juice. Check labels to find foods fortified with vitamin D.
Besides protecting your teeth from decay, vitamin D has been linked to the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. It can help you maintain beautiful and healthy hair, and it can reduce the inflammatory response. If you’ve been experiencing chronic fatigue, you may find that supplementing your diet with added vitamin D can help. Lots of people overlook the importance of vitamin D, but now that we know that it can help you keep your smile in shape, we may be recommending more of it at your next dental checkup.