The Holidays allow us to enjoy delicious food and to spend quality time with our loved ones. However, it is not an excuse to neglect our oral health! No matter how tasty the food, it is neither smart nor healthy to let dental problems ruin the holiday celebration. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your dental health in great shape this Holiday Season! Take a look:
DENTAL APPOINTMENTS. Scheduling a dental appointment before the Holidays can identify any potential problems that might disrupt your plans this season!
BRACES. Remember, the Holidays consist of plenty of non-braces friendly foods. Toffee, popcorn, candy canes, peppermint bark, and other crunchy, hard, sticky, and sweet foods may be harmful for your braces. Be aware of these foods, and use caution if eaten!
TRAVEL. Dental problems do happen, sometimes when we least expect them to. Thy's why proper preparation, whether at home or traveling during the Holidays, is crucial. When traveling abroad, bringing a mini first aid kit with an anti-infammatory, an antibiotic, and an oral rinse of chlorhexidine can decrease any inconvience that might occur.
BRUSH. Let's face it, there's no avoiding sugar around the Holidays! However, after consuming sugar, the best thing that you can do for your dental heath is to immediately and thoroughly rinse your mouth with plain water, which will dilute the acid concentration that can contribute to decay and gum disease. It is also important to wait for about 20 minutes after consuming sugar to brush your teeth.
CHOICES. Sugar feeds bad oral bacteria. The more that you consume, the more bad bacteria increase in your mouth. One way to eliminate the risk is to include more probiotic (good bacteria) foods like yogurt into your diet. One should also drink plenty of fluids, especially water, during the Holidays. Water, of course, has long been known to have many positive effects on your overall health. It is also a good way to prevent bad breath, cavities, and other potential problems since water aids in flushing out bacteria that linger in the mouth!
Following these tips during the Holidays can increase the likelihood of an enjoyable season! If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment this Holiday Season, call our office at 918-455-0123!
The effects of bad oral habits are something that our dental team sees all too often, especially during the hectic Holiday Season! These bad oral habits may have stemmed from your childhood because your parents did not know about proper oral care or encourage you to practice them. Or, these bad habits may have devloped gradually, like slacking on the frequency of brushing, flossing and teeth cleanings.
These bad oral habits can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other consequences such as losing teeth and experiencing bad pain. They may be deeply ingrained and easy to continue, but you can break them with a little effort. Focus on developing good habits to replace your current ones, like eating a diet that is healthy for your teeth.
Breaking your bad oral habits may not be as difficult as you expect when you simply focus instead on developing good habits. These new good habits can naturally replace your bad habits.
DEVELOPING GOOD HABITS
> Brush your teeth 20 minutes after each meal or at least two minutes twice daily
> Have a professional exam and cleaning every six months
> Floss your teeth every day
> Maintain a healthy diet
Although these good habits may not seem natural, steps can be taken to make sure that you follow these behaviors. For example, a daily checklist can be beneficial to keep track of scheduled sessions of brushing and flossing. A timer can be utilized to ensure that the recommended two minutes are completed each session. And finally, a food app can help keep track of the foods to avoid like starches and sugars, which increase the risk of decay. These apps can also monitor the daily water intake. In fact, rinsing with plain water after each meal or snack has been shown to decrease the oral acids that are so deterimental to your teeth!
When your dentist says that you need a crown during your dental exam, royalty is not usually the first thing that comes to your mind! A dental crown, otherwise known as a cap, covers the tooth and can vary in function, depending upon the position of the tooth. Crowns usually cover all of the visible part of the tooth and can vary in size and appearance.
A crown can be used to protect a weak tooth from breaking, hold together an already broken or worn tooth, cover the tooth that has a large filling or dental implant, hold a dental bridge in place, or even support a cosmetic modification.
Several types of crowns are available, depending upon the requirements of the tooth to be treated. Stainless steel crowns can be used on permanent teeth, but are usually considered to be a temporary solution as compared to a custom fit crown. These types of crowns are also used on children's baby teeth because they are more cost-effective, since they will be lost over time.
Metal crowns are another option that includes gold alloys, or base-metal alloys. Metal crowns are notable due to their ability to withstand biting forces and rarely can be broken. Unfortunately, all metal crowns are the least cosmetically preferred manner to treat a tooth.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns more closely resemble a normal tooth. These types of crowns have been used on front and back teeth that demand a cosmetic consideration. However, the fired porcelain to the underlying metal sub-struction can chip over time and function. The most recent release of all porcelain crowns called Bruxzirs, considered chip-resistant and metal free, are showing great promise in addressing the cosmetic demands that present day patients require.
So what's hydration got to do with your teeth? Xerostomia, commonly known as a dry mouth, is a condition in which the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and cleanses it of bacteria. A lack of it, makes for an uncomfortably dry mouth that is also more susceptible to infection and disease.
> Dryness or a sticky feeling
> Frequent thirst
> Burning sensations or redness in the throat or on the tongue
> A sore throat or hoarseness
> Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or tasting food
A dry mouth can commonly be associated as a side effect of certain medications or medical conditions, but can also be caused by damage to the salivary glands because of injury or surgery.
> Stay Hydrated
> Chew sugar-free candy or gum
> Add moisture to your living spaces
Although these are just a few general tips about xerostomia, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a dry mouth often and it is interfering with your life, call our dental office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment.
Some people brush, floss, and even have great oral hygiene, but still have problems with dental decay! So, what gives? Many times the answer lies in acid build up. When acids are allowed to erode tooth enamel long enough to leach calcium and other minerals from the enamel and dentin, a process called demineralization occurs. This rapidly leads to tooth decay unless reversed by increased oral hygene and professional dental cleanings. Acids responsible for tooth decay come from the wastes of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that thrive in dental plaque, a substance that is the leading cause of gum disease as well.
ACID: THE SOURCE
Dietary sugars comprise the bulk of tooth-decaying acids, including table sugar, cooked starches, fructose, glucose, and lactose. In fact, as soon as you bite down on a sugary cookie or into a French fry, bacteria start digesting sugars, breaking them down and eventually excreting them as demineralizing acids. As this bacteria colony grows and becomes more organized, plaque develops and forms that tough, yellowish coating that you often see on the tops of teeth at the gumline.
PROBLEM: THE PLAQUE
Dental plaque is a sticky film that harbors bacteria and also keeps the bacterial acids pressed against the tooth enamel. Since hardened plaque cannot be removed by brushing alone, it is important that a person receive a professional cleaning at our office to keep your teeth throughly free of tartar.
TOOTH DECAY: THE SYMPTOMS
Early tooth decay and cavities remain asymptomatic until demineralization creates a hole deep enough to reach the tooth's inner tissues and nerve endings. Eventually, tooth decay will cause tooth sensitivity, a toothache, vague pain when biting down on the affected tooth, or if the decay creates an infection, even pus that seeps out around the gumline may be noted. If treatment is delayed long enough, a decaying tooth may loosen, crumble, and ultimately fall out, which leaves an empty or partially empty socket.
PREVENTION: THE ANSWER
Getting regular dental check-ups, brushing for two minutes twice a day, effective flossing, limiting sweets, and eating fruits or crunchy vegetables for snacks are the best ways to keep your teeth healthy, white, and where they should be: in your mouth for a lifetime!
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