Posts for category: PREVENTION
Guilt is a powerful feeling! It can keep you from doing many things including going to the dentist. There is good news! What I say many times to our patients is that our office is a judgement-free zone, and coming back (even after an extended period of being MIA) can be easier than you may think. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your first appointment back with us - so here's a little overview of what you can expect.
During your exam, we will usually take a series of radiographs, which are made once every year as recommended by the American Dental Association. The set of digital X-rays will depend upon your individual needs and it will help us get a more thorough look at what's going on with your dental structure and keep an eye out for any potential dental issues. Next, we will clean your teeth. During this time, we will check for any type of gum disease, remove tartar and polish your teeth. Finally, we will advise you of any dental issues that may need attention.
Once all of this is done, our business office will get you checked out, reappointed as necessary, and get you on your way. And that's it! Just because you may have slacked for a little while or life simply got in the way, this doesn't mean that things have to stay that way!
Sometimes food that's good for your body isn't necessarily the best for your teeth. Although some healthy foods can harm your teeth and gums, there are steps that can be taken to allow you to continue to enjoy these foods, even when your goal is to improve your health. The malority of people that begin to improve their health tend to switch out sugarly foods in favor of fruits and vegetables. However, it's worth knowing that most fruits are highly acidic and composed of natural sugars. Some of the highly acidic fruits to watch out for include apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapples, blueberries, oranges, and grapefruit. Moderation is key here, as with all other things. Fruits can be a great source of energy to help you through your day, but try not to overdo them.
Often, peple also incorporate more leafy greens into their diet, which means plenty of salads. Salad dressing is another item that can be of dental concern. Many dressings are filled with vinegars and sweeteners that include harmful acids, which change the pH of your mouth. When your mouth shifts from alkaline to acidic, your smile also turns to a higher risk for erosion and decay.
Rather than get rid of these foods altogether, simply change what you do after you eat them. Rinse your mouth out with water, wait to brush your teeth until 20 minutes after consumption, or eat alkalizing foods like diary products such as eggs, yogurt, or any type of vegetable.
When most patients think of pop and dental decay, they are thinking strictly about the sugar content, which is the bacteria-feeding ingredient in this common beverage leading to one conclusion that diet pop must be better for your teeth! That does seem logical, but there is more to how all pop can contribute to dental decay.
The main culprit in all pop that leads to decay is the acid content. Diet pop and other sugar-free drinks are usually highly acidic, which weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion. The level of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid is usually high in sugar-free drinks so it is best to avoid them.
Some patients also enjoy drinking orange juice or other citrus juices. These drinks are high in citric acid and have the same effect on the enamel of your teeth.
We know the acidity of diet pop and sugar-free drinks contributes to tooth decay, so what about regular pop? Everyone knows that regular pop is high in sugar - a regular 12 ounce can contains roughly ten teaspoons of sugar! This also includes sports drinks and energy drinks, which are highly acidic and loaded with sugar too. So these drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and acidity that are not healthy for your teeth or your overall health.
The problems caused by both diet and regular pop is exacerbated when you sip on either of them throughout the day. If you drink a pop all in one sitting, you will not be washing sugar and/or acids over your teeth all day long and your saliva will have a chance to neutalize the pH in your mouth.
LESSENING THE IMPACT
- DRINK ALL POP OR ACIDIC DRINKS THROUGH A STRAW
- RINSE WITH WATER IMMEDIATELY AFTER CONSUMPTION
- AVOID BRUSHING YOUR TEETH FOR A MINIMUM OF 20 MINUTES
- AVOID DRINKS THAT HAVE ACIDS LISTED ON THE INGREDIENTS LABEL
In dentistry, we look at the impact of food in three ways: the kind of food, how often it is eaten, and when it is eaten. Did you know that there are certain foods that you can eat which actually help to clean your teeth? These foods are called "detergent foods." Eating these items as the last piece of food you consume during a meal can be thought of as the closest thing that you can get to brushing your teeth.
A healthy diet is important for oral health as well as overall health. Take a look at the list of particular foods that can help clean your teeth and mouth:
- Celery Sticks
As you can see, detergent foods are usually firm and crisp. They act like scrubbers on and around your teeth and gums and bring your mouth's pH to 7.0, which is optimal.
Cookies, cakes, breads, chips, crackers, soft drinks, dried fruit, and candies provide carbohydrates to the bacteria in your mouth causing an acidic environment and increasing the chance of cavities and decay. These foods are sticky and don't rinse easily from your mouth. Avoid letting these foods sit on your teeth after eating them. This is where detergent foods come into play. When you are about to finish your meal, have an apple, celery stick, or carrot. It will act like a "natural toothbrush." Also, try to make these detergent foods the basis for snacks that you have throughout the day!
Always remember, these foods are NOT a replacement for brushing and flossing. You still need good dental hygiene regardless of what you are eating! If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!
You've heard people tell you to say "cheese" when you're having your picture taken, probaby more times than you can count. There is another reason you should be saying "cheese"...or "YES" to eating cheese. Although most people have heard that chewing sugar free gum is recommended if you cannot brush your teeth twenty minutes after eating, most may not know that eating cheese can also provide a dental benefit.
CBS News reported on the results of a study that was published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, a publication of the Academy of General Dentistry. The study showed that cheese increases dental plaque pH, but in this case, the plaque increase is not a bad thing. When a person eats cheese, the increase of the pH of the plaque on your teeth, creates a protective coating that may lower the risk of tooth decay.
An analysis of the story from the General Dentistry journal, including the details of the study and its participants, was published in Science Daily. The study looked at 68 children between the ages of 12 and 15. A similar study was conducted by British researchers who reported their findings in the British Dental Journal in 1999. The conclusion was that cheese has anti-cavity properties. That is not the only benefit, however. In another study, researchers found that cheese may give teeth a protective coating that helps lessen enamel erosion caused by acidic foods, particularly from sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
So don't just say cheese for pictures. If you want to have a happy, healthy and long-lasting smile, go for cheese. If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our dental office at 918-455-0123!