Juice Smarter: Your Teeth Will Thank You

Juice Smarter: Your Teeth Will Thank You

WHILE JUICING IS ONE OF THE most popular health fads right now, how does it affect your smile?

Juices Can Be Tough On Teeth

Many juices contain high amounts of acid and sugar that can compromise healthy teeth. Frequently drinking juices with overly acidic and sugary ingredients can begin to wear away the enamel of our teeth, putting us at greater risk for cavities.

But, don’t fret—you don’t need to go throw away your juicer just yet! There are a variety of simple ways to make your juices healthier and still taste great.

Choose Ingredients That Strengthen Your Smile

Make your juices healthier by considering some of these options:

  • Add more leafy greens! Leafy greens help build strong bones and strong teeth because they are high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Greens won’t spike your blood sugar like sugary fruits and vegetables will.
  • Use fruit sparingly and when you do, be sure to use ripe fruits. Unripe fruits tend to have more acid than ripened ones.
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil, amongst other amazing properties, contains antibacterial properties that are great for your teeth!
  • Add cranberry juice! Amongst numerous vitamins and nutrients, fresh cranberries have compounds that keep cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. So, to add nutrients and teeth-protecting properties, simply add a splash of cranberry juice to your recipe.
  • Steer clear from highly pigmented foods. Fruits and vegetables that are strongly pigmented can potentially stain your teeth. Examples of these foods are: dark berries and beets.

What you put into your juices is the important thing to keep in mind when juicing. Ask yourself when adding ingredients: Does this add nutrients to my juice? Will my teeth benefit from this or not? Is there too much sugar or acid in this ingredient?

Here’s a few recipes to get you started:

We Care About Your Whole Body Health

By being mindful and aware of the ingredients you add to your juices, you can begin making smart decisions for not only your teeth, but your overall health. If you have any questions about how the juices you enjoy affect your teeth, feel free to schedule an appointment to see us or leave a comment below!

Thank you for reading our blog and being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Rob Bertholf used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

A Custom Mouthguard Can Save Your Smile

A Custom Mouthguard Can Save Your Smile

PROTECTION DURING sports and other extreme activities can potentially save your teeth and gums from serious, or permanent damage.

Cheap over-the-counter mouthguards may seem appealing because of the low price tag, but without the correct protective properties, cheap mouthguards could cost an athlete more in the long run.

Not All Mouthguards Give Equal Protection

Contrary to custom-fitted athletic mouthguards, over-the-counter options are often uncomfortable to wear and do not provide the proper amount of protection to the teeth and mouth. On the other hand, custom mouthguards are far more comfortable because they are made to fit your mouth specifically.

Other benefits of custom mouthguards include:

  • easy breathing and improved speech for maximum endurance and clear communication,
  • a secure fit that stays in place during impact,
  • professionally sized to any mouth size,
  • resistant to irritation of sensitive gums,
  • reduced risk and severity of dental injuries,
  • rated for the highest level of protection,
  • and minimal discomfort and inconvenience when worn.

Mouth Protection Is An Investment

Although personalized athletic mouthguards have a higher cost than over-the-counter options, they can potentially save you from serious expenses from injuries sustained from insufficient protection.

We Want To Help Protect Your Smile

Investing in a custom mouthguard can make all of the difference for you and your family’s oral health. While participating in sports and other activities is fun, it’s important that you protect your beautiful smile while doing so! Let’s talk about your unique and individual oral safety needs. If you or someone you know are in need of a custom mouthguard or have questions about custom mouthguards, please contact us.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Torrey Wiley used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

How Do Your Brushing Habits Compare?

WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BRUSH twice a day for two minutes each time. How many of us actually do that? See how you measure up!

From a recent poll:

  • 49% of men brush their teeth only once a day.
  • 57% of women brush their teeth only once a day.

And, the average person only brushes his or her teeth for 30 seconds each time—not nearly long enough! That’s only one-fourth of the time really needed!

Brush Softer, And Take The Full 2 Minutes

Many choose to brush more vigorously to save time. Although it’s quicker, brushing aggressively can wear down tooth enamel. If you brush harder than needed, remember to brush gently but thoroughly for the full two minutes.

Think About Your Brushing Technique

For the deepest clean possible, brush at a 45-degree angle in small circular motions around all tooth surfaces. One of the biggest places for build-up is around the gum line. If neglected, gums can become swollen and infected because of plaque left behind.

Clean Your Tongue!

The tongue is the biggest bacteria host in the mouth! If you only brush your teeth, the bacteria left on your tongue transfers to your teeth, making them dirty again. Remember to clean every area of the tongue. If you experience a gag reflex when using a toothbrush, consider trying a tongue scraper. A clean tongue helps keep your teeth clean, and it helps keep your breath fresh!

We Love Your Smile

We’re focused on helping your smile look and feel its best! We’re committed to your overall health as well. Remember, brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is a necessity, not a recommendation.

Thanks for reading our blog, and happy brushing!

Top image by Flickr user Taz used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

What Every College Student Should Know About Dental Health

GOING OFF TO COLLEGE can drastically throw off a young adult’s normal at-home routine. Brushing and flossing, making healthy eating choices, and keeping up with routine appointments can become difficult for college students.

Late Night College Life Can Be Hard On A Smile

One of the biggest lifestyle changes for college students is the surge in late-night study sessions and all-nighters. To stay awake, many students consume large amounts of coffee, energy drinks, or soda. These can be super bad for teeth. Drinking plenty of water is one way to help reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay caused by the increase in acidic and sugary drinks.

At the end of these long stretches of caffeinated studying, it is important that students brush, floss and rinse before going to bed or starting the new day.

Snacking is also common during late-night study sessions which can be detrimental to oral health. If snacks are consumed, choose healthy ones. It’s better to snack on things like dairy products, fresh produce and nuts than candy, dried fruit and other sticky, sugary foods.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth come in during our late teens and early twenties. Our evaluation of patients’ wisdom teeth growth and placement can be very important for college students. Together we can determine whether or not they need to be removed and can prevent pain and discomfort that could potentially interrupt studies.

New Year, New Habits

With a new school schedule and a new lifestyle, students should be aware of new habits they’re creating. How has sugar intake changed? Is brushing and flossing routine? Are regularly scheduled hygiene appointments being kept?

During college, normal routines are disrupted, so if you’re a college student (or if you know one to remind) be sure to keep up with regular exams and cleanings. We want to help you keeping your smile happy and healthy so you can focus on what’s important–your studies!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user CollegeDegrees360 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Your Regularly Scheduled Visits Are About More Than Clean Teeth

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why it’s so important to see us every six months? From oral health maintenance to serious disease prevention, there are a lot of reasons to keep your semi-annual visits on your calendar.

Open Wide And Say “Aahhh”

So what do we look for when we examine your pearly whites? During typical checkups we examine the overall health of your teeth and gums, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and checking up on the condition of existing dental work. X-rays may also be taken to ensure the health of the roots of your teeth, and to reveal things we cannot see.

Once we examine your mouth and teeth, it’s cleaning time. We do so by:

  • Doing an overall cleanliness check
  • Removing plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth

After your teeth are cleaned, we’ll talk about recommendations for keeping your teeth and gums healthy until your next regular visit.

Thinking Outside The Mouth

While a clean and vibrant smile is a definite confidence booster, it can also promote sound overall health. Bacteria from untreated gum disease can spread to other parts of the body and increase the risk of heart disease and other serious conditions.

We can also spot warning signs of other conditions. Things such as vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis and even diabetes can present symptoms in our mouths.

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Regular dental visits not only keep our teeth and gums clean but they can help prevent against more serious issues. Here’s a few tips to keep your smile healthy between checkups:

We Care About Your Whole Body Health

Our practice is focused on the latest treatments to create healthy and resilient smiles. In addition to helping your smile look and feel its best, we’re committed to your overall health. We want to make sure you’re as healthy as possible when you visit us!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

 

Top image by Flickr user Seth Lemmons used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

What Does Dentistry’s Emblem Mean?

HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU taken a close look at dentistry’s emblem? Probably never, right?! Well, we love the things it represents.

The Symbol’s Basic Elements

The frame of the symbol may look like a triangle and circle intertwined, but those are actually the Greek letters “delta” and “omicron.” These letters stand for “dental,” and “odont” (or “tooth”).

In the middle of the symbol, you’ll notice a couple of fanned branches. There’s a total of 32 leaves, representing 32 permanent teeth. The branches also have 20 berries, representing 20 primary teeth.

The Difference Between Two Snakes And One

The main focus of dentistry’s official emblem is the staff of Asclepius, a serpent twined around a rod. This is often confused with the caduceus, a winged baton with two twined serpents. The caduceus, a common medical symbol, refers to the messenger god Mercury, since he was also patron god of alchemy, magic, and chemists.

However, the staff of Asclepius stands for something different.

Asclepius is the Greek god of healing. It’s said that early in his life, he helped heal a snake (an ancient symbol of renewal and wisdom), and in return, that snake gave him knowledge about healing.

The staff of Asclepius is about more than mystical fixes. It’s symbolic of wellness, and wisdom in leading a healthy, full life. In fact, Asclepius’ daughter is the goddess Hygeia, of cleanliness and hygiene.

Dentistry Is Focused On Preventive Care And Lifelong Health

While dentistry is able to bring about some astonishing fixes that seem like magic, our focus is always on prevention and wellness. We believe in fixing problems before they even start, and protecting your teeth for a lifetime.

A healthy mouth is important for more than just your teeth. Infections in the gums can travel throughout the body and contribute to problems like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, RA, and diabetes. Your regular dental visits are essential for a lifetime of full-body health.

We appreciate the opportunity to be your dental family and your healthcare partners for life. We treasure our relationship with you. If you ever have questions about your oral health, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Be Prepared For Dental Emergencies

INJURIES ALWAYS SEEM TO HAPPEN when we least expect them. Picture yourself at an outdoor gathering, having fun, when suddenly a crying child runs up to you, knocked-out tooth in hand. Would you know what to do?

Dental First Aid Saves Teeth

Knocking out or fracturing a tooth is especially distressing—just thinking about it can make you uncomfortable! But knowing what to do within the first hour after dental damage occurs can save the tooth. Here’s your plan of action:

1. Carefully recover the tooth.

Pick up the tooth by the crown, do not touch the root. If necessary, gently rinse the tooth in water or milk, but do not scrub or brush the root.

2. Don’t let the tooth dry out.

If possible, put the tooth back in the socket and hold it in place with fingers or by gently biting on gauze. If you can’t reimplant the tooth, keep it in milk (not water) or inside the cheek until you can find help.

3. Seek professional dental care immediately.

You’ll have the best chance of saving the tooth if you get to a dentist or emergency room within an hour.

Prevent Injuries Before They Happen

Accidents happen, but there are many steps you can take to prevent dental damage! These include:

  • wearing a mouthguard for sports
  • not chewing ice and other extremely hard foods
  • using scissors to open packages, not your teeth

Teeth are strong, but they can only last a lifetime if you do your part to keep them safe and healthy!

No Matter What Happens, We’re Here For You

Part of what makes dental injury so traumatic is the thought that the damage could be permanent. We’re here to assure you that even if a tooth cannot be saved, we have the knowledge and tools to restore your smile! Should a dental emergency ever occur, see us as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading! We treasure the trust you place in our team as your lifelong dental health partners. Remember to protect your teeth!

Top image by Flickr user Melissa Wiese used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The Delicate Balance of Oral Bacteria

THE BACTERIA IN OUR BODIES vastly outnumber our human cells! And no matter how much we brush, floss, or rinse, our mouths will always be home to billions of microbes. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Different types of bacteria keep others in check, and most aren’t anything to worry about. But maintaining this balance requires some effort on your part—to support the good bacteria and limit the growth of the bad.

Our Oral Ecosystems

Recent studies estimate that there are about 1000 species of oral bacteria, with 100 to 200 in any given individual. Microbes live off nutrients found in saliva, and on our gums, teeth and tongues. In a healthy mouth, beneficial bacteria fight disease-causing germs and fungi. They’re actually our immune system’s first responders! The constant flow of saliva also helps keep acid-producing bacteria from getting established. But even with all these defenses, harmful microbes can still upset the balance.

Bad Bacteria Causes Bad Breath

Poor oral hygiene and other conditions like dry mouth create an environment in which harmful bacteria thrive. An excess of sugar residue from candy, soda and other foods speeds up the already explosive microbe growth. The bacterial imbalance can result in chronic bad breath, canker sores, higher risk of illness, tooth decay and other problems.

5 Steps For A Healthy Oral Environment

By following a good oral care routine, you can make sure the scale is always tipped in favor of the good bacteria! Create an oral environment that promotes beneficial microbes with these five steps:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss daily, and scrape your tongue daily
  3. Limit consumption of foods high in sugars, and rinse with water after eating
  4. Avoid dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum
  5. Don’t share toothbrushes or other items that touch the mouth

Since every oral environment is different, there may be other factors that are influencing your personal flora and fauna. As you come in for regular dental checkups, we can keep tabs on your unique oral profile. Together, we’ll determine a personalized plan if anything needs to be changed to keep your mouth at its healthiest.

We’re honored to be your partner in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for being our valued patient!

A Toothpaste Timeline

OUR NIGHTLY BRUSHING ROUTINE wouldn’t be complete without that minty-fresh toothpaste tingle, right? But toothpaste hasn’t always been soft and minty. Years ago, it was less pleasant to use.

Toothpaste Existed As Early As 5000 B.C.

The oldest form of toothpaste known was created by the Egyptians. The powder formula included crushed rock salt, mint, pepper, and dried iris flowers. Sometimes, other abrasive materials like ox-hoof ashes, burnt eggshells, or oyster shells were added.

Would You Recognize Toothpastes From The Past?

Around 1780, burnt toast was made into powder and used as a tooth-cleaning agent. That probably wasn’t the best idea. Around 1800 soap was added to tooth powders for “cleanliness”. Not long after that, a smooth paste—the texture we’re used to today—was created for the first time.

In 1873 the first commercially produced toothpaste was sold in jars. It wasn’t until 20 years later that toothpaste was sold in a collapsible tube, similar to those we use today. After the discovery of fluoride’s decay prevention qualities, it was added to toothpaste in 1914.

Modern Toothpaste Has A Few Standard Elements

Each major ingredient in modern toothpaste makes brushing teeth easy, comfortable, effective and tasty. Here are the basic components you’ll find:

  • Fluoride fights off decay by strengthening tooth enamel.
  • Abrasives scrub the surface of the tooth without scratching or damaging enamel.
  • Flavors come from sweetening agents such as saccharin or sorbitol. (The ADA won’t give its seal of acceptance to toothpastes with decay-causing sugar.)
  • Humectants like sorbitol and glycerol trap water in the toothpaste so that when you squeeze the tube, you get a smooth substance.
  • Detergents give us the foaming effect we love in our toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the one you’ll most often see.

Get The Most From Your At-Home Dental Care

The important thing to remember about toothpaste is that our toothbrushing habits and technique matter much more than the toothpaste brand we use. However, while shopping for toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. This confirms that a product has met the criteria for effectiveness and safety.

If you have any other questions about your personal oral hygiene routine, talk with us about it! We love to hear from you.

Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Top image by Flickr user Eli Duke used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

4 Reminders For Improving Oral Health Through Diet

OUR DIETS AFFECT EVERY PART of our bodies. Oral health can improve or deteriorate drastically based on the things we eat!

First, Cut Down On Sugar

Sugar has become far too big a part of our modern diets. In addition to making us sick and fat, it erodes our teeth! Avoid frequent snacking on sugary foods, especially things that are sticky or slow dissolving (like most candies). The constant presence of sugar turbocharges acid-producing bacteria, eating away at our tooth enamel.

The biggest offenders are soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. What makes them especially dangerous is that we tend to sip them, coating teeth in sugar over and over again for long periods of time.

Second, A Nutrient-Rich Diet Supports Oral Health

Our mouths require many different nutrients. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Calcium: remineralizes teeth – found in yogurt, fish and leafy greens
  • Iron: promotes tongue health and prevents sores – found in red meat, grains and nuts
  • Vitamin C: essential for gum health – found in citrus, sweet potatoes and peppers
  • Vitamin A: accelerates mouth healing – found in milk, leafy greens and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): promotes good breath and reduces swelling – found in poultry, peanuts and potatoes

Of course this isn’t a complete list, but it may give you an idea of the kind of balanced diet you need for good oral health. Be conscious of how you fuel your body and mouth!

Third, Drink More Water

Overhauling our entire diets can be a significant undertaking. But here’s one easy thing we can all start doing today: drink more water! Drinking water helps wash away plaque-forming films and keeps saliva flowing.

Fourth, Oral Health Is Closely Linked To Overall Health

You might expect us to just say “stay away from candy,” but we believe our mission extends beyond that. Oral care is an integral part of overall health, and we’re here to support you in your pursuit of total wellbeing.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.