Thursday, December 29, 2022

Harmful Effects Of Soft Drinks On Teeth

Did you know one can of Coca-Cola has around 35 grams of sugar? That's roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar per can.

 Now multiply that by how many cans you drink per day, how much sugar are you consuming JUST in soft drinks?

There are two main effects of drinking soft drinks:
  • Erosion
  • Cavities
Erosion begins when the acid of the soft drink attacks the tooth enamel and once the enamel is worn away, cavities are formed, which can lead to pain and sensitivity.

You can fight tooth decay and erosion by drinking soft drinks in moderation or eliminating it.  Use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the drink. Drink water in between to help rinse the mouth and use fluoride toothpaste.

Having an x-ray will help determine what type of treatment is available. Small lesions can often be fixed by having a filling but for bigger lesions, you may need a root canal or have the tooth removed.  

If you are a soft drink lover like myself, try drinking it in moderation to protect your dental health!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Beware of Dangerous Tik Tok Trends!

This article is a year old but I believe a repost is warranted, given the dangerous nature of the trend. 

Dentists are condemning a viral TikTok video that suggests people rub a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on their teeth to whiten them, according to a July 13, 2021 news story on Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a melamine foam sponge used for household cleaning purposes.

Although Magic Eraser packaging states that the sponge should not be used on skin or other body parts, one woman claims on TikTok she has used it for the last two years to whiten her teeth.

Her teeth may appear whiter, but Texas dentist Dr. Benjamin Winters explained in a rebuttal video that what the woman has done is scrub the enamel off her teeth.

The sponge should not be used on teeth because it becomes abrasive when melamine foam is mixed with water and other chemicals, according to the news article.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers already carry a warning advising against their use on the skin or body parts. A safety advisory has also been added to the TikTok video, according to the news story.

Until next time; brush, floss and keep smiling!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Could Your Toothbrush Be Making You Sick?

The temperatures are plummeting, and changes in the weather mean one thing...flu and cold season. We all know getting a flu shot, washing our hands, and avoiding people who are sick will help keep us healthy. However, that's not always the case.

Many people who are just getting over the flu/cold usually forget one small detail and that is changing out their toothbrush. 

Toothbrushes can harbor bacteria, even after it's been rinsed. It's recommended that a toothbrush that has been used during an illness be discarded to avoid reinfection.

If the toothbrush is not discarded it is possible for the already weakened immune system to allow the flu/cold strain to come back. I'm pretty sure you wont want that to happen!

Here are a few toothbrush tips to help prevent a cold or flu this season:
  1. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or after an illness.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the toothbrush after brushing and allow it to air dry in an upright position.
  3. Wash your hands before and after brushing/flossing to prevent bacteria from entering the mouth.
  4. Never share toothbrushes.
  5. Keep all toothbrushes separate from one another to prevent cross-contamination.
  6. Sterilize the toothbrush once a week.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Keeping Healthy Teeth The Natural Way

For years people have gone the all-natural route instead of pharmaceutical medicines. Today many people turn to herbal remedies for many different reasons. A couple of reasons may be that it is cheaper then the alternative ( big pharma and all) and you would not be getting the chemicals found in traditional medicines.

For those of you that drink green tea, did you know it is good for fighting dental cavities by getting rid of bacteria? Apples help keep bacteria away, too. To ease that toothache, you can use clove oil, vinegar and  you can place an ice bag on your face wherever the pain is. Those things will help ease your pain until you can get into the dentist. Most people push aside the little parsley that comes on your dinner plate, but if you have somewhere to be after dinner and don’t have time to brush your teeth or any gum on hand, eat the parsley and it will do the trick!
To whiten your teeth, rub the white inside of an orange rind against your teeth and rinse after a few minutes or you can make a paste using a few strawberries, let it sit for a few minutes then rise with a little baking soda.
Those are just a few examples of how you can use natural remedies that are healthy for you.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Facts, Disorders, and Treatments For TMJ

TMJ is your Temporomandibular Joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull.  This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and from side to side. 

  • 1 in 8 Americans are currently affected by TMJ. 
  • TMJ is 4 times more common in women than men.
  • Men are found to have more wear on their teeth and bite. 
  • Head, neck, and jaw misalignment.
  • Genetics.
  • Grinding or clenching teeth.
  • Trauma.
  • Diseases like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Arthritis.
  • Stress.
  • Headache
  • Aching pain in or around the ear.
  • Jaw locking or popping.
  • Tenderness in the cheek and jaw.
  • Pain and difficulty eating.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sharp facial pain.
  • Facial swelling.
  • Neck and upper back spasms.
  • A dental splint helps keep the teeth in alignment and prevents tooth grinding.
  • Physical therapy with the jaw.
  • Trigger point acupuncture.
  • Botox to help relax the muscles of the jaw.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above see your dentist immediately!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Things to Do to Make Sure Your Child Will Have Strong Teeth

Have you ever heard the old wives’ tale that women should expect to lose a tooth with each child?  Well as it turns out, long ago that belief was well rooted in reality! Now, however, this is a proven modern-day myth. Your baby actually gets the calcium he needs from your diet and if your diet does not contain enough calcium, the body will access the mineral from the supply in your bones, not from your teeth. But today, with careful management, most of us should be able to avoid losing our teeth. So what steps can you take to ensure that you keep your teeth in top condition, and what can you do for your child after he is born to keep his teeth healthy?
The following are some important points to remember for you and your child to ensure healthy teeth: 

While you are pregnant:

Eat a healthy diet rich in calcium to keep the stores in your body at a healthy level. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium.

Brush and floss daily. It is important to keep plaque and tartar at bay. A healthy mouth will lead to a healthier baby! 

Ages 0 To 10

STUDIES have shown that if we have tooth decay as babies, then we are more likely to get decay in our permanent teeth. Dental hygiene can and should begin with newborns. Bacteria can be removed by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and gently wiping the baby’s gum pads.

Apart from their food-processing function, baby teeth are important as space maintainers so that permanent teeth have a space to grow into. If these teeth are lost early through decay, the space may not be saved, so permanent teeth can drift - a problem more likely to lead to a need for braces later. Consequently, a baby’s sugar intake should be monitored, bearing in mind that even health foods such as milk and fruit contain sugars.

Baby toothbrushes with soft heads should be introduced as soon as teeth come through, along with specially formulated children’s toothpaste. These contain the optimal dose fluoride for youngsters.

Have their teeth cleaned regularly from the age of  2 years.  Regular dental screenings can prevent loss of teeth in early years, and helps get your child in the habit of practicing good dental hygiene. 

Nursing Bottle Syndrome - a condition which causes rampant decay in a baby’s teeth - can occur from six months, and constant sweetened drinks are often blamed. Studies have shown that 50% of five and six year old children may have erosion of their front milk teeth - a condition that can cause pain and sensitivity. At around the age of six, the first molar teeth start to appear. These can be sealed with a plastic coating, known as fissure sealant, to prevent decay.

Overall, good hygiene for both mother and baby is essential to healthy teeth. The better their teeth when they are young, the longer they will keep them as adults!! In my line of work, I encounter people almost daily in their 90's who still have their own teeth. In part because of a healthy lifestyle and partly because of amazing technology and advancement in dentistry. 

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Keep Your Family's Teeth Health During Winter Break!

It's almost time for winter break!

This is the busiest time of the year whether it's holiday shopping or traveling, it probably feels like you are always on the go. Right?

Well here are a few tips on how to keep your family's teeth healthy during all the hustle and bustle:

  • Grab water - It's easy to just grab a sugary drink at a restaurant or store while traveling but drinking water helps prevent plaque-causing bacteria. 
  •  Eat dental-friendly snacks - Yes, it's the holiday season so that means cookies, cakes, and candies but eating those crispy fruits and veggies will act as a natural toothbrush and help keep the teeth clean. 
  • Chew gum - Sugar-free that is. Chewing gum helps saliva flow which washes away any food particles left behind.
  •  Maintain your routine - Just because our daily habits might be off balance for a few weeks doesn't mean you can skip brushing and flossing your teeth.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Is Your Dentist Prepared for a Chairside Emergency?

 It isn't a common occurrence, necessarily.  But it does happen.  Medical emergencies in the dental chair can't always be prevented but the risks can be drastically reduced if the patient and the doctor are completely transparent and open with each other about illnesses, medication and health history. All dentists have at least some training for medical emergency treatment, however in addition he/she should have at least one staff member trained in CPR, and have an emergency plan in place which includes emergency phone numbers, a defibrillator, medications on hand and procedures to stop bleeding, etc. He should take your blood pressure reading and heart rate prior to treatment, and again after treatment. If administering general anesthesia, he should be anesthesia certified. Some states issue separate licenses for anesthesia. Always make sure he is certified, or that he has a certified anesthesiologist on staff! 

That said, here are some helpful suggestions for the patient to remember when having a procedure done:
  • Disclose all medications that you take daily, even if it is just an aspirin or something over the counter. 
  • If you have ever had high blood pressure, let the dentist know!
  • If you suffer from acute anxiety, say so!  Many dentists cater to the anxious patient. Things can be done to help you with that. 
  • If you are pregnant, let him know!
  • If you have allergies to medications, let him know! 
  • If you have taken anything prior to your visit for relaxation....a sedative, an alcoholic beverage, marijuana....seriously, he needs this information. Many people will do this before a visit and not disclose it thinking it won't pose a problem. The dentist isn't going to judge you, but he is going to treat you and there is a serious liability factor involved, especially when it comes to anesthesia, so don't hold anything back!  
The medical history of the patient is the single most helpful thing for a dentist to have before treatment begins.  Your honesty is imperative.  He cannot effectively manage your treatment plan without this knowledge!

Keep Smiling

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Recipe for Homemade Toothpaste!

For those of you who prefer to stay away from artificial and (in some cases) potentially unsafe ingredients that are added to commercially marketed products, here is a recipe I found while searching online! 

Out of all the recipes that I looked at, I liked this one best.

  • Mix together:
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 3 tablespoons baking soda
    • 5 drops peppermint OR spearmint essential oil (your preference)
    • A pinch of stevia (sweetener)
These are all completely natural ingredients and tasty too!