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3 Steps to a Sparkling Summer Smile

June 26th, 2017

As summer approaches, schedules are going to hasten as many families travel or children go to camp. As activities heat up, it’s easy to fall out of a healthy oral routine. But, there are a few simple ways that you can keep your smile healthy all summer long. This summer, follow these three steps to get a sparkling smile.

Drink More Water

Water can drastically improve your overall health, and does a lot to promote a healthy mouth. Did you know that saliva is 99% water? Or that saliva is critical in the fight against cavities? This makes it imperative that you drink plenty of water so that you can keep your enamel strong, and stay cavity-free. When you are low on saliva, you will most likely experience dry mouth – a condition that makes it hard to swallow and chew because of a lack of saliva. By drinking enough water, you help prevent dry mouth and ensure that your saliva is produced at an optimal rate.

Water also helps prevent cavities by rinsing food debris away from in between teeth.

Eat Mouth Healthy Foods

Certain foods can clean your teeth as you eat them, and promote improved oral health. For instance, apples can help cleanse and clean teeth, and fight bad breath. The fibrous content of apples cleans teeth by acting as a toothbrush and scrubbing away plaque from teeth, and removing other food debris. The acid in an apple helps kill off bad bacteria that encourages bad breath.

Similar to apples, carrots are full of fiber and clean teeth by scrubbing plaque as you eat. Carrots also stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth. In addition to cleaning teeth, carrots also contain multiple B vitamins, which fight gingivitis!

Brush Twice per Day

Food debris left on teeth encourages bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it is important to brush twice per day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day to clean debris from the hard-to-reach areas of your child’s teeth. Brushing and flossing is the most important way to keep your mouth healthy, and fight plaque buildup.

Visit Our Office

As your child’s school year concludes, consider scheduling a dental checkup with our office. The summer is a perfect time for us to evaluate the state of their smile, and help them get into healthy oral routines that they will practice all year round. Visit our contact page, and call our office to schedule an appointment.

Top 3 Fruits for Teeth

June 8th, 2017

Fruit and vegetables not only positively impact your overall health, but they also impact your teeth! In fact, certain fruits can even damage your teeth with acidic attacks, or sugar overloads. But, there are some fruits that boost your overall oral health, and taste delicious. By adding these three fruits to your diet, you can improve your oral health.

Apples

Eating apples can help cleanse and clean teeth, and fight bad breath. The fibrous content of apples cleans teeth by acting as a toothbrush and scrubbing away plaque from teeth, and removing other food debris. The acidity in an apple helps kill off bad bacteria that encourage bad breath. Be sure to leave the skin on the apple, since it is full of the mouth-healthy fiber that helps keep teeth and gums clean.

Kiwi

Kiwi is often mistaken for a citrus fruit, but it is actually considered a berry. Kiwis have fiber content, and are packed with calcium, which is a dental super mineral! Calcium neutralizes damaging acids and helps bolster your enamel’s defense.

Strawberries

Another fibrous berry, strawberries are great for teeth and gums.  Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen – a protein vital to maintaining your gums’ strength. A half cup of strawberries – between 4 and 6 berries – will give you about 70% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

Remember: Limit Citrus & Rinse with Water

Food and drinks high in citric acid erode tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. In bad cases of demineralization, acid will work its way to the soft layer beneath the enamel called the dentin. These advanced cases lead to tooth sensitivity and pain. If you consume anything with high citric acid, rinse with water for 30 seconds afterwards to clean away some of the lingering acid.

Visit our Office

If you’re concerned about your child’s diet affecting their oral health, or worried that they may have cavities, then visit our office. We will perform a comprehensive oral exam, and determine the best treatment plan for their specific case. We can also offer advice on dietary choices that improve oral health, and how you can help keep your kids away from cavities.

How to Handle a Broken or Lost Tooth

May 25th, 2017

It can be scary when your child gets hurt or has an accident. As a parent, you’re equipped to handle a bruise or a scrape, but what about a broken tooth? Do you know what to do when your child loses a permanent tooth? We have the answers below!

If Your Child Fracture a Tooth
Fracturing a tooth is almost like a childhood rite of passage. Kids play rough, and sometimes, their teeth bear the brunt of their actions. If your child fractures a tooth, then gather the fragments and store them in a clean container of cool water, saliva, or milk. It is important that you visit the dentist immediately to prevent infection and other complications that are brought on by chipped teeth. Your dentist will be able to repair your child’s tooth, or fix it with a crown. In the meantime, have your child rinse their mouth with warm water if they are experiencing any pain.

If their pain persists, we suggest giving them an icepack. A good way to ease your child’s pain and fight swelling is by using an ice pack every 2 – 3 hours, or as needed. Have your child wrap an ice pack in a thin towel or cloth and place it on the cheek outside of the affected area.

If your child’s tooth is bleeding as a result of their accident, then use clean gauze to stop the bleeding.

If Your Child Loses a Permanent Tooth
If your child loses a permanent tooth, then it is imperative that you visit your dentist immediately. Try your hardest to locate and save the tooth. Then, store it in a clean container of cool water, milk or saliva. Or, you can use a tooth preservation system like the ADA Approved Save-A-Tooth. If the dislodged tooth is stored properly, then your dentist may be able to reinstall it.

Visit Our Office
If your child has lost their teeth from serious accidents like a head injury or broken jaw, then visit the hospital before you see the dentist. It’s absolutely imperative that you care for the more serious injury first.

However, if their oral emergency is not immediately threatening their overall well-being, then call our office. We are equipped to deal with a litany of oral emergencies and will be able to help your child’s smile back in working order. We can repair chipped teeth, and reinstall lost permanent teeth, if the circumstances allow it.

Why Xylitol is the Mouth Healthy Sugar Alternative

May 12th, 2017

Eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but it can be difficult to find snacks or cook without sugar. However, there is an all-natural sweetener that can help clean teeth and still satisfy your sweet tooth. Today, we discuss how sugar can cause cavities, and how xylitol is the perfect mouth-healthy replacement for sugar.

Sugar Fuels Cavities
Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on your teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Before buying your children snacks, check the back of the package for the amount of sugar contained in the snack. Try to avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks, all of which are notoriously high in sugar. It can be hard to find packaged snacks without a lot of sugar, so you may consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet. This can help cut a lot of sugar out of your overall diet, and improve your oral health.

Xylitol is a Sweetener, but Not Sugar
Xylitol tastes like sugar, but it’s very different. Sugar comes from the sugar cane plant, and is genetically different from xylitol. Xylitol is found in fruits and vegetables and its genetic makeup is much healthier for teeth than traditional sugar. The proteins and carbohydrates in traditional sugar fuel cavities, while the genetic makeup of xylitol prevents this from occurring.

Xylitol has the sweet benefits of traditional sugar, but it doesn’t have the negative effects on teeth like sugar.

Xylitol Stimulates Saliva Production
One way the mouth fights cavities is by producing saliva to wash away food debris, and restore its proper Ph balance. Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health. Increased saliva can help prevent bad breath by eliminating dry mouth, and prevent prolonged exposure to acid and sugar caused by food debris.

Try Xylitol Gum
A good way to try xylitol is by getting gum sweetened with xylitol. Try chewing it 15 minutes after a meal to improve your saliva production, and naturally clean your teeth. You can find xylitol gum is most health food stores, or online.

Xylitol also comes in granules that resemble traditional sugar. You can buy xylitol “sugar” from health food stores and natural grocers, usually in the baking aisle. Try substituting xylitol for sugar in your recipes, and see if the taste is affected. By incorporating more xylitol – and reducing your sugar intake – you can gain vital oral health benefits.

Visit Our Office
Cavities are the number one preventable disease affecting American children. By maintaining a healthier diet, you can help your child prevent cavities and promote a healthier smile. You should also encourage them to brush twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once daily. Also, visit our office every six months so that we can keep an eye on the state of your child’s smile and determine a treatment plan that keeps them cavity-free.