National Nutrition Month – Tips for a Healthy Smile

healthyfoodsmile2 National Nutrition Month - Tips for a Healthy Smile

Most of you have heard the saying visit your dentist often or cut back on the sweets, but it is not stressed often enough to make a change. Healthy eating is essential for oral health! Nutrition has a direct impact on your teeth and gums. Poor nutrition may lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Researchers have also linked oral diseases to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature/low-weight births. Improving your family’s nutrition is a journey; here are some tips and information to help you along the way.

Watch the Food

Show your children how to look at the sugar content on food labels of some common foods. Sometimes surprising amounts of sugar are found in foods we might consider healthy, like yogurt, salad dressing, smoothies, and sports drinks. Making small changes on a regular basis can help reduce cavity-causing sugars. Substitutions can be a great way to reduce sugar.

  • Add fruit to cereal or oatmeal
  • Add a little honey to a low sugar yogurt option
  • Freeze real fruit instead of a popsicle, i.e., kiwi slice

Beverages impact the sensitivity and the texture of the teeth. The enamel gets damaged from the beverages. Avoid Sodas and caffeinated drinks for a happier, healthier smile.

A bad nutrition can have impact on your overall health, in other words, you will have a deficit of certain necessary vitamins and minerals. This translates to you having a worse immune system, meaning that your mouth is prone to more diseases, such as gum disease. If left untreated, that can cause severe tooth loss, and in some cases, bone loss. Have no fear, though, as there are many foods and drinks that you can consume to balance out your diet.

Food and Drinks You Should Consume:

Apples and carrots are your fruits and vegetables of choice if you want to keep your teeth healthy and clean. They are sometimes called “nature’s toothbrush”, as they do have a tendency of cleaning your teeth, and the crevices in between them, of all the nasty food remains that might get stuck.

Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner.

 

Along with adding more leafy greens, dairy products and fibrous vegetables to your diet, pay attention to what you’re drinking. Since it has no calories or sugar, water is always the best pick, especially compared to juice or soda. Your diet makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy smile.

Regarding teeth, though, you do want to brush twice a day, especially after a big meal. Flossing also helps, and remember, visit your Dentist to discuss the type of right diet to balance your needs and wellness.

 

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Stain Relief Techniques for Your Teeth

 shutterstock_967206671-1024x708 Stain Relief Techniques for Your Teeth

A White Smile is an Attractive Smile

 You have probably seen that many of the famous people have really white teeth, shining, making you wonder whether they have a perfect diet, or whether their cosmetic dentist does a rather good job.

While most of the time, both would be correct, a whitening treatment and a healthy diet might seem too costly, especially on the level of the movie stars, there are other ways of getting your teeth to be whiter.

Here’s how to identify the cause of your discoloration and begin appropriate teeth stain removal.

Intrinsic Teeth Stain Removal

Intrinsic stains refer to staining of the dentin, the sensitive tissue that lies just below your enamel. This layer naturally takes a yellower or darker color, which can then be seen if the enamel wears away due to poor mouth health. There are many possible reasons for this type of staining, including exposure to tetracycline antibiotics during childhood or physical trauma to your teeth.

These stains originate inside your teeth, so you won’t be able to remove them at home with just a whitening toothpaste. Instead, at-home whitening kits or a professional treatment by your dentist may be able to remove these stains; the active ingredients in these bleaches are meant to remove deep stains in addition to the surface stains you can remove yourself.

Extrinsic Teeth Stain Removal

Extrinsic stains refer to staining of the enamel, the hard surface protecting the more nervous dentin and pulp. Enamel comes into contact with everything you eat or drink, though, and over time it can absorb the pigments left over by these foods and beverages. Red pasta sauce, curry and berries can have this effect on your teeth, as can common drinks like soda, coffee, tea and red wine. Tobacco, whether it’s smoked or chewed, is another possible cause of this type of staining.

Extrinsic stains refer to staining of the enamel, the hard surface protecting the more nervous dentin and pulp. Enamel comes into contact with everything you eat or drink, though, and over time it can absorb the pigments left over by these foods and beverages. Red pasta sauce, curry and berries can have this effect on your teeth, as can common drinks like soda, coffee, tea and red wine. Tobacco, whether it’s smoked or chewed, is another possible cause of this type of staining.

Age-Related Teeth Stains

Many changes happen throughout your body as you get older, and your teeth are no exception. Specifically, two changes occur in your mouth: your dentin gets darker and your enamel gets thinner. Together these changes cause your teeth to become visibly discolored through no fault of your own.

This form of staining isn’t caused by discoloration of your enamel, so treatments that can penetrate into your dentin will be required. Although whitening toothpaste won’t be sufficient, your dentist may recommend an at-home bleaching kit or professional in-office whitening treatment, as oral bleaches can remove these deeper stains.

When in doubt, see your dentist for guidance on the road to a brighter smile. He or she is trained in ensuring teeth stain removal lasts, helping you make your teeth white again and for good.

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Children’s National Dental Health Month

593_Children_s-Dental-Health-Header Children's National Dental Health MonthNational Children’s Dental Health Month – Care for their Pearly Whites

Dental professionals nationwide recognize the National Children’s Dental Health month. Dentists observe this month in particular to increase awareness and promote healthy dental habits. Although largely preventable, Dental Caries (tooth decay) continues to be the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults.

Depending on the age of your child, you should know that there are different things that you should pay attention to, starting from whether your child has primary or permanent teeth, and whether your child is younger than the age of 3. Following these tips, you should be able to take care of your children’s teeth and make their visits to the dentist that much more pleasant.

Brush Twice A Day: The ADA recommends brushing 2 minutes 2 times per day and flossing one time per day.  It is especially important that parents supervise their children until they are of an age where they can do it properly and consistently. Toddlers especially, may resist the morning and evening dental hygiene routines, but don’t let that detour you. Thankfully, there videos, games, songs and now APPS to help make brushing time more fun.

Floss Once A Day: According to the AAPD, only 7% of children floss daily. This is in spite of the fact that flossing is one of the primary means of fighting tooth decay. Most cavities begin between the teeth, where a toothbrush simply cannot go. Flossing once a day, preferably before bed is key in fighting decay.

Avoid Sugar: Sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth and turns into acid that, when allowed to sit on the teeth for long periods, eats away at the surface of the teeth. This makes them more susceptible to cavities. Avoiding sweets and sugary drinks is one way to combat decay, but if you do allow a sweet treat, make sure to consume it in one sitting and not slowly throughout the day. If you are not able to brush right away, drinking water and even chewing sugar free gum with Xylitol will help wash away the acid from the teeth.

Eat Healthy Foods: Healthy foods are not just good for your body but also your teeth. Besides avoiding sweets, starchy foods are also ones to stay away from because those foods tend to stick to the teeth and turn into acid that decays the teeth. Dairy foods like cheese and yogurt contain calcium that helps keep your teeth strong.  Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, carrots and celery are great healthier snacks. They are not only nutritious but also help wash away food that is stuck on the teeth.

Visit Your Family Dentist: Visiting your dentist twice a year is key to combating tooth decay. The thorough cleanings help remove plaque that regular brushing and flossing missed and the exams allow the dentist to check for any dental issues you may not have noticed.

Following these steps year round is key in fighting tooth decay and ensuring your families dental health. Allow this month of February to be a friendly reminder to review your family’s dental hygiene routines and eating habits. Make adjustments as needed and partner with your family dentist to protect your family’s smiles.

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Shield Yourself from Bacterial Infection and Gum Recession

Gum-Disease-Before-Treatment Shield Yourself from Bacterial Infection and Gum Recession

Gum (gingival) recession occurs when gums recede from the tops of the teeth enough to expose sensitive roots. People typically experience increased sensitivity to sugary or cold foods when gums no longer cover and protect teeth roots. In addition, untreated gum recession may lead to loosening of teeth and accelerated tooth decay, something we notice and advice our clients to inspect all too often.

Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal disease – a serious oral disease arising from poor oral habits
  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging
  • Overly aggressive brushing and/or flossing – brushing hard in a scrubbing fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – having inherited thin, insufficient gum tissue facilitates gum recession
  • Bruxism – a condition where someone regularly grinds their teeth, usually during sleep
  • Chewing tobacco/smoking – promotes chronically dry mouth and reduced gum health

Periodontal gingivitis may also cause causing drooping of the gums instead of gum recession. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue weakened by bacterial decay while a gingivoplasty can reshape gums around the teeth.

If sagging or receding gums are left untreated, they may develop pockets (gaps) that provide hiding places for food particles, mucus and other mouth debris conducive to anaerobic bacteria growth. As the most destructive type of oral bacteria, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and chronic halitosis.

Treatments for Gum Recession

Corrective actions need implemented as soon as possible to reverse gum recession by addressing the cause. For example, people who brush with hard-bristled toothbrushes should switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush more gently. If gum recession is the result of poor oral hygiene, improve oral hygiene habits by brushing after meals, flossing, rinsing with non-alcoholic mouthwash, and getting dental checkups and cleanings every six months.

For severe cases of gum recession, soft tissue grafts can add gum tissue to exposed roots by removing tissue from the person’s palate and attaching it to existing gums at the area of recession via laser surgery.

Lastly, visiting your dentist on a regular basis can help prevent both gingivitis and gum recession, as it can be spotted in the earliest stages, preventing the need for anything other than a regular brush and a regular checkup.

The sooner you react to the slightest of the symptoms, the sooner you can smile, knowing that you needn’t worry about anything other than your daily brushing.

 

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The Power of a Healthy Smile

fruit The Power of a Healthy Smile

A friendly, beaming and healthy smile generally puts people at ease and makes others feel welcome in your presence. However, years of anecdotal evidence and even professional and academic studies show that a good smile can do much more. Keeping each tooth healthy and looking its best will improve your smile in the long run, and a great smile predicts a longer lifespan, improves self-esteem and carries with it a whole host of other benefits.

There is a reason why teeth are referred to as pearly whites, when they are portrayed in a favorable fashion, and that does have to do with esthetics, but more so with health. You have probably seen white smiles on your favorite actors, musicians or famous people, generally. They do look amazing, but the health benefits that come with good oral hygiene vastly outweigh the esthetic part, and here are the reasons why.

Good dental health means good health, overall

It should be no surprise that those who report feeling the most satisfied in their relationships are those who smile a great deal. Some research involving high school yearbooks has shown that those who smile in their yearbook photos tend to feel as if they have effective relationships and are able to connect with others well. Researchers surveyed people in their current relationships and then compared their answers with their high school yearbook pictures from several decades ago. The result was that those who reported the most happiness in their relationships also had some of the biggest smiles in their high school photos.

For women, dental health care has been linked to pregnancy. Overall, women with poor dental hygiene are at a higher risk of having a premature delivery. Not only that, there are complications that might arrive with a premature delivery, so for the sake of your own child, ladies, take care of your teeth and gums

Many of these are just consequences of poor oral hygiene, something that can be avoided with the following tips.

A white smile is a healthy smile

  • Watch Your Diet—Eating too many foods with processed sugars increases your risk of cavities and other dental problems. Your dentist may have also told you that coffee, tea and other beverages can stain your teeth if you are not careful. You do not have to cut out these things entirely, but consuming them in moderation will reduce your odds of cavities and yellowing, both of which make your smile look less than its best.
  • Brush Regularly—Brushing after every meal is another proven way to improve your smile. Using your tooth brush like your mom told you to will remove germs, bacteria and other enemies of a good smile.
  • Remember to Floss—Lots of people brush on a regular basis. Fewer people floss as often as they should. Yet flossing is the only way to remove bacteria and germs from certain portions of your mouth. Without flossing, these bacteria and germs will grow and multiply, and you may end up with bleeding gums, cavities and lost teeth. None of those things are conducive to a smile of which you can be proud..

Good oral health means a healthy smile, which leads to a longer life, a happier disposition and many other benefits. Pay attention to your smile by doing what you can to keep it in good health, and you will reap the rewards.

 

 

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