Even if you’re careful to eat foods that are good for your overall health, you could still be doing damage to your teeth. Certain foods and beverages, especially those that are particularly sweet or sticky, have the potential to cause cavities and even damage the enamel on your teeth. However, even some healthy food items can be bad for your dental health. Here are the most surprising food and drink culprits that you should do your best to avoid.
Although dried fruit can contain lots of vitamins and minerals, it is not a smart food choice for your oral health. Since most dried fruits are incredibly high in sugar as well as very sticky, they get stuck between your teeth until the next time that you floss. This constant stream of sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth and can lead to bad breath as well as cavities. If you enjoy eating dried fruit, be sure to brush and floss immediately after eating.
Since pickles are low in both calories and sugar, they might seem like a naturally healthy snack to enjoy at any time of the day. Unfortunately, however, pickles contain large amounts of vinegar. Eating pickles on a regular basis can contribute to the erosion of your enamel, which leads to staining and tooth discoloration.
It is not at all uncommon to read about the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, but there are also some dental drawbacks that might surprise you. The tannins that cause red wine to taste dry also reduce saliva production, which can be bad for dental health. Plus, those same tannins soften tooth enamel and can lead to stains.
After a hot day outside or an hour of physical activity, you might reach for a re-hydrating sports drink rather than a soda. What you might not realize is that many sports drinks are packed with sugar, which can be just as bad for your teeth as a cola. If you enjoy sports drinks, just make sure that you drink them all at once. The worst thing to do is slowly sip the drink over several hours, which gives bacteria a steady stream of sugar.
Any local dentist in your area would tell you to avoid sugary and sticky foods. However, these surprising dental culprits should also be avoided whenever possible.
Most people think of oral care as visiting the dentist frequently, flossing and brushing their teeth. You might be surprised to learn, however, that what you eat can actually play a big role in the health of your teeth. Certain natural foods can strengthen the enamel of your teeth as well as the structural integrity of your teeth over time. Here are some of the foods you will want to include in your diet in order to enjoy stronger, whiter and healthier teeth in the future.
Dairy Products Like Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
You might already know that dairy products are good for you because of the calcium and protein that they offer the body. What you might not know is that the calcium found in dairy can have a big part in how healthy your teeth are. Calcium, which is found in milk, cheese, yogurt and even ice-cream, is a key player in strengthening the enamel of the teeth. When you add in how important calcium is for jaw bone strength, it is clear to see why dentists recommend dairy products to their patients.
Celery: A Natural Toothbrush
Celery has long been a dieter’s friend, but now it is also a great food to include in your diet for your dental hygiene. The high fiber content of celery acts as a type of broom on your teeth, sweeping away anything clinging to the surface of each tooth. In addition, celery takes a long time to chew, which results in extra saliva and a perfect pH balance in the chewer’s mouth.
Strawberries for Whiter Teeth
Eating a handful of strawberries can lead to some red and sticky fingers, but these sweet berries won’t have the same effect on your teeth. In fact, strawberries can actually help to whiten your teeth and keep them strong. Their Vitamin C works to keep the whole mouth healthy, and their malic acid removes tartar as you chew. Just incorporating a few strawberries into your daily diet could result in noticeably whiter teeth over time.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Doctors in every area of health would probably recommend that their patients consume leafy green vegetable as often as possible, but you might be surprised to hear your dentist say it. The reason that foods like broccoli, kale and spinach are so great for your teeth has to do with their high Vitamin K content, which can help maintain strong bones and teeth. In fact, some dentists argue that Vitamin K is just as important as calcium when it comes to healthy teeth.
Fish Rich in Vitamin D
One of the best foods for your teeth are sardines, but any type of fish will be a good choice. Sardines are packed with Vitamin D and calcium, which are both necessary for healthy teeth. Plus, their edible bones are full of fluoride to protect your teeth from cavities.
Dental hygiene goes way beyond just caring for your teeth with a toothbrush and floss. Incorporating key foods like the ones on this list can go a long way in strengthening and even whitening your teeth naturally.
If you were to poll 100 people and ask them what their oral hygiene routine consists of, the chances are good that most people would simply mention brushing their teeth twice a day. Although brushing your teeth is obviously an important part of any dental hygiene routine, there is a lot more involved. Taking care of your teeth can go more than just give you pearly whites. It can help reduce your chance of respiratory disease, heart problems and even diabetes. Here are the key things that you should always do in order to enjoy great dental health and hygiene.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
One of the things that people often avoid in terms of dental health is visiting the dentist. The reasons for visiting your dentist are numerous, and they include getting a thorough cleaning, checking your mouth for potentially cancerous lesions and reminding you about proper procedure for brushing and flossing. In addition, dentists can point out any dental problems before they become serious issues. Most people would much rather go in for a cleaning than a cavity drilling, for example.
Brush With a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Everyone should make a habit of brushing their teeth at least twice each day. Although some people think that brushing with vigor and a hard-bristled toothbrush will get rid of plaque best, that is a common misconception. Choose a soft-bristled brush instead, and select a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You will want to brush for two to three minutes at a time, and you do not want to forget about your cheeks. Bacteria often lives on the inside of your cheeks, and giving them a quick brush can help improve breath.
Eat a Tooth-Healthy Diet
Oral health and hygiene do not stop when you leave the bathroom. The food that you eat throughout the day can either help or harm your mouth health, and you should try to make great choices at every meal and snack. Instead of hard candies or sodas, which feed the bacteria that causes bad breath and leads to plaque buildup, opt for fiber-rich veggies that can clean the surfaces of your teeth with every bite. Calcium, protein and Vitamin K are other key nutrients to include in your diet.
If you do not floss, you may only be cleaning two-thirds of your teeth on a regular basis. Flossing can dislodge any small pieces of food between your teeth, and it also reduces bad breath and helps reduce the risk of gum disease. You want to use the floss to clean the gum line, but it should not be painful. If it feels uncomfortable, then look for thin floss that is better able to clean between teeth without any discomfort.
Along with flossing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day, eating a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly, you should be observant. Keep an eye out for swollen gums, lesions in the mouth or bleeding when you floss, all of which can be a sign of serious dental problems in the future.
Everyone has experienced a dry mouth during stressful situations such as an oral presentation or an intense job interview. However, if your mouth continually feels like the Sahara desert, you may have xerostomia, a condition marked by a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is an essential component of good oral health because it lubricates the mouth, neutralizes acids that attack the tooth enamel and helps kill the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. It also contributes to your ability to taste and helps you digest food. Here are the facts about this condition that can wreak havoc on your oral health, digestive health and quality of life.
What are the Causes of Dry Mouth?
The following are the most common reasons for decreased saliva flow:
- Lifestyle: Engaging in bad habits can contribute to a dry mouth. Smoking or using other tobacco products, drinking alcohol, consuming too much caffeine and breathing through your mouth rather than your nose are all risk factors for xerostomia.
- Medical Conditions: A host of health problems can lead to a dry mouth, including diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, anemia and HIV. Health problems that cause dehydration, such as illnesses involving fever and diarrhea, can also leave the mouth feeling parched.
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid foods and beverages that cause dehydration, such as salt, alcohol and caffeine
- Eat sugarless hard candy
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste for optimal protection against dental erosion and decay
- Use an over-the-counter mouth rinse or gel that is formulated to moisturize the mouth
When to Seek Professional Care for Xerostomia?
If at-home care does not alleviate your dry mouth, you should see your dentist to determine if you need further treatment, which may include a prescription medication to stimulate saliva production. If your dry mouth is caused by a health condition or one of the medications you are taking, consult with your physician to find out if your treatment plan can be altered so that you can obtain some relief from your xerostomia.
With the advent of inexpensive, effective new teeth whitening procedures and products, it’s never been easier to claim the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. Talk to your local dentist about these five painless teeth whitening strategies .
1. Whitening Toothpastes
Whitening toothpaste use gentle abrasives or polishing agents like hydrogen peroxide to scrub surface stains from the enamel. While whitening toothpaste don’t deliver dramatic results – they’re capable of whitening teeth one to two shades – they’re safe, affordable and available over the counter.
2. Whitening Trays
Whitening trays require a bit more effort than toothpaste, but they deliver powerful results: Over the course of a few weeks or months, tray-based whiteners can brighten teeth by three to five shades. The secret lies in a gentle, yet effective peroxide-bleaching solution that releases over time. It’s safe to wear most whitening trays during the overnight hours for up to 30 consecutive days. For particularly tough stains, your dentist may recommend an even longer treatment period.
3. Mouthwash-Style Whitening Rinses
Gentle whitening rinse can be used in conjunction with whitening toothpaste as part of your daily cleaning routine. Most brands must be swished for one to two minutes and are capable of whitening teeth by one to two shades. The effects may be magnified by the concurrent use of whitening toothpastes, but results vary by brand.
4. Whitening Strips
Like tray-based whiteners, whitening strips are form-fitting products that can be worn for longer periods of time. Most strips are clear and contain concentrated doses of a gentle peroxide solution that scrubs away surface stains and brightens the underlying enamel. Dentists in your area may recommend an initial treatment period of two weeks with an optional follow-up cycle.
5. Office-Based Whitening Procedures
Although it’s a bit pricier than most over-the-counter products, in-office whitening produces dramatic, sustained results after just one or two visits. The procedure begins with an initial application of a bleach-based or peroxide-based whitening agent and continues with the targeted delivery of heat and light via a carefully calibrated laser. Since in-office whitening agents are subject to rigorous testing procedures that have been approved by the American Dental Association, you won’t have to worry about being exposed to unproven or unhelpful chemicals during a visit with your local cosmetic dentist. Each treatment takes less than an hour.
Don’t resign yourself to another season of unsightly teeth. Talk to your dentist about setting up a personalized teeth whitening plan that makes you proud of your smile again.
When it comes to putting a stop to a baby or toddler’s habit, thumbsucking has to be one of the most challenging. After all, it is not an option to take the thumb away as a parent would do with the bottle, pacifier or blanket.
Why Do Babies Suck Their Thumbs?
One of the reasons that putting a stop to thumbsucking is so difficult for parents is that it is a natural activity for babies. They did it in the womb and most, if not all, will continue to do it outside the womb, whether it is sucking their thumb, toes, a pacifier or anything within reach. After some time, babies can rely on thumbsucking as their only means to soothe themselves.
Why Should Thumbsucking Be Stopped Sooner Than Later?
If this habit continues into toddlerhood when a child is 2 years old and beyond, thumbsucking may begin to impede language development, have an effect on tooth development and put unnecessary pressure on a child’s jaw. This may eventually lead to a child needed braces or Invisalign. So, the big question now is, how to stop thumbsucking. Not only how to stop thumbsucking, but how to do it in a manner where a child will not have a complete and total meltdown for what seems like an eternity. Read on for the top 5 tips on how to stop thumbsucking once and for all!
5 Ways to Stop Thumbsucking
1. Limit thumbsucking to times and/or places when the child needs it most.
For example, most children tend to suck their thumbs to help them fall asleep, calm down after a tantrum or when they are encountering an anxiety provoking situation. Attempt to prevent thumbsucking during any other times, such as when playing in the park, sitting at the dinner table or watching television. This will diminish the frequency of thumbsucking and help slowly wean them off for good.
2. Germs, germs and more germs!
Explain how many germs end up on hands throughout the day and how unsanitary thumbsucking can be. Of course, do so in a child’s language so he/she understands what unsanitary means. Explain that little bugs called germs live on children and adults’ bodies, especially on hands because that is what we use to touch everything. If we suck our thumbs, those germs end up in our mouth and eventually in our bellies. This makes us sick and may keep us from being able to play with our friends and play outside.
3. Provide regular praise
Any time a child is observed not sucking his or her thumb, they should be praised so they realize they are not just being told when not to do it, but are also being reminded and praised when they are remembering not to. Children need regular praise throughout the day, regardless of the habit that is being encouraged or prevented.
4. Talk to children about thumbsucking
Ask them why they suck their thumbs? How does thumbsucking make them feel? What else can they do instead of suck their thumbs? Offer suggestions that don’t require another object to hold or always have with them. Give them a hug and encourage them to talk to you when they feel anxious, scared, sad or tired. Show children that you are able to help them get past any obstacle, thumbsucking included. This will carry on into bigger, more serious conversations and issues later on in life.
5. Glove up!
Last but not least, take the proactive approach and, while also considering the above four suggestions, get a fun, thumbsucking glove to help remind children not to place their thumb in their mouth. For example, the Glovey Huggey is a glove with a thumb guard and cutouts for the rest of the fingers. It is available with fun prints and patterns and kids will actually want to wear it.
Any tips we missed? Leave them in the comments!
It is not unusual to read or talk about the importance of proper oral hygiene, but not everyone inherently knows what that entails. Even adults who have been visiting their local dentist for years might not fully understand what tasks should be included in their everyday schedule. For ideal dental hygiene, this is what your daily oral health routine should look like
Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice Each Day
The backbone of a great dental health routine is brushing your teeth twice each day. You should always use a toothbrush that can easily reach the teeth in the back of your mouth, and it should be soft-bristled. Brush over all of the surfaces of your teeth, and be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Flossing on a regular basisis one of the habits that often gets overlooked by adults. Once a day, use at least 1 foot, or 12 inches, of dental floss. Hold one end of the floss in each hand and use it carefully along the gumline between every single tooth in your mouth. In some cases, it can be hard to reach certain teeth with dental floss. However, that’s no excuse to skip an area. A dental pick of some kind should be used instead.
Scrape Your Tongue Daily
Scraping your tongue is a key way to remove bacteria from your tongue. If you suffer from halitosis, or bad breath, this simple act can make a serious difference. Many toothbrushes have a tongue scraper attached to the back of the brush for your convenience or your can purchase a seperate tongue scraper like these from Healthy Top 10s.
Rinse With Mouthwash Daily
Mouthwash is an effective way of reducing plaque in your mouth, and it has been proven to reduce gum disease in many adults. Rinse with mouthwash once a day for up to 90 seconds, but be sure not to swallow the liquid.
Enjoy a Varied and Nutrient-Dense Diet
Believe it or not, the foods that you eat can also play a significant role in your dental hygiene. Either through diet or supplements, make sure that you are taking in key vitamins like calcium on a daily basis.
Along with visiting a local dentist in your area regularly, maintaining a daily routine is key for great dental health. Brushing twice daily, flossing, using mouthwash, eating a varied diet and scraping your tongue should all be used in conjunction for better oral health.
Healthy, well-maintained gums provide the foundation for strong adult teeth. Of course, taking care of your gums does more than just maintain stability for your teeth. Good dental care also helps prevent gum disease, which can cause oral health issues and can aggravate heart problems. No matter your age, you can take simple steps every day to improve the health of your gums and teeth. Start with these five essentials; then, ask your dentist what other steps you can take to protect your gums.
1. Stay On Top of Brushing and Flossing
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day after meals and flossing once a day. If you can, try brushing your teeth three times a day. Health officials in many countries suggest brushing your teeth before breakfast and about an hour after each meal. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you eat, especially if you’ve had acidic foods. You can floss at any time of the day; choose the same time every day to make flossing a habit.
2. Avoid Mouthwash with Alcohol
Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain an enormous amount of alcohol. Avoid using these rinses as they can dry out the mouth and gums, leading to discomfort and encouraging the growth of bacteria. Opt for all-natural or alcohol-free mouthwashes instead and use them at least twice a day.
3. Eat A Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
The American Dental Association and other medical groups have launched educational campaigns to explain that eating well can improve oral health. Choose plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid eating too many sweets as they can damage teeth and encourage the growth of bacteria.
4. Keep Your Tongue Clean
Your tongue is a great breeding ground for bacteria. To boost overall oral health, scrape your tongue twice every day with a tongue scraper. A specialized scraper will remove more bacteria than a regular toothbrush.
5. Stay Well-Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water helps your mouth and gums stay hydrated, which in turn helps control bacteria. If you’re in an office environment all day, try to drink one glass of water every hour. If you’re active, you’ll need to drink extra water to protect your gums and stay hydrated.
Remember that choosing a dentist in your area for regular checkups and cleanings is the cornerstone of good oral health. Your dentist can complete yearly oral health screenings and alert you to any early signs of gum disease. Starting a gum care regimen today is a great way to improve oral health and offset any early indicators of disease.
Dental implants are used to replace damaged or missing teeth. Unlike bridges and dentures, dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that maintain the appearance, comfort, and function of your natural teeth. This makes them a much preferred tooth replacement alternative amongst patients concerned, not only with the aesthetics of their smile, but the comfort and upkeep of their replacement teeth. Most patients with missing or damaged teeth are candidates for dental implants, presuming they are in good health. Because dental implants require surgery, your periodontist must assess your individual circumstances to determine if you are healthy a viable candidate for the procedure.
Dental implant surgery requires multiple sessions, but the procedure is widely practiced and has become highly routine among most dental professionals. As with any surgical procedures, there are some risks that should be considered, but you can discuss these with your dentist or periodontist to take all factors into consideration.
When performed by an expert periodontist, the dental implants procedure is fast, relatively painless, and effective. And with proper aftercare and consistent upkeep, any of the procedure’s potential risks is drastically minimized.
Dental implants have been used by periodontists for over 30 years, so the procedure has a long history of success. While dental implant surgery is considered to be one of the safest and most predictable dental procedures, here are some factors to consider when electing to receive dental implants:
● Infection at the implant site. Infection at the site of any surgical procedure is something any medical professional would caution their patients about. With dental implants specifically, the procedure involves inserting the implant into the bone socket of the missing tooth–that is, into the jawbone itself. Periodontists take every precaution to keep the area sterile and minimize the risk of infection, and if you follow aftercare instructions thoroughly, you reduce the risk of infection post procedure.
● Damage to surrounding structures. Because the procedure involves drilling into the jawbone, in rare occasions, there is the risk of damaging the bone, the surrounding teeth, nerve endings, or even blood vessels. If your own jaw is not strong enough to support dental implants, you may require bone grafts to reinforce the structure of your jaw, and this also has the potential to do damage to the existing area. But such instances are rare in procedures handled by skilled periodontists.
● Sinus problems. When dental implants are placed in the upper jaw, there is the potential for the implant to protrude into the sinus cavity and cause problems with your sinuses. Periodontists avoid this with comprehensive examinations before the procedure. X-rays, CT scans, and molds of your teeth all go into helping your periodontist determine the precise shape, size, and structure of your jaw to help them place the implant directly.
There are a myriad of advantages to choosing dental implants, both aesthetically and functionally. They look and feel natural, providing you with a health replacement for your natural teeth that gives you a radiant smile. They are also permanent, unlike bridges and dentures, so as long as you take regular care of them (as you would with your natural teeth), you do not have to worry about removing them daily or taking extra steps to care for them beyond brushing and flossing. There is no impediment to your speech, and very little pain after the procedure, and with dental implants, there are no restrictions to your diet.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants go above and beyond mere tooth replacement insofar as they actually stimulate bone growth. The titanium that the implants are made of fuses with your natural bone in a process called osseointegration. This not only offers stability for the implant, but as more bone grows to fuse with the titanium, your jawbone is strengthened, and this can provide needed reinforcement against future tooth loss.
All in all, dental implant surgery is a safe procedure with a wide array positive benefits for patients. If you are considering dental implants, it is important to research not only the procedure but also the periodontist you want to work with. Some dentists, like Dr. Jan Linhart, have a periodontist on staff, but if they don’t, they can likely recommend one. Remember, you are in control of your oral health. Be active in your research and explore all your options for ensuring the safest way to attain the smile you’ve always wanted.
Nowadays, with so many alternatives to traditional braces–such
as Invisalign or porcelain veneers–orthodontic patients have a
wide range of options to fit their individual needs. While traditional braces are effective and still widely used by orthodontists
to correct misaligned teeth, newer technologies have made some orthodontic
treatments faster, more comfortable, and more aesthetically pleasing.
iBraces are one such treatment that have grown
in popularity among patients because they offer an efficient, virtually
invisible alternative to conventional braces. iBraces work very similarly to
traditional braces, using brackets and wires to straighten teeth, but they are
the only orthodontic braces that are 100% customizable. What sets iBraces apart
as a truly unique and individualized orthodontic solution?
iBraces are not visible on the front side of your teeth.
Instead, each bracket is anchored to the back of each individual tooth. The
brackets are smaller than those used in traditional braces, so they don’t
interfere with speech, and they are contoured to perfectly hug the lingual
(tongue-side) surfaces of your teeth. While this makes more comfortable
conventional braces, it isn’t the only thing that makes iBraces unique.
The secret to iBraces is the fact that each brackets is made specifically to each individual tooth.
This not only ensures maximum comfort and efficiency, but makes for a
completely customized set of braces that is tailored to provide the ideal amount
of corrective movement your teeth need. The iWires that connect each bracket
and are tightened to straighten teeth are shaped using robotic technology. This
ensures that the wires are “programmed” for your specific treatment plan,
allowing them to produce the best outcome.
iBraces are quicker than regular braces, though the specificity
of iBraces prescriptions means that the length of treatment varies from patient
to patient. Regardless, if you and your orthodontist determine iBraces are
right for you, you can expect to be finished with your treatment faster than if
you had gone with traditional braces.
At Linhart Dentistry, Dr.
Rohini Mathrani is an exceptionally skilled orthodontist and our
iBraces specialist. iBraces is typically a viable option for most adults and
adolescents who have their permanent teeth, but if you have any special
circumstances. Dr. Mathrani can recommend the best solution for you. to learn
more about iBraces and other orthodontic treatments, contact
Linhart Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.