Which Foods Are Most Damaging To Your Enamel?

The diet we choose can affect our body and most importantly our teeth! Our teeth are the first to help with our digestive system and are the ones prone to damage from the food we eat. Our teeth don’t grow back so when we damage them; they are damaged. Some foods keep our teeth and gums healthy, and others do the opposite. There are four kinds of foods we should avoid while eating or at least minimize the amount we intake.

Foods High in Sugar

Even though foods high in sugar are delicious and have more flavor, they are harmful to our bodies and our teeth. We should be careful with how much intake we get from sugar foods. The bacteria in our mouth feeds off the sugar to create acids, the first steps to what can lead to cavities and tooth decay. You want to minimize your intake of sugar especially if it is refined sugar and not to let sugar linger in the mouth too long. Foods high in sugar include sugar, soft drinks, candies, dried fruit, desserts, jams, or cereal.

Sticky/Chewy  Foods:

Soft foods are another type of food you want to avoid eating. The softness of food may sound good and effortless when it comes to chewing, but it causes more damage to our teeth. Sticky and chewy foods are clingers to our teeth; they stick and stay on teeth especially in between them for a long time. The longer the food stays in our mouth, the more acid bacteria produce. After eating sticky/ chewy foods make sure you clean your teeth thoroughly by flossing! Flossing will help you get in between your teeth where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Foods that are sticky and chewy are jelly beans, Laffy Taffy, dry fruit, beef jerky, cereal bars, or ginger cookies.

Hard Foods:

Our enamel is hard, but it doesn’t mean it’s durable. Our enamel may handle breaking down hard food when we choose to eat it; however, we always run the risk of chipping a tooth and damaging our enamel over time by weakening it. If food is too hard to chew on, then it means it’s not supposed to be in our mouth to eat. Hard foods to avoid are ice, Japanese peanuts, jolly ranchers, or uncooked popcorn.

Starchy Foods and Refined Carbohydrates:

Starchy foods are complex carbohydrates which contain a chain of sugar molecules. Not all starch foods are a source of fiber, and some contain more starch which are the ones we want to avoid to decrease tooth decay since they stay in the mouth longer. Refined carbohydrates are another source of carbohydrates to avoid as the fiber and nutritional value of the food is extracted. Refine carbs and starchy food quickly change into sugar the minute they enter our mouth due to the bacteria and saliva. Specific foods to be careful with are white bread, pasta, white rice, breaded or battered food, ice cream, bagels, corn chips, or pies.

Acidic Foods:

Foods high in acid are dangerous! They can erode our teeth’s enamel causing tooth decay and cavities. It can even cause us to weaken our teeth making them sensitive. Sensitive teeth aren’t the best to have when you are drinking cold or hot beverages not to mention they continue to hurt over time. Foods high in acid are lemons, limes, oranges, tomatoes, coffee, or pickles.

Dry Mouthing Foods:

Having a dry mouth is always uncomfortable, sometimes it’s an unpleasant experience when you are trying to eat, talk or walk from one place to another without feeling the dryness in your throat. Foods causing our mouths to dry isn’t the best choice of food to have. We need to have saliva in our mouth regularly. Our saliva contains minerals our mouth needs and helps wash out plaque. It can even help prevent specific food from sticking to our teeth! We need to keep ourselves hydrated, and foods doing the opposite are coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, crackers, or toasted bread.

These are just some of the types of foods we want to avoid eating or minimize our intake of to reduce the damage we can cause to our teeth’s enamel. Our teeth need to have the same care as the rest of our body, but it needs extra attention as it’s the first step to our digestive system and is exposed to the damages of food. We choose what foods we eat and even though there are foods we eat that can harm our teeth but are good to our body doesn’t in no way mean we can’t have it. It just means we have to be cautious of how much we eat and creating a balance with the foods we eat to minimize the production of acid and the risks of damaging our teeth’s enamel.   

 

Bad Breathe Remedies For Kids

Have you noticed a bad odor coming from your child’s mouth? Like adults, kids can suffer from bad breath and it often stems from poor oral hygiene. Medically known as halitosis, bad breath is a condition even a healthy child can have at times. This can be temporary or it can remain for an extended amount of time which may be a sign of a more severe problem.  

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are many factors that can contribute to the problem. Some of the causes are:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: not brushing or flossing frequently can result in bad breath and can lead to other dental issues.
  • Bacteria in the Mouth: most odors reside on the tongue, which is why you should check and make sure your child doesn’t have a white or yellow coat. Make sure your child brushes their tongue thoroughly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
  • Dry Mouth: saliva helps to cleanse the mouth. Keep your child hydrated! If they suffer from dry mouth, there are a variety of mouth rinses you can buy to keep your mouth moist.
  • Mouth Breathing: if your child has a stuffy nose or is a mouth breather by habit, there is less saliva to wash the bacteria away.
  • Infections in the Mouth: bad breath can be a result of infection from cavities, plaque buildup, mouth sores, oral surgery, or gum disease. It is important to see your dentist every 6 months for a routine check up and cleaning.
  • Foreign Object: Kids, especially small toddlers, are continually touching objects and placing them in their nose. A foreign object stuck in the nose can cause bad breath, you’ll need a doctor to check their nasal passage if you suspect the smell comes from their nose.
  • Swollen Tonsils: check if your child’s tonsils are healthy or if they are infected. When tonsils are red, inflamed and have white spots they are swollen. Its the perfect place to collect bacteria and can cause terrible breath.
  • Foods: foods containing strong odors like onions, garlic, or caffeinated drinks can give your child a temporary, sour smell to their breath.
  • Illness or Medical Condition: suffering from sinus infections, uncontrollable diabetes, malnutrition, or other conditions can cause bad breath.

These are just some of the causes of bad breath and they can be treated from home!  Teach your child to brush their teeth before bedtime to promote a good oral habit and prevent bad breath. 

Remedies for Bad Breath:

If you’re noticing a less refreshing breath from your child, one way to start is by following a healthy dental routine. Healthy teeth are integral to the overall health of a child and helping your child develop good oral care is a step towards avoiding bad breath. Remedies to freshening up your child’s breath are:

  1. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, try to supervise so that no toothpaste is consumed in the process.
  2. Scrape you tongue each morning to decrease bacteria.
  3. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, especially after your child has been sick.
  4. Arrange regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
  5. Remove your dentures and clean them regularly to get rid of bacteria.
  6. Drink plenty of water and swishing cold water to have a fresh morning breath.
  7. Chew on a lemon or orange rind. The citric acid stimulates the salivary glands and fights bad breath.
  8. Chew a fresh sprig of basil, cilantro or mint to neutralize odors.
  9. Try swishing mouthwash that’s alcohol-free for 30 seconds.

Even if you’ve tried some of these remedies and still notice your child has terrible breath lingering, then consult with your dentists for further treatment. Together, you can both track the origin of their bad breath by doing a proper cleaning and oral exam. Your dentist can help rule out oral health problems and advise you on further steps to take.

Regardless of what the cause may be for your child’s bad breath, start implementing good dental and oral habits at an early age. When was the last time you went to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned? If you can’t remember, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with us to get your teeth cleaned!       

Are You Brushing Correctly?

On average, how long does it take you to brush your teeth? I admit there are times where my time is counted for that I do a quick brush which is bad. Did you know we should spend at least two minutes brushing our teeth? Two minutes! I know I can spend less than that and the average person usually falls short of the two minutes our teeth need to ensure they’re clean. Properly brushing your teeth is part of maintaining a good oral hygiene and promoting healthy dental care.

We need to use proper brushing techniques to remove the bacteria and plaque from our teeth including our tongue! There are four areas we should be focused on cleaning when it comes to our teeth and mouth:

  1. The outer surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth
  2. The inner surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth
  3. The chewing surfaces
  4. The tongue

These areas should be our primary focus when we brush our teeth along with how we clean them. As a general rule, to properly brush our teeth we have to be gentle! Try not to press so hard on your teeth; they are sensitive need to be handled with care. In addition to brushing gently, our strokes should be short, and our attention should be given to our gum line, the back teeth and the areas where dental work has already been done such as fillings and crowns. As for ways to brush our teeth, there are four commonly known techniques designed for manual toothbrush use.

Horizontal Reciprocating Motion:

Probably the most used technique to brush our teeth. The toothbrush is placed on either the left or right side of teeth then moved back and forth along the side. This motion follows from the back and front region of the teeth which can be harsh against our teeth and gums. In the long run, this technique can damage our teeth making us prone to sensitivity and risk of stripping tooth’s enamel. It is also not as effective in cleaning since we miss the spaces in between our teeth.

Vibratory Motion:

This technique reminds me of how our phones vibrate when they’re set on the table or a flat surface. There is a constant small movement to our phone which primarily occurs when we apply this vibratory motion to our teeth. It is small, continuous movements along our teeth covering the entire surface in a rapidly to and forth motion.  

Bass Method:

It’s the most efficient way of cleaning our teeth. The bristles of the toothbrush are placed at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the tooth as we press gently to have the bristles enter the gumline. We vibrate the brush back and forth for about 10-15 strokes over the entire tooth before moving on to the next. 10-15 strokes per tooth is a long time not to mention time-consuming which makes this technique the longest.

Stillman Technique:

The stillman follows the same angle of the bass method with the only difference of the position of the bristles. The bristles for this technique are placed with half of them on the gums and the other half on the tooth surface. The short and light horizontal movements help remove plaque and stimulate the gums.

Another brushing method we can use is the circular brushing motion. Again the bristles are placed at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line then lightly make small circular strokes until the all the surfaces of the tooth is covered. Whichever method we choose to approach when brushing our teeth, we should make sure we’re reaching all surfaces of the teeth including the chewing surfaces, gum, and tongue.

We should make sure we wiggle our toothbrush to allow the bristles to cover each tooth and find their way in between our teeth. Gentle strokes help us from damaging our teeth, gums or any tissue while ensuring we remove all food particles and plaque with every brush. We should aim for the two-minute mark and brush our teeth twice a day for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile! Let us know what method worked for you and if you saw an improvement in the comments below. Happy brushing!

 

3 steps to Naturally Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is your smile’s worst enemy. It takes everything and leaves you with nothing, except pain. Kind of like what your ex did to you, but worse. The worst part is that it also affects your dental health, which means you could be changing your bodies overall health. Tooth cavities not only rob you of your beautiful and charming smile, but they also make eating difficult and painful, and, can also cause you to mispronounce certain words.

Tooth decay occurs because of certain careless habits. Luckily for us, it is very easy to prevent, and you can fight tooth decay through natural methods. In the paragraphs below, we will discuss how you can prevent and fight tooth decay using these natural methods. However, first, let’s go over what tooth decay is, and how it’s caused.

Tooth Decay

Have you ever seen a person with teeth that look green or black and they are missing a tooth or two? Well my friends, that is what tooth decay can do to you. Tooth decay is the erosion of a hard armor that covers the visible parts of your teeth. This super armor is called tooth enamel. It is the hardest of all tissues in the human body and is also responsible for the sparkle in your smile.

If the saliva becomes somewhat less alkaline, the enamel there starts losing its apatite crystals to saliva. This process is called demineralization of enamel. The less alkaline the saliva, the faster the demineralization, or erosion of the enamel. Also, the longer this state remains, the greater the cumulative erosion becomes. As a result, cavities start forming on the teeth. So, tooth decay is the product of two factors, reduction of alkalinity of saliva, and the period over which it exists. The key to preventing and fighting tooth decay lies in controlling these factors.

What Reduces Alkalinity of the Saliva?

What reduces the alkalinity of the saliva? You guessed it, bacteria! Bacteria is always present in our mouths. It is also on the food particles that keep sticking to your teeth after eating and drinking. The bacteria are quick at converting sugars and starches in our food to acid, and wherever the food particles are sticking, the saliva around those teeth loses alkalinity. This process creates Erosion.

How To Kick Tooth Decay’s Butt!

 

Natural Method 1 – Avoid Excessive Sugar and Starch

Avoiding excessive sugar and starch is the first, easy and natural step to reducing tooth decay. It will protect not only your teeth but also your general health by controlling the calories, breakouts, etc. Avoid foods rich in sugars and starches, such as fast food, bakery products, chocolates, and candy. When high-sugar foods are partially digested inside the oral cavity, their degradation products are acidic in nature, and they promote enamel demineralization. It must be noted here that it is not the quantity of the sugar intake that is important – rather, it is the amount of time between the intake of sugar that is crucial.

 

Natural Method 2 – Eliminate Phytic Acid from your Diet

Phytic acid is a known mineral and enzyme inhibitor and is found in whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Since minerals are the building blocks of the dental enamel, eating a diet that is rich in phytic acid can result in an accelerated demineralization of the teeth. Besides, phytic acid also devoid the body of various nutrients that are essential for ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. So let’s keep the Phytic Acid at to a healthy limit, for our beautiful smiles!

 

Natural Method 3 – Oil Pulling

Oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic folk practice, dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years to traditional Indian medical remedies. Interestingly, swishing a tablespoon of any medium-chain triglyceride based oils, such as coconut, sesame, olive, and sunflower oil, can stop teeth cavities! These oils enhance the resistance of teeth against demineralization and prevent various dental problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis. All you need to do is to swish coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Not only will your teeth look sparkly white, but you will also never complain of teeth sensitivity or cavities again! Just make sure you do not swallow the oil, this could cause diarrhea or upset stomach. Dispose of the oil in your garbage can, not your sink, because the oil could cause your pipes to become clogged!

By following these three simple natural tips, you can ensure that you and your family are limiting tooth decay. However, it should be emphasized here that these natural remedies are not an alternative to regular dental visits. After all, your dentist can detect and treat dental problems which are not even visible to the naked eye. Therefore, natural dental health remedies and regular dental visits must go hand-in-hand.

Happy eating! Moreover, happy smiling!

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Many people are unsure why it’s necessary to see a dentist every six months. For some, going to see the dentist makes them anxious and uncomfortable, but seeing the dentist twice a year is necessary to maintain proper oral health including teeth and gums. In fact, by having regular dental checkups not only do you achieve optimum oral health, but you could also help prevent a variety of health concerns such as heart disease or stroke!The American Dental Association (ADA) advises adults and children to visit the dentist every six months for an oral exam and cleaning. Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer or issues of misalignment, gum disease, or tooth decay.

The health of our teeth can go from bad to worse quickly which leads to a variety of oral health problems unless we maintain routine dental check-ups.

Our teeth become stained from tobacco, food we eat, and the beverages we consume.

  • Tooth decay can result from the build-up of tartar or plaque if we do not floss and brush properly. Once tooth decay forms, your teeth begin to rot and the only option is dental implants.
  • Soft plaque, if not cleaned off properly, sticks to the teeth and leaves the gum tissue irritated, which leads to gum disease.
  • Research shows that poor oral health is an underlying cause of several other health issues and you can prevent these occurrences by maintaining good oral health.

When is the right time to begin routine dentist visits?
It is recommended that you start regular visits to the dentist for dental check-ups as early as age one. You should teach your children the importance of proper dental care so that severe dental problems do not emerge from bad oral care.

What to Expect During Regular Visits
A thorough examination at the dentists’ involves a lot of procedures and checking for tooth decay is just one of them. Your dentist or hygienist will assess gum health, look for signs or oral cancer, and check for vitamin deficiencies including diabetes. Lower jaw joint movement, face, saliva, and your bite may also be examined. Your teeth will be cleaned, and the doctor will cover tips for maintaining proper oral care. The simplest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is by visiting your dentist regularly. Remember, preventive dentistry remains your best bet in dealing with potential oral health issues before they lead to other complications.

Orthodontics and Proper Oral Health

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over four million people in the U.S. at any given time, are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment. And even though having a mouth full of metal may make brushing your teeth and flossing more difficult, oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment is crucial!

Why is it so important to be diligent about maintaining a great oral hygiene regiment during your orthodontic treatment, you might ask?
The braces, wires, bands, and retainers trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Those food particles and plaque, if left, most likely will result in plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Yikes!

Most orthodontists will, in fact, advise you against certain sticky, hard, or chewy foods altogether to avoid potential problems. However, even if these foods are avoided, cleaning your teeth is a must.

Here are some great tips to help with properly cleaning your teeth during orthodontic treatment:

1)Before you brush your teeth, rinse with water. This can prove to be useful because it can help loosen any food stuck in and around the braces.
2)Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.
3)When brushing, make sure to brush every tooth at the gum line as well as above and below the brackets. This technique helps to reach the majority of the tooth’s surface and help to remove plaque and food debris.
4) Like always, make sure to clean between the teeth by FLOSSING! Flossing threaders are highly advisable, and making flossing with braces MUCH easier.
5) To further prevent cavities and bacteria growth, complete your oral hygiene regiment by rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse.

Behind every smile is a unique and important individual

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Considering Orthodontics?

Getting braces is a big investment in your oral health, and like any investment, it takes time and routine check-ins to achieve a perfect result that lasts forever.

Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, making teeth fit better and decreases the risk of future and potentially costly dental problems.

How to get started:

Come in for a Complimentary Consultation where we will address your concerns, orthodontic needs and present you with a cost effective treatment plan with easy and affordable financing options.

If you have Medicaid and are interested in getting braces for your child, it’s simple! Once you come in for your consultation with our one of our talented providers, our pre-authorization specialist will send out an authorization to Medicaid and request your child be pre-approved for paid Orthodontic treatment through your Medicaid insurance plan. Our pre-authorization specialists are dedicated to each individual case and works hard to make sure the approval process is worry-free for you.

At The Center of Dental Professionals, we understand how important oral care is. If you are not approved for orthodontic treatment through your Medicaid plan or if you do not have insurance, don’t worry! We will work with each individual to ensure they have the treatment they need.

We have a low, flat rate for your orthodontic treatment, including retainers! This low rate will allow you or your child to get the treatment you need with affordable monthly payments.

We accept all Insurance plans, Medicaid, Chip and patients without insurance.

If you are interested in a Complimentary Consultation contact us today at 801-747-8016.

Leave your bad breath behind

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No one wants to have bad breath – and especially not on Valentine’s Day! Follow our list of foods not to eat and you’ll be om your way to fresher breath!

Not only is bad breath uncomfortable, but bad breath can cause periodontal disease (inflammation of the gums). The sour smell comes from carbohydrates that cling to your tongue. Sugars and acidic foods dry out your mouth which reduces saliva flow and encourages bacterial growth.

Here’s our top list of foods to avoid:

-Garlic

-Onions

-Dairy

-Alcohol

-Coffee

-Seafood

Staying hydrated is the most important thing to remember when trying to keep your breath fresh! Skip the sweets, and don’t forget to rinse and repeat!

We hope this helps you when picking a restaurant or dish for dinner. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Prevent Tooth Decay!

decaying-teeth

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, they are at risk for tooth decay. Most areas affected by early childhood tooth decay are your upper front teeth but all teeth can be affected. Dont panic though – most tooth decay can be prevented!

-Begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth grows in.
-Brush your child’s teeth twice a day (morning and night).
-As soon as your child has two teeth touching, you should begin flossing.
-Eat a well balanced diet! Limit starchy or sugary foods.

When your child is old enough to start brushing his or her own teeth, make sure they are doing it often, and correctly. Monitor that they are using the right toothbrush, and the right amount of toothpaste.

Be cautious, if you see a tooth that is becoming discolored, bring your child to their dentist to get it checked out. You do not want to let tooth decay go untreated because it will only get worse. If caught early on, it can help to prevent the need for crowns and dental restoration.

 

Maximize your dental benefits!

 

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Its nearing the end of the year, which means now is the time to maximize your dental benefits before they are gone!

Most insurances do not allow you to roll-over your unused benefits to the next year. They are on a traditional yearly calendar and patient benefits renew on January 1st. Any insurance benefits not used by then will get forfeited and you will be unable to use them.

Why should you maximize your dental benefits?

  1. Use ‘em or lose ‘em. Maximize your yearly allotted amount, if you don’t use them before the end of the year then you lose them.
  2. Think of your deductible. Most patients pay their deductible and then never go back for a follow up which means their earned benefits go unused.
  3. You pay for this service, so make it count. You pay for your dental insurance, so use it instead of giving the insurance company your money and getting nothing in return.

Get your money’s worth and keep your gums and teeth healthy! By delaying dental appointments and treatments you are risking it will be more costly and extensive treatments. When your gums and teeth are healthy, you boost your overall health.

If you have any dental work you have been putting off, now is the time to come and see us! Call us at 801-747-8016 to schedule your consultation for treatment today! Hurry before time runs out!