Keeping a Healthy Smile During Spring Activities and Sports

Spring is here, and so are the many recreational activities and sports that come with the warm weather of the season. Activities such as baseball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, hiking, and mountain biking. Outdoor activities that are fun to play in and enjoy but can also be the cause of some potential injures.

Part of ensuring we keep a healthy mouth is by taking preventative precautions to protect our smile and teeth.

Our teeth are an essential aspect of our daily life as we use them to speak and chew our food. Keeping our teeth and mouth protected from dental conditions and injuries is crucial to do when playing a sport or participating in a recreational activity. How can we do that?

Mouthguards

Mouthguards are a wonderful tool to have in your sports bag. They aren’t just for kids but adults as well. They provide your mouth with an outer guard and inner cushion to keep your soft tissue and teeth from harsh impacts and from having severe mouth-related injuries. It makes the impact of a ball or falls less forceful and damaging as it would be without it.

Hydration

We need to hydrate when we’re playing or participating in sports. By hydration we don’t mean drinking sports drinks or sugary drinks; we’re referring to water. Water is an essential part of our dental health and overall health.

Water is needed to keep our body functioning by distributing the nutrients we need to get rid of waste and to keep our muscles moving. So what can water do for our teeth? It keeps them clean. It washes away any food debris or residue that can cause damage to our teeth such as bacteria. Not only does it clean mouth it can dilute the acids produced by the acids in our mouth.

Another advantage of water is, it helps with dry mouth. Our saliva is a significant component of our mouth because it’s the first line of defense we have against cavities and tooth decay. Saliva provides your mouth with the nutrition our teeth need and maintain our mouth clean. Having a low flow of saliva puts us at risk of tooth decay and cavities since it removes the protection from our teeth.   

Our teeth and mouth are essential parts of our overall health. While we partake in outdoor activities and sports, remembering to remain well hydrated is important and to put mouthguards to prevent any mouth-related injuries.

The warm weather is among us, and we should enjoy it, but safety is important, especially our smile. This spring, take the measures you need to have a healthy mouth. If you’re in need of a dental check-up, schedule an appointment with us today!  

 

Health Precautions During National Days in April

Easter Sunday has just past which means you probably had some Easter chocolate eggs or marshmallow birds. It doesn’t even have to be candy sweets; it could be sweet desserts that contain a lot of sugar.

Beginning this month with an Easter egg hunt is a great way to kick off the rest of the national days to come this April. National days celebrating foods that are sweet to the tooth but damaging to our smile. What national days are we talking about?

If you didn’t know already, today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, however, some products contain more sugar than others. Then, there is National Caramel Day and National Caramel Popcorn Day and many more national days, days of sweetened foods to come and celebrate by eating those delicious foods.

I mean who doesn’t like eating something sugary once in awhile? I know I do, but there are some precautions to take while celebrating national food days especially when it’s foods that can damage our teeth and smile. I’m talking about two types of foods here.

Sticky/Chewy Foods

We are referring to the foods which cling and stick to our teeth and anywhere within our mouth. The foods that overstay their welcome and as a result, help bacteria produce more acid than usual. They are easy to get in between your teeth and can stay there longer.

Acidic Foods/Drinks

As we mentioned before, when food causes bacteria to produce more acid it damages our teeth. Drinking or eating foods or beverages containing citrus or acidic properties are more damaging than you think and can see immediately. Why? Because our tooth enamel is being eroded by the acid. Eroding teeth results in cavities or tooth decay and, in some cases, serious problems like sensitive teeth and discoloration.

These are two of many types of foods we need to keep an eye on especially when Easter has just past and upcoming national days are on the way celebrating foods not so kind to our teeth. When you eat these types of food, it is best to ensure you are rinsing and cleaning your mouth right away to ensure you’re removing any food debris.

Cleaning our teeth immediately afterwards is important to prevent further damage to them from substances that erode our teeth. Flossing your teeth to remove sticky/chewy substances is one way to assure there isn’t more acid production. In addition to keeping up with personal hygiene and self-care, visiting your dentist for a regular clean up and check up is a crucial part of preventative care.

If you’re due for dental check-up soon, make an appointment with our dental office to get your exams with X-rays and cleaning for $97.

What To Do When You Have Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing can be worrisome, so what can be causing your gums to bleed? There are many factors that can contribute to your bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, some are temporary and some are more concerning. Learning about the causes of these can help you better assess what you need to do.  

Causes

What can be causing your gums to bleed? Before making an appointment with the dentist, we recommend you assess and adjust some of the possibilities of why you might be bleeding. Common factors to bleeding gums are:

  • Plaque buildup along the gumline and in between the teeth  
  • Improper dental care and tools
  • Vitamin C or K deficiencies
  • Side effects of medication

Plaque Buildup

By not removing plaque in a timely manner, it can harden into tartar. This leads to gum irritation, bleeding, and into advanced forms of gum disease such as gingivitis or a more serious disease known as periodontitis. Flossing once a day or twice a day can help remove the plaque building up from the food we eat. Once plaque has become tartar you need to make an appointment with your dentist to remove it.

Improper Dental Care and Tools

If your gums are bleeding from brushing or flossing there could be a few things happening. Either you’re dental care regimen needs to change, or the tools you use are  too rough on your teeth and gums. When you floss and notice blood, it can mean you’re using vigorous, aggressive motions with the floss, you need to floss more often, or you’re brushing hard. Being gentle on your teeth when brushing and flossing can help ease the irritation you cause. If you are gentle and regularly brush and floss, you may want to change your medium or firm bristle toothbrush into a soft bristle one.

Unbalanced Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet is important not just for health but for our teeth. We need to have a diet rich in nutrients to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Not eating a meal rich in nutrients can cause vitamin deficiencies particularly vitamin C and K. These two vitamins are pivotal to your oral health since vitamin C is essential to keeping the connective tissues of your gum strong while vitamin K helps block substances from breaking down bone. Having deficiencies in these vitamins can weaken your gums and teeth making them loose and bleed increasing your risk of gum disease.

Medication Side Effects

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen are commonly known as blood thinners, which increase bleeding when you cut yourself. If you brush hard and begin to bleed you might bleed more than you should. Prescribed medication can even cause mild side effects like gum bleeding. Noticing if bleeding gums are a side effect of prescribed medication is reason enough to go see you primary doctor for new medication alternative to rule out medication as a possible reason to your bleeding.

What Do You Do?

Bleeding gums can be rinsed with warm salt water to kill bacteria around the infected area and keep it from spreading deeper into the gums and roots of the teeth. In addition to rinsing your mouth, applying pressure with gauze to stop the bleeding. Make sure your hands and gauze are clean to avoid increasing your infection.   

As I mentioned earlier, before booking an appointment with your dentist right away. try to eliminate some possible causes. Once you’ve eliminated some of the causes and there’s been no improvement in your condition, then make an appointment to see your dentist to get further examinations done.  

Keeping a regular dental check-up with your dentist every 6 months is your first line of defense for any oral or dental conditions from worsening. Be sure to visit your dentist twice a year and to be gentle during your oral hygiene. Healthy teeth and gums makes for a great smile. If you need to schedule an appointment for regular cleaning, call us at 801-747-8018.

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!