Tongue Cleaning: Is it something we need to do?

Should we be scrubbing our tongues clean?

We focus so much on our teeth and making sure those are in tip-top shape, that often our tongues get overlooked. But is cleaning our tongue something that needs to be done?

Think about it, just like our teeth, everything that we eat and drink comes in contact with our tongue.

According to healthline.com John D. Kling, DDS, said: “Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures.”

Those areas on our tongues are mating grounds for bacteria! If we don’t take care of that it can lead to bad breath, higher bacteria growth, plaque build-up, potential loss of senses, and not taking care of our tongue can even end up damaging our teeth!

Of course, many of these things take a long time to develop and are worse case scenarios, but we still need to be aware! So while that might have been a tad dramatic, knowing these things help motivate us to establish a habit of good oral hygiene that includes scrubbing/brushing your tongue.

Now that we know that cleaning our tongue is necessary for our daily routine, we can dive into the question you are all asking; “How I do I clean my tongue?”

There are many ideas and suggestions out there, so we have gathered some of the more common ways to help you better take care of your mouth.

Brushing: Every morning and night when you are brushing your teeth take a few extra seconds and run those bristles across your tongue. Make sure you are cleaning all around, but still being careful! Our tongues are sensitive and have a layer of skin on them, so when brushing, you need to make sure you aren’t causing damage.

Tooth scraper: Much like a toothbrush, you can purchase a tooth scraper at your local drug/grocery store. Add this to your daily toothbrushing, and it will assist in the fight against bacteria and bad breath!

Mouthwash: Mouthwash is also an excellent cleaning method that can be effective when paired with brushing your teeth. Most mouthwashes have ingredients that target the bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue and leave your mouth feeling nice and fresh!

Lastly, if you want more options, or want to talk to someone not named Google to get more information; chat about it with your dentist the next time you are in for a visit! They will have lots of additional information and can offer suggestions for a more personalized routine to help you clean ALL parts of your mouth.

If you have not seen your dentist for your yearly check-up, call us at 801-747-8000 or submit an appointment request to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

We look forward to seeing you in our office soon! Happy brushing!

What’s Plaque and How Does It Affect Our Oral Health?

plaque

As June comes to an end, our oral health awareness should not go dismissed. We still want to take measures to care for our teeth. Our oral health is a critical part of our daily life. We use our mouth and teeth to speak and digest our food. Without our teeth, those two actions become challenging to do and can begin to alter the shape of our mouth. But before you start to think tooth loss happens immediately, it takes time to develop and is often the result of poor hygiene.

When we fail to brush twice a day and floss daily, we begin to develop plaque on our teeth. We want to practice good oral hygiene to avoid plaque build-up, which can affect our teeth. So, what is plaque?

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DIY Dentistry: Is It Safe?

DIY dentistry

DIY products are becoming more common as more recipes and trends become known through social media platforms. Although some DIY products can be beneficial in saving you money, recycle materials around the house, or repurpose objects. We want to think twice before using DIY products for your health.

One of the most popular DIY products we hear about is related to dentistry. However, is do-it-yourself dentistry good or bad for your oral health? Just because something says, it is good for your teeth does not necessarily mean it is safe. We have to consider the overall health of our teeth and mouth when addressing a dental problem.

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Dental Health Advice for Men

dental health men

Women should not be the only ones ensuring they maintain their oral health. Men need to take proper measures to preserve their smile since they are more likely to skip on brushing twice a day. Caring for our teeth isn’t exclusive to our younger years, it is a continually care we must practice, especially when we get older when our begin to decline in functionality.

Preventative care is the best form of ensuring our oral health is in tip-top shape, which first begins at home. We want to encourage men this month to become more aware of their oral health to prevent any future dental complications that can arise. We’ve compiled some tips to consider.

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Keeping Your Teeth White After Whitening Them

after whitening treatment

What happens after whitening your teeth? After recently getting your teeth whitened, flashing your new smile gives you new confidence you didn’t have before not to mention you look good. But there is that concern lingering of what can I do to keep them the way they are now. After all, you did just pay to get them whitened and don’t want to waste the money spent on treatment.

You don’t want to look in the mirror and see discoloration on your teeth. So, what are some of the ways you can keep your teeth white? Let us find out.

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Tricks To Stop Your Sugar Cravings

Who has a sweet tooth? I know I do; I can’t say no to a chocolate chip cookie especially if they’re chewy. For some, we have a sugar craving we have to cave into but can often find ourselves overeating or eating something that contains more sugar than we think. We can crave the sugar as a dessert treat after eating a meal or as a form of an energy booster. Whatever the reason, there are a couple of ways we can stop the cravings for sugar.

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Common Dental Symptoms We Can’t Ignore

common dental symptoms

Why do we ignore symptoms? There isn’t a clear answer to that, although, it could probably be associated with the fact we are in denial. Or have the tendency of brushing it off as it will pass soon or it being nothing of serious. For every person, there’s a different reason to ignore some of the symptoms we experience. We get it. We all do it at some point but it doesn’t mean we should continue to do so.

Symptoms, even the smallest of symptoms, are telltale signs there is something wrong with our health. When it comes to our health, we don’t want to be quick to brush it off. More often than not, when it comes to our dental health we are quick to ignore the discomforts until they become consistent pains which we can’t avoid. It doesn’t even have to be discomfort but small changes in our oral health becoming more visible we shouldn’t ignore.

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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.