Posts for category: Health and Wellness
While it’s great to have choices, sometimes having too many options can quickly become overwhelming. When you walk down the aisle of oral hygiene supplies at your local grocery store or pharmacy, you won’t be able to ignore the seemingly countless options of toothpaste, mouthwashes, floss, tongue scrapers, and toothbrushes. Even within one brand, such as Colgate or Crest you will notice nearly a dozen varieties of products. The good news is there is a brand and a product for every personal preference and particular concern. How do you decide though, which brands and products are best for you?
In this particular article, we are going to break down how to choose the perfect toothbrush.
Here’s what you need to consider…
Soft, medium, or hard? While you might think that using a hard-bristle brush is better suited to removing plaque and stains, you are better off opting for a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles and hard brushing can actually lead to teeth sensitivity, enamel erosion, and receding gums.
If the head of your toothbrush is too big, it will be challenging to reach way in the back of your mouth and to maneuver your brush in tight spaces. While there are large-head toothbrushes available, a small to medium-sized one will likely help you do a better job at keeping every one of your teeth clean. A toothbrush head that is around a half-inch wide and one-inch tall is pretty standard for an average adult mouth.
Manual versus electric
This is totally personal preference; however, the entire Parker family uses a Sonicare electric toothbrush. Sonicare makes a variety of electric toothbrushes for all different budgets and toothbrush preferences. But, they all have been proven to remove up to ten times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, leads to up to seven times healthier gums, and removes a significant percentage of surface stains in just three days.
If you decide to go with a manual toothbrush, make sure you choose one that is backed by a reputable brand. Your toothbrush is something you put in your mouth at least twice a day, and you want to make sure that it is made properly and using safe materials. There is also a great selection of non-plastic disposable toothbrushes. Many of these new eco-friendly toothbrushes are made out of bamboo.
Seal of approval
You are probably wondering how to know if you are purchasing a reputable brand of toothbrush or other dental products. If you see the ADA Seal of Approval on the packaging, you know you're buying a product that is safe and high quality.
Make sure that you change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. If you have any questions about what toothbrush you should be using, don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve. Using the right toothbrush is key to maintaining your beautiful and healthy smile.
Pearly, sparkly, shiny, eye-catching, room-lighting, bright white is the shade most of us seek for our teeth. You know that color, the one that turns heads when the wearer of it flashes a genuine toothy grin. The market is flooded with all different types of at-home and in-office teeth whitening products and procedures to lighten and brighten the color of your teeth. It's good to be aware of the foods, beverages, medications, and other factors that can cause tooth discoloration though.
The fix is easy, but knowing what is causing your teeth to become discolored is important. In some cases, you can prevent your teeth from becoming less-than-ideal white by just eliminating certain foods and drinks and kicking certain bad habits.
Certain factors are out of our control when it comes to keeping our teeth white though. Age is one of them. As we age, the protective enamel on our teeth begins to erode. Beneath this protective layer is the less dense dentin layer of our teeth. Dentin absorbs food color and in turn, causes your teeth to become different shades of not-white.
Certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline and amoxicillin can also affect the shade of your teeth, as well as certain medications for allergies and high blood pressure. Illnesses that affect the liver, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause teeth to turn an undesirable shade. A third uncontrollable factor is genetics.
The good news is, if you are unhappy with the color of your teeth due to these uncontrollable factors, there is a whitening option that is perfect for you. At Parker Dentistry, we offer a variety of affordable and effective whitening options. You don’t have to live with the tooth color you have been given if you are not happy with it!
Foods and Drinks that Stain Your Teeth
Foods and Drinks that Eat Away the Enamel on Your Teeth
Another important factor to consider when trying to prevent your teeth from yellowing is your daily oral hygiene practice. If you aren’t brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, and you aren’t staying on top of your bi-annual professional teeth cleaning, the color of your teeth could be significantly affected. It is also imperative to drink water and brush your teeth after eating or drinking foods and beverages that can cause staining and enamel erosion.
If you are concerned with the color of your teeth, ask your dental hygienist or Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve about the whitening options that are available and best suited for you at your next visit.
We’ve talked about some of the best foods for your teeth in the past. However, it is important to be conscious of your consumption of these particular foods and beverages, as they can be potentially harmful to your teeth. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make the right decisions for your oral health.
Find out which nine foods and drinks are the worst for your teeth and why.
Whether it’s hard, sticky, chewy, or sour, candy is one of the worst foods for your teeth. Most candy is bursting with refined sugar and artificial coloring. Candy also has no nutritional value. Regularly eating candy can contribute to cavities, enamel erosion, and dental emergencies. If you are going to indulge in a sweet treat, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Out of all the types of candies, chocolate, especially dark chocolate is the least damaging. Chocolate washes off of teeth easier than sticky candies. Dark chocolate has some nutritional value as well; it is high in antioxidants.
You might think dried fruit is healthy because it is fruit, but it can pose a threat to your teeth. Dried fruit is high in sugar, and due to its stickiness, it can be hard to get off of your teeth. Be extra careful if you have any fillings, crowns, or wires in your mouth.
Mints and Gum
Chewing gum or sucking on a mint is like chewing or sucking sugar. Opt for sugar-free gum or mints to avoid putting your teeth in harm’s way.
Carbonated drinks contain phosphoric and citric acid, both of which erode the protective enamel on your teeth. When the enamel on your teeth is compromised, you become more prone to cavities, chips, and cracks in your teeth. Plus, carbonated sodas are very high in sugar.
While sports drinks are great at quickly rehydrating your body after intense physical activity, they contain a lot of sugar. If you are going to drink or eat anything that has a high sugar content make sure that you brush your teeth afterward.
Alcohol is high in sugar. Regular and excessive alcohol consumption can also reduce your saliva production, which can then increase your chances of tooth decay and other oral infections. Heavy alcohol consumption also increases your chances of developing oral cancer. If you are going to drink alcohol, make sure you also drink plenty of water and always brush your teeth before bedtime.
While citrus such as oranges and grapefruit are high in vitamin C, the acidity of this type of fruit can also erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. As with many of these potentially harmful foods and beverages, as long as you consume them in moderation, drink plenty of water, and keep up with brushing and flossing your teeth, you can enjoy these treats without worrying about permanent damage to your teeth.
Due to the high level of tannis, regularly drinking black tea can lead to tooth discoloration. If you are going to drink tea, lighter teas like green tea are a better option.
Starchy foods like potato chips and bread can easily get stuck between your teeth. Make sure that you floss your teeth after eating starchy foods to avoid a plaque build-up and permanent damage to your teeth.
While you don’t necessarily need to give up these foods and drinks entirely, if you are going to enjoy them, do so in moderation, brush your teeth afterward, floss twice a day, and drink at least two liters of water to help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
We all have a bad habit or few that we know we should stop but haven’t managed to yet. A bad habit is anything that negatively impacts your health and wellness or the health and wellness of others. Oral bad habits are common. It is likely that you will be guilty of at least one of the habits on this list of habits that need to be broken.
You know what they say though, there is no time like to present to kick a bad habit and replace it with a good one!
Brushing too hard
Brushing too hard, especially with a firm-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel to wear away on the surface of your teeth over time. Without this protective layer, you are more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities. Opt for a softer bristle toothbrush and take your time brushing your teeth using a gentle circular movement on each tooth.
While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for maintaining a healthy and clean mouth, your toothbrush isn’t capable of cleaning out those tight hard to reach spaces between your teeth. If you don’t floss, you are only removing around two-thirds of gingivitis-causing plaque from your teeth.
A commonly offered piece of advice from your dentist goes something like this; “You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.”
Grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth is very harmful to your oral health. Grinding can cause your teeth to chip or crack, the protective enamel layer to wear away, and can cause muscle tenderness, joint pain, and headaches. If you are a chronic grinder, make sure you talk to Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve about some easy solutions to break this habit.
Biting your cheeks
While we’ve all accidentally bitten the side of our cheeks at least once before, habitually biting your cheeks is problematic. Whether this occurs due to misaligned teeth or as a nervous tick, this habit can lead to mouth sores and serious infections. It is speculated that cheek biters are more prone to developing oral cancer too.
Ignoring your lips
The skin on your lips is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. For this reason, it is more susceptible to chipping, cracking, environmental damage, and early signs of aging. It is essential to keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun on a daily basis.
Using the wrong toothpaste
We live in an era of choices. There are dozens of toothpaste brands and types readily available for all different concerns and flavor preferences. While some toothpaste may claim to “control tartar,” be careful that the toothpaste you are using isn’t too gritty. Some “tartar control” toothpaste are too abrasive and will erode the enamel on your teeth and can cause receding gums. The most critical ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. The rest is all personal preference.
Using your teeth as tools
Your teeth are not intended to be used in place of scissors or nail clippers. Stop using your teeth to open packages! Using your teeth for anything other than eating puts you at a higher risk of chipping a tooth, injuring your jaw, and swallowing something inedible and harmful.
Crunching hard candies and ice
Bad, bad, bad! Crunching hard candies and ice is a recipe for disaster! This hard habit, especially when done over a long period can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth and damage existing dental work.
Carbonated sodas contain phosphoric acid, which over time can erode your teeth. Sodas contain excessive amounts of refined sugar, as well which is not healthy for your teeth or your body. The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas have negative impacts on your overall health, as well.
It is time to learn to love water! If you do drink a soda though, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Smoking is good for nothing! Aside from significantly increasing your chances of developing oral cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and painful lesions in the mouth, smoking also reduces your sense of smell and taste, contributes to bad breath, stains your teeth, increases your chances of losing your teeth, and can cause your gums to recede.
Don’t ignore symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, pain, or sensitivity in your mouth if it lasts more than a few days. It is far easier to treat a condition when it is addressed in the early stages. At Parker Dentistry, we are always here for you and always just a phone call away.
The secret has long been out that green tea is antioxidant-rich and packed with health-boosting benefits. Green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis and is so beneficial to our health due to its high concentration of epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG for short. This particular antioxidant is 100 times more potent than vitamin C and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E! Studies have concluded that by drinking three to five cups of green tea a day, you can reap the immense benefits of this beverage.
Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to reducing the risk of oral, prostate, stomach, breast, and pancreatic cancer. It has also proven to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The caffeine and catechins (cancer-fighting antioxidants) found in green tea can also help boost your metabolism, which makes maintaining a healthy weight easier.
While the benefits of drinking green tea have been buzzing around the health and wellness world for eons, you might not have realized that green tea is actually beneficial to your oral health.
Green tea actually helps to reduce the bad bacteria in your mouth, which is often the cause of bad breath and infections. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-acid. Drinking this delicious tea will reduce the acidity in your salvia and will support gum health. Green tea is also an excellent source of fluoride, which strengthens and supports the enamel of your teeth. Stronger teeth mean fewer cavities and less of a chance of losing your teeth as you age. The antioxidants in green tea protect against cellular damage, which in turn reduces your chance of developing oral cancer.
Unlike other types of tea and coffee, green tea won’t stain your teeth!
Ready to brew up a cup of green tea?
Here are a few tips on how to master the art of making the perfect cup of green tea:
- Choose an organic green tea (loose or bag)
- Boil your water (filtered or spring is the best), but allow the water to cool a little bit before you pour it over the tea to steep
- Do not steep more than 3 to 5 minutes, as any longer will cause the taste to become bitter
- Add a little squeeze of lemon (the acid from the citrus makes the EGCG more bioavailable)
- Drink your tea slowly (it has been found that slowly sipping green tea enhances the delivery of EGCG)
Green tea contains caffeine, so it is best to drink it in the morning or early in the afternoon so that it does not affect your sleep cycle.