Posts for: April, 2019
Bad breath, or halitosis, is never pleasant! It is probably safe to say that everyone has had an experience with bad breath at least once, but likely many times before. Bad breath can be caused by cavities, gum disease, inflammation, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, an infection, an intestinal disorder, as well as from smoking and consuming garlic, onion, coffee, or alcohol. While brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, drinking plenty of water, and getting your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year are the main ways to fight halitosis, there are also some natural methods you can use in between to keep your breath fresh.
Gum or mint that contains xylitol (very toxic to pets!)
Plain fortified yogurt
One cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil (don’t swallow!) *This homemade and alcohol-free mouthwash recipe makes enough for several rinses.
If you are keeping up with your oral hygiene and you have tried these methods and find that you still have chronic bad breath, make sure you bring that up next time you are in the office. It’s essential to be proactive about your health, and persistent bad breath could be a sign of a bigger underlying problem.
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.