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Having a healthy smile does is not as difficult as it may seem. There are simple steps (brush, floss, rinse) that we must repeat on a daily basis. Following these simple steps and some daily care tips can lead to a smile that you can be proud of. Below you will find a few suggestions that can really make a difference in keeping our smiles as healthy as possible.

Easy Dental Care Tips

-Brush, Floss, Rinse Daily. We all know this already, but do we do it properly? These simple tasks are often overlooked in our busy schedules. Brushing at least 2x per day for 2 minutes each time along with flossing at least once per day and rinsing with an antibacterial or fluoride rinse will be a great start to a healthy smile.

-Avoid Sugary Foods And Drinks. Foods high in sugar give the oral bacteria the nutrition it needs to create an acidic environment inside your mouth and can lead to harmful tooth decay.

-Eat Plenty Of Vitamin C. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to dental health issues like loose teeth and bleeding gum. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits. Important to note that citrus fruits are highly acidic so you should rinse with water afterwards to neutralize the acids so as not to harm your teeth.

-Eat Lots Of Crunchy Foods. While not a replacement for dental floss, eating hard, crunchy foods (like carrots, celery, and apples) can naturally clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

-Get Your Daily Amount Of Calcium. This will not only keep your teeth strong but also the bones in your body. Good sources of Calcium include milk, soybeans, and cheese. Also, ensure you get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium properly. A good source of vitamin D is from the sun. So get outside and exercise!

-Water, Water, Water. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your teeth and body healthy and hydrated. Water is far better for you than any other beverage you can drink.  Rinsing after every meal or snack with water will help maintain your dental health. The water can neutralize the acids being produced by the oral bacteria. This will in turn limit the amount of tooth decay that can occur.

-See Your Dentist Every 6 Months. Seems like an easy one but often neglected. It is important to not only get your teeth professionally cleaned but also to ward off any problems while in their earliest stages.

Conclusion

Following a daily regimen of good oral hygiene, proper diet, and professional cleanings, can help you achieve a healthy smile. Maintaining a winning smile is an important tool for life. Most people notice a person’s smile upon meeting. What do you want your smile to say?

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and loved ones to get together and enjoy a hearty meal. It is also a time that can be dangerous for your dental health. This is because a lot of what we eat during this time can be hazardous to our dental health. This can include stuffing, sugary treats like pies and cookies, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. These items are all carbohydrate rich, sugary foods. This can really do some damage to your oral health, but there are some simple ways you can help combat cavities while still enjoying Grandma’s pumpkin or pecan pie.

Thanksgiving Day Dental Health Tips

-Eat a Balanced Meal. Eat a meal with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables. This helps to counteract some of the acids produced when sugars and bacteria in the mouth come together. Also, some of the harder vegetables like raw carrots can act as a cleaning aid in your mouth as you chew. Hard vegetables can remove some of the excess food that sticks to your teeth.

-Limit your sweet, sticky foods. These can include pies, cookies, and stuffing. These foods tend to stick in the grooves of teeth and lodge between teeth, meaning they stay in the mouth longer and increase tooth decay risk.

-Do not Graze!! This might be one of the most important ones listed here. Not only will you allow these bad food items to stay in your mouth longer but you will not allow your saliva to neutralize. The acidic levels in the saliva will remain all day, allowing bacteria to destroy surface enamel without interference.It’s easy to spend all day just walking around a party eating snacks and drinking, but every time you put something into your mouth, it creates acids. Spend some time NOT eating on Thanksgiving day to cut down on the buildup of cavity causing foods.

-Come Prepared. If you are going away from home for your thanksgiving dinner bring a travel toothbrush with you even if you are just away for the day. If you are unable to brush your teeth immediately after eating for some reason? Rinse your mouth out with water to remove as much debris and neutralize the acid as much as possible. Also, bring some floss and floss following your meal as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

By following these simple holiday dental care tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while still enjoying your Thanksgiving favorites.

Dental Hygiene Top 10:

1) Brush Properly. Believe it or not there is a wrong way to brush for proper dental hygiene.. It is important to brush after breakfast in the morning to remove plaque and bacteria that have accumulated over night (and from your morning meal) and to brush last thing at night because saliva (which helps to wash the cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up as we sleep. Toothbrushes should come with a small head and very soft bristles. Your dental hygiene all starts with proper brushing.

2) Floss your teeth at least once a day if not more. This will keep plaque from building up. Use dental floss to clean in between the teeth where plaque collects. Floss before you brush to remove any plaque or food particles. It is important to floss regularly because about 90% of cavities occur between teeth. Hold floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers and guide it between your teeth using a gentle sliding action. When the floss reaches where the tooth meets the gum, curve it into a V shape against the tooth and gently slide it up and down between the gum and the tooth, Do Not” Shoeshine” (rubbing floss side to side ) as this motion can cause notching in the root. Repeat for the other side and every tooth. An inter dental brush can be used for larger gaps.

3) Rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day. Make sure you do not swallow it. Discuss with your dentist which rinse is best for your oral condition and dental hygiene maintenance. Listerine is a great product with many combinations to suit almost every need. It is also one of the only rinses backed by years of scientific research.  The benefits of a mouthwash are that they can reach areas not touched by brushing alone. Rinse twice a day. Once in the morning and last thing at night and always after brushing.

4) Limit your sugary foods to avoid getting tooth cavities. Think about what you are eating. Do you want the best or worst foods for your dental and overall health? If you do choose a sugary or high acid food, chew a sugar free gum or xylitol gum. This will increase salivary flow in your mouth which will get rid of lingering sugar and neutralize acids faster. The bacteria will not cause decay in a clean neutral environment.

Dental hygiene

Dental Hygiene – Fluoride Toothpaste

5) Use a fluoride toothpaste. A fluoride tooth paste will help strengthen your enamel, making it tougher for bacterial acids to break down. Toothpaste also helps control plaque build up and keeps your teeth white and healthy!

6) Electric Toothbrushes. These are recommended by most dentists for their superior performance when compared to old fashioned manual brushing. Electric toothbrushes tend to have small brush heads that cup around the tooth and are faster and more efficient in cleaning areas of the mouth where bacteria and plaque collect. They are great for people who brush aggressively, as they brush for you. They are also easier if you have limited manual dexterity. Many also have a timer so you know you are brushing for the correct amount of time. Using an electric toothbrush will make all your dental hygiene efforts even easier to attain.

7) Eat your vitamins. Maintain a healthy diet to give your teeth and oral tissues (bone and gum tissues) the nutrients they need. Make sure you have enough B vitamins and calcium to keep your teeth strong! This is often overlooked in most dental hygiene programs.

Dry Mouth

Dental Hygiene – Biotene

8) Avoid Dry Mouth. Saliva provides an essential defense against tooth decay and periodontal disease by washing and rinsing the bacteria in the mouth. Patients who experience decreased salivary flow generally have increased dental health problems. Chronic dry mouth or xerostomia could be a side effect to certain medications or a symptom of a systemic disease. Your dentist can recommend several products to combat this problem. The leader in this category is Biotene. Without proper salivary flow or moistness in oral cavity your dental hygiene will suffer.

9) Clean Your Tongue. A major cause of bad breath can actually come from bacteria building up on your tongue with a high percentage of it accumulating at the back, making it hard to reach. Use a proper tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath.

dental hygiene - orabrush

dental hygiene – orabrush

A daily tongue scraping will help remove harmful bacteria. The use of a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush. A good example of a tongue scraper for dental hygiene is the orabrush.

10) Change your toothbrush out regularly. Did you know you should change your toothbrush every two to three months for good dental hygiene? If you do not then bacteria will collect on the bristles and you will transfer them back into your mouth. Also over time the bristles will become worn and ineffective. The same rules apply for electric toothbrushes. If your toothbrushes are wearing out before two months then you are probably brushing too harshly. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you the proper way of brushing to maintain proper dental hygiene. Always chose a toothbrush with soft not hard bristles as hard bristles can cause damage to the teeth and your gums.

Follow the steps above along with regular visits to your dentist and you will be on your way to having great dental hygiene.

dental hygiene

Dental Hygiene – Listerine



Diabetes affects almost 26 million people in the United States and is a growing problem due to the obesity epidemic.  The relationship between a person’s oral health and his/her diabetes is of utmost concern to health care professionals but especially dentists.

Patients with Diabetes have an increased risk of oral health issues due to poorly controlled blood sugars. Diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body’s main defense against bacterial infections.  These bacterial infections can affect everything in the mouth as well as the rest of the body.

A number of oral disorders are associated with Diabetes. The association between periodontal disease and diabetes has been studied at length with a definite correlation between the two.

The common oral health issues facing Diabetic patients include:

*Increased Dental Caries. There has been no study to effectively correlate this relationship. But anecdotal evidence leads me to believe this is a real problem for Diabetic patients withBioteneout good control over their blood glucose levels. Patients who are type 2 diabetics(meaning that it is not genetically caused but caused by diet) tend to eat more carbohydrates and sugary foods enhancing the possibility of increased caries rate. Also some patients experience xerostomia, which is more commonly referred to as “dry” mouth. I usually recommend Biotene for patients.Biotene  has the added benefit of containing a bio-active salivary enzyme protein system that actively combats bacteria, reducing bad breath, improving oral hygiene and relieving oral dryness.Some of the salivary dysfunction is caused by medications and age as well.

*Oral Mucosal Disease and other infections. Different types of oral disease are found, including lichen planus and recurrent aphthous stomatitis. People with diabetes that are often taking antibiotics to fight off infections are prone to developing Oral candidiasis(a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue). Oral candidiasis is found more frequently in patients with diabetes. Candidiasis occurs due to a patient being in a weakened immune state as well as a secondary response to the “dry” mouth mentioned above. This particular fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.  This fungus results in a burning sensation in areas of the mouth and sometimes a loss or change in taste.

*Periodontal Disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) have been shown to have a direct link to Diabetes. It has been noted that elevated levels of Periodontal disease also lead to complications in management of blood glucose levels. This disease tends to be more prevalent and more severe in diabetic patients than in the general population. This is mainly due to the fact that diabetics have decreased wound healing and infection fighting ability.

Diabetics who smoke are at a much higher risk of disease.  Their risk factor can be as much as 20x more likely than non-smokers to develop thrush and periodontal disease. Smoking does seem to reduce blood flow to the gums and this can also affect healing in the tissue area.

Because people who suffer from diabetes can be more prone to symptoms that may harm their oral health, it’s very important to follow dental home care instructions and to note any changes in your oral health. Promptly schedule a dental consultation if you notice any changes.

Dental Hygiene for Diabetics

We always recommend visiting the dentist and hygienist at least twice a year but it is doubly important in patients with diabetes. They need to strive to keep their mouths as bacteria free as they can. In conjunction with proper brushing we also recommend that patients floss after every meal if possible. A daily mouthwash can be beneficial as well.