Myths about taking care of bad breath.

Bad breath, can be a major problem, one that can directly affect your personal and professional life. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented with some simple steps.

Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.

Certain foods, especially ones like garlic and onions that contain pungent oils, can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. Smoking can also be a cause of bad breath.

There are lots of myths about taking care of bad breath. Here are three things you may have heard about bad breath that are not true:

Myth #1: Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.

Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). When you’re deciding which dental products to toss into your shopping cart, it’s always a good idea to look for those that are accepted by the ADA. Also, ask your dentist for recommendations.

Myth #2: As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t have bad breath.

The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just doesn’t cut it. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too. A lot of bacteria actually stay on the surface of your tongue. It’s equally important to floss because brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.

Myth #3: If you breathe into your hand, you’ll know when you have bad breath.

Wrong! When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn’t do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it’s hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath.

If you’re concerned about bad breath, make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and mouth properly. Some sugar-free gums and mints can temporarily mask odors, too.

If you brush and floss properly keep up with your regular cleanings, preferably twice a year but  occasionally more frequent visits are needed, especially if you have braces. But if your bad breath persists, you may have a medical problem like gum disease. Give us a call to schedule an appointment! So we figure out if something else is behind your bad breath and help you take care of it.

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10 benefits of straight teeth

1. Better brushing. 

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Overlapping teeth can trap food particles.  When teeth are properly aligned, its easier to maintain good oral hygiene by flossing and brushing.

2. Clear Speech.

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Crooked teeth may cause speech impediments. Confidence may take a toll and negatively affect work/ school performance.

3. Easier eating.

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Crooked teeth compromise proper chewing. Digestive problems can result.

4. Less accident-prone teeth

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Protruding teeth are more prone to breaking. Protective mouth guards may not not fit properly.

5. Fewer headaches.

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Crowded teeth wear unevenly. Uneven wear puts pressure on jaw, resulting in chronic headaches.

6. Improved gum health.

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Better oral hygiene prevents gum disease. Lower risk of gum disease means lower risk of tooth loss.

7. Better over all health.

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Improved oral hygiene means, less tooth decay.

8. Cost- effective dental care.

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Fewer severe dental health issues with straight teeth. Fewer means less expensive.

9. Lower risk of soft tissue injury.

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Crooked teeth can push against soft tissues in the mouth, resulting in cuts sores and infections.

10. increased self esteem

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one of the most noticeable and best effects of straight teeth.Increased confidence

Best and Worst Halloween Candy

We’re so excited it’s only a little less that a week until Halloween!

Your general family dentist? not so much. Trick-or-treating candy haul is a dentistry fright fest.

You and your children can still enjoy Halloween, but remember that moderation is key! Also keep in mind that some sweets may be better or worse for your teeth. Below, we have some recommendations:

WORST: Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it. which could produce cavity-causing acid.

SECOND WORST: Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers, are almost as bad.  Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve.  The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic your mouth becomes.

PRETTY BAD: Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel. While powdery candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.

NOT SO BAD: Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet.

BEST: Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, and it is sweetened with xylitol, a natural sugar the bacteria is unable to form plaque on.

Which kind of candy are you giving out this year?

5 reasons why flossing is extremely important.

Proper dental care (which includes regular flossing) can do more than keep your smile pretty and healthy. A healthy mouth can also help prevent much more serious diseases,But if you’re still not convinced that you should add flossing to your daily routine, we’ve got five examples to make the case that flossing is extremely important:

#5. Flossing and Brushing Are More Effective Than Brushing Alone

Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth and gums floss is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the gap between the base of the teeth and the gums.

These are places that a toothbrush can’t reach. And while antimicrobial mouthwash can kill the bacteria that form plaque, it can’t remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places.  That’s where floss comes in. It’s a tool specifically made to remove plaque from the tight spaces between the teeth and under the gums. The ADA suggests that flossing before you brush also helps make brushing more effective: With less plaque caught between your teeth, the fluoride in toothpaste can get to more parts of your mouth. Think of floss and a toothbrush as a detail paintbrush and paint roller, respectively. You could paint your living room walls with just one of the tools, but using them together will provide a much better result.

#4. Flossing Protects Your Gums

The places where the gums and teeth meet are where flossing plays its major role. Tiny particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden and over time they form tartar, a thick deposit that only the dentist can remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis, red, swollen gums that are the first stage of gum disease. If left unchecked, the bacteria-laden tartar and plaque can spread even deeper below the gum line, causing periodontitis: severe gum disease characterized by severe inflammation and eventual tooth and bone loss.

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#3 It can save you money!

In an era of rising health care costs and diminishing insurance benefits, it pays to take steps to reduce your medical expenses. Dental Preventive care now can pay significant dividends down the road. Also consider the point above, If your general dentists deems that the extent of gum disease would be better treated by a specialist, your coinsurance might be higher at the specialists’ office.

#2 Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases

Tooth and gum disease can have effects that go far beyond discolored teeth, discomfort or bad breath. Extensive research has shown that the bacteria that flourish in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness. This is such a significant issue that, in 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began calling for public health initiatives to address oral health as a step toward addressing these potentially life-threatening systemic diseases, conditions that affect multiple organs and body systems.

#1 Preventing the build up of tartar, makes your 6 month check up and cleaning a breeze!

Few parts of a regular dental visit are as uncomfortable as the scraping the dentist or hygienist must do to remove tartar. Tartar is a hard buildup of plaque that forms around the gum line. Once it’s there, it can’t be removed without professional help. But thanks to floss, health-conscious individuals have a powerful tool to fight this stubborn problem.

Flossing allows you to remove the plaque that causes tartar while it’s in its early form: sticky, but soft and pliable. Since plaque doesn’t harden into tartar until it’s been undisturbed for a period of time, regular flossing can keep buildup from happening.

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Oral hygiene is important- and not just for your smile!!

Dental cavities and tooth decay is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by Americans and the single most common disease of childhood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 19 percent of children have untreated cavities and approximately 41 percent of children have decay in their “baby teeth.”

Cavities are the result of gradual tooth decay caused by the build-up of plaque and breakdown of protective enamel. Initially cavities are painless, but they open the tooth up to infections, eventually exposure the nerve resulting in pain. The internal structures of the tooth can also be destroyed, ultimately causing the loss of the tooth. While this might not seem important in “baby teeth” as they are going to be lost anyway, infection can cause damage to the growing teeth and subsequent treatments can be painful and expensive.

Overall, oral hygiene is an essential component of one’s health. Researchers from the American Heart Association recently shared findings that professional dental care can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Experts tracked 100,000 people for an average of 7 years in Taiwan. They found that those who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack and 13 percent less likely to have a stroke.

Regular dentist visits and oral hygiene reduces the growth of inflammation-causing bacteria that causes periodontal disease. However, these bacteria can also cause inflammation of the vessels, with studies showing that these bacteria are associated with elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for blood vessel inflammation.

Dental health should begin in childhood as even babies are susceptible to cavities. Most children get their first tooth around 6 or 7 months of age and dental care should begin promptly thereafter with a visit to the dentist, as well as, regular tooth brushing. One major risk for early childhood cavities is consumption of sugary liquids, particularly allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk.

The extended contact with sugar increases the rate of tooth decay. Avoiding sticky foods and frequent snacks are other strategies to ward off cavities. Instilling these routines in childhood promotes their continuation into adult life and with more studies showing broad health benefits from dental hygiene it is essential.

So don’t forget to schedule your six month check up and cleaning!
Call our office today for an appointment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment procedure that is required once the nerve of the tooth becomes infected. How does does this happen? First, the tooth starts to decay. If left untreated, over time the decay expands into the nerve (called the pulp) of the tooth. The tooth’s nerve (pulp and canal tissue) becomes irritated, inflamed and infected (pulpitis). As the bacteria quickly multiply, pressure builds inside the tooth, the pulp tissue starts to die (pulpal necrosis) and the patient starts to experience severe pain in the area. The only treatment option at this time is to remove the damaged tooth nerve tissue. The dentist must clean and disinfect the tooth’s roots canals carefully to relieve the patient’s symptoms.

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Symptoms that a root canal treatment is needed:
-severe constant, dull pain, especially at night time.
-pain after eating cold or hot foods. Pain that lingers on and doesn’t go away.
-swelling or irritation in the surrounding gum tissue.
-fever.
-breath odor.

How is the root canal done?
First the dentist will numb your gums with a substance that feels like jelly, this is called topical anesthetic. After applying the substance you’ll be injected a local anesthetic that will completely numb the teeth, gums, tongue and skin in that area. The dentist may separate the decayed tooth from the other teeth with a small sheet of rubber on a metal frame. The dentist will use a drill and other tools to remove the pulp from the tooth. After the pulp and decay are removed, the dentist will fill the inside part of the tooth below the gum line with medicines, temporary filling materials and a final root canal filling.

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After the root canal a permanent filling or crown is needed depending on the amount of tooth structure that is left after all the decay has been removed.

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Root canal treatments are preventable! Keep up with your bi yearly dental check ups so that your dentist can asses when decay starts to form and be able to treat it before it progresses.

Coffee and oral health

A recently published study from Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine may just make your day a little perkier. The results show that “higher coffee consumption was associated with a small but significant reduction in number of teeth with periodontal bone loss.” Researchers compared dental records of 1,152 adult males from the Greater Boston area based on dental visits from 1968-1998. Though this is just one study so far, the findings may just jumpstart anyone’s day.

To read more click HERE