Holiday Treats That Can Lead to Unhealthy Teeth

December 18th, 2014

The holidays are here which means sugary treats are everywhere.  Although it’s hard to turn down that delicious holiday cookie grandma just baked, we want to remind you about the effects sweets can have on your oral health.  Here are four of the most common treats we suggest to eat and drink in moderation during the holiday season:

Holiday Cookies – It’s enticing to grab one of those delicious holiday cookies that always seem to be available and laying around.  Before you reach for the second or third, it’s important to remember the amount of sugar each cookie contains and the amount of damage it can have on your teeth.

Holiday Drinks – There are a number of seasonal beverages like hot chocolate, eggnog, and warm apple ciders that are perfect for the holidays and make you feel warm inside.  Whenever you decide to drink one of these sugary drinks, try to keep it to only one cup or a small serving.  After you’ve finished, make sure to drink a glass of water afterward to help wash out some of the sugar residue and protect your teeth.

Candy Canes – This minty treat can cause a couple of negative effects on your teeth.  The prolonged amount of time these take to dissolve in your mouth leaves sugars lingering.  Also the hard and sticky structure makes it temping to bite, which could crack a tooth.

Caramels – Caramels are sticky treats that you find yourself chewing forever.  Even after you’ve finished, there always seems to be some lingering caramel left in your teeth.  The amount of sugar that is in a caramel treat can negatively affect your oral health.

All of these holiday temptations have a main ingredient, sugar.  We all know that sugar is bad for oral health because it mixes with bacteria on your teeth and will produce acid that erodes tooth enamel.  When you are enjoying these holiday sweets, just remember to keep your teeth in mind and try to take counter actions.  Make sure you are bushing twice daily and flossing regularly.  Also after your indulging, try to squeeze in an extra brush to remove the lingering sugar to keep your smile vibrant.  Everyone here at Easton Dentists wishes you all a happy and healthy holiday!

The Effects Gluten Can Have on Your Teeth

December 8th, 2014

Over the past few years there has been a rise in awareness surrounding Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. With all the buzz of this disease and the effects it has on an individual, we decided to look into how eating gluten can affect the health of your teeth. When an individual that is affected by Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity consumes gluten, it can prevent their body from absorbing nutrients. It can also directly affect your oral health negatively.

Anyone with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can experience oral health issues that include:

- Damage and deterioration to teeth enamel
- Bad breath or dry mouth syndrome
- Recurrent canker sores or ulcers inside the mouth
- Teeth discoloration with brown or yellowing spots
- Inflammatory gum disease

For any individual that has Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, check with your dentist and ask how to best maintain your oral health. Also if you are someone that is experiencing these symptoms but have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease, your dentist might be able to provide more information on your oral conditions and how to prevent and maintain a proper oral hygiene.

How to Be a Good Dental Patient

November 20th, 2014

We spend a lot of time and effort working to be the best in our field, however we thought we might give you a bit of perspective on how you can optimize the dental treatment experience on your end too.   The relationship between dentist and patient is one of trust and care but both sides need to be prepared for a healthy partnership.

Plan Accordingly

The first and foremost thing you can do to make your dental visit better for you and your dentist is to be prepared and ready to go.  Brush and floss your teeth before coming into the office and, please, avoid garlic and other breath-saturating foods before you come in.  Dentists do their best to make sure they are ready for your appointment when you arrive.  If you’re going to be late or have to cancel, it’s best to call ahead with a courtesy warning so the office isn’t wondering if they should cross you off for the day.

Speak Up

Good communication between dentist and patient is key for a healthy relationship.  Make sure you know what you’re looking for and what you expect.  If something hurts or you have dental concerns, tell you dentist and be as clear as possible.  Confusion can only cause problems down the road.  If you have dental anxiety, communicate with your dentist so they can be prepared to help you with this issue.

Good medical practices involve professionalism and quality care on the part of the dental physician but also rely heavily on the cooperation of a good patient.   In order to help your Columbus dentist take care of your smile, prepare and communicate.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy this Holiday Season

November 11th, 2014

We know how much you love us but it is a safe bet that your dentist is probably not the person you want to go visiting during the holiday season.  We would love to see you for a cleaning or whitening before those family pictures, but we know how it is.  We’re going to offer some tips and advice for making the most out of the holidays without damaging your teeth in the process.

Avoid Chewy Treats

Candy comes in many varieties during the holidays but the worst for your teeth is the chewy taffy stuff.  These sticky substances can lodge in your teeth and hang around for days, inviting the risk for tooth decay and gingivitis.  Munch your sweets sparingly and try to avoid the sticky, chewy ones.

Don’t Crack Nuts with your Teeth

Nuts are a great holiday snack, offering protein instead of sugar.  However, be careful how you crunch through these things.  The hardness can cause serious tooth and gum damage if you mow through them without cracking them first.  Shell the nuts and then enjoy.  Your teeth will thank you.

No Nail Biting

We know, you’ll be with family and Aunt Edna all season and the nerves usually take a toll on your nails but nail biting is not good for your teeth.  Find other ways to deal with the nerves of the season, like egg nog!  On that note, don’t use your teeth to open bottles or packages.  This can chip or damage teeth, requiring root canals.

Avoid Crunching Hard Candy

It’s true, we don’t want you chewing the gummy stuff either but crunching into excessively hard surfaces like ice or hard candy can chip or damage teeth, causing health problems and sometimes requiring surgery.

The holidays are a great time for food and sweets but take care of your precious enamel along the way and your smile will show.

Halloween Candy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

November 1st, 2014

Look.  We get it.  It’s Halloween.  You want to eat all the candy.   But let’s try to keep our health and smiles in mind when we go digging into those pumpkin baskets for the sugar and the chocolate.  To have your cake and eat it too, it’s best to pace yourself and skip over some of the worst options.

THE GOOD

  1. Dark Chocolate – Chocolate does contain a lot of sugar but many studies show that the antioxidants in dark chocolate are actually good for the heart and may lower blood pressure.  As long as you’re eating it in moderation.

  1. Sugar-free Lollipops and hard candies – These yummy snacks actually stimulate saliva which prevents dry mouth.  Dry mouth allows plaque to build up which can lead to an increased risk of cavities.

  1. Sugar-free gum – In addition to increasing saliva, gum can dislodge food particles from teeth which can help prevent cavities.

 

THE BAD

  1. Sugary Snacks – Halloween favorites like candy corn contain a huge amount of sugar which leads to tooth decay.

  1. Chewy Sweets – Gummy candies are delicious but the remains gets stuck in your teeth and are a serious source of tooth decay.

  1. Sticky Sweets – Dried fruits may seem like a healthy choice to hand out for Halloween but as with chewy sweets, these fruits stick to your teeth and make it very hard for saliva to wash remains away.  Fresh fruits are the way to go if you’re going with the alternative route.

 

THE UGLY

  1. Sour Candies – Did you guess this one?  Sour candies tend to be on the most overlooked candies on the danger list.  These candies have high levels of acid which can break down tooth enamel very quickly.  That immediate response your mouth has to produce a lot of saliva is a good thing – saliva restores the natural balance of acid in your mouth.

 

This Halloween, remember that moderation is key.  Enjoy those sweets but make sure you’re taking good care of your teeth all year.  Schedule your cleaning appointment with Easton Dentist today and we’ll make sure you stay on track.

Trick or Treat!

October 28th, 2014

The stores have been setting out treats and costumes so it’s a guarantee you’re already thinking about the mountains of candy that come with true start of the Halloween season.  Protecting your teeth during this time of year is critical, so here are a few tips and tricks to prepare you and your family for Candypalooza 2014.

  1. Brush!

This is something you likely do multiple times during the day.  If you don’t, you really should.  Brushing your teeth after consuming gooey and sticky foods and candy will help cut down on the build up that hides on your gums during the day.  The trick is to wait 30 minutes after eating that candy to brush.  The acidity from the candy can soften your enamel and if you don’t allow adequate time, you may find yourself brushing your enamel away.

  1. Floss!

Flossing your teeth after eating those delicious Milk Duds will get the remaining candy out of those places your brush can’t reach.  This will help prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

  1. Use Mouthwash!

Grab that mouthwash and swish a rinse.  It will add to that freshly brushed sensation and move build up right out.

  1. Give out fruits and veggies instead of candy!

While it might not seem as much fun to hand out fruit instead of candy, it’s infinitely better for the little trick-or-treaters tromping around your neighborhood hoarding the sugary stuff.  Buying pre-packaged apple slices or carrots will run your costs a smidge higher but parents are certain to thank you for not adding to their child’s imminent sugar rush.

Your Columbus dentist wants your smile to sparkle this holiday season and adhering to the usual standards will surely keep you smiling.

8 Ways To Relieve TMD Pain

October 18th, 2014

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and even nerves on one or both sides of the head.  Pains in the jaw, face, head and neck are indicators that you suffer from TMD.  If you suffer from TMD, here are a few tips and tricks to help ease your pain.

  1. Jaw Exercises

Gentle and slow exercises may help your jaw mobility and promote healing.  Your dentist or physical therapist can help evaluate your condition and based on that evaluation a series of exercises can be suggested.

  1. Relax Facial Muscles

Make a concentrated effort to relax your jaw muscles and and keep your teeth apart.  This will relieve the stress on your facial muscles.

  1. Relaxation Techniques

Meditation, massage and yoga can be instrumental in relaxing muscles tightened by stress.

  1. Over-the-Counter Analgesics

The short term use of over the counter pain medication and anti-noninflammatory’s, like ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief.  In some cases, your doctor or dentist can prescribe stronger medications.

  1. 8 Soft Diet

Blended or soft foods allow the jaw to relax temporarily.  Avoid hard, chewy or crunchy foods.  You should also avoid stretching your jaw to bite into food like apples.

  1. Moist Heat

Wrap a hot water bottle or heat pack in a warm, moist towel for temporary relief and to improve function.  As with anything that is heated, be careful that you don’t burn yourself.

  1. Ice

As with the above, ice can bring temporary relief by numbing your jaw.  When using ice, you should never place it directly on your skin; instead wrap it in a clean cloth and you should not use it more than 10-15 minutes at a time.

  1. Side Sleeping

Using a pillow for support between your shoulder and neck, side sleeping is another way you can relax your jaw.

Here at The Dental Center at Easton, our goal is to keep you healthy.  If you or someone you know is suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, call us for an appointment and we’ll help get you on the fast track to healing.

Preparing Your Child for their First Dental Appointment

October 8th, 2014

For a parent, not much is more stressful than watching your child attempt a difficult challenge for the first time.  That first step, the first word, that first round of shots and even that first dental appointment.  Here at Easton Dentist, we want to make that first appointment as stress-free as possible.  Below are some tips to prepare your child (and you!) for that first appointment.

  1. Talk about it…

…and talk about it often!  New experiences are significantly less frightening when a child has been familiarized with what is going to happen.

  1. Be Calm!

Children take their cues from their parents.  If you’re calm, it will help them be calm, too.

  1. Answer Questions Positively

Your child is guaranteed to have questions.  Explaining what to expect in positive terms will lead to a familiarity that will carry over.

  1. Beware of Your Word Choice

The majority of dental check-ups don’t hurt so be very careful not to use that word!  Even saying “it won’t hurt” will place the word in a child’s mind when they may not have even thought of that at all!

  1. Read a book with a positive dental experience

Again, familiarity is key.  A picture book that takes a friendly character through a standard dental appointment will introduce your child to the procedures they’re likely to encounter and help alleviate their fears.

New experiences can be scary for anyone.  The dentists at Easton Dentist want your child to have a smooth and fearless first visit.  Contact us today when you need a pediatric dentist and we’ll help you get your child on the path to great dental health.

6 Things You Consume That Damage Your Teeth

September 26th, 2014

Since childhood, everyone has been told that sugar rots your teeth.  While this is true, there are many other damaging foods out that that you should be aware of.  Let’s see if you can guess what they are.

  1. Ice

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?  No sugar, no additives and it’s made of water so what could go wrong here?  That chomping you’re doing.  Crunching hard substances can lead to small cracks in your teeth and damage enamel.

  1. Citric Fruits

Ever have one of those pesky mouth sores and drink some orange juice?  OUCH.  Over time, constant exposure to acidic fruits can erode enamel which can lead to tooth decay.

  1. Coffee

Bet you’ve heard this one, too.  In their natural form, coffee and tea can be a healthy choice.  Once a person starts adding sugar and creamer, that healthy factor takes a nose dive.  Added to that, coffee and tea can stain your teeth and lead to dry mouth.  Make sure you’re drinking lots of water if this is your beverage of choice.

  1. Sticky, dried fruits

These are a dentists’ nightmare!  Sticky foods stick to your teeth longer and some fruits contain high amounts of natural sugar.  Make sure to drink lots of water, rinse and floss regularly if these are something in your regular diet.

  1. Alcohol

Heavy alcohol use can lead to a myriad of problems.  Dry mouth, dehydration, mouth cancer and gum disease are a few things you can find on the list of problems.

  1. Sports Drinks

On the surface, these drinks are a healthy, post workout choice.  Flip over the label and you might be surprised at what you find.  Most sports drinks label sugar as one of their top ingredients.  Next time you grab one, look for one that is low in sugar.  When in doubt, water is the best choice!

Our Easton Dentists in Columbus want to make mouths happy.  Schedule your next appointment with us and we’ll get you on track to make your gorgeous smile even brighter.

How to Choose the Best Toothbrush

September 15th, 2014

We’ve all been there.  Standing in the dental aisle and staring.  What kind of toothbrush should I get?  I like these little rubber things but do I need a soft or medium bristle?  Do I really want to pay that much for something that scrubs my teeth?  It’s inevitable.  We close our eyes, play a quick game of eeny meeny miny moe and grab a brush.

No one likes that feeling.  Here at Easton Dentist, we want to alleviate your struggles and have come up with a few tips and tricks for picking that new toothbrush.

Manual vs. Electric

This particular argument comes down to your preference.  If using a toothbrush that whistles while it works reminds you to brush your teeth every day, go for it!  Same goes for the toothbrushes with chunky handles – kids and adults with arthritis find these handles easier to grip. Studies show that the best way to brush your teeth is using a back and forth or rotary motion on the tooth itself.

Soft vs. Hard Bristles

Survey says: Medium!  When brushing your teeth, you should be careful not to brush too hard as it can erode the enamel.  The same is true for the bristles on your brush.  Some people prefer the harder bristle brushes, saying that they give more of a clean feeling.  Be careful, though, as this can also erode that enamel as well as damage your gums and root surface.  If your brush is too soft, then you’re not going to get the job done.  For most people, that soft bristle brush is going to be the winning choice.  For extra protection, check that the bristles on your brush have rounded tips.

Ok, but what about all those shapes on that brush?  Do I need those?

Besides needing to use a toothbrush, there isn’t any particular kind of toothbrush you should get.  Toothbrushes that are being manufactured now are being crafted with longer bristles to help get those hard to reach places.  Just be aware of the size of the head of the brush; your brush should maneuver around your mouth easily.  For adults, that size is about a half inch wide and one inch tall.

Still lost?  Ask the experts!  Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval.  Brushes with this seal have undergone rigorous testing to ensure that the safety and quality of your toothbrush.

Schedule your next appointment with Easton Dentists and we’ll be happy to guide you on your road to success.