Why Teeth Yellow and What You Can Do About It

Jun 24th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 24th, 2016

One of the most common aesthetic complaints that patients have regarding their smile is the color of their teeth. We are used to seeing celebrities and TV actors with perfect, pearly white smiles and come to expect that our own smiles should look the same way. It makes sense then that patients feel frustrated by the yellowing of their teeth and wonder what they can do to fix it.

What Causes Teeth To Yellow

The truth is that we will all experience yellowing teeth as part of the natural aging process. Some people experience it more than others, but none the less, it’s not an uncommon condition. As we age, the outer protective layer of our teeth, the enamel, thins and becomes more translucent. The inner, living layer of our teeth, the dentin, also diminishes with time and has a tendency to yellow with age. Both the thinning of enamel and the shrinking and yellowing of the dentin are what cause teeth to appear yellow as we get older.

What You Can Do To Prevent Yellow Teeth

As we discussed above, there are two layers of the teeth: enamel and dentin. Your teeth’s enamel can become discolored and stained; this is called extrinsic discoloration, while intrinsic discoloration is related to aging dentin. Preventing yellow teeth needs to be addressed both extrinsically and intrinsically.

Addressing the discoloration of tooth enamel is fairly easy. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your enamel from becoming stained and yellow in color:

-Stop smoking

-Cut back or eliminate acidic and dark colored beverages (coffee, soda, wine, tea)

-Maintain a good oral health routine, including flossing to remove plaque build up

-Drink water after eating brightly colored fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, etc.

-Use OTC whitening products

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for correcting discoloration of dentin. This living tissue is prone to the aging process. You can, however, take steps to prevent premature aging. Here’s how:

-Treat bruxism (teeth grinding) which can cause your enamel and dentin to wear and age at an accelerated rate

-Protect teeth from trauma by wearing a mouth guard when playing sports

-Nourish your body with a healthy diet and manage stress

If you are concerned with the color of your teeth, have your dentist determine if the discoloration is intrinsic or extrinsic. There are many whitening solutions that can help address extrinsic discoloration and restore a brighter smile. In the case that your discoloration is caused by intrinsic factors, don’t despair. Take steps now to make sure it doesn’t become worse and that you aren’t doing anything to cause premature aging of your teeth.

Do you want to have a brighter and whiter smile? Contact Easton Dentists today and schedule a consultation to see how we can help you get the smile you deserve!

 

 

The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

Jun 7th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 13th, 2016

plaque buildup before and afterYou may have heard mention of the terms plaque and tartar when discussing dental care. You may have even heard the terms used interchangeably and because of that, you assumed that they were the same thing. The truth is that there is a difference between these terms and what they mean for your oral health. Let’s take a look.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is the sticky, colorless residue that builds up on your teeth and around the gum line. This sticky substance is constantly forming on your teeth and is made up of food particles, saliva, and sugar. When plaque builds up it will contribute to the grimy or gritty feeling you get on your teeth in between brushing. Even after brushing and flossing, plaque will begin to form on your teeth within hours.

What is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as Calculus, is simply built up plaque that has hardened over time. It is typically yellow in color and very hard and porous. When plaque has not been properly removed from the teeth, it turns into this stubborn, hard to remove substance. The only way to remove tartar is to visit your dentist and have him/her remove it for you using dental instruments. Tartar that is untreated puts you at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

How Can I Prevent Plaque and Tartar?

The best way to protect your mouth, teeth, and gums is to brush twice daily and floss at least once a day. Brushing will remove plaque on the surface of the teeth; however, floss is needed to remove plaque buildup between the teeth and around the gum line. You should also visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings every six months.

If you have tooth crowding and find that even with brushing and flossing you still have a significant amount of plaque buildup between dental cleanings, you should consider visiting an orthodontist. Crooked or crowded teeth can make keeping your teeth plaque-free even more challenging. An orthodontist will be able to recommend a plan of action to straighten and fix the crowding of your teeth.

Follow these tips to prevent plaque from turning into tartar. If you’re due for a professional teeth cleaning, contact us today to schedule your appointment. Whether you have plaque or tartar, the best step you can take in preventing tooth decay and gum disease is to have your teeth cleaned and begin practicing good oral hygiene. Let Easton Dental clinic help restore your mouth to a clean, beautiful smile!

The Benefits Of Flossing

May 26th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 13th, 2016

When you visit the dentist, there’s one dental care question you’re sure to be asked; “Are you flossing?” Many patients sheepishly admit they’re falling short while others fib and ensure their hygienist that they floss religiously. The truth is, your dental hygienist will most likely be able to tell if you are being honest about your flossing habits or not.

Many individuals are guilty of skipping out on flossing. As your oral health expert, we don’t want you to feel guilty; we want you to understand the benefits of flossing so that you will take up the habit out of your own free will. Being informed of how flossing helps your oral health is the first step in wanting to start the practice.

So what exactly are the benefits of flossing? Let’s look at the main and most obvious gains you get when you decide to floss your teeth every day.

 

  • A cleaner mouth– Brushing is great, but it will only get you so far. Toothbrushes are designed to help you physically clean the surface of your teeth but they cannot adequately reach between teeth. Flossing allows you to remove left over food debris, bacteria, and plaque buildup that your toothbrush cannot reach, leaving you with a cleaner feeling mouth.

 

  • Healthier teeth and gums– Flossing helps rid your mouth of plaque, food particles, and bacteria that can cause gum infections, cavities, and tooth decay. Removing plaque on a daily basis by practicing flossing prevents the plaque from turning into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove and will lead to issues such as gingivitis and cavities. Flossing is one more step you can take in keeping your mouth healthy.

 

  • A whiter smile– Plaque buildup is not only detrimental to your oral health, it also affects the appearance of your teeth. When plaque builds up, it attracts stains and makes your teeth appear discolored. Whether from the food you eat or the drinks you drink, too much plaque can mean a dull, stained smile. Flossing helps remove plaque and keeps your smile looking brighter, longer.

 

  • Fresher breath– When bacteria reside in the mouth, they cause bad breath. Plaque and food particles are a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria can be reduced with flossing by ridding your teeth of plaque buildup and leftover food debris. If you struggle with bad breath, flossing can help you move towards fresher breath.

Flossing might be a tedious habit to develop but once you get in the practice of flossing, you will reap the benefits. Not only will flossing keep your mouth healthy, it will also save you money in dental treatments that can be avoided by practicing good oral hygiene.

At Easton Dentists, we want you to know that we have your best interest in mind. If you have questions about flossing or would like to be shown the proper technique, ask one of our dental professionals at your next appointment. Contact us today to schedule your next visit!

Is Xylitol Good For Me?

May 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists Jun 13th, 2016

You may have heard this funny sounding word or saw it listed in the ingredients of a pack of gum you recently bought. In fact, with nutritionist pushing for consumers to read food labels and for food manufacturers to be more transparent, you’re probably beginning to notice all kinds of ingredients that you may have never heard of before. Xylitol sounds anything but familiar, so what is it and more importantly, is it good for you?

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, much like sorbitol, mannitol, or erythritol. It is derived from the carbohydrate xylose and occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. When produced for commercial purposes, xylitol is extracted from one of two sources; corn cobs or birch wood.

What is xylitol used for?

Since xylitol is naturally sweet and contains 1/3 fewer calories than sugar, it is often used as a sugar substitute in chewing gums, mints, and other items such as “sugar-free” candies. Xylitol is also found in some oral care products such as tooth paste and mouth rinse.

Is xylitol good for me?

There are mixed results as to whether xylitol is beneficial to humans beyond the recommended serving of 6-10 grams per day. However, in small doses xylitol has shown to help prevent tooth decay and cavities because it does not convert to acid in the mouth like sugar does.

Although xylitol has proven to benefit human’s oral health when consumed in small doses, any amount of xylitol is toxic to dogs. If your dog eats any amount of xylitol, you should take them to the vet immediately for treatment.

How can xylitol benefit my oral health?

Xylitol has shown to increase salivary flow, helping keep the mouth hydrated and washing away harmful acids that break down tooth enamel. It is also useful in helping prevent plaque buildup which in turn helps prevent cavities.

Should I add xylitol to my diet?

Before you add anything new to your diet or oral health care routine, it’s best to talk to your doctor and/or dentist to learn their recommendation. While xylitol does show some promising oral health benefits, work with your doctor and dentist to determine if it is the right option for you.

If you have dental care concerns about cavities or tooth decay, having regular cleanings and exams with a professional dentist is the first step to improving your oral health. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Fluoride and Your Dental Health

Apr 26th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

fluoride trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you went to the dentist as a child, you probably remember the fluoride treatments that the hygienist gave towards the end of your appointment. You may have questioned why you weren’t allowed to eat anything for the next thirty minutes but it’s doubtful that you questioned the role that fluoride plays in your dental health. Now as an adult you may be wondering what fluoride is and how it helps keep our mouths healthy.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in some foods and in most cases, is also found in your city water.

What Role Does Fluoride Play in Dental Health?

The outermost layer of our teeth, our enamel, is made up of tiny crystals that are fortified with minerals such as calcium, fluoride, and phosphate. The foods that we eat, particularly sugar and grains, can cause acid to be produced as it breaks down the food. Those acids can then affect our enamel, causing mineral loss, also referred to as demineralization.

When tooth enamel suffers from demineralization, it leaves your teeth more prone to bacteria build up and tooth decay. Through our diet and through dental treatments and fluoride enhanced products, we are able to supplement lost fluoride and aid in the remineralization of our tooth enamel. Strong, healthy tooth enamel is the first line of defense against tooth decay and also tooth sensitivity.

Who Can Benefit From Fluoride?

It was once believed that only children with developing teeth and bones could benefit from topical fluoride treatments. Today, however, it has been shown that fluoride aids adults in the remineralization process and is beneficial for their oral health as well.

Do I Need More Fluoride?

Most over the counter toothpastes and mouth rinses are fortified with fluoride and provide sufficient supplementation for adults. To gain the most benefit, try brushing with fluoride toothpaste or using a fluoride mouth rinse 1-2x a day.

Be careful with children, especially those under the age of 6, as they do not require the same amount of fluoride as adults. Use only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for young children and monitor their exposure to fluoride in other sources to keep exposure at a safe and beneficial level.

At Easton Dentists, we believe that preventative care, which includes regular dental checkups, is one of the most important factors in maintaining your oral health. If you’re ready to schedule a visit at our Columbus Dental Center, contact us today. We’re here to help you move towards greater oral health!

Everything You Need to Know About Sealants

Apr 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists May 6th, 2016

Maybe you’ve recently taken your child or teenager to the dentist and it was recommended that your child get sealants put on their teeth. Now you may be wondering, what exactly are sealants and how will they benefit your child’s oral health? We will explore these questions and more in today’s post.

What are sealants?

A sealant is a topical, plastic coating that can be safely applied to the chewing surface of the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to the pre-molars and molars of children between the ages of 6 and 14, but can also be used on adults.

What do sealants do?

Teeth, especially back teeth, have various pits and grooves on their chewing surface. Food particles, plaque and bacteria can collect in those grooves and cause tooth decay. A sealants job is to protect the tooth by covering the pits and grooves and preventing that build up from ever occurring. In this way, sealants help prevent tooth decay and prolong the need for dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, or caps.

Who should get sealants?

As we mentioned above, sealants are typically recommended for children and teenagers who are at risk for developing cavities. Once a child has their pre-molars or molars, applying sealants to these back teeth can help prevent cavities from occurring and keep their teeth healthy, longer. Children tend to have pits and grooves in their teeth that are deeper and less calcified than adult teeth, making them the perfect fit for sealants.

Does insurance cover sealants?

There are many insurance companies that cover sealants for children, up to a certain age. It is best to check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover sealants and if so, what exclusions there might be surrounding the treatment.

Do sealants hurt?

Having sealants applied is completely painless. The teeth being treated will be cleansed, dried, and prepped before the sealant is painted on. Once the paint hardens, the treatment is complete. It is very quick and does not cause any discomfort.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to make sure the sealants have not been damaged or worn off. Sealants can always be re-applied if needed, however insurance may not cover a second application.

At Easton Dentists we recommend sealants as part of your oral preventative care, especially for children. So, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child to have sealants applied, contact us today and we’d be happy to get you an appointment!

 

What To Do For Dry Mouth

Mar 24th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 25th, 2016

If you ask any dental clinic Columbus Ohio doctor about dry mouth, the answer always comes down to saliva production. Complaints of a dry mouth are not uncommon among patients that come to Easton Dentists, or any dentist for that matter. We hear this concern quite a bit and would like to address the issue so that you can get on with your life without having to worry about the effects of dry mouth.

dental clinic columbus ohioFirst of all, how do you know if you have a dry mouth? If you do have dry mouth, you probably don’t need this question answered. However, some common symptoms include a dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst or feeling the need to constantly wet your mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and sides of the mouth, and bad breathe.

Unfortunately, dry mouth leads to more than an uncomfortable feeling or bad breathe. People who have dry mouth and do not take measures to correct the issue are more likely to experience dental problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even oral infections.

Saliva plays an important role in both your oral and overall health, so not having enough of it can be problematic. A few ways that saliva keeps our bodies and teeth healthy include:

-Helping to moisten and cleanse our mouths after eating and in between meals

-Promoting digestion (there are enzymes found in saliva that break down food before it moves to the stomach)

-Preventing infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth

When patients do not have enough saliva production, there are many factors that might be causing the issue. Some factors you can control, such as the lifestyle choices listed below. Other factors such as disease and infection require you to work with your doctor to address the root cause and make adjustments where necessary.

Dental Clinic Columbus Ohio & Lifestyle Factors

-Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine

-Smoking

-Chewing tobacco

-Breathing through your mouth

Certain medications are also known to cause dry mouth. Medications used to treat depression, anxiety, allergies, and common colds are among the worst offenders. If you suspect that a medication might be contributing to your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

If you have a dry mouth and it is not caused by disease or medication, what can you do? We give our patients the following list of suggestions when talking about treatment for dry mouth. Try implementing some of these habits and see if your dry mouth doesn’t improve.

What You Can Do

-Use a fluoride toothpaste

-Rinse with fluoride instead of an alcohol based products

-Make a habit of breathing through your nose

-Chew on sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints

-Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals

-Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco

If you implement these changes, your issues with dry mouth should resolve fairly quickly. If you continue to struggle with dry mouth and have already talked to your doctor concerning your overall health, schedule an appointment with a dental clinic Columbus Ohio provider such as Easton Dentist. Our staff will be happy to examine your mouth and provide additional advice on how you can cope with dry mouth.

Contact us todayto schedule an appointment!

Should I Get an Electronic Toothbrush or a Manual Toothbrush?

Mar 9th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

If you walk into your Columbus dentist office, you will probably see a model electronic toothbrush display somewhere during your visit.

columbus dentistMaybe you’ve been considering using an electronic toothbrush but want to know if it’s the right choice for you. Let’s look at some of the benefits of both the electronic toothbrush, as well as the manual toothbrush and then you can decide for yourself which is better.

The Manual Toothbrush

  • The manual toothbrush model has been around for decades. There really isn’t much to it besides the obvious handle and bristles. Some of the benefits of using a manual toothbrush include:
  • More control over exerted pressure- with a manual brush, you are more easily able to monitor how much pressure you are applying when brushing your teeth. Remember that brushing your teeth should not require a lot of exertion and the pressure you apply should be fairly light.
  • Brushing too hard can lead to the breakdown of tooth enamel and lead to sensitive teeth. Convenient size- manual brushes are small and easy to store. Due to their slender handle, most brushes will fit in any toothbrush case for travel. You don’t have to worry about how to store your brush, as most holders for the bathroom easily accommodate a manual brush.
  • Inexpensive- not only are manual brushes less expensive to purchase, they are also less expensive to maintain. You do not need to worry about buying a charging station or batteries with a manual brush. In fact, most dentist offices provide you with a free brush at each six month cleaning appointment!
  • Lots of styles- manual brushes come in a wide variety of colors and styles. You can choose the type of bristle and head size you want for a more customized approach to brushing.

The Electronic Toothbrush

Electronic toothbrushes starting to gain popularity in the 1990’s and have become mainstream since. With electronic brushes, the bristles rotate and perform the cleaning motion for you. Some benefits of electronic brushes include:

  • Smaller head- the head size of most electronic brushes is smaller than that of a standard manual brush. The smaller head size helps you more easily reach difficult or awkward areas of the mouth.
  • Does the work for you- like we mentioned above, the electronic toothbrush performs the majority of the movement for you. The oscillating bristles allow you to move the brush from tooth to tooth without having to perform much movement on your end.
  • Work better for some people- electronic brushes are more suited for some individuals than others. In particular, children or those who have motor issues. Children tend to do better with electronic brushes because they make brushing fun. Individuals who have a difficult time moving a brush around in their mouth due to motor issues or arthritis also do better with electronic brushes.

Now that you know the benefits of each, the choice is yours! Remember however, manual brushes work just as well as electronic brushes so long as you are brushing for the recommended amount of time (2-3 minutes) and are using proper brushing technique.

If you have more questions about the difference in brushes, just ask us! Call our Columbus dentist office (614) 414-0111 or simply ask a member of the staff next time you’re in. We are always happy to answer your questions and want you to be able to make the best decision based on your needs.

What Is Tooth Enamel?

Mar 4th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

You may have heard your dentist talk about tooth enamel but do you know what he/she was referring to? We’re going to discuss the important role that tooth enamel plays in your dental health so you can understand how to better take care of your teeth.

dental clinic columbus ohioWhat is Enamel? For starters, tooth enamel can be defined as the highly-mineralized, hard protective outer covering of the teeth. When you look at your teeth in the mirror, what you are seeing is tooth enamel.

Enamel protects the teeth from a variety of factors such as the force of mastication (chewing), and the varying temperatures of the foods and beverages we eat and drink.

Serving as an insulator to the nerves in the teeth, enamel helps us enjoy eating and drinking different foods without pain.

What happens when tooth enamel is damaged? Unfortunately, tooth enamel has no living cells which means that once it is damaged it cannot be repaired.

This is why it is so important to understand the role enamel plays in your oral health and to take steps to maintain the enamel that you do have. If you’re concerned about your dental health, contact our Ohio urgent dental care office.

Steps to Protect Your Tooth Enamel

Even though tooth enamel cannot be regrown or repaired without the use of bonding or a crown, you can take certain steps and modify your behavior in ways that will help you to keep the enamel you do have strong and functioning properly.

  • Avoid drinking high acid, sugary drinks.
  • We hate to break it to you, but we are specifically talking about soda (regular and diet) and fruit juice. Both of these beverages contain highly acidic and sugary ingredients which are the biggest culprits for eating away at healthy tooth enamel. Sports drinks and energy drinks should be avoided for the same reasons.
  • Consume citrus or other acidic foods in moderation. Although citrus foods such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are good for you, they still contain high levels of acid which is an enemy of enamel. If you choose to eat these foods, do so in moderation. You can also try eating these foods first and following with other less acidic foods to help cut down on the acid leftover in your mouth.
  • Chew sugarless gum after eating. Saliva helps protect your enamel by coating the teeth and moving acid and other particles of food out of the mouth and into the stomach. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and helps this process even further.
  • Address health concerns. Remember, health problems such as acid reflux, gastrointestinal disorders, and other issues may be causing trouble for your oral health. Get these issues addressed as soon as possible to help protect your enamel from being exposed to excess acid.
  • Be careful what you chew. Once enamel is chipped or cracked, it cannot be restored. For this reason it is important that you do not chomp on hard items such as hard candy or ice.

Our dental clinic Columbus Ohio staff care of your tooth enamel care. It may not sound like a high priority but it is something that you should take seriously. It isn’t until your enamel becomes damaged that you will notice the nasty side effects, so take every precaution to protect your enamel while you can.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, that may be a sign that you have damaged tooth enamel that needs to be addressed by a dentist.

Contact The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today at 614-414-0111. We can set up a consultation with Dr. Gilmer to inspect your tooth enamel.

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth

Feb 29th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 11th, 2016

Brushing your teeth is part of your everyday routine (at least we hope) and probably doesn’t seem like a difficult task.

dentist columbus ohioYou might think that you know how to properly brush your teeth but have you ever been taught the appropriate technique? After all, proper brushing and flossing can help prevent bad breath, cavities, and other dental issues that can cost you money down the road.

We have outlined the steps you need to take to make sure you’re getting the most benefit from brushing your teeth:

  1. First, choose a soft bristled tooth brush that fits your mouth. The head of your brush should be small enough that you can reach all areas of your mouth easily.
  2. Set a timer for two minutes or simply watch the clock to make sure you are spending at least a full two minutes brushing your teeth.
  3. Place your tooth brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and move the brush in a back & forth motion, using short strokes.
  4. Brush the outer surfaces of your top teeth, then the outer surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  5. Brush the inner surfaces of your top teeth, then the inner surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  6. Brush the chewing surfaces of your top teeth, then the chewing surfaces of your bottom teeth.
  7. Tilt your tooth brush vertically to brush behind your front teeth and then do the same to brush behind your bottom teeth. Brush your tongue to remove any bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Our dentist Columbus Ohio offices can help you improve your brushing techniques. Simply get in touch with us and we’ll help you make an appointment.

If you follow these steps, you should easily be able to effectively clean all of your teeth. Remember to floss your teeth at least once a day in addition to brushing. Flossing teeth helps remove hard-to-reach food particles and plaque that builds up in between your teeth and can cause tooth decay and other oral problems.

Here at The Dental Center we recommend flossing your teeth in the evening following your brushing routine and after you’re done eating for the day. In order to make sure your tooth brush is effective, replace your brush every 3-4 months or before if there are visible signs of wear such as bent bristles.

We also recommend that you replace your tooth brush following an illness like the flu or a cold, as bacteria can get on your toothbrush and possibly cause reinfection.

Finally, in order to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth, visit your dentist for a routine cleaning every 6 months. Routine cleanings are important for removing built up plaque and checking for oral issues like cavities, gum disease, and other problems that can pop up between dental visits.

To schedule your next cleaning, contact our dentist Columbus office today!