Don’t Overdo the Sports Drinks

Jun 9th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 9th, 2018

As the summer heats up, you may find that you’re tempted to load up on sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade. These beverages taste great, but they shouldn’t be your go-to drink. In fact, if you’re not engaged in the strenuous physical activity for which these drinks were designed, you should avoid them entirely.

In addition to the fact that sports drinks often contain a lot of sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients, they tend to be very acidic. The acid in these beverages can destroy the enamel on your teeth. In fact, just five consecutive days of drinking these acidic beverages can negatively affect your enamel.

As acid destroys your enamel, it makes your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria. As a result, you may experience increased tooth staining, decay, and hypersensitivity. The best way to avoid these dental issues is to do whatever you can to protect your enamel.

If you are set on drinking sports drinks, you should be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking them. Doing so will rinse some of the acid away from your teeth before it can do much damage. In addition, you should brush your teeth about an hour after drinking these beverages. It’s best not to brush your teeth immediately after drinking something acidic because the enamel on your teeth will be in a weakened state and could be brushed away.

We know a nice, cold sports drink is tempting on a hot day, but it’s best not to make a habit of drinking these beverages. Instead, try to primarily drink water.

If you believe your teeth have been damaged by excessive consumption of acidic beverages, give us a call today. We will examine your teeth and give you pointers for reversing damage if possible and preventing damage in the future. We hope you have a great, tooth-healthy summer!

Prevent Enamel Loss

Jan 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jan 30th, 2018

Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects them from wear and tear and prevents them from feeling the temperature extremes of the foods and beverages you eat and drink. If you lose your enamel, your teeth will grow more sensitive and more prone to cavities. There is no way to replace lost enamel, but there are several precautions you can take to prevent enamel loss. By following the tips below, you’ll help to keep your smile healthy for years to come.

1. Avoid acid

By limiting your intake of acidic foods, you can help to prevent enamel erosion. Common acidic culprits include soda and other fizzy drinks, citrus fruits, and juices. When you do choose to consume these acidic items, try to keep them from settling on your teeth. Using a straw or rinsing your mouth with water as you eat or drink can help to keep the acid from eroding your enamel.

2. Be gentle

Brushing your teeth too firmly can lead to enamel erosion. Instead, try to brush gently with a soft toothbrush. You should also wait at least an hour after eating before you brush your teeth. Brushing too soon after a meal can increase your enamel erosion.

3. Assess your overall health

A number of medical conditions can cause enamel erosion. For example, alcoholism, bulimia, and GERD have all been found to result in enamel erosion. This is because each of these conditions causes acid to come into contact with your teeth. If you suffer from any of these conditions, see your doctor immediately.

4. Talk to your dentist

Your dentist can assess the current state of your enamel loss and can help you to develop a plan to prevent further erosion.

Protecting your enamel is an important aspect of maintaining your dental health. Once enamel has been lost, it cannot be replaced. With this in mind, be sure to take all of the precautions you can to prevent enamel erosion.

Avoid These Foods for a Healthier Smile

Jan 30th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jan 30th, 2018

A healthy smile starts with a healthy diet. In addition to making sure your diet contains plenty of nutritious and vitamin-heavy foods, there are a few foods and beverages you ought to avoid as much as possible. Below, you’ll find a list of some cavity-causing culprits and an explanation of why they cause so much damage to teeth.

1. Ice

This might seem like a strange item to top the list. After all, ice is just frozen water, right? That’s true and ice is totally harmless when used to cool a beverage. It only starts to cause problems when people chew on it. Ice is so hard that crunching on it can damage your enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to dental issues, such as chipped teeth and loosened crowns.

2. Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to tooth decay and oral infections, such as gum disease. This is because an excess of alcohol can cause a decrease in the saliva flow to your mouth. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria and provides protection to the soft tissues in your mouth. When you do not have enough saliva, your mouth becomes more prone to dental issues.

3. Bread

Bread might seem pretty harmless, but it can actually cause some real dental issues. The problem is that, as soon as we start chewing bread, our saliva breaks down the starches and almost immediately converts them to sugar. The sticky, sugary substance that bread becomes once we start to chew it can stick to teeth and provide fuel for cavity-causing bacteria.

4. Dried fruits

Although they often seem to be the healthy snack option, dried fruits can actually cause real damage to your teeth. This is because they are full of natural sugars and the juices that would normally work to quickly rinse this sugar from your teeth have been removed during the drying process. As a result extremely sugary dried fruits often stick to our teeth, where they quickly become food for cavity-causing bacteria.

Before you get too concerned, just remember that it all comes down to moderation. We’re not asking you to entirely give up any tooth-damaging food or beverage. Instead, we simply suggest that you limit your intake of these items and that you always follow them up with a thorough cleaning of your teeth. In addition, by following your meals and sweet beverages with water, you can rinse away food particles that could fuel cavity-causing bacteria.

The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping

Mar 3rd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 3rd, 2017

Imagine it’s still winter…not hard to do in Ohio since it changes so quickly… you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

  • Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said! We have had many patients thank us so much for this little tip because it dramatically improves their overall life! Get a little closer…
  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at 614-414-0111.
  • Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
  • Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, many studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!

Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Julie, Kate, or Lindsay for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Your first choice is, believe it or not, us! We may even have a sample we could provide to you at no cost. Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

Cold Sore Solutions That Actually Work

Aug 31st, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Cold Sores

Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, if you’re among the more than 40% of Americans who regularly experience this inflammatory viral nuisance, you know they’re anything but a joy to deal with. You’ve also probably heard of countless ways to deal with them, from over-the-counter remedies to treatment options that span generations. So what really works?

Well, quite honestly what “works” when it comes to cold-sores, is management.  And, specifically, preventing, treating and eliminating the transmission of this most annoying of viruses. Here is how you do it:

Cold Sore Prevention

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is certainly true when it comes to cold sores, so knowing what causes them to surface is key. The number one and number two reasons are a weakened immune system, and exposure to rapidly changing weather. You know what we say here in Ohio: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change! So we know about rapidly changing weather! To tackle the weather, always keep your preferred brand of lip moisturizer with sunscreen on hand, or grab one of our exciting flavors here at your next visit, to protect your lips from weather’s effect on your lips. And, to boost your immune system, be sure to get enough sleep and find ways to combat stress in your life. Also, as with most things in life, what’s good for our waistlines is good for our immune system. Here are some good dietary suggestions for cold sore sufferers:

  1. Eat Raw, Alkalizing Foods: Fruits and vegetables are super-good for you. Eat as many of them as you enjoy.
  2. Beef-up On Cruciferous Vegetables: Clinical studies are beginning to suggest that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale are of great benefit to cold-sore sufferers. If you don’t naturally like eating some of these, then have some fun exploring new spices until you find the one that helps you eat more of these great veggies.
  3. Avoid Arginine: Cold-sores need the amino acid arginine to grow, so if you can limit the excess intake of this amino acid, you may be able to keep frequent outbreaks at bay. Nuts, chocolate, oats, and some protein shakes are high in arginine, and can be major cold-sore triggers. Even if you can’t give it up cold-turkey (C’mon, we need our chocolate!), even reducing the amount can make a huge difference!

By merely eating well and getting regular rest, you can help yourself avoid several outbreaks a year.

Cold Sore Treatment and Remedies

Preventing a cold sore from appearing is indeed your best medicine, and if you pay attention to what your body tells you, it is possible to dramatically reduce outbreaks. When a cold-sore does gift you with its presence, though, here are a few things you can do to minimize its pain, size and duration.

  1. Ice It! At the first sign of tingling, get thee to an ice cube, wrap it in a paper-towel, and place it on your lip where you feel the cold-sore coming on. Often two back-to-back applications of an ice cube until it melts can dramatically reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies the sore. This is definitely worth the up-front hassle, especially if you have a big day coming in the near future. You don’t wamt the extra burden or discomfort when you should be focusing on what really matters.
  2. Slather It? Not Now, But Later. Cold sores love warm, moist environments, and this is precisely the environment you present to a cold-sore when you slather it in cream for days on end.  You’re best to let it dry out to the point where it is no longer painful, and then begin applying cream or lip balm to minimize splitting. As the cold sore resolves itself, it’s best to keep your lips moist to prevent bleeding, which also aids in the healing at this stage.

Eliminate Transmission of Cold Sores

Avoid sharing food, utensils, towels, toothbrushes (always a good idea to avoid), or any other item that could come in contact with your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid touching the cold sore and then later touching your eyes or genital area.  In fact, your best course of action is to avoid touching your mouth at all during an outbreak, and not again until after the scab has dropped off completely, AND healed over. This can take some weeks, as you know. Kissing, and other aspects of intimacy that involve your mouth should be avoided entirely. Wash your hands often – this cannot be stressed enough to avoid spreading the virus.

Having a cold sore is not the end of the world. Nine out of ten of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, so there is no need to hide in the closet. Understand your triggers, find a solution that works, don’t spread the virus, and stay healthy!

5 Drinks That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Jul 14th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

an assortment of drinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people today track their food and liquid intake in an effort to lose weight and be healthier, but how many people actually consider how those same factors affect the health of their teeth? After all, the teeth are the first part of the body to come in contact with any food or beverage that you consume. Before a food can enter into your digestive system, it first has to pass through your mouth. So why not consider the implications that food and drinks have on your teeth?

If you’re wondering about foods that affect your oral health, check out this past article. Today, however, we’re going to look at the 5 worst drinks for your teeth. What makes a drink less than ideal for oral health are its sugar content, acidity level, and staining probabilities. Let’s take a look at the five worst offenders.

Coffee

Since so many people begin their day with a cup or more of coffee, you’re probably disappointed to see this on the list. It’s not the caffeine that makes this liquid an offender, rather the major issue with coffee is its staining power. The dark brown color of coffee is notorious for turning teeth yellow over time. If you’re someone who takes their coffee with cream and sugar, that doesn’t help either. Adding sugar to an already acidic drink only makes it worse for your teeth.

Tea

Much like coffee, the big problem with tea is its dark color. Black teas and other dark blends can cause the same staining issues as coffee, turning your pearly whites a shade of yellow. If you’re going to enjoy tea, try lighter blends to avoid staining your teeth and try not to add sugar so you don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities.

Alcohol

Whether your beverage of choice is beer, wine, or liquor, it doesn’t really matter; all three are offenders for oral health. Beer is highly acidic, wine is acidic and stains teeth, and liquor is acidic and potentially too sugary when mixed with sodas or juices. No matter how you enjoy your alcohol, you’re going to expose your teeth to acid, sugar, or staining agents.

Soda

Soda is one of the worst offenders on the list because it combines high acidity, loads of sugar, and sometimes a dark color that causes staining all in one beverage. If you want to increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and yellowing teeth, simply continue drinking soda.

Energy & Sports Drinks

If you think that reaching for an energy drink or sports drink is a better option, think again. These beverages, whether in powder form or canned are just as bad as soda. High acidity and sugar levels harm your teeth and offer little benefit to your body in general.

You might be wondering what you’re supposed to drink to keep your teeth healthy. To be completely truthful, as boring as it sounds, water is your best option. Water is typically pH balanced for the body, meaning it isn’t too acidic or too alkaline, it does not contain any sugar, and its clear color means you won’t have to worry about staining.

We realize however that you are probably going to indulge in your favorite beverages from time to time. Here are a few tips that you can use to minimize the damage done to your teeth:

-Drink these beverages through a straw. This helps transport the liquid to the back of your mouth and avoids direct contact with your teeth.

-Sip water in between drinks of these beverages or follow up the beverage with a glass of water to wash away lingering acid and sugar.

-Brush and floss at least 2x a day to remove built up sugar and plaque that lead to tooth decay and cavities.

If you’ve already suffered the effects of consuming too many of these drinks, Easton Dentist is here to help correct any damage that’s been done. Whether you need professional teeth whitening, cavity repair, or simply a good cleaning, we can help you restore your healthy smile. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Is Xylitol Good For Me?

May 11th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

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.

Acid Reflux And Tooth Sensitivity

Dec 21st, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

As if acid reflux wasn’t painful enough, now your teeth are aching. Are acid reflux and tooth sensitivity related? We have the answer.

Do you have acid reflux? Common symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation within the chest and throat, dysphagia, sore or hoarse throat, the feeling of a blockage or lump within the throat, and of course the acid reflux itself; or sour regurgitation of ingested foods and liquids that comes up with a burning sensation. While this illness has much to do with heartburn, did you know it could also have a staggering effect on the health and wellness of your teeth? We’re looking at how acid reflux and tooth sensitivity are related.

Acid reflux is caused by a backup of bile or stomach acids that make their way into the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort along the way. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 7-million Americans suffer from acid reflux and may not realize the damage it is doing to their teeth until decay has already become severe. One way to ensure the health of your teeth is to inform your dentist of any medical conditions you may have, including acid reflux. This will help your dentist best determine which procedures and medications you should be prescribed. He may also be able to help you develop a safer diet for your stomach, and your teeth.

Other ways to avoid the negative effects of acid reflux is to avoid ingesting acidic foods and beverages, wash your mouth out with water immediately after reflux and avoid brushing your teeth for at least one hour after an acid reflux experience. These will help you stand on guard against this frustrating illness.

Contact The Dental Center to discuss your relief options from severe tooth aches and sensitivity. Call today (614) 414-0111 to schedule an appointment.

Eating For Dental Health – Which Foods Help, Which Foods Hurt

Dec 7th, 2015
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

What foods should you be eating for your dental health? We’re talking about dental diets – which foods help and which foods to avoid.

When it comes to your health, you’re well aware that the foods you put into your body have a direct impact on your overall wellbeing – but what about your teeth? What you eat matters, and there is a distinct line between what food is good for your teeth, and which ones will take a quick toll on your dental health. While it’s common knowledge that too much candy and sugar are harmful to your teeth, there may be some foods on the list that surprise you. We’re looking at which foods to eat for good dental health, and which ones to avoid.

Foods For Healthy Teeth
On top of keeping up with your daily brushing and flossing, if you’re looking to keep your teeth healthy and strong, these are the foods for you:

Milk. It’s no secret that calcium is great for your teeth. Not only will it help keep the teeth and jaw strong, it will also help guard against gum disease.

Almonds. In a well-portioned diet, almonds are perfect for helping keep teeth healthy. These delicious nuts contain both protein and calcium, and are low in sugar.

Strawberries. This delicious fruit contains vitamin C, which produces gum strengthening collagen. Just remember to floss afterwards.

Cheese. Another great source of calcium is cheese. Furthermore, studies indicate that cheese will raise the pH balance in the mouth and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth
When it comes to snacking, there are certain foods that should be avoided in order to maintain great dental health. Here are some foods you should swap out of your diet.

Ice. It may seem fun and satisfying to crunch an ice cube in half, but this habit is detrimental to your oral health. While ice doesn’t contain any sugars, chewing on these rock hard morsels can actually damage your tooth enamel.

Lemons. Lemons and limes contain a pH level of 2, meaning these delicious drink toppers are strong enough to erode your tooth enamel. This can lead to teeth yellowing and sensitivity.

Hard Fruits And Vegetables. Vegetables and fruits are fantastic for your diet, but hard or crunchy fruits such as apples can actually damage sensitive teeth. Avoid taking an eager bite into the side of hard or crunchy foods. Instead, ingest such foods in small, bite-sized pieces.

Sodas. Sodas are notoriously full of sugar, and are terrible for your teeth. Even diet sodas will wreak havoc on the integrity of your teeth. If you can’t kick this deliciously bad habit, try sipping your soda through a straw. The farther away this carbonated beverage gets from your teeth, the better.

Corn On The Cob. Corn on the cob can cause some unfortunate damage to fillings and orthodontic wires attached to braces, as well as damage dentures. Don’t worry; you can still enjoy this delicious food, just not on the cob.

Looking for a dentist in the Columbus Ohio area? Come to The Dental Center at Easton Town Center. We offer restorative dentistry, emergency care, and accept a wide variety of dental insurance plans. Drop in, or schedule an appointment today.