How Apples are Good for Your Teeth

Oct 5th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 5th, 2018

Good for my teeth

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19 th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says …

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay! Schedule an appointment today!

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

Jul 23rd, 2018
Easton Dentists Jul 23rd, 2018

Ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different.

You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

 

1. Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.

 

2. Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.

 

3. Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining. If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

 

Alternatives!

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about some sparkling water or plain water infused with fresh fruit?

When you do drink soda, make sure to rinse with water afterwards. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay

Apr 11th, 2018
Easton Dentists Apr 11th, 2018

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities.

Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.

Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy.

Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy.

Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread,cereal, pasta and crackers.

The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur. For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:
– Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches
– Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal
– Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages
– Swish with water after meals and snacks
– Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush twice a day)

And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay!

Make an APPOINTMENT today!

Diet And Dental Health

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Good dental health starts with nutrition and diet. What you eat and drink can affect not only your weight and overall health but also your dental health. Taking good care of your teeth and involves more than just brushing and flossing your teeth every day.

It goes without saying that eating sugary foods and drinking dark beverages can damage your teeth, but there’s plenty to understand about diet and dental health. Certain foods can accelerate the level of decay, leading to bad breath (halitosis), caries (cavities) and other dental problems. On the other hand, other foods can improve your oral health by helping to limit decay over time.

Which foods to eat

When choosing a diet that will promote both dental and overall health, bear in mind that there are plenty of foods out there that can help you achieve your goal. For the best results, you will need to take note of foods that will help you avoid a host of dental issues while also helping you to increase your energy and manage your weight.

Research has established that foods such as almonds, leafy greens, cheese, poultry, fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs and fish can help you fight cavities, reduce the risk of or effectively manage gum disease, and embrace an overall healthier lifestyle. Beverages you should incorporate into your diet include water, milk and plain yogurt.

Foods to avoid

It’s also critical to understand some of the foods you need to avoid or limit in order to improve your overall dental health. For healthier teeth and gums, it pays to limit or avoid sugary, processed foods and foods that are high in sugar or sugar substitutes.

For good dental health, always remember to brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental care can help prevent oral problems and detect those that occur in the early stages, while they’re easily treatable.

Energy Drinks and Your Child’s Teeth. Should You Worry?

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

Energy Drink

The hard clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator of a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them. Are those techni-colored drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?

The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, the bad news is, they’re secretly eating away at their teeth – and fast.

Why Are Energy Drinks Such a Threat to Teeth?

The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. Now, we understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, a bit, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid (which we can imagine as being quite acidic, at least!) has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0.  A lemon, in contrast, comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0.

The real distinction though is in knowing that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice – a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one!  In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it’s easy to see the difference in the numbers – they’re huge.

The Science

What all this means to your child’s teeth is the real question, though, and precisely what researchers at Southern Illinois University set out to discover in 2012.  The results, which surprised even the research team, showed considerable damage to tooth enamel after only five days of steady consumption. Five days.

To determine the effect of these drinks on our teeth, the research team looked at 22 popular sports and energy drinks, and exposed artificial tooth enamel to the beverages for 15 minutes at a time, four times daily. This schedule was chosen because it mirrors the consumption habits of many users who drink these beverages every few hours – a particularly common habit among those who consume sports drinks, particularly when your kids are involved in sports.  After each 15-minute exposure, the enamel was then placed into an artificial saliva solution for two hours to mimic what would happen once consumption stopped.  After only five days on this schedule, the enamel showed a 1.5% loss with sports drinks, and a shocking 3% loss with energy drinks.

We have seen to many patients in their younger years already suffering from extensive enamel loss. One case was especially heartbreaking because the patient thought they were doing a great job simply by staying away from soda. The result: it gave that patient more perceived  freedom to consume these sport drinks at a higher rate because they were “better” than soda.

The Critics

While critics in the beverage industry suggest the time used to expose the enamel to the drinks may have been excessive, it’s widely known that snacking, as well as regular sipping of any beverage other than water, creates acidic activity in the mouth that promotes tooth decay. Of course, adults also need to be careful, and if you’re the weekend warrior type, or are pulling shifts and consuming these beverages throughout the day, the time of exposure might actually not be long enough.  The sweet spot is in the middle-ground, and that’s basically the advice we’re going to offer today.

There is no doubt that these beverages are not good for our teeth. They’re also not good for our stomach, and esophagus if one is prone to acid reflux.

The Middle Ground — It’s about being Informed

We’re not asking you to force your kids to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help your kids combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can’t shake the habit:

  • Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel.
  • Suggest that they don’t brush immediately after consuming such beverages.  Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good.  If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after.

Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers. Remember, the lower the number, the more harmful to your teeth!

Sports Drinks:

  • Filtered Ionozed Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
  • Water – pH: 7.o
  • Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
  • Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
  • Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
  • Vita coco – pH: 5.2
  • Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
  • GU2O – pH: 4.29
  • Powerade – pH: 3.89
  • Accelerade – pH: 3.86
  • Gatorade Endurance – pH:  3.22
  • Monster – pH:  2.7

Energy Drinks:

  • Red Bull – pH: 3.3
  • AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Full Throttle  – pH: 1.45
  • Rock Star – pH: 1.5

P.S. Don’t forget the mouthguard!

Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth

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

Best Foods To Eat To Keep a Healthy Mouth

food

Preventative health measures for a healthy mouth can start with your diet. Depending on the foods and snacks you eat can keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Calcium For Healthy Teeth

Two of the best products for healthy teeth are milk and cheese. While they both provide calcium, they provide additional benefits. The calcium in milk is absorbed faster because milk contains Vitamin D. Calcium-rich cheese destroys bacteria in your mouth.

Chewy Vegetables For Healthy Gums And Teeth

When you chew fresh vegetables, it will keep your teeth strong and your gums healthy. Carrots, onions, and celery provide important nutrition while keeping your mouth healthy. They reduce the bacteria in your mouth by increasing saliva. Carrots also contain beta-carotene for strong teeth.

Apples For A Healthy Mouth

When it comes to dental health, all fruits are not equal. You can have the healthiest mouth if you choose apples instead of citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are acidic, and can harm your tooth enamel.

Strawberries For White Teeth

You can eat strawberries for natural teeth whitening. With their nutritional benefits, strawberries can be an inexpensive alternative to over-the-counter whitening products.

Healthy Foods With Protein Contain Phosphorus

Some of the most common protein-rich foods provide phosphorus for healthy teeth. Eggs, fish, and meat contribute to strong, healthy tooth enamel.

Healthy Foods With Magnesium

Magnesium is also important for healthy tooth enamel. Some popular foods that are high in magnesium include bananas, spinach, and whole grains.

Shiitake Mushrooms For Dental Health

When you are looking for a different snack for yourself or your children, or want to add something special to a recipe, consider the dental health benefits of shiitake mushrooms. Not only will they destroy harmful bacteria in your mouth, they are a natural way to stop plaque from building up on your teeth. You will be less likely to develop cavities when you include the mushrooms in your diet.

 

Here at The Dental Center we recommend maintaining a balanced diet, and include some of these products every day. You can enjoy good nutrition, delicious food, and dental health.

For more information on preventative health measures and more information on some more of the best foods to eat to keep a healthy mouth, contact our Columbus office today and schedule your next cleaning!