Diet And Dental Health

Jan 22nd, 2021
Easton Dentists Feb 3rd, 2021

A person’s dental health starts with good nutrition and dietary habits. 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 fluoride toothpaste and visit your Columbus Ohio dentist regularly. Regular dental care can help prevent oral problems and detect those that occur in the early stages, while they’re easily treatable.

Choosing the Best Toothbrush

Nov 15th, 2020
Easton Dentists Dec 1st, 2020

We all have had this moment.  There we are, 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 dental care 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, reminding you to brush your teeth every day, go for it!  The 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 in Columbus Ohio and we’ll be happy to guide you on your road to success.

PSA for the Kids

Oct 28th, 2020
Easton Dentists Nov 2nd, 2020

The majority of dental experts agree that it’s good practice to brush your teeth at least twice daily. As Elmo from the popular kid’s show Sesame Street says, “brush you teeth every day and every night.”. Elmo may not be a “dental expert”, but he offers kids great dental advice in his song “Brushy Brush”. The song is a perfect way to teach kids the importance of brushing their teeth.

Watch it here.

“Brushy Brush” is about a minute and a half long, so it may be useful to play it to remind kids to brush their teeth. Having kids brush for the duration of the song helps them to make sure they get each and every tooth. Elmo give kids reminders to brush up and down and all around each tooth, and encourages them not to neglect the teeth in the back. He also reminds kids not to swallow toothpaste even though it tastes good and to spit excess toothpaste in the sink.

Teaching kids good dental habits can be difficult, but with Elmo to help, it’s fun and rewarding. Getting toothbrushes for kids with their favorite characters on them adds to the fun of brushing. Flavored toothpaste also makes kids want to brush (you have to spit it out though!). There are many ways to create a fun routine for kids that will keep their smiles bright and healthy.

Healthy dental habits will keep kids’ teeth in great shape for years to come and will make dentist trips quick and painless. Elmo will help you teach good dental habits at home, and The Dental Center is here for regular checkups and any emergencies that may arise. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for everyone in the family… and don’t forget to brush your teeth every day and every night!

Electrical or Manual Toothbrush: Which is Better?

Oct 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Oct 26th, 2018

This is one of our most frequently asked questions! Our answer? It’s not the brush that matters, it’s who’s doing the brushing.

Let’s break that down. The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent (daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay. A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that. Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day. Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush. Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.
The same tooth brushing rules apply – two times per day, two minutes at a time. One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in timer. If you’re one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you would do better with a manual or electric brush! And, as always, don’t forget to floss!

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!

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!

What Does Smoking Do to Your Oral Health?

May 7th, 2018
Easton Dentists Jun 1st, 2018

We all know smoking is bad for our health. In fact, smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and is linked to 480,000 deaths each year. Despite these stark statistics, about 17% of adults in the United States smoke. One thing smokers may not realize is that smoking can significantly damage their oral health.

Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can stain teeth and cause bad breath. In addition, smoking has been found to alter the microbiome of smokers’ mouths. Our oral microbiomes consist of carefully balanced levels of various bacteria. When these levels are altered, there can be serious health consequences.

Over time, the effects of smoking and tobacco use on oral health can grow more severe. In addition to cavities and gum disease, tobacco use can lead to increased rates of oral cancers.

As you can see, tobacco use is detrimental to your oral health in many ways. Luckily, quitting is always an option and the sooner you quit, the better. Scientists have ever found that your oral microbiome will return to its natural state after you quit smoking, although they have yet to determine exactly how long this takes.

If you’re ready to reclaim your health by quitting smoking, the Dental Center team is here to offer our support. Contact us today to learn more about how smoking can damage your oral health. We also recommend calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW for guidance regarding quitting tobacco usage. We know it will be difficult to quit, but we’re certain you have the strength to do it. Just keep reminding yourself that you deserve a long, healthy, and happy life!

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!

What’s Up with All that Poking at My Gums During Cleaning?

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

Poking on my gums

Have you ever wondered why your hygienist starts rattling off a series of numbers in the middle of your cleaning? 2, 2, 3, 2, 4, 5! What’s going on there? What your hygienist is doing is checking the depth of gum tissue pockets that surround your tooth. It’s a proactive way to identify your risk for gum disease, and when done regularly, can help catch it early. Dental probing is a pretty interesting exercise in dentistry, can save you from surgery and extractions, and here’s why.

Dental Probing Catches Problems Early

One reason to visit the dentist regularly is to identify problems in your mouth that you are completely oblivious to. Subtle changes in the health of our gum tissue can be missed by the naked eye, and some people – even those who visit a dentist regularly – can be prone to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar that can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease. Thankfully, your dental team can catch these changes early through the use of X-rays and the practice of dental probing.

The reason for probing is straightforward. As periodontal disease progresses, the visible markers of the disease (plaque and tartar) migrate down along the side of the tooth into the natural “pocket” between the ridge of the gumline and the tooth’s enamel. This inflames the gum tissue and widens this naturally slim gap between the tooth and gum. As this gap becomes wider, even more bacteria are allowed access to the sensitive tissue fibers along the root’s outer surface, causing more damage. This process may result in bone loss, and the need to extract a tooth. This is why probing is so important. We regularly have new patients come see us that have good looking teeth, but they have ignored gum care for so long that they lose those good teeth because the bone can no longer support the teeth. We want to prevent that from happening!

How Does Dental Probing Work?

“Probing” is quite simple and is accomplished by using a dental “probe” to measure the depth of a tooth’s pocket. The probe acts like a ruler, and has markings along its side measured out in millimeters. To measure the depth of your tooth’s pocket, your hygienist gently places the probe into this pocket and makes note of the depth. Those numbers you hear are the millimeter depths of your pocket. Six measurements are taken per tooth, three along the outside, and three along the inside of each tooth. A depth of three millimeters or under without any bleeding is generally accepted as healthy. Above that number, we will suggest more thorough gum therapy, including scaling and root planing, or something even more comprehensive if the number is above a five and nearing ten. We are so committed to setting you up right, that we set aside extra time to make sure you understand your treatment!

So, as you can see, maintaining pocket health is critical, and proper brushing and flossing can help clear away plaque and prevent the tartar buildup that expands a pocket. Your dentist also plays a critical role in ensuring you’re staying ahead of gum disease, so be sure to keep your regular appointments – particularly if you have been identified as having periodontitis (gum disease) and recommended for more frequent, thorough gum therapy. With a good routine and frequent visits to the dentist the only numbers you’ll be hearing moving forward should be 1, 2 and 3! Keep up the good work.