3 Healthy Mouth Habits You’re Probably Ignoring

There are some tried and true methods to get a healthy smile like avoiding sugar, brushing your teeth twice per day, and visiting your dentist twice per year. But, there are some more subtle actions that you can take to get a healthier smile that you may be ignoring.

1 – Floss Regularly 

The fact is that brushing doesn’t completely clean teeth, and flossing helps remove food debris from the hard-to-reach areas in between teeth and below the gum line. Try to floss once per day, and thoroughly clean each side of every tooth, and just below your gum line. There are a number of types of floss, and flossing devices that can help you get into a better flossing routine. Try to buy floss with the ADA seal of approval, so you know that you’re getting a thoroughly tested product.

When beginning a flossing routine, be gentle on your teeth and gums. If you haven’t flossed in a while, then your gums could be sensitive to a new flossing routine.

2  Have Water Handy 

Water promotes a healthy body, and it is the perfect drink for oral health! Water helps keep the mouth clean in a couple of important ways. First, it helps remove food debris from teeth, which helps prevent cavities and unhealthy plaque build-up. Water also stimulates saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of damaging acids, and helps keep the mouth at a healthy ph level. 

Try keeping a bottle of water handy so that you can rinse after meals, and prevent your mouth from becoming dry. This will help your teeth stay cleaner while away from your house, and keep you properly hydrated! 

3 – Drop the Late-Night Snack 

We all love late-night snacks, but eating right before bed can harm your teeth – especially if you eat starchy or sugary snacks. Food adheres to the surface of teeth, and provides fuel for bad bacteria that cause cavities. If you after you’ve brushed your teeth, then you risk sleeping with food stuck to your teeth for an extended period of time. This can lead to unhealthy plaque buildup, and even tooth decay. 

Try not to eat any food after you have brushed your teeth before bed. If you must have something, then stick to water so you can keep your teeth free of debris and sugar while you sleep.

Is Your Family Mouth-Healthy? 

As an adult, it can be easy to get a healthy smile with dedication and some time management. But, it can be more difficult for children to care for their teeth and get a healthy mouth without help, and that’s where we come in. Our office will help your child get the smile they deserve by evaluating the state of their mouth, and teaching them about proper oral health practices.  

Visit us today for a stress-free first visit, and begin your child down the path to a healthier smile today.  

How Did We end up with Gold Teeth? The Weird History of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns – or sometimes called dental caps – are prosthetic devices places over broken teeth to strengthen and improve their appearance. Crowns are used to prevent weakened teeth from fracturing, as teeth replacements, or to cover a root canal, dental implant or a weak tooth. Crowns help keep teeth functional, and prevent improper bite alignment from occurring. How – and when – did we start fixing broken or missing teeth? 

Old Asia

The first known example of using dental crowns dates back 4,000 years in Southeast Asia – on Luzon, an island in the Philippines. The Philippine skeletons revealed basic golden caps and gold tooth replacements. Scholars have found that modifying teeth with gold was popular among chiefs and the political ruling class of the period. The appearance of gold teeth was a symbol of wealth, power and status.  

Ancient Italy

Around 700 B.C., the Etruscans – an ancient Italian civilization which operated in what we know as Tuscany today – also employed the use of gold as dental crowns. Luxury and wealth were important to the Etruscans, and it’s evident in their teeth. Etruscan skeletons revealed the use of rudimentary dental crowns made out of gold and put on top of teeth. Researchers have also found Etruscan remains with artificial teeth held in place by wrapping them with gold wire, and banding them next to existing teeth. This is actually the first example of dental bridges! Because of their ingenuity and willingness to experiment, the Etruscans are credited with being the first cosmetic dentists.  

European Innovation

Europeans began experimenting with modern dental techniques in the 1400’s. During that time, they carved dentures from bone or ivory, and replaced teeth with their creations. Around the 1700’s, human teeth were a popular replacement for missing or broken teeth because of their natural appearance and obvious function. However, they did not work well as replacement teeth because bodies would quickly reject the tooth and they would fall out. Around 1770, the first porcelain dentures were made, and by the 1800’s porcelain dentures were the standard for replacing teeth. 

Porcelain Crowns Hit the Scene

In 1903, Dr. Charles Land introduced the all-porcelain jacket crown – an invention he patented in 1889 that is the first modern rendition of the dental crown we know today. The porcelain jacket procedure consisted of taking a broken tooth and rebuilding it with porcelain covering (the jacket) to make it appear new again. The porcelain jacket crown was very effective for the day, and widely used until the 1950’s, when a stronger solution – the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown – was introduced.  

How We Fix Broken Teeth Today

Today, dental crowns can be made from porcelain, ceramic, gold alloys and base metal allows. If your child has a broken tooth, then visit our office immediately. A broken tooth is a serious dental problem that needs to be treated by a team of dental professionals. Our office will be able to treat your child, and inform you on how to avoid an oral emergency in the future.

Top 3 Fruits for Teeth

Fruit and vegetables not only positively impact your overall health, but they also impact your teeth! In fact, certain fruits can even damage your teeth with acidic attacks, or sugar overloads. But, there are some fruits that boost your overall oral health, and taste delicious. By adding these three fruits to your diet, you can improve your oral health.

Apples

 

Eating apples can help cleanse and clean teeth, and fight bad breath. The fibrous content of apples cleans teeth by acting as a toothbrush and scrubbing away plaque from teeth, and removing other food debris. The acidity in an apple helps kill off bad bacteria that encourage bad breath. Be sure to leave the skin on the apple, since it is full of the mouth-healthy fiber that helps keep teeth and gums clean. 

Kiwi

Kiwi is often mistaken for a citrus fruit, but it is actually considered a berry. Kiwis have fiber content, and are packed with calcium, which is a dental super mineral! Calcium neutralizes damaging acids and helps bolster your enamel’s defense.  

Strawberries

 

Another fibrous berry, strawberries are great for teeth and gums.  Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen – a protein vital to maintaining your gums’ strength. A half cup of strawberries – between 4 and 6 berries – will give you about 70% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.  

Remember: Limit Citrus & Rinse with Water

Food and drinks high in citric acid erode tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. In bad cases of demineralization, acid will work its way to the soft layer beneath the enamel called the dentin. These advanced cases lead to tooth sensitivity and pain. If you consume anything with high citric acid, rinse with water for 30 seconds afterwards to clean away some of the lingering acid. 

Visit our Office

If you’re concerned about your child’s diet affecting their oral health, or worried that they may have cavities, then visit our office. We will perform a comprehensive oral exam, and determine the best treatment plan for their specific case. We can also offer advice on dietary choices that improve oral health, and how you can help keep your kids away from cavities. 

Teeth are for Chewing and Smiling, Not Opening Bottles

People use their teeth in surprising – and sometimes destructive – ways. We’ve all used our teeth as tools at some point in our lives, but did you know that you can crack or fracture your teeth if you use them improperly? In fact, cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. This is why it’s important that you instruct your child not to hold things (other than food) in their teeth. Below, we discuss some ways that you can help you child avoid cracking their teeth.

Teeth Are Not…

Nutcrackers

Surprisingly enough, teeth are not designed to crush the hard outer shell of nuts. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts all have a protective shell encasing the edible nut. Trying to break open a shell is a great way to crack a tooth.

Our tip: Buy a metal nutcracker, or shelled nuts so that you can avoid shells altogether. And crack any unshelled nuts for your child so that they don’t try to open them with their teeth.

Scissors

Using teeth to try to tear or cut something is another process that can lead to a cracked tooth. When you try to cut something with your teeth, you are often exposing your teeth to harder surfaces than you would encounter when eating. In addition to chewing on something that’s harder than food, you’ll also be applying an unnatural amount of pressure on your teeth that can cause them to crack or break.

Our tip: Instruct your child on how to safely use scissors, and teach them not to tear anything with their teeth.

Hands

Ok, your hands are full and you just need to hold that one final item in your mouth for a few steps before you can release it and get on with your day, that’s not so bad, right? Wrong. Carrying items in your mouth can lead to cracked teeth or worse – serious oral and facial injuries. This is unsafe because if  trip or stumble while your hands and mouth are full, you have no way to brace yourself and you risk suffering a serious facial injury.

Our tip: Tell your kid to practice patience and teach them not to carry things in their mouths.

Bottle Openers

This should be an obvious no-no, yet people continue to use their teeth to pry off metal bottle caps. You should never bite metal, or chew on metallic objects because they are much harder than your teeth and can seriously damage them.

Our tip: Teach your child how to open bottles with a bottle opener. Better yet, open the bottle before serving your child that mineral water or soda.

Remind Your Children that Teeth Aren’t Tools

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that our teeth are meant for chewing, and not to lend us an extra hand or tool in a given situation. It’s especially easy for children to forget this. Talk to your children about why it is unsafe to use their teeth as tools, and remind them that cracking a tooth can hurt! If your child has fractured or chipped a tooth, then bring them into our office as soon as possible. If you can, retrieve the broken piece of tooth and store it in a cup of milk and bring it along for your visit. Oftentimes, we’ll be able to fix their tooth using the broken piece.