About Alex Watson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Alex Watson has created 12 blog entries.

New Year, New Brush! Simple Dental Health Resolutions for 2022

2022-01-17T16:46:13+00:00January 14th, 2022|Toothbrush Hygiene|

Best Toothbrush Advice

It’s a new year, and what better resolution than to up your dental health game? If you practice proper dental hygiene, you’re likely used to brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. But when was the last time you changed your toothbrush? 

If it has been longer than three months, it’s time to replace it. If you can’t remember the last time you had a new brush, then you might want to stop what you’re doing and head to the nearest store this instant!

Brushing is key to basic dental hygiene, but if you’re using an old brush with accumulated bacteria, it can lead to a range of problems. Below, Adam Brown DDS gives you some essential toothbrush guidance to kick off 2022!

 

How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?     

There can be a few different reasons for changing out your toothbrush, but dental experts generally recommend replacing it at least every three months. That includes both traditional toothbrushes and electric brush heads. Other ways to think about it are four times a year or one brush per season. Many people get one toothbrush for winter, spring, summer, and fall, making it easier to remember to replace their brush every three months. 

It’s essential to replace your toothbrush anytime you notice the bristles fraying. A toothbrush consists of more than a simple scrub brush. Look at the head closely, and you will see little groups of bristles that vary in size, length, and color. Each manual and electric toothbrush head is designed to clean specific areas of your mouth. 

Your toothbrush’s lifespan will factor in that you are brushing twice a day for two minutes. Each time you brush your teeth, it wears down the brush head, and the friction eventually impacts how well your toothbrush cleans your mouth. Along with the accumulation of bacteria, this wear and tear are why most people should throw out their toothbrushes after three months.

However, that is just a general guideline; each individual will have unique needs. It comes down to your specific brushing habits. For example, if you brush after every meal, you can expect your brush head to wear down quicker than someone who only brushes twice a day. 

Your brush head can also wear out faster if you brush harder than average or if your teeth are crooked. These days, most electric toothbrush heads have indicators to show how much wear has occurred and when to replace your brush head, and some manual toothbrushes also have this feature. If you use an electric toothbrush, check with the manufacturer to see if they offer a subscription service, which would mean you get brush heads sent to your home every few months. 

 

What If It Hasn’t Been 3 Months?      

Ideally, you will change your toothbrush at least every three months, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t replace it sooner. As mentioned above, several factors can require you to get a new toothbrush more often than the general recommendation. Here are some signs to look out for that indicate you should throw out your toothbrush:

The Bristles Are Splayed

Look at your toothbrush, particularly the bristles. Are they splayed out in different directions? Does the toothbrush look flattened, as if you use it as a housecleaning tool? If so, you might be brushing your teeth harder than you should, and the extra force is causing the bristles to splay out all over the place. 

Yes, you should throw that toothbrush out, but you may also want to evaluate how hard you are brushing because it could damage your teeth and gums.

If the bristles on your toothbrush are splayed out, they will not be able to clean your teeth and gums effectively.

Using less pressure and lightning your grip can help. The key is to allow the bristles to do the work for you 

Brushing too hard can cause gum recession, damaged enamel, and other issues. Be mindful of brushing with the appropriate pressure, and see if your toothbrush lasts for three months this time around!

 

Wear and Tear on Your Brush Head

How to Know When to Replace your Toothbrush

Each time you use it, assess your brush head so you can see when it starts to deteriorate. Keep a close eye on the bristles; if they are not tough and springy, it is probably time to get a new brush head. The bristles should be soft but resilient enough to take care of plaque and food particles. 

Also, the strands on your brush head should bounce back after each brushing session. If the bristles are not stiff and straight after you brush, you should replace them as soon as possible. 

Another thing to look for is cleanliness. Neglecting to rinse your toothbrush after each session can result in toothpaste residue building up at the handle or base of the bristles. Consequently, the gunk can attract bacteria and potentially cause sickness. In other words, change out your toothbrush the moment it doesn’t look fresh. 

 

You’ve Been Sick 

Any time you have been ill, throw your toothbrush out immediately. The germs on your toothbrush will stick around and can re-infect you even as you recover. This is especially a problem if antibiotics are required to remedy your illness.

Most doctors that you recommend replace your toothbrush after one or two days after beginning your prescription.

Though it might be easy enough when using a manual brush, it can be more painful to toss an almost-new electric toothbrush head! Nonetheless, get rid of it because it is not worth getting sick all over again.

 

Why Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly?      

Each toothbrush is designed to effectively clean your teeth and gums so that you maintain good dental and overall health. Even the cheaper manual brushes have specially-designed bristles to reach specific areas of your teeth and gums. If the bristles are worn out or dirty, the toothbrush cannot do its job. It’s critical to replace your manual toothbrush or electric brush head when you notice wear and tear or the brush getting gunky.  

Germs are another big reason for replacing your toothbrush regularly. After all, the entire purpose of brushing your teeth is to eliminate the food particles and bacteria that cause plaque and tartar. 

Your toothpaste traps some of your oral bacteria, which you rinse out of your mouth during each brushing session. However, some of the bacteria stick to your toothbrush head and can accumulate over three months.

Also, the slightest wear on a brush head will prevent the bristles from doing their job. This is especially true for electric toothbrushes since the strands are more engineered and shorter. If you continue to brush with worn bristles that cannot properly clean your teeth, it can lead to plaque buildup and eventually gum disease. 

Furthermore, if your bristles are frayed, it can damage the gum tissue and lead to sore gums and bleeding. And, of course, failing to replace your toothbrush can make you sick. Rather than expose yourself to the buildup of bacteria, mold, and fungus, just get a new brush!

 

Remembering to Replace Your Toothbrush Head      

So, you’re convinced to replace your toothbrushes or brush heads regularly. But if you are like many other people, you might have a hard time remembering to make the change. Fortunately, you can do a few things to stay on top of your replacements. 

For instance, you can write a reminder on a paper calendar or use an automatic reminder on your smartphone. That way, no matter what you are doing on any given day, you will have a visual reminder that it’s time to throw away your toothbrush or snap on a new brush head. 

Also, consider using color-changing brush heads. Many electric toothbrushes (and some manual toothbrushes) feature bristles that change colors when it is time for a replacement. This is perhaps the easiest way to remember when to change your toothbrush or brush head!

Another strategy is to buy it in bulk. If you prefer manual toothbrushes, you can find packs of three or more toothbrushes in almost every major retailer or pharmacy. Similarly, you can stock up on brush head refills to keep in your home. Then, you will always have a replacement when the time comes. Just don’t store your extra brush heads or toothbrushes somewhere you will forget; not being able to find your replacement can lead to frustration and procrastination!

Moreover, if you use an electric toothbrush, see if your manufacturer provides a brush head replacement plan. This type of subscription will keep replacements coming to your door when you need them most and remind you it’s time to change them.

 

How to Clean Your Toothbrush in the Meantime 

You know to change out your toothbrush regularly, but how can you keep it clean in the meantime? After all, you don’t let your bath towel or sweatshirt go unwashed for three months, so why should you do that with your toothbrush? If you want to take your dental health to the next level, consider creating a weekly routine for cleaning your toothbrush. 

 

Run Your Toothbrush Through the Dishwasher    

Yes, it’s OK to put your toothbrush in the dishwasher! Place your brush in your dishwasher’s utensil container and run it through a cycle with your dishes. In most cases, the water temperature in a regular cycle will not damage the plastic on your brush, but if you are worried about it, you might want to lower the temperature. That way, you can ensure that your toothbrush won’t warp or melt.

 

Put It in Boiling Water

You may not want to do this every week because boiling water can damage plastic over time. But it can also do an excellent job eliminating bacteria buildup. All you have to do is boil water in a small pot and hold your toothbrush head in the water for about three minutes. Once you sterilize the toothbrush, rinse it under cold water and wait a few minutes before using it.

 

Use a UV Sanitizer 

UV sanitizers can be pretty expensive, but they are highly effective at killing bacteria. Quality sanitizers can eliminate millions of bacteria in a few minutes, keeping your brush clean and your stress levels low. UV sanitation is so reliable and effective that medical facilities use it to kill germs. And there are quite a few excellent in-home sanitizers available. 

 

Clean It With Mouthwash

One of the easiest ways to clean your toothbrush or brush head is to pour antibacterial mouthwash or rubbing alcohol into a small cup and soak the brush head for a few minutes. You can complete this process before or after brushing. 

Along with keeping the bacteria at bay, using mouthwash on your toothbrush will keep it smelling fresh! However, one thing to remember is never to use your toothbrush until you have rinsed away the mouthwash or alcohol.

 

Store It Properly    

It may not be the first thing you consider when you think of your dental health, but where you store your toothbrush matters. Rather than keeping it near the toilet or in an enclosed space like a cupboard or medicine cabinet, place your toothbrush upright in a holder or cup in the open air so that water can drip away while you are not using it. Your brush needs to dry as it will help reduce bacteria buildup. 

Another tip is to use a lid for your brush head, as it can help the bacteria from accumulating on the bristles. Moreover, don’t store your toothbrush with anyone else’s because cross-contamination can occur. And if you use a toothbrush lid, holder, or cup, be sure to clean them regularly to prevent bacteria buildup on those pieces too.

 

Conclusion      

The beginning of a new year is ideal for taking your dental health routine to the next level! And one of the most practical ways you can do that is to make sure you replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months

If you need help remembering to change your brush out, consider setting reminders, subscribing to a service that will send brush head replacements, or buying in bulk. Also, create a cleaning routine so that your toothbrushes stay fresh. And, of course, don’t hesitate to contact Adam Brown DDS if you need to book an appointment!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on New Year, New Brush! Simple Dental Health Resolutions for 2022

Small Family Dental Practices: Where We Know Your Name!

2021-11-12T17:28:26+00:00November 12th, 2021|Adam Brown DDS, Dental Trends|

Family Dentistry Monroe NC

As with so many other industries, dentistry is changing. Yes, technology and treatments continue to improve each year, but those are not the changes we are talking about.

At Adam Brown, DDS, we have been keeping a close eye on the dental practice landscape around the country, and we are noticing that fewer and fewer small, private practices are continuing to operate independently. And since these types of practices play such an essential role in their respective communities, this is a concern for dentists and families alike.

We are pleased to provide the best care possible for the families that we see regularly, and we are still doing it independently! Below, we will discuss how dental service organizations (DSOs) are impacting dentistry and explain why choosing a family dentist could be the best option for you and your kids!

 

The Emergence of DSOs

Small independent dental practices are facing some vulnerabilities right now, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, the pandemic brought many challenges to private practices across the country, but most offices survived and are now back to seeing patients as they were before February 2020. No, the problem has nothing to do with attracting or retaining patients. The issue is that there are fewer dentists looking to step in when older dentists retire.

Not too long ago, it was common for dentists straight out of college to find a smaller town or suburb with a retiring dentist looking for a replacement. Now, many younger folks are choosing to live in large metropolitan areas, if not city centers. Moreover, dental school is expensive and more graduates are entering their careers in more debt than ever, so starting or purchasing a practice is simply too costly and complex.

Then there are dental service organizations (DSOs). In short, these organizations are not owned by dentists, and they go around the country buying out dental practices to handle the operations of the business. This business model allows younger dentists to focus their time and energy on the clinical aspects of their job, bring in a consistent salary, and remain free of the stresses and responsibilities of owning a practice. As such, DSOs are gaining more traction each year.

 

Few Options for Retiring Dentists

While there are clear benefits to newer dentists looking to kickstart their career, the rise of DSOs put dentists who are retiring from a solo or small-group practice in a predicament. There are basically three paths they can take:

1. Work longer than they anticipated to (until they are forced into retirement by their health).
2. Shut down their practice without providing any options for their patients.
3. Sell their practice to a DSO.

More retiring dentists are finding that selling to a DSO is the only option that serves themselves and their patients. But this path puts independent dentistry as a whole in jeopardy. In other words, as DSOs become more and more prevalent, they will transform the way dental practices around the country operate. And it could leave very few dentists who have the ability to run their own practices.

 

Small Practice, Big Opportunities

Here’s the thing that a lot of young dentists who are graduating from dental school do not realize: Small, private practices can provide better opportunities for them both in the short term and long term. Smaller practices come with less competition and lower overhead costs, which means that dentists can better support themselves and their families. Sometimes, they can do it by only working part-time.

As long as a dentist is motivated and has the drive to maintain control of their career, putting down roots at an independent practice can provide exceptional opportunities and flexibility, both of which can especially benefit those wanting to raise families.

Then there is the community to consider. Small towns and suburbs need dentists, just as they need other medical professionals nearby. A lot of people simply are not going to drive 30 minutes to an hour for regular dental visits. And when a community has no dentist, or the few dentists in the community are booked to capacity, many individuals will opt out of preventative care.

Moreover, small practices are often active in supporting the community through sponsoring recreational teams, inviting school groups for office tours, providing low-cost or free care for those who need it, and more. Unless more is done to maintain the sustainability of private dental practice, the trend of DSOs and their effect on communities could continue on its trend.

 

The Benefits of Family Dentistry

There are many similarities between family dentistry and general dentistry. For example, both use top-notch equipment and provide quality dental care for patients, as well as expert insight into each individual’s oral health. There is one distinction between these two, however, that sets a family dentistry like Adam Brown, DDS apart from general dental practices: We serve patients of all ages and can treat different family members all under one office.

Among other perks, choosing a family dentist can provide your household with familiarity, convenience, reduced anxiety, and better oral health—for parents, children, and grandparents alike! Let’s take a deeper look into the advantages of going to a family dental practice.

Familiarity
When you go to a family dental practice, the chances that your children will develop positive relationships with their dentist are much higher. At Adam Brown, DDS, we know the faces and names of all of our patients, and this increases the likelihood that our patients (especially children) will maintain their dental health. For children, this means that they’re more likely to have healthy teeth and gums as they enter adulthood.

Scheduling
Keeping up with dental appointments as an individual is hard enough. But if you are responsible for the appointments of everyone in your family, it can be downright overwhelming! Not only do you have to take off work for each appointment, but you also have to take your kids out of school and coordinate other responsibilities to make it all fit. Instead of scheduling different appointments for each member of your household, choose a family dental practice that will make scheduling easy for you.

For example, we will go out of our way to set one appointment for your whole family. Think about how much easier and convenient that will make your life! Rather than taking the time to schedule several appointments in any given week, all you have to do is make a family trip to the dentist to ensure everyone’s teeth and gums are taken care of.

Relationships
Parents tend to love going to a family practice because it provides the opportunity for both them and their children to develop lasting relationships with their dentists. In some cases, the same dentist will work with three or four generations in the same family! A child can have the same dentist as a toddler, adolescent, college student, and adult. The trust that is built throughout that kind of timeframe can not be replicated elsewhere.

Forming a healthy relationship with a dentist can help your child feel more comfortable talking about oral health symptoms that could cause severe problems down the road. If the dentist doesn’t know what you or your child is feeling, they may not be able to detect an issue until it’s too late, meaning that more expensive and painful procedures could be necessary to fix it.

When you go to a family dental practice, everyone in your household can rest assured that the dentist is prioritizing your health and best interests. And they will also know how to better monitor allergies, sensitivities, and family history with everyone involved. A family dentist will take into account dental diseases anyone in your family has had in the past. For instance, if one individual in your family has a genetic condition, your dentist will know precautions and strategies to take for everyone else in your family.

Less Dental Anxiety
We all know that going to the dentist is not a favorite activity among some children. Dental anxiety is a real thing for children, and it impacts adults too! Family dentists can help households to ease their dental anxiety. By going to a practice like Adam Brown, DDS, you will know that you can rely on friendly faces that will become familiar!

Matching your child with the right dentist will help them become more comfortable with their checkup appointments, at-home dental hygiene routine, and any procedures that might become necessary as they grow up. This is especially true if your family goes to appointments together.

Since younger children often like to imitate the actions of the role models in their lives, your child might become less fearful of the dentist if they see you and their siblings getting dental care without any issues. And it won’t take long for your child to grow more comfortable and confident to go through checkup appointments on their own. In other words, going to a family dental practice can help your child outgrow dental anxiety so that it doesn’t stick around into adulthood.

On the other side of the coin, if your child never becomes comfortable with their dentist and fails to grow out of their anxiety, they could neglect to go to regular checkup appointments as adults. This would mean their dentist would not be able to detect oral health problems early, potentially leading to intensive treatments and procedures. At Adam Brown, DDS, we make sure to support and help children overcome their dental anxiety and foster their dental wellness!

Tracking Dental History
When your family goes to a family dental practice, all of your dental records will be kept in the same place instead of being spread across several different offices. This means that your dentist will be able to easily monitor your family’s medical history and address any pressing medical issues that they identify over time. Genetics are critical to dental health, and a family dentist will be able to help everyone in your household maintain their dental health and provide insight when it is needed.

Oral Health
If you want to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy, it is essential that each of you keeps up with your regular visits to the dentist. By going twice a year for a checkup, you can stay ahead of cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, and other common dental issues. This will help you to prevent pain, tooth loss, and swollen or bleeding gums. Once issues like these set in, it can lead to periodontitis and, ultimately, tooth loss.

Brighter Smiles
Going to your dentist for regular cleanings can go a long way in keeping your family’s smiles in pristine shape for pictures or big events. If you are relying solely on your at-home routines, you may develop yellow or discolored teeth over time. By scheduling cleanings or even teeth whitening appointments, you can keep everyone’s smiles bright. Your family dentist can also advise you on your daily oral health routine, such as providing practical tips, recommendations for toothpaste and fluoride treatments, and so on.

Access to Treatments
Finally, family dental practices provide a wide range of treatments and procedures all under the same roof. This means that your family will not have to seek treatment from other offices for cleaning, restorative procedures, Invisalign, and other treatments for each person. At Adam Brown, DDS, we even provide world-class cosmetic procedures! In other words, family dental practices are highly versatile.

 

Conclusion

The rise of dental service organizations is transforming the landscape of dental practices across the country. While there are perks of DSOs for young dentists, they pose some serious risks for smaller private practices and their communities. By choosing a family dentistry like Adam Brown, DDS, you not only can support independent dental practice, but you will also have access to all the benefits associated with choosing a family dentistry listed above. Don’t wait—book your family’s appointment with our office today!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on Small Family Dental Practices: Where We Know Your Name!

How to Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy and Enjoy Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

2021-10-14T12:40:47+00:00October 14th, 2021|Oral Health|

Healthy Teeth and Halloween Candy Monroe

We’re approaching the spookiest (and sweetest) time of year, and families across the country are making their plans for fun and excitement. Will you try a haunted maze in the area or go to a local pumpkin festival? Will you participate in a nearby trunk-or-treat or stick to trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood?

Whatever plans your family has for this Halloween, chances are they involve a lot of candy! And while we at Adam Brown, DDS don’t want to keep you from enjoying your sweets, we do want to provide some practical advice on how you can keep your family’s teeth healthy during the Halloween season and stay safe while trick-or-treating. But first, it will help to understand exactly how candy can impact your child’s teeth:

How Candy Affects Teeth

Though teeth are the strongest substance in the human body, plaque and tooth decay can do some serious damage to our teeth over time. Adults are susceptible to tooth decay and cavities, but children are the most vulnerable. So, it’s no surprise that the Halloween season is a time to take extra precautions. Dentists see cavities and tooth decay in kids all the time in the weeks following Halloween, with the culprit being sugary candy and other treats.

No one can deny the flavor of Halloween treats, but it’s essential to keep your child’s oral health in mind. Most tooth decay occurs when oral bacteria in our mouths produce acids by feeding off sugar. This acid begins to deteriorate tooth enamel, which is the tooth’s outer layer that protects it from decay. Tooth enamel cannot grow back once it wears off. Therefore, since children are more prone to tooth decay, be extra mindful of how much sugary food they eat.

When tooth decay progresses enough, cavities can form in your tooth, which can lead to severe discomfort and pain. And if cavities are allowed to keep growing, they can damage deeper layers of the tooth and eventually cause tooth loss. Halloween is a time for enjoying sweets, but your family must do it wisely and in moderation; otherwise, all of the candy, sweet treats, and sugary drinks can put each of you (especially your child) at risk for tooth decay and cavities, which are neither good for your oral health nor your wallet!

10 Tips for Healthy Teeth

Now that you have an idea of how sugary foods can impact your family’s teeth, let’s discuss some practical tips you can take to maintain your oral health in the weeks ahead:

1. Help your kids develop a healthy relationship with candy

The best way to ensure that your child keeps their teeth healthy is to help them understand the difference between moderation and overindulgence. They need to know that candy and other sweet treats should be limited and that eating too many of them can lead to serious consequences.

For a younger child, you will need to pay special attention to setting a good example. Since younger kids are more difficult to reason with, make sure you are modeling the behavior you are teaching them by consuming sugary foods in moderation yourself.

2. Pick the right candies

Eating any sugary candy or treats can negatively impact your teeth, but some are worse than others. For example, chocolate is generally less detrimental to teeth than sticky candy like Skittles and gummy bears. This is because it is quite easy to clean chocolate from your teeth, and fruity candies can get stuck onto and between teeth. Perhaps the best sweet treat of all is dark chocolate; not only does it carry health benefits, but it also easily washes off of your teeth.

3. Opt for sweet over sour

While sweet, sticky candies can be particularly damaging to teeth, sour candy is even worse. Most sour candies are sticky, which poses the same problem as other sticky candies. However, sour candy also contains a higher pH, which means more acid for your child’s teeth and gums! Limit the sour treats your child consumes so that you can keep their enamel healthy and strong.

4. Strategize when you eat candy

When candy abounds during the Halloween season, it is easy to graze and snack on sweets at random moments throughout the day. But if you plan out when your child is allowed to have their treats, you can help reduce the sugar’s impact on their teeth. Think of the times when your child will be brushing their teeth, and plan their snacks accordingly.

For instance, maybe they can have a sweet after they finish their lunch and then another one after dinner. That means that you will have more control of how much sugar sticks to their teeth on any given day. Plus, the saliva that kids produce during meals can help wash away food particles and bacteria, which means that eating candy immediately following meals can reduce the number of little pieces that cling to their teeth.

5. Set limits

Along with planning out what times of the day your child gets to eat sweets during the Halloween season, you will also want to limit how much they can have per sitting as the season phases out. For example, maybe a day or two after Halloween, give them a little less candy than they had the day before. Gradually give them fewer and fewer treats over the next several days until life is back to normal. In most cases, this is fairly easy and straightforward because kids have short attention spans! In no time, your child will likely forget about their Halloween sweets!

6. Prioritize regular oral hygiene

Helping your child maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine is always critical. And you want to make sure that they don’t take any shortcuts during the Halloween season when they are eating more candy than normal. Make sure your child brushes their teeth thoroughly before bed, in the morning, and after each snack. Rather than flossing once a day, consider helping them floss twice a day until they finish their Halloween treats.

7. Drink lots of water

Any dentist is likely to recommend that your child drinks as much water as they can each day. This is primarily because water is a much healthier alternative to sodas, juices, and other sugary beverages that tend to be terrible for little teeth. But there is another reason why you should make sure your child drinks a lot of water in the days surrounding Halloween— it can go a long way in keeping their mouth clean and washing the sugar and bacteria away, which means they will have lower risks of tooth decay and other problems.

8. Use sugarless gum

It might be ideal for your child to brush after every time they eat candies or other sweets. But this might not always be practical, especially when your family is enjoying Halloween activities together.

That’s where sugarless gum comes into play! Chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes after meals and snacks can increase saliva production, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash out the food and bacteria. In other words, it is yet another simple step you can take to prevent tooth decay and keep your mouths healthy.

9. Strike a balance

Eating more sweets means that you should be eating more healthy foods as well. For example, eating candy bars, sour worms, and Jolly Ranchers should be balanced out by milk and low-sugar dairy foods that give your teeth calcium and help them stay strong and healthy. Cheese, in particular, can lower the pH in the mouth, and any natural, crunchy foods (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, and apples) are great for cleaning teeth as you’re eating. To take it a step further, these types of foods can even loosen plaque from teeth and wash away bacteria.

10. Don’t brush right away

Lastly, consider waiting about one hour for your child to brush their teeth after consuming any candies or sweets that are highly acidic. Brushing too soon after eating such candies can increase the harmful effects of the acid in their mouth.

Which Candies Are OK for Braces?

If your child has braces, there are some special considerations you will want to make when Halloween arrives. Certain candies and treats will be harder than others to clean from braces, not to mention that some will also pose a higher risk of damaging the brackets and wires themselves.

For instance, be wary of any hard or sticky treats, such as Starbursts, Skittles, jawbreakers, caramel apples, and gummy bears. Also, steer clear of popcorn, popcorn balls, and any other foods that tend to get stuck in braces. Believe it or not, there are plenty of treats your child can enjoy that won’t pose any serious risks. Reese’s cups, regular M&Ms, cotton candy, brownies, cupcakes, Pixy Stix, and Mounds are some examples of sweets that shouldn’t impact their braces if eaten in moderation.

8 Tips for a Safe, Fun Trick-or-Treat

Okay, so we’ve discussed some steps you can take to keep your family’s teeth healthy during the candy-heavy Halloween season. Let’s get to some quick tips for how you can plan for an awesome and safe trick-or-treat experience.

1. Plan your path

Make sure the route you take on Halloween night is safe and not too long. If you have younger children, you probably shouldn’t expect to stay out for five hours, though you might be able to get away with a long night if you have teenagers. Consider doing a test run before you go trick-or-treating to figure out how long the route is and which paths you should take. Along with keeping everyone safe, this will help prevent arguments on Halloween night and ensure that no one gets lost if they are separated from the family.

2. Pay attention to the candies you get

Each time a piece of candy is dropped in your child’s bucket, you should inspect it before they put it into their mouth. Handmade treats are a kind gesture, but since you cannot be sure what the treats contain, you may not want to give them to your kids. If you see any candy wrappers tampered with, throw them out immediately.

3. Take a flashlight

Along with planning the route you take on Halloween night, bring along a flashlight to help reduce the likelihood that one of your children will wander off and get separated from the group. And while you should only go trick-or-treating on well-lit streets, you might want to bring some reflective tape to stick to your children’s costumes and coats, just to make sure they are clearly visible to drivers.

4. Wear comfortable shoes

Trick-or-treating requires a lot of walking, which means that each person in your family should wear a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. Even if some of your outfits call for high heels, sandals, or another type of uncomfortable footwear, wearing tennis shoes will help everyone enjoy their time and prevent injuries.

5. Stick with your group

One of the biggest fears for parents is that one of their children will get separated from the group on a dark Halloween night. Along with taking extra precautions to ensure that your younger children stay by your side, however, you should also be mindful of where your older kids are. Your older children should not be trick-or-treating without you unless they are with a group of friends who you know would adhere to all the safety rules.

6. Don’t go into a stranger’s home

Chances are you have spoken to your kids about stranger danger. And that philosophy is perhaps never more important than on Halloween night. When trick-or-treating, remind your kids about the rules regarding strangers, and never allow them to enter someone else’s home. To take it a step further, make sure they know not to approach a house for candy unless the lights are on.

7. Check your costumes

There are all kinds of creative Halloween costumes out there. While you want your kids to enjoy their costumes and make the most out of their experience, you also want to make sure they are safe. Inspect your child’s costume to ensure that it is the appropriate length so they don’t trip while trick-or-treating. And only allow them to carry accessories that are flexible and soft to prevent any unnecessary injuries.

8. Be careful around flames

Finally, even the smallest flame from a jack-o-lantern can catch a costume on fire. Be extra mindful as your family enjoys the festive decorations on your route, but make sure that you and your children steer clear of all candles, torches, and other items that contain a flame. And only wear flame-resistant costumes.

Conclusion

Halloween is meant to provoke excitement for children and adults alike. But to ensure that your family makes the most of the Halloween season, it is essential to prioritize oral health and take the appropriate safety measures when trick-or-treating. And of course, be sure to schedule check-ups at Adam Brown, DDS to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on How to Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy and Enjoy Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

Cracked Teeth: What Should You Do?

2021-09-16T19:14:28+00:00September 15th, 2021|Cracked Teeth, Oral Health|

Cracked Teeth Help Charlotte NC

If you think you might have a cracked tooth, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s the most common culprit for tooth loss in developed countries. You can get a cracked tooth from grinding your teeth during sleep. You can get one from chewing hard foods like candy, ice, or nuts. You can also get one from:

  • A physically traumatic incident (e.g., a sports injury, a car accident, a fall, etc.).
  • Eating an extremely hot food and following it with an ice-cold beverage.  
  • Getting oversized fillings that weaken the tooth’s integrity. 
  • As a part of the natural aging process.

Here’s the point: Cracked teeth are common because there are many possible causes. And too many people wait too long to see a dentist after getting a cracked tooth, which can lead to a host of other problems. 

Don’t do that! Below, Adam Brown DDS has provided some essential information and advice about what to do when you get a cracked tooth (spoiler alert: it involves going to the dentist!). 

 

The Skinny on Cracked Teeth 

Cracked teeth can come in many forms. You can have a crack that extends to the gum line, a vertical root fracture, a fractured cusp, or craze lines, among others. Generally, a tooth’s crack starts at the chewing surface and eventually spreads down to the root. In some cases, the patient feels no discomfort, in which case it is still critical to seek dental care so that you can stop the damage in its tracks. 

The nature of the dental care you need will primarily depend on how far the crack has extended into the tooth. For example, if the crack hasn’t spread to the pulp, you can probably treat it with a crown. But if the crack has grown to the center of the tooth, you will likely need both a root canal and a crown. You’ll probably notice if the damage gets to that point because it usually results in significant pain.

A cracked tooth can get even more intense than that. If the crack extends through the center of the tooth and down below the gum line, the only option may be to extract the tooth. Sometimes a tooth crack can begin at the root and work its way up, which is known as a vertical root fracture. This requires extensive dental care and often goes unnoticed until the patient feels swelling around the tooth or gum, or if the area becomes infected. 

A cusp fracture occurs when only a portion of your tooth breaks off. In most cases, a cusp fracture can be treated with a new filling or a crown. And then there are craze lines, which are essentially thin lines that show through the surface of the teeth. These cracks are shallow and require no treatment. They are simply a result of the aging process and are only superficial.

You may not be able to tell if you have a cracked tooth just by looking in the mirror. But there are some symptoms to keep in mind that can indicate that you have a cracked tooth. For instance, if you have pain that comes and goes and is exacerbated when chewing food, or you experience discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages, you might have a cracked tooth. And if your tooth is extra sensitive when eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods, that too can be a sign. Furthermore, cracked teeth often reveal themselves when the edges of the teeth become sharp.

 

Why You Should Go to the Dentist 

Even if you notice symptoms of a cracked tooth, there’s really no way for you to know the extent of the damage. So, no matter the size of the crack or chip in your tooth, your first action should be to call your dentist to set up an appointment. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to slow the progress of the crack until you can get to the dentist, which we will discuss here later. 

Oftentimes, your mouth injury will not require you to get emergency treatment, which means that you should be OK until your dentist is able to see you during normal work hours. So, call yourself fortunate if you have a crack or a chip in your tooth that isn’t causing you to hunch over in pain! That said, remember that calling the dentist should be a top priority no matter the intensity of the damage. Let’s discuss why in more detail:

Preventing Decay and Infection

Failure to treat your cracked tooth promptly can result in decay and/or infection. The rough edges of a cracked tooth tend to collect more food and bacteria than normal while also leaving the area harder to clean. And if the crack or chip in your tooth is sizable, it can expose the dentin underneath your enamel, which increases the risk of decay even more. Thus, cavities and even infection can quickly ensue. 

 

Minimizing Bite Problems

Your mouth works through muscle memory, and your bite contacts must be precise for your chewing to be proper. Even the smallest chip can change how your teeth come together during a bite and, ultimately, how you chew. If left unaddressed, this can cause your teeth to wear unevenly and potentially lead to bruxism. 

 

Appearance

Some people are not bothered by a chip in their tooth, but it’s impossible to ignore. So, if you want a big, perfect smile, the chip in your tooth will keep that from happening because it interrupts the symmetry of your smile, or at the very least, it highlights the black space behind the cracked tooth.

 

Increased Sensitivity

Having a cracked tooth can get really uncomfortable, really fast. Essentially, a crack in your tooth will decrease the insulation between the sensitive nerve in the tooth and any food or drinks you consume. Oftentimes, you will begin feeling sensitivity around where your tooth is cracked, in which case it’s time to call the dentist. 

 

You Don’t Know How Bad It Is

Too many people notice a small crack or chip in their tooth and assume that it is the extent of the damage. While the crack or chip itself can spread and cause a whole host of problems, consider the force behind whatever caused your tooth damage in the first place. That force could have impacted the roots, which could lead to your tooth getting infected, falling out, or at the very least becoming discolored. Only a dental care professional can assess the full extent of the damage to your tooth. 

 

Stress Relief

Being aware of the plethora of potential risks that come with a cracked tooth, chances are you won’t be able to avoid worrying about how bad the injury is. Rather than torturing yourself and constantly trying to ignore your anxiety, get evaluated by your dentist to get a professional diagnosis.

 

Diagnosing Cracked Teeth 

One common way dentists examine for cracked teeth is to take an X-ray. But sometimes an X-ray won’t reveal a cracked tooth, not to mention every patient doesn’t exhibit the same symptoms. If you go to your dentist for a diagnosis, you can expect them to inquire about your dental history, conduct an in-depth visual examination, and feel for the crack with a dental explorer. 

In many cases, a dentist will apply dental dye to see if it highlights the tooth’s crack, as well as probe your gums to identify any inflammation present. Another practical step a dentist might take is to have you bite down on something, such as a band, which might make you feel pain once you release the bite. And of course, you may get an X-ray; even if it doesn’t show the crack in your tooth, it can reveal poor pulp health, which can be a sign of a crack. 

 

Until You Can Get to the Dentist  

So, you think you may have a cracked tooth and the pain has become excruciating. If your dentist doesn’t recommend emergency treatment, you may be able to minimize the progression of the damage and the pain by taking action at home. 

 

First Aid at Home 

Most of the time, if you feel pain from a cracked or broken tooth, it is because the tooth’s dentin layer has become exposed. If you’re not able to make it to the dentist (i.e., it’s in the middle of the night or your dentist doesn’t have any openings), bite down gently on a strip of gauze; this can help ease the pain and the bleeding if there is any. And be sure to look for any broken pieces of your tooth so that you can bring them to your dentist appointment. These pieces will not be able to be reattached, but your dentist can assess whether it was tooth enamel or an old filling.

There are also some things that you should not do in the event that you get a cracked tooth and must wait for dental care. You basically want to avoid anything that can exacerbate the damage or pain. Stay away from extremely hot or cold food or drinks. Try to avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks. And don’t eat any hard candy, nuts, or other hard foods. Once your tooth is treated, you can get back to your normal routine. 

 

Mitigating the Pain

If your tooth pain becomes significant while you are waiting to see the dentist, ask your dental care provider if you can take a pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil. Don’t take aspirin, however, because it can disrupt blood clotting, which won’t be a good thing if you end up requiring a root canal. 

Oil of cloves is something else you can take. As a natural anesthetic, dentists have used oil of cloves for more than 100 years. Simply soak a cotton ball in the oil and hold it on the cracked tooth for about ten seconds, taking care not to swallow. Or, you could go with an over-the-counter dental anesthetic such as Anbesol or Orajel. 

It’s also a good idea to floss after each meal, as this will remove bacteria that could aggravate the damage done to the area around your cracked tooth. Just use the floss gently around the painful tooth. Also, keep your head more elevated than you normally would when you sleep, as it can relieve some of the pressure from the painful inflammation of the exposed nerve in your cracked tooth. Moreover, swish warm salt water in your mouth three times a day to further protect the infected area from bacteria. 

 

Conclusion

Just because cracked teeth are common doesn’t mean that they should be taken lightly. If you notice potential symptoms of a cracked tooth, you should contact your dentist’s office as soon as possible and follow the steps above for mitigating the problem until you can see the dentist. And of course, keep up with your oral hygiene routine, and make an effort to prevent cracked teeth in the future!

Patients with cracked teeth come into our office all the time, and we would love to examine you and figure out the best way to fix the problem. Contact Adam Brown DDS today with any questions or concerns you may have! (704) 289-9519

 

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on Cracked Teeth: What Should You Do?

Dental Checkups and Teen Invisalign: Why Now is the Time to Act!

2021-07-14T17:38:04+00:00July 13th, 2021|Adam Brown DDS, Teeth Cleaning|

Summer Checkup and Invisalign Charlotte

Our kids have been out of school long enough. After more than a year of shut-downs, unpredictable schedules, and online courses, it’s time to get them back into the flow of education. And you want to make sure your child doesn’t miss a thing during this upcoming school year!

That’s why now is the time to schedule their dental checkup. And if you have a teen who needs some general alignment treatment, this could also be the perfect opportunity to explore Invisalign.

We know—you already have a lot on your plate. To ease your load a little, we’ve provided some practical information and answers to common questions about back-to-school dental checkups and Invisalign:

 

Top Reasons for Scheduling Now

Why is it a good idea to schedule your child’s dental appointment now instead of, say, a few months down the road? There are many reasons. Here are just a few of them:

Flexibility of Schedule

As soon as your child begins the school year, you’re going to have tons to do and limited time to do it. Carpools, homework, extracurricular activities, and other commitments that come with the school year can fill your schedule up and seriously raise your stress levels. Add another appointment to your to-do list, and it can become downright overwhelming. Typically, the summertime is more relaxed both for families and dentists. By scheduling a checkup now, you can bypass the stress.

Catching Problems Early

The sooner you identify potential dental issues, the better. Bringing your child to the dentist every six months for a cleaning is critical for their dental health. But the examination part of a checkup is just as important.

During an appointment, your child’s dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation of their dental health. This includes looking for chips, cracks, and early signs of cavities, tooth decay, and other problems. A routine visit can save your child from painful dental procedures as well as prevent you from getting hit with an expensive medical bill.

Better Concentration

For many kids, staying focused through class and homework assignments is hard enough. But if your child has a dental issue, it can throw their concentration off even more. Think about it—would you be able to stay focused on the task at hand if you had a throbbing toothache or a relentless sharp pain in your mouth? By getting your child checked out over the summer, it will help them concentrate and lower the risk of them having to miss class for an emergency dental appointment.

 

Oral Health Maintenance

Every aspect of a dental checkup is meant to promote your child’s overall oral health. Thorough cleaning and fluoride treatment can do wonders for preventing cavities, decay, and other serious issues. If your dentist thinks it is necessary, sealant treatment can provide additional protection.

But there’s another factor to consider: A lot of parents find it challenging to get their children to maintain oral hygiene at home. And your child’s dentist can provide them with compelling information that stresses the importance of oral hygiene. Moreover, the dentist can give you and your child personalized tips for brushing, flossing, and other hygienic practices.

 

Questions to Ask the Dentist

OK, so you’ve been convinced to schedule your child’s dental checkup sooner than later. That’s good. Now, you just have to prepare to get the most out of your visit. Here are a few questions to ask your child’s dentist during the appointment:

Will there be a cleaning today?

Cleaning is to be expected during any checkup. But just to be safe, confirm with your child’s dentist that there will be a cleaning. This is critical. No matter how well or often your child brushes, it’s not possible for them to remove all of the cavity-causing bacteria from their mouth. Getting a professional cleaning is one of the most fundamental steps they can take toward good oral health.

Does my child need sealants?

Fabricated from plastic or other dental materials, sealants are thin, protective coatings that can be placed on your child’s permanent back teeth. While these are no substitute for hygienic practices like brushing and flossing, they can go a long way in preventing bacteria and food particles from settling into the nooks and crannies of your child’s teeth. Sealants are particularly effective at preventing cavities and stopping the progression of existing spots of tooth decay.

It’s best practice to apply sealants as soon as possible after your child’s permanent molars come in. But they can still help teenagers and even adults. Since sealants reduce the risk of cavities by 80%, it’s definitely something worth asking the dentist about.

Does my child need an x-ray?

Your child won’t need to get an x-ray at every checkup. Still yet, it won’t hurt to ask the dentist about it each time. X-rays help your child’s dentist see the big picture of how your child’s teeth are developing, and they provide a clear picture of root health. Furthermore, x-rays can reveal tooth decay that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Will you assess my child’s mouthguard?

If your child wears a mouthguard for sports, you will want to bring the mouthguard in at each checkup. Your child’s dentist can assess the wear and tear of the mouthguard, as well as how well it fits in your child’s mouth. This is especially critical if your child is going through a growth spurt or getting new teeth; in these cases, you may need to get the mouthguard reformed.

Do you have any general suggestions for improvements?

The primary focus of a dental checkup is to look at overall dental health. The dentist will take an in-depth assessment of your child’s teeth and gums to ensure that the teeth are lining up correctly, that the bite is in good shape, and that no serious issues are on the horizon. If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health routine at home, be sure to ask for suggestions from the dentist as to how you can help improve it.

Is It Time for Your Teen to Start Invisalign?

Life is difficult enough for teenagers. Attaching a bunch of metal brackets to their teeth is sort of like adding insult to injury! Thankfully, braces are no longer the most popular or effective solution for correcting a teenager’s misaligned teeth or bad bite. Invisalign aligners have made many strides over the years and are now the go-to treatment for common alignment problems. Don’t know much about this product? Read on to get the gist!

What Exactly is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of aligners that gradually move your teeth into their correct places. Much like braces, these aligners apply pressure on designated areas. However, unlike braces, Invisalign aligners are completely clear, and they are also removable (like retainers).

When you order Invisalign, the dentist will send measurements and molds of your teen’s mouth to a lab that will custom-fabricate a tray of aligners to fit their teeth perfectly. This process will occur several times, and each tray of aligners will be manufactured slightly straighter than the one before it.

As with other orthodontic devices and procedures, the Invisalign process is an investment. As such, it’s not something to be done via trial and error. At Adam Brown DDS, we will conduct a thorough consultation with your teen to ensure that they are a good candidate for clear aligners.

 

The Benefits

If your teen has misalignment issues in their teeth, jaw, or both, correcting those issues with Invisalign could yield a plethora of benefits. Here are a few key benefits to keep in mind:

• Self-Confidence

Your teen’s self-confidence will remain intact when using Invisalign. It’s truly a win-win situation; they get all the benefits of wearing traditional braces, but rather than chunks of metal, their clear aligners are essentially invisible! What’s more, as your teen’s teeth and bite are corrected, their self-confidence will likely increase.

• Comfort

Cuts and irritation in the mouth are common with braces. These issues don’t occur as often with Invisalign. If your teen experiences sharp edges and corners while wearing the aligners, the dentist can shave them down. Plus, your teen’s aligners will be custom-trimmed to fit their gum line, which will reduce the risk of irritation and discomfort. The comfort of Invisalign aligners can help your teen stay focused and succeed in school, work, and extracurricular activities.

• Few Dietary Changes

Anyone who has ever had braces can attest to the dietary restrictions involved. There are countless foods, snacks, and beverages that can cause damage to traditional braces. With Invisalign, there’s really no limit to what you can eat and drink. That said, it’s critical that your teeth and gums are kept clean; otherwise, the aligners themselves will not be clean.

There is one caveat, however. Your teen should never eat or drink anything (besides water) without first removing their aligners. Once they are finished eating or drinking, they will need to put their aligners back in. If you want to ensure the healthiest process possible, encourage your teen to brush their teeth before reinserting the aligners.

 

Common Questions About Invisalign

Finally, most parents have their fair share of questions concerning Invisalign. To help you get a better idea of whether or not clear aligners are the right solution for your teen, consider the answers to these common questions:

Why not traditional braces?

If your teen wears the aligners as their trained dentist recommends, Invisalign Teen can be every bit as effective as traditional braces for correcting common alignment issues. There are many problems and obstacles associated with the metal brackets and wires of braces. Invisalign aligners are easily removable, which means that your teen can play sports and engage in other activities without having to worry about damaging their braces or mouth.

How can I ensure my teen wears the aligners?

Parents of even the most responsible teenagers may be concerned about a lack of structure and routine. After all, you don’t want to make a significant investment if you’re not confident that your teen will wear their aligners as recommended (22 hours a day is standard).

Fortunately, Invisalign aligners have a unique feature called “compliance indicators,” which are essentially blue dots that disappear when your teen is wearing the aligners according to their treatment recommendations. If the blue dots are present at your teen’s next checkup, it will notify you and the dentist that your teen hasn’t been wearing the aligners appropriately.

What if an aligner gets lost?

Teenagers (and adults, for that matter) lose things. If your teen loses their aligners, no problem! Invisalign will provide up to six free replacement aligners. All you have to do is notify your dentist so the new aligners can be ordered.

 

Conclusion

Just because the world stopped for the pandemic doesn’t mean that your child’s dental health should slide! Reduce your stress and gain peace of mind by scheduling your child a checkup at Adam Brown DDS this summer. That way, you will know that you are fostering their health without having to take them out of school. And if you’re interested in starting Invisalign treatment for your teen, be sure to ask our office about that as well!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on Dental Checkups and Teen Invisalign: Why Now is the Time to Act!

Is Your Favorite Drink Causing Sensitive Teeth?

2021-06-15T13:20:06+00:00June 15th, 2021|Tooth Sensitivity|

Sensitive Teeth Causes

Do you think you might have sensitive teeth? If so, what drinks do you consume on a daily basis?

Beverages can have a significant impact on your oral health, beginning with your teeth. Drinks that are high in acidity soften tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to sensitive, vulnerable teeth. If left unaddressed, cavities and tooth decay can ensue. And if you regularly drink beverages that are both acidic and sugary, then you’re at risk for double the damage.

Of course, how you approach what you drink will depend on your current habits and what you’re willing to change. Some people choose to steer clear of acidic and sugary beverages altogether, while others shoot for moderation. Below, we’ll discuss what types of drinks can do the most damage to your teeth, as well as other common causes of tooth sensitivity and how to counteract them.

 

How to Recognize Tooth Sensitivity
Essentially, you can tell if you have sensitive teeth if you experience unexpected discomfort or pain when drinking or eating something that’s hot or cold. It often reveals itself as a short and sharp pain in your teeth when biting into ice cream, sipping on an ice-cold beverage, drinking a steaming-hot soup, and the like. Sometimes, you can even feel it by simply breathing through your mouth. Exposure to cold air, sweet or acidic drinks and food, and brushing your teeth can also trigger a response.

Tooth sensitivity can cause a wide range of symptoms—from a mild twinge to unbearable discomfort. The pain can come suddenly, disappear, and come back without warning. Over time, the severity of the pain can also change. And you may not always feel the sensitivity in every tooth.

If you have sensitive teeth, you will feel it. Tooth sensitivity is common, and it can happen for a variety of reasons. However, if your teeth feel sensitive for more than a few weeks, you should visit your dentist. Adam Brown DDS and his team will evaluate you to determine the best treatment for your situation.

 

Common Beverages With High Acidity
Beverages are one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity. When you frequently drink beverages with high acidic content, it can do a number on your oral health over time. Even though you may not think of liquids staying in your mouth for a long period of time (like tiny parcels of food sometimes do), the particles in certain drinks can attach to your teeth and damage the enamel. Let’s take a look at some common drinks you might consider moderating or cutting out of your diet:

Soda
We’ll start with one of America’s favorite beverages. If you pour a can of Coke on the hood of your car every day for a year, then it will erode the paint. Now, imagine what it does to your teeth over time.

While soda may be super tasty, it can be horrible for your teeth and oral health in general. It’s among the most acidic drinks you can buy, and it’s chock-full of sugar that will feed the harmful bacteria in your mouth. In short, regularly drinking soda leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay and cavities, and it can cause severe sensitivity.

It’s important to note that diet sodas are just as harmful to your oral health as regular sodas. Study after study has shown that sugar-free varieties dissolve tooth enamel at the same rate. Moreover, darker sodas are more likely to turn your teeth yellow.

Fruit Juice
Though it provides some great vitamins, most fruit juice is concentrated, which means it’s highly acidic. Cranberry and citrus-based juices are the most acidic. If you wish to continue drinking fruit juice, consider watering it down and/or using a straw to drink it. And if you’re worried about missing out on the nutrients if you cut out fruit juices, whole fruit is a better source of nutrition anyway, so you would be better served to simply eat the fruit itself.

Then there are the fruit punch varieties. These types of drinks essentially provide none of the benefits that come with real fruit juice. In fact, fruit punch rarely has real juice, which means none of those nutrients are there either. What they do have is high fructose corn syrup and sugar—lots of it. And the high acid content of fruit punch will eventually erode your enamel, cause sensitive teeth, and worse unless you reign in your intake.

Sports and Energy Drinks
Similar to fruit punch beverages, sports and energy drinks, like Gatorade and Monster, are loaded with sugar and highly acidic. As such, consuming them too often can lead to enamel erosion and vulnerable teeth. Nonetheless, sports drinks are an excellent source of hydration and electrolytes, so if you exercise regularly, you may not want to remove them from your diet altogether.

Alcohol
While not overconsuming alcohol is critical for your health and well-being anyway, drinking too much alcohol can negatively impact your teeth specifically. Wine is perhaps the most harmful for teeth. Because red wine tends to stain teeth, many people opt for white wine instead. However, white wine contains more acid, which means that it can cause your teeth to erode more quickly.

Liquor, such as vodka and whiskey, is also acidic and can cause teeth sensitivity and other problems over time. And while there is evidence to suggest that beer can be beneficial to your oral health, the acid in beer can do damage to your teeth unless you drink in moderation. Plus, dark barley is known to stain teeth.

Another factor to consider is that saliva plays a critical role in keeping your teeth moist and removing bacteria and plaque from the surface of your teeth. Alcohol can dry out your mouth. So, if you drink alcohol, be sure to drink water along with it to stay hydrated.

Coffee
Different coffee roasts are often distinguished by their level of acidity, which leads many people to assume that coffee is a highly acidic beverage. But next to some of the other drinks on this list, the acid content in coffee is quite moderate. And evidence suggests that drinking coffee in moderation can actually benefit your teeth and help prevent cavities.

Of course, we’re talking about black coffee. If you add sweetener to your Java, you get the same risks that come with drinking other types of sugary beverages.

Tea
Green and white tees are known for promoting oral health. But when it comes to iced teas, which are often black teas with sugar or other types of sweetener, it’s a different story. Most iced teas are very acidic and packed with sugar. And some of the most popular iced tea brands can do more damage to your teeth than sodas.

Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is viewed as being relatively harmless. And in many ways, that’s true. However, sparkling water can be quite acidic, especially those that are flavored or naturally essenced with fruit. In some cases, flavored sparkling water can be more erosive than orange juice or other concentrated fruit juices. While most products won’t have a big impact on your overall health, it’s best to moderate how many you drink in a day and make regular filtered water your go-to.

 

Beneficial Beverages
Since we’ve covered quite a few beverages that are not so good for your teeth, it’s only fair that we talk about some that are! For example, milk is one of the best liquids you can drink for your oral health. It’s full of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that can strengthen and repair tooth enamel. Its most prominent vitamin, vitamin D, helps to combat gum disease because and reduce inflammation in the gums. And the protein casein helps to prevent tooth decay by forming a protective film over the surface of your teeth.

As previously mentioned, green and white teas can be beneficial to your teeth. They are full of antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the gums and help stave off harmful bacteria. Unlike black tea, green and white teas will not stain your teeth. Furthermore, white tea is an excellent natural source of fluoride, which can help your enamel stay strong. Just like coffee, however, the innocence of these teas is thrown out the window when you start adding sugar or other sweeteners.

 

Other Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Acidic and sugary beverages are not the only thing that can cause sensitivity. Let’s take a look at some other culprits to be aware of:

 

Brushing Too Hard
If you’re an over-enthusiastic brusher, meaning you brush your teeth too often or too hard, then you run the risk of getting sensitive teeth. It can also happen from using a hard-bristle toothbrush. You should never brush more than three times a day, and you should never use overly abrasive toothpaste.

If you prefer to brush after each meal, consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, as well as a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. And brush gently, even if it means using your non-dominant hand to hold the brush until you get used to brushing lightly.

You might also consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Most of the leading models come with soft bristles, and since the toothbrush does the work for you, all you have to do is guide it lightly across your teeth and gums.

 

Grinding Your Teeth
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is bruxism, which is when you grind your teeth or clench your jaw. Most people do this when they sleep, and it can severely and quickly wear down your teeth’ enamel. You may subconsciously grind your teeth during a poor night’s sleep, or even during the day in high-stress situations.

Becoming aware of bruxism is the first step of resolving it. If you recognize that you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, start incorporating stress-relieving activities into your routine, such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation. Also, talk to your dentist about whether or not you should use a mouthguard while you sleep.

 

Receding Gums
No one is immune to gum recession. Over time, the tissue around your teeth will wear away. But the recession should not be severe.

A lack of proper oral hygiene can cause your gums to recede at a faster rate and lead to periodontal disease. In extreme cases, this can cause the dentin around the roots of your teeth to become exposed, or even the roots themselves. Unsurprisingly, this can make for some very sensitive teeth! Brushing your teeth correctly, using the right bristles and toothpaste, and taking other oral hygiene measures will help you prevent severe gum recession.

 

Other Dental Problems
Cavities and tooth decay are common culprits for tooth sensitivity. And these are more prevalent around fillings and worn-down crowns. Also, if you have a cracked or broken tooth, the nerve of the tooth may be exposed, which can also cause sensitivity. If you think you have any of these issues, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

 

In Sum
Tooth sensitivity is often a sign that change is in order. Take an honest assessment of your diet, and see if there are any acidic and sugary beverages you need to cut back on or eliminate. And lookout for the other common culprits of sensitive teeth. Finally, if you’re overdue for a checkup or are experiencing any dental issues, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Adam Brown DDS!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on Is Your Favorite Drink Causing Sensitive Teeth?

8 Ways to Sustain Your Family’s Dental Hygiene This Summer

2021-05-25T20:00:30+00:00May 25th, 2021|Dental Trends, Oral Health|

Tips to Help Your Families Dental Health

Summer is around the corner, which means it’s time for all the fun things that come with Summer. Maybe your family is planning to go on a big vacation. Maybe you’re getting geared up for long days at the pool. Perhaps you’re looking forward to some sweet, cold treats to tame the rising temperatures.

But amid the summertime excitement, it’s important not to leave your dental health in the dust. The shifts in routine and the seasonal activities don’t remove your family’s need to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Adam Brown DDS is here with some practical tips and information for how your family can keep your teeth and gums healthy through the sun-kissed days of Summer:

 

  1. Stick to Your Dental Routine 

We’ll start with the basics: keeping up with your normal dental care routine. Even if your kids are out of school and staying up later than usual, don’t let them go to bed without brushing their teeth. And to the adults in the room—don’t allow yourselves to get lax either!

For many families, summer is packed with special events and relaxed bedtimes, but everyone should be brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Also, make sure you are flossing once a day; any two teeth that touch should be cleaned regularly. Many children lack the motor skills to floss until they are more than 10-years-old. If necessary, help your child floss, or invest in a water flosser. 

 

  1. Pack Wisely 

The quickest way for your family to fall behind on dental hygiene is to forget the essentials when you travel. As you plan your vacation, be sure to pack travel-sized items like these:

 

Toothbrush

Like the other items on this list, you can find a selection of travel-sized toothbrushes at most major retailers, grocery stores, and pharmacies. These brushes will fold and easily fit into a carry-on bag. Your travel brush may not be quite as comfortable or effective as your full-sized brush, but it will get the job done. 

 

Toothpaste

Fluoride toothpaste is another essential item that you can’t go without on your trip. If you only took two dental care products when you travel, you would want them to be a toothbrush and toothpaste. 

 

Floss

You can get travel-sized packs of floss, but flossers are even better. Particularly if you have kids, flossers are easier to use on the go, and they’re effective at removing excess food particles and plaque between teeth. If possible, bring a pack of floss in addition to your flosser. 

 

Mouthwash  

While it shouldn’t be used to replace your brushing habit too often, mouthwash can do wonders for killing bacteria and germs in your mouth. You won’t have any trouble fitting travel-sized mouthwashes in your carry-on, and you can use them to freshen your breath when you don’t have a chance to brush. 

 

Toothpicks

Toothpicks are the perfect little gadgets for removing food particles after a meal. Get a travel-sized pack of toothpicks for your trip to use when you don’t have the opportunity to floss. 

 

Wisps

Manufactured by Colgate, Wisp brushes are relatively new. And they’re one of the handiest oral hygiene products you can buy. These pocket-sized, disposable brushes are surprisingly effective at removing food particles and plaque, and each brush comes with a built-in freshening bead that releases toothpaste as you brush. The best part is that you don’t even have to rinse!

 

Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing gum is great for keeping bad breath at bay, but it also increases saliva production when you chew it. Since saliva is essential for dissolving acids and helping you fight dry mouth, this is a good thing. Stay fresh and avoid cavities by packing sugar-free gum for your vacation. 

 

  1. Consider Sustainable Products 

While travel-sized dental care products are great for taking trips, using eco-conscious products for your everyday routine is a great way to benefit both your oral health and the environment. Here are some of the most popular types of eco-conscious dental care products available today:

 

Toothbrushes

Plastic toothbrushes typically are not compostable, nor are the packages they come in. That’s why bamboo toothbrushes are gaining in popularity. Not only are the bristles and handles easily compostable, but bamboo brushes can be just as effective for cleaning your teeth and gums as conventional brushes. 

 

Toothpaste  

Natural toothpaste has been around for a long time. But it has come a long way over the years in terms of helping you effectively remove plaque and prevent cavities. Unless you have a high decay risk, your family could benefit your oral health and the environment by using natural toothpaste that comes in a compostable tube. 

 

Floss

The packaging of conventional floss can take years to biodegrade. There are many sustainable, low-waste floss products on the market that come in biodegradable packaging and are just as effective at removing food particles and plaque. 

 

Mouthwash

Alcohol-based mouthwashes may leave you with a feeling of freshness in your mouth, but they can also dehydrate your oral cavity, hinder saliva production, and cause irritation. If you want to add a mouth rinse to your dental care routine, opt for one that contains coconut oil and xylitol, which are known for their antibacterial properties and less harsh on the gums than alcohol. 

 

Whitening

Brushing with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda once a week can noticeably brighten your smile, and it has no impact on the environment! Just make sure it’s not part of your daily routine. When used too frequently, hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns on your gums while baking soda can damage your enamel. 

 

  1. Don’t Chew Ice 

Few things are more satisfying than an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day. But if you’re an ice-chewer, know the risks that come with it. Chewing ice, especially large cubes, can cause a variety of oral health issues and even lead to a hefty bill from the dentist or orthodontist. Some common consequences of chewing ice include damaged tooth enamel, damaged dental fillings, cracked or chipped teeth, and broken oral appliances. 

While adults should also take precautions, kids are particularly prone to chew ice subconsciously. Make sure your children know the risks involved and try to prevent the habit if possible. If anyone in your family experiences one of the injuries above to your teeth or oral appliances, contact Adam Brown DDS immediately to arrange an emergency dental visit.  

 

  1. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks 

We get it—Summer is meant to be enjoyed. And sometimes that includes chomping on yummy foods that are not so good for your teeth. Try to moderate your consumption of sugary foods and beverages, as they can significantly hinder your oral health routine. For example, sodas, juices, and ice cream can erode your enamel and cause cavities. Even acidic fruits like blueberries and pineapples can harm your enamel. After eating foods like these, be sure to rinse your mouth, brush, and floss as soon as possible.   

 

  1. Embrace Healthy Summer Foods 

Now that you have an idea of what foods to limit in your summer diet, let’s talk about some foods that can specifically benefit your oral health:

 

Salmon 

Salmon is not only a versatile fish for recipes, but it’s also one of the best foods you can eat for vitamin D. And without vitamin D, your body won’t be able to absorb nutrients like calcium. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical in the prevention of periodontal disease and fostering overall health. 

 

Cheese 

For most people, this one doesn’t take a lot of convincing. Obviously, cheese is best eaten in moderation because it’s high in fat content, but it’s a wonderful source of calcium. And calcium is perhaps the single most beneficial nutrient for teeth, as it helps to keep your enamel strong and your jawbones durable. Moreover, cheese contains casein—a protein that provides a protective layer on your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. 

 

Bananas

Bananas are one of the most beneficial fruits you can eat for your dental health. They have a low acidic content, and they’re high in potassium, which helps to maintain jawbone density and tooth strength. Yes, bananas have sugar in them, but they won’t stick to your teeth like candy and other sugary foods. 

 

Oranges

Vitamin C plays a critical role in helping your gums fight off gingivitis and other oral infections, and oranges offer a beaucoup of vitamin C. Boost your gum health, and you’ll significantly lower your risk of loose teeth. 

 

Apples

If nature had a toothbrush, it would be an apple. Along with containing vital nutrients (e.g., potassium, vitamin C, fiber, etc.), apples massage the gums, increase saliva, and remove plaque. Making apples a part of your daily diet will help you maintain a clean mouth, fresh breath, healthy gums, and strong teeth. 

 

Carrots

Carrots are also a wonder for cleaning your teeth and gums. They contain lots of keratin, which combat plaque and tartar, and they massage your gums. They also have beta carotene, a nutrient that converts to vitamin A, which increases saliva production and enables oral wounds to heal more quickly. 

 

Kale 

This superfood is known for its incredible array of nutrients, and it’s one of the best foods you can eat for your oral and overall health. Kale has high levels of vitamin K, which helps to protect your bones and enamel, boost your immune system, and foster healing. It also helps the body absorb osteocalcin—another nutrient that benefits bones and teeth. 

 

  1. Drink Plenty of Water 

Water is essential for keeping you hydrated in the heat. But it also comes with specific dental benefits. For instance, it helps to keep your mouth clean by washing away leftover food and residue that would otherwise attract bacteria, in turn reducing the risk of cavities. Furthermore, water dilutes the acids produced by oral bacteria. Start your morning off with a glass of water, and always keep a refillable water bottle with you so that you can sip throughout the day. 

 

  1. Prepare for Accidents 

Finally, accidents happen. While you want to take every precaution, such as having your child wear a mouthguard while playing sports, you may not always be able to avoid injury. That’s why it’s essential to prepare a kit of supplies for your child to keep nearby in the event of a dental emergency. Whether they’re playing a contact sport, engaging in an individual physical activity, or hanging out at the pool, make sure they have easy access to a kit with these items:

  • Gauze
  • Saline solution
  • OTC pain medication
  • A small container (for a knocked-out tooth)
  • The number to their dentist 

 

Conclusion

Summertime may be when the living’s easy (especially for kids), but your family’s dental health still matters. Along with maintaining your regular oral hygiene routine, look for new products that can benefit your smile and the planet. Avoid chewing ice, consume sugary foods and beverages in moderation, and incorporate dental-friendly foods in your diet. Lastly, be sure to drink a lot of water, stay prepared for dental emergencies, and book your back-to-school appointments now at Adam Brown DDS!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Comments Off on 8 Ways to Sustain Your Family’s Dental Hygiene This Summer