The Weird Things Causing Your Dental Problems

“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning,” according to Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey. What he is not saying, however, is that running and endurance sports can also wreak havoc on your teeth. Local dentists reveal that some surprising things, including running, may to be blame for your dental problems. What’s so bad about running, and what other weird things will result in cavities, tooth decay, and premature tooth loss?

Running Wrecks Your Teeth

“While training, triathletes and runners consume a lot of carbs — specifically sports drinks, bars, and gels — which can lower the mouth’s pH level and lead to tooth erosion and cavities. Also, they breathe heavily through their mouths during training, and that can dry out teeth-protecting saliva,” Glamour magazine writes. Being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing and chewing gum (to produce more saliva) can help runners and endurance sports athletes, if they catch the problem early on.

dental damageSweets Aren’t Necessarily The Worst Foods For Your Teeth

Are you setting yourself up for cosmetic dental procedures, such as cosmetic dental surgery? Before looking into cosmetic dental plans, make sure you are eating right and properly taking care of your teeth. Know that there are foods that may be even worse for you than sweets. Highly acidic and/or vinegary foods, like pickles, wear away tooth enamel, making cavities and tooth decay even more likely.

When Brushing Your Teeth Is A Problem

Dentists caution: you should brush your teeth 45 minutes to an hour after meals exactly. Why? Waiting will give acids time to neutralize and prevent enamel erosion when you brush your teeth. If you already have tooth decay or tooth loss, know a couple of things. One, you are not alone. In fact, 15 million Americans have bridges or crowns to replace missing teeth. Three million, on the other hand, have relatively new dental implants. If necessary, implants may be the best option — with a 98% success rate, according to researchers.

Don’t look into cosmetic dental plans if you don’t need to. Brushing at the right times, being aware of all effects of running, and knowing what foods to avoid can help you keep your teeth healthy.

cavity alpine ut

A Second Round of Cavity Risk

When we think of a cavity risk, our minds automatically shift to children eating candy and not brushing their teeth. We hit a stage of low risk as young adults and start to think that our teeth are invincible from decay. You might rest in that comfort for a while, but you will soon discover that you are far from safe from cavities. In fact, one of the most at-risk ages for cavities takes place much later in life: retirement age.

cavity alpine utOlder adults might be shocked to discover an influx in decay, but it is directly related to dry mouth symptoms. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, bacteria is not rinsed away and has more of an opportunity to cause decay. The dry mouth symptoms are usually connected to prescription medications, which older adults begin taking around retirement age.

Protecting Yourself from Decay

In order to protect yourself from this influx of decay, you need to do work to stop the dry mouth symptoms. You can talk with your doctor about switching your prescriptions and work to increase your body’s hydration level. Drinking primarily water throughout the day, sleeping with a humidifier, and chewing sugar-free gum are all ways to increase saliva production. You can also set up an appointment for an exam where we can check to make sure that there aren’t any underlying problems.

There is no magic age when cavities are no longer a problem, but there are definite ages where the risk is higher. Know your risk and do what you can to protect your smile from decay, no matter what your age. Contact us today to set up an appointment where we can discuss these things with you! We would love to see you soon.

caramel dental health

The Worst Candy to Put in Your Trick or Treat Bucket

Whether you are a parent walking the sidewalks of your neighborhood, or a friendly neighbor enjoying the costumes and brief company, we all know that Halloween is a dental nightmare for children! The amount of sugar that they will consume is mind-boggling! The effect on their little teeth is certain. Let’s all work together to create a better Halloween by limiting the amount of candy the children consume and making our candy choices more friendly to the teeth by avoiding the following!

caramel dental healthCaramels – Candy that contains caramel is going to do some damage. Caramel sticks to teeth and stays there, allowing decay to occur.

Sugary Gum – Sugary gum is not only load with sugar, but it keeps that sugar in your child’s mouth for hours. With every chew, it get stuck to your child’s teeth, feeding the bacteria that cause decay.

Chewy Candy – Chewy candy might seem like a good idea, until you realize that the particles of chewy candy will get lodged in every nook of your child’s smile. Some of it will never come out.

Suckers – The risk of suckers is similar to that of gum, it keeps the sugar in the mouth for a longer period of time. The entire time the sucker is in, your child’s teeth get a sugary bath.

Now, we are not the grinches of Halloween. We want your child to go out and have some fun, but for the sake of those little white teeth, limit candy consumption and be sure your child brushes and flosses after all of the trick or treating excitement! Contact us today for more information about how you can keep your child’s teeth safe during Halloween.

Get a Filling, Not a Black Hole

Chances are pretty good that when you open your mouth to yawn, there are already some fillings that you wish you could have done again. You want a restoration for your cavity, not something that will draw the attention of everyone who has a view of your mouth! When you step into our office, you can expect a different experience because we put our best foot forward when it comes to your health and the aesthetic quality of your smile.

In most offices, you will receive a traditional amalgam filling when decay is detected in a tooth. The amalgam is made up of different metals as well as mercury. It was the filling of choice because amalgam is cheap and strong. However, we have since learned that amalgam tends to weaken teeth, leak, and the mercury could seep into your system. Because of each of these factors, we turned to a higher quality filling material: composite bonding material.

The Composite Difference

By turning away from amalgam fillings, we have created an opportunity for patients to get a restoration that they can feel good about. Bonding material strengthens your tooth while creating a lasting filling that you can count on for years to come. There are no dangerous substances, and a much lower risk of an allergic reaction to composite fillings. The procedure itself is completely comfortable, and you’ll love the natural-looking result!

Don’t damage the look of your natural teeth! Avoid black holes that draw unwanted attention. Instead, trust composite fillings to repair the damage done by decay. Contact us today to set up your next cleaning and exam. Should you need a filling, we will be able to take care of it in an aesthetically pleasing way!

Understand How to Overcome Your Genetics

As we move closer and closer to understanding the human genome, we are finding out more bits and pieces along the way. In regards to your oral health, your genetics play a much larger role than we previously suspected! About 60% of your risk for decay can be traced to one of those little genes floating around your body. Now the task is figuring out how to overcome bad genetics that might be causing dental problems!

Common Genetic Issues
Of course some genetic issues are more obvious than others. The strength of your tooth enamel and the shape of your teeth are major factors in the health of your teeth. The strength of your saliva is also playing a role. Taste ability and preferences are less obvious, but also play a role. That sweet tooth that’s getting you in trouble is a result of a genetic marker. Who knew?

Overcoming Genetics
There is no test here in our office to find out how “bad” your teeth are based on genetics, but we can look at your rate of decay. We can look at that the number of cavities you’ve had in the past 3-5 years and get a pretty good idea of what we’re up against, then we can make a plan. You can schedule cleanings more often and floss throughout the day, or you can ask us about dental sealants. The sealant covers the chewing surfaces of your teeth, protecting deeply-grooved or poorly enameled teeth from harm.

When you walk into our office, know that we are working for you. We will help you find out what’s going on in your mouth, and then we will help you figure out a solution. When it comes to teeth that are prone to decay, dental sealants are our solution! Contact us today to set up an appointment. Let us know if you’d like more ideas about how we can help you overcome your genetics when we see you again!