Oral Health and Drinks

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A beautiful smile starts with beautiful teeth. However, beautiful teeth have many adversaries found in foods & drinks.  Likewise, there are things that are good for teeth that come from food and beverages as well. The difference between stain and decay or white and shiny can all come down to a single sip.

So, what drinks can be labeled an ‘enemy’ of teeth-kind? First on our list are common breakfast drinks – coffee and citrus drinks like orange juice. Both of these drinks are highly acidic which means that they can cause decay of tooth enamel, increase the risk of tooth erosion and increase the quantity of bacteria all in one go. Coffee is also commonly known to stain teeth and citric beverages often have lots of added sugars which can cling to teeth and cause decay, erosion and encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. Another common beverage that is both acidic and sugary is soda. Soda can cause tooth erosion, decay enamel, increase bacteria and even stain teeth in a single sitting.

On the other hand, drinks like milk, tea and water are beneficial to the health of a beautiful smile. Teeth are bones, despite how much people do not want to think about it. Milk and bones have a special relationship where most of the minerals bones need to grow stronger come from milk.

Black and Green Tea naturally has plenty of things good for the body and soul and also teeth! Chemicals in tea are not corrosive and can help reduce the risk of tooth erosion and gum disease. Water as well is a natural mouth rinse can reduce the risk of dry mouth.

Despite how good something is for teeth, basic dental care such as flossing and brushing and visiting the dentist are still pivotal to a bright and beautiful smile.

The Benefits of Straight Teeth

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Misaligned teeth are not just a cosmetic dental issue.  The benefits of having straight teeth far outweigh the potential harmful long term affects of crooked teeth.

Chewing and biting down naturally adds pressure on gums, jaw and teeth.  Eating with teeth that are not properly aligned can cause added tooth on tooth pressure which make teeth more susceptible to chips or cracks.

Misaligned teeth can also contribute to dental problems. Straight teeth are easier to clean which means they deteriorate much slower and experience fewer cavities.  However, crooked teeth are harder to floss, brush or reach which can lead to plaque & bacteria being neglected.  If teeth are not properly cleaned this will start to affect gum and overall oral health.

Straighter teeth aids in better digestion.  Properly aligned teeth chews food more thoroughly extracting more of the necessary nutrients are bodies need.  Crooked, overcrowded and spaced out teeth can compromise the actual surface area needed for thorough chewing.  This may cause strain to the jaw which can lead to problems like sleep apnea or joint disorders of the jaw.

Misaligned jaws can cause headaches, face and neck pain.

In addition to the overall health benefits of straighter teeth, people with straight teeth tend to show them off more by smiling which exudes confidence.  Come in for a consultation with a Las Vegas Smile dentist to explore the latest technology and options for achieving straighter teeth.

Time for a New Toothbrush

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Keeping a consistent routine is a great way to combat most problems that might arise in oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly throughout the day can keep enamel and gums strong and breath smelling fresh! Most people would think that is all they need to worry about but that is not quite true.

Consider the process of flossing – with floss, it is a quick ‘one and done’ deal. Simply throw away the floss after use.

When it comes to a toothbrush, this practice is definitely not just routine. Usually, we do not throw away a toothbrush or even toothbrush head after each use but replacements should be considered after some time.

Toothbrushes and toothbrush heads can fray overtime which inhibits their effectiveness as they will not properly brush or scrub teeth as they should.

What about what we cannot see? Bacteria and germs gradually build up on the tool and make the brush itself counterproductive for oral hygiene. To avoid unneeded contact with germs and bacteria, be sure to replace toothbrushes and toothbrush heads every 90 days or sooner if the bristles begin to fray. Also consider making a change after an illness as whatever germs and viruses that caused the illness will most likely linger on an innocuous toothbrush or toothbrush head.

Maintaining teeth brushing tools can be done easily with the use of reminders for replacements on a calendar or cell phone. Buying in bulk makes switching much easier and quicker than buying individually and can be cheaper too.

Also, see your local dentist at Las Vegas Smile at least twice a year to maintain a healthy smile.

How Do Teeth Change with Age?

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As anyone who has reached middle-aged or older knows, everything in your body starts to change as time goes by. The same is true for your teeth. Of course, using the best dental hygiene practices can stave off problems for a very long time. However, physiological changes still affect dental health and appearance. Learn how teeth change with age and what you can do about this natural process.

Shifting and Movement of Teeth
The actual structure of your jaw and mouth change over time. Studies show that the dental arch begins to narrow once you hit around 40 years old. Add in the effects of gravity, constant chewing and pressure, and weakening musculature and bone density, and your teeth may shift out of optimum alignment. In most cases, this does not necessitate a return to braces or a retainer. However, it can cause some issues with bite alignment and additional friction can lead to weakened enamel and an increase in cavities.

Worn and Weakened Enamel
A lifetime of chewing and natural teeth movements wear down the enamel that covers every tooth surface. There is no way to avoid this because you cannot give up chewing your food. People who grind their teeth can help prevent this wear with certain dental protecting tools such as mouth guards. When the enamel thins, the chance of cavities and other problems like this can increase. It is extremely important that you maintain a proper dental care regimen no matter what.

Gums Thin and Recede
Periodontal disease, excessively harsh brushing, and the natural progression of the years all cause the gums to get thinner and drawback from the surfaces of your teeth. Lower production of saliva, which is another common issue as we age, can contribute to this problem as well. Make sure to speak with your dental expert to make sure you do not have gingivitis or other serious infections instead of simple age-related gum issues.

Teeth Discoloration
As the decades pass, food, beverages, smoking, and time can yellow or discolor your teeth. Even with the utmost care and avoidance of staining foods, your teeth do naturally get yellower as you age. This is due to the dentin layer showing through the outermost enamel as it thins.

Dental Nerves Weaken
One of the potentially good changes that happen to teeth as you age involves the dental nerve that goes up into the center of each one. These actually gets smaller as time goes on, which means you feel less pain during dental procedures, when biting wrong on something hard, or when eating hot or cold foods or beverages. On the other hand, weakened nerves can also hide serious dental problems as you cannot feel the usual pain associated with them. This is just one reason why it is important to maintain regularly scheduled dental appointments.

No matter how old you are, regular tooth care and visits to your Las Vegas dentist should remain part of your health and well-being schedule. If time or other issues make more serious problems arise, there are options your dentist can help with including implants, partial or full dentures, and more.

Cleaning Teeth Options – From Traditional to Trendy

Cleaning Teeth Options – From Traditional to Trendy

When most people think about teeth cleaning, they imagine a classic toothbrush and a tube of commercial toothpaste or they might remember their last professional cleaning with a dental hygienist. These days, more options exist than ever before. People are setting aside classic toothpaste and choosing more natural, unique, and sometimes startling products to get the bright, healthy smile they love.

Classic Baking Soda or Sea Salt
People have recommended brushing teeth with baking soda or sea salt for decades. They have similar abrasive materials to commercial toothpaste, which makes them a great way to remove food particles and plaque buildup. Many people do not like the taste and add a few drops of peppermint oil to the mixture.

Charcoal Toothpaste
The idea of using black charcoal toothpaste seems counterintuitive, but this trend can help whiten your smile and remove plaque. Activated charcoal can actually attract impurities and soak up plaque from the surface of your teeth. Charcoal generally has a higher abrasion factor then ingredients like baking soda or salt, so dentists recommend care when scrubbing your teeth with it. It may not look good when you scrub the black mixture around your mouth, and many people do not like the taste, but it is quite effective.

Natural Herbal Soap
Some forgo products specific to teeth completely. Instead, they use some type of natural soap with herbal or essential oil ingredients. While this can clean your mouth, it may not remove the stuck-on plaque that can cause problems. Instead of chemical detergents, most prepared dental soaps rely on healthy oils, plant ingredients like aloe vera and essential oils like peppermint or citrus for fresh breath.

Hydrogen Peroxide
This liquid kills most bacteria and can contribute to teeth whitening but may work better with a mouthwash then as a replacement for toothpaste. Of course, there is no abrasion involved. Hydrogen peroxide can also affect moisture levels in the mouth, which may contribute to bad breath or gum damage.

Coconut or Other Oils
The common Ayurvedic practice of oil swishing has become popular around the world in recent years. You may use coconut or other oils to brush your teeth as well. It has antibacterial properties, tastes fine, and can hydrate gums and sensitive tissues in the mouth.

Commercial toothpaste has been around since the 1870s. Over the years, oral health has improved greatly and continuous research leads to other options in dental care. Before you adopt a new product for your everyday regimen, take time to learn about all the benefits and risks.

In the end, as long as you choose a healthy method of cleaning your teeth, you will enjoy an attractive and happy smile for as long as possible. Before chasing trends or trying a new product, speak with your Las Vegas Smile dentist and research the potential benefits and problems. Many teeth cleaning options exist from traditional to trendy, but the best one for you is always the one that protects your teeth from damage while ensuring a healthy and beautiful smile.

How to Care for Your Dental Implants

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Dental implants improve your smile and mouth function, but they need special care and maintenance to look and work their very best. Learn how to care for your dental implants properly to reduce expensive and potentially painful problems in the future. At the same time, these tips will help you make the best first impression at work and in your social life, and keep it every day.

Avoid Foods that Can Damage Dental Implants
Much like natural teeth, certain foods can damage dental implants and should be avoided whenever possible. These include hard or chewy candies like peppermints and caramel, tough fibrous produce like carrots and apples, hard foods like taco shells and crusty bread, and ice. While having dental implants does not mean you can never eat a carrot or candy again, take care to serve them in the safest way possible. Also, drinking alcohol or smoking, especially during the months-long healing process, can cause considerable problems and discomfort.

Dental Implants Deserve Regular Brushing
Use a soft bristled toothbrush to care for your dental implants properly at least two times per day. Also, opt for a nonabrasive toothpaste so you do not damage the surface of these replacement teeth. During the healing process, you may want to shy away from strong peppermint or cinnamon flavors that may irritate sensitive gums.

Protect Your Gums With Flossing and Rinsing
One of the best ways to maintain dental health in general and prolong the appearance and usability of implants is to floss and use a water rinsing tool to get rid of food particles and bacteria between and around your new teeth. These tools, which spray a narrow stream of water used to clean between and around teeth, are highly effective for dental implant patients. However, take care not to use too strong a setting to avoid damage to the implants themselves. Look for floss specifically designed for use with implants for best results. If you are not able to floss immediately after eating, at least swish your mouth with water.

Get Regular Dental Checkups to Maintain Implants Longer
After the expense and experience of getting dental implants for a healthier and more attractive mouth, the last thing you want to do is take them for granted or ignore proper care. Your oral care specialist or dentist at Las Vegas Smile Center plays an important role in ongoing health. Schedule regular checkups and maintenance appointments to make sure your dental implants are functioning properly and your overall oral health is excellent. Also, do not put off making emergency dental appointments if you experience any swelling or pain as these can indicate an infection or other potentially serious problem.

When you follow these tips to care for your dental implants, you do not need to worry about difficulties like expensive repairs, discomfort and pain, and a poor-quality smile. After you have invested so much in the appearance and function of your mouth, makes sense to do what it takes to keep your tooth implants looking and feeling as good as new.

Give Teeth the Valentine’s Attention that they Deserve

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Valentine’s is almost here! Candy, love letters and maybe even a romantic candle lit dinner with a special someone. However, getting ready for the perfect day is not just about crisp clothes and fine jewelry. A riveting smile can really pull together just about any look.

Teeth are one of our longest lasting relationship and deserve to be treated well this holiday and every day after. Give them a gift that will make them shine! Been considering Invisalign or teeth whitening? Why not? A bi-annual visit to the dentist or a short term goal like Invisalign may be just what those teeth need to feel appreciated and help them be their best!

 

Sometimes it can be hard to give teeth the attention they deserve. Flossing and brushing can seem just a little too easy to glance over and maybe even a bit tedious. Try turning it into a date! Put on some music and pay extra special attention to dental hygiene for just a few minutes. The music will help keep time while also making the task seem much less tedious.

Be sure to extend that care throughout the day too! Stay hydrated, avoid sugar and try not to use those pearly whites as tools to open things or chew needlessly.

What Actually Causes Cavities?

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Teeth cavities are small holes that form on the surface of teeth as a result of decay.  Cavities are one of the most common dental problems worldwide, which require treatment in the form of fillings.  If not treated in a timely manner then they can lead to further complications such as a tooth fracture or a pulp infection.   However, the good news is that cavities can be prevented.

What are teeth made of?

Teeth are protected on the exterior by enamel (a dense, mineralized layer). The enamel on healthy teeth shields the underlying softer dentin and the pulp (innermost nervous tissue).  Additionally, the cementum (calcified substance) surrounds the root of the teeth.

How does tooth decay begin?

It all starts when regular oral hygiene maintenance such brushing and flossing is ignore.   A thick layer called plaque (comprising of food debris and bacteria) forms on the surfaces of the teeth.  Over time the plaque hardens and turns into calculus.  Both the plaque and calculus provide an ideal environment for the harmful bacteria to grow.

Bacteria and tooth decay

These bacteria utilize the sugars and carbohydrates from the plaque and calculus as their food and release chemicals that increase the acidity of the oral environment. When the acidity of the oral cavity rises beyond a certain limit, minerals from the tooth enamel dissolves. This process is known as demineralization.

How are cavities formed on decayed teeth?

If this situation continues unchecked, the enamel becomes so porous that holes start to form on the tooth surface.  The following may occur:

  • The weakening of the tooth structure – when the enamel becomes demineralized, the tooth structure becomes so weak that it may get chipped or fractured.
  • Tooth sensitivity – when the enamel is destroyed, the underlying dentin and pulp layers are exposed. The dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves that sense temperature and pressure. When the nerves in the pulp are exposed to the cavity, the tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold liquids.
  • Pulp inflammation – if the tooth exposure is not treated timely through a dental filling, it can result in the irreversible inflammation of the pulp. At this point, there might be extreme pain and the person may need an emergency dentist to perform a root canal operation to save the tooth from extraction.

But all this can be avoided by eating teeth-friendly foods, daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentists at Las Vegas Smile for checkups.  The dentist will be able to detect tooth demineralization and take measures to stop it.

Teeth Friendly Foods

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Food naturally sticks to teeth and can affect people in negative ways. Plaque, cavities and bad breath can all be a side effect of the food we eat but some foods can also aid in oral health.

Leafy greens are well known to be good for digestive health and packed full of iron and fiber but they also can reduce the risk of oral cancer. Studies done recently have concluded that smokers, specifically women, have reduced chances of developing oral cancer simply by eating leafy greens.

Another vegetable that helps keep teeth clean is the beloved carrot. Carrots help combat plaque. Plaque is a film that forms over the teeth that eats away at both enamel and gums. Any medium sized carrot or a handful of baby carrots can take care of the job.

Next is fruit! Surprisingly, even fruit, with their sugary taste, are helpful soldiers in the battle for oral health. Strawberries actually house a specific acid, malic acid, that is known to whiten teeth naturally. No need for synthesized chemicals!

Raisins are full of antioxidants, we all know this. However, not everyone knows that these antioxidants help slow or even halt the growth of at least two different types of bacteria that naturally grow in the mouth. Thank the raisins for fresher breath and whiter teeth!

Lastly and most strangely is hard cheese. Dairy products are known to help build strong teeth and bones but hard cheese eaten at the end of a meal will help maintain the pH balance. Just like the pH balance of a pool stops sludge from forming, oral pH balance does the same!

Dental Benefits Will Expire Soon

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December 31 marks the end of the planning year for most insurance companies, especially ones that focus on dental care. This means that any benefits still remaining in their accounts will be forfeit and will not be carried over to the next year. Those premium benefits will simply no longer exist. It is like throwing away a perfectly good steak dinner! What a waste!

Usually, accounts cover up to a certain dollar amount every year. So long as expenses do not go over this set amount, there is no hassle. In this case, leaving free money laying around can be not only disappointing but potentially detrimental to an account holder’s oral health.

Currently, because of Covid-19, potential dentistry clients are postponing or even canceling their appointments in hopes of staying home and keeping their distance from other people. That means more spaces available for simple check-ups and teeth cleaning or much needed dental surgeries from trusted doctors and assistants.

Even if there is no pain, discomfort or previously missed appointments, scheduling an appointment is still highly recommended for continued dental health. Something as simple and seemingly unimportant as teeth whitening can play a huge role in maintaining a stunning smile and healthy teeth and gums.

There is still some time before the last day of the year and the last day of those coveted benefits before they vanish forever. Just a little bit of time can have a huge impact on the future.