5 Tooth-Savvy Travel Tips

Pack a toothbrush when you travel.

Vacation is the perfect time to kick back and forget about your responsibilities. But don’t let your dental health fall by the wayside. Follow these tips to stay on top of your oral health wherever you go.

  1. Keep supplies handyHeading out on a long road trip? Keep floss, a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in the glove compartment. They’ll be easily accessible when you want to clean your teeth at a rest stop after snacking.
  2. Skip the travel casesTravel cases for toothbrushes seem like a great idea. They help prevent the bristles from touching surfaces that could transfer bacteria, right? Actually, the moist environment can encourage bacterial growth. Skip the travel case and let your toothbrush air-dry before putting it away.
  3. Choose carry-onHopping on a plane? Keep a small tube of toothpaste in a quart- size sealable plastic bag, along with your toothbrush and floss.

    Each container can have up to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) of liquid or gel. Carrying your dental supplies with you is better than stowing them in your check-in luggage, because it lets you brush your teeth during the flight and any layovers you might have.

  4. Visit the dentist before you leaveDon’t leave home with a toothache. If you’re experiencing any pain, make an appointment with your dentist before you leave. The last thing you need is a dental emergency far from home.

    If you have fillings or have had other restorative treatment, ask your dentist to check your mouth before you fly. Air trapped in your teeth can expand or contract at extreme altitudes, causing pain, inflammation and even loose fillings, crowns or dentures. This condition, called “tooth squeeze” or barodontalgia, can also occur while scuba diving.

  5. Stick to your routineMost important: Don’t stray from your oral health routine. You may be on vacation, but plaque and harmful bacteria aren’t. Stick to brushing twice and flossing once a day to keep your teeth cavity-free.
Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Comments Off on 5 Tooth-Savvy Travel Tips

New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

New year

With the new year approaching, you may have already begun to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You may be considering resolving to save money, get a better job or lose weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year. Why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions improving your dental health?

Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum (periodontal) disease. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products

Using tobacco can harm your mouth in a number of ways, increasing your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and throat, lung and oral cancer. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. It’s not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as harmful to your oral health. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health, but did you know that it may also affect your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol also have increased gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers.

Brush at Least Twice a Day and Floss at Least Once a Day

Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque – a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health: according to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins.

Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually, gum disease. Because diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body, it is especially important to maintain good oral health.

See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups

By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address areas of concern.

For this new year, resolve to treat your mouth right: improve your diet, quit smoking and improve your oral hygiene habits – your teeth and your body will thank you for it!

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

9 Ways to Stop Bad Breath

How to fight bad breath

More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue.

Bad breath can be very embarrassing, but it is a common condition and there are numerous ways to prevent it. Following these tips can help you fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy on a daily basis.

 

  • 1. Brush teeth twice a day.

    Brush your teeth two to three minutes at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris. It’s very important to brush your teeth before going to bed. You might try an additional round of brushing with baking soda to reduce the acidity in the mouth and make it difficult for the bacteria that cause bad breath to grow.

  • 2. Floss daily.

    Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.

  • 3. Brush or scrape your tongue.

    To remove any residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds in the tongue, invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper, which is available in drugstores. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.

  • 4. Use a mouth rinse.

    Keep in mind that if a dental problem is the cause of chronic bad breath, a mouth rinse will only mask the odor and not cure it. In some cases, mouth rinses may actually worsen a bad breath problem by irritating oral tissue. For an emergency freshen-up, try a quick rinse with a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Or rinse your mouth with black or green tea: according to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago, rinsing your mouth with black or green tea suppresses the growth of bacteria that cause mouth odor.

  • 5. Visit your dentist.

    The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If you have chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems. Or, if your dentist believes that the problem is caused from a systemic (internal) source such as an infection, he or she may refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the cause of the problem.

  • 6. Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products.

    If you ever needed another reason to quit, here’s an easy one: smoking contributes to bad breath. Tobacco tends to dry out your mouth and can leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth.

  • 7. Wet your whistle.

    Be sure to drink a sufficient amount of water (six to eight 8-ounce glasses) daily to avoid dry mouth. Drinking water will help keep odor under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. If you have chronic dry mouth or take medications that cause you to have dry mouth, talk to your dentist about recommending an over-the-counter saliva substitute.

  • 8. Eat a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum.

    Sucking on a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva flow. The saliva will help to wash away food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath.

  • 9. Munch on a carrot, a stick of celery or an apple.

    Snacks of crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables step up your saliva flow between meals to help wash away bacteria from teeth, tongue and gums that can cause bad breath. These snacks can also help alleviate bad breath caused by hunger or fasting. An empty stomach from skipping meals can cause foul breath as acids in the stomach build up.

taken from deltadentalins.com

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Comments Off on 9 Ways to Stop Bad Breath

Acid Reflux? Your Dentist May Notice Before You Do

Dentist examines a patient’s teeth for signs of acid reflux

Most people recognize heartburn: that painful burning sensation radiating from inside the chest. Persistent symptoms, more than twice weekly, may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But not everyone with GERD has the symptoms of heartburn. In fact, you may have GERD and not even know it.

How can your dentist tell?

GERD, commonly called acid reflux, is caused when the esophageal sphincter, which separates the stomach from the esophagus, allows acid to seep out of the stomach. Many times this acid causes symptoms of heartburn, but not always. Sometimes the first indication that a person may have GERD is the erosion of the enamel on the molars or on the backside of teeth.

Stomach acid eats away at the enamel on your teeth. A pattern of enamel loss on the back teeth can indicate to your dentist that you have GERD.

What can you do?

Loss of enamel is permanent and can increase your risk of tooth decay. Enamel is a protective layer on the outside of your teeth. GERD can cause other long-term damage, such as irritation and inflammation of your esophagus, which makes you more susceptible to esophageal cancer.

That’s why getting a regular oral exam from a dentist is so important — your dentist may find early symptoms of a potentially serious problem before it progresses. In fact, more than 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations that may be detected during an oral exam by a dentist.

Prevent GERD

You can lower your risk of acid reflux by eating smaller meals, staying upright after eating and cutting out smoking and alcohol. Changing your diet can also help. Trigger foods and drinks include tomatoes, citric fruits, chocolate, coffee, garlic, onions and meals that are spicy, acidic or high in fat. Losing weight, especially in the abdominal area, can also go a long way in reducing GERD.

taken from deltadentalins.com

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Comments Off on Acid Reflux? Your Dentist May Notice Before You Do

Say “Cheese”! Eating Cheese Can Help Your Teeth

Eating cheese can help your teeth

Did you know that there are more than 1,000 types of cheese? Packed with calcium and able to restore enamel, this dairy product is more than just a tasty topping — it can also offer a boost to your dental health. But before you stock up your fridge, make sure you know your cheeses. Not all types offer the same advantages.

Champion cheeses

When you’re looking for a tooth-friendly appetizer, these cheeses are the real deal.

  • Aged
    • Monterey Jack
    • Cheddar
  • Soft-ripened
    • Brie
    • Camembert
  • Blue
    • Gorgonzola
    • Roquefort

“Take it easy” cheeses

With added sugars and reduced cheese content, processed cheese products can wear down your enamel, increasing your chance for cavities.

  • Pre-packaged cheese dips
  • Cheese sprays
  • American cheese

The magic behind the cheese

What is it about cheese that makes it so good for your teeth? A number of factors help stop decay.

  • Calcium and phosphorus strengthen bone.
  • Casein and whey protein build up enamel to prevent cavities.
  • Chewing stimulates saliva flow to wash away sugar and bacteria.
taken from deltadentalins.com
Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Comments Off on Say “Cheese”! Eating Cheese Can Help Your Teeth