Posts for: March, 2019
Your Charlotte Dentist Shares Why Proper Nutrition Goes Hand in Hand with Your Smile
When you brush your teeth every morning and night, you know that this is an integral part of your oral and dental health. Skipping this step can be dangerous and can allow bacteria to form, causing cavities, decay, and other potential issues. As you’re ensuring that your dental routine is up to par, your Charlotte dentist urges you to do the same with your daily diet!
The nutrition you consume plays a huge part in your dental health and can start to show negative side effects if your diet doesn’t include enough healthy and beneficial foods. A balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, protein-rich foods, calcium-rich foods, and other beneficial factors will give you the right nutrients that can only make your teeth stronger, your smile wider, and your overall health simply better!
With the help of these calcium rich-foods, you’ll be able to both strengthen your teeth and bones:
- Low-fat/fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Soy drinks/tofu
Vitamin C Foods and Drinks
To better your gum health, integrate some of these naturally sweet and tasty items:
- Citrus fruits and natural citrus beverages
Remember, too much of a good thing can also be dangerous, so don’t hesitate to ask us how to enjoy these things moderately to get the most out of their helpful ingredients and resources. For example, while citrus fruits have plenty of natural Vitamin C, they’re also extremely abrasive and can weaken and erode your enamel. Without the protective surface of your tooth, you’re exposing the root of the tooth, which holds the nerves and can cause sharp pains when in contact with foods and drinks of varying temperatures and ingredients.
What to Know about Snacking
We know that there are countless snacks out there that promote healthy living, but not all these snacks apply to the healthiness of your teeth and gums. The act of snacking in between meals can be extremely harmful by itself – the more often you eat, especially in between your major meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the more likely you are to expose your teeth to acidic, damaging ingredients that weaken your smile.
If you do choose to snack, be careful about what you pick! Fresh produce is some of the best options, like celery, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. Dried fruit, while convenient, is packed with sugary ingredients for longevity and sucked of their natural, truly beneficial aspects. Many naturally grown fruits already contain water, a beneficial factor for your smile, and dried fruit removes this to preserve the snack for longer periods of time. Trust us – still to the natural stuff!
Looking for more ways to maintain a healthy smile? Give your Charlotte dentist a call at (704) 541-5059 and schedule a consultation with our office. Every smile is unique, and our goal is to give you the best treatment that’s right for your teeth!
Nobody’s perfect. We all pick up bad habits along the way. Even our oral health isn’t immune. Try as you may, odds are you’ve picked up a habit or two in the name of convenience. That’s totally okay! We get it. And that’s why we’re here: to ensure your oral health is in fantastic shape. Here are a few less-than-stellar dental habits that we often see, with some tips on how to break them.
1. Putting Off a Dental Visit
You knew we had to start here! If you don’t visit the dentist every six months, or if it’s been a while since we’ve seen your smile, schedule an appointment today! You can call us at 704-541-5059 or request an appointment online. Staying on top of your dental health today can save yourself a lot of time and money down the road.
2. Not Flossing
Again, you probably figured this would be on here. And you know what, it’s for good reason. Flossing helps prevent decay and gum disease. It’s super important! So how can you remember to floss more? Put a post-it note on your mirror as a reminder. Invest in a flossing stick — some people find it much easier than the traditional method. Floss at the same time each day to build up a routine. You can also start small, setting a goal of once per week. After that settles in you may find yourself craving a good floss after brushing.
3. Brushing Too Vigorously
One of the top causes of worn enamel is brushing too hard. If your arm is sore after brushing, or your toothbrush bristles start to flare out in a few weeks time, or you look like a cartoon sawing at your teeth, pull back on the reins. Along with your enamel, over time this friction will also wear away your gum tissue. Keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the base of the gums, and move the brush in a gentle, circular motion. We highly recommend getting an electric toothbrush, which will apply the correct amount of pressure to your teeth and gums.
4. Using an Old Toothbrush
When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? It’s not something you often think of, right? The problem with using an old toothbrush is that its frayed bristles can end up damaging your teeth rather than cleaning them properly. You should change your toothbrush every three to four months. A good way to remember is to change your toothbrush on the first day of every new season. That way you’ll never have an old brush!
5. Letting the Water Run
This one is self-explanatory, and it’s an easy fix. After you wet your tooth brush turn off the tap. That initial wetting is all the water you’ll need. Turning off the water is good for your bill and great for Mother Earth.
Chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck? If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your hand, follow these steps!
1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment (704-541-5059). Let us know about your emergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away.
2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold mik, water, saliva), and bring them to your appointment.
3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.
4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad until bleeding stops.
It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it.
If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.
In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to correct a cracked tooth immediately.
Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And, that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and even the local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your children. There’s always a lot going on in that little mouth!
Stage One: White Spots
In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your child’s molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to your Charlotte dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth.
Stage Two: Enamel Decay
Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and your child will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling.
Stage Three: Dentin Decay
If a cavity in your child’s mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it when it started to hit stage three because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.
Stage Four: Involvement of The Pulp
Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction.
Stage Five: Abscess Formation
In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. A root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage.
As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You can keep your kids far from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy despite the griping.