Posts for: December, 2018
’Tis the season for holiday joy with sweet treats at every turn. Don’t let it be the season for dental woes as well. You've heard that sugar causes cavities. That’s because bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and release acid as a by-product. The acid eats away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay if not checked. To protect your smile during the December onslaught of cookies, candies and other goodies, follow these tips:
Seek balance. Foods that stick to your teeth like candy canes, chewy candies or potato chips provide more opportunity for cavities to develop. To help keep your smile sparkling for the New Year, mix it up with healthy options. Chances are you will come across tooth-healthy offerings like raw vegetables, a cheese plate or mixed nuts. Vegetables scrub your teeth while you chew and stimulate the production of saliva, which helps neutralize acid and rebuild tooth enamel. Cheese also neutralizes acid in the mouth and has minerals that strengthen teeth, while nuts stimulate saliva production and provide vitamins and minerals that keep teeth strong and healthy.
Consider your timing. There’s a higher risk of developing tooth decay when sweets are consumed as standalone snacks, so when you do eat sugary treats, try to have them at mealtime. Repeated snacking between meals exposes teeth to food particles throughout the day, and the acids produced can continue to act on your teeth for 20 minutes after a treat is consumed. During meals, however, other foods present help balance out the sugar and stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acid and wash away food particles, sugar and acid from your teeth.
Watch what you drink. Sipping sweet drinks over time can have ill effects on your teeth because of prolonged contact with sugar. If you consume sugary beverages, try to do so in moderation and preferably along with a meal. Sipping your drink through a straw can help keep the beverage away from direct contact with your teeth. Consider opting for water—there are plenty of other opportunities for extra sugar and calories! Besides, water washes away food bits and dilutes acidity. After eating the sweet stuff, it’s a good idea to drink water or at the very least swish a little water around in your mouth.
Keep up good oral hygiene. With all the holiday busyness—shopping, gatherings with friends and family, school functions—you may find yourself exhausted at the end of the day. Still, this is an especially important time to keep up your oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste morning and night and flossing every day are key to keeping your teeth for the long haul.
Finally, if you are due for a dental checkup or cleaning, give us a call to make sure you start the New Year with a healthy smile. If you have a flexible spending account that will expire with the calendar year, make it a priority to fit in an end-of-year dental appointment. Please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation if you would like more information about keeping in the best oral health. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Nutrition & Oral Health” and “The Bitter Truth About Sugar.”
Unlike other types of cosmetic damage, dental stains and discolorations tend to develop gradually, making them difficult to detect in the short term. Your teeth may not necessarily look any different in the mirror or in pictures, but over time you may notice that your smile is not only as white and bright as it once was, but it may actually look several shades darker, or duller than you remember. Unfortunately, following a good oral hygiene routine and even going to the dentist regularly may not be enough to protect your teeth from the stains and discolorations that develop from common lifestyle factors and practices like diet, smoking, genetics, and even the aging process itself. Dr. Kenneth Sharp, a dentist in McKinney, TX, recommends professional teeth whitening treatments for the most effective and long-lasting results.
Professional Teeth Whitening in McKinney, TX
Over the counter products like whitening strips and toothpastes can help to counteract the effects of a daily coffee or tea habit to some degree, but they are not as strong or as effective as the professional grade whitening agents used by a dentist. Not only can a professional whitening treatment potentially whiten your teeth by several shades in a single appointment, they are also safer than some products which be abrasive and damage the enamel layer.
Benefits of Professional Tooth Whitening Treatments
Sometimes a simple whitening procedure is all it takes to transform a dull and discolored smile. In many cases, whiter teeth can make people look younger, more confident and competent in their interactions at work and in social settings, and improve personal confidence and self-esteem in the process.
Find a Dentist in McKinney, TX
Ready to invest in a new and improved smile? Contact Stonebridge Ranch Smiles today by calling (972) 984-1882 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sharp.