Tips for Maintaining a Dental-Friendly Diet

Teeth are built to last, and with proper care they can provide us with a lifetime of great smiles. One way to keep teeth healthy and strong is with a dental-friendly diet.

Eat for Good General Health

Vitamins and minerals are essential for good health. These nutrients are best consumed through the food we eat. Many of these nutrients are great for oral health too, so a nutritious diet is a great start to taking care of your teeth. Teeth are a kind of bone tissue, so any nutrients that are good for your bones are good for your teeth, too. Look out for these vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A is important for gum health and healing.
  • Vitamin C is vital for gum health, and helps protect the teeth against the earliest stages of gum disease.
  • Vitamin K is important in protein production, including proteins that are important for bone health, and the maintenance of bone tissue.

Snack on High-fiber Foods

Nutrient-rich veggies and fruits can be great for general and oral health, and they have an additional benefit for teeth and gum health. Eating crisp and crunchy foods such as celery, carrots, and other veggies helps keep your teeth clean between meals. The action of chewing these foods helps to clear plaque away while promoting saliva production, helping to neutralize acids from food and oral bacteria.

Avoid Sugars

As well as foods to choose, there are foods to avoid: the most important being those that are high in sugar. Feeding on sugars makes oral bacterial produce acids that break down tooth enamel, promoting decay and disease. To prevent this from happening, avoid sugary foods whenever possible. And when you do eat them, try and brush promptly afterward to mitigate the damage.

Choose the Right Beverages

Certain beverages aren’t great for oral health: in particular, sugary beverages, carbonated drinks, and alcohol lead to an oral environment that promotes tooth decay. Choosing water over other beverages whenever possible is best for oral health.

Water is a great choice for another reason: it’s the best way to stay hydrated. This helps ensure your mouth can produce enough saliva to stay moist and at the right pH to reduce bacteria growth.

Don’t Chew on Ice

Chewing on ice may be enjoyable, but it’s terrible for your teeth! Ice and other hard substances can crack the teeth. Even tiny, non-visible cracks make the teeth susceptible to further damage. Tiny cracks can become larger over time, eventually resulting in large chips or cracks, and even broken teeth.

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FABULOUS FLOSSING

…The Right Way to a Flawless Floss

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At Mitchell Dentistry, we take every opportunity to guide and educate our patients on how to maintain their healthy, beautiful smiles. We are great fans of the “perfect flossing technique” and are happy to share it with you. And don’t worry if you struggle with your technique at the beginning, flossing is a learned skill and you will get better with practice.

Thanks for the American Dental Association and MouthHealthy.org for creating an easy guide to the proper way to floss.  Remember: at least once a day the right way to keep your mouth healthy!

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.
 

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

 

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.

 

When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

 

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.

Let us know if you have any questions about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy summer from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your vacation, but please take care of your smile!

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Memorial Day Weekend heralds the official start of summer, and for many of our patients, that means vacation time. Sandy beaches, cool mountain tops and family reunions beckon, and our team at Mitchell Dentistry wishes you a warm bon voyage – with one caveat: please remember your oral health while you are away.

We want to make sure you have fun and fond memories of your summertime travels, without the worry of a dental emergency or other oral health issues as a result of being away.

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Here are 10 recommendations to make sure you have a great time, and return with your healthy smile intact:

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Schedule a regular dental checkup before you head out for vacation. Wherever you’re going, you’ll be happy to have a clean, fresh professional cleaning before you go.
  • Make sure to keep our contact information handy in your phone or datebook, In case of emergency while you’re out of town.
  • Pack small – the more compact your oral hygiene items, the more likely you are to keep them handy – and use them. Opt for foldable toothbrushes, mini toothpaste and small bottles of mouthwash that will fit in your purse.
  • Remember your electronic toothbrush. It may seem more cumbersome but they come with a travel case for a reason. Easy to pack into your suitcase, and so much better for your teeth in the long run!

WHILE YOU’RE TRAVELING

  • Forgot your toothbrush? Rinse vigorously with water, or use toothpaste on your finger just to tide you over until you can buy one.
  • Store your toothbrush in a sealable plastic bag for travel, but don’t forget to open the bag when you arrive to give your toothbrush ventilation, preventing against the growth of bacteria.
  • Brush teeth with bottled water if you aren’t certain the local water is safe for drinking.

DURING THE VACAY

  • Just as we try to keep up with our exercise regimen, it’s also a good idea to maintain oral health through twice a day massage of your gums and teeth by brushing and once a day flossing. Your summer will be worry free with a brighter smile!
  • You will likely be drinking more fluids to compensate for sweating, and there is no better fluid for your body and teeth than plain water. Soda and lemonade taste good, but those acids and sugars will cause erosion and decay. Water is best!
  • We all tend to snack more on vacation, but try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and watch out for high fructose corn syrup – it’s not good for your teeth, or your waistline.

And one bonus tip for those weekend warriors who are highly active and athletic on vacation: remember a mouth guard for those sports where your mouth is at risk for injury. We want you to bring your beautiful smile back to Southwest Florida!

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy summer from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

How dentistry can help patients with sleep disorders

Taking a deeper look at sleep…

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Have you ever taken such an interest in something that you have wanted to learn all you can about it?

At Mitchell Dentistry, we were among the first in our community to talk to our patients about the dangers of sleep apnea and how we might be able to help with this life threatening disorder. For several years, we have worked with area physicians, and have introduced ever evolving oral appliances to ease the situation for many patients. We’ve talked with many who are relieved about breathing better – and many more who are excited that their loved ones have stopped snoring all night!

All three of us, Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe and I, are excited about a three-day conference we will soon be attending in Arizona. We will amp up our education with the latest courses on aberrant breathing – when awake and asleep – and its impact on our patients’ health. This seminar will help us move beyond sleep appliances and into a new realm of sleep medicine.

We will learn to recognize breathing-disturbed sleep and the associated anatomic “choke points” of respiration. The world’s leading experts on this issue will help us enhance our solid foundation and give us even more tools for controlling and resolving airway issues with the newest techniques in restorative dentistry.

According to Spear Education, among the things we will learn to bring back to our patients include:

  • Understanding how breathing-related disruption of sleep is not limited to apnea
  • How upper airway flow limitation creates an environment for poor sleep and chronic stress
  • The causes and correlation between the top 10 dental problems and dysfunctional breathing
  • The importance of breathing disordered sleep on the systemic, neurocognitive, and craniofacial development of our pediatric patients
  • Understanding the importance of nasal breathing, the damaging sequela of mouth breathing, and the strategies to promote proper function
  • A systematic approach to controlling and resolving sleep-induced airway issues

Those of you who know us know how much we love learning, and applying our newfound knowledge in our practice. We can’t wait to share ideas with you when we return from the conference.

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Sugary Drinks: From a Dental Student’s Point of View

At Mitchell Dentistry, one of our top priorities is educating our patients. A critical challenge is how to provide sometimes technical information that is clear, concise and easy to understand. Perhaps that’s why the American Dental Association (ADA) has a contest for dental students in health literacy. This year’s winner, Ida Gorshteyn, was just announced, and we understand why. Her essay entitled  “The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile” does an excellent job of presenting important information in an entertaining, informative way.

Ms. Gorshteyn says, “This essay was actually one of my first experiences with health literacy. It was eye-opening and educational to see firsthand how nuanced and actually difficult it is to write with a public health targeted audience and goal in mind.“

 We congratulate Ida Gorshteyn and hope you find her article helpful:

 The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile

By Ida Gorshteyn

UCLA School of Dentistry student

Winning Essay 2017

 Sweetened beverages have become a treat that many Americans have every day. The truth is that these drinks are not healthy, especially for our dental health and smiles. Everyone has harmful bacteria in their mouths that eat the sugars we consume. The bacteria get energy from the sugar, but in the process produce acid. The acid they make can damage teeth, causing cavities to form or erosion to occur.

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Some of the most common beverages that Americans drink actually have loads of sugar, even drinks that are marketed as “healthy” or “all natural”. If you think you’re safe with drinks like juice, think again! A glass of apple juice can contain a similar amount of sugar to glass of soda. According to the USDA, sugar should make up no more than 10% of your daily calories. For women, that is 10-15 tsp. per day. For men, it’s 12.5-18.75 tsp. Just one glass of that apple juice would put many people at (or just under) their entire daily limit.

Eliminating sugary beverages from our diets would be best, but reducing the number of sugary beverages you consume and substituting healthier options with less sugar is already a step in the right direction. Here is a list of drinks that are full of sugar and drinks that are better choices.

Lots of Sugar Better Choices 
 Soda Water
 Energy drinks Unsweetened tea
 Chocolate milk Milk
 Smoothies Plain sparkling water
 Fruit punch or juice Diluted juice

All of the drinks in the better choice column have little or no sugar. That means they won’t give the bacteria in your mouth a chance to cause trouble and make acid that can damage your teeth. Water can also contain fluoride, which protects teeth against cavities. The calcium in milk also helps keep your teeth strong. If you or your children are allergic to cow’s milk, try unsweetened milk substitute (such as almond, soy, rice) with added calcium.

If you find you can’t resist your morning cup of sweetened coffee, tea, or juice, there still are some things you can do to help protect your teeth. Here are some suggestions to consider.

  • Drink, don’t sip. Sipping gives the bacteria more time to eat the sugar and to create cavities. Drink quickly to give your body time to wash away the bad stuff. Try to drink sweetened coffees, teas or sodas in one sitting instead of sipping on them over a longer amount of time. If you give your child juice, have them drink it with meals only, and put only water in a sippy cup they might carry around during the day.
  • Fluoride is your friend. If your community’s water is fluoridated, drink tap water to improve your dental health. Fluoride protects teeth and has re-duced the number of cavities across the nation.
  • Brush and clean between your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth once a day. Ask your dentist about the best way to do this. Help all kids under the age of eight to brush and floss well, and be sure to visit to your dentist regularly.

Knowing what drinks contain sugar and that sugar-sweetened drinks can hurt your dental health is a good start. Set some goals for your family to follow these tips. Good habits begin at a young age, so help your kids make healthy decisions about what they choose to drink. Set a positive example, and you will all have healthier smiles and a healthier future.

 

All of us at Mitchell Dentistry hope you take these suggestions to heart for your healthier, happier smile. As always, we are here for your questions and concerns. Let us know what you think about this essay, and if there are other topics you would like us to share with you.

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

Collaboration results in spectacular smiles!

Working together, we can achieve your most natural, beautiful, unique smile through Digital Smile Design, a process founded and taught by Dr. Christian Coachman. At Mitchell Dentistry we have trained to use the techniques and digital technology of Dr. Coachman to bring you non-invasive procedures and a custom treatment plan to help accomplish your goals.

Our first step is to ensure that we have open and honest communication before any work is done. By using advanced digital technology, we can create multiple different models to simulate the intended results specifically for you.

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Following Dr. Coachman’s guidelines and letting you know what to expect has benefited our patients in the following ways:

  • High satisfaction with their new smile
  • Truly customized results – no two smile designs are exactly alike
  • A natural look that complements overall appearance
  • Increased confidence throughout the treatment process
  • Multidisciplinary approach preserves health and hygiene

Most patients report that they like having greater control over the outcome of their cosmetic treatment. We work together with a systematic approach for diagnosis, communication, treatment planning, execution, and case maintenance. Here is how the Digital Smile Design process works:

Step 1: Our team will take digital photos of your teeth and entire mouth from multiple angles

Step 2: You and Dr. Jim, Dr. Yolanda or Dr. Joe will review the photos using special software that allows us to begin demonstrating potential changes via a PowerPoint presentation

Step 3: A simulation of your smile after treatment will be rendered in a “digital mock-up” that reflects the proper height to width ratio of your mouth

Step 4: Our team takes impressions of your teeth and Dr. Mitchell translates the digital design onto the physical model to predict how you will look

Step 5: We will create a resin model to see how well the modeled treatments fit your teeth and your needs

Once you are happy with the final mock-up, our dentists will perform any necessary treatments according to the roadmap you and Dr. Mitchell developed through the Digital Smile Design process.

The bottom line is that you are the co-designer of your own treatment.

Dr. Coachman’s team explains it this way:

The concept is based upon the analysis of the patient’s facial and dental proportions, using a predetermined series of high quality digital photographs and videos understanding the relationship between teeth, gums, lips, smile with the facial features in motion and with emotion.

Digital drawings are easily made on the pictures to precisely communicate with the dental technician and team when designing the smile. Resulting in a clear, attractive and understandable treatment presentation for patients.

We love working with all the newest technology, and hope to continue this discussion with you very soon. As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

 

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

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Dr. Joe, Dr. Yolanda and Dr. Jim Mitchell of Mitchell Dentistry, Fort Myers

All the best,

Dr. Jim

More about Dr. Coachman from http://www.DigitalSmileDesign.com

Dr. Christian Coachman received his DDS degree from the University of Sao Paulo Dental School in 2002. Before the DDS degree, he obtained his technician certificate in in Dental Prosthesis.

He participated in the ceramic specialization program at Ceramoart Training Center, mentored by Dr. Dario Adolfi. For his remarkable performance, he was invited to become instructor at this same school. In 2004, he was invited by Dr. David Garber, Ronald Goldstein, Maurice and Henry Salama (Team Atlanta/USA) to be the master ceramist in their laboratory, where he stayed for over four years.

Recently he has been working with renowned dentists around the world as Drs. Eric Van Dooren (Belgium), Galip Gurel (Turkey), Nizan Bichacho (Israel), Mauro Fradeani (Italy) and Marcelo Calamita (Brazil). Currently, he keeps a part time practice in Sao Paulo and make consults for companies developing products and implementing concepts. He developed the concept of the Digital Smile Design and has been invited to give hundreds of lectures around the world in the last few years on the topics of smile design, esthetic dentistry, and oral rehabilitation.

He has published several articles on esthetic dentistry, smile design, pink restorations, and implant rehabilitations.

 

We are grateful for healthy smiles!

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Thanksgiving is almost here! This is the time of year to catch up with family, and to reflect on all you have to be grateful for. Plus, it’s a time to feast on a variety of delicious foods, some of which are not the healthiest choices. You don’t have to sacrifice an enjoyable holiday to still pay attention to your dental care.  Here are five tips to maintaining your healthy smile while enjoying a happy holiday.

  1. Keep meal time to a reasonable timeframe. Long lingering meals result in continuous exposure to the acids in food, allowing cavity-causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. Think about finishing the meal, and then focus on playing games, sharing stories, or watching movies instead of non-stop nibbling.unknown
  2. Stay Hydrated. It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water, but especially when you’re eating lots of rich, sweet foods. Staying hydrated can help wash away debris and prevent plaque formation. In addition to providing a light rinse for your mouth between bites, drinking water helps improve your saliva flow, which further fights cavities. Water is also an excellent replacement for more damaging drink options like juice or soda.
  3. Brush and floss. Remember your dental hygiene on Thanksgiving. If you are at home, remember to brush and floss after you’ve finished eating. If you are at a friend or family member’s home, a quick rinse of your mouth in the restroom will help reduce bacteria on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum is also a good way to wipe away leftover food particles, improve your saliva flow, and assist with your digestion.
  4. Ditch the sticky stuff. Offenders like cranberry relish, pecan pie and mashed potatoes are acidic, sweet, and stick to your teeth for hours to come, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to infect your gums and eat through your enamel. If one of these is your favorite, just make sure you swish with water after eating and brush your teeth to wipe away the gummy remains.
  5. Make a post-holiday cleaning appointment. We all know the holiday season can be bad for your weight, but the desserts and long meals are also tough on your teeth. If you’re concerned about caries or gum disease, simply call our office to schedule an appointment. Our hygiene team is on standby to scrub your teeth back to perfection. That way, you can avoid any issues before they become uncomfortable or costly.

Having beautiful, healthy teeth is certainly something to be thankful for this holiday season. And we are very grateful to all of you, our wonderful patients!

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As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

All the best,

Dr. Jim