5 Dental Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile

A beautiful smile often takes hard work and dedication to maintain. Patients often experience detriments to dental health because of a lack of understanding their wellbeing or failure to stay consistent with their oral hygiene routine. With the help of these five dental tips, you’ll be on your way to maintaining a healthy set of teeth for a lifetime.

Brush and floss regularly. Your daily routine greatly influences your health. After 24 hours, any plaque on your teeth can harden into tartar, a source of several dental health concerns. Individuals that brush twice a day and floss regularly remove plaque before it can turn into calculus, preventing issues such as decay, halitosis, and periodontal disease.

Rinse with antiseptic, non-alcoholic mouthwash. Adding this to your daily hygiene routine helps to control the amount of bacteria in the mouth, improving your dental and overall health. Make sure that the mouthwash you rinse with is non-alcoholic, as options containing alcohol may cause dry mouth.

Visit your dentist regularly. While maintaining optimal oral care at home is important, a beautiful set of teeth needs the care from a professional. Scheduling an appointment every six months for routine examinations and cleanings ensures your teeth remain in tip-top shape. Additionally, your dentist can address problem areas in the mouth, improving and maintaining your dental health.

Avoid added sugar. Foods high in sugar lead to cavities and decay. The bacteria in the mouth feeds off sugar, producing acid as a result and breaking down tooth’s enamel. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables high in fiber, such as apples and cucumbers, act as interim tooth brushes, preventing plaque buildup.

Do not smoke! Smoking is a major risk factor in developing gingivitis, discoloration, and decay. Smoking weakens your body’s immune system, leaving plaque and bacteria on teeth. Eventually, the plaque and resultant tartar lead to receding gums and tooth loss. Exposure to cigarettes is also a primary cause of oral cancer.

Discover More

You can find out more ways to improve your dental health by scheduling an appointment with Drs. James, Yolanda, and Jim Mitchell. Call or visit our Mitchell Dentistry in Fort Myers, and let’s work on improving your dental health together.

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It’s almost Halloween…time for your dentist to weigh in!

unknownYes, you’ve heard it all before: watch those sugary treats your children gorge on every Halloween, and all the other caveats that come around this time of year. But as a dentist for more than 30 years, I cannot help but use this opportunity to remind parents, grandparents and caregivers of the top 10 tips from the American Dental Association .  It’s our chance to weigh in with our expertise. We want you to have fun and to enjoy the occasion, but please be mindful of the following to protect your children’s healthy smiles:

Time It Right

Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

Choose Candy Carefully

imagesAvoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

Avoid Sticky Situations

Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

Stay Away from Sugary Beverages

This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Gum with the ADA Seal

Chew sugarless gum, preferably with the ADA seal, for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

Visit Our Office

 Regular visits to our office can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”

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

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Happy Halloween!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

Have a Sweet New Year…without Tooth Decay

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This is the season for celebration, gathering with family and friends, and enjoying an abundance of holiday treats.  We understand that the last thing on your mind this time of year is dental care, but we would like to provide you with a few tips, especially when it comes to sugar free soft drinks and sugar free candy.

While your intention might be to avoid too much sugar during the holiday festivities, going sugar free can still do damage to your teeth.  A recent study done in Australia found that sugar free products with acidic additives and low pH levels harm teeth. Apparently, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks may be equally damaging as sugar containing products.  Acids can lead to dental erosion.

Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues.  Erosion strips away the surface layers and tooth enamel, and if left unchecked can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.

Of the eight sports drinks tested, six caused loss of tooth enamel. The researchers found that many sugar free candies contain high levels of citric acid and can erode tooth enamel.

Our recommendation is to enjoy the holiday season and just take some simple precautions.  Check product labels for acidic additives, especially citric and phosphoric acids.  Drink more water and fewer soft drinks. After consuming acidic food and drinks, rinse your mouth with water and remember to brush with a fluoride toothpaste when you get home.

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Above all, have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

Happy Holidays from Dr. Jim and the Mitchell Dentistry family

New Year, New Science: The Latest in Dentistry and Health

Dentists give new meaning to the term “spit and polish” dentalimage We recently read a report from Dentistry Today that says UCLA researchers are working on a test that could have the ability to diagnose diseases like diabetes and cancer. It’s also possible the test could diagnose neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases. That means your dentist may soon be on the front lines to discover a diagnosis that can save your life. It turns out that saliva contains many of the same disease-indicating molecules that appear in blood. As a result, the test looks promising for diagnosing Type 2 diabetes and gastric cancers, specifically. The researchers used genomics and bioinformatics to analyze 165 million genetic sequences. The most valuable information that the researchers can use in the future is that saliva has a high medical value. This means that as dentists, we may soon be able to take saliva samples that can be tested for numerous diseases. And if that happens, disease diagnosis will be much simpler for you and your loved ones. Of course the scientists still need to conduct more research to fully understand the functions of the various RNAs and how we can best use this information in the future. We will share more with you when the research becomes available! All the best for a Happy New Year & a Healthy Smile from Mitchell Dentistry!