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Life is sweet, sometimes a little too sweet. Our motto here at Dr. William Moore General Dentistry is everything in moderation. We don’t want to be taste buds fun sponges. Even candy that doesn’t always play nice with our teeth are generally harmless in moderation. It’s when we excessively use one thing it can become a problem. Here are common grocery items you might want to think twice about buying. And if you can’t stop eating and drinking some of your favorites, we have some helpful tips to save your pearling whites. Here are 5 foods & drinks that are bad for your teeth.

 

energy_drinksCarbonated Beverages, Sodas, & Energy Drinks

You’ve heard it before, soda is one of the worst drinks you can guzzle down.  I’ve had  patients that have a habit of swishing each sip in-between their teeth. If you’re going to drink soft drinks, then drink through a straw. Straws also help prevent staining of your teeth.  Sugarfree sodas & energy drinks are better choice for tooth decay, but they are still very acidic and will increase the risk of developing dental erosion.  Diet soft drinks aren’t as healthy as you might think.  Artificially sweetened soft drinks also contain tooth-eroding acids.

TIP: Don’t sip on a soda throughout the entire day. Exposing your teeth and gums to sugar continuously is WORSE than drinking soft drinks in one sitting.  You should try to eat or drink something that will help neutralize the acid in the mouth like milk, cheese, or chew sugar-free gum. Vitamin Water 10 is the best energy drink choice when compared to Vitamin Water and Life Water both contain 32.5 grams of sugar per bottle.

sticky_candy_dr_mooreSticky Candies & Sweets

I’m just as guilty when it comes to sweets, especially with Swedish Fish. The best way to eat candy is with meals so silva flow can wash sugar from teeth. If you’re going to eat candy, then go for the ones that clear out of your mouth. Chocolate is better than most hard candies. The worst type of candies are candy corn, taffy, Sour Patch Kids, lollipops, & Milky Way bars.

TIP: Consider chewing sugarless gum afterward to increase saliva flow and wash out food and acid.

 

canned_fruit_dr_mooreCanned Fruit

The thick sugar solution clings to the fruit like syrup to a pancake, soaking every bite with unnecessary calories.  Del Monte Fruit Naturals No Sugar Added Red Grapefruit is healthier canned fruit slices that are kept in a no-sugar-added juice.

TIP: Looking for cheap sources of fruit to have on hand at any time? Opt for the frozen stuff—it’s picked at the height of season and flash frozen on the spot, keeping costs low and nutrients high.

 

oats_dr_mooreStarchy foods

A bowl of Quaker Natural Granola Oat & Honey & Raisins is a double threat to your mouth. Yes there’s a bit of fiber, but it’s completely trumped by all of the sugar. Quaker’s is the rule, not the exception. The only acceptable use for granola is to crumble a small handful into plain yogurt. Consider switching your healthy granola to Post Shredded Wheat or Kashi Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bar.

TIP: Try my wife’s favorite Trader Joes Oats and Flax Oatmeal.  Here’s another great breakfast alternative for you ambitious health nuts, homemade Quinoa Granola recipe. Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

chinese_food_dr_mooreChinese Food

Most Chinese meals have as much sugar as a pack of Skittles. You can blame the Honey Garlic Sauce bathing the chicken. Honey Garlic Chicken packs have about twice the sugar as the Pineapple Chicken, so making that switch will automatically improve the dish. Another option is to request your meal “half sauce” or possibly get the sauce on the side for optimal portion control.

TIP: Reach for the low-sodium bottle, if you must. Better yet, use Chinese mustard, duck sauce, or chili sauce to boost flavor wihtout as much added salt.

Dr. William Moore InsuranceWhen it comes to dental insurance, all the jargon can be confusing. This blog post will help you to understand  the dental insurance terminology and clear up any misinformation you might of have with in-network & out-of-network providers.

In-Network Provider Vs. Out-of-Network Provider

In-Network Provider, like Delta Dental, has contracted with our dental practice on your behalf to get services at discounted rates. The primary advantage of using an in-network provider is that you receive this negotiated or discounted rate for our services, and your insurance generally picks up a larger portion of the bill than with an out-of-network provider. Though out-of-network providers don’t receive a discounted rate for our services, out-of-network providers typically covers 80% to 100% of routine cleanings and exams.

Out-of-network providers typically covers 80% to 100% of routine cleanings and exams.

Even if Dr. William Moore General Dentistry doesn’t participate with your insurance, we will gladly file your paperwork and bill you for the remaining balance. We will always give you as accurate an estimation of benefits as possible before we start any treatment.

When we see patients who only do what the insurance covers, it usually ends badly. Don’t let insurance dictate treatment instead of the dentist. You might wind up accruing more expenses down the road due to a incomprehensive  treatment plan. It’s important to consult your dental provider for best dental treatments available.

We try to accommodate our patients and get our patients the most out of their plans possible. Our front desk assistants try as hard as possible to help people maximize their dental benefit but ultimately, the financial responsibility for all dental treatment is the patients. – Dr. Moore

Check your insurance policy when you have questions about your coverage. They will then provide you with the coverage outlined in your policy.

A women’s body is constantly changing during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and an increase of blood flow can cause swelling, sensitivity in gums while pregnant.  However, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy.  In this blog post, we’ll go over the common changes during pregnancy and how to be proactive on oral health.

Tell Your DentistTell Your Dentist

The first thing you want to be sure to tell your dentist is that you’re pregnant and how far along you are. Don’t put off dental check-ups until after the delivery. If you’re planning to become pregnant or suspect you’re pregnant, then you should see a dentist right away.  A great rule is to schedule a check-up in your first trimester for a cleaning. That way your dentist can help your mouth remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. Some women will schedule an extra cleanings to try to maintain good oral health because of the link to the baby’s overall health. More often than not, any mobility in the teeth will correct itself following the baby’s birth. Hormonal changes cause the bone/ligaments supporting the teeth to be more pliable and thats where the increased mobility comes from during pregnancy.

 

pregnant women use mouthwash

Use Mouthwash to Fight Gingivitis & Periodontal Disease

During pregnancy, women’s gums are more likely to become inflamed, commonly referred to as gingivitis. Most pregnant women will experience some bleeding of their gums as early as the second month, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth. Sometimes expecting mothers can have infected gums, called periodontal disease. Use antiplaque and fluoride mouthwashes to help fight gingivitis and periodontal disease.

 

 

pregnant women toothachePoor Dental Hygiene Can Harm Your Baby

Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. Bacteria then travels to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected to induce premature labor. Research has shown that an expectant mother suffering from periodontal disease might deliver a premature, low birth weight baby.  Pregnant women may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born earlier and smaller that the usual, which may increase the risk for future health problems and disabilities. Dental emergencies that create severe pain can be treated during any trimester. But you want to be extremely careful when dealing with medications or dental emergencies that require anesthesia. Avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy if possible. Make sure to talk to your obstetrician first.

 

pregnant women use baking sodaProtect Your Mouth From Morning Sickness

Sometimes brushing can even cause morning sickness. You should resist the temptation to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. This can further damage your enamel. Instead, just rub or smear some fluoridated toothpaste over your teeth and then rinse out with water. You can also rinse out your mouth with a mixture of a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water.

 

 

 

Whitening Your Teeth

Do you want a brighter smile? You’re not alone. Fifty percent of all people polled by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry were unsatisfied with their smile. With diet and age, the enamel on your teeth becomes thinner and more transparent, and the inner layer, called dentin, looks darker.

“99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.And 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.”

The AACD revealed other interesting statistics that support why a whitening your smile is a great choice, 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset. And 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success. So where do you start? With tons of whitening products out on the market, it can be confusing and pretty intimidating. Let’s go over some the do’s & don’ts for whitening your teeth.

DOs

Ask your dentist first! You need to first make sure that you don’t have tooth decay. If your teeth are damaged and have holes in them, the bleaching products are going to seep into these crevices and hit nerves—which can mean major pain and severe damage to your teeth. Custom trays from your dentist make sure you get the bleach where you want it—and not everywhere else. Your dentist can answer any of your smile makeover questions and learn about your specific concerns and to show you what they can do for you.  Schedule an appointment.

Eat crunchy foods. Eating crunchy foods like apples, carrots, celery, and pears help whiten your teeth. The more abrasive it is and the cleaner it will get your teeth. Strawberries contain malic acid, which removes discolorations on the surface of the teeth. Read more on healthly foods that help your teeth in our previous blog post.

Drink through a strawYour teeth aren’t thirsty, your throat is. The average American drinks roughly 576 soft drinks every year – about one and a half cans a day for everyone in the United States. Straws will reduce your teeth’s exposure to these staining beverages. According to a report from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), drinking soft drinks and other beverages through a properly positioned straw can help to minimize the risk of cavities.

Purchase FDA-approved products. People often purchase brands online and don’t realize they’re not FDA-approved. Those products can damage your teeth with harmful whitening agents that can cause serious cellular damage gingivitis or oversensitivity inside the mouth.

Maintain your bright smile. Use a whitening toothpaste to keep the shine from fading, and a whitening floss.

 

DON’Ts

Over whitening is a bad look. There’s a reason why your box of white strips comes with time limit instructions. Keep an eye on the time when the strips are in and limit your use of these products to twice a year. Stop whitening if your teeth start to turn blue around the edges. A good rule of thumb is that the color of your teeth should match the whites of your eyes.

Three groups shouldn’t do their own whitening: those whose teeth are painfully sensitive to cold; anyone with crowns or fillings on their front teeth, and people whose enamel seems more gray than yellow from intrinsic stains from antibiotics, like tetracycline, taken in childhood/pregnancy. If your teeth look grayish, the discoloration likely lies inside the teeth, and bleaching won’t help much.

Whitening strips will only whiten natural teeth. The strips will not whiten caps, crowns, veneers, fillings or dentures. Do not use with dental braces.

More expensive doesn’t mean better. FDA-approved generic brand work just as good. Peroxide is the key ingredient in most whiteners. If you want a complete smile makeover from a home kit, look for a carbamide peroxide concentration of at least 10 percent.  If you have never used teeth whitening kits before, I recommend starting with 16% because many people find 22% causes too much tooth or gum sensitivity. Bleaching molecules can get trapped in nerve passageways, causing temporary tooth sensitivity.

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. A general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Many first visits are nothing more than introductory icebreakers to get your child familiar with the dentist and the practice. If your child is frightened, uncomfortable or non-cooperative, a rescheduling may be necessary. Parents should be patient, calm, and use reassuring communication with their child in these situations. Schedule the appointment earlier in the day when your child is alert and fresh.  There is dental care you can do before their first tooth. Here’s a helpful timeline for children’s dental care:

Before Baby Teeth

 

Before Teeth Erupt

  • Use a soft gauze to gently wipe your baby’s gums after every feeding.
  • Healthy gums = healthy baby teeth
  • Ease the pain of teething with a wet gauze or a cool teething ring

 

 

First Tooth

 

After the First Tooth

  • Lower two front teeth are usually the first to come in between 6- 12 months
  • Dental visits should start no later than the 1st birthday
  • All 20 baby teeth should come in by age 3 and parents should start scheduling regular cleanings too
  • Read books about the dentist or watch children shows to get familiar with dental checkups

 

 

tooth_decaySippy Cup & Tooth Decay

  • If your child walks around or goes to bed with sippy cups/bottle, they should contain only water
  • Juices, milk, & formula have sugar that will gather around teeth and can lead to tooth decay
  • Tooth decay can start as soon as teeth erupt and 7% of kids lose at least one tooth to decay by age 17
  • Tooth decay is the most common and almost entirely preventable childhood disease
  • Constant bottle sucking can lead to improper alignment of erupting teeth

 

 

 

brushing-01Set an Example For Healthy Habits

  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrush and water after every meal
  • Only use pea-size amount of child’s toothpaste after he/she can spit it out around age 2
  • Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene
  • Show them how to brush and make up games or songs when brushing to keep it fun
  • Give healthy, nutritious meals that are low in sugar

 

 

losing_teeth

 

Losing Baby Teeth

  • Children normally start losing teeth around age 6
  • Upper and lower front teeth are the first to go
  • Second molars may not be lost until age 12

 

 

big_teeth-01

 

Permanent Teeth Come In

  • Permanent teeth typically start coming in around age 6 to 7
  • Upper and lower molars are the first to come in
  • Wisdom teeth are the last to erupt around age 17 to 21

 

You hear it every time you visit the dentist, “Do you floss?” And the answer I normally get is, “No”. I can immediately tell when patients floss. But, if I told you flossing you teeth only takes 2 minutes a day and has big benefits to oral health.

Here’s a quick tip: Play your favorite song on your iPhone or iPod with flossing and brushing. Brush DJ is an app to help you know how long to floss and brush your teeth. Click here to download.

Yes, it is true some people live a lifetime without flossing and still manage to keep their teeth.  But the average person will begin to lose teeth in mid to later life due to gum disease unless they floss. And with junk food and soda becoming staples in most homes, flossing has never been so important. One simple option is to use floss holders. These disposable plastic Y-shaped that hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use. There’s even a flossing toothbrush and whitening dental floss to fight plaque build up.

Plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and removing it can be difficult through brushing alone. Flossing can help. Flossing at night is typically more useful than flossing in the morning. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. However, flossing before brushing might allow more fluoride from your toothpaste to reach between your teeth. Learn an effective and safe technique by watching this 1 minute video by Colgate Oral Care.

Properly Floss Your Teeth in 5 Easy Steps

1

Wrap about 18 inches of floss between both middle fingers of your hands. Leave about two inches of floss between your fingers to work with.

2

Grasping the clean floss between your thumbs and forefingers, slide the floss in a back and forth motion between your teeth.

3

Once the floss has reached the gum-line, hold the floss closely to the tooth, and in a gentle motion sweep the floss up and down the base of the tooth.

4

Repeat this process for each tooth, and don’t forget the back molars. As you repeat this process make sure to unwind a fresh section of floss for each tooth.

5

After you finish flossing, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly.

 

 

 

 

 

We all have our weaknesses when it comes to eating habits. But keeping up with your oral care is just as important; especially when food choice plays such a crucial role when it comes to tooth decay.  Here is a list of foods that will help your teeth.

Milk

Milk does the body good…and your teeth. Calcium is one of the most important ingredients for preventing tooth decay. Skim milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese are just as good source of calcium as regular dairy products.  Your belly will thank you too.

Salmon & Other Meat

The vitamin D found in salmon makes it easier for your teeth and bones to get the full power of calcium from the foods you’re eating. Beef, chicken, turkey, and eggs contain phosphorus, which is one of the two most vital minerals of teeth and bones.

Oranges & Apples

Oranges help keep your gums healthy by strengthening blood vessels and connective tissue like the connective tissue that holds your teeth in your jaw. Just make sure you rinse after eating, acid and sugars can also do harm. Apples help naturally clean your teeth and gums. When you eat apples, the fiber in it cleanses the teeth, while the antiviral properties of the fruit keep bacteria and virus away.

Carrots & Celery

Carrots aren’t just good for your eyes. Carrots are natural stain removers, as are apples and celery. Chewing celery can help you clean your teeth by stimulating the secretion of saliva and balancing the PH value in your mouth. So the bacteria can be effectively killed and your teeth can be well protected.

Green Tea

Green tea has natural antioxidant compounds that prevent plaque from accumulating, reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath. Some green teas also contain fluoride that can further prevent tooth decay.  But be careful if you like your tea with sugar: sweetener may negate the effect.

“Remember, everything in moderation.” -Dr. Moore

And when in doubt, swish it out. Water cleans your mouth so that your saliva can support your teeth, hydrate your gums, and help wash away food particles that can create plague. Look out for our next blog post,  “Foods That Hurt Your Teeth”. Till next time, brush up.