An Onion a Day

An Onion a Day

Food: An onion a day to keep the dentist away.

An onion a day will certainly keep more than your dentist away if you don’t brush afterwards, but just like an apple a day is good for your body, and your teeth, so is a little onion. Scientist are constantly uncovering little bits of magic that food we eat does inside our mouth and body.

Onions and other foods offer surprisingly good protection for teeth and mouth health

Onions and other foods offer surprisingly good protection for teeth and mouth health

Crunchy food like apples and celery clean the mouth when we chew them, a few special foods, do more than scrub and induce extra salivation. Some foods like onions have near superpowers to protect our teeth.

The onions chemical compounds distinctly target, and destroy, six of the types of bacteria that are specifically connected to tooth decay and gum disease. As with the onion there are number of other foods that can help keep your teeth healthy.

When social engagements and festive food related encounters become more frequent, during the Holiday season or vacations, follow these easy tips to choose foods that will protect teeth in the midst of all those sweets and starches (that break down to feed sugar fueled bacteria in the mouth).

Foods that aid in remineralizing teeth naturally

Cheese, salmon, eggs, meat, almonds, and leafy greens all provide nutrients like calcium or phosphorus that strengthen and keep tooth enamel healthy and strong. Calcium and phosphorus are naturally occurring minerals that replenish the enamel on your teeth after eating or drinking. Imagine that the minerals from these healthy foods are actually filling in microscopic holes and scratches left behind from the normal wear and tear teeth are exposed to.

When we eat, the food in our mouth may have high sugar or even high acid levels as in the case of citrus, tomatoes, wine, cider, and blueberries. Foods high in acid leave microscopic abrasions on our teeth as we eat. Those tiny scratches become more and more vulnerable to decay over time. Besides having mineral properties to strengthen enamel, cheese has the added benefit of being able to lower pH levels in the mouth after acidic food has been consumed.

Not only can eating foods, like cheese, help lower the pH in your mouth from acidic foods, but they can also help replace minerals leached from the enamel.

Many types of fish, particularly ocean fish, offer a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D found in salmon and other fish is critical for your body to be able to utilize calcium properly. Natural sources of Vitamin D are found in some types of fish like salmon and mackerel, and in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, chard and the tops of beets. These sources of vitamin D are just as natural and beneficial as getting your vitamin D from the sun.

Lots of other foods offer vitamins, like vitamin A for example, and those vitamins are also needed in healthy tooth enamel. The short list includes; carrot, butternut squash, kale, cantaloupe, mango, red sweet pepper, sweet potatoes, and tuna (just be careful of mercury levels). Eating a regular diet full of foods like these create a synergistic effect making the most of your teeth’s ability to maintain enamel and stay strong

Foods that whiten and protect teeth

The good news keeps getting better: not only are there foods that aid in maintaining the protective enamel of your chompers but there are foods that help to whiten your smile as well. Just about any fruit or vegetable that crunches while you chew is a great choice for your teeth. Apples and Pears, in particular, are high in water content, the natural sugars in them stimulate saliva production the combination ensures that while you’re chewing the abrasiveness of the crunchy fruit and all that juicy goodness will scrub and rinse away stains along with pockets of bacteria.

That same benefit — and a better option — can also be had from not so sweet crunchy foods: carrots, celery, raw broccoli, and raw cauliflower are great examples. While these foods may not stimulate healthy saliva production the same way a juicy apple does, some of them, like broccoli and cauliflower, boast unique characteristics for protecting your teeth. They still do all that whitening scrubbing action that other crunchy stuff does but they leave behind a slippery coating on teeth that forms a barrier for sticky plaque causing bacteria.

A few other foods have the ability to create something of a protective shield on your teeth: sesame seeds, shitaki mushrooms, and onions are among them. Sounds funny but these last three should be considered secret weapons in the quest for a brighter, whiter smile. Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on just about any salad, stir fry, or baked goods and actually have enzymes that soften and dissolve plaque in addition to the calcium they have that replenishes the enamel of your teeth. Shitaki mushrooms tout an enzyme that acts like a seek-and-destroy missile to eradicate specific bacteria in the mouth responsible for cavities.

While raw onions probably won’t make the cut on date night, they actually have antibacterial properties proven to eradicate six specific types of bacteria in the mouth that cause decay and gingivitis. So slice up some onions for your sandwich (and brush your teeth when your done).

Don’t forget…

Water. It’s the single easiest thing you can do, after brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Drinking a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water and adding water to compensate for hot days, caffeine intake, and activities like exercise that leave you perspiring. Adequate water consumption ensures your mouth stays moist and rinses away bacteria after eating, reducing the acid and decreasing the chance for decay. Saliva is the best thing for your teeth, it dilutes down acids, washes away food particles, fights germs, and carries nutrients to the enamel.

 

Dental Restorations and Ceramic Implants

Dental Restorations and Ceramic Implants

According to recent statistics, the average American will lose 3 adult teeth in their lifetime, not including wisdom teeth that many adults have removed, rather than lose due to injury or decay. That number may seem staggering to some but is drastically lower than statics dating back in the 1970s when losing 6 to 8 teeth or more in a lifetime was the norm. If you have ever been faced with tooth restoration due to loss or infection you know that the choices can be overwhelming. Once you know that you are going to need to replace a natural tooth with an artificial one you begin weighing all the options. Ceramic implants are considered the gold standard of restoration but the choices can still seem convoluted, considering dentist have so many procedures available to patients. For a multitude of reasons, cost and time being two big factors, patients occasionally find themselves considering getting a bridge, just for now, until they are ready to take that big step into oral surgery and getting permanent ceramic implants.

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The answers you’ve been seeking here now.

Getting a bridge will have a permanent and detrimental effect on the teeth nearest the tooth that needs replacing:

  • To get a proper fit and bonding to the bridge your healthy teeth will need to be filed down, stripped of their outside protective cover, made small enough to allow for the substantial bridgework to fit and be secure
  • Should those nearby teeth not be in the greatest shape, then you may have to sacrifice additional teeth, further away, to bond the bridge to.
  • Bridges have a finite life span.
  • Ten years is about the max but even that is not guaranteed.
      • Bridges can be pulled off from eating sticky foods.
      • Cracked or broken bridges can result from a variety of foods consumed also.
  • Bridges can discolor or the areas around the bond yellow or fade.
  • Since the nearby teeth must be compromised in order to secure the bridge, those sacrificial teeth are more prone to disease, infection or rot.
  • Eventually the healthy gum tissues will recede, shrink and pull away from the bridge. This can leave an unsightly and noticeable gap between the bridge and the gum line. (Besides leaving a noticeable gap it also becomes a trap for particles of food and debris that feed pockets of stinky bacteria)
  • Additionally, since there is not a tooth in the jawbone the bone mass in that area will diminish over time. This can affect the surrounding teeth, especially if you have multiple teeth replaced, it can also affect your jaw line and the contours of your face.
  • Outcome: a bridge means you will need additional dental work just to maintain and support a tooth replacement that will still, no matter how well you take care of it, need replacing.

White Zirconia Dental Implant

Would you believe me if I said that getting a ceramic implant would allow you to skip all that? Yes, there are a couple of visits to get the implant placed and set. There is a visit to ensure the procedure went well and that you have healed all the way. After that? After that you are set. Smile away and be confident that you have the closest thing to your natural teeth possible.  Feel good that you  are supporting the rest of your teeth and even your overall health.

 Call our qualified team of experts to get your consultation today.

Marilyn K Jones DDS

Address: 800 Bering Dr Suite 204 , Houston, TX 77057 Phone: (713) 785-7767 Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

Dentistry: Time To Go Natural

These days everyone wants to be a part of the growing trend to go all natural. Marketers have flooded television, newspaper, product names and PR campaigns with a barrage of information insisting that natural is the only way to go. There is a lot of good to come from getting food and personal care products, even home goods that are more natural and less chemicals, less processing and less artificial.

z-systems zirconia dental implants

ceramics used in dental implants are non-metallic and white throughout

Sometimes there are so many “natural” choices it can be hard to discern what is good and what might not be everything you need it to be. Especially in the world of dentistry. For example, ceramic implants cannot be touted as natural because they are definitely man made. Ceramic implants are made from a scientifically engineered material, derived from a naturally occurring metal ore that is so biologically compatible with the human body that it can pass for natural bone material. Other “natural” remedies, like fluoride can actually be derived from toxic industrial waste then passed off as natural all because a form of fluoride does exist in nature.

There are a variety of unique and healthy ways to utilize natural products to keep your teeth and gums healthy and thriving.  Everything from whitening teeth, remineralizing enamel, preventing cavities, bad breath, gum disease and stopping hypersensitivity can all be enhanced with natural products. Sometimes there are so many available products that it can be difficult to determine where to start and what will the best results.

Coconut oil and oil pulling can improve dental health

Coconut oil and oil pulling can improve dental health

While things like oil-pulling and coconut oil are obvious, easy options to include in your personal home care we may have other products and information about products that will further allow you to get more chemicals out of your household and body.  Maybe you will start with a natural toothpaste, maybe homemade toothpaste. For additional ideas on natural products and information about the ones you currently use call us, setup an appointment to learn more about how we can take care of your dental needs naturally using the best products and employing bio-compatibility and testing when needed to give you the healthiest, brightest and most natural oral health available.

Wincing when you Smile: Sensitive Teeth

Wincing when you Smile: Sensitive Teeth

When sensitive teeth leaving you wincing

Is the feel of a cold drink, ice-cream or even hot soup a painful experience? Even occasionally? If brushing and flossing make you squirm, or breathing in crisp morning air, you may be suffering from hyper sensitive teeth.  Sometimes even sour and sweet things can set off an uncomfortable sensation. When this happens there are a variety of issues that your dentist can help you resolve in order to be able to enjoy foods and activities like you once did.

Possible causes include:

Hot and cold things, sweet and sour or even the feel of flossing and brushing can be excruciating if you have sensitive teeth

Hot and cold things, sweet and sour or even the feel of flossing and brushing can be excruciating if you have sensitive teeth

  • Decay. Cavities can allow nerves inside the tooth to be exposed to the extremes of hot and cold.
  • Fractured teeth. Broken teeth can obviously expose the tooth’s nerve to stimulus, but even cracks and fissures in the enamel can weaken a tooths protection from environmental extremes and stimulation.
  • Worn-out fillings.  It may be news to some patients but fillings often need, periodic, and routine replacement.
  • Gum Disease. Gingivitis and periodontal disease can stress the tooths delicate nerve making it more prone to becoming sensitive, also as diseased gums receded due to inflammation, infection and bacterial toxins the root of the tooth becomes more exposed, further reducing natural protection from soft tissues.
  • Worn enamel.  Enamel wears as we age, the thinner the enamel the easier it becomes for the cold and heat to travel through the porous dentin and enamel.
  • Exposed tooth root.  The roots of our teeth are intended to be covered and protected by gum tissue. Injuries, gum disease, harsh brushing and flossing practices can all affect gum health.

The common thread in tooth hypersensitivity

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel goes over the portion of tooth above the gumline, protecting the sensitive parts inside teeth.  Below the gum line another protective layer–called cementum–protects the lower half of the tooth. When these layers are compromised the dentin inside the tooth may be the only barrier between the nerve and outside stimulus.

Sensitive teeth can be treated

The type of treatment will depend on the cause of the sensitivity and the recommendations your doctor thinks will help most

Some patients can alleviate symptoms with desensitizing toothpaste and remineralization efforts. Other recommended treatments may require procedures to bond or overlay the affected tooth or a portion of the tooth, including replacing old fillings.  Other patients may need surgical measures to restore soft tissue and the gum line.

Prevention is key

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing hypersensitive teeth and pain associated with decay, gum disease, worn enamel and loose or worn fillings.

 

Eliminating Exposure to BPA For Teeth’s Sake

Eliminating Exposure to BPA For Teeth’s Sake

Protecting teeth and eliminating exposure to harmful industrial chemicals (BPA) especially in young children and infants

BPA (-Bisphenol A ) has been around for a while, just about everyone has heard that BPA is bad for you, beyond that many of us are still not sure on the specific threat.  Since the 1960’s BPA has been used to coat the inside everything from food carrying container trucks, soda cans and to strengthen plastics designed to hold liquids and food. The industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate, a hard, clear plastic, can also be found in epoxy resins.

Originally licensed by the Food and Drug Administration – FDA, as a food additive, it has long been known that BPA’s would leach into food and beverages that they came into contact with.

BPA interrupts endocrine processes, essentially the hormones that regulate and direct everything in the body from puberty, growth in babies, organs, including teeth and growth rates, even insulin production. The latest evidence in a growing body of research on the harmful effects of the chemical BPA continues to demonstrate damaging consequences to the natural development of the enamel of teeth. In a study led by Ariane Berdal of the Université Paris-Diderot and Sylvie Babajko, results on the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA appear to show damage to tooth enamel, echoing a pathology of tooth enamel which is turning up in children today between the ages of 6 and 8.

Analysis of results in the test rats showed numerous features that bear a striking resemblance to a condition called MIH (Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation) that specifically targets first molars and permanent incisors. This enamel pathology is found in roughly 18 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 8 and causes teeth to be hypersensitive to pain and predisposed to cavities. This latest study appears to be pointing to BPA exposure as the potential culprit in the increasing cases of MIH, which may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Why is this a big deal?

BPA is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of food and beverage containers such as water, juice or soda bottles and, most damaging of all; in the production of babies’ bottles. It is also used for the protective films inside drinks cans and food tins. BPA is the key element in polycarbonate synthetics and epoxy resins — about three million tons being produced annually all over the world. With so much BPA in products today, significant amounts of BPA are showing up in human blood, urine, and able to infiltrate amniotic liquid and placentas – potentially affecting developing fetuses. Earlier studies on this toxic substance have shown that it has adverse effects on the reproduction, development and metabolism of laboratory animals and is suspected of causing the same effects on humans.

Early damage to teeth may indicate more problems down the road

BPA-free multicolor baby bottles for infant formula

BPA-free multicolor baby bottles for infant formula

Significant to the Berdal study, the first telltale indicator of damage caused by the early introduction of endocrine disruptors, (including BPA) was the appearance of “white marks” on the incisors of rats treated. The researchers decided to define the characteristics of incisors of rats treated with low doses of BPA and to compare these with the characteristics of teeth in humans suffering from MIH. Macroscopic observation of marks on both series of teeth tested showed similarities, specifically; fragile and brittle enamel – the earliest signs associated with the presence of BPA and perhaps the precursor of more BPA associated health problems down the road.

How babies are affected by BPA

When you consider that BPA is so prevalent in our world today that about 90 percent of the population has it coursing through their blood stream and sensitive tissues, obtained primarily by eating foods that come from containers made with BPA. It is also floating freely in our environment, in the air we breathe, in dust particles, and in our water supply. Although mature adults are also at risk for the health consequences associated with BPA, fetuses and young children have the most to lose. Babies who are fed formula using polycarbonate bottles are especially at risk. A Swiss study conducted in 2010 revealed that babies and infants actually absorb the most BPA, primarily through the use of baby bottles, on average taking in 0.8 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. Harmful even in small doses –BPA is a hormonally active substance that mimics the natural hormone estrogen and as an anti-androgen. Even small amounts of BPA in the system can have a negative impact on sexual development, especially for male fetuses and growing babies. So alarming are the results of on-going studies that the FDA has begun to express more concern about the potential effects of BPA on the endocrine system; brain, behavior, and prostate glands – particularly in fetuses, infants and young children (developing bodies of children are less efficient at eliminating toxic chemical substances from their systems).

Worldwide

Concerns about BPA have led to the production of BPA-free plastic products. Europe banned baby bottles containing the chemical in January 2011. The U.S. took similar action in July of last year. While the Food and Drug Administration continues to declare BPA safe for human consumption, meanwhile France and other countries have been working on initiatives to ban it entirely.

Titanium in Dental Implants and Potential Health Risk

Titanium in Dental Implants and Potential Health Risk

The History of Metal Dental Implants

Metal dental implants were originally made out of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloy, providing the only option for implant tooth restoration for many years. After years of study, we now know that placing metallic dental implants and other restorative devices can potentially provoke allergic reactions. One study involving 1,500 patients demonstrated that, although rare, titanium allergy could be clearly detected in dental implant patients. One research paper published in 2010 indicated that “…the risk of an allergy to titanium is increased in patients who are allergic to other metals. In these patients, an evaluation of allergy is recommended, in order to exclude any problem with titanium medical devices.” Further research on the subject noted a higher risk of positive allergic reaction was found in patients whose implants failed for no other known reason other than that they had a higher incidence of allergic reaction.

Who Cares About Allergies?

Metal allergies are suspected by researchers and holistic dentists alike of being one of the most likely culprits behind the growing number of cases of autoimmune diseases in the United States including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis, and Scleroderma, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and many others. A correlation between metal allergies and a weakened immune system suggests that it is not only important but imperative to take the necessary precautions to ensure that patients are biocompatible before allowing any substance or material to be permanently affixed into the mouth.

There’s More to Titanium Than You Might Think

Screw and abutments used in dental implants can be made from the same alloy, but frequently a combination of alloys are used including small amounts of nickel and gold. One of the more commonly reported metal allergies in dental patients is to nickel, which explains why anyone with known sensitivities to metals would be vulnerable to the side effects of titanium implants. Symptoms to metal implants can vary from patient to patient and often include oral burning sensation, general fatigue, skin rashes, a constant dull pain and in some cases loss of the implant. A paper published in July of 2011 focused on titanium allergy in patients who have undergone an implant, and it concluded in part; “This review of the literature indicates that titanium can induce hypersensitivity in susceptible patients and could play a critical role in implant failure.”

Titanium allergy is rarely documented in mainstream medicine however, it has been reported that about four percent of all patients tested will be allergic to titanium. For those affected with a titanium allergy, the symptoms can be quite intense and somewhat confusing ranging from simple skin rashes to deep muscle pain and overall fatigue – common systems for an immune system that perceives itself under attack.

The Known Effects of Titanium Allergy

Like all metals used in the medical field today titanium releases tiny particles as it begins to corrode. In the case of an implant, these metal particles become ions and bind to proteins found naturally throughout the body. In some people the body reacts to metal particles in the same way it does to a virus or other foreign substance and it will try to attack the ‘invader’. This starts a chain reaction which can lead to many symptoms including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Allergy Testing – An Important Part of the Whole

Our unique focus on dental health takes into consideration a patient’s oral health in relation to the whole body, including identifying and treating issues pertaining to allergies and autoimmune disorders.

That is why we consider ceramic dental implants to be the better and safest alternative to metal implants. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, and thus there is no concern of corrosion, allergic reaction or electronic interference.

Exams and Dental X-rays = Best Care

A time for everything…

…Including a regular exam and dental X-rays.

X-rays are for patients who have something wrong (or so you thought), why do dentists need x-rays

It's crazy trying to find time for everything but don't skip dental exams and dental x-rays.

It’s crazy trying to find time for everything but don’t skip dental exams and dental x-rays.

and an exam…when you just want your teeth cleaned. This might be something you thought recently if you called to set up an appointment with your dentist and were informed you are due for dental x-rays and or an exam.

For most patients dentists will want to do a minimum of an annual exam–and depending on the information they have on the condition on your teeth and gums–potentially dental x-rays annually or semi annually. If your dentist is new to you or your last exam was more than one or two years ago–even if you think your teeth are doing great–expect to get a full exam and x-rays. It can seem overwhelming and confusing, especially when it takes up valuable time and adds to the cost of oral care, but it’s too risky to skip, here is why.

The Short Answer

Dentist are able to find abnormalities in teeth and soft tissue and head off problems before they affect long term health.

Dentist are able to find abnormalities in teeth and soft tissue and head off problems before they affect long term health.

Your dentist will be held accountable for missing things that put your health at risk. Cavities, root absorption and gum disease are a big deal and have been linked to other serious disease processes but oral cancer is potentially deadly.

The Rest of The Story

X-rays only take minutes.

  • They are fast, and painless though it may be uncomfortable for a few minutes.
  • Children should get dental X-rays every one to two years.
  • Adults should get dental X-rays each two to three years.
    Dental X-rays are fast and painless.

    Dental X-rays are fast and painless.

X-rays are unmatched for diagnostics:

  • They Show cavities:
    • Between teeth,
    • underneath fillings and other dental work,
    • X-rays also show cavities that are below the gum line.
    • All of which a dentist would not be able to identify without an x-ray.
  • X-rays give the dentist information about teeth that are below the gumline, both for children and adults.  (For example, adults with retained wisdom teeth.)
  • X-rays let your dentist assess jaw position.
    • Jaw position can determine susceptibility to bruxism, TMJ, over and underbites (among other things) that can increase likelihood of fracturing teeth or other long term problems.
  • X-rays tell dentist about progression of gum disease or infection that may not be well evaluated with the naked eye.
  • X-rays also give your dentist an accurate way to assess potential bone loss in the jaw.
    •  Bone loss can happen for several reasons:
      • previous trauma from your youth or more recent.

Oral cancer now kills as many americans as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In addition to x-rays, during an annual exam your dentist will be looking for physical anomalies in the teeth, gums, tongue and surrounding soft tissues. Anomalies are abnormalities that might signal bigger issues in the mouth, like cancer. Dentist can identify cancerous and precancerous lesions in the mouth and throat, as well as find and assess tiny cracks or fissures in the enamel of teeth that may indicate future problems like a potential for fractured and broken teeth. 

Life just keeps getting busier and busier and having the time and resources to get it all done all the time is tricky. As dentist we want the best for our patients, the best care, the best diagnostics, the healthiest and best smiles.

Make time for your annual check-ups, you’ll never regret the time you’ve spent staying healthy.

Call us today.

 

What You Don’t Know About White Teeth

What You Don’t Know About White Teeth

A Myriad Of Culprits Contribute To The Everyday Dulling Of A Beautiful, White Smile

It’s not just the dread coffee responsible for staining your pearly whites and giving you a lackluster smile.

Dark Colored Foods and Drinks

These days everyone is obsessed with having the brightest, biggest, whitest smile. Considered common knowledge–most of us know–that certain foods will stain our teeth, especially if consumed often.  There are several that are particularly bad foods to watch out for in order to keep teeth white and bright.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Surprise, did you know that foods high in acid are also responsible for yellowing and discoloring teeth? It’s not just the color of the foods and drinks you consume but the level of acidity as well. High acid levels soften the enamel coating on teeth leaving them susceptible to stains, soft and more likely to absorb colors in foods that stain teeth.

Why Yellow?

Thick, healthy enamel looks bright and white but really it’s slightly translucent, like fine china. As healthy enamel is worn away it becomes easier to see the dentin underneath. Dentin is the next layer of the tooth and it less white and more yellow. Thinner enamel, coupled with stains that seep into the pores of enamel can give teeth a yellow cast to them.

The Double Whammy List

Here’s a short list of foods that tend to be both dark in color and acidic making them the most likely to stain teeth.

  1. Black Tea. If you do drink black tea, avoid eating other foods with it that also have the potential to stain teeth, dark colored fruits or juices, basically anything that would stain clothing. The tannins in black tea are exceptionally good at increasing the way other foods colors can bond to enamel. Opt for Green Tea, it is considered not just a healthier option but also has less likelihood of staining teeth.
  2. Sugary Sweet, Sticky Treats. The longer sugar stays in your mouth the more time it has to work its mischief, so hard or chewy, those brightly colored drops of sweetness spell disaster for teeth. When you eat a candy that stains your tongue and lips a deep shade of red, blue, purple or green, guess what? Those same bright colors are also leeching into your enamel. Avoid the brightly colored hard and or chewy candies and go for a stick of sugar free gum, or even a small piece of dark chocolate instead.
    Greens can help coat teeth with a protective layer to stop other foods from staining your teeth.

    Greens can help coat teeth with a protective layer to stop other foods from staining your teeth.

  3. Curry and other Sauces. Some sauces are deeply colored by spices or tomatoes, they tend to have heavy concentrations of color and can be acidic as well equalling easy attachment to enamel, leaving dark stains over time.  Don’t avoid healthy foods but do consider two things that will help mitigate staining. a.) Drink less wine during a meal like this. Wine is acidic and will only increase the staining potential. b.) Eat your greens. Many vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, even onions–for example) and a variety of green leafy vegetables are known to coat the teeth in a protective layer helping to prevent staining and even bacterial colonization.
    Acids, not just tannins make teeth susceptible to staining. White wine stains teeth too.

    Acids, not just tannins make teeth susceptible to staining. White wine stains teeth too.

  4. Red and White Wine. It’s common knowledge that red wine will stain teeth, in fact it will stain just about everything, even rocks. The deeply colored polyphenols and tannins in red wine are responsible for its staining powers. Maybe it will be a surprise that white wines can stain teeth equally well, if not better. The acids and tannins in white wine give it super powers for staining your teeth. Avoid eating other foods that stain teeth at the same time you are enjoying a glass of white wine.
  5. Soda, colas, and sports drinks. Everything we just covered about wine plus sugar! It’s not tannins in cola that does your teeth in, its phosphoric acid, and the effect is staggering. Thinking of switching to a sports drink? Think again. Studies have shown some of the most popular sports drinks to have even higher levels of acid in them then the two leading brands of soda. Drink water. Consuming water actually helps flush out acids and correct pH plus it aids your body in making more slippery saliva and that is good news for healthy teeth and gums.
  6. Juice Drinks. Store bought, commercially packaged juice, marketed as healthy, has an even higher acid level (for preservation) than fresh squeezed juice. Buying processed juices, especially brightly colored ones, can be more of a staining hazard than most people realize. Freshly squeezed, made on the spot, juices aren’t processed, so there is less acid, more fiber, more vitamins and they are more healthy. You still don’t want them lingering on your teeth for an extended amount of time.  Swish around a sip of water when you finish just to clear out the acids and sugars left hanging out on and in between teeth.
  7. The Extras. Condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, balsamic vinegar and any other dark, acidic topping to your food, including some hot sauces and salsas can increase the likelihood of staining and yellowing teeth, particularly when paired with other richly colored foods than might impart more stains. This is another great time to reach for a tall glass of water. eating acidic foods or dark colored foods in combination with other foods and water can help dilute the effect and keep stain powers to a minimum.
    Polyphenols in brightly colored fruits and veggies are good for you...and stain teeth.

    Polyphenols in brightly colored fruits and veggies are good for you…and stain teeth.

  8. Richly Colored Fruits and Vegetables. Lastly, some of the most healthy foods can stain teeth because they are loaded with bright colors. The bright colors are a good indicator that they are loaded with super compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are great for the body…hard on the teeth. Go ahead, eat your blueberries, your beets and your pomegranate. Eat all the blackberries you want and raspberries. Then go for some water. Sounding like a broken record?

You might be inclined to brush your teeth first but that’s a mistake. The acids in many of these foods tend to not just stain teeth but soften the enamel. It’s best to let enamel recover for at least an hour first then go in for the brushing with your soft bristled toothbrush. In the meantime, a cool glass of water and a little swish between teeth is the best first move to make. Water will dilute and neutralize strong acids and deep colors to help minimize the risk of staining teeth.

If your teeth have staining or discoloration we can help restore a bright smile giving you that confident feeling with every smile and helping your teeth stay their healthy best.

Mouth Matters: Facts and Tips

Your mouth matters. There are hundreds of things our teeth, tongue, lips and mouth do for us everyday and there are only a few things we need to do to keep our teeth, gums and tongue at their healthiest.

Did You Know?

Your Tongue

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

  • Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body.
    • Thomas Blackstone holds the record for the strongest tongue. He once lifted 24 pounds and 3 ounces of weight hooked through his tongue.
  • Men have longer tongues than women generally, the longest man’s tongue recorded at a length of 3.86 inches while the longest womans tongue in the record books came in at 2.76 inches.
    • Blue Whales win with the largest known tongue in the entire animal kingdom. Their tongues are the size of an elephant, or 5,400 pounds.
  • By using research on identical twins, scientist believe the ability to roll your tongue does not seem to be an inherited trait.
  • Most of the bacteria that cause bad breath live on your tongue.

Taste Buds on Your Tongue

  • Your tongue can taste; bitter, sweet, salty, and sour, the fifth taste, is Umami.
    • Umami taste was identified in 1908 by a Japanese researcher.
  • The Average person has 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
    • 2,000 taste buds are on the inside of the cheeks, on the roof of the mouth and under the tongue.
    • A single taste bud contains between 50 to 100 taste cells.
      • A single cell may contain multiple types of receptors for taste but no single cell can identify both sweet and bitter.

Your Teeth

  • Your teeth are the hardest substance in the human body.
  • Including Wisdom teeth, adults have 32 permanent teeth.
    • 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars (counting wisdom teeth).
  • Having white teeth is not an indicator of healthy teeth.

Taking Care

Healthcare of mouth and dental floss. Dental hygiene

Healthcare of mouth and dental floss. Dental hygiene

  • Certain cheese and dark chocolate have been found to protect teeth from decay.
  • More than a billion dollars a year is spent on over-the-counter products that only mask bad breath odors.
    • We have something better.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily.
    • Replace your toothbrush every six months sooner if you’ve been sick with a virus.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
    • Skipping flossing leaves upto 40% of teeth surfaces untouched, still dirty.
  • See your dentist twice a year and schedule cleanings at least twice per year.

Your Health

  • 90% of all life-threatening diseases have some oral symptom.
  • Cavities, or tooth decay, in the U.S., is the 2nd most common disease, 1st is the common cold.
  • 100 million bacteria can live in one drop of saliva.
    • The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime.
      • That’s enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.
  • 4 million children are affected by cavities.
    • That’s greater than the population of the city of Los Angeles.

 

Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers In Dental Technology; Improving Patient Care.

Lasers aren’t new in dentistry but the applications and the precision continues to make heady improvements. Lightwalker lasers have been leading the way in advancements for almost five decades, in precision, performance, consistency, and overall perfection.

Since the 1990’s dentists have been using special lasers in dental treatments. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. The light from different lasers can be used to vaporize tissue, cut tissue, harden and enforce a bond between a filler and the remaining tooth, even to stop bleeding, cut away tissue or aid in whitening teeth.

Why Lightwalker Lasers are Special

With new innovations in lasers comes viable solutions for patients and doctors to quickly and painlessly treat a myriad of oral conditions with improved healing, improved accuracy, and less overall invasiveness. Lightwalker Fotona lasers are so accurate and reliable they can be successfully used for very delicate procedures and very specialized procedures. Used to treat some types of decay or cavities, used in gum surgery, hard and soft tissue applications, for treating gum disease and even for a nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea and throat anomalies. Procedures that once were invasive, with long healing times are now nominally invasive, and have a much faster healing time  with lasers and with much less trauma to sensitive oral tissue.

The Benefits of Our Lightwalker Fotona Dental Lasers Include:

  • A full range of hard- and soft-tissue treatments
  • Extremely precise hard-tissue cutting and ablation
  • Easy and effective endodontic treatments
  • Little or no bleeding surgical procedures, with simultaneous disinfection
  • Easy-to-select operating modes for greater simplicity
  • Greater patient satisfaction and less operator fatigue
  • Excellent training and support for medical staff

Do You Need Oral Surgery or Have Sleep Apnea?

Contact our office and we can schedule you for a quick consultation to see if our Lightwalker Fotona lasers can treat or help remedy your dental, oral, or sleep apnea related problems.