Benefits of Using a Straw to Drink

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When you drink through a straw, you are doing a great service to your mouth. It allows your teeth to bypass many of the common issues that many people face.

You should avoid drinking out of a straw whenever you have had any type of dental work where a clot is necessary in your mouth, but aside from that scenario, it is beneficial to use a straw with all of your daily drinks.

How a Straw Can Help Your Teeth

When you use a straw to drink your daily beverages, your teeth are not bombarded with whatever you are drinking. For example, if you are sipping coffee through a straw, your teeth are not hit with the coffee, instead, it bypasses your teeth and goes deeper into your mouth so you can swallow it. This means your teeth are far less likely to show signs of staining from common beverages like coffee, tea, and wine.

Avoiding the impact of super-hot or super-cold beverages when your teeth are sensitive is another benefit of using a straw. When you drink through a straw, you can avoid some of the pain that comes with having sensitive teeth. The drink again goes further back into your mouth before it enters your mouth, allowing you to swallow it more quickly and avoid the shocking pain that can come from having sensitive teeth.

If you want to know more about how a straw may benefit you, then speak with your dentist. They can show you how a straw can help improve your oral health, and help you understand other ways of being able to boost your overall oral health. contact our office today, and see what other suggestions they can provide that may help your teeth look and feel better.

Foods That Lower Your Stress to Help Improve Your Oral Health

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When you are stressed out, it affects your entire body. You can easily get an upset stomach, have headaches from the stress and anxiety, have heart-related problems, and even have problems with your teeth due to higher levels of acid in your mouth. These foods are known to help reduce stress, which can help you avoid the physical side effects that come with being stressed out. Here are some of the best foods to make a part of your regular diet.

Stress Reducing Foods to Eat

Greens are one of the best foods that you can eat nutritionally, but they are also great for your mouth. They are full of fiber, which means they help to brush your teeth. They have tons of vitamins and minerals in them, plus they have high water content to keep you hydrated. On top of all that, they reduce stress and give you increased saliva production, which helps restore your mouth to a healthy state.

Dark chocolate is another food that is helpful at reducing stress. It has a lot of different properties that help you feel better, especially your heart, plus it helps to coat your teeth with a substance that fights tooth decay better than fluoride. This is definitely one that should be nibbled on when you get stressed.

Salmon and turkey are great proteins to help you calm your body when you are stressed. They both contain tryptophan, which helps you relax and makes you feel tired. This helps your body unwind, and brings your stress levels down quickly.

If you want more tips on lowering your stress through the foods you eat, contact our office. They have a lot of helpful tips on how to keep your stress down, and how that can benefit your mouth.

What Causes a Cracked A Tooth

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Cracked teeth are becoming a problem. Recent research shows that there are more cases of cracked than ever before. It suggests that stress may be contributing to the problem. But what actually causes a cracked tooth and how do you know if you have one?

Why Do Teeth Crack?

Your teeth can crack for a variety of reasons and not all cracked teeth are easy to identify; some show no signs of fracture at all.

Your teeth can crack in a variety of ways from an equal variety of causes. Sometimes there are slight cracks in the outer enamel of your teeth. These cracks are not noticeable, but can be detected by x-rays at your dentist’s office. Though these types of cracks don’t bother you, they can let in bacteria that will deteriorate your teeth and result in larger fractures or dental caries.

Your teeth can crack by chewing hard candies or nuts. The most obvious cause is an accident or a blow to the teeth. Uneven chewing pressure can cause a cracked tooth and could be due to uneven chewing surfaces that put stress on different points of the molars. This is a situation that your dentist can correct fairly easily.

Another cause of cracked teeth is stress. Stress can cause you to grit your teeth or grind your teeth. Many times, you are unaware that you are doing this, but the result is the same. Undo pressure is put on your teeth, causing them to fracture, much like a stress fracture of a bone. This problem can be solved with anti-anxiety medication or wearing a mouth guard when you sleep. Frequently, when you sleep, you may grind your teeth without even realizing it. This makes the surfaces of your teeth uneven and increases the stress you are already putting on them.

The bottom line is if you believe you are under stress and think you may be gritting or grinding your teeth, contact our office so we can take preventative action.

Fun Beverages to Have During Cold Weather that are Good for Your Teeth

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The weather is starting to get cooler. As the temperatures begin to dip, you’re probably starting to think about all of the warm drinks to enjoy while sitting in front of a toasty fire.

Many winter favorites, however, are filled with sugars, or other tooth damaging ingredients. Don’t let that get you down. There are plenty of fun beverages that you can make to enjoy during the cold winter months that are good for your teeth.

Hot Tea

Green and black teas contain polyphenols, which can help fight the buildup of plaque. One study showed that those who consumed black tea had plaque that was less sticky, and therefore less able to hold bacteria. Green tea can also fight against gum disease causing bacteria. One study in Japan showed that men who drank at least one cup a day had less gum recession and bleeding. The antioxidants in green tea also help to fight against oral cancer. Just make sure that your tea is unsweetened.

Ginger Latte

For something a little different, why not try a ginger latte?  It is a simple drink, consisting of fresh ginger and almond milk. Almond milk is fortified with calcium, which as stated previously, helps to keep your enamel strong. And fresh ginger has its own set of benefits. It might be a bit spicy for some, but the root can keep your breath fresh and it has antimicrobial properties, fighting against bacteria.

Hot Toddy

If you’re old enough, a hot toddy can be a great drink for winter weather. It’s made with tea, which, if you use black tea, contains polyphenols. It’s spiced with cinnamon, spiked with whiskey and sweetened with honey. Honey, while a sweetener, is actually really good for teeth when used in moderation. It contains antimicrobial agents that help to prevent bacteria from growing.

Just because it’s getting colder, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tasty winter beverages. And don’t forget that you should always continue your oral hygiene routine and contact our office for a dental visit.

Foods to Quickly Freshen Your Breath

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When your breath needs a quick pick-me-up, and gum isn’t an option, sometimes food can help. Instead of making you sit there and worry about your breath, or making others suffer through your leftover onions from lunch, there are items that you can chew on that can make your funk gone in a matter of minutes. If you often struggle with this issue, keep these foods on hand. They can come in really handy!

Foods to Quickly Freshen Stinky Breath

If your lunch is causing a riot with your breath, grab one of these items to help tame the fighting and bring about a sense of peace in your mouth. First of all, grab a handful of crunchy veggies. They can really help get the scum off of your teeth and your tongue to help improve the bad breath you have. You can also go with hard fruits, such as pears and apples. Next, go for a sprig of parsley or mint. Either of those herbs can help get rid of the stink and replace it with something much less offensive.

If you can’t eat at the moment, take a teaspoon of baking soda and a cup of water, and make mouthwash on the go. Swish for about a minute, and voila, your mouth will be smelling better in no time. Finally, if you can’t find anything else, chew on an orange or lemon rind for a minute, then spit it out. The essential oils will help get your breath under control, and give you back the ability to speak without fear.

For help with stinky breath, contact our office. If this happens more than just when you occasionally eat garlic or onions, it could be a sign that you have gum disease or need a really good dental cleaning.

How to Stop the Bleeding After Dental Trauma

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If you experienced some type of dental trauma, or someone around you did, there is likely going to be blood. This is because the mouth is a rich source of lots of veins, arteries, and capillaries that are consistently putting fresh blood into your mouth. Getting the bleeding under control isn’t always easy, but it can be done. You just need to make sure you are being careful about how to stop the bleeding.

With Dental Trauma, Focus is Key

You need to focus and keep calm when you are stopping the bleeding from dental trauma. If the tooth was knocked out, make sure you get that and put it into a glass of milk, saliva, or salt water. From there, you need a clean towel, cloth, or gauze pad to cover the part of the mouth that’s bleeding.

You want to put firm pressure on the area to help it clot, but not so much pressure that you are causing yourself even more pain. Hold that cloth or gauze in place for 10-30 minutes, depending on how bad the bleeding is, and get to the dentist immediately. If your dentist is not available or you are further away than that, have someone drive you. Keep replacing the gauze each time it gets full, with a new, clean piece.

Once you get to your dentist’s office, they can help get the bleeding under control. Until you are able to be seen, make sure you keep your cloth pressed against the area that is bleeding, so long as fresh blood is coming out. If it stops, you can remove the cloth, but don’t eat anything as that can restart it all over again.

Contact our office immediately if you suffer from dental trauma. If you can’t get a hold of them within a few minutes of the initial trauma, go to the ER.

How to Protect Your Teeth Following a Root Canal

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If your tooth has been badly damaged, or suffered from an infection, it can be saved. A root canal helps to provide strength to the weakened tooth and allow it to stay in the socket (preventing the need to have the tooth replaced). It also restores the function of the tooth.

Root canals often have a reputation for being uncomfortable and painful, and not something you ever want to experience a second time. There are ways you can protect your teeth following treatment.

Root Canal Procedure

After your dentist administers a local anesthetic, a hole is drilled into the affected tooth. Next, the canals within the tooth are cleaned out and disinfected. The pulp of the tooth and the root are removed. The interior of the tooth is then shaped and filled. Finally, the tooth is prepared and fit for a crown, a permanent restoration that provides strength to the tooth and seals out bacteria.

Diet

The crown atop the tooth that has undergone a root canal is meant to act just like the rest of your natural teeth. It can withstand normal chewing forces. However, you should take some precautions to protect it (and your natural teeth). Don’t chew on particularly hard foods, such as popcorn kernels or ice. You should also abstain from chewing on objects such as pens or your fingernails. All of these things can damage your natural teeth just as easily as they can your crown.

Oral Hygiene

After the permanent crown is placed over the affected tooth, you can care for it just like you would the rest of your natural teeth. While the crown can’t suffer decay, it can play home to plaque and bacteria. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily will help to remove these contaminants and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Visit Your Dentist

Visiting your dentist regularly is another important part of protecting your teeth. With a thorough exam, your dentist can detect problems early, which can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. He will also be able to examine the crown placed from your root canal to make sure that it is secure and there are no issues.

A root canal helps to fix and protect a damaged and weakened tooth. Taking the steps to keep it and the rest of your teeth healthy and protect your oral health.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about root canals and your oral health.