Some foods can seriously harm your teeth…
…they can turn a beautiful white smile into a grossly dark sight.
Coffee, tea, and red wine are common stain offenders. But it’s not all bad news. There are also foods that can help get your teeth whiter.
What are they?
Here are 7 of the best foods to brighten your smile:
Strawberries may stain your shirt, but are great for your teeth. The red fruit contains malic acid, which removes surface stains and discolorations. The berries’ texture also helps to polish your enamel, making it smoother and whiter, while its antioxidant properties help to prevent gum infections.
Your mom was right – Drink milk and you’ll be big and strong. But she forgot 1 thing: It will strengthen your teeth as well.
Milk is loaded with calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous, which help make tooth enamel stronger and whiter. It also promotes saliva secretion to help balance your mouth’s pH level and fight against bacteria.
Eating cheese with your meal can help fight cavities. Like milk, it contains calcium, phosphate and also casein, which help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Not like many vegetables, broccoli rarely gets stuck in teeth, so won’t cause staining. It contains fiber and iron, which help to reduce inflammation and protect your teeth against bacteria that can cause cavities.
Tip: The best way to eat broccoli is raw. The florets (the flowery part) will polish and clean your teeth while you chew.
Chewing this hard fruit will keep your choppers in tip-top shape. The apple’s crispy texture scrubs your teeth and gums, while its high malic acid content helps to remove stains while increasing saliva production
Remember, an apple a day keeps the cavities away.
Carrots are a fantastic natural teeth cleaner. Similar to apples, its crunchy abrasive texture polishes teeth and removes surface stains. Carrots also encourage saliva production to protect teeth against cavity-causing bacteria.
Don’t be fooled by its small wrinkly appearance. Research shows that bran cereals with raisins are more effective at cleaning the mouth than the same cereal without raisins.
Like many of the other foods on this list, munching on raisins promotes saliva production, which helps fight stains and plaque.
Good oral health not only improves your overall health, it enhances your self-image and quality of life.
But does your oral health also impact your mental health? And vise versa?
Is there a correlation?
The answer isn’t so simple.
Research shows people with mental health problems are less likely to focus on their oral health due to other issues they’re facing, such as depression and trauma. But people with poor oral health are also more likely to have emotional and self-image problems.
It’s safe to say the oral-mental health relationship is complicated.
We’ll examine this matter more closely now…
How Mental Illness Drugs Affect Oral Health
People who suffer from mental health problems are likely prescribed drugs to treat their symptoms. However, one common side effect of most mental illness drugs is increased dry mouth. This can impact oral health by increasing the risk of dental caries, gum disease, oral infections, and even salivary gland inflammation.
Medication-induced dyskinesia is another worrying consequence of long term anti-psychotic drug use. This condition is characterized by continuous muscle contraction that appears shortly after taking antipsychotic medication. Any of the body’s muscles can be affected, such as the jaw, throat, and tongue. When the throat muscles are affected (a condition known as acute laryngospasm) it can be very serious, since it can impair breathing.
Lifestyle-Socio-Economic Factors and Barriers
People with mental health problems are more likely to have lifestyle and socio-economic challenges that can contribute to poor oral health. These may include:
• Lack of understanding about oral diseases and how to prevent them
• Unhealthy eating habits
• Poor life style choices (binge drinking, smoking and drug use) as a way to deal with problems.
• Bad past experiences with dentists
• Fear and anxiety about dental treatments
• Poor housing conditions (including homelessness) and lack of privacy for personal hygiene
• Mental illnesses, such as dementia, which can affect a person’s ability to think clearly and take care of him/herself
Any of these factors can hinder someone with mental health problems to get proper oral care. It’s important to address these issues to make oral health care more within reach for these individuals.
How to Improve Oral Care for People with Mental Health Problems
Finding ways to make oral care more accessible and providing better education about dental hygiene are the best ways to improve oral health for people with mental health problems. Mental and dental health are closely linked since physical wellbeing has an impact on mental wellbeing and vise versa. Promoting and ensuring good dental habits is especially vital because mental health problems can seriously impede daily function.
Advice on healthy eating and importance of proper lubrication to alleviate the dry mouth symptoms are crucial to relieve the unpleasant oral side effect caused from mental medications. Highlighting the harmful effects of smoking, heavy drinking and drug use will also help people to make healthier life style choices.
More collaboration between dental care, mental health, and social care segments is needed. This will help dental professionals to understand the major diagnostic conditions and how to better treat people with mental health problems. This will also help them feel more comfortable receiving dental treatment.
Simply put, more needs to be done to ensure everyone is getting proper dental care. Because everyone deserves a healthy beautiful smile.
Do you have any suggestions yourself?
We’d love to hear them in the comment section below.
You probably already know that flossing is important for your oral health. Unlike brushing, which cleans the outer surfaces of your teeth and gums, flossing cleans between them. Flossing removes the harmful bacteria stuck between teeth, which can turn into plaque and cause bigger problems like gum disease. These are places that a toothbrush simply can’t reach.
But there’s been much debate as to whether it’s better to floss before or after you brush. Even dentists can’t seem to agree on this matter. This can cause a lot of confusion for people wanting to improve their dental hygiene habits. So what’s the correct way to floss? Read on to find out.
Flossing before brushing
The benefit of flossing first is that you can dislodge the debris between your teeth before brushing. This allows the fluoride from toothpaste to better penetrate between your teeth since the debris has already been removed. This helps protect your teeth from cavities in those areas. However, some dentists say flossing after brushing makes more sense since you can better remove food that’s been left behind instead of possibly pushing it back between your teeth with a toothbrush.
Flossing after brushing
If you floss after you brush, there will be less plaque for you to get rid of since some of it would have been removed when you brushed. This makes flossing less time consuming and feel like less work for people. Some dentists also suggest brushing first since this is the way most of us have been taught. And since there’s no hard evidence as to which order is better, they say we should just continue what we’ve been doing before.
So, what’s the verdict?
Whether you floss before or after you brush doesn’t really make a difference. Many people have done it both ways and have gotten good results. If you’ve been flossing before brushing your teeth for 20 years and have healthy teeth and gums, there’s no need for you to change your ways now. The important thing to remember is to floss at least once a day. Flossing is critical to your oral health and should never be skipped.
When flossing, don’t just move the floss up and down between your teeth. You should gently curve the floss around each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. This ensures the whole area around the tooth is clean. To learn more dental tips, feel free to visit us at the Market Street Dental. You may be surprised what you learn!
You take care of your teeth.
But for some reason, your jaw hurts.
In fact, it’s throbbing…
You visit your dentist to see what’s wrong. That’s when you discover your problems are due to a wisdom tooth. Your dentist recommends surgery to remove it. Yikes.
So what should you do?
Read on to get all the facts about wisdom teeth and learn about your options…
What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are your third molars and located at the very back of your upper and lower jaw. They get their name because they often appear when you’re in your late teens to early twenties – old enough when you’ve gained some experience and ‘wisdom.’ However, not everyone will get wisdom teeth and some people are born without them.
Why wisdom teeth may be a problem
Wisdom teeth can be problematic if they can’t grow out properly. A wisdom tooth is ‘impacted’ if it gets stuck in your gums and is unable to reach its normal position (for example, because its tilted or another tooth is blocking it). Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and cause problems with chewing, swollen gums, infection, and damage to neighboring teeth.
Wisdom teeth can also be partially impacted – meaning the tooth has broken through your gums. Partially impacted wisdom teeth can cause cavities and gum disease because they are more difficult to clean.
Most people who have problems with wisdom teeth are between the ages of 15 to 25 years old. People over 30 are less likely to have issues; however, it’s not uncommon for people to need surgery to remove their wisdom teeth even in their 40s or 50s.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
Generally, it’s best to have impacted wisdom teeth extracted between the ages of 16 to 20. The reason is they’re easier to remove because your bones and roots are still soft and developing. As you age, the bones surrounding your teeth harden, making them harder to remove and making surgery more risky. Also your gums and tissue will take longer to heal as you get older.
Risks of having wisdom teeth removed
As with any surgery, there are always risks. After your wisdom teeth are removed you may experience:
• Pain and swelling in the area where your tooth was extracted
• Bleeding that may last 24 hours
• Difficulty opening your jaw
• Dry socket, which causes discomfort and happens when one of the blood clots in the open tooth socket becomes dislodged.
• Nerve damage - under the roots of your teeth, there’s a nerve in your jawbone which can potentially become injured if the impacted wisdom tooth isn’t removed correctly. Damage to the nerve can cause your lower lip to become numb.
What are your options?
Realize not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Some people have enough room in their jaw for wisdom teeth to grow. If impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing you problems, there’s no reason why you ‘have to’ remove them. But keep in mind that not all wisdom teeth cause pain and you may not even realize you have them. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly so he can examine you and check for potential problems.
The dental professionals here at Market Street Dental are experienced of dealing with a wide variety of teeth problems. Contact out office today at 519-756-2510 and we would be happy to help you with your dental needs.
While all of your teeth contribute to the appearance of your smile, there are 6 teeth that play the biggest role in creating an attractive smile. Knowing their location and role will help you to understand how the dentists at Market Street Dental can help you improve your smile.
Maxillary Central Incisors
These are the most visible teeth in your mouth in terms of surface area. They get their name because they incise (cut) the food that you eat and are located in your maxilla (upper jaw).
The central incisors are probably the most important teeth in terms of creating an attractive smile. Since these teeth are the most visible, they play a huge part in the color of your smile. Thus, if whitening treatment fails to brighten them, you will have to find another solution.
These teeth also represent the midline of your smile and help to shape the character your smile conveys. Rounded central incisors convey a more friendly appearance, while squared incisors give off a stronger or more aggressive appearance.
Maxillary Lateral Incisors
Maxillary Lateral Incisors are located on each side of the central incisors in the upper jaw. Together with the maxillary central incisors, the lateral incisors help to cut food and form your smile's appearance.
Ideally the laterals should more narrow and shorter than the central incisors, since this conveys a more attractive and youthful look.
For most people these teeth are sharp; however, they can also be round. Similar to the central incisors, the shape of the canines largely determines the appearance your smile conveys. Sharper canines express a more aggressive look, while rounded canines convey a gentler appearance.
Canines also help to support your jaw. However, they are one of the main culprits of facial aging. If your canines become worn down, this increases the chance that your facial structure will also collapse. For this reason, your canines are often one of the major areas treated during a nonsurgical facelift.
If you would like to learn more or if you're considering cosmetic dental surgery, contact us at 519-756-2510. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Regular checkups with your dentist can do more than keep your teeth healthy – it can keep your body healthy too. There’s a strong correlation between one’s oral health and overall health. The hygiene of your mouth can greatly affect the rest of your body.
Bacteria that accumulates on teeth may make the gums susceptible to infection. In defense, your immune system attacks the infection leading to the gums being inflamed. The inflammation continues until the infection is stabilized. If left untreated, it can erode gums and teeth resulting in gum disease (known as periodontitis) and problems with other body parts.
Gum Disease and Health Issues
Research from the Academy of General Dentistry shows a link between gum disease and other health problems, such as diabetes, digestive problems and heart disease. Women with gum disease are also more likely to give birth to pre-mature or low weight babies.
Other studies reveals that most systemic diseases – diseases affecting the whole body – involve oral complications, such as mouth ulcers, swollen gums, and dry mouth. Systemic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, leukemia and oral cancer.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
The gum disease/diabetes relationship may be the strongest one of all. Inflammation originating from the mouth may negatively affect the body’s ability to manage sugar levels. People with diabetes have problems controlling blood sugar levels since their body cells don’t break down sugar the way healthy body cells do. This results in extremely high blood sugar and insulin levels. To make matters more complicated, gum disease and diabetes appear to have a two-way relationship. High blood sugar levels can also promote infections to grow, such as gum infections.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Researchers at the American Academy of Periodontology found that people with gum disease are two times more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without it. The two diseases have a number of common risk factors, such as being overweight, unhealthy eating habits, and smoking.
If you suffer from gum disease, oral bacteria can make its way to your bloodstream and lead to infection in your heart and lungs. The bacteria can also stick to the insides leading to blockages and blood clots to form. All these factors greatly increase one’s risk of having heart complications, such heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Establishing Good Hygiene Habits
You can minimize potential health complications by:
- Brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes after every meal with fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque and using mouth wash to get rid of bacteria.
- Eating plenty of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to get your nutrients.
- Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, which increase one’s risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer.
- Visiting your dentist annually for cleanings and to check for cavities and gum problems.
Following these steps can not only protect your teeth, it can also save your life!
You notice that your dentures are starting to rub against your gums, leaving them sore.
Your denturist has already adjusted your dentures, but it’s still a bit loose and uncomfortable.
So what are your options?
It's probably time for a soft reline.
A soft reline involves using soft material that provides a cushioned buffer between your denture and gums tissues. The liner helps to keep your denture in place by restoring its snug fit. It also makes it more comfortable to wear and easier to chew with.
A soft reline is most suitable for people who have:
acute sore gum tissues
thin gum tissues
flat gum tissues
Maintaining good oral health is very important in life. As we get older, we often think there’s not much we can do to strengthen our teeth once we pass a certain age. We seem to believe that strong teeth can only be developed when we’re still young. The good news is with some simple lifestyle adjustments, adults of any age can make their purely whites stronger.
Tooth decay is largely based on mouth chemistry – a chemistry that can be changed at anytime in your life by adjusting your eating habits. Decay begins when your teeth enamel become weak leaving you susceptible to cavities, chipping and other teeth problems. By eating the proper foods you can stop this process, known as demineralization, and reinforce your teeth enamel. Here are 5 great foods for stronger healthier teeth.
You know how you should brush after every meal? Actually, you don’t. Sugar isn’t the main cause of cavities. And bleaching doesn’t weaken your teeth. With so many misconceptions surrounding dental health, it’s not surprising that we’ve made up a few myths over the years to explain our dental issues. So why do we believe these myths? We usually heard them from somewhere, and they get repeated over and over again that we just take them for face value. But when it comes to your dental health, having false information can be dangerous. For your benefit, we have debunked four of the most common dental myths below:Myth #1: You should brush after every meal
It’s obvious that brushing your teeth is important. But you may be surprised to learn that brushing right after a meal may be harming your teeth.
Yep! When you eat, your mouth produces acids, which soften your tooth enamel while it breaks down food particles. Brushing too soon after eating can actually wear away the protective tooth enamel, your mouth’s primary defense against cavities. It’s best to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before brushing to give your saliva time to neutralize the high acid levels in your mouth caused by eating and drinking.