Is Aloe Vera Good for Mouth Sores?

Aloe Vera has been used for over 2,000 years in the treatment of skin issues. Today, it’s being used to treat oral health problems too.

This is because it’s been shown to help our bodies heal faster while also reducing pain such as that which is associated with canker sores, cold sores, and mouth ulcers.

How Aloe Vera Works

You can either drink Aloe Vera juice or apply the gel topically to your affected area. This comes from a plant that most people already know will help them with their sunburn throughout the summertime. It’s been shown to accelerate healing while also reducing pain for everything from bacterial to fungal infections. Additionally, Aloe Vera also has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties because it contains amino acids and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C.

When you decide to use Aloe Vera to treat oral sores and ulcers you should use it like a lip balm. Make sure to apply it to the area three times daily until the lesion dries up. After you apply the Aloe Vera make sure you always wash your hands because these things are quite contagious. If the sore or ulcer is located inside your mouth, you’ll want to drink Aloe Vera juice instead. This way it comes into contact with the “infected” area.

When you Should see Your Dentist Instead

Although Aloe Vera does have healing and soothing properties, it’s not always the best course of action or treatment. When you have mouth sores it’s possible that they’re caused by a disease or disorder. This is why you should always contact our office and set up an appointment to have us look at them – especially when they’ve lasted for a week or longer. So, if you’re suffering from such a long-lasting sore, make sure you contact us today.

Do Your Teeth Get Healthier When You Use Mouthwash?

mouthwash for a healthier smileYour teeth are made to last a lifetime, so you need to make sure they are healthy and well cared for. Fortunately, mouthwash can help them to stay healthy. For some of us making mouthwash a daily part of your oral hygiene routine can improve the health of your teeth.

Removes Plaque

One of the main benefits that mouthwash has to offer your teeth is plaque prevention. Mouthwash can prevent plaque buildup on the gums, the surface of the teeth, and those tough-to-reach spaces between the teeth.

However, the use of mouthwash should never become a substitute for brushing. While mouthwash can prevent plaque buildup, it cannot remove existing plaque.

Prevents Cavity Formation

The regular use of mouthwash can fight cavity formation and decay. Some mouthwashes contain fluoride, which is important when it comes to strengthening the enamel against decay. When your enamel is strong, the risk of cavities drops. Make sure that you always choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride in order to reap this benefit.

Rinses Away Food Debris

Mouthwash isn’t just for use after you brush. You can use it at any time, and it will help to remove loose food particles from your teeth. Then, when you go to brush and floss later on, it will be easier to get these particles out of your mouth.

Freshens the Breath

While fresh breath might not necessarily impact your oral health, it is certainly a benefit. By reducing the bacteria level in your mouth, you’ll minimize your coffee breath in the morning. There are plenty of flavor choices available to create the scent you desire.

Whether you need help choosing a mouthwash or have other questions about oral hygiene, we are here for you. We want your teeth to be as healthy and beautiful as possible. Contact us today to set up your next evaluation or dental cleaning.

How to Tell if Your Breath Stinks

Person with bad breathBad breath is one of the most common issues related to oral health. We spend millions each year in mouthwashes and gums that promise to keep us free of offending mouth odors.

Whether you feel it first thing in the morning or after eating certain foods, this is how to tell if your breath stinks.

Test the Tip of the Tongue Smell

This is the most popular way to find out if your breath stinks. Lick the inside of your wrist, wait a few seconds and allow the saliva to dry, then smell it. That is how the tip of your tongue smells and you will be able to tell whether you need to get out the gum or mouth rinse.

Test the Back of the Tongue Smell

This is a more difficult and unpleasant test, but if you want more accurate results then you can follow these directions. Take a small spoon, like the ones you use to add sugar to your coffee, turn it backwards, open your mouth and say, Ah, and gently scrape the very back of your tongue.

Try to reach as far back as you can and be prepared to gag a bit depending on your reflex. The darker the gunk on the spoon, the worse your breath stinks. This is also how others smell your breath.

Get Someone’s Opinion

The easiest way how to tell if your breath stinks is to just ask someone. Whether it’s a best friend, husband, wife, or significant other, hopefully they will be honest and tell you the truth.

Most people have bad breath, but you can do something about it. Remember to include cleaning your tongue as part of your oral hygiene and ask us for a demonstration at your next visit.

 

 

 

How to Talk About Dental Fears

Person afraid of the dentistDental fears are a lot more common than most people realize. Those that do have dental fears often feel alone. It is very important that you understand just how common dental fears really are. Some people get so afraid of going to the dentist that they skip going to the dentist altogether.

That is not the best option. Instead, what you need to do is communicate your dental fears to us. That way, we can adjust your treatment to avoid stressing you out more than necessary and still keep your oral health a top priority.

Talking About Dental Fears is Easy Once You Get Started

The hardest part about dental fears is starting the conversation. Saying you are afraid of something is not easy, no matter who you are. However, once the conversation is going, explaining what causes the fear naturally becomes easier. When you come in for a cleaning or exam, just let us know that you are not always comfortable when you come in.

That will be enough to open up the door to talking, and we can help guide the conversation from there. That way, all you had to do was get the process started, and we can help see what is going on from that point.

You do not necessarily need to tell us exactly what it is you are afraid of. In some cases, you may not even know exactly what it is you are afraid of. That is alright. Once we know that you are nervous, we can help make the process of seeing us a little bit easier.

Accommodations are not a problem, and we do them whenever the need arises. Call our office today and find out what options we offer for nervous patients. Finding out that we have things in place to help may be enough to help you start to relax.

After an Acidic Meal, You Need to Wait to Brush!

tooth damageYou have heard how important good oral health habits at home are. Brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting our office regularly can keep your mouth healthy, but eating certain foods may come with a warning sign. After an acidic meal, you need to wait to brush your teeth.

Foods such as lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit and tomatoes are great for a healthy body, but they can create come problems for your teeth if you are not careful.

Acid Can Damage Tooth Enamel

Exposing your teeth to acid meals on a regular basis can cause the enamel to weaken by losing important minerals that keep it strong. If you don’t take proper care, this exposure eventually destroys the enamel creating a cavity, which can be the beginning of other dental issues.

Wait to Brush Your Teeth After a Meal

Even though you need to brush your teeth after a meal, some studies concluded that it’s best to wait to brush. This is especially true after eating an acidic meal. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel that is already weakened after eating certain foods.

Mayo Clinic recommends you wait at least 30-minutes before brushing your teeth, in instances where you have eaten acidic foods, such as oranges, lemons or grapefruits. This will allow the enamel to recover from the acid.

Sugar Can Produce Acidity

Sugar itself is not acidic. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria eating the sugar and then producing acids. Acid attacks cause tooth erosion that damage the outer surface of the tooth enamel. This makes the tooth softer and allows bacteria to enter the tooth causing even more damage.

The enamel on our teeth is as hard as steel, but it can get damaged so after an acidic meal, you need to wait to brush! It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after eating acidic or sugary foods until you can brush to minimize the damage to the enamel.

 

Best Ways to Sanitize Your Toothbrush

sanitizing your toothbrushRegularly cleaning your toothbrush is an important step to prevent the spread and growth of bacteria, viruses, and germs. In the right environment, these organisms can grow on your toothbrush after you use it.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to sanitize your brush.

Focus on Everyday Cleaning

It is important to focus on everyday cleaning in order to maintain a healthy toothbrush. To do this, you have a few options. First, you could simply keep it in a dry area, as bacteria and other germs in the mouth cannot survive in a dry environment. If you feel you need something stronger, store your brush in a cup of hydrogen peroxide or Listerine. Before you brush, rinse it off. When you brush, make sure you change out the liquid.

Boil Your ToothBrush

Boiling your toothbrush is another way to ensure you kill all germs. Boil it in for about three minutes, and make sure you allow it to cool before use. Boiling is hard on your brush, but it will kill off most germs.

Put it in the Dishwasher

Another good way to ensure your brush is cleaned thoroughly is to run it in the dishwasher. Place it in the silverware compartment, and run it through a hot cycle. Don’t add soap. Remember that this type of cleaning may wear your toothbrush out faster than normal, so be prepared to swap your brush out for a new one more frequently.

Use a Toothbrush Sanitizer

While it certainly isn’t necessary to go out and buy a UV toothbrush sanitizer, if you are really concerned about germs, this gadget may put your mind at ease. Using dry heat and steam, this machine will sanitize your toothbrush appropriately.

Whether it has been awhile since your last trip to the dentist or you need your six month cleaning, we are here to help. Call us today to set up your evaluation.

Everyone’s Oral Health Can Increase When Families Brush Together

family brushing teethWhen your entire family brushes their teeth together, it can provide a lot of benefits to you and the other members of your family. All of you will be more likely to keep up with daily oral hygiene routines. Plus, you will all work together to make sure each other is doing the best job possible.

This sets up good oral care habits from a young age, and keeps them going as children grow into adults. It is a great way to set up positive oral health habits for life.

Your Kids Learn How to Brush From You

Children learn from adults. This can be both good and bad. When you set up a positive habit as a family, every member of the family who participates benefits. Brushing as a family gives each member of the family someone to hold them accountable. The parents have the kids, and the kids have the parents. People will be brushing twice daily like they are supposed to, and everyone will be brushing for the right amount of time. This helps everyone have good oral health now, and into the future.

Take the time to establish these positive oral habits with your kids starting at a young age. Have them come with you to get an exam with us if they want to see what happens so they know what to expect as they get older. You set the tone for how they care for themselves. The best thing that you can do is to be an active part in taking care of yourself the right way, including brushing, flossing, and coming in to see us.

If you want to make sure you are taking care of yourself properly, call us and let us do an exam. That way, you know your oral health is as good as it should be.

How Can You Get Your Veneers to Last for Years?

woman with dental veneersDo you have dental veneers? If so, you probably want them to last for as long as possible before they have to be replaced. There are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to properly caring for your dental veneers.

When they are properly cared for, they typically last around ten to twenty years. Sometimes they can even last longer than that! Here are some important tips to help your veneers last for as many years as possible.

Always Take Care of Your Mouth with Dental Veneers

When you have dental veneers, you need to make sure you carefully take care of your mouth. You need to follow the normal daily oral hygiene routine we have recommended for decades. Brushing two times daily, plus flossing one time daily, plus rinsing with a really good mouthwash one time daily. This will help keep your teeth healthy, which will help your veneers stay strong.

You also need to come in and see us every six months. We keep track of how your veneers are holding up during your visits, and note any problems we see with them. That way, if anything does happen, we know how to correct it quickly. Plus, we can also see cracks or areas where your veneers may lift up early, so we can cement them back down.

It is really important that you treat your veneers with care. You need to be gentle when you chew and bite. Avoid any type of hit to the mouth whenever you can, and don’t try and use your teeth to open anything. For more tips on helping your veneers last as long as possible, reach out to us. We can help you do everything possible to get the most life out of each set of veneers you get.

Foods That Naturally Whiten Your Teeth as You Eat Them

Foods to Whiten your teethWe all realize that foods and drinks can stain our teeth and darken our smile. However, what we’re not as familiar with is how some food can whiten your teeth while we eat them.

Foods That Help Whiten Your Teeth

Surprisingly, one of the foods that will help whiten your teeth are strawberries, especially when mashed up and combined with baking soda. Although they can stain your shirt, they contain malic acid – an enzyme that will whiten your teeth.

While you’re in your grocery store’s produce aisle you should check out some other great foods. These include crunchy items like apples, celery, and carrots. They help increase your saliva production, which is your mouth’s self-cleaning agent.

Another pleasant surprise comes from two citrus foods: oranges and pineapples. They also help your mouth produce more saliva, which will naturally wash your teeth clean. However, you don’t want to use other citrus foods like lemons directly on your teeth as you could damage them.

An old-fashioned home tooth whitening remedy is baking soda. Studies have proven that toothpastes that contain baking soda do a better job of removing plaque than other toothpastes do. You can also occasionally brush your teeth with baking soda right from the box too.

One last food you should include in your diet to whiten your teeth is dairy. Yogurt, milk, and cheese are your best choices here. They contain lactic acid which helps protect your teeth against decay. This is especially true of yogurt because it contains proteins that bind to your teeth and protect them from being attacked by harmful, cavity causing acids. Hard cheese works best here because it also removes food particles.

A Professional Care Is Still The Best Solution

While there are numerous foods that can help you maintain a healthy, white smile, nothing is more effective than professional whitening treatments and cleanings. If you are worried about the color of your teeth or want to improve your smile for an upcoming event or other affair, contact us today! We’ll be glad to help!

 

How an Air Flosser Can Improve Your Oral Health Over Traditional Floss

Have you ever tried using an air flosser? It is a relatively new item that you can use in your battle to get the cleanest teeth and gums possible. Some people struggle with using traditional floss, which leaves their mouth to struggle with the consequences.

Instead of going without flossing, or not doing it well enough, you have options. One of them is the air flosser. This helps you to get more debris out of between your teeth, helping to improve your oral health.

Benefits of Using an Air Flosser

The main benefit most people talk about when they discuss air flossers is the fact that they are painless. Air flossers use microburst technology to push air between your teeth. They often use a small stream of water along with the air to help remove that debris more easily. You can also use mouthwash if you would prefer to use that over water.

Many people discuss how easy it is to use an air flosser over traditional floss, meaning they are more likely to use it. Plus, once you get used to how it works, you can floss your entire mouth very well in about one minute. This gives you back the time you would otherwise have spent struggling with traditional floss.

It does not hurt, and it works. This is what most people experience when they give an air flosser a try. If you want a way to incorporate better flossing into your oral hygiene routine, then you may want to consider the benefits of an air flosser. They are not expensive, but they are a great investment in your oral health and the future of your mouth. Find out more by asking us about them at your next appointment.