Can a Cleaner Tongue Give You Fresher Breath?

Can a Cleaner Tongue Give You Fresher Breath?You brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, but you still suffer from bad breath. As you ponder exactly what might be going on, consider how often you brush your tongue. A cleaner tongue can help you to enjoy fresher breath.

The Tongue is a Bad Breath Factory

The microbes found on the tongue are a factor for bad breath. The cracks and grooves provide the perfect surface to trap mucous, dead skin, food particles, and other germs.

These substances, then become a hotbed for bacterial growth, and they have a distinct, unpleasant smell.

Bad breath can get even worse if you suffer from dry mouth. Bacteria will be concentrated on the tongue, and without enough saliva to wash it away, it will continue to grow.

Unfortunately, this often results in bad breath that may not be relieved by simply brushing your teeth alone.

Try a Tongue Scraper

If you find it difficult to properly clean your tongue, a tongue scraper may help. A 2014 study found that people who suffer from chronic bad breath and used a tongue scraper enjoyed a 75% reduction in the bacteria responsible for halitosis. Those who used a tongue scraper were better able to remove the bacteria responsible for these foul odors than those who only brushed.

Other Risks of Failing to Clean Your Tongue

In addition to bad breath, failing to brush your tongue can lead to cavities and tooth decay. The bacteria can easily transfer from your tongue to the teeth and gums, which can wear away at the enamel. Eventually, this could lead to cavities and decay.

If you don’t currently brush or scrape your tongue, consider adding it to your oral hygiene routine. By adding this step to your dental care, you can improve the health of your mouth as well as your breath.

Bypassing the Myths Surrounding Root Canals is Important for Your Health

Bypassing the Myths Surrounding Root Canals is Important for Your HealthThe term “root canal” is strong enough to strike fear into many hearts and souls. Much of this fear is based on myths about the procedure.

When you bypass these myths, you’ll see just why root canals are so important for the health of your teeth and your entire body.

Myth: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful

One of the biggest myths about root canals is that they are extremely painful. Pain and root canals are often associated but the connection is usually incorrect Painful teeth are more often made comfortable with a root canal. Dentists often make people feel better.

This is also one of the reasons that so many people dread the procedure. In reality, the pain level associated with a root canal is no more than that of a typical filling. Advances in sedation dentistry will further improve your comfort level, so there is nothing to fear.

Myth: It is Better to Remove the Tooth

Sure, there are times when removing a tooth is the only possible option, but it should always be the last resort. Extraction leaves an empty space in your mouth, and if you don’t fill it with an implant, bridge, or another restoration, you are asking for long-term problems. Your teeth might shift and you will likely suffer jawbone loss. It is always better to try and save your existing teeth.

Myth: Root Canals Always Fail

Root canals are a highly successful and long-lasting procedure. Most of them encounter no issues and the treated teeth can last a lifetime. There are always exceptions to that rule, though, and there are times when a root canal may need to be repeated.

The nerve root branches off into many tiny little hallways, and if one is missed, the infection may remain. A repeat root canal may be required, but again, this is rare and certainly not the norm. The key to success is being treated by competent dentists.

Do you have questions about your upcoming root canal, or do you simply want to learn more about the process? If so, please give our office a call today.

Best Vegetable Snacks for the Cleanest Teeth

vegetables that clean teethVegetables are widely known to be healthy food items that can offer you a wide range of benefits, from helping you lose or manage your weight to increased heart health, reduced cholesterol, increase immunity, and more.

But, did you know that vegetables are also good for your oral health? Snacking on various veggies can help to keep your teeth clean, strong, and healthy. Below is a look at some of these veggies.

Carrots

Carrots are among the most nutritious foods. Among the many health benefits of carrots, they contain keratin, which helps to fight tooth decay, thus keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Carrots also act like a toothbrush when you snack on them. The fiber of carrots, when mixed with saliva, polishes away food particles stuck in your teeth, as well as oral bacteria.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, mustard green, asparagus, and cabbage are other types of vegetables that act as natural toothbrushes. These vegetables have a high-fiber content, which, when mixed with saliva, washes away the dental plaque and the food particles stuck in your oral cavity.

In addition to cleaning your teeth, these vegetables contain various nutrients, for example, vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and others, which help to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Celery

Celery is another healthy vegetable that offers numerous oral health benefits. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps to wash away plaque and food particles stuck in your teeth. It is also very watery and thus helps to fight dry mouth. The extra chewing required when eating celery (due to its high fiber content) also helps to increase the production of saliva in your mouth.

Raw Onions

Research studies have shown that raw onions are very useful in fighting bacteria that cause bad breath. Therefore, adding a few slices of raw onions to your vegetable salad or sandwich can help to keep oral bacteria at bay. Of course, after you finish your snack, you will need to brush your teeth or chew some mints, else you will end up with bad breath – exactly what you were trying to avoid.

In addition to observing proper oral hygiene, you can keep your oral cavity clean, fresh, and healthy using various natural remedies. Get in touch with us to find out more natural ways to improve your oral health.

Best Things to Drink for Optimal Oral Health

Best Things to Drink for Optimal Oral HealthDuring the hot summer months, it is important to stay hydrated while also considering which beverages are best for your oral health.

Acidic and overly sweet drinks can cause some major damage to your teeth and gums, especially with prolonged consumption.

Read on to find out what beverages might actually improve your oral health.

Water

Water is the best possible beverage for your body – for your teeth and for the rest of your system. Water will help to wash away bacteria, food particles, and acid from the teeth before they have a chance to damage the enamel. Water is also free of sugar, which makes it a good substitute for soda or other sweetened drinks that wreak havoc on the teeth.

Green Tea

Tea – specifically green tea – is another great option for your mouth. Unlike acidic beverages, green tea does not offer any erosive effects, and it also works wonders on control bacteria levels in the mouth. This will ultimately lower dental plaque and salivary acidity. The results will be a reduced risk for cavity and tooth decay.

In addition to preventing against decay, green tea offers many other helpful benefits to the mouth. This tea kills off microbes that may lead to bad breath, and it can also reduce inflammation in the gums that leads to periodontal disease. Additionally, some studies have found a connection between green tea and reduced oral cancer risk.

Milk

Calcium is incredibly important for the health of your teeth, specifically the enamel. Milk is a major source of calcium, making it a great drink to maintain strong, healthy teeth. Milk also contains an important protein known as caseins, which create a protective film over the enamel, enhancing the decay-resistant ability of the teeth.

Are you interested in other ways that you can improve your oral health? Call us today to set up your next appointment.

Is Aloe Vera Good for Mouth Sores?

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.