Breastfeeding and Dental Decay!

March 3rd, 2014

If you breast feed your toddler, especially at night, you may have some questions about whether your child is at greater risk for tooth decay.  This is one area where many in the dental world, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, are not necessarily on the same page with the many mothers who continue [...]


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If you breast feed your toddler, especially at night, you may have some questions about whether your child is at greater risk for tooth decay.  This is one area where many in the dental world, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, are not necessarily on the same page with the many mothers who continue breastfeeding after their child’s first birthday.

One critical factor in whether or not a breastfed child develops dental decay seems to be the socio-economic status of the mother.   According to Hiroko Iida, of the NY State Department of Health, if a breast-feeding mother is poor or Mexican-American, her children are actually “more likely to have cavities than other children.”  And the latest data fails to show that breastfeeding provides any real protection against tooth decay.

So what should you do if you are not yet ready to wean your child?  You must be extra-diligent about keeping your child’s teeth clean – especially if your child has a night-time feeding.   Anything other than water which contacts your child’s teeth can cause decay.  Harmful bacteria spread from the parent’s mouth to the child can also increase his or her risk for a cavity so -avoid sharing spoons, licking from the same icecream cone  or sharing slobbery kisses.    Use a baby washcloth to clean your toddler’s teeth, until you can begin brushing with a small tooth brush and a smear of fluoridated toothpaste.  This is especially important after your child transitions to eating solid foods.

Avoid allowing your children access to sugary drinks or sticky foods.  Since their front teeth are especially susceptible to decay, be on the lookout for dark discolorations or chalky white areas.  Bring your child in to our office for regular appointments  beginning at their first birthday, so that we can check for pain-causing decay in the teeth you can’t so easily monitor.

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Are You Using Too Much Toothpaste?!

February 24th, 2014

Did you know that using too much toothpaste  is possible?! There is actually a right amount of toothpaste you should use!  You should be using about a pea size amount of toothpaste for optimal benefits. If you find yourself spreading the toothpaste all over your mouth, then it’s probably too much.  We’ve had many patients [...]


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Did you know that using too much toothpaste  is possible?! There is actually a right amount of toothpaste you should use!  You should be using about a pea size amount of toothpaste for optimal benefits. If you find yourself spreading the toothpaste all over your mouth, then it’s probably too much.  We’ve had many patients who were under the assumption that the more you use, the more better the clean. Just a pea size amount of toothpaste provides enough fluoride.

In fact, too much toothpaste is a bad thing because too much toothpaste can erode the enamel! -Huffington Post

Also, you will not waste so much toothpaste! If you only use the recommended amount, it will cut your toothpaste expenses by 65%.

We understand that advertisements like to show more than a pea-sized amount, since it entices you to use more, and therefore, buy more. Good for their companies! Not to mention, too much toothpaste can cause tooth sensitivity.

Therefore, be sure to not use too much toothpaste!

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What Causes Bad Breath?

February 24th, 2014

Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by bacteria in your mouth. Food particles can linger in your mouth when you do not brush and floss daily, which therefore, can cause bad breath. The particles that are left in your mouth can release an odor or a pungent smell. Now keep in mind that certain foods [...]


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Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by bacteria in your mouth. Food particles can linger in your mouth when you do not brush and floss daily, which therefore, can cause bad breath. The particles that are left in your mouth can release an odor or a pungent smell. Now keep in mind that certain foods are more likely to cause bad breath. For example, garlic and onions often cause bad breath because:

“The primary smelly culprit here has been found to be allyl methyl sulfide, which is passed into the blood during the digestive process.  Once it’s in your blood, it eventually gets passed out of your body through various bodily excretions, which includes being exuded through your pores and also passed into the air that fills your lungs. So as you breathe, the air goes into your lungs and is contaminated by the allyl methyl sulfide; this in turn causes your breath to continue to smell even if you’ve cleaned your mouth out.”-Today Found Out

 We have 10 ways to help prevent bad breath:
1. Brush and Floss Daily
2. Clean Your Tongue
3. Drink Lots of Water
4. Be Careful How Many Mints You Eat-If the odor persists, then visit your dentist
5. Watch What You Eat-Try to avoid foods with pungent oils
6. Brush After Meals
7. Green Tea-Drink green tea after meals since it has antibacterial properties
8. Incorporate More Vitamin C into Your Diet
9. Avoid Cigarettes
10. Visit Your Dentist
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A Prescription for Health

February 21st, 2014

You’ve just made a quick exit from the dentist’s office after being seen for an infected tooth.  The dentist’s prescriptions for pain medication and an antibiotic have been strategically stuffed into your back pant’s pocket.  Do you head directly over to the strip-mall pharmacy to get it filled?  Or do you decide to ‘tough it [...]


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You’ve just made a quick exit from the dentist’s office after being seen for an infected tooth.  The dentist’s prescriptions for pain medication and an antibiotic have been strategically stuffed into your back pant’s pocket.  Do you head directly over to the strip-mall pharmacy to get it filled?  Or do you decide to ‘tough it out’ and see if you can manage things on your own?  Your decision could have a big effect on how quickly and completely you recover.

Sometimes when you’ve been sleep deprived or in pain for a day or two, you simply lack the patience to hear all the details about why or how a medication is to be taken.  As a result, you may hesitate to spend money on a drug that you are unsure will be beneficial, or which you may not remember how or when to take.  This is probably why some 25% of all prescriptions written in the US are never filled.

Of those Americans who actually pick up the prescription, over half of them do not take the medication correctly because they either don’t understand or remember the directions.  To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, jot down a few notes while you’re still with the dentist, or ask one of our assistants to write down the directions for you.

Will the prescribed medication affect your ability to drive?   Are there any potential interactions with drugs you are currently taking?  What, if any, are the side effects?  Don’t hesitate to ask.  Do you have an allergy to codeine or penicillin?  Confirm that neither are contained in the prescribed drug.  If the last pain medication you took caused severe nausea or vomiting – ask if there’s an alternative available which you will tolerate better.

Our dentists take great care to avoid writing unnecessary prescriptions.  The primary purpose of most medications we prescribe is to control either infection or pain.  We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the safety, efficacy or necessity of any medications we prescribe.

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Valentine’s Day Sweet Tooth!

February 13th, 2014

Tomorrow is the day where everyone shows their love and appreciation for one another. This can be conveyed with lots of chocolates, candies, and treats. We found that Americans buy more than 25 million chocolates each year for Valentine’s Day! We found some even more interesting stats about the lovable holiday: 58 million pounds of [...]


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Tomorrow is the day where everyone shows their love and appreciation for one another. This can be conveyed with lots of chocolates, candies, and treats. We found that Americans buy more than 25 million chocolates each year for Valentine’s Day! We found some even more interesting stats about the lovable holiday:

  • 58 million pounds of chocolate candy will be purchased the week before Valentine’s Day
  • $345 million spent on chocolate for Valentine’s Day, an additional $103 million will be spent on other Valentine’s Day candies like candy hearts.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be purchased for Valentine’s Day sweethearts
  • The average American consumes between 10 and 12 pounds of chocolate each year; more than 60 percent of all chocolates in America are enjoyed  by women
  • About 8 billion candy hearts are sold between Feb. 1 and Feb. 14

We all know this can contribute to our waistline, but we forget how this can impact our oral health as well!

Sweets Impact Your Teeth: When sugar and bacteria combine in your mouth it will naturally produced acid. This acid will attack your teeth for at least 20 minutes! Remember, the bacteria that causes cavities thrives on sugar! Different candies can do different types of damage on your teeth. For example, candies that are more sticky than others will dissolve slowly and get stuck in crevasses.

Therefore, if you are going to indulge in those sweet treats tomorrow be sure to brush your teeth, floss, and mouthwash daily.

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7 Steps To Whiter Teeth!

February 9th, 2014

A whiter smile is a lot closer than you think! There are a variety of ways you can do to give you those pearly whites such as our ZOOM Whitening products. However, we understand some people are trying to find ways to naturally whiten their teeth. Therefore, we have listed 7 tips on how to [...]


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A whiter smile is a lot closer than you think! There are a variety of ways you can do to give you those pearly whites such as our ZOOM Whitening products. However, we understand some people are trying to find ways to naturally whiten their teeth. Therefore, we have listed 7 tips on how to achieve whiter teeth!

1. Avoid colored foods: Try to avoid dark drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine!

2. Tongue Scraper: Bacteria can form when you do not clean your tongue. This can damage your teeth so be sure to use a tongue scraper with your daily oral hygiene routine.

3. Hard Foods: Try to eat things that naturally make you salivate. This will help remove the bacteria in your mouth naturally. Therefore, try to eat items like apples, celery, and citrus foods.

4. Replace Your Toothbrush: Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months. This will ensure your teeth are actually getting the best clean.

5. Baking Soda: We have heard brushing your teeth with baking soda can help whiten your teeth!

6. Floss: Be sure to floss daily and after ever meal to help ensure food will not stick to your teeth.

7. Oral Health: Make sure you brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily. This is the only way to keep your teeth healthy and healthy teeth are always pearly white.

These are just some way to keep your teeth white, but come stop by our office and we can find the best ways to keep your teeth sparkling white!

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Diary of a Sugar Addict!

February 6th, 2014

As someone who managed to wolf down an entire sleeve of Girl Scout’s Thin Mints on the twenty minute commute from the office to my house last week, I feel more than a bit sheepish reminding everyone of the importance of reducing their sugar intake.  However, a study commissioned by the World Health Organization and [...]


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As someone who managed to wolf down an entire sleeve of Girl Scout’s Thin Mints on the twenty minute commute from the office to my house last week, I feel more than a bit sheepish reminding everyone of the importance of reducing their sugar intake.  However, a study commissioned by the World Health Organization and published last month in the Journal of Dental Research showed that when the percentage of the diet made up of sugars is reduced to less than 10% of the total caloric intake, the number of dental cavities is significantly reduced.

Every week at my office (and let me remind you – I’m working with people with dental degrees) we seem to be celebrating somebody’s birthday, job promotion or firing with a sheetcake slathered with a coating of some sort of unnaturally colored sugar concoction.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve eaten a dessert I wasn’t the least bit hungry for – under the pretense of being sociable.

Excess sugar consumption is not just the culprit in tooth decay, it plays a major role in America’s epidemic of childhood obesity and rising rates of Type II diabetes.   So, try joining me this week as I attempt to battle my sugar addiction by bringing individual packets of string cheese and almonds to work.  I plan to be ready when the next co-worker announces, “Hey – get down to the break room – someone brought in a cake to celebrate the new girl’s divorce!”

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The Candy Cure!

January 30th, 2014

What could be better than sucking on a piece of candy and reducing your risk of tooth decay?  Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t’ it?  We’re not there yet, but scientists are certainly working on it.  Recently, microbiologists at Organobalance, a German firm which specializes in probiotic research and development, studied the effects of [...]


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What could be better than sucking on a piece of candy and reducing your risk of tooth decay?  Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t’ it?  We’re not there yet, but scientists are certainly working on it.  Recently, microbiologists at Organobalance, a German firm which specializes in probiotic research and development, studied the effects of lacing a sugar-free candy with so-called “good” bacteria.  Though the results are certainly preliminary, they found that the number of decay-causing bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) in the saliva was significantly reduced in the volunteers who used the candy.

Unfortunately, this study was too short to determine if reducing the numbers of decay-causing bacteria in the saliva actually results in fewer cavities.  Proving that theory will most likely take years, because the real test is whether these “good” bacteria can reduce the harmful bacteria located in the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth.  However, these initial test results are promising enough that researchers are planning to begin a longer and more extensive study in the near future.

What does this mean for us?  Well, while we wait for a candy that can cure tooth decay, our best bet is to invest two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night to brush and floss away the harmful bacteria so that the good bacteria in our mouths can thrive.  Since poor oral health has been associated with heart disease, Alzheimer’s and pancreatic cancer, we have a lot more to gain from a healthy mouth than just fresh breath and a sparkling smile.

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How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health!

January 30th, 2014

We all know stress can affect your health, but today we are going to discuss how it affects your oral health! Here are some ways stress can affect your oral health: 1. Grinding Teeth: A lot of our patients who are under stress, especially at night. Many people do not even realize they are doing [...]


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We all know stress can affect your health, but today we are going to discuss how it affects your oral health! Here are some ways stress can affect your oral health:

1. Grinding Teeth: A lot of our patients who are under stress, especially at night. Many people do not even realize they are doing this and it’s called Bruxism. This can destroy your enamel and once it’s destroyed it can never come back! We suggest you get your mouth guard to help protect your teeth. Also, warm baths are the best way to help relax reduce the incidence of grinding.

2. Mouth Sores: Mouth sores or fever blisters are known to flare up whenever you are stressed. Stress weakens the immune system. Therefore, it makes the mouth more prone to sores because of bacteria and viruses. Be sure to stay away from spicy foods and avoid touching them.

3. Gum Disease: Stress can make us to forget and neglect your oral health. Missing a couple of days can affect your oral health over time. People are  more prone to gingivitis during stressful times. Therefore, be sure to continue to brush, floss, and use mouth wash twice a day.

4. Dry Mouth:  It’s been said medications taken to relive depression can cause dry mouth. Also, it’s been suggested dehydration can cause dry mouth. Stress, dry mouth, and and staying hydrated are all interrelated. Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated to ease dry mouth and stress.

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The Wisdom of Pulling Teeth!

January 26th, 2014

Wisdom teeth, or your third molars, are usually the last of the 32 teeth to surface in your mouth. This typically happens between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the very back of your mouth. The name “wisdom” comes from the idea these teeth come at a time when someone is [...]


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Wisdom teeth, or your third molars, are usually the last of the 32 teeth to surface in your mouth. This typically happens between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the very back of your mouth. The name “wisdom” comes from the idea these teeth come at a time when someone is more mature or has more “wisdom”.

In most cases,  there is not enough space for these wisdom teeth and they can get stuck in a very unfavorable place. If this goes untreated it can lead to many problems including: infection, damaging other teeth, and it can even lead to cysts or worse tumors!

Here are the top reasons why you should remove your wisdom teeth:

1. Damage other teeth: The teeth near your wisdom can be affected by becoming infected, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even bone loss.

2. Infection: Food and bacteria can get stuck under your gum tissue and lead to infection.

3. Teeth Crowding: This is the most popular reason why people do get rid of their wisdom teeth. It’s been said that wisdom teeth can impact the nearby teeth and make become misaligned (crooked).

If you feel that your wisdom teeth are bothering you then please make an appointment with us. Be sure to have us examine you early (mid teens) to help be one step ahead. this way we can improve the overall results for you whenever it requires to wisdom teeth extractions. Once we have examined you then we can recommend the right steps on how to move forward!