As if catching the cold or the flue wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that these viruses could just have an impact on your oral health, too.
Most of us don’t really think about how a cold virus might affect our overall dental health, but there is a potential risk here that really underscores the need for great oral hygiene, even when we’re feeling under the weather.
So, what are some of the most common dental issues that can be exacerbated by a simple cold (or the flu)? Let’s consider some of the following.
Increased Dry Mouth
Nasal congestion is a common symptom that many people suffer throughout cold and flu season. It’s so common, in fact, that it’s the main thing that tips people off to your condition, since the change in your voice or speech patterns make it “sound like you have a pretty bad cold.”
This kind of congestion could actually impact your oral health, too.
First, the more that nasal congestion blocks up your airways – especially while you sleep – the more likely you are to experience dry mouth. When your nasal passages are blocked up, you don’t have any choice but to breathe through your mouth.
The more your mouth dries out, the less saliva you have to help break down foods and wash away all the particles that could cause severe dental problems (namely, cavities and gum disease) down the road.
Second, even the medications you take to combat congestion may be causing dry mouth. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Also, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbes that multiply and lead to disease.”
Unexplained Tooth Pain
A toothache can be a terrible experience all on its own. Add it to a severe cold or flu, and things get really miserable really fast.
Many people don’t realize, however, that the sudden and unexplained tooth pain may be directly related to a virus that impacts your sinuses.
Pain in your upper teeth – especially when it seems to affect multiple teeth – and tenderness around your sinuses could be a sign of sinusitis that has been cause by the cold virus or a bacterial infection.
Often, sinusitis will take care of itself, if you do everything you can to stay healthy, but if the symptoms and pain don’t resolve themselves after some time, you may need to talk to a doctor about some antibiotic solutions.
How to Protect Your Oral Health When You’re Under the Weather
There are several simple things you can do to keep your teeth in great shape while you’re fighting off the symptoms of the cold or the flu.
- Continue taking nasal decongestants to keep those airways open and reduce the amount of time in which dry mouth is possible. So even if the medications do contribute to dry mouth, it’s better to clear up the source of the problem as quickly as possible.
- Keep a water bottle nearby and sip from it regularly. This is especially important at night, so that if you wake up and feel a complete lack of moisture in your mouth, you’ll have an immediate remedy.
- Suck on sugar-free cough drops or vitamin lozenges to help stimulate saliva production. There are a lot of cold remedies out there that are filled with sugar since that “helps the medicine go down.” It’s worth the effort to find medication with alternative sweeteners or to follow it up with a good brushing and rinsing.
- Consider using a humidifier in your home to increase the moisture in the air in your bedroom while you sleep. This can also help to soothe your dry throat.
- Drink more liquids. This is something people have always recommended to those suffering from a cold, and for good reason. Hydration is important for your healing process, so by upping your liquid intake, you’re helping that process along while combatting dry mouth.
- Keep up with your regular dental hygiene routines. Sometimes you may just want to lay in bed and revel in the misery, but this is an important time to stick to your routines. If the bacteria has a chance to start building up, it’s going to take that opportunity – so don’t give it that chance.
- On that note, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as you start feeling better. It may be harboring a couple bacterial fugitives that are just waiting for a chance to reinfect your mouth.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Your Health
The cold and flu season can be miserable for many people, but it’s important to stay on top of your situation to be as healthy as possible.
This includes the state of your teeth and gums. It may not be the first thing on your mind when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket with a warm beverage and wait it out, but the more proactive steps you take to protect your teeth when you start to feel common cold symptoms, the easier it will be to take care of your teeth while you’re in recovery mode.
If you’re concerned about your oral health, you can find a trusted Denver dentist here at LeDowns Dentistry to help you get your teeth and gums back in good health. Contact us today.
This autumn, we encourage everyone to fall in love with your smile again.
You should never underestimate the power of a simple smile, and if you feel like yours has started to fade a little, or if you catch yourself hiding your teeth from others, then this might be the best time to chat with us and discover some great options for a brighter, healthier smile.
So, where do you even start?
Obviously, that all depends on your individual situation and your personal goals, but we can recommend a few of our regular services.
Cosmetic Dentistry for You
The latest in cosmetic dentistry can include a wide range of solutions – and the best part is that most of them also have a significant impact on the overall health of your teeth, too.
Let’s start with the simplest solutions.
- Teeth Whitening – Even if we never ate or drank anything that could stain our teeth, simply aging will dull their former brilliance. In other words, anyone can use our whitening services.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – It may be time to replace those old metal fillings with a material that is almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
- Deep Cleanings – We use the latest high-tech devices to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth.
Now, what if you’ve had some slight damage to your teeth? Something that would require a little more attention to fully repair.
In those cases, we would recommend some other cosmetic services we offer locally, such as:
- Veneers Denver – This is a top service in our office and a great way to cover teeth that simply don’t respond to traditional whitening methods while covering chips and cracks (perhaps restoring some functionality there, too).
- Dental Crowns – A crown serves to restore a broken tooth without removing it, or to cap a tooth with a large filling. It can provide more structure for your teeth and improve its appearance.
- Denver CO Dental Implants – Missing teeth are more than a cosmetic problem, and it’s critical that you replace them as quickly as possible. Modern dental implants are very strong and look just like your natural teeth.
Then again, perhaps your teeth haven’t been damaged, and you’ve kept up with your daily oral hygiene – but through no fault of your own, your teeth are just a little crooked. In this case, we could recommend:
- Denver Invisalign – This is an extremely popular option for patients of all ages. It’s a great way to get straighter teeth (which means healthier teeth) in a subtle way that no one has to know about.
- Braces – Fast Braces are an option for those who have teeth that require significant realignment or want results faster than the Invisalign aligners can provide.
There are, of course, some cases in which a whitening procedure just won’t help you get the results you want. Sometimes, whether it’s because of damage or neglect, we need to go a bit further to reach that perfect smile.
If a patient is in severe pain, or is experiencing serious loss of functionality, we may recommend a full mouth rehabilitation.
Make no mistake, this is a serious set of procedures and may include all the services necessary to completely rebuild the teeth, restore jaw mechanics, and contribute to a healthier gum line.
This isn’t just about a better smile – it’s about your complete oral health.
Of course, coming out of it with a beautiful, new smile is an added benefit.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Right for You?
Whatever your goals, you can get a skilled cosmetic Denver dentist that can help you fall in love with your smile again. We have extensive experience, and our results speak for themselves.
You don’t have to put off these procedures any longer. We have taken all the necessary steps to keep you and our staff safe as you get the dental care you need.
There is a really good chance that your daily routines have changed somewhat over the past few months.
The unprecedented situation that we’re all currently living in has turned lives upside down as we all adjust to the “new normal.”
Unfortunately, we’re starting to get the impression from some of our patients that with all of these changes, a lot of the good oral care habits that we’ve spent a lifetime establishing are starting to slip a little bit.
Our old routines may have involved brushing, flossing, and rinsing right before heading out the door to work. After all, you want to make sure your breath is minty fresh before heading out to work, or to drop the kids off at school, or getting to college classes in the morning.
These days, it just may be that your college class is held online, your kids are doing their school at home, and your job may have gone remote. You’ve traded in your business casual attire for sweat pants and a t-shirt. If you don’t have a video-chat scheduled for the day, you may have put most your morning routines off until later in the day – including brushing and flossing.
It’s not like anyone’s going to notice while you’re stuck at home anyway, right?
Well, it’s important to remember that your oral care routines go beyond fresh breath and a bright smile.
It’s about keeping your teeth and gums nice and healthy.
So, if you – like many others – are sensing that some of your better habits have started to slip, it’s time to take a step back and make sure you are prioritizing your own dental health.
Getting Back on Track
Many habits begin to slide when the structure that surrounded and supported them begins to show some cracks.
The best way to counter this is to build a new structure that helps you get your regular routines back on track.
For children who are schooling at home, you may make it a necessary step that happens after breakfast and before booting up the computer. And just because the cupboards with the tasty treats aren’t that far away, that doesn’t mean they get to up their snack intake for the day. Such things should only be portioned out sparingly.
For adults that are working from home, the same can apply. You can still take advantage of the work-from-home situation and enjoy getting the job done in more comfortable clothes, but stay strict on your dental hygiene routines. Give yourself a time by which you must brush and floss every day.
You can also create a simple checklist or a daily log on which everyone (including adults and kids) can track their successes. This will make it easier for everyone to keep at it, because a little accountability can go a long way.
Your Daily Dental Routine
Let’s just take a quick look at all the things we, your friendly Denver Dentist, want to make sure we’re covering every day.
- Brushing – You need to brush at least twice a day, for 2 minutes each time.
- Flossing – You should floss at least once a day, making sure you get the spaces between all your teeth.
- Rinsing – Mouthwash can be particularly useful to help clean your mouth after a period of less-than-effective oral care.
- Eating right – Always remember which foods are bad for your teeth and which can actually contribute to a healthier mouth.
- Tongue cleaning – There is a lot of bacteria building up on your tongue right now. Use a tongue scraper or your tooth brush to clean it off and avoid embarrassing bad breath.
Is Your Current Routine Enough?
Here’s how to spot whether or not your current routines are doing the job:
- Do your teeth feel clean against your tongue, or is there a definite sense of fuzziness there?
- Are your gums pink and healthy, or do they bleed when you brush?
- Do those you interact with shy away from you as you speak?
Is It Time for a Checkup?
We recently discussed how delaying your dental care could have some very detrimental effects on your oral health.
We also talked about the challenges of getting your regular checkup in the middle of a pandemic.
So, we’ll just reiterate it here: getting in to see the dentist is a crucial part of getting your oral care back on track. We’re here to help catch you up on your overdue check-up and dental cleaning in Denver CO.
However, if you are experiencing any of the known COVID symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has, it is okay to postpone your visit for a little while.
But not too long.
Especially if you’re feeling pain or have any other sort of dental emergency.
We are taking all the necessary precautions to keep you and our staff safe.
Contact us today if you still have questions about dental care in our office or if you need help getting back on track at home
These are, without a doubt, unprecedented times.
It seems like every day we’re learning something new about how to cope with the current circumstances.
There’s a lot of information out there on staying safe – unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, how it acts, and how it moves from one person to the next.
These kinds of misunderstandings can often stop people from getting the care that they actually need (whether medical or dental).
As your trusted Denver dentist, we highly suggest that you don’t delay your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary. Remember, your teeth are connected to your overall health and well-being, so let’s take a closer look at some of the current regulations and requirements on dental offices so you can get a better picture of the current situation.
An essential service is usually defined as those that are critical to the health and welfare of the population and so they are allowed (or expected) to maintain operations throughout the pandemic.
The most obvious cases of essential services include health care, law enforcement, food and agriculture, public works, supply chains, and other related industries. This brings us to one important question:
Is Dentistry an Essential Service?
The simplest answer to this question is that some aspects of dentistry are absolutely essential.
Let’s face it, there is almost no pain quite as excruciating as dental pain.
But what about all those other dental services? While it would be hard to call a teeth whitening essential, what about your regular checkups? How critical are they? Should you come in to get a cavity checked, or should you wait until a root canal is your final option?
Obviously, our answer is that there are many dental services that are essential for your ongoing health and pain-free lifestyle.
To that end, we have, of course, taken precautions to ensure your safety and ours so that you can feel comfortable and confident when you come in for your appointment.
Following the CDC’s Recommendations for Dental Offices
The CDC has released several guidelines for dental settings to help prevent problems during the pandemic. These guidelines are extensive, to say the least, so we won’t go over them all here. But we did want to take a look at some of the specifics because we want you to know that we are doing everything possible to provide the care you need in the safest environment possible.
First, it is important to point out that the CDC does recommend postponing elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent outpatient visits in certain circumstances. This means prioritizing dental care for the highest need or the most vulnerable patients (i.e. those who may be at serious risk if they don’t receive treatment).
Having said that, though, we are here and ready to provide important dental services. We’ve just added a few of the procedures recommended by the CDC. These recommendations include:
- Contacting all patients prior to the appointment. This will help us screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19 before you come all the way into the office. This is also a chance for us to determine together whether or not it’s time for treatment or if postponement would be prudent.
- Watching for signs and symptoms. Everyone (staff and patients) in the office is expected to follow the general guidelines for minimizing risks of infection. This means wearing face coverings (ask us if you need us to provide one for you) and getting screened when you enter the office for any relevant symptoms.
- Patients with suspected or confirmed cases can be treated but only under very strict precautions. Any staff member with symptoms will be sent home immediately.
- Our staff regularly monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms and are encouraged to put their own health first.
- Implementing control measures. Beyond just using face coverings, there are several things we can do to control the environment. Of course, our staff will wear face coverings at all times, and we will ask patients to wear theirs everywhere except in the dental chair.
- Obviously, a dentist or hygienist is going to get pretty close to you at your appointment. However, we are working to make distancing possible throughout the rest of the office. This means scheduling appointments to minimize the number of people in the waiting room and limiting the number of visitors that accompany the patient.
- Making use of personal protective equipment. There are a lot of new procedures in place at our office. Extreme attention to disinfecting our hands and tools will help maintain a safe environment, and we are careful to follow all the recommendations for proper use and disposal of protective gear.
This is just a sample of all the rules and regulations that dental offices are expected to follow, and at LeDowns Dentistry, we are firmly committed to providing the dental care you need even in these difficult times.
To Postpone or Not to Postpone
As we mentioned earlier, if you’re experiencing any kind of dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us and set up an immediate appointment.
And, of course, if you are experiencing any symptoms at all related to COVID-19, we recommend calling us before coming in for any kind of appointment, including emergencies.
On the other hand, if you’re healthy, then don’t postpone your dental care any longer than absolutely necessary.
Our office is following procedures, our staff is trained, and we know what has to be done to provide the services you need while keeping everyone safe.
Dental bonding vs porcelain veneers: both offer great solutions for anyone who wants to restore their beautiful smile and/or correct some slight damage or discoloration that may be present.
While both options tackle some of the same problems, the procedures are very different.
So, let’s take a closer look at each solution to determine which one will be the most effective for your individual situation.
What are Veneers?
A veneer is a type of crown made up of a certain type of ceramic that is placed over your remaining tooth structure to restore the overall function, appearance and strength of your teeth. Every veneer is custom-made by an elite technician at our dental lab to fit perfectly onto your tooth.
Veneers do require extra preparation of your natural teeth to allow for caries removal, alignment of where the final veneers needs to be and to allow for a certain thickness of the veneers to be made so that they do not break. This means that it will take more than one appointment to complete the procedure.
Veneers are most commonly used to:
- Cover up any severe stains or discoloration
- Close up any large gaps in between the teeth
- Restore cracked and/or chipped teeth
- Restore overly worn teeth back to its original function (Full mouth rehabilitation)
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is used to enhance or restore the appearance of your teeth and to fix slight chips/cracks on your teeth. It uses a composite resin that can be sculpted or formed into any shape to address a number of potential issues.
So, you could say that “bonding” is a more general term that is used any time this special filling is applied to the teeth, but it is mostly used when the resin is placed on the front surface of the tooth.
The goal is to slightly improve the shape, size, and color of the tooth (or teeth).
This is a great option for patients who have a single irregularity that they want to repair or some slight chips/cracks on one or several teeth.
The most common uses for dental bonding include:
- Repairing chips, cracks, and other damage such as cavities
- Covering minor stains and discoloration
- Reshaping teeth
- Treating roots that have been exposed
Which is Right for You
Each of these procedures are valid choices in a range of different circumstances. Which one you choose can depend on a number of variables. (Be sure to contact us for a consultation on all your dental options.)
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each procedure to create a more complete picture and help determine which will be right for you.
There are a lot of pros to veneers. First, they create a beautiful, uniform appearance almost immediately. They can cover up most cracks or stains easily, and most consider them more effective at doing so than bonding.
The materials used to create the veneers are also more resistant to staining. So the shade that the veneer is made, will not discolor in the future even with wine, coffee or tea drinking. Due to it being made in the dental lab, the added strength of the veneers mean they can also be more resistant to chips or breaks.
It is important to note, that veneers require your dentist to reshape your tooth/teeth to make room for the veneer to be put on or to remove any cavities, discrepancies before the veneers are permanently cemented on. This is important because veneers need to be made at the correct form, fit and function in order for it to last you a long time. On average, veneers can last you anywhere from 5-25 years.
Bonding is usually considered a faster procedure than getting veneers, because it can generally be completed in a single appointment (rather than two or more). The esthetic outcome all depends on the materials that your dentist uses and whether he/she is a true dental artist. Once bonding is placed, the maintenance is similar to what you woul normally do for your natural teeth. Bonding is less expensive than veneers.
However, since the bonding material is a composite resin, it won’t be as strong as the porcelain veneers. It is much more porous than porcelain, so it is more likely to stain sometime down the road. Most patients who choose to go with bonding, usually need to have it redone every 2-5 years on average due to the staining and/or chipping aspects of this material.
A Direct Comparison
So, after all that, let’s look at the main points and see how they stack up:
- Costs – Bonding tends to be the more affordable option
- Durability – Veneers are the stronger
- Coverage – Veneers are a more efficient choice if you’re working on several teeth at once
- Appearance – While both options are capable of delivering great results, most tend to prefer the smooth and natural appearance of veneers
Dental bonding can offer a temporary solution while dental veneers offer a powerful solution to help restore your smile. If you’re ready to learn more about your options for restorative or cosmetic dentistry, be sure to set up an appointment today.
The days are getting shorter, school is back in session and a new football season has begun. Fall is in the air, ushering in cooler weather, sweaters and changing leaves. While you may enjoy the fall shading of the setting sun or the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds of the changing leaves, the yellow hue and tint of your teeth or the glaring gaps in your beautiful smile from lost teeth are things you’d rather not look at and enjoy the sight of.
Fall is a time some people choose to start afresh as their kids go back to school for another school year. Kids often go back to school with a new haircut, clothing and school supplies and a clean bill of health. This is a great time for you to put some time into yourself and give yourself a fresh, new look.
Your smile is one of your most defining characteristics. Nobody else has your smile. If you find your smile is yellow, marred with gaps from missing teeth or has an overbite due to crooked teeth or jaw alignment issues, you likely won’t be showing off your gorgeous smile.
At LeDowns Dentistry, we believe your whole family should have a great-looking, healthy smile. While you may bring your kids in for their six month dental cleaning and check-up, you may put your own oral health on hold. Now that kids are back in school, why not schedule an appointment for yourself to enhance your smile?
We offer a variety of preventative and restorative dental services to give you the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve. Some of our most popular services include teeth whitening, crowns, and porcelain fillings. Many patients only need one of these services to bring back that healthy-looking, youthful, vibrant smile from decades past. A dental check-up is the first step in determining what dental work your smile needs to make it look amazing.
Full Mouth Restoration
For some patients, any of the aforementioned procedures by themselves won’t be able to fully treat and restore their smile to its former beauty and youthfulness. For these patients more than one dental procedure will be necessary. When multiple procedures are done, this is called a full mouth restoration. With this dental procedure, the appearance of a patient’s teeth and gums are changed dramatically. With full mouth restorations, it is not uncommon for crowns, bridges, onlays, inlays, fillings and implants to be utilized. In many cases, a full mouth restoration will require multiple visits to our office. In some instances, such as when fillings and professional teeth whitening are needed, a full mouth restoration can be completed within one day.
Whether you need an in-office teeth whitening to eliminate that worn, unappealing look to your smile or you need a more extensive full mouth restoration that requires fillings and crowns to prevent further worsening of cavities and inlays to smooth out or fill gaps between your front teeth, fall is a great time to get your beautiful, healthy smile back.
If you’re tired of your discolored, crooked, painful or gapped smile, contact us today to schedule an appointment. A full mouth restoration may be what you need to take years of wear and tear off your smile and restore it to its beautiful, healthy, vibrant youthfulness.
Fall is the time for your smile to look great. Let us at LeDowns Dentistry help give you the smile you want and deserve by taking that first step in contacting us today to schedule an appointment.
The long hours in the office can sap your energy fairly quickly, so much so that all you want to do when you get home is to collapse on the couch. If you have kids, the start of the school year brings a new level of chaos and busyness to your schedule. In the midst of the exhaustion and busyness, healthy and nutritious lunches go by the wayside in place of sugary, starchy, ready to eat lunch packs that have little to no nutritional value and can take a toll on your pocketbook.
You may have tried to make yourself healthy lunches in the past, such as salads only to go off-course by driving to the fast-food burger place a mile down the street. When it comes to your children, you try to encourage healthy eating, but shopping for nutritious lunch items they will actually eat only adds to your exhaustion. The busier your schedule gets, the more convenient, unhealthy lunch foods sound appealing.
Oral health is important for your whole family, yourself included. Whether you’re going to the office or taking the kids to school, there are easy ways to pack a lunch that helps your teeth (and won’t break the bank).
For a while, carbohydrates were shunned by dieters who believed these starches were heavy contributors to obesity.
Your body, however, needs carbohydrates for energy. These “good” carbohydrates help you and your children to physically and mentally get through the day. These kinds of carbohydrates are found in whole wheat products such as breads, tortillas, bagels, pita bread, brown rice and quinoa.
It is the “bad” carbohydrates you need to avoid. These are heavy starches that contribute to weight gain and heart problems. “Bad” carbohydrates are found in white bread, pastries, and rice.
Some lunch ideas include using whole wheat bread, tortillas or pita bread and make your favorite sandwich. An alternative lunch could be soup mixed with brown rice or quinoa or even grilled vegetables mixed with brown rice or quinoa.
Protein is necessary to keep one’s muscles healthy and strong. Protein comes from a variety of sources including meats and dairy products. Sandwiches with lean meat such as chicken or turkey make for great tasting sandwiches that are also packed with protein. In addition to the protein found in the lunch meat, a stick of string cheese and a handful of nuts on the side can add to one’s protein intake.
Despite what various diets say about fats and people’s avoidance of fats, certain fats are important and necessary for proper body functioning. The brain and eyes are two parts of the body that greatly benefit from the consumption of healthy fats. Leftover fish from dinner, a handful of nuts and using avocado on one’s sandwich instead of mayonnaise can help your body get those healthy fats.
Your teeth are like bones in that they need calcium to remain strong and hard. In addition, your teeth are anchored to your body via the jawbones, which are made of bone tissue. Calcium helps keeps the jawbone strong to keep supporting the teeth. Calcium is found in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Low-fat varieties of these dairy products help avoid the consumption of “bad” fats. Yogurt also has phosphates in it that is essential for the remineralization of teeth. Vitamins A and C also have calcium. Apples, bananas and oranges are some fruits that have these vitamins. While citrus does have important and essential vitamins and minerals, they should be consumed in moderation as their acidic juice destroys tooth enamel. Salad and streamed vegetables are other sources of calcium-rich vitamins A and C.
Many fresh vegetables that include fiber are hard and crunchy, which act as great toothbrushes. The act of chewing celery, carrots, pepper and broccoli produce saliva, which is the body’s built-in natural mouthwash and the chewing also prevents food particles from getting stuck and lodged on and between teeth. Raw veggies with hummus is a great way for you and your kids to get much needed fiber.
Besides raw vegetables, hard, crunchy nuts also provide the body with fiber and result in the same saliva production and chewing that keeps food particles from sticking to teeth. Nuts also contain vitamin D that helps keep teeth healthy and strong.
If you or your children are craving something sweet, there are many crunchy, juicy fruits that also contain fiber and other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Apples and raw pears stimulate saliva production and helps neutralize enamel destroying acid.
The best way you and your family dental health can start off on the right foot is through regular, twice yearly dental exams and check-ups. If it has been longer than six months since your family’s last visit to our office, or you haven’t yet made a back to school dental check-up for your kids, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.
It’s a Tuesday and you’re trying to get through another long day at work. To satisfy your boredom and/or tiredness, you whip out your pack of almonds and maybe a small bag of pretzels or an individual package of cookies. You decide to save your big bag of M&M’s for later in the afternoon.
You know that your snack choices aren’t the healthiest. However, it is all you have. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables don’t seem appetizing.
Your body needs food for fuel. When you’re hungry, you can’t focus on your work. Snacking, therefore, must not be that bad. Right?
There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether snacking throughout the day is good or detrimental to your health. In addition, the constant daily snacking is a subject of debate among dentists concerning oral health.
Despite the contention around snacking, the habit of snacking isn’t detrimental to your oral or overall health. Rather, it’s what you choose to eat for snacks that can either benefit or hurt your health.
In the above example, all the snack foods, except for the almonds, contain sugar.
Sugar and starches (simple carbohydrates) are two ingredients one must be sure to avoid or limit.
Bacteria inside the mouth love sugar and starches because they can be quickly broken down. When food particles that contain sugar and starches are broken down, there is a filmy byproduct that is left behind that covers the teeth and gums. It is this film that will eventually turn into plaque if not cleaned off or rinsed off.
If you need to snack during the day, practice “smart snacking.” This type of snacking incorporates choosing healthier snacks and keeping one’s mouth clean between snacks.
When it comes to snacks that are great for oral, and overall health, try the following:
- Fruit and vegetable juices (unsweetened, of course)
- Low or non-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese
- Sliced meats
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Besides snacks that are high in sugar and starches, snacks that are sticky, chewy and gooey should also be avoided as they can easily coat one’s teeth with germs and bacteria.
Other Smart Snacking Tips
- Eat sweets right after a main meal
- Avoid snacking too many times per day
- Brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth after each snack
- Use floss or a flosser after snacking
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a variety of low or non-fat foods
While you may crave a piece of pizza or a packet of Skittles over some carrot or celery sticks, intentionally choosing healthy, low or non-sugar snacks will not only satisfy your hunger cravings, but you’ll also be boosting your oral and overall health.
Regular, adequate oral hygiene is also a great way you can improve your oral hygiene. Properly brushing your teeth, flossing and seeing one of the dentists at LeDowns Dentistry for regular oral examinations and cleaning in addition to a healthy, balanced diet will help ensure good oral health.
If it has been more than six months since your last dental checkup, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Ask anyone and you’d likely hear that they would prefer a bright, white beautiful smile over a yellow, discolored one. A beautiful smile is pleasant to look at and enhances one’s appearance. In fact, if you think about, have you noticed that those who are happy and confident of their smiles aren’t afraid to show them off while those who are embarrassed and self-conscious of their smiles tend to hide them?
There are deep-down, psychological and emotional forces behind this tendency to show off a beautiful smile and hide an unpleasant-looking one.
Psychological Benefits of a Beautiful Smile
Professional success. A smile may not seem to correspond to one’s professional ambitions. After all, if one puts in the hours and work, it would make sense that he or she becomes a more valuable employee who gets the attention of the boss. However, studies have shown that those who regularly smile at work are seen as more confident and charismatic. Because of these qualities, they are more likely to get promotions into more leadership roles. Similarly, those who smile and communicate during an interview are more likely to get a second interview or get hired than those who hide their smile.
If one is ambitious and dedicated to pursuing a career, the journey will be less stressful, frustrating, and discouraging if he or she has a beautiful smile they are proud to show off.
A happier and healthier life. With a beautiful smile, one is more likely to smile, laugh and communicate with others. This not only makes one more approachable, friendlier and more fun to be around, but it also improves one’s attitude, mood and outlook. When one has a positive attitude, mood and outlook, one is less likely to experience as much stress and more likely to have more peace and be relaxed. Being more relaxed enables one to be able to think more clearly, gain a different perspective and make better decisions.
Improved peace of mind. An ugly smile often has an unpleasant cause such as tooth decay or gum disease of inadequate or improper oral hygiene. Having a constant fear that your teeth and gums are in poor health and that one perpetrated their condition through a lack of care can cause one to feel ashamed and embarrassed. If there is pain or discomfort associated with a poor smile, one may be constantly worrying about the deteriorating condition of their teeth and gums. A beautiful smile on the other hand can spare one of the shame and worry as they know that their great-looking mouth reflects a healthy mouth.
Emotional Benefits of a Beautiful Smile
A beautiful smile also has emotional benefits as well including:
Higher self-esteem. When one has a beautiful smile, they are proud of it and will show it off. Conversely, if your smile isn’t as great as you’d like, it can be easy for you to dwell on the flaws and hide your smile. Those who are not only content with how their smile looks, but are proud of their unique smile, will appear more confident, engaged, content and friendly. They are proud to smile and show the world their inner beauty and will be more likely to embrace and compliment the unique beauty of others.
Better relationships. It can be emotionally draining and discouraging to try and make friends or date people who don’t like you. If you’ve ever wondered what makes people avoid you or not engage with you, maybe you should check the condition of your smile and the frequency at which you smile. People are drawn to those who smile and laugh and appear easy-going, friendly, engaged and funny. If one is embarrassed of their smile and don’t reveal it, he or she can come off as being cold, unfriendly, aloof and boring.
The appearance of a beautiful smile has many underlying benefits including psychological and emotional ones. At LeDowns Dentistry, we want every patient to have a beautiful smile that they are proud to show off. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to get that amazing smile and begin to feel great about yourself. Regular visits to our office for a cleaning and examination every six months is an important part of proper oral care. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, contact us today to schedule an appointment and get that beautiful smile.
Did you know that your teeth are one of the strongest parts of your body? They chew even the toughest foods, keep your mouth and jawbone structured, and even help you talk. But do you know what keeps your teeth so strong?
Teeth are made up of several different parts, which includes strong roots and tough dentin. However, the part of your tooth that is the strongest is the enamel.
Enamel covers the crowns of your teeth, and it’s actually the hardest substance in your entire body. Pretty amazing, right? Unfortunately, much like any other part of your body, if you don’t take care of your enamel, it can begin to decay and break down. Enamel doesn’t regenerate, so it’s especially important that you take good care of it.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why enamel breaks down and the ways you can prevent it:
Drinking Soda & Sports Drinks
By now, most people know how dangerous soft drinks can be to their bodies. However, many people don’t realize that they can also destroy your teeth. Soft drinks—and other drinks like fruit juices—contain high amounts of acid, both citric and phosphoric. High levels of such acid in your mouth leads directly to enamel erosion. It’s a relatively new piece of news that sports drinks are also detrimental to your teeth. With high sugar content and chemicals that can break down your enamel, these should be avoided if possible.
If you have acid reflux or other gastrointestinal problems like frequent vomiting, you may experience enamel break down. Like with soda, these gastrointestinal problems can raise the overall acid content in your mouth, which will cause enamel to weaken and break down, making you more susceptible to more serious dental issues..
Unhealthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Not taking care of your teeth properly is another thing that can lead to the breakdown of your enamel. Plaque and tartar build up leads first to cavities and, if left alone long enough, can lead to greater enamel decay. Other poor oral habits like grinding your teeth or chewing on ice can lead to enamel decay as well.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may start to eventually experience enamel decay. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which leads to a higher acidic content eventually leading to the breakdown of enamel.
Unfortunately, enamel decay can be caused simply by your own genetic makeup. There’s no way to really prevent your enamel from breaking down if it’s caused by genetics.
How You Can Prevent Enamel Breakdown
So, now that you know what causes enamel decay, how can you prevent it? As with many things in the oral health world, extra attention and care can go a long way with preventing your enamel from breaking down.
If you’re worried about your enamel, try following these methods of prevention:
- Lessen your sugary drink intake – Soda and sports drinks are one of the main causes behind enamel decay, so it’s best to limit the amount you drink. Also try to avoid over-consuming juice drinks that have high concentrations of citric acid.
- Take care of your teeth – Creating and maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine can prevent many problems with enamel erosion. Brush at least two times a day and floss at least once a day to prevent plaque and tartar from building up and eroding your teeth’s enamel.
- See your dentist – If you’re especially worried about enamel decay, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with your dentist. During the appointment, you can learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
If you’ve already experienced severe decay, it’s important to get the decayed teeth corrected. At LeDowns Dentistry, we have root canal specialists in Denver CO on staff, and also offer tooth colored fillings for more minor decay. Once corrected, we can help get your oral hygiene back on track to avoid future issues.