Pregnancy and Oral Health

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Being pregnant comes with various responsibilities and it is important that you continue to maintain your normal brushing and flossing routine throughout your pregnancy.

For most women your routine dental visits are safe throughout your pregnancy. Make sure when calling to make your dental appointments you let your dental office know what stage of your pregnancy you are in. Let the office know if you have had any changes in your medications or if you have received any special instructions from your physician.  Depending on your specific situation and your treatment needs, some of your dental appointments and procedures may need to be postponed until after your pregnancy.

Dental x-rays are sometimes necessary if you suffer a dental emergency during your pregnancy, or if they are needed for diagnostic purposes. It may be wise to contact your physician prior to your dental appointment to get their approval to have x-rays done if they are necessary.

During pregnancy some women may develop a temporary condition known as pregnancy gingivitis which is typically caused by hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy. This is a mild form of periodontal disease that can cause the gums to be red, tender and/or sore.  It may be recommended that you be seen for more frequent cleanings to help control the gingivitis. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, please contact your dentist.

During your pregnancy you may have the desire to eat more frequently. When you feel the need to snack try to choose foods that are low in sugar and that are nutritious for you and your baby. Frequent snacking can cause tooth decay. It is also a great idea to incorporate fluoridated mouth rinse into your daily routine. There are several different brands to choose from. Make sure to look for the ADA seal of approval which guarantees safety and effectiveness

If you experience morning sickness anytime throughout your pregnancy you can try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. This mixture lowers the acidity present in your mouth. This acidity can cause erosion of the enamel. Your gag reflex may also become overly sensitive during your pregnancy, so switching to a smaller toothbrush head may be beneficial.

Please remember that the body goes through many changes during pregnancy and maintaining your normal brushing and flossing routine plays an important role in your overall health.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/sealprogramproducts.aspx

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.idph.state.ia.us%2FIDPHChannelsService%2Ffile.ashx%3Ffile%3DA6FAA346-C53D-49A5-AB8D-6198A087A02A&ei=gJO3UsDwH8bbyQG8sYHYAw&usg=AFQjCNFlpM4U5Hwp3J00K0jdNoM5DHzOXw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc

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www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/23.jpg&w=176&h=117&ei=9JO3UvFL6GSyQHXi4DAAg&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:88,s:0,i:375&iact=rc&page=4&tbnh=93&tbnw=137&start=75&ndsp=28&tx=80&ty=49

pH Levels of Popular Brands of Bottled Waters

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Lindsay Olsen, RDH

pH Levels of Popular Brands of Bottled Waters

Bottled water is cheap, convenient, and easily accessible. One would think that choosing a bottled water brand should be a mindless decision. “It’s water” one would think, “It’s all the same wet stuff”. Whenever I find myself shopping for bottled water, I am sold on the pretty packaging, or their claim to fame that the water comes from a melting glacier in some foreign land. I think, “This water comes in a fancy glass bottle, and cost me $4.75, it has to be quality water.” FALSE.

As a bottled water consumer, and a Dental Hygienist, I am here to briefly educate you on the different pH levels of popular brands of bottled waters. Why do I care you ask? If you are sipping on a low pH (Acidic) bottle of water all day long, you are at a greater risk for tooth decay (Cavities). Bacteria that cause tooth decay can only thrive in your mouth when there is a low (Acidic) pH. Food (Or water) for thought.

Below is a basic chart to help educate oneself on what is Acidic vs. Neutral vs. Alkaline pH.

Next time you reach for a bottle of water, choose a brand that claims of be alkaline, or a high pH! Your teeth will thank you!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/79/1b/e4/791be43c79a0ca4d87e13ce0ee4af527.jpg

http://telegraphvoice.com/2015/12/12/does-a-high-alkaline-diet-really-boost-your-health/

What is a filling?

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Becky Larson, RDH

What is a filling?

As a dental hygienist, I find that more often than not, my patients are confused.  Dental professionals tend to speak a “different language” and it can be very hard to understand.  A dental filling is a very common procedure that is performed at the dental office.  This post will go over what a dental filling is.

Unfortunately, teeth are prone to decay.  When decay occurs on one or more surfaces of a tooth, a hole or cavity forms.  A dental filling is the standard treatment used to fix a tooth with one or more areas of small decay.  By placing a filling, a dentist is able to restore a tooth back to its normal function and shape.  When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material with a dental drill, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

A filling also helps to prevent future decay because it closes off spaces where bacteria may enter.  Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

It is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for placing fillings.  When decay is left untreated it can cause the tooth to fracture, cause an abscess or infection, and/or destroy the inside or pulp of the tooth. As a result, more extensive treatment such as a crown, root canal, and/or extraction may be needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/what-is-a-filling

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001055.htm

Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime

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Karen Kelley RDH

Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime

Our dental practice has more over 50 year olds than under 50.  As aging adults, we need to be aware of certain things that can keep us from retaining our teeth our entire lives.

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Judith Ann Jones, DDS, a spokesman on elder care for the American Dental Association and director of The Center for Clinical Research at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine spoke about 5 things that are especially important to the over 50 crowd.

Tooth Decay:  Contrary to what many people believe, adults keep getting cavities!  I’m always surprised when people are stunned to learn they have a cavity as an adult.  Areas of the teeth that have never had a cavity can decay, but  areas  where we see more problems are where an old filling is leaking and at the base of an older crown.  The best prevention is brushing well each day along the gumline.  An electric toothbrush is very helpful in accomplishing this as well as the use of fluoride.  An over the counter fluoride rinse nightly is great and in our office we have special prescription strength fluoride that is wonderful for cavity prevention as well as help with sensitivity.
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Dry Mouth:  Keeping Your Teeth For a Lifetime We see so many people with this problem.  “Saliva protects our teeth.  The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth”, Jones says.  Many drugs cause dry mouth as well as some diseases and as we get older, we are on more medications thus we see this commonly in older adults.  This is a difficult one to deal with for those affected.  The best thing is to drink lots of water, use saliva substitute and try xylitol products.  Also, if you smoke, stop, it just makes your mouth drier.

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Gum Disease:  If your gums are swollen, red, or bleed easily, you have gum disease.  If left untreated, gum disease (gingivitis) will become more serious and will cause deterioration of the bone that holds the teeth, we call this periodontitis.   If this condition continues without treatment, it can cause the loss of the teeth.  The best way to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth well each day with brushing, flossing, and use of interdental cleaners like soft picks or go betweens. And of course, seeing your friendly dental hygienist as often as recommended.  We can remove the mineralized bacteria from your teeth that you can’t remove with brushing.

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Tooth Crowding:  “As you age, your teeth shift”, according to Lee W. Graber, D.D.S., M.S, Ph.D., Past President of the American Association of Orthodontists. And “that can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean, leading to more decay.  It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone”, Graber says.   “Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster.”   If your teeth have really shifted, and you find you are having a difficult time keeping your teeth clean and food keeps getting caught in certain areas, ask our doctors about orthodontics.  We offer Invisalign to our patients and we’ve had patients in their later years choose to straighten their teeth.  I just finished with my invisalign treatment.  I had braces when I was a teenager but my teeth had shifted and I was experiencing these problems I just mentioned.  I decided to do Invisalign.  It’s easy to do and my teeth are so much straighter.   They are now in the correct alignment and my teeth and gums will be healthier.   If you choose not to do orthodontics, more frequently exams and cleanings may be necessary.

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Oral Cancer:  According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it.  “Oral cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older”, Jones says, and “is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use.”   Jones also said, “Only about half of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease.”   If discovered early, there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years.  When we do your periodic exams when you come in for your cleaning, you will be checked for oral cancer.  We also offer Velscope, Identafi, or Oral ID technologies to help in finding oral cancer earlier.

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Keep brushing, flossing and smiling!  We want to help you keep your teeth healthy your entire lives!

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Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/common-dental-problems-_n_5844434.html

https://aga.grandparents.com/

Sugar

Arianna Headshot

Arianna Marsden RDH

 

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With all the candy that has come into our homes as a result of trick or treating, now seems like a great time of year to review strategies for preventing cavities.  Cavities are caused by acid-producing-bacteria that are present in our mouths.  Bacteria consume the sugars in the foods we eat and produce acid.  This acid produced by bacteria in our mouths softens the hardest outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, and causes tooth decay or cavities.  Some of the best ways to prevent cavities are to eat sugars in moderation, limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid, and practicing proper oral health habits.

In order to prevent cavities, it’s important to eat sugars in moderation.  The sugars being referred to be not just the sugars found in candies and soda, but also natural sugars such as those found in fruits and nuts!  Bacteria are not picky about the type of sugar they like to eat, and will produce enamel-softening acid even from something as healthy as sugar in an apple.  Keep in mind that while fruits are important for a healthy diet, how frequently these sugars are consumed plays a big part in their capacity to cause cavities.  This is why it’s important to limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid.

When sugar is eaten, acid-levels in the mouth spike for a period of about one hour before they are neutralized again by the saliva.  The longer sugar is in contact with our teeth, the longer bacteria have a chance to produce acid.  Sticky candies, like sugared fruit snacks, caramels, or lollipops should be avoided, because they tend to stick to the teeth for a longer period of time.

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Another factor that causes acid-levels in the mouth to stay high is grazing on candy throughout the day.  This grazing-style of eating prevents the saliva from being able to neutralize the acid levels in the mouth, as they are continuously spiking from the intake of sugar.  This high acid-level environment is the perfect storm for causing cavities, but there are some strategies we can use to assist our saliva in neutralizing the acid-level in our mouths.  Drinking a glass of water, or thoroughly brushing teeth after eating sugar are great for neutralizing acid.  Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after eating has also been shown to stimulate saliva flow and quickly neutralize the acid-level in our mouths.

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We should be brushing our teeth at least twice a day, with a soft toothbrush and a small, pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Flossing at least once a day is critical for removing plaque bacteria from between the teeth.  Brushing and flossing removes plaque bacteria from our teeth, and fewer bacteria present in our mouths means less potential acid that can be produced.  Fluoride has been demonstrated to dramatically reduce the damage caused by cavities, and when used properly, is a great strategy for preventing cavities.

Fluoride in our toothpaste and water at home can help prevent cavities, as well as professional fluoride treatments provided at the dentist’s office.

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Being selective about the types of candy that we are giving to our trick or treaters, when and how much candy we are eating, and being especially conscientious about our oral health practices will be helpful strategies in preventing cavities this holiday season.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Sources

https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/caring-for-teeth/sugar-free-chewing-gum

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/halloweendw.html

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http://i3.dainikbhaskar.com/thumbnail/300×259/web2images/www.dailybhaskar.com/2014/05/15/4907_lollipop.jpg

http://stayhealthyla.org/blog/uploads//2010/03/sugar.jpg

https://www.dentalhealth.org/uploads/images/chewinggumchart.jpg