Gotta Have a Soda?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Gotta Have a Soda? 

            It’s summertime, the heat is in the air, the pool is inviting, and you have a drink of soda in your hand.  It’s hard not to when it is so available and so tempting everywhere you go!  Last year, my son and I made a New Year’s Resolution to go a whole year without soda.  And let me tell you, it was no easy task!  I can’t tell you how many times we ate pizza and my son and I had lemonade or water instead of a root beer.  Or how many times we went to the movies and remembered not to order a drink, and got a bottle of water instead. It was definitely a change in our habit, but after a while it became easier and easier not to have a Thirstbuster and to reach for water instead of a soda.

With that said, I always knew that sodas aren’t good for you, but after doing some research, I found this handy dandy little sheet that listed some of our family’s favorite drinks and their acidity levels.  Keep in mind that neutral levels are at a 7.0, and acidic levels are lower than that.  Your body, in order to function properly, and to avoid enamel damage in the mouth, needs to remain close to a neutral level as possible.

Acidity (pH scale) of Common Drinks

The pH scale measures the acidity of a solution. The lower the pH, the stronger the acid.   The stronger the acid, the more damage that is done to your child’s teeth.

Therefore, the drinks are listed from best to worst.

Drink Name                                     pH                                Sugar Content

Unsweetened Tea                                            7.2                                          0

Water                                                                     7.0 (neutral)                         0

Milk (2% of skim)                                            6.8                                          3.5

Instant Coffee (black)                                    5.5                                          0

Root Beer                                                             4.6                                          10.7

Diet Root Beer                                                   4.6                                          0

Tomato Juice                                                     4.5                                          4.2

7-Up/Sprite                                                        3.7                                          9

Juicy Juice                                                          3.5                                          4.6

Apple Juice                                                         3.4                                          4.8

Diet Cola                                                              3.4                                          0

Orange Juice                                                      3.3                                          6.3

Minute Maid                                                       3.2                                          11.9

Mountain Dew                                                  3.2                                          46

Snapple                                                                 3.2                                          7.6

Propel                                                                    3.2                                          0.4

V-8                                                                          3.1                                          5.5

Sierra Mist                                                           3                                              5

Kool-Aid Jammers                                          3                                              5.1

Gatorade                                                              2.9                                          21

Dr. Pepper                                                          2.9                                          40.5

Hawaiian Punch                                              2.8                                          10.2

Powerade                                                            2.7                                          15

Hi-C                                                                       2.7                                          5.5

Coke                                                                      2.5                                          27

Country Time Lemonade                            2.5                                          5.4

Pepsi                                                                      2.4                                          27

Sunny Delight                                                   2.4                                          6.3

Battery Acid*                                                      1

*Please do not drink battery acid, this was just added to the list to show scale of acidity

So, hopefully, next time you reach for a soda, I hope you remember this chart and for every can of soda you drink, you have to drink 32 oz. of water to neutralize the acid in your body!

Happy Drinking everyone!

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.kidsdentistdrwinn.com/clientuploads/PDFs/Acidity%20Sheet%20Sheet1.pdf

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

            I know we live in a desert, but our mouths don’t have to BE a desert of dryness!  The first step is to figure out where is the dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is coming from.  There are several factors that can contribute to dry mouth including damage to the salivary glands, medications or medical conditions, and life style habits such as smoking, drinking, or alcohol or caffeine use.  There are so many variables and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of factors.

Often times, there is nothing you can do to reverse dry mouth, however, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (1):

  • Be sure to REGULARLY take sips of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Practice good Oral Hygiene – brushing 2x daily and flossing 1x daily. You can also use mouth rinses WITHOUT alcohol in them.  The alcohol will dry out the mouth and makes symptoms worse.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Chew Sugar-Free gum or suck on Sugar-free lozenges
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake

There are several companies that provide products that aid in dry mouth relief.  Some products and brands work well for some while others work better for others.  It truly is a trial and error process to see what works best for you.

Biotene is one of the biggest companies that focus on relieving dry mouth.  They have an array of products ranging from mouth rinses to chewing gum to saliva substitute.  It is sold in several stores, including Target and Walgreens.  Xylitol also has a variety of products that you can order including nose sprays, toothpastes, mints, and artificial sweeteners. (2) And of course, there are natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms as well.  Here is a good website that has a variety of things you can try to see if they alleviate any discomfort. (3)

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Dry mouth is NEVER easy to deal with, but hopefully with time and a little patience you’ll find something that will work for you.  If you need more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or dentist for other solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-health-impacts/dry-mouth-relief/
  2. http://www.epicdental.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=xylitol-products
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

pH Levels of Popular Brands of Bottled Waters

LindsayW

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/

Hope Arising and Africa

Peggy

Peggy Storr BSRDH

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

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     This is a quote found on Hope Arising’s face book page and it is so appropriate that I had to include it here. In October, I was incredibly fortunate to travel to Ethiopia with Chantal Carr, one of two founders of Hope Arising, Dr. Chet Jenkins, and a team of 28 great people, including six teenagers. As I sit and try to write a blog about my trip, I realize that nothing I say will describe the experience nor do it justice. A picture being worth a thousand words, check out Hope Arising’s facebook page. This will offer a more accurate glimpse into the work that three humanitarians (Chantal Carr, Rochelle Sellers, and Dr. Chet Jenkins) have accomplished in a relatively short few years.

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When Chantal and Rochelle visited the small village of Dera, Ethiopia in 2008, the village people were walking as many as 5 miles to wait in lines to fill cans of water. These “Jerry” cans weigh 40 lbs and elderly women and small children were also making this trek. The country was in a 16-month drought and being completely dependent on nature for its water, Dera was in distress. There was no work and children no longer attended school, as the quest for water became the only thing that mattered. We can’t fathom what having no water would be like but without it there is only starvation, despair, disease and death. The amazing story of how these two women, two regular moms from Gilbert AZ, brought water to this village is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard.

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Through their efforts and compassion, a water reservoir was built. The people in a small village a world away now have hope and a future but the need is great and the work of Hope Arising continues to provide support and aid. When our team arrived in early October, we were greeted by a group of women whom had each been loaned a small amount of money to begin small businesses. They were so grateful to Hope Arising that they provided us with a celebratory meal. Self-sufficiency and independence is the goal and now these women can feed and support their families through the businesses they have started.

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These gorgeous women came to a class where they learned how to make soap on our latest trip to Ethiopia.

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Dera, Ethiopia has three elementary schools with combined capacity of over 4,700 students, a middle school, and a high school. Children attend in four hour blocks so everyone can have a turn going to school. When we first visited Agriti Elementary school with 1,600 children, they had no library and no books. Volunteers raised $500 and the school now has a bookshelf full of books, aptly called the library.

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The woman with trachoma getting fitted for her glasses.

I found the people in Ethiopia to be literally beautiful, despite extreme poverty and suffering. They have so little and yet they are a happy, gracious and proud people. Many of the children are orphaned (actually 6 million in Ethiopia) but like children everywhere, they sing and laugh and love to play. They literally have nothing…if they have a ball, it is homemade, stitched and stuffed at home. Simply taking a picture of them thrilled them, as most have never seen a reflection of themselves. This is true even of the adults. Can you imagine never having seen yourself in a mirror?

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What Hope Arising has accomplished is nothing short of incredible and it was my complete honor to have been a small part of it. Our dental team treated over 500 people and the eye team saw 736 patients. Many patients received glasses for the first time in their lives. The most difficult part of the trip was leaving, knowing that there were still many hundreds needing our help. If you have the ability to join this incredible organization please do so. There are many ways to help throughout the year, from donating your time, helping with the annual golf tournament, or running in a mud run. You can sponsor a family with a small monetary monthly gift. Go with them as part of the team sometime soon! It doesn’t matter what your strengths, experiences and talents are, there is a job for you and you will work hard. But it will be the best work and one of the most satisfying experiences of your life. And, who knows, you might just find yourself in the process. At the very least, you will come home with a different perspective on what a bad day really looks like.

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Tooth Brushes!!

Karen

Karen Kelly RDH

As a dental hygienist, one of my most frequently asked questions is, ‘There are so many toothbrushes, which one should I use or should I just switch to an electric toothbrush?’.  My response is, first, always use a SOFT name brand toothbrush (I know stores sell medium and even hard toothbrushes but don’t buy them!!) and second to make sure you are brushing correctly at least 2 times daily and brushing for at least 2 minutes.  When I say correctly, I mean to aim the toothbrush up into the gums at a 45 degree angle.

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 Properly angled brushing

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Unhealthy vs. healthy gum tissue

I see lots of people who do brush their teeth, but since they don’t actually brush along the gumline, their gums are red and puffy.  So, brush the gums like you are giving them a massage; use little back and forth or circular motions.  Don’t use long scrubbing strokes, it is abrasive!  Then floss and/or use an interdental cleaner of some kind each and every day.  No matter how good a toothbrush is and how good someone brushes, it’s impossible to get in between the teeth clean with just a brush.  Also, change your brush often!  When the bristles begin to flare out or it’s been 3 months, change it, it makes a difference to use a new brush.

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                        If your brush looks like this, throw it out!                

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 A brand new SOFT toothbrush

If you brush really well with a manual toothbrush, you probably won’t see that much of a difference if you were to switch to an electric toothbrush.  The problem is, many people don’t clean their teeth that well with a manual toothbrush so that’s where the electric toothbrush can really help.  We recommend 2 brands of the electric brushes, the Sonicare and the Oral-B Braun.  These are not the battery powered toothbrushes, these brushes plug into the wall and have a rechargeable battery.  They just have so much more brushing action than a manual toothbrush that even if you aren’t that great of a brusher, you can do an excellent job if you use one of these brushes daily.  In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, they stated, “The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.”(1)  In another study, “the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush was found to be safe and significantly superior to a manual toothbrush in reducing gingivitis, sites of gingival bleeding and plaque over time.  DiamondClean reduced gingivitis and gingival bleeding sites up to two times more and removed up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush after four weeks of use.”(2)   Sonicare also states that their ‘DiamondClean toothbrush effectively removed extrinsic tooth stain within one and two weeks of use, and it was significantly superior to a manual toothbrush at both one and two week checks.'(3)  On the Oral B website, they state that their Professional Precision 5000 toothbrush has produced these results:  34% less gingival bleeding at 6 months vs. a regular manual toothbrush and 29% lower gingival bleeding scores at 3 months vs. Sonicare® FlexCare (4)

It is still important to use the powered toothbrush 2 times daily for at least 2 minutes and allow the toothbrush to clean along the gumline.  If you have an electric toothbrush but it mostly sits on your counter, that doesn’t count when we ask if you use an electric toothbrush!

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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

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                                                     Oral-B® Professional Precision 5000

Electric toothbrushes come in many different models and prices.  Take a look at a store like Target or Walgreens, they have lots of choices so you can find one that will fit your budget and taste.  We carry our favorite electric brushes and replacement brush heads in our office as well, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about toothbrushes.  I like to answer questions about brushes so much that I go to Target and walk up and down the dental isle just so I can give advice to shoppers!!

So, remember what I tell my younger patients:  2 times a day for 2 minutes.  It’s easy to do and easy to remember!

Karen Kelley  R.D.H.

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 Just some fun photos to make you smile!

 

1.  http://222.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

2.  http://sonicare.com/professional/en_AU/pdf/Gingival_DC_2011_Milleman.pdf

3.  http://staging1.microsites.ce.philips.com/DP_AU_EN_3_3_Orc2/pdf/Stain_DC_2010_Colgan.pdf

4.   http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/oral-b-crest-professional-products/category/electric-toothbrushes/oralb-5000-professional-trial.aspx

Image Sources

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sonicare-hx9332-diamondclean-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush?ID=827710

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/proper-angle-for-brushing-your-teeth

http://www.impledent.com/patient-services/teeth-dental-cleanings/

http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/talkscience/2011/10/27/wonderful-things-more-than-meets-the-eye/

http://www.oralb.com/products/pro-health-gentle-clean/

http://www.oralb.com/products/professional-care-smart-series-5000/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Boralb%20%2B5000&utm_campaign=Oral-B_Search_Desktop_Brand+Awareness_Power|ProfessionalCare+SmartSeries+5000&utm_content=sGVAVXD2P|dc_21461550775_b_%2Boralb%20%2B5000

www.pinterest.com

Waterpiks

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Lora Cook RDH

A question I am often asked of my patients is, “what do you think about a waterpik?” Waterpiks are great, but they DO NOT replace flossing with string floss. Once a person hears that they still have to floss, a look of discouragement or disgust comes across their face.  However, before you completely write off the thought of investing time and money into to a water pick, let me give you some information.

Waterpiks force oxygenated water underneath the gum tissue where plaque and bacteria like to hide.  This bacteria that lives under the tissue is anaerobic, it thrives under the gum tissue in that non-oxygenated environment. The oxygenated water works to not only flush out plaque and food, but also kills bacteria.  Also adding a few ounces of a quality, over the counter mouth rinse\antiseptic to the water reservoir is effective in reducing the bacterial load in the mouth.

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Who can benefit the most from the adding a waterpik to their daily oral hygiene routine?  I recommend water picks to patients who have bridges, implants, braces, or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. The waterpik can reach places that string floss can miss.  Studies show that it is 50% more effective then just dental floss alone.  With a 3 second application it is 99.9% effective in the removal of plaque.

Some patients ask if waterpiks are so effective, why do I still need to use my string floss?  The string floss will scrap and mechanically remove the sticky plaque that likes to stick to the tooth surface. A waterpik will just rinse it.

There are different types of waterpiks out on the market.  A counter top water pik with a seperate resevoir and a cordless waterpik.  The cordless waterpic is rechargeable, no batteries needed. The water reservoir will hold 45 seconds of water supply.  All waterpics have different pressure settings, the water pressure will be 45 to 75 psi.

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Another type of waterpik is called shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

shower flosser

Another type of waterpik is a shower floss.  Many people have never heard of this type, and do not know that it is available.  This unit is attached to your shower head, it comes with a rechargeable battery pack. This unit will supply a  continues flow of water without having to stop and refill.  With this nifty unit you also do not have to worry about making a mess of your bathroom mirror!

 

 

http://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/products/dental-water-flosser/WP-480/

http://www.waterpik-store.com/?trk_src_ss=WATFGS49WEBPAYPC

Quick Relief for the Constant Canker Sore

It’s no secret that at least everyone has gotten a few canker sores in their lifetime. Have you ever had that period of time where you just cannot seem to get rid of a canker sore? Or you just keep getting them? Well, as I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, I was an orthodontic patient for 3 years. If you’ve ever had braces, you know the drill with the canker sores. Your braces just love to cut you, and canker sores just LOVE to appear everywhere they possibly can. I was so annoyed with my mouth, that I tried every possible way I could to get rid of them. Allow me to walk you through my journey of canker sore relief.

To start, canker sores are small lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth, or at the base of your gums. You can have 2 different types of canker sores; simple, or complex. Simple canker sores may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. Complex canker sores are less common than simple, and occur more often in people who have previously had them. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious. A lot of people confuse canker sores with cold sores when in reality, they are very different. The exact cause of a canker sore is unknown, while some say that it could be caused b stress, or injury to your tissue in your mouth. So for example, if you were a cheek biter and lip biter like I was, canker sores will come very easily to your mouth. The constant chewing damages the tissue, leaving room for canker sores to “grow.”

When I was younger, I remember getting the occasional canker sore here and there, nothing big. I would wait for a few days, they would go away. But, when I had my braces put on, it was like I was getting a new canker sore every other day! It was awful. I wasn’t just getting them on my gums, or cheeks, but I was also getting them on my tongue. I tried everything. I went to Walgreens and got every canker sore cream they owned. Nothing would ever help me. I tried everything from orajel, to canker care. It would relieve them, and make them smaller, but I would feel like they would never heel, or new ones would always be sprouting different places in my mouth. I finally made the trip to my dentist after I couldn’t stand them anymore. This was when I had braces, so it’s really hard to clean the gum tissue around my braces. And it was also really hard for me to clean the food out of my teeth really well, which was also part of the problem. When I would eat acidic food, it would stay in my teeth, and because my cheeks would always be damaged due to the braces, it would result in canker sores…everywhere. Well, I started to change my diet, be more thorough with my cleaning, and floss. What do you know? My canker sores started becoming less and less! It was amazing, I was so happy. Doing a really detailed job on cleaning my teeth have now become a habit I never intend to break.

My canker sore journey doesn’t end there, even after my braces were off, I continued to get canker sores. I was furious! I marched right back to Walgreens and started from square 1. All of those creams and gels still did nothing for me. I didn’t want to go to my doctor again, knowing he would just tell me the same thing again. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I started to Google things, and tried all of these ridiculous home remedies….until I found one remedy that was no longer ridiculous. Are you ready for it? Warm salt water. Who knew? It worked miracles. I would swish warm salt water in my mouth twice a day, and within one day, I was feeling the canker sores go down, and I had little pain, and I was able to eat salty things again. After about 3 days of warm salt water, my mouth was canker sore free. I was one happy lady. It just blew my mind that the simplest of things helped me so much. This is what I recommend to everyone out there suffering from canker sores. The salt helps fight the infection and the pain, and inflammation, whereas the warm water helps ease the pain.

Every time I feel a canker sore coming on, I grab that salt water, and gargle and I’m feeling better the next day. It is the only thing I trust when it comes to my canker sores! I recommend it to everyone who has the same problem as I do.sorecanker

Bad Breath? No Problem!

Do you suffer from bad breath? Does it linger with you throughout the day and you just can’t get rid of it? Don’t be embarrassed, you and the 40 million Americans are not alone.

Halitosis, also more commonly known as bad breath occurs when unpleasant odors are exhaled through the mouth. In most cases, bad breath originates from the mouth. One of the most common causes of bad breath is the build-up of plaque. When people don’t floss, or brush as much as they should, the plaque then begins to harbor bacteria resulting in bad breath, even if you just brushed your teeth! Some symptoms to be on the look out for bad breath are; smell, bad taste or taste changes in your mouth, dry mouth, and a coating on your tongue.

 Most causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene. If good oral hygiene practices, or a dentist do no eliminate bad breath, you should consult your physician. Very few causes of bad breath may need medical attention from a physician. When to seek that type of medical attention is when you have a persistent dry mouth, sores in the mouth, pain with chewing or swallowing, white spots on the tonsils, fever,  or just started a new medication. New parents need to watch their babies or young children because bad breath may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problem.

If your bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene, here are a few tips to help your teeth stay healthy, and smelling clean!

  • brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride
  • brush teeth after meals, especially meals that contain foods high in acid
  • replace your toothbrush every 2 months, this helps your overall health as well. This way you won’t keep putting the same bad bacteria in your mouth over and over again.
  • make sure you are seeing a dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and check-ups to avoid any problems that might be brewing in your mouth
  • brush your tongue regularly, it really makes a huge difference
  • make sure you are flossing regularly so those food particles that get stuck in between your teeth don’t harbor bacteria
  • keep your mouth moist and wet by drinking lots of water! It’s not a bad idea to make it a habit to drink more water throughout the day because your overall health also benefits from it! Who doesn’t love a 2 for 1 special?

Don’t be embarrassed if you have bad breath, just remember you aren’t alone. Try the tips suggested above, and if they don’t work, come in and see a dentist. We want you to be comfortable, and our number one goal is to see you walk out the door with happy smiles!

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