8 Ways To Prevent Bad Breath

8 Ways To Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath is nothing to joke about and should not be taken lightly. Not only can bad breath be a sign of poor oral hygiene or a more serious condition, but it can ruin your social life. So to make sure you’re healthy and you don’t become known as the person with bad breath, follow these tips:

Always Brush Twice a Day

Cleaning your teeth regularly is the first step to fighting bad breath. You need to brush twice a day—morning and night, for at least two minutes each time. Brushing away plaque as well as the food that gets stuck in your teeth throughout the day and the bacteria that develops overnight helps keep your breath fresh and minty all day long.

Never Skip Flossing

Removing the plaque and food particles missed by brushing is of the utmost importance when it comes to your dental health. Allowing those missed pieces to stay between your gums feeds bacteria to grow in your mouth. That living bacteria creates a stench that might just label you as someone with bad breath. So remember, flossing isn’t just something the dentist wants you to do. It also is vital for bad breath prevention.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Tongue

This common mistake is fiercely associated with bad breath. Sadly, too many people focus purely on their teeth and gums when brushing. The coating that develops on your tongue throughout the day and night is the perfect place for foul-smelling bacteria to thrive. So make sure after you brush your teeth and gums, you don’t forget to scrape your tongue down too.

Use Mouthwash Daily

This is another crucial step in your oral hygiene routine that should never be missed. Even with brushing and flossing, bacteria can still live, that’s where mouthwash comes into play. A good mouthwash actually kills remaining bacteria keeping your breath safe from every angle.

Stay Hydrated

Water is an essential tool to keep your mouth clean. Other drinks contain sugars that bacteria will feed off of and have the potential to cause bad breath. Water, on the other hand, rinses your mouth. Dehydration is not only unhealthy in general but also causes dry mouth and without saliva being generated the odds of you having bad breath are extremely high.

Maintain a Healthy Well-Balanced Diet

Your diet directly affects your breath. Sure, you know certain foods that make your breath smell foul, but keeping an overall healthy diet is more important than avoiding garlic. To prevent constant bad breath stay away from junk food and choose healthy food instead. Make sure your diet contains a good variety because too much of one thing (even if it’s a good thing) can cause bad odor.

Don’t Be a Mouth Breather

Breathing through your nose can be a life-saver (or social lifesaver) when it comes to bad breath. Breathing through your mouth, especially all night long while you sleep, can cause some serious foul smelling breath. So teach yourself to breathe through your nose so that your mouth isn’t constantly open to bacteria.

Make Regular Visits to Your Dentist

If you really want to keep your breath smelling fresh, don’t ever skip a professional dental appointment. If you have continuous bad breath it might be caused by a larger problem that your dentist will be able to detect. Even if you are not suffering from bad breath unrelated to oral hygiene, your dentist will be able to clean your mouth better than you can at home. So make sure you are visiting your dentist at least every six months.

At the end of the day, we want you to have good breath as much as you do. So make sure you’re doing everything on this list to ensure your mouth is healthy and your breath isn’t scaring anyone away.

Dental Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making: Part 2

Dental Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making: Part 2

There’s no question about it oral hygiene should be a part of every person’s daily routine. You might be practicing dental hygiene, but have you ever thought about the fact that there’s a right way to clean and comfort your teeth? Here’s what you might be doing wrong:

You’re Not Flossing Correctly

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to floss. While not flossing at all would be the biggest mistake, you might still be doing your teeth harm if you’re not flossing properly. Make sure you’re not just pushing the floss between each tooth, but instead following the entire shape of the tooth up to the gums in order to remove any plaque or remaining food particles. Never skip a day of flossing but if you want to keep your mouth extra healthy, floss after every meal.

You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Staying hydrated is extremely important to your overall health, but did you also know that drinking water is an essential part of your oral health? The condition of dry mouth should not be taken lightly as it can make the perfect habitat for germs. Drinking water helps you produce saliva which helps to clear your mouth of sugars and acid left by your favorite foods. Bacteria love to finish your leftovers, but drinking lots of water helps to make sure there’s nothing left to feed your unwanted guests.

You Brush Right After You Eat

Your teeth just did a lot of work and now they need a break. Acidic or sugary foods can soften tooth enamel and if you brush while the enamel is vulnerable it could wear down that essential enamel. So instead of running straight for your toothbrush after every meal, wait at least a full thirty minutes before brushing.

You Don’t Brush Long Enough

Just like you can brush for too extensively, not brushing thoroughly enough is also a common problem. You should be brushing twice a day—morning and night, but it’s not just about frequency. It’s also about quality time. Clock yourself, you should be brushing for a solid two minutes every time.

You Whiten Your Teeth Too Frequently

We don’t recommend whitening your teeth at home and instead encourage you to have any cosmetic alterations to your teeth done by a professional. That being said, if you insist on whitening your teeth at home, please do not make it a part of your regular routine. Whitening can remove important enamel and can cause extreme tooth as well as gum sensitivity.

You Don’t Make Regular Visits to Your Dentist

Even if you’re not making any of the mistakes on this list, you still need to see your dentist at least every six months. Dental professionals have tools you don’t have access to at home to give your mouth the greatest cleaning of all. In addition to the fact that you can’t clean your teeth at home as well as your dentist can, it’s also important to get your teeth, gums, tongue, and the rest of your mouth checked out by a professional to take care of any underlying problems that may not be visible to you.

Follow this list and remember that proper care means a healthy happy smile that will last a lifetime. Did you find any mistakes you’ve been making? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to refer back to Dental Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making: Part 1.

Times to Call: After Hour Emergencies

Times to Call: After Hour Emergencies

There are sometimes when going to the dentist just can’t wait. In serious cases, you need to call your dentist immediately. So what is considered a dental emergency?

A Tooth Gets Knocked Out

If you’re missing pieces of your formerly beautiful smile, don’t hesitate to give our office a call. Just because a tooth gets knocked out doesn’t mean it can’t be saved. Teeth can actually be replanted in your mouth if you take swift action. So find the tooth, keep it moist, call your doctor, and have your gorgeous smile back in a jiffy.

What to Do:

Don’t pick it up by the root. You want to touch the end that you chew with and handle it with care. Locate and retrieve the tooth as soon as possible. Rinse your tooth out with water, but nothing else, and be gentle. No soap, no scrubbing, don’t even dry the tooth or wrap it in a fabric. Put the tooth back in place—if you can. Gently try to position the tooth back into the socket until you can reach the dentist. Get to your doctor’s office as soon as possible.

Why Is It an Emergency?

Not only does a missing tooth take away from your beautiful smile, but there are health effects too. Nerves, blood vessels, tissue can all be damaged along with your tooth and cannot be repaired which is why in a best-case scenario we reattach your tooth to the root.

A Tooth Is Moved From Its Normal Positioning

Teeth can get knocked from their proper position and this isn’t an “it can wait” sort of injury.

What to Do:

You can try to delicately move the tooth back into positioning, but do not apply a lot of pressure. Gently bite down to keep the tooth in place and you may use gauze to help with pain. Do not eat anything until you have seen your dentist.

Why Is It an Emergency?

A tooth that is displaced can cause chips to your teeth or cuts to your gums. The tooth may also become loose and your natural bite may be off and unnatural. Both your gum and bone tissue needs to be examined to ensure your nerve is still functional and you can still experience sensations with the displaced tooth.

A Tooth Is Fractured

Just like breaking the bones in your body, fractures to your teeth are a big deal. When a tooth is cracked, you should rinse immediately in order to clean the wounded area. Your dentist may be able to reattach the tooth depending on the damage encountered.

What to do:

Rinse your mouth with warm water and then hold a cold compress to your cheek in order to reduce pain and swelling. Find the chipped or broken pieces as soon as possible and bring them with you to the dentist.

Why Is It an Emergency?

There is not much time for the tooth to be viable for reattachment. You should not eat anything for the risk of further damage to your teeth and gums. Damage to the tooth may be permanent if your dentist is not contacted immediately.

A Severe Toothache

For one, we don’t want you waiting in pain when there’s something we can do to help, but even further, a severe toothache can be a sign of a much more serious problem.

What to Do:

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean out any possibly infected areas. Then gently floss between each tooth for any food or other particles that may have gotten stuck between your teeth or gums.

Why Is It an Emergency?

A severe toothache may be caused by underlying problems pertaining to your jaw, teeth, gums, tongue, sinuses, throat, ears, nose, or even your neck, which is why you need the situation examined as soon as possible.

 If you or a loved one experiences any of these dental emergencies, do not hesitate to call. Waiting to contact your dentist could have long-term or even irreversible consequences. So to keep your smile beautiful, but more importantly, healthy, contact your dentist immediately.

Dental Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making: Part 1

Dental Hygiene Mistakes You Might Be Making: Part 1

When it comes to your daily routine, dental hygiene should never be missed. If you don’t take the steps to take proper care of your teeth and gums, not only your mouth may suffer, but your overall health as well. So what common mistakes might you unknowingly be making in your dental routine?

You Don’t Brush Your Teeth Right Before Bed

You might feel that performing your bedtime routine earlier in the night helps you stop eating at night or even helps you fall asleep easier, but this practice can be damaging to your teeth. Your mouth dries out while you sleep and since saliva helps to keep your teeth healthy, your teeth need that special cleaning right before your slumber.

You Eat Late at Night

Late night eating isn’t just bad for your overall health. It’s bad for your teeth too. Eating your last meal of the day a couple hours before bed is ideal for your teeth. That way your digestive system is getting back to normal and your teeth won’t go to bed right after being active or having a layer of food working its way through.

You Brush Too Hard or Too Often

Brushing too hard can actually damage tooth enamel as well as your gums. The idea is to brush away plaque and any food that may have gotten stuck in your teeth, but not to scrub away your actual teeth to the point where they become sensitive. So how do you know if you’re brushing too hard? Make sure while you brush the bristles of your toothbrush aren’t being smashed down against your teeth.

You Constantly Snack Throughout the Day

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need breaks too. If you’re snacking non-stop, you’re putting your teeth at serious risks for cavities. You’re increasing the likelihood of cavities even further if your guilty pleasures are high in sugar and/or starches. Remember, snacks should be an infrequent treat, not a gift you give yourself all day every day.

You Don’t Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

You don’t just need regular dentist visits. You also need to regularly replace your brush. Your brush can collect all sorts of germs from your bathroom. Do you really want to be brushing your teeth with bacteria? That doesn’t sound much like a cleaning. So while you might grow attached to your brush, every few months you should just let it go.

You Don’t Scrape Your Tongue

This is such an important part of your dental hygiene routine, but sadly it’s also one of the most missed. Brushing isn’t just about your teeth or even your gums. Your whole mouth needs to be cleaned. Bacteria builds up on your tongue too so don’t let those germs settle at home in your mouth. Scrape them away to keep your tongue and the rest of your mouth truly healthy.

Dental Hygiene Done Right

Taking proper procedures to keep your teeth clean is important to your smile and your overall health. Brushing and flossing aren’t enough. So take the steps to correct any mistakes you might be making, and of course, visit your dentist regularly, and your pearly whites will stay healthy for years to come. Don’t forget to tune in next month for Dental Hygiene Mistake You Might Be Making: Part 2.

What Makes a Great Dental Office For Kids?

What Makes a Great Dental Office For Kids?

Going to the dentist might be one of the last activities on a list of things kids want to do. We know that, and that’s why we do our best to make our office an enjoyable place for kids. So what makes our dental office more kid-friendly than the rest?

Make it a kid-friendly environment.

We don’t want your kids to feel like they’re in a stuffy place meant for grown-ups. We want them to feel like our office is designed with them in mind. That’s why we fill our office with fun so they can stay feeling like kids instead of being forced to act like they’re doing something only meant for adults.

Make certain the patient knows you care.

The staff should care about the children in their care. We understand that dental visits aren’t kids favorite activities. They may have discomfort and we want to make sure that every irritation is met with compassion. That’s why we train our staff to be understanding of every child’s needs. When they say there’s pain, we listen, we care, and we comfort the situation.

Be a fountain of information.

We explain why we do what we do. Children need a reason so that they may understand what we’re doing to their teeth and why. We want to encourage them to be healthy and that starts with explaining what’s needed to maintain the health of their teeth. We describe our tools in ways that make the whole process less scary. They know that these tools are all bark and no bite because while they look scary, we try to make them as pain-free as possible.

Encourage kids to practice good dental hygiene.

We want your kids to be proactive about their own health. We teach them how to properly brush their teeth and their gums as well as the importance of avid flossing. We believe that kids can help prevent their own cavities and prevent tooth decay. It’s all about getting them excited to keep their pearly whites clean.

Speak to kids like they’re kids.

Kids aren’t adults. They don’t want the logistics. They want fun. That’s why we speak to children in a language they understand. We don’t treat their visits as a business transaction. Our aim is to make them feel safe instead of scared and alone. We’re their playmates for the visit and that’s why we do our very best to make them feel like they’re among friends.

Use sympathizing and kid-friendly words.

At our office, we avoid negative connotations that might make kids apprehensive about their regular dental visits. We never say words like “hurt,” “poke,” “shot,” or “needle,” which can give even grown adults anxiety. Kids need “kid gloves” in certain situations and we always keep a pair handy.

Make their visit a positive experience.

We want your kids to have a lifetime of healthy smiles so we see it as our job to make oral health a positive routine rather than a dreaded chore. We’re starting with a safe and happy environment for children so that they may grow into oral health concerned adults. We don’t want them to fear the dentist. We want them to love the dentist just like we love caring for their teeth.

Top 3 Reasons Children Fear the Dentist

Top 3 Reasons Children Fear the Dentist

Children often times have irrational fears such as monsters hiding under the bed or a specific stuffed animal that startles them. We would like to discuss the one fear we see in our office on a daily basis and that is a fear of the dentist. Even if they haven’t visited the dentist yet, a fear can still be present and a visit to a dental office can be very scary for a young child.

Dentists are not the only medical professionals a child can develop a fear of and doctors also see this issue when a child comes in for a checkup. It can take some time for a child to warm up and develop a trust of their doctor or dentist. However dentists seem to get more of a cold shoulder when it comes to children, and we feel it’s worth explaining some of the possible reasons why.

 

Parents

Unfortunately, parents play a big part in whether a child has a fear of something or not. Even very young children can pick up on nonverbal signs if their parents are nervous or fearful of something.

Dr. Port wrote her master’s thesis on the origin of dental fear of children and through her research clinically proved that parents are the main source of dental fear in children who have never visited the dentist before.

If you portray a fear of the dentist, your kids will likely follow in your footsteps. It’s very important for you as a parent to not make the dentist out to be something negative.

It is also important that when you return from a dental appointment that you are not moaning, groaning, and complaining of how much you fear or “hate” the dentist. We understand that this can be difficult, but do your best to hide any negative views you have of your dental experiences from your kids as it may help to prevent them from having fear of seeing the dentist themselves.

 

Bad First Experience

In some instances, the fear can develop after a poor dental experience. If a child has a visit with a dentist that may not have very much experience dealing with children they may not know how to provide a friendly, child centered experience. Although this is not intentional, any hint of “danger” from a child’s perspective can mean game over and make it difficult for the next dentist trying to provide care to gain the child’s trust.

Another possible reason for fear is if the child has never visited a dentist and is now in pain. If a child does not have the opportunity to have a “happy visit” which would introduce a child to the dentist, it may be scary to a child, to go into a new setting with pain and wonder, “what is this new person is going to do?”.  The best way to prevent this scenario is to start regular dental appointments at age 1 or 6 months after the eruption of the 1st tooth. Part of the purpose of an age 1 dental visit is to try and provide a good introduction of the dental appointment and discuss prevention. This way the child is established with a dental office so hopefully if the child ever does have pain there will be history of “happy visits”.

 

Pop Culture

In today’s world, pop culture rules all and unfortunately has a big role in portraying dentist as deliverers of pain. Cartoons on TV, child magazines, and kid oriented media poke plenty of fun at dentists and show scary dentists going after helpless children with spikey instruments and drills in hand. As a pediatric office this drives us crazy! In our profession we work so hard to make sure each and every child has the best experience possible and we don’t ever want them to associate us with pain.

For decades Hollywood has been portraying dentist as the evil twin in the medical world. Often times, movies and TV shows will have episodes making fun of the dentist because it involves painful fillings and extractions with the patient writhing in pain. The developing mind of a child watches this and unintentionally associates a dental office with a place they don’t want to be. Helping to make sure you as a parent monitor what your child watches or views on TV and online you can help prevent this poor portrayal of dentists from become how they see dentists. We are here to help your child not hurt them.

Of course there can always be other causes to developing a fear of the dentist; these are just the most common ones we see in our practice. If you have questions or concerns that your child has anxiety or fears please give our office a call. We are always here to help!