The Benefits of a Saltwater Mouth Rinse

saltwater mouth rinseYou may have heard of a saltwater mouth rinse as a home remedy for treating a number of ailments. Does salt really have healing properties? Do I really need to rinse my mouth with salt if I already use a normal mouthwash? Find out what our family dentists have to say about this.

Why Is a Saltwater Mouth Rinse Beneficial?

Salt doesn’t kill bacteria directly. Instead, it increases the pH balance inside your mouth. This results in a more alkaline environment, making it harder for bacteria to survive. Germs tend to thrive in an acidic environment.

Uses for Saltwater Mouth Rinse

Swishing saltwater in your mouth alleviates a number of ailments. It’s good for:

  • Reducing sore throat
  • Reducing soreness or infection after oral surgery
  • Removing food particles lodged in your teeth
  • Freshening your breath. This is a good alternative if you’re sensitive to alcohol-based mouthwash
  • Temporarily relieving canker sore pain. Mix the salt and water with baking soda to form a paste to specifically target the region.
  • Relieving soreness associated with braces. Our endodontists usually recommend this to patients after installing traditional metal-wire braces.

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How to Floss With Braces

floss with bracesFlossing is vital for long-term oral health; that’s a given. However, most people find flossing a burdensome task; hence 20% of Americans never floss. For those with braces, flossing is even more of a perceived hassle. We’ll explain how to floss with braces efficiently. Yes, you may not feel like doing it, but you know it’s a daily necessity—as much as brushing.

Use the Right Floss

Before you begin, wisely choose the type of floss. We advise sticking with wax-coated floss. The unwaxed variety is more thread-like and prone to getting caught in the wiring. You can also use a floss threader; this is an easy-to-use tool that simplifies flossing around the braces. You may also elect to invest in a water flosser to make the process even easier. Continue Reading →

Six Uses for an Old Toothbrush

old toothbrushOur family dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. Over the course of your life, that is a lot of brushes that you temporarily use and throw away. However, you don’t necessarily have to throw them in the trash. Consider these alternative uses for an old toothbrush; give it renewed life.

Old Toothbrush Alternative Uses

1. Clean the Bike Chain: Many people have reported that they use their old brushes for cleaning a bike chain before giving it a lube. The brush is just small enough to reach the small nook and crannies.

2. Keep It in the Bathroom: It may no longer clean your teeth, but you can now use the brush to clean some parts of the bathroom. The brush is effective for cleaning tile corners and the underside of the toilet bowl rim. Continue Reading →

Are You at Risk of Jailbreak Bacteria?

jailbreak bacteriaYour mouth is full of bacteria, both good and bad; that’s a given. However, the bad bacteria can affect your well-being beyond your oral health. This occurs due to jailbreak bacteria, which escapes your mouth and relocates to other areas of your body.

What Is Jailbreak Bacteria?

The term describes bacteria that “jailbreaks” from the mouth and enters the blood stream. This is why bleeding gums is a serious matter. Plaque-causing bacteria uses the blood system as an escape route where they reach internal organs and cause blood clots.

Why Jailbreak Bacteria Can Be Deadly

Bad bacteria in the mouth is known as streptococcus bacteria, which causes periodontal disease. When they reach the bloodstream, they use a protein to bind together in the blood, eventually creating a clot-inducing clump. This also leads to inflamed blood vessels that block blood flow to the heart and brain. Continue Reading →

What Is the Best Age Range for Braces?

best age for bracesWhen should you enquire about braces? Can you be fitted for braces too early or too late? What age range is the ideal window of opportunity? We’ll evaluate the best age range for braces and why understanding the differences is important.

The Ideal Age Range for Braces

We don’t have a universal answer because various factors are at play. Here are our recommendations.

Ages 7–9

Our family dentists recommend evaluations for children starting between ages seven and nine. Will they apply braces at this age? Not necessarily, but an exam is important for determining whether your child will require them down the road. Continue Reading →

How to Commit to Your Dental Appointment

dental appointmentWe normally recommend some dental resolutions as the year comes to a close. One of the resolutions is committing to every dental appointment. It’s fine if you have to postpone every now and then, but too many patients cancel and never reschedule. Often,“later” becomes “never.”

Why Patients Cancel

Patients cancel appointments for varied reasons. Others simply don’t show up, without even canceling. A published study under Science Direct actually takes a look into this. According to the report, one out of every four respondents has missed an appointment. 40% have also canceled at least once.

The number one reason for missing an appointment? The patient simply forgot. The second cause was a conflicting schedule, such as a last-minute work or family commitment. Those that missed an appointment were also far more likely to have cancelled on at least one other occasion. Continue Reading →

Getting Your Kids to Brush This Holiday

getting your kids to brushYoung kids see brushing as a chore. Parents need to be proactive in getting their kids to brush every day, and to follow the correct brushing methods. With the holidays around the corner, we figured you can use this time of year to your advantage for this purpose.

Getting Your Kids to Brush Doesn’t Have to Be a Challenge

Food intake increases during the holidays. Schools and other venues serve sugary snacks and beverages, including gingerbread cookies, Hershey Kisses, eggnog, and fruitcake. This is why you need to instill good brushing habits as Christmas looms. Continue Reading →

Types of Teeth-Safe Sugars?

Teeth Safe SugarsSugar leads to cavities; that’s a given. However, not all types of sugars are bad for your teeth. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, consider using teeth-safe sugars. These make great alternative ingredients for that homemade pumpkin pie or cranberry dip. They also receive the nod of approval from our family dentists.

Not All Sugars Destroy Your Teeth

Numerous types of sugars exist. The good news is that at least two are teeth-safe sugars. The bad news is that the sugar found in 95% of foods are of the varieties that do cause decay.

A study published in the Washington Post analyzed 28 natural sugars and seven artificial sweeteners.

Unsurprisingly, the study revealed that the most common sugar varieties, such as table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and brown sugar all cause teeth decay. Our oral surgeons warn against any processed foods high in these sugar types. Continue Reading →

Eating with Missing Teeth: What Happens?

eating with missing teethPeople with missing teeth sometimes eat solid food without filling the gap with dental implants or dentures. Our oral surgeons caution against eating with missing teeth. This can cause damage to the jaw and gum line.

Why Eating with Missing Teeth Is Bad

Teeth provide between 200 and 250 pounds of bite force. Dentures provide much less at around 50 pounds, though that’s still better than nothing.

In the absence of teeth or dentures, your jaw and gums have to pick up the work. Initially, this only causes soreness. Over time, however, this leads to more serious issues, such as infected gums and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The jaw may also weaken and become vulnerable to fractures.

Digestion Issues

The lack of bite force also means you swallow food before it’s adequately broken down to mush. The digestive tract has to worker harder to break down the food. As a consequence, the body isn’t able to extract as many nutrients. The food also sits longer in the colon where it becomes fodder for bacteria. This leads to gas, bloating, and lethargy. Continue Reading →

Clean Your Teeth with Detergent Foods

detergent foodsEating doesn’t always make your teeth dirtier. In fact, some foods actually make them cleaner. In family dental circles, we refer to these edibles as detergent foods. We’ll list some of these foods for you to add to your daily diet.

Eat More of These Detergent Foods

Here is a short list to consider:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Pears
  • Popcorn (minus the salt, cheese, butter, and other flavoring)
  • Cheese (and other unsweetened dairy products)
  • Unsweetened dark chocolate

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