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Archive for March, 2017

Mar29

A Dry Mouth Is a Dangerous Mouth

Spring is officially here, a time of year that many of us long for. But with spring comes allergies, congestion, sleep disruption and mouth breathing. When we wake up with a dry mouth we usually down a glass of water and go about our day. But did you know that regular mouth breathing can lead to an increase in dental and health problems?

A dry mouth means that you could be at risk for an increase in tooth decay. Your saliva protects your teeth: it keeps bacteria at bay and neutralizes acids. When you breathe through your mouth there is less saliva and a heightened risk for harmful bacteria.

But tooth decay is only the beginning. Chronic dry mouth often results in an increase in bad breath and puts you at a higher risk for gum disease and gingivitis. Gum disease is a serious oral health problem that has also been closely linked to whole body issues like heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. In other words, mouth breathing—if left untreated–has the potential to kick off a very serious domino effect.

Mouth breathing in children can also be especially harmful. If left untreated, it can lead to poor sleep, lower oxygen concentration in the blood, crooked teeth, headaches, sore throats and even facial deformities.

How do I know if I’m a mouth breather?

Here are some common signs and symptoms of being a mouth breather:

• Dry lips
• Crowded teeth
• Snoring and open mouth while sleeping
• Airway infections including sinus, ears and colds
• Chronic bad breath

If you or someone you love has noticed any of these symptoms, please reach out to us and book an appointment. Prevention and awareness is essential and we work hard to meet our clients wherever they are in their dental wellness journey!

Mar15

Want to Keep it Simple? Here are the 5 Best Practices for Healthy Teeth!

So often we take our teeth for granted. We put our chompers through the paces whether we realize it or not—drinking coffee and eating foods high in acidity, chewing on ice or the ends of pencils, clenching in our sleep or in times of high stress. No matter what it is, our teeth endure a good deal of trauma. The very least we can do is incorporate a little added prevention into our daily routine.

First things first: be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year. Every mouth is different and some of us are prone to dental issues quicker than others. Check with your dentist to see what frequency is best for you and your teeth.

Once you have a solid dental check-up schedule, please consider the following 5 recommended practices:

 

  1. Don’t go to bed without brushing

Everyone knows that brushing twice a day is recommended by dental professionals—and yet so many of us skip brushing at night. We are too tired or perhaps we forget. But hitting the sack without brushing is risky business: plaque will have more time to harden and calcify—and then off to the dentist you go!

  1. Brush the right way!

Brushing your teeth the correct way is critical. In fact, brushing incorrectly is almost as bad as not brushing at all! The key is to take your time and move the brush in gentle, circular motions. Untouched plaque can lead to buildup, making you more susceptible to cavities or gingivitis (early gum disease).

  1. Work mouthwash into your routine

Sure, mouthwash can leave your breath nice and fresh but this is merely a pleasant byproduct of what mouthwash is meant to do. A good mouthwash helps your teeth in 3 ways: it reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard to brush areas in and around the gums and re-mineralizes the teeth. Want to learn how to make your own natural mouthwash? Click here!

  1. Drink more water

Water is SO good for you on a number of levels. Of course it helps you to maintain a healthy weight and keeps you hydrated. But did you know that it helps with oral hygiene too? If you drink a glass of water after every meal it can wash away the negative effects of sticky, acidic food.

  1. Eat crunchy fruits and veggies

Yet another reason to avoid ready-to-eat processed foods. Fresh, whole fruits and vegetables require a bit of work for our teeth and jaw. Chewing through healthful, natural food helps to keep our teeth clean—not to mention the added benefit of a little extra fiber in our diet.

Do you have a tip that you would like share? Do you have any questions or comments for our practice? Please reach out to us anytime or contribute to the conversation on Facebook!

Mar1

Help Your Teeth: Take Care of Your Tongue

There is so much emphasis on clean teeth—but what about the tongue?

Why is a clean tongue so important?

We all know that bacteria can collect on teeth over time, hiding in crevices and hardening into plaque and tartar. But consider the tongue—tongues are covered in tiny bumps called papillae. Within the valleys of these bumps dead skin cells, bacteria and food particles are likely to collect. Our saliva may coat and trap this debris, causing bad breath or even halitosis (white discoloration of the tongue).

Kinda gross, right? Do not despair and read on!

How to properly clean your tongue

There isn’t much to it, really. There are 2 basic methods: brushing and scraping. Brushing is the easiest method to work into your regular routine. Gently brush your tongue from the back to front after you’ve already cleaned your teeth. Having a little toothpaste in the mix is helpful, allowing you to reap the protective benefits. It’s also helpful to brush the inside of your cheeks and roof of the mouth to get everything nice and clean before rinsing.

If you are looking for slightly deeper clean, try a tongue scraper. These are inexpensive devices that you can find online or in drug stores. To use a scraper, stick out your tongue and glide the device across the surface of your tongue with even pressure, back to front. Rinse and repeat!

What if tongue cleaning triggers a gag reflex?

Some of us have very sensitive gag reflexes (this is very common, by the way). If you are one of these people, try cleaning your tongue very slowly and methodically so that you can adjust to the sensation. One trick of the dental trade is to stick out your tongue and when you’re about to reach the sensitive part, relax the tongue while exhaling completely. Exhaling can counteract that troublesome gag impulse!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We would love to see you!

  © RATTI HANDA, DMD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISCLAIMER
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