Why Does Food Taste Funny After Brushing?

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why certain foods taste unpleasant after brushing your teeth in the morning? Most of us have experienced that bitter sensation a time or two, but what exactly causes it?

Your Mint Toothpaste Flavor Isn’t To Blame

It’s a common misconception that mint-flavored toothpaste causes the unpleasant taste when eating that first meal after brushing. In reality, it’s a chemical found in most toothpastes called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or other variants like sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These compounds are known as surfactants, which are foaming agents which make it easier to spread toothpaste evenly as you brush.

Aside from helping toothpaste clean your teeth, surfactants also affect your tastebuds.

Surfactants Affect Your Tastebuds

Surfactants like SLS affect your tastebuds in a couple of different ways. First, it suppresses receptors that pick up the sweet taste in food and drinks. This is why some foods just taste a little more bland if you’ve recently brushed your teeth. The second way surfactants affect your taste is it enhances bitter flavors, so sour food and drinks taste especially bitter.

This effect is especially noticeable in orange juice. Believe it or not, your morning glass of OJ is actually surprisingly sour if you take away the sugar. So when you take a sip of orange juice after brushing your teeth, not only will SLS inhibit your ability to taste your drink’s sweetness, it will enhance the underlying sour flavor and make it really bitter.

Don’t Worry, It Doesn’t Last Long!

Fortunately for us, the effects of SLS don’t linger too long in the morning. After about 30 minutes, your saliva will have diluted the leftover surfactants and things begin to taste normal again. In order to avoid the unpleasant taste after you brush, take a little time to read the paper or accomplish other to-do’s in your regular morning routine before you eat. Rearranging morning activities is an easy way to help your breakfast taste sweet!

We Have A Pretty Sweet Gig

We love making our patients smile. Whether it’s through fun tips like this or answering questions about your unique oral health situation, our priority is keeping your teeth happy and healthy. Do you have any more questions about your morning oral hygiene routine? We’d love to answer them! Call us or let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for giving us a reason to smile!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

See The Full Picture On Dental X-Rays

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  Would you choose super strength?  How about the power of flight?  Maybe you’d like the ability to see through solid objects!  Although super strength and flight may not com too easily,  you don’t have to search far for x-ray vision (in a manner of speaking)!

Today, we want to share with you a little bit about x-ray and how we use them in our practice to spot troublesome cavities and other issues before they have a larger effect on you smile!

X-Rays Were Discovered By Accident!

X-rays were first observed in 1895 by German physicist Wihelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923).  Roentgen accidentally made this discovery while conducting an experiment testing whether cathode rays would pass through glass.  After covering the glass cathode tubes he was using for his experiment, he notice a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen.  He was unsure what rays were causing the glow so he dubbed them”X-rays” for the time-being, and the name stuck!

Roentgen is also credited with discovering the medical use of X-rays.  The first photograph of the human body part using X-rays is actually his wife’s hand!

Dental X-Rays Help Spot Problems Early

X-rays have become a incredibly valuable tool in modern medicine-especially for dentistry!  We learn a lot from visually examining you teeth, but not everything is visible to the naked eye during a routine dental exam.

Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work.  X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line– something that was impossible without invasive procedures before X-rays became widely available.

We Have Your Safety In Mind

Both traditional and digital x-ray exams are safe.  Though low levels of radiation are used to capture the X-ray images, each techniques is designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation.  A leaded apron and thyroid collar are often used to minimize exposure to the abdomen and throat during examination.  These protective measures are helpful for everyone, but especially recommended for women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, and children.

If you are pregnant and in need of dental x-rays, be sure you tell you dentist.  They will be sure to use the leaded apron and thyroid collar during your exam to protect you and your fetus from any radiation.  Dental x-rays do not need to be delayed if you’re breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant,  but talk to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

Prevention Is The Key To Healthy Smiles

We want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible and preserve your beautiful smile.  That’s why it’s essential that we discover and diagnose the earliest sign of a problem.  X-rays are an essential tool in helping spot these problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.  If you have any questions about dental x-rays, please let us know!  We’d love to speak with you about this or any other questions you may have.

Our Patients Brighten Our Day!

Top image by Flickr user Bashar Al-ba’noon and used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 licence.  Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth?

 

MANY PARENTS HAVE heard their children (loudly) grinding their teeth while they sleep at night, or even during waking hours. You may worry about the health of your child’s teeth or what their tooth grinding habit means and what has caused it. We hope this blog post answers your questions!

Why Does Teeth Grinding Occur?

Most commonly, bruxism–or teeth grinding–occurs at night. The causes of bruxism are not entirely understood and every child is different. Teeth grinding can occur due to teething in infants, or even when children get their permanent teeth. Others may do it in response to pain, frustration or stress. Some may grind or clench due to improperly aligned teeth. Certain medical conditions as well as genetics may also make people more prone to brux.

Is Bruxism Worrisome?

Bruxism is fairly common among children. In fact, between twenty and thirty percent of children grind or clench their teeth at one point during their childhood. The good news is, most outgrow it and do not incur any lasting damage to their teeth during a teeth grinding phase.

If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth, it’s important to take them to your dental care provider. Some symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Grinding noises while your child is asleep
  • Pain when chewing
  • Unusual tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Sore jaw or face, especially in the morning upon waking

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or you suspect that they grind or clench their teeth frequently, pay a visit to your dentist. Fortunately, most cases of bruxism in children do not require treatment, as it usually goes away over time. However, depending on the cause of your child’s bruxism, your dentist may recommend various treatment options. For example, if your child grinds their teeth in response to stress, perhaps a more calming bedtime routine would help.

During your visit, your dentist will examine your child’s teeth for tooth enamel wear and damage. If there is damage, or your child grinds their teeth very frequently, your dentist may recommend a custom-made night guard to protect teeth and hopefully prevent grinding.

We’re Here To Help

Whatever the reason for your child’s teeth grinding habit, we would love to help! Have any more questions or concerns about bruxism? Come in to see us today!

Our patients rock!

 

Top image by Flickr user Katrina Br*?#*!@nd used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Flossing Is Essential To Your Oral Hygiene

 

WE’VE MENTIONED IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN… Flossing is an essential part of good oral hygiene. Many people don’t see the need for flossing when they already brush their teeth; others simply hate the task. We understand that it can be tedious! But as your trusted dental professionals, we want to assure you that flossing will greatly benefit your dental and overall health.

So, How Does Flossing Benefit My Health?

Did you know that when you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35 percent of tooth surfaces in your mouth? That’s because brushing simply cannot get into those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Unfortunately, however, bacteria can! Flossing completes brushing by cleaning the spaces your toothbrush can’t.

Regular flossing can:

  • Prevent cavities. Have you ever flossed, even after brushing your teeth, and were surprised to find a remnant of your last meal? Flossing removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavity formation between the teeth, a common place for tooth decay.
  • Fight bad breath. If food or plaque are left in between teeth, they will eventually release a bad smell. Yuck!
  • Inhibit tartar buildup and gum disease. If left on teeth for too long, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. The presence of tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Improve your appearance. Food debris and plaque make teeth look more yellow and gritty. Clean, healthy teeth always appear whiter and brighter!

From years of experience, we can confidently say that flossing makes a big difference in your oral and overall health.

For Flossing To Work, It Has To Be Done Correctly

To reap the benefits of flossing, it has to be done correctly. In a 2006 study, researchers wanted to see whether flossing at home had the same benefits as having daily flossing done by professionals. The study showed that participants who were flossed professionally had a 40 percent decrease in their risk of cavities than their at-home flossing counterparts. The researchers concluded that flossing, when done properly, has a substantial, positive effect on oral health.

Many people simply snap the floss in between their teeth and pull it back out. The correct way, however, is to curve the floss around the tooth, as if the floss were hugging it. Still curved around the tooth, move the floss up and down to scrape the plaque. Do the same on the other tooth.

Take The Flossing Challenge

We’d like to challenge you to make daily flossing a part of your oral healthcare routine. We promise you’ll feel the difference! If you still have questions about flossing, call or come in to see us. Seeing our patients is the best part of our day!

Top image by Flickr user angela n. used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Snacking Tips To Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

GOOD NUTRITION IS ESSENTIAL for a child’s healthy growth and development. It’s also important for their dental health! A good diet can help your child build strong, healthy teeth, while poor eating habits puts your child at a higher risk of tooth decay.

You may understand how important nutritious meals are, but one thing some parents struggle with is snack time. Here are our best tips on how to make sure your child’s snack time is tooth-friendly!

Not All Snacks Are Created Equal

Stay away from starchy, sticky or sugary foods during snack time, like dried fruit, crackers, chips and cookies. These types of snacks can stick to the teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing cavities. For snack time it’s best to opt for fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and cheese.

If You Indulge, Do It During Mealtime

Don’t worry, we don’t expect you or your child to never eat sweets or starches. There is a better time to eat them than at snack time, however, and that is during meals! That’s because it’s not just important what you eat, but when you eat. At mealtime, there is an increased amount of saliva in the mouth that can help wash away those starches or sugary treats, counteract acid-producing bacteria and remineralize teeth.

Watch Out For Added Sugars

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for when choosing snacks are added sugars.

According to the American Dental Association, added sugar consumption should be limited to less than 10 percent of total energy intake, ideally less than five percent. To put things in perspective, one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake of a child!

Choose Beverages Wisely

On that note, we’d like to advise parents to choose their children’s beverages wisely. Soda and juice may be your child’s preferred drinks, but milk and water are much healthier choices. Good sources of calcium, like milk, aid in building strong teeth and bones and water helps to wash away food particles that may be clinging to teeth, thus protecting against decay.

Sip All Day, Get Decay

Whether your child is drinking milk, juice or soda, don’t let them sip it throughout the day. Constant consumption of either food or drink is harmful for teeth, because not only are you feeding yourself, you’re also feeding the cavity-causing bacteria that reside in your mouth. Limit snacking to once or twice a day and have your child sip on water. If they drink anything that contains sugar, have them drink it during mealtimes or all at once.

Your Family’s Health Is Our Priority

If you have any tips or healthy snack ideas that your kids love, leave it in the comments below! At our practice, we care about the health of your whole family. Proper nutrition, especially at snack time, will ensure healthy smiles for you and your children for a lifetime!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

 

Top image by Flickr user Larry Grubbs used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How To Help Prepare Your Child For The Dentist

071965a2-3dfe-4f78-b9cb-63867a1b225c

THERE’S NOTHING BETTER than seeing a child’s smile light up a room. While parents understand the importance of keeping that smile healthy by regularly visiting the dentist, some children are a bit apprehensive about making that visit.

There Are Many Potential Causes For A Child’s Dental Anxiety

There may be several reasons why your little one isn’t too excited about visiting the dentist. It could be fear of the unknown, or maybe a friend or a sibling has told them a scary story about what happens during a dental visit. A parent’s own apprehension about visiting the dentist can even influence their child’s opinion about their upcoming dental exam.

Whatever the case may be, we want to help you prepare your child for his or her upcoming visit and help relieve some of that stress!

Try These Tips To Help Prepare For Their Next Visit!

Start early. The AAPD recommends children see the dentist by their first birthday or whenever teeth appear. Not only is this important to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy, it will help them grow used to seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

Explain what will happen during their visit. Fear of the unknown can be a significant contributor to stress leading up to a child’s dental visit. When you explain the basics of what will happen during their visit, they’ll know what to expect when they arrive at the dentist’s office.

 

Stress Can Affect Your Child’s Oral Health

Not only will decreased stress make their appointment more enjoyable, but lower overall stress will help their oral health too!

Studies have shown that children who experience greater levels of stress than their peers tend to develop a greater number of dental cariesHigh levels of stress increase the amount of salivary cortisols and cavity-forming bacteria in the mouth, making it more difficult for them to ward off cavities.

Stress can come from any number of sources in a child’s life. It may be the result of a big move or it could be caused by pressures at school such as difficult classwork or trouble with friends. Whatever the source, if you notice your child seems stressed, there are plenty of ways to help such as:

  • Spend quality time with your child daily
  • Ensure they get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet
  • Talk with your child about what may be causing their stress
  • Schedule wellness visits with the doctor and follow-up visits to the dentist and let them know what they can expect at these visits

We Can Help Your Child Have An Enjoyable Visit

As your child continues to grow, we want to ensure they develop a happy, healthy smile. We strive to help them feel comfortable during their visit so they can develop good oral health habits for a lifetime. If you have any questions about how you can prepare your child for their next appointment, let us know! We’d love to help you prepare them for the most enjoyable visit possible.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family.

 

Top image by Flickr user Ashley Campbell used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The Benefits Of Brushing With An Electric Toothbrush

BRUSHING TWICE A DAY is important to keeping your smile healthy, but what can switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush do for your oral health routine?

Electric Toothbrushes Provide Many Benefits

While a manual toothbrush can get the job done if used properly, an electric toothbrush provides benefits that go beyond simply scrubbing your teeth.

They clean teeth more thoroughly. When we brush by hand, we average about 300 strokes per minute. Electric toothbrushes can average thousands or even tens of thousands of strokes per minute depending on what technology they employ.

They’re easier for those with dexterity issues. Certain conditions–such as arthritis, limited mobility, or involuntary tremors–can make brushing with a manual toothbrush difficult. The larger handles of electric toothbrushes can be easier to hold, while the powered toothbrush head does all the cleaning for you.

They help ensure you’re brushing properly. Many electric toothbrushes feature built-in timers and pressure sensors. These features help ensure you’re not too brushing too hard and that you brush for a full two minutes.

They clean hard to reach spots around braces. Some electric toothbrushes even have special attachments made specifically for cleaning around brackets and orthodontic appliances.

Check out the video below to see how to properly use an electric toothbrush.

We Love Brightening Our Patients Smiles!

Electric toothbrushes aren’t just fancy gadgets—they can provide a host of significant benefits for your oral health. If you have questions about how an electric toothbrush can improve your brushing routine, call and make an appointment today! We love helping our patients achieve happy, healthy smiles.

Thank you for being part of our practice family.

Top image by Flickr user William Warby used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.