Sunrise Family Dentistry

Category Archives: Hygiene

Energy And Sports Drinks Eat Away At Teeth

Sports Drink Set Isolated

Keeping your teeth healthy is not always has easy as brushing and flossing. While most of us know that drinking sugary energy and sports drinks will cause tooth decay, there is another pitfall we must avoid. Recent studies have shown that the acid in these drinks pose a serious threat to dental health.

Most energy drinks are loaded with citric acid. This substance increases shelf life and makes energy drinks more flavorful. Citric acid also removes the enamel from our teeth. Energy drinks are often consumed by teenagers and dentists worry they will suffer damaging effects to their teeth over the long term. In addition, the amount of citric acid in each drink does not have to be on the product label.

Once enamel is worn away, there is no way to replace it. When enamel is no longer there, teeth are more likely to develop cavities. The result could be long term dental problems requiring extensive treatment.

If you or your family drink energy and sports drinks, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the damage. Limiting the amount of these drinks is the first step to reducing damage. If you do drink them, always use a straw so the acid does not come into contact with teeth. Finally, brush your teeth as soon as possible to remove acid. If you cannot brush, at least rinse your mouth with water to remove as much acid as possible.

Knowledge is key to keeping your mouth healthy. Taking the time to take care of your teeth may save you from extensive dental work as you age.

Watch What You Eat After Teeth-Whitening


Following your dentist's after care instructions is crucial to seeing maximum results. If you're whitening on your own at home, there's an easy rule of thumb to remember: if it will stain your clothes, it will stain your teeth. Who'd want that after going through the process of whitening? There are a plethora of foods that are best to be avoided right after undergoing a teeth whitening and for up to several days after. These include red and/or dark sauces, beets, soy sauce, dark berries, cola, and overly-acidic foods (like those that are pickled), which can wear down the already sensitive enamel. Freshly whitened teeth are also not immune to certain beverages, such as coffee, dark teas, cola drinks, and red wine, which are known to stain. Continue reading

Mercury Mouth: Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?


There is no substitute for consistent, preventive dental care. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing are essential to oral health. Limiting sugar in the diet also helps to protect tooth enamel and pulp. Of course, semi-annual dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to a healthy mouth. All that said, even the most zealous of self-care practitioners can suffer from tooth decay and develop caries. This may relate to excessive mouth breathing or simply genetic predisposition. If cavities develop, they require filling with a substance that is non-toxic, strong and durable; a substance that will seal the affected tooth and prevent infections.

The amalgam fillings that are widely used by dentists were first conceived in the early 19th century and employed primarily in England and France. Comprised of mercury, silver, copper and tin, this emulsion found its way to the United States in 1830; many patients reported harmful effects due to mercury exposure. Dental societies shunned amalgams and went so far as to designating their use as a form of malpractice. As the years passed, the proportions of the constituent components of amalgams were tweaked but mercury remained because of its ability to render the other metals more malleable. Over time, use of amalgams increased and professional objections diminished significantly. Continue reading

Dental Plaque Linked to Cancer Risk


New research has uncovered the fact that those who have poor oral hygiene are at an increased risk of cancer and premature death. The study used healthy adults to prove the importance of oral health. The conclusion was, those who have a buildup of plaque on their teeth, have a 79 percent greater risk of premature death. The study took place at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and the results were eye-opening to the dental community. Dental cleanings remove plaque, tarter, and other toxins from the mouth. Those who avoid these cleanings may be at risk.

The Dangerous Build U of Bio-Film

Plaque builds up on the teeth and creates a bio-film. This bio-film is a mixture of toxins and enzymes that solidify on the tooth's surface. These toxins get down into the gingival crevices and then enter the bloodstream. Toxins in the blood increase the risk of infections and cancer. The study began in 1985. The university selected adults between the ages of 30-40 for their research. There were 1,390 participants. These adults were healthy and had no signs of periodontitis. These individuals were followed as their oral health progressed until 2009. At various intervals, their dental plaque measurements were taken and notated.

The Study Shows Males Are At A Greater Risk

Shockingly, the 24-year study ended with 58 patients dying. Of the 58 deaths, 35 were due to malignancies. The remaining individuals did a final follow up to record their plaque levels. It was discovered that their dental plaque index was significantly less in those that remained than those who had passed. In this study, the male gender seemed to be at a greater risk. In fact, the male to female ratio was more than double. Males who have a greater plaque buildup are at a great risk.  Continue reading

Should you choose a Manual or an Electric Toothbrush?


The value of good oral hygiene cannot be overestimated. This is not just for your oral health, but your overall well-being too. Many people are always torn between purchasing a manual toothbrush and an electric one. Well, the key to preventing tooth decay lies on how the toothbrush bought is used. In the past years, the ordinary toothbrush has been the most embraced globally. In recent years, however, the powered toothbrush has proved to be a major contender.

Plaque Removal Competence
Toothbrushes are designed to get rid of plaque and stimulate the gums to avert gum disease and tooth decay. When electric toothbrushes came into the market, there was little notable difference between them and the manual toothbrushes. With technological advancement,they now have the capacity to remove more plaque than the ordinary toothbrushes. However, even manual toothbrushes have the ability to get rid of the biofilm of bacteria as long as you have the right brushing techniques. That means brushing the surface of the teeth at an angle of 45 degrees for at least two minutes twice every day. Unfortunately, some people brush their teeth vigorously and end up causing abrasion and recession of the gum. In such a case, you are better off using an electric toothbrush.  Continue reading

Nighttime Oral Care Advice


After a long day at work and home, it may be tempting to skip your nighttime oral hygiene routine. Unfortunately, doing so can have negative effects on your smile and your overall health.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the body makes less saliva at night. Because of this, the bacteria in the mouth doesn't get washed away as often, giving it a chance to thrive. This bacteria is responsible for plaque, dental decay and gum disease. A good nighttime oral hygiene routine will give the bacteria less to feed on, keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Try these simple tips tonight to wake up with a bright smile tomorrow.

Brush, Rinse and Floss

Using the correct-sized toothbrush for your mouth, brush your teeth before going to bed each night. Brushing allows particles of food and plaque to be removed from the mouth. Tilt the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle in order to gently clean your gums as you brush, which helps to prevent gingivitis. Remember that a firm toothbrush isn't necessarily better, as it can remove the protective enamel from the teeth. After brushing the front and back of the teeth for two minutes, vigorously rinse your mouth. Afterward, floss in-between each tooth in order to remove any remaining food and to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Continue reading

Are You Brushing Your Teeth The Wrong Way?


Brushing and flossing are two of the most important parts of your ongoing oral care. Unfortunately, you may be doing one of these things all wrong. Given that brushing is such a standard part of a person's daily routine, most people simply go through the motions without ever giving their actions much thought. Following are several mistakes that you could be making each time you brush your teeth.

Using A Toothbrush That's Too Large

You shouldn't have to strain to open your mouth wide enough to let your toothbrush in. Your toothbrush should have a nice, comfortable fit and it should be slim enough to angle in towards your back teeth. If your toothbrush is too large, you're probably missing multiple tooth surfaces each and every day. This can allow build-ups of tartar, plaque and harmful bacteria to weaken and erode the teeth.

Using Bristles That Are Too Hard

There's no need to scrub your tooth surfaces with a harsh, hard-bristled brush in order to remove trapped food and other debris. In fact, this technique can make the gums sore and inflamed, which will make you less likely to do a thorough job. Surprisingly, brushing your teeth temporarily softens the enamel, especially if you brush right after an acidic meal. This means that you should always use a slow, gentle and circular motion while brushing with a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush. Continue reading

The Four Types of Teeth and How They Function


The Dental Health Foundation states that there are twenty primary teeth that a child will have by around the age of two. By adulthood an individual will normally have 32 teeth. The following are the four types of teeth each individual has and how they function.

1. Incisors

These are the eight teeth in the very front of the mouth. There are four incisors across the top and four across the bottom. These teeth are for taking the first bites of food. These are also the first teeth that a baby will usually get. Incisors will usually start to come in around 6 months. The second set of incisors are permanent teeth and normally come in when a child is between 6 and 8 years old.

2. Canines

There are four of these types of teeth. Two are on top, on each side of the four incisors. The other two are in the same place on the bottom. These are sharp, pointy teeth that are used for ripping and shredding food apart. The first canines will come in when a child is between 1 and 2 years of age. The upper pair usually come in first. The permanent canines will start coming in around age 9. All four should be in by age 12. Continue reading

Foods That Help Mask Bad Breath


Although the best solution to bad breath, also known as halitosis, is to keep your mouth clean by practicing routine oral hygiene, which involves brushing your teeth and tongue regularly, eating certain foods may help mask oral odor on a short-term basis. Green tea, yogurt, parsley, lemon juice and certain fruits are a few foods that can be used for this purpose as noted by Everyday Health. Carrots, celery and cucumbers are also helpful.

Green tea works by preventing the occurrence of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. This food is rich in catechin, which is an ant-oxidizing substance that renders the mouth inconducive for bacterial existence. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria. If eaten, yogurt fills your mouth with the bacteria, which are capable of overwhelming the influence of odor-causing bacteria, leading to good breath. Parsley has chlorophyll, which contains anti-bacterial properties. One way to use this herb is to chew its leaves. Extracting parsley juice from the leaves using a juicer and drinking the juice is another way of using this herb. Continue reading

To Mouthwash or Not to Mouthwash?


Many people use mouthwash as part of their regular dental hygiene care. Others avoid using mouthwash, feeling it is unnecessary or too harsh for the mouth tissues. Mouthwash can be an effective dental aid when used appropriately.

Ask your dentist.

Although it seems logical that most dentists would recommend the use of mouthwash to their patients, there may be some dental practitioners who advise against using it. One reason is because mouthwash may be unnecessary for children, for example, who are just learning to brush and floss, and may misuse mouthwash. Another reason to avoid mouthwash is for patients who have special mouth conditions that mouthwash could irritate. A dentist will let you know if you can safely use mouthwash as part of your dental hygiene program.  Continue reading