In a nut shell, cavities are a bacterial disease elevated by sugar intake. There are hundreds of bacteria that can form in our mouths. These bacteria join together in groups we then call “plaque”. Interestingly there are less than 10 bacteria varieties that are responsible for causing cavities. With so few bad bacterial types its amazing how much disease can take place! These bad bacteria for many can proliferate at higher rates than the good bacteria that work to maintain a healthy balance in the mouth. Just having bad bacteria in your mouth does not cause a cavity. In order for a cavity to form you need two components: bad bacteria and sugar. Any time a simple carbohydrate, which will break down into sugar, enters your mouth the bacteria feed on the sugars and produce 20-40 minutes of acid production that attacks and demineralizes your enamel.
Does this mean that you can never have a treat again? No, although it is best to limit the treat food to mealtime and have a healthier between meals snack. Most important to remember is that each time you have a carbohydrate type snack or beverage with sugar or innocent hard candy, mint or sugar gum your acid clock restarts! For those of you that re frequent “snackers”, “sippers” and /or “candy, mint, gum poppers” your bacteria are at an all-day all you can eat buffet, keeping your acid clock running.
So, what should you do to stop the cavities from forming? A great start is excellent cleaning on a daily basis, suchas using a Sonicare toothbrush and flossing or any aid to clean between the teeth. While you may not be able to control the types of bacteria your mouth wants to make, you can certainly control the amount of bacteria that stays on our teeth. The more bacteria present as we consume sugars equates to a higher amount of acids attacking our enamel. Fluoride treatments are recommended for all ages and best to follow up at home with prescription strength toothpaste dispensed by your dentist. Remember to have regular visits to your dentist. It’s always easier to repair a small cavity that a large one!
To learn more about cavities or preventative dental care, please contact our Altamonte Springs office today at (407) 830-9800.
Winter is a festive time, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Cold temperatures, dry air, and holiday foods can lead to cavities. During the holidays, your schedule can become hectic with gift shopping, decorating, cooking, entertaining, traveling, and more. It’s important to stay on track with your dental care routine! Here are some great tips for taking care of your teeth this holiday season. * Keep up your regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once per day. * Try to avoid snacking throughout the day. When holiday parties pop up, it’s easy to nibble on appetizers and other finger foods. Try to eat either a meal or a snack at mealtimes. * Drink water rather than sugary drinks like soda to replenish fluids and keep your mouth clean. * If you drink alcoholic beverages, try to stick to one drink in one sitting. And make sure to rinse with water after drinking and before brushing before bed. * Be mindful of what you’re eating and chewing. Avoid biting into whole nuts and hard candies that could break teeth and cause damage. * Bring along chewable gum or a travel toothbrush to use after lunch or while on the go. * Schedule your next dental visit before you leave town so you can be sure to have time off needed to recover and heal from any dental work you had done beforehand. * If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances, make sure to wear your retainers as instructed. This will ensure that you don’t experience any shifting in your teeth or need repair when you get home. * Be gentle on your teeth and gums when you’re away from home – no opening packages with your teeth and no crunching on ice in your drinks! Everything is in moderation. * If you are traveling with children, make sure you bring along the right oral health care supplies so they can take care of their teeth as well. * Even if you don’t have a specific appointment scheduled, you should still call your dentist in Altamonte Springs, FL, if you experience any tooth pain or other concerns. That way, the dentist can examine your mouth and prescribe the appropriate treatment if necessary. To find out more about the dental services we offer at Distinctive Dental on Maitland, call (407) 830-9800 or schedule your consultation online. You can also visit us at 609 Maitland Ave STE 1, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701.
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells made of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of your teeth to improve your appearance. Generally, they are made of porcelain or resin composite materials. Veneers are used to treat a variety of dental conditions, including: * Discolored teeth * Slight gaps between teeth * Misshapen teeth * Damaged teeth due to trauma or grinding * Slightly crooked teeth * Teeth that are too small * Uneven space between teeth * Teeth that stick out too much * Teeth that look too long * Teeth that have worn edges * Teeth that are too flat Dental veneers can improve the appearance of a tooth. Veneers are a natural-looking covering for the front surface of a tooth that is stained, chipped, uneven, misshapen, unevenly spaced, oddly shaped, or crooked. They can also be used to whiten teeth that are naturally yellowed or discolored from staining. BENEFITS OF DENTAL VENEERS FOR TEETH Dental veneers are custom-made shells that fit over your teeth, correcting a wide range of cosmetic flaws. They can correct tooth discolorations, chips, cracks, gaps, and misalignments. Veneers are also used to cover stains from tetracycline or other drugs used in orthodontic treatments. Many patients choose porcelain veneers because they mimic the light-reflecting properties of their natural teeth. Porcelain is stain-resistant and durable, while composite resin can be matched to the color of your teeth. Both materials are designed to last for many years with proper care. The experts at our dental practice can help you determine which option is best for you! Veneers are a conservative treatment option since they don’t require the alteration of your tooth structure like bonding does. HOW IS A VENEER PLACED? A dental veneer is a thin shell of ceramic or porcelain that is bonded to the front side of a tooth to improve its appearance. Dental veneers are stain-resistant, and they look natural. Because they are applied only to the front of the teeth, they are usually a great option for people with healthy teeth and gums who want to make slight changes to their smile. Getting dental veneers usually requires just two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your cosmetic dentist will make a mold of your teeth and take an impression. That impression will be sent to a laboratory where your veneers are made and sent back to your dentist’s office. Once the veneers are available, you’ll return to the dentist’s office and have each veneer placed individually onto your tooth by your dentist. Are you ready to explore getting porcelain veneers? You can start the process with a simple phone call to your local dental practice!
Having missing teeth can affect the way you speak. Dentures can make it more challenging for you to speak clearly. However, there are a few steps you can take to communicate effectively with your dentures. Don’t be ashamed! Dentures aren’t something to be ashamed of, and there are lots of benefits to having them, including improved speech and confidence. If you’ve lost your natural teeth to gum disease or an injury, dentures may be the perfect option for you. However, it may take some time to adjust to them and learn how to speak properly with them in. Here are a few tips to help you adjust to life with dentures. Be Patient with Yourself Remember that it’s going to take some time to get used to speaking and eating with dentures. It’s normal for your tongue to feel funny while wearing them because you’re not used to it being there. Your brain needs time to figure out the new sensations in your mouth while talking and eating. Once your brain knows to expect the new sensation, it should feel more natural, but until then, it may not feel right. Work with a Speech Pathologist If you have a severe problem with your speech, you should work with a speech and language pathologist to learn how to speak with dentures. They’ll work with you on exercises to help you learn how to pronounce words correctly and gently train your tongue to move in a way that will allow you to talk without hurting yourself. Practice Speaking With Them Finally, you need to practice talking with your new dentures. Talk on the phone with a close friend, family member, or someone you trust. You can also record yourself saying words and phrases and listen to the recording. The more you say the word out loud, the easier it will be to say it when you’re out in public. Over time, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident with your dentures. At our dental office, we do everything we can to make sure our patients have a positive experience with their dental care. If you ever have any questions about your treatment or want to come in for a consultation to talk about your options, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your treatment options and help you have the smile you’ve always wanted!
Winter is a time when people try to have as much fun as possible. From holiday parties to snowy hikes, this time of year brings many opportunities for fun and adventure. However, there are also many threats to your oral health. ORAL HEALTH ISSUES DURING WINTER AND THEIR SOLUTIONS Is the weather cold, windy, or dry where you live? If so, you’re probably familiar with some of the common effects of winter on your oral health – such as sensitive teeth, chapped lips, and bad breath. Your dentist has seen it all before! Here are some pointers from your dentist to combat these issues. * Stay hydrated. Sure, it’s important to stay hydrated no matter the season, but in the winter, it’s especially important. That’s because the cold air dries out your mouth. What’s more, if you use supplemental heating in your home during the colder months, this causes the air to be even drier. That’s why you’ll want plenty of water on hand to sip throughout the day. * Protect your lips. Lips become extra susceptible to chapping during the winter months, so you’ll want to invest in a good lip balm. Look for one that contains sunscreen as well, as this will help prevent the sun from burning your lips once springtime arrives. * Keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once per day. This will keep your teeth clean and your gums pink and healthy. Stay on top of your daily habits, so your smile will stay healthy over the next month. * Schedule routine cleanings and exams. Just because the season changes doesn’t mean you should stop coming in to see us twice a year for regular cleaning and exam. In fact, you’ll be even more prone to developing oral health problems during the cooler months, so you’ll want to come in more frequently than you normally would. These appointments help us catch any problems before they have a chance to worsen and cause more pain for you. * Use a mouthwash: Your dentist may recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash this winter to help kill germs and bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque buildup, and other common winter mouth issues. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance before making a purchase. If you’re due for a checkup, don’t wait to schedule your next appointment. Call your dental office today to arrange an appointment at a time that’s convenient for your schedule.
At Distinctive Dentistry on Maitland, we receive questions from time to time, about alternative methods of oral health care. Recently, we have received a few questions asking if there are any oral benefits to this new craze of “oil pulling,” which is swishing with vegetable-based oil, such as coconut, sesame, or olive, in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. In order to answer your questions, our Altamonte Springs dental office did some extra research and will share what we have learned. What Does Oil Pulling Do? The first thing to note is this is not a new practice. Oil pulling has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, claiming better oral health and many other systemic healings. The idea is that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath by adhering to the lipid, or fatty membrane of the microorganisms inhabiting the mouth. These vegetable-based oils, known for their anti-microbial agents, then eliminate the unhealthy bacteria when the contents, after pulling, are discarded. What Studies Show About Oil Pulling The American Dental Association says that based on the fact that there are insufficient studies and lack of proof of effectiveness of this practice, they cannot recommend oil pulling.They specifically would not recommend this over other oral products that have gone through rigorous testing and have proven benefits. A 2011 Asian study, which was published in the “Asia Journal of Public Health,” compares seven different oils in a laboratory setting “pulling” the oil with bacteria that causes cavities (S. mutans), a common oral fungus (C. albicans) and healthy oral bacteria (L. casei), all commonly found in the mouth. The study did show that out of all the oils, only coconut oil showed some reduction in the unhealthy bacteria and fungus and while not harming the healthy bacteria. Should You Try It? While there is a possibility that there could be some benefit to oil pulling, 20 minutes is a long time to spend on this routine. As an Altamonte Springs dentist, we would recommend spending 5 minutes doing what is tried and true! Give good attention to detail while brushing and flossing, as well as using any and all other recommended oral tools. As far as oil pulling goes, we don’t think any harm will come from this practice if you wanted to give it a try.