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Got Yogurt? Your gums may thank you!

January 28th, 2013


It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s… yogurt! It appears that plain, simple yogurt may be the newest superhero in our ongoing battle against gum disease. Researchers at Kyushu University in Japan studied nearly a thousand subjects between the ages of 40 and 79, and found that those with higher intakes of lactic acid foods like yogurt exhibited significantly fewer signs of periodontal (gum) disease. The study concluded that regularly eating yogurt may help keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Gum disease is an infection that occurs in the gums, deep tissues and bones that support your teeth. Without treatment, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Many studies cite gum disease as the primary cause of tooth loss in adults age 35 and over.
The best way to fend off gum disease is to follow the same measures you take to avoid cavities:
• Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
• Floss every day between each tooth and behind your molars
• Have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular schedule
• Avoid smoking and tobacco use
• Maintain a healthy diet (and perhaps add some yogurt!)

It’s very important to be aware of the symptoms of gum disease, since it can often occur without pain or discomfort to signal its presence. Keep a lookout for:
• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position
• Any change in the way partial dentures fit
If you suspect you may suffer from gum disease, make an appointment immediately. We can diagnose the problem and advise you about treatment.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Orthodontic Patients!

January 21st, 2013


Brushing and flossing after every meal and snack is the only way to prevent plaque build up, tooth decay, and gum disease. Especially during treatment your teeth will need extra care. Our goal is for you to have a beautiful healthy smile, with straight white teeth and in order for this to occur good hygiene is very important. Food and particles can be trapped by brackets, wires, bands and appliances, and this can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Using a waterpik is an additional way to clean teeth and gums. Here are a few tips to help with keeping your teeth clean and healthy:

1. Brush after every meal and snack
2. Floss daily to remove trapped food and particles
3. Rinse with a mouth wash to kill any bacteria
4. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled tooth brush
5. Clean teeth with a proxabrush
6. Maintain regular check-ups with your general dentist

Healthy After School Snack Ideas for Patients with Braces

January 14th, 2013

Fruit:

Make it easy to grab and go, cut, chop or slice fresh fruit to prevent loosening any of the braces. Store them in the refrigerator in easily accessible containers; store grapes in a large, open bowl in the fridge; or store in a bowl on the counter.

Baked Tortilla Chips and Salsa:

Consider serving low-fat refried or whole beans in addition to salsa. If you have time, make nachos by adding extras like melted reduced-fat cheese, diced tomatoes, green peppers, onion, low-fat sour cream, and guacamole.

Unsweetened Whole Grain Cereal and Low-Fat Milk:

Top with fresh fruit like blueberries, sliced bananas, or strawberries. Add dried fruit like cranberries.

Reduced-Fat or Light String Cheese:

This is a good source of protein and calcium, and a great accompaniment to any snack. Try serving with fruit, vegetables or whole grain crackers.

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie:

You have many options, so be creative! Use low-fat vanilla or fruit flavored yogurt or frozen yogurt as the base. Blend in fresh or unsweetened frozen fruit. Throw in ice cubes, if needed, to reach the desired consistency. Remember not to chew on the ice cubes!! If this is too tempting, avoid adding them! You can add a splash of low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice, depending upon the desired flavor and consistency.

ENJOY YOUR AFTER SCHOOL SNACKS AND LET’S BE HEALTHY!!!

Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

January 7th, 2013

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

Difficulties with Speech
Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

Bone Erosion
Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

Digestion
Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.