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Could your Favorite Beverage be Ruining your Teeth?

dental careMost of us want to do all that we can to avoid dental problems like cavities. Parents assist their children by teaching them to brush and floss, and may also limit sugar intake in order to protect growing teeth. However, many are surprised to learn that sugar is not the only culprit to cause damage to teeth.

Acid and your Teeth

Acid is not something that we really think we would put into our mouth or onto our teeth; but many of us do this very thing on a regular basis. We do this by adding a soda to our mid-day or evening meal, or by reaching for a cup of coffee before attempting to speak to anyone in the morning. Don’t run away just yet! We are not suggesting that you give up your daily cup of Joe. We are doing our due diligence in providing the information you need to keep your teeth, and your children’s teeth, as healthy as possible.

In recent years, dentists have seen a surge in patients whose teeth are wearing down far before their time. This issue is referred to as erosion, and it is no different than the erosion that occurs in nature, when weather beats against hard rock formations, changing their structure over time. Dental erosion is a problem for patients of all ages, and it can be quite concerning when you consider the necessity for strong, functional teeth. When enamel is worn down, the risk of cavities increases. Also, as enamel thins, underlying dentin becomes more visible. Because this material is darker and more opaque, eroded teeth may appear yellow.

Danger is Lurking Where you may not Expect it

Most people understand that sugary foods and drinks can lead to cavities. With this in mind, many have switched to alternatives that seem healthier. What is important is to look at ingredients, and to look beyond sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The ingredients that cause erosion are acidic, and they may be found not only in soda but also in sugar-free carbonated beverages, in energy drinks and sports drinks, and even in processed juice.  According to research, some soda alternatives contain enough acid to damage teeth within just a few days of daily consumption.

We are here to help you identify what may damage your teeth, and how to keep them healthy! To learn more, call Wood Park Dental at (952) 431-5088.

 


The Importance of Getting Your Teeth Cleaned

general dentistry Going to the dentist for a lot of people can be the last thing they want to do. However, by getting on a schedule of visiting your dentist every six months, you can help to ensure that you not only are maintaining healthy teeth but healthy gums as well. Read on to learn more about the importance of getting your teeth cleaned.

Catch Things Early On

When it comes to things like gum disease, if caught early on you can actually reduce the side-effects and get your gums back to normal. During your bi-annual appointments, one of the dentist’s at Wood Park Dental will evaluate your gums and teeth in order to see if there are any problems that can be prevented. Additionally, by getting x-rays once a year, your dentist will also be able to see if there are any problems that can be prevented in regards to your jaw or bone health, including things like wisdom tooth detection.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Often times patients visit the dentist and find out that they have a mouth full of cavities. And although that news isn’t good news for anyone to hear, it’s better to catch the cavities earlier on than waiting and having to have your tooth removed later on.

Take Preventative Measures

During your dental exam, your dentist will also professionally clean your teeth by using a metal scraper and by polishing them with a fluoride treatment. By ridding your teeth of excess plaque and tartar build-up, you can reduce your likelihood of getting cavities. While polishing your teeth with a fluoride treatment will help to ensure that your enamel stays healthy and strong.

Going to the dentist twice a year doesn’t have to be something that you dread. In fact, going to the dentist twice a year should be something you enjoy. By understanding the importance of having your teeth properly examined and cleaned, you can help to ensure that you maintain your pearly whites in the best way possible. To learn more about dental care or to schedule an appointment with Wood Park Dental, contact our office today!

 

 


Getting Dental Implants? 5 Ways to Do Your Part

Dental ImplantsAre you planning on getting a dental implant any time soon? As one of the most effective ways to restore your ability to chew once again, dental implants are a great option for many patients. In order to ensure that your dental implants last a lifetime and that you get the best results possible, it’s important that you do your part during recovery and afterwards. Read on to learn more.

Rest

If you’re one of those people that’s always on the go and you can’t even remember the last time you took a nap, then this step will likely be hard for you to do. However, by getting an adequate amount of rest after your dental implant procedure, you can help to aid your body in healing and recovering faster.

Ice

Another great way to do your part after you get dental implants is to ice your jaw or face by using either a soft bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack. By icing your mouth you can help to reduce any inflammation that you might be experiencing and help to numb any nerves that may be aggravated.

Antibiotics

More than likely you will be prescribed an antibiotic to take after your dental implant procedure. Your antibiotic will be prescribed in order to prevent against you getting any sort of infection associated with your dental implant procedure. It’s important to take your antibiotic exactly as instructed for the exact amount of time suggested by your doctor, even if you aren’t having any symptoms of an infection, as stopping your antibiotic may result in an infection coming back.

Maintain Your Dental Hygiene

Both directly after your procedure and moving forward, it’s important that you do your best to maintain your dental hygiene. Simply get into the routine of brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily or after every meal. Additionally, make sure that you schedule bi-annual appointments with Wood Park Dental.

Getting dental implants is a great way to restore your smile and oral health back to normal. If you are interested in getting dental implants or if you would like to learn more, contact Wood Park Dental today!


Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water: What’s Better for Your Teeth

dental careWith incidents surfacing the news surrounding the dirty water in Flint Michigan it can be hard for many people to even fathom stomaching their own tap water. And although bottled water provides individuals with hydration and natural vitamins and minerals, it is missing one thing: fluoride. From bottled water to tap water, read on to learn more about what type of water is better for your teeth.

Tap Water

Most of the country’s water sources are injected with fluoride. As a substance that is proven to help strengthen your teeth’s enamel and help protect them against things like bacteria and cavities, fluoride is every oral hygienists lifesaver. And because fluoride is found in most city’s tap water, all you have to do to protect your teeth is to drink the water and brush with the water as well— leaving no need for you to have to supplement in another way. And the best part about having fluoride in your tap water is that you will not be able to taste a difference— in fact, you’ve probably been drinking fluoride filled water for longer than you may be aware of.

Bottled Water

Bottled water gives many individuals the reassurance that the water they are drinking is filtered and clean. However, because bottled water doesn’t contain any sort of fluoride it really isn’t doing anything to protect your teeth from any decay or damage. If you do decide to drink bottled water or if your kids only drink bottled water, speak with Wood Park Dental about supplementing your kids fluoride with either a fluoride treatment, fluoride pills, or a high concentration of fluoride toothpaste.

When it comes down to choosing what type of water is better for your teeth, tap water typically wins because of its fluoride content. However, if you want to drink bottled water and supplement your fluoride in another way, then you can reap the same benefits. To learn more about fluoride treatment or to schedule a dental cleaning, contact Wood Park Dental today!

 


How to Amp Up Your Saliva Production

Did you know that your mouth’s natural defense against cavities is saliva? You might have thought that saliva was just there to keep you feeling comfortable throughout the day, however, saliva works to rid your teeth of tartar and bacteria after you eat and drink. In addition to brushing and flossing twice daily, saliva can help keep your mouth on the clear path towards being cavity free. Interested in speeding up your body’s natural production of saliva? Read on to learn more.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum is one of the best ways to speed up your saliva production. Every time you bite down on the gum, it stimulates the production of saliva within your mouth. And because it is sugar free, you won’t have to worry about it causing you cavities in the long run. Additionally, chewing gum also works to pick up small traces of food that may have been left on your teeth after eating a meal.

Drink Lots of Water

dental careYou’ve heard it before: drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day is great for every part of your body. But did you know that drinking water is actually good for your oral health as well. Without water, your body wouldn’t be able to produce that saliva that protects your teeth from harmful tartar and bacteria. Therefore, by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you aren’t just doing your body good, but you’re helping aid your mouth as well.

As a tip, try carrying around a reuseable water bottle with you wherever you go. By simply having water accessible to you at all times, it will encourage you to drink more throughout the day.

Avoid Alcohol

Although you might enjoy a nice glass of wine or beer after a long day at the office, alcohol actually dries your mouth out and helps prohibit the production of saliva. If you are looking to improve the amount of saliva your mouth naturally produces, try to lay off of the alcohol for a week or two.

By following these three tips, you can help your body naturally produce more saliva. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Wood Park Dental today!

 

 


Three Ways to Deal With a Chipped or Missing Tooth

Whether you participate in a contact sport like boxing or football, or you were recently in some sort of accident that caused severe damage to your teeth, it can be scary to look into the mirror only to see one— or a few— of your teeth chipped or simply no longer present. From dental implants to veneers, this article will discuss three ways to deal with a chipped or missing tooth.

Dental Implants
general dentistryIf the damage to your tooth is so bad that you have to have it removed completely, then a dental implant will be the best solution available. Dental implants are designed to work and feel like a regular tooth— giving you the ability to speak and chew like normal. As a process that takes a few months long, however, the dental implant procedure is fairly lengthy and requires the following.

  1. Healing from the removal of your natural tooth
  2. The implanting of a dental rod into your gums followed by a few months of healing time
  3. . The placement of a dental crown over your dental rod— this is what will act as your natural tooth.

Dental Crowns
If the top of your tooth, specifically your molar, has been damaged or chipped off, then a dental crown is likely a great option for you. By simply placing a cap (the crown) over your existing tooth, an expert at Wood Park Dental will ensure that you get your chewing functionality back to square one.

Dental Veneers
Primarily used for your front teeth, dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that are placed directly on top of your existing tooth. If, for example, one of your front teeth was suddenly cracked or chipped after an accident, a dental veneer could be glued over your existing tooth, giving you back your original smile.

One of the best parts about dental veneers is that they come in any shape, size, or color so that you can rest assured they will match your existing teeth.

As you can see, there are several options to deal with chipped or missing tooth. I fyou have recently been in an accident and would like to have your teeth looked at, contact Wood Park Dental today!


How to Properly Care for Your Dentures

If you recently got a new pair of dentures or if you are entirely new to the world of denture wearing, then it’s important to know how to properly care for your dentures. From soaking them in the right solution to avoiding hard-to-chew foods, this article will list a few of the basic ways that you can ensure your dentures last for as long as possible.

  1. Soak Them Overnight
    denturesSoaking your dentures in a proper dentures solution overnight will help to break down any sort of plaque, tartar, or bacteria that may have accumulated on your dentures throughout the day. Simply take out your dentures and place them in a clean cup or bowl. Then pour enough solution over your dentures for them to be covered. Dump out the solution in the morning and replenish your solution every night.
  2. Brush
    It might sound counterintuitive to some individuals, but in addition to soaking your dentures it’s important to brush them as well. Brushing your dentures with a toothbrush and toothpaste will help to get off any food or bacteria that may not come off when they’re soaking in a solution. Remember that the cleaner your dentures are, the longer they will last.
  3. Avoid Certain Foods
    Although you shouldn’t really have to limit what food you eat with dentures, hard-to-chew foods like steak, apples, and chewy candy can certainly wreak havoc on your dentures and make it feel impossible to chew. If you do enjoy eating steak and apples, just make sure that you cut them into small pieces that require minimal chewing and that are easy to digest. However, if you enjoy chewy candy like taffy, you may want to look for a new favorite snack because taffy can cause your dentures to come out.

Just as you change the oil in your car and fill up the gas tank when it’s on empty, it’s important to care for your dentures and ensure that they are in the best condition possible. By following the above three tips, you can help to protect your gums, dentures, and overall oral health. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Wood Park Dental today.


3 After School Snacks That Are Actually Good For Your Kids Teeth

Getting your kids to shower every day is enough work to cause you an anxiety attack, but getting your kids to brush both morning and night can sometimes be even more overwhelming. If your kids are prone to getting cavities and it seems like they can’t catch a break at every dental check-up, it’s important to ensure that you are doing everything you can for your kids smile. Did you know that eating certain foods can actually aid in protecting your teeth from cavities and oral issues? Read on to learn more.

  1. Carrots
    Bugs Bunny isn’t the only one who enjoys snacking on carrots. In fact, if you can get your kids to eat some carrots as an afternoon snack, their eye health won’t be the only thing thanking them. In fact, carrots are just as good for your teeth as they are for your eyes. By biting into a carrot, the hard abrasion acts as a natural toothbrush of some sorts— helping to scrub away plaque and bacteria that can cause cavities.
  2. Strawberries
    dental tipsStrawberries aren’t just good tasting, but they are actually good for your oral health as well. Containing malic acid, strawberries work to rid your teeth of harmful bacteria and plaque. Additionally, malic acid also helps to naturally whiten your teeth— giving you pearly whites that are worth showing off to all of your friends and family.
  3. Apples
    An apple a day make keep the doctor away but did you know that an apple a day can keep cavities away as well? Their mildly acidic nature, makes apple’s great at fighting off bacteria, plaque, and germs that may have built up on your kid’s teeth throughout the day. Additionally, the natural form of biting into an apple similarly acts in the same way as brushing your teeth.

By adding the above foods to your kids after school snack list, you can help to not only ensure that their body stays healthy but their mouth does as well. To learn more about dental hygiene or to schedule an appointment, contact Wood Park Dental today!


3 Basic Tips to Help With Your Infant’s Smile

If you have an infant or toddler, it might seem like a ridiculous idea to start thinking about their oral health now. However, by understanding some of the ramifications of your child’s habits at a young age, you can help to instill better habits in them that will prevent against these potential problems further down the line.

1. Watch Out for Pacifiers
pediatric dentistryPacifiers are a great tool to help ease your child’s anxiety and calm them down before bedtime. However, if your little one starts to sprout teeth and you still can’t get your child to wean off their pacifier, it might be time to take measures into your own hand. By constantly sucking on a pacifier, children can often times develop dental issues like a big gap in between their teeth which will require things like braces later on in life. If you can’t get your little one to give up their pacifier, don’t freak out— simply try to wean them off of it during the day and then eventually at night.

2. Get Rid of Sugar Drinks Before Bed
Once your child starts to sprout those teeth— even if it’s just one or two— you should start to be mindful of the types of drinks you are giving them. Drinks like fruit juice and even milk contain high traces of sugar that can cause cavities and tooth decay. Rather than putting your little one to bed with a bottle of juice or milk, try to give them some cold water instead. If you give your child a bottle or sippy cup filled with juice or milk during the day, make sure to brush or wipe down their teeth with a washcloth afterwards.

3. Take Them to the Dentist
It might sound ridiculous to bring a one year old or even a two year old to the dentist, but as soon as your little one starts getting their teeth in, you should take them to the dentist. The dentist will be able to inspect your child’s gums and teeth to ensure that everything is on the right track. Plus, by introducing your child to the dentist at such a young age, you can help to cut back on dental anxiety later down the road.

By following these three basic tips, you can help your infant have a happier and healthier smile for years to come. If you are concerned about pediatric dentistry or would like to make an appointment, contact our office today and we will be glad to assist you.


The Importance of a Good Toothbrush

As one of the cheapest and most effective aspects of good oral health, having a good toothbrush is of utmost importance. If you start to notice that your toothbrush is losing its shape or if you’ve had it for longer than 3 months, then it is definitely time to get a replacement. What exactly is are the benefits of having a good toothbrush? Read on to learn more.

  1. dental careClean from Every Angle
    The more intact your toothbrush bristles are, the easier it will be for you to clean your teeth from every angle. Because toothbrushes are designed with a 360 degree approach in mind, it’s important to ensure that all of your bristles can reach every part of your teeth.
  2. Give the Right Amount of Pressure
    When brushing your teeth, it’s important that your toothbrush is applied to your teeth with enough pressure to get rid of plaque and tartar, but not enough pressure that it will cause your gums to bleed or become sore. If your toothbrushes bristles aren’t in good shape, then you likely aren’t applying the right amount of pressure to your teeth in order to keep them clean.
  3. Prevent Germs
    Let’s face it, the longer you own something and use it every day, the more likely it will be exposed to germs and bacteria. Because you use your toothbrush at least twice a day, you are exposing your mouth to airborne germs and spreading germs that were already in your mouth around even more. However, by swapping your toothbrush out every two to three months, you can help to protect your mouth from unwanted germs and bacteria.

It’s just as important to have a good toothbrush as it is to brush your teeth twice a day. By understanding the importance of having a good toothbrush, you can ensure that your teeth get the care and attention they deserve.

To learn more about dental care or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today!

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