Though sports drinks and energy drinks may provide refreshment after a workout or keep you awake to study, they can also do serious damage to your teeth. People often think of these drinks as healthy alternatives to soda, but that’s not the case. In fact, research shows that these beverages are up to 10 times worse for your oral health than cola.
The issue with sports and energy beverages comes from the high acidity. Manufacturers add acid to these drinks to balance the sugar. Even more than soft drinks, the acid in sports and energy beverages can erode tooth enamel, which increases the odds of cavities. Once teeth are weakened by decay, you become more susceptible to future problems down the road.
Another reason sports and energy drinks are problematic is the way people consume them. Because most individuals sip on them throughout the day, teeth are continuously exposed to the acid in the beverages. To minimize the risks to your oral health, consider these tips:
- Use a straw when you consume these beverages because it restricts the amount of liquid that gets on your teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and rinses the acid from your teeth.
- Brush your teeth right after drinking sugary beverages to remove any residue and keep teeth healthy.
- Make H2O your first choice. Consuming lots of water and limiting intake of sodas, sports beverages, or energy drinks will help you stay hydrated and promote good oral health.
Family and general dentist in Meriden
Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.
Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.
Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.
Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.
Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.
We treat patients from Meriden and the surrounding area
Brush and brush and brush, but you probably will not be able to get rid of all the plaque on your teeth. Even with regular brushing, some amount of plaque will build up on your teeth and turn into a hard substance called tartar. It simply can’t be removed without professional help.
What is tartar?
Tartar is a hard, yellow or brown deposit that forms on your teeth both above and below your gum line. Any food particles remaining in your mouth after eating will breed bacteria, which creates a thin film on your teeth called plaque. Any plaque that isn’t removed with brushing and flossing will harden to create tartar.
Is it harmful?
Tartar makes the surface of your teeth rough, which attracts food particles and therefore accelerates tartar formation. If you allow tartar to continue building up, your teeth will become discolored and your gums will be at risk. You will likely develop gingivitis, in which your gums become swollen and red. They will bleed easily and become painful, and eventually can lead to tooth loss. Advanced gum disease is even linked to higher risks of stroke, heart attack, and lung disease.
How is it removed?
Tartar is too hard and stubborn to be removed with regular brushing. The only effective way to eliminate tartar is by visiting your dentist and having it removed using professional equipment. This procedure is commonly called scaling.
Can I prevent tartar buildup?
Regular brushing at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tartar formation. Unfortunately, even with proper dental hygiene, plaque buildup is inevitable over time and will become tartar. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist to have professional cleanings performed.
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A toothache can ruin your life, at least until you have treatment that relieves the pain. Headaches, mouth pain, or inability to chew can all accompany a tooth problem. It is not unusual for tooth pain to be linked to tooth decay, and when it becomes advanced you just can’t ignore it. This is when root canal therapy is valuable.
What is the procedure?:
Root canal treatment focuses on the pulp cavity, which is the inside of the tooth. When the pulp is infected or inflamed, it needs to be completely removed from the tooth in order for it to heal. It doesn’t matter if the damage to the pulp results from severe decay, tooth fracture, faulty crown, repeated dental procedures, or trauma. Even if the damage isn’t visible or causing unbearable pain, the bottom line is that the interior of the tooth must be cleaned out, disinfected and sealed to prevent future infection. A crown is typically placed on top of the tooth to protect it and complete the procedure.
Why is it necessary?:
If left untreated, an infected pulp can lead to intense pain or spread to other parts of the body. Root canal treatment is the best way to save the tooth and restore its function. Other benefits of the procedure are maintaining the tooth’s natural look, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, restoring normal chewing ability, and allowing normal sensation and biting force.
How long does it take?:
The procedure is more routine than you might think. An experienced dental professional can complete the process is one or two appointments, depending on your specific case. Once the procedure is complete, your repaired tooth should last as long as the rest of your teeth.
Our dental office is located in Meriden
Straighter teeth are possible through traditional metal braces or Invisalign clear aligners, but how do you know which are right for you? These two types of orthodontics work differently to improve smiles. Invisalign uses invisible removable plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth, while metal braces require brackets bonded to the teeth and arch wires to apply pressure to move the teeth.
If you are deciding between these two types of treatment, ask yourself some questions to help you choose:
- How severe is your case? Moderate conditions like overcrowding, gaps, and overbite or underbite issues can be treated with either option. However, more severe cases like malocclusions, jaw problems, crossbites, or seriously crooked teeth may require metal braces for more effective results.
- Do you care if others see your braces? Metal braces are very noticeable and bulky, while Invisalign is virtually invisible in your smile. Adults and self-conscious teens may prefer the concept of hidden orthodontic treatment.
- Will you be diligent in wearing aligners? They should be worn at least 22 hours each day for best results, so neglecting to wear them consistently can negatively impact your smile or require longer treatment time.
- Are you concerned about keeping your teeth clean? Metal braces can be difficult to clean because food becomes caught in the wires and brushing may not easily reach all areas. Since Invisalign trays are removable, brushing and flossing are performed normally throughout the process.
- Are you worried about teeth stains? Since it’s easier to keep teeth clean with Invisalign, you avoid the risks of stains from food and plaque buildup around metal braces that may stain your teeth.
- How often do you want to visit the orthodontist? Metal braces require office visits at least every 4 weeks for tightenings. Invisalign trays are changed every 2 weeks, but many orthodontists provide a series of trays to take home so that an office visit isn’t required each time. It’s possible that you may not visit the orthodontist as often with Invisalign.
The ideal choice for your orthodontic treatment can be decided by consulting with your orthodontist. Find out which option will best transform your smile.
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An implant overdenture combines the use of traditional dentures and implant technology to create a denture that fits over your remaining natural tooth roots or dental implants. These root or implant supported dentures are held in place by dental attachments which provide excellent stability and support for your dentures. Overdentures were developed to help patients missing some or all of their teeth regain a quality of life that may have been lacking since they lost their teeth.
There are several benefits to implant overdentures when compared to traditional dentures:
- Saving your natural roots or having implants placed slows bone loss by stimulating the bone in your jaw when you eat or chew.
- Because overdentures are better fitting by design, they are more stable and allow you to chew food more thoroughly. This promotes better digestion and allows you to absorb more nutrients.
- The increased stability provided by overdentures also means you are able to speak more clearly, as there is no slipping or clicking of your dentures.
- Loose dentures are not a worry with overdentures. Sticky adhesives and messy denture creams are unnecessary when you have implant overdentures.
- With overdentures, the natural shrinkage that occurs from an under-stimulated jaw does not occur. This keeps your face from looking sunken, as can often happen with traditional dentures.
To find out if you are a candidate for implant overdentures, schedule an evaluation by your dental professional. Overdentures could be the best, most natural treatment for restoring your oral health and beautiful smile.
Our dental office is located in Meriden