Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Benefits of Drinking Through a Straw

It may seem a little weird to drink your coffee with a straw, but did you know that this little change can help alleviate some big dental health concerns?  CastleDental.com has gathered some great benefits of drinking through a straw:
• Stain protection:  Drinking through a straw can help prevent unsightly stains on your teeth from chugging dark-colored beverages like tea and coffee. Using a straw allows you to decrease direct contact with drinks that can stain your teeth.
• Hygiene: Avoid germs from restaurant cutlery or even your own coffee mug by using a straw. This will help limit your exposure to bacteria from other people and handling so that you can enjoy the beverage of your choice, with less germs.
• Reduced Exposure: Sipping through a straw means more control over the food or drink you’re taking in, allowing you to direct the substance away from your teeth. Instead of immersing your teeth in liquid, only a portion of your teeth is exposed to the liquid, which is good news for your smile. Less exposure equals less wear and tear on your enamel.
• Convenience: When you’re out and about, drinking from a straw is much easier than unscrewing a cap or tilting your head back to gulp from a glass.
• Safety: You are reducing your risk of choking by drinking through a straw. It also works as a safety precaution against burning your mouth or tongue on hot beverages because you are sipping a smaller amount.

Do you think you’ll make the switch to using a straw more frequently? Tell us in the comments section below!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do You Really Need to Use Mouthwash?

Of course, there are many benefits of using mouthwash. It can:

• Reduce plaque
• Help prevent tooth decay
• Treat bad breath
• Help fight gingivitis

But do you really NEED it?  Some sources say no.

However, if your teeth and mouth are already healthy, or if you have a condition that isn’t being helped by using mouthwash, you may not need it at all. If you suffer chronic bad breath, for example, and mouthwash isn’t helping, there could be an underlying reason for your condition.

People who brush and floss with good technique regularly may not need to use mouthwash at all.

Always check with your dentist prior to making any changes to your dental care plan.


Image via.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teeth Cleaning in a Pinch

Do your summer activities keep you too busy to brush your teeth between every meal?  Well you're in luck!  BrightNow.com has gathered the best remedies for dirty teeth for when you're in a real pinch!

The start of spring often means the start of camping, spring break road trips, and fun travels. But, then that dreaded moment happens when you open up your bags and realize you forgot your toothbrush!

Hopefully you’re nearby a local store to pick one up, but in case you need to clean your teeth in a pinch, there are a few alternatives to make sure your teeth stay as clean as possible in these situations. Here are a few tactics to consider:

•       Swish some water in your mouth for two minutes. Although this won’t necessarily “clean” your teeth, it can help to rinse away large chunks of food that could cause damage if left too long.
•       Saliva is designed to naturally clean your mouth, so think of things that will help produce additional amounts of saliva. For example, chewing on a piece of sugar free gum will help with this process. Added bonus is it can also help freshen your breath!
•       Avoid foods that are high in sugar. If you want a healthy mouth, you should focus on a healthy diet all the time as sugary treats can do some serious damage on your teeth. But, this is especially important when you don’t have access to a toothbrush for an extended period of time.
•       Look around you for other tools that can function as a temporary toothbrush. If you have a paper towel handy, take your finger and wrap the towel around it and move along your teeth in a circular motion, similar to as if you were brushing with a normal toothbrush.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is your actual toothbrush! So, always have an extra one on you for when you travel so you can keep your pearly whites sparkling at all times.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chewing Gum vs. Mints, Which is Better?

Are you a gum person or a mint person?  Have you noticed that usually people are one or the other but not both?

So, which one is better?  BrightNow.com breaks it down for us:

The answer completely depends on the situation.
Mints are great if you want an instant blast of fresh breath, but don’t want to have something in your mouth for the next half hour or more. They are also easy to pack around without worrying about temperature, (gum doesn’t hold up very well in a pocket or hot car) and most mint containers pack a lot more individual pieces than a pack of gum. This means you get more occasions of fresh breath for the price.
On the down side, mints usually dissolve quickly, so you’re likely to consume them at a faster rate than gum. Plus, the flavors are very limited compared to gum.
Gum has many of the same breath freshening qualities that mints do, and some gums even kill odor-causing bacteria. It’s also ideal for after meals, as chewing gum helps to remove food particles and bacteria from your teeth and stimulates saliva production, which can help with bad breath and dry mouth. Some gums even help whiten your teeth.
Gum has its drawbacks, too. Chewing gum can be distracting or even disrespectful in some situations (interviews, for example) and prolonged chewing can cause jaw fatigue.
So what do you think? Will you switch breath fresheners based on these pros and cons?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Worst Drinks for Your Teeth

Are you worried that the beverages you're drinking are harming your teeth?  Well, you could be right!  BrightNow.com breaks down the harmful effects of the worst drinks for your teeth:

Unless you only drink water, it is inevitable to keep your teeth completely safe from sugary, acidic and potentially stain-threatening beverages. Although, practicing good oral health care and being aware of what foods and drinks are most dangerous for your teeth will help protect your mouth from daily bacteria buildup and yellowing.

The following drinks and beverage categories are the notorious for being rough on teeth:

•    Coffee – This dark drink is a staple in many people’s daily diets, but can be a culprit when it comes to yellowing teeth. To decrease these effects, try drinking with a straw to avoid direct contact or follow each cup with continuous water consumption. If you feel that your teeth need a whitening boost, consult your dentist to determine if professional services or over the counter products are the right fit for you.
•    Tea – Similar to coffee, this beverage group also has potential staining power, especially black and other dark tea blends. Again, drinking through a straw and being mindful of the level of consumption will help keep teeth shiny and white.
•    Energy and Sports Drinks - This category is probably the worst in terms of sugar levels and acidity, all nightmare ingredients for your teeth. These soda-alternatives can be the most damaging because they attack tooth enamel, which cannot be fixed or replaced. When tooth enamel is worn down, the risk of decay becomes much more serious.
•    Sodas – Carbonated soft drinks also possess higher levels of sugar and acidity, which hurt tooth enamel and can lead to decay and cavities. Though sugar free options are better, the acidity is still a major player in dental issues.

Your teeth will not be ruined with any one of these drinks, but more the long-term exposure is what can lead to serious damage. Using a straw, drinking more water, brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly will help to protect your teeth from sugar buildup and decay. 

Image via.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Travel Must Haves

When you're packing for a trip, a few things probably top your packing list: phone & charger, passport, voltage converters, emergency cash, and a bottle of hand sanitizer.  But, what about keeping your teeth looking sparkly and healthy while you're on your dream vacation?  Here are a few must-haves for your packing list:

1. Toothpaste
2. Tooth brush
3. Dental Floss
4. Sugar Free Gum
5. Camera!!

Enjoy your summer travels!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Celebrities Who Have Had Dental Surgery

We all know our favorite celebrities didn’t always look that way. Before they were famous, most went through their own awkward phases and then transformed into the glamorous people we know today.

One of the most common types of changes celebrities make is to undergo cosmetic dental surgery. Did you know the following people have had their teeth fixed?

•    Tom Cruise
•    George Clooney
•    Catherine Zeta-Jones

Glamour has gathered some of the most extreme cases here!