Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas: a miserable time for teeth

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, constant eating of sugary foods over Christmas can make the holiday period a miserable time for teeth. (DTI/Photo courtesy of ER_09/shutterstock)
Dec 23, 2011 | News Europe

Christmas: a miserable time for teeth

by Dental Tribune Interational
RUGBY, UK: Constant snacking, drinking and eating sugary foods and liquids over Christmas can make the holiday period a miserable time for teeth, the British Dental Health Foundation warns. The consumption of tempting treats means that teeth are likely to be under a constant risk of attack from tooth decay and tooth erosion over the festive period.
The Foundation stated that sugar-filled mince pies, chocolate selection boxes, fizzy drinks and acidic alcoholic drinks like red wine that make up a traditional festive diet are all likely to pose a hazard to teeth during the holidays. 

“It is important to be extra vigilant with your oral health over the Christmas period,” said Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter. “Your teeth are under attack for up to one hour after eating or drinking, and if you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don't really get the chance to recover.”

According to Carter, brushing teeth just before going to bed will ensure that you have removed acid-forming plaque before sleep – as your saliva flow slows down overnight – while brushing first thing in the morning is a simple way to limit damage caused to your teeth. 

To ensure you fully enjoy this time of year without having to compromise on what you eat and drink, the Foundation recommends that everyone bear in mind it is not how much sugary food and drink one has, but rather how often one has these that causes a perilous situation for oral health.

The Foundation reports that traditional foods like cranberries – the perfect accompaniment to one’s turkey – are scientifically proven to benefit overall health, and scientists have also shown they may have the capacity to help prevent both gum disease and tooth decay. However, moderation is important, as cranberries are acidic and it is a good idea not to have them too often throughout the day to avoid erosion of teeth enamel.

Other things, like passing a tin of sweets around throughout the day, selection boxes and even Bucks Fizz, have the potential to damage teeth if consumed too often. For this reason, it is best to try and restrict such food and drink to mealtimes. Mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding are all laden with dried fruit, which is high in sugar and sticks to the teeth where it can cause the most damage.

To accommodate these treats, it is a good idea to offer a cheese board after mealtimes, as a small piece of cheese will help to return the mouth to its natural acid balance and thereby help to reduce the chances of tooth decay. Chewing on sugar-free gum for around ten minutes can also have the same effect.

To accommodate children’s sweet tooth without damaging their teeth, Carter suggested some novel yet practical ways of getting the balance right between having a sweet tooth and healthy teeth. “Children will inevitably get sweets, so try and get them to eat them straight after mealtimes rather than grazing on them all day. New research even suggests ice cream containing probiotics could reduce levels of tooth decay so in the future this could become a healthier option. Any fruit juice they have should be diluted 10 parts water to one part juice as most are acidic and many contain added sugar.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Clean Braces

how to clean braces

Braces Do A Lot

Braces do a lot more than improve your smile. They also play an active role in correcting overcrowded and misaligned teeth. This is important because an abnormal bite (also known as “malocclusion”) may cause other problems, such as impaired plaque removal around misaligned teeth, which can lead to gum inflammation and cavities.
Taking good care of braces can help prevent damage to the braces themselves and the teeth underneath as well as make the braces more comfortable to wear. Learning the basics of orthodontic care will help you follow your dental professional's recommendations to keep your teeth and gums healthy during the time you’re wearing braces.

The Basics: Brushing And Flossing

Careful cleaning is required with braces, because plaque bacteria are easily trapped inside and around them. The following procedure will make daily brushing and flossing both simple and effective.
  1. Prepare to brush. Take off elastics and any other removable parts of your orthodontic appliance.
  2. Clean your braces. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire down to the bottom. Take your time to ensure that all plaque and debris are removed, and that you work all the way around upper and lower teeth.
  3. Brush your teeth. Clean each tooth individually. First, place your brush at a 45-degree angle the gum line, then apply gentle pressure as you move in a circular motion. Do this for about 10 seconds. Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of smaller front teeth.
  4. Floss once a day. Have your dental professional show you the best way to floss, or follow the instructions on the product package. You may also want to use a flossing product designed for braces and orthodontic work, like a floss threader.
  5. Rinse and check your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouth rinse, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror.

Professional Care: Dentist And Orthodontist Visits

During the time that you have braces on your teeth, you will need to visit the orthodontist regularly for adjustments to your appliance. After a routine orthodontic adjustment, you may experience some tightness or even a slight amount of pain. If this discomfort or pain does not quickly dissipate, or becomes extreme, you should consult your orthodontist. Concerns about your appliances, and any problems with broken parts, should also be brought to your orthodontist's attention immediately.
It’s also important that you continue with regular visits to your general dentist while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Routine checkups are necessary to spot cavities and signs of gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist may also perform frequent fluoride treatments to provide additional protection to tooth surfaces from decay while you’re wearing braces.
Your home oral care techniques will be monitored by your dental professional and changes will be recommended as necessary. As always, be sure to follow their instructions.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Little Girls Teeth And Halloween
Photo by Anders Ruff Custom Design’s photostream / CC-BY-ND

What You Haven’t Heard About Kids Teeth and Halloween

As Halloween quickly approaches, your little ones are probably preparing their costumes, decorating with orange and black, and highly anticipating the evening to go “trick or treat-ing.”
The great news about Halloween is that kids (and parents) get candy!
The not-so-great news about Halloween is that kids get candy (and cavities), right? While that is the message that most parents hear around this time of year, it’s actually not completely true. We’re about to clue you in to the things you haven’t heard about kids teeth and Halloween.

1. What’s Actually Causing Cavities?

While a lot of people would love to pin candy as the culprit for tooth decay, the villain is actually bacteria. (Plot twist!) This scheming bacterium has established itself right in your mouth. This becomes a problem when you eat. The bacterium is fed by starches, sugars and other carbohydrates, causing it to produce acid. Anyone who has taken a high-school level biology class will know that acid lowers PH – especially in the mouth. The more acidic your mouth is, the faster your teeth sensitize – and eventually decay.
The bottom line is this: Candy alone is not the sole cause of cavities. Really, any type of bread or starch can be just as harmful as the sweets gathered on Halloween.
It’s also important to be careful about letting kids eat snacks or candy continually throughout the day. If that happens, particles linger on the teeth and in the mouth, feeding that bacterium to no end. A better method is to stick with 3 set meals a day, without constant munching, and with active brushing at the beginning and end of the day.

2. There Are Foods That are Worse Than Candy

smile food
Photo by CarrieLu / CC-BY-NC-ND 
“Say, what?” That’s right. As sugary and harmful as candy can be, there are some foods that play the trump card when it comes to tooth decay. It’s every kid’s dream, right? Candy isn’t actually as bad as they say? Let’s take a look:
  • Soda/Energy Drinks. Ah, those fizzy and refreshing cans of destruction. While most kids love any kind of soda, they often don’t realize what they’re doing to their teeth! Most sodas these days are known to have an average of 10 tbsps. of sugar in them. That’s over 5 times the average amount of sugar a candy bar contains! That, combined with the acidic content from the carbonation, a can of soda is fatal to a tooth’s well-being.
  • Although raisins are generally looked upon as a healthy snack, they can be extremely sticky. For that reason, it a good idea to limit the amount you eat and brush your teeth after – or chew sugarless gum.
  • Potato Chips/Pretzels. These chips are dangerous for two reasons: One, they are carbohydrates, and two – especially potato chips – they are acidic. Both are great reasons to limit the amount of times you eat foods like this.
  • Cookies/Crackers. Starches like these are, unfortunately, used as fuel for tooth decay. A good rule of thumb after eating them is to brush your teeth and floss.
While these things are better than candy, there are still some candies that you will want to steer clear of. Anything particularly sticky, sour or hard should be a red flag. Furthermore, chocolate can be a much betteroption for your teeth because it doesn’t tend to stick as badly. (Just remember moderation – less cavities is not equal to less calories.)

3. Alternative “Treats” to Give Out

A great way to stay away from the dental dangers of Halloween, yet still make it fun, is to give away toys and other small items. Take a look at some of our suggestions, below!

4. How to Prevent Cavities without Banning Candy

If you’ve seen the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you’ve seen a prime (yet fictional) example of what Halloween looks like when a child isn’t allowed to have candy: ultimately, very sad. While we do understand and sympathize with the fact that no candy at all prevents cavities, we also totally get thatHalloween and Kids TeethHalloween is fun because of candy!
  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day!
  • Use mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
  • Regularly visit your dentist.
  • Drink water regularly.
  • Avoid constant munching.
  • Eat the right kind of foods.
  • Think about fluoride treatment.

In Conclusion

We hope that your kids have a great time this Halloween! Keep in mind our advice to help their smiles stay strong, but also letting them have a blast at the same time.
Do you have any tips for parents this Halloween? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comment section, below.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tooth Decay and Tooth Extraction

woman getting a cleaning

The Truth About Tooth Decay

One of the most important points about tooth decay is that you don't always recognize it when it's in the early stages.
Which is exactly why it’s important to see your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for a thorough cleaning and oral exam, in addition to following a consistent oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing.
Whether decayed teeth cause a toothache depends on where they're located. A cavity in the tooth enamel doesn't cause pain. In fact, you won't notice that you have a toothache until the decay reaches the dentin, the softer mid-layer of a tooth that lies between the enamel and the pulp. Decayed teeth can be saved if they are identified while they affect only the enamel or dentin, but if they decay reaches the nerve-filled pulp at the center of a tooth, a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary.

A root canal will preserve the tooth, but in severe cases your dentist may recommend tooth extraction instead. If you have a tooth removed due to severe decay, it's important to practice good oral hygiene and follow your dentist's instructions for keeping the gum tissue clean while you consider options for a replacement tooth or teeth. Replacing missing teeth is important for oral hygiene for several reasons, in part because you will keep the neighboring teeth from shifting and affecting your bite.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Come Meet us at Lilburn Daze Arts Festival!

Where: Lilburn City Park
When: Saturday, October 10 
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $0

Lilburn Daze       
Come Join the Fun          

The family atmosphere at the one-day event is what keeps residents and out-of-towners coming   back year after year.  For many people, Lilburn Daze is like a reunion.  With great shopping opportunities, rides, games, tons of food, and entertainment, there is something to appeal to every member of the family.

Lilburn Daze is proudly organized and hosted by the Lilburn Woman's Club. This festival allows the club to support and enrich the Lilburn community through scholarships, support of the arts, beautification projects, public health and safety projects, and much more.

Festival Features

Unique Arts & Crafts
Authors' Corner
Food Trucks
Children's Activities
*New this year - Cupcake Walk*
   Pony Rides
   Train Ride
   Home Depot Woodworking Workshops
Community Services Tent
Fabulous Food
Health Tent
Free Admission, Free Parking, and Shuttle Transportation

                         City Park is Located Behind City Hall at 76 Main Street, where Handicap Parking is available.              Continuous Shuttle Service to Lilburn Daze will be available 
at Lilburn First Baptist Church (285 Main Street) 
and Lilburn Marketplace (4800 Lawrenceville Hwy).  

Thank you to our 2015 sponsors:

October 10, 2015
9 AM to 5 PM
Lilburn City Park
Rain or Shine!
   Lilburn Woman's Club     P.O. Box 54     Lilburn, GA  30048

Friday, October 2, 2015

woman looking at an x-ray of teeth

The Anatomy Of Gingivitis

Knowing how gingivitis affects tooth anatomy can be helpful in better understanding how flossing--and good oral care in general--can remove plaque, which helps stop gingivitis before it starts.
If you looked at a cutaway picture of a healthy tooth, the main components include the gums (also known as gingiva) and the main parts of the tooth, as follows:
  • Root: The root is the multi-pronged bottom of the tooth that extends into the gums and jaw. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontitis (periodontal or gum disease). In severe cases of gum disease, very infected gums can cause the roots to loosen and allow the tooth to fall out.
  • Pulp: The pulp is the nerve-filled center of the tooth. The pulp is not directly infected in cases of gingivitis, but gum pain may radiate into the nerves in your teeth. Periodiontal or gum disease, however, may impact the pulp, if the pocket extends to the end of the root, known as the apex.
  • Crown: The crown is the top part of the tooth that you see and brush. The crown is covered with tooth enamel, which helps protect teeth above the gum line. However, it's at and around the gum line that plaque can build up. That's why daily flossing is essential to maintaining healthy gums -- it clears away plaque-causing bacteria before buildup occurs.
A picture of gingivitis shows how the gums pull away from the teeth and appear swollen and red. In addition, you would see hard, whitish deposits of tartar along the gum line. A dental hygienist's or dentist's skill is needed to remove the tartar, but you can keep it from accumulating by flossing regularly. If your gums are sensitive, try a product designed for sensitive gums, such as Oral-B® Ultra Floss®, which has a spongy texture that may be easier on tender gums.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Which Mouthwash or Rinse?

woman using mouthwash
If you’d like to add a mouthwash or rinse to your oral care routine, it’s important to be aware of just what a mouthwash or rinse does. Some freshen breath, others provide an anti-cavity benefit from fluoride, while others contain germ-killing ingredients to help prevent plaque buildup.
You have many options, and the right mouthwash or rinse for you is the one that meets your dental hygiene needs for the health of your teeth and gums, and taste preference.
To help choose the right rinse, keep these points in mind:
  • Alcohol—yes or no? Alcohol is a component of many mouthwashes and rinses, which can problematic if a large quantity is deliberately swallowed.   If you want to buy one type of mouthwash or rinse for the whole family, and your household includes school-aged children or teens, you may want to choose from among the alcohol-free mouthwash products that are available. Also, some recovering alcoholics avoid mouthwash with alcohol because of the potential for abuse.
  • Sensitivity. Some people find the ingredients in mouthwash irritating, especially people who have sensitive gums. Also, people who don’t usually complain of sensitive gums may find that their mouths are more sensitive for a short time if they are recovering from a dental procedure. If you have a sensitive mouth, consider an alcohol-free or natural mouthwash. Natural mouthwashes often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile for a soothing effect.
  • Plaque control. If you want a mouthwash that not only helps control bad breath but also helps to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth, look for a dental rinse that contains anti-plaque ingredients.
If you’re uncertain about which mouthwash or rinse would best meet your oral health needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for suggestions

Monday, September 14, 2015

Foods That Help Prevent Tooth Decay

boy drinking milk

 Food Choices That Prevent Tooth Decay

It's no fun passing up sugary treats like cookies and candies. But when it comes to tooth decay, food choices play an important role. Some foods can harm your teeth, while others contain essential nutrients to keep them healthy and strong. To help prevent tooth decay, keep the following food choices in mind.


Calcium is a prime ingredient for preventing tooth decay, especially for growing children. Dairy is a great source, with choices such as milk, yogurt and cheese. And calcium isn't hiding in the fat, so skim milk and low-fat yogurt are just as good. Other options are leafy greens such as broccoli and bok choy, canned fish with bones, almonds, Brazil nuts and dried beans.

Fruit, Fiber and Veggies

Eating high-fiber foods keeps saliva flowing, which helps create mineral defenses against tooth decay. Good sources of fiber are dried fruits such as dates, raisins and figs, and fresh fruits, like bananas, apples and oranges. Other options include veggies, such as beans, Brussels sprouts and peas, along with peanuts, almonds and bran.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide B vitamins and iron, which help keep gums healthy. Whole grains also have magnesium-an important ingredient for bones and teeth. In addition, whole grains are high in fiber. Look for foods such as bran, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals and pasta to be good sources of whole grains.

Sugar Snacks

When you get the munchies, focus on choosing healthy foods, like the ones we mentioned earlier. Try to steer clear of sweets, because sugar partners with plaque to weaken enamel, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay. In fact, each time you eat a sugary snack, your teeth are under siege for the next 20 minutes.