3 Oral Health Resolutions That Will Make a Difference

New year…new you!  New Year’s resolutions are a great way to get back on track with some healthy habits.  As you gear up to get more exercise and eat more vegetables in 2019, don’t forget about your teeth!  Improving your oral health habits not only helps your smile, but can help your overall health as well (remember our post on dental health during pregnancy and on diabetes?).  We know that sticking to your New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and challenging so we decided to share three easy oral health resolutions that will make a difference.

1. Buy a new toothbrush.

Twice daily toothbrushing puts some wear and tear on those bristles and if you notice your toothbrush looking frayed and worn it’s definitely time for a new one.  Also, with cold and flu season in full swing, it’s a good idea to replace your family’s toothbrushes if anyone has been sick. At FDA, we recommend electric toothbrushes to make brushing more effective and those need replacing periodically as well.  Fresh bristles are more effective at cleaning your teeth and the ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Put a reminder in your calendar and keep your toothbrush and your teeth fresh!

2. Floss.

We know, we know…you’ve heard about the importance of flossing a million times and yet only about 30% of American floss their teeth daily.  This can be a hard habit to incorporate into your routine, but it has incredible benefits for your mouth and your overall health.  If you are having trouble incorporating flossing into your oral health care regimen, here are some tips:

  • Switch up the time of day.  If you’re always too tired to floss at the end of the day, try flossing in the morning or mid-day.  It’s not important when you clean between your teeth, it’s just important that you do it.
  • Talk to your dentist about alternatives to floss.  Dental picks or water flossing, which works in the shower,  might be easier options for you to use regularly.

3. Visit the Dentist!

Have you been meaning to make an appointment with us for some time?  Now is a great time to give us a call and schedule a check-up! We are here to help you develop healthy habits and inform you about the best oral care options available.  We recommend that you come see us for cleanings and checkups twice a year. If you are nervous about coming to the dentist, we are happy to discuss our oral sedation options.  We love helping you have a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth! Give us a call at 207.781.5900 today!

 

***Image courtesy of www.harvard.edu

Season of Giving: FDA’s Favorite Dental Charity

‘Tis the season…to give!  One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is the opportunity to give back to those in need.  We believe that everyone deserves a healthy smile and access to oral health care. That’s why we’ve partnered with Dental Lifeline Network and their Donated Dental Services (DDS) to help people in our community receive the dental care they need.  This is a program we support at Falmouth Dental Arts and have also contributed to through Dr. Knock’s always amazing Dancing with the Dentists.  In the spirit of the Season of Giving, we wanted to share more about this incredible organization with you this month.

Donated Dental Services provides free, comprehensive dental treatment to the country’s most vulnerable people with disabilities, and to those who are elderly or medically fragile. These are people who cannot afford necessary treatment and cannot get public aid. The program operates through a volunteer network of more than 15,000 dentists and 3,700 dental labs across the United States. Since its inception in 1985, the DDS program has surpassed $330 million in donated dental therapies, transforming the lives of 117,000 people.

In Maine, the program has had an amazing impact.  Some numbers for you:

  • 177 volunteer dentists
  • 36 volunteer laboratories
  • $3.5 million in donated treatments
  • 1,161 dental patients treated since 1999

If you’d like to contribute to Donated Dental Services, they are always in need dental professionals to volunteer their time, and rely on financial contributions to make more treatments possible.  To make a donation, you can visit their website. Your donation will help provide comprehensive care to those who need it most.

Thank you for being a part of the FDA family and for helping us celebrate the Season of Giving!  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!

 

*Image courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

Avoid the Grind of the Season: Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

The holiday season is upon us and along with it is holiday stress.  Stress is one of the main causes of bruxism or teeth grinding, which often happens while you sleep.  While occasional grinding or clenching may not be harmful, regular grinding can damage not only your teeth, but also affect your jaw muscles and joints. We examine the common symptoms of teeth grinding as well as look at ways to stop teeth grinding.

Beyond stress and anxiety, teeth grinding can also be caused by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, and alcohol or tobacco use.  In fact, a study from the November 2016 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association found that smokers and people who abuse alcohol and drugs were almost twice as likely to grind their teeth.  Since teeth grinding often happens while you sleep, it is helpful to know the symptoms so complications don’t arise.

Common Symptoms of Bruxism

  • Dull headache
  • Sore jaw, neck, and face muscles
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Chipped or flattened teeth

In some cases, prolonged teeth grinding can lead to tooth loss or fractured teeth.  Cracked teeth can impact your appearance and even change your bite which could alter your facial profile.  

There are steps you can take to stop grinding your teeth, and your dentist should be part of your plan.  A dentist can prescribe and fabricate a night-guard to help protect your teeth. If you feel you have been experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, come in for a comprehensive dental exam so we can help develop a treatment plan that is specialized for you.

If stress is the cause, then finding a way to relax your mind and your jaw muscles is important.  Relaxation techniques and meditation are powerful ways to not just unclench your jaw, but also to improve your overall health.  Counseling and exercise are also effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety as well as improve your well-being.

This holiday season, remember to take a deep breath and allow yourself some time to relax.  If you need help addressing and treating your bruxism, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are your dental care partner and we want you to have a healthy mouth and a healthy life!

 

*Image courtesy of www.metro.co.uk

An Apple a Day…Keeps Your Mouth Healthy! 5 Foods & Drinks That Benefit Your Teeth

You are what you eat.  This is particularly true for your teeth: when your diet is less than ideal so is the health of your mouth.  As we enter this holiday season and have loads of goodies to feast upon, we wanted to share a list of foods and drinks that can benefit your teeth.  Here are our top 5 foods and drinks to work into your diet in between all those candied yams and yummy pies.

  1. Apples
    This fruit is a great snack and packed full of fiber.  Fiber helps your mouth produce saliva, which helps rinse away cavity-causing bacteria.  Also, the crisp texture of apples can stimulate your gums. Grab some apples to snack on while you bake that pumpkin pie!
  2. Green Tea
    Green tea is full of health benefits and rich with catechins, a type of antioxidant, and polyphenols, a bacteria-fighting substance.  A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that people who consumed a cup of green tea each day saw a decrease in periodontal disease symptoms.  Make yourself a cup of green tea when you wake up early to pop the turkey in the oven!
  3. Cheese
    Do we need another reason to eat more cheese?  Consuming calcium-rich dairy products is vital for maintaining good bone health and tooth enamel.  Cheese also has an additional bonus–a study in the journal General Dentistry found that eating cheese raises the pH level in people’s mouths and thus lowered their risk of tooth decay.  Plan a cheese courses after your holiday feast for the win!
  4. Almonds
    These healthy nuts are a great source of protein, calcium, and other minerals, all of which are important for your overall well-being.  They are low in sugar and carbohydrates so they don’t create a cavity haven in your mouth after you snack on them. Also, chewing nuts promotes saliva production in your mouth which lowers the risk for tooth decay.  Add a handful of almonds to your salad for a wholesome crunch!
  5. Water
    Water is the best beverage you can drink for your oral health. Drinking water after meals helps rinse your mouth of bacteria and neutralize the acidity in the mouth caused by foods to help prevent tooth decay and cavities.  Drink up!

As we enter the holiday season and the end of the year, we are here to support you and your family in receiving the best oral care possible.  We are truly grateful for your business! Remember to call us at 207.781.5900 to schedule your next appointment to keep your mouth happy and healthy.

 

Image courtesy of http://blog.hellofresh.com

Trick or Trivia! Bizarre and Spooky Dental Facts

Vampires and jack-o-lanterns and ghosts…oh my!  Halloween is upon us and that means candy and costumes.  While it’s always a good time to think about your dental health, Halloween is also a good time for dental trivia!  Why? Because we love these scary and fun facts more than all those sweet treats that get stuck in your teeth and cause cavities.  We decided to ask around the office for everyone’s favorite dental trivia to see if we can trick you this Halloween!

What is the hardest substance in the human body?
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.  Wow!

How much of your life is devoted to brushing your teeth?
The average American spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over the course of their lifetime.  Compare that to an average of  9,125 days spent sleeping and 188 days in the shower.

What’s the scariest Halloween candy?
Sour candy–it  has the same pH as battery acid.  Yikes!

Do we really eat that much candy at Halloween?
Yes!  A typical child’s bag of Halloween candy has 11,000 calories.  Also, if you laid out all the candy corn that’s sold each year, it would wrap around the earth 4.25 times.  That’s a lot of candy!

What does a vampire fear most?
Tooth decay!  Ok, so that was a joke, but did you know that people get vampire teeth implants?  Sorry, we do not offer this service at FDA.

Did we trick you?  We hope you have fun this Halloween!  Remember, to give your teeth a real treat this holiday and everyday by following these tips:

  • Avoid hard and sticky candies that linger in your mouth.  The longer sugar stays in your mouth, the more your teeth are at risk of tooth decay.
  • Eat candy shortly after meals when your mouth is already producing saliva.  This helps rinse out the sugars and bacteria.
  • Brush & floss your teeth twice a day.
  • Come in for regular check-ups!  Call us at 207.781.5900.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Falmouth Dental Arts!  

Image courtesy of: www.pinterest.com