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A Valentine to Your Teeth

Cinnamon floss is red, mouthwash is blue.

Brush twice a day, and to your dentist be true!

Happy Valentines Day from Falmouth Dental Arts! In celebration of a day of love, we have a list of the Top Ten Reasons to Love (and take care of) Your Teeth!

10. Your teeth give you the ability to smile at the people you love! 

9. Your teeth are how you bite into candy hearts, and…

8. Your teeth help you chew those candy hearts! (Just remember to brush after enjoying your Valentine’s sweets!)

7. Your teeth support your oral structure and speech, allowing you to say “I love you.”

6. Feeling more theatrical? Your teeth let you sing “I Will Always Love You.”

5. If you’d rather whistle Whitney, your teeth help you do that, too! 

4. Your teeth enable you to chew gum. Heart shaped bubbles, anyone? 

3. Doctors and dentists agree that oral health affects heart health. Show your teeth some TLC and keep your heart healthy in the process!

2. Your teeth bring you and your dentist, Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, together! We love getting to know our patients, and we have  your teeth to thank for that.

1. Your teeth hold the rose while dancing the tango with your sweetheart.

As you celebrate Valentine’s Day, your team at Falmouth Dental Arts reminds you to enjoy sugary sweets in moderation. Don’t forget to show your teeth some love by brushing and flossing twice a day, every day of the year! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a cleaning, please call our office at 207.781.5900.

Celebrating Children’s Dental Health Month: 5 Oral Care Tips for Parents

Happy Children’s Dental Health Month from Falmouth Dental Arts! This national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers all February long. Falmouth Dental Arts looks forward to any opportunity to help our youngest patients love their healthy smiles and dentist appointments. In celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are 5 tips to help you care for your little one’s teeth:

1. Start Early! Did you know that you can start your kids on the path of good oral hygiene before your child even has a tooth? It’s true! The earlier you begin, the easier it will be to establish a routine.  The ADA recommends parents gently wipe their baby’s gums with a wet washcloth once a day. This will help prepare your child for using a toothbrush.

Once your child does have their teeth, you can begin to brush twice a day. Brush the teeth very gently on the inside and outside and try to brush the gums as well. Give our office a call to schedule your child’s first visit with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. We always love having little ones visit the office!

2. Use the Proper Toothpaste, and the Proper Amount. Look for a children’s toothpaste with fluoride and the ADA seal of approval.  Also, know that a little goes a long way for your little ones! For children under the age of 3, the recommendation is to use about the size of a grain of rice.  For kids ages 3 to 6, use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Remind your kids that toothpaste is not candy (even though it comes in some yummy flavors) and they should spit it out.

3. Make it Fun! “When you wake up in the morning at a quarter to one, and you want to have a little fun…you brush your teeth! “

Singer Raffi had it right, brushing your teeth can be fun!  You’ll find when you make it a positive experience for them, it’s less of a struggle.  Plus, laughing or dancing while those teeth get clean is a great way to get the habit to stick, so find ways to motivate your kids to brush with music, silly voices, fun toothbrushes, or books.  

4. Healthy Snacks Help. Good oral health goes beyond the bathroom sink!  Help your kids have healthy teeth by encouraging them to eat healthy snacks as well.  Avoiding sugary drinks and candy is always advised, and being proactive by eating crunchy veggies and calcium-rich yogurt and cheese will support your children in developing that healthy smile from the inside out.  

5. Come See Us! Having your children get regular check-ups with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos is an important part of their oral health care.  We are here to help show you how to care for your kids’ teeth and keep their smiles shining bright! Call our office at 207.781.5900 today to schedule an appointment.

*Image courtesy of www.vectorstock.com

What Healthy Foods Should I Incorporate into My Diet?

Dieting is a popular New Year’s Resolution. This year, why not take a dental approach to the traditional diet? The team at Falmouth Dental Arts has whipped up the perfect plate–and poured a cuppa– for your pearly whites. 

Dairy: Cheese and yogurt both contain Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. This mineral is just as important for your teeth as it is for your bones; calcium-deficient diets suffer from underdeveloped teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay. Cheeses and yogurts address your need for Vitamin D, and boast the added bonus of counteracting acid erosion of teeth, making them excellent options to end a meal. Cheese for dessert, anyone? **Dairy allergies? Fatty fish such as salmon are also a wonderful source of Vitamin D. 

Oranges: Surprise! Although citrus fruits contain erosive acids, they pack a powerful punch of Vitamin C, which encourages collagen production and strengthens tissue and blood vessels. Increased collagen, stronger tissue and better blood flow means stronger gums and happier homes for your teeth. An orange a day keeps the periodontist away–just make sure to wait at least 30 minutes between eating and brushing to minimize acid erosion. 

 Fruits and Veggies: Looking for another reason to make a salad? High-fiber leafy greens act as natural toothbrushes, scrubbing your teeth while you eat and encouraging saliva production. Meanwhile, the high-water content of traditional lettuces help rinse your mouth. Carrots and celery are also excellent snack options, washing your teeth with every crunch! For tooth-conscious options from the fruit bowl, choose apples and strawberries. Apples offer the same healthy crunch benefits as snappy vegetables, while strawberries actually contain malic acid, a natural enamel whitener.

 

Tea: Black and green teas contain compounds called “polyphenols”. Polyphenols ward off bacteria responsible for cavities and gum disease. Less bacteria means fewer cavities and less bad breath. When combined with other good dental habits, drinking tea can cure halitosis, so drink up and breathe easy. 

While a balanced diet represents one facet of your dental health, you can’t substitute twice-daily brushing and flossing with apples and carrots. Falmouth Dental Arts encourages you to the best of both worlds! If you have any questions about the best foods for your teeth, just ask us at your next appointment. To schedule your appointment, please call our office at 207.781.5900.    

Need a Resolution? Kick these 5 Bad Habits that Hurt Your Teeth!

Did you remember to brush your teeth when you went to bed after ringing in the New Year at midnight? Your team at Falmouth Dental Arts hopes you did, and we wish our family of patients a year filled with healthy mouths. Are you still looking for a 2020 resolution, but feel like adding a whole new good habit is a little too ambitious? Why not try quitting a bad habit instead? 

We’ve compiled a list of 5 Bad Habits that hurt your teeth. Quit one–kick them all!–and look forward to your best dental year yet! 

1. Biting your nails: We’ve all done it once or twice, but when biting your nails becomes a habit, it has bad side effects for your nails and your entire mouth. Biting your nails can chip your teeth and ultimately impact your jaw. Continually protruding your jaw and biting with pressure gradually changes the natural alignment of your bite, resulting in jaw dysfunction.

Kick It! Try painting a bitter-tasting polish (available in clear varieties as well, for those who would prefer a more subtle tone) on your nails.

2. Brushing too hard/Overbrushing: We all know that brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, is a terrific tooth habit! However, brushing with a stiff-bristled brush, applying a lot of force, or brushing for longer than two minutes can all hurt your teeth and gums. Overbrushing in any form can damage your tooth enamel and erode your gums.

Kick It!  Look for a soft-bristled brush with the ADA Seal of Approval, and be sure to use a gentle hand when brushing. Don’t think of “scrubbing” your teeth–think of “massaging” them. So much nicer!

 

3. Grinding your teeth/Clenching your jaw: Life can be stressful. Sometimes that stress makes us slouch at our desk or hunch our shoulders, but sometimes stress seeps into our dental posture as well. Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can cause cracking or chipping of your teeth, not to mention muscle and joint pain from sustained pressure. 

Kick it! Try some relaxation techniques throughout the day, especially before bed. Grinding your teeth when you’re sleeping is the most difficult to address because you’re unconscious! If you are particularly prone to grinding your teeth in your sleep, you may need to invest in a mouth guard to wear while you sleep. 

4. Using your teeth as tools: Just like biting your nails, we’ve all attempted to use our teeth as scissors or an extra hand. However, your teeth are made for eating and for smiling–not for opening bottles or removing tags. When you use your teeth as tools, you run the risk of cracking or chipping your teeth, puncturing your gums, or even choking.

Kick it! Go get a pair of scissors, find your bottle opener, and make two trips! It may seem like more work at first, but your teeth will be happier. 

5. Chewing ice: This one may seem a little specific, but consider this: your tooth enamel is a type of crystal, as is ice. When you push two crystals against each other, one eventually breaks. In this particular scenario, it is typically the ice which cracks and crumbles–but that’s not a guarantee! Sometimes, teeth or dental appliances break first, leading to a costly visit to the dentist.

Kick it! Use a straw to sip icy beverages, or remove the ice before you start drinking.

Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we are committed to providing top-notch tooth love for our patients in the office. However, we want to support you and your teeth at all times! If you have any questions about these bad habits, or want some more ideas on how to build good dental habits, please ask at your next appointment. To schedule your appointment, please call our office at 207.781.5900.         

Holiday Gifts to Benefit Teeth!

Still looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, guaranteed to make someone smile? Falmouth Dental Arts wants that “Thank You!” Smile to be extra healthy, so we polled our staff for their  Top Five tooth-related presents. 

1. Electric Toothbrush: You’ve most likely heard by now that electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning your teeth than a standard manual toothbrush. Another benefit to the electric brushes is built-in timers to ensure proper brushing time. They’re fun for kids, safe for gums, and help people with braces or other oral appliances clean better! 

We recommend Oral B or Sonicare models.

 

2. Waterpik: If you’ve always wanted to replicate the refreshing feel of the dentist’s waterpik at home, now is your chance! Waterpiks are easy to use, and are shown to be more effective than traditional string floss at reducing gingivitis and removing plaque.                

We recommend the cordless travel Waterpik;  it’s less expensive, more convenient, and mobile! 

 

 

3. Shower Flosser: another member of the oral irrigation family, the shower flosser takes water-picking to new levels. An easy-to-install attachment connects the flosser to your shower head so that you’re able to combine your flossing and showering time–at last!

 

 

4. Woven Floss: If you’re not ready to invest in an oral irrigation system or just prefer the tradition of flossing, our staff recommends purchasing a woven floss. Made of microfibers, woven flosses expand between teeth to provide a deeper clean. However, the microfiber technology still allows the floss to fit intotight gaps without shredding. Gentle and soft on sensitive gums, woven floss does it all! 

 

5. ACT Restoring Mouthwash: After you’ve finished brushing with your new electric toothbrush and have wrapped up whatever flossing method you prefer, a cool swish of minty mouthwash is just what the dentist ordered. Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos prefer ACT Restoring mouthwash for its anti-cavity power. 

 

Any one of these five items makes for a fantastic, practical, and thoughtful gift for your loved one–or give your own teeth a little love this holiday season with a present to you, from you. If you’re lucky enough to give or receive a dental-related present this year, please share it on Falmouth Dental Arts’ Facebook page

 

If you had one too many candy canes and need to schedule a post-holiday cleaning, please call our office at 207.781.5900.