In life, as they say, accidents happen - and that’s never truer than when living with braces. Braces are the best way to fix a misaligned bite for a healthy, beautiful smile, but with all that extra equipment in your mouth, it can be an invitation for mishaps and accidents. Here are some common (and maybe not-so-common) braces problems, and what you should do if they happen to you.
A recent study on the effects of hydrogen peroxide on teeth has left a lot of people wondering how to safely keep their pearly whites whiter. Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in most popular whitening agents, including those over-the-counter whitening strips. Unfortunately, according to the study, which was conducted at the University of Stockton in Stockton, New Jersey, that oh-so-effective active ingredient is actually potentially damaging to the collagen layer of the teeth in between the enamel and the dentin.
It’s no myth that stress can manifest itself into physical symptoms. From acne to hair loss to body tension, stress doesn’t just take its toll on us emotionally - it can take its toll on our bodies in ways we never imagined. But did you know that stress can also take a toll on another very specific area of the body: the mouth? According to Psychology Today, it’s true! Here’s how what’s stressing you could also be harming your oral health.
If you are pregnant, first of all, congratulations! Pregnancy obviously brings about some big changes – including to your oral health routine. That’s because pregnancy hormones can sometimes wreak havoc on the gums, making gingivitis and bleeding gums much more likely. Even if your teeth and gums are in perfect health, you still may experience the phenomenon known as pregnancy gingivitis. But never fear - there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of both pregnancy gingivitis and full-blown gingivitis while pregnant.
If you or a loved one are part of the 95 percent of Americans who engage in a sport, not only are you having fun, but you’re also doing something positive for your health. From increasing blood flow to lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and more, playing a sport can also help with weight management. Sports are even good for your mental health - and a great way to expand your social network. With so many different sports to choose from, some activities don’t have a whole lot in common with each other, but there’s one thing that all sports have in common: When playing a sport - any sport - you should always protect your teeth. Every single time, for every single sport.
With so many addictions making headlines across the country and around the world, some addictions are unfortunately overlooked and treated as less serious than others. One example is sugar addiction. Yes, you heard right - sugar addiction is real and can wreak havoc on your health, from your blood sugar to your weight to your oral health.
Social media has taken quite a place in our daily lives and captured our collective attention - from people considering cosmetic dentistry procedures to get a "selfie-ready" smile to an alarming new trend of children making tooth-removal videos. It all begs the question: Has social media gotten out of control?
While social media definitely has its strong points (there’s never a bad reason to want a healthier smile!), it definitely has its drawbacks, too. The latest drawback? Those tooth-removal videos.
You’ve seen the memes, you’ve likely heard the one-liners. For many people, coffee is an important – even vital – part of waking up and starting the day, thanks to that warm jolt of caffeine. In fact, here in the United States, an estimated 64 percent of the population drinks at least one cup of joe a day, and, according to the National Coffee Association, that number is growing.
Maybe not here in San Diego, but elsewhere in the country, winter means cold. But just because it's warm in Southern California doesn’t mean you won’t encounter a chill on spring break or your next vacation - and that chill can harm your body in ways you may not realize. That’s because when we get cold sometimes we experience the involuntary phenomenon of chattering teeth. So, what’s up with that? Why do our teeth chatter - and what does chattering teeth mean for your oral health?
You may have seen them before – those telltale white spots on the teeth. They’re called demineralization spots, and they appear when the tooth’s enamel begins to dissolve. Though demineralization spots are bad news, the good news is they are a very early stage of tooth decay, meaning there’s still time to correct them before it’s too late. Here’s what you should do if you see demineralization spots on your teeth.
With upwards of 10 percent of Americans suffering from odontophobia, or fear of the dentist, getting patients into the dental chair can be like, well, pulling teeth. But for every excuse there is about why a dental-phobic person can’t go to the dentist, there are many, much more valid reasons they should. If you’re thinking about backing out of your next exam, remember these important facts about why going to your regular exam is so important.
The winter holidays are here, and that means friends, family and photo ops. But what happens when your smile isn’t quite as dazzling as the bright lights and tinsel of the season? You may not have the time or budget for a full-mouth reconstruction before the new year, but there’s still plenty you can do to make your teeth look whiter and healthier on a tight schedule - and budget!
We all want a whiter, brighter smile, and thanks to a multitude of products on the market, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever. But how much is too much when it comes to a white, healthy smile? Is it possible for teeth to be "too white," and are all those over-the-counter whitening products really safe
What’s not to love about Halloween? Money spent on a costume that gets worn one time. Walking around your neighborhood past bedtime on a school night. Excessive amounts of candy that will likely cause its fair share of battles – and cavities. Sure, that’s a pretty sardonic look at one of childhood’s most beloved traditions, but the truth is, for some families, Halloween can be a real nightmare! This year, don’t let the Halloween battles of years past put a damper on your fun. Here are some practical tips that will make getting your kids to loosen their grip on Halloween treats as easy as taking candy from a baby.
There are very few dental procedures that inspire as much fear as a root canal. A root canal is a procedure that removes dead or dying tissue and bacteria from the inside of a tooth. This happens when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected following an injury or severe untreated cavity.
The root canal procedure itself is somewhat complicated, but it's routine enough that most dentists perform them frequently. To do this, a dentist or endodontist must first numb the tooth. Then, they must drill into the tooth and, using a small tool, remove the infected tooth pulp. The remaining structure of the tooth is then irrigated and treated with an antimicrobial treatment. The tooth is then dried and filled with a substance called gutta percha. The dentist may next place a temporary crown on the tooth, to be replaced by a permanent crown within several weeks.
You’ve bought the new backpacks, replaced last year’s paper and pencils, and you’ve even taken care of the back-to-school haircuts. But if it still feels like you’re forgetting something important, when was the last time you checked up on your child’s oral health? Here are some oral health updates that you should consider before sending your children back to school this year.
With children of all ages heading back to school, some parents are no doubt breathing a collective sigh of relief, while some are trying to be brave and not cry as they bid farewell to their kids in this new chapter in their lives. But whether your child is heading off to school for the first time or leaving the nest for good, now is the perfect time to focus on someone who probably hasn’t gotten a lot of attention lately: you.
When most kids think of summer vacation, they think of staying up late, sleeping in and endless hours of outdoor play. What they probably aren’t thinking much about - but you should be thinking about - are exams. No, not math tests and chemistry finals, but dental exams! The end of summer is a great time to schedule your child’s annual or semi-annual dental exam and cleaning. In fact, a recent study by Delta Dental found that 31 percent of school-aged children have missed at least one full day of school to deal with a dental problem.
Whether you’re starting at a new dentist (welcome!) or a longtime patient, it's vitally important as a patient that you know your rights. That’s why organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and, yes, even the American Dental Association have their own "Patient’s Bill of Rights" to show patients what they can – and should – expect when being treated by a clinician.
A question we hear a lot around here is, "Should I be oil pulling?" Well, the answer to that may come as a surprise to some.
Before we get into the good and bad of oil pulling, let's discuss what exactly it is. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice that has been done for centuries to draw toxins from the body. Recently, it has become popular in mainstream culture as a way to whiten teeth and clean the mouth. The idea is you put coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes a day, and voila - instantly whiter smile! But does it work?