The Truth Behind 5 Popular Dental Misconceptions

DentistryClearing up misconceptions about oral health can help improve personal oral hygiene efforts for a beautiful and healthier smile. If you keep up with your oral hygiene regimen, dental visits are significantly easier and dental care is more manageable.

Misconception #1 – My teeth are fine if I have no pain
Tooth decay (cavities) usually doesn’t cause pain until they become very severe. Once it gets to this stage, the amount of decay could lead to more invasive and costly treatments. Some of the most dangerous oral disorders, such as oral cancer and gum disease, typically don’t cause pain at all. It is important to keep up with scheduled dental appointments. Our dentist can diagnose problems even at its earliest stages when there is no pain.

Misconception #2 – Cavities are only caused by sweets
When you eat sweets, the bacteria in your mouth start consuming it and produce acid. This acid dissolves the enamel of the tooth, which results in tooth decay or cavities. However, this process happens when you eat anything that is a starch or carbohydrate. Food and snacks, such as crackers, bread, potato chips, fruit, peanut butter and pasta, have the same effect on your teeth.

Misconception #3 – If my gums bleed, I should stop flossing
Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease. This happens when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of efficient cleaning. With regular brushing and flossing, gums will be much healthier and should rarely bleed. However, gum inflammation can occur despite best oral hygiene habits. In such instances, you should see improvement if you rinse with warm salt water and continuing to brush and floss.

Misconception #4 – Whiter teeth are healthier teeth
Healthy teeth come in a wide range of natural shades. Whiter teeth cannot show if there is an infection or cavity between the teeth. Although pure white teeth do not equate to healthier teeth, they should still be naturally on the whiter side.

Misconception #5 – Children are more prone to tooth decay
Tooth decay (cavities) can develop at any age. People assume children have poor brushing habits and are more prone to tooth decay. Cavities form when bacteria cause a loss or weakening in tooth enamel and eventually decay forms a hole in the tooth. This is usually seen in people with poor brushing and flossing habits, regardless of age.

Excellent oral health promotes overall good health and is definitely not a misconception. It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits. If you have any questions regarding your dental health, please contact Matthew Warner, DDS.

Greenville SC Dentist Discusses Oral Health and Overall Health

At Willoughby Dental, there is more to proper oral care than just having a beautiful and healthy smile. Researchers have found that there are over 100 medical conditions that can be detected in the early stages by a dentist. Some of these health conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Pregnancy issues

Find out more about the link between your oral health and overall health before it’s too late. See our dentist.

Dentistry

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth

DentistNo time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth.

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh.

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointment with our Greenville dentist.

Interesting Facts About Teeth

Dentist GreenvilleHere are some interesting facts about your amazing teeth:

  • Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, according to Dr. Leslie Seldin, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.
  • A quarter of all of the adults in the United States have lost all of their teeth due to improper at home and professional care.
  • Teeth are already forming before birth.
  • The term “wisdom teeth” was given because these teeth come in later in life.
  • Saliva is produced in our mouth in order to assist in breaking down food. It also helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • In regards to diseases, tooth decay is the second most common after the everyday cold.
  • When the general public goes to the store to buy a toothbrush, they prefer the color blue over red.
  • During the middle ages, it was custom to kiss a donkey when a person had a toothache.
  • A person only buys 18 yards of dental floss per year when reality, it should be 122 yards.
  • It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain healthy teeth.

Enjoy these fun dental facts. We hope to see you soon at our Greenville dentist.

Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste

Greenville dentistToothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright.

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up.

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches.

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint.

At your next dental appointment, be sure to tell our Greenville dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Oral and Overall Health

Dentist in GreenvilleWelcome the new year with a renewed commitment to living healthy. Commit to a resolution that will keep your overall health in good shape as well as your oral health. Here are some dental health tips to consider that will keep you smiling and feeling great.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum disease. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help to improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery can help remove plaque and acids from teeth.

Quit smoking
Smoking increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. It also increases your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and oral cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. If you currently use tobacco, consider chewing sugar-free gum. It can stimulate the flow of saliva and can help wash away bacteria.

Limit your alcohol intake
You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health. But it can also impact your oral health. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who consume excessive alcohol have increased gum recession. Studies show that people who regularly consume alcohol are also less concerned about their basic health and oral needs.

This year, do yourself and your teeth a favor. You can maintain a healthy diet and improve your oral hygiene. For more information on how you can improve your oral and overall health this new year, contact our Greenville dentist.