Friday, May 4, 2018

Yes, Coffee Might Actually Be Good for Your Teeth

Eagle Valley Dental
By patientconnect365.com 
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If you have a desire to stain your teeth, consuming multiple cups of coffee a day is a sure way to get you there. That much you likely already know. What you may not know, though, is that drinking coffee in moderation can actually help you protect your teeth,  because of coffee’s unique anti-bacterial properties. And, coffee isn’t alone in this regard. Tea, too, has some pretty marvelous properties, despite its propensity to stain teeth as well! So, if you’re a fan of a cuppa’ warm joe or tea in the morning, read on … you’ve got one more reason not to give it up!

The main reason coffee and tea are good for you? Antioxidants.

Scientists believe antioxidants (polyphenols and catechins, specifically) help reduce inflammation in the body, aid in reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke. They also help reduce inflammation in your mouth.  Find ‘em in fruit, vegetables, red wine, coffee, and chocolate to name a few.

If you do want a good reason to keep drinking coffee and tea, though, the trick is to consume each without cream and sugar (sugar and cream feed bad bacteria). You may also want to enjoy them “warm” as opposed to excessively hot. There is some speculation about how the temperature of your beverage can affect the lining of your esophagus. Visit this article for more on that concern.

Fluoride, trigonelline and caffeine
  • Tea: The benefit? Fluoride!
    We all know that at prescribed and monitored levels, fluoride is good for our teeth. But did you know black tea contains fluoride because of how its leaves absorb fluoride from the soil? More, it seems, than the plain glass of water coming out of your faucet, even! This, of course, can have good and bad complications for your teeth. If you drink from a non-fluoridated water source, ask your dentist or physician if they think it may be beneficial to drink a bit of tea from time to time. Over-consuming black tea, though, has been shown to affect rates of skeletal fluorosis.

    So, as with anything in life, moderation is key. And any time you want to start doing more of something you’re not doing already, from ingesting new foods to ramping up the exercise, always consult with your family physician first.
  • Coffee: The benefit? Trigonelline!
    Trigonelline is what’s known as an alkaloid. And this alkaloid appears to be of specific benefit to our teeth. It’s found in its highest levels in Arabica coffee beans, and research suggests it interferes with cavity-causing bacteria’s ability to adhere itself to tooth enamel. Research is ongoing, but it does seem to be another feather-in-the-cap of your morning “joe.”
  • Tea and Coffee: The benefit? Caffeine!
    Ah, caffeine – beloved and vilified. Yes, we know. And, we know that caffeine can cause some people to experience anxiety and increased stress, which could lead to teeth grinding and clenching. And that is most certainly NOT good for your teeth. Or, jaw. Or, bone structure, in general.

    Where caffeine is a benefit, though, is in its apparent ability to impact longevity in patients with oral cancer. And, that’s something to think about. Read up on the study yourself and make a decision that’s best for you. Recent research also suggests caffeine in coffee may help protect individuals from liver cancer as well.
SO! Everything in moderation, right? If you like a morning beverage, we hope this little primer gives you a bit more to think about!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Baby Pacifiers – A Quick Look at the Pros and Cons.

Eagle Valley Dental
By patientconnect365.com 
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Baby Pacifiers – A Quick Look at the Pros and Cons.

To pacify or not to pacify, that is the question! If you’re a parent, or currently expecting, you’ve probably heard every possible recommendation and condemnation you’ve ever wanted to hear regarding pacifier use.

What is a dedicated, thoughtful parent to do?

Well, we’re here to help. And, it’s not as cut and dry as you think. In fact, we’re pretty sure you may just be surprised by our second biggest “pro.” 

The Biggest Pros
It’s a superb calming mechanism: It would be difficult for many-a-parent to imagine being able to soothe a crying, restless baby at the doctor’s office, on a plane, or at naptime without a trusty pacifier nearby. Pacifiers are most certainly named appropriately.
May help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): This is a biggie. The Mayo Clinic reports that having a child suck on a pacifier at naptime and bedtime might reduce the risk of SIDS. 
The Mayo Clinic also suggests that if you're breast-feeding, you should “wait to offer a pacifier until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and you've settled into an effective nursing routine.”

The Biggest Con
Extended use can create tooth development concerns: Extended thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and pacifier use beyond the arrival of your child’s primary teeth can be problematic for the development of a proper bite. 
Each of these habits tends to place undue forward-pressure on upper teeth and reverse, downward-pressure on bottom teeth – both of which can impact the proper development of a child’s jaw.

Your dentist and pediatrician can work with you to help curb these habits, but awareness is the most important first step.
What about the Baby Bottle?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Streptococcus mutans, the bacterium that contributes to tooth decay, is fond of teeth no matter if they're in your mouth or your baby’s.

As a general rule, you’ll want to limit snacking, avoid placing anything sweet on a pacifier or bottle to get a baby to take to it, and avoid sharing your spoon with your child.

Why? 
Because a diet high in refined carbohydrates contributes to larger populations of this bacterium, and sharing a spoon transfers the bacteria that exist in your mouth to your child’s mouth. Infants have very little of this bacterium to begin with, but you have lots! And, yes, it’s contagious! 
 
Visit our dental blog for more fun an informative articles.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Banish That Canker Sore!

Eagle Valley Dental
By patientconnect365.com 
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There’s hardly anything more irritating than a canker sore. Sure, they’re tiny and only last a few days, but when you’ve got one, just about every word spoken and every bite taken hurts like all get-out.

What exactly are those little buggers, and how in the world can you ease the pain fast?

We’ll fill you in, and share our “canker-sore-be-gone” grocery list that’ll help save the day.
What Exactly is a Canker Sore?
To know the medically proper name for a canker sore is to understand why it hurts so much.

A canker sore is actually an ulcer. An Aphthous Ulcer to be exact. These painful ulcers come in two forms, minor and major, and are surprisingly experienced by only about 20% of the U.S. population.

Minor cankers (common in people between the ages of 10 and 20), are the smaller of the two, as the name would suggest, and last about 7-10 days.

Major cankers can last from two to six weeks, have noticeable depth, and often have irregular borders. This type of sore is more common after the age of 20, and is essentially a recurrent canker, returning to a site previously impacted by a minor canker.
Who Gets Cankers?
While cankers affect both genders, girls tend to get them more often, likely because of hormonal fluctuations.

Aside from that, most people are believed to get cankers due to genetics– and the condition is triggered by spicy, salty or abrasive foods.

If you or your kids are among those unlucky people gifted with canker sore genetics, there is hope! Arrest the pain and speed up the healing process with this short shopping list:

Rinses (use four times a day)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Equal parts peroxide and water
  • Salt and baking soda – Add a half teaspoon of both to 4oz. of water
Numbing Agents
  • Brands like Orajel® and Kank-A® can provide relief
Protective Pastes
  • Milk of Magnesia – dab on a cotton swab and use four times daily after the hydrogen peroxide rinse.
  • Baking Soda and Water Paste
Antimicrobial Mouthwashes

If your children have a sore lasting beyond the two-week mark, make an appointment to see your doctor to evaluate their case. Prescription medications might be necessary to bring them much-needed relief.


Visit our dental blog for more fun an informative articles.



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Seven Tips to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Eagle Valley Dental
By patientconnect365.com 
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Seven Tips To Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Cavities – they're not just for adults. Streptococcus mutans, the bacterium that contributes to tooth decay, is a rather indiscriminate little purple menace, and is quite fond of teeth no matter if they're in your mouth or the mouth of your baby. Keeping their mouth as clean as you keep your own can help you stay ahead of early childhood cavities, and only read about baby bottle tooth decay instead of experiencing it firsthand.

With that in mind, here are seven tips that can help you in the fight against Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), and keep baby bottle tooth decay at bay!

  1. Limit Snacking: Whenever a person consumes any type of food or beverage, the pH level lowers and the mouth becomes more acidic to aid in digestion. This first step in our digestion process ends about 30 minutes after we eat, and the pH returns to normal to help protect our teeth. When we snack, though, our teeth remain bathing in this acidic environment, wearing down tooth enamel, and providing a breeding ground for S. mutans. The same, of course, is true with infants who feed continually, or without a long enough break. You can counter this effect by planning mealtimes with a reasonable start and finish time. Ask your dentist or GP for the best advice for your child.
  2. Avoid The Sugar Dip: Some parents are prone to dipping pacifiers in substances like honey or sugar to acclimate a child to using the device. This is generally a bad idea. For the same reasons you wouldn't want to suck on a honey stick, you shouldn't give one to your child as well. Bad for the teeth.
  3. Don't Share The Spoon: Here's a surprise! Did you know that tooth decay can be transmitted from one person to another? By sharing your child's feeding spoon, you can actually transmit S. mutans living in your mouth to your child. If you want to use a spoon to show your child it's okay to eat in this fashion, you're best off using your own spoon, and then doing a little slight-of-hand-swicheroo.
  4. Keep A Washcloth Nearby: For children who currently do not have teeth, use a washcloth to clean their gums after eating. Think of this as tooth brushing 101.
  5. Brush Away: And, for those lucky enough to have teeth already, use a child-safe toothbrush to clean away any food debris after a meal. It's good training for your child, and good for their teeth as well!
  6. Fill The Bottle Wisely: Avoid putting anything in your child's bottle except formula, breast milk or milk. Anything sweet or sugary will just further promote decay.
  7. Obey Naptime Rules: Restrict bottle usage prior to bedtime, or at least brush or wash their mouth prior to bed. Allowing a child to sleep with a bottle is considered to be the number one reason for baby bottle tooth decay as the bottle tends to continually drip into the child's mouth. For more on why this is important, see tip, #1.
As you can see, avoiding tooth decay in children is really quite simple, and involves many of the same rules we have to follow as adults.

For more information on children dental care visit our Pediatric Services Page.