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Is Gum Bad for Your Teeth?

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When you think about gum, you may think that your dentist wouldn’t like you chewing it. However, here we’re going to discuss how a certain type of gum is not bad for your teeth, but is actually beneficial. Read on to discover which kind of gum is safe for your oral health! Sugar vs. Sugar-Free Chewing gum is only good for your teeth if it’s sugarless. Do not chew gum that contains sugar or you will be harming your teeth by allowing the sugar to linger in your mouth. This sugar is then eaten by your oral bacteria, which produce acidic byproducts that will weaken your tooth enamel. And weak tooth enamel is more prone to tooth decay, cavities, and sensitivity. Can Sugar-Free Gum Help Clean Your Teeth? Studies have found that when you chew sugarless gum for at least 20 minutes after you’ve eaten, the gum can help prevent cavities. This is because as you chew the sugarless gum, it removes food particles from the surface of your teeth, which, if left there, can be turned into cavity-causing …

The Science Behind Teeth Whitening

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If you’re interested in having a smile that is white and bright, you may be considering getting your teeth professionally whitened. And you might also be wondering how exactly teeth whitening works. What's the Science Behind Teeth Whitening? Over the years, your teeth can become discolored by things such as poor dental hygiene, teeth grinding, tobacco, and dark-colored drinks like coffee, red wine, and soda. As you age and consume foods and beverages that are sugary or acidic, your enamel (the outer layer of teeth) weakens and thins, which allows your dentin (the underlying yellow layer of teeth) to show through. Teeth whitening agents can solve your discoloration woes by either removing surface stains from the hard shell enamel or by changing the color of the dentin. Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help remove surface stains from enamel. But to change the color of dentin and achieve a more dramatic result, your smile will require bleach-based whiteners that con…

What Causes Dry Mouth?

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Does your mouth feel like a desert? Saliva plays an important role in digestion, your ability to taste, and protecting your teeth against harmful bacteria left behind by food particles. A decrease in your saliva production is not only a nuisance, but it can negatively impact your oral health. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of dry mouth and a few best practices to correct it. 1. Medicinal Side Effects Medications used to treat a variety of health issues can cause dry mouth. These medications are not limited to prescription drugs, as several over-the-counter medications can have the same effect. The most notable dry mouth inducing medications include antidepressants, antihistamines, pain medication, blood pressure medication, and a variety of others. If one of these medications is responsible for your symptoms, oftentimes your doctor can put you on a different medication or slightly lower the dosage. 2. Excessive Tobacco & Alcohol Use If you notice your dry mouth …

New Year Resolution: Improve Dental Health

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Something interesting happens around this time every year. People start reflecting on the last twelve months and start thinking about some things they can change in order to make the next twelve even better. These changes, or resolutions, are usually quickly lost within the first few weeks of the new year.

But this year, Hewlett Family Dental wants to help you make some solid, easy-to-keep resolutions to improve your oral health in 2020!

Brush & Floss
One of the easiest resolutions you can make for better oral health is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. This means brushing twice a day, every day, and flossing once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently (emphasis on gently) scrub away bacteria and plaque buildup. But brushing alone doesn’t reach all surfaces of your teeth. This is where flossing comes into play. Flossing between each and every tooth daily removes the things that brushing alone can miss. Following this at-home oral health rout…

Holiday Teeth Whitening Tips!

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‘Tis the season for giving and of course, feasting! Indulging in your favorite holiday foods and festive drinks this time of year is inevitable, so it’s important to take special care of your teeth to ensure they stay healthy and white as snow. Follow these teeth whitening tips to keep your teeth merry and bright throughout the holiday season and beyond. Sip Through Straws Seasonal lattes, coffee, tea, hot buttered rum, red wine and other dark beverages should always be sipped through a straw in order to prevent tooth stains and yellowing. Using straws will reduce how much your favorite beverages come in contact with your front teeth. So, the next time you’re offered a drink at a holiday gathering or restaurant, politely ask for a straw, or better yet, stash one in your pocket or purse so you always have one on hand. Give Your Mouth a Good Rinse Rinsing your mouth with water after eating and drinking is essential for keeping your teeth pearly-white during the holidays and throughout th…

Do your teeth feel rough? Here's why...

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Have you ever had the experience where your teeth feel rough? If so, it could be an indication that your tooth enamel may be eroding. Here, we’ll explain what it means if your teeth feel rough and what exactly enamel erosion is. What Is Tooth Enamel? Before we dive into enamel erosion, let’s talk about enamel itself. Tooth enamel is the hard, outermost layer of your teeth that protects them against all kinds of damage, such as decay and trauma from impact. Though it is incredibly strong, enamel is not impervious to acids, which wear away at and erode your enamel and lead to tooth decay. What Causes Enamel Erosion? There are a number of things that can cause enamel erosion: Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to accumulate along your teeth and gumline. When this plaque feeds upon your dietary sugars, it produces enamel-destroying acids.Your diet has a lot to do with the strength or weakness of your enamel. For example, foods and drinks high in acids such as carbonated drinks and citrus fruit…

HOLIDAY DENTAL TIPS

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To help keep your smile bright and healthy during the busy and party-filled season, here are 12 days of holiday dental tips to see you (and your teeth) safely through the season! #1 Be cautious of candy canes – Hard candy is tasty and readily available at the holidays from candy canes to peppermints, but it can crack your teeth if you bite down wrong. It may be better to let candies dissolve to prevent any chipping or other damage – but be sure to brush thoroughly after eating candy of any kind. #2 Stay clear of soda – Holiday parties are rife with soda and this sugary substance is never good for your teeth. Read more here. If you want something bubbly, try fizzy water rather than soda. If you must drink soda, use a straw to keep most of the acid off your teeth. #3 Watch the wine – If you like a nice red, be mindful of how this can stain your teeth. White wine is less of a risk to your white smile. If you do drink red, do so with food to mitigate how much of it gets on your teeth. Be su…

Why are my teeth sensitive?

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Do your teeth feel sensitive when you sip a hot coffee or when you have a bite of ice cream? If so, you could be suffering from tooth sensitivity. But what does that mean and is tooth sensitivity a sign of something worse? What Is Tooth Sensitivity? First, let’s discuss what tooth sensitivity is. Tooth sensitivity is a painful sensation that occurs when you consume certain foods or drinks (like those that are very hot or very cold) because your tooth’s dentin or cementum is exposed. Dentin is the layer underneath your tooth’s enamel, the hard shell that covers and protects your teeth, and cementum is the material that protects the roots of your teeth. Dentin is made up of tiny fluid-filled canals that are connected to nerve endings from the inner pulp, which is a soft bundle of nerves and blood vessels at the center of your tooth. When your enamel is worn away or weakened, or if your gums recede, these sensitive layers become irritated. What Sensitivity Means for Your Oral Health Tooth…

How Soda Could Affect Tooth Enamel Loss

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Is Your Favorite Soda Affecting Tooth Enamel Loss?Soda can sound so delicious, but you may want to think twice about guzzling it, no matter how enticing it may seem. Did you know that soda and other high acid drinks can permanently damage your teeth and can be even more devastating on the dental health of your kids? It’s true. It’s not just your favorite fizzy drink that can do your teeth in, but also fruit juice and sports beverages. If the drink is high in acid, your teeth are at risk. From the first sip, within less than a minute, permanent damage can be done to your enamel. The risks are even higher for kids because many adolescents grind their teeth at night and may also have undiagnosed acid reflux which can compound the damage done. Brushing Doesn’t Restore Enamel Damage Sodas If high acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they’ll be okay. But the damage is already done. Many of us allow o…

The Power of Saliva

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A new study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Biology showed that saliva is an incredible natural weapon in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. The research was done at MIT and Harvard and found that some components of saliva fight the bacteria that cause cavities called Streptococcus mutans (commonly known as S. mutans).  What the study showed about bacteria in your mouth S. mutans utilizes sugars we eat or drink and build up plaque that, over time, erodes your teeth. Here’s how. In short, an evil little film of bacteria forms on your teeth that then produces acids that dissolve enamel and eat holes in your teeth – these holes are cavities. The study found that salivary mucins act like a natural defense against S. mutans that may be more effective than fluoride. Previously, it was thought that mucins only served to keep saliva slippery, but it seems that they have much more important properties. Rather than directly attacking the cavity-causing bacteria, t…

5 Ways to Cut Back on Kids Sugar Intake

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Most kids won’t ever turn down a sweet treat, but candy and sugary goodies are not good for them. Over-consumption of white sugars can not only lead to tooth decay needing dental restoration, but can lead to bad eating habits that can result in childhood (or adult) obesity and a life full of health problems. And the older your kids get, the less chance you’ll have to influence their habits, so now is the time to get them out of the habit of eating sweets. Here’s five tips to help cut down on sugar in your kid’s diets.
#1 Skip the soda Soda is one of the worst sugars to allow your child to indulge in and lays the groundwork for lifelong bad choices in beverages. Instead, encourage consumption of water, milk and juice (although juice intake should not be excessive and never before bed). At restaurants, unsweetened tea with raw sugar or honey to sweeten it can be a nice indulgence now and then. Or try seltzer water for a fizzy, low-sugar treat. Kids that don’t grow up drinking soda are l…

5 Ways To Stop Bleeding Gums

Have you ever noticed inflamed gums or slight bleeding while you brush or floss? Like many individuals, you may have ignored the inflammation and blood until one day you realized that the problem only got worse. If you’re feeling alarmed, it’s for a good reason. According to the National Library of Medicine, bleeding gums is an early sign of gum diseasethat requires a sense of urgency and treatment. After noticing signs of gum inflammation and/or bleeding, it’s critical that you make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Though your appointment maybe a few days or even weeks away, there are steps you can take to reduce the inflammation and stop the bleeding in the meantime. Check out our methods below! Improve your diet Improving your diet means one thing: eating healthier. Throw out the sugary foods and candy that are not only hurting your gums but hurting your entire body. Your gums require good nutrition to stay healthy. Consider increasing your intake of vitamin…

The Best and Worst Summer Drinks for Your Teeth

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It’s no secret that bathing your teeth in sugary drinks can lead to cavities. But in this season of piña coladas and mojitos, we wanted to know just how bad are our favorite summer refreshers? We asked Priyanka Patel, DMD, a general dentist in Chicago, to weigh in. Lemonade: This classic summer go-to for picnics, barbeques and kiddie entrepreneurs is problematic more for its high acidity than its sugar (though that’s trouble too). Lemons are the most acidic of all citrus fruits. “Acid can be more damaging than sugar, because it breaks down tooth enamel, making it easier for bacteria to come in,” says Dr. Patel. What’s more, lemonade made with preservatives tends to be high in sugar—up to 40 grams (that’s 10 teaspoons!) per serving—but if you make your own fresh batch, you can opt for a lighter touch. Dr. Patel also suggests flavoring water with lemon rind, sliced cucumber, or berries as a tooth-friendly alternative. Wine: All wines, especially red, have tannins, which …

When To Start Brushing Babies Teeth

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Early dental care for children is very important. Although most babies do not have visible teeth for the first six months to one year of their lives, good dental care starts from the very beginning. Baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent adult teeth, but neglect of your child’s first teeth may lead to serious health issues.

In making sure your child has proper dental care, you will help to safeguard their smile, and also assist them in building a lifetime of good oral care habits.
Before Tooth Eruption The first baby teeth start to show up at around six months old and will likely appear in the front of the mouth. But even before they arrive, you need to keep your baby’s mouth clean. Using a clean, warm, moistened cloth or a piece of sterile gauze, gently wipe your baby’s gums with your index finger. Be thorough, but use light pressure. The goal is to remove any food particles or milk film from their gums.
Teething Teething can be frustrating for a baby and their parents. It b…