Posts for: February, 2016
Sports drinks have been widely touted as an ideal way to replenish carbohydrates, electrolytes and, of course, fluids after a strenuous event or workout. But the mixtures of many popular brands often contain acid and added sugar, similar to other types of soft drinks. This can create an acidic environment in the mouth that can be damaging to tooth enamel.
Of course, the best way to replenish fluids after most strenuous activities is nature’s hydrator, water. If, however, you or a family member does drink the occasional sports beverage, you can help reduce the acid impact and help protect tooth enamel by following these 3 tips.
Avoid sipping a sports drink over long periods. Sipping on a drink constantly for hours interferes with saliva, the bodily fluid responsible for neutralizing mouth acid. But because the process can take thirty minutes to an hour to bring the mouth to a normal pH, saliva may not be able to complete neutralization because of the constant presence of acid caused by sipping. It’s best then to limit sports drinks to set periods or preferably during mealtimes.
Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking.Â Enamel damage occurs after extended periods of exposure to acid. Rinsing your mouth out immediately after consuming a sports drink will wash away a good amount of any remaining acid and help normalize your mouth’s pH level. And since water has a neutral pH, it won’t add to the acid levels.
Wait an hour to brush after eating. As mentioned before, saliva takes time to neutralize mouth acid. Even in that short period of time, though, acid can soften some of the mineral content in enamel. If you brush during this “soft” period, you may inadvertently brush away some of the minerals. By waiting an hour, you give saliva time not only to neutralize acid but also restore mineral strength to the enamel.
If you would like more information on sports and energy drinks and their effect on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Think Before you Drink.”
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
Find out if your smile is right for dental veneers.
Wanting to improve the overall appearance of your smile? Tired of minor imperfections keeping you from your dream smile? Well, now you don’t have to deal with it any longer. Your Batavia, IL dentist, Dr. John C. Koechley, has the answer: dental veneers.
What are veneers and when are they used?
Veneers have become a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment for giving Batavia-area patients a straighter, whiter, and more attractive smile. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that look similar to fingernails but are designed to go over the front of your teeth to change the color, shape, or size of your smile and improve its overall look.
Veneers can be used to cover a myriad of imperfections including:
- Severe discolorations
- Cracks or chips
- Minor crookedness
- Gaps between teeth
- Misshapen or malformed teeth
Veneers can be a great option for those patients who have internal stains for which professional teeth whitening is not effective. Furthermore, veneers can give you the straighter smile you have always wanted without worrying about wearing braces for several months. In just two visits your smile could be completely transformed with veneers.
So, what makes someone a good candidate for veneers?
First and foremost, your oral hygiene must be up to par. This means you should be brushing twice a day and flossing every day without fail. You also should be dedicated to seeing your Batavia dentist every six months for routine exams and cleanings (and to check the health of your veneers).
Secondly, you should be an adult who has good oral health that is free of decay, cavities or gum disease. If we discover any of these issues prior to your treatment, we will need to address these issues first.
Those who grind their teeth, clench their jaws, bite their nails, or often use their teeth as tools are advised not to get veneers, as there is an increased chance of damaging them. Even though they are made from strong, durable porcelain, putting pressure on your veneers can cause them to break or pop off.
Also, because some healthy tooth enamel must be removed prior to applying the veneers, this procedure is considered irreversible. So you will want to make sure that you are 100 percent committed to getting veneers before you opt for this treatment.
If you are ready to take the plunge and get dental veneers in Batavia, IL, then it’s time you scheduled an appointment with Dr. John C. Koechley today. We would be happy to setup a consultation to see if veneers are ideal for you and your smile goals.