Dairy and Your Dental Health

Many people find foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to be a very enjoyable part of their diet. Not only are some of these dairy items tasty and nutritious, did you know they can also help your teeth and gums? Studies show that consuming dairy products regularly can lower the occurrence of dental diseases. Let’s see which dairy items you should consider incorporating into your diet and why.

Reduce gum disease

The primary benefit of dairy to your dental health is lowering your risk of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this condition affects roughly 75 percent of Americans at some level. It may be minor gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke, and worsen diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients in many dairy items, and researchers believe that lactic acid is related to reducing gum disease.

Choose your dairy

Just because a food is identified as a dairy product, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely healthy for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the ideal foods and beverages for your dental health:

  • Look for low fat and non-fat options.
  • Choose white milk instead of flavored milk, such as chocolate. The added sugars can lead to tooth decay.
  • Consider natural and organic products when possible.
  • Select unsweetened yogurt without sugar or artificial sweeteners. A good alternative is Greek yogurt which you can add fruit or honey to create an appetizing, healthy snack.

Enjoy additional benefits

Avoiding gum disease isn’t the only benefit of eating dairy. It helps build strong teeth and bones, and is rich in vitamins that are good for your overall health. So the next time you get hungry, try some cheese or a glass of milk because these foods will not only satisfy your hunger but also keep you smiling.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt:
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese:
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries:
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds:
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread:
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.


If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

I Can’t Give Up my Coffee!!

You’ve probably seen what coffee can do to a cup. Those brown stains that you see left on your cup are also sticking to your teeth. Coffee is especially hard on your teeth due to an ingredient called tannic acid, which gets into the grooves and pits of your tooth enamel and can stain it brown. Certainly the ideal way to stop the staining is to quit drinking the java, but that’s an unrealistic solution for many people. So what else can you do to save your pearly whites?

Drink smart

First, try and reduce the amount of coffee you drink. If you drink a lot of coffee, even cutting out one cup a day can lessen the dark stains on your teeth. Another suggestion is to drink your coffee in one or two sittings instead of sipping it all day long. Also, try lowering the temperature of your coffee. The hotter the coffee is, the more easily it can stain your teeth. Just letting it cool a couple of degrees can make a difference to your teeth.

Rinse

After every cup of coffee you drink, rinse your mouth with room-temperature water. This will remove some of the staining elements before they have a chance to set in. The water also helps neutralize acids in your mouth, which will lower the bacteria in your mouth that can lead to cavities.

Use a straw

If you like iced coffee or tea, drink it with a straw so that the dark beverage doesn’t directly contact your front lower and upper teeth. Using a straw reduces your teeth’s exposure to liquids that can stain.

Whiten your teeth

Ask your dentist about professional whitening methods, as well as products you can try at home. There are even some brands of whitening toothpaste made especially for coffee drinkers.

Practice good hygiene

Brush your teeth several times a day, especially after drinking coffee. Flossing daily also helps prevent stains, and is important if you add sugar or cream to your cup of joe. See your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, which can do a better job of removing stains and restoring your smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Life can be full of frustrations, demands, deadlines, and inconveniences. For lots of people, stress is a way of life. The problem is that when you’re constantly stressed out, your health can pay the price. There are many health conditions that are caused or worsen due to high stress levels, but did you know that your mouth may be affected in the form of teeth grinding?

What is teeth grinding?

The condition of grinding or gnashing your teeth together is called bruxism, and often includes clenching your jaw. It commonly happens while sleeping, so that you may not even realize you’re doing it. Sometimes a sleeping partner hears it, or your dentist may recognize the signs of unusual wear on your teeth.

What does my stress level have to do with it?

Teeth grinding has been linked to stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who are stressed from daily life and don’t have adequate coping methods are more likely to grind their teeth. Experts say that both adults and children facing stress sometimes cope by grinding their teeth.

How does teeth grinding affect me?

Grinding your teeth has more negative effects than you might think. It often causes headaches, earaches, and sleep problems. It can cause chipped, loose, cracked, or sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel can suffer excessive wear, and gum tissue may be damaged. Teeth grinding also often causes a painful jaw disorder of the temporomadibular joint, commonly called TMJ.

What can I do about it?

Your dentist may recommend wearing an over-the-counter or custom mouthguard at night, to protect your teeth from further damage. Medications usually are not helpful, although a muscle relaxant before bed may help prevent jaw clenching. The ideal treatment is to try to reduce or eliminate stress that may be contributing to your teeth grinding. Relaxation therapy, stress management, corrective exercises, and counseling are some of the options that dentists suggest to help you remedy the problem.

If you live in the Shreveport area contact us today

Gear up for Back-to-School Sports with Mouth Guards

It’s back-to-school time and that means kids everywhere will be participating in sports. It’s time for football, soccer, volleyball, and all sorts of sports teams to get back in shape. That not only means conditioning your body, but also getting all the right gear. One item that you don’t want to forget is a mouth guard to protect yourself from mouth and facial injuries.

Dentists recommend mouth guards for participants in both high-impact sports and individual sports. Team sports often resulting in mouth injuries include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and hockey. Individual sports that carry high risks include cycling, gymnastics, skateboarding, martial arts, and rollerblading.

Mouth guards are worn to protect the mouth from a variety of possible injuries. They may be minor like a chipped or cracked tooth, or cuts from biting the inside of your mouth. Worse injuries can occur like jaw fractures, and athletes might experience tooth loss or nerve damage. Fractures can cause difficulty breathing, swallowing, eating, or speaking.

Dentists suggest that many sports injuries can be avoided by wearing a mouth guard, and they are available for athletes of all skill sets and ages. They are available in most sporting good stores, or you can opt to have customized mouth guards created by your dentist. Mouth guards are even available in a wide variety of colors, so athletes can choose them to coordinate with their school colors. They are also useful for people who wear traditional braces or Invisalign retainers.

Because many sports can be risky, there’s no reason to ignore the danger to your mouth. Wear a mouth guard to protect your smile throughout the season.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport

Cavities: Not Just for Kids

Once you’re an adult, you don’t have to worry about cavities anymore. Right? Wrong! It’s true that you should have mastered oral hygiene techniques, but there are different factors that can contribute to cavities that weren’t a big issue during childhood. What are some of the things that put you at risk for cavities once you’ve reached adulthood, and what can you do about them?

Diet

Often your diet is worse as an adult without even realizing it, and what you eat and drink directly affects your teeth and gums. Sugar is the biggest offender and all types of sugar counts, not just the obvious candy or sodas. Limit your consumption of juices, milk, crackers, sweetened coffee, fruits, and vitamin or energy drinks.

Grazing

Many people tend to “graze” on foods and drinks all day long. If you snack frequently, you’re giving bacteria a constant supply of sugars to mix with and damage your mouth. Even though it’s tempting to sip on coffee or soda all morning, it’s better to drink it in one sitting. Also consider using a straw to avoid your teeth completely.

Receding gums

If your gums pull away from your teeth, your tooth roots can be exposed to plaque. Older patients with gingivitis, or gum disease, are more likely to form cavities. If the roots of your teeth are uncovered, you are more susceptible to plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Previous fillings

Fillings you received earlier in life can contribute to adult cavities. The filling may weaken with time, allowing bacteria into any cracks. Your dentist will check existing fillings for wear and replace them if needed.

Medical conditions

People with lower saliva flow due to various illnesses are at higher risk of cavities. Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation are at more risk, as are smokers. People with limited manual dexterity may be unable to clean their teeth sufficiently.

Ways to decrease your risk

Brush with a fluoride toothpaste after meals, floss daily, and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. See your dentist twice a year, and also inquire about fluoride treatments.

Our dental office is located in Shreveport