Clever Uses for Your Old Toothbrush

Most dentists recommend that patients replace their toothbrushes every three to four months. About this time, the bristles start to wear out or become frayed, which makes the tool less effective. You should also replace your toothbrush right away if you have been sick so that you don’t re-infect yourself.

Once you are done with the toothbrush, you don’t have to immediately toss it in the trash. These creative opportunities will allow you to put that old toothbrush to good use.

Dust the keyboard
The precision of the bristles makes it a cinch to get between the keys.

Eliminate stains
If you get spots on your carpet or upholstery, an old toothbrush will enable you to really scrub the soiled area and remove the stain.

Touch up your roots
For those who dye their own hair, an old toothbrush is the perfect tool for applying color to specific areas.

Dislodge dirt from under your nails
Gardening will help your plants grow, but will also make your manicure look less than appealing. With an old toothbrush, you can say good-bye to grimy nails.

Polish jewelry
To make your favorite pieces sparkle, use an old toothbrush and a tab of toothpaste to restore their beauty.

Clean bike chains
If you don’t want to look like a mechanic after taking grease off the chains, you can grab an old toothbrush and easily finish the job.

Remove silk strings off ears of corn
Before boiling corn, wipe the ears with an old toothbrush to eliminate the corn silk and keep it out of your teeth.

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Reasons Why You Should Smile

Did you know that it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown? This powerful tool often gets lost in the busyness of our lives. Not only is smiling easier on your face, but it can significantly improve your mood and give somebody else’s day a lift. The benefits of smiling include:

Connects you with other people
When you share a smile with another person, you form an instant bond. By boosting that individual’s mood, you can reduce stress levels and possibly encourage that person to try on a smile. Actually, you can use a smile as currency to successfully navigate awkward social situations and gather any assistance you need.

Changes your perspective
If you feel anger or stress, smiling can give your attitude a much-needed adjustment. Typically, smiling enables your body to release endorphins, wonderful chemicals that make you feel happy.

It doesn’t cost a thing
Often, we get busy and don’t have the time, energy, or resources to help others. Your smile brightens the lives of anyone who sees it and it only takes a minute or less.

Helps fight illness
People who smile a lot tend to be more optimistic, which can promote a stronger immune system and keep you healthy.

Why not smile?
Try to remember that if you don’t smile, your other options are frowning or wearing a blank expression across your face. Given those choices, smiling seems like the best alternative.

Boosts your confidence
When you smile, you often walk taller and carry yourself in a more self-assured manner.

Smile makeover dentist in Shreveport

Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

Vitamin A
Besides aiding with vision, Vitamin A also helps with the development of healthy teeth and gums. As well, Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants assist in getting rid of free radicals, chemicals that speed up decay in the body.

Vitamin C
Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C assists with the absorption of iron, maintains healthy connective tissues, and promotes strong teeth and gum tissue. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is washed out of the body once it has what it needs, people should take in Vitamin C every day.

Vitamin D
Created after exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption as well as helping keep the right levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood stream. Children need to get enough Vitamin D so that they will develop healthy teeth and bones, so it is often added to milk.

Calcium
No matter your age, every person needs to take in enough calcium because this mineral is crucial in the development and maintenance of teeth and bones. In fact, your jaw bone forms the foundation that houses your teeth.

Getting What You Need
Eating a balanced diet will ensure that your body has the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your smile vibrant for a lifetime. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese as well as vegetables such as broccoli and peas are high in calcium. Have lots of egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified dairy products when you need Vitamin D. Citrus fruits, melons, berries, and tomatoes offer plenty of Vitamin C, and you can find Vitamin A in dark green or yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs, or low-fat dairy products.

 

Test Your Dental Knowledge

How much do you really know about your mouth? Most people understand basic brushing and flossing, but they may not realize the myriad of factors that influence dental health. Knowing how your lifestyle impacts your teeth and gums can help you make the best choices to protect your smile.

True or False: You don’t need to floss every day.
Answer: False. Brushing alone won’t protect your mouth from decay or gum disease. Floss gets hard-to-reach areas, cleaning out the plaque and bacteria that wreak havoc on your oral health.

True or False: Taking care of your tongue is important, so you should brush it regularly.
Answer: True. The tiny bumps on your tongue called papillae trap food and bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Brushing twice a day will keep your breath smelling great.

True or False: Soft drinks and sports drinks don’t damage teeth.
Answer: False. These beverages, as well as red wine and fruit juices, can lead to enamel erosion. It’s best to stick with water, but if you consume these drinks, rinse your mouth when you finish.

True or False: It’s okay to put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or milk.
Answer: False. When you let your baby or toddler fall asleep with anything but water, you increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. This condition occurs because of prolonged bottle feeding, usually during sleep. Young children don’t have good plaque removal, so these beverages provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

True or False: Fluoride reduces decay 20 to 40 percent.
Answer: True. Drinking water with fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria in your mouth produce. Since fluoride was added to the drinking water supplies across the country, childhood cavity rates have dramatically dropped.

 

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Shreveport dentists office.

Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Fun in the summer sun can cause unpleasant side effects such as cold sores and fever blisters. Brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), cold sores and fever blisters are transmitted from person to person by saliva or by skin contact. With cold sores, you generally develop clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. Most people are exposed to HSV-1 before age 10. After the first infection, the virus remains inactive until stress, illness, or sun exposure causes a new outbreak.

During the first exposure, you may have headache, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. Patients may also have painful swelling and open mouth sores. Most of the time, cold sores or fever blisters appear on the edges of your lips. Usually, these outbreaks start with tingling or burning followed by swelling or redness. One or more blisters will typically appear within 24 to 48 hours.

Initial symptoms can last for 7 to 14 days. When the cold sores or blisters reappear, they generally crust over in about four days and then heal within 10 days. You may want to visit your doctor or dentist the first time you develop cold sores or fever blisters, but after that, you shouldn’t need medical attention. Keep the area clean and apply topical medication to lessen symptoms as well as promote healing.

Preventing a first infection for loved ones involves making sure that no one with an active fever blister kisses your kids or other family members. Sunscreen can help protect your lips from cold sores brought on by too much time in the sun.

Dentist in Shreveport

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.

Saliva flow
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.

ADA acceptance
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.

Sugarless
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.

Dental hygiene
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.

Schedule your appointment at our Shreveport dental office