Apply an ice pack, wrapped in a towel, to the area causing pain (on your cheek -never apply ice directly to your tooth). The cold can help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. However, if your toothache persists for more than a couple of days, it's best to call us and schedule an appointment.
Once your brushing routine is done, give your teeth a break from sugars for the night.
It's not just brushing your teeth that matters -- when you brush your teeth also matters. For example, when you brush your teeth at night, it should be the last thing that you do before you go to bed. You're going to be sleeping for around 8 hours, which is a long time to leave your enamel exposed to any sugars or acids. Your mouth also tends to be drier at night (especially if you sleep with your mouth open), which makes you even more vulnerable to cavities. So it's best if your teeth are as clean as they're going to be before you fall asleep.
Sometimes people make changes to their after-brushing and before bed routine without realizing how it could impact their teeth. Have you started taking a vitamin or supplement at night before you go to sleep, especially one of the gummy or chewable varieties? Have you been sick and taking a liquid antibiotic or cold medicine before bed? Have you gotten into a habit of keeping a glass of juice on your nightstand at night, in case you wake up with a dry throat? All of those things -- chewable vitamins, liquid medicines and antibiotics, and juice -- contain sugars, and if you've begun taking them or drinking them after you brush your teeth, you're allowing those sugars to have free reign on your tooth enamel all night long. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Take vitamins or medicine before you brush your teeth, and if you need a drink in the night, choose water.
Brushing Too Hard
Your teeth are hard and you have a powerful bite, so it can be difficult to imagine that the soft bristles on your toothbrush could be damaging your teeth. However, you actually can over-brush and end up cutting into and scraping your enamel. The weaker and more damaged your enamel is, the more vulnerable you are to cavities.
If you can't pinpoint a more likely cause for your cavities, it's entirely possible that your brushing technique is to blame. Don't be afraid to ask your dentist to help you show you the best brushing techniques. Everyone can use a refresher now and then.
You're Getting Older
You may need to take extra precautions to protect your smile as you age.
On the one hand, thanks to advances in dental technology, you're more likely than ever before to keep all or most of your own teeth for the rest of your life, instead of needing dentures in your golden years. On the other hand, as you age, your teeth do become more vulnerable to cavities.
Partly, this is because of gum disease, which is more common as you get older. Your gums can begin to recede and expose more of the tooth enamel. As the amount of tooth surface increases, so does the incidence of cavities. Another common problem as you age is decreased saliva, especially if you're taking medicine for high blood pressure or heart disease. You may need to increase your fluid intake to stay better hydrated and brush, floss, and visit your dentist more often.
If you seem to be prone to cavities, you can always ask your dentist to help you understand why you're seeing cavities now and what you can do to stop them.
We hope you have some amazing plans for the weekend!
Acid and Sugar
They may look tempting, but they're full of cavity-causing acid.
Sports drinks are often intended to appeal to people who don't enjoy drinking water, so it's perhaps not too surprising that they're sugary. However, it's not the sugar that's the biggest problem. The drinks are also highly acidic, which is the primary danger for teeth.
Acid can actually be harder on the teeth than sugar. The main problem with sugar is that the bacteria that occurs naturally in the mouth converts the sugar to acid, which eats away and weakens enamel. When you consume acidic foods or drinks, the enamel is exposed to the acid directly, without the need for bacteria to convert it. So, while it's easy to think of sports drinks as just more flavorful water, they're definitely directly harmful for teeth, whereas water is harmless or even beneficial.
How to Hydrate
Milk and water provide all the hydration most active children need.
For most children, milk or water is sufficient to provide the hydration that they need without the dental risks of sports drinks. Get your children a reusable bottle that they can refill with water from your home tap. Not only is this better for the environment than disposable bottles, it's also better for your children's teeth. In most communities, tap water is fortified with fluoride that will help your children develop strong and healthy enamel. Choose milk when your child needs more than just additional fluids -- the natural sugar and fats in the milk will help give your child the energy that they need.
For older children and teens that are athletes, sports drinks might be appropriate under some circumstances. Teach them to wash out their mouths with water after drinking the sports drink. This will reduce the amount of acid in their mouths and help protect their teeth until they can brush them. Keep in mind that brushing immediately after finishing an acidic drink is usually not a great idea, as the brush can actually spread the acid around. Rinsing the mouth out with water and brushing a bit later allows the acid to be diluted first.
Summertime schedules tend to be busy for families with kids. When school is out, there are day camps to attend, vacations to take, blockbuster movies to see, and team sports to play, along with the increased playdates and outdoor activities. When you and the kids are overscheduled, it's often easier to just grab a snack and run. However, you still have to be mindful of the effect that sugary snacks and junk food have on overall health, and on your children's teeth in particular. Following are some healthy and tooth-friendly snacking tips that will keep you and your kids going this summer.
Take a Pass on the Popsicles
They look delicious, but are they harming your teeth?
Popsicles are a favorite for many kids, and why not? They're cold and refreshing on a hot day, they're sweet and tasty, and the sugar can provide a welcome rush of energy. However, many commercial brands of popsicles contain a lot of added sugar, and that's not great news for your child's teeth.
For a healthy snack that's simple, sweet, and cold, try freezing fresh berries, grapes, and bananas. These are just as easy to grab and eat, and they're a lot healthier and easier on the tooth enamel. If you are really craving a popsicle, throw some fruit in a blender and pour the pureed fruit into popsicle molds and freeze for an all-fruit popsicle with no added sugar. Add some yogurt to the blender with the fruit if your kids prefer creamsicles.
Try Local Groceries When Traveling
It's to be expected that you'll eat out at least once or twice when you're on a summer vacation, but save your dining out dollars for real restaurants, not fast food. Instead, swing by a local grocery store and pick up real food that you can make and eat in your hotel room, at your campground, or even in your car or at a picnic table along your route.
Fast food is high in sugar and carbs, which causes the acid levels in your mouth to spike. High acid levels can wear away the enamel on your teeth. And fast food is usually served with high-calorie, high-sugar sodas that are definitely the enemy of good dental health. By shopping in grocery stores instead of buying fast food, you'll save money as well as preserve your dental health and overall health. Plus, you may find some delicious local delicacies that you never would have discovered otherwise.
Make Smart Snacking Choices At the Movies
Popcorn isn't your only option at the theater.
When air conditioning was in its early days, movie theaters were among the first public buildings to incorporate the new technology. As a result, film fans flocked to the theaters in the summer -- not just to see the movies, but also to get out of the heat. This is how the summer blockbuster was born.
If summer blockbusters are a favorite for your family, you're probably familiar with the concession choices at the movie theater: mostly popcorn, soda, and candy. Popcorn isn't too bad if it's air popped and you skip the buttery topping, but many movie theaters pop their popcorn in oil. Plus, the kernels can get caught between your teeth, and an unpopped kernel can break a tooth if you're not careful.
It's usually better to eat at home before or after the movies and skip the movie theater snacks (they're usually overpriced anyway.) If you must buy snacks, opt for a small popcorn without the buttery topping, and eat it carefully. Nuts are a good snack too, especially if you can find some without candy shells or coatings. If you're watching movies at home, dry cereal makes a good crunchy popcorn substitute if you choose a variety without a lot of added sugar. Or, if it's the salty taste that you're looking for, try some lightly salted dried edamame instead.
Summer is also a great time to schedule your one of your family's biannual dental checkups. Click below to schedule your appointment, or call your local office today.
Chances are, you've seen the Associated Press report on the efficacy of flossing making the rounds on Facebook. After years of being told by dentists that flossing is one of the cornerstones of good oral hygiene, you may be wondering if it was ever worth the bother. But don't toss the floss just yet -- it's a pretty good bet that your dentist will recommend that you continue flossing anyway, despite the AP report. Take a look at the reasons why.
What the AP Report Doesn't Say
At first glance, it may seem that the recent reports mean that flossing is pointless, and the headlines certainly make it sound that way. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll see that what the Associated Press report really says is that the studies showing the benefits of flossing are flawed. They used outdated methodologies, tested too small a sample size of patients, showed evidence of bias, or drew conclusions from relatively weak data.
However, this does not mean that flossing has no benefits, just that the studies showing benefits from flossing cannot be accepted as conclusive proof that flossing has benefits. The case for floss may not yet have been proven, but nothing in the AP report disproves the theory that flossing is good for your oral health either.
Cleaning Between Your Teeth
Not a good replacement for dental floss.
Getting a bit of food caught between your teeth is a nearly universal experience. It's usually pretty uncomfortable to have food stuck between your teeth, and it's a relief to get it out. Of course, sometimes, you don't feel the particle of food, which can be pretty embarrassing if it's spinach caught between your front teeth.
What you may not realize is that you can also have bits of food that are too small to see caught between your teeth. While you may not notice them, they definitely have an impact -- that food can rot if it's not cleaned out, inviting decay-causing bacteria and giving you horrible breath.
What's the safest and most effective way to remove food particles, large and small, that get stuck between your teeth? Not your toothbrush -- it's too hard to get the bristles in the tight space between your teeth, especially the back teeth. Don't count on toothpicks, either -- they can break off and splinter between your teeth, irritating your gums and leading to infections. The safest way to clear out the bits and pieces caught between your teeth is dental floss. It's a tried and true method.
It Can't Hurt
It's been working for you for this long, so why give it up now?
The truth is that it's pretty difficult to gather good evidence on the benefits of flossing for a variety of reasons. There are logistical and ethical barriers to setting up the kind of long-term intensive study that would be needed to more conclusively prove the benefits of dental floss, and even then, you'd have to wait years to learn the results of the studies.
So, while dental health experts will no doubt continue to research the effects of using dental floss as best they can, you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for any earth-shattering conclusions. In the meantime, flossing is easy and inexpensive, and while the jury is still out on how much it helps, it certainly can't hurt. So why not keep doing it?
Your dentist knows what's best for your teeth better than anyone, so if you're looking to make any changes in your oral care regimen, it's worth making an appointment to discuss your individual dental needs.
Choosing a dental practice is a big decision. Dental work -- even routine checkups -- can be difficult for some patients, especially those who have phobias about the dentist or who have had bad experiences in the past. You need to feel safe with your dentist. You also need to feel comfortable telling them about things like your diet, any medical conditions that you may have, and any medications you take, as all of these things can affect your dental health. Following are some of the things that set Gentech apart, and that may make us the right dental practice for you.
State of the Art Technology
A dentist office that uses the latest dental technology has the resources to make your visits as safe, comfortable, and convenient as possible. Gentech uses advanced technology to ensure that you're always receiving top-notch treatment.
Digital dental x-rays provide the highest quality images, which aids your dentist in diagnosing your dental needs early and correctly. Gentech's digital dental x-rays ensure that you'll get an accurate diagnosis and the best possible plan of care for any treatments you need. Additionally, our tooth colored composite fillings blend in with your natural teeth, which means that no one but you needs to know that you've had dental work done.
With Gentech's individualized treatment, rest assured, you're getting the right treatment for you.
Your dentist will take the time to get to know you. From your previous dental history to the quality of your past dental experiences, our dentists want to understand your background. Taking a personal interest in each patient allows us to better determine what your needs are.
If you have a special request, we'd love to hear about it. Accommodating your individual needs is all part of the personalized service that ensures the best possible outcomes for your oral health.
At Gentech, our team wants to make sure that you're comfortable. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the easier your treatments will be. That's why our staff will go out of their way to make sure that you're put at ease when receiving treatment. This all starts with a new patient tour of the office before your appointment, so that you can get the lay of the land and know what to expect when you come in for your checkup or dental work.
We have a blanket warmer on-site so that you can always have a warm blanket available if you begin to feel chilly during your procedure. If you can't get relaxed in the chair, you can ask for a pillow to help you settle into place. You'll also have access to headphones and magazines while you wait, along with coffee, tea, or water if you need it.
At Gentech Dentist, we truly care about our patients, and strive to always provide top quality dental care. To find out more about why patients love Gentech, see all of the services we provide.
We have six local offices in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, which makes scheduling an appointment easy!
What's Missing From Your Bottled Water?
Many people assume bottled water is healthier, but it may be missing important ingredients.
It's not anything that's in the bottled water that may be bad for your teeth, it's what isn't in the water that you need to be concerned about. For many years now, municipalities have been adding fluoride to the public water supply. Fluoride is a mineral that protects your bones and helps prevent tooth decay. Though it occurs naturally in water, it usually isn't present in high enough quantities to effectively protect your teeth, so municipalities add extra to promote good dental health.
The problem is that bottled water does not necessarily contain this mineral. Many bottled water manufacturers don't add extra fluoride. What's more, they aren't required to state whether or not their water contains fluoride on the label, so it can be tough to tell if you're getting it or not.
Who's At Risk?
Everybody needs fluoride in their diet. However, evidence suggests that children, with their still developing teeth, might be at the greatest risk from a lack of fluoride in the drinking water. Dentists have noted that tooth decay in children is on the rise, and some believe the prevalence of bottled water is a contributing factor to the increased levels of tooth decay.
Adults aren't immune to the detrimental effects of a lack of fluoride, either. And if you already have problems with tooth decay and are prone to cavities, you may be at greater risk if you aren't getting enough of the mineral on a daily basis.
What You Can Do
If you have to use bottled water, try to find a brand that does add fluoride.
Unless you have reason to believe that your water is unsafe, you're better off getting water from your home tap when you're thirsty. Reusable bottles will allow you to take your fluoridated tap water with you anywhere you need to go, and they'll have less impact on the environment than disposable water bottles.
A water filter installed on your faucet or on a pitcher that you use to store water can help make your home water more palatable if you don't like the taste or smell. Another option is to specifically seek out fluoridated bottled water. Fluoride is also found in many dental products, like toothpaste and mouthwash.
If you're concerned that you or your children are not getting enough fluoride, ask your dentist what you can do. Your dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatments in the office or specific products that you should use at home.