3 Healthy Summer Snacking Tips

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

Gentech Dentist says to skip the sugary 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

Opt out of movie theater concessions.
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.

Schedule an appointment today

Don't Toss the Floss! 3 Reasons to Continue Flossing

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

Toothpicks are not as useful as floss.
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

Don't toss the floss!
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. 

Schedule an appointment today

3 Things that Set Gentech Apart from Other Local Dentists

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.

Personalized Experience

Gentech Dentist offers personalized treatment for each patient.
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.

Patient Comfort

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! 

Schedule an appointment today

Is Bottled Water Harmful for Your Teeth?

Bottled water is everywhere, and there are plenty of good reasons why you might be using it. If you're averse to the smell or taste of your home tap water, bottled water provides a refreshing solution. And if you have reason to fear water contamination -- for instance, if you live in an area with elevated lead levels in the water -- bottled water may also be the safest way to get the necessary amount of water for your body each day. And of course, small bottles of water are conveniently portable, which is handy when you're on the go. But is drinking bottled water harming your teeth? Some dentists fear that it may be. Take a look at the reasons why.

What's Missing From Your Bottled Water?

Is bottled water healthier for your teeth?
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

Drink bottled water that has added fluoride.
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.

2016 Twilight Run

On July 9th, Gentech Dentist sponsored employees to run in the Twilight Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA. This evening run supported the Children's Cancer Association. See More

Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe and fun 4th of July, from Gentech Dentist.

pexels-photo-27869.jpg

#TBT Your Dentist Knows

Your dentist can tell a lot about youOn this very day last year, we shared an interesting article. It's quite amazing what your dentist can tell about you, just from taking a look in your mouth.

Did you know that your dentist can tell if you bite your nails? How about this, did you know a dentist can tell that a woman is pregnant just by looking in her mouth? If you missed the article last year, check it out now! 12 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking In Your Mouth

YOU are Beautiful! #SpreadTheSmile

Quote_Smile_Rashida_Jones_0516.jpg

#ToothKnowledge

"Don't always start brushing the same place. If you always start on the top right side, that section is going to get the most attention. Most people get bored as they are brushing, so the areas covered last get the least attention." 

Read more about The 10 Teeth Myths for more tips and busted myths regarding cleaning those pearly whites! ‪#‎ToothKnowledge‬ 

What You Need to Know about Oil Pulling and Your Oral Health

Recently, websites that promote natural health remedies have popularized an old folk remedy for tooth cleaning: oil pulling. Oil pulling involves swishing an edible oil, like coconut, sesame, olive, or sunflower oil, through your mouth for anywhere from a minute to 20 minutes. This is purported to whiten teeth, prevent cavities, and improve overall tooth and gum health. But is this practice really the magic bullet that it's made out to be? Before you add this folk remedy to your oral healthcare regimen, take a look at a few things you should know about the practice.

Oil Pulling
Is oil really a good oral healthcare product?

Is It Effective?

Oil pulling isn't recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). There's a good reason for that. Like many alternative and folk remedies, there are few, if any, peer-reviewed studies that can attest to the efficacy of oil pulling. However, there are studies that suggest that other methods of caring for your mouth are considerably more effective.

For example, mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, is more effective than oil pulling in reducing the amount of plaque-producing bacteria in the mouth. That means that you're better off choosing a chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash.

Are There Risks?

Natural remedies are often touted as being less risky than commercial products because they contain fewer chemicals. It's important to remember that chemicals are not inherently bad or bad for you. The truth is that natural remedies come with risks of their own, and because they're not as extensively studied as doctor-recommended treatments, these risks are often underreported, putting the people that opt for natural remedies at additional risk.

The risk comes with the possibility of inhaling small amounts of oil into your lungs during the pulling process. When aerosolized oil enters the lungs, even in small amounts, you can develop a condition called lipoid pneumonia, a painful and potentially dangerous inflammation of the lungs.

What to Do Instead

Dentist
Your dentist is the person best qualified to help you find the right oral care products.

If you're worried about your oral health and looking for new and better ways to take care of your teeth and gums, you're on the right track! Instead of choosing potentially dangerous alternative remedies, you should be looking for dental health remedies with a proven track record.

One place to start is by choosing oral rinses that come with the ADA seal of acceptance. It might surprise you to learn that commercial mouthwashes also contain essential oils, such as thymol, eucalyptol, and menthol. The difference is that these oils occur in small amounts that are intended for swishing in your mouth. If you are concerned that you may have dental problems that go beyond choosing the right mouthwash, then your best course of action is to make an appointment with a trusted dentist to find out how best to care for your mouth.

If it's been awhile since your last checkup, there's no time like the present to make an appointment. Find the office that right for you, or click below to schedule an appointment today!

Schedule an appointment today