Archive for October, 2011

Eating Right: Foods that Help Your Teeth

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Our bodies need a variety of foods to remain healthy, and so do our teeth. What we eat can impact dental health. Not only does food provide valuable nutrients, but certain choices actually help keep teeth and gums clean. Consider incorporating plenty of these options into your diets.

Crunchy vegetables and fruits
When you eat celery, carrots, apples, and similar foods, you not only give your body important vitamins and minerals, but you also promote saliva flow. Saliva rinses your mouth, which works to fight cavity development.

Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk
A main component of bones and teeth, calcium keeps your smile strong. Dairy options provide a good supply of calcium in your diet. Eating cheese as a snack has been shown to help prevent tooth decay.

Onions
Research indicates that onions contain powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds, which kill off bacteria and promote good dental health. Try eating them raw for the most benefit.

Protein
Chicken, turkey, lean beef, and eggs all contain phosphorous. Combined with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorous helps create and maintain our bones, including our teeth.

Sesame Seeds
A delicious choice, sesame seeds offer several benefits. They slough off plaque on teeth, which inhibits cavity development. As well, sesame seeds provide another source of calcium.

Water
Though not technically a food, water is critical to a healthy lifestyle. Water cleanses the mouth, promoting saliva production and keeping gums hydrated. By rinsing away food and bacteria, water lessens your chances of cavities and decreases issues with bad breath.

At Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry we care about your smile and your oral health. Richmond, VA Cosmetic Dentist

Exploring Toothpaste Options

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Across drugstore and grocery aisles, toothpaste options line the shelves. Brushing plays an important part in maintaining dental hygiene. With all the choices, you may feel like it’s a tough to make a decision. Knowing the difference between whitening toothpaste and natural toothpaste can help you decide the best option for your smile.

Cavity-fighting toothpaste
When used correctly, all toothpastes ward off cavities by removing plaque from teeth. Choosing toothpaste with fluoride will protect enamel from erosion and strengthen your teeth. Children under six shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste because they can ingest too much and end up with white spots on their teeth from overexposure to the fluoride.

Whitening toothpaste
Although these options will remove staining, whitening toothpastes don’t work as well as professional teeth whitening. For temporary results and a brighter appearance, many people swear incorporate whitening toothpaste into their hygiene routines.

Antibacterial toothpaste
Some of the newer products have an antibacterial agent called triclosan that may help protect gums from the bacterial infections that cause gum disease. Since these toothpastes haven’t been on the market that long, the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

Natural toothpaste
Found in most health food stores, all-natural toothpastes are typically fluoride-free. Often, natural toothpastes contain ingredients such as peppermint oil, myrrh, or aloe to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
If eating ice cream or drinking coffee causes tooth pain, toothpaste designed to minimize sensitivity might be good for you. These compounds work by desensitizing teeth and blocking the tubules that reach the nerves in your teeth.

We’ll make you smile at Brown, Reynolds & Snow dental office in Richmond, VA.

Basic Dental Health Terms

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

To ensure a healthy smile, you need to have general knowledge about oral health. Understanding common terms will help you make good decisions while caring for your teeth and gums. The following definitions will provide a background that you can build on over time.

Amalgam
Once the typical material for repairing teeth, amalgams, or metal fillings, have been replaced by composite fillings, which look better and require less removal of healthy tooth structure.

Bleaching
The process of removing surface stains and lightening the color of your teeth.

Caries
Also known as cavities or tooth decay, dental caries is more common than asthma or hay fever.

Dental implant
Designed to replace a lost tooth, a dental implant contains a metal post as the base and a permanent crown that functions as the artificial tooth.

Enamel
Hard outer covering of teeth that protects the dentin and inner nerve cells from damage.

Gingivitis
Term for the earliest form of gum disease. Gingivitis often presents with swollen or bleeding gums.

Halitosis
Technical name for recurrent bad breath. Chronic halitosis typically occurs because of an underlying issue such as poor oral hygiene, certain medication, or tobacco use.

Orthodontics
The specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of bite issues.

Plaque
The sticky substance found on teeth and gums, plaque can harden into tartar and lead to tooth decay.

Root Canal
A dental procedure that removes diseased tissue inside a tooth to relieve pressure and save the tooth from extraction.

Veneers
Thin sheets of porcelain, veneers permanently cover imperfections such as gaps, chips, or discolorations and enhance your smile’s appearance.

It’s time to schedule a visit to Brown, Reynolds & Snow dental office in Richmond, VA.

What to Consider about Oral Piercings

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Although having a tongue piercing or lip ring might seem cool, this type of accessory can create dental problems. Most dentists and orthodontists discourage patients from these piercings. Often, teenagers and young adults don’t consider the consequences of this choice. Risks associated with a piercing in your mouth include:

Chance of infection

Because our mouths contain millions of bacteria, the wound generated by the piercing, as well as the handling of the jewelry, can put you at risk for an infection.

Transmission of disease

With a lip, tongue, or cheek piercing, you are more susceptible to catching the herpes simplex virus and certain types of hepatitis. These illnesses can be treated, but they are not curable once you contract them.

Excessive bleeding or injury to the nerve

When the piercing hits a blood vessel, you could experience heavy bleeding that may require medical intervention. If the nerve sustains damage, you may deal with numbness or loss of sensation.

Increase risk for gum disease

An oral piercing can make you vulnerable to gum disease, a serious oral health condition that can cause bone degeneration and tooth loss if not treated.

Damage to teeth

Mouth jewelry frequently chips or cracks the teeth that come in contact with the piercing. Once damage occurs, you face the additional expense of restorative work. Piercings can also produce alignment issues, which may involve orthodontic treatment that you otherwise wouldn’t have needed.

Aspiration of the jewelry

If the item comes loose, the piece may create a choking hazard. Swallowing the piercing can injure your digestive track or lungs.

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