Will Lemonade & Other Citrus Drinks Erode Teeth?

citrus drinks in jars with straws can harm teeth

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, your diet is an integral part of your oral health. While you probably know that sugary sodas can damage teeth and make you more susceptible to cavities, sodas aren’t the only beverages that can erode your teeth. Today, we want to talk about the impact that citrusy drinks like orange juice or lemonade can have on your pearly whites.

How Does Citrus Impact Teeth?

While citrus has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for health, it can also damage your teeth. How can something be healthy for your body but potentially damaging for your teeth? Well, citrus is also high in citric acid, one of the enemies of healthy teeth.

How Does Acid Damage Teeth?

At any given moment, your mouth is full of bacteria. Some bacteria are beneficial — they break down food as you chew and kick-start your digestive process. Other bacteria are harmful because they break down sugars and starches and produce acid as a by-product. Acid wears away on your tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and other oral health problems as a result. When you consume additional acid (citric acid, for example) on top of the acid your body already produces, you can speed up enamel erosion.

Without proper oral hygiene, acid can mix with bacteria to form bacterial plaque. This substance sticks to teeth, erodes enamel, and can harden into tartar if left untreated. Not only does bacterial plaque lead to more cavities, it can irritate gums and cause the early stages of gum disease.

How Can You Limit the Impact of Citric Acid on Teeth?

Practice good oral hygiene routine at home to limit the impact of citric acid on your teeth. Additionally, visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and dental exams. To ask our team any questions about the impact of citrus on your oral health or to schedule your next visit, call us today!

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Tips to Improve Oral Health

young woman looking in the mirror brushing her teeth

New season, new school year, new you! With our help, it’s time for you to recommit to your oral care. In this blog post, we’ll go over some simple things you can do to improve your oral health.

Perfect Your Dental Routine

Here’s what you need to do at home in order to keep your teeth healthy. Be sure to brush at least twice per day. When you brush it should be for a full two minutes. Set a timer if you need to, this time is important. Brush gently so as not to inflict damage on your teeth and gums. Flossing is just as important as brushing, so don’t skip it. It’s crucial that you get at those hard to reach areas that a toothbrush just can’t access.

Favor Tooth-Healthy Foods

You probably know the most important rule: go easy on the sugar. The same goes for starchy, carb-laden foods. Sugar and carbs will feed the bacteria that creates plaque on your teeth. Plaque, in turn, eats away at your protective enamel, causing damage and decay. What can you eat? Fruits and veggies are always smart choices, dairy and nuts are great too.

Use Flouride

If you’re not already incorporating fluoride into your tooth care regimen, go ahead and start. A fluoride toothpaste or rinse will have a positive impact on your oral health. Fluoride is a material that is naturally occurring, and it’s safe for use on your teeth. It makes your tooth enamel stronger. Enamel is the thin but hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the inside of the tooth from decay, infection, and other damage.

Biannual Visits to Mint Dental Care

Without regular visits to the dentist, there’s no way to ensure your oral health. When you visit our office, we give your teeth a deep, professional clean, and examine your mouth for any issues that may need to be addressed.

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Is It Normal to Lose Teeth As We Age?

As you age, you’ll likely notice some changes in your mouth. In this post we’ll help you understand what’s normal, and what you can do to make sure your mouth stays healthy as you get older.

four seniors concerned about tooth loss as they age

What Causes Tooth Loss?

Although it is more common to lose teeth when we’re older, it isn’t necessarily something that has to happen. With good oral care, you should be able to keep all or most of your natural teeth well into old age. When we see tooth loss in seniors, it usually stems from poor oral care, poor diet, or a combination of both factors.

Preventing Tooth Loss

Unfortunately, some people tend to want to abandon their oral care habits as they get older. This is a no-no if you want to keep your teeth. Maintain a vigilant oral care routine, brushing twice daily and flossing once every day. Eat healthy and see your dentist regularly. Dental visits are really key to maintaining oral health as we age, as the dentist can pinpoint and address early signs of decay, let you know how your medications may be affecting your oral health, and help you treat common issues such as dry mouth.

Tooth Replacement Options

Tooth loss happens, and when it does there are plenty of comfortable options to replace the missing tooth or teeth. Implants are a favored solution to single missing teeth, especially because they look and feel just like the real thing. Partial dentures or bridges are a fantastic solution to a group of missing teeth, and dentures can be used to replace a full set. If you have experienced tooth loss, your dentist will walk you through the options that are best suited to you and your budget.

Oral Care for All Ages at Mint Dental Care

As we said, seeing your dentist is one of the most important things you can do for your health as you age. If you have lapsed in your visits, it’s time to give us a call! We look forward to seeing you at our office soon.

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Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush

Rethinking your toothbrush? You brush your teeth daily and your oral care is a key part of our overall health and well-being—you want to make sure you are using the best possible tool to get the job done! Read on to learn the merits of both options: electric and manual.

Traditional Toothbrush

Humans figured out centuries ago how important dental care is. We have been using a toothbrush in some form or another since ancient times. Today’s manual toothbrush remains pretty basic, but it gets the job done. Many people have chosen to stand by their manual toothbrush for a variety of reasons, chief among them the brush’s portability and price point. If you’re a gentle and regular brusher, a manual toothbrush is a fine choice!

electric and manual toothbrushes

Electric Toothbrush

When it comes to electric toothbrushes, your decision gets a little bit more complicated. There are tons of brands and models available including a whole array of different features like a built in timer, a pressure sensor, and a subscription brush head delivery service. The best thing about an electric toothbrush is that the oscillating and spinning motions do most of the work for you, you simply guide the brush. That makes electric options a great fit for kids and people with limited mobility, arthritis, and other issues.

The Verdict

While electric toothbrushes boast a variety of features that can make brushing easier or even more pleasant, especially for certain users, most dentists will agree that as long as you are brushing and flossing as recommended, and seeing your dentist for a biannual cleaning and exam, the choice is yours.

Still having trouble deciding what to buy? Talk to us. Our knowledgeable staff here at Mint Dental Care is always happy to give recommendations as to the best dental products for you and your family.

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5 Interesting Facts About Tongues

How often do you think about your tongue? Not only is this oft-forgotten muscle super important to great oral health, it’s also just plain interesting! Read on for some fascinating facts about your tongue that you probably didn’t know.

girl sticking out her tongue

1. Like Fingerprints, Everyone’s Tongue Print Is Different

Your tongue is uniquely your own, there’s no other one just like it. In fact, your entire set of teeth is also completely unique to you. Even identical twins don’t have the same sets of teeth. This is why dental records can be used, if needed, to identify human remains.

2. Tongues Are Three Inches on Average

Ever tried to touch your tongue to your nose? If you can do it, maybe your tongue is a bit longer than average. Most tongues measure three inches in length, from the back of the tongue to the tip. The record for longest tongue? It’s currently 3.98 inches, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

3. The Tongue Contains Thousands of Taste buds

Your tongue is covered with thousands of taste buds, ranging anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000. Many people assume that the little bumps on their tongue are taste buds, but those bumps are actually called papillae. Each contains around six taste buds. Generally, taste buds can’t be seen with the naked eye.

4. The Tongue Is Made Up Of Eight Muscles

Another misconception is that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body, but this can’t be true. The tongue is made up of multiple muscles–eight to be exact. The muscles serve different purposes, and they allow the tongue to change shape and position, giving the tongue remarkable flexibility and stamina. The tongue is incredibly strong though, consider just how often you use it.

5. The Tongue Can Be a Window Into Your Health & Wellness

The appearance of your tongue can give your doctor clues to what’s going on in your body. White patches, for example, may indicate a fungal infection called thrush, or a red, blistered tongue could be a sign of dry mouth. A healthy tongue should generally be a shade of pink.

Pay Attention to Your Tongue!

The health of your tongue is an important component of your oral health. Without proper care, bacteria can accumulate on the surface, leading to bad breath and the spread of bacteria and eventual tooth decay. Invest in a tongue scraper or use your toothbrush to give your tongue a good daily scrub.

Don’t forget to visit our office for regular checkups and cleanings. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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What’s the Best Way to Whiten Teeth?

A bright, white smile can be a game-changer. Not only do white teeth help your smile shine, they can also give you the confidence to smile freely. At Mint Dental Care, our patients often ask us about the best way to whiten teeth. The answer depends on your schedule and your goals for your smile. We offer three different whitening options: one-size whitening trays, custom trays, and one-visit whitening.

woman inserting teeth whitening trays

One-Size Tray Whitening

For folks who want an affordable, low-fuss option, one-size whitening trays are a great fit. Our team will provide you with premade trays and bleaching gel to use at home on your own schedule.

Custom Tray Whitening

This individualized treatment involves creating a custom tray to fit your teeth. First, we take an impression of your mouth and then custom-create your tray. A snug fit is important, as it keeps the bleaching gel from leaking while being more comfortable to wear. Again, you’ll have the convenience of whitening your teeth at home on your own schedule.

One-Visit Whitening

If you can’t wait another day for whiter teeth, one-visit whitening is the treatment for you. Our team will complete your professional whitening treatment in just one visit. Another benefit of one-visit whitening is that Dr. McCord and our team are able to closely monitor your teeth as you receive the treatment.

Any one of our professional whitening services can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Because our whitening products are professional-grade, they are much safer and more effective than products you can buy at the drugstore or homemade remedies. In fact, certain homemade remedies said to whiten teeth, like lemon juice or activated charcoal, can actually damage your enamel.

No matter your goals for your smile, we want to help. To ask our team any questions about our whitening services or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today!

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Can Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth Alleviate Discomfort?

These days, there are a variety of brands of toothpaste available at your local grocery store or pharmacy. It can be hard to decide which type is best for you. If you’ve been dealing with tooth sensitivity, you might want to consider switching to a toothpaste that helps with this problem.

big red toothbrush with toothpaste

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing a dull, achy pain in your teeth. Cavities, chronic teeth clenching, and eating hot, cold, or acidic foods can all cause teeth to feel discomfort. This is because the wearing away of the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) leads to exposure of the underlying layer of the tooth (the dentin). The dentin contains microscopic tubules that are covered in nerve endings. This means that when the dentin becomes exposed due to enamel erosion, discomfort and pain may follow.

What Can Be Done to Help Sensitive Teeth?

If you’ve noticed sensitive teeth for more than a few days, we’d like you to call us. If the pain is being caused by a cavity or teeth clenching, we’ll want to get you an appointment for filling or get you fitted for a night guard. If there is no obvious cause to your sensitivity, we will recommend a few adjustments to your routine, including using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

How does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?

Toothpastes made for sensitive teeth are very effective. They include ingredients that block nerve ending receptivity in the exposed dentin. This means less pain and discomfort. We’ll recommend you use this toothpaste for at least a month or until symptoms improve. Your toothpaste should also contain fluoride. This will help to strengthen and remineralize your teeth, helping to slow down enamel erosion and protect the dentin from further exposure.

If you have new or worsening pain in your teeth, we’d like you to call us right away. We’ll set up an appointment to find out what’s causing your sensitive teeth and get you on the road to recovery. Don’t let tooth pain stop you from eating your favorite foods! Contact us today.

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Can Veneers Fix a Tooth Gap?

If you’re self conscious about a tooth gap, you may be wondering what your options are for improving your smile. At Mint Dental Care, we offer several choices for getting the smile of your dreams. If you’ve been putting off having a procedure because you aren’t sure what’s right for you, we’d like to give you answers on what to expect.

red headed woman sticking her tongue through a gap in her front teeth

How to Fix a Tooth Gap

Some think that the only way to fix a tooth gap is through orthodontia and braces. This isn’t true. Porcelain veneers are also an effective and lasting way to close gaps. Veneers are thin sheets of resin and porcelain composite that we adhere to the front of teeth. They look and feel as natural as your teeth, but can be made the perfect size, shape, and color to make your smile straight and glowing.

If You Decide to Get Veneers

It’s much easier than you may think to get the smile you’ve always wanted. First, you’ll schedule a consultation with Dr. McCord. Together, you’ll create the image of your ideal smile, and he’ll help determine if veneers are the right choice for you. Once your custom veneers are complete, you’ll come in for the bonding process. At this point, we’ll prepare your teeth for bonding the veneers. You’ll then have permanent, strong, beautiful teeth that look and feel like your other teeth. Although it’s possible for veneers to become damaged, they are very durable and should last many years with proper care. They may be the solution you’ve been looking for to close your gap.

If you’re interested in getting veneers, call us. We’ll schedule a consultation and discuss your options with you. If you’re interested in learning about financing options, we offer an in-office membership plan. We also take third-party financing plans through CareCredit. Don’t put off getting your best smile. Contact us today!

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Holiday Treats That Are Good for Your Teeth

The holidays mean time spent with family and friends, fun traditions, and maybe even some presents. They also mean lots of food, and often not the kind that are good for your oral health. For those looking to stay healthy and cavity-free this holiday season, we’ll discuss some holiday treats that are good for your teeth.

three gingerbread man cookies good for oral health

Gingerbread Cookies

Yes, some cookies are not bad for your oral health! The key is finding those that don’t require a lot of sugar. Your typical sugar cookies often have more than a cup of sugar, while gingerbread cookies call for about half that. Another benefit is that gingerbread is high in fiber and ginger is an anti-inflammatory.

Cheesy Reindeer

Want a snack that’s as healthy as it is cute? Look no further than cheese reindeer! Cheese is good for your teeth because it’s packed with calcium to make your tooth enamel stronger. To make cheese reindeer, simply take a wedge of cheese cut in a triangle for the face, use black olives for the eyes, a round chunk of red pepper for the nose, and pretzels for the ears.

Oatmeal Cookies

Another healthier cookie, oatmeal cookies are good for your oral health because they are also much lower in sugar. In fact, they can be made with even less sugar if you substitute applesauce for a lot of the sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is a more natural sweetener that will also keep the cookies moist for longer. Better for your teeth and better for your tastebuds!

Pumpkin Pie

Another holiday treat you don’t have to feel too guilty about is pumpkin pie. High in fiber and Vitamin A, pumpkin strengthens your teeth’s enamel and works to keep gums healthy. Pumpkin pie recipes also don’t often call for too much sugar. Just be sure not to pile on the whipped cream!

Sweet Potatoes

Naturally sweet without being packed with sugar, sweet potatoes are a great holiday treat. They’re high in vitamins A and C which are vital to maintaining healthy gums. Just make sure that you pass on the sweet potato casserole that’s topped with marshmallows and brown sugar.

Chocolate Hazelnut Meringues

Instead of Hershey’s kisses, which are filled with sugar, make your own drop cookies with chocolate and hazelnuts. It’ll save your teeth from a lot of sugar, but will be so delicious that you won’t miss the Hershey’s kisses.

If you have any other questions about healthy holiday snacks that are good for your teeth, or if you need to schedule a checkup, contact us today!

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How Long Does It Take for a Cavity to Form?

Sometimes patients wonder why it’s necessary to see us for a checkup every 6 months. This is because the health of your teeth can change drastically in a span of just a few months, and we want to make sure we’re aware of any changes to your dental health. Take cavities for example. A cavity can take months or even years to form in an adult. It takes even less time for a child because the enamel of baby teeth is more susceptible to breakdown than adult teeth. You or your child might not feel a cavity forming, but we can see it. This is why it’s so important to get seen routinely.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in a tooth that forms when it begins to decay. Tooth decay is caused by a wearing down of enamel, or the outer layer of teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugar to cause plaque, which can break down the enamel of the teeth and cause cavities. Cavities can cause a toothache or sensitivity upon eating certain foods.

cartoon man brushing his teeth and cartoon tooth giving a thumbs up

How Can You Prevent Cavities?

The best way to prevent tooth decay is to diligently practice your daily dental hygiene. Brushing twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing once daily will greatly reduce your chances of getting a cavity. Also, reducing your sugar intake will help to keep teeth clean and free of plaque. Visiting our office for your scheduled cleanings is also an important step to keeping teeth strong.

What to Do if You Suspect You Have a Cavity

Give us a call! Don’t be shy. Fixing a cavity is easy and will help keep the tooth from being damaged further. We’ll repair your tooth with a filling and get you back to feeling like yourself in no time!

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