How do I choose a toothpaste?
Tips For Toothpaste Buying
So often we go to the store looking for toothpaste and find ourselves overwhelmed by all those red and blue boxes promising things like whitening! minty fresh! kills plaque! The question is, what actually makes a good toothpaste? What are the key ingredients and properties to look out for? Here is a handy guide to help answer those very questions.
What the best toothpaste has
- Calcium carbonate and silica – These two abrasive agents work on removing food, plaque, bacteria and stains from your teeth. But consider the level of abrasiveness. All ADA-approved toothpastes fall within certain limits, but the range is quite wide. Some dentists advise erring on the side of low abrasiveness.
- Enamel protection – Since the body cannot regenerate enamel, which is the thin covering on your teeth that keeps them healthy and protected from hypersensitivity, it’s important for your toothpaste to strengthen your enamel and protect it from acid damage.
- A pleasant taste and consistency – Long-lasting freshness and the texture of toothpaste is important. A medicinal taste or goopy consistency won’t make you want to brush those pearly babies.
Before you head to the store, here are some good things to know
- Use a Fluoride toothpaste – Experts say fluoride is important for preventing cavities and maintaining oral health. The label may list this as stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride or monofluoride phosphate (MFP).
- The ADA Seal of Acceptance – Look for any toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal to insure it’s been proven safe and effective.
- Most whitening toothpastes are over-hyped – Whitening toothpastes don’t whiten your teeth in the same way, say, take-home kits or cosmetic dentists do. Mostly, they do what other toothpastes do: remove stains from the surface of your teeth. When used twice daily they can make teeth appear whiter, but will not affect, long-term, any stain that goes deeper than a tooth’s surface.
- Sensitive formulas can help those with mild mouth pain – These work for mild cases of tooth hypersensitivity, but expect to wait 4 to 6 weeks before you feel any results. Also, keep in mind that these won’t work for tooth pain caused by cavities or tooth problems other than receding gums. If you’re in real pain, see a dentist!
- Avoid SLS if you have sensitive teeth or are prone to canker sores – Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can irritate the gums and lining of the mouth in some people. If you are prone to mouth sensitivity or canker sores, dentists recommend choosing a fluoride toothpaste that does not contain SLS.
- A little goes a long way – A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all you need to get the job done. For kids, even less. Which means, more time between your next trip to the store!
Top 5 Reasons Summer is Smile Season
Summer, that delightful time of year when the sun is shining and the beach is calling your name, is just around the corner. Just thinking about those vacation days spent reading in hammocks and sipping on fresh lemonade has us smiling. In preparation, we’ve come up with the top five reasons Summer is the ultimate smile season and why there’s no better time to make an appointment to get your pearly whites ready for their close-up!
Talk about moments immortalized forever. Whether you’re the, bride, the groom, or a guest, you’ll surely want to get your smile camera ready.
- School’s Out!
Say goodbye to alarm clocks and homework, and hello to pool parties and popsicle making fun. Seeking further inspiration for summertime adventure? We’ve got you covered:
- Vacation’s In!
Whether you prefer drifting tranquilly on a lake or frolicking beneath ocean waves , there is nothing more welcome than an outdoor summer vacation. For suggestions on fun and affordable ways to celebrate the joys of summer with your little ones look no further:
- More time to Read!
“I wish I had more time to read.” If you’ve ever uttered these words than you know summer is your chance. More free time equals more opportunity to escape into those books patiently awaiting you on your nightstand. Bound to make you happy!
- More Beach time!
Of all the places you’re sure to find a bevy of smiling faces, the beach would be top of that list. A place to relax, play, contemplate, and simply breathe deep, warm sands and flowing waters are a key part to any happy summer.
How to Grow Healthy Teeth
Smile! It’s Earth Day!
Growing Your Own Veggies Is Good for the Earth and Healthy for Your Teeth
One of the first things to spring to mind when you think of Earth Day is probably not healthy teeth. But really, there is no more perfect time to introduce your kids to the wonders of gardening and growing your own food. Start by planting some veggies that are good for both your teeth and your body.
Two excellent options are carrots and celery. These hard, fibrous vegetables do much to stimulate the gums and, as we know, strong, healthy gums are super important to maintaining healthy teeth. With their high beta carotene content, which your body needs to create vitamin A, they contain the nutrients essential for healthy tooth enamel. Carrots also act as natural abrasives, helping to eliminate dirt and plaque, as well as triggering a lot of saliva, which helps to scrub away stains on your teeth.
Packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, leafy dark green vegetables, such as, lettuce, kale, broccoli and spinach, are another great route to a happy, healthy mouth. Because phosphorous is stored in the teeth (and in your bones), these minerals are instrumental in helping your body maintain balance.
Furthermore, you should end every meal by chomping on some raw fruits and vegetables as their high water content naturally helps keeps your teeth and gums clean.
So, this Earth Day, plant some yummy vegetables to fill your tummy and brighten your smile!
If I switch to green tea from coffee, will it reduce teeth stains?
While switching from coffee to green tea may require the same amount of scrubbing by your hygienist to remove stains, we’ll just say that stained teeth are better than no teeth! According to a 2009 study, drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases the odds of keeping your teeth as you age. In addition, a daily cup of green tea can also offer protection against gum disease, helping to decrease both gum recession and bleeding. The researchers suggested that the antioxidants found in green tea may be responsible for slowing down the effects of gum disease, as well as helping lead to a lower instance of periodontal disease. It is believed that antimicrobial molecules called catechins present in green tea are what provide the benefit. Catechins have been shown to kill mouth bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease.
If that’s not enough encouragement, drinking green tea may also lower your chances of oral cancer. By analyzing the results of 19 recent studies, a 2014 meta-analysis found a significantly lower risk of oral cancer among participants who drank green tea.
Be sure to leave the sweeteners in the cupboard!
Make Brushing Fun
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
It’s the perfect time to start teaching your kids about great brushing habits that will last a lifetime. It’s also an excellent opportunity for parents themselves to learn more about the paramount importance of good dental hygiene. For example, did you know?
- Children in the U.S. miss more than 51 million hours of school every year due to dental issues.
- Tooth decay – while entirely preventable- is the most common chronic disease in children.
- About 17 million children go without dental care each year.
And since maintaining optimal dental health all begins with proper brushing here are five great tips on how to make taking care of those peepers fun for you and your little ones!
Get a Fun Toothbrush
Get your child a cool toothbrush that he or she is excited to try. You may be able to do the same with toothpaste too, depending on what your child likes. There are plenty of children’s toothbrushes out there made to look like Disney characters, race cars, dinosaurs, and more. Let your kid come with you to the store to pick out his or her toothbrush.
Make a Game out of Brushing Teeth
Remember that little line from Mary Poppins? “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. Find the fun and *snap*, the job’s a game!” A simple “I wonder if I can brush my teeth better than you” might get your kid amped to try!
Set up a Rewards System
We’re not suggesting that you pay your child to brush his teeth. However, you might set up some sort of rewards system that directly connects to dental care. Maybe your child will get to stay an extra 30 minutes if he brushes his teeth and takes a bath before bed. Maybe 30 days of constant brushing will lead to some sort of big prize. The reward itself is entirely up to you, but try to come up with an incentive for your child to strive for.
Turn Tooth Brushing into a Story
Have you heard? The evil plaque monsters are invading Smile Kingdom, and the only way to get rid of them is to use the powerful Brushomatic 9000. Sounds like fun, right? All it takes is a little story line like that to get your kids to see dental care in a new light. It’s not just good oral hygiene – it’s an action adventure film brought to life.
Brush Your Teeth at the Same Time
When all else fails, make an effort to lead by example. Show your children that brushing their teeth is a key component to a healthy life. Your kids naturally want to be like you, so you might as well take advantage of that. Spend some quality time with your children and show them the benefits of a bright, healthy smile.
Schedule regular cleanings at the dentist!
Along with practicing great oral hygiene at home be sure to take your kids to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, insuring they’ll always be proud of their radiant smiles! Call us whenever you’d like at 831-424-0881 or schedule online!