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Month: January 2018

Unsuspecting Food And Drinks That Can Damage Your Enamel

· Family Dentistry · No Comments

Your tooth enamel is a vital component to your oral health, yet do you know what it is and what it protects? You may want to inquire with us, at Zen Smiles Miami, during your next teeth cleaning. If you can’t wait, please enjoy this article about unsuspecting food and drinks that cause harm to your enamel.

So, back to enamel. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer (most visible) of your teeth that is highly mineralized, and is only partly responsible for the color of your teeth. Enamel is deeply protective from harmful bacteria and prevents your teeth from damage and decay. Its role in oral protection is to guard from acidic substances and plaque, as well as temperature variations that can cause sensitivity.
If your enamel is destroyed, as of yet, it cannot be replaced. Your body is unable to synthesize enamel because it’s void of living cells, thus there is no hope for regeneration. So, treat your enamel well — help protect it and it will protect you.

How to prevent enamel erosion
The best way to spare and protect enamel is through your diet. This means consuming a diet full of whole foods and reducing highly-processed ones. Sugary foods and processed, starchy carbs are major culprits of enamel erosion, so avoiding candy and potato chips will do you good! If you do choose to consume them research has found it’s not the amount you consume but the consistency, so if you’re an energy-drink-a-day kind of person, you’re doing more damage. To undo some of the sugary, carby damage, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and brush afterwards if you’re able.
If you’re interested in the unsuspecting enamel destroyers, read more below.

Unsuspecting things that damage your enamel

  • Dried fruit – This food is found in various trail mixes and is delightful on its own. Dried fruit can actually be worse for your teeth than processed candy because of it’s overly sticky consistency. The dried fruit debris can stick to nooks and crannies within your teeth and hide out allowing bacteria to flourish and destroy your enamel in addition to causing cavities.
  • Lemon water – If you do an internet search on the benefits of lemon water you’ll find many articles boasting how wonderful it is, but that is not what we’re debating! We want to to bring attention to the high acidity that lemons contain. Highly acidic fruits, such as lemons, damage tooth enamel, so try not to do it everyday. It’s also important to wait 30 minutes after you’ve had it before brushing your teeth.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Similar to lemon water, apple cider vinegar has great beneficial properties, but if you drink it, its acidity causes damage. The acid also leaves the tooth in a weakened state, which is why you want to wait 30 minutes before brushing. If you decide to use apple cider vinegar, you can find it in capsule form. Or, try mixing it in eight ounces of water or drinking it through a straw.
  • Ice – Chewing on ice in the summer months is not only refreshing, but also cooling! The issue results when people habitually chew ice which can chip and break teeth. Continuous ice chewing can wear the enamel and cause even further damage to your teeth.
  • Sugar-free soda – When people choose sugar-free soda over regular soda, it’s likely with the intention that it’s not as harmful because it’s sugar-free. Unfortunately, soda is still very acidic, and constant exposure to it (drinking it throughout the day) never let’s your teeth recover from the onslaught of acid.
  • Kombucha – Like lemon water and apple cider vinegar, kombucha has been represented as a health elixir, but again, it’s highly acidic! The naturally occurring probiotics are wonderful, so help neutralize the acids by drinking water alongside it.

While some of these beverages may be surprising because of their health benefits, the thing that all of these drinks have in common are their high acidity content. So if you choose to partake in these beverages, ensure your dilute them in water or rinse your teeth with water afterwards.
Zen Smiles
If you’re guilty of drinking copious amounts of acidic beverages, schedule a routine teeth cleaning today with us and we’ll take a look at the state of your enamel!

Schedule an appointment today!

How to Instantly Have Better Oral Health

· Family Dentistry · No Comments

Your mouth is the gateway to overall health in your whole body, so it’s imperative to have good oral hygiene habits. You can’t always reverse damage that has been done, but there are measures that you can create now for an instantly healthier mouth! And as always, schedule a routine teeth cleaning with us at Zen Smiles twice a year.
Bad habits to break
Since gum disease is so widespread, with over half of the US adult population having it, prevention and breaking bad dental habits can save you from a host of other issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and low birth weight in infants.
Here are some bad dental habits to break:

  • Not flossing
  • Not brushing
  • Eating an excessive amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates
  • Not scheduling routine dental care
  • Smoking

Now for the good!
To instantly up your oral hygiene game and impress any dentist — or partner you’re up close and personal with — try out the following approaches!

  • Eat your veggies – Consuming raw, crisp veggies such as carrots, broccoli, celery, and cucumber can instantly help your pearly whites. When you eat your veggies, because of their hard textures, it creates a scrubbing action on your teeth, helping to remove leftover food, plaque, and bacteria-laden debris.
  • Sip tea – Tea is instantly beneficial to teeth because it contains catechins which are compounds that helps block an enzyme called glucosyltransferase that converts sugars, thus causing cavities. So the next time you meet a friend for coffee, choose tea!
  • Get a little rest and relaxation – If you’re stressed, chances are you hold a majority of your stress in the head and neck regions — including your mouth! For healthier teeth and less teeth grinding, destress! This can be getting a facial (or giving yourself a relaxing facial massage), meditating, or just getting more sleep!
  • Use a straw – If you’re due for a teeth whitening procedure but don’t want to cause further stains, invest in a straw. Carry a straw around in your car or if you carry a purse, and use it when you drink adult beverages: think coffee, tea, soda, or wine.
  • Scrape your tongue – Have you seen the handy “U” shaped tongue scrapers that clean your tongue? Invest in one of these devices for your dental care routine and have better breath (and oral health) to boot. The tongue scraper removes bad, cavity causing bacteria and creates a nice, habitable environment for the good bacteria!
  • Chew gum – Chewing gum is great for oral health, but not any ol’ gum — chew a xylitol based gum. Xylitol is a compound shown specifically to aid in oral health. It increases salivation, which effectively reduces cavities and plaque. So after a delicious meal, pop in a piece of sugar-free xylitol gum!

Zen Smiles
If you’ve enjoyed these tips on instant oral health but have remembered you need a routine teeth cleaning, contact our office today and schedule an appointment!

Dental care is self care!