September 29this officially one of our favorite days – it’s National Coffee Day! You may be wondering why your dental office cares enough about coffee to write a blog on it – well let us be the first to tell you that this delicious drink has a “dark side” when it comes to dental health.
The Bright Side
Let’s start out with the positives. It improves your energy! Coffee contains caffeine, which is usually why we all drink it – to get a boost of energy in the morning. Coffee also improves your metabolism, meaning it may be able to help with weight loss, and it contains many beneficial, essential nutrients, including Vitamin B2, B3 and B5, manganese and potassium. It can also lower your risk for certain diseases and is extremely high in antioxidants. So, what’s the problem? Keep reading to find out.
The Dark Side
From a dental standpoint, one of the most negative downfalls of coffee is that it stains your teeth! One cup a day will cause your teeth to gradually yellow because minerals in coffee stick to your teeth and cause them to darken. Coffee is also considered a mildly acidic drink; when you drink it and it sticks to your teeth it can actually erode away your enamel and create cavities. Of course it also causes stinky coffee breath, which isn’t very pleasant.
Avoiding the Downfalls
The best way to avoid the downfalls of coffee is to never drink it – unfortunately many of us rely on this drink in the morning to start our day right and quitting it is not an option. So, here are some tips for those coffee-addicted people like most of us. The first tip is simple – drink coffee through a straw. Drinking coffee through a straw will ensure that the coffee barely even touches your front teeth, preventing staining and not allowing as much bacteria to build up. Another tip is to drink water during/after you drink coffee. This will help rinse away extra bacteria and liquid that can cause staining and cavities. Chewing sugar free gum after coffee can help prevent bad breath and also clean some of the bacteria from the teeth too. Also, it is best to avoid brushing your teeth right after you drink coffee. Since coffee is acidic, if you brush your teeth directly after your coffee you will be scrubbing the acid into your teeth and actually causing more damage than helping them!
Go out and get yourself a special cup of coffee this year on National Coffee Day, and follow these tips to protect yourself from damage all year! If you feel as though you are experiencing some negative effects from coffee-drinking, call our office and schedule an appointment! Our thorough dentists can help treat existing decay, protect your teeth from cavities, and we offer a variety of whitening treatments to reverse the yellowing effect of coffee as well! Visit our website at www.dentalblu.com to see a list of our whitening options, or call our office at 859-442-8200!
We can’t believe it is already August and back to school time! Whether your child started kindergarten today, or you’re an empty nester and just sent your kids off to college, this blog has all the tips on how to protect your children’s dental health during the new school year!
One of the most important tips for keeping your children’s mouths healthy during the school year is keeping an eye on what they are eating every day! If you send your child to school with a lunch box full of gummies, juice, cookies and other sugary snacks it is not so good for their teeth (or their health in general). The sugar that they consume during lunch or snack time will sit on your children’s teeth all day at school, and since most kids don’t brush their teeth until after dinner, this sugar sticks and stays around all day, creating an acidic environment in your child’s mouth that ultimately will create cavities. One of the best tips is very simple: send your child to school with healthy food and a water bottle.Most people do not get enough water on a daily basis, so besides all of the other benefits water provides to our bodies, water will help wash away some of sticky sugar sitting on your kids teeth to protect them from cavities. While juice is a tasty drink it is also packed full of sugar, so try to avoid juice boxes at lunchtime and stick to water! We also recommend filling your child’s lunchbox with healthy snacks – protein, fruits, veggies, grains, and nuts, and limiting their sugar intake to protect their teeth. But, we know that every once and awhile a Fruit Roll-Up is a perfect treat, so make sure your child is drinking water along with their treats to protect their teeth!
While we would love to see every child take a toothbrush and toothpaste to school and brush their teeth after lunch and snacks, we understand that this is not usually practical. So, make sure that they are at least brushing their teeth very well in the morning and at night time with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day as well. Not only will this ward off bad breath but it’s also important to wash away sugar and residue from the day’s food. Additionally, if your child eats a lot of treats at school for a birthday or holiday party, it’s best to encourage them to brush their teeth once more when they are home from school so that the sugar doesn’t sit on their teeth all day.
Another great tip is to make sure that your child has had their dental cleanings and gotten any recommended treatment done! Usually we recommend that children come in 2 times a year, and some of the busiest times of the year at the dentist office are fall, winter and spring break when children are available to come in for cleanings. Make sure to schedule these cleanings as soon as possible ensure there is room in the schedule for all your kid’s cleanings and possible needed treatment.
Following these tips we can all have a healthy August and new school year!
Lip balm is much more than just a fruity-scented, lip plumper – this moisturizing balm should be used year round, ESPECIALLY if you are planning to lay out in the sun or go to the beach this year! This month’s blog post is dedicated to the importance of protecting your lips through the use of lip balm!
Why We Care About Lips:
Lips are important for eating, talking, kissing, protecting your teeth and soft tissue, and more. Lips are actually just a continuation of your skin – they are slightly different than other parts of skin in that they don’t have hair follicles or sebaceous glands, the glands that secrete oils to keep your skin hydrated. Since lips don’t have a way of regulating oil, saliva is the only fluid moisturizing your lips - this is why they get dry and chapped easily. Lips also don’t produce much melanin, or the component in your skin that allows it to tan in the sunlight. Melanin protects your skin from UV rays so without it our lips are extremely susceptible to damage from the sun, which is why they are so important to protect!
Damaging Your Lips:
Sun can be very damaging to your lips due to the lack of melanin. Sun will cause unprotected lips to become dry and flaky, which can lead to cracked and bleeding lips or even infected sores that can spread to other parts of your mouth and soft tissue. If you suffer from cold sores, the sun makes it more likely that a cold sore will pop up. Another hazard that comes from not wearing protective lip balm is the potential for cancer of the lips. Since the skin on lips is extremely thin and there is not much protection from sun damage, lip cancer is not uncommon. Do yourself a favor and wear lip balm (with SPF) to protect yourself from the dangers of sun-damaged lips!
Lip Balm Requirements
Most commonly the ingredient that does all the moisturizing in lip balm is Vitamin E, but there are various other ingredients that can do the trick. There are also many different kinds of lip balms – ones that are made with natural ingredients, beeswax, honey, mint scented ones and fruity ones, ones that tingle, ones that plump, and ones that are tinted a certain color – but the most important thing to look for in your lip balm is that it contains SPF to protect your lips from harmful UV rays. Other than containing SPF, most of the other lip balm ingredients and unique features are purely preference!
At Dental Blu, Dr. Depp and Dr. Arlinghaus do an oral cancer visual screening at each Recare appointment and exam. Make sure to protect your lips this summer, and be sure to make your dentist aware of any suspicious areas on your lips or in your mouth.
Call our office to make an appointment – 859-442-8200
Meet our new team member Lauren!
June is always an exciting month with the start of summer, pool days, grill outs and other fun summer events. At Dental BLU we have even more of a reason to be excited this month – a new hygienist! Starting on the 25th of June you’ll be seeing a new face in our office and we are so excited to write this month’s blog post all about our new team member!
Lauren is a recent graduate from The University of Louisville Dental Hygiene Program; she grew up in Fort Thomas, KY and graduated from Highlands High School.
Lauren is a Registered Dental Hygienist and is also certified in local anesthesia. She has a passion for service trips and has served in a RAM clinic in Hazard, KY and recently went on a dental service trip to Romania. Lauren is compassionate, positive, and a hard worker! She is very kind and we know you will love her as much as we do!
The thing Lauren loves most about being a dental hygienist is interacting with her different patients and building relationships with each of them. Her favorite thing to do outside of work is to spend time with her friends and family. A fun fact about Lauren is that her grandma is from Ecuador! She loves traveling down to Ecuador as often as possible to visit her.
We are so excited to have Lauren at Dental BLU and know she is going to make a great addition to our team!
Call our office to schedule a cleaning with our newest hygienist - 859-442-8200
We are officially in the middle of spring and headed for summer and we can't wait! But, before we get into the heat of summer, have you finished your spring cleaning yet? While it's nice to clean out your garage and basement, redo the landscaping and spruce up the kitchen we're talking about a different kind of spring cleaning - a dental cleaning! Below we have a checklist to make sure your oral health is as tidy as your garage this spring!
- Change out your toothbrush!
- Did you know that you should be changing out your toothbrush about every 3 months? The average American changes their toothbrush about 1.9 times a year, instead of 4 times a year like the American Dental Association recommends. This is not just a ploy to make you buy new toothbrushes - your toothbrush gets extremely germy along a 3-4 months timespan. Toothbrushes harbor bacteria, meaning that after you are sick you should also change your toothbrush out! Toothbrush bristles can wear out after 3-4 months as well. Once your bristles become matted or frayed it's definitely time to change out your brush. At this point it is no longer cleaning your teeth as effectively as it should, and also it can cause damage to your gums! Since children tend to brush their teeth harder and faster their brushes tend to get matted and worn out quicker meaning that they may need their brushes to be changed out more frequently.
- When buying your new toothbrush be sure to look for a soft bristled brush. Electronic toothbrushes that you only have to replace the head and not the whole brush are convenient in that they usually save you money in the long run and they are generally better for the environment (only disposing a small tip of the toothbrush as opposed to a whole toothbrush). In today's society of online shopping for things that come straight to your door, many companies make it easy to get new toothbrushes. Some electronic toothbrush companies even have auto-ship every 3 months so that you don't even have to remember when to change your brush head!
- Check your toothpaste!
- At some point this spring you will most likely have to buy a new tube of toothpaste. Before you buy your toothpaste make sure that you are using the most beneficial toothpaste possible! When looking for a toothpaste aim to find one that has the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance. The ADA has specific guidelines that must be met to get this seal, meaning that if it has this seal it is most likely a great option for you to use! Be sure to look for toothpaste that has fluoride in it. Fluoride is an extremely important "tooth vitamin" as we like to call it. Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps protect them from cavities!
- You should also be sure to check the RDA of your toothpaste, or relative dentin abrasiveness. Your toothpaste should not be too abrasive or it could scrape away your enamel. Toothpastes should be below 250 RDA, but 150-250 is regarded as "harmful" to your enamel. Generally, the lower the better so try to find a toothpaste with RDA below 150 or so! Below we have included a chart with common toothpaste abrasiveness so you can see where your toothpaste falls and whether you should choose a new toothpaste! (For more information on this subject, check out our baking soda blog!)
This chart shows RDA of common toothpastes. 0-70 range is regarded as low, 71-100 is medium, 101-150 is high and 151-250 is regarded as harmful level of relative dentin abrasiveness. Using this chart you can see where your toothpaste falls and whether or not you should switch to a lower abrasive toothpaste!
- Get your dental cleaning!
- Our final tip to keep your mouth healthy this spring is to get your spring dental cleaning! Everyone should see the dentist at least every 6 months, however if you need a little extra care we may recommend coming more often. During these cleanings we scale and polish your teeth, making them sparkle and helping prevent cavities! We may also update your x-rays so that we can make sure you don't have any hidden cavities forming or any unusual anatomy in your mouth. Our doctors perform an oral, head and neck cancer physical and you can also get a thorough oral cancer screening using our Identafi. You can get fluoride treatments and also will receive a new toothbrush (which checks another item off your spring checklist)! This dental cleaning will help you ensure your mouth is healthy all spring, so call our office to schedule an appointment if you haven't been in lately or are due for a cleaning.
Springtime is the perfect time to make sure you're staying healthy before the craziness of summer starts. Follow this simple checklist to make sure you and your familes have a healthy, happy, clean spring!
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