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13 Sep 2021
September 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Is Your Lipstick Aging You?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares how to pick the right lipstick shades for whiter teeth.Family Dental Health believes that natural beauty comes first. Our priority is for you to feel comfortable in your smile, and nothing should hold you back from laughing and grinning each day. Many different dental treatments can bring you this lifelong confidence. 

But we also know that the right makeup can enhance your natural beauty. It’s amazing what different products and colors can do to give you a different look and style. So, what shades of lipstick do we recommend to go with your healthy, beautiful smile? Read more below from Portland dentist, Dr. David Case, to learn what lipstick shades will make your teeth appear whiter, and which shades to avoid.

What Colors & Why
Fashion trends will come and go. But how do you pick a lipstick color that will improve your smile and make your teeth instantly appear whiter? 

The answer is to pick lipstick with blue undertones, instead of orange. Blue is the opposite of yellow-orange on the color wheel. Whereas orange-hued lipstick can bring out the yellow in your teeth, blue will balance it out and make your teeth appear whiter. 

You might be thinking, “blue lipstick?”…”orange lipstick?” Not exactly. Every shade of red and pink can be a warmer or cooler shade. So another way to say it is to pick lipstick with cooler undertones. Here are some examples:

  • When looking for classic red lipstick, look for blue undertones instead of orange undertones. 
  • When looking for pink lipstick, whether light or dark, pick berry colors instead of coral.
  • When looking for dark lipstick, pick a purple instead of a brown. The high-contrast of dark lipstick usually makes teeth appear whiter, but brown will only bring out any yellow and staining.
  • When looking for a nude lipstick, pick one with a little gloss instead of something matte.

Some lipsticks are formulated to make teeth look whiter, such as Apa® Blue Lip Shine.

The Impact of White Teeth

A study commissioned by Crest® found remarkable results that whiter teeth improved a person’s career and dating opportunities. It’s pretty obvious that white teeth just look healthier and happier, which translates to the person as a whole, not just their smile. 

You can get professional teeth whitening treatments at home or at Family Dental Health for real, long-lasting results. And you can maintain whiter teeth with everyday whitening toothpaste. 

If you have additional questions about whitening your teeth, make an appointment to see us soon! We’ll help you look your best for every occasion. 

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Aug 2021
August 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

A Real Nail Biter

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares why nail biting is bad for your oral and overall health, and gives tips on how to break the habit!We all have those nervous habits we turn to when we feel awkward, stressed, or just plain bored. If your choice vice is biting your nails, you need to know that it can cause a lot of distress on your oral health and overall health. Dr. David Case, Portland dentist shares why nail biting is so bad for you and how you can break the habit.

Downsides of Biting your Nails
It may seem harmless, but nail biting can actually:

  • Chip your teeth
  • Hurt your jaw (due to frequently jutting your teeth out to bite)
  • Increase your risk of tooth loss and tooth-root loss if you have braces
  • Tear and damage your gums
  • Spread bacteria from under the fingernail into your mouth, bloodstream, and body

Not to mention the painful cuticles around each nail and your increased risk of bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching with painful side effects). According to the General Dentistry Journal, people who bite their nails and also chew on things like pencils are at a greater risk of having bruxism. Signs of bruxism include worn tooth enamel, sensitive teeth, and pain and popping in the jaw.

Biting your nails makes you look less confident and it certainly won’t increase your chances of a successful date or job interview. The most obvious downside here is, of course, jagged, unattractive nails, but it’s what’s living under your nails that might be the ultimate factor in your decision to quit the habit. Your fingertips are a cesspool of germs, and various types of bacteria, fungus, and yeast can live under your nails, including fecal matter and staph infection. Gross!

Why We Bite Our Nails

Don’t get down on yourself for biting your nails but do talk with your dentist if you want to break the habit. Biting your nails is a mindless action we slip into mostly for emotional and mental reasons. You might consider seeing a counselor to benefit your mental health, or finding something safer to fidget with when you feel stressed or anxious. (Fidget spinners, anyone?)

Adults and children alike struggle with nail biting. If you are the parent of a child who bites their nails, talk with the child and their dentist about how and why to break the habit. Underlying anxiety could be causing the child to resort to nail biting to release stress.

Break Your Nail Biting Habit

If you want to stop yourself from biting your nails, try using bitter-tasting nail polish or a mouthguard–anything that will protect your teeth and make you take your hands out of your mouth. You can also talk with your Portland dentist for more suggestions.

Whenever you start trying to break the habit, set small and manageable goals such as going one hour without biting. Slowly increase the hours and days until you can’t remember the last time you bit your nails.

Any time you’re trying to stop or start a new habit, you’ll need something to fill the space and get your mind off the temptation. Try sipping water every time you want to bite your nails, chewing sugarless gum, or get up and do a brief stretch. Don’t be too harsh if it takes a while, habits can be very hard to break, even if you know how bad they are!

Family Dental Health is here for any oral health and overall health questions and goals you may have. Make an appointment today if you’re looking for a professional dentist to help you feel and smile your best!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Aug 2021
August 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Hot on the Trail with Oral Pathology

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains what oral pathology is, and how it helps us diagnose and treat oral health problems.When it comes to your oral health, we hope you never have any pains or problems. Good preventive care will help you always feel your best! But even with the best habits, dental problems do happen. In that case, oral pathology is the science and medicine that helps diagnose and treat whatever is making you ache. If you think you have oral disease, don’t be embarrassed, but get help as soon as possible.

What is Oral Pathology?

Sometimes things go wrong, even in the healthiest people. If you have pain, bleeding, or unusual symptoms in your mouth, oral pathology helps us find the answers you need.

According to the American Dental Association: “Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions.” In other words, oral pathology is the science that understands the causes and effects of these diseases. Common practices include clinical examinations, lab testing, and taking the whole body health and chemistry into consideration.

Pathology is important because if you have a certain problem, we want to know exactly what it is so that we can offer the right treatment. For example, viruses and bacteria are completely different kinds of organisms. Both can make you sick, but in order to get the proper treatment, we want to know what exactly is causing the problem. 

For example, let’s say at your last checkup, Dr. David Case noticed your gums bled more than usual and have started to recede. These are early warning signs of gingivitis and gum disease. But why now? Your gums have been healthy for your whole life. After a brief discussion, we rule out any dietary, hygiene or lifestyle changes. But you are taking a new medication – a medication that is known to cause dry mouth, a common risk factor for gum disease. Aha! And there we have it. Oral pathology has done it again!

Oral pathology takes into consideration your personal health background to consider what existing medical conditions might be affecting you specifically. This is why it’s a great idea to have a good relationship with your Portland dentist that includes sharing any and all health problems and medications – even if you think they don’t have anything to do with your mouth. Your oral health and your overall health go hand-in-hand!

Oral Diseases

According to the World Health Organization: “Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.” Any of these combined with your personal risk factors can make you and your mouth unhealthy.

The main categories of oral diseases are:

  • Pain: Any number of problems can cause pain in your mouth, jaw, and neck.
  • Infections: Can be caused by fungus, bacteria, or viruses.
  • Cancer: Warning signs include a discolored tongue or gums, open wounds, or lumps in your mouth or throat.
  • Cavities: Called dental caries, lead to tooth decay and other complications.
  • Gum Disease: A common but treatable infection and inflammation of the gums.
  • Tooth Loss: Many oral diseases can cause tooth loss. Your Portland dentist can treat the problem and also talk with you about tooth replacement options.

Anything that prevents you from comfortably speaking, smiling, chewing, and swallowing is an oral problem. While accidents and injuries aren’t diseases, but they can certainly harm your oral health.

A healthy mouth is key for a healthy body and a happy life. The best way to protect your oral health is through good oral hygiene and healthy lifestyle habits. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes
  • Flossing or cleaning between your teeth once every day
  • Seeing the dentist regularly, usually two times per year
  • Eating a healthy diet and avoiding/limiting smoking, sugar, and alcohol
  • Drinking lots of water and getting good sleep
  • Understanding how your overall health affects your oral health

If you’re experiencing any oral health problems and are wondering why we would love to help you find answers. Contact Family Dental Health today to make an appointment if you have any concerns about your oral health!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Jul 2021
July 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental HealthPatient Care

Can Dry Socket Be Deadly?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains how tooth extractions can cause dry socket. What is dry socket? How can we prevent it?The dreaded words of warning for anyone who has a tooth extraction: dry socket. A dry socket is a painful complication after a routine treatment like an extraction, but it can be avoided if you’re careful, and it definitely won’t kill you. Read more below from Portland dentist, Dr. David Case, on what a dry socket is, how to avoid it, and how to treat it if it happens to you.

What is a Dry Socket?
Like any part of your body, your mouth has its own way to heal and recover itself after accidents or treatments. If you have a tooth removed, your gums will make a blood clot over the hole where the tooth was. The spot in your gums where the tooth once was is called the socket. This clot, like a scab, protects the vulnerable tissues underneath and aids healing. 

If the blood clot gets removed (usually by accident), it leaves a painful and fresh wound. Where the tooth once was is now bare bone and nerves, and it hurts when they are exposed. Dry sockets increase your chance of infection and will increase your pain and prolong your healing after surgery.

Symptoms & Causes of Dry Socket

A dry socket is the most common complication following oral surgery such as tooth extraction. If you have had an extraction, the symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Losing some or all of the blood clot from the socket
  • Intense pain in the socket, as well as pain radiating up into other parts of your mouth and face
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Unpleasant taste and odor

Things that put you at risk for developing a dry socket include:

  • Smoking and tobacco use (both the chemicals and the physical process are likely to compromise the blood clot on the socket)
  • Drinking through a straw (this action causes a suction in the mouth that can loosen the blood clot)
  • Oral contraceptives (high estrogen level may delay the healing process of the first blood clot)
  • Tooth or gum infection (infection around the socket can delay healing)
  • Failure to care for the wound after surgery (be careful to follow your dentist’s instructions once you return home)
  • If you’ve had a dry socket in the past

Treating a Dry Socket

Dry sockets can be very painful and will prolong your healing process. Some amount of pain is to be expected after tooth removal, but if you’re in serious pain and/or experiencing any of the symptoms of a dry socket, you should call us immediately. 

The dentist can treat your dry socket by:

  • Cleaning the wound 
  • Applying topical numbing medicine for instant relief
  • Applying medical bandages to protect the socket
  • Prescribing pain medication
  • Giving you clear instructions on cleaning and dressing the socket at home

Pain from the dry socket will likely subside within a few days, but the dry socket will take some time to fully heal. Be sure to drink lots of water in the days following surgery to help yourself recover and eat only soft food per your dentist’s instructions. Continue to brush your teeth after tooth removal, even with a dry socket, but be very careful around the socket area.

Your Portland dentist, Dr. Case at Family Dental Health is here to help with any dental needs you have. Make an appointment today if you have more questions about dry socket or any other oral health concern.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jul 2021
July 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental HealthDental Services

Local Anesthetic – Is it Safe?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains anesthesia and the difference between local anesthetic and general anesthetic.If you get to go on a tropical vacation, your ability to feel the warm sun and the smooth sand is crucial to enjoying the atmosphere. There are, however, times in life when you would rather not feel anything. Getting a dental procedure can be one of those times—as important as the procedure might be. In that case, thank goodness for modern medicine and anesthesia. 

Ancient dentists used a number of herbs and drugs to numb their patients. Thankfully, today, you have the option of completely safe and effective anesthesia. Dr. David Case, Portland dentist shares more below about what anesthesia is and when you might need it.

What is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia is a type of medicine best known for dulling pain. The root-word “an” means without and “aesthesis” means feeling. Anesthesia literally means “without feeling.” That perfectly describes how most people want to feel if they need to get a cavity filled or a tooth pulled. Anesthesia can also help you feel relaxed during your treatment and ease your pain afterward.

Besides numbing your sensation to feel, anesthesia can also contain chemicals that help the medicine get into your blood and stay in your system as long as necessary. Millions of patients every year receive anesthesia from their dentist.

Local Anesthetic

There are two kinds of anesthetics: general and local. If you have major surgery, even oral surgery, your doctor might recommend general anesthesia to numb your entire body and cause you to sleep for the duration of the procedure. This might sound scary, but many people really enjoy the chance to take an amazing nap.

Most often, dental work only requires a local anesthetic. Local anesthetic blocks your nerves in a small, specific part of your body. In your dental office, this is usually administered by injection. A topical anesthetic can first be placed on your gums or inner cheek to numb you from feeling the injection. 

If you have a toothache, you might consider an at-home topical anesthetic to ease your pain until you can get in to see your Portland dentist. Orajel™ is a popular topical numbing gel for adults and teething babies. Your local drugstore should have plenty of options depending on your specific needs.

Side Effects of Local Anesthesia

Anesthesia, when administered by a professional dentist, is very safe. Still, it’s important you know the potential side effects—especially if you have other health issues that might interact with your procedure. Talk to your dentist before agreeing to any medicine or treatment.

Potential side effects of local anesthesia are:

  • Hematoma: a blood-filled swelling at the injection site
  • Numbing and loose muscles in other parts of your face, beyond your mouth
  • Nerve injury at the injection site

Local anesthesia is commonly used safely and effectively with little to no side effects. 

After Your Appointment

If you receive a local anesthetic at the dentist, the numbing effects may stick around for a few hours after your appointment. Be careful not to bite down on your mouth where you don’t have any feeling. Plan on having some difficulty speaking, eating or drinking. (This is probably not the best time to schedule a first date or job interview!) You will be able to safely drive yourself home.

You can keep treating your pain at home with Tylenol or ibuprofen. Ask your Portland dentist for a recommendation.

With general anesthesia, however, you will need transportation to and from your appointment, and someone should stay with you for several hours afterward while the effects wear off.

If you need any dental work or just a good professional cleaning, contact Family Dental Health today.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Jun 2021
June 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental HealthPatient Care

Stop Brushing After You Eat – Do This Instead

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains why you should rinse with water instead of brushing after you eat to avoid enamel damage.For a long time, we’ve been told to brush our teeth right after we eat, but conventional wisdom might be changing on that. Thanks to your mouth’s powerful and natural ability to clean itself, rinsing with water might actually be the best way to freshen your breath and prevent cavities after you eat. 

In addition to your everyday hygiene routine, rinsing with water is a free, easy way to maintain oral health throughout the day. To understand this, read below about what happens in your mouth after you eat and why water is so great for your teeth. 

Digestion Begins in Your Mouth
You might think that digestion starts in your stomach, but it actually starts in your mouth! The combination of chewing your food and the special bacteria in your mouth are essential to swallowing and digesting your food. Probiotics are specific bacteria that live in your mouth every day and begin the whole process of digestion by breaking down your food on a microscopic level.

In our world today, we’re trained to think of bacteria as all bad and dangerous, but that’s simply not the case. Oral bacteria are natural and important for your health. Of course, bad bacteria do exist (pathogens), but you’d be lost without the help of probiotics that break down food and help keep your mouth clean. After you eat, these bacteria get their own meal from the tiny leftovers of food on your teeth and gums. The byproduct of this bacterial feast is acid, which can damage your enamel and cause tooth decay.

Cavities

It’s normal for some amount of food to be left behind in your mouth after eating, but frequent snacking and foods high in sugar put you at extra risk for cavities. The constant presence of food on your teeth—especially sugar—makes the bacteria and plaque in your mouth produce too much acid. Acid can break down your enamel, especially when combined with the force of brushing.

Cavities are holes in your tooth enamel that threaten your tooth and oral health. The enamel protects and strengthens your tooth and it can’t be rebuilt once it starts to decay. Kids and adults of any age can develop a cavity. Cavities can cause pain and inflammation and usually need a filling to restore the tooth to health. 

You can prevent cavities with good oral hygiene. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice per day, for two minutes at a time
  • Flossing once per day
  • Rinsing with mouthwash or water between meals
  • Seeing the dentist twice every year

Rinsing with Water Fights Cavities

A quick rinse with water in your mouth will boost your body’s natural ability to clean itself after a meal. Rinsing with water protects your enamel by removing food and sugar left over, and about 30% of oral bacteria without the forces of brushing that—when combined with acid—can damage your enamel. Just be sure to spit out the water when you’re done, as swallowing will only introduce the bacteria into your body further and cause problems for your systemic health.

Some people may prefer the minty flavors of mouthwash, and some people are prescribed a special mouthwash for infections (gum disease) or sensitivity. But if you’re out and about, or just don’t have any mouthwash on hand, water is a great alternative for keeping your mouth clean between brushing. 

So after you eat anything, it’s a good idea to quickly rinse out your mouth with water. It’s an easy and free way to instantly boost your oral health. Rinsing with water is better for your teeth than brushing them right after you eat if you wish to avoid damage to your enamel.

Drinking Water

Drinking water is also a great way to maintain oral and overall health. Saliva naturally protects your mouth by maintaining a proper pH balance that minimizes bacterial growth, and staying hydrated ensures you have healthy saliva levels. When your mouth is dry, your pH becomes acidic, and disease, decay, and bacteria can thrive. Keep your mouth and body functioning at peak performance by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day.

If you have more questions or any oral health need, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health in Portland is taking new patients. Make an appointment today and let our professional team give you a smile you love!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jun 2021
June 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Can Poor Oral Health Cause Diabetes?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case of Family Dental Health discusses diabetes and how it is linked to and can affect oral health.Diabetes is a chronic and complicated disease that affects how your body processes sugar—its main source of energy. Diabetes symptoms mostly affect your heart, eyes, nerves, and kidneys, but it can affect your whole body, including your mouth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and almost 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Managing your blood sugar is very important if you have diabetes and will help keep symptoms at bay. Taking good care of your oral wellness is actually one key to managing blood sugar.

Diabetes & Your Mouth 

Diabetes can show itself in your mouth by causing:

  • Gum disease: This condition is surprisingly common among most adults and has an even stronger correlation with diabetes, but it can and should be treated.
  • Dry mouth: Diabetes tends to cause a decrease in saliva, which can be uncomfortable and cause bad breath.
  • Decreased ability to taste: Diabetes can make it difficult to fully taste and enjoy your food. Try new spices to improve your meals, but be careful not to use too much sugar.
  • Oral infections: Yeast (thrush) is especially common because diabetes affects your immune system. People with dentures and diabetes are at an increased risk of developing oral infections.
  • Slow healing: Diabetes can affect your ability to recover from injury and illness. Cold sores or cuts in your mouth may stick around longer if you have diabetes.

Gum Disease & Diabetes

You’d be absolutely shocked at the high number of bacteria that live in your mouth every day. Most of them are totally normal and fine. But, certain types of bacteria can be bad for your oral health and overall health. 

Since bacteria live off the sugars in your mouth, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum disease from the bad bacteria. In fact, 22% of people diagnosed with diabetes will also get gum disease. In turn, gum disease infections can cause your blood sugar to elevate, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Thankfully, treating gum disease has been shown to also treat high blood sugar.

Gum disease is common and treatable and can vary in severity from a minor inflammation with sore and bleeding gums, to a major issue of receding gums, pus surrounding the teeth, and eventual tooth loss. If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep an eye on your oral health and practice good hygiene to prevent gum disease from starting or getting worse. Gum disease is linked to a number of other health problems, so you really don’t want to ignore any signs that it might be developing.

Prevention & Protection

The ADA recommends controlling your blood sugar, brushing and flossing your teeth, and seeing the dentist in order to protect your mouth from symptoms of diabetes. Controlling gum disease and practicing great oral hygiene is known to help manage diabetes.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Portland, make an appointment at Family Dental Health today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 May 2021
May 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Hate Flossing? – 5 Flossing Alternatives

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health gives patients who hate to floss some simple flossing alternatives that are just as effective.There are two kinds of people in this world: those who floss, and those who don’t. Diligent flossers everywhere inspire those of us who live with them or know them. Flossing may not be a philosophical virtue but it’s certainly high on the list of qualities amongst people who “have it together.” Read more below about why flossing is so important and what alternatives you have if you don’t like traditional floss.

The Point of Flossing
After you eat, tiny pieces of food are left everywhere in your mouth. Even though your saliva does a good job of rinsing a lot of food debris away, some leftovers stay stuck on and between your teeth and gums and must be brushed and flossed to get rid of it. You do have tons of natural bacteria in your mouth that help break down food buildup, but the bacteria leave behind a sticky film on your teeth called plaque that needs to be removed.

Everyone (even young kids) should brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day to remove food buildup and plaque from the places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. If you don’t stay on top of it, food buildup and plaque can quickly turn into bigger problems that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and inflammation in your mouth.

Flossing Alternatives

The American Dental Association (ADA) says it doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing your teeth, or if you floss in the morning or at night. What’s most important is that you do it every day. But what if traditional flossing is difficult for you, or you’re traveling, or if you have braces? Thankfully, you have some options that the ADA approves.

Here are some of the flossing alternatives and their uses:

  • Interdental Brushes: Like tiny toothbrushes, specially designed to clean between your teeth, these brushes are a great alternative to flossing. Interdental brushes are usually easier to use than a thread of floss, are just as effective as floss, and are probably your best option if you have braces.
  • Water Flossing: Approved by the ADA as a floss alternative, water flossing is just what it sounds like. Instead of a thread, water flossing uses a steady stream of water, aimed between the teeth, to clear away plaque. Water flossing uses a small, hand-held appliance that might be more physically comfortable for you.
  • Dental Pick: Made of plastic or wood, these tiny sticks can help remove plaque from your teeth and gums. If you use a wooden pick, the ADA recommends getting the pick wet first to soften it. Picks aren’t quite as effective as floss, and you risk moving bacteria around in your mouth unless you use a new pick for each tooth.
  • Pre-Threaded Floss: For some people, the hardest part of flossing is actually reaching the floss into the mouth and effectively moving it between the teeth. Thankfully, a pre-threaded flosser is the simple answer to this problem. You can buy these in packets and use one with one hand. Use pre-threaded floss to more easily reach in your mouth and (like regular floss) throw it away after each use.
  • Soft-Picks by GUM®: A favorite of the dental community, Soft-Picks are sort of an interdental brush/dental pick hybrid. Soft-Picks are small, disposable plastic picks with a soft tip and rubbery bristles that fit comfortably between teeth and do minimal damage to the gum tissue. 

A word about mouthwash: while it’s a great option for freshness and does help kill the bacteria that cause decay and gum disease in the rest of the mouth, mouthwash is not a good replacement for brushing or flossing. Mouthwash is best used in combination with these methods for optimum oral health.

Flossing & Your Health

Your daily brushing and flossing routine is the foundation of good oral hygiene and health. Remember also to see your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year. Some plaque and buildup (like tartar) can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. Plus, proactive oral care goes a long way toward your overall health and seeing the dentist is just as important as seeing your doctor! 

If you’re looking for a Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health is always welcoming new patients. We’d love to see you for any and all of your dental health needs.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 May 2021
May 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Don’t Eat That: A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Mouth

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case of Family Dental Health shares how diet can positively or negatively affect your oral health.Some foods will help you grow healthy teeth and keep them forever. Some foods will prevent you from growing healthy teeth, or harm the ones you already have. You can grow and maintain strong, healthy teeth by eating a diet that your mouth (and your body) will truly love. But do you know what foods to avoid for a healthy mouth? Family Dental Health would like to share that information with you today!

Diet is Everything

The word “diet” has earned a bad reputation over the years as a verb that means eating less to lose weight, but diet is also a noun and a powerful way you can give yourself the best life possible. Your diet is simply the food you eat, and most of us are trying our best to eat wholesome food with just a few sweet treats here and there. 

Good food sets the stage for a healthy life. Nutrition is vital for growing healthy muscles and bones. And guess what—your teeth are bones, too! Good nutrition helps your body fight infections that cause decay and disease in your mouth and the rest of your body. Not only will a healthy diet help you have more energy, a better attention span, and the strength to enjoy your life, but it also promotes good oral health, too. Dairy, meat, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables can all support healthy teeth and gums. But what should you avoid?

Foods that Promote Decay

Some of the foods and beverages that cause the most tooth decay:

  • Sugary sodas and juice
  • Sugary cocktails and coffees
  • Sugary sweets like candy and baked goods
  • Processed food lacking important nutrients (protein, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and D)

Foods that Damage Tooth Enamel 

The hard, white surface of your teeth is your enamel. Enamel protects the nerves at the core of your tooth and helps your teeth stay strong and healthy. Some foods really hurt the surfaces of your teeth by causing dangerous buildup, or by putting too much force on the enamel and damaging it. Some foods that can damage your enamel include:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Ice
  • Coffee and tea with added sugar
  • Citrus (lemon juice)
  • Alcohol (which causes dry mouth) 
  • Sugary juice, soda, sports drinks, and cocktails
  • Sticky, chewy or hard candy 
  • Dried fruit

It’s probably not surprising that sugar makes the “bad list” in both categories. You don’t have to avoid sugar completely, but it’s probably best to pick your favorite treat and just stick with that in moderation.

Love Your Mouth

If you eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene, your teeth will love and serve you forever. By brushing and flossing every day and visiting the dentist for a checkup and cleaning twice a year, you can best avoid tooth decay and damage. 

Make an appointment with Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health to give your smile a fighting chance with a healthy diet and regular dental care.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Apr 2021
April 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Oral Anatomy 101

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares all about the anatomy of your mouth and how it works together for your benefit.Welcome to your mouth! A healthy mouth is necessary for a healthy life. You might be surprised how many different parts work together to make your mouth function. Read more below from Dr. David Case in Portland to get an in-depth look at the human mouth and how it works.

Teeth

The look and function of your teeth make your first impression and impact your daily life and confidence.  You’d also be lost (and very hungry) without these shining beauties. Adults have 32 teeth and babies have 20. The four different kinds of teeth you have are:

  • Incisors in the front that bite and cut tough food like meat
  • Canines tear food, like a big piece of bread off the loaf
  • Premolars tear and crush food like salad greens
  • Molars grind everything down small enough for you to swallow and digest

The white, visible part of your tooth is called the crown and the invisible part under your gums is called the root. Teeth have three layers, and all three are very important:

  • Enamel is the outer layer that is the chewing surface and protects the layers below.
  • Dentin is the next layer of hard tissue, fed by blood from the pulp.
  • Pulp is the core of the tooth made of soft nerve tissue and blood vessels.

If tooth decay breaks down your enamel enough to reach the dentin and pulp, your tooth can die.

Gums

Also called gingivae, gums are the soft tissue that covers the roots of your teeth and jawbone. Healthy gums are pink and help keep your teeth in place. Unhealthy gums may tend to bleed, appear discolored, and feel extremely sensitive. Healthy gums ensure healthy teeth and a healthy body overall.

Tongue

You rely on this muscle to help you enjoy your food! Mostly known for hosting all of your taste buds, the tongue takes up the most space in your mouth and is also important for healthy chewing, swallowing, speaking, and cleaning the mouth.

Uvula

We couldn’t forget this odd little guy. The uvula is that bell-shaped bit of tissue that hangs just above your throat – the “hangy ball” if you will. Scientists do not fully understand the uvula, but it is thought to help food move down your throat and assist with saliva production.

What about the rest? 

Of course, the inside of your mouth is completely supported by the muscles and bones around it. Your jawbone, cheeks, and lips support your mouth to make chewing and speaking possible. Those bones and muscles are connected to the rest of your face, head, and neck in a complex system of tendons and nerves in your jaw joint, known as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.

Your mouth is truly a wonderful machine and it is worth the time and attention to keep all parts in working order.

To take care of your mouth and all its parts, make an appointment with Dr. David Case in Portland at Family Dental Health today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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