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Tagged: dental care tips

Spring Break Is Not For Your Teeth!

spring-break-green-beach-sunglasses-photo Sunshine, warmer weather, greener grass, and setting our clocks forward an hour can only mean one thing here in Central Indiana:  it’s Spring Break Time! Sounds great, right?  Let’s just not confuse a much-needed vacation for our bodies and minds with a vacation for our teeth. Simply stated, your vacation is not the time to neglect your teeth. Your overall oral health shouldn’t take a break!

That being said, we’d like to offer up a few spring break dental care tips you should know and consider while on vacation.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Besides the obvious benefits of hydration, drinking water throughout the day will reduce the buildup of plaque on your teeth.
  1. Avoid sugary drinks. High sugar drinks such as soda erode the enamel on your teeth.
  1. Pack your oral health essentials with you. Bring healthy snacks (such as apples) that act as a cleanser for your teeth. Carry travel-size toothbrushes and mouthwash for road trips.

Whatever your plans are this spring break, remember to keep up with your dental care. Spring break can be a great time of relaxation and rejuvenation, but it’s not the time to give your teeth a break! If you would like to schedule an appointment before your break, give us a call.

The staff at Southport Dental is dedicated to providing you and your family the highest quality dental care.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Can Toothpaste Strengthen Your Teeth?

Discolored_teethToothpaste marketers have long pitched enamel-strengthening toothpastes they claim harden the tooth’s protective layer, thereby making it more resistant to attacks from acids found in food and beverages like soda, orange juice and even pickles. Scientists are in agreement these toothpastes do make enamel more acid-resistant—but not nearly enough to protect you if you chug soda all day.

Enamel is a thin covering over teeth made from an organic matrix and minerals, largely crystals of calcium phosphate, says Therametric Technologies Inc., a Noblesville firm that sells and tests dental products. Enamel is vulnerable both to decay, caused by acids in bacteria, and to erosion, defined as direct assault from acids from food and drink. The biggest offenders include diet and regular sodas, citrus beverages, red wine and some sports drinks.

While everyone is vulnerable to acid erosion, the problem worsens as we age due to a decrease in production of saliva—which both washes away acids and neutralizes them. Certain medications also decrease saliva production.

What’s an Acid Fighter?

A number of toothpastes that claim to combat acid erosion and strengthen enamel are now on the market. Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield’s label says it “protects against acid attack.” Sensodyne ProNamel says it “protects against the effects of acid erosion.” Colgate Total’s line includes an “Enamel Strength” version. A CVS store brand promises it “helps harden tooth enamel with acid protection formula.”

The claims are often based on the presence of fluoride, which scientists say combines with minerals in your mouth to create a crystal called fluorapatite on the surface of your teeth. Some of the toothpastes, including Crest’s Enamel Shield, Sensodyne ProNamel and Squigle Inc.’s Enamel Saver, are also formulated to be less abrasive to protect your enamel from rubbing off when brushing. (Squigle is a manufacturer of a small brand of toothpastes it says are non-irritating to the mouth.)

Scientists give mixed reviews to the claims. They say it is incorrect to say a toothpaste can strengthen enamel as it doesn’t make teeth physically stronger against shearing forces—such as biting into a piece of popcorn. The products do make the tooth surface more resistant to acids in the diet, says John Featherstone, dean of the University of California School of Dentistry in San Francisco.

While dentists agree toothpastes can help protect enamel, you should still drink acidic beverages in moderation. “You can’t drink erosive foods and drinks in high frequency and expect a toothpaste to protect you,” says Mark S. Wolff, a professor and chairman of the department of cariology and comprehensive care at New York University College of Dentistry. (Cariology is the study of tooth decay.)

Regardless of the toothpaste you use, it is important not to brush your teeth immediately after drinking acids as that is when enamel is most vulnerable to wear from brushing, adds Teresa Marshall, an associate professor at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in Iowa City. It’s a good idea to take a few sips of water after drinking or eating acids, scientists add, and sugar-free gum can help by stimulating saliva production.

Label Study

As for toothpastes touting enamel strengthening, an informal inspection of labels in pharmacy aisles found the toothpastes often had nearly identical ingredients to other products by the same manufacturers that don’t make enamel claims. Some of the distinction, companies say, involves proprietary differences in proportions of ingredients.

Scientists say any well-designed fluoride toothpaste will make enamel more acid resistant. The enamel-strengthening claims on the label are “a marketing gimmick,” says Dr. Featherstone, who has done paid consulting for a number of toothpaste makers. Consumers should choose a toothpaste with a taste they like, as they’ll use it more, he says. He recommends major brands because a lot of research goes into proper formulation.

Procter & Gamble says its Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield is the result of more than a decade of research and seven separate inventions. The company says the term “strengthens enamel” on the label refers to making teeth more chemically resistant to acid. GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Sensodyne ProNamel, says that, while fluoride doesn’t significantly harden normal tooth enamel it does have a hardening effect on enamel which has been softened by acid erosion. Colgate-Palmolive declined to be interviewed.

At least two companies—P&G and GlaxoSmithKline—have published studies showing their toothpastes help protect enamel in test subjects wearing either crowns or appliances with test teeth in them. (This type of research allows scientists to perform controlled tests, such as deliberately creating acid erosion on the test teeth.) However, there aren’t enough well-designed studies directly comparing one toothpaste with another to determine if one toothpaste is really better than another, scientists say.

Can “Extra Fluoride” Help?

Based on ingredients, there are some differentiation points. Colgate’s new ProClinical Daily Renewal for Enamel, has 1,500 parts per million of fluoride—more than most toothpastes, according to the company’s website. Sensodyne ProNamel is specially formulated so that more fluoride is available, enhancing the process of remineralizing enamel, GlaxoSmithKline says. Scientists say extra fluoride is likely to have at least a small additional effect on enamel—but more research is needed.

P&G’s Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield, which came out last year, is made with a particular type of fluoride called stannous fluoride. In addition to forming fluorapatite crystals like other fluorides, stannous fluoride also has a toxic effect on acid-producing mouth bacteria, says biochemist Matthew J. Doyle, director of global research and development for P&G’s oral-care division. Stannous fluoride also protects against tooth sensitivity by blocking small tunnels in the teeth, he adds.

Crest’s Pro-Health Enamel Shield also has sodium hexametaphosphate, an ingredient that forms a protective film over the teeth that lasts six or seven hours. “It’s a sacrificial layer that protects the surface of the tooth,” Dr. Doyle says.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Did You See The Colgate Super Bowl Commercial?

Water conservation took center stage during a Super Bowl commercial a couple Sunday nights ago. Colgate-Palmolive has long been recognized as a global leader in promoting wise water usage and the commercial below really hits home to TV’s largest audience. Their #EveryDropCounts campaign seeks your personal pledge to help. Take a look and let us know your thoughts by commenting below:

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Is Brushing Too Hard Bad For My Mouth?

Yes, it certainly is!  Brushing too hard (and too often) can absolutely be detrimental to your oral health.  For the sake of this discussion, we will refer to both brushing too much and brushing too hard as over brushing.

Let’s take a look at what happens when you over brush and what you can do to prevent it. By the end of this blog entry, we hope you’ll be able to brush your teeth in a safer, gentler manner and improve your overall oral health in the process.

Are there symptoms?

If you start to notice that your gums are receding, you may be brushing too hard!  Your gums will begin to recede if you continually, day after day, brush them too hard.  Additionally, if you see that some gums on certain teeth are much higher than others, you very well could be brushing too aggressively.  If this is the case, it’s a good idea to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Another way to tell if you’re turning into the Incredible Hulk when you brush is if you notice your teeth becoming sensitive.  It’s possible that you have created this sensitivity by exposing your mouth to such extreme brushing.  Also be on the lookout for bleeding from your gums. This is a very good indicator of over brushing and a clear cut sign you need to lighten up.

What can I do?

Here is the good news:  you can be helped if you are an overbrusher.  There are plenty of resources online to make certain you are brushing your teeth properly. Brushing is an important activity that we do so often, it’s key to remember that you do it correctly.  Gentler strokes, gentler strokes, gentler strokes!  You simply can’t go wrong with gentle, proper brushing.

And we have one last helpful tip for you overbrushers out there.  Consider picking up an electric toothbrush.  It’s a great investment that will have you in greater control of just how hard you brush.  Or, perhaps an alternate view of looking at things, an electric toothbrush can help stop you, within reason, from hard brushing.

Always get professional dental help from experienced, certified and responsible professionals the minute you notice something is wrong with your teeth or gums.  Dentists are able to advise you on the best course of action when you’ve been over brushing.

If you are looking for top dental care, you’ve come to the right place.  The staff at Southport Dental always puts your needs first.  We want to be positive that you leave our office smiling after every visit.  Get in touch with us today to schedule a checkup.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Want the Secret for a Lifetime of Dental Health?

Healthy teeth all during your lifetime is not as complicated as people make it out to be. Dental health is really a simple recipe – with only three key ingredients.

Lifetime Healthy Teeth Solution #1:  Treat dental problems immediately

Get cavities, infections and dental problems treated as soon as you become aware of them. Waiting for dental problems to fix themselves will never make things better.

Cavities are more easily treated when they are small. If left too long, the cavity will inevitably progress to an abscess. The filling that would have treated the cavity, will not fix the abscess. Treatment becomes more costly and possibly more radical, such as taking teeth out rather than saving them, or root canals rather than fillings.

Gum infections spread deeper and eat away at the jawbone that holds your teeth in. This bone, once eroded will never grow back – leaving your teeth unsupported and mobile. What could have been treated with a routine cleaning now requires gum and bone surgery, or even extractions.

Lifetime Healthy Teeth Solution #2:  Eat healthy for your teeth

When talking about healthy eating habits for our body, experts commonly suggest a balanced diet – rich in lean meats, fruits and vegetables with several small meals each day rather than the three big meals, which our parents and grandparents recommended.

While a balanced diet is good for your body’s general health, the manner in which food is eaten during the day can have a big influence on whether your teeth develop problems or not.

When we eat, the bacteria in the plaque on our teeth and in the mouth use the food particles to produce acids, which then eat away at the teeth. Compounds present in saliva act to neutralize these acids and minerals in saliva then act to repair the damage done by the acid attack after eating. It commonly takes ninety minutes to two hours to neutralize an acid attack after eating.

Researchers have shown that eating or drinking anything other than water on more than five different occasions each day lessens the time for saliva to neutralize the acids between each acid attack – and may not be adequate. This means that the teeth may be under acid attack for most of the day and this will inevitably lead to enamel damage, decay and tooth loss.

Lifetime Healthy Teeth Solution #3:  Regular 6 month dental check-up and clean

If you want to keep your teeth for life, being reactive and waiting for dental problems to manifest before seeking professional help just won’t do it.Mason and Jaime

Good health for your teeth and gums, just like any other body system requires being proactive, not reactive. You never hear cardiologists recommend their patients waiting for their arteries to clog to the point where you have a heart attack and then having surgery to have the diseased arteries ‘bypassed’. Common sense would say this approach is obviously inferior to a program of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

It’s the same with teeth. Waiting for teeth to abscess and having root canals does not make sense compared to regular six month visits, yet only half of the population have a regular dentist and not even all of those have regular check-ups every six months. Common sense just doesn’t seem to be that common these days.

Keep that awesome smile!

Are You Grinding Your Teeth? 

BruxismTeeth grinding can happen during the day or night. Most often the grinding of the teeth occurs while sleeping. Most experts classify teeth grinding, called Bruxism, as a sleep disorder. It can get ugly when grinding begins to cause damage to your chewing muscles, jaw joint, and teeth. Fortunately, there are telltale signs of teeth grinding. The Mayo Clinic notes the signs and symptoms of Bruxism (teeth grinding) may include the following:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner.
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose.
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Jaw or face pain or soreness.
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles.
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear.
  • Dull headache originating in the temples.
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek.
  • Indentations on your tongue.

Grinding your teeth at night is common, however, if not treated it can lead to a number of dental and health issues. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above you may have Bruxism. Regular checkups are key to diagnose any dental problems and the proper treatment. If you suspect any dental problems including teeth grinding we can examine your mouth during your visit to determine what’s wrong and how we can fix it. We are committed to providing a warm, stress free environment in which our patients are treated as family. Only necessary procedures are recommended, in other words, no one is pressured with “up selling.” When considering treatment, patients are clearly presented with pros, cons, and all available options.

The solution to your teeth grinding may be as simple as fitting you with a night mouth guard. Contact our Southport Dental team today to schedule a visit. We look forward to seeing you and taking care of all your dental needs!

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Southport Dental Indianapolis | Kicking the Tobacco Habit is Good For Your Teeth

SmokingBadforTeethKicking the tobacco habit is not just good for your body, but good for your teeth and gums. Smoking causes bad breath and stains the enamel on your teeth. In addition to having unsightly teeth, smoking can cause serious health conditions. Because of the carcinogens in cigarettes, smoking is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, which can be deadly. Smoking and tobacco products can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth.

As with any addiction, breaking your tobacco habit may take some time. If you are able to kick the habit, it will only lead to better oral health! Your teeth will be whiter and less likely to decay. Everyone wants white teeth, fresh breath, a healthy mouth and firm gums. With help from your dental office, you can achieve all of these. It’s never too late to quit using tobacco. Ask us how to help kick the habit and reasons why it needs to be done soon!.

Southport Dental is proud to employ a talented, friendly staff to make your dental experience exceptional. Our front office staff will find the answers to all your questions and make you feel at home. Give us a call today at 317-494-7366.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Southport Dental | About Us Video

At Southport Dental we appreciate our patients and new patients are always welcome! We offer a wide range of dental services for the entire family.

Our emphasis is on oral care education and the prevention of dental problems.

Check out our video to learn more about our practice: 

 

Our friendly and professional staff is always available to answer questions about your dental health and about the dental services we recommend for your treatment.

Southport Dental is located on Emerson Avenue between Southport Road and Stop 11. The office is just south of the I-65 bridge, on the East side of the road, in front of the Rosegate Senior Community. Call us at 317-494-7366 to schedule an appointment.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

Southport Dental | Overcoming Dental Fear!

Overcoming Dental Fears IndianapolisAre you afraid to see the dentist? As humans, we are often scared of the unknown. Dental phobia can be one of those unknowns and is incredibly common with estimates that it affects betwen 13% to 24% of people around the world. Being afraid of the dentist means different things to different people. Maybe it’s the thought that the treatment will hurt. It could be that you haven’t seen a dentist in years and are embarrassed by your teeth. Whatever the reason, dental health is crucial to your overall health. Many Americans are at risk of gum disease and early tooth loss-conditions that can affect your physical, social, and mental health.

If it has been a while since you have seen a dentist, make it a point to schedule an appointment soon. The dentist understands your fears. On your first visit to the dentist, the goal is to calm your fears, perform an exam, and make you feel as comfortable as possible. The dentist will then discuss with you the results of the exam and the recommended dental services. When considering treatment, patients are clearly presented with pros, cons, and all available options.

Our staff at Southport Dental is happy to offer dental services to you and your entire family. Only necessary procedures are recommended. In other words, no one is pressured with “up selling” like many chain dental practices.

When our patients require dental care, we offer a wide range of services to meet the needs of every member of the family. We are always available to answer questions about your dental health and about the services we provide for your treatment.

We are accepting new patients! Give us a call today at 317-494-7366.

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

Southport Dental | 10 Facts You Should Know About Tooth Decay

stages of tooth decay IndianapolisTooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. To repair a cavity, the decay must be removed and replaced with a manmade substance.

There are different types of materials used to fill cavities, including gold and metal alloys.

If you have ever had tooth decay, you should know:

  1. Tooth decay is one of the most common of all diseases, second only to the common cold.
  2. Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children ages 2 to 5, half of those ages 12 to 15, and more than 90 percent of U.S. adults over age 40.
  3. Tooth decay causes pain, suffering and disability for millions of Americans each year — even more disturbing, tooth decay is preventable.
  4. If it is not treated, in extreme and rare cases tooth decay can be deadly. Infection in an upper back tooth can spread to the sinus behind the eye, from which it can enter the brain and cause death.
  5. Tooth decay is an infectious process caused by acid-producing bacteria. Your risk for decay can be assessed in our office with a simple test for specific bacterial activity.
  6. Three factors are necessary for tooth decay to occur: susceptible teeth, acid-producing bacteria and a diet rich in sugars and refined carbohydrates.
  7. Babies are not born with decay-causing bacteria in their mouths; the bacteria are transmitted through saliva from mothers, caregivers, or family members.
  8. Fluoride incorporated into the tooth structure protects teeth against decay by making the enamel more resistant to acid attack.
  9. Sealants, which close up the nooks and crannies in newly erupted teeth, stop bacterial collection where a toothbrush can’t reach. Teeth with sealants have been shown to remain 99 percent cavity-free over six years.
  10. Restricting sugar intake is important in preventing tooth decay. Your total sugar intake should be less than 50 grams a day (about ten teaspoons) including sugars in other foods. A can of soda may have six teaspoons of sugar — or more!

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and discuss possible tooth decay issues. We are accepting new patients!

You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Decay – The World’s Oldest and Most Widespread Disease.”

About Southport Dental PC

New patients are always welcome. We will not make you wait weeks to get the dental visits you want. Let us know what you want to accomplish at your first visit and we will make it happen! We take the time with our patients to explain their treatment options and inform them of additional preventive care.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

What our patients are saying about us.

Thank you ladies and Dr. Mills for setting me at ease during my tooth extraction. I had a great experience despite the circumstances. I highly recommend Dr. Mills and his staff no matter what age you are!!

- Kathleen S.

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