Sip All Day, Get Decay

You may have already heard of this little saying, but it truly means a lot in dentistry. We preach it and we try to practice it daily. We’re not going to lie, the busier we are, the more we may find ourselves trying to sip on that morning coffee we didn’t get to finish because our day started out full speed. It’s all about planning ahead and setting yourself, well your teeth, up for success. In this article, we discuss the meaning behind, “Sip All Day, Get Decay” saying.

Choices

Each day when we wake up, we have so many choices to make. What outfit are we going to wear? How will we style our hair? What’s for breakfast? What will we drink with breakfast? Keywords: drink WITH breakfast. Drinking acidic or more sugary beverages isn’t as bad when you actually have them with meals. Food we consume actually helps to buffer the acids from the drinks we have. For example, if you are eating scrambled eggs with cheese but drinking coffee, the eggs and cheese will help neutralize the acidity in your mouth to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Now, if you are having a granola bar and coffee on the way to work, it is going to be best to drink lots of water when you are done and even brush or use a fluoride rinse if possible.

Frequency is Key

It’s not about the amount consumed but more about frequency. For example, you can drink a 16-ounce energy drink in 5 minutes and it is better for your teeth than sipping it over an hour-long period. After each sip of a sugary drink, it takes the mouth 20 minutes to buffer the acids which means if you take a drink every 5-10 minutes for an hour, there is no way for your mouth to catch up on buffering those acids which in turn, highly increases your risk of getting cavities. These are the type of cavities we see in between the teeth (flossing cavities where the sugars settle) or along the sides of the teeth. It is best to drink water between sips of these types of beverages to act as a cleansing agent to the teeth. Sugary, acidic drinks include basically anything except water, white milk and some hot teas which are more neutral. Even diet or flavored waters with zero sugar are very acidic to drink throughout the day. It is best to drink water between meals and limit sugary drinks to mealtimes.

Prevent Tooth Decay

We know everyone is not going to be perfect when it comes to sipping non-water drinks throughout the day. Again, it comes down to how often are you doing it? Every day or once or twice a week for a couple of hours a day vs. all day. At Dental Reflections Dublin, we just want to give our patients the proper tools and knowledge they need to keep the cavity bugs at bay and prevent tooth decay. For more tips on dentistry or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Symptoms of Common Dental Problems

Often, when we feel something sensitive or painful in our mouth, we tend to panic. I mean, we all want to keep our teeth, right? Some symptoms may be able to wait until your next dental visit. Others may require a limited exam between your professional dental cleanings to get the problem addressed right away. Dentistry is all about preventive dental care, so the sooner an issue is addressed, the less invasive a procedure recommendation would be.

Temperature Sensitive Teeth

This is one of the most common common dental problems we hear from our patients, temperature sensitivity. When you can’t eat your favorite ice cream or drink your favorite ice-cold drinks, you start to get annoyed. This is typically caused by some type of enamel wear or root exposure. The enamel, or the most outer layer of your tooth, is what protects it from acid in our diets and normal wear and tear. When the enamel suffers too much trauma, like sipping soda all day, or clenching and grinding, it’s inevitable – it starts to wear away or develop a hole or cavity from the harmful bacteria of the byproduct of the soda or snacks you eat all day.

Enter: temperature sensitivity. The underlying layer of the enamel is dentin. Dentin contains tons of tubules that lead to the nerve and causes sensitivity. The only way to help this is to use a toothpaste with potassium nitrate. This ingredient helps fill in and block the tubules from sending information to the nerve. If it’s a cavity, the only solution is for us to remove it and put a filling in its place. If gum recession is causing the sensitivity, toothpaste can also help. However, we need to determine the cause of the gum recession and come up with a solution. This usually means a nightguard recommendation to prevent the recession from progressing any further.

Toothache

If you are experiencing one of the common dental problems, a toothache, like an actual ache that will not go away, its best to get in for an exam. What typically happens is there is something underlying causing this pain. Once a tooth starts to hurt constantly, there is a good chance. There is a large cavity in the tooth that has reached the nerve. The result of this is usually a root canal or extraction of the tooth that is needed, depending on the severity of it.

We will determine the cause of the problem by taking a limited x-ray of the problem area to see if there is pathology at the tip of the root of the tooth. We also use an x-ray to see how far progressed a cavity is in the crown of the tooth if that is indeed what is going on. Another sign is a recurring bump on the gum near the tooth. This is a sign of an infection that usually comes with pain and cannot be cured without a root canal or extraction.

Pain with Chewing or Biting

Our last common dental problem patients experience is pain with biting or chewing. While this can mean a fractured tooth, it is more common to occur after a dental procedure. When a tooth is drilled on, and a cavity is removed, it is experiencing trauma. Therefore, it will take time to heal. If it is not resolving and it truly gives you a “zing” every time you bite down, your bite may be a little high. This means after putting a filling in the tooth to replace the cavity that was taken out. The filling may not be completely even with your bite. This is very common since you are numb during the procedure. Thankfully, it is a quick fix and involves a follow-up appointment to even out the filling, and chances are, the zing will resolve. If it does not, it requires further attention.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you are concerned about, do not hesitate to call us at Dental Reflections Dublin to come in for a limited exam so we can get you feeling better. 614.799.5576

Dental Care During the Holidays

As we all know, December brings lots of cheer and also lots of sugar. We keep seeing these hot cocoa bombs everywhere and all we can think about is how much sugar is in those things. Sure, they are super festive and fun, but always keep your dental health in mind when you are munching and sipping this holiday season.

Yes, we know, that is the last thing we want to think about when enjoying extra goodies, however, if that’s the case, don’t be shocked when you have an extra cavity or two during your next checkup visit. There are ways to enjoy these festive treats and keep your teeth healthy at the same time!!

Eat junk with meals. Yep, we gave you the go ahead. Eat your sweets with your meals. The other food you are eating – cheese, mashed potatoes, meats and so on, are actually helping to buffer out those acids from the sugar. Same goes with those sugary drinks. If you are going to sip on some hot chocolate, it is best to do it at the end of a meal. The longer you sip on drinks between meals the more acid attacks your teeth get. After each sip, your mouth takes about 20 minutes to buffer out the acids, making your pH neutral again. If you take forever to finish your drink, your mouth never has a chance to catch up and neutralize. So, frequency, not amount is key.

We are not saying you must carry your floss and toothbrush with you in case you do splurge and sip your hot cocoa. What you can do is take water sips after the sugary stuff to also help cleanse the sugars from settling down at the gumline. Don’t forget to brush twice a day (nighttime is the most important!!) and floss once a day to help keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible this year.

One big fad to come out of 2020 are charcuterie boards. Thankfully, most of these foods are pretty healthy. Cheeses, meats, nuts and veggies are all great for the teeth. So next time you see a charcuterie board – don’t hold back. Throw a cookie in too and enjoy!