10 Things To Keep Your Teeth Thankful

It’s the time of the year where we all think a little longer about what we’re thankful for. Whether it’s having a warm place to sleep, a good job, food in our bellies, or having our favorite people around for the holidays. Everyone has something that fills them with gratitude, but has you ever wondered what your teeth are thankful for?

Our teeth do a lot for us on a daily basis. Between being the starting point for digestion and maintaining your facial structure -day or night, your teeth are always on the clock. Which means you should be too when it comes to taking care of them. Here are 10 helpful tips and tricks for keeping your teeth happy, healthy, and thankful this Thanksgiving!

 

  1. Body (1).pngBrush your teeth twice a day: This is crucial for keeping your teeth thankful as well as intact. When you go to bed without brushing you’re wallowing the bacteria on your teeth to sit and harden all night. This can lead to plaque, tartar, and even gum disease. This is why it’s super important to brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed for at least 2 minutes each time.

 

  1. Flossing at least once a day: It’s as important as brushing. The bristles on your toothbrush aren’t small enough to get into those little spaces between our teeth. When you don’t floss plaque starts to build up in those little crevices. The longer it sits there the harder it is to remove and then it becomes easier to develop gum disease. Flossing can be difficult, especially with children, ask us about recommended alternatives to traditional floss string.

 

  1. Minimize acidic drinks: Beverages such as fruit juices and sodas all have very low PH balances. Which means they are more acidic and break down the shiny, smooth layer of protection on your teeth called enamel. It’s your enamel’s job to protect your teeth from plaque and tartar. When the acid eats away at it you lose that protection and it doesn’t grow back. It’s best to limit these drinks to special treats and drink lots of water immediately after.

 

  1. Beware of sugary foods: Whether its candy or foods that have a high amount of sugar in them, the bacteria in our mouths pair with that sugar and turn it into acid. The acid then eats away at your enamel, which we covered in No.3. It’s important to limit these foods as well as drink water after, you also want to wait 30 minutes before brushing after you eat or drink sugary things. This helps avoid grinding the acid deeper into your enamel.

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  1. Avoid tobacco: Not only can smoking and chewing tobacco turn your teeth yellow, but it also puts you at a higher risk of tooth loss, developing gum disease, and oral cancer. Tobacco damages the gum line around your teeth leaving pockets where bacteria, plaque, and tartar easily build up. Once those pockets are festering, the bacteria starts to eat away at your bone structure.

 

  1. Only use your teeth for chewing: A lot of people have the bad habit of opening bottles, cracking nuts or seeds, ripping open packages, and doing other things with their teeth. This can lead to cracked or broken teeth and even mouth sores. Remember to only use your teeth for chewing and if you have a cracked or broken tooth call your dentist right away. Teeth don’t fix themselves!

 

  1. Research before poking the hole: An oral piercing, much like any piercing, can make you feel great about yourself but have you thought about the potential harm? Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and when you introduce a healing wound to it, there are endless amounts of infections you could get if the piercing is not taken care of properly. There is a risk of uncontrollable bleeding and nerve damage. You are also at risk for chipping or breaking teeth, and swallowing or choking on balls or studs if they come loose. Be sure to do the research and only go to a licensed and reputable piercer.

 

  1. Protect your teeth: Injury can happen in any physical activity which is why it’s very important to wear a mouthguard if you play any sports. The mouthguard protects your tongue, teeth, cheeks, lip lining, and gums from serious injury. Ask us about which mouthguard works best for your sport.

 

  1. Drink water: Water has lots of benefits not limited to keeping us alive. When you drink water between meals and brushing it helps to rinse away some of that harmful bacteria. It also helps to prevent dry mouth while strengthening your teeth and gums!

 

  1. Visit your dentist at least twice a year: Seeing your dentist twice a year is crucial to your dental health. Get cleanings, check for gum disease, and make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to.

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

 

The Impact of “Scary” and “Sweet” Candy on Your Teeth

It’s finally that time of the year, the leaves are falling, the weather is getting cooler, and Halloween is right around the corner! With the spooky season rapidly approaching you should know which candies are “scary” for your teeth and which ones are “sweet”.

The “Scary” Candy

  • Sticky and gummy candies (Laffy Taffy, gummy bears, caramel)
  • Hard candy (jawbreakers, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers)
  • Sour candy (Lemon Heads, War Heads, Sour Patch Kids)
  • Popcorn balls

These “scary” candies can cause a whole monster of problems from enamel loss to tooth damage. The sticky/gummy candies adhere to your teeth giving the sugar time to seep into all those nooks and crannies. beware-candy.jpgHard candy sits in your mouth slowly coating your teeth in sugar and can crack or break teeth as you chew them. The sour candies are super acidic and break down the enamel, weakening your teeth and making them more susceptible to cavities. Treats like popcorn balls have sharp kernels that can cause bleeding gums and other painful sores in your mouth.

The “Sweet” Candy

  • Semi-Sweet and dark chocolate
  • Candy bars with nuts
  • Any fun-sized candy bars

Now, any candy not in moderation can be harmful. However, these “sweet” candies are a safer bet for your teeth and gums. The chocolate and candy bars with nuts can be quickly and easily rinsed out with saliva or water. The fun-sized candy bars are smaller portions which means less sugar while satisfying your cravings!

Speaking of sugar, it can have a pretty sinister effect on your teeth, enamel and your gums. In our mouths, we have bacteria that when introduced to sugar, creates acid. The acid can stick around for up to 20 minutes! Be sure to eat the whole candy instead of munching on it to prevent further damage. Sugar also lowers the PH balance in our mouths making it more acidic. This acid can bond to and erode your enamel, Scary right? demineralization.jpgThis process is called demineralization, luckily our saliva is a base, so it helps prevent and restore some of the damage done in a process called remineralization.

Over time this acid wears our enamel down so much that the sugar can seep into our teeth causing cavities. When these cavities are left untreated, they can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. According to the ADA (American Dental Association), 91% percent of Americans over 20 have had cavities and 27% of them have experienced tooth decay.

Those are some spooky statistics! Thankfully there are some steps you can take to prevent the sugar from doing too much harm to those pearly whites. We suggest that after eating those “scary” treats, you chew some sugar-free gum. The sugar-free gum absorbs some of the acidic gunk stuck to your teeth, lessening its harmful effects on your enamel. It is also wise to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush. This keeps the sugar and acid from being ground into your enamel which can cause even more damage.

Always remember whether the candy is “scary” or “sweet” to eat in moderation, AND brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day also helps. Keep those beautiful teeth happy and healthy, schedule your dental check-up today!

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

Teeth Friendly Snacks For The School Year

YAY – it’s back to school season!!! It’s parent’s favorite time of year and kids least. It’s time to pack your kid’s more healthy snacks for school! Did you know that 42 percent of children who are ages 2 – 11 develop a cavity in their baby teeth? Healthy snacks can benefit more than just your overall health, it’s your teeth too!

The first thing to remember, you are your child’s example! Teach them healthy habits from the start, from eating well to taking care of your own teeth, and going to the dentist regularly. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques, brush 2x a day and floss daily.

Have you ever wondered what plaque is? It’s a soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and it forms regularly. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that invade tooth enamel and can damage your gums. It contains millions of bacteria that love the food and drinks you consume every day. Do you know who plaque’s best friend is? If you guessed tooth decay you are correct!body-YOUR.png

If dental plaque isn’t removed within a couple of days it hardens into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing cannot remove tartar, only a dental professional can. Fun fact: 68 percent of adults have tartar! They even deposit faster with age!

What Causes Dental Plaque and Tartar?

The bacteria in your mouth thrive off of saliva, food, and fluids. Plaque loves carbohydrates, simple sugars, soft drinks or candy. It hides between teeth and under the gum line, brushing cleans your surfaces of your teeth and your tongue and flossing removes plaque between your teeth.

Plaque is your worst enemy, it hides between your teeth and gum lines and there’s no way to avoid it entirely, that’s why it’s important to have a good oral routine. It can also lead to bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues.

3 Things To Remember For Back To School

  1. Visit your dentist every 6 months
  2. Brush twice a day and floss daily
  3. Pick the right snacks

Make brushing and flossing fun! You can use a sticker calendar and have your child place a sticker after they brush and floss. Also, you can let them choose their favorite color toothbrush or a themed one with their favorite character. Make it fun for you too, play a song for two minutes and brush together!

#ProTip: look for a kid-friendly floss holder, they make flossing more comfortable for small mouths.

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  • Cheese cubes
  • Celery sticks and baby carrots
  • Apples and pears
  • Nuts

Snacks To Limit

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Candy
  • Chewy granola bars

Schedule your cleaning sooner rather than later and get the kiddos in before school starts!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

 

 

Season to Smile

Time flies. We’re almost halfway through 2018. Which also means it’s the start of graduation and wedding seasons. How confident are you with your smile? It doesn’t matter if your big day is in weeks or months there are steps to take now. Have you ever thought about getting a smile makeover? The first thing someone notices about you is your smile. It can be as complex as restoring missing teeth, or as simple as correcting uneven, chipped, or cracked teeth. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and can be done in a single visit. Cosmetic dentistry is generally the new kid on the block. With advancements in technology, cosmetic dentistry came to life in the 20th century. The focus is to create beautiful natural looking smiles.

What is a smile makeover and what can it do for me?

#RealityA smile makeover improves the appearance of your smile using one or more cosmetic procedures. It’s completely customized for you and the smile you desire! If you need a quick fix, bonding might be for you. Bonding is a tooth-colored composite resin to fix chips, fractures or small gaps. It can even be used to make your teeth appear longer. Veneers are another option. Custom made and placed over your crooked, discolored, or chipped front teeth, they are thin and durable to give you a more aesthetic smile. Usually, it will take a couple visits to complete and lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years, fixing multiple issues with a single procedure.

Do you have missing teeth?

Dental implants could be your best option for a complete smile. Implants are metal posts that fuse with your jawbone to help avoid that sunken jaw look. After they are in place a crown is added on top. Implants look and feel like natural teeth. While this procedure can only be done if you have healthy gums and enough bone for support, we can help with this. They are permanent and it’s important to maintain good oral habits to preserve them.

Looking for a straighter smile?

#Smile With ConfidenceIf your teeth are crowded, misaligned, or you have an overbite or underbite orthodontics may be the best route for an aesthetic smile. You have a few different options, traditional metal braces, Invisalign or Clear Correct. Invisalign and clear correct are clear removable aligners that straighten your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, these clear trays are removed while you eat and brush your teeth! Don’t let your age discourage you from getting your perfect smile! We offer adult orthodontics.

What can help discolored teeth?

Does the color of your teeth make you self-conscious when smiling for photos? The food and drinks you consume may be the reason your teeth aren’t sparkling white. Coffee, tea, berries, and sweets are just some examples of what can stain your teeth. Did you know whitening is the most requested procedures in cosmetic dentistry? It can be done at home or in our office and can possibly make your smile up to 8 shades brighter!

You deserve to have the self-confidence to share your smile big on your special day! Don’t over think what you should or shouldn’t do, give us a call or request an appointment online and let’s discuss your best smile options together.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

10 Ghoulish Disorders That Will Have You Flying to the Dentist

While most of us love a good horror story, in the world of dentistry, sometimes the truth is more frightening than any Hollywood flick! Curl up and dig in to 10 of the creepiest dental ailments you have ever heard of:

  1. Amelogenesis Imperfecta: Tooth Enamel Disease

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Amelogenesis Imperfecta is a congenital disease. Causing small teeth with very thin tooth enamel, a discolored smile is the tip of the iceberg here. These tiny chompers often suffer from painful sensitivity and lots of breakage. Diagnosed by your dentist, treatments are available for every level of severity.

Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

  1. Hyperdontia: Extra Teeth

This rare condition affects a very small percentage of children. Sometimes tied to a genetic disorder, but can also occur for unknown reasons, a child develops extra teeth hidden in their gums. With extraction often the best course of action, left unattended these extra teeth can prevent or delay the eruption of permanent teeth and wreak havoc on the child’s bite. Yes, even those suffering from hyperdontia should still brush and floss twice a day!

Source: Colgate

  1. Papillon-Lefevre Syndrome (PLS): Premature Tooth Loss

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By the age of five, kids with PLS usually have many loose primary teeth. This can become a severe issue without regular dental care. But what’s the cause? The root of the problem stems from a missing enzyme causing a connective tissue issue. As skin infections are also common with PLS, routine care requires a team of specialists; usually including pediatricians, surgeons, dermatologists, among of course, dentists, periodontist and prosthodontists.

What’s even more frightening is the possibility of losing all permanent teeth… as a teenager! Such is so, as teens often choose to have any remaining teeth removed and wear dentures.

Source: National Organization for Rare Disorders

  1. Talon Cusps: Claw-Like Teeth

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Just as it sounds, these abnormal tooth sprouts look like the shape of an eagle’s talon at the back of a child’s tooth.  If left to fester, potential problems include crowding, gum irritation, bad bite, and of course the accumulation of plaque.

Dare not scrape these off! Talon cusps require common treatment from your dentist, such as grinding down or a root canal.

Source: Journal of the Canadian Dental Association

  1. Geminated Teeth: Mega Tooth

This is as if the tooth root has had twins. This anomaly manifests itself when two teeth develop from a single tooth bud. Turning into an oversized and disfigured tooth, your dentist will be on the lookout for the trouble it’s causing to nearby teeth.

Your dentist will be on the lookout for a bad bite, tooth decay in the area and overcrowding of neighboring teeth. Depending on size, it’s possible the tooth could cause little impact. However, most cases need extraction or other procedures to bring it down to normal size. Beware! These teeth aren’t easily flossed so using anti-bacterial mouthwash is advised.

Source: National Institute of Health

  1. Tonsilloliths: Tonsil Debris

Ever heard of tonsil stones? When this buildup of bacteria and debris gets trapped in and around your tonsils it’s no joke. Especially considering they range in size from a grain of rice to that of a large grape!

What causes this troublesome throat rubble? Chronic tonsillitis and poor dental hygiene are the usual culprits.  While not always visible, if they’re lurking you’ll likely smell it first! Bad breath, sore throat, and trouble swallowing as the most reported symptoms. Tonsils are delicate, and removing the stones requires the expert hand of a true professional.

Source:  Live Scicence

  1. Black Hairy Tongue: Like. It. Sounds…

Harmless as it may be, this fearsome condition will attract unwanted attention. If not from looks, the radiating smell will turn heads… and your stomach with a metallic taste. Caused by the building up of dead skin cells, this creepy accumulation does offer some relief in how it’s treated. Oral hygiene. Brush your tongue or using a tongue scraper daily should clear things up. If it persists, visit your dentist as reoccurrence risk runs high.

Source: WebMD

  1. Salivary Gland Stones: Clogged Salivary Glands

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Think kidney stones in your mouth. They’re painful and can cause neck swelling. As saliva is full of calcium, these startling stones store up in salivary ducts. The remedy is as easy as sucking on sour candy to get the saliva juices flowing again. Caution! Stones can grow large enough for surgical removal.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information

  1. The Disgusting Truth About Your Toothbrush: dun dun dun!

Your toothbrush is a bacteria magnet. The dirty little secret it hides is really more like 10 million bacteria— including E. coli and Staph. Truly a terrifying thought! Here are some empowering tips to keeping your brush as clean as possible:

  • Replace your toothbrush after 3 months. Sooner if the bristles become frayed and always after the flu or a cold.
  • Not all toothpaste is created equal. Look for ones with triclosan or copolymer to help kill mouth bacteria.
  • Rinse the bristles after every use. Soaking in antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide also helps.
  • In this case, sharing is not caring. Each brush is factory built for one mouth. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
  • Air dry between uses and don’t let toothbrush heads touch. Remember, 10 million bacteria…
  • Flush with the toilet seat down. We smell molecules of whatever it is giving off the stench. Remember E. coli…

Source: Huffington Post

  1. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease: Virus

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Imagine having sores in your mouth, on your hands, feet, and even your legs. A very unpleasant condition, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. So, halt the spread with frequent hand washing, and while infected, keep the kisses under wraps.

This nasty virus is most common among children under 10 but adults can contract it as well. With symptoms lasting about a week, see a physician if the sore mouth and throat prevent drinking.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Spook ‘Em in Style!

When was your last dental exam? Call today or schedule your next appointment online!

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

When is it a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are not like other emergencies. It can be hard to know the difference between bothering your dentist or getting in contact because there is a serious time-sensitive issue at hand – particularly if you’re not even sure what the problem is.

The rule of thumb is this: “If it hurts – it’s an emergency.”

If you chipped a tooth, but there’s no pain, it can likely wait until the office’s normal operating hours. Just be sure to take care when chewing as to not worsen the injury. But if it’s fractured or you’re in pain, you may have damaged the soft tissue inside your tooth or “pulp” and that needs to be looked at immediately lest the tooth be compromised.

A knocked out tooth or loose one should be immediately brought to a dental professional to attempt to save. The more time that passes between the initial trauma and attempted dental restoration, the less viable the tooth will be. In cases like this, if the tooth is loose please try to keep it in place by either keeping a finger there or gently biting to minimize movement. If it’s completely knocked out, avoid touching the root and either place it back in the socket (if you can comfortably do so), or store it in a small container or submerged in milk if it’s available. It can also be transported in a cup with, preferably the same person’s, spit. Get to our office immediately to minimize the likelihood of permanent tooth loss.

(Did You Know! Milk can help maintain the correct fluid balance of the root, preserving it longer; water, on the other hand, can cause the cells to swell and die.)

Mouth Trauma

If you have any kind of mouth injury including: punctures, lacerations, tears, or similar to the cheeks/tongue/mouth – this is an emergency. Be careful not to take any pain killers which may be blood thinners, like aspirin or ibuprofen, as this can increase the severity of the injury. Abscesses or infections of the mouth are serious and can be life threatening in some cases. If you are experiencing any of these, it is certainly an emergency. If you are bleeding, dealing with a loose/missing tooth, in severe pain, have been dealt trauma to the mouth, or have swelling – this is a dental emergency. Call a medical professional immediately.

Note: If trauma to the head is involved, make sure to rule out a concussion. Some symptoms include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue. If you think you may have suffered a concussion, then you want to go to the ER first.

Dental emergencies are not a black and white issue, as is the case with injuries like broken bones. But when it comes to your oral health, pain is never normal, and severe pain means a severe issue. Fortunately, dental emergencies rarely pop up for no reason at all, and as long as you take care of yourself and avoid dangerous situations, they are mostly preventable. If you find yourself at a sport outing and take a rogue ball to the mouth, definitely give us a call. Until then, just keep to your usual oral hygiene routine and don’t worry – if the worst happens, you always have us to set things straight (:

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

Deep Cleaning: What it means to you.

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You’re a good person – you pay your taxes, pick up litter, and make it to the dentist every 6 months. Now you’re being told you may need a deep cleaning…but don’t you clean your teeth every day? And isn’t a deep cleaning what the dentist always does? Not quite, although we know it can sometimes feel that way.

A regular dental cleaning is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months. The intention of this visit to the dentist is to maintain your healthy gums and give your teeth a little extra attention when it comes to matters of plaque and tartar, which can be difficult to remove fully with a toothbrush and floss alone. The odds are that if you are brushing and flossing every day, and taking any other steps recommended by your doctor, a regular dental cleaning is the perfect addition to your regular care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.

Deep cleaning, a necessity?

A deep cleaning, on the other hand, is what becomes necessary when the health of your teeth and gums become jeopardized by gum disease, also known as periodontitis.  To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to have tight and healthy seals around your teeth to protect them and keep them firmly in place. A standard part of your regular cleaning is your doctor using a diagnostic tool called a periodontal probe to ensure this is the case; the probe is used to measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-3mm is considered normal, and there should be very little or no bleeding at all. Upwards of 4mm is a sign that you are developing ‘pockets’, which are a space between the teeth and gums that becomes prime breeding ground for bacteria and tartar buildup. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away left on the teeth for more than 24 hours can become tartar, which only your dentist can remove. Left unattended, these pockets can deepen and compromise the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. If the dentist uses the probe and measures 4mm or more, and/or there is significant bleeding and signs of inflammation, then a deep cleaning will be scheduled to help you get your smile back on track.

Deep cleaning is not a scary process. 

Oftentimes, your dentist will break the cleaning into two separate visits to most effectively treat your mouth, this is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention so that you’ll be numbed in only smaller sections of your mouth each time, making for a completely comfortable process and quick recovery. The most common forms of treatment are called scaling and root planing. The process of scaling involves using a professional tool to remove plaque and tartar from both the surface of the teeth, and the pocket area that has been created between your teeth and gums. A scaling instrument, on the other hand, removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the root of your teeth, which is below the gum line and not visible. These tools are the only thing that can removed built up plaque, as even floss cannot reach far into deepened pockets. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar that has built up beneath the visible surface.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease, and left unattended can turn into a much more serious problem. Fortunately, the treatment is typically straight forward and as long as you follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions, the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels and your gums should return to normal and lose any signs of redness. If you are feeling pain or sensitivity in your teeth, have red and/or puffy gums, or are experiencing bleeding during normal brushing and flossing – call us. The sooner periodontitis is identified the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you, if you have any concerns about your oral health just remember that a professional evaluation is never harmful and may offer you some great information.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

The Dangers of Crunchy Munchies

Blog Title-Hard Candy2

Easter means many things to different families everywhere, but one thing that remains consistent is the appearance of candy! Whether it’s hidden in eggs or just passed around, it comes at a nice nearly halfway mark in the year from Halloween. Sweets make for some excellent treats, and there is no reason not to indulge (in moderation of course)! However, all candies are not created equal, and it may be worth knowing which ones you can have relatively guilt free, and which could spell trouble for your wonderful smile.

When it comes to Easter indulgences, chocolate may make it onto the nice list – we know, this is great news to many of you. The less forgiving candies are the ones that make that all-too-familiar CRUNCH! Hard candies, like lollipops or jolly ranchers, can be an awfully tempting treat to bite. But best case scenario is they can pack hard-to-reach pieces of sugar into your gums that end up sitting there, as saliva can have a difficult time breaking them down. Worst case scenario, that crunch sound may be coming from a broken tooth, and sending you straight from your Sunday activities into our office.

We do love seeing our patients, but not at the expense of their healthy smile! It happens more often than you think, and it’s not just because of the sugar – even some who are prone to absentmindedly crunching on ice have discovered the dangers of biting down on crunchy munchies when they find a piece of their tooth broken off. Your teeth are durable for normal eating and chewing, but anything that causes too much stress can run the risk of chipping or breaking one of your pearly whites. Before you try to impress your friends with breaking that jaw breaker in half, remember that it’s earned that name for a pretty good reason.

Even if you resist that satisfying crunch, there are still a few other points of concern for hard candies that you don’t run into with other options (like chocolate!). Hard candies that you suck on tend to spend a concentrated period of time in a single location, which over-exposes particular areas of your mouth to sugar and lead to a very concentrated build-up of acid, which can be a quick way to damage the enamel. Consider this next time you find yourself unwrapping that tootsie pop or after-meal mint, and perhaps enjoy a stick of gum instead. It’s not often that the solution for a sweet treat is yet another sweet treat, but you’re in luck because this time it is! After enjoying your holiday treats, consider enjoying a piece of sugar-free gum – the increased saliva productions while chewing can actually help dislodge and break down the remaining sugar in your mouth.
Overall, we don’t want to take the enjoyment out of candy-filled holidays – enjoy your time with your friends and family, and definitely don’t be afraid to pop open that plastic egg and see what treats hide inside. If you do find yourself going crazy for the crunchy candies, we hope you chew safely…and if things go wrong, you always have your friends at our office to set things straight (:

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

Dental Health and Pregnancy

Blog Title-ExpectingPregnantLady

Pregnancy changes a lot about the female body, which is no surprise considering all the physical and hormonal effects that take place over the course of those 9 months. All that considered, the profound connection between pregnancy and dental health can still be a shock to many.

As an example, the rapid surge in hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can alter the manner in which gum tissue reacts to plaque. Plaque buildup affects everybody, so it’s always important to make sure your teeth are being cleaned thoroughly. However, ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ is a condition that affects the vast majority of mothers-to-be and should be carefully monitored. Prevention is always more useful than treatment, and for that reason we encourage a diet high in Vitamin C and B12 – don’t forget, baby’s teeth are developing too so it’s important to have a diet that’s nutritious for your teeth and theirs! Be sure to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss each evening as well.

In addition to ‘pregnancy gingivitis’, pregnant women are also at risk for ‘pregnancy tumors’. These tumors are inflamed, but non-cancerous, growths that may develop when the gums become swollen and irritated. Usually the tumors will resolve themselves post-birth, but if you find one and it’s uncomfortable or painful, don’t hesitate to call our office so we can help you proceed with the right treatment for you.

In general, if you are either currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should always let your dentist know immediately in order to best proceed to minimize the risk of pregnancy-related complications. If needed, most procedures can be performed during pregnancy, particularly if you are in pain or have any concerns. However, we do not recommend any elective procedures until after the baby’s birth in order to minimize health risks to you or the child. Pregnancy does come with health concerns to be monitored, but as was the case before you received the news about your bundle of joy, consistent and thorough cleaning is always your best bet. Above all else, relax and enjoy this special time!

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.

In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone.  A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.

The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.

As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.

Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.

Dr. Ernesto Mireles
Salinas Dental and Implant Centers

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501