Why Eating Right Will Never Be Wrong for You (And Your Smile)

national nutrition monthIt’s probably safe to say that most people know that they need to eat healthy for their bodies and their teeth to be able to function properly and perform optimally for an entire lifetime. (Well, except maybe toddlers and young kids who would take candy over carrots any day.)

In honor of National Nutrition Month, our dental office in Lewisburg thought it might be a good time to have a little refresher blog about the benefits of eating less sugary and processed foods and more delicious fruits and veggies.

What Foods Will Help My Teeth?

Your dentist in Lewisburg agrees with the American Dental Association that certain foods and beverages can benefit your oral health because they’re rich in calcium and other beneficial tooth nutrients. They include:

  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Tofu
  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Foods like red meat, eggs, poultry, and fish can also be rich in smile-boosting proteins and can be part of a healthy diet (unless of course you choose to stick to a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet). Just remember that foods and beverages rich with calcium and protein have the power to protect and fortify your tooth enamel, which is essential to maintaining your oral health. Once you lose your enamel or it begins to break down, there’s no way of getting it back.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Fruits and Vegetables

The reason why fruits and vegetables are so good for our smiles and our bodies is that most of them are rich with vitamin C and vitamin A. Can you guess what these powerful vitamins can do for your smile? They can keep your gums healthy, help wounds heal more quickly, and can also help build strong tooth enamel just like calcium and protein.

Most veggies and fruits also contain a good amount of water and fiber, which your entire body can benefit from. You can be sure you’re also stimulating your salivary glands and helping to wash away bacteria from your teeth when you crunch down on fresh fruits and veggies. This goes to show you why it’s super important to keep your smile healthy, so you’re able to enjoy these things without pain or discomfort.

The Obligatory ‘No Sugar’ Talk

So, we’re sure you already know our Lewisburg dental office is never going to recommend a sugar-filled diet for any patient at any age. It is just not good for you or your teeth. The truth is, sweets can damage teeth because they cause acid levels to rise significantly with every unhealthy bite. This acid loves to attack your valuable tooth enamel that is impossible to recreate artificially, despite all of the advancements in modern dentistry. When your enamel wears down, your teeth are at risk for:

We always want to do everything we can to ensure total body health for our entire family of patients. If there’s something that you’re struggling with in terms of diet and how it could be affecting your smile health, please don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can talk. Together we can find a solution that works for you!

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby neighborhoods.

What Causes Bad Breath?

bad breathWhile bad breath can be embarrassing, there may be a bigger cause for concern if it’s something that affects you every day. The team at our dental office in Lewisburg knows that bad breath can be a temporary problem… or… even a sign of something more serious. Join us as we look at some of the main things that cause bad breath and also some ways that you can help get rid of it.

Cause #1: Dry Mouth.

Dry mouth is something that can initially appear as a minor problem that comes along with some discomfort. But the truth is, when there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth to rinse away bacteria, they can build up and cause some seriously bad breath and other oral health problems such as decay.

What You Can Do: Dry mouth can be caused by medications, or it could also be hereditary. Treatment would vary depending on the cause of your dry mouth, but the easiest way to help is to make sure to drink plenty of water every day. Keeping your mouth hydrated is an important step in keeping it healthy. If you suspect medications are causing dry mouth and bad breath, talk with your doctor about other potential solutions.

Cause #2: Foods

Perhaps the leading cause of temporary bad breath is the foods we eat. Potent foods such as garlic, onions, or fish can pack a heavy odor that can linger on our breath even after we’re done eating. Many times this type of bad breath will go away over time and isn’t cause for concern.

What You Can Do: To help make the stench caused by food disappear faster, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum. Not only will the minty flavor help mask any lingering food smells, but gum can also help stimulate saliva production and help rinse away bacteria or food particles. If you don’t have gum, swishing with water or snacking on apples or carrots can help.                  

Cause #3: Gum Disease.

If your bad breath stays around long after you’ve eaten and it’s become an everyday thing for you, we recommend seeing your dentist in Lewisburg as soon as possible. Chronic bad breath can be an early warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health problem that can lead to tooth loss and other concerns throughout the body such as heart disease.

What You Can Do: The best way to prevent gum disease and the bad breath that tends to go with it is to brush and floss daily and to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings. However, if you already have gum disease, it’s crucial to get help sooner rather than later while treatment in reversing the disease is still highly successful.

Bad breath isn’t something that you have to live with. In fact, you shouldn’t take bad breath lightly. If you’re concerned about your bad breath and are looking for a solution, we welcome you to call our Lewisburg dental office to schedule an appointment with us today. We will help find the cause of your bad breath and work with you to cure it.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

How to Ease Toothache Pain

woman with toothacheCan you believe that there’s actually a day dedicated to toothaches? It’s true! February 9th is recognized as National Toothache Day, and in honor of this ‘holiday,’ the team at our dental office in Lewisburg is here to celebrate by giving you advice on how to ease toothache pain.

What Causes a Toothache?

There’s no one thing that leads to a toothache, but oftentimes toothaches can be caused by:

  • Erupting teeth (in children)
  • Decay or cavities
  • Chipped tooth
  • Food that’s become wedged deep in between teeth
  • Improper brushing and flossing

The Truth About Toothaches

The truth is, toothaches don’t usually just pop up out of nowhere. They’re typically a sign of an underlying problem. While at-home toothache remedies can provide temporary relief, it’s wise to see your dentist in Lewisburg sooner rather than later. Early intervention will help diagnose any problems quickly and when treatment is usually easier and more successful.

Toothache Remedies

If you’re experiencing a toothache there are things you can do to help ease the pain before your dental visit including:

  • Rinsing with warm salt water
  • Holding an ice pack to your cheek
  • Gently flossing the sore spot
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medicine

Nobody wants to experience a toothache. They’re painful and annoying for anyone, and the discomfort can absolutely affect our quality of life. When and if you get a toothache, treat it gently and with care and schedule a visit to our Lewisburg dental office as soon as you can.

Avoiding Toothaches

The best ways to avoid a toothache in the first place is to make sure you’re brushing and flossing properly every day and getting dental checkups at least every six months. Practicing preventive care can reduce the risk of toothaches and help keep painful problems away.

We’re always welcoming new patients at our dental office and welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today!

Serving Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and surrounding neighborhoods.

New Year’s Resolutions for Better Oral Health

young boy brushing his teethSomething interesting happens around this time every year. People start reflecting on the last twelve months and start thinking about some things they can change in order to make the next twelve even better. These changes, or resolutions, are usually quickly lost within the first few weeks of the new year. But this year, our dental office in Lewisburg wants to help you make some solid, easy-to-keep resolutions to improve your oral health in 2019.  

Brush & Floss. One of the easiest resolutions you can make for better oral health is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. This means brushing twice a day, every day, and flossing once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently (emphasis on gently) scrub away bacteria and plaque buildup. But brushing alone doesn’t reach all surfaces of your teeth. This is where flossing comes into play. Flossing between each and every tooth daily removes the things that brushing alone can miss. Following this at-home oral health routine is one of the best ways you can improve your oral health.

Drink Water. Drinking water is a simple thing that can make a big difference in your health. Being hydrated allows our bodies to function properly and efficiently. It’s also great for oral health; water rinses away bacteria and neutralizes acid which, if not removed, will cause decay and cavities. Water can also keep breath fresh by fighting off dry mouth. This year, commit to drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day and drinking other beverages in moderation.

Visit Your Dentist in Lewisburg. We recommend dental visits at least every six months, sometimes more if appropriate. These dental checkups are important for several reasons including:

  • Deep cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup
  • Diagnosing any problems early before they cause bigger problems
  • Monitoring oral health for signs of potential disease, whether oral or systemic

Many systemic, whole-body problems such as heart disease and diabetes can actually first show signs and symptoms in the mouth. When caught early at your regular dental appointments, treatment can be easier and more successful. Signs of more oral-specific problems such as gum disease and oral cancer can also show signs early, making the chances of solving these serious problems more likely.

The best way to follow through with New Year’s resolutions is to write them down, make a plan, and stick with it. When it comes to resolutions involving your oral health, the team at our Lewisburg dental office is here to help. Call us to schedule an appointment today and let’s get started on the best year your smile has ever seen.

Welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby areas.

The 8 Worst Habits for Teeth

ice cubes and lemonsSeeing your dentist in Lewisburg twice a year is one of the best ways you can protect your smile and keep your mouth healthy. Pair those visits with a good oral hygiene routine at home and your oral health is pretty well protected. Except when the things we do or the foods we eat counteract our hard work. In this blog, we cover some of the worst habits for your teeth.

  • Tobacco Use – Let’s start with a pretty well-known habit that’s dangerous to oral health. Using tobacco, whether it’s cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can cause tooth discoloration and increase the chance of gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Eating Lemons – Eating too much of any citrus fruit, including lemons, can be bad for teeth. Citrus fruits are loaded with acid that essentially erodes tooth enamel. Without the protective layer of enamel, teeth are exposed to bacteria and are more likely to get cavities.
  • Drinking Soda – Another commonly known culprit of cavities are soft drinks. These beverages are packed with sugar, and as we all know, sugar is bad for teeth. What makes soda particularly damaging is that when we drink it, it coats our mouths and teeth with sugar, essentially bathing them in sugar.  
  • Crunching on Ice Cubes – Chewing these frozen solid cubes can cause tiny little cracks in our teeth where bacteria can camp out and cause cavities. Eating ice can also cause large, serious chips and breaks.
  • Using Teeth as Tools – Using our teeth for anything other than chewing is a bad idea. Yet many people turn to their teeth to rip, saw, or cut open packages or to hold onto things when two hands aren’t enough. These are surefire ways to crack or chip teeth.  
  • Nail Biting – Not only are our nails loaded with bacteria, but they’re also really hard. Using our teeth to trim our nails can easily cause damage. Nail biting may also lead to jaw pain or TMD/TMJ.
  • Too Much Whitening – Getting a whiter smile is safe and possible with many teeth whitening products. However, using these products too often can cause sensitivity and erode enamel.
  • Brushing Too Hard – Brushing your teeth twice a day is one thing, a very good thing. But brushing your teeth twice a day when you’re scrubbing too hard isn’t so great. A rough brushing will do more harm than good by scratching up tooth enamel and damaging gums. Gums may even recede, leaving teeth sensitive.

When it comes to protecting your teeth and overall oral health, make sure you’re not only brushing twice a day and visiting our dental office in Lewisburg every six months, but that you’re also staying aware of all the things that can damage your smile. Do your best to avoid these dangers or at least enjoy them in moderation.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby communities.

It’s National Dental Hygiene Month at Your Lewisburg Dental Office

dental hygiene appointmentThe month of October seems to kick off the beginning of the holiday season, and at our dental office in Lewisburg, we have one more reason to celebrate! Every October the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) sponsors National Dental Hygiene Month to recognize the hard work and dedication of dental hygienists all around America. We’re so lucky to have our talented hygiene team and we wanted to dedicate this blog to them and their jobs!

What Do Dental Hygienists Do?

Dental hygienists are responsible for many aspects of their patients’ oral health and are often the first line of defense for patients. Their main responsibilities revolve around the prevention of many dental concerns including cavities and gum disease. Besides providing patients with a thorough cleaning at every appointment, they also help educate patients on oral hygiene, answer any concerns patients may have, and many will take dental x-rays.

Let’s Talk About Oral Hygiene

Perhaps the most common thing that dental hygienists do is give their patients tips on how to maintain a healthy mouth. They’ll talk about proper brushing and flossing techniques, whether mouthwash may be beneficial, and other tricks to help keep teeth problem and cavity-free. Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of a good oral hygiene routine.

Brush

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day — once in the morning and once at night — for a minimum of two minutes each time. During those two minutes, your hygienist and dentist in Lewisburg suggest using gentle circles with a soft-bristled toothbrush held at a 45 degree angle. Practicing this technique will remove bacteria and plaque from teeth without causing damage.

Floss

We should all floss our teeth everyday, and not just when we feel the annoyance of piece of food stuck between our teeth. If we don’t floss regularly we actually don’t clean about 35% of every tooth. Food particles left around too long will only feed bacteria and increase the chance for decay. Make sure to gently wiggle floss between each tooth and up under the gums.

Rinse

When it comes to mouthwash, your dental hygienist may or may not suggest using one. There are plenty types of mouthwash that can help an assortment of concerns such as dry mouth. However, some mouthwashes may make some problems worse. For example, mouthwashes that contain alcohol may actually make dry mouth worse and only temporarily alleviate bad breath. Talk with your hygienist about what’s right for you.

Chew

Believe it or not, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum can help keep mouths healthy. Look for a gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance — this means it’s been researched and declared safe for smiles. Chewing gum in between brushings or after meals can increase saliva production which will help neutralize acid, protecting teeth against decay and enamel wear.

The next time you visit our Lewisburg dental office, make sure to thank your dental hygienist. Also make sure to keep your appointments every six months, practice good at-home oral hygiene, and contact us as soon as possible if you experience a dental emergency.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport.

Bad Breath Remedies

embarrassed womanAt our dental office in Lewisburg, we understand how having bad breath can affect our patients’ lives. We’re commonly asked what causes bad breath in the first place, and more importantly, how to make it go away. In this week’s blog we cover a few helpful bad breath remedies that can help freshen breath once and for all.

4 Ways to Beat Bad Breath

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Making sure you brush every day, twice per day is one of the best ways to remove any bacteria from your teeth that may be contributing to bad breath. But these stinky bacteria don’t only live on teeth, they also lurk under the gums. That’s one reason why flossing everyday is also an important part of any oral hygiene routine. Also, don’t forget about your tongue. It’s packed with tiny grooves and places where bacteria love to hide. Gently brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper can really help.

Quit Smoking

Smokers’ breath can be blamed on more than just the smell of cigarettes alone. Chemicals in cigarettes can also contribute to an unpleasant smell. These chemicals linger in the mouth long after a cigarette is put out and can prolong bad breath. The smoke itself also stays in the lungs for a period of time after smoking and releases a little bit with every breath.

Eat More Healthy Foods

There’s some truth to the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Eating crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, and carrots will help scrub plaque and bacteria off of teeth to help keep breath fresh.

Hydrate Your Mouth
Certain medications, smoking, and a number of other things can cause dry mouth. And what tends to go hand-in-hand with dry mouth? Bad breath. While drinking plenty of water daily can help, there are times when that’s just not enough. If that’s the case, you can talk to your dentist about the possibility of using a hydrating rinse. Also consider that if you’re stuffy and can’t breathe out of your nose, there’s a good chance your mouth will dry out from so much mouth breathing. A decongestant may help.

Bad Breath Isn’t Just a Mouth Problem

Having chronic bad breath can be embarrassing, but it may also be a sign of something more serious. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can begin to affect the rest of the body if left untreated. Many studies have shown a link between gum disease and diabetes, an increased risk for heart disease, and stroke. What’s more is different types of smells may indicate a problem somewhere else in the body including liver or kidney disease.

Bad breath isn’t something to take lightly. It’s best to talk with your dentist in Lewisburg about how long you’ve experienced bad breath, your health history, and any other symptoms you may have sooner rather than later.

If you have bad breath we welcome you to schedule an appointment at our Lewisburg dental office. We’ll work with you to find the root of the problem and discuss the best ways to get you relief. Don’t wait, give us a call today.

Accepting patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport

Eat Whole Grains for a Healthy Smile

bowl of whole grain riceSeptember is recognized as Whole Grains Month and is a 30-day celebration for all things grainy. These whole grains are beneficial for heart health, overall health, and may even boost oral health too. In this blog, our Lewisburg dental office covers some quick facts about whole grains and how it relates to good oral health, as well as some of the best ways you can help your family get enough of the good stuff.

How Many Servings of Whole Grains Do You Need?

Like most things, the recommended amount of whole grains varies from age to age and even by gender. Use the handy table below from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to determine how many whole grains each member of your family should eat every day.

Recommended Daily Whole Grain Servings

Age Female Male
1-3 2 2
4-8 2.5 2.5
9-13 3 3.5
14-18 3.5 4
19-30 3.5 4.5
31+ 3 4

Great Sources of Whole Grain

Getting enough whole grains in your diet may seem difficult, but whole grains can be found in tons of delicious foods including:

  • Cereals
  • Popcorn
  • Bread or Wraps
  • Crackers
  • Pasta

How Do Whole Grains Help Grins?

Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are great for bodies of all ages. In terms of oral health, the B vitamins and iron found in whole grains help keep gums healthy, and the magnesium keeps bones and teeth strong. Research also shows that eating a good dose of whole grains can also reduce the risk of gum disease since whole grains help the body better process blood sugar. As we all know, sugar makes your dentist in Lewisburg shiver, and anything that helps protect the body against it is welcomed.

Ensuring that your whole family is eating a well-balanced diet can go a long way in keep both bodies and smiles healthy. Getting regular dental checkups every six months can help too.  If anyone in your family is in need of a dentist, call our dental office in Lewisburg to schedule an appointment today.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

Why Your Mouth Waters

man pondersWhen we talk about your mouth watering, we’re not referring to the sensation you may experience when smelling or eating something delicious. At our dental office in Lewisburg, we talk about mouth watering in terms of dental health. While saliva is an important part of maintaining good oral health, too much of it could be a sign of hypersalivation.

What is Hypersalivation?

Hypersalivation is the medical term used to describe the overproduction of saliva. Basically it means a person has too much saliva in their mouth which can cause them to drool and be uncomfortable or embarrassed. What’s more is that hypersalivation may also be a sign of an underlying problem.

What Causes Hypersalivation?

There are several things that may cause someone to produce too much saliva. Some of the most common explanations are temporary, easily treatable, and no cause for serious concern. However, other times hypersalivation may be sign of something bigger. A few reasons why someone may hypersalivate include:

  • Infections including gum disease
  • Ulcer
  • Acid reflux
  • Side effect of medication
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease
  • Toxic poisoning

How Much Saliva is Too Much?

Typically people produce around 1.5 quarts of saliva every day. This saliva helps break down food to make it more easily digestible and protects teeth against acids and bacteria that can lead to cavities. However, if someone produces even more than that it can lead to hypersalivation.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Intense desire to spit a lot
  • Drool spots on a pillow
  • Feeling the constant need to swallow
  • Saliva easily falls out during regular activities
  • Difficulty eating or drinking

Excessive saliva production isn’t something that you should ignore. We recommend talking with your dentist in Lewisburg about your symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and your thorough medical history.

We’re always welcoming new patients at our Lewisburg dental office and will be happy to help. Schedule an appointment with our compassionate team and we’ll work with you to determine what’s causing hypersalivation and the best way to treat it. Give us a call today.

Serving the communities of Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

Manual Toothbrush, or Electric Toothbrush? That is the Question…

toothbrushesWe all know that we need to brush our teeth everyday to maintain a healthy mouth and smile. But choosing the right tool for the job can be confusing. The hardest choice we used to have was picking the best color. Now we’re bombarded with tons of options ranging from manual to electric, each claiming to offer the best clean. At our dental office in Lewisburg, we want to help de-clutter the confusion and answer the question once and for all — manual or electric, which is better?

What Do the Studies Say?

This is a great question with a not-so-easy answer. Essentially, it depends on who you ask. The American Dental Association (ADA), for example, states that both manual and electric toothbrushes do what they’re supposed to do — clean teeth by removing plaque and bacteria. Researchers don’t provide a solid conclusion on whether one tool necessarily cleans better than the other. What they do say, however, is that getting a thorough clean isn’t so much about the type of toothbrush used but rather the brushing technique.

On the other hand, companies that make electric toothbrushes publish research occasionally that backs up their claim that electric toothbrushes are better at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. One such study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that nearly 13,000 out of 16,000 participants said they had better oral health after using an electric toothbrush for the duration of the study.

When it really comes down to it, you should pick a toothbrush that you’ll use regularly and fits your unique needs. A good place to start your search is by asking your dentist in Lewisburg and by analyzing the pros and cons to both manual toothbrushes and electric ones.

Weighing the Pros & Cons

Knowing the pros and cons to both types of toothbrushes can help you narrow your search.

Manual Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Portable
  • No need for chargers

Manual Cons

  • No timer makes it too easy to brush too quickly
  • May be difficult for some to use a proper technique resulting in a less effective clean
  • Allow for easier tough scrubbing which can damage enamel and gums

Electric Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Some come with built-in timers
  • Promote gentle, proper brushings

Electric Cons

  • More expensive up front
  • Replacing the heads is expensive, too
  • Inconvenient for those who travel

If you’re still not sure what the best choice is for you, give our Lewisburg dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’re always welcoming new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport, and nearby neighborhoods and will be happy to help.