Tap Water vs. Bottled Water

Closeup of a stream of running tap water from a silver faucet against a white wall

Get ready for an epic showdown: bottled water vs. tap water. In the red corner, we have bottled water weighing in at 1.04 pounds. In the blue corner, we have tap water at roughly 8 ounces plus the weight of your cup. The stakes are high because our patients want to know which is better for their teeth!

Is It a Fair Fight?

Bottled water vs. tap water will never be a fair fight, because most tap water contains a secret weapon: fluoride. Fluoride, a natural mineral, was added to the public water supply in many communities during the 20th century in an effort to fight cavities and limit tooth decay.

Fluoride for the Win

Fluoride is the real MVP that you want in your corner. It strengthens your tooth enamel through a process called remineralization. During remineralization, fortifying minerals such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium are deposited on the crystalline mineral structure of your enamel. This is a winning move because strengthened enamel makes for a strong and healthy mouth. Enamel that is thin and weak exposes the nerves inside your inner tooth to potential irritation from pressure, temperature, and bacteria. Nerve irritation causes sensitive teeth and exposure to bacteria leads to pain, tooth decay, cavities, bad breath, and infection!

All Bottled Up

Consider this: water is not the only thing that your plastic water bottle could contain. Certain types of plastic slowly give off toxins and chemicals, which you then ingest each time you take a sip! This plastic then could be recycled, but often it gets dumped in a landfill or litters our beaches and oceans, posing a threat to wildlife. If you opt for bottled water, do your research and choose a plastic that does not give off any toxins, and do your best to recycle the bottle after consumption.

Ask Us All Your Dental-Related Questions!

Next time you reach for a refreshing glass of tap water, congratulate yourself not only for staying hydrated, but also for taking steps to protect your teeth and the environment. To schedule your next appointment or to ask our team any questions about how to strengthen your teeth, contact our office today.

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Does Toothpaste Ever Expire?

Partially squeeze collapsible blue tube of toothpaste with a white corrugated cap

Most people don’t put too much thought into their toothpaste. For something that we use orally every day, perhaps we should! Toothpaste, like many other odd things, does indeed expire. So, let us tell you why:

Fluoride Potency

The expiration date on most toothpastes is mainly due to it’s active ingredient, fluoride. Fluoride is important to our oral health because it helps with remineralization of the enamel that protects our teeth from cavities. Studies show that fluoride loses its anti-cavity efficacy over time. Toothpaste needs at least 1000 ppm of soluble fluoride to have an anti-cavity effect. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) any toothpaste that has fluoride must have an expiration date to have the official ADA Seal of Approval. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also requires that all food and medicine have an expiration date to ensure quality and safety. Using expired toothpaste past its expiration date is not known to be harmful, but it isn’t as beneficial. If you plan on stocking up on some discounted toothpaste, be sure to check for the expiration date on the bottom of the package.

Uses for Expired Toothpaste

If you do have some expired toothpaste laying around, you can still put it to good use! Below are twelve alternative ways you can utilize your expired toothpaste.

1. Remove gum from your hair.
2. Deodorize baby bottles and containers.
3. Clean your clothes iron.
4. Polish your (diamond) wedding ring.
5. Remove crayon marks.
6. Lift small carpet stains.
7. Shine the chrome in your bathroom and kitchen.
8. Remove scuffs from shoes.
9. Get rid of tough clothing stains.
10. Clear and brighten car headlights.
11. Clean your sneakers.
12. Prevent foggy mirrors in the bathroom.

Is Your Mouth Cavity-Free?

The next time you brush your teeth, take a look at the expiration date. You might need a new tube! If you’ve been using expired toothpaste, it may be a good idea to come see Dr. Rigby to make sure you don’t have any new cavities. Contact our team at Rigby Advanced Dental to schedule your appointment today!

5 Common Dental Fads to Avoid

Aerial view of a crooked line of halved and whole lemons on a white surface

It’s often hard to resist DIY hacks — especially those that are cheaper, natural alternatives that do the trick without breaking the bank. It’s crucial to be careful of some of the remedies that may promise certain fixes but can wind up causing more damage, particularly when it comes to your dental health. We’ve compiled 5 dental fads to avoid in order to protect your teeth. Let’s take a look!

1. Lemon Juice

Many people mix lemon juice with baking soda and use this concoction to brighten their teeth. But this fad is worth avoiding. The acidity in lemon juice causes your enamel to wear down, ultimately resulting in your teeth becoming more sensitive and prone to stains.

2. Charcoal

Activated charcoal is said to remove superficial teeth stains due to its abrasive consistency. However, this abrasiveness can actually lead to enamel erosion, a breakdown of the first line of defense for your teeth against chemicals and bacteria. More importantly, once you lose your enamel, it will never grow back again. So while activated charcoal can sound promising, it has the potential to cause permanent damage and an even bigger headache.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient often found in whitening products. But when used as a rinse, especially undiluted, it can cause damage to your gums. For safer alternative solutions, please consult with a dentist.

4. Fluoride-Free

Critics claim that fluoride disturbs hormones, fostering chronic health problems like dementia and diabetes. This concern has resulted in a surge of fluoride-free toothpastes. However, fluoride in toothpaste is the key component to preventing tooth decay, and without it, our teeth are more vulnerable to cavity-forming acids. Studies have shown that the small amount of fluoride toothpaste used in a day is of great benefit to our oral health and causes no harmful side effects to our general wellness.

5. Oil Pulling

An ancient practice dating back to thousands of years, oil pulling involves swishing coconut or sesame oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes. Proponents claim it improves bad breath and discolored teeth. But despite its popularity, oil pulling has not been proven to be a replacement treatment for these oral concerns. Additionally, it is currently not recommended by the American Dental Association.

Let Us Care for Your Teeth!

If you’re facing dental issues like yellow teeth or irritated gums, we strongly recommend that you visit our dental office, where you can get an accurate evaluation of the problems and receive safe, effective treatments. If you’d like to make an appointment with us or learn about our professional teeth whitening services, our friendly team at Rigby Advanced Dental would love to hear from you. Contact us today!