Natural Ways to Freshen Breath

Aerial view of cluster of green mint leaves that can naturally freshen breath if chewed

Bad breath has a range of causes, from eating strong foods to early stage gum disease and decay. Although it may take time to figure out the root cause of your bad breath, know that there are quite a few ways to freshen your breath naturally. Some of these simple remedies even have additional health benefits!

1. Mint

Drinking mint tea and chewing on mint leaves are both great ways to freshen up your breath quickly without having to worry about sugar-laden gums.

2. Spices

Rich, strong spices like cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon can all help your breath, in addition to regulating your blood sugar.

3. Say NO to Smoking & Illegal Drugs

It can be hard to quit smoking, but it’s one of the best things to do for your breath and your overall health. Furthermore, illegal drugs decrease your production of saliva, which leads to dry mouth and an increased risk for tooth decay and growth of bacteria that causes bad breath.

4. Brush with Baking Soda

Baking soda is alkaline, meaning it neutralizes the acid in your mouth and stops bad breath. However, you should only do this occasionally, since brushing with baking soda is abrasive and can damage your teeth’s enamel with prolonged use.

5. Gargle

Gargling with apple cider vinegar and saltwater are powerful ways to stop bad breath and kill germs in the back of your throat.

6. Brush & Floss

Brushing and flossing every day is one of the most effective ways to combat bad breath and prevent oral disease. Be sure to brush carefully for two minutes at a time at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue back to front, then side-to-side, every day as well.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

You don’t need to put up with bad breath. Some of the most simple things can help you combat smelly breath and regain your self-confidence. If your breath doesn’t improve, it’s important to see Dr. Rigby as soon as possible to determine the cause. Our team at Rigby Advanced Dental is here to help you with your oral health. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Is Mouth Spray Safe for Teeth?

A smiling blonde young man wears a gray beanie and a jean jacket in front of a red brick wall

Having a quick fix on hand for bad breath is essential, especially if you are constantly face-to-face with other people. Mouth sprays are gaining popularity as a simple way to freshen your breath, but are they safe for your teeth?

What Is Mouth Spray?

A mouth spray is a spray designed to freshen your breath virtually instantly. They come in a variety of flavors to mask bad breath. Think of them as portable mouthwash without the need to actually rinse out your mouth!

Are Mouth Sprays Safe for My Teeth?

As with gum and mints, the ingredients in the mouth spray determine whether it is safe for your oral health. Many breath sprays contain alcohol or some form of sugar, which is actually damaging for your teeth and promotes acid production. When your mouth is highly acidic, it allows bacteria to thrive and increases your risk of tooth decay.

Look for a mouth spray that does not contain alcohol and contains xylitol instead, a sugarless sweetener that actually helps neutralize the acids in your mouth and can kill cavity-causing bacteria.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Sometimes bad breath is simply caused by eating certain foods, like onions and garlic, and passes over the course of a few hours. However, if you have persistent bad breath no matter what you do, consider what may be causing it:

—Certain medications, for conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease
—Smoking
—Diets high in sugar & carbohydrayes
—Poor oral hygiene

It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to tackle your chronic bad breath head on and to improve your oral health.

A Safe Mouth Spray Is Only a Temporary Solution

Mouth sprays are great quick fixes for bad breath, especially if you find one that has ingredients that won’t harm your teeth. However, mouth sprays are only temporary solutions and cannot replace consistent brushing and flossing. If you have persistent bad breath, visit your dentist for a thorough examination and to discuss the best treatment options.

At Rigby Advanced Dental, there’s no dental issue that’s too big for us. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Makes Teeth Turn Yellow?

woman with long ponytail wearing blue button up, shrugging and looking confused

We can all agree: no one wants yellow teeth. In addition to showing bad dental health, they can hurt your self-confidence and make you less likely to smile. While it is possible to whiten teeth artificially, the best way to avoid stains or discoloration is prevention so it’s important to know what turns teeth yellow in the first place.

Smoking


If you smoke, stop! Smoking is one of many things that stain teeth yellow. Lay off the stuff not just for your health, but for your teeth too!

Sugary Drinks


Acidic drinks can wear away your teeth’s natural enamel, turning your teeth yellow. Cut out soda, juice, and sweetened iced teas to decrease the chance of this happening to you.

Coffee & Tea


Unfortunately, two of the most popular drinks in the world can turn your teeth yellow with prolonged use. Always brush your teeth after consuming coffee or tea.

Certain Foods


Specific foods can end up discoloring your teeth. These include tomatoes, curries, and berries. If you eat any of these foods, make sure to rinse your mouth out after, and brush your teeth as soon as you can to avoid staining.

Fluorosis


Fluorosis is when you get too much fluoride in your diet, either from your tap water or from other sources. You only need a little amount of fluoride to protect your teeth, so as long as you’re getting it from one source (tap water, toothpaste, or tablets), you should be all set.

Bruxism


Bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth while sleeping, can be very harmful to your mouth and cause headaches and jaw problems. As your teeth grate against each other and the enamel cracks and wears away, it can make your teeth yellow.

To help prevent yellow teeth, make sure to brush and floss daily, stick to a healthy diet, and visit the dentist regularly. If you are at all worried about the color of your teeth, or you’d just like to talk to someone about your dental health, contact our friendly team today!

5 Tips to Freshen Your Breath

tin box of breath mints

From eating foods with too much garlic to even taking certain medications, bad breath can put a damper on anyone’s day. Here are five surefire ways to freshen your breath even if you’re pressed for time.

Chew Gum or Mints

Chewing mints and mint-flavored gum is an easy way to freshen your breath when a toothbrush isn’t handy. We recommend mints and gums that contain the sugar replacement xylitol, since sugar can wear down tooth enamel and actually lead to bad breath. Want a more natural breath freshener than mints or gum? Try chewing on fresh mint leaves!

Use Mouthwash

Some people avoid mouthwash because of the strong sting from the alcohol, but there are many alcohol-free options on the market that are just as effective at freshening breath. While mouthwash is a great way to freshen up your breath and kill bad breath germs temporarily, it should not replace traditional brushing and flossing in your everyday routine.

Ditch the Coffee

We all know that coffee causes bad breath because of its high acidity. Instead of your usual morning coffee, opt for a mint tea. Strong mint teas like peppermint and spearmint are known for their breath enhancing qualities. Best of all, you can get it hot or iced depending on the season! If tea doesn’t appeal to you, swapping out coffee for plain water is an excellent choice, since water naturally washes away bad breath germs.

Eat Healthy

Eating crunchy, nutritious foods like apples, celery, and almonds can clear away plaque and bacteria from your mouth while also satisfying your hunger! Avoiding acidic foods like citrus and candy will keep your breath fresher longer.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are the most effective way of getting rid of plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, too, since most bad breath germs live there. If you have the time and access to sink, it’s always worth a quick brush to freshen up your breath.

If you are still having difficulty managing bad breath, our team at Rigby Advanced Dental can help you find a solution. Contact us to book an appointment today.

Why Chewing Too Much Gum Can Be Bad for Your Health

rows of gumball machines

Are you one of the millions of Americans who enjoy chewing gum? Chewing gum has become a common habit for a number of reasons, including stress reduction, to helping quit smoking, reducing food cravings, and just plain enjoyment.

Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless habit can a have a number of negative side effects on your health and can even damage your health.

Here are four gum-related side effects:

Gum Chewing Can Cause Tooth Damage

Chewing gum can expose your teeth to high levels of tooth decay-promoting sugar. Sugar-free gum is not much better for your teeth, but for a different reason. While all gums contain flavorings, sugar-free gum often contains higher concentrations of acidic flavorings and preservations, which can cause dental erosion. Dental erosion is a slow loss of calcium from your teeth, which, if allowed to continue long enough, can cause teeth to essentially dissolve. Worse, since sugarless gum, particularly those containing cavity-fighting xylitol, is perceived as being ‘healthier’, people also tend to chew more of it which exacerbates the potential for tooth erosion.

Gum Chewing Releases Mercury from Fillings

Some dental filling material can contain mercury. Although a toxic neurotoxin in pure form and in certain quantities, mercury is generally considered safe for dental use in fillings and poses no serious health risk when properly used. However, chewing gum can react with mercury amalgam, causing mercury fumes to be released when you chew gum. Although not considered a serious health risk, it is one more reason to avoid excessive gum chewing if you have fillings.

Gum Chewing Can Cause Gastrointestinal Issues

Chewing falsely signals to your body that you are eating, which causes the release of excess stomach acid along with enzymes and other acids used to digest food. This can cause a number of digestive issues in addition to bloating. In addition, artificial sweeteners used in sugar-free gum, such as sorbitol and mannitol, can cause diarrhea in otherwise healthy people.

Chewing Gum Can Cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

Excessive gum chewing can cause or worsen a painful jaw disorder called TMD, a chronic, painful disorder in the temporomandibular or jaw joint. TMD symptoms include a popping or clicking when chewing or talking; headaches; pain in the jaw, face, ears, neck, or temple; and trouble speaking, moving your jaw, or opening your mouth.

If you are a frequent gum chewer who may be showing signs of any of the above symptoms of gum over-indulgence, we can help. At Rigby Advanced Dental, your smile is our specialty. Our dedicated team is dedicated to improving our patients’ lives one smile at a time by providing exceptional service.

From routine cleaning and preventive care to full-mouth restorations, Dr. Brent Rigby can provide a comprehensive range of compassionate, professional dental services for every member of your family. Contact us today for an appointment!

How to Floss Properly

young woman demonstrating how to floss

Flossing daily is an essential part of good dental hygiene and it helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath by cleaning the teeth and gums where brushing can’t reach. It’s important to know how to use the proper flossing technique to clean the teeth efficiently and without injuring the gums. Here is everything you need to know about how to floss correctly.

Floss Daily

The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day. It doesn’t matter if it’s before or after brushing, as long as you do it. You may want to save your flossing ritual for the evening to get your mouth clean before bedtime; but if you find yourself too tired at the end of the day, flossing in the morning is better than not flossing at all.

Use Enough of the Right Kind

Single filament floss looks like a skinny single thread and is stronger, thinner, and better able to get into smaller spaces. Multi-filament floss has many nylon fibers bonded together and is less expensive, but also more prone to breakage and snags on dental work like braces. Whichever kind you prefer, use about 18-24 inches of floss wound around your middle fingers and work with about an inch at a time, using a clean piece between each tooth.

Use the Right Technique

Very gently ease the floss in between your teeth, but don’t let it forcefully snap down into your gums or it can damage the soft tissue. Move the floss up and down around the curve of the tooth, and be sure to get all the way down into your gum line where the most bacteria hide. Remember to get the backs of your rear molars as plenty of particles can get trapped back there as well. When you are done, follow up with a rinse of plain water or a good mouthwash to clear away all of the old bits of food you’ve dislodged.

Talk to Your Dentist

If you haven’t had a regular flossing routine before, your gums may bleed a little at first, and they may feel sore afterwards. This can deter some people from flossing, but it is completely normal. It just means your gums are sensitive from having the decay that’s been sitting there removed. It gets better every time you floss and should subside within a week, but if you are concerned, it’s a good time to schedule an appointment with your dentist and let us know.

If you lack the dexterity to use regular floss or simply want to find an efficient alternative, there are a few options to make sure your teeth are still getting the cleaning they need. Portable floss picks are great for travel or when you are away from your medicine cabinet; floss threaders can help you get the floss between your teeth, especially if you have braces; electric flossers are easy and efficient; and water flossers are gentle and a great option for kids or people with gum sensitivity.

Rigby Advanced Dental offers comprehensive dental care and our staff is happy to assist you in establishing an oral care routine that is right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Dental Care for College Kids: Tips for Parents

college-students-dental-care

If your child is heading off to UT Austin for college, one thing you don’t want to have to worry about is their dental needs. While your child is becoming an adult, you still might want to encourage them to continue taking their oral health seriously. Here are four things parents of kids going away to college at UT can do to facilitate continued dental care.

1. Discuss Lifestyle Choices

While your child might be experimenting with their newfound freedom in college, the last thing you want is to for their oral health to suffer. Be sure to talk with your child about the dangers of smoking and drinking, and relate this back to their smile. They might not realize that new lifestyle choices could affect their oral health as well.

2. Dental-Related Care Packages

As your child settles in at UT, they will most likely welcome care packages from home. Be sure to throw in a few dental-related items, such as on-the-go flossers and replacement toothbrushes. Don’t worry about going overboard – they can share these with their dorm-mates as well.

3. Sourcing Local Dentists

While your child might be able to fit in a visit to the dentist when they are home on break, it might also help to have a dentist they can visit near the UT campus. This is a good appointment to set up right away on behalf of your child in the Austin area. In case your child has a dental emergency down the line, they will have a local dentist they can visit. Our comprehensive dental office handles routine appointments, emergencies, cleanings, restorative care, and everything in-between. If you would like to set up an appointment for your college student, call our office today!

4. Double Checking Travel Insurance

If your child will be going abroad or will be away from UT for a semester, make sure to check their travel insurance and see what will be covered when it comes to dental needs. This can help you rest easy if there are any emergencies while away from campus and abroad.

Sending off your child to college is a milestone to celebrate and you should be proud of your UT student. While you might want to give your child the space to grow and learn on their own in college, some help along the way when it comes to dental care for college kids will foster good habits through adulthood.

Preventive care is so important at this age, so if you have any questions about cleanings or scheduling appointments for check-ups, call Rigby Advanced Dental!

Kids Brushes So Cool, You’ll Want to Use Them Too!

Everyone can use a little more magic in their life. The Disney Magic Timer App does just that, by bringing magic to brushing teeth! This amazing free app helps kids brush longer and rewards them to encourage more consistent brushing. Unlike toothbrushes that have a 2 minute timer and plays music, the Disney Magic Timer App will engage children both visually and audibly.

coolkidsbrushes
Images above via Oral-B and Crest

How the Disney Magic Timer App Works

The Disney Magic Timer App is an engaging and fun way to teach your kids to brush their teeth! Scan a Crest or Oral-B Pro Health-Stages Product (such as the Disney Princess Toothbrush or Pixar Monsters Toothpaste) with a smart device like an i-Pad or smart phone! Then, a video plays for your children as they begin brushing. The video features Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars characters! As you brush, suds cover the screen but are slowly scrubbed away to reveal a new image. At the end of every brushing session, kids get a fun sticker as their reward that they collect in a virtual album.

Star Wars Toothbrush & Toothpaste

What’s cooler than having a storm trooper grace the tube of your toothpaste? As Crest says, this toothpaste will help begin the saga of longer brushing. This mild gel formula is gentle enough for children but strong enough to strengthen enamel and fight cavities. But what is Star Wards toothpaste without a matching toothbrush? Oral-B also features Yoda on a kids’ electric toothbrush! How cool is that?

Marvel Avengers Toothbrush & Toothpaste

More of a Marvel fan? Check out the Crest Pro-Health’s Marvel Avengers “Super Action Liquid Gel” (toothpaste)! This toothpaste for kids (or fun adults) is a kid-tested, mild gel formula that provides effective cavity protection while avenging the health of your kids’ teeth! Pair this action-packed toothpaste with an Avengers toothbrush!

Disney Princess Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Are you an Ariel fan or can you not stop singing the Frozen soundtrack? The Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Disney Toothbrush is perfect for you! Combine this magical toothbrush with Crest’s Disney Princess toothpaste for a fun brushing experience!

Time for your kids’ dental check-up? Schedule an appointment today!

What Happens When You Skip Brushing Before Bed?

You’ve heard it all your life, “brush your teeth twice a day, when you wake up and when you go to bed.” Thinking about it might seem confusing though; wouldn’t it make more sense to brush after every meal instead, and how dirty can your mouth get while sleeping? Today we are going to answer these questions and talk about why we brush our teeth every night, and what happens to your teeth when you skip it.

What Happens When You Skip Brushing Before Bed?

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