Bad Habits for Your Teeth

Even if you’re daily brushing, flossing, and eating well, you may be doing damage to your teeth with other oral habits that you don’t even realize are harmful. We’ve compiled a list of bad habits that can lead to long-term and irreversible damage to teeth. Read on to see if there’s something you need to work on!

Closeup of a woman holding and smoking a cigarette outside

1. Smoking & Using Tobacco Products

Using tobacco products and smoking are harmful for your entire body, including your teeth and mouth. They stain your teeth, lead to bad breath, and can cause oral cancer. If you use tobacco products, we advise you to consider stopping as soon as possible. But you don’t have to do it alone–help is available.

Closeup of a pencil with an end that has been chewed on

2. Chewing on Items That Aren’t Food

You may be chewing on non-food items without even realizing it! When nervous or stressed, we sometimes chew pencils, pens, our nails, and other items that can lead to chipped teeth. If you’re a nervous person who needs something to chew on, switch to sugar-free gum. It’s been shown to actually improve the health of your teeth!

A woman holds a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and milk in it

3. Drinking Sugar

Bad oral bacteria feed upon your dietary sugar and produce acidic byproducts that lead to tooth decay and cavities. But even if you’re not eating candy or sweets, you may be getting excessive amounts of sugar in your daily beverages. Do you add sugar to your coffee or tea? Do you drink sodas or juice on a regular basis? Are your favorite cocktails filled with simple syrup? Ask for “skinny” versions of your favorite cocktails to cut down on sugar. And whenever possible, switch to water, sparkling water (that isn’t citrus flavored), or milk instead of sugary beverages.

Aerial view of a basketball on a gray and orange basketball court

4. Forgoing Mouthguards While Playing Sports

Forgetting a mouthguard when playing contact sports can easily lead to a chipped or knocked-out tooth due to injury. Be sure to wear an athletic mouthguard whenever engaging in physical activity that could involve colliding with other players, getting hit in the face with equipment, or falling to the ground. At your next appointment, we can fit you with custom athletic mouthguard for optimal protection!

Brunette woman grinding her teeth as she sleeps

5. Grinding Teeth

Chronic grinding and clenching of teeth, called bruxism, is a common problem caused by stress. While sleeping, many patients grind their teeth without even knowing it. This can lead to headaches, jaw pain and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, chipped teeth, broken teeth, and worn enamel that increases your risk of sensitivity and decay. Let us fit you for a nightguard to protect your teeth as you sleep. You’ll not only have healthier teeth–you’ll sleep better too!

Closeup of a toothbrush with blue and green bristles with a smear of blue toothpaste

6. Brushing Too Hard

It might surprise you to learn that many people brush their teeth too hard. This can cause receding gums, weakened enamel, and sensitive teeth. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently in small circular motions for two minutes.

Need Help Kicking These Habits to the Curb?

If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, do your best to adjust. We would be happy to help you improve your oral health habits so you can have a healthier smile! Contact us today for assistance.

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5 Tips to Impress Your Dentist at Your Next Checkup

Blonde woman smiles brightly with great oral health while wearing a pink shirt in front of a white picket fence

Are you afraid to go to the dentist because you haven’t been taking great care of your teeth? First, we want you to know we are here to help you have outstanding oral health, no matter the current condition of your oral health. So when you come in for a cleaning, we’ll check for decay and gum disease and get your teeth feeling fresh and clean once again. We will also advise you on ways to improve your oral care practices so your teeth and gums can be healthy and strong for a lifetime. In this post, we will share five simple tips to follow before your next visit that will make a huge difference in your at-home oral hygiene routine!

1. Drink Water

Staying hydrated is critical for the health of your body and mouth. Water combats dry mouth and tooth decay by washing away leftover food particles and allowing for the production of saliva. Saliva is 99% water and 1% substances that aid in fighting oral bacteria and digesting food. Moreover, drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities, as it helps remineralize, or rebuild, weakened enamel.

2. Brush Your Teeth & Your Tongue

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. The only way to fully and effectively clean your teeth at home is by gently brushing for the full two minutes, so be sure to not rush through your morning and evening brush session even if you’re running late or are tired. If you find this difficult, set a timer on your phone. These days, most electric toothbrushes will time 120 seconds automatically. Additionally, remember to brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth. This will help keep your tongue clean of bacteria that leads to bad breath and halitosis. At your appointment, ask our team to provide additional tips to improve your brushing technique!

3. Floss Daily

Flossing to clean in between your teeth and below your gum line helps prevent plaque buildup, cavities, and bad breath. Unfortunately, many people skip this important step in their daily dental hygiene. We understand flossing can sometimes be a pain, especially if you have irritated and inflamed gums that bleed. But the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the less likely your gums will bleed.

4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals for at least 20 minutes helps to clean teeth. Chewing produces more saliva, which is the mouth’s natural rinse. Sugar-free gum also works to dislodge food particles from in between teeth.

5. Use a Nightguard to Combat Bruxism

If you clench and/or grind your teeth at night, you should be using a nightguard. We can get you fitted for a custom and comfortable guard to protect your teeth from damage and to help you sleep better.

A Healthy Mouth Contributes to a Healthy Body

Follow these simple tips to enjoy a healthier mouth and to blow us away at your next visit! No matter the condition of your mouth now, these steps can lead you toward fresher breath, stronger teeth, and greater self-confidence. Contact us to schedule your next checkup at Rigby Advanced Dental.

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4 Healthier Alternatives to Sugar

A jar overflowing with sticky caramel, brownies, ice cream, and candy next to a pink and white bag of sticky popcorn
Ever heard the phrase “sugar rots your teeth” from your parents or your dentist growing up? Well, they weren’t wrong! Although people tend to focus on how sugar can cause weight gain, diabetes, and other ailments, did you know that it can negatively affect your oral health, too? Don’t worry, though, we have four great sugar alternatives that allow you to indulge your sweet tooth without destroying your teeth!

How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

When you eat sugary foods like candy or drink sugary beverages like soda and don’t properly wash away the sugary residue with enough saliva, water, and proper oral care, bacteria on your teeth feed on that sugar and release acid, which in turn dissolves your tooth enamel. Once the enamel is worn down, your teeth are vulnerable to cavities and decay, which can result in tooth loss down the line. So sugar itself isn’t necessarily bad for teeth, but it can be responsible for health-altering damage. Avoid hard candies, sticky sweets (including dried fruit!), pastries, soda, and alcohol if you don’t want to expose your teeth to sugar.

4 Sugar Alternatives to Consider

1. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugarless carbohydrate that looks like sugar and is sweet like sugar but isn’t considered an artificial sweetener because it is derived naturally and doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels. You will find it in gum, mints, mouthwashes, and even toothpastes because it can actually curb decay-causing bacteria and is completely safe for your teeth.

2. Honey

Honey boasts a ton of health benefits and won’t cause big spikes in your blood sugar, is antimicrobial, and even has electrolytes. However, it’s not necessarily “better” for your teeth, so do be sure to use it sparingly and wash your mouth thoroughly with water after consuming it.

3. Stevia

Derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, this sweetener is all-natural and also prevents swings in your blood sugar levels. It tastes pretty good, too, so you won’t even miss out on sugar.

4. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a yummy alternative to sugar and is really easy to bake with, since you can use equal amounts of it as you would regular white sugar.

Healthy Foods That Promote Strong Teeth

Nuts, dairy products (such as cheese and yogurt), apples, celery, carrots, and leafy green vegetables are just a few of the delicious and nutritious foods that support good oral health.

Healthy Diet + Preventive Care

Remember that no matter your diet, daily brushing and flossing is the best way to keep plaque and bacteria off of your teeth and reduce the risk of developing cavities. Visit our office twice a year to make sure your teeth and gums are in great shape, too. From cleanings to restorative procedures, let us help you have the smile of your dreams at Rigby Advanced Dental. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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!

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!

Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

brunette girl wearing a scarf and jacket with a fur hood looking up and smirking

It’s almost a rite of passage: before heading off to college, or perhaps while still in college, many young adults will get their wisdom teeth removed. Then there are some people who don’t have them extracted until years later. But why do people get their wisdom teeth removed, and is it actually necessary? Let’s break it down.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?


Wisdom teeth are a set of extra molars that come in in the very back of our mouths. Most people don’t have sufficient room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth, and that is why they are so often removed. It’s a common procedure that many people go through, but some people do prefer to keep their wisdom teeth and forgo the minor surgery that removal entails.

Why We Remove Wisdom Teeth


Removing wisdom teeth can prevent major dental problems later on. When wisdom teeth grow in and crowd your mouth they can leave you prone to all sorts of issues, like jaw problems, damaged nerves, cavities, misalignment, and gum damage. Not to mention, wisdom teeth coming in can be painful itself! Removing them can help you avoid all of these concerns.

A Personal Choice


While many people have their wisdom teeth removed, some don’t, and the bottom line is that it depends on the person. Every person’s wisdom teeth are different, and only your dental professional can tell you if they should be removed or not. Perhaps you are one of the lucky few who have enough room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth and see things you can’t see.

No matter what, it’s important to be informed and know what your options are so you can make the best medical decisions for yourself. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, contact us at Rigby Advanced Dental!

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

dark chocolate bar

Halloween, and all the candy that comes with it, is just around the corner. But it’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth, causing cavities and even tooth decay. So what can you snack on this Halloween that won’t make your dentist cringe?

Why Is Candy Bad For Teeth?

Sugar is acidic, and acid causes erosion of the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of the tooth. When enamel wears down, you can develop cavities and experience painful tooth decay. Consuming large amounts of sugary, sticky candies is a major culprit when it comes to tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Fresh Fruit

Ditch the processed sugar for equally sweet and much healthier fruit. Apples, berries, and grapes are all great alternatives for your favorite candies. Feel free to get creative and make healthy baked cinnamon apples or freeze grapes for a refreshing treat. Just try to avoid dried fruits and citrus, since they can be damaging to teeth due to their sticky and acidic qualities.

Yogurt

Creamy, tangy, and packed with calcium, yogurt is a tooth-healthy and delicious alternative to candy. Add nuts, berries, cinnamon, or honey to the mix for an even more delicious snack.

Nuts

Some of our favorite candy bars contain almonds and peanuts, so why not just have them on their own? Mixed nuts are a great way to get vitamins and protein in your diet without having to sacrifice on taste. Nuts are also full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full so that your sugar cravings won’t get the best of you.

Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is bad for you! A couple squares of dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cacao) will satisfy your cravings for the sweet stuff and also give you a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Peanut Butter Toast

A slice of peanut butter toast as a snack is a sweet and delicious alternative to a candy bar that is loaded with sugar and saturated fats.

Protect your teeth this Halloween with these healthy candy alternatives, and remember that now is a perfect time to also see your dentist and make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong. Our team at Rigby Advanced Dental is here to assist you with your oral healthcare needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

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.

Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth

apples in a wooden crate

As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” While brushing and flossing are great ways to maintain a beautiful smile, they are not the only things you must do for your oral health! Try eating more of these smile-saving foods and keep the cavities at bay.

Apples

A crisp, fresh apple is full of fiber and water, cleaning your teeth with every bite. Try to avoid dried apples and other dried fruits, though, since they’re full of sugar that can actually wear down tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Nuts

Certain nuts, like Brazil nuts and cashews, are packed with phosphorous, a mineral that delays tooth decay.

Celery

Those stringy fibers that get stuck in your teeth actually helps clean them! Celery is also full of vitamins A and C.

Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. They also lower the acidity in your mouth, slowing down the decaying process.

Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale are excellent for teeth since they are rich in calcium and folic acid, which support strong and healthy teeth and gums.

Tea

Tea contains polyphenols, which can actually kill bacteria in your mouth. It’s important to drink tea in moderation, however, since it also contains tannins that can stain your teeth.

Garlic

One of garlic’s many health benefits is that it can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Ginger

Ginger not only prevents bacteria growth in your mouth, it also freshens your breath!

Strawberries

Did you know that strawberries can whiten teeth? They are a great source of malic acid, which can actually brighten tooth enamel.

Water

A glass of water acts the same way that saliva does, washing away bacteria from the surface of your teeth. If your water is fortified with fluoride, even better!

Foods to Avoid

Try to stay away from sugary, acidic foods that can wear away your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Citrus fruits, sugary candies like lollipops and gummy bears, and soda are all known for wearing down enamel.

Your diet can have a major impact on your oral health, but it’s also important to schedule a routine cleaning every six months for your cleanest, brightest smile. Our staff is happy to assist you with all of your dental care needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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!