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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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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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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What Percentage of People Have Cavities?

Blonde man with facial hair wears a plaid jacket and looks anxiously to the side thinking about cavities
It’s likely that you or someone you know has had a cavity. In fact, you may be surprised to learn just how many people get cavities. But before we dive into the statistics, let’s learn a little more about what cavities are and how you get them.

What Are Cavities?

A cavity is tooth decay, which occurs when your tooth’s enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth, is destroyed. The way this happens is that your oral bacteria eat the sugar in the foods and drinks you consume and produce an acid byproduct that dissolves the minerals in your teeth. Cavities often form in between your teeth, along the gum line, near dental fillings, and in the pits and grooves in the teeth at the back of your mouth. If cavities are not treated, the decay can spread to neighboring teeth and into your tooth’s pulp, a bundle of nerves and blood vessels. At this point, you will require root canal therapy to preserve your tooth. But decayed and infected teeth that are too late to save will need to be extracted to protect your oral health.

How Are Cavities Diagnosed?

You may not realize you have a cavity because you don’t have any feeling in your enamel and therefore can’t tell when it’s decaying. However, severe tooth decay exposes the underlying dentin, which contains tiny tubes that connect to your tooth’s inner nerves, at which point you will feel pain and sensitivity. But because it’s so hard to detect cavities on your own, it’s important to get a dental exam every six months so we can check for cavities in your mouth. The way we do this is by looking at your dental X-rays and probing your teeth to look for any pits or any spots that feel too soft because the enamel has begun to dissolve.

What Percentage of People Have Cavities?

In a 2016 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 90% of adults in the United States have had a cavity. They also reported that 1 in 4 adults have cavities that are untreated. You should visit us at Rigby Advanced Dental every six months to confirm whether or not your mouth is cavity-free! We will also clean your teeth of a sticky film of accumulated bacteria called plaque, and tartar, which is hardened plaque.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

If you don’t want to be in the 25% of adults with untreated cavities, maintain a healthy diet high in fibrous fruits and vegetables and low in carbohydrates and sugars, brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes each time, floss at least once a day, and get a checkup and cleaning every six months at Rigby Advanced Dental. Contact us today to schedule your biannual appointment!