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The Adverse Effect of Soda on Orthodontics

Everybody likes a cold drink on a hot day, but as we get closer to summer, a recent brochure issued by the American Association of Orthodontics issued a fair warning to those receiving orthodontic treatment. It states, “Soft drinks, including regular and diet soda pop, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, weaken tooth enamel. They are even harder on teeth with orthodontic “appliances,” such as braces or aligners. It is recommended that you avoid soft drinks during your orthodontic treatment so that your teeth stay healthy and strong, and you finish your treatment with a good bite and a healthy, beautiful smile.”

The brochure goes on to explain that the acid contained in these types of drinks is the real culprit because it can cause permanent decay of tooth enamel and cavities. While a patient is receiving orthodontic treatment, it is especially important that their teeth remain as strong and healthy as possible.

While patients receive orthodontics treatment, there are several things that they should do. First, avoid soft drinks and sugary drinks as noted already. Water and milk are acceptable alternatives. Second, regular brushing and flossing is key for everyone, but especially important for those with braces and teeth aligners. Fluoride toothpaste is useful in strengthening teeth. Finally, patients should schedule regular professional cleanings and checkups (more often if recommended by the dentist.) First, Drink soft drinks through a straw. This will prevent the drink from washing over the tooth. Second, have soft drinks with a meal. This will help to prevent the sugars and acids from just sitting on the teeth. If possible, brush right away after drinking a soft drink; if you can’t brush right away, at least rinse with water. Finally, drink the soft drink quickly; avoid sipping over a long period of time – each sip renews the acid attack on teeth.

Protect your teeth. Once enamel is diminished, it cannot be regained. If you have any concerns about the condition of your teeth, contact your local dentist and schedule and appointment. If you are in the San Antonio area, Check Dental can provide you with a breadth of treatment options and orthodontic care. Call and schedule a free consultation and get quality care for your teeth.

Dealing With Bad Breath - Part 2

Last week, we began a list of ways to combat the bad breath problem. While it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentists, there are ways that you can contribute to the fight against halitosis. Your significant other will be grateful, your co-workers will be grateful (who knows, maybe your dog will be grateful, too?)

Most methods that are used by people serve to just mask the problem, but with these methods, you can cut out some of the sources of bad breath at the root and promote good dental health as well.

Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products – We all know that frequent tobacco use is bad for anyone’s health. It says so right on the package. But if the fact that it’s trying to kill you isn’t motivating enough, it’s also giving you bad breath.

Drink sufficient amounts of water – How much water is enough varies depending on whom you ask, but its safe to say that drinking around six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is sufficient. Proper hydration and irrigation of the mouth will combat odor, wash away food particles and bacteria. Bacteria is the primary cause of bad breath.

Eat a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum – Another way to rectify dry mouth is to try sucking on a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow. The saliva will help to wash away food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath as well as promote better digestion.

Munch on a carrot, a stick of celery or an apple – Almost everybody likes to snack. If you choose a healthy snack like crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables, not only will you be fighting unnecessary weight gain, but you’ll be stimulating saliva flow between meals. This will also help wash away bacteria from your teeth, tongue and gums.

Eat your parsley – Seeing parsley on your plate isn’t as common as it used to be and when you do see it, it is generally regarded as a garnish, but parsley adds more than a green garnish to your lunch plate. Parsley contains chlorophyll, a known breath deodorizer. If you don’t want to chew that little green garnish, you can place a few handfuls in a juicer and sip the juice when you need to refresh your breath.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, you may have a bigger problem occurring in your mouth. Contact Check Dental to schedule an appointment and get that breath under control.

Dealing With Bad Breath - Part 1

Did you know that most problems with bad breath are a result of poor dental hygiene? You can try to mask the smell with mouthwash, mints or even brushing your teeth, but failing to treat the root cause will result in chronic halitosis.

In most cases, bad breath originates from the gums and tongue and there are numerous ways to fight it. According to Delta Dental, following these tips can help you fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy on a daily basis.

Brush teeth twice a day – Brush your teeth two to three minutes at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris. It’s very important to brush your teeth before going to bed. You might try an additional round of brushing with baking soda to reduce the acidity in the mouth and make it difficult for the bacteria that cause bad breath to grow.

Floss daily – Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can't reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.

Brush or scrape your tongue – To remove any residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds in the tongue, invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper, which is available in drugstores. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.

Use a mouth rinse – Keep in mind that if a dental problem is the cause of chronic bad breath, a mouth rinse will only mask the odor and not cure it. In some cases, mouth rinses may actually worsen a bad breath problem by irritating oral tissue. For an emergency freshen-up, try a quick rinse with a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Or rinse your mouth with black or green tea: according to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago, rinsing your mouth with black or green tea suppresses the growth of bacteria that cause mouth odor.

Visit your dentist – The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If you have chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems. Or, if your dentist believes that the problem is caused from a systemic (internal) source such as an infection, he or she may refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the cause of the problem.

Contact Check Dental to schedule your dental appointment and kiss that bad breath goodbye.

Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Jeffrey Alhert, a twenty-year dental professional, believes that pediatric dentistry is key in developing the proper foundation for a healthy life.

It is important to know that pediatric dental training requires two additional years of training after dental school learning about children’s dental health and the specific needs related to pediatric oral health.

Some parents believe that they don’t really need to address pediatric dental needs until permanent teeth begin to erupt, but quality preventative care actually should begin when the first baby teeth begin to erupt. “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to visit the dental office at the eruption of the first tooth or by the age of 1. At that first visit, parents will learn how to protect their infant’s dental health. The earlier the visit, the better the chance of preventing dental disease and helping their child build a cavity-free smile.”

The relationship between the pediatric dentist and patient is a partnership that includes the parents. Your dentist will work with parents to develop a program that is personalized. Your dentist should provide instruction on proper brushing techniques, flossing, and diet etc.

Engaging in early preventative pediatric dental care can provide early diagnosis and quick response to potential orthodontic issues. Pediatric dental health professionals are uniquely trained to develop a combination of office and home preventative care to ensure a healthy smile for a lifetime.

Visit to schedule your pediatric dental consultation or call (210) 399-3928.

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