It is common knowledge that sugar causes tooth decay. Sugar on its own is not the enemy, but it is what happens in our mouth after we consume too much sugar?
Your mouth alone is a home to 700 different species of bacteria. Some are beneficial to your oral health, while others are harmful.
The harmful bacteria produces acid when they encounter and digest sugar. This acid will strip minerals from your tooth enamel.
Weakened tooth enamel will cause tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and will make your teeth more prone to chips and breaks.
Sugar also lowers your mouth’s pH, making it more acidic. When the pH in your mouth drops below 5.5 the acidity begins to dissolve the beneficial minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel.
This causes small holes or erosions in your teeth, which over time will lead to cavities.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in the natural remineralization process which helps to restore and strengthen your teeth. It contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which continuously help to protect your teeth.
Fluoride also helps to repair damaged and weak tooth enamel.
The bad news is that if you’re eating a lot of starches and sweets every day, there’s only so much the remineralization process can do to prevent the effect sugar has on your teeth.
It’s crucial that you do your part by limiting how much sugar you consume, so your mouth can do its natural job of repairing the damage and maintaining healthy teeth.
Sugar is sugar no matter what name the food manufacturers use on the label.
Limit the consumption of natural sugars such as:
While also avoiding the hidden offenders:
No matter what form sugar comes in, too much of it will cause cavities. The best thing you can do for your health is to learn why too much sugar is bad for your teeth, and make healthy choices that prioritize both your oral health, and your overall health.
Tooth enamel is the thin, outer layer of your tooth. Its main purpose is to protect your teeth against tooth decay. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body (even stronger than bone)
Despite its strength, foods and drink as well as plaque and bacteria in your mouth can discolor, weaken and destroy tooth enamel. And once your enamel is gone, it is gone for good.
The main causes of tooth enamel damage are acids found in the acidic foods and liquids you consume:
Aside from acidic foods and drinks, there are also other contributing factors to tooth enamel damage:
Tooth enamel damage often shows up as hollows in the teeth and a general wearing away of the tooth surface resulting in the exposure of the dentine underneath. If your teeth start losing enamel, you might notice:
Once your tooth enamel is damaged, it can’t be replaced. Good dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Follow these steps to prevent your tooth enamel:
One of the best ways to ensure that you protect your teeth’s enamel is to partner with your dentist. Your dentist can detect any enamel erosion and offer advice on how to prevent it.
Additionally to using a fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may suggest you use a fluoride mouthwash.
If an affected tooth does need treatment, your dentist might suggest bonding a filling onto the tooth. In more severe cases you might need a crown.
If you haven’t seen your dentist for a while, book an appointment today.
Finding the right dentist for you and your family can be challenging. With so many options available, how do you choose a dentist that is right for you? It’s important to find a dentist that is experienced and knowledgeable. It is equally important to find a dentist that is caring and compassionate.
If you are looking for a dentist in the Rochester, NY area, we hope that you will consider Dr. Fred Blum & Associates. Our entire dental team is experienced, compassionate, and dedicated to our patients.
Whether you are new to the area or unhappy with your current dentist, there are better methods for picking a new dentist than closing your eyes and choosing the first provider in your insurance’s company’s directory. Read on to learn what to look for in a dentist.
Dental providers who create partnerships with their patients are invested in their patient’s long-term health goals. Some of the questions you can ask: On average, how long does the dentist spend with each patient? Is he/she available to answer your questions and address your concerns?
It is important to find a dentist who shows an interest in getting to know you. Someone who will listen to you and will respect your concerns when it comes to your treatment preferences.
It is important to find a dentist who is not only experienced, but one who continues to learn. Education is so important in a field that is constantly changing and improving. The field of dentistry has grown exponentially and new dental materials and techniques continue to be developed and implemented.
You want your dentist to be knowledgeable and well versed in all the latest technologies. When you’re visiting the dentist’s office for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask about the dentist’s education and qualifications. You want to make sure they’ve made continuing education a priority.
When making your first appointment, ask questions pertaining to the office’s payment policies. Call your insurance representative to help you understand your specific plan and what benefits are offered. Choosing the right dentist is not about in-network coverage or out-of-network. It’s about your comfort level and what you require.
Some patients are looking for a dentist that is more warm and fuzzy, while others are more comfortable with someone that is all business. Regardless of what motivates you, the skill and experience of the provider is paramount.
Reading what other patients say about a dentist you are considering can give you a lot of insight. Is the dentist compassionate? Gentle? Does he take the time to answer questions and address concerns? Is he experienced?
Patient reviews will also give you a lot of insight into the practice itself. Is it easy to schedule appointments? Is the staff friendly?
Remember that unhappy patients are more likely to leave a review, so take things with a grain of salt. As you read through reviews, look for recurring themes.
Once you have a list of several potential providers, schedule a phone or in-person consultation. Choosing the right dentist for you and your family is a big decision. You want to make sure that the dentist you select is someone you can trust and who is willing to develop a partnership with you.
When it comes to the health of you and your family, don’t settle. If the dentist that you initially selected doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. Remember, your mouth is the main pathway to everything that enters your body. Your dental care should be comprehensive and health-centered. Your oral health is about more than just an attractive smile.
One in Eight Adults Have Sensitive Teeth
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, that’s 40 million adults in the United States suffering from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is painful, like a stabbing sensation from the tooth into the gums and jaw, and is usually associated with cold foods or drinks, but some also feel pain from hot, acidic, or sweet foods and drinks.
What is Causing Your Teeth Sensitivity?
If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, it could come from one or a mix of many factors. These include:
Anatomy of a Tooth
Tooth sensitivity is caused mainly by the deterioration of tooth enamel. Let’s take a look at the different parts of a tooth to understand why.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, the first thing you need to do is let your dentist know. Tell us about your habits and come in so that we can look at your mouth. While you’re at home, there are some things you can use to decrease sensitivity on the daily.
Preventing Teeth Sensitivity
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true when it comes to sensitive teeth. Our recommendations:
We can identify problems before they become disasters, and problems that cause tooth sensitivity need to be addressed before they get worse. Protecting the structural integrity of your teeth and gums is essential for good oral health, which influences your overall physical health and quality of life.
If you are experiencing food sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blum so we can properly diagnose the root cause, and discuss treatment. There are many different treatment options available to ease your discomfort, and help you feel your best.
At Dr. Blum’s & Associates, we are here for you and your family! If you are staying closer to home and not venturing out quite yet, there are some simple things you can do to maintain your dental health until you’re ready to make your next appointment.
With so many of us working from home today our normal routine ends up on the back burner. We put appointments off that we know we should schedule. One thing gets piled on top of another and it all just seems like too much!
Here’s the good news…There are simple things you can do to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth until you can get to your dentist.
Here’s something to think about…in the world, we’re living in today, where we feel like we don’t have control over much of anything, isn’t it nice to know that YOU CAN control your oral health?
As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us at Dr. Blum & Associates as well as all of our patients have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives while being told we must stay at home.
We’re getting numerous questions every day from our dental patients about handling their dental appointments and needs since the stay-at-home measures went into place. It is our hope that by sharing the answers to the most common questions you’ll feel more confident in managing your dental health during this time.
Our dental office is open only for dental emergencies only. On March 16, the American
Dental Association issued guidelines advising dentists nationwide to postpone elective procedures for three weeks until April 6. This was further extended and we currently do not have an open date. At Dr. Blum & Associates, we have chosen to follow New York State opening guidelines. This will help limit exposure to and transmission of the virus for patients and staff.
Dental offices are allowed to see patients who are having an emergency. So, don’t worry if you should run into a problem – we are here for you and can and will provide emergency care.
Dental emergencies, according to the American Dental Association, “are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.”
What constitutes an emergency is actually pretty simple – it’s about pain or trauma.
Some common dental emergencies include:
This will be one of the few times that you’ll hear a dentist advise that you avoid your six-month checkup since routine hygiene and cleaning appointments are considered elective procedures.
Make no mistake — six-month exams are still very important. As soon as we get the green light to see patients, we will get you scheduled for your routine checkup.
As health-care providers, our entire team is trained on the CDC guidelines for infection control and using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
In our office we are requiring every patient to use hand sanitizer upon entering. We’re disinfecting every doorknob and countertop. From the front desk to the treatment rooms everything is wiped down between patient visits and at the end of
We are taking every measure to prioritize the safety of our patients, and our staff.
Make sure you are brushing and flossing. Do everything as you would normally. It’s never been more important to do the best job possible to maintain your oral health.
Since many of us will have extra time on our hands, make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
Stay home, stay safe, and know that we’re here for you!
During this time that we’re all asked to stay home unless there is a dental emergency, If
you’re still unsure as to whether you need to be seen in the office, email us or call us.
During this time there will be a lot of things that may seem different in the dental office, but as soon as the virus is under control and it is safe to return for normal dental treatment, we’ll be happy to welcome you back!
Stay safe and healthy!
We at Dr. Blum and Associates hope you are well and safe during these frightening times. We are urging all of our patients to please stay home. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water, and to avoid public spaces. During this unprecedented time we need to work together as a community to help flatten the curve.
We also know that this physical separation can bring on a lot of fear and anxiety, especially for those individuals who live alone. We have put together some tips to help you during this challenging time.
It’s true that we just said to stay home, but depending on your environment, it may be safe to spend some time outdoors. Take a walk around your neighborhood if you can still maintain a safe distance from others. If not, sit on your stoop, ride your bike, or visit a local trail or park. The Internet is full of videos on how to work out at home- no gym membership needed. Another regular physical activity to practice is flossing and brushing every day. Floss gently around the roots of your teeth in a J-shaped motion on each side.
Now that you’re spending more time at home, take a look at your library. There’s a good chance that you have some books you’ve been meaning to read for some time. Try a biography on a historical figure who interests you, a guidance book by someone you admire, or a novel behind a movie you like. Reading is excellent for immersing the mind in something pleasant, enriching the vocabulary, and introducing new ideas to digest. You can also read our other blog articles for our expert tips on oral care.
When working from home, be sure that you are working reasonable hours. It’s easy to take on more than your share while you have your work at home, but it can be taxing on your health and wellbeing. You still have the right to disconnect from work and to exercise your rights as an employee. Practicing work/life balance helps reduce stress, which can contribute to physical problems like teeth grinding (bruxism). Also, don’t overindulge in sugary foods or drinks that weaken teeth and gums.
Creativity brings joy, keeps your mind active, and can be a social outlet. You may even discover a new talent and/or marketable skill. Is there a hobby you already enjoy that you can take to a new level? Do you want to test the waters of a new hobby? This is the perfect time to pick up that brush, that pick, that garden trowel. Social media is full of groups dedicated to various hobbies where you can find advice, resources, and new friends.
For extroverts, quarantine can feel like torture. Introverts might be having an easier time, but too much social isolation isn’t good for anyone. Find those friends you’ve lost touch with, get closer to family, and stay abreast of what’s happening in your professional field. Video meetings on platforms like Zoom or Skype can be used for anything from board meetings to cocktail parties. Don’t forget to stay in touch with your dentist. We’re here to answer your questions and be your constant resource for professional, friendly dental care.
We’re thinking of you and your loved ones during this challenging time. We hope that you are all safe, happy and healthy and we look forward to seeing you again very soon!!
How often should you visit your dentist? Once a year? Twice a year?
You’ve heard the expression “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that’s especially true concerning your oral health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 34 million school hours and $45 billion in work productivity are lost each year because of emergency dental treatments.
If a few hours at the dentist a few times a year can prevent problems, interference with normal life and pain, it’s a worthy investment. Be proactive!
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients visit the dentist once a year, bare minimum, for a professional cleaning and checkup. However, frequency of dental cleanings should be decided by the patient’s dentist based on their oral health, habits, and general physical health.
Why do we get our teeth cleaned at the dentist at all? We do that at home, right? Shouldn’t we just visit the dentist to check for cavities and maybe get an X-ray? Here’s why you should get regular dental cleanings from your dentist:
There are some factors to discuss with your dentist that influence how often you should get a professional dental cleaning.
Make an appointment with Dr. Fred Blum and Associates for a dental cleaning and exam.
We’ll get to know you and your goals for your dental health. Together, we can determine your best course for care. We focus on you and your individual dental needs.
Remember… “ It’s NOT just a cleaning “
February is Children’s Oral Health Month!
We want the best for our kids, and oral health is a big part of their physical wellbeing. That’s why we treasure the opportunity to give your children healthy smiles. Today, we’ve got some tips on how to make sure that your little ones’ teeth are as healthy as possible.
Kids may lose their baby teeth, but they still need oral care that is as thorough and regular as their adult teeth will receive.
Healthy gums are essential for good oral health, and permanent teeth begin developing long before they make their presence known. According to the CDC, cavities from tooth decay is one of the most common sources of chronic illness in children.
Children with poor oral health may develop discomfort that distracts them from learning and playing, but the good news is that this is preventable with a little vigilance on the part of guardians and instilling good habits in kids while they’re small.
Your dentist can prescribe protective measures to help, like dental sealants on the surfaces of the teeth, which help guard against cavities for years.
Not only do sugary foods contribute to poor nutrition, but they are also terrible for children’s oral health.
Sticky foods adhere to dental enamel, wearing it down and contributing to plaque buildup, which causes decay. One of the very worst foods you can give kids as snacks are raisins, as they are both sticky and sugary, so use them in moderation.
Try apple slices instead, and make sure your children drink plenty of water to rinse their mouths and stay well-hydrated.
Studies conducted by the CDC indicate a strong link between children who drink fluoridated water or brush with fluoridated toothpaste have stronger teeth with fewer cavities. Once kids are old enough to brush, rinse, and spit on their own, give them a fluoride rinse to use before bed.
To drink, we recommend tap water, so they get the included fluoride for their developing permanent teeth. If you use bottled, filtered, or distilled water, consider a fluoride supplement prescribed by your dentist.
Even when they are a baby, brush your children’s teeth for them so they are used to the feeling. Before their teeth come in, gently wipe their gums with a soft, damp cloth after each feeding and before bed.
When their teeth start to emerge, use a soft brush and fluoridated water. Be very gentle- teething makes little ones’ gums tender. Introduce your child to the dentist early to spot any problems before they get worse and to assure your child that the dentist is a friend.
Don’t forget to floss!
Make sure that your kids know how to floss properly in a gentle J-shaped motion to clean the teeth and gums. When they’re able to brush their own teeth, brush and floss yours at the same time so they learn to model your good habits.
Most importantly, a good example, from you at home, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children in any area of life. Show them good examples by taking care of your own teeth, too!
We all have bad habits. Maybe you’re not good at texting people back, or you crack your knuckles, or watch too much reality TV. We get it, but bad oral habits are dangerous. It’s easy to forget to make good oral habits, but we’re here to help. Even if you don’t think you have bad habits that are harmful to your teeth, keep reading.
Once you’ve grown your adult teeth, that’s the only set you get, and we’d like to help you keep those teeth in good shape forever. Today, we’d like to show you three habits you should break now for a healthier 2020 and beyond.
Sugar is the enemy of healthy teeth. When it comes to sugar affecting your teeth, you might immediately think of soda, but it’s not the only thing that contains sugar. Carbohydrates in food get broken down into sugar, even the carbs found in fruits and vegetables. Don’t stop eating your fruits and vegetables, just watch out for sugars that linger on your teeth.
Sugars and artificial sweeteners, especially in drinks, are often accompanied by citric and phosphoric acids. These eat away at your teeth, making them weaker.
Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) is a destructive habit that many of us don’t realize we have. To be fair, it often happens in our sleep when we can’t help it.
Clenching your teeth, especially the edges of your incisors and canines, damages the structural integrity of your teeth and can cause pain in the mouth, jaw, face, and head.
Your teeth should touch as little as possible. Here are a few tips:
We talk a lot about flossing because it’s so overlooked and underappreciated. Brushing gets all the attention, but flossing is even more important than brushing. Not flossing is a major cause of decay and bone loss, and it’s a bad habit harmful to your teeth.
The spaces between teeth and all-around your gumlines are where oral biofilm (plaque) collects, and plaque is what damages your teeth. Brushing helps, but it doesn’t do enough.
And remember to schedule your routine teeth cleaning at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist recommends.
Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to break those bad habits that harm your teeth. Call Dr. Blum and Associates today to make an appointment and learn how to put good oral health habits in place. Clean, healthy teeth and gums are truly the gift that keeps on giving.