Sugary Snacks Affect Oral & Overall Health…& Grades
Are you packing the right type of snacks in your children’s lunchbox? How about that afternoon snack after they get home from school?
If kids don’t know any better they could find themselves reaching for sugary snacks instead of healthier options.
Maybe your child has a serious sweet tooth – what kid doesn’t?
But it’s important to remember that the items you choose for them to chew on throughout the day can start to have a negative affect on their smiles – and their overall health.
Did you know that there are foods that actually promote good oral health?
According to the American Academy of General Dentistry, more that 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses, that is one reason why back to school dental appointments are so important.
More than 30% of parents report their children between the ages 6 & 12 missed school due to an oral health problem.
So, if you care about your kids getting an A+ in dental health this year, be sure you are providing healthy snacks that can actually help to prevent dental problems, instead of ones that could sabotage the smiles of the ones who matter to you most. (more…)
A Dazzling Smile Looks Healthy
Donning a dazzling white smile doesn’t just show the world how healthy your teeth and gums are, your dental health also plays a significant role in how confident you feel.
Have you ever had yellowing teeth or maybe a discolored tooth or two?
If so, you were probably pretty self-conscious about it. And if you’re self conscious about your smile then you’re not going to feel so great about your appearance when interacting with others.
With this smile self-esteem question in mind, we’d like to expand on this article from SheKnows.com to hear psychologist Ann Demarais, Ph.D., and dental hygienist Kristy Menage Bernie give the scoop on why having a great smile matters – and how to get your pearly whites looking their brightest. (more…)
Is Bleachorexia Really A Thing?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Americans spend over a billion dollars a year just on over the counter teeth whitening products. That is a pretty staggering figure, in any economic climate.
But what is it about over the counter teeth whitening products that have us clearing the shelves at the local apothecary?
According to an AACD® national survey:
• Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset.
• 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the
• Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success.
• And when respondents were asked, “What would you most like to improve about your smile?”
Tooth Enamel Erosion & Swimming Pools
It’s summertime, who doesn’t want to go in the pool?
Well maybe that childhood friend you had with the in-ground pool…who never wanted to go swimming!
Aside from the beach, lake, river, or any other aquatic respite from the summer heat, lounging in the pool is something we can all relate to.
Whether we’re floating on a raft, bellying up to the bar, or exercising, swimming pools offer a cool, healthy summertime activity.
Swimming is a great total body workout that burns tons of calories, but is it completely safe for your smile?
Aside from the purple pee protector or an overdose of chlorine, there could also be some other hidden dangers lurking in that swimming pool.
In addition to altering hair color and drying out your skin, long periods of swimming in a pool could lead to the erosion of your tooth enamel.
But don’t just take our word for it, according to researchers at NYU College of Dentistry, pools with a imbalance of maintenance chemicals can lead to the rapid erosion of tooth enamel.
“Improperly maintained pool chlorination in swimming pools can cause rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel,” warned Jahangiri, a clinical associate professor and the Chair of NYUCD’s Department of Prosthodontics.
“It is a difficult balance to maintain home pools properly,” Jahangiri contends. “Proper pool chlorine and pH levels need to be monitored and maintained on a weekly basis.”
“Maintenance by a professional pool service may cost thousands of dollars a season, so many homeowners try and maintain their pools themselves,” Jahangiri said. “Improper pH levels can result in irreversible damage to one’s teeth,” the good doctor added.
Why Do Swimming Pools Damage Tooth Enamel?
Although many of us aren’t aware how much swimming in pools can damage tooth enamel, this is old news for dentists.
In September 1982, two Charlottesville, Virginia residents were found by their dentists to have general erosion of dental enamel consistent with exposure to acid.
Both patients were competitive swimmers at the same private club pool.
And in 1986, a survey of 747 swimmers published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that 39 percent of competitive swimmers suffered from dental enamel erosion.
The NYU College of Dentistry study released a compilation of enamel damaging data on a 52-year-old male swimmer who had gone to his dentist complaining of tooth sensitivity.
This patient also reported tooth stains to his dentist. Upon examination, tooth enamel loss was clear, and this had occurred over a relatively short amount of time – only five months.
When the pool rat in question was questioned by the dentist, the culprit of the sensitivity and staining wasn’t the cavity creeps, it was his 90-minute daily swimming routine in his backyard pool.
How Can Your Protect Your Tooth Enamel When Swimming?
The answer is to properly maintain your swimming pool, pools are supposed to have a pH balance.
This balance in pH levels occurs with the use of chemicals which help keep the water healthy and safe, so we can enjoy our swim without having to worry about damaging our smile.
The problems (damage to tooth enamel) happen when the pH balance of the pool water drops too low – becomes too acidic.
Remember learning about pH in junior high science class, or high school chemistry?
We’ve all been in a pool when your eyes start to water, what causes this is the low pH level – not too much chlorine as we’ve sometimes been told.
To protect yourself – and your smile – from tooth enamel erosion by swimming pool, you can purchase some pH test strips, they’re pretty inexpensive and you can buy them on Amazon.
The optimal pH of a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.8. To test this, read the directions on the box, then just take your trusty pH test strips and dip them in the water.
Why Does A Low pH Level In A Pool Damage Tooth Enamel?
When the pH of pool water drops too low, it becomes corrosive. This can lead to staining on the surface of teeth and skin irritation.
Remember that NYU study?
In that case, the pH of the pool water was discovered to be 2.7. The recommended pH of the average swimming pool is 7.2 to 7.8.
Why was this guy’s pool so low in pH levels?
The gentleman backyard swimmer admitted to never having his pool maintained by a professional, and didn’t even know the pool’s pH.
He figured he could save a few dollars by taking the DIY approach.
Only after experiencing the extensive damage to his tooth enamel (and smile), the aquatic aficionado in question quickly realized that paying a professional to properly maintain his pool was worth the cost after all…
Much like paying for biannual preventative visits to your dentist will ultimately save you money on the long run by preventing small dental health issues from becoming larger – more expensive – oral & overall health problems.
After all, there’s never any reason for DIY dentistry!
Summer Smile Savings: $500 Off Porcelain Veneers & $2000 Off Invisalign at Our Midtown NYC Dentist Office
Dr. Rastegar also offers all new patients significant savings this back to school season, check out our smile specials:
- $2000 Off Invisalign
- $500 Off Veneers, Laminates, or Lumineeers
- $99 Discount Dental Exams
- Free Exam & X-Rays for Dental Emergencies
To schedule a consultation just call us at (212) 692-9090.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the dental health blog of Frank Maldonado, D.D.S. and has been republished here with permission. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness.
Get Screened for Oral Cancer
48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
Fortunately, it can be detected early. Your dentist can be the key to your diagnosis.
6 Symptoms of Oral Cancer
CONSULT YOUR DENTIST IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THESE 6 SYMPTOMS: (more…)
National Children’s Dental Health Month
Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The aim of Children’s Dental Health Month is to raise awareness about the importance of children’s dental health.
Developing good dental hygiene habits when we are kids and keeping regular visits to the dentist helps our children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
The American Dental Association helps broadcast the optimal oral health for kids message during the entire month-long observance by bringing together dentists, hygienists, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. (more…)