Aspros and Badger Dental Blog

Ten Foods That Are Good For Your Teeth!

July 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — draspros @ 3:51 am

We all hear about foods that are bad for your teeth! Sticky sweets and sugar-laden sodas can wreak havoc with your pearly whites. But did you know there are also foods that are good for your teeth and gums? Here is a list of dentally healthy things to chomp on, courtesy of your friends at Drs. Aspros and Badger’s office!

1. Cheese. Maybe there’s a reason that when we “say cheese” it’s time to smile! With high levels of phosphate and calcium, cheese promotes healthy teeth, balances the oral ph, and can destroy bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

2. Dairy products. Other than cheese, milk and yogurt are rich in calcium and low in acidity – both positive things for your teeth and gums.

3. Green tea. This delicious drink is an anti-oxidant soup which prevents plaque from accumulating on your teeth, reducing cavities and bad breath. Just take it easy on the added sugar and honey!

4. Kiwi. Most fruits are loaded with Vitamin C, and eating them raw can give your gums a good healthy massage as well. Kiwis are exceptionally high in Vitamin C, which can increase the collagen in your gums and make them stronger.

5. Onions. Sure – raw onions can make your breath pretty smelly. But the sulfur compounds that contribute to temporary bad breath also kill dangerous bacteria that harm the teeth. Brush, floss and rinse after you eat them, or better yet – make sure your kissing partner eats them too!

6. Celery. Eat plenty of celery and you may not have to stalk your dentist as much! Raw celery massages your gums, and can increase the production of healthy saliva.

7. Sesame seeds. These little wonders actually can scrape plaque from your teeth and are packed with tooth-strengthening calcium. The bleached white flour bagel they are often attached to – that’s a different story.

8. Sweet potato. These beauties are loaded with Vitamin A, and are especially good for babies whose teeth are developing. An orange nose is an added bonus!

9. Shiitake mushrooms. Believe it or not, these tasty fungi often found in Asian foods contain a sugar that prevents plaque from forming on your teeth.

10. Water. There’s a reason water is called “the gift of life,” and you would be hard pressed to find a healthy foods list without it. Dentally speaking, water keeps your mouth hydrated, cleans and rinses your teeth and gums, stimulates saliva production, and can dislodge trapped food particles.

As great as these foods are, there is much more to healthy teeth and gums than loading up on celery, cheese and water! If it is time for your regular dental examination and cleaning, or if you have any questions at all about your dental health, we are here for you! Please give us a call at 850-878-4117.

Is A Dog’s Mouth REALLY Cleaner Than A Human’s Mouth?

May 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — draspros @ 3:21 am

It’s something we’ve all heard many times – the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of its owner. But is that really true, or just an urban legend?
After all, dogs eat off the floor, drink from the toilet, and don’t seem too concerned with their oral hygiene. But the myth persists, so we asked veterinarian and author Dr. Marty Becker his opinion.
“They raid the garbage can. You know, we give each other a peck on the cheek when we say hello, they give each other a peck on the rear end,” said Becker. “All you have to do is look, watch, smell and you’ll realize that it’s not true.”
He thinks the myth that a dog’s mouth is clean stems from their practice of licking their wounds so that they heal more quickly.
The good news is, even though a dog’s mouth is loaded with bacteria, the large majority are specific to them and can’t infect a human.
So go ahead – give your dog a big kiss. But please realize that dog’s teeth and gums need expert care just like ours. They are prone to dental infections, bad breath, and just like in humans, have a very high incidence of gum disease. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth frequently (unless they are smart enough to brush their own!) and have them cleaned and checked by a qualified vet.
At Aspros and Badger Dental Associates, we love dogs (and cats too!) and hope that you give your pets the best care possible. But don’t forget yourself and your human family! Proper oral hygiene at home, including regular brushing and flossing, along with seeing your dentist on a regular basis, can help you keep your teeth healthy for life.
When it comes to healthy mouths and beautiful smiles, we are here for you. If you have any questions or need to make an appointment, please give us a call at 850-878-4117. Your friends, family and dog will love you for it!!

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — draspros @ 2:59 pm

Today is a day to celebrate, and eat sweets of course, however, Valentine’s Day is no exception when it comes to taking great care of your teeth.
Indulging in the typical Valentine’s Day treats comes at a cost to one’s dental health. The candy exchanged today is most likely high in sugar, which is known to cause tooth decay. Enjoy chocolate and other sweets your sweetheart may surprise you with! If you do indulge on Valentine’s Day, remember to brush and floss after you enjoy your chocolate and sweets.
Avoid a sour experience on this sweet day and practice your dental hygiene techniques. Brush at least twice a day (for two minutes each) and floss at least once. Drinking lots of water to flush out the acids helps too.

Stop Zombie Mouth

October 17, 2012

Filed under: General Dentistry,Preventive Dentistry — draspros @ 7:29 pm

Who doesn’t love candy at Halloween? If your kids are like mine, they’re going to come home from trick-or-treating with tons of candy, sugary candy that can lead to tooth decay. Following these simple steps can help you and your children have a fun Halloween without the nightmare of harming teeth in the process.

Six Ways to Stop Zombie Mouth

  • 1 2×2! Brush for two minutes two times per day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • 2 Floss between your teeth daily.
  • 3 Eat fruits and veggies instead of sugary and starchy snacks..
  • 4 Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
  • 5 Don’t pierce your lips or any other part of your mouth.
  • 6 Visit your dentist regularly. Dentists get lonely!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

“How Much Are You Flossing?”

May 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — draspros @ 8:18 pm

You hear that line just about every time you go to the dentist. You hear it from the hygienist. You hear it from the dentist. We say it a hundred times a day. What is it with dentists and flossing?

Basically, flossing is a way to clean in between the teeth. Your toothbrush can do a really good job on the front and back of the teeth, especially if you are using a really good electric toothbrush. The big problem is that brushing cannot get in between the teeth. Most people think they do a “good enough job” cleaning their teeth because they brush really well. The two sides that the toothbrush can’t get to cannot be cleaned without flossing. So if you’re not flossing, that’s two out of the five surfaces that are not cleaned. That’s 40% of the tooth. So if you clean the other areas really well, that’s only 60% of the tooth that gets cleaned with just brushing. I don’t know anyone who is happy with a grade of 60%!

A lot of people think flossing is about getting food particles out of the spaces between your teeth after you eat. That is only a small part of what flossing does. Plaque forms on all tooth surfaces. Plaque is the film that contains the bugs that cause cavities and gum problems. Frictional rubbing removes the plaque film. On the front, back and top, the friction of the toothbrush removes the plaque, but to remove the plaque on the sides of the tooth, floss is needed to rub off the plaque. Once the floss is passed in between the teeth it needs to be curved across the side of the tooth. The floss should then be pulled back and forth, up and down the height of the tooth and under the edge of the gum. To do this, the floss must be hugging the side of the tooth. This is very important. The floss acts like a buffing cloth, the friction of the movement cleans the plaque off the tooth.

Remember, you are cleaning a layer of slime off the surfaces of the tooth. This requires several motions, not just popping it in and out. After that, before you remove the floss, wrap the floss around the curve of the tooth next to it and curve it and clean that surface with the same shimmying up and down motion.

When the plaque is allowed to sit, the toxins eat away at the tooth’s hardness and cause cavities. Lack of flossing is the cause of cavities in between the teeth! Bone loss and gum disease are the other main results of poor flossing habits. The plaque collecting under the gum hardens into calcified masses. The toxins the bacteria release causes the bone to dissolve under the gum. This is the origin of gum disease. Effective flossing goes a long way to controlling the extent of these problems.

The time has come to stop failing your check up exams. Let’s eliminate those scores of 60% and move up the flossing honor roll!

Clearer, Safer X-Ray Images with Digital Radiography from Aspros & Badger Dental Associates

February 27, 2012

X-rays are an essential aspect of dentistry. With X-rays, we can diagnose and plan treatment for a wide range of dental issues, many of which may be hard to diagnose with just the naked idea.  X-rays allow us to create an image, like a photo, of the area that is exposed to the x-ray beam.  Historically, this image has been captured on a film that is developed in a manner similar to the way that photographs used to be made into a negative and saved as a print.   With x-rays, denser objects like bone and teeth absorb, or block, the x-rays before they pass through to the film.  Soft tissues like cheeks and gums don’t block the x-rays.  The different ways that the tissues absorb the x-rays gives us the final picture.

X-ray images are a critical aid in diagnosing dental problems.  Without the assistance of x-rays, the dentist is pretty much just “in the dark”.  The dentist uses them to:

  • Identify decay in hard-to-reach areas, especially in between the teeth.  These x-rays are called bitewings and are taken at least annually.
  • Spot cracked or damaged fillings
  • Monitor growth in young smiles
  • Evaluate gum disease by registering changes in the height of the bone surrounding the teeth
  • Plan restorative procedures, like implant placement
  • Diagnose oral cancer, cysts or other growths within the jaw bone

But traditional X-ray technology is notorious for creating small, blurry images that have to be developed by harsh chemicals and stored somewhere for later reference.

But traditional X-ray methods aren’t the only game in town anymore.

Aspros & Badger is embracing the future with digital X-ray technology. Digital X-ray technology makes it possible to produce sharper, clearer images with much less radiation.  Digital X-ray images have much greater resolution and can be displayed on a computer screen, where they can also be highlighted and enlarged. We have the latest in digital x-ray software as well, so we can change the contrast of the pictures, make measurements and the most recent x-rays can easily compared with previous X-rays.

But the biggest benefit for patients is a significant reduction in radiation exposure. Although dental x-rays traditionally have used very small amounts of x-rays to create the image on traditional film, digital x-rays take it to a new level. It’s estimated that digital radiography exposes patients to as much as 80% less radiation during a single session.  Digital x-rays are the future now.  They provide much sharper images with much less radiation.  It’s a win/ win for everyone!

Preventing Milk Bottle Cavities

November 4, 2011

“Milk bottle cavities,” or “baby bottle tooth decay” (BBTD), is a condition that results from improper feeding of babies by their parents or caregivers. It is a devastating pattern of decay that causes the teeth to decay all around the gum line. Often, the teeth will even break off at the gum line, causing a disfiguring appearance, pain, and abscessed teeth that must be extracted or have root canal treatment. Replacement of baby teeth is possible but very difficult and expensive, and because children lose baby teeth until age 12, this can lead to years of complications. The eruption of the permanent replacement teeth can also be affected by this condition, so the ramifications can last long past childhood.

The decay sequence involves the sugars in the bottle’s liquid. Although drinks like milk and fruit juice sound healthy and even good for you, they are dangerous when children are put to bed with a bottle. Milk contains lactose sugar and fruit drinks contain fructose sugar. Sugars are eaten by the bacteria on the teeth, which can result in decay. The decay process requires three things: a tooth, plaque, and sugar. So once a child gets a tooth (around six months old) decay can occur.

Three things to keep in mind:

1.) Teeth

Once teeth erupt in the mouth they need to be brushed; that means mom and dad. Letting children play with a toothbrush is good, clean fun and can get them familiar with brushing.

2.) Plaque/Bacteria

The child’s mouth becomes colonized by bacteria from their parents. The bacteria form a sticky adhesive matrix on the teeth that is full of millions and millions of sugar eating bacteria. This is the film that we are removing when we brush and floss.

3.) Sugars

Bacteria live on sugar. Milk has lactose sugar; fruit juices have fructose. Manmade drinks like Gatorade and Hi-C contain various types of sugars. The waste product from bacterial digestion of sugar is acid. The plaque layer of the bacteria holds the acid against the teeth and eats away at the calcium in the outside enamel layer of the tooth. This weakens the tooth’s hardness. Because baby teeth have thinner enamel they decay much more rapidly. Once exposed to sugar, the bacteria make acid for twenty minutes.

What makes nighttime bottles so dangerous is the length of time the teeth are bathed in sugar and therefore acid. Compounding the effects of the acid is the fact that saliva flow decreases at night and plaque grows much more rapidly during sleep. Therefore, the maximum acid production occurs when the bacteria are most plentiful.

Conclusion

We all want to be great parents, and we certainly don’t want to be responsible for causing prolonged pain and anguish to our children. Prevention of “baby bottle tooth decay” is simple. Give your little one only water at sleep time.

Aging, Root Cavities and LifeSavers Part 2

October 5, 2011

Last time we explored why we have an increased risk of cavities on the roots of the teeth as we get older.  Today we are addressing what can be done to keep those roots cavity free.  As we age our dexterity diminishes, so brushing and flossing becomes more difficult.  This allows more plaque to accumulate.  Below I have delineated specific things you can do to hold decay at bay.

  • Use an electric tooth brush.   It is essential.   With decreased ability to handle a brush and floss, the electric brush does the work.  You just need to place the brush at the gum line.   I recommend them for all patients, especially the elderly.  Get a good one!  I like the Sonicare or the Oral B.
  • Flossing is essential for removal of plaque on the surfaces between the teeth.  That’s 40 percent of the tooth.  Many elderly folks cannot manipulate floss on cramped or arthritic fingers.  If you can’t floss, rubber tip cones, proxy brushes or stimudents are aides you can use that will greatly help get at those in between the teeth areas.
  • More frequent visits to the dentist for routine cleanings. I recommend 3-4 cleanings a year for elderly patients, especially those who consistently show up with heavy plaque at their cleanings. If you can’t do it, let us help you!  The longer plaque sits on your gums and teeth, the more likely decay will develop.
  • Fluoride can help harden root surfaces and therefore make them less susceptible to cavity formation.  Use a concentrated fluoride rinse or tooth paste at home.  Get fluoride treatments in the office.  We can paint a varnish on the surfaces that has a longer lasting benefit.
  • Many older people combat their dry mouths with sucking candies.   The sucking candies help increase saliva flow which makes their mouths more lubricated and comfortable.  Many people suck on them all day.  My parents have bowls of them around the house.   That’s fine;  BUT… they need to be sugarless!  Sugared candies that you suck on are the absolute worst thing you can use.  When you suck on a candy that is sugared, the plaque on the teeth creates acids for hours.  When you suck on these throughout the day, the teeth are bathed in acids continually! Get sugar free candies and all is OK.  Lifesavers make them and so does Jolly Ranchers, along with other candy makers. Sugar free gum is also good for combating the acids that bacteria in the plague create.  As a matter of fact dentists recommend sugar free gum after eating if you can’t brush right away.
  • Do yourself and your teeth a favor, throw them a sugar free Lifesaver!

Aging, Root Cavities, and Lifesavers

September 6, 2011

Modern medicine has done an unbelievable job of extending our life spans and the quality of health we have in our later years. Modern dentistry, too, is helping to play a part in all this. Years ago, people would have false teeth or dentures in their midlife, but today’s it’s not unusual for people to live to a ripe old age with their own teeth. But keeping teeth healthy and cavity free as we age requires extra work, because aging actually makes us more susceptible to cavities. The main reason for this is that, with age, we get varying degree of gum recession and bone loss around our teeth, which leaves their roots exposed. These roots are softer than the rest of your teeth and aren’t protected by enamel, so it’s much easier for decay to set in and cause trouble.

The plaque that forms on teeth is made up of the bacteria responsible for decay. Diligent removal of that plaque through brushing and flossing is essential to preventing root cavities. If the plaque sits along the gum line, cavities will form. The roots are so thin and soft that decay can advance to the nerve area of the tooth very quickly.

Saliva helps wash away plaque before it forms, but as we age our saliva flow decreases. Sometimes this is due to certain medical conditions we may develop, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and anemia. Drugs that are taken to treat certain diseases can also results in less saliva. In fact, over 1,000 drugs list dry mouth as a side effect, including some anti-allergy medications, decongestants, epilepsy medications, and drugs that treat high blood pressure. Muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives also have this effect. The result of this decreased saliva flow is increased plaque along the gum line, which require increased attention to its removal.

People often combat dry mouth by sucking on hard candies like LifeSavers. These candies will increase saliva, which helps lubricate the mouth, but that sweet succulence comes with a price.

In our next blog, we’ll further explore the dangers of these seemingly innocent treats.

Cosmetic Dentistry

July 18, 2011

Cosmetic Dentistry is a term that describes use of a group of procedures and materials designed to enhance the way a patient’s teeth and smile look.

Cosmetic Dentistry as it is thought of today is relatively new.  Although dentistry has always been about trying to maintain aesthetics by saving teeth,  the ability to actually improve the appearance of someone’s smile has just recently come to the forefront.  Today’s cosmetic dentist can make most people’s smile look absolutely perfect.

Your smile is one of the first things that someone will notice about you.  Those with a bright smile are more likely to be more self-expressive and outgoing.  A beautiful smile can feed a person’s self-confidence.  A beautiful smile makes a person’s face more attractive and makes the person appear more vibrant, energetic, happy, and inviting.  A smile encourages interpersonal interaction.  It is a natural invitation to others to approach you and befriend you.  Your smile is contagious.  Smiles encourage others to smile.  So your beautiful smile actually makes other people feel better about being with you.  And because you feel confident about your smile, you smile and laugh more.  Conversely, an unattractive dentition makes people want to hide their teeth.  They don’t laugh as much or get as close to others out of embarrassment or feelings of self-consciousness.  This causes a withdrawal from people and potential happy times.  Fortunately, today’s cosmetic dentist allows the ability to perform full mouth makeovers that can truly improve your smile and your life.  The availability of these cosmetic dental treatments are so accessible that failure to address dental cosmetic needs can have a negative effect on both social and business arenas.  Modern cosmetic dentistry makes it possible to put your best foot forward.

Do something proactive.  Have an experienced cosmetic dentist do a smile evaluation today.  www.asprosbadgerdental.com

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Aspros and Badger Dental Associates
2570 Barrington Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 878-4117

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2570 Barrington Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32308
Dr. Steve Aspros Dr. Peter Badger Tallahassee Dental Office of Dr. Aspros and Dr. Badger (850) 878-4117 asprosandbadger@comcast.net