8 Foods To Eat For A Better Smile

8 Foods To Eat For A Better Smile

Foods For A Better SmileMarch is National Nutrition Month, a time when we raise awareness of the importance of making healthy diet and exercise choices. While most of us understand that choosing good food has an effect on our overall health, we find that a lot of our patients forget to take their teeth into account.

In observance of National Nutrition Month, the Dentistry of Nashville team is here to offer a list of the 8 best foods to eat to keep your teeth healthy.

1. Tea

Black and green teas are full of polyphenols, compounds that slow the growth of bacterias that cause cavities and gum disease. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that people who rinsed their mouths with black tea for 1 minute 10 times per day had less plaque buildup on their teeth as opposed to those who rinsed with water. Even more, the size and stickiness of their plaque was reduced as well.

Not only does tea prevent bacteria from clumping together with other bacteria, it can also keep bad breath at bay. Those polyphenols suppress the genes of bacteria that stimulate the production of smelly compounds in the mouth.

2. Cheese

Recent studies found that teenagers aged 12-15 who ate cheddar cheese had lower levels of acid in their mouths than those who ate yogurt or milk. This signifies that cheese can neutralize acidic compounds around the teeth, compounds that can cause cavities and gum disease.

Cheese also stimulates saliva production, which washes away bacteria and debris.

3. Raisins

Natural raisins are sweet without the addition of sucrose, better known as table sugar.  The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce an acid waste, which is the primary cause of cavities. Raisins are a source of phytochemicals as well, which kill cavity-causing plaque and bacteria.

4. Crunchy Fruits And Vegetables

You’ve probably been hearing about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables since you were young, so it should come as no surprise that they also help your teeth.

Crisp produce such as apples, celery and carrots act like natural toothbrushes. When you chew on them, their fibers scrub against your enamel and help remove plaque and other harmful bacteria.

5. Vitamin-rich Foods

Foods containing calcium—such as cheese, almonds and leafy greens—and foods high in phosphorous—like meat, eggs and fish—can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Foods and drinks with high acid levels can cause tiny, damaging lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into those lesions, repairing damaged enamel as you eat.

Calcium also strengthens bones, including those in your jaw. This helps prevent tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.

6. Sugarless Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help rinse off and neutralize the acids released by the bacteria in plaque, which are harmful to tooth enamel. Both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate 10 times the normal rate of saliva flow. Not only does saliva neutralize the acids in your mouth, it also washes away food particles, helping keep your teeth clean.

In addition, sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol has the added benefit of inhibiting the growth of streptococcus mutans, one of the oral bacteria that cause cavities. In the presence of xylitol, the bacteria lose the ability to adhere to the tooth, halting the cavity formation process. With xylitol use over a period of time, the types of bacteria in the mouth change and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces.

7. Milk

The sugar present in milk is lactose, which is the least damaging type of sugar for your teeth. This gives milk a sweet and tasty quality while not being harmful to teeth. In fact, the calcium in milk strengthens and revitalizes enamel that has been damaged by acidic foods.

Additionally, studies have shown that when cavity-causing foods are eaten along with milk, like a sugary chocolate chip cookie, the milk can help protect the teeth from damage. If you’re lactose intolerant or don’t drink milk, ask your dentist about other calcium-rich foods and toothpastes that can remineralize your teeth.

8. Cranberries

The enzymes in cranberries pack a powerful punch. Along with stopping the bacteria before they start to feed on sugars in your mouth, they may also disrupt the production of glucan, one of the main components of plaque.

While helping you fight plaque formation, a single glass of 100% cranberry juice can also:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Treat colds and sore throats
  • Boost eyesight
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fight free-radicals

Learn More About The Best Foods To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

The Dentistry of Nashville team is dedicated to enhancing the smiles of each and every patient that comes through our doors. But visiting your dentist every 6 months is only half the battle toward a healthy smile. Ensuring that you eat properly and establish a good dental health routine is essential in attaining bright, healthy teeth.

If you want to learn more about the best cavity-fighting foods, contact our office to make an appointment today.

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Proper Oral Hygiene: Flossing Vs. Water Flosser

Proper Oral Hygiene: Flossing Vs. Water Flosser

flossIt’s no secret that proper oral hygiene is absolutely critical to a healthy smile. The tools of the trade— floss and a toothbrush — help to remove harmful, cavity-causing bacteria. While these tools are non-negotiable aspects of good oral hygiene, there are plenty of types of toothbrushes and interdental cleaners to choose from.

When it comes to cleaning between your teeth, many patients want to know if they should use traditional floss or a water flosser. The truth is, the best choice will depend on many personal factors like the current state of your oral health and your own preferences. To explain more about the pros and cons of both options, the dental professionals at  Dentistry of Nashville give a brief overview of traditional floss and water flossers.

Why Is Interdental Cleaning Important?

According to a study from the American Academy of Periodontology, more than one-third of Americans would rather do an unpleasant activity like clean the toilet, sit in gridlock traffic or wash a sink full of dirty dishes than floss. Despite this common attitude toward flossing, it is still crucial for removing plaque in hard-to-reach areas.

Simply brushing your teeth is only half of the work. Food particles and plaque tend to get stuck and accumulate between the teeth. This is also an area where cavities will typically develop if patients don’t floss. Other important reasons to make interdental cleaning a priority include:

  • Avoiding plaque hardening into tartar
  • Enjoying a whiter smile
  • Avoiding bad breath
  • Avoiding gum disease

The Pros And Cons Of Using Floss

Flossing is one of the oldest forms of oral care and dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Although flossing has been around for a long time, it wasn’t formally patented until the mid-1800s by Asahel M. Schurtleff. The design of the pack of floss included a cutter, which is very similar to the way floss packs are sold today.

There are a variety of options to choose from for traditional floss as well. Some of your options include dental pics with pre-cut floss strings or strands of floss you cut yourself. There are also different flavors along with waxed or unwaxed floss.

Some of the pros of using traditional floss include:

  • Affordability
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Easy to control

Some of the downsides to traditional floss include:

  • More time consuming
  • Less thorough

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Water Flosser

For some patients, traditional string floss may not be the best option. This is especially important for patients who are dealing with periodontal disease. When patients develop periodontal disease, the gum tissue will pull away from the teeth to create deep pockets that are hard to reach with traditional floss. Food particles and plaque can easily get trapped, thus worsening the state of their periodontal health. A water flosser can be more effective for these patients than traditional string floss.

A study conducted by the University of Amsterdam Academic Center for Dentistry found that a water flosser was twice as effective as string floss for reducing gingival bleeding. Researchers used 104 subjects over a 30-day period and found significant improvements in gingival bleeding.

Some of the notable benefits of using a water flosser include:

  • Gentler on gums
  • Less time consuming than string floss
  • Easier to handle
  • Optimal for patients with braces, dental implants or severe periodontal pockets

Some of the cons of water flossers include:

  • More expensive than string floss
  • Less travel-friendly than traditional floss

When Should I Opt For A Water Flosser?

If financially feasible, a water flosser is an ideal option for certain patients. For patients completing orthodontic treatment, a water flosser makes it much easier to remove plaque when metal wires and brackets are in the way. According to a study conducted by BioSci Research Canada, a water flosser is 3 times as effective as string floss for orthodontic patients.

For patients with dental implants, periodontal care should especially be a priority to preserve the longevity of their restorations. A water flosser is also an optimal option because it’s more effective at reducing gingival bleeding for these dental implant patients. A study from Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine found a reduction in the incidence of bleeding on probing with patients who used a water flosser.

Contact Dentistry Of Nashville

Whether you choose to use string floss or a water flosser, it’s important to remove plaque in these hard-to-reach areas each day. If you have any other questions regarding your dental health or oral hygiene, don’t hesitate to contact our office at (615) 383-3690.

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Taking Care Of Your Child’s Teeth

Taking Care Of Your Child’s Teeth

Caring For Your Child's TeethGetting your kids to the dentist can be like pulling teeth. Practicing good dental habits at an early age is critical in ensuring that your child grows up to have healthy gums and teeth. Those 20 primary teeth (baby teeth) need proper attention and care because their health impacts the development of their future smiles. Learn the best ways to take care of your child’s teeth as they grow.

How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth

Because newborns don’t have teeth, you may not consider the ways in which their oral hygiene affects their health. Prevent your little one from cavities and Baby Bottle Tooth Decay by practicing oral care right away.

Begin by wiping their mouth with a clean gauze pad or cloth to remove plaque that can harm emerging teeth. As soon as their teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Don’t give your infant sodas or sugary juices opt for formula and milk instead. Make sure that they finish their bottle prior to naptime and bedtime so that you can brush their teeth before they fall asleep.

If you must put your infant to bed with a bottle, fill it with water when it is safe to do so.

How To Care For Your Toddler’s Teeth

Toddler age is usually a great time to begin teaching your child how to brush their own teeth. Developing healthy brushing and flossing habits early is important in ensuring that they maintain good oral care throughout their lives. Let your child imitate the way you brush your teeth and explain to them the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Provide additional help to remove food particles and plaque that they may have missed.

If your child still sucks on his or her thumb or uses a pacifier when permanent teeth begin to grow, you should take action. Limit the pacifier use and, eventually, take it away completely. Talk to your child’s dentist or doctor about ways to limit the thumb sucking–they may recommend certain courses of action..

How To Prevent Your Child From Getting Cavities

There are many ways to prevent your child from developing tooth decay:

  • Limit the amount of candy, sweets, and other sugary foods that your child eats.
  • Brush their teeth or teach them to brush their teeth after meals, at least twice per day.
  • Opt for sugar-free cough syrups and medications as opposed to their cavity-causing counterparts.
  • Choose healthy meal options at home. Always include calcium-rich foods like milk and broccoli.
  • Stay away from soda, juice, and other sugary drinks.
  • Visit the dentist before your child’s first birthday, and then regularly throughout childhood.

What To Do If Your Child Has A Dental Emergency

Accidents happen. Whether your child gets hurt on the playground or eats too many sweets, there are always steps to take to ensure that they remain healthy. Knowing the proper ways to handle dental emergencies can be the difference between losing and saving a permanent tooth.

Here are the ways to approach common childhood dental emergencies:

  • Knocked-out tooth – Keep the knocked-out tooth moist at all times. If possible, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. Otherwise, place it between your child’s gum and cheek or in a cup of milk. Most importantly, call your child’s dentist right away. Immediate action is required in order to save the tooth.
  • Cracked tooth –  Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Place a cold compress on the face to minimize swelling and pain. Make an appointment with your child’s dentist.
  • Toothache – Clean out the mouth by rinsing it with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. If the pain persists, make an appointment with your child’s dentist for a check up.
  • Injured cheek or lip – If your child’s cheek or lip is bleeding due to an injury or accidental bite, apply firm, direct pressure to the area with a clean cloth. In the case of swelling, place ice on the affected area. If the bleeding does not stop, take your child to the Emergency Room immediately.
  • Dental concussion – Typically occurring in toddlers and young children, a dental concussion is characterized as a tooth that has not been dislodged or fractured, but has received a bang or a knock. Unless the affected tooth becomes dark or discolored, dental concussion does not require emergency treatment.
  • Fractured jaw – If your child has a fractured jaw, it is best to head to the Emergency Room. Encourage them to move their jaw as little as possible. The Emergency Room doctors will help determine whether or not further dental treatment is required.

Bring the Family In!

As a parent concerned for your child’s health, it is important that you do not forget about their mouth. Their dental health impacts the health and well-being of their entire body, and instilling good habits at a young age will have a positive impact on their future oral care. Make an appointment with our office today to get started on a lifetime of healthy habits!

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6 Best Dental Apps For Your Smartphone

6 Best Dental Apps For Your Smartphone

Everyone knows that the quintessential tools for optimal dental care are the toothbrush and floss. However, dental care is a major issue for millions of people, and numerous products offer ways to take your oral health to the next level.

When you think of cutting-edge smartphone technology, your teeth probably aren’t what comes to mind. Nevertheless, dozens of apps exist that focus on adding fun and convenience to your dental experience. From apps that randomly select a song from your playlist to ensure that you brush long enough to an app that offers useful tips for those who suffer from dental phobia, there are numerous creative smartphone apps designed to assist with your dental care.

6 Apps That Will Enrich Your Dental Experience

1.      Dental Expert

For a free app that is essentially an encyclopedia for dental care, Dental Expert is a one-stop source for patients on a massive variety of info. Among the included topics are tips on personal dental care, how to prevent halitosis and advice for caring for your children’s oral hygiene.

Dental Expert could also be useful in an urgent situation since it offers advice for how to handle dental emergencies. If Dental Expert sounds like a useful app for your smart phone, download it for free from iTunes and improve your knowledge of dental care.

2.      My Smile

A highly rated dental app from OrisLine, My Smile is an extremely useful app with various functions. If you’ve never really been taught how to properly brush, My Smile can help with videos detailing brushing techniques like the bass technique and roll technique.

Brushing education isn’t the only function provided by the My Smile app. The app can also keep track of appointments for your entire family. This includes reminders of upcoming appointments to ensure that no one in your home is caught off guard with their dental visit.

If you or your dentist needs to alter an appointment, My Smile allows you to communicate with your dental provider. If they’re too busy to handle your questions, the app also features an elaborate FAQ that answers popular questions patients have about topics ranging from implantology to orthodontics. If My Smile is worth a spot on your smartphone, download it from the Google Play Store or iTunes.

3.      Colgate Tooth Fairy

An app that’s ideal for children and their parents, Colgate Tooth Fairy features fun and useful ways to supplement dental education. Created by one of the leading companies for toothpaste and other dental products, it’s obvious that Colgate had kids in mind when developing this app.

In Colgate Tooth Fairy, you’ll find a game where bacteria must be blasted away from the teeth to prevent damage. While kids will gravitate towards the game, parents will appreciate the album that lets them track their children’s dental progress and appointments. To maximize the fun of brushing, Colgate Tooth Fairly also has a feature that lets you record your brushing session with your child. Find the app by MagiClick Digital Solutions on iTunes or Google Play.

4.      Monster Mouth DDS

Monster Mouth DDS is an innovative app that engages children in the dental process with a clever game. If you’re expecting dental app games to be extremely simple, you may be surprised with Monster Mouth DDS. With a creative concept, sense of urgency and variety of tools to play with, there are a lot of features to keep Monster Mouth DDS interesting until the end.

The concept is that various monsters are in dire need of dental work, and using your toothbrush and other tools, the player rubs their finger across their teeth to clean them. Combined with multiple levels, a timer and a variety of ways to approach each stage, Monster Mouth DDS is an app that expands dental hygiene into a fun and approachable game. To try Monster Mouth DDS, pick up the basic version for free on iTunes.

5.      Brush DJ

Brushing is the ultimate technique for cleaning the teeth and preventing harm to your oral care. While highly effective, not many people consider brushing to be among the most fun parts of their day. Brush DJ is an app that’s designed to change that, providing useful, fun options to help kids and adults enjoy the brushing process.

Brush DJ aims to improve the brushing experience by choosing a song from your playlist, and playing a color-customized animation for 2 minutes while you brush. This serves the dual purpose of ensuring that you brush for an effective length of time, and making the entire experience more fun.

In addition to its core function of playing music while you brush, Brush DJ lets you set reminders for events including dental appointments, brushing twice per day and changing your toothbrush head every 3 months. Customization adds to the charm, as you can alter the color of the screen and timer to correspond to your own toothbrush, among other appealing features. To turn your brushing sessions into a dance party, download Brush DJ for free from iTunes.

6.      Dental Phobia

For some patients, a trip to the dentist is an unenviable, terrifying event. Dental Phobia is an app created with these patients in mind. In addition to a self-hypnosis feature designed to calm patients before a dental appointment, the Dental Phobia app provides a list of 20 useful tips for combatting the fear of dental treatments.

Hypnosis is known to be a powerful tool for calming down and achieving a relaxed state. The primary function of the Dental Phobia app is a calming male or female voice that guides you through a hypnosis session. The specific goal of the hypnosis is to instill patients with a positive mindset and alleviate their fears of dental work.

The Dental Phobia app also contains relaxing music that the patient can listen to before or during a dental appointment to help keep them in a tranquil state. Along with the 20 tips for fighting your dental fears and the elaborate hypnosis feature, Dental Phobia is an app that offers a lot of benefits for those who dread their trips to the dentist. If you could use some help staying calm when it’s time for a dental appointment, find the Dental Phobia app on both Google Play and iTunes.

Call Dentistry Of Nashville For Your Dental Needs

With three highly acclaimed dentists and a friendly, intelligent staff, the Dentistry of Nashville is an expert source for dental info in the Nashville area. While apps can be fun and useful, only your dentist can provide answers that take your specific needs into consideration. If you have questions related to dental care, contact Drs. Elam, Vaughan and Fleming at the Dentistry of Nashville in Tennessee.

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By: Roman

By: Roman

We recently did an interview with Josh, a reader who got a CT scan done at a Hospital in Moldavia for free, top 6 teeth extracted for 150 Euro in Moldavia, bottom teeth extracted in Moldavia and implants placed in Moldavia which should give you some insight on a multi-country approach to saving money on dental implants.



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