Tag Archives: teeth cleaning

Effects of A Vegan/Plant-Based Diet on Dental Health

According to Google, the search for a vegan or plant-based diet has more than doubled in the last few years. Combined with declining meat sales and celebrities openly adopting this diet for weight loss and better health, it has gained popularity in recent years. Vegan Diet and Dental Health

Vegan=no animal products (meat, dairy) but can include processed foods.

Plant-based=whole foods that come from plants, unprocessed.

Technically, they’re not the same.

Diet Affects Overall Health, Including Dental Health

Two things prompted me to explore the effects of a vegan/plant-based diet on dental health.

First off, I cut the majority of meat and dairy out of my own diet (I consume fish and dairy on a limited basis) and turned to more whole foods. My reasons included lowering my cholesterol–which tends to run high in my family (I will go to great lengths to avoid medication!), to improve the overall quality of my diet and set a better example for my children. I’m a long distance runner, so improving my fitness via better nutrition was also a big incentive. As you can see, any dental benefits were not even on my list.

Secondly, conversations with some patients. A few relayed to me, of their own accord, that ever since they switched to a plant-based diet (to improve other health issues), they noticed in consequence their mouth had been feeling better too. This was confirmed by my hygienist who noted they had much less plaque build-up and healthier gums than previously.

Influence of A Plant-Based Diet On Dental Health

Vegan Diet and Dental HealthIn my opinion, there is no question that a diet without (or less) meat and dairy, and with more plant-based, whole and unprocessed food is beneficial to overall health, lowering the risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. Several studies, including the now-famous China Study, back this up.

Since the mouth is attached to the rest of the body–this benefits our oral health as well.

In addition, a plant-based diet tends to be more alkaline in nature, which then leads to less inflammation. Chronic inflammation negatively impacts our body and affects digestion, metabolism and immunity.  Less inflammation carries over to our gums as well.

Less inflammation = easier teeth cleaning, less sensitivity, less bleeding.

A common concern is that a vegan diet fails to provide adequate calcium and Vitamin D (due to elimination of dairy) which could adversely affect teeth. However, studies looking at these deficiencies were not done exclusively on those on vegan/plant-based diets, but the general population. This means eating more whole foods does not necessarily lead to these deficiencies.

If done correctly, a plant-based diet offers a huge variety of options which can provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for good dental as well as overall health.

Eating Your Way To Better Dental Health

At the end of the day, it is not my goal to convince you to make drastic changes to your diet that perhaps scare you, solely for the benefit of your teeth and gums.

But should you desire to approach your health in terms of whole health, you may consider looking into making small changes that help not just the rest of your body, but something as “small” as your teeth and gums.

Have you made changes to your diet and experienced any effect on your dental health?

(214) 522-3110                              www.raodentistry.com

 

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Filed under Oral Health, Prevention, Wellness

Is Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Really That Important?

painting of two faces

No, not unless you want it to be.

Dentists can preach to you high and low, but it all comes down to what you want to believe, what’s important to you.

If you don’t want to, don’t get your teeth cleaned professionally.

If you don’t want to, don’t “fall” for the preventive stuff.

If you don’t want to, don’t get a cavity taken care of while it’s small (it’s only real when it hurts, right?)

As much as we encourage and educate, it’s still your call.

A sonic toothbrush is not nearly as exciting as a new pair of jeans, or a fancy haircut.

But neither is eating healthy, nor exercise.

No, not unless you want it to be.

Either way, the decision is yours. As long as you accept that, and own it, we can all be friends.

So what happens if your jeans don’t fit in a few weeks, or your tooth hurts?

Don’t worry–we’ll still take care of you (your teeth, that is), because that’s what we (love to) do.

It’s just that most times, we could’ve done it for a lot less (time/money/treatment), if you’d done it sooner, or done your home work.

Like I said, it’s your call.

If a healthy mouth is what you want, call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                 www.raodentistry.com

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7 Ways To Whiten Your Teeth, Without Professional Help

DIY Whiten TeethYour precious teeth. You know they’ve got the right to be as white as they can.

You’ve looked and looked in the mirror…..then looked some more, willing them to be their whitest.

But, to no avail.

Actually, the answer may be a lot easier than you’d expect.

There are two paths to a whiter, brighter smile

  • slow, steady, continuous–things you can do to improve your smile
  • faster, as-needed (or wanted)–whitening products and whitening options dental professionals can provide.

Your results will be better and last longer if you do both.

Here are the “slow and steady”, but very effective, ways:

1. Use an electric toothbrush

A good quality electric toothbrush will not only clean your teeth and gums more effectively, it will also remove stain better than a manual toothbrush (unless you’ve got sonic hands), especially when combined with a whitening toothpaste.

2. Floss

There just doesn’t seem to be getting away from this one, is there?

If keeping plaque and gum-disease away are not enough motivation, think of it this way: with last night’s dinner still stuck between your teeth, how are your toothpaste and toothbrush bristles going to remove stain?

3. Modify soda and other dark liquid consumption

Dark liquids may excite your taste buds, but in terms of stain (and many, to your general health)–they’re doing you no favors. One solution is to use a straw to drink them, which reduces exposure to stain.

Of course, it’s not exactly a classy way to enjoy a glass of red wine (the waiter at Chez Paree might frown), so try a different solution–sip some water right after, and be sure to brush as soon as possible.

It also helps to drink your sodas and ice teas in a few minutes rather than sipping on them for hours.

4. Curb/quit smoking

If vanity can ever be the final straw, let it be for white teeth. Smoking will take your teeth nowhere but the dark side. Cut back on (or cut out) smoking and the stain will go with it. Pipe stains can be especially tenacious.

5. Eat raw fruits and vegetables

The most delicious tip of the bunch. Crunchy foods like raw apples and celery, and fruits like strawberries have natural stain-removal properties. If you eat these foods anyway, give yourself bonus points!

6. Keep up with your dental visits

Those dental tools may not be much to look at but boy, in the right hands–like your dentist’s or dental hygienist’s–not only do they provide better oral health but get to nooks and crannies you can’t.

Stay on schedule with your teeth cleaning and check up appointments and they’ll get your pearlies spruced up before stain gets out of hand.

7. Start early

Don’t shoot the messenger, but……age definitely contributes to staining of teeth. With the exception of internal stain due to antibiotics or other developmental reasons, external stain is a factor of our oral care and diet, and gets more stubborn over time.

Start good habits (as listed above) early, and maintain them, and you’ll reap the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Ready for a brighter smile? Then get started on these tips today. Combine them with professional whitening, and you’ve not only got a winning combination, but a winning smile too 🙂

Call us: (214) 522-3110         Visit us: www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Cosmetic, Oral Health, Smile, Smoking, Teeth Whitening

7 Tips for the Best Teeth Whitening Experience, Ever

You want a smile that dazzles.

That entices.

A smile that gleams, that lights up your face and the room.

And you can get it.

Teeth whitening may be the only thing standing between you and that bright, white smile you desire. Luckily, there are plenty of options available today.

Your first stop may be partaking the offerings of the drug store i.e. whitening strips. If that gets you results, great. Mission accomplished.

If that doesn’t quite do the trick, head over to your dentist’s office for the next level of whitening pizazz.

From your dentist, the take-home kit is (in my opinion) THE way to go. It includes trays made to fit your teeth that you keep for good, and enough whitening gel to get started plus a few touch ups. For the money, it’s the best bang for your whitening buck.

This option is truly individual, and can be used as much or as little as needed to get the result to you want.

Once you get home and get into DIY mode, however, following through the process can be confusing.

So, to avoid getting a bald spot from scratching your head (pass the Rogaine), here are some tips to help make it a comfortable, convenient and easy experience:

1. The best time to whiten your teeth . . .

. . . is right after you get your teeth cleaned professionally (cuz your 15 seconds at home isn’t “professional”). It’s not critical, but this is when your teeth are their squeakiest clean, with all external stains scrubbed off.

2. The all-important PREP

Before you start whitening, start brushing your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity. This prepares your teeth for whitening and keeps sensitivity ‘zings’ to a minimum. Continue using it during and a few days after you’re done.

3. Follow the instructions

Your dentist will go over some do’s and don’ts regarding how long to wear your trays and for how many days. Different brands means times can vary. This is simple, but easy to forget.

4. Less vs. more

Many people make the mistake of using too much gel in their trays. Result: waste of gel and more sensitivity. Only use a pea-size amount, primarily for your front 8 teeth (top and bottom). Most people don’t show any more when they smile (unless you’re Julia Roberts), so whitening your molars waaay back there is unnecessary.

5. Keep ’em clean

Remember to keep up with flossing, and preferably brush with an electric toothbrush, which minimizes surface stains. And don’t forget to brush the inside of your trays to keep them clean. If they get gunky, they’ll smell funky. Eww.

6. Keep ’em cool

When not in use, put the gel and trays together in a plastic baggy in the fridge. This helps prolongs the shelf life of the gel, and keeping everything together prevents them from getting misplaced (yes, that happens more than you might think).

7. Don’t fall for the hype

No matter how easy the TV commercials make it look, whitening is not a one time deal. Maintenance, i.e., “touch ups” are needed periodically to keep your pearly whites gleaming. Over time food and drink can dull your teeth, so stay on a regular schedule (once a month or few months, depending on how white you want your teeth). It’s like working out-you have to keep doing it to get the results you want.

These simple yet often overlooked details can make a big difference, making a messy and cumbersome process into one that’s easy and comfortable enough to repeat as and when needed.

As far as I can see, a whiter smile is the easiest way to add some bling to yourself. What’re you waiting for?

Questions? Comments? Or are you ready to start? Call or email us at:

(214) 522-3110             www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Smile, Teeth Whitening

Get The Skinny On How To Avoid The Dentist

I hate my ‘fat’ jeans. You know, the pair you have to reach for when you pack on a few extra pounds.

I know, I know. I know the whole eating better, exercising more, drink more water, etc. etc. But then I think, hey, life is short and indulge a little every now and then. A cookie. Or two. That slice of cake.     

But never for very long.

Why?

Is it because I have super human will power, or a super model’s appetite?

Um . . . no.

It’s because I HATE my fat jeans.

H. A. T. E.

Enough to walk away, no matter how reluctantly, from any sugary treat tempting me into submission and reach for something healthier, like a treadmill.

So much for the power of positive thinking, huh? The benefits of a positive attitude, how it can change your life.

But is it wrong to open the door to such negative thinking?

Maybe. All I know is, that for me, it WORKS.

And I’m not the only one.

I see it everyday at our practice. While most people don’t like coming to the dentist, a select few come pretty close to guaranteeing they don’t. They’ve hacked the system.

These are the people who show up every 6 months like clockwork, rarely skipping their check up and teeth cleaning appointment. They brush and floss every day as if they’re getting paid to.

They even go a step further and invest in mega prevention: a quality electric toothbrush to get the cleanest clean possible, and a night guard to protect their teeth . . . and actually use the darn things.

The result? They seldom have dental problems. They breeze in and out. Their appointments are short and sweet, uneventful. Any excitement there may be comes from catching up about their family and vacations, not their teeth. They’re nowhere close to the drill.

Why?

Because they don’t want to see me.

They make a good case for the power of negative thinking, don’t you think? They take control, do what they need to do, and make it work for them.They save time, money and treatment, and in return, get great oral health.

In short, they use this power for good, not evil, and win.

And now, if you want to avoid the dentist, you can. And it’s fat-free.

(214) 522-3110                   www.raodentistry.com

If your goal is great dental health for the long-term, call or contact us via our website. Or let us know in the comments.

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Filed under Oral Health, Wellness

How To Be Happy By Saying N(2)O

If I could offer you a martini at your next dental visit, I would.   

Unfortunately, being a licensed professional, I have to abide by these pesky things called ‘laws’, so I can’t.

But I can offer you the next best thing.

Laughing gas. Happy gas. Conscious Inhalation Sedation.

Or more commonly known as Nitrous Oxide.

No, I’m not getting all Fast and Furious on you and taking this stuff from my hot rod’s NOS rockets. I’m not Vin Diesel. I have way more hair.

I’m talking about the N to the 2 to the O, the colorless, odorless gas you breathe in and out to kick your dental anxiety to the curb while we do the work. The nitrous gas is mixed in with oxygen (kinda important), and delivered via hoses to a nose piece that you keep on start to finish.

When turned on (the gas, not you), within 5-8 minutes it induces a feeling of euphoria; some describe it like a light buzz from that first drink. You may feel a tingling or light-headed sensation, or maybe like you’re floating. Some get the giggles; hence the name “happy gas”.

Don’t worry; we’ll laugh with you, not at you (or so we say). Just don’t break into song along with our music system. You’ll regret it later.

We carefully monitor the amount of gas administered, so you stay the right amount of happy. Some folks don’t even need a local anesthetic because the gas is a strong enough analgesic. In essence, you are fully alert and conscious, but just don’t care that much.

And because the gas enters and leaves your lungs as you breathe, it is very safe to use; there is no hangover (always a plus) and you don’t need a designated driver to take you home. In fact, it is so safe that it can be used on children.

Now, like every party, the happy gas party has its party poopers. A small percentage of people just can’t get the same relaxing effect, and instead feel nauseous and icky, or if they’re chronic mouth breathers or have emphysema.

Sorry folks, if that’s you, I’m taking you off the RSVP list permanently. You’ll just have to get comfy without the gas; but that’s okay, I’ll still get you in (I know the owner).

If you’ve never tried it before, what are you waiting for? We keep the cost affordable so you can be comfortable and not dread your visits. In fact, some of our patients use it every single time, even for their routine teeth cleanings.

So next time you’re in, ask us about the nitrous gas, and get your happy on.

If you just can’t wait, call us at (214) 522-3110 or ask in the comments. 

www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Dental Product, Experience, Sedation

5 Embarrassing Questions You’re Afraid to Ask . . . Answered!

Have you ever lost your nerve when trying to ask a question, for fear that it was too embarrassing?

I bet you have. So have I.

Worrying what others may think often inhibits us from getting the solutions we want. As a result, the problem becomes a nagging stress and we either try to ignore it (bad idea) or watch from the sidelines as it gets bigger (even worse idea).

Questions about teeth and oral health are no exception, so to make it easy for you, here is a list of some questions you might hesitate to ask, and their answers.

1. Q: How can I get rid of bad breath?

A: Unless you are open to relocating to a desert island to live a life of solitude, bad breath should be acknowledged and addressed. The easiest way to fresher breath is one that most people neglect-brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth and floss! Beyond this, avoid mouthwashes high in alcohol (too drying), smoking (too many toxins), and dehydration (so drink plenty of water).

2. Q: Do I really need teeth whitening?

A: While there is no functional benefit to whiter teeth, there is no denying our society considers it an attractive feature. From boosting your self-image to creating a good impression at your job interview, a winning smile can make a difference. With so many safe and affordable options available today, you can definitely give it a try. And if you are happy with the way your teeth look as they are, go on your merry way.

3. Q: Which floss is the best?

A: The kind you use in between your teeth and go up and down with. No kidding.

4. Q: Do I really need x-rays on my teeth every year?

A: Unfortunately, dentists are human and thus not blessed with Superman-like x-ray vision. To make matters worse, cavities in between teeth, random tumors in the jaw bone or bone defects positively refuse to show themselves to the naked eye. So if you want your dentist to provide you with best care he/she can with their non-superhero powers, the answer is “yes”. (However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.)

5. Q: Why should I get my teeth cleaned every 6 months?

A:  Maintenance. Almost anything worth having requires consistent effort, and that includes a healthy human body. The 6-month teeth cleaning schedule is based on how long it takes for bacteria in your mouth to grow to levels that can increase risk of decay and gum disease. Some people need to be seen even sooner. At the end of the day, however, it is a recommendation, not law. Discuss it with your dentist to see which fits you best.

I will also add that almost all dental insurances cover two check-ups and cleanings per year, and if dental fear is a concern, click here.

I hope you found these answers helpful, and I encourage you to ask these (and other) questions of your dentist. Just so you know, any good dentist will NOT find them embarrassing at all. In fact, your honesty will be appreciated and so will the opportunity to help solve problems and be of service!

Have more questions, embarrassing or not? Call (214) 522-3110, ask on our Facebook page here, or in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com

PS: It is our aim to make this blog a helpful (and somewhat entertaining 😉 ) resource for YOU. We would love for you to be interactive and offer feedback, so don’t hesitate-get your fingers tapping on the keyboard and let us know!

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Filed under Oral Health, Teeth Whitening, Wellness