Winter Garden Smiles
As your dentist begins your cleaning, he or she never fails to ask – “have you been flossing regularly?” The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Typically, we have no problem brushing twice a day. The flossing is what falls to the wayside.
Brushing cleans the tops and outer surfaces of teeth and gums. Combined with an antimicrobial mouthwash, you can kill the bacteria that form plaque. Unfortunately, without flossing, you are unable to remove stubborn tartar and bits of food that can be lodged between your teeth and gums. Floss is designed for that purpose. It cleans the tight spaces between your pearly whites and the gap between the base of your gums and teeth. Together, brushing and flossing are lethal to control plaque.
Flossing regularly reduces the possibility of getting gum disease. Its major role comes into play in the area where your teeth and gums meet, where food can get stuck, and if it isn’t removed, it will harden and accumulate over time to form tartar. Tartar “calculus” is a thick deposit that only the dentist can remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to swollen, red gums formally recognized as stage one of gingivitis. If you let it build-up further, it can lead to periodontitis and eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
Keep in mind that your oral health can determine your receptiveness to diseases in your mouth and consequentially, the rest of your body. The Centers for Disease Control has noted that oral hygiene plays a role in preempting diseases and/or keeping them under control. For example, periodontal disease can affect those with heart disease. Flossing and brushing daily can significantly help reduce health care costs for you and your family in the long run.
Dec 23rd, 2013 6:29 am
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If you find yourself wincing in pain when you brush your teeth or drink something hot or cold, chances are you have sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth are the result of the exposure of the softer, inner part of your tooth called “dentin” that lies under the tooth enamel, says the American Dental Association (ADA). The dentin has microscopic channels with numerous nerve endings that are filled with fluid. The movement of this fluid (by eating or drinking certain things) results in the nerve endings reacting, causing a twinge of pain.
Tooth decay, a cracked tooth, worn tooth enamel, worn fillings and exposed tooth roots are the typical causes of tooth sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is essential to keep your mouth healthy, including daily brushing of the teeth, but aggressive brushing causes injury to the gums and exposes the tooth’s roots. Brushing too hard or too forcefully with a hard bristled toothbrush can eventually lead to worn down enamel, as well as receding gums.
Here are some other causes of sensitive teeth from the makers of Sensodyne toothpaste:
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth also wares down the tooth enamel, exposing the dentin underneath.
- Gum disease (gingivitis) and periodontal disease increases tooth sensitivity as the gum tissues become inflamed.
- Some mouthwashes contain an acid that makes sensitive teeth even more painful. Neutral fluoride rinses are typically the alternative that doctors will recommend.
- Eating acidic foods wear down the enamel covering our teeth. Drinking a glass of milk after consuming tomatoes, citrus and fruit juices to help counteract the acids found in them.
- Teeth whitening methods with peroxide bleaching can cause brief sensitivity for teeth, usually only lasting while using the product.
Tooth sensitivity can be treated and is a “curable” symptom, according to the Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. Depending on the severity and cause of it, dentists may recommend desensitizing toothpastes, which stops the sensations traveling from the tooth’s surface to the nerve. Orlando Dentists can also apply fluoride gels to the areas of affected teeth, or other procedures such as fillings or crowns, depending on the severity of the case.
Dec 5th, 2013 7:35 am
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How many times have you knocked over your drink and spilled the dark liquid over your clothes, or dropped a forkful of spaghetti onto your brand new white shirt? Too many times than you’d like to admit, right? They cause embarrassing stains, and depending on how dark the stain is, can be a hassle to remove. While a generous amount of bleach might rid your white tablecloth of its countless stains from red wine, your teeth don’t have it so easy.
Red wine, coffee, and nicotine/tobacco products are commonly known as major causes of discolored teeth. However, there are foods and beverages out there (even healthy ones) that can cause stains as well. Here are the ones to look out for:
- Soda — Soda is full of acid, and in these carbonated drinks, the acidity is similar to that of battery acid. Whether you drink Dr. Pepper all day at your desk or stick to clear Sprite, the amount of acid and chromogens (substances that can be easily converted into dye or another pigment) still cause erosion of the enamel. When enamel isn’t strong enough to protect the rest of the tooth from damage, stains become practically unavoidable.
- Sports drinks — When it comes to acidity levels, sports drinks are practically cousins—if not siblings—of soda. The acid strips away the protective layers of teeth and leaves them defenseless against stains.
- Wine — As stated above, red wine is known to cause stains, thanks to its acid content and chromogens. But what about white wine? Even drinks like Chardonnay have been proven to promote staining as well, especially when followed by a cup of tea.
- Tea — Speaking of tea, did you know that when compared to coffee, this healthy beverage is a bigger culprit behind stains? Black tea is the main villain in this scenario, but herbal, green, and white teas can still be considered evil henchmen, although they are less likely to cause staining.
- Candy — Have popsicles, hard candies, bubble gum, and other sweets turned your tongue a funky color? They might have a similar staining effect on your teeth as well, especially when candies and other sweet treats have coloring-agents in their list of ingredients. However, if they aren’t consumed on a regular basis and are eaten in moderation, they won’t be too damaging.
- Berries — Berries and all sorts of fruit are great to include in your diet and are high in nutritional value. On the downside, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and other intensely colored fruits/berries (including foods and beverages made from them) can bring upon stains as well.
- Sauces — Deeply colored sauces, such as tomato sauce, soy sauce, and curry sauce, can have a significant staining effect on your teeth.
What does this mean, though? Do you have to cut out all of the above in order to protect your pearly-whites and put the perfect smiles in Hollywood to shame? Not at all! When it comes to preventing stains, just remember the three S’s:
- Sip on a straw — Although you might nix the straw when it comes to coffee, wine, and hot tea, using a straw when drinking other things might be helpful. The straw helps keep the staining liquids away from the front teeth, which are seen easily by everyone and stains can seem more significant.
- Swallow swiftly — Have you ever been told to savor the tastes and flavors of various foods and drinks? While this is good advice to take, be mindful of how long the stain-causing substances remain in your mouth. The longer your teeth are exposed to the discoloring ingredients, the chance of staining increases.
- Swish and spit — Avoid spreading the acid that causes dental erosion by not brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes so your enamel isn’t as vulnerable to the abrasion from tooth brushing. Simply swish with water and spit, or chew sugar-free gum after eating to protect your teeth from stains.
Are your pearly-whites not in the best shape that they used to be? Call us today at (407)-287-6443 to schedule your appointment. At Winter Garden Smiles, we can provide you with various cosmetic treatments to whiten your teeth and perfect your smile.
Nov 18th, 2013 6:00 am
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The average person doesn’t spend long periods of time thinking about the health of their teeth. They may visit the dentist every year or so, but even then, they don’t give their teeth too much thought. Occupying far less space on their minds is whether or not they have a cavity.
I brush my teeth twice a day and floss at night, so what’s the big deal?
Cavities are a caused by bacterial acids in plaque that damage the tooth’s enamel. Your dentist can find them during checkups when the tooth’s surface feels softer than usual or can see them in an X-ray. In advanced stages of tooth decay, the tooth will be sensitive and pain can be felt when consuming anything hot, cold or sweet.
Treatment for tooth decay depends on severity. If the cavity is in the initial development stages, fluoride treatments are typically given to restore the tooth’s enamel and repair the early form of damage. These treatments contain more fluoride than what is found in a typical toothpaste or mouthwash and may be a liquid, gel, foam or varnish that’s brushed onto your teeth or placed in a small tray that fits over your teeth.
Cavities are often drilled to remove the tooth decay and are then filled with a material such as silver alloy, gold, porcelain or composite resin. These are used when the damage has become permanent.
Crowns are the answer for teeth that have been weakened from decay. A custom made covering is put on your tooth’s natural crown after the decayed part of your tooth has been drilled away.
When the decay reaches the inner layers of the tooth, the nerve or pulp, a root canal is needed. This is usually done when the nerve in the tooth dies from decay or when bacteria reaches the nerve and has caused an infection. The nerve of the tooth is then removed along with the decayed part of the tooth. A crown is typically needed after root canal treatment.
The earlier the diagnosis of tooth decay, the less pain is felt in both the tooth and the bank account. Worst-case scenario, the tooth will end up having to be removed because of the tooth decay.
Professional cleanings are important, as well as routine checkups with a doctor. Brushing and flossing every day helps to prevent cavities, as does drinking water between meals and limiting snacking.
Do you think you may have a cavity? Call us today at (407)-287-6443 to schedule an appointment with a Windermere Dentist Today!
Nov 11th, 2013 7:00 am
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It’s almost the end of 2013, and we’re nearing the sugar-filled holiday known as Halloween. Besides eating all of that candy in moderation (it is possible), another thing you should do is make an appointment with your dentist! It may not be the most exciting way to spend your Monday afternoon, but you could potentially save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before you ring in the new year of 2014. Although some dental insurance plans run on a fiscal year, most (possibly yours) run on a calendar year. If it does, check out these five reasons to schedule a check-up for your pearly whites.
- Yearly Maximum — This is the maximum amount of money that your dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one year. Although the maximum varies between insurance companies, the average is around $1,000 a year, for each person underneath the plan. This renews each year (on the first of January if your plan follows a calendar year), providing another $1,000 for the next 12 months. If you have unused benefits from the previous year, they won’t rollover to 2014. So, get your money’s worth and schedule an appointment!
- Deductible — This is a term for the amount of money you have to pay your dentist—out of pocket—before your insurance company will pay to take care of your teeth. Again, the amount varies between insurance companies and their plans, and could be costly if you choose an out-of-network dentist. Luckily, the average deductible for a dental insurance plan falls around $50 each year. If you’ve already paid your deductible for this year and still don’t believe you need to see the dentist, think again: your deductible will start again next year.
- Premiums — If you are paying the premiums for your dental insurance each month out of the year, you should take advantage of your benefits. Even if you don’t have a cavity and aren’t in need of a root canal, be sure to regularly schedule your dental cleanings. These cleanings, when maintained, help prevent and can detect early signs of cavities, gingivitis, oral cancer, and other dental issues.
- Don’t Avoid your Problems —If you decide to delay treatment for what might be a simple cavity, you risk a more extensive and expensive treatment down the line. You may think that your simple toothache is nothing of consequence, when it’s actually a cavity waiting to worsen into a root canal.
Depending on your insurance and the yearly plan it follows, you will be better off scheduling an appointment with an Orlando dentist you can trust, like the ones here at Winter Garden Smiles. Visit our website or call an Orlando dentist today at 407-287-6443 to schedule a check-up for your teeth, and take advantage of your end of the year benefits.
Nov 4th, 2013 6:00 am
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When September rolled around the corner, you were probably shocked that within the first week, plastic bats and spiders were being posted and hung in a grocery or convenience store near you. Soon enough, the short statues of creepy witches with glowing eyes started appearing. It wasn’t before long until bags of candy began filling up the aisles. Assorted bags of Twix bars, Reese’s cups, Hershey Kisses, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, Kit-Kat bars, and everything your sweet tooth could ever dream of adorned the shelves. You knew Halloween was around the corner, and in order to avoid last-minute price increases and make sure you had enough for all of the kids in the neighborhood, you bought several bags of candy—with one or two you planned to keep for yourself.
But now, Halloween has passed, and you have more candy left over than intended. Your teeth are aching a little bit more than usual after eating so much sugar (it might be time to make an appointment with your Winter Garden Dentist) , and you would like to avoid binging on the bags in your pantry. Furthermore, you know your kids don’t need any more sugar. So, what now?
Halloween Candy Buy Back!
At Winter Garden Smiles, we decided to partner with the Halloween Candy Buy Back program to help support our troops. For each pound of candy brought to the office, we will give back $1.00 (up to five pounds). All of the candy and sweet treats collected will be sent to our beloved troops serving our country in the military. The Halloween Candy Buy Back at our office is a great event for the community to get together, to foster support for those in the United States military, and give your teeth a break from the all the sugar in your favorite treats. The dates to bring your candy to our office are November 1st, 4th, and 5th. Be sure to save the date and mark it on your calendar!
For any questions you have about our practice participating in this event, visit our website. Also, if you find that your teeth need a good cleaning post-Halloween candy binging, feel free to give our Winter Garden Dentist a call at 407-287-6443 and schedule an appointment today.
Oct 21st, 2013 8:00 am
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Dextrose, fructose, glucose, and maltose; it doesn’t matter what the fancy and sometimes hard-to-pronounce ingredients are called on nutrition labels. Those are all names for sugar. In terms of maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding sugar is advised. Then again, the
“But it tastes so good!” You might exclaim. Or, “Well, I chose diet soda with artificial sweetener, so I’m fine,” is an excuse you are possibly guilty of using.mantra, “everything in moderation” is suggested as well. We can’t avoid the healthy sugar in fruit that our bodies crave, but we can avoid unhealthy sources of sugar, such as sports and energy drinks, and—you guessed it—soda.
It’s understandable why one might reach for a can of Coke, a can of Rockstar, or a bottle of Gatorade. They are flavorful, and not as boring as water. But, did you ever think about what ingredients are inside of those drinks? You’ve probably chosen one of these drinks over water or green tea because of the energy they give you. This so-called “energy” is simply a sugar high, and is eventually followed by a crash, sooner or later.
Take a look at how much sugar is in some of your favorite beverages:
- Coca Cola — There are 39 grams of sugar in a 12oz can of Coke.
- Rockstar Energy — There are 31 grams of sugar in an 8oz can of Rockstar.
- Gatorade — There are 35 grams of sugar in a regular 20oz bottle of this popular sports drink.
Still not convinced? Even if you are not concerned about all of the calories, the links to obesity and diabetes, nor the high amount of caffeine, consider the damaging effects that these sugary drinks have on your teeth; they can severely impact your oral hygiene.
You know sugar can cause cavities, so you brush and floss your teeth twice a day, thinking that you’re completely safe, right?
Think again. The effects that sugary beverages have on your teeth are similar to those that are caused by the usage of illegal substances, such as methamphetamines. Unhealthy drinks and illegal drugs bathe your teeth in acid, which wears away tooth enamel and causes erosion of the teeth. Enamel is a protective shield on the outer layers of your teeth. If the enamels of teeth are worn away too much, the risk of developing sensitivity, stains, and cavities. The likelihood of tooth decay occurring, even in the younger generations, increases as well.
Image credit: Shardayyy @ Flickr
A study reported that 30 to 50 percent of teenagers in the United States consume energy drinks, and that 65 percent of teens consume at least one sports drink per day. Kids, teens, and adults alike are often oblivious to the damaging effects of the sugary drinks they guzzle each day. It’s important to be aware of the harmful toll that certain things in your diet can take on not only your teeth and bodies, but also on those of your loved ones.
Can’t kick the habit completely?
Not many people can abandon their beloved drinks, despite the unhealthy ingredients listed on the often-ignored label. If you find that avoiding all sugary drinks without fail is impossible, there are a few healthy habits that you can adopt in order to combat the damages of your unhealthy beverage of choice.
- Moderation — Okay, so you say you can’t quit your addiction to liquid sugar cold turkey? Don’t worry! If you stopped your intake of these drinks all at once, you could suffer from caffeine withdraw and experience headaches and fatigue. Instead, try to slowly minimize the amount of these drinks you have on a daily basis. Eventually, you won’t feel the need to drink them all the time. The consumption of sugar has a side effect of causing cravings for even more sugar.
- Rinse or Chew — The dentists here at Winter Garden Smiles suggest to rinse your mouth with water or to chew sugar-free gum after the consumption of these drinks. Both actions increase the flow of saliva, and aids in returning the acidity level of your mouth back to normal.
- The One-Hour Rule — In order to avoid spreading the acid in these drinks and prevent even further erosion of the enamel, wait at least an hour after consuming these types of unhealthy beverages before brushing your teeth.
Whether you have banned sugary drinks from your diet or are currently sipping on your third can of Diet Coke so far today, the importance of good oral hygiene and the health of your teeth cannot be stressed enough. At Winter Garden Smiles, we can help you take care of your teeth and teach you healthier habits. Call us today at (407)-287-6443 to schedule an appointment.
Oct 14th, 2013 7:00 am
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Don’t you just love Halloween? We have all enjoyed dressing up as a ghost, clown, or even a Disney princess at one point or another for Halloween. While in these costumes, we would frolic door-to-door, happily accepting the candy that our neighbors would offer to us.
Halloween only takes place once a year, so it would be unfair to keep the kids from participating in a holiday that can be a lot of fun, no matter how much havoc the candy wrecks on our bodies and teeth. The stomachache after eating too much candy is inevitable, but cavities don’t have to be.
In fact, we’d love to invite you, your friends and family to join Winter Garden Smiles at Halloweenfest on Oct. 31st from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Downtown Winter Garden. We will be giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste at this fun community event.
We wish you a Happy Halloween and hope that you enjoy the celebrations. But as your Winter Garden dentists, we must encourage you to stop by and grab a few toothbrushes and some toothpaste for your family!
Your pearly whites will thank you! The staff at Winter Garden Smiles hopes to see you at Halloweenfest!
If your teeth do happen to bother you after eating so much candy on (and after) Halloween, don’t wait too long before scheduling an appointment. A simple “toothache” that is ignored could prove to be a painful cavity. Visit our website or call us at (407) 287-6443 to give your teeth a check-up.
Oct 7th, 2013 8:00 am
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Image Credit: andrewmalone @ Flickr
Let’s face it; we all went through a phase as kids where the last thing we wanted to do was brush our teeth. “Toothbrush? Icky-tasting toothpaste? Dentist? No way!” is what we’d claim. Despite the warnings from those older (and wiser) than ourselves, we wouldn’t brush our teeth twice a day and we’d continue to sneak sugar-filled candy into our mouths.
Of course, we were in total disbelief when the dentist found a cavity or two.
Why didn’t we listen? Were we just stubborn rugrats who hated the after burn of extremely minty toothpaste? While that is possible, another (and more probable) explanation is because brushing our teeth wasn’t fun. Instead of having a good time brushing our pearly-whites, we dreaded it because it felt like a chore. Children today, though, don’t have to go through the same phase as we did—at least, not for as long.
If we help instill good habits into our kids now and actually make brushing teeth fun, chances are, there won’t be as many trips to the dentist to have your child’s cavities filled. Child dentistry is where it all begins and where we either develop healthy oral hygiene habits, or habits that are not so healthy. Just like when you held your child’s hand during their first visit with the dentist (or the first ten visits), do the same thing and be there for them to make brushing fun. Nobody likes cavities, so join your kids and practice good oral hygiene habits as a family. Plus, at Winter Garden Smiles, children can join our No Cavity Club and win prizes if they don’t have any cavities during their check-ups.
Here are a few ways to make brushing teeth fun for kids:
(Don’t worry, parents, you can join in too!)
- Choose your weapon. — Kids don’t need to be stuck with plain and boring toothbrushes that adults might feel obligated to use. Let them pick out a pink and purple toothbrush if they love those colors, or a Hello Kitty toothbrush if that’s what they prefer. Or, let your kid pick out the toothbrush of their favorite superhero! If you have a kid that loves Thor, you can tell them their toothbrush is as powerful as Thor’s hammer, and must be used wisely in order to guard and protect their teeth from foreign enemies known as plaque, tartar, and cavities.
- Pick a flavor, any flavor. — Not everyone wants to taste the frosty burn of spearmint or have his or her tongue tingle from cinnamon spice. If your kid is picky, let them have the flavor of their choosing. There are several child-friendly flavors out there, even bubblegum.
- Bust a move together! — Blast a song that you and your child love, and brush your teeth to it. Try to pick a song that plays for at least two minutes (the recommended time to spend brushing your teeth), and pretend the two of you are rock stars. If you can’t find a good enough song, be extra-creative with your kid and encourage them to write their own.
- Bribing never hurts. — Develop a reward system for your child. Keep a calendar in the bathroom or somewhere nearby, and with each day that your child brushes and flosses their teeth morning and night, let them place a sticker on that day (a shiny gold star, a smiley face, etc.). Tell them they’ll receive a treat (a trip to Toys R Us, a game night with the family, or order their favorite pizza) at the end of the week if they earned enough stickers that week.
- Switch it up. — If listening to a song isn’t enough, try making up a dance with your little one! If that becomes boring, count aloud with your child while they brush their teeth. “Tooth one is clean, tooth two is clean,” and so on. Don’t be afraid to encourage them to get creative with it. For example, “Starship one is clean, starship two had a lot of work to be done after being out in space for so long, but it’s back into gear.” Also, keep a variety of toothpaste flavors, fluoride rinses, and even multiple toothbrushes to keep boredom at bay.
Maintaining good oral hygiene doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Once it becomes a habit, it’ll only further benefit your little ones. It’s still recommended to see the dentist every six months, and if you’re in the Orlando area, we are conveniently located in Winter Garden. For more tips on dental care for kids, click here. Feel free to connect with us, Winter Garden Smiles, on our Facebook page and let us know how the tips listed above helped you and your family out with turning the old boring routine of brushing teeth into a fun activity for everyone to enjoy.
Sep 23rd, 2013 8:55 am
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What is it?
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and is the first stage of periodontal disease. While it is the easiest to treat, it can also cause numerous problems if ignored.
Periodontal disease is an infection that destroys the gums, the tissues supporting the teeth, the periodontal ligament and the tooth sockets, or alveolar bone. Numerous Americans have some form of this disease, ranging from gum inflammation (gingivitis) to a more serious form (periodontitis) that results in teeth loss.
The bacteria in the mouth cause gingivitis. When the bacteria become plaque (the soft, sticky, colorless film that forms over teeth and gums), it can irritate the gum tissue and is a major cause of tooth decay. Typically, daily brushing and flossing keeps plaque at bay, but if it is not removed, the plaque can turn into tartar. Tartar is a hardened form of dental plaque and can only be cleaned by a dental professional.
While gingivitis is usually caused by plaque, there are some cases where the culprit may be hormonal, such as those going through puberty, menopause and pregnancy. Diseases such as HIV, cancer and diabetes have been linked to developing gingivitis, as well as medications and a family history.
What are the symptoms?
In early stages of gum disease, discolored, swollen gums can characterize gingivitis. Gums that are bright red or purple in color, tender to the touch and bleed are often warning signs, as well as bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
How can I prevent it?
Daily brushing and flossing reduces the amount of plaque in your mouth, making good oral hygiene very important. Try an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria in places the toothbrush and floss can’t reach. Eat foods for the health of your jaws and teeth and ensure that you have proper nutrition and a good diet. Avoid cigarettes and other forms of tobacco and schedule regular check ups for your mouth, usually every six months or so.
One or two weeks after a professional cleaning, patients typically find the tenderness and bleeding of their gums lessened immensely with any initial discomfort fading away. Warm saltwater rinses can reduce any gum swelling and return gums to their healthy, pink and firm look.
Dental hygienists may recommend special devices such as electric toothbrushes and water irrigations, as well as the use of anti-plaque or anti-tartar toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Now is the perfect time to schedule your next dental appointment at Winter Garden Smiles. Call us at (407) 287-6443 to get started.
Sep 16th, 2013 8:45 am
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