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Teeth Whitening nowadays has become very popular! So many of us would love to have a whiter brighter smile. When people were asked by the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry what they wanted to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. You may have seen advertisements suggesting the use of charcoal, oil pulling or even turmeric to help you achieve a whiter smile. You may be tempted to try these do it yourself whitening methods that can be found in your own kitchen. But before you do, you need to know they can cause more harm than good for your teeth. For example, the use of lemons, oranges and apple cider vinegar have been suggested to use at home as a teeth whitener. Since these fruits and vinegar contain acid, they can wear away the enamel that helps protect your teeth from sensitivity as well as cavities. Before you use activated charcoal to scrub your teeth you should know that because it is so porous it adheres to whatever is in your stomach including healthy vitamins and nutrients, potentially removing them. There is no scientific evidence to support the use of charcoal, hydrogen peroxide pastes, or oil pulling as teeth whiteners. The best way to keep your teeth white and healthy is to brush twice a day, use an ADA Seal approved whitening toothpaste, floss daily, limit foods that stain your teeth (coffee, tea, and red wine) and don’t smoke or use tobacco. Still looking for a whiter brighter smile? At Dr. Nichols office we offer a variety of safe and effective bleaching systems to choose from even for those with sensitive teeth.

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Do you have bad breath? You are not alone. Many people suffer from bad breath. There are a multitude of things that can be causing your bad breath. While many causes are harmless, bad breath can also be a sign of something serious. Your mouth naturally hosts many bad breath causing bacteria. When you eat, bacteria feed off the food left in your mouth and leave you with a bad taste as well as bad breath. Dry mouth can be another factor since the flow of saliva helps in keeping your mouth clean. If you are constantly experiencing bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, it may be a sign you have gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a sticky cavity causing bacteria called plaque. The food you eat such as garlic, onions, tobacco, and medical conditions, such as acid reflux can also cause bad breath. There is a growing popularity of health and beauty products containing chlorophyll being used by many in the hopes of helping with their bad breath. There isn’t enough scientific evidence proving the medical benefits of using chlorophyll. The use of chlorophyll related products is only masking the problem not addressing the cause. At Dr. Nichols office we recommend brushing and flossing daily as well as scheduling a routine dental check-up!

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Cold and Flu season is upon us! We know how important it is to take care of our bodies while we are sick. It’s equally important to take care of our mouths.  According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours. You should never share your toothbrush with anyone, especially when you are sick. It is not necessary to replace your toothbrush after being sick. Unless your immune system is severely comprised the chances for reinfection is very low. You should however replace your toothbrush if you’ve had it for more than 3-4 months. When choosing cough drops read the labels. Ingredients such as fructose or corn syrup should be avoided. Cough drops with sugar are harmful to your mouth, the longer they linger in your mouth the greater the chances for cavity causing bacteria to do harm to your teeth. Choose sugar free cough drops instead. You may be taking antihistamines, decongestants and pain relievers. It’s important to stay hydrated especially while taking these medications this will help prevent dry mouth, which is not only uncomfortable, but it can put you a greater risk for cavities. The best option for staying hydrated would be water since it contains no sugar. If you are drinking tea try not to add sugar or lemon, the sugar can cause cavities and the lemon is acidic which can cause tooth erosion. Remember healthy body, healthy mouth!

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Sleep Apnea and Snoring

by on August 20, 2019 | Posted in Blog

Today we are finding more and more people being diagnosed with sleep apnea, a serious sleeping disorder which occurs when your regular breathing is interrupted while sleeping. People with sleep apnea usually snore but not all people who snore have Sleep Apnea. There are two main types of sleep apnea. The most common is called obstructive sleep apnea this occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses while sleeping blocking the airflow. Various health factors can contribute to this as well as being overweight. The other type is central sleep apnea which is caused by the brains failure to signal the breathing muscles. This type of sleep apnea can occur if a person has heart failure, brain tumors, brain infections or a stroke. Although sleep apnea affects people of all ages, male or female, it seems men are more likely to develop this disorder. The risk is also greater if you are over 40, overweight, have large tonsils, large tongue, small jaw, a family history of sleep apnea, a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems. Sleep apnea, when left untreated can cause a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, diabetes, depression and worsening of ADHD. Don’t be alarmed. Sleep apnea is treatable. These are a few of the options: Adjusting your sleep habits which can be something as easy as sleeping on your side, continuous positive air pressure from using a CPAP, surgery to remove tonsils, wearing an oral appliance which can shift and support the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. For people who have a mild to moderate case of sleep apnea studies have proven, wearing an oral device while sleeping is very effective in the prevention of sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea Dr Nichols can help! Schedule your appointment today to find out how Dr. Nichols can help you get the sleep you deserve and live a healthy life!

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The first snack most people look for usually when at a party are potato chips. Although potato chips are the first thing we put out when having a party, they are not teeth friendly. Chips when chewed-up stick to the grooves on your teeth, potentially giving cavity causing bacteria a place to eat! We suggest a nice fruit platter with apples and pears as well as a vegetable tray with raw broccoli, carrots, and celery. Not only will guests get that nice crunchiness, but they will benefit orally from these snacks because they act as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing off harmful build-up and stimulating saliva to keep the mouth moist. How about a nice cheese platter? Cheese is not only rich in calcium but its low in sugar and contains phosphorous helping to protect and strengthen tooth enamel. So plan that party, have fun and serve up some nice healthy teeth friendly snacks!

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Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States and second most occurring cancer worldwide? Researchers have discovered a gut microbe that is also found in the mouth associated with gum disease that has been linked to a third of colorectal cancers. Researchers at the Columbia University of Dental Medicine have found oral bacteria, accelerates the growth of colon cancer. This is another reason why it is extremely important to maintain good oral hygiene habits! Healthy mouth, healthy body! Make sure you schedule your routine dental cleaning and check-up, as well as brushing and flossing.

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Eating too many sugary foods such as candy, ice cream, and potato chips not only add to the waistline it can also cause acne breakouts, damage the skins collagen causing wrinkles and cause damage to your teeth. Similar effects have been reported from tobacco use! Men’s Health has recently published an article explaining the effects of excessive sugar consumption and tobacco use, going on to say how these habits may be aging you faster. These sugary foods and drinks, such as soda, along with tobacco use not only stain your teeth but can also damage them. Consuming too much sugar can cause cavities. While using too much tobacco can cause oral cancer! Keeping up with your dental check-ups as well as limiting your sugar consumption and tobacco use will not only help with the aging process it will also help keep your mouth healthy!

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Older Adults and Tooth Loss

by on March 13, 2019 | Posted in Blog

According to the American Dental Association older American adults are keeping their teeth longer. Data collected from a survey done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination was used to assess changes in the loss of teeth with adults ranging in age from 50 and older. The findings showed a decrease in tooth loss by more than 75 percent among adults from 64-74 years old over the past five decades. The data revealed tooth loss among older adults of today in the United States is at its lowest, which means they are keeping more of their natural teeth. This is good news since studies have shown that tooth loss can have an impact on the quality of life, with the likelihood of eating a not so healthy diet. With more teeth present there is an increased need to protect and take care of oral health in turn helping to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease thus improving the overall quality of life. We recommend keeping up with your routine dental cleaning and check-up as well as brushing and flossing to help maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

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Did you know tooth decay is not only the most common disease, but it comes in second to the common cold? Both tooth decay and gum disease can be transferred from one person to another. You should avoid kissing infants and children on the lips since this can potentially transfer bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Sharing eating utensils as well as licking clean your baby’s pacifier should never be done as this encourages the transmission of bacteria! Your Child’s oral health is related to yours. Early detection is extremely important in preventing potential problems. Keeping up with your dental visits, will help ensure optimal dental and oral health for both you and your children. Call Dr. Nichols office today to schedule an appointment and we will help you implement strategies to keep your teeth decay free!

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Acidic Beverages and Your Teeth

by on January 17, 2019 | Posted in Blog

Drinking too many drinks that are acidic can be damaging to your teeth. With so many drink choices it can be hard to determine which ones are good for you. You may be saying, “I’m ok I drink flavored water”. The truth is flavored water can be just as harmful as drinking soda or juices. To determine the acidity, we need to look at the pH, the lower the pH, the more acidic, and the likelier to cause harm and tooth erosion. The American Dental Association recommends minimizing the amount of these drinks we consume, instead the best drink would be plain water. When that thirst kicks in, think healthy teeth and reach for some refreshing water!

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