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.
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!
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!