Saratoga Springs Dentist | The Importance of Oral Health Care While Pregnant

Dentist in Saratoga Springs, NY

“212” />Are you or a loved one currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? Congratulations! Since May is the month of Mother’s Day, we wanted to share some vital information.

Pregnant women experience major hormonal changes. For some, the mouth may be affected, causing what is known as “pregnancy periodontal disease.” Even those with great oral hygiene habits can be affected by this inflammation of the gums that causes swelling, tenderness, and sometimes minor bleeding of the gums during brushing or flossing. Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and pre-term low birth weight babies. Before and during pregnancy, it is important to practice optimal oral health.

Pregnant woman may also have increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness, in particular, can cause increased acid exposure in your mouth, which can eat away at the strong, white protective layer called enamel. The American Dental Association recommends that if you are having frequent vomiting from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the stomach acid on your teeth.

While you are pregnant, be sure to continue following great oral hygiene habits and keep your regularly scheduled dental appointments. We may recommend increasing frequency of professional cleanings and exams during your pregnancy to help counter these effects.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns involving your oral health. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Saratoga Springs Dentist | Don’t Let Fear Ruin Your Healthy Smile

Dentist in Saratoga Springs, NY

Have you ever skipped or rescheduled a dental appointment due to fear or anxiety? Does the idea of having dental treatment fill you with dread? Do you worry about pain, embarrassment, or loss of control every time you sit down in a dental examination chair? You are not alone. And even better, we can help.

Most people experience some level of nervousness when going to the dentist. For about 10-20% of people, though, going to the dentist causes such anxiety that they will avoid going much longer than they should, sometimes leaving problems untreated for years. This can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health and self-esteem as well.

So, how does this happen? In most cases, dental fear is caused by either previous bad dental experiences or by indirect experiences, such as witnessing a parent with dental fear avoiding treatment. Once dental fear begins, it can be self-reinforcing and difficult to overcome.

We can help. The first step in overcoming dental fear and regaining your oral health is to let us know that this fear is an issue for you. There are a variety of techniques we can use to help make your visit comfortable and reassuring and to help you feel safe. Dr. Marc Johnson and our whole team are happy to speak with you about your specific concerns and anxieties and help you have more control over your own treatment plan. We will start with short, easy consultation and treatments and progress at the pace that feels right to you. When you feel safe and comfortable, your body is more able to relax during treatments, allowing greater anesthetic effectiveness.

So if dental anxiety has forced you to put off the treatments you need to regain or maintain your healthy smile, give Smiles for Life Dental Care a call and let us show you why we’re known for compassionate, patient-centric dental care.

Saratoga Springs Dentist | Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Dentist in Saratoga Springs, NY

Healthy happy young woman with snow-white smile brushing her teeth with a toothbrush
Brushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
  • The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.

Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Saratoga Springs Dentist | Can Lemon Water Damage Your Teeth?

Dentist in Saratoga Springs

 

Jennifer Aniston, Claudia Schiffer, Beyonce, and Gwyneth Paltrow are just some of the stars who have said they enjoy fresh lemon squeezed into warm water as a healthy drink.  Some people claim that warm lemon water can boost the immune system, aid digestion, and help with weight loss.  But could this drink be damaging to your teeth?

Lemons are a good source of vitamin C but lemon juice is highly acidic and can cause erosion in tooth enamel over time. If you sweeten that lemon water with sugar, you increase the risk of tooth decay as well. So how can you join the lemon water trend without damaging your teeth?

Just follow these tips:

• Brush your teeth before drinking.
• Use juice from a fresh lemon, not the concentrated, commercial lemon juices.
• Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
• Drink it quickly, rather than sipping over a long period of time.
• Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking.
• Wait two hours to brush your teeth after drinking to allow the calcium in your saliva to re-mineralize your teeth.

All acidic beverages have the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth, such as:

• citrus fruits
• fruit juices
• soda, including diet soda
• some wines

To prevent potential damage to your teeth, consume these drinks occasionally instead of daily and follow the tips above whenever possible.

Contact our office to schedule your next preventive dental appointment.

Saratoga Springs Dentist | Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth?

Dentist in Saratoga Springs

Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth? Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion. Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:

Decreased Saliva Flow: Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out. Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay. To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.

Jaw Clenching: Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights. This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth. To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouth guard. These can be purchase at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouth guard for you.

Consuming Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water. The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage. Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay. Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects. If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.

Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.

Saratoga Springs Dentist | Why Regular Dental Care Now Can Save You Big Later

Proper at-home dental care and regular preventive dental visits can help you save money! See below for interesting information comparing the costs of dental care and see how the average person’s at-home care differs from the American Dental Association recommendations.