Apple Cider Vinegar: Not for Teeth

ACV

Apple cider vinegar has been all over the news lately — with claimed health benefits ranging from supporting weight loss to lowering blood pressure to improving diabetes. It has also been claimed to whiten teeth. So does it?

We can’t speak to all the claims, but when it comes to teeth, apple cider vinegar is actually a bad idea. According to Dr. Kimberly Johnson, “Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can cause severe erosion of enamel –– which leads to weak enamel, sensitivity, and an increased risk of cavities.”

A way around this is to make sure you never drink it straight but rather, dilute it with at least ten parts water. Questions? Give us a call at 949 640 0300, we’re always happy to talk teeth.

The Worst of the Worst

pumpkinHalloween means candy, there’s really no escaping it. But if you can avoid the worst of the worst, why not? So we’ve compiled a list of the worst offenders. Following are our top five.

Sour candy. Why? Sour candy is actually worse than sweet candy because it has a double punch of sugar AND citric acid, which sticks to your teeth. It also has a high acidity content, and breaks down tooth enamel.

Gummies. Gummy anything is just bad. Why? Simple. They stick to your teeth and hang out there for an extended period of time.

Hard candy. Why? Sucking on hard candy (including lollipops) increases the time it’s in your mouth. Even worse, chewing them can break or crack teeth or damage dental work.

Caramels/taffy. Why? Again, just plain sticky and they end up hanging out in your mouth too long, getting stuck in grooves and cracks, not to mention possibly yanking out a filling.

Pixie Stix. Why? Although they dissolve quickly, they actually contain nothing but sugar, providing bacteria with an enormous feast.

Too white. Too large. Too perfect.

woman smiling teethSometimes perfect isn’t perfect — especially when it comes to teeth.

We’ve all seen them before: the too white, too large, and too perfectly artificial. Teeth that seem to arrive first. Obvious and unfortunate. Chiclets. So what’s to blame? Perhaps it’s the thought that bigger and whiter are better. But when it comes to teeth, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Today’s ideal porcelain veneer is customized and natural looking with subtle flaws that make them look just a bit better than the real thing. The ideal porcelain veneer is not thick, not overly contoured and not opaque in color but rather they’re natural looking, translucent in color, and seamlessly match the rest of your teeth. Created by professional dental ceramists, these natural porcelain veneers provide a balance of white and natural that leave people wondering: did they or didn’t they?

To read more on the subject, check out this interesting NY Times article here. And for more information on natural-looking veneers, call us.

 

sugar free gum: a good thing

Great news for gum chewers: a recent study from the journal PLOS One found that chewing a single piece of gum for just ten minutes can trap up to 100 million bacteria in your mouth –– making the whole process nearly as effective as flossing.

Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands had volunteers chew gum for varying amounts of time. They found the optimal time for trapping bacteria was less than a minute.

So chew away. And keep these two important details in mind: make sure the gum is sugar free and and spit it out in ten minutes or less. Oh –– and don’t give up the brush OR the floss. For more details, see the complete study here.

top ten teeth-damaging foods

Our top ten list of what foods to avoid and why:

1) Hard candy. Why? Constant exposure to sugar is not a good thing.
2) Ice. Why? Chewing on it can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and can also damage enamel.
3) Citrus. Why? Acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time.
4) Coffee. Why? It’s not coffee that’s so bad for you, it’s the sugar that gets added to the coffee.
5) Sticky foods. Why? Sticky foods are damaging as they stay on your teeth longer than other kinds of food.
6) Starchy foods. Why? Foods like chips tend to get trapped in your teeth and cause plaque build up.
7) Soda. Why? It’s basically liquid sugar that breaks down the enamel on your teeth.
8) Alcohol. Why? Alcohol causes dehydration which reduces saliva flow and in turn, can lead to tooth decay.
9) Sports drinks. Why? Sugar is the main ingredient.
10) Gummy anything. Why? They get stuck in your teeth and remain in and around teeth long after they are eaten.

going sonic

Let’s talk toothbrushes. More specifically, sonic toothbrushes. Why sonic? Because they clean in areas that a conventional brush cannot –– like between teeth and below the gum line. They’re also more effective in plaque removal. And because there’s something so easy about them, people tend to brush more and brush longer. The majority of sonic users say that it makes their teeth feel professionally cleaned and that they have better checkups.

Not that we have anything against a traditional, old-fashioned toothbrush. On the contrary, we’re huge fans. But the proof is in the numbers: 300 strokes per minute for an old fashioned toothbrush vs 30,000 strokes per minute for sonic.

Whichever you choose all you really need to remember is this: twice a day for two minutes. Happy brushing.

the skinny on whiter teeth

With an intimidating amount of information out there on teeth whitening, we thought we’d make it simple. All you really need for gorgeous white teeth are three things — two of which come from your dentist:

1) a custom-fitted tray
2) a strong prescription gel (like Zoom or Opalescence)
3) time (15-30 minutes/day)

It’s that simple. And depending on the strength of the gel and the amount of time allotted each day, it can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. With bright white results, of course. If you’re interested, let us know. It’s really as simple as one, two, three –– with the end result being beautiful, clean, healthy, natural-looking teeth.

*Although it’s referred to as teeth whitening, whitening is actually just removing stains to return your teeth to their natural color. Bleaching is changing the natural color of your teeth to a brighter white than they were before.

warmest wishes

our new office

From top to bottom, our office has been remodeled, complete with the most modern state-of -the-art equipment. Many thanks for your patience during the construction. We look forward to seeing you as we continue to provide the highest quality of care in the most comfortable setting.

sticky, sugary & sweet

One trip to the grocery store and it’s clear what season it is.  It’s candy season.  So how to navigate your way through the sugary minefields?   How to skip the really bad stuff and substitute it for the not-so-bad stuff?

Read on for what to get, what to skip, and how to make it through this season of sticky with the least amount of damage possible.

What to skip:
- Gummy candies, caramels, taffy. Why? The candy sticks to the teeth and stays around long after your child has finished it.

- Hard candy like lollipops and suckers. Why? Again, it’s prolonged sugar on your teeth.

- Sour candies like lemon drops or sour patch anything. Why? The high amount of acid breaks down the tooth enamel quickly.

What to get:
- Chocolate. Why? Because of a natural anti-bacterial compound in the cocoa bean which lessens some of the harmful effects of sugar in the mouth, chocolate is (surprisingly) less harmful for teeth than other sugary foods.

The best bet:
- Gum or candy with Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-based sugar that actually helps prevent cavities.

What else:
- Make candy a dessert rather than a between-meal snack. And brush after every sugary run in.