Category Archives: Blog

Brushing and Flossing

Overview

Brushing is important, but flossing is 40% of cleaning your teeth.
Brushing is important, but flossing is 40% of cleaning your teeth.

Brushing and flossing are primary tools for preventing dental disease (see Gum Disease/Periodontal Disease) and maintaining optimal dental health.  Proper technique is necessary to protect teeth, gums and bone from disease.  Cleaning your teeth should be thought of much like cleaning your body in the shower or in a bath; or simply put, cleaning your mouth.

 

Brushing

She's going to place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth.

She’s going to place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth.

Ineffective brushing, regardless of frequency, does not prevent dental disease. Unless you effectively remove bacteria, or Dental Plaque (also known as biofilm) every time you consume sugar, acid produced by plaque will dissolve teeth, resulting in tooth decay. In addition the dental plaque of gum disease will cause your own body to attack the gums and bone around your teeth resulting in the onset of gum disease (periodontal disease).

 Instructions for brushing with a manual toothbrush:

  1. The toothbrush should not be dragged back and forth over the tooth surfaces; the focus is to concentrate the brush bristles in specific areas long enough to lift and remove dental plaque (a gooey, sticky film of various layers of bacteria).
  2. You need to take your time: three to five minutes is ideal.
  3. Use a mirror and watch what you are doing until you become proficient.
  4. When brushing the upper back teeth on the cheek side, shift your jaw towards the side you are brushing, to make room for the toothbrush to reach half way around the back of the last tooth.  The other half can be reached when you brush the tongue side.
  5. Develop a system that reaches all areas of the teeth (e.g., start at the upper right and work your way around the upper arch to the left, then move to the inside until you finish on the upper  inside). Repeat the process on the lower teeth.
  6. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, bristles under the gum, with your brush handle parallel to the teeth you are cleaning, so the tip of the handle is on the opposite side of your nose.
  7. To effectively brush your front teeth on the inside, place the brush upright and parallel to the  teeth, push either the head or heel of the brush against the teeth and under the gums, and jiggle it in tiny movements. Overlap each area you are cleaning with the previous area to avoid missing  any teeth.
  8. Use a “jiggling” motion as circles tend to get too big, and rolling upward or downward does not clean under the gum line.
  9. Note: right handed people miss the upper right canine (eye tooth); left handed people miss the upper left canines (eye teeth).  When you start brushing on the right molar side (for right handed individuals) and begin to move toward the front of your mouth, turn your head right in order not to miss the right canine. The same holds true for those who are left handed.

Instructions for brushing with a mechanical (‘electric”) toothbrush:

Three points need to be understood about using a mechanical toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush.

  1. The mechanical vibration of this type of brush does all of the “jiggling” for you. The toothbrush is NOT dragged back and forth.
  2. It will clean your teeth better than a manual brush.
  3. The instructions above for overlapping and placement of the brush still need to be followed, as the toothbrush is only as effective as the technique used.

Flossing

The proper technique for flossing.

The proper technique for flossing.

Flossing is perhaps the most misunderstood dental issue. If you are not flossing, bacteria are growing and living between your teeth and under your gums, causing odor, cavities (tooth decay), gum disease (periodontal disease), staining, and bleeding. Why? Though some cleansing foods – such as apples, salads, and meat – have the capability to remove and interrupt the activity of dental plaque; these foods do not get to the bacteria between your teeth and below the gum line. Flossing should be thought of as brushing between teeth as your toothbrush will not reach between them.

This patient is using a floss aid to clean between his teeth.

This patient is using a floss aid to clean between his teeth.

If you find flossing difficult, many different types of floss and flossing aids are available to assist in thoroughly cleaning between your teeth.  Brushing thoroughly, removes all the plaque your brush can reach, but skip flossing, and you miss 40% of tooth surfaces.

Instructions for flossing:

  1. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers; not your pointer fingers. You need your pointer  fingers to control and manipulate the floss.
  2. Seesaw the floss only to get it between your teeth.
  3. Wrap the floss around one of the two teeth you are between in a C shape and rub the side of the tooth two or three times, gently bumping into the gum tissue. Then wrap the adjacent tooth and do the same thing. Do not “seesaw” on the gum tissue.
  4. Remember to floss behind the last tooth in your mouth, as there is a good chance your brush did not reach there.
  5. Flossing is nothing more than cleaning between your teeth where the brush cannot reach. You are washing the sides of the teeth, much like you wash your arm or leg in the shower.

Cleaning Your Tongue

Cleaning your tongue: If you could see the surface of your tongue under a microscope, you would see a 'forest-like' structure where bacteria can live and cause bad breath.

Cleaning your tongue: If you could see the surface of your tongue under a microscope, you would see a ‘forest-like’ structure where bacteria can live and cause bad breath.

Bacterial laque (Dental Plaque) can also grow on the surface of your tongue. Your tongue is covered with tiny projections that can harbor bacterial growth and cause bad breath. Use either a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to remove or reduce bacteria. To be thorough, you should get as far back on the tongue as you can, which can induce some degree of gagging. Most patients develop tolerance to tongue brushing or scraping; though some cannot tolerate even the slightest touch of an object to the back of their tongue.

The Waterpik

Used properly, the waterpik will effectively kill and remove dental plaque under the gum line and between your teeth. As with any tool used to clean your teeth, without proper technique, bacteria will remain and thrive. There are many mouthwashes on the market designed to kill bacteria under the gum line and between teeth that can be used with the waterpik. One of the downsides of these products is the cost. Simply using 1 part bleach to 40-45 parts water in your waterpik will kill bacteria between your teeth.

Instructions for the use of a waterpik

  1. The spray of the waterpik should be pointed between the teeth on both the cheek side and the tongue side because the spray needs to travel between each tooth individually.
  2. The bleach solution is not stable, so it has to be mixed each time you use it.
  3. Although it is cheaper to use bleach, it is caustic and may eventually harm the waterpik, so a capful of antibacterial mouthwash mixed in the water reservoir may be preferable.

Other Tools and Cleaning Aids

There are many over the counter aids developed to help patients thoroughly clean their teeth and mouth.  Many of these items are called “stimulators”, which a misnomer; we’re not trying to stimulate the gum tissue, it will be healthy simply by removing bacteria. Therefore, even though the tool may be called a “stimulator” ask yourself: will it remove the bacteria stuck to my teeth?

Demonstrating one of the uses of the proxibrush.

Demonstrating one of the uses of the proxibrush.

One of the author’s favorite tools for cleaning under bridges and around brackets during treatment with braces is the proxibrush. A cylindrical or pine tree shaped little brush that slips between teeth and under and around tight spaces

Dental Bridges

Overview

This is a porcelain fused to metal bridge; notice the grey metal substructure: these are the areas that are attached to the anchor teeth (retainers).

This is a porcelain fused to metal bridge; notice the grey metal substructure: these are the areas that are attached to the anchor teeth (retainers).

A bridge is a fixed dental restoration (to restore a lost part), cemented into place and not removable by the patient. A bridge restores a gap or a space where a tooth is missing or has been removed. A bridge is created by preparing the teeth at either end of the space for a crown (called a ‘retainer’ on a bridge) and having the laboratory construct an artificial tooth in the middle (called the ‘pontic’ on a bridge); the part of the bridge that replaces your missing tooth is called a pontic. More than one tooth can be replaced with a bridge.

Why do you need a bridge?

A bridge is generally recommended for patients who are going to lose a tooth, have lost a tooth, or didn’t develop the tooth. A bridge is generally the desired replacement when patients don’t want to 1. wait for the healing required for an Implant or 2. have a removable

Partial Denture placed. In other words, the patient wants a permanent, non-removable replacement as soon as possible.

When a tooth is lost and a space is created, adjacent teeth will tip, rotate, and the opposing tooth will drift into the space of the lost tooth; bridges prevent these issues by holding the remaining teeth in place.  Once problems of the lost tooth occur, this creates difficulty in cleansing the mouth (leading to tooth decay and gum disease). Bridges restore proper function, and  chewing of food to the appropriate degree of digestion.

What are the different types of bridges?

All Porcelain

These are all porcelain bridges; there is no metal substructure.

These are all porcelain bridges; there is no metal substructure.

  • All Zirconium: Extremely strong and the best choice for patients who grind their teeth
  • Zirconium: zirconium core with porcelain over the core: very strong; an all zirconium crown: incredibly hard and a good choice for patients who clench and grind their teeth
  • Empress: all porcelain: incredibly beautiful, but can fracture easily and not recommended for dental bridges.

Porcelain fused to metal

  • Porcelain fused to metal: high noble, semi-precious, or base metal

All Metal

  • All metal: high noble, semi-precious, or base metal
A Full Gold Bridge

A Full Gold Bridge

What is a cantilever bridge?

A cantilever (supported at only one end) bridge is designed differently. It replaces a missing tooth when there is no tooth on the other side of the space available to attach it to (as there is with a conventional bridge). Typically, this type of bridge replaces only one tooth. A cantilever bridge attaches to two teeth in front of or behind the space, with an artificial tooth extending off of these two attached crowns replacing the missing tooth.

What is a Maryland bridge?

A Maryland bridge is a single tooth replacement with “wings” on either side of the replacement tooth. The wings are bonded into place on the back side of the teeth on either side of the space where the replacement tooth fits. Although this type of bridge has fallen out of favor, there are still many Maryland bridges in use and functioning perfectly today.

Please note: Many patients are under the impression that once a crown or a bridge is placed, the tooth can no longer decay. This could not be further from the truth; these restorations are attached to real teeth and, without good home tooth care can decay around the margins where the crown or bridge is attached to the teeth. This requires flossing under your bridge every day to remove bacterial plaque. Practice great home tooth care and protect the investment you have made in your bridge, teeth and yourself.

Braces (Orthodontics)

Overview

A healthy smile during orthodontic treatment.

A healthy smile during orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that treats misalignment (malocclusion) due to crooked teeth and/or improper jaw positioning. Ortho- means “straight” and dontics means “teeth” or, in this case, “the straightening of teeth.”

Most patients think that getting “braces” is only about straight teeth and a nicer smile. Treatment with braces corrects the proper position of the teeth and protects against excessive wear and tear found when teeth are in the wrong position. So braces create not only a nicer smile, but better function and contribute to greater overall dental health.

Many general dentists practice orthodontics, though complicated cases are usually treated by a specialist who has received a master’s degree in orthodontics: 2-4 additional years of education beyond dental school, depending on the program.

How Does it Work and Why is it Important?

The straightening of your teeth can involve anything from simple, minor tooth movement to complicated tooth movement and surgery. Tooth movement takes place when force is applied to a tooth that breaks down bone in the direction of the movement and builds up bone on the other side of your tooth. Surgery can realign and improve the relationship of the upper and lower jaw.

The proper relationship between your upper and lower teeth helps determine how well you can chew food without excessive wear and tear to the teeth.  Since digestion of food begins in your mouth, proper alignment of your teeth plays an important role in overall health.

What are the different kinds of braces?

  1. Movement with a retainer: For minor tooth movement that will not affect any other teeth. This treatment is predominately done to make simple changes to one or two teeth.
  2. Brackets/arch wires: Used for varying lengths of time, depending on the treatment plan, brackets are made of plastic, metal or ceramic material and bonded to your teeth. The arch wire is attached to the brackets, with various bends in the wire to place directional forces on your teeth. This type of treatment can include a number of other devices to help with desired tooth movements or facial growth alteration. These devices include:
    A type of headgear used in treatment with braces.

    A type of headgear used in treatment with braces.

    • headgear: stops or slows the growth of the upper jaw
    • face mask or reverse pull headgear: pulls the upper jaw forward
    • expansion appliances: correct a “cross-bite” or expansion of the upper jaw
    • power chains: place directional force on your teeth
    • rubber bands: place directional force on your teeth
  3. Invisible braces: Consist of a series of clear trays that are worn continuously with the exception of when you clean your teeth and during meals. There are “buttons,” or bumps, of composite filling material that are bonded to various places on your teeth (and removed at the end of treatment) to help create the force needed to move your teeth when the trays are worn.
Young patient with colorful "bracket ties" that can be changed with the seasons, high school colors or holidays!

Young patient with colorful “bracket ties” that can be changed with the seasons, high school colors or holidays!

"Invisible" braces appear as clear plastic trays. There are removable plastic "bumps" placed on teeth and the tray places force on the "bumps" and moves the teeth in the desired direction.

“Invisible” braces appear as clear plastic trays. There are removable plastic “bumps” placed on teeth and the tray places force on the “bumps” and moves the teeth in the desired direction.

Conventional "braces". Note the pink, healthy gum tissue, indicating great home care.

Conventional “braces”. Note the pink, healthy gum tissue, indicating great home care.

The treatments above can also involve a process called “stripping,” a process of creating space where your teeth are crowded. It is done by removing a fraction of enamel from both sides of your tooth or teeth to create space for aligning your teeth. This process is dependent on the thickness of your enamel, which is different for everyone.

How do you know what kind of treatment is necessary?

Patients who are referred to an orthodontic office often have an initial visit, as a type of consultation that allows both the patient and the orthodontist to discuss expectations, risks, benefits, and alternatives. Most orthodontists do not charge for this visit.

Once a patient has made the decision to move forward with treatment, records are gathered and a definitive treatment plan is established. These records include:

  • x-rays of various types; treatment for children involves x-rays to determine growth patterns and adults to measure the relationship between the upper and lower jaws.
  • tooth models/measurements
  • NOTE: all decay and gum disease needs to be treated prior to beginning orthodontic treatment.

What are the different kinds of orthodontic treatment?

The different courses of treatment include the following:

  • Minor tooth movement
  • Full orthodontic treatment
  • Full orthodontic treatment with jaw surgery
  • Initial retention  phase: Once orthodontic treatment is complete and brackets are removed, there is a stage when the movement must be retained while the bone and ligaments around the teeth return to a stable state. The continuous use (except while eating, brushing or flossing) reduces the chance of relapse or tooth movement back to an undesirable position. This phase can last 2-3 years, depending on the orthodontist’s recommendations.
  • Long-term retention: Today the retention  is usually a permanent situation.  After the initial phase,  patients are now encouraged to wear their retainer at night indefinitely.

Teeth move when any of a variety of devices are used to exert force on the teeth. One of the newer improvements to orthodontic treatment is the use of a computerized robot to bend the arch wires. When the arch wires are bent by a human, the desired movement occurs, but that movement is usually accompanied by an additional, undesired movement that then has to be corrected. When arch wires are bent by a computer, undesirable movement is diminished and orthodontic treatment is significantly shortened.

What is jaw surgery and why is it necessary?

Jaw surgery may be required when the upper and lower jaw develop into a less-than-desirable alignment.

For example: An 18-year-old female with a history of a cross-bite in her baby tooth stage (when the individual bites together the back lower teeth are outside the upper teeth; the proper relationship is the lower teeth tucked inside the upper teeth) on only one side of her mouth. Because this was not corrected in childhood, the side of her jaw with the cross-bite grew longer than the opposite side. Furthermore, she was a tongue thruster (when she swallowed, she protruded her tongue out between her teeth) and her upper teeth touched her lower teeth on two back teeth only; none of her other teeth touched when she bit together.

This patient required full mouth brackets/braces for 2.5 years, with her treatment finalized by both upper and lower jaw surgery. The surgical team tipped her upper jaw down in front and cut a section through her lower jaw and slid it back so that her jaw would be the same length from the middle of her chin back to her earlobes, right to left.

Success or failure?

Some patients prefer clear plastic brackets instead of metal brackets because the "braces" are less noticeable.

Some patients prefer clear plastic brackets instead of metal brackets because the “braces” are less noticeable.

Probably the largest determination of success or failure of orthodontic treatment is patient cooperation. Do the patients make all of their scheduled appointments? Is their at home care well maintained? Are they wearing their headgear and/or rubber bands? Are they watching what they eat to avoid breaking brackets and arch wires? Are they seeing their regular dentist to prevent tooth decay and gum disease?

These are the largest obstacles to the positive outcome of orthodontics. Commitment and cooperation are the keys to success in creating a beautiful smile and appropriate function through orthodontic treatment!

Overview

If someone tells you about your bad breath, it can be embarrassing!

If someone tells you about your bad breath, it can be embarrassing!

Bad breath, or halitosis (pronounced hal-it-toe-sis), can be a temporary condition or a long-term problem that causes anxiety and embarrassment: anxiety if it becomes an ongoing battle and embarrassment if someone suddenly tells you, “You might want to brush your teeth.”

There are a number of causes of bad breath, including, but not limited to:

  • Absent or sloppy home dental care
  • Eating onions, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and/or medications
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Dentures and partials that have not been properly cleaned
  • Tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco
  • Dry mouth associated with medications
  • Dry mouth associated with systemic problems

How do I treat bad breath?

One of the most common causes of bad breath is the accumulation of bacterial plaque and decomposing food between your teeth and on your tongue. The first line of defense against bad breath is brushing (including your tongue) and flossing. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash temporarily reduces the numbers of bacteria available to colonize on your teeth and can be a helpful tool against bad breath.

Avoiding foods that create halitosis can combat bad breath, as there is nothing that can permanently cover the breath smell of onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol, except time. During digestion, elements of these foods exit your body via your lungs; your breath will be plagued with these odors until your body eliminates them.

Regular visits to your dentist for a thorough and complete periodontal exam will reduce your chance of bad breath. Many of the bacteria that lead to gum disease are the type that produce gas with foul taste and odor as a byproduct of their metabolism. One of the first signs of progressive gum disease is a bad taste and bad breath. Control of this disease is your best defense against the odor causing bacteria.

Tooth decay can cause bad breath and can remedied by completing treatment recommended by your dentist. Replacement of defective fillings and placement of necessary crowns will repair defective margins and fractured teeth where greater numbers of bacteria can colonize. Eliminate these problems and create a healthier environment and fresher breath.

Partials and dentures should be removed daily and thoroughly cleaned with a denture cleaner (not toothpaste) to prevent bad breath. Patients with partials need to thoroughly clean the remaining teeth, especially those teeth that retain or hold the partial in place. Dentures and partials should be left out during sleep to expose the soft tissue under the appliance to the cleansing action of saliva and to allow the compressed tissue to relax.

Eliminate the use of tobacco. Tobacco in any form, and especially over long periods of time, will cause bad breath. Regular, professional cleanings and good home care will go a long way to curb the bad breath that comes from a smoker’s or chewer’s mouth; chronic smoking carries with it odor from your lungs that can manifest as bad breath. Cessation of smoking is the best way to eliminate the bad breathe associated with tobacco use. It is important to keep in mind that bad breath is the most minor problem associated with tobacco use.

A dry mouth, or xerostomia (pronounced zair-oh-stow-me-ah), is a condition that can lead to bad breath. A dry mouth invites the growth of certain bacteria.  There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of medications (both prescribed and OTC) that can cause dry mouth; these include, but may not be limited to:

  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heart medications
  • Antihistamines/decongestants
  • Pain medication
  • Incontinence medications
  • Muscle relaxers

There are also several systemic conditions that can cause dry mouth; these include, but may not be limited to:

  • Chronic stress/anxiety
  • Radiation to the head and neck for cancer treatment
  • Diseases of the salivary glands
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Diseases of the endocrine system
  • Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy/menopause

Discuss your systemic condition and medications with your physician. Because medications are designed to improve health and quality of life, and many systemic disorders carry with them larger threats than a dry mouth. Treatment with artificial saliva could possibly help curb dental complications. It goes without saying that stringent home care habits are critical.

Saliva is necessary for washing down food, neutralizing acid, beginning digestion, and repairing enamel in the initial stages of tooth decay. Soft tissue in the mouth is designed to stay moist, and when it dries out, it becomes more susceptible to infection. A dry mouth can interrupt the natural oral bacteria, causing yeast and fungus to infect the mouth. Over-the-counter solutions can be used as often as necessary, and increased fluid consumption may help keep your mouth moist.

Sugar-free mints and/or gum with xylitol (zy-luh-tahl) can stimulate increased salivary flow and help curb bad breath. Avoid natural diuretics, such as alcohol and caffeine, which slow salivary flow. Avoid gum or mints containing sugar.  Sugar promotes tooth decay faster in a dry mouth because less saliva means less neutralizing of the acid produced by bacteria.

Air Abrasion

Overview

Although not used much today, air abrasion is an alternative to the dental “drill”.  It is used to prepare teeth for the placement of white fillings (composites) and sealants.

What is air abrasion?

Air abrasion involves the use of compressed air to direct an abrasive material (aluminum oxide powder, for example) at the surface of teeth to remove Cavities /Tooth Decay or to widen the tooth grooves for the placement of sealants. Although dental air abrasion has existed since the 1940s, it was not until white fillings became popular that it became more useful. In the 1940s, the only filling materials available were silver (amalgam) and gold foil. Both materials require special preparation of the tooth to hold the filling in place.

Silver fillings (amalgam), require the tooth be prepared with mechanical retention such as an undercut; this holds the filling in the tooth over years of use. Air abrasion is not used to prepare a tooth for a silver filling because it cannot accurately place the mechanical retention needed to hold the filling in place.

With the introduction of white fillings (composites or bonded dentistry) fillings no longer require the increased removal of tooth structure (as in the placement of mechanical retention) to make the filling stay in place because the filling is chemically bonded to the tooth. As a result, air abrasion is now primarily used to remove just enough tooth structure to eliminate decay or to gently widen deep grooves in order to chemically bond a filling or sealant material to the tooth.

Benefits of dental air abrasion

  1. An absence of noise, water spray, and vibration.
  2. No “burning smell” sometimes sensed with a tooth drilling process.
  3. If used properly, there is no need for anesthesia, or the “shot.”
  4. It allows for conservative removal of tooth decay.
  5. It does a very good job of removing old white fillings that need to be replaced.

Limitations of dental air abrasion

  1. The use of a rubber dam may be necessary; air abrasion blows powder all over the mouth and the dental professional needs to be sure the other teeth are not abraded during the dental procedure.
  2. It does not work to remove silver fillings.
  3. If a silver filling is desired by the patient, air abrasion cannot be used because the dental “drill” is needed to make the precise undercuts required to hold the filling in place
  4. Dental air abrasion is messy.
  5. With the advent of dental lasers, air abrasion may become obsolete.

Acid Erosion

Overview

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Many healthy foods cause acid erosion in teeth.

Acid erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structure ( predominately enamel) due acid exposure from sources other than the acid produced by bacteria. Acid erosion can occur with exposure to a pH at or under 5. Dental acid erosion, although common, has only recently  been recognized as a dental health problem.

Causes of acid erosion:

  1. strawberries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruit
  2. coffee
  3. fruit juices
  4. wine
  5. beer
  6. soft drinks (check the label: one of the predominate ingredients is phosphoric acid)
  7. carbonated water
  8. energy drinks
  9. gastric acids (exposure from bulimia or acid reflux)

Signs of acid erosion:

  1. Teeth appear to have smooth surface texture; healthy teeth have texture on the surface of enamel.
  2. Deeper spaces between teeth appear that catch food more readily.
  3. Flattened cusp tips that appear scooped out (see Parts of a Tooth).
  4. The edges of the front teeth appear transparent.
  5. The teeth appear darker (as enamel thins during the erosion process, the darker color of dentin gives the tooth a darker color.)
  6. Fillings appear as if they are standing out above the tooth;  as enamel wears, the filling will not wear (especially silver fillings) and appears as if it is standing out above the tooth.
  7. Teeth appear shorter (teeth start to wear and appear wider than they are long).
  8. Sensitivity: enamel has no feeling and as enamel thins, the sensitive dentin can react to hot, cold and sweets.
  9. Teeth that fracture or crack more easily can be attributed to acid erosion.
  10. Decay can move more rapidly through enamel once it is thinned; decay spreads once it reaches the under substructure called dentin.

Contributing factors to acid erosion

  1. Clenching and Grinding your Teeth (Bruxism) – softened enamel will wear faster when combined with grinding or clenching your teeth
  2. Brushing: when using a hard or medium toothbrush (or aggressive brushing with a soft toothbrush)
  3. Continuous consumption of acidic foods and drinks throughout the day
  4. Habitual swishing of acidic liquids

Prevention of acid erosion

  1. Rinse with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages.
  2. Use remineralizing agents to replace lost minerals from the enamel; these are found in the form of toothpastes, mouthwashes, fluoride products and professional fluoride treatments.
  3. Drink acidic beverages through a straw.
  4. Seek medical attention for the underlying conditions of reflux disease, anorexia or bulimia.
  5. Avoid continuous consumption of acidic foods without rinsing to dilute the acid.

The Mouth/Body Connection

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Healthy, however acidic foods.

Although some healthy foods cause acid erosion, the problem is manageable in order to preserve the integrity of the dentition.  The teeth are an integral part of overall health, so their preservation is critical.  Digestion begins in the mouth with the pre-digestion of fats and carbohydrates.  If we are unable to properly chew our foods and send that food to the stomach in the proper state of digestion, health can be compromised.  Many individuals think of teeth as only a smile, however teeth are much more than just a smile.  The primary role of teeth is to begin digestion through proper chewing and emulsification of foods.