Tag Archives: oral health

Keep a Healthy Smile This Spring

As the weather warms up, there are some joys of spring that go along with the sunshine. Chances are good that you are getting outside more, becoming more active, and enjoying the seasonal foods of the spring, but are you thinking about how you can keep a healthy smile this season? Check out these tips for making sure your oral health remains a priority through the warmer seasons.

Protect Your Teeth When Playing Sports

Are you looking forward to playing on a softball team this spring? Maybe you are going to be doing some other sports that include physical contact or flying balls. If so, getting a mouthguard is a good idea; it can keep your teeth from breaking if you happen to take a fly ball to the mouth.

Your dentist can fabricate one for you or you can use the “boil and bite” type from any pharmacy. The most important thing is that you wear it when you are on the field.

Watch Your Sweet Tooth

Part of keeping a healthy smile (as well as a healthy body) all year long is moderating your sugar intake. With longer evenings and warmer weather come delicacies of spring such as ice cream and cold soft drinks. While it’s fine to indulge once in a while, try not to make it a frequent habit. Also, be sure to brush well afterward; sugar that sits on teeth can lead to gum disease and dental decay.

Keep Up With Your Oral Hygiene Regimen

The lighter evenings often translate into later nights, and it’s normal to be tired by the time you finally fall into bed. Don’t neglect your dental health routine, however! Keep a healthy smile by being sure to brush and floss before bed. You can also do it after dinner, if you prefer to get it out of the way; just be sure to brush again if you end up having a late-night snack.

Visiting your dentist regularly is another way to make sure you have a healthy smile. Give us a call if you’re due for a cleaning and checkup!

Smoking and Your Oral Health

Do you smoke? If so, you already know that it’s not good for you. Smoking can lead to lung disease, cancer, heart attacks, and a host of other issues. What you might not know is that smoking also wreaks havoc on your oral health. Check out this list of ways smoking impacts your dental health, in case you need more of an incentive to quit.

Smoking Can Cause Staining and Halitosis

On a purely aesthetic level, smoking can cause staining of your teeth. No longer will they be pearly white after you’ve smoked awhile. The tar and the other chemicals will stain your teeth yellowish, brownish, or grayish. You can brush with a whitening toothpaste, but that will go only so far.

Many people who smoke know that smoking also gives them bad breath, also called halitosis. If you smoke and your partner does not, this can be a sticking point in your relationship. Chewing gum and brushing and flossing regularly help somewhat, but you can’t completely hide the smell.

Smoking Can Cause Gum Disease

Inflamed, red, bleeding gums can occur when someone smokes. One reason is that smoking dries out oral tissues, and dried out gums are more susceptible to tiny cuts and cracks that can lead to bacterial infections. As the bacteria and plaque sit in the pockets between your gums and your teeth, they are ready to infiltrate any little cuts, causing the bleeding, sore gums that are the hallmark of gingivitis and periodontitis (both forms of gum disease).

Smoking Can Cause Tooth Loss

As gum disease progresses, the teeth can become loose, eventually falling out. Also, tooth decay tends to be more prevalent in smokers, so broken or decayed teeth may need to be extracted. Smokers are also more prone to dry sockets and other complications following extractions and other types of oral surgery.

Smoking Can Cause Oral Cancer

Finally, in severe cases, both smoking and chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer. If you notice a lesion, sore, or patch in your mouth that doesn’t clear up within two weeks, make an appointment with your dentist right away to be evaluated for oral cancer. This is particularly important if you smoke.

Talk to your doctor about ways that you can quit smoking. You will be adding years onto your life and you might be able to avoid some of the dangers to your oral health and your overall health.