ONE OF LIFE’S CRUELEST ironies is that so many of the foods and drinks we enjoy the most aren’t good for us at all. Naturally, as dental professionals, we’re particularly concerned about the ones that are bad for our teeth. Continue reading to get a heads up about the three drinks that have the worst impact on oral health.
Two of the most harmful things for our teeth are sugar and acid, and carbonated beverages are full of both. Sugar is harmful because the bad bacteria in our mouths eat it and excrete acid on our teeth, and when we drink something acidic, we’re essentially cutting out the middle man and applying the acid to our teeth ourselves. Tooth enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5, and soft drinks range in acidity from RC Cola at a pH of 2.32 to Canada Dry Club Soda at 5.24. Even diet soda isn’t much less acidic than its sugar-loaded counterpart.
2. Sports Drinks
We all enjoy a refreshing drink to go along with a hard workout, but those sports drinks we use to replenish our electrolytes have a down side. Like soda, they are often full of sugar and highly acidic. One study showed that lemon-lime Gatorade dissolved the most tooth enamel compared to any other drink, including Coke.
3. Fruit Juice
By this point, you probably already know what we’re going to say. Fruit is a very healthy snack and can even be good for your teeth, but when we drink the juice on its own, we’re bathing our teeth in the sugar and acid content of many servings of fruit, without the filter of whole fruit’s healthy fiber. In the end, it’s not much better for our teeth than soda.
Honorable Mentions: Coffee, Black Tea, And Alcohol
Soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice aren’t the only drinks that are bad for our teeth. Coffee, black tea, and alcohol are too, particularly the dark ones, which can leave stains. We also tend to add sugar to our coffee and tea, and alcohol can dry out the mouth, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria.
Keeping Our Teeth Healthy
While we aren’t going to insist that our patients give up these drinks forever, we definitely recommend cutting back and counteracting the negative effects by drinking more water, maintaining good oral hygiene habits, and scheduling regular dental appointments.
If you are looking for orthodontic care in the Sioux Falls area, give our office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Wermerson!
We love our patients’ smiles!
IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE diabetes and oral health have little to do with each other, but this is unfortunately not the case. One of the most common effects of diabetes is, in fact, gum disease, and the two conditions can actually make each other harder to deal with. This is why we want to make sure all of our patients have the information they need about the relationship between diabetes and oral health problems.
The Basics Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body makes and uses insulin, a crucial hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. When the pancreas can’t produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body can’t use it properly (type 2 and gestational diabetes), this leads to hyperglycemia. What does this mean for the teeth and gums? Well, high blood sugar both weakens the immune system and feeds bad oral bacteria, leaving diabetics vulnerable to oral inflammation and decay.
How Diabetes Affects Oral Health
By this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 22 percent of diabetics suffer from gum disease, ranging from gingivitis (inflammation) to periodontitis (advanced gum disease), which threatens the health of the teeth, gums, and even the underlying bone. Bacteria from gum disease can also endanger overall health if it reaches the bloodstream, making blood sugar even harder to regulate.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, gum recession, bad breath, and loosened teeth. Another diabetic symptom that increases the risk of developing gum disease is dry mouth, because saliva is crucial for regulating the mouth’s pH and washing away bacteria and food particles.
While we’re focusing on gum disease, uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a variety of other oral health problems, including dry mouth, impaired or slower healing, burning mouth syndrome, salivary gland enlargement, more frequent and severe infections, and fungal infections.
Fighting Back Against Diabetes
The good news for our patients who struggle with diabetes is that good oral health is still within your grasp, and keeping your mouth healthy will also make your diabetes easier to control! By brushing twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, avoiding smoking, and being careful with your sugar intake, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The Role Of The Dentist
Just as crucial as your brushing and flossing routine is making regular trips to the dentist, and that might mean more than the standard two appointments a year. To play it safe, we recommend three or four yearly visits for diabetic patients. It is also essential that your doctor and your dental health care provider have the right information to be able to work as a team to keep you, your teeth, and your gums healthy.
Weremerson Orthodontics is here to help you in your fight for good oral health! Ask us about a complimentary orthodontic consultation with Dr. Wermerson, in Sioux Falls, today!
Dr. Wermerson from Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls would like to know what you think of when you hear the word orthodontics? You probably picture metal wires and brackets with colorful elastics, right? But how familiar are you with some of the other orthodontic appliances available? There are quite a few of them, and they all play important roles in building healthy, properly aligned smiles. For now, we’ll just take a look at some of the most common ones.
For severe cases of overbite, underbite, or crowding, headgear may be needed. Often, the patient will not need to wear the headgear 24 hours a day, but it is crucial to wear it exactly as directed by the orthodontistin order to get good results. The greatest advantage of headgear is that, for many patients, it makes jaw surgery unnecessary.
Sometimes the upper jaw develops too narrow, leaving the upper teeth crowded, making it harder to breathe through the nose, and often creating a crossbite with the bottom teeth. A palatal expander gently and gradually widens the upper arch to correct these problems. Crowding of the bottom teeth can also be corrected with an expander, but it works differently. Instead of widening the jaw, a lower expander pushes the teeth into an upright position (if they are tipped inward) or flares them slightly to create more room.
Space Maintainers And Holding Arches
When a child loses a tooth that wasn’t ready to come out on its own due to an injury or tooth decay, a space maintainer can keep the gap open so the adult tooth will have room to come in. Maintainers can be cemented in place or removable. When a child loses multiple teeth too early, it may be necessary to use a holding arch, which will keep enough space between the front teeth and the molars for new teeth to grow in.
Your Treatment Is Tailor-Made For You
No two orthodontic patients are the same, which means that no two treatment plans are the same. When you come to our practice, we will develop a treatment plan to give you the best result in the most effective timeline, and we will use the appliances that will do the most for your smile. If you haven’t already scheduled your initial consultation, give us a call or drop by today!
Our patients have the most beautiful smiles!
We all love eating our favorite candy from time to time, especially around Halloween. But those treats can get tricky for orthodontic patients, because many of the standard goodies are harmful to braces. So how can you safely enjoy your spooky night of fun and sweets? We at Wermerson Orthodontics, in Sioux Falls, have listed some guidelines of what to aim for and what to avoid in the trick-or-treat bowls around your neighborhood.
Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats
The good news is that chocolate is safe! Any type of soft chocolate, from a bar to a peanut butter cup, is perfectly fine to eat with braces. But soft is the keyword there. Hard or large pieces of chocolate could still pose a danger to orthodontic equipment, and you should avoid chocolate with hard pieces of toffee embedded in it.
Cookies and brownies are another safe option for braces-wearers, so make sure you pay a visit to the house that always hands out baked goods this year! Again, softness is key. If someone gives you a hard cookie, give it a good long soak in cold milk before biting into it.
While whole caramel apples are firmly on the banned list, you can take that caramel apple home and chop it into slices. After that, it won’t pose a threat to your braces. Even better, apples are much healthier for your teeth than all that candy, so you can enjoy something both delicious and good for you!
Hard candies are okay, but there’s a catch: no chewing allowed. If you have the patience to be able to suck on it until it dissolves, a hard candy is safe. However, just because they’re safe for braces doesn’t make them great for your teeth, so we still recommend sticking to the other options.
Treats To Trade To Your No-Braces Friends
No matter how much you love them, there are some treats and candies that are definitely off-limits if you have braces. Anything hard, gummy, chewy, or sticky can put brackets and wires at risk. That means no taffy, gummies, caramels, toffee, popcorn, jelly beans, Tootsie Rolls, or Starbursts, and absolutely no gum. Any of these can pop or pull a bracket right off a tooth. It’s also important to avoid candies like M&Ms or Skittles, because their small size makes it easy for them to get into the wrong place and pop a bracket loose. If you do end up with a bag full of banned treats, just trade those away to a friend or sibling without braces until your Halloween haul is all orthodontist-approved!
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Teeth!
The most important thing to remember after your night of fun and tasty treats is to take care of your teeth and your braces, because many of the treats that are safe to eat can still lead to tooth decay without proper attention to dental hygiene. So make sure to brush and floss away all traces of that sugary deliciousness. We’ll be checking the next time we see you that you’ve been keeping up with your braces cleaning routine!
Keep making wise choices to keep your braces safe!
CLEANING OUR TEETH IS a critical task that we should all be doing twice a day. For people with braces, good oral hygiene is even more important, but it can also be more complicated because of all those extra crevices and places where food particles, bacteria, and plaque can hide. Slacking off on brushing and flossing can result in tooth decay and unsightly stains when the braces come off. But don’t fret, because we’re here to give you some tips on keeping your teeth clean while those braces are on!
3 Teeth Cleaning Tips
Here are three important things to remember for your oral hygiene routine while your braces are on:
- Brush after every meal. Food gets stuck between brackets very easily, and it’s important to clean it out so that oral bacteria don’t have a chance to enjoy your leftovers. If a normal toothbrush doesn’t do the job, you can use interdental brushes to reach those tight spots.
- Floss daily. Flossing is definitely more complicated when you have braces, but don’t let that stop you! You can make the process easier with floss threaders, or you could even use a water flosser. These are more expensive than floss, but they are much easier to use, even for people without braces!
- Avoid whitening products. We all want our smiles to be shiny and white, but using whitening products while the braces are on can lead to discolored patches where the brackets were after the braces are removed. Make sure to only buy toothpaste and mouthwash without whitening chemicals in them until your treatment is over!
You Don’t Have To Do This Alone
If you have any questions about how to keep your braces clean, just ask us the next time you come in! Wermerson Orthodontics in Sioux Falls wants to make sure you have the smile of your dreams when your braces are removed, and good oral hygiene is just as important as getting those teeth properly aligned. And when you get your braces off, if you keep up your good brushing and flossing habits, you’ll be able to enjoy that healthy, straight smile for life!
Keep sharing that smile with everyone around you!
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