Need a Root Canal? Here’s What You Can Expect

Toothaches can be quite uncomfortable. Nobody can deny this. The best way to deal with dental pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Mott can help keep your teeth and gums clean, healthy, and pain-free. We realize, however, that sometimes things happen and tooth pain is inevitable.

There are times when a root canal is the best possible course of treatment for particular dental ailments. Root canals have a history of being one of the most vilified dental procedures of all-time. There are so many joke and stories swirling around about root canals that people tend to avoid them altogether unless their dental issues prove so excruciating that they are forced to face their fears.

But, are root canals really so scary? Is there any truth to the stories people tell about them? We’re here today to solve that mystery and put your mind at ease once and for all concerning root canals. Let’s get started…

Before building up huge amounts of anxiety about whether or not you need a root canal, let’s discuss some of the times dentists opt to perform this procedure.

Reasons You May Need a Root Canal

Root canals become necessary when the natural cavity surrounded by pulp within one’s tooth where the nerve resides becomes infected. When a bacterial infection attacks this cavity, the bacteria in question produce a gas that exerts pressure upon the tooth’s nerve. It is because of this pressure that pain manifests.

Some people have been known to struggle with additional symptoms such swelling of the face and neck. The excruciating pain resulting from these infections isn’t always immediate. Most people first struggle with mild levels of discomfort which manifest whenever they are eating or drinking.

Rather than waiting for the pain to emerge, such problems can be identified using an X-ray, at which point you could come in to see Dr. Mott and seek treatment.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The term refers to a dental procedure during which the nerve of a tooth (and the pulp surrounding it) are removed. As scary as it may sound, this procedure will not affect the health of your tooth. The nerve and the pulp in your cavity only exist to fulfill sensory purposes. This nerve is the reason you can feel hot and cold temperatures around your teeth. Removing the nerve will do little to affect the health of your tooth.

The Procedure

Root canals are relatively straightforward procedures. Before one is performed, an X-ray must be carried out to identify the problem and determine the extent of the damage. Once the actual procedure begins, the area around the tooth in question is numbed.

A hole is then drilled into the tooth, providing access to the nerve and pulp which is then removed, along with any decayed tissue. The cavity of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. It is that simple.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Sometimes, the root canal cannot be completed on the same day, in which case the hole in the tooth is covered using temporary filling until the next appointment.
Root canals are almost always a success and are generally painless. People who complain about the pain of a root canal are usually talking about the discomfort they were dealing with before they sought the dental care to relieve the pain. When performed by an experienced professional such as Dr. Mott, root canals will relieve pain and restore your mouth to its original pain-free condition.

Dr. Chris A. Mott is a highly-experienced and well-respected dentist serving the Shreveport and Bossier areas. If you feel you may be in need of a root canal or just need a cleaning or checkup, please feel free to call our office and set up an appointment. We would love to welcome you into the Mott dental family.

water fluoridation

What You Should Know About Water Fluoridation

Using fluoride in drinking water has been debated since its first use in US more than 50 years ago. This issue has resurfaced after Portland, Oregon decided to implement water fluoridation back in 2014. Before this time, Portland was the only large city in USA not having fluoride in their drinking water. What exactly is fluoride, and how much of it is contained in the water that comes out of the tap? Here are some facts about water fluoridation that you should know.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and it is known to strengthen the tooth enamel as well as prevent dental cavities.

Why is fluoride routinely added to public water supplies?

Almost all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride but its level is too low to effectively prevent the teeth from decaying. Over 70 years ago, scientists began to perform tests in order to find out if adjusting the concentration of fluoride in water would enhance the general oral hygiene of the society. This project was referred to as community water fluoridation.

In the 1930s, it was noted that the severity and occurrence of tooth decay was much lower among people whose water contained higher level of natural fluoride which made other cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan to start adding fluoride to their water supply. Today, over 204 million people in the United States of America alone live in places where fluoride is added in the water supply.

How safe and effective is water fluoridation?

According to research, fluoride has been proven to reduce tooth decay by about 25% and water fluoridation is named among the 10 greatest public health inventions of the 20th century. The sources of fluoride have also increased to include certain dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste, professionally applied fluoride products like gels and varnish, and prescription fluoride supplements. In the year 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the level of fluoride in the water supply be lowered to 0.7mg per liter of water. Previously, the fluoride content ranged from 0.7mg-1.2mg per liter of water.

After a careful study of the communities whose water supply was fluoridated, it can be stated that indeed fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Argument Against Fluoridation

Though most of the water supplies in the USA are fluoridated, the risks and benefits of having fluoridated water are still debated.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

There has been an argument where critics states that adding fluoride to water can lead to certain health conditions, the most common one being dental fluorosis; a condition that is caused by intake of excess fluoride. It leads to teeth discoloration and

streaks on the teeth. Other studies suggest that there is a link between brain damage, fractures, cancer and fluoride though no clear connection has been found.

According to Dr. Chris Mott, a downtown Shreveport dentist, the recommended amount of fluoride should provide an adequate level of mineral salt that helps to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults as well as minimize dental fluorosis. If you have any questions concerning water fluoridation and dental health, please contact our office. Dr. Mott would be more than happy to discuss this issue with you further.

cavities

These 5 Factors Can Put You at a Higher Risk for Cavities

Cavities are areas of a tooth that have decayed because of the work of certain bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is commonly associated with eating sugary foods, there are other conditions that can increase the possibility of tooth decay. Here are five important factors that can put you at a greater risk of having cavities.

1. Oral Bacteria

Generally, cavities occur when certain strains of bacteria accumulate on your tooth and feed on remnants of the sugar and carbohydrates that you eat. This process creates acids which react with the calcium-based enamel covering of the teeth and create porous areas which eventually become cavities. The volume of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth is one of most prominent factors that determines how fast you can develop cavities in your teeth.

2. Your Diet

The bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar or carbohydrates to stay alive and multiply. Similarly, acidic foods and drinks can react with the calcium in the enamel and erode it. Increasing the level of acidity in the mouth can also make it more difficult for the saliva to restore the pH balance in the mouth. Reducing the consumption of sweets, chocolates and other sugary foods that leave residues on the teeth as well as acidic drinks can help to control the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

3. The Level of Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth correctly early in the morning and just before going to bed would reduce the risk of having cavities. Brushing and flossing dislodges trapped food particles and the plaque developed by oral bacteria. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing it can form a much harder and thicker substance called tartar. Removing tartar usually requires the help of a dentist. In addition, it is important to change your toothbrush regularly and use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Dentists recommend that you change out your toothbrush at least once every three months.

4. Dryness in the Mouth

A dry mouth can make the mouth cavity more acidic and promote tooth decay. Dryness in the mouth is frequently caused by inadequate flow of saliva. It may also be due to the use of medications and chemotherapy. However, when the saliva in the mouth is adequate, the minerals in it can neutralize the effect of excess acidity and even help to rebuild the enamel. To reduce dryness in the mouth, you should drink more water or use a mouth rinse with enamel-fortifying ingredients.

Dr. Chris A Mott

Dr. Chris A Mott

5. The Shape of Your Teeth

In many cases, tooth decay and cavities develop more in the large teeth at the back of the mouth. The premolars and molars are more prone to decay because of the tiny irregularities on their biting surface. These areas normally trap sugar, fiber and leftover food that serves as nutrition for bacteria. That is why it is very important to spend more time brushing the biting surface using a toothbrush with medium-hard bristles. However, the size of the fissures on these teeth differ based on genetics.

These are some of the most critical factors that increase the possibility of developing cavities and tooth decay. With proper dental care, you can reduce the impact of these risk factors and keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not you or your children may be more prone to cavities, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Smiling boxer dog

Is Brushing Important for Your Dog?

Getting yourself to the dentist is always a hassle, but what about your pups? If you have perfect teeth and want to share your oral hygiene routine with someone, you can start in your own home! Your dog, once fully grown, will have 42 teeth which makes their mouths just as susceptible to plaque and dental wear as you are! So it’s time to get down and dirty with your dog.

Smiling dogDog’s Need a Toothbrush, Too!

Without proper brushing, a dog’s teeth can build up plaque which can cause bad breath. In addition, this can result in gum disease and even tooth decay for your pup. It’s important that you brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least routinely once or twice a week to prevent bacteria buildup.

You don’t necessarily have to use a fancy dog toothbrush, but it can be helpful if your dog isn’t fond of brushing time. If you have smaller dogs, you can use finger brushes, which fit perfectly in their tiny mouths. If you have a big dog, you can consider using brushes that have longer handles to make sure you get all of the teeth cleaned without shoving your entire hand in its mouth.

Always Use Dog Specific Toothpaste

Definitely do not use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The ingredients in the toothpaste we use can be deadly to your dog if ingested in large amounts. Even if you use a little bit of your regular toothpaste, your dog could experience serious discomfort or stomach issues.

You can find dog specific toothpastes at your local pet stores. They come in many flavors, from mint to chicken, that you can choose from! Picking your dog’s favorite flavor can really help in the brushing process as it makes it easier to keep them still while you brush.

Get to Brushing!

Husky smilingOnce you find the perfect toothpaste, lift your dog’s upper lip slowly and start with the upper teeth first. You should hold the brush so that the bristles are angled to reach the gums, as well as the teeth. Angling is important because it allows you to massage the gums, while also cleaning your pup’s teeth.

However, you may realize that working around the gum area can cause slight bleeding. Light breeding is normal, so don’t stress. However, heavy bleeding can be an indication that your dog has a gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you find that your dog is bleeding heavily after a brush.

Be sure that you are being gentle when you brush your dog’s teeth. If you are too rough, you may cause the gums to bleed more than expected. Use a soft, circular motion to brush your teeth, and you can avoid any serious injury.

French Bulldog SmilingAnd You’re Done!

It’s important that you talk to your dogs as you brush their teeth. This helps them remain calm while you get to work on their teeth. If they are overly upset or uncomfortable, you can pet them during the process to help ease their discomfort, too. Once you are done, you can reward your pup with a treat if they did well during their brushing.

We’re Here to Help

Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy is important, but it’s also important to keep up with your own teeth. If we spent half as much time taking care of our own teeth as we do taking care of our pets, we would have no problem making it to the dentist every six months.

Be sure you are visiting your dentist regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing routinely. Even though we can’t help your dog with oral health, we can help you at Dr. Chris Mott’s office! Keep all your family, human and furry alike, happy by brushing regularly and flossing, too!

Beat the Louisiana Heat with these Frozen Treats!

Trying to beat the Louisiana heat can be a no-win game for everyone involved. But there are tons of ways to make your sweat take a beat. Our favorite way to cool off is by having a cold treat on a hot summer day. Here are a few of our favorites.

A Louisiana Favorite: Watermelon Popsicles

Take a break with Strawberry-Watermelon popsicles. Easy to make and delicious to eat! Find the recipe here.

watermelon popsicles

Photo from: cookingclassy.com

Yogurt in a Pop

Yogurt is a great alternative to regular sweets, but eating a yogurt popsicle…that’s the best of both worlds. Find out how to make your own here.

Yogurt Parfait Popsicles

Photo from: lezoemusings.com

Heading to the Peach Festival?

Peach ice cream is great and all, but a peach pop is even better! Try a peach pop for a healthier treat at the Peach Festival in Ruston. If you can’t make it, make them at home with this recipe.

Peach Raspberry Popsicles

Photo from: onelovelylife.com

Need a Little Tang in Your Life?

Try these Blueberry and Orange popsicles to add a little tang to your day. Made in just a pinch, these popsicles will be all you want to eat this summer. Try out the recipe here and let us know what you think.

Blueberry and Orange Popsicles

Photo from: twolovesstudio.com

Now that you know our favorite ways to beat the heat, let us know what you think! Leave a comment below to tell us what your favorite treat is during these hot summer days.

 

cat sleeping on a couch

Don’t Be a Snore

We all know a person who snores. Loud or soft, snoring can be an indication of underlying medical issues. But we all know that the number one reason we want to our significant other to quit snoring is to get more sleep. It may sound silly, but there are quite a few ways to keep snoring at bay that you can do yourself.

Lose WeightLose Weight

When you’re overweight, your normal tissues in your throat become thicker. This thick tissue will cause restricted airways, making it harder to breathe normally as you sleep. But as you lose weight, the tissue will become thinner over time, allowing you to breathe normally once again. Long story short, losing weight in a safe and healthy manner through a healthy diet and regular exercise can help bring an end to your snoring.

Elevate Your Head

Try to raise your head a bit while sleeping. If you lay completely flat, you will block your air passages, thus causing you to snore. Find pillows that give lots of support for your neck. Also, try your best to sleep on your side rather than your back. This also helps to ensure that your air passages are open.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, stop immediately! Smoking is a hard habit to kick, but it makes it incredibly difficult to breathe normally. Just by stopping slowly, or even altogether, you can feel the difference in how well you sleep every night compared to when you smoked two or three cigarettes a day.

alcoholAvoid Alcohol

Try to avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. Alcohol causes the muscles in your body to relax so that the muscles in your throat begin to collapse faster than normal. Inevitably, this can make your snoring worse.

Manage Your Mealsmanage your meals: salad

Avoid meals at least three hours before bedtime. Science says there is a high probability of snoring if food is eaten up to four hours before going to bed. Snoring can be due mostly to poor digestion, so it’s better to treat your tummy right and get to sleep a few hours after you eat.
Snoring can be a big problem for some people. It may cause you and everyone in your household not to get a good night’s rest. And the last thing anyone wants is a cranky wife and kids. Snoring also increases your risk for diabetes, stroke, coronary disease, and high blood pressure. It is also a sign for sleep apnea, which is a life-threatening disease for many.

Keep Your Snoring at Bay

We know snoring is never fun for anyone. So it’s important to talk to your dentist about any issues if you have persistent snoring. If you have any questions about what your dentist could do to help, give Dr. Chris Mott a shout so he can help you figure it out!

Toothbrush, with floss and towels

Bizarre Flavors That Will Have You Reaching for the Floss

It’s no secret that flossing every day is essential to preventing the buildup of tartar, development of bad breath, and the formation of cavities. Flossing also increases your life expectancy up to six years.
The world of dental products has made brushing and flossing much more interesting than it was when we were kids. While minty dental floss is available almost everywhere, it’s good to try something new every once in awhile. Today we present to you the most bizarre floss flavors ever created.

cupcakesCupcake Floss

A cupcake is probably one of the things your dentist will not recommend eating before going to bed. They are topped with a mountain of sugary icing that sticks between your teeth and leads to tooth decay. Cupcake dental floss, however, is quite a different story.

This fun, creative product actually smells and tastes like a cupcake. Sounds better than your average floss right? Treat your sweet tooth to some cupcake flavored floss before bed and skip out on the actual cupcake!

Justin Bieber Dental Floss

Yep, you read that correctly. What teenage girl’s bathroom would be complete without a supply of Justin Bieber dental floss? This product might be a gimmick money maker for the dental floss company, but if it gets your teens to floss we’re all for it!

Long Live Bacon SignBacon Flavored Dental Floss

There are some who would swear that bacon is the best food of all time. After all, there is bacon flavored soda, bacon cologne, and even bacon flavored bubblegum. It should come as no surprise that there is a bacon flavored dental floss.

We think this is a great option when you want to carry it in your purse to use during lunch break. When you think about it, bacon dental floss pairs better with fries and burgers than mint anyway. No need to ask for a side of bacon, just bring the floss with you.

Absinthe Flavored Dental Floss

Absinthe is a licorice-flavored liquor that is made from wormwood. It can be either green or colorless. Some say that Absinthe may cause some to experience hallucinations. However, Absinthe flavored dental floss contains no alcohol, so you’re safe to floss and drive afterward.

Waffles, coffe, and fruitDental Floss in Assorted Breakfast Item Flavors

This dental floss flavor tri-pack contains coffee, waffle, and bacon flavored flosses. Long gone are the days of ruining the taste of your breakfast simply because you already flossed and brushed.

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Dental Floss

Fall will be around the corner soon enough and that means it will be time once again to break out the pumpkin spice flavored everything, but should that include dental floss? Some die-hard pumpkin spicers out there would say, “Heck yeah!” while others feel the need to draw the line at dental products. We’ll let you decide.

Pickles in a jarPickle Flavored Dental Floss

Pickles are great for lots of things. People love them on burgers, with sandwiches, and runners love to eat them after their workouts. Why, then, should we not also have pickle flavored dental floss? Pair your pickle floss with the bacon floss and you could just about floss yourself an entire meal! And as a side dish, check out our next flavor.

Salad Flavored Dental Floss

How ironic is it that one of the number one foods that people have to floss out of their teeth just happens to be…you guessed it, salad! Now you can have your own specific flavored floss for the task. Our sources tell us that this floss actually tastes just like salad. But don’t worry, no dressing is needed.

Ranch Dressing Flavored Dental Floss

But just in case you wanted dressing for your salad floss, you could use the ranch flavored floss directly after the salad flavored floss to get your full “salad” experience, however, flossing twice is probably unnecessary.

Cola

We often floss to counteract the damaging effects of things like cola, but this shouldn’t stop you from using a cola flavored floss. Since our sense of smell is responsible for 80 percent of everything we taste, you only experience the cola flavor a few moments before the minty finish. Best of both worlds, right?

Where to Buy Fancy Floss

Besides flossing, you should always be brushing your teeth along with your flossing routine. If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, and brushing or flushing habits, give Dr. Chris Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have, including where to buy your fancy, flavored flosses.

lion teeth

Ever Wonder Why Animals Don’t Need a Dentist?

For many reasons, we think animals have it right in several aspects of life. The biggest thing they have going for them is their ability to keep seemingly perfect set of teeth without going through the daily ritual of brushing and flossing. Certainly, they don’t have dentists in the middle of the amazon or in the depths of the ocean…So how do they do it?

Survival of the fittest is the name of the game for most wild animals. The jungle is quite unforgiving, as it doesn’t matter where you are in the food chain. Animals have to constantly watch their backs in the wild and often their teeth are the weapon of choice. Whether it’s fighting off predators or hunting prey, teeth are a must have.

Since the wilderness can be rough, most animals with teeth have evolved over time to find remedies to tooth decay.

Canines

canine teethCanines include all animals that belong to the feline family such as cheetahs, tigers, lions, as well as the dog family which includes jackals and hyenas. These animals have saliva that has a very high pH, kind of like a natural toothpaste.

The saliva stops demineralization of their teeth and protects them from tooth decay. While chewing, there is abrasion that brushes their teeth and removes the plaque. Many of these animals eat all of their prey, bones included, which acts as their floss and toothbrush.

Herbivores

Herbivores, like humans, only have one permanent set of teeth after they reach maturity. As they chew, which they do a lot, the upper surfaces tend to wear out. To compensate for this, herbivore teeth grow by about an eighth of an inch every year.

Sharksshark teeth

Sharks are armed to the teeth, quite literally. Arguably they have the sharpest and deadliest set of teeth. Undoubtedly the king of the oceans, shark teeth are used for everything, from feeding to fighting off competition. For this reason, their teeth wear out really quick.

A shark gets a new set of deadly shredders every two weeks. Some shark species such as the ground shark are estimated to shed over 30,000 teeth in their lifetime.

Elephants

These graceful creatures have been poached worldwide and are currently an endangered species. Elephant tusks come in handy in protecting them from predators such as lions that sometimes hunt them during droughts, when food is scarce.

The tusks are replaced once the elephant reaches 40 years old. Elephants are known to rub their tusks against trees. This process is a lot like brushing. As a precaution, elephants use one tusk more than the other, this reduces the risk of losing both of them at the same time.

Rodents

Rodents such as hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs have incisors that grow continuously throughout their lifetime. This is because they chew almost anything and everything, every chance they get.

We Are Not Animals

Rodent chewingDental hygiene is perhaps the most important aspect of our health. Currently, 60% children suffer from a form of dental disease worldwide and about 20% middle aged adults do, too.

While it’s true that most wild animals are able to breeze through life without worrying about dental hygiene, you are certainly not able to shed your teeth every two weeks like a shark or a crocodile. What sets us apart from animals is that we consume a lot of processed foods and refined sugars that are not good for our teeth during our lifetime.

Secondly, most animals have a shorter lifespan compared to their teeth. This means they are likely to be killed by something else before they start suffering from any dental diseases. Humans tend to outlive their teeth and as such, we have to take better care of them to ensure we get the best out of them for as long as possible.

 

Humans can’t get away with not brushing their teeth. Practice oral hygiene daily and get regular dental checkups. Visit your local dentist, Dr. Chris Mott, to learn more about what you can do to make your dental routine easier.

guy and girl smiling

What Cosmetic Dentistry Can Do For You

Scared to show your smile most days? Maybe you feel like there’s not an answer for your teeth. Maybe you think surgery is scary. Either way, there are many ways to tackle your fear of having a bad smile and cosmetic dentistry is your solution!

Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that involves the repair of a wide range of dental imperfections. It helps in enhancing the appearance of your teeth and smile. Cosmetic dental problems can be properly fixed by your local dentist to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed about.

When Do You Need Cosmetic Dental Work?

Is your confidence fading away due to stained or discolored teeth? There are different teeth brightening procedures that dentists can apply to get rid of stains from the teeth. This will give you the white smile you’ve been looking for.

Are you experiencing discomfort and pain due to dental rots? A dental specialist will be sure to get rid of your decayed teeth. Fillings, tooth caps, or other dental prosthetic can conceal the imperfections and cavities. In extreme circumstances of dental rots, tooth extraction may be the most convenient way to get rid of your toothaches.

Do you have deformities in the ridges of your teeth or jaw structure? Such defects can bring about issues while talking or breathing. On the off chance that your dentist diagnoses you with this issue, they might recommend full mouth reconstruction.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

  • Dental Implants: This is a procedure used to replace a natural tooth that has been damaged beyond repair.
  • Dental Invisalign: This is a common procedure that is used to repair structural abnormalities in your teeth. Almost like traditional braces, this form of alignment uses a clear mold to straighten your teeth.
  • Teeth Whitening: The most common cosmetic dentistry procedure patients want is teeth whitening. This is done to regain the natural shine and color of the tooth. The loss of the shine and natural color can be due to eating habits, excessive smoking, aging, etc.
  • Dental veneers: This procedure is used to repair uneven alignments, tooth structures, cracks in your teeth, spacing between teeth that is uneven, and tooth enamel that is worn out.
  • Dentures: Dentures are used to replace missing teeth. Dentures normally serve for a lifetime so this is an effective option for those who have several adult teeth that have fallen out. You must follow the instructions given to you by Dr. Chris Mott, or your dentist to give your dentures the care they need for a long life.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

man smilingYour teeth can be whiter than ever. With a few simple teeth whitening treatments, you can see a world of a difference in the color of your teeth. This can be done in as little as 30-60 minutes at your Shreveport dentist’s office.

You can enhance the look of your smile. Chipped or broken teeth don’t always have a good look. Cosmetic dentistry offers a solution to this problem. Your dentist will apply a layer of resin on the tooth to conceal the tooth structure that has been lost. Dental crowns can likewise be set on decayed or broken teeth.

No longer miss your teeth. A great number of people who lose a tooth may have issues biting or chewing. Created from porcelain, artificial teeth can be used in place of the missing teeth. This will have you grinning again in no time.

Boost your confidence. The vast majority of individuals who have chipped, broken, or stained teeth are forever discontent with their smile. You can restore your confidence and feel better about smiling after your cosmetic procedures.

Improve your dental health. Apart from enhancing your appearance, cosmetic procedures can help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Straightening, brightening, and reshaping your teeth can inspire you to become more concerned about your dental health and avoid food and drink that ruin your teeth.

Get Your Smile On

If you’re suffering from any dental defects and are wondering what your next step is, give your local Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris Mott, a call today to book an appointment. We know the best smile is one you’ve always dreamed of, and we’re happy to help you find the perfect smile you’ve been waiting for.

What Favorite Snacks of Yours Are Killing Your Teeth?

Oral hygiene is probably one of the earliest lessons you learned in life. You know that brushing, flossing, and—most importantly—eating right are the keys to healthy teeth. But, if you’re like most people, you probably faltered somewhere along the way and took to unhealthy eating, possibly out of ignorance.

We’ve compiled the nine worst foods for your teeth and their healthy counterparts so that you can get back on track. By avoiding some of these foods and beverages and sticking with healthy alternatives, you can get back your smile while improving your overall health.

Potato Chips and Crackers

It’s obvious that you should avoid sugary candies, but don’t replace them with potato chips or other snack crackers. These can be just as damaging and shouldn’t be considered as an option if you’re looking to avoid tooth decay.

Due to their crunchy nature, chip and cracker particles can get stuck between your teeth when chewing. Once mixed with saliva, these starch particles are easily converted into sugars. Without immediate flossing or brushing, these foods have a similar effect on tooth enamel as their sugar-based counterparts that you find in most junk foods.

Alternative to Your Favorite Chips

Whether you are chasing away a candy obsession or just craving something crunchy, try nuts instead. Unlike crackers, nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals that not only promote healthy teeth but also enhance saliva production as well as enamel protection.

Clear Sodas

Cola-type sodas cause teeth stains, but don’t consider clear sodas as better alternatives. A recent study by Southern Illinois University of Dental Medicine found clear sodas to be even more harmful to teeth than brown varieties. The clear sodas in the study contained more enamel-scathing citric acid and less ascorbic acid than dark-colored colas. Teeth dipped in the clear sodas were also found to lose more weight than those dipped in the colored sodas.

Alternative to Sodas

If you must have soda, try root beer. Most varieties are not caffeinated, and it doesn’t contain phosphoric or citric acids, which erode your tooth enamel.

Yogurt

Like most other fermented foods and drinks, yogurt contains high levels of lactic acid. This has the same effect on tooth enamel as citric and phosphoric acids. And, while it is famed for its probiotics and beneficial bacteria, fermented yogurt should be avoided.

Alternative to Yogurt

Cheese and milk have a similar effect in the body as yogurt. The calcium found in these dairy products also helps to restore some minerals in the teeth.

White Bread

This kind of bread is merely a refined carbohydrate. During chewing, the salivary enzymes break down the starch in the bread into a gummy sugar-like substance that sticks to your teeth.

Alternative Breads

To minimize the danger of sugars corroding your tooth enamel, opt for whole grain wheat options.

Breath Mints

As much as you may want fresh breath throughout your day, don’t let it be at the expense of your teeth in the long run. Most breath mints have significant sugar additives and the fact that they are chewed for a long time exposes your teeth to dental problems.

Breath Mint Alternative

Opt for sugar-free breath mints and gums. You can avoid the hazards of sugar-filled mints and gum while helping stimulate the production of saliva by only chewing sugar-free products. It not only helps maintain fresh breath, but it also neutralizes any acids and sugar deposits around the teeth.

Vinegar

Vinegar, though a crucial ingredient in salad dressings and sauces, can trigger tooth decay. Its high acidity erodes tooth enamel, causing decay over time.

How to Avoid Acidity from Vinegar

After eating vinegary salad dressing, consider rinsing your mouth with plenty of water to neutralize the acidity. Sugar-free gums can also help reduce the effect on your teeth.

coffee is bad for your teethCoffee

Does this come as a surprise to you? If so, look at regular coffee drinkers; you’ll notice their teeth are considerably discolored. Coffee is also acidic and negatively acts on tooth enamel, accelerating wear and discoloration.

Coffee Alternative

If giving up coffee isn’t an option for you, consider taking in plenty of water after every coffee session. Also avoid additives such as sugar in your daily coffee.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Have you ever contemplated the effect your favorite snack has on your teeth? The high sugar content of peanut butter and jelly makes them harmful to your oral health.

Alternative to Your PB&J

Consider more nutritional and orally hygienic food options like cheese.

Popcorn gets stuck in your teeth.Popcorn

Just like other crunchy foods, popcorn pieces will always find their way to the spaces between your teeth, promoting decay. Additionally, raw popcorn kernels pose the risk of chipping your tooth enamel while chewing.

Alternative to Popcorn

Looking for something crunchy at the movies? Try nuts instead!

Start Switching Today!

While most of these foods have several health benefits for your body, their impact on your teeth shouldn’t be ignored. If you can’t avoid them altogether, be sure to consume them in moderation, and always brush or floss after every meal. Remember: your smile is your first impression, so do what you can to protect it.
If you have any questions or concerns about your current diet, feel free to reach out to us at Dr. Chris Mott’s office. We will be happy to help you figure out the best way to eat and maintain your oral health!