Your pearly whites get a lot of attention, but when was the last time you thought about the health of your gums? Your gums play a vital role in your beautiful smile and your overall health. When you brush and floss your teeth you’re not just preventing cavities, you’re also protecting your gums from developing gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, it is the leading cause of tooth loss, impacts your overall health, and as we’ve discussed on the blog before, has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. So what are the ways you can improve the health of your gums? Here are 5 tips to help keep your gums healthy:
1. Brush Properly
A proper brushing technique is essential to preventing gum disease. Start with a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. Use short strokes and make sure you get all surfaces of your teeth. You should spend 2 minutes, twice a day on brushing. When you’re done with your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue, too! If you have questions about your brushing technique, don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist for a quick demonstration at your next appointment…our hygiene team loves to help and share their knowledge!
2. Floss Daily
An important part of your oral health care regimen, flossing helps remove food and plaque from between the teeth. We know flossing can be a hard habit to stick with so if you’re looking for other ways to clean between your teeth, check out our blog post on alternatives to traditional flossing. If you notice any bleeding when you floss let us know at your next visit–this can be an early sign of periodontal disease. Find a method that works for you and stick with it!
3. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health! People who smoke cigarettes are four times as likely to have periodontal disease, and smoking makes it harder to manage treatments. Let us know if you have questions about smoking and oral health care or if you need help quitting…we want to support you!
4. Eat Your Fruits, Veggies, and Nuts
Eating a diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables is good for your body, good for your teeth, and good for your gums. By incorporating foods that are rich in Omega-3s, vitamin C, and fiber you are not only getting essential nutrients, you are reducing inflammation and boosting your immune system, and in the process supporting the health of your gums as well. Snack on some almonds, bell peppers, and leafy greens for the win!
5. Schedule Regular Visits to Falmouth Dental Arts
Coming in for regular check-ups with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos is an important part of your oral health care. Seeing us regularly helps us monitor the health of your gums and teeth and notice if there are early signs of gum disease we can help you reverse. We are your partners in oral health care and want to help you have effective dental care for a healthy mouth and a healthy life!
If you have questions about the health of your gums or need to schedule your next appointment, please call us at 207.781.5900. We are working diligently to schedule patients with our new safety protocols, and appreciate your patience. We look forward to seeing you!
It’s true. January is National Soup Month and National Tea Month. And it is also true that we think that is no coincidence.
You’re always looking for easy ways to improve your health, right? And oral health is a significant factor in overall health. So here are two extremely simple ways for you to strengthen your teeth and gums and improve your overall health.
- Drink more tea
- Eat more soup
Here is why…
Many people think that chewy candies and foods with high sugar content are what really harm teeth. Although those people are correct, what you choose to drink also has a significant impact on oral health. When deciding between the many drink options available, one of the best drinks for your oral health is brewed tea. Tea has anti-bacterial properties and fluoride content which may help protect against cavities and gum disease and may also strengthen tooth enamel [insert a picture of tea with this sentence as the caption].
There have been a number of studies done recently that highlight the positive effects of tea on oral health. Research shows that tea has almost no erosive effect on tooth enamel. In fact, depending on the amount of fluoride in the water that you brew your tea with, it can even strengthen your enamel. A study done specifically on green tea has indicated that it has some added oral health benefits due to the natural antioxidant compounds called catechins that are in it. The researchers suggested that green tea is particularly effective in fighting and preventing gum disease because the catechins in the green tea interfere with the inflammation that results from bacteria in the mouth. Lastly, a recent study conducted by New York University Dental Center suggests that black tea may be linked to reduction in likelihood of developing dental caries (or cavities).
So in other words…have a cup of tea a day! But before you do, here are a few important words of advice…
- Don’t add sugar to your tea. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth and irritate your gums.
- Avoid prepackaged, bottled iced teas because they contain citric acid (which can wear away tooth enamel) and high amounts of sugars.
http://www.teausa.com/teausa/images/TeaCouncil-ResearchDocR5_-_FINAL.pdf – visit this link for an extremely informational document that breaks down how tea benefits the rest of your body’s health (including cardiovascular health, cancer risk reduction for a number of cancers, neurological health, metabolism/obesity/body composition, diabetes/blood sugar control, immune function, kidney function, and reduced risk of osteoporosis).
Since the first day we were served solid food as children, we have been told to eat our veggies. “You want to grow up to be big and strong, don’t you?” As a kid, that never really crossed our minds…we’d rather have chips and soda and candy.
But what if we were to give you new incentive to eat your veggies… What if we showed you just how beneficial vegetables can be to your oral hygiene.
Vegetables are of course jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients – these are the key.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has a plethora of benefits for your gums. It helps produce collagen which helps form body tissue, and it also repairs damaged gums and helps the them become more resistant to oral bacteria. Folic acid helps your mouth’s cells stay healthy, and calcium helps with strong teeth, bones, and gums. All these nutrients together help keep gums strong and healthy and control or even prevent gum disease.
In addition to the vast nutrients in vegetables that your mouth benefits from, there are other positive effects to eating your veggies as well. The chewing action alone involved in eating raw veggies strengthens your gums, encourages blood circulation and builds strong teeth. Additionally, vegetables are a key source of fiber, which builds a strong immune system.
So now you may be asking, “how do I know which vegetables to eat to get these nutrients?” Allow us to help:
- Vitamin C: red and green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes
- Vitamin E: Spinach, turnip greens, collards, along with oils (vegetable, seed and nut)
- Folic Acid: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, and spinach
One of the best ways to get tons of veggies at once (especially in the winter) is in a hearty soup! So here are three delicious soup recipes that are packed with vegetables to benefit your overall health, as well as you oral health! We all know homemade soup is no match for that canned stuff in terms of taste and nutritional value.
Green Pea and Chickpea Soup: This soup is exceptionally nutrient-dense and calls for highly affordable ingredients. To experience optimal health, including flexible and healthy bones and teeth, it’s vital that you eat plenty of green plant foods on a regular basis. Green peas are naturally abundant in folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, carotenoids, tryptophan, vitamin K, manganese, healthy protein, and a number of other health-promoting nutrients. Get this recipe
Vegetable Soup: Here is an extremely quick, easy and delicious recipe that is packed full of veggies. Modify this with your favorite veggies too – its easy to substitute ingredients with this simple recipe! Get the recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup can be tricky, because it is not always particularly healthy for you – it really depends on what ingredients you use. May sound obvious, but sometimes people struggle maximizing the health factor. Here are three tips for you that will help give any chicken noodle soup recipe a health kick…
- Use boneless, skinless chicken
- Use fat-free and/or low-sodium chicken broth
- Look for your favorite noodle in high-fiber, whole wheat variety fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Click here to get the chicken noodle soup recipe we love
Happy National Soup and Tea Month! Get out there and strengthen those teeth and gums.
National Smile Week is the second week of August! In many different ways, wearing a smile can be a lot more beneficial to you than you may think. To prove our point, and in honor of National Smile Week, we compiled a list of 10 reasons smiling is good for you.
- Smiling is attractive. That’s why it is the universal expression when we take pictures – especially selfies 😉 … OK, we are just kidding about the selfies part, but the rest is true! There is an attraction factor in smiling that naturally draws people in. Who doesn’t want to get to know that person with a smile that can light up a room? Be that person!
- It is scientifically proven to be able to change your mood. Next time you are sad or frustrated or upset or angry, turn that frown upside down. The short explanation is that smiling triggers the brain to release certain hormones that make you happier. Give it a try, what’s the worst that can happen?
- Smiling is contagious. You know it is, so don’t you deny it! A smile is as contagious as a yawn. If you are a happy person who smiles naturally and genuinely, then others will gravitate to that and love you for the positive energy you bring to any situation.
- Smiling is a stress reliever. One of the places where stress makes itself most obvious is in our faces. Take a breath and put on a smile next time you are stressed – go to your happy place. If you do, the stress should be reduced enough for you to gather your thoughts and take action.
- Smiling can help keep you healthy. It is thought that smiling relaxes you which allows your immune system to function more efficiently and effectively. A smile a day keeps the doctor away!
- Smiling lowers blood pressure. Try it out if you don’t believe us. Take a blood pressure reading like you regularly would. After you get an accurate reading, smile for a minute, then take another reading (while still smiling if you’d like). What are the results?
- Smiling makes us feel good. Studies have shown that the physical act of smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin – together, this combination makes us feel good.
- Smiling makes you look younger. The muscles we use to smile lift the face which makes a person appear younger. Forget the plastic surgery, just smile!
- Smiling exudes confidence. If you smile often you appear to be a confident person and you are also much more approachable. This can lead to positive recognition by your family, friends, and co-workers.
- Smiling keeps the glass half full. It’s hard not to stay positive with a smile on your face. And if you can put a smile on someone else’s face…well, then that is even better.
Happy National Smile Week! Don’t be shy – be sure to share plenty friendly smiles all week long!
You’re at the grocery store and you come to the personal hygiene aisle. You are looking for a mouthwash, but you are instantly overwhelmed with the dozens of options to choose from all promising to reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, whiten teeth and so much more – but not all the claims are true. We have all been there. But don’t worry, we are here to offer you some helpful tips that will allow you to refine your search and pick out the perfect mouthwash to fit your needs!
We always talk about the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but using mouthwash regularly in your oral hygiene regimen is often overlooked. Studies have shown that regular use of mouthwash has undeniable benefits for your mouth. It cleans those hard to reach places that brushing can’t get to, rinses your whole mouth, and is proven to reduce gingivitis in those who use it regularly.
There are 3 major categories of mouthwash products from a consumer perspective. Here is what you need to know about each of them that will help you choose the perfect rinse for your mouth:
1.) Fluoride containing mouth rinses:
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay in your mouth and strengthens enamel. But most people don’t need fluoride in their mouthwash because they already get it from the fluoridated toothpaste they use. But there are some exceptions. People with xerostomia (abnormally dry mouth) might use this because severe dry mouth might cause bacterial imbalance in the mouth, and too much bad bacteria can lead to tooth decay. Also, people with cavities can benefit from this kind of mouthwash. Here is a list of ADA approved fluoride mouth rinses
2.) Mouthwashes to freshen breath:
Many of these mouthwashes will in fact freshen your breath, but they do not necessarily offer many (if any) long-term oral health benefits. The bacteria that cause bad breath are killed for the short term, but they will grow back.
3.) Anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis mouthwashes:
Adults are recommended to use this kind of mouthwash to supplement their brushing and flossing (although these are key components to oral health, we don’t always do a great job with these tasks, and this type of mouthwash can kills potentially damaging bacteria missed in brushing and flossing). If the mouthwash is ADA approved, that is the best, and they kill a much broader range of oral bacteria than the breath freshening rinses, which is better for your overall oral health. For people with more severe dental issues, contact us, we may prescribe you with a more powerful mouthwash that could help you! List of ADA approved anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouthwashes
Hope these tips help! Remember, mouth wash is no substitute for good brushing and flossing. All three together make for a powerful, effective, and healthy cleaning regimen!
According to researchers, only 10 percent of the population brushes their teeth correctly. Let’s improve the score in Maine! Below are Falmouth Dental Arts’ top tips for brushing properly.
Top Brushing Tips:
- Use a smaller, rather than a larger toothbrush. Electric is best! The more comfortable the brush feels to you, the more likely you are to use it twice a day.
- A soft-bristled brush (and a gentle hand) is best, as it will safe your sensitive gum tissue from being brushed away.
- Spend about two minutes brushing. Take your time and thoroughly, yet gently clean the top right, bottom right, top left and bottom left sections of your teeth.
- Holding your brush at a 45-degree angle will hit the high spots as well as the hard to reach ones, such as where tooth meets gum.
- Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth and your tongue for a thorough job.
- After brushing, be sure to rinse away all of the bacteria now floating around in your mouth. Rinse your toothbrush head as well.
- Change your toothbrush or brush head about every three months, or less if it begins to looked frayed. If it’s in bad shape, it won’t clean effectively.
- But before you begin brushing, make sure you floss! Flossing once a day helps keep bacteria from forming in those hard to reach places that are immune to brushes.
Find out even more about good brushing habits by visiting our website.
Would you like a one-on-one brushing demonstration? Just let your hygenist know during your next appointment, or call our office at 207.781.5900 to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help you help your teeth!