12-year-old likes to chew ice. Is this harmful?
Tooth enamel is very hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break
it. Try to avoid eating “hard foods” such as popcorn. Don’t
crack nut shells with your teeth or chew on ice. Opening
packages with your teeth can also damage the enamel.
Why are soft drinks bad for your
Sugar and acids are your teeth’s worst enemies. What are we
talking about? Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and
candy. Because of the acid content, Mountain Dew seems to be the
worst of the worst. Dentists even have a name for the damage it
does – they call it “Dew Mouth.” These soften the tooth enamel,
making it highly susceptible to decay. Parents, watch your kid’s
consumption of these, because young children’s enamel hasn’t
developed fully. This makes these drinks even more damaging for
kids. As well as eliminating the above (or at least reducing
their consumption), use a sugar-free xylitol chewing gum after
meals. Also, rinse your mouth with a high-quality dental
Tongue piercings seem to be a very
bad idea. How bad?
Yes, they can look cool, but they can also fracture your teeth
as well as make it much easier to get a nasty infection of the
tongue and lips. Dentists have estimated that up to 40% of
people who have metal rings or other oral piercings have had big
problems from tooth fractures and infection.
Is fluoride bad for you?
Fluoride is fine…in small amounts. Excessive fluoride can cause
tooth enamel irregularities. Young children, especially, often
swallow too much toothpaste while brushing. So parents,
supervise your young kids while they brush. Kids (and even
adults) often use way too much toothpaste (a pea-size drop is
plenty). A little goes a long way.
I think I grind my teeth at night.
What can I do about this?
Do you wake up with pain in your jaws or a persistent headache?
If so, you may be grinding (called bruxing) while you sleep.
Persistent bruxing can damage teeth and cause them to get
shorter and shorter. It can also damage your temporomandibular
(jaw) joints and even affect your hearing. If you suspect that
you are a bruxer, tell your dentist. He or she may recommend a
night guard or other oral appliance.
the doctor check for oral cancer?
Yes, we do. Dentists and hygienists are your first line of
defense in detecting and treating oral cancer. Each year in the
US, approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral
cancer. Worldwide, the problem is far greater, with new cases
annually approaching 300,000. In the US alone, a person dies
from oral cancer every hour of every day. If you add the sub
category of laryngeal cancers, the rates of occurrence (about
10,000 additional new cases per year) and death are
significantly higher. However, the good news is, when found
early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% cure rate.
Why is it important to have
regular teeth cleaning?
Did you know “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your
teeth? Removing plaque is absolutely essential if you want to
preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and
between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are, of course, vital,
but everyone needs their teeth professionally cleaned on a
regular basis. Remember – only a dental hygienist can completely
clean your teeth.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, your jaw joints. The
pain, discomfort, or tenderness in or around the jaw joints is
called a TMJ disorder.
Signs that you might have a TMJ disorder are:
• Facial pain or tenderness
• Jaw pain
• Pain in or around the ears
• Neck pain
• Jaw stiffness
• Discomfort while chewing
• Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
• Jaw “locking up”
• Jaw makes a clicking sound
• Teeth that don't come together properly when eating or chewing
There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ. Be sure to ask
your dentist about these.