Tag Archives: Floss

Halloween Treats Can Be Frightening for Your Teeth

Halloween Treats Can Be Frightening for Your Teeth

TreatsThe witching hour is upon us. With the likes of creepy clowns, the walking undead and deranged killers lurking in the shadows, Halloween is the most delightfully scary day of the year. But, Michael Myers isn’t the only scary thing on Halloween, some of those sugary treats can be pretty terrifying for your teeth.

Here are a few scary and not-so-scary candy for your fangs.

Scary:

  • Hard candy – Hard candy is tough on teeth because it stays in your mouth for an extended period of time. This ultimately coats teeth with sugar. Additionally, biting down on hard candy can chip or break teeth.
  • Chewy candy – Chewy, sticky treats are particularly damaging because they are high in sugar. Because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth, they are more difficult for saliva to break down.

Not so scary:

  • Sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol – Sugar-free foods don’t contain sugar, which feeds on bacteria in the mouth and produce decay-causing acids. Gum and candy with xylitol may actually protect teeth by reducing the acids produced by bacteria and increasing saliva to rinse away excess sugars and acids.
  • Powdery candy – Sure, powdery candy is packed with pure sugar, but the texture allows it to dissolve quickly which prevents sugar from sticking to teeth and producing acids and bacteria.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Also, the calcium in chocolate can potentially help protect tooth enamel.

So, you can have your candy and eat it too! You just have to make the right choices. Scary things happen to those that don’t brush. Be sure to brush and floss, so those Halloween treats won’t haunt your mouth later on.

If you find all that Halloween candy has left your teeth a bit scary, or you need a good post-Halloween cleaning, feel free to give please call us, at 972-242-2155, for an appointment. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!Dental Hygiene Month

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Which is only fitting since it also happens be the biggest candy eating month of the year!

This October marks the eighth straight year that the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the William Wrigley Jr. Company are teaming together during National Dental Hygiene Month.

The goal of National Dental Hygiene Month is to increase public awareness about the importance of maintaining good oral health with four main components: Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew. Which the ADHA has dubbed the “Daily 4”.

The “Daily 4”:

1. Brushing Your Teeth 2 times per day for 2 minutes

The single most important thing we can do is to brush our teeth for two minutes, twice each day. Proper brushing reduces plaque, prevents cavities, and help limit the onset of gum disease.

2. Flossing daily

Daily flossing (or other methods of interdental cleaning) removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by a toothbrush, particularly under the gum line and between teeth. Failure to do so can allow for plaque buildup in these areas – which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

3. Rinsing with mouthwash

The ADHA recommends finishing your daily oral care routine with an antiseptic mouthwash that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Swish, gargle, and spit – this should be one of the easiest things we can do to ensure the long-lasting health of our teeth and gums.

4. Chewing sugar-free gum

Scientific evidence clearly shows that chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking, has a positive impact on oral health. Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the most important natural defense against tooth decay — saliva — which in turn helps fight cavities, neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel to strengthen teeth and washes away food particles.

We, here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, encourage you to do “The Daily 4″, and of course visit our office at least twice a year for your cleanings and exams! If you have any questions about maintaining your oral health or to schedule your next appointment please call us, at 972-242-2155, Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” from at the top of this page.

 

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about the ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit the ADHA at http://www.adha.org/national-dental-hygiene-month.

Tooth Decay

Image result for dentistry imagesTooth Decay

 

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay is not life threatening and is highly preventable.

What types of foods may contribute to tooth decay?

Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.

How can cavities be prevented?

The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by the saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and remineralizing agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow. However, the best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss regularly. Fluoride, a natural substance that helps to remineralize the tooth structure, makes the tooth more resistant to the acids and helps to correct damage produced by the plaque bacteria. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and water sources to help fight cavities. Your dentist also may recommend that you use special high concentration fluoride gels, mouth rinses, or dietary fluoride supplements. In addition, professional strength anti-cavity varnish or sealants may be recommended.

Who is at risk for cavities?

Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk for cavities. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods and those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. Also, those with a lot of fillings have a higher chance of developing tooth decay because the area around the restored portion of a tooth is a good breeding ground for bacteria. In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at the highest risk for cavities.

What can I do to help protect my teeth?

The best way to combat cavities is to follow three simple steps:

  • Cut down on sweets and between-meal snacks. Remember, sugary and starchy foods put your teeth at risk.
  • Brush after every meal and floss daily. Cavities most often begin in hard-to clean areas between the teeth and in the fissures and pits on the biting surfaces of the teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside, on top of, and in between your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every few months. Only buy toothpastes and rinses that contain fluoride.
  • See your Dr. Griffin at least every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Because cavities can be difficult to detect, a thorough dental examination is very important. If left untreated, cavities can lead to permanent loss of the tooth structure, root canal therapy, and even loss of the tooth.

In general, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.

If you suspect you may have tooth decay or if you have any questions, please call us here at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

(Compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry)

 

Senior Oral Health Care

Senior Oral Health Care

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush are important. Flossing helps save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach.

  • What problems should I watch for?
  • Why should I be concerned about gum disease?
  • What if it is too difficult to brush?
  • What are the signs of oral cancer?


What problems should I watch for?

Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque that attacks the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see Dr. Griffin at once. Gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease if problems persist.

Why should I be concerned about gum disease?

Three out of four adults over age 35 are affected by some sort of gum (periodontal)disease. In gum disease, the infection may become severe. Your gums begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, bacteria form pockets between the teeth and gums, weakening the bone. This can lead to tooth loss if untreated, especially in patients with osteoporosis. If regular oral care is too difficult, Dr. Griffin can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep the infection from getting worse.

What if it is too difficult to brush?

If you have arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss. Ask us for ways to overcome this problem. Certain dental products are designed to make dental care less painful for arthritis sufferers. Try using a battery operated toothbrush with a large handle. These toothbrushes can help by doing some of the work for you.

What are the signs of oral cancer?

Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See Dr. Griffin immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two weeks, or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue. Oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured easily. Dr. Griffin will perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer.

Three out of four adults over age 35 are affected by some sort of gum (periodontal) disease.

If you have any questions about senior dental care or any other dental issues, please feel free to give us a call here in Carrollton, TX at 972-242-2155.  Or, simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)

Back to School Dental Tips

Start the school year with a smile: 3 back-to-school tips

It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health! Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.

1. Take your kids to the dentist

Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems, according to Delta Dental’s 2015 Children’s Oral Health Survey.

2. Pick the right snacks

Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Replace juice and soda with milk or water. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheddar cheese.

3. Make brushing and flossing fun

To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:

  • Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  • Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
  • Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
  • Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable

We hope you have a wonderful school year and be sure to keep those smiles happy and healthy!

To schedule your next appointment, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

(Information gathered from Delta Dental)

Fourth of July Dental Tips

Happy 4th of July!!July 4 Dental Tips

Independence Day is coming up and we know that many of you will be celebrating this 4th of July holiday by enjoying cookouts, fireworks, and fun. While you’re celebrating it’s easy to engage in some not-so-tooth-friendly activities, especially with all the sugar-laden foods and drinks that are eaten on this summer holiday. We here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, want you to enjoy this July 4th, and make sure you keep your mouth healthy, so here are some dental tips to keep your teeth safe while celebrating.

Eat Healthy

We know July 4th is a time for barbecues and brews, but try to fit in some fruits and vegetables, too. A balanced diet will not only help your waistline, it will help your teeth as well. When you eat sugary foods (which by the way, BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar), the decay-causing bacteria inside your mouth multiply. They feed on sugar to form plaque on your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed, it can cause cavities. If you do eat a lot of sugary stuff, remember to brush your teeth afterward. At the very least, rinse with water immediately to remove as much food particles and sugar as possible.

Water, Water, Water

Texas is HOT, especially in July! And, those hot July days can really make you sweat, so don’t forget to hydrate. Replenish those lost fluids with water instead of sodas, sports drinks and beer. The sugar and acids in those beverages can really do a number on your teeth, yes even beer has sugar in it! Water helps neutralize those acids and keep saliva levels high. Saliva contains proteins and minerals that act against the acids that harm your enamel. So, instead of sipping on sugary drinks all day, grab that water bottle and drink up!

Chew Sugarless Gum

With all that yummy food at 4th of July celebrations, daylong snacking is going to happen. Snacking can be bad for your teeth because you’re not brushing between snacks, because, who honestly brings their toothbrush along for the party? To keep your teeth clean without a toothbrush, try chewing sugar-free gum. It will help remove food particles and stimulate saliva production. Sugar-free gum with xylitol is the best choice, because studies have shown xylitol interferes with the production of bacteria in your mouth.

Do Not Use Your Teeth as Tools

Remember teeth are jewels not tools! So, don’t be using your teeth to open that soda or beer bottle, for goodness sake! You could break a tooth, which can be a very painful problem for you and your wallet.

 

Dr. Griffin and his team, would like to wish all of our patients, friends, and family, a fun, safe, and Happy Fourth of July! And, we look forward to seeing you at your next visit.

The office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 but if you need us, please don’t hesitate to call us at 972-242-2155. We will return your call when we get back in the office on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. And as always, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Bad breath — we’ve all had it at some point, like after eating a garlic laden pizza, or after drinking that grande caramel macchiato, and most of the time it’s temporary. On the other hand, chronic bad breath can mean poor oral hygiene or more serious dental and medical issues. In this video, American Dental Association spokesperson, Dr. Ada Cooper, provides tips to avoid bad breath.

 

 

If you feel like your breath isn’t as fresh as it should be, give us a call at 972-242-2155, and we’ll get you in for an appointment. You can also use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Scary and Not So Scary Candy For Your Teeth

Halloween is here and you know what that means: CANDY!!Halloween Candy

And, who doesn’t love candy? But since you’re an adult, you can’t trick-or-treat anymore, you just can’t. So, you resign yourself to looting your kids’ Halloween haul. Nearly 80% of parents admit they eat their children’s Halloween candy, according to survey by Delta Dental. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child or an adult; cavities don’t discriminate. Candy every now and again is fine, but some candies can be truly frightening for your teeth.

To help keep your fangs healthy this Halloween, we’ve listed some of the scary and not so scary candy for your teeth.

Scary:

  • Hard candy – Hard candy is tough on teeth because it stays in your mouth for an extended period of time, which ultimately coats teeth with sugar. Additionally, biting down on hard candy can chip or break teeth.
  • Chewy candy – Chewy, sticky treats are particularly damaging because they are high in sugar, spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth, and are more difficult for saliva to break down.

Not so scary:

  • Sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol – Sugar-free foods don’t contain sugar that can feed on bacteria in the mouth and produce decay-causing acids. Gum and candy with xylitol may actually protect teeth by reducing the acids produced by bacteria and increasing saliva to rinse away excess sugars and acids.
  • Powdery candy – Sure, powdery candy is packed with pure sugar, but the texture allows it to dissolve quickly which prevents sugar from sticking to teeth and producing acids and bacteria.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Also, the calcium in chocolate can potentially help protect tooth enamel. However, chocolate with fillings, such as caramel or nuts, is much more harmful for teeth as it is harder to chew.

So, you can have your candy and eat it too! You just have to make the right choices and be sure to brush and floss, so those Halloween treats won’t haunt your mouth later on.

If you find all that Halloween candy has left your teeth a bit scary, or you need a good post-Halloween cleaning, feel free to give please call us, at 972-242-2155, for an appointment. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Summer Vacation Dental Tips

Ahhh…..Summer Vacation Dental Tips

Summer is finally here!

For most of us, that means school is out and vacations are in full swing. Summer vacations are an opportunity to getaway and relax, but be sure not to let your dental hygiene routine take a vacation while you are on vacation!

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy during this vacation season, and don’t forget to visit Dr. Griffin this summer!

Brush, brush, brush

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. It’s a good idea to brush after meals and snacks, especially sweets. We know keeping up with your regular oral hygiene routine can be tough with vacations and traveling, as well as lots of days spent at the pool, so if you can’t brush your teeth, at least give your mouth a few swishes of water to help rinse away food until it’s possible to brush.

Don’t forget to floss

It’s always important to floss, but when what you’re eating is likely to get stuck between your teeth – like ribs and corn on the cob at a weekend barbecue – it’s especially important to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between teeth. Even if you aren’t able to brush your teeth after meals and snacks, it’s easy to carry along some dental floss with you so you can at least clean between your teeth after eating.

Take it easy

This tip doesn’t mean you should relax when it comes to oral hygiene, rather it means that you should try to limit how often you eat. We know you’re probably not going to avoid the delicious foods associated with summer altogether, but try to limit how often you eat them. So rather than snacking all day long while out at a street fair, try to limit the number of times you pop something into your mouth, even if you’re not going to limit how much you consume.

Water is your friend

Texas is HOT – everyone knows that. We often get caught up in fun summer activities and forget to drink adequate water. Not only is water the best way to hydrate on a hot summer day, it’s also a friend to your teeth. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks (yes, even sports drinks have loads of sugar!) is better for your teeth because it does not provide a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. Just a few sips of water swished around your mouth can help rid your teeth of some of the particles that eating leaves behind. Water helps keep your mouth clean and healthy by rinsing away food and boosting saliva levels in your mouth. Saliva, which is actually 95% water, contains protein and minerals that fight acid and defend your teeth against tooth decay. So, instead of sipping on soda all day, grab that water bottle and drink up!

We know summertime is a busy time but it’s still important time to keep your regular cleaning appointments with Dr. Griffin. Be sure to take time out from all the fun and relaxation to make your next appointment. It is sure to keep you smiling all summer long!

For more information about keeping your teeth healthy this summer, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Are You Flossing Daily?

“Are you flossing daily?” The most dreaded question you hear during your dental check-ups. And, if you are like a lot people, you probably look your dentist right in the eye and lie right through your un-flossed teeth. Most of us fib just a little when it comes to how often we really do floss. As a matter of fact, 27% of adults lie to their dentists about how often they floss their teeth, a recent survey found.Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA

The truth is most of us don’t floss enough and flossing is an extremely important part of your oral care routine. According the American Dental Association, only 50% of Americans floss daily, 31% floss less than daily, and 18% do not floss at all.

Here are some reasons you should be flossing:

Prevents tooth decay  The bacteria that builds up can cause more damage in between your teeth than other parts. This is because not all the bacteria is removed by your tongue, other foods and your saliva. Flossing cleans the places your toothbrush can’t by removing the food, bacteria and plaque that builds up between teeth. If you don’t floss away the plaque that hides in between your teeth, it will eat away at your enamel, causing cavities and gum disease.

Prevents Gum Disease – If you have gum disease, you are not alone. One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease (gum disease), according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent.

Why should you care about gum disease? If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss as well as worsen other systemic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

It Could Save Your Life – There is a lot of research that points to a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes and even dementia. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Researchers don’t know exactly how heart disease and periodontal disease are connected, although it is known that periodontal disease, heart disease, and arthritis are all partially caused by the body’s own inflammatory response. By flossing, you might be preventing much more serious health problems down the road.

Improves the health of your gums – If you haven’t been flossing you may experience bleeding at first. Your gums bleed because the bacteria that has been sitting there forever causes inflammation and bleeding. But, don’t stop flossing if you do experience bleeding, keep at it once a day, and in a few weeks, you’ll probably see an improvement. Flossing is like going to the gym, if you go on a regular basis, your body is used to working out and doesn’t get extremely sore from a workout.

Prevents Bad Breath – Bad breath or halitosis is usually caused by old food particles on or between the teeth. Food particles stuck between teeth can be easily removed by flossing; leaving the mouth healthier, and breath smelling fresher.

Flossing is really simple once you’ve learned how and it’s the best way to prevent gum disease, along with regular visits to Dr. Griffin. The areas between the teeth are not always accessible by a toothbrush, so flossing should be done on a daily basis. The type of floss you choose, waxed, unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, is totally up to you.

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA

Here’s how to floss the right way:

  1. Start with a piece of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Wrap one end of the floss around the middle finger of the left hand and the other end around the middle finger of the right hand until the hands are 2-3 inches apart.
  3. Work the floss gently between your teeth toward the gum line.
  4. Curve the floss in a U-shape around each individual tooth and carefully slide it beneath the gum line.
  5. Carefully move the floss up and down several times to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth.
  6. Do not pop the floss in and out between the teeth as this cut the gums and cause inflammation.

Twice yearly cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Griffin are very important for good oral health, but your at-home regimen of brushing and flossing is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. 

If you have any questions about the correct way to floss, or if you need to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Griffin, please do not hesitate to call us, at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.Paul A. Griffin, DDS