Federal Way Family Dentistry – Useful Facts

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Spare Your Teeth from Holiday Stress

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The holiday season is upon us once again, and this is a time that can be very tough on your teeth. It’s not just the heavy eating and the festive holiday sweets that can encourage decay and gum disease; even if you’re watching what you eat this year, the stress that frequently comes with our winter-time traditions is not conducive of a healthy mouth. Stress encourages bruxism, aggravates sores, and reduces your ability to fight infections.

When trying to relax this holiday season, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Be aware of your limitations, and don’t take on too much. Delegate tasks to capable people, and try not to take anything more seriously than you need to.

Whenever possible, try to stick to a set routine; stressful situations make it easier to neglect your regular brushing and flossing, inviting tooth decay all the more. The irony of this is that adhering to your usual, comfortable habits is actually a good way to bring your stress factor down.

A Tooth-Friendly Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a big time for eating, which obviously entails certain concerns for your oral hygiene. Indeed, a long period of eating, preceded and followed by snacks and sips with your friends and family, can be a bit hard on your mouth. Ideally, you should be giving your teeth a lengthy break between meals so that they can recover from the acid produced by your oral bacteria. However, there are also some benefits to be derived from a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

First and foremost is the turkey. This classic holiday bird is rich in phosphorus, which combines with vitamin D and calcium to build strong and healthy teeth. Pairing your turkey with fiber rich fruits and vegetables, like sweet potatoes, string beans and natural cranberries serves to stimulate your saliva production and clean out your mouth as you eat.

The food that is hardest on your teeth is likely to be your alcoholic beverages and desserts. Wine, pecan pie and pumpkin pie can all be fairly sugar-rich. Try to only drink your wine along with your meal, rather than sipping throughout the day, and consider rinsing out with water after eating your pie.

Which Candies are Hardest on My Teeth?

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Now is the time that your kids are probably making their way through the rest of their Halloween candy. This can be tough on their teeth, with certain selections representing more of a risk than other. Candy like smarties and york patties, for example, are easy for your saliva to clear away after you eat them. Even near-pure sugar, like pixie sticks, are favorable over anything that exposes your mouth to sugar for an extended period of time.

Hard and sticky candies are the ones to most look out for. Caramels, starbursts, tootsie rolls, and dits get stuck in your teeth long after you’re done chewing. Hard candies designed to be sucked, like lollipops, jolly ranchers, and jawbreakers, have a similar problem. One of the worst choices for your teeth is the now and later, a particularly hard chewable that exposes you to a lot of sugar while you strain your bicuspids to break it down.

It is best to eat candy following a meal, when your saliva is already hard at work. Consider rinsing out with water afterward, but don’t brush for at least thirty minutes. Consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic to learn more.

The Trouble with Dental Grills

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Dental “grills” are removable oral fixtures popularized by hip-hop personalities. They fit over the front of your teeth, serving as an extravagant fashion statement. As these items are removable, many make the mistake of thinking that they are a harmless accessory for their mouths. However, such people are very much mistaken.

When you wear a grill, bacteria is gathering in the space between the fixture and your teeth. This encourages decay. Meanwhile, the hard metals and gemstones that are used in many grills serve to break down your gums, encouraging them to pull away from your teeth. Even the cheaper models that are not made from precious metals can cause problems, as nickel impurities in the alloys can cause allergic reactions for many people.

Should you experience any swelling, redness, or pain while you wear a grill, come to our Federal Way dentistry clinic. It’s also good to bring your grill with you to help us properly assess your problem. Try to also limit the amount of time you spend wearing your grill, as this will only make the problem worse.

Most Women Practice Better Oral Hygiene

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According to a recent study, women have a tendency to take better care of their teeth than men do. This study comes to us from the Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Eight hundred participants were asked a series of questions and subjected to an oral examination, which led to the following revelations:

  • Women are about 26% better about flossing every day
  • Women are about twice as likely to schedule regular dental checkups
  • 44% of women reported being aware that their overall bodily health can benefit from periodontal visits, compared to 33% of men
  • Women are about twice as likely to notice that someone is missing a tooth
  • 74% of women reported that they would be embarrassed by having a missing tooth, compared to about 57% of men

Regardless of who you are, it is important to remember to always seek out proper dental care. Therefore, be sure that you take the appropriate measures to keep your appointments with Bella Dental in Federal Way every six months, and promptly schedule any additional appointments you may require.

Green Tea Protects Your Teeth

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Green tea has many strong benefits to offer to your body, and your mouth is no exception. According to a research team, green tea features antimicrobial substances that kill off the harmful bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for tooth decay and gingivitis. In a study, participants between the age of forty and sixty-four who reported drinking a cup of green tea every day were 19% less likely to lose their teeth as they aged.

Part of the benefit derived from drinking tea can be attributed to the effects of washing the mouth out with warm fluid. However, not all warm beverages give you the same benefits. Oolong tea, while featuring some of the same antimicrobial catechins, was found to have a weaker effect. Green tea sweetened with sugar loses much of its positive effect on your teeth. Coffee, meanwhile, has demonstrated no benefits for your teeth, and sweetened coffees can apparently be highly detrimental.

For more tips on keeping your mouth clean, contact our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

Smart Bomb Mouthwash May Eliminate Tooth Decay

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Though we all dream of a day when the biggest diseases that afflict our society may be cured forever, most of us are probably willing to accept that tooth decay is here to stay. After all, isn’t it a foregone conclusion that bacteria are going to thrive in the human mouth? The truth may pleasantly surprise you.

While the human mouth is home to over 100 trillion microbes, there is only one variety that is responsible for producing the acid that causes tooth decay. This is the s. mutans bacteria, which makes up only 0.1% of the cultures in your mouth. Many of the other microbes are potentially beneficial, but get killed by antimicrobial mouthwashes strictly because the s. mutans can’t be targeted by itself. Fortunately, a group in UCLA is working to solve this problem.

This group has developed something that they are calling a “smart bomb” mouthwash, which kills off s. mutans while leaving other bacteria intact. In tests, the wash has shown itself to be effective in fully eliminating s. mutans populations. Test subjects experienced no resurgence of the bacteria for the duration of the study.

Though the mouthwash shows potential in making tooth decay a thing of the past, it has not yet been approved for commercial use. Until such a time, see our Federal Way dentistry clinic for help preventing decay.

What are the Odds that I Have Oral Disease?

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Are you one of the many people who will postpone your regular dental visits over and over? Perhaps you feel perfectly healthy and, with a thousand other concerns in your life, going to see the dentist every six months just isn’t a big priority for you. After all, what are the odds that you actually have a pressing problem that you need to deal with?

The bad news is that the odds are much greater than you probably think. It has been estimated that fully 90% of people in America are afflicted with some form of disease or infection in your mouth. This may come in the form of a mild bit of tooth decay, some advanced gum disease, or even oral cancer. To make matters worse, a far smaller percentage of people have any idea that they have a problem at all.

Knowing this, you should never put off your regular cleanings with our Federal Way dentistry clinic any longer than you absolutely need to. Call Bella Dental today!

The Causes of TMD

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A disorder of the temporomandibular joint, or TMD, can come in many forms. In general, TMD’s represent a problem with the joint of the jawbone or the muscles that are used to move your jaw. In many cases, the root cause is unclear. However, some of the most common causes include the following:

  • An impact or similar injury sustained around the area of the jaw, head, or neck may result in a TMD.
  • Excessive clenching or grinding puts unnecessary stress on your jaw muscles and causes TMD.
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw can manifest itself as a TMD.
  • Some diseases, like oral cancer or gingivitis, can affect the way your jaw fits into your skull and cause TMD.
  • Women, particularly those between the age of twenty and forty, appear to be most likely to develop TMD. The reasons for this are unknown.

Should you find yourself suffering from TMD, Bella Dental can help. Talk to our Federal Way dentistry clinic to find the cause behind your disorder and explore your treatment options.

Dry Mouth vs. Your Face

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There are many good reasons to treat your dry mouth, most of the having to do with your oral health. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. When your mouth dries out, the surrounding skin on your face is similarly going to be deprived of the moisture it needs to stay healthy and look youthful. If you are suffering from dry mouth, you may notice extra wrinkles and cracks around your lips, as well as a fair amount of chapping.

Further, if you were hoping to mask these wrinkles with a little extra lipstick, you’re out of luck. People struggling with dry mouth have a reduced ability to flush away stains on their teeth. This means that, when your lipstick gets on your teeth, you may be stuck with red marks on your grin until you get a chance to brush again. So, for the sake of both your health and your appearance, be sure to consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic to deal with your dry mouth.

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