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What Could Turn My Tongue Red?

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A healthy tongue should have that familiar pink coloration that we’re all familiar with. Every once in a while, though, some people will discover that their tongue has turned a strange red color. Sometimes this will be paired with a series of enlarged taste buds, giving the surface of your tongue a strawberry-like appearance. This can be caused by a number of conditions, some of which should be brought to our Federal Way dentistry clinic or your doctor:

  • Benign Migratory Glossitis: This condition is also known as geographic tongue, as it is characteristic of geographic-like patterns forming on the surface of your tongue. The patches that form on your tongue may be outlined in a thin, white border. The good news is that this is usually a harmless condition, but you should alert your dentist if it lasts longer than two weeks.
  • Kawasaki Syndrome: This is a condition that is usually only found in young children. It comes with a very high fever, often paired with swelling in the hands and feet. Should your child suffer these symptoms, you should take him or her to your doctor.
  • Scarlet Fever: This infection may occasionally come with a strawberry tongue. If you have scarlet fever, you will need to get an antibiotic treatment from your doctor.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: You may develop a red tongue if you do not get enough vitamin b12 or folic acid in your diet.

Bruxism in Children

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Between 15% to 33% of children will suffer from bruxism at some point. For the most part, this is caused by the pain that occurs during the eruption of new teeth. The habit will generally fade after the discomfort passes, but sometimes the grinding will persist. In such an event, our Federal Way dentistry clinic offers the following advice for your young one:

  • Sometimes your child could be grinding without realizing it, often while they sleep. If he or she complains of headaches or a sore jaw, listen for a grinding sound during the night.
  • A lot of grinding is caused by stress. Work on ways to reduce your child’s stress, particularly before he or she goes to bed.
  • Instruct your child to massage his or her jaw muscles to relax them.
  • Dehydration can contribute to bruxism. Assure that your child is getting enough to drink.
  • Consult your dentist about your child’s bruxism. We can help to pinpoint the source of the problem. Your child may require some form of dental care to reduce discomfort and overcome his or her tooth-grinding.

What is the Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?

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When our Federal Way dentistry clinic discusses the detrimental build-up that needs to be cleaned from your teeth, the two words you’re going to hear a lot are “plaque” and “tartar”. Some people make the mistake of thinking that these are interchangeable terms. However, though they are quite similar, there is an important distinction to be made between plaque and tartar that has a big impact on how you should be addressing them.

Plaque is a bacterial film that collects throughout your mouth. This is the substance that you are clearing away with your toothbrush and floss. Tartar, also known as calculus, is what happens when you fail to clear this plaque away. This is when the plaque has hardened into a resilient shell on the surface of your tooth. At this point, it can no longer be cleared away with normal brushing; you will need to have your dentist remove it.

Does Whitening Break Down My Teeth?

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There are some fears that a professional whitening treatment, like the kind you might get at our Federal Way dentistry clinic, might be doing more harm than good. After all, since these are harsh bleaching chemicals, couldn’t they break down the delicate gum tissues and tooth enamel in your mouth? If you share these trepidations, a recent study has some good news for you.

This study is coming to us from the São Leopoldo Mandic Institute and Research Center in Brazil. Researchers observed a set of participants who each underwent different levels of in-office-style bleaching gels. After examining the tooth enamel of participants, it was determined that there was no discernable difference between those who had gotten a full whitening and those who had received no whitening.

It should be noted that this only applies to professional, in-office treatments. Certain home whitening products have been found to be more harsh on your mouth. So, when you lose the lustre in your pearly-whites, count on Bella Dental to give you the whitening you need.

Caring for Teeth While Wearing Braces

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Braces can make your normal brushing routine difficult. Wire braces give food particles and bacteria more places to hide from your toothbrush, making good oral hygiene all the more essential. You may also want to schedule additional regular appointments with our Federal Way dentistry clinic for the duration of your braces.

If you have braces that can be easily removed, you should always take them out before eating. If your braces cannot be taken out, it is best to entirely avoid foods that will stick to or damage them. Hard, gummy, and chewy candies are right out, as is popcorn and gum. It’s best to stay away from soda and sugary juices as well.

Some pain is to be expected as your teeth adjust to the braces. Simple painkillers should be enough to help you cope under normal circumstances. However, you should be on the lookout for any poking or scratching sensations in your mouth that may be the result of a broken set of braces; damaged braces should be reported to your orthodontist as quickly as possible.

Is Honey Safe for Your Teeth?

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If you’re looking for an alternative to conventional refined sugars as a sweetener, honey offers quite a few advantages. Unfortunately, these advantages do not extend to your oral health. If you are using honey with the hopes that it will put you at less of a risk of tooth decay, you’re going to be disappointed.

Indeed, honey has the same ability to rot your teeth as refined cane sugars. About 82% of honey is sugar, which adds up to seventeen grams of sugar in a single tablespoon. These sugars come in the form of natural glucose and fructose, which has certain benefits, but still feeds your oral bacteria and allows it to produce the acid that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Further, the sticky nature of honey allows it to linger on your teeth for a longer period than many sugars might, causing further decay.

So, when you eat with honey, be sure to treat it with the same level of caution that you would any other sugary snack. Enjoy it in moderation, and don’t coat your baby’s pacifier in it. Consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic to learn more.

Do Americans Really Have Better Teeth?

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The stereotype of the crooked British smile has been around for many years, largely driven by the appearance of some prominent figures. But how accurate is this stereotype?

Until now, there has not been much in the way of scientific evidence either supporting or refuting our image of our neighbors across the pond. A recent study took a close look at the mouths of a selection of British and American participants, counting the number of missing teeth that the average citizen of either country had. The results were that Americans, on average, were missing more teeth than their British counterparts. The study did not look into any other aspects of dental health, including orthodontic needs. However, it would seem that dental care in the United States is falling somewhat short. Some are attributing this to the more comprehensive welfare policies that the English enjoy, which accounts for the fact that it’s largely people from the lower socioeconomic position in the United States who exhibited the most missing teeth.

One way or the other, be sure that you are not denying yourself the dental care you need. Contact our Federal Way dentistry clinic for your regular checkup and cleaning right away.

Is Your Toothpaste Healthy?

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Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth approximately seven hundred times a year. Over this time, the small amounts of toothpaste that you swallow are going to add up. With this in mind, it can be important to be mindful of the harmful substances that might be hiding in your paste. Here is a list of the common ingredients you might want to look out for:

  • Blue Dye No. 2: It is believed that this artificial color may be related to learning and behavioral issues, as well as some allergies.
  • Triclosan: The effects of this substance are not fully understood, but the Environmental Protection Agency says that more research is required.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This chemical is aggravating to the skin and delicate gum tissues, bringing about irritation and canker sores.
  • Hydrated Silica: A common abrasive, too much hydrated silica can wear down your enamel.

If you need help choosing a good toothpaste for your needs, consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

The Five Types of Tooth

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There are five different types of tooth in your mouth, each one of which has a special job.

  • Incisors: These are the eight teeth at the very front of your mouth. Flat and scissor-like, these teeth are used to bite off pieces of your food.
  • Canines: You have four of these teeth. They are your “fangs”, the sharpest teeth in your set. It is their job to rip and tear, making them instrumental for eating meat and similarly tough foods.
  • Premolars: Also known as bicuspids, there are four of these teeth in your mouth. They serve to chew and grind your food.
  • Molars: Similar to the premolars, the molars are responsible for chewing and grinding. They are bigger than your premolars, and do more of the work.
  • Third Molars: These are the wisdom teeth. You may have anywhere from zero to four of these. They can serve the same function as your molars, but they frequently need to be removed so that they don’t overcrowd your other teeth.

You can talk to our Federal Way dentistry clinic to learn more about your teeth and how to properly care for them.

Could Magnets Manage My Pain?

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Chronic dental pain can agony, and many people are willing to try anything to find relief. One alternative option that many people will explore is magnet therapy. Under this practice, powerful magnets are worn in key places to dull pain and promote healing. But is the science sound, or is it just another dose of snake oil?

The unfortunate truth is that it is difficult to say just how much magnets have to offer. It isn’t entirely absurd to think that magnets may be able to affect your health, as magnetic fields run through the body. However, some of the claims made by magnet therapists don’t hold up to scrutiny. It is claimed by some that the magnets act upon the iron in your blood, but this iron is not in a state where it will react to magnetism.

If you are struggling with dental pain, talk to our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

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