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Smiling Tips for the Perfect Christmas Card Photos

As the year comes to an end, many families get together to take pictures for their Christmas cards. This is becoming a forgotten tradition in America, but there are still plenty of people who use this as a chance to commemorate another year passing by. If the Kardashians can still do it, you can, right? You just need to have a set of good smiles to make your photos look their best. Here are some smiling tops for Christmas card photos that you can apply with your family.

Try Taking Some Candid Photos

When everyone is looking at the camera and smiling after “cheese,” the grins can look a little fake. If you want to have a picture that looks natural and beautiful at the same time, you can ask the photographer to take candid pictures of your family before and after your shoot. Once someone tells a joke and everyone starts laughing, the smiles will naturally come out. You may not be facing the camera, but you will look like you are genuinely enjoying your time together. Your card recipients will smile along with you when they see that.

Avoid Yellow And Orange Colors

Yellow and orange shirts have a tendency to emphasize discoloration in your teeth. The only exception to this rule is when someone with darker complexion has a brilliantly white smile. Then the yellow doesn’t matter. To be on the safe side though, try to avoid colors that dull your smile. Stick with white, red, green, or blue to get the best looking smiles in your photos.

Make Use of Natural Sunlight

Natural lighting always looks better in photos than artificial lighting because it has a warm glow that you can’t get from a light bulb. If it’s a nice day outside, you may want to bring the family outdoors for your photos. You could also open up the windows in your home, if that is where you are taking the pictures. An overcast day can still have good natural lighting – even better than direct sunlight in a lot of cases. Try to plan your photo around the sunlight outside, not whatever you can plug into an outlet.

Don’t Forget to Brush Your Teeth!

This may be an obvious tip, but the dentist in me could not leave this article without reminding you to brush your teeth for your Christmas card photos. If you have time to get them whitened before the big day, that would be even better! No matter what though, just make sure to show off your brilliant smile when the time comes. Your friends and family members are guaranteed to love your cards after that!

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5 Tips for Using Invisalign

Invisalign is a wonderful alternative to traditional braces. Most people won’t be able to tell when you are wearing your Invisalign trays, so you don’t have to be self-conscious about your smile. The first few sets of trays you wear might be tough, but after that, they will become part of your routine. In an effort to make your transition to this process a little easier, we’ve come up with these five tips for using Invisalign.

Leave Them in for 48 Hours

The first 48 hours that you have your new Invisalign trays are the toughest. This is the time when your teeth move around and try to get into their new positions. Your teeth will be sore and sensitive, much like they are for people with metal braces after they get them tightened. Nevertheless, you have to try to keep your trays in as much as possible during the 48 hours so your teeth can settle. Take them out for eating, brushing, etc., but try to keep them in as much as possible.

Continue Wearing Them as Much as Possible

The more often you wear your Invisalign trays, the less time you’ll have to wear them overall. Don’t get complacent with the idea that you can take them out whenever you want. You still need to try to wear them as if they are traditional braces so you can get through this process quickly.

Brush and Floss Thoroughly

You should always brush and floss your teeth well, but it is especially important to do so whenever you have Invisalign. The trays create a moist, warm place for bacteria to grow, and they act as a barrier against saliva and water that would normally help flush out your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Clean Your Trays Too!

Your trays can get just as nasty as your teeth. You can clean them with a soft bristled toothbrush, or at the very least, rinse them out with water. Do as much as you can to get the trays clean before putting them back on your teeth. That way, you re-inserting bacteria into your mouth that could lead to gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Enamel-Staining Drinks

Try not to drink a lot of soda, wine, coffee, and other dark drinks that are prone to staining enamel. These drinks and the chemicals they leave behind will get trapped in your trays, essentially turning your trays into a tanning bed for your teeth. Sugary foods offer the fuel that bacteria need to grow and prosper. Keep those out of your diet as much as possible to avoid an unhealthy development of bacteria.

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common oral health concern that can happen to almost anyone. With the right habits early on though, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. The information below shows five sure-fire ways to prevent gum disease so you can keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Read on to see what you can do for your mouth.

1 – Brush Your Teeth Regularly

As obvious as this may sound, regular brushing can do wonders for gum disease prevention. Brushing your teeth gets rid of bacteria and plaque that forms around the gums, and it keeps your smile bright and white. Brush your teeth twice a day, every day and keep up that habit for your entire life.

2 – Use a Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers are fun to use, and they can remove a ton of bacteria that gets trapped on your tongue. Your tongue is really nothing more than a giant sponge in your mouth, soaking up bacteria that will eventually work its way into your gums. You can use a tongue scraper as a squeegee along your tongue, pulling off bacteria along the way. Your mouth will feel significantly cleaner with just one swipe.

3 – Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste that is used to strengthen teeth on the surface. The fluoride helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay by flecking off bacteria that tries to stick around. If you want to get even more fluoride out of your dental routine, you can use ACT mouthwash or a similar product that boost fluoride levels in your mouth. Also ask your city water supplier if you have fluoride in your tap water, in case you want to start drinking from your sink.

4 – Eat Healthy Foods

Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet will help your smile stay clean and bright. With the proper nutrients in your body, your immune system will naturally fight the bacteria that causes bad breath and gum disease. Drinking water throughout the day will continuously rinse out your mouth, which again will get rid of bacteria. Work on improving your diet so you can improve your smile.

5 – Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

Keeping up with your dental cleanings will get rid of the stuck-in plaque and bacteria that you cannot get out on your own. You should visit your dentist twice a year in order to make your smile as clean as it can be. These visits will also allow your dentist to see early signs of gum disease and suggest ways to avoid them before they fully develop. The sooner you catch the problem, the better off you will be.

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How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a growing problem in the modern world. It comes from a baby’s long term exposure to drinks containing sugar, including milk. Children who are taught to pacify themselves with a bottle or sippy cup often face problems with their dental development. This may decay baby teeth when they come in and prevent adult teeth from growing properly.

The guide below explains how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay from forming.

Don’t Let Your Child Carry a Bottle throughout the Day

Some parents let their children hold bottles throughout the day so their kids can drink over the course of several hours. The bottle acts as a pacifier for the kid, keeping him calm and happy. As much as you may want to do this for your child, you have to find other ways to keep him in a good mood. Long-term exposure to sugary drinks is a guaranteed way to decay teeth, even before they grow in.

Keep the Bottle out of the Crib

A lot of parents will leave a bottle in a child’s play pin or crib so the child can drink it before bed. This is a longstanding process that puts your child at risk of tooth decay. Try feeding your child a big meal right before nap time or bed time, and then use a comfort object like a stuffed animal to keep your child calm in bed.

Start Brushing Baby Teeth When They First Come In

In order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, brush your baby’s teeth early on. This applies to teeth that may not be fully formed. In fact, it would be wise for you to use a clean gauze pad or a washcloth to wipe off your baby’s gums after each feeding. Floss when your child has two teeth that start touching together, and keep up with these good habits even after he is off the bottle entirely.

Check Fluoride Levels in Your Water

Fluoride is a wonderful ingredient for fighting tooth decay. If your child drinks tap water, see how much fluoride your water has in it. If you use a filter on your sink, see if the filter eliminates whatever fluoride is present. If there is not much fluoride in your water, that is fine. Drinking water will be better than drinking milk in a bottle, at least in the realm of tooth decay.

Follow the tips above, and you will be able to avoid baby bottle tooth decay.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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What Toothpaste Ingredients Do for Your Teeth

Ever wonder what’s inside your toothpaste? Most people know about fluoride, but the rest of the ingredients in toothpaste are just a mystery. All of these ingredients serve different purposes, and sometimes it’s just nice to know what’s going in your mouth. Here is a look at what different toothpaste ingredients do for your teeth.

Fluoride

The most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. It has been used for more than 50 years because of its proven ability to fight off tooth decay. Fluoride joins with the enamel on your teeth to strengthen the enamel weakened by acid. This not only makes your teeth stronger as a whole, but it helps your teeth fight off future acid attacks.

Abrasives

These chemicals are used to remove stains and plaque from teeth. They also act as polishing agents to keep teeth shiny and sparkling. Common abrasives in toothpaste include calcium carbonate, silica and alumina. These ingredients are specifically chosen because they are harsh enough to remove stains without being so harsh that they damage tooth enamel.

Detergents

Detergents in toothpaste work much like any other kinds of detergents – laundry detergent, dish detergent, etc. These chemicals help to dislodge food debris and bacterial plaque from in between teeth by creating a lawyer of foam in the crevices. One of the most common types of detergents in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulphate. Detergents are also responsible for giving you that “fresh clean feeling” that makes brushing your teeth fun to do.

Other Ingredients

Here is a quick list of some additional toothpaste ingredients:

  • Humectants: These prevent toothpaste from drying out and they give toothpaste its texture. Example: glycerin
  • Thickeners: They help toothpaste retain its texture and they allow it to stay on the bristles of the brush without sinking in between them. Example: cellulose gum
  • Preservatives: They keep toothpaste clean by preventing the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
  • Flavoring and coloring agents: They help toothpaste taste like specific flavor (bubble gum, mint, etc.) and they give it its distinct color. This is all used for aesthetics, but it makes a big difference in the way you perceive your toothpaste.

Knowing about toothpaste ingredients won’t change the way you take care of your teeth, but at least now you know a little more about what’s going on every time you brush. There is a ton of science behind every tube of toothpaste.

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Keep Your Smile Clean with a Clean Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is supposed to be a tool for keeping your mouth clean, but it can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This may cause more problems in your mouth than it gets rid of. In order to ensure your teeth are as clean as they can possibly be, you need to work on cleaning your toothbrush. The guide below explains how to clean a toothbrush effectively so your smile can shine bright.

Rinse It Off

Every time you brush your teeth, you need to rinse out your toothbrush. You probably do this already to get rid of the toothpaste that gets stuck on the bottom of the bristles. Try to use high pressure water to basically powerwash the debris out of the bristles. This will give you a clean start the next time you go to brush your teeth.

Use Toothbrush Sanitizer

You can buy special sanitizer that is designed to thoroughly clean your toothbrush. You don’t have to use this every single time you brush your teeth, but it would be worth using once a week or even once a month just to get your toothbrush looking its best. Think of this like spring cleaning for your toothbrush, only more frequent and less time consuming.

If you don’t want to use toothbrush sanitizer, you can also throw your toothbrush in the dishwasher. It may seem unnatural at first, but it will make your toothbrush look like new again.

Store It Properly

Don’t store your toothbrush face down in a cup or in a bathroom drawer. The goal is to expose the head of the toothbrush to as much air as possible because that will help kill the bacteria on it. You can buy toothbrush covers that have ventilation holes in them, if you want to keep it covered without suffocating your toothbrush. Otherwise, just keep it head up in a toothbrush holder or something along those lines to make your toothbrush as clean as possible.

Buy a New Toothbrush

After about six months of regular use, your toothbrush is no longer going to be good to use. The bristles will be worn, and you simply won’t get the same fresh-from-the-dentist feeling that you get from a new toothbrush. If you are sick, you might want to replace your toothbrush after healing to avoid infecting yourself once again. Know when it’s time to get rid of your old toothbrush, and you will always have a new one to use.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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7 Creative Ways to Use Dental Floss

Want to get more out of a roll of dental floss than just clean teeth? This simple nylon string has a number of potential uses that reach far beyond the corners of your smile. Listed below are seven creative ways to use dental floss.

Sew with It

Have a button that keeps coming off your shirt? Sew it on with dental floss instead next time. You can also try using dental floss to fix tears in thick material because it can stand up better than most thread.

Bake with It

If you keep breaking your freshly baked cookies with your spatula, try sliding some floss underneath them to pry them off the baking sheet. Once they have released themselves completely, you can use a spatula for the actual lifting process.

De-Badge with It

If you want to take badges or stickers off your car, you can use dental floss to help you do this. Lowly work the floss behind the adhesive backing on the badge until it come loose. You may need to wear gloves for this in case the floss cuts into your hands.

Cut with It

You can use dental floss to cut soft foods, like cake, bananas, hard boiled eggs, and some cheeses. Wrap each end of the floss around one of your fingers and then pull it tight. You can move down on the food after that to create perfect slices even better than a knife would make.

Decorate with It

You can use dental floss to hang pictures, sun catchers, Christmas ornaments, and much more. As long as the item is small or somewhat light, the floss should be strong enough to hold it up.

Repair with It

If you have a leaky faucet that you can’t fix just yet, you could use dental floss for a quick solution to your problems. Tie the floss around the head of the faucet and then set the other end of it inside of the drain. When the leaks come, the water will follow the path of the floss and not make any noise.

Garden with It

Have some unruly vines that need directing? You could use dental floss to tie the vines to a trellis. You could also use floss to hold together groups of bamboo or other plants like that when you want them to grow close with one another. Play around with some different ideas, and you will soon see boring old floss in a whole new light.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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Moving? Here's a Quick Guide for Switching to a New Dentist

Moving is a stressful process. There are a million different things for you to think about, from getting boxes to setting up cable and internet. One thing you might not consider in the moving process is establishing yourself with a new dentist. Eventually though, this is something you will have to do. Here is a guide for switching to a new dentist to make your transition easy.

Schedule an Appointment in Advance

Depending on where you move, it may take you a while to find a new dentist that will work with you. Each dentist can only take on a certain number of patients without being overwhelmed. Thus if you want to register as a new patient, you will have to find a dentist with an opening for you. You will also need to keep your dental insurance in mind because you will need to find someone in your network. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the better off you will be.

Check Reviews from Local Clients

If you have several dentists to choose from in your insurance network, do some research online to see what other people are saying about the practice. While you’re at it, you might want to check the dentist’s website to find out what kinds of services he or she specializes in. This is not something you can over-research. You might just have to spend a little extra time finding the perfect dentist for you.

Request a Copy of Your Dental Records

Your new dentist will most likely take new X-rays to get up to date images of your mouth, but it would be nice for them to have old ones to look at as well. If your current dentist keeps electronic dental records, those can easily be sent to the new dentist. If not, you will need to get a copy of your records to give to your new dentist.

Note What Medications You Are Taking

Your dentist needs to know what medications you are taking in case they impact the state of your teeth. He or she will also need to know this in case you need to go on any special medications for your oral health. This is usually not the case, but it is always nice to have a list of your current medications on hand if they are needed.

Don’t forget about your dentist when you change locations, and your teeth will always be in good hands.

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How to Fight Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can make eating and drinking a highly unpleasant experience. Most people deal with dental sensitivity at some point in their lives, especially as they get older. If you are currently struggling with this problem, there are a few things you can do to make your situation better. Here is a basic guide showing how to fight sensitive teeth.

Use Sensitive Toothpaste

There are a number of ADA approved toothpastes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These products still clean well, but they do not include the same harsh chemicals that are found in a lot of other toothpaste products. Using sensitive toothpaste will ensure that you don’t feel pain when brushing your teeth, which will therefore encourage you to keep up with your oral hygiene.

Bonus Tip:Use your finger to put a little bit of your toothpaste on the sensitive parts of your teeth before you go to bed at night. Spit out any excess that gets in your mouth, but don’t rinse. Try this over the course of a couple weeks, and you might be surprised by how much better your teeth feel.

Use Mouthwash with Fluoride in It

Fluoride works to rebuild your enamel, which will help our teeth stand up against temperature changes and crunchy foods that may hurt you right now. Fluoride also fights tooth decay, which can make your teeth even more sensitive than they already are. Most toothpastes will come with fluoride in them, but you could supplement that by using ACT mouthwash, or a similar product containing fluoride. You won’t cause your mouth any harm along the way.

Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush

Hard bristle toothbrushes are only going to make your teeth worse. You need to look for a toothbrush that has soft bristles instead. This will also help you if you have problems with brushing your teeth too hard. The added pressure you put on your teeth won’t do nearly as much damage with a soft bristled brush. You can find these in both electric and manual models, and they will usually have an “S” indicator somewhere on the label.

Be Careful with Your Diet

Try not to eat too many hard or sticky candies as those can wear away at your teeth over time. You may also want to avoid almonds, celery sticks, and uncut apples because they are hard to bite into. Stick with foods that won’t hurt when you eat them, and your sensitive teeth will be much better off in the end.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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Do I Really Need to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

While most people believe that wisdom teeth removal is a necessity, not every patient has to have his wisdom teeth removed. The reason that most dentists suggest having your wisdom teeth removed at an early age is because they are known for causing serious problems when they are fully formed. By removing them before the issues develop, you have one less problem to worry about. In the article below, we will answer the question, “Do I really need to get my wisdom teeth removed?” so you can be prepared for the future.

Potential Problems with Wisdom Teeth

To understand the purpose of wisdom teeth removal, you need to understand the problems that come with wisdom teeth. In many cases, these teeth will not come in properly. They could come in horizontally, or they could cause your mouth to be overcrowded. Some wisdom teeth only come out partially, which creates a pathway between your teeth and your gums. This area is usually hard to brush, so it is the perfect area for bad bacteria to grow in the mouth.

Signs That You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

If you don’t want to go through wisdom teeth removal until it is in fact necessary, watch out for the following signs:

  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Pain
  • Repeated infections in the back of the mouth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors

If you are experiencing any of those as a result of your wisdom teeth, it may be best to have them removed.

Signs That You Can Keep Your Wisdom Teeth

There are occasions where wisdom teeth don’t cause any problems at all. In those situations, you can consider keeping your wisdom teeth for the rest of your life. Here are some signs of unnecessary wisdom teeth removal:

  • Your teeth have grown in completely and line up well with other teeth
  • You have no issues biting or chewing with your wisdom teeth
  • You are able to thoroughly clean your wisdom teeth like you do your other teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth and the teeth around them are healthy

We still recommend wisdom teeth removal for most of our patients simply because of how common problems are with them. However, you can assess your personal situation and figure out what will be necessary for you.

DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTENT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various dental and health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice from a qualified medical professional.

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