What if one small mistake was jeopardizing your health?

Brushing your teeth is something that you do every day. Unfortunately, many people are not brushing their teeth the right way. This leads to health problems that only become worse over time, with adults 50 to 64 having the greatest prevalence of tooth decay.

By learning how to brush the right way, you can protect your teeth in the here and now. And you can also protect yourself from major health problems later in life.

Ready to take control of your oral health? Keep reading to discover our top tips for brushing your teeth the right way!

1. Brush For At Least Two Minutes

Some of our tips for brushing your teeth the right way are simpler than others. For example, one of the best things you can do for your dental care is to brush for at least two minutes twice a day.

That may sound obvious, but once you start to brush your teeth, it’s easy to lose track of time. You may end up rushing the process, especially if you are getting ready to head out to work.

To make sure you hit two minutes, you may want to add a stopwatch app to your routine dental care. That way, you won’t shortchange your teeth brushing each day.

2. Get a Better Brush

Sometimes, the problems with routine teeth brushing have nothing to do with the routine. Sometimes, the issue is with the toothbrush itself.

It may be time to upgrade your brush to something better. Make sure you pick out a brush approved by the American Dental Association. And in this case, size does matter: make sure the handle is comfortable in your hand, and the brush head is comfortable in your mouth.

Are you willing to splurge a bit on your dental care? In that case, you may want to invest in an electric toothbrush. While the price is a bit hefty, it does a much better job of brushing your teeth than a standard brush.

3. Brush the Right Areas

When brushing, many people focus on the front of their teeth. However, this is not the area that usually develops cavities. Instead, cavities occur when food gets stuck inside the places that you chew.

Because of that, you should focus on all chewing surfaces, including the front, back, and bottom of each tooth in your mouth. It’s also important to brush along the gumline because this is where plaque tends to end up.

Speaking of your gums, it’s good to brush them as well as your tongue and other areas of your mouth. Not only does this help to clear the bacteria out, but it also gives you fresher breath.

4. Replace Those Old Brushes

Earlier, we touched on the fact that it may be time to replace your old brush. But do you know how long you should use a brush before replacing it?

At the bare minimum, you should replace old brushes every three months. However, if the bristles start looking frayed or worn, you should replace the brush sooner rather than later.

If you do end up investing in an electric toothbrush, most of those come with replaceable heads. This allows you to simply change out the head rather than replace an entire expensive brush!

5. Don’t Brush After Eating/Drinking Anything Acidic

Normally, it doesn’t matter what you eat or drink before brushing your teeth. There is one exception to this, though: you shouldn’t brush after eating or drinking anything with a high acid content. This includes red wine, carbonated sodas, and various citrus fruits and juices.

This doesn’t mean you must avoid these foods and drinks. It just means you should wait at least an hour after consuming them before you brush your teeth.

Why is that, though? Simple: brushing right after consuming something acidic can break down your teeth’s enamel. Considering that enamel cannot be replaced, brushing after consuming something acidic means you’ll need to find a good local dentist sooner rather than later.

6. Brushing Your Teeth: Change Up Your Brushing Patterns

Here’s an interesting fact: you are far less likely to develop cavities in the areas you brush on a frequent basis. Instead, cavities are likelier to occur in parts of your mouth that you accidentally overlook.

One way to keep that from happening is to change up your brushing patterns from time to time. For example, consider starting in a different position each time. And if you brush in a typical pattern (say, clockwise around the mouth), try going in different directions from time to time.

Changing up your brushing patterns can make the process a little less boring. And best of all, it means you are less likely to overlook any areas when you brush your teeth.

7. Clean That Brush

What if you followed all of our tips above and still developed tooth decay? That’s exactly what can happen if you don’t clean your toothbrush on a regular basis!

The whole purpose of your toothbrush is to help remove bacteria from your mouth. However, if you brush again without properly cleaning the brush, you may end up spreading more harmful bacteria around the interior of your mouth.

A simple way to keep your brush clean is to thoroughly rinse it off after each use. You should also store the brush upright rather than lay it in front of the sink, where it may get even dirtier.

Keep in mind that replacing your brush often enough, also helps keep things clean. Conversely, not throwing out your old brushes on time means they may be both dirty and ineffective.

Get the Best Dental Care Today!

Now you know the best tips for brushing your teeth the right way. But if you still encounter dental issues, do you know who you can rely on?

Here at Webster Family Dental, we specialize in keeping your mouth clean and healthy. To discover more about what we can do for you and your family, all you have to do is contact us today!

What if you could safeguard your dental health, one bite at a time?

Right now, tooth decay is still the most prevalent type of chronic disease that both children and adults struggle with. The things we eat make a major difference in how much dental care we need each year.

Therefore, it’s important to consume foods that taste great and are friendly to your teeth. Ready to help protect those teeth, one meal at a time? Keep reading to discover the tooth-friendly recipes that foodies are sure to love!

1. Loaded Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potato soup is always tasty, especially on a cold fall day. And for those looking to avoid needing dental care, it’s possible to make a loaded sweet potato soup that is very friendly to your teeth.

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 peeled and cubed winter squash
  • 3 peeled and cubed medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • ¼ cup of either butter or coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound of the meat of your choice
  • 2 medium onions

Now that you have the ingredients, begin by peeling and chopping both the squash and sweet potatoes. Boil two or more quarts of water and add the squash and potatoes to it. After that, cook until it is tender and then drain everything and let it cool down for a time.

Next, put half of your squash and potatoes into a food processor along with spices, coconut milk, and stock. Blend everything together and put it back into the pot. Then stir in the remaining squash and potatoes.

Afterward, cook the meat, slice the onions, and then cook the onions using butter or coconut oil in your skillet. After that, heat on low until it is warm enough to be served!

2. Cucumber Bites

Want a recipe that’s a little less involved but still won’t send you to your friendly neighborhood St. Louis dentist? In that case, you should make some cucumber bites!

To make this tasty treat, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Cucumbers
  • Cream cheese
  • Either grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Ranch dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Garlic salt
  • Dill
  • Black pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Begin by washing your cucumbers before slicing and peeling them. You need half-inch slices, and you can get rid of the ends; you won’t be using them.

Next, use a measuring spoon to carve out a little space inside each cucumber. After that, you need to mix your ranch, mayonnaise, and cream cheese until it is nice and smooth.

Speaking of mixing, the next step involves mixing your Italian seasoning, dill, and garlic salt into your creamy concoction. This should then go into a piping bag, and you can then put about one tablespoon of filling into each of your carved-out cucumbers.

After that, slice those tomatoes in half and place a half piece on top of each cucumber. Just add a little black pepper and these treats are now ready to serve!

3. Brie and Strawberry Bites

Cucumber bites are tasty, but it still takes many steps to make them. If you want a tooth-friendly treat that’s even easier to make, you should go with brie and strawberry bites.

To whip this up, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Small wheel of brie cheese
  • Washed strawberries

All you have to do is cut your brie into small cubes and then heat in your oven for about five minutes. Next, pop the strawberries on top, put a skewer through them, and serve!

Now, you may have seen variations of this recipe that involve adding dressing like balsamic vinegar. While that is tasty, the acid in the vinegar is not friendly for your teeth.

4. Teriyaki Salmon

Looking for something that’s good for body and mind as well as your teeth? In that case, it’s time to cook some teriyaki salmon!

To make this fishy feast, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/3 cup of fermented tamari sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of arrowroot flour
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut vinegar
  • 2 seeded bell peppers, sliced very tin
  • 2 tablespoons of divided coconut oil
  • 5 chopped green onions
  • 16 ounces of wild salmon. This will need to be cut into 4 even pieces.

Begin by taking the ingredients for the sauce (honey, tamari, arrowroot flour, and coconut vinegar) and whisking all of them into a small saucepan. Heat on low and stir periodically for about five minutes until it is good and thick.

Next, get a large sauté pan and heat it up (medium heat only) for a couple of minutes. Coat it with a tablespoon of coconut oil and add bell peppers, cooking them for a little over five minutes or until the edges are spotted brown. After that, remove the peppers and set them to the side.

Afterward, coat the pan with another tablespoon of coconut oil and put the salmon, skin down, onto the skillet until the bottom is a nice, golden brown (this should happen in three minutes or so). Flip the salmon pieces over and repeat the process.

Finally, put salmon pieces onto plates and drizzle the yummy sauce over them. Serve them with bell peppers and green onions.

5. Crunchy Fruit Salad

Not all fruits are tooth-friendly due to the acidity. Fortunately, it’s possible to whip up a crunchy fruit salad using fruits that are great for your teeth and your tastebuds.

To start, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 chopped pears
  • 3 chopped apples
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup of fresh mint leaves
  • ⅔ cup of chopped walnuts, toasted

All you have to do is place walnuts and fruits into a bowl and then add your mint leaves and honey. Once you toss everything, this refreshing treat is ready to serve!

Get the Best Dental Care Services Today!

Now you know some of our favorite tooth-friendly recipes that can keep you out of the dentist’s chair. But when you do need dental care, do you know who you can turn to?

Here at Webster Family Dental, we specialize in providing the care, comfort, and costs that other St. Louis dentists can’t match. To discover what we can do for you, just contact us today!

Dentists say a child’s first dental visit should happen between their first tooth erupting and their first birthday. This can be a stressful time for parents as they want to make sure their child does not get scared. So, how should you prepare for this event so it goes smoothly?

We have put together some of the best steps you can take to ensure your child is comfortable in the dentist’s chair. The process starts long before you even get to the dentist’s office, so prepare early. With these, the whole experience should go off without a hitch.

Be Positive About Dentists

One of the most troubling things about any dental visit is how other people talk about it. People share stories of horrifying dentistry, they talk about how scared they are of the dentist, and they often mention drilling. Children are very perceptive, so you should be careful with how you talk about visits to the dentist when around them.

Ensure your children know the dentist is only there to help them keep their teeth healthy. Talk about good experiences you had with a dentist, especially if they ever helped you avoid problems.

You can help your children see the dentist in a good light. This does not mean they will never need fillings or surgery. It instead means when they do, they will have had many positive visits beforehand to pull experience from.

Play “Dentist” With Your Child

One way you can remove some of the fear with a child is to play “dentist” with them. Lie them back on an inclining chair, pretend to be a dentist, and softly touch their teeth with plastic cutlery.

Children learn a lot about the world around them through play. They emulate adults or engage with their imagination. You can use this opportunity to teach them some of the things they can expect by using more than only your words.

After playtime, explain to them that a dentist visit will be something like what they experienced. They can expect the dentist to touch their teeth, and now they know what it might feel like.

Research Dentists Together

Sit the child next to you and look up pictures of people at dentists online. Of course, you will want to turn safe search on to prevent negative pictures from appearing. This way you can ensure the child only sees things that encourage them.

If you have a family dentist, see if you can get a private chat with them. Introduce your child to the dentist in a context that is not medical. You can then normalize being around the dentist as a person before your child sits in the dentist’s chair.

Look for books on dentists, especially ones meant for small children. They will always show dentists in a positive light. Also, many of them will help your child understand all the strange things they might see in the office.

These tips will help your child imagine dentists in both fictional and real settings. This way, your child will not have too many questions about the items around them once the dentist gets started.

Make Your Child Comfortable

For their first dental visit, you will want your child to know they have safe things around them. Ask the dentist if you can put on some calming music, or their favorite songs, but warn the child that they are not allowed to sing along.

Stay with your child and take a cuddly toy with you. If they have a tough time, give it to them afterward so they can recover faster.

While some people are hesitant to offer “screen time”, consider making an exception to distract the child from any fears they might have. Of course, they cannot have it while in the doctor’s chair.

Schedule the Visit at an Easy Time

A child’s first dentist appointment should occur when they feel the least stressed. Try to book it for after a nap, at a time when they are unlikely to be tired or hungry.

You could even schedule it for straight away after their nursery. If they have difficulties with changing schedules, this might help them ease into the experience.

Stay as Relaxed as You Can

There is every chance you are afraid of the dentist yourself. If this is the case, try to stay calm for the sake of your child. They can pick up on such feelings and it might cause them to become nervous themselves.

Stay positive, and try to congratulate your child on the things they do instead. Tell them “Well done!” when they open their mouth wide or sit still, for example, and tell them how well-behaved they are being.

You should also trust the dentist as they perform their role. They have likely been performing dentistry for many years on people as young as your children. You can expect that they know how to handle a small child who might fidget or act out.

Plan Something Fun Afterwards

Along with your child, decide on something fun to do after they visit the dentist. Their schedule will already face disruption due to the appointment, so make it a special day.

Go shopping, or get something fun to eat. It may seem like a bad idea to get ice cream after the dentist, but there are benefits. For example, your child talking to the dentist about such sugary treats might be a great opportunity to encourage them to brush their teeth too.

Book Your Child’s First Dental Visit

We are sure that with the above advice, you will be able to make sure your child’s first dental visit avoids any sort of hassle. If you need to book such a visit for your children, then we can help run you through the event ahead of time.

All you need to do is talk to us about your needs and we can help get your child in the dentist’s chair. So either give us a call or schedule an appointment today to ensure your child’s teeth are as healthy as they can be.

Almost 15% of the American population has undergone professional teeth whitening. This is around 45 million individuals, showing the procedure is very popular at present. Of course, finishing the treatment is only the start, and as with many cosmetic procedures, you must maintain it to keep its effects going.

Below we detail many of the most effective ways you can prevent your new bright look from tarnishing. As you read through, make a note of each one so you can apply its lesson to your life. This way, you can keep your pearly whites as white as possible.

Don’t Eat or Drink Bright Colors

Maintaining teeth whitening results is not always going to be easy. Sometimes you might need to give up some of the things you love. This includes delicious treats and snacks that have a large quantity of food coloring in them.

Food with bright colors, either through artificial additives or natural dyes, can start to affect your teeth when you chew on it. The natural dyes in food can absorb into the enamel of the teeth through tiny pores that exist across the enamel’s surface. Over time, this builds up and can lead to a brown or yellow stain on the teeth.

Instead, be more careful about what you eat. There is nothing wrong with a small amount of heavily-dyed food in moderation. But, take care to look at what you are putting inside your mouth and ensure it is not going to build up over time.

Continue to Brush Your Teeth

One of the most important things you can do to maintain post-whitening care is to do what you should have always been doing. That is brushing your teeth to ensure they remain clean and healthy.

If you do not brush your teeth, two things can happen:

A buildup of bacteria

A natural buildup of bacteria can start to occur in your teeth if you do not brush your teeth at least twice every day. This should happen once in the morning, before breakfast, and once before bed. Among other things, bacteria can start to degrade the enamel in the teeth or even cause issues deeper in your mouth.

Also, tartar can build up on teeth you have not washed, causing yellowing of the teeth’s surface. Brushing can break up this tartar before it forms and help to stem the discoloration of enamel.

Infusion of colors

As you eat colored food, you will start to pick up tiny stains on your teeth. By brushing, you clean some of those stains away. So, make sure you brush your teeth every night after you have had some of the most intensive meals you will likely have in the day.

This is especially true if you enjoy sugary drinks, as they can start to wear away at the teeth and leave behind stains from the food coloring in them.

Visit a Dentist Regularly

This is a piece of advice that is true whether you have teeth whitening or not. Remember to book and attend a dentist appointment around twice every year to keep your teeth in their best state.

The dentist will check your mouth for cavities, gingivitis, or other issues your teeth might have gained in the time between visits. They will also get rid of any buildups of tartar and other issues regular brushing has not removed. The dentist can then do a thorough clean of your teeth to remove stains you have picked up you may not have noticed.

Return for Maintenance Treatments

If you return to your professional dental care specialist, they will be able to help you keep your whitening up to date. This will entail performing the same process as when you first got your teeth whitened. Although you should be aware it may take much less time than the first application.

You should talk to your chosen medical professional to work out how often you should return for a top-up. They will have more information on how the process could help you and what you need to know before booking an appointment.

Avoid Smoking

If you smoke, you may find that over time your teeth will start to discolor. Despite starting as a pearly white soon after treatment, their surface will become yellow or even brown-stained over time.

Two of the main reasons for this are the tar and nicotine that exist within cigarettes. Nicotine, when it bonds with oxygen in the air, starts to give off the yellow hue you can see on a smoker’s teeth. At the same time, tar can start to leave a brown residue behind over several cigarettes, meaning your teeth become even darker the more you smoke.

These compounds can stick to a smoker’s teeth and start to bond with the teeth themselves. This discoloration can be very hard to remove as a person’s teeth have tiny holes that trap the nicotine or tar, making it harder to remove.

Of course, one of the best ways to avoid this discoloration is to avoid smoking altogether. If you cannot do this for any reason, you should ensure you continue to practice good oral hygiene. You can find the instructions for this above.

If you want to be extra sure of no smoking issues, you can always brush after every cigarette you smoke. Or, if you cannot do this for any reason, try rinsing your mouth with water instead.

Where to Get Professional Teeth Whitening

By paying attention to the above advice, your professional teeth whitening procedure should last for longer. Although, it is still very important that you ensure your teeth remain in the best state possible. For this reason, you should find yourself a professional who can guarantee a high-quality teeth whitening process.

We can talk to you about the ins and outs of teeth whitening treatment to ensure you get the best results possible. So pick up the phone today and start your journey towards whiter teeth now.

A minute on the lips might mean a lifetime on the hips, as the saying goes, but what about the impact on the route in between?

Nearly half of US adults have some form of gum disease, a reflection of how our diet can impact our oral health. What we eat can break down our gums and tooth enamel once it combines with the bacteria in our mouths.

There are some foods to avoid or at least cut back on if you want to limit oral health issues. Sugar, starch, acid, and temperature all play a role in tooth decay and gum disease. Let’s take a look at seven of the worst offenders.

1. Dried Fruits

Fruit can make for a healthy snack in a well-balanced diet, but in their dried form, they can become bad food for your teeth. The drying process concentrates the sugar and makes raisins and fruit leather sticky.

The high sugar level offers its own issues as it feeds the bacteria that cause plaque and decay. But the stickiness means pieces get left behind in the crevices of your teeth as well.

Saliva might not be able to wash them away since they stick so well. Drinking plenty of water to rinse out your mouth and brushing after eating dried fruit become important measures if you indulge in this snack.

2. Ice

Ice is just water, but it’s a super hard substance that can cause a lot of damage if you chew on it. You can end up with damaged enamel or even crack or chip a tooth, not to mention loosening any dental work you have. Traditional cubes that come out of your freezer can be as hard as jawbreakers.

Reduce the temptation to chomp down on the ice by drinking through a straw or by chilling the beverage in the fridge before pouring it into the glass.

3. Fruits and Juices

We think of fruit as being healthy, but the citrus options contain a ton of acid that can be tough on your tooth enamel. Lemons and limes are the big offenders because of their high levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), but plums and grapes hit the top of the list of most acidic fruits as well. Surprisingly, oranges prove a better option because they have much less vitamin C than other citrus fruits.

It can get worse when taken in juice form since the sugars get concentrated and acid levels increased when more vitamin C is added. In fact, drinking orange juice decreases the hardness of your tooth enamel by more than 80 percent.

You can get the same great nutrition from eating less acidic fruits like kiwi or vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. But if you love your citrus, consider only eating them as part of a meal to dilute the acid and its impact.

4. Crackers

This particular category isn’t limited to crackers, but any baked item full of refined carbohydrates. Bread and potato chips can have as much sugar as candy sometimes, leaving plenty of food for the cavity-causing bacteria to snack on. The carbs convert to sugar quickly and fill the small spaces between your teeth.

In addition, eating lots of highly refined carbs has been connected to inflammation, which can lead to gum disease. Keep them in moderation to avoid damage to your gums.

5. Popcorn

Popcorn might be yummy, but it can be tough on your gums when pieces get stuck in there. The thin husk likes to slide between the tooth and gum and can be a bear to get out.

Flossing becomes supercritical after indulging in this snack to ensure pieces aren’t left behind. If they get embedded, you can end up with an abscess or gum infection that might cause serious issues.

6. Candy

Hard candies are the big problem here since they keep sugar sitting in your mouth for a while. Plus, we’re often tempted to bite down on them and put a lot of pressure on our enamel. Cracking a tooth isn’t worth the short pleasure of a sweet!

Other candies can be sticky and also end up staying in your mouth for a while. They become an hours-long buffet for the acid-causing germs in your mouth, which leads to tooth decay. Eating them with your meal can help along with drinking water to rinse the sugars out if you can’t brush your teeth right away.

7. Highly Acidic Foods

Along with citrus fruits, there are other acidic options you might enjoy that turn out to be bad for your teeth. Acids in general lead to enamel erosion, which in turn makes them more sensitive and vulnerable.

But it might surprise you to know that berries, tomatoes, and yogurt are on the list. Add in the fact that most processed tomato products like ketchup and pasta sauce have a ton of sugar and it’s a double hit for your mouth.

Counteract their damage potential by including them in meals with other foods, and rinse your mouth with water or milk after eating. Also, keep in mind that acidic foods soften your tooth enamel, so brushing immediately after eating them can do more harm than good. Wait about an hour instead.

Repair Damage From These Foods to Avoid

Our tooth enamel is hardy stuff, but it’s constantly under attack from the starch, sugar, and acid in the foods we eat. Brushing and flossing can maintain healthy teeth and gums, but limiting your intake of the foods to avoid on this list is also an important consideration. Pay attention to what goes in your mouth to maintain the integrity of your healthy smile.

Concerned about how your diet is impacting your teeth? Check out these tooth-friendly recipes and don’t forget to come to see us for a check-up every six months.

What if a single purchase could give your children better oral health?

Dental floss can help you give your children a brighter smile and cleaner oral health. However, there are many different floss options out there. That can make it hard to pick which floss is right for your kids.

Interested in providing better oral health for your children? Keep reading to discover how to pick the right kids’ dental floss!

When Should Kids Start Flossing?

Children need to begin flossing as soon as they have teeth that are touching together. Once that happens, it is possible for plaque to begin developing there, and brushing alone may not dislodge that plaque.

The entire point of regular flossing is to help people take care of the plaque that brushing cannot get rid of. If that plaque should build up, it can develop into cavities and other oral health problems.

Those problems can develop as soon as children’s teeth are touching. But if you teach and encourage brushing from a young age, you can install a lifetime of good dental values.

Types of Dental Floss

Both children and adults have more flossing options than ever before. In order to make the best choice for your own kids, you need to understand the types of dental floss that are out there.

The first type of dental floss is simply standard floss. This is the same floss your dentist uses, and kids must wrap it around their fingers and methodically floss between teeth using both hands.

The second type of dental floss is the floss pick. Instead of wrapping floss around their fingers, children can use the floss pick to floss with a single hand.

The final type of floss is actually a floss alternative: the water pick. Many use a water pick daily as an alternative to traditional flossing, and it serves the same function that regular flossing does.

Now that you know about the different types of floss, let’s take a closer look at whether these are good choices for your kids or not.

Should Kids Use Regular Dental Floss?

Regular dental floss is the gold standard of flossing. Encouraging children to use this floss from a young age helps provide them with better oral health as adults.

With that being said, some children struggle with flossing in their early years. This is because it requires both hands and some manual dexterity.

Because of that, you may want to start children off with a flossing alternative. But we recommend that you help floss your children’s teeth with traditional floss from an early age to help normalize their use of it.

The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Floss Picks

Children and adults alike are fond of floss picks. It’s not hard to see why: floss picks are much easier to use, especially for children.

When your child first begins flossing, you will likely need to handle much of this for them. Many parents prefer these floss picks because they can be used with one hand. The other hand can be used to hold your child’s hand, open their mouth, or just offer comfort and support.

However, floss picks never get rid of as much plaque as dental floss does. If you give your children floss picks at a younger age, we recommend you switch them to standard dental floss by the time they are eight years old.

Should Kids Use a Water Pick?

Children should not use a water pick until they are much older. The only exception to this is if your children have braces that make dental floss or floss picks impossible to operate.

In the right hands, water picks are very effective because they blast a stream of high-pressure water through the teeth. This makes for a quick and efficient way of taking care of plaque.

However, children shouldn’t use water picks because at higher settings, they can easily injure their gums. And even if children don’t hurt their gums, they may end up making a huge mess with a water pick.

As we noted before, the only real exception is if a child happens to have braces. A water pick can be helpful for such children – but should only be used under adult supervision.

Model Flossing for Children

Flossing is only really effective when children use the right flossing techniques. That is why it is very important for parents to model flossing to their children.

Think of flossing like any other skill. Just as you had to (or will have to) teach your child to tie shoe laces, you must teach them how to floss if you want them to learn how to do it.

One of the easiest ways to model flossing is to let your children see how you floss. In addition to teaching them necessary flossing techniques, this helps them see flossing as a normal family activity.

Getting Kids Excited About Flossing

Children, much like adults, can learn how to floss pretty quickly. The hard part is getting them to do it regularly. And if they don’t floss on a regular basis, your children will lose most of the benefits that flossing has to offer.

The solution, then, is to get your children excited about flossing. One way to do this is to let them pick out their own floss or floss picks. This gives kids a sense of agency and makes them more excited to floss, just as letting them pick their own toothbrush encourages brushing.

You can also make kids excited about flossing by flossing alongside them each night. This helps transform regular flossing into a nightly family ritual.

Finally, you can offer small, tangible rewards to children for flossing. As with potty training, rewards for following instructions give kids a powerful incentive to master how to do something!

Find the Dentist Your Child Deserves

Now you know how to pick the right dental floss for your kids and get them flossing. But do you know who can take care of their other oral health needs?

Here at Webster Family Dental, we make your children’s oral health our top priority. To see how we can provide the care your children deserve, just contact us today!

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What if you were destroying your teeth and didn’t even know it? We brush our teeth twice a day in order to keep cavities and other oral health issues away. But just brushing your teeth is not enough to protect them. Instead, you must ensure you are brushing them the right way. That’s where we in. Keep reading to discover our top 5 Webster Family Dentistry tips to brush perfectly every time as well as some easy mistakes you need to avoid!

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

It’s important to brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time twice a day. You should use a timer or stopwatch to ensure you brush for the minimum amount of time.

At first, using a timer or stopwatch may seem like overkill. However, it’s not until we start brushing each morning and evening that we realize Albert Einstein was correct. Time is relative!

Without checking the time, it’s easy to think two minutes have gone by when they haven’t. And if you keep finishing 30 seconds too early, this can sabotage your dental care over time.

Is It Possible to Brush Too Much?

While brushing for more than two minutes is usually not dangerous, it is possible to brush your teeth too hard. This can lead to sensitivity, abrasion, and even gum recession.

Most people who brush too hard are very concerned about their dental hygiene. Unfortunately, brushing hard can cause its own kinds of dental care issues separate from not brushing enough.

If you’re worried that you’re brushing too hard, be sure to consult with your dentist. And here at Webster Family Dentistry, we’re happy to make sure each tooth brushing session is “just right.”

The Type of Toothbrush Matters

When you go to the store, you may notice that there are often dozens of different toothbrushes to choose from. However, some of these are going to be more effective than others.

For example, you need a toothbrush with soft bristles. This is ideal for removing plaque from your teeth, which is why such brushes are recommended by the American Dentistry Association.

Beyond that, you have some choices in which type of toothbrush to use. Some people prefer a brush with a smaller head because they find it easier to get to those hard-to-reach places within the mouth. And many prefer an electric toothbrush because it provides a stronger and more consistent brushing experience.

How Often Do I Need to Replace the Toothbrush?

It’s best to replace your toothbrush every three months. However, you can replace it earlier than that if you begin to see signs of wear and tear. And you should always replace your toothbrush after you recover from an illness.

It’s important to think of your toothbrush like any other tool. It will wear down and become less effective over time. And if you don’t replace the brush in time, then even a vigorous brushing job may not effectively clean your teeth.

If you use an electric toothbrush, you can replace the head instead of getting a brand new brush. This helps cut down on the overall costs of your dental care.

Finding the Right Toothpaste

One of the most common questions we get is what toothpaste a person should be using. However, the correct answer varies from patient to patient!

For example, some toothpaste is designed for sensitive teeth. And some toothpaste is designed to whiten your teeth. Other types are formulated to fight cavities in a particular way.

Long story short? If you are concerned about which toothpaste is right for you, it’s best to consult with your dentist. This is especially true if you have concerns about your current toothpaste.

Toothbrushing Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to dental hygiene, sometimes it is important to know what not to do. Even small mistakes in toothbrushing add up over time and can lead to major issues with your dental care.

Fortunately, the most common toothbrushing mistakes are easy to fix. Below, we have a few mistakes you need to avoid!

Just Going Back and Forth

The most common toothbrushing error is that people go back and forth over their teeth with the brush. This technique might make your teeth look good, but it won’t remove most of the plaque.

That’s because plaque builds up around your gums. To go after the plaque, you need to start at your gums and move the brush up and down instead of left to right. This “gentle massage” technique will be much more effective.

Brushing Too Soon After Eating

One of the reasons that we brush at night is to clean up our teeth after a day of eating various meals and drinking assorted drinks. Some people think it is best to brush right after eating. However, that can be a big mistake!

The food we eat leaves acid on our teeth. Fortunately, our saliva helps deal with the acid. But if you don’t wait at least 20 minutes after eating to brush, you’re sabotaging your dental care.

That’s because if you brush before your saliva helps deal with the acid, your brushing may spread the acid around. Just like that, brushing can do harm to your teeth.

Ignoring the Inside of Your Teeth

We brush in front of a mirror most of the time. Because of that, we brush what we can see. But it’s also important to brush what you can’t see: the inside of your mouth.

Plaque can build up inside your teeth just like it builds anywhere else. And if you don’t take care of this hidden plaque, it can lead to cavities and other major issues.

Brushing the inside of your teeth as well as your tongue helps improve your dental hygiene. As an added bonus, your breath will smell better, too!

Visit Webster Family Dentistry Today

Now you know how to brush your teeth better every time and what mistakes to avoid. But do you know who you can trust with your overall dental hygiene?

Here at Webster Family Dentistry, we specialize in giving you healthier teeth and a brighter smile. To see what we can do for you and your family, just contact us today!

Did you know that, in 2020, the size of the dental industry was $15.57 billion? Additionally, this amount is expected to double by the year 2027, reaching a size of $30.59 million. The biggest growth drivers include new dental technology, dental implants, and cosmetic surgery.

If you’re thinking of going to a dentist in the industry, you might be wondering whether you want them to perform a straight teeth procedure.

However, if you aren’t sure whether you want straighter teeth or not, you might be stressed about making this decision.

Fortunately, in this article, we’ll review the benefits of having straight teeth. Finally, you can decide if you want to straighten your teeth and have a smile you’re happy with. Read on to learn more.

1. Healthier Gums

When teeth are spaced too far apart or too crowded, bacteria and plaque accumulate under and along the gum line. Additionally, this makes it more difficult for you to brush or floss. Another issue is that the gums sometimes don’t fit properly around the teeth.

When any of these problems occur, they can lead to periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

When the disease is minor, it’s gingivitis. With appropriate care, it’s reversible. However, if it becomes more serious, it can turn into periodontitis.

Periodontitis, while manageable, can’t be cured. This disease is a leading tooth loss cause in adults. Also, gum disease has been linked to various health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

This is likely because of the inflammation gum disease causes in the body.

2. Healthier Teeth

As we mentioned in the last point, having teeth that are misaligned or crooked can make it more difficult for you to brush and floss. As a result, as the bacteria and plaque that collect feed on starches and sugars, they’ll eat away at your tooth enamel.

Over time, this can lead to tooth decay. This will lead to an increased risk of the development of cavities.

3. Reduced Wear

When you bite, the pressure usually is distributed evenly across your teeth. This is in a way where you won’t cause pain or wear down your teeth unevenly. However, when you have teeth that aren’t in the right places, some teeth will bear a larger amount of brunt.

As a result, there will be an excess of enamel wear on those teeth.

By straightening your teeth, you can avoid the large amount of enamel wear that would otherwise occur with crooked teeth. This will in turn help you avoid issues such as tooth loss, cracked teeth, and so on.

4. Stronger Supporting Bones

If your teeth are spaced too widely, especially if you’re missing a tooth, this can cause you to experience jawbone loss. If the alveolar bone isn’t being used, it will begin to reabsorb and deteriorate. However, when your teeth are in the right place, this will help to preserve the jawbone.

5. Improved Comfort

Another problem that misaligned teeth can cause is undue stress on the chewing muscles and the temporomandibular joints. This can cause many different types of pain, including earaches, shoulder pain, neck aches, headaches, and TMJ pain.

When you straighten your teeth, you can balance bite forces. As a result, you’ll take the stress off your temporomandibular joints and the connected discs and muscles.

You can keep these areas healthy while also alleviating or preventing discomfort.

6. Clear Speech

While this may not be an obvious benefit that comes from having straight teeth, having teeth that aren’t straight can sometimes cause speech issues. This is because teeth play a role when it comes to producing some speech sounds.

They do this by serving as a contact point for the tongue or by directing airflow.

Additionally, for the production of some sounds, there’s a specific amount of room the tongue needs to move in the mouth freely. Crooked teeth can get in the way of this.

An example of this is when someone has an excessive open bite or overbite. Another example is when their two front teeth have a big gap between them.

When these issues are present, the person might have a lisp when they pronounce “th” or “s” sounds. They might even create a whistling noise.

Whether the solution is to fix an overbite or simply straighten the teeth, having straighter teeth can help make speech clearer.

7. Easier Chewing

Another benefit you can get from having straight teeth is easier chewing. When you have a functional bite and aligned teeth, you’ll be able to bite into your food, and chew it, efficiently and comfortably. This also provides you with an indirect health benefit.

You’ll have more options when it comes to the foods you can eat, and you’ll also digest them better. As a result, you’ll be healthier when it comes to your nutrition.

Interested in Getting Straight Teeth?

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of straight teeth, you might be interested in having yours straightened. Maybe you’re interested in other procedures, too, such as fixing an overbite or having a procedure done that gives you straight, white teeth.

Whichever procedure you want to get, you should get it at Webster Family Dental. We’re dental industry experts in the Webster/Kirkwood St. Louis area.

Our services include cosmetic, restorative, preventative, and emergency dentistry. To learn more about the dental procedures we do, contact us now.

Feature Image for Blog

The average American laughs 8 times a day.

In hard times, laughter can improve our moods and help us bond with others. But what if you’re self-conscious about your smile?

More than half of Americans deal with insecurities about their teeth. This can lead to covering your mouth when you laugh or only smiling with a closed mouth.

If this sounds like you, there is hope.

With dental veneers, your dentist can create your dream smile. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dental veneers and how they can change your life. 

What Are Dental Veneers?

If you still have natural teeth but are looking to improve their appearance, dental veneers might be right for you.

Dental veneers are essentially shells made of porcelain or resin that are attached to the front of your own teeth. The material used is thin and colored to resemble natural teeth.

Veneers can fix cosmetic concerns and improve the appearance of your teeth. Common examples of concerns treated with veneers include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Teeth that are too small

Veneers can be applied to a single tooth or to multiple teeth, depending on your needs. If you have a single tooth that is chipped or broken, you may only need one veneer. But many people get veneers across the top of their front teeth.

Most commonly, six to eight veneers are used to create the perfect smile. 

Types of Dental Veneers

There are a few different options when it comes to types of dental veneers. Most veneers are made of porcelain or composite resin. However, preparing them takes a lot of work.

Traditional veneers like those made of resin or porcelain require grinding down or removing some of your natural tooth, sometimes even through the enamel. While this allows for optimal placement of the veneer, it can be an uncomfortable procedure that requires a local anesthetic.

The part of your tooth that is removed will be gone forever. But there’s no need to panic. If your dentist decides that tooth reduction is the best choice for your smile, they can order a wax model that will show you how veneers will look on your teeth.

If you decide not to go the traditional route, you can opt for no-prep veneers. These still may require some preparations but the alteration to your tooth will be minimal.

Now, let’s take a look at the different types of dental veneers in more detail.


If you opt for porcelain veneers, your dentist may start by grinding down your teeth and making an impression of your smile to create a mold. This mold will then be sent to a lab where the porcelain veneer is made. While you wait for the veneer to be made, your dentist may offer you a temporary veneer.

Once the permanent veneers come back from the lab, your dentist will place them on the teeth that were previously prepared and cement them in place.

Some dentists have the technology to create veneers right there in the office. This can be done using CAD/CAM technology. 

Composite Resin Veneers

You may also consider composite resin veneers. This type of veneer is also referred to as dental bonding.

With this type of dental veneer, your dentist will prepare your teeth and apply a thin layer of the material. It may take multiple layers of composite material to achieve your desired look.

After application, your dentist will cure and harden the veneer with a special light. 

No-Prep Veneers

While porcelain and composite veneers are common and traditional types of veneers, there is another option.

No-prep veneers are made by specific brands such as Vivaneers or Lumineers. This type of dental veneer is easier to apply and requires the least preparation.

It isn’t necessary to remove layers of the natural teeth underneath the enamel. No-prep veneers only affect the enamel of the natural tooth. If you go this route, you usually won’t need temporary veneers or local anesthetics. 

Choosing the Best Veneers

The best dental veneers for your case depend on a number of factors including:

  • How much you’re willing to spend
  • How long they take to install
  • How you want them to look
  • How long you want them to last
  • What your dentist recommends 

If you’re looking for longevity and durability, you can’t go wrong with porcelain veneers. While this type of dental veneer requires more investment upfront, your smile will last longer and be less susceptible to stains and other damage.

If you’re looking for a minimally invasive option or less intensive correction, you might choose composite resin or dental bonding

Getting Dental Veneers

What should you expect throughout the process of getting dental veneers? At Webster Family Dental, we offer porcelain veneers and dental bonding that can be placed easily and quickly.

If you choose porcelain veneers, you can expect your dentist to lightly buff the area of your teeth that will be covered by veneers. We will then make an impression of your teeth so that our local lab can create the smile of your dreams.

Our porcelain veneer process ensures that your new smile will stand up to the test of time. You can expect your veneers to last at least a decade if you keep up with proper care and dental hygiene

If you choose dental bonding, you can expect an even easier process. Dental bonding can be done quickly in the office and required no waiting period. 

Are You Ready for a New Smile?

If you’re one of the many Americans who aren’t happy with your smile, we can help!

Life is too short not to laugh and enjoy yourself. If you find yourself smiling with your mouth closed or covering your teeth because you aren’t confident in your smile, we are here to change that.

We use custom dental veneers and dental bonding to create the smile of your dreams. With your new veneers, you can feel confident to smile bigger and laugh harder.

Click here to contact us today to learn more about whether dental veneers are right for you or request an appointment.

Blog Feature Image - The Ideal Oral Hygiene Routine Revealed

We all want a great smile and the first step to a beautiful smile is a healthy mouth. Your oral hygiene routine is so important, and consistency is the key. Caring for your teeth is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

It begins with brushing and flossing, but there’s so much more you can do. If you’re interested in how to establish an oral hygiene routine, we have the answers.

Here are our tips for a healthy oral hygiene routine:

Brush Properly

Brush your teeth twice a day or more. Do this every day, no matter how busy you may be.

A quick swipe is better than nothing, but it’s not enough. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Aim for 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth.

For best results, brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth’s surface and don’t forget your gums. Try to brush up and down on the front and back surfaces and back and forth on the flat tops. 

Brush all surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. If you wait until after breakfast to brush, try to wait about an hour after eating.

This is especially important if you’ve had something acidic like grapefruit or orange juice. 

Floss Every Day

It’s easy to put off flossing if you’re tired or in a hurry. But you shouldn’t skip this important step.

If you floss when you brush, floss first. Flossing loosens plaque and particles between your teeth. It helps make brushing more effective.

Use enough floss to have a clean section for each tooth. Use about a foot and a half of floss, wrapping it around your index fingers. 

Slip the floss gently between each tooth. Then continue to wind off a clean section as you move to the next tooth. 

Don’t forget to get in between your back teeth. Some people prefer to use hand-held “flossers.” You may need more than one to get the job done. These are handy for young children as well.

Use Mouthwash

After you’ve brushed and flossed, it’s time to rinse with mouthwash. There are many brands and flavors on the market. Choose a mouthwash you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.

A small capful is all you need. Swoosh for 30 seconds and spit out. Many people think mouthwash is for controlling bad breath. Although it helps keep your breath fresh, it does much more, including:

  • Reducing acids in the mouth
  • Helping re-mineralize the teeth
  • Removing debris between teeth and along the gum line

Flossing and using mouthwash along with regular brushing will help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is necessary for overall health and hydration. It plays an important role in oral health as well.

Water is sugar-free and helps keep your mouth clean by washing out residue and debris. 

Be sure to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible and drink plenty of water each day as part of your healthy dental hygiene routine.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The foods you choose play an important role in your health and wellness. This includes the health of your teeth and gums.

Be sure to get plenty of fiber in your diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and good for your jaws and teeth.

Foods that are sticky, acidic, sugary, and high in carbohydrates provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Limiting these foods and only eating them in moderation can help curb the chances of dental decay.

Healthy eating habits along with a healthy oral hygiene routine can help you have a healthier mouth and body.

Avoid Harmful Habits

Some habits can be harmful to your oral health. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can lead to headaches, muscle pain, chipped teeth, or a sore jaw. These unconscious habits known as bruxism must be treated by a dentist.

Smoking is terrible for your health and your teeth. It can cause stained teeth and weakened gums. Even worse, smoking increases the risk of developing oral cancer and lung cancer.

Try to avoid biting your nails or using your teeth to open packages or bottles. You could chip a tooth or even cause gum damage with these harmful habits.

Although regular brushing is essential, avoid brushing your teeth aggressively. This can wear down the tooth’s enamel or lead to gum problems. Gentle brushing is best.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

You may try to take care of your teeth and follow all of these healthy practices. But you can’t be sure your mouth is healthy without regular dental checkups.

Ideally, you should visit your dentist twice a year. Your teeth need regular professional cleaning and the attention of dental professionals.

There are multiple reasons you shouldn’t skip your dental checkup. 

Oral Cancer Check

Your dentist will check your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. These signs include lesions, lumps, white spots, or discoloration of the mouth or gums.

Gum Disease

Over time, tartar and plaque can build up and lead to dental decay and infection. Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings can help you avoid the development of gum disease.


From time to time, your dentist may take x-rays to check for any issues below your teeth and gum line. This can detect issues such as impacted wisdom teeth, deep decay, and other dental problems.

Head, Neck, and Lymph Nodes

Your dentist may also check for abnormalities in your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes. These problems may be symptoms of other potential health problems. If necessary, your dentist may refer you to a doctor to have any issues addressed.

Establish the Best Oral Hygiene Routine

It may take some practice to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing, flossing, and other healthy habits can help you enjoy long-term oral health.

Seeing your dentist twice a year can prevent minor issues from becoming serious ones. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, be sure to make an appointment right away.

If you’re looking for a dentist in the Webster Groves area, we’d love to take care of all your dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.