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Americans are putting off going to the dentist because of the pandemic. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry.

Visiting the dentist is perfectly safe and policies and protocols are in place to ensure patient safety.

The reality is, putting off going to the dentist can lead to serious health issues.

Going to the dentist for a regular dental check up is critical for your health. Keep reading for the top 7 reasons why you should schedule your next dental check up today. 

1. Cleaner Teeth

Even if you practice good oral hygiene at home, you won’t be able to get your teeth as clean as your dentist can.

Plaque and tartar often build up in places you simply can’t reach. Dentists and their teams have the tools and expertise to deep clean your teeth.

When you keep your teeth clean, you can reduce the risk of tooth decay. Dentists can spot this problem early and prevent tooth decay from becoming a much bigger problem. Your dentist can also identify the early signs of gum disease and take action to keep the issue at bay. 

2. Protect Dental Work

If you’ve had dental work done in the past, scheduling a regular dental check up can help you protect that investment. Dental work isn’t cheap, so the last thing you want to do is have it redone.

Your teeth, gums, and bones all work together to support your dental work. Ensuring they stay healthy protects your dental work and reduces the chances of needing further work. 

3. Get a Whiter Smile

Have you been longing for a whiter smile? You can save money on whitening treatments by simply scheduling a regular dental check up and cleaning.

During a dental check up, your dentist will clean your teeth and get rid of plaque and tartar, which are often responsible for teeth’s yellow appearance.

With cleaner teeth, your smile will appear whiter. You’ll feel confident that your teeth are cleaner – and it will show. 

4. Build Better Habits

When you visit the dentist regularly, you set yourself up to continue healthy habits at home. In a stressful and busy time, we often forget about the importance of practicing good oral hygiene at home. While visiting the dentist for regular dental check ups is important, it’s not enough.

Practicing good oral hygiene at home is necessary to keep your mouth in the best possible shape.

What can you do at home to protect your oral health? Good question! These healthy habits can help keep your smile healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Use mouthwash
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months
  • Avoid using tobacco
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks
  • Floss every day

Not only will visiting your dentist for a dental check up give you the tools you need to practice good oral hygiene at home, but your dentist will help you identify any bad habits that might be causing you problems. Bad habits like grinding your teeth or biting your nails can have consequences for your oral health.

Your dentist will help you identify these issues before they become bigger problems and advise you on how to care for your teeth properly. 

5. Set a Good Example

Remember the saying, “Monkey See, Monkey Do?” It turns out there’s a lot of truth to the old adage, especially when it comes to our kids.

Kids are more likely to do what they see us do, rather than what we tell them to do. The behavior we model is very influential to our children. In fact, our kids will learn lifetime habits from watching what we do – for better or worse.

One of the best lifelong habits you can promote in your children is a dedication to practicing good oral hygiene. Schedule regular dental check ups for kids as well as yourself.

Practice good oral hygiene at home and encourage your children to do the same. Being a good role model will help your children grow into healthy adults. 

6. Save Money

Some people skip their regular dental check ups because they want to save money. Unfortunately, putting off regular dental appointments can actually cost you more in the long run.

This is because with many dental problems, the longer you wait the worse the problem becomes. Simple procedures are often inexpensive, but if you wait until the problem becomes larger, you may need more expensive treatments. 

7. Protect Your Overall Health

When you think of going to the dentist, you probably mostly think of keeping your teeth clean. The truth is, your oral health is a window to your overall health.

Most people don’t realize how connected your mouth, teeth, and gums are to your overall health. For example, your oral health can often provide valuable clues about your overall health. When you visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup, your dentist will look for clues that may signal issues with your overall health.

A number of different medical conditions with serious consequences have been linked to oral health.

It’s important to remember that our mouths are full of bacteria. Our mouths are also an entry point to the rest of our bodies, including our digestive and respiratory tracts. Scheduling a regular dental checkup can help keep these bacteria under control and prevent oral infections from spreading to other parts of your body. 

Are You Due for a Dental Check Up?

If you’ve been putting off visiting the dentist because of the pandemic, now is the time to schedule an appointment.

Dental offices are considered low risk and are one of the cleanest places you can be.

As we begin the new year, one of the best resolutions you can make is to prioritize your dental care. Protecting your oral health means protecting your overall health.

The first step is to schedule a dental check up. Click here to book a Webster Groves dental check up with our team today. 

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Is trying to get your kids to brush their teeth an ongoing battle? If so, you aren’t alone. 

As a parent, you want them to have healthy teeth and healthy brushing habits. But it’s easier said than done!

We understand how difficult it can be to keep kids on a regular schedule of healthy oral hygiene. If something isn’t fun or engaging, kids will consider it a chore.

That’s why we suggest incorporating some fun and play into their daily teeth brushing routine. Here are a few fun ways to get your kids to brush.

Brush Along With Them

Your kids are always watching you whether you realize it or not. They learn so much about the world from observing you in their first few years. 

When it’s time to brush their teeth at night, brush yours along with them. Don’t make it seem like a chore. Smile to lighten the mood.

If you make brushing and caring for your teeth a positive experience, they will quickly learn the importance of caring for their own. Presenting a positive attitude about oral hygiene can make trips to the dentist easier too.

Let Your Child Choose Their Toothbrush

Kids love to feel like they’re in control of some of their decisions. Give them the responsibility of choosing their own toothbrush.

Toothbrushes are inexpensive, so it can be fun to get a new one when the novelty of the old one wears off. Let them choose their favorite color or character toothbrush.

They can also pick their favorite flavor of toothpaste. You can change this once in a while too. Adult minty toothpaste is too strong for some kids.

Whitening toothpaste isn’t for little mouths. Kid’s toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. A new toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste can help get your kids excited about brushing their teeth.

Brush Each Other’s Teeth

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to brush, try brushing each other’s teeth once in a while. This approach isn’t ideal for the long term. But it can be a fun distraction and a way to ensure their teeth are thoroughly brushed from time to time.

Let your child brush your teeth and “teach” you about how to do it properly. Then, you do the same for them. You can even try making a game of it and brushing each other’s teeth simultaneously.

Offer Rewards for Motivation

Kids work harder when they have a goal in mind. Brushing their teeth twice a day is a goal you can encourage.

Let them know if you see them doing a good job brushing for a whole week, there will be a reward. This can be a small prize, a new book, or an extra hour of video games.

Think about what will motivate your kids. Developing healthy habits they will carry through their lives is definitely worth a reward.

Sing a Toothbrush Song

Establishing a routine is an important part of daily oral hygiene. One way to establish a routine is to play the same song every time they brush. 

This passes the time and teaches them the proper amount of time to brush. You can choose a song or find one The American Dental Association recommends.

They will get used to listening and brushing at the same time. You can even put them in charge of starting the music when it’s time to brush.

A little singing and dancing in the bathroom can be a fun part of your child’s brushing habits.

Keep Your Cool

As a parent, you know that nothing is perfect. Don’t expect every brushing session to go as planned. Tired and irritable children aren’t always in the mood to brush, no matter how fun you make it.

Remember to stay calm. Try not to make brushing a stressful situation by venting your frustrations or getting angry with your child.

If they associate brushing with stress or “mad mommy,” they will try to avoid it even more. Your child doesn’t have to do a fantastic job brushing every night.

Some days it may seem impossible to know how to make kids love brushing their teeth. Consistency is the key.  

If you have a bad episode, it’s okay. Try again tomorrow.  

Incorporate Brushing Into Playtime

Young children learn through play. You can teach them about the importance of brushing by incorporating it into playtime.

Kids love to brush their stuffed animals, baby dolls, and bath toys’ teeth. They can pretend to floss them too.

Pretend to be a dentist and go through the motions of a visit to get their teeth cleaned. Read fun books about teeth and good oral hygiene.

The more they see the importance of oral hygiene modeled into everyday life, the more routine it will seem.

Make Going to the Dentist a Good Experience

You don’t want to wait until your child has their first cavity to take them to the dentist. Start early and make it a positive experience for them. 

The dentist does not have to be scary. if your children take good care of their teeth, dentist visits are a breeze.

You want them to have a relationship with their dentist and feel comfortable and safe in their office. Your dentist and the dental staff can reinforce what you’re teaching your child at home.

When your child feels happy and confident heading to the dentist, it’s a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Make Your Child’s Teeth Brushing Routine Fun

Establishing healthy oral hygiene habits early in life is so important. You can help your child accomplish this by starting early and making their teeth brushing routine fun.

Our team at Webster Family Dental is here to support your child and the entire family with all their dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Did you know that the average American adult sometimes goes two days without brushing their teeth?

While brushing any amount is better than nothing at all, it’s still important to know that there’s a right and wrong way to care for your teeth and gums. Chances are that you have at least one of the many bad brushing habits out there.

Are you ready to learn how to adopt a flawless brushing routine? Keep reading to learn 8 ways you can stop harming your teeth.

1. Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure

One of the most common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth is being too aggressive with their grip. You may think that you’re getting the deepest clean possible with this technique, but the truth is that you’re putting yourself at risk of destroying your enamel.

Enamel is the thin, protective barrier that surrounds our teeth. When our enamel is strong, it can help ward off cavities and all kinds of oral health conditions. This is why it’s essential to brush your teeth like a gentle but thorough massage to keep the enamel intact.

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Another way you can ensure that you’re not being too tough on your teeth is to make the switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Not only will this help keep your teeth in top shape, but you’ll also be able to avoid irritating your gums.

The good news is that soft-bristled toothbrushes are easy to find. They’re in the same location as other types of toothbrushes and the packaging will have a clear label that it’s soft-bristled. You can also get soft-bristled toothbrushes from your dentist whenever you get a cleaning.

3. Hold Your Toothbrush at a 45-Degree Angle

It’s not ideal to hold your toothbrush horizontally and use broad strokes across your teeth. This brushing method can leave behind bacteria and neglect your gums.

The best approach to take is to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so the bristles can reach every part of your teeth and gums. Keeping your gums clean means that you won’t have to worry about serious conditions like gingivitis.

4. Brush in a Circular Motion

Once you’ve mastered holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, you can move on to getting your rhythm right. You should brush in a small, circular motion so that each individual tooth can get proper attention.

This tip is especially important for people who have crooked teeth. Being mindful of working the bristles into all the crevices can keep your smile healthy and vibrant. It’s not uncommon to be able to feel a bit of grime on unclean teeth, so can try running your tongue over your teeth after you’re done brushing to test if you were thorough enough.

5. Set a Timer for Two Minutes Twice a Day

Not many people enjoy brushing their teeth, so it’s hard to set aside a full two minutes to get the job done well. Even if you think you’re already brushing the ideal amount, you’d be surprised by how much time can slow down when you’re doing a chore.

To make sure that you never skimp on your brushing routine, it’s helpful to set a timer on your phone or even listen to a short song that will guide you through the cleaning. Do your best to spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth so each area gets equal attention.

6. Wait 15 Minutes After Eating

Whether you have a busy morning routine or you like the feeling of freshening up after a meal, you may be guilty of brushing your teeth too soon after eating. In addition to brushing with too much force, brushing after meals is another habit that can weaken your enamel over time.

There are lots of foods that are high in acidity, which causes your enamel to soften. When you brush your teeth before your enamel has time to harden up again, you’re more likely to strip it away. You should wait at least 15 minutes after eating to brush your teeth, but waiting up to an hour is more ideal.

Are you worried about harming your enamel? You can protect your teeth by drinking water after eating acidic foods like citrus fruits or meat to flush out your mouth. You can also drink acidic beverages like soda and fruit juices with a straw.

7. Cover All Areas of Your Teeth

If you’re passionate about having a dazzling smile, then you may pay extra attention to the front of your teeth where others will notice. It’s vital to cleanse the entire surface area of your teeth so you can eliminate dangerous bacteria. Pay close attention to how you maneuver your toothbrush and don’t forget to scrub the tricky places like the backs of your molars.

8. Get Personalized Advice From Your Dentist

Dentists are trained to look inside of a person’s mouth and figure out the causes of any oral health issues. Once they’ve made a diagnosis, they can help reverse the damage and educate their patients so they can make lifestyle changes that will resolve the problem. 

It’s great to read tips on maintaining tooth and gum health, but nothing can replace personalized suggestions from a dentist who can identify what needs improvement. This is why you should never put off your regular cleanings.

Now You Know How to Stop Harming Your Teeth

Lots of people are surprised to learn that they have bad oral hygiene habits. If you follow this guide on how to avoid harming your teeth, you can protect your teeth and gums so they stay beautiful and healthy.

Are you in need of professional dental services in the Webster Groves, Missouri area? If so, Webster Family Dental would love to take care of you and help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us so we can schedule your next appointment.

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Did you know that as many as half of Americans only brush their teeth once a day?

Not only does looking after your teeth help you maintain a beautiful smile, but you can also ward off serious health conditions like gingivitis and even heart disease. Since our oral hygiene is linked strongly to our overall health, it’s worth putting in the effort to develop mindful habits.

Have you adopted any brushing techniques that are causing more harm than good? Keep reading to learn 10 teeth brushing tips that will boost your oral hygiene.

1. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

When most people walk down the toothbrush aisle at the store, they’re overwhelmed by all of the choices and don’t take the time to read the labels. Whenever you get new toothbrushes, it’s best to choose products that come with soft bristles. If you use toothbrushes that aren’t gentle on your mouth, then you increase your chances of stripping away your protective tooth enamel.

2. Don’t Scrub Too Hard

In addition to buying rough toothbrushes, lots of people brush too aggressively. While it’s nice to get a deep clean, this shouldn’t be achieved by scrubbing with a lot of pressure. Stripping the enamel from your teeth makes you more susceptible to cavities and you could also create inflammation in your gums.

If you’re having a hard time applying the right amount of pressure, then you always have the option of upgrading to an electric toothbrush that does the work for you.

3. Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

Since experts recommend that people go to the dentist twice a year for routine cleanings, some may only get replacement toothbrushes during these visits. The truth is that you should always replace your toothbrush every three months instead of 6. If you notice that your bristles look worn down, bent, or discolored, it’s time to throw the toothbrush out.

Another helpful tip is to store your toothbrush as far away from your toilet as possible in an open container that doesn’t encourage mold growth. Be sure to flush with the toilet lid down to prevent fecal aerosols from landing on your toothbrush.

4. Brush in Small Circles

Unless you’ve had braces and maintained your alignment with a retainer, it’s likely that your teeth have some overlap that can make brushing every surface a challenge. Instead of brushing up and down, you should move in small circles to ensure that every crevice is cleansed. If you have noticeable overlap, pay extra attention to those teeth to prevent cavities and other oral health conditions.

Remember that brushing your teeth should feel like a refreshing massage, so be gentle but thorough.

5. Don’t Forget to Brush Your Gum Line

While you’re using a circular motion to brush your teeth, make sure you start at the top of your teeth and work your way down. Bacteria can get trapped in the space where your gums meet your teeth, so take your time cleaning your gum line. For extra cleaning power, you can hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to get deep into that area.

6. Brush for Two Minutes

Time always seems to move slower when we have to stand still and brush our teeth. If you rush this process, then you can miss a lot of germs and create a buildup of plaque. Whether you use the timer on your phone, listen to a short song, or get an electric toothbrush with a timer, always do your best to clean for two minutes.

7. Wait 20 Minutes After Eating Before Brushing Your Teeth

There’s a fine line between waiting too long to brush your teeth and brushing too soon. We’ve all been taught that bacteria can flourish in our mouths when it has time to grow, which is why it’s understandable that some people feel compelled to brush right after eating.

Digestion starts when we chew and eating can turn your mouth into an acidic environment. Acid weakens your enamel, so brushing your teeth without waiting 20 minutes can wreak havoc on your oral health.

8. Brush at Least Twice a Day for Optimal Tooth Care

How often should you brush your teeth? Some people have heard three times a day while others have heard you should brush every time you eat something.

Since we live in a fast-paced world, we don’t always have access to our toothbrushes. This is why you should aim to brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. If you want to be extra careful, then you can carry around some sugar-free gum to help remove food particles from your teeth after snacking.

9. Make Sure You Brush the Inner Sides of Your Teeth

We use the front of our teeth to smile and the underside to chew, so a lot of people are diligent about cleaning those areas. However, the inner sides of our teeth can still house bacteria, so you can’t forget to incorporate this area into your daily brushing routine. If you don’t pay enough attention to the inner sides of your teeth, then your dentist will notice more inflammation there than the rest of your mouth.

10. Give Your Tongue a Nice Scrub

A lesser-known dental hygiene tip is to include your tongue when you wash your mouth. Once you’re finished brushing your teeth, you should stick your tongue out and work your way from the back to the front with your toothbrush. Be sure to spit and complete your routine with some mouthwash to kill any leftover germs in your mouth.

Proper Teeth Brushing Is Essential for Your Overall Health and Confidence

Since your smile is one of the first features that people notice about you, it’s important to take steps to preserve your oral hygiene. If you follow this guide on teeth brushing, then you can ensure that your smile stays healthy and radiant for years to come.

Keeping up with regular dental checkups will not only give you a deep clean, but your dentist can also provide customized tips if they notice any issues with your brushing habits. If you’re in need of stellar dental care near Webster Groves, MO, contact us to set up your first appointment.

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Ever struggled to find the best toothbrush? Electric versus manual? The perfect match for your teeth when you’re debating soft vs hard bristles? 

There is a method to choosing the right toothbrush for the right reasons. Whenever you use a toothbrush no matter if it’s electric or manual you want to make sure you have the one that’s the best fit for your teeth.

We’ve done the finding the perfect toothbrush research so you don’t have to! 

The Right Toothbrush Can Mean Everything

Whether you want a routine cleaning or you’re facing some advanced restorative procedure you want a quality experience delivered with the highest level of care. Your mouth can be a challenging area to keep clean. That’s why it’s important to always have the best possible hygiene and care.

You may already realize your teeth need a lot of attention. But it’s still easy to overlook the toothbrush because it doesn’t get as much press. The toothbrush almost never gets as much attention as other aspects of oral hygiene.

Oral Hygiene Starts With a Toothbrush

Over the years you have tried many types of toothbrushes. You were pretty confident that you selected what you felt was the best one for your dental health. There’s no doubt you thought you were taking care of your teeth and their overall well-being. 

But if you chose the wrong bristles or toothbrush you can do more damage than good. The damage occurs when you brush your teeth in a careless manner or select the wrong type of toothbrush. Toothbrushes with harder bristles can cause damage to the structure of the tooth and hurt the gums. 

Softer bristles can bend, allowing the bristles to get under the gumline where bacteria can hide. 

Teeth Need a Well-Matched Toothbrush

While everyone’s teeth need a well-matched toothbrush all teeth need a toothbrush head that allows for easy access to all the surfaces of your teeth. On average adults need at least a 1/2 inch wide and one-inch tall bristle on their toothbrushes. Toothbrushes also need to have a long enough handle you can hold in your hand.

Many people prefer soft bristles over hard but both have specific criteria and issues you need to be aware of. You want your toothbrush to have gone through quality control tests in how effective its cleaning and safety capacity is. You always want a toothbrush that has earned the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval.

Your Mouth Needs a Perfect-Matched Toothbrush

Mouths are often forgotten when it comes to toothbrushes but they are as important as teeth in some cases. Most of the time you’re less likely to do damage to your mouth, gums, or teeth when you use a softer bristle toothbrush. When bristles are soft and rounded they are gentle on teeth and mouths including the inside of your cheek and gums. 

Your mouth’s gums or even the inside of your cheek can be negatively impacted by rough toothbrush bristles. When toothbrush bristles stress your gums it can lead to gum recession. That’s why you want to select a toothbrush head that matches your mouth. 

A smaller mouth requires a smaller head on your toothbrush. 

Powered Toothbrush

Whether you have a powered or manual toothbrush you want to replace the head at least every two or three months. If the head of your toothbrush has splayed or curled bristles you need to replace the toothbrush or the head of the toothbrush. The ADA feels that both powered or manual toothbrushes are equally effective.

They both can remove oral plaque which causes tooth decay and disease. But there are cases where powered toothbrushes decrease plaque and gingivitis more than manual toothbrushes. Some research found that 21 percent of plaque decreased with oscillating electric toothbrushes. 

Oftentimes the difference is due to the electric toothbrushes doing most of the work for you. Powered toothbrushes are especially beneficial to anyone with limited mobility due to carpal tunnel, arthritis, or a host of other developmental or physical disabilities. 

Dental Benefits with Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes can be quite pricey. Some go for upwards of $400. So if you have to replace the brush heads every three months you need to consider if this is a good toothbrush match for you. Also, electric toothbrushes do break more often.

That means you need to understand if you break the toothbrush or it starts aging every time you have to buy a new one you face serious costs. If that’s not enough to get you thinking you also need to understand most electric toothbrushes take up some serious space on a bathroom cabinet. 

If your toothbrush is bumping up next to your shaving creme you may be at cross-purposes in keeping your teeth healthy and clean.

Your Next Toothbrush

Now that you know the ins and outs of an electric toothbrush vs a manual toothbrush you can make a better decision for yourself. When you’re ready to be excited about your smile you want to reach out to Webster Family Dental. Webster Family Dental wants to give you the highest level of care with the latest dental technology. 

Every action you take with your teeth has a reaction. That’s why keeping up with your dental needs and teeth cleanings are essential. Webster Family Dental will prioritize what you want and give you the confident feeling you’ve always wanted but never had when leaving a dentist’s office.

Every smile you give is reflective of the dental care you receive and provide yourself. Why do anything less than the best? Reach out to Webster Family Dental today!

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Practicing good dental habits is a crucial part of maintaining your overall health and well-being, but some brushing habits can actually do more harm than good.

Whenever you brush and floss, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing this correctly to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

Read on to learn more about some habits that might not be great for your oral health, and what you can do to correct them.

Bad Brushing Habits: Too Much Pressure Can Cause Harm

When you brush your teeth, you might think that the harder your brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. However, these brushing habits can actually make things worse for your teeth and gums over time.

Brushing too vigorously or applying too much pressure when you brush can damage the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to cavities or infection. It can also cause your gums to become inflamed, make them bleed, or just cause pain in general.

When you brush your teeth, pay close attention to how your gums feel. If they’re tender or sensitive to the touch, there is a good chance that you could be applying too much pressure with your toothbrush.

Other signs of brushing too hard include tooth pain or your teeth look darker near the gum line – an indication that the gums are receding and the dentin is exposed. To avoid these problems, simply apply less pressure and try to brush your teeth more gently moving forward.

Biting or Chewing Things You Shouldn’t

While this one isn’t a brushing habit, it’s still a common habit that many people have. If you love to chew on ice, pencils, or other hard objects, you’re putting the health of your teeth at risk.

Never try to open something using your teeth, and try not to chomp on ice cubes whenever you can avoid it. Chewing these things will eventually cause damage to your teeth and could even cause one of them to crack.

If you have fillings, chewing on hard items can cause the filling to become loose or even fall out completely. To avoid this, drink beverages with a straw and try a sugar-free gum that contains xylitol to keep those unhealthy chewing habits at bay.

For those who grind their teeth or clench their jaw, it’s important to find a way to avoid this common issue. A mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep will help to protect your teeth and keep them from grinding together.

Avoiding Visits to the Dentist

Perhaps you have a fear of the dentist, or maybe you simply haven’t made the time for an appointment. Scheduling regular cleanings are one of the most important good dental habits you can adopt.

Ideally, you should have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months. Not only will you get a good cleaning, but your dentist will also perform x-rays and look carefully at your teeth and gums for any signs of damage or disease.

It’s estimated that approximately 42% of Americans admit that they don’t go to their dentist as often as they should. Don’t be a statistic! Schedule an appointment to have your teeth cleaned and examined as soon as possible to keep your oral health on the right track.

When you visit the dentist on a regular basis, you’ll have a much better idea about the state of your oral health. It’s also the best way to catch any issues as soon as possible before they get out of hand so you can take steps to correct them.

Not Brushing After Meals

Another bad brushing habit is simply not brushing your teeth after you eat. When you eat food, it leaves residue behind, which will eventually wear the enamel off of your teeth and cause painful cavities.

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth approximately 30 minutes to an hour after you eat to keep them healthy and clean. This allows time for the food you eat to be removed from your teeth before you brush them.

If you brush too soon after eating, certain ingredients like acids in orange juice or sugar in desserts will still be sitting on the surface of your teeth. Brushing immediately can spread those harmful ingredients out and onto the rest of your teeth and gums, causing more harm and good.

Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to work, then brush about a half hour or so after lunchtime. You should do the same thing in the morning after breakfast and again after dinner or before you head to bed.

Bad Flossing Habits

Using dental floss is another part of good oral care, but you can also do harm if you don’t floss the right way. First, avoid flossing between your teeth in a saw-like motion, or else you could cut your gums.

Never re-use the same section of floss since it will already be covered in plaque and food particles. Floss gently and never use aggressive movements that can cause gum irritation and inflammation.

Finally, while flossing is important, it should never be considered a substitute for brushing your teeth. The two things should be done in conjunction to ensure that your mouth is as healthy as possible.

Start Good Dental Care Habits Today

Now that you know more about some bad brushing habits and oral care habits, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and examinations every six months for the best results.

If you’re ready for a cleaning, examination, or other dental services near Webster Groves, MO, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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What if every meal was putting your teeth in danger?

There are plenty of common foods that stain teeth. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what these foods are until it’s too late!

That’s why we put together this simple guide. Keep reading to learn about seven common foods that are likely to stain your teeth!

1. Coffee

Most of us begin our morning with a warm cup of coffee. And coffee can provide a powerful “pick me up” throughout the day if your energy is lagging.

Unfortunately, coffee is one of the primary foods that you can count on to stain teeth. And the blacker the coffee, the more your teeth are at risk.

The good news is that you can counteract this by lightening your coffee up. Throw some milk in your morning coffee to enjoy a bit of extra calcium and Vitamin D along with whiter teeth.

2. Cola

It’s possible to lighten your black coffee up and avoid those annoying stains. But one drink you can’t really lighten up is cola.

The dark color of cola is enough to stain your teeth. And the temperature (cola is usually served ice cold) can make your teeth contract, making staining that much more likely.

If that’s not bad enough, things like citrus and phosphoric acids in your cola encourage tooth decay. When it comes to tooth color and health, you are better off switching most of your colas for seltzers or other alternative drinks.

3. Tea

Speaking of alternative drinks, many drink tea as a seemingly healthier alternative to coffee or cola. Sadly, tea is also very likely to stain your teeth!

This is mostly due to the tannins in the tea. And as with the other drinks, the darker teas are the ones likeliest to stain teeth.

That means it is best to skip out on teas like Earl Gray (sorry, Captain Picard). Instead, try out some white, green, and herbal teas to enjoy the flavor and calming benefits of tea while minimizing the risk of staining teeth.

4. Popsicles

You are likelier to consume certain kinds of food in different seasons. For example, on a warm summer’s day, it can be very tempting to cool down with a tasty popsicle.

However, anyone who has ever eaten a popsicle (or a slushie, for that matter) knows that these colorful treats are likely to turn their tongue a different color. And anything that can stain your tongue can easily stain your teeth!

You can always swap those popsicles for safer treats such as lemon ice or even some sugarless gum. But if you absolutely have to have a popsicle, make sure that’s a “sometimes food” unless you want bright and colorful teeth.

5. Tomato Sauce

There is nothing quite like Italian food. And most Italian dishes don’t come to life until you add some kind of tomato sauce (we’re partial to some homemade marinara).

However, if you eat enough Italian dishes, you eventually discover how easily tomato sauce can stain your clothes. So it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to discover that these delicious tomato-based sauces can also stain your teeth.

We would never tell you to skip the marinara or Bolognese when you’re tucking into your favorite Italian dishes. But if you can eat some kind of spinach, salad, or broccoli appetizer ahead of time, you can protect your teeth from these annoying stains.

6. Candy

If you’re looking to avoid staining teeth, we’ve got some bad news: pretty much all candy and sweets is your enemy.

That’s mostly because of the different colors of candy. Much like popsicles, any candy that stains your tongue is pretty much guaranteed to stain your teeth. 

Fortunately, candy doesn’t pose a major tooth-staining risk unless you are eating it all the time (which you shouldn’t be doing). If you ease up on the candy and maybe brush up after you eat those sweets, then your teeth should be fine.

7. Curry

If you enjoy Indian food, then you are likely to enjoy curry. And if you enjoy spicy food, then curry may be one of your favorite foods on the planet.

Unfortunately, that bright yellow curry will definitely stain your teeth. After you finish your dish, your teeth are likely to look just as yellow as the curry itself!

There is no real way to avoid this, so you should focus on what you can do after eating. Brushing your teeth would be the ideal move, but even gargling a bit of water in the bathroom of the restaurant can help you avoid stains.

8. Soy Sauce

Do you enjoy Chinese and Japanese cuisine? If so, you know what it’s like to reach for the soy sauce.

In small doses, soy sauce can help to bring out the flavor of the dish. But that dark soy sauce can easily stain your teeth if you go overboard with it.

As with most of the foods on this list, “moderation” is the name of the game. Instead of dousing your food with soy sauce, just use it in small amounts.

Honestly, this is a good move for your overall health as well as the appearance of your teeth. Soy sauce is chock full of sodium, and it’s easy to consume more sodium than is healthy for your body if you use too much of the soy sauce.

Avoiding Foods That Stain Teeth: Your Next Move

Now you know about the different foods that stain teeth very easily. But do you know who can help keep your teeth looking and feeling amazing?

At Webster Family Dental, we are basically your “one stop shop” for dental needs. From simple cleanings to root canals to tooth whitening, we’ve got your different needs covered.

Want to discover what we can do for your teeth? All you have to do is contact us today!

Mother Daughter Brushing teeth

While many people think of oral health issues as a problem that comes with age, this is not the case. 20% of children between the ages of 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth, which can cause discomfort and a plethora of other health issues. These problems include gum disease, headaches, and jaw problems that stem from biting down on food incorrectly.

Clearly, dental care for kids is important, and the main aspect of this is tooth brushing. But what can you do to make brushing more palatable for reluctant little ones? Read on to learn the answer to this question and to get some expert strategies for making teeth-brushing time more fun.

1. Brush Your Teeth Together

Children- especially small children- love to imitate the adults in their life. They view the things that you do as mature, sophisticated, and interesting, and they believe that mimicking your movements will make them develop these qualities as well.

This means that setting an example and brushing your teeth at the same time as your child does will make brushing time more fun for them. They will be happy to imitate your movements so that they can feel like an adult themselves. This strategy is great because it motivates you to brush properly as well!

2. Play Fun Music

Children tend to struggle with brushing their teeth for a long enough period of time. Even when they do decide to brush, it could last for only 10 seconds before they get bored and decide that they’re done. This is clearly insufficient, so you need to give them something fun to do for the entire interval that they should be brushing.

A favorite song can do just that. Turn on a tune that your child likes and brush your teeth for the interval that that song plays in. This will generally give your child anywhere between 2-4 minutes of brushing time and allow them to reach into every part of their mouth.

3. Get a Cool Toothbrush

It can be tempting to get your child an adult toothbrush- they’re cheap, easy to access, and come in packs that you can use as well. However, in a child’s mind, these toothbrushes are incredibly boring. They’re usually unicolor and have no fun print on them besides a brand name that kids don’t care about.

Luckily, they do manufacture toothbrushes that kids are sure to love. If your child loves Disney princesses, you can find a Mulan or Cinderella toothbrush at any department store. The same applies to other favorite characters like Toy Story, Cars, Hello Kitty, and more.

4. Make Games and Tell Stories

Kids are incredibly imaginative and they love to play games. You can make tooth-brushing into a kind of game with them where you bring in a favorite toy or doll and brush its teeth before moving onto their own.

If your child is too old for that or seems disinterested, you can play hide-and-seek with their toothbrush and toothpaste. Having them play a game of treasure hunt of hot-and-cold to find it is something that they may look forward to and associate with brushing time. This will put them in a good mood and give them a positive mindset about oral hygiene.

5. Offer Fun Rewards

Children often don’t feel like they’re getting any benefits from brushing their teeth, which makes them understandably reluctant to do so. In their mind, it’s a waste of time at best and an unpleasant bad-tasting activity at worst. However, offering them a small reward can help them view tooth-brushing as a chore that they get something out of.

Daily rewards can be something as simple as a sticker or interestingly-shaped rubber eraser (they come in bulk packs at the dollar store and kids love them.) You can also set up a larger weekly reward for brushing twice a day, such as a dinner at a favorite restaurant or an extra hour of iPad time.

6. Switch Up Toothpaste Flavors

Everyone has tried using a toothpaste that they don’t like before, and it really puts a damper on brushing time. Even adults procrastinate and outright avoid brushing when their toothpaste tastes bad or has some weird, awful texture. Children, as is to be expected, will also avoid this but on a much larger scale.

Ask your child directly if they like the toothpaste that they’re using. If they say ‘no,’ take them to the store and let them select an alternative that they think they might like. Check in again a couple of weeks later (make sure that you give them time to adjust and get used to the new toothpaste). Repeat the process if they still dislike their toothpaste.

7. Be Encouraging

Children love to receive praise because they value the opinions of their parents. Cheering your child on while they brush their teeth is a great way to make them feel good about the activity. Stand by and tell them when they do something specifically good while brushing such as hitting spots on both sides of their mouth or brushing their tongue.

Offering them a sincere ‘good job’ after they finish brushing is sometimes all that it takes to turn oral hygiene maintenance from a chore to an opportunity to please.

Get Professional Dental Care for Kids

While frequent brushing is important for children, seeing a professional twice a year is also critical to pediatric oral health. Scheduling an appointment with your local dentist ensures that your child will get the dental care that they need to maintain their adorable smile.

Schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable dental professionals. We offer both preventative and restorative dentistry solutions so little ones can get the care that they need. Feel free to also browse our webpage if you want more information before scheduling and to contact us with any remaining questions that you may have.

Healthy Teeth

The global teeth whitening market is expected to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2027.

Millions of people around the world are looking to reduce stains on teeth, and improve the appearance of their smile. But with so many products and devices on the market, it can be difficult to tell what is effective.

For any whitening or stain-removing method, the best bet is to first consult your dentist. They can weigh in on the most effective means of teeth-whitening, and advise you of products that might actually do more harm than good. 

But in addition to these products, there are simple methods you can implement into your daily routine that will help remove tough stains.

Keep reading for six easy steps to help reduce the appearance of stains on teeth.

#1. Improve Brushing Habits

One of the most simple yet effective measures you can’t take to remove stains on teeth is to improve your everyday brushing habits.

Important factors to consider when looking to remove stains on teeth include:

  • Using a toothbrush with soft yet sturdy bristles, replaced every three months
  • Brushing for two full minutes every time
  • Avoiding brushing too “hard” or in an improper pattern
  • Using a whitening toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association
  • Cleaning your entire mouth (tongue, cheeks, etc.)
  • Waiting at least one hour after a meal to brush
  • Flossing after brushing
  • Finishing with mouthwash

This should be a multi-step process, repeated at least twice a day.

#2. Cut Down on Staining Foods

There are various food and drinks we enjoy in our everyday life that can actually cause unsightly stains on teeth.

Sauces that are deeply-colored (soy, tomato, curry) can cause brown stains on teeth. Try incorporating more light-colored sauces to avoid these stains.

The same idea comes from fruits and berries that are dark in color—like blackberries, cherries, and pomegranates. As such, paler fruits are less likely to cause stains on teeth.

Beverages can be harmful to teeth, as well. One example is coffee and tea. Frequent drinkers may experience black stains on teeth. While it may be hard to cut the caffeine cravings, your teeth will thank you.

Another beverage that can stain teeth is wine. With its acidic nature and dark, rich color, it can also discolor teeth.

Surprisingly, even white wine can stain as well. Though it does not have the dark pigment to it that red wine does, it can still add off white stains on teeth.

This does not mean you have to remove the food and drinks you love completely from your diet.

Instead, try moderating consumption to avoid building up stains on teeth. When you do consume beverages likely to stain, try using a straw and swallowing quickly to keep the liquid away from teeth.

#3. Avoid Nicotine and Tobacco Products

While there are other health benefits to avoiding these products, preventing smoking stains on teeth is a major factor.

Particles in these products stick to tiny pores in the enamel of your teeth. With repeated use, these particles build up until they become stains on teeth.

So the more you use nicotine and tobacco products, the darker and harder to remove the stains become. Consider avoiding nicotine and other tobacco products to prevent building up yellow stains on teeth. 

#4. Try At-Home Whitening

There are simple at-home whitening remedies you can try to improve the appearance of stains on teeth.

There are a variety of whitening products on the market, at all price points. Though, spending large amounts of money is not necessary to improve stains on teeth. 

One of the most common and inexpensive methods is to brush a few times per week with a mixture of water and baking soda.

This method is simple, yet effective. But, beware of overusing baking soda—studies suggest it can cause damage to the enamel of teeth.

If you are looking for products to purchase, consider starting small. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes can go a long way in improving the look of teeth stains.

In particular, those containing hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite can be particularly effective.

From there, you may consider whitening strips or other at-home systems. Look out for those containing carbamide peroxide, which is proven to be effective in these gel forms.

#5. Stay on Top of Dental Work

It’s important to stay on top of dental work to prevent the look of faux dental pieces from declining.

Dental fillings, crowns, and bridges will start to lose their color as they wear down over the years. Plus, metal fillings can sometimes transfer their color onto the tooth itself with time.

It’s critical that you stay on top of dental maintenance to prevent this from happening. While replacing these items can be uncomfortable, it can go a long way in preventing stains on teeth.

#6. Talk to Your Dentist

Finally, one of the best things you can do to combat stains on teeth is to visit your dentist. They have access to tools and other resources not available to the general public.

They can scrape, blast, and clean away stains. They also may be able to bleach or use other topical solutions to reduce the appearance of stains. In addition to regular cleanings and maintenance, ask them about other whitening solutions.

With their skills and experience, your dentist can best advise you on your options for teeth whitening and stain removal. There may be at-home or in-office procedures they can recommend that you would otherwise not find at a drugstore.

On your next dental visit, ask about removing stains on teeth—they are the experts, after all.

Consult the Experts for Removing Stains on Teeth

After trying at-home tips to remove stains on teeth, you may be at a loss. There comes a point when turning to the experts is necessary.

In the Webster Groves, MO area—Webster Family Dental is your solution.

The team at Webster Family Dental cares about your family. We assess and prioritize each patient’s specific dental needs with only the highest level of care and technology.

This way, patients leave our office feeling confident and excited about their smiles. Contact us today for more information on removing stains on teeth, or to request an appointment.

Webster Blog Feature Image

Sure, you brush your teeth every day, but what about the other half of your dental regime? Flossing is an essential part of dental care; however, a recent study has shown that only 30% of people floss daily, and 32% do not floss at all. We want to change those numbers with this simple guide! 

We will show you how to floss your teeth and answer some other questions along the way. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Floss 

First things first, let’s get into why flossing needs to be apart of your daily routine. Flossing helps to remove food particles that are stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot get. If your teeth do not get flossed, then the food can accumulate bacteria, leading to plaque. 

Plaque can become problematic as it builds up in your mouth. It can cause issues from cavities to tooth decay and more. Flossing also helps reduce Gingivitis’s chances, which is a disease of the gums that can cause complications down the line. 

When You Should Floss

As we said, flossing helps to loosen the food debris between your teeth, so considering that you are eating each day you will want to make sure you are flossing as well! It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. It is better to floss first and then follow up by brushing your teeth. 

If you are only going to floss once per day, consider making it a part of your nightly routine after eating your last meal of the day. 

Types of Floss

Not all floss is created equally! There are a wide variety of brands and types of floss available on the market.

The first type of floss is called Dental Tape. This type of floss is flat and ribbon-like in appearance. This floss’s broad design makes it easy to use and ideal for people with larger spaces between their teeth and those with braces.

Standard Floss is the more common type of floss on the market. It is made from nylon and is much thinner than Dental Tape. This type of floss has various options such as flavored floss and waxed and unwaxed options.

Waxed Floss is a better choice for anyone with tight or crowded teeth. Standard Floss is not always the best choice for anyone with braces though. 

Finally, Super Floss is a type of floss that is heavy-duty. It is ideal for people with dental work such as fixed bridges or braces because its design has three components. There is a stiffened end, a sponge-like section, and then regular floss. This type of floss can clean the gums and braces with ease.

Other Flossing Equipment 

Toothpicks with a flossing attachment are another option for flossing. They are equipped with a toothpick on one end and then a small line of floss secured by two plastic pieces at the other end. They are ideal for reaching teeth far back in the mouth, and they are convenient for on-the-go flossing after a meal. 

Water flossing tools are another option for a deeper clean. This type of flosser uses pressurized water to eliminate plaque and food debris from the teeth and gum line.  

How to Floss Your Teeth

So you know the tools that you will need, and when you need to do it, now let’s talk about how to do it! Here are the steps:

  1. Spool off around 18 inches of the dental floss of your liking.
  2. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers until only around 2 inches is left between them.
  3. While firmly holding the floss with your index finger and thumb, start to gently move the floss in a C-Shape up and around each tooth avoiding flossing the gum in a back and forth motion.
  4. Repeat the process on all of your teeth, using a clean section of floss each time.

When you reach your gum line, you should be gently working the floss between the delicate area between your tooth and gum. Avoid using any sawing motions as you could damage your gums. Once you have finished flossing, either brush your teeth or use an antibacterial mouthwash. 

Always make sure to floss your teeth in front of a mirror. This will help you better visualize the area you are flossing, which could help prevent any injury to your teeth or gums.

Pro-tip

When it comes to buying floss, you should do your best not to skimp on the floss’ quality. Cheaper flosses are made with lower quality materials, and they could easily fray. When the floss frays, it can get stuck in between your teeth and cause injury to your gum, so save yourself the trouble and buy a reputable brand.

When to Visit a Dentist

If you are new to flossing, you will most likely see a little blood when you first start getting into a new routine. This can be due to any number of things, from vitamin deficiency to Anemia; however, more often than not, it is due to the fact that you have a mild build-up of plaque or mild Gingivitis.

Aggressive or incorrect flossing can also cause bleeding, so make sure you follow this guide! The more you floss, the healthier your mouth will become, and the bleeding should stop. With that being said, if you have excessive or prolonged bleeding, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue like Periodontal Disease, which would require immediate attention from your dentist

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Now that you know how to floss your teeth, you can be on your way to a happier and healthier smile! This simple guide will help you find the right floss and utilize the right technique with ease. 

Good overall health starts in your mouth! Our team is here to help you achieve optimum dental health, from helping you get back your pearly smile to managing routine check-ups. Visit us today to get your next appointment on the books!