Our Blog

Dr. Laura's Summer Update

July 19th, 2018

I love summer vacation!  I have been enjoying the warm weather and extra time with my family at the pool and in the mountains.  Recently Seth, my oldest son, returned from a mission trip to Haiti. I was worried the entire time he was away, but thrilled at hearing about his awesome service adventure! My baby girl, Payton, turned 16...Wow!  I have been enjoying cheering her on in her horseback riding and on stage as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical Kids.   In other family news, Dani the dog graduated from obedience school.    Doesn’t Dani look great in the mini graduation cap? Enjoy the rest of your summer; it goes FAST!!!

 

Fighting Back Against Oral Bacteria

July 7th, 2018

A BATTLE IS CONSTANTLY raging inside your mouth for the fate of your teeth. The only one who can turn the tide and make sure your teeth win this battle is you.

The Defenders And The Attackers

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It’s like the castle walls, protecting the softer dentin and pulp inside each tooth. Unfortunately, it is porous and vulnerable to erosion by acids.

When the enamel loses minerals to acid exposure (a process called demineralization), it weakens the teeth and leaves them more susceptible to decay. However, we can fortify that enamel by getting enough minerals and nutrients, remineralizing our teeth. This is the battle our mouths are fighting every day: demineralization versus remineralization.

The invaders in this battle are bacteria. They feed on sugar and carbs left in our mouths after a meal, and they excrete enamel-eroding acid onto our teeth. Luckily, we have a natural defense against the bacteria, and that’s our saliva. If enamel is like castle walls, then saliva is like the moat. A lot of harmful bacteria falls into this moat and gets washed away instead of being able to attack the castle walls.

To learn more about what harmful bacteria can do, check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU05zZJKSdE

Which Side Will You Fight On?

While our enamel and saliva are built-in defenses, there is a lot we can actively do to make sure the good guys are winning the battle in our mouths. When we practice mouth-healthy habits, we’re fighting on the right side, but when we neglect them, we’re fighting on the side of the bacteria.

One thing you can do to fight back against harmful bacteria is cut back on junk food. Sugar-filled treats and drinks and other processed foods supercharge the bacteria that lead to tooth decay, but foods like apples, cheese, eggs, carrots, celery, fish, and dark leafy greens promote remineralization of your enamel. Choose your snacks with your teeth in mind!

You can also prevent demineralization by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride remineralizes your enamel too, and it also reduces bacteria’s ability to produce acid.

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

You are the most important part of the battle for your teeth, so make sure to do everything you can so that your teeth can win the fight. Your reward will be a healthy smile for life. Keep up the good work brushing, flossing, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, and don’t forget that you can always schedule a dental appointment to give your teeth’s defenses a boost!

We’re grateful for our awesome patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Avoiding Post-Braces Stains

June 26th, 2018

OUTSIDE OF ANTIQUE FURNITURE and modern art, stains are pretty much always bad news. Worst of all is when the stains are on our teeth. If we aren’t careful during orthodontic treatment, we can end up with white spots on our teeth around where the brackets used to be when the braces come off. But why does this happen and how can we avoid it?

Why Teeth Develop Stains

The first thing you should know when it comes to post-braces stains is that they are not inevitable. It also isn’t the braces themselves that stain teeth. However, they do make it easier for plaque to build up, because the wires and brackets provide numerous nooks and crannies where bacteria and food particles can hide, making cleaning more difficult.

When plaque forms around brackets, it leaves decalcified patches. Then, when the braces come off, the spots where the brackets were are the same color as before, while the rest of the tooth has a bleached appearance. The buildup of plaque also increases the risk of decay and gum disease while the braces are on.

How To Keep Your Teeth Stain-Free

Your best defense against white spots and other stains is a good oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush thoroughly at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and stay on schedule with your regular dental cleanings. Your dentist can get to any plaque or tartar you might have missed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtSi2IcfynE

Another way to avoid stains is to stay away from foods and drinks that are known to leave stains, such as coffee, dark teas, highly acidic drinks (like soda), sugary foods like candy and cookies, and even chips! All of these foods and drinks can either directly stain the teeth or they can easily get stuck between brackets and lead to plaque buildup.

Other things to avoid are tobacco and alcohol. These are big causes of stains on their own, and braces only make it worse because you’ll still have those normal-colored patches when the brackets come off. Your teeth will thank you if you steer clear.

Are The Stains Permanent?

If you do have stains or white spots when your orthodontic treatment ends, there are ways of fixing them. Some stains become less intense over time simply by being exposed to your saliva, which is why we might not recommend any whitening treatments right away. After a few months, if the stains are still visible, you can use over-the-counter whitening products or have your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist for a more uniform result.

Still Worried About Stains?

If you want to learn more about white spots and how to avoid them, just ask us! We want to help you get the smile you deserve, and that means having teeth that are stain-three as well as properly aligned.

Our patients are the best!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Dr. Laura's Favorite DAD Moments

June 13th, 2018

My dad was a world class fisherman.  Most of our Father’s Days were spent on his boat on Jackson Lake, Wyoming.  He instilled a love of fishing in myself and my children.  Although he is gone, we’ll never forget hearing his laughter from the captain’s chair as we would be attempting to reel in 3-4 fish at the same time.  “Life is good” he would say as he trolled through his happy place, Jackson Lake.  He knew its depth by heart at any given location. He knew when the afternoon squall was going to roll in, and the best place to go to wait out the storm. He knew the shoreline's every rock and driftwood piece, and most importantly, he always knew where the fish were.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  We miss you!

As much as I love my own stories about my fishing dad, we want to hear yours too! If you have a special memory of your dad or of being a dad or of some other dad who has made a big impact in your life, we want to hear all about it, so let us know in the comments!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctBjAtQl_vk

Have a wonderful Father’s Day dads! You deserve it!