Is Gum Good for Your Oral Health? The Surprising Answer! | Opelika AL Dentist

Chewing gum is a popular habit for many people, and it has been around for centuries. While some people chew gum for the flavor, others do it to freshen their breath or simply to pass the time. But the question is, is gum good for your oral health?

The answer is yes, but with a caveat. Sugar-free gum can actually be beneficial for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. This, in turn, can help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

However, not all types of gum are created equal. Gum that contains sugar can actually have the opposite effect and be harmful to your teeth. The sugar in the gum can feed the bacteria in your mouth, leading to the production of acid that erodes your tooth enamel and causes cavities.

When choosing gum, it’s important to look for those that are sugar-free and contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities. Xylitol works by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities and helping to neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Another benefit of chewing gum is that it can help to freshen your breath. This is because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. Additionally, many types of gum contain flavorings and essential oils such as mint or cinnamon, which can also help to freshen your breath.

While chewing gum can be beneficial for your oral health, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your Opelika AL dentist regularly are still essential for maintaining good oral health.

In conclusion, chewing sugar-free gum can actually be good for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. However, it’s important to choose gum that is sugar-free and contains xylitol to avoid the risk of cavities. And as always, proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining good oral health. So, go ahead and chew that gum, but make sure it’s the right kind! Contact Auburn Opelika Dental today.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Dentist Opelika, AL

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved. 

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Creating a Healthy Smile for Life | Dentist Opelika

Good oral health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. As a parent, it’s important to instill good oral health habits in your children from a young age. Teaching children good oral health habits can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. 

To start, it’s important to create a good oral hygiene routine for your children. This should include brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day. Make sure to use toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and other tooth decay. You can also use a timer to help your children brush for the full two minutes. 

It’s also important to help your children learn the importance of healthy eating. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps to keep teeth healthy. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks can also help to prevent cavities. Sugary snacks and drinks can cause bacteria in the mouth to produce acid, which can lead to tooth decay. 

It’s also important to schedule regular dental visits for your children. Seeing a dentist regularly is key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy. During these visits, the dentist will be able to identify any problems and provide advice about how to keep your child’s teeth healthy. 

In addition to the above, it’s important to discuss the importance of oral health with your children. Talk to them about the importance of brushing and flossing properly and regularly. You can also use books and other materials to help your children understand why oral health is so important. 

Finally, it’s important to model good oral health habits for your children. If your children see you brushing and flossing regularly and eating healthy foods, they will be more likely to follow your lead. It’s also important to show them the importance of visiting the dentist regularly. 

Overall, instilling good oral health habits in your children is important. It can help them maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lives. To get started, create an oral hygiene routine for your children and help them learn the importance of healthy eating. Make sure to schedule regular dental visits and discuss the importance of oral health with your children. 

Finally, be sure to model good oral health habits for your children. Doing so will help ensure that your children have a healthy smile for years to come. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s next appointment. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Understanding the Relationship Between Acid Levels and Tooth Decay | Opelika AL Dentist

Acid levels in the mouth can have a major impact on the likelihood of developing tooth decay. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can cause the enamel of the teeth to become weakened, leading to the development of cavities. When the acid levels in the mouth are too low, it can lead to tooth demineralization, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take steps to prevent the condition. 

The mouth is a slightly acidic environment, but the acidity of the mouth can fluctuate depending on the foods and drinks you consume. Highly acidic foods and drinks, such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, and sports drinks, can cause the acid levels in the mouth to spike. When the acid levels in the mouth are too high, it can weaken the enamel of the teeth, making them more susceptible to cavity formation. 

In addition to acidic foods and drinks, the bacteria that naturally inhabit the mouth can also increase the acid levels in the mouth. Bacteria produce acids as part of their metabolic processes, and some bacteria are more acid-producing than others. Streptococcus mutans is a common acid-producing bacteria that is responsible for the development of tooth decay. The presence of too many of these bacteria in the mouth can cause the acid levels in the mouth to rise, leading to the formation of cavities. 

The saliva in the mouth also plays a role in regulating the acid levels in the mouth. Saliva helps to buffer the acidity in the mouth and neutralize the acids produced by bacteria. When the saliva is not able to do its job, the acid levels in the mouth can rise, leading to the weakening of the enamel and the development of cavities. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay due to high acid levels in the mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help remove the bacteria and food particles that can contribute to an increase in acid levels in the mouth. You should also floss your teeth daily to remove any plaque buildup that can cause an increase in the acid levels in the mouth. Finally, you should limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep the acid levels in the mouth balanced. 

By taking steps to reduce the acid levels in the mouth, you can help protect your teeth from tooth decay. Understanding the relationship between acid levels and tooth decay can help you take the necessary steps to prevent the condition. For more information, please contact Auburn Opelika Dental to schedule an appointment. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Daily Flossing | Opelika AL Dentist

We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine: 

  1. Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. 
  2. Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss. 
  3. Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come. 
  4. Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age. 

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with Auburn Opelika Dental today.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist | Opelika AL Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines. 

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months 

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger. 

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar 

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.  

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.  

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar. 

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our Opelika dentist suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks. 

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health. 

To schedule a visit to our dentist in Opelika AL, please contact Auburn Opelika Dental.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth | Opelika AL Dentist

Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

1.   Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouth guard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

2.   Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

3.   Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your

mouth wide.

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while

you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our Opelika dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

4.   Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

5.   Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

6.   Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact Auburn Opelika Dental to schedule your next dental appointment.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

The Connection Between Diet and Tooth Decay: Strengthening Your Teeth Through Good Nutrition | Opelika AL Dentist

It’s no surprise that what we eat and drink has a direct effect on our health and well-being. What many people don’t realize is that the food and beverages that we consume can also have a major impact on the health of our teeth. In fact, the connection between diet and tooth decay is so strong that it’s estimated that about 50% of all cavities are caused by diet. 

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down the enamel of the teeth. This breakdown can be caused by a number of factors, but one of the most common is the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose feed the bacteria in our mouths, which in turn produce acids that erode the enamel of the teeth. Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, fruit juices, and sodas, can also contribute to tooth decay. The acids in these foods and drinks can weaken the enamel of the teeth and make them more vulnerable to decay. 

Not all foods and drinks are bad for your teeth, however. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help to strengthen the teeth and keep them healthy. Fruits and vegetables are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help to support the teeth and gums. Additionally, calcium-rich foods like dairy products, nuts, and leafy greens can help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, reducing the risk of decay. 

In addition to eating a nutritious diet, it’s also important to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth, reducing the risk of decay. Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups is also important, as they can identify any potential problems before they become more serious. 

In conclusion, there is a clear connection between diet and tooth decay. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limiting sugary and acidic foods and beverages can help to keep the teeth healthy and strong. Practicing good oral hygiene habits is also essential for reducing the risk of decay. By following these guidelines, you can help to keep your teeth in great shape and prevent tooth decay. Contact Auburn Opelika Dental today to schedule your next appointment with our Opelika dentist. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Endodontist: Your Dental Health Partner | Opelika AL Dentist

​​As a patient, you likely think of your general dentist or hygienist as your partner in your dental health. These are people you see frequently, who monitor your oral health during each visit and talk with you regarding any progress or potential issues that they find. While both of these dental professionals are vital, your endodontist can be a valuable partner in ensuring your oral health, as well. 

It is likely that you were originally referred to our office by your general dentist because you needed root canal treatment. Endodontists specialize in performing root canal therapy to help save an infected tooth from extraction. However, this is not our only area of expertise. As an endodontist, our doctor’s specialty training also focused heavily on providing effective treatment for dental trauma. 

Damage or trauma to the teeth, mouth, or jaws can range from very mild to extreme. Our office is available for expert consultation, evaluation, and treatment of dental trauma, often extending beyond normal business hours. If you or your child experience dental trauma, contact our office and your general dentist immediately, so you can be seen and treated as soon as possible. 

Dental trauma includes: 

  • Chipped tooth 
  • Cracked or fractured tooth 
  • Knocked-out tooth 
  • Soft tissue injury to gums, lips, cheek, or tongue 
  • Jaw bone injury 
  • Damage to dental restoration 
  • And more 

As one of your partners in dental health, our team is happy to provide you with any information you need regarding the services we offer. Whether you need a quick appointment for dental trauma treatment, root canal therapy to stop the pain from an infected tooth, or a second opinion on whether a tooth needs to be extracted, we are here to help. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Opelika dentist, contact Auburn Opelika Dental. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Apicoectomy – What is it and Why is it Needed? | Dentist in Opelika AL

If you have ever needed root canal therapy, you may know that an Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treatment of the tooth root. However, there are some cases where traditional root canal therapy will not be possible or will not yield the best solution for your infection. In these cases, your dentist may refer you to our office for an apicoectomy. Here’s what you need to know: 

What it is 

An apicoectomy is a minor treatment that involves removing the infected tip of a tooth root, then sealing the interior of the tooth to prevent further infection.  

Why It Is Done 

In most cases, when pulp in the root of a tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy is performed. This removes the infection and prevents it from spreading further. In traditional root canal therapy, the full pulp is removed from the tooth, along with any infected tissue. When this is not possible or previous root canal therapy has failed, an apicoectomy is recommended. 

An apicoectomy is generally performed by a certified Endodontist, like our doctor. You will receive local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout your treatment. We will make a small incision in the gum tissue. The inflamed root tip is then removed and sealed to prevent the infection from spreading. You should expect this treatment to take 30 to 90 minutes. In most cases, an apicoectomy on a front tooth takes less time than one on a lower molar.  

What to expect afterwards 

Like any oral surgery, some discomfort can occur for the first few days following the procedure. When brushing your teeth, you will want to be gentle around the area. Any further discomfort can usually be mitigated with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. We may prescribe medicine, if needed, to alleviate any discomfort that cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications. Please use medications only as directed by our Opelika AL dentist

Unlike traditional root canal therapy, you may not need to have a dental crown placed following an apicoectomy. 

Acting on root issues as soon as they are detected is your best defense against infection and tooth loss. For more tips on keeping teeth healthy or for questions about apicoectomies, contact Auburn Opelika Dental today.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801