Halloween candy and your teeth

As we’ve mentioned before, your teeth get soft right after you eat or drink anything with sugar in it. So, as we approach all the Halloween activities coming up this weekend, keep in mind that it’s better to wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing your teeth! If you don’t then all those sugar bugs just dig right in and have a feast! Just like you (or your kids) just did! Drink some water or chew some sugar free gum instead before brushing. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Energy Drinks and Your Child’s Teeth. Should You Worry?

The hard clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator of a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them. Are those techni-colored drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?

The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, the bad news is, they’re secretly eating away at their teeth – and fast.

Why Are Energy Drinks Such a Threat to Teeth?

The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. Now, we understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, a bit, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid (which we can imagine as being quite acidic, at least!) has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0. A lemon, in contrast, comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0.

The real distinction though is in knowing that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice – a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one! In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it’s easy to see the difference in the numbers – they’re huge.
The Science

What all this means to your child’s teeth is the real question, though, and precisely what researchers at Southern Illinois University set out to discover in 2012. The results, which surprised even the research team, showed considerable damage to tooth enamel after only five days of steady consumption. Five days.

To determine the effect of these drinks on our teeth, the research team looked at 22 popular sports and energy drinks, and exposed artificial tooth enamel to the beverages for 15 minutes at a time, four times daily. This schedule was chosen because it mirrors the consumption habits of many users who drink these beverages every few hours – a particularly common habit among those who consume sports drinks, particularly when your kids are involved in sports. After each 15-minute exposure, the enamel was then placed into an artificial saliva solution for two hours to mimic what would happen once consumption stopped. After only five days on this schedule, the enamel showed a 1.5% loss with sports drinks, and a shocking 3% loss with energy drinks.

The Critics

While critics in the beverage industry suggest the time used to expose the enamel to the drinks may have been excessive, it’s widely known that snacking, as well as regular sipping of any beverage other than water, creates acidic activity in the mouth that promotes tooth decay. Of course, adults also need to be careful, and if you’re the weekend warrior type, or are pulling shifts and consuming these beverages throughout the day, the time of exposure might actually not be long enough. The sweet spot is in the middle-ground, and that’s basically the advice we’re going to offer today.

There is no doubt that these beverages are not good for our teeth. They’re also not good for our stomach, and esophagus if one is prone to acid reflux.

The Middle Ground — It’s about being Informed

We’re not asking you to force your kids to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help your kids combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can’t shake the habit:
Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel.

Suggest that they don’t brush immediately after consuming such beverages. Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good. If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after.
Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers.

Sports Drinks:
Filtered Ionized Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
Water – pH: 7.o
Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
Vita coco – pH: 5.2
Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
GU2O – pH: 4.29
Powerade – pH: 3.89
Accelerade – pH: 3.86
Gatorade Endurance – pH: 3.22
Monster – pH: 2.7
Energy Drinks:
Red Bull – pH: 3.3
AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
Full Throttle – pH: 1.45
Rock Star – pH: 1.5
P.S. Don’t forget the mouthguard!

Vitality Oils

What’s all this talk about essential oils? There are great reasons to use them, that’s for sure! Today, we’ll talk about Basil. Basil oil has a sweet, warm scent and flavor. This herb is found in a variety of dishes and is popular in both Asian and European cooking. Using an essential oil, you’ll get a brighter flavor than dried herbs without the hassle of fresh herbs. Try Basil in your next great Italian dish too! Or on fish and poultry. Young Living Essential Oils are a great addition to your cupboard!

Cold Sore Solutions That Actually Work

Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, if you’re among the more than 40% of Americans who regularly experience this inflammatory viral nuisance, you know they’re anything but a joy to deal with. You’ve also probably heard of countless ways to deal with them, from over-the-counter remedies to treatment options that span generations. So what really works?

Well, quite honestly what “works” when it comes to cold-sores, is management. And, specifically, preventing, treating and eliminating the transmission of this most annoying of viruses. Here is how you do it:

Cold Sore Prevention
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is certainly true when it comes to cold sores, so knowing what causes them to surface is key. The number one and number two reasons are a weakened immune system, and exposure to rapidly changing weather. To tackle the weather, always keep your preferred brand of lip moisturizer with sunscreen on hand to protect your lips from weather’s effect on your lips. We have two new flavors in our office! And, to boost your immune system, be sure to get enough sleep and find ways to combat stress in your life. Also, as with most things in life, what’s good for our waistlines is good for our immune system. Here are some good dietary suggestions for cold sore sufferers:

Eat Raw, Alkalizing Foods: Fruits and vegetables are super-good for you. Eat as many of them as you enjoy.

Beef-up On Cruciferous Vegetables: Clinical studies are beginning to suggest that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale are of great benefit to cold-sore sufferers.

Avoid Arginine: Cold-sores need the amino acid arginine to grow, so if you can limit the excess intake of this amino acid, you may be able to keep frequent outbreaks at bay. Nuts, chocolate, oats, and some protein shakes are high in arginine, and can be major cold-sore triggers.
By merely eating well and getting regular rest, you can help yourself avoid several outbreaks a year.

Cold Sore Treatment and Remedies
Preventing a cold sore from appearing is indeed your best medicine, and if you pay attention to what your body tells you, it is possible to dramatically reduce outbreaks. When a cold-sore does gift you with its presence, though, here are a few things you can do to minimize its pain, size and duration.

Ice It! At the first sign of tingling, get thee to an ice cube, wrap it in a paper-towel, and place it on your lip where you feel the cold-sore coming on. Often two back-to-back applications of an ice cube until it melts can dramatically reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies the sore. We shared this specific advice with a patient about to get married and she was so grateful we helped her with her big day.

Slather It? Not Now, But Later. Cold sores love warm, moist environments, and this is precisely the environment you present to a cold-sore when you slather it in cream for days on end. You’re best to let it dry out to the point where it is no longer painful, and then begin applying cream or lip balm to minimize splitting. As the cold sore resolves itself, it’s best to keep your lips moist to prevent bleeding, which also aids in the healing at this stage.

Eliminate Transmission of Cold Sores

Avoid sharing food, utensils, towels, toothbrushes, or any other item that could come in contact with your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid touching the cold sore and then later touching your eyes or genital area. In fact, your best course of action is to avoid touching your mouth at all during an outbreak, and not again until after the scab has dropped off completely, AND healed over. This can take some weeks, as you know. Kissing, and other aspects of intimacy that involve your mouth should be avoided entirely. Wash your hands often – this cannot be stressed enough to avoid spreading the virus.

Having a cold sore is not the end of the world. Nine out of ten of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, so there is no need to hide in the closet. Understand your triggers, find a solution that works, don’t spread the virus, and stay healthy!

Changes in our hours

We know have openings on Tuesday until 6:00 pm beginning April 5th!

Canton Heights Dental Normal Office Hours
Monday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
First & Third Thursday: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Second & Fourth Friday: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Summer Dental Office Hours (Memorial Day thru Labor Day)
Monday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Friday: CLOSED

We are hoping that our extended hours on Tuesday will help out a little bit for those patients needing a little later appointment and then after Labor Day with our additional Friday opening, this will help too.
We look forward to seeing you very soon!

Essential oils and your dental health

Have you ever wondered what all the hype is about with essential oils? There are so many types of oils out there that are even useful for your dental health! Today, we are going to cover Thieves. Thieves essential oil is a combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary oils. This blend is very aromatic and fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. It was inspired by 15th-century French thieves who formulated this blend, and used it while robbing the dead and dying. With the benefits of Thieves oil: including it’s cleaning power and spicy scent, it is offered as a blend and is an important ingredient in a full range of home cleaning and personal care products, from dish soap to toothpaste. Diffuse Thieves oil throughout the house for an aroma that makes every room smell more like fall baking than harsh chemicals! Always be careful of where you purchase your essential oils. Not all products are the same. We can put you on the right path to which oils and products you should try first! Give us a call today!

New Year resolutions?

Do you have a routine New Year resolution that you make every year with the intention of keeping it? Of course you do! We all have those wants and needs that we feel want fulfilled. How about making another resolution you might just be able to stick with? How happy are you with your smile? Does it make you frown? We want to turn that frown upside down! We can do that here at Canton Heights Dental. Our mission is to help the entire city of Canton, GA smile again! Come see us in the new year and see what we can do to help you SMILE again!

Dentist in Canton, GA

Well, it’s almost the end of the year and some of you may be looking for a new dentist in Canton! We would love to see some new smiling faces in here. We are currently running a New Patient special too! $59.00 for cleaning, exam and xrays! Give us a call so we can get you scheduled with our hygienist soon!

Polio vaccine

One of our concerns about the way we do vaccines, and really, most medical and dental care is that we tend to focus on eradicating disease causing organisms using the best means available at the time. This means essentially that what we once considered pure, we view later as nowhere close to pure. We once thought bad humors caused diseases, and treated people with arsenic and mercury and bloodletting. We discovered bacteria, then viruses, the prions… SO what I am saying is that I believe in a few years, we will look back more and more and realize it’s never as safe or as on target as the mass media / medical dogma would have us believe. So, I say, use them or don’t, but be aware.


Summer burns

The summer time is usually fun….until you get BURNED! Don’t forget to protect those beautiful lips with an SPF lip balm! Keep smiling and enjoy the summer with friends and family!