Calcium and Your Dental Health

Calcium is an important mineral that everyone needs to stay healthy.  Most everyone knows that getting an adequate daily intake of calcium is good for your bones.  However, did you know that getting enough calcium is also vitally important for maintaining good dental health?  That is because according to the National Institutes of Health, 99% of the body’s calcium reserves are stored in bones and the teeth.  Calcium is and important mineral that promotes strong teeth and bones.

Not getting enough calcium in your diet can weaken the structure of your teeth and can also make you more at risk for developing periodontal disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.  So, what is the recommended daily intake of calcium for the average person?  The answer is that it depends on your age and your gender.  For men and women ages 19-50 years, the daily recommended calcium intake is 1000 mg.  For women between the ages of 51-70, the daily recommended calcium intake is 1200 mg.  For men of the same age group, the daily recommended intake is 1000 mg.

How can we get an adequate amount of calcium into our diet?  The best way is to eat a wide variety of foods that are rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens, legumes and certain types of fruit.  There are also a number of foods that are enriched with calcium including orange juice, breads and cereals.  If you are not able to get an adequate supply of calcium into your system through your diet, your doctor may recommend that you take a daily calcium supplement.  Your doctor can recommend the correct dose to meet your needs.

If you want to have good dental health in the future, it is important to get an adequate intake of calcium today.  The next time you are at the grocery store, make sure that you pick up some calcium-rich foods.  Your teeth will thank you!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Severe Tooth Discoloration: Causes and Treatments

Aging and consuming certain types of foods and beverages can cause mild tooth discoloration that can typically be treated effectively utilizing a take-home whitening kit or with an in-office whitening procedure. However, if you have severe tooth discoloration due to tobacco stains, too much fluoride, genetic causes or tooth trauma, you may need to pursue other cosmetic dental solutions in order to achieve your desired results. This is because severe tooth discoloration that is caused by these factors is a lot harder to treat than simple stains on the teeth. However, don’t lose heart. With today’s advances in cosmetic dentistry, it is possible for virtually everyone to have a brighter and more confident smile. It just may take a little bit more work.

If you have one or a few teeth that are severely discolored, you may want to consider crowns. A crown is a covering that can be placed over the tooth to restore its strength and/or appearance. Crowns can be made of porcelain which can be closely matched to the color of the surrounding teeth for a more natural look.

If most or all of the teeth in your smile zone are severely discolored, you may want to consider porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are extremely thin shells that can be laminated to the front of the teeth in the front of your mouth to improve the appearance of your smile. Again, the porcelain can be closely matched to the color of your natural teeth for a more natural look.  In addition to treating severe tooth discoloration, porcelain veneers can be used to bring more balance to your smile if you have teeth that are too short, misaligned or otherwise unattractive.

If you have severe tooth discoloration on all or some of your teeth and want to achieve a more vibrant and youthful smile, talk to a qualified cosmetic dentist in your local area today. After a complete evaluation, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate cosmetic dental solution to help you reach your goals of a whiter, brighter, more beautiful smile.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Preventive Dental Care

Do you have fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in your home?  Do you have a home security system?  Do you have car insurance, homeowners insurance or a life insurance policy?  There is a good chance that you have answered “yes” to all or most of these questions.  These are all examples of preventive measure we take to ensure that we have a long and healthy life and that our finances stay in check.  So what preventive measures do you take to protect your long-term oral health?  After all, your teeth play a big role in your health and your overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, many of us fail to take preventive measures that can help to increase the chances of our teeth lasting for a lifetime. Failing to take preventive measures to protect your teeth today can lead to painful and expensive dental health problems and even tooth loss in the future.  Just think about how many advertisements you have seen on television or heard on the radio about dentures and dental implants.  The reality is that tooth loss is still a big problem for many adults in the United States.

So what are the preventive measures we can take today to safeguard our dental health in the future?  You can start with visiting your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and examinations.  Six-month checkups and cleanings are recommended for most people.  However, if you have dental health issues such as periodontal disease or tooth decay, your dentist may recommend that you come in more often than every six months.

Practicing good daily oral hygiene at home is also vitally important to your long-term dental health.  This means brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing thoroughly at least one time per day.  Your dentist or oral hygienist can show you the proper techniques for brushing and flossing your teeth.  If you have the tendency to brush your teeth with too much force, you may want to invest in an electric toothbrush.  This will help to prevent gum damage and gum recession from overly aggressive tooth brushing.  If you have periodontal disease, your dentist may also recommend that you rinse your mouth daily with an antimicrobial mouthwash.

Sealants and fluoride treatments are other preventive measures that can be taken to prevent cavities and make the teeth more resistant to decay.  These preventive dental treatments are commonly used for children.  In some cases, they may be recommended for adults.

If you have not been to a dentist in more than six months, schedule an appointment today.  Together, you and dentist can come up with a strategy to help you achieve and maintain good dental health, for life.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Putting Your Best Smile Forward

What is the first thing that you notice about a person when you meet them for the first time? For most of us, the answer is their smile. The truth is, your smile makes a big first impression and often a lasting impression on those who you meet. A healthy, bright smile can make a great first impression and let others know that you take good care of yourself.  It can also enhance your confidence.  This can have important implications for many facets of your life including your career, your dating life, your social life and more. So how can we make sure that we put our best smile forward everyday?

The first part of making sure that your smile is the best that it can be is to take care of your oral health. Brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing your teeth thoroughly at least one time per day can go a long way in ensuring that your smile looks healthy and bright. So can regular trips to the dentist for dental cleanings and examinations.

However, even with the best oral hygiene and dental care, there may be some aspects of your smile that you are not happy with. A space between your two front teeth, dingy, yellowed teeth, crooked teeth, missing teeth and teeth that are too long or too short can all make you feel self-conscious about your smile. This can cause you to feel less confident in general. Luckily, with today’s advances in dental technology and cosmetic dentistry, you don’t have to feel embarrassed about your smile. Teeth whitening, clear braces, porcelain veneers, dental bonding and dental implants are all cosmetic dental procedures that can be used to bring balance to your smile and improve its appearance.

If you are currently unhappy with the appearance of your smile, the first step is to schedule a consultation with an experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist. After a thorough evaluation and discussion about your desires, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate cosmetic dental procedure or group of cosmetic dental procedures to help you achieve your goals. This will help you to put your best smile forward wherever you go!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Preventing Tooth Decay

What is the best way to treat tooth decay (dental caries)?  The best way to treat tooth decay is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  It seems that in the case of your dental health, that old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true.

Brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing your teeth thoroughly at least one time per day can go a long way in preventing tooth decay.  So can regular professional cleanings from your dentist.  In addition, preventive measures such as sealants and fluoride treatments can be used to make your teeth less susceptible to decay.  What you eat can also play an important role in your dental health.  Staying away from sticky, sugary and highly acidic foods and beverages can cut down on your chances of developing tooth decay.  If you cannot stay away from these types of foods, brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with water after consuming them will help.

However, if you are not able to prevent tooth decay from occurring, then the next best thing is to treat it when it is in its earliest stages.  If you want to make sure that tooth decay is detected in its earliest stages, it is vitally important that you visit your dentist at least every six months for a routine dental checkup.  This will give your dentist the opportunity to examine your teeth to look for signs of decay.  Your dentist can also order dental X-rays, if necessary.  Dental X-rays can be used to detect tooth decay that is not able to be detected in a physical examination.  In addition, some dentists are now utilizing high powered lasers to detect cavities that cannot even be detected using X-ray technology.

If you have not been to the dentist for a routine dental examination in over six months, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.  What you do today can have a large effect on your dental health in the future.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Starting Out The School Year With Good Oral Health

If you live in metropolitan Atlanta and have a child who attends public school, yesterday was the first day of the 2013/2014 school year.  What happened to the summer?  Out with the carefree days of sleeping in and swimming in the pool.  In with homework, after-school activities and Fall sports.  At least that means football season is right around the corner!  For many parents, this time of the year brings with it a big “to-do” list.  Time to buy school supplies, purchase school clothes, get a physical, etc.  One thing that should not escape your back-to-school “to-do” list is taking your child for his or her six-month dental checkup.

Your child’s six-month dental check-up provides a great opportunity for your dentist to look for any signs of dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.  Cavities can be detected during a physical examination or through the use of x-ray technology.  Some dental offices even have special lasers that can be used to detect cavities that are in the earliest stages and would otherwise not be detected.  Early detection enables your dentist to treat any cavities that occur before they have had the opportunity to threaten the health of the tooth.  Your child’s dentist may also recommend sealants to prevent cavities from occurring on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth.  Lastly, he or she may recommend fluoride treatments to further strengthen the teeth and make them less susceptible to decay.

If you have young children who still have their baby teeth, do not make the mistake of thinking that the health of their baby teeth does not matter.  Studies have shown that the health of the baby teeth is often indicative of the health of the permanent teeth.   Your child’s dental health problems will not simply go away when their permanent teeth come in.

As a parent, you have the important job of getting your child ready for school and for life.  If your child is going back to school this Fall, help them to start the year out right with good oral health.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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