9 Oral Health Gift Ideas for the Holidays

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Not sure what to buy for your loved ones this holiday season? Why not give them the gift of a healthy, happy mouth? Not only are dental hygiene gifts practical, but they can also be fun! Better yet, they’re usually highly appreciated. This holiday season, check off your gift-list with this round-up of 9 creative oral health gift ideas. 

1.) Electric Toothbrush ($20-200)

Did you know that an electric toothbrush has been proven to decrease more plaque and gingivitis than a manual toothbrush? While these toothbrushes are definitely more of an investment than their manual counterparts, dentists like Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert agree: they’re absolutely worth it! When you give a family member or friend one of these toothbrushes, you can feel good knowing that their oral health is about to improve dramatically! 

2.) Fancy Toothpaste ($10-55) 

Have you dived into the world of luxury toothpastes before? If not, you’re in for a treat, literally. From fancy toothpastes that reportedly taste like cocktails, to gel toothpastes that harness the power of oxygen to heal your gums, there are so many options to choose from that will delight and amaze your giftees! 

3.) Dental Travel Kit ($3-10)

Do you have a frequent flier in your life? A digital nomad? A dental travel kit will make an excellent stocking-stuffer for anyone who’s been bitten by the travel bug. It’s not always convenient to carry around a full size brush, floss, toothpaste tube, and bottle of mouthwash with you everywhere you go, so having mini versions of these that can fit in a small bag is ideal.

4.) Sugar free gum and mints ($1-20) 

These gifts make great stocking-stuffers! Sugar free gum is good for your dental health because it stimulates saliva production which keeps your mouth healthy (it also freshens your breath!) Sugar free mints have these same benefits without the chewing, which make them perfect for people who prefer not to chew gum. You’ve also maybe heard us talk about Xylimelts, a mild mint product with xylitol. They keep your saliva production up as well as help you fight cavities! 

5.) Water Flossers ($10-200) 

If you’ve got someone in your life who has braces, or someone who struggles with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or other dexterity limitations, a water flosser such as the Waterpik would make a perfect oral health gift. Water flossers flush bacteria and food particles out from between the teeth and below the gums where floss can’t always reach. The water pressure also stimulates the gums, leading to an overall healthier mouth. While water flossers don’t replace actual flossing, they can make a great addition to your oral health routine!

6.) Professional Whitening Treatment ($650-1350) 

Store-bought whiteners don’t whiten any bonding, veneers, or caps and crowns. Additionally, they can be mildly to extremely painful for people with sensitive teeth. If you really want to make somebody smile this holiday season, get them a professional Zoom or Kör whitening treatment. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recommend Zoom whitening treatments for those who are looking for less expensive, quicker results. For people who have extreme sensitivity or tetracycline stained teeth, we recommend you take the Kör route, instead. 

7.) Eco-Friendly Dental Supplies ($5-25) 

Delight your eco-conscious friends and family with some ingenious eco-friendly dental supplies. From certified-vegan bamboo toothbrushes, to mint-flavored (non-vegan) zero-waste silk floss, to plastic-free chewable toothpaste tablets with fluoride, these products are both earth-conscious and budget friendly! 

8.) Oral Care Subscription Box ($30-55)

Of all the subscription boxes out there, we think oral care has to be the most practical. After all, you use your toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash daily! It makes sense to restock on these products every month. Of course, you’ll want to shop around—some popular oral care subscription boxes include the eco-conscious Nudge and Bazoo, and Cocofloss for those who like fun floss flavors.   

9.) Invisalign 

The best gift you could give a person is a perfect smile! Invisalign is the name for clear aligners that act like braces, but are more discreet—almost invisible! Invisalign relies on the natural processes in your mouth to subtly reposition your teeth over time. Whether you’ve got a teenager looking for an alternative to braces, or an adult who wants to discreetly perfect their smile, contact Eggert Family Dentistry. We’ll be happy to create a custom Invisalign treatment plan for you and your family! 

Have questions about Zoom and Kör whitening treatments, or Invisalign aligners? Call Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert today at 651.482.8412 We look forward to helping you check off your holiday shopping list this year! 

Dry Mouth and Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

By: Dr. Elizaabeth Eggert

While anyone can experience dry mouth, it’s one of the most common side effects of diabetes I and II. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is an uncomfortable condition in which your body under-produces saliva, leaving your mouth feeling dry, rough, sticky, and just plain uncomfortable. 

As we expanded on in a recent blog, saliva is extremely beneficial for your dental health. Since dry mouth is a reduction in the amount of saliva produced in your mouth, this condition can wreak havoc with your oral health.

But here’s the good news: dry mouth is a completely manageable condition that can be managed with at-home techniques, or treated here at Eggert Family Dentistry. But first, let’s explore the connection between dry mouth and diabetes.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Dry Mouth?

The two most common causes of dry mouth in people with diabetes are high blood sugar and the side effects of diabetes medications. 

High Blood Sugar: 

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is a common side effect of diabetes that isn’t well managed. While healthcare providers aren’t quite sure why high blood sugar causes dry mouth, chronic dry mouth is often the first noticeable symptom that someone with diabetes experiences.

Diabetes Medications: 

Side effects of certain diabetes medications, including Metformin, include dry mouth. ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, which are used to treat hypertension and diabetes, can also cause dry mouth. 

Symptoms of dry mouth include: 

  • Bad breath
  • Burning feeling in the mouth
  • Difficulty eating, chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Mouth that feels dry nearly all the time
  • Sores or infections in the mouth
  • Tongue that feels rough and dry

If you experience these symptoms consistently, be sure to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to make sure it isn’t a sign of another underlying condition. If your case of dry mouth is diabetes-related, you’ll be happy to know that it’s manageable at home and in our office! 

How to Manage Dry Mouth With Diabetes 

Everyone has different advice on how to manage dry mouth when you have diabetes, but all advice follows the same thread: 

1.) Make sure you’re hitting your targets

2.) Take steps to moisten your mouth and encourage saliva production. 

Here are some at-home remedies for managing dry mouth: 

  • Manage your blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid salty, spicy, or sugary drinks and foods.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeine, which can dry out your mouth.
  • Chew gum or suck on hard candies that do not contain sugar. 
  • Do not use tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Use alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Use lip balm (to manage chapped lips). 
  • Use a humidifier while you sleep at night.

To manage the effects of dry mouth on your dental health, brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Because dry mouth accelerates the process of tooth decay and gum disease, you want to be extra vigilant when it comes to taking care of your teeth! 

How Eggert Family Dentistry Can Help 

For patients with severe dry mouth, Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth can prescribe medications that stimulate saliva production, such as pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac).

With the right medications and at-home management, dry mouth can be a thing of the past! Let Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff be your partner in managing the effects of diabetes on your dental health. Contact us or call us at 651.482.8412 to schedule an appointment today!

What Your Saliva Can Tell You About Your Oral Health

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Saliva: you know, that stuff we normally call “spit.” While most people may cringe and call it “gross,” dentists know that saliva is actually a healthy mouth’s best friend! 

Healthy saliva production is a good indicator that your oral health is in tip-top shape. On the other hand, if your saliva production or the consistency of your saliva is unusual, it may be a warning sign of some underlying conditions that need to be addressed. 

What is Saliva? 

Saliva is a clear liquid that’s created by your mouth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Produced by the salivary glands, saliva keeps your mouth moist and comfortable, but it also performs a number of other important functions. 

Within your saliva are tiny amounts of some very important substances, including mucus, proteins, minerals, electrolytes, antibacterial compounds and enzymes. These minerals and enzymes have a huge role to play when it comes to your overall health. For example, the enzyme amylase allows saliva to aid in digestion, by turning starches into sugars which your body can more easily absorb. Unsurprisingly, saliva also plays a key role in your oral health, protecting you from a host of dental problems.

3 Ways Saliva Protects Your Mouth

Apart from good dental health habits, when it comes to fighting off bacteria and disease in your mouth, consider saliva your superhero. From killing germs and preventing bad breath, to defending against gum disease and tooth decay, you can count on your saliva to save the day! But how does it do it? 

  1. Every time you swallow, saliva sweeps away food and bacteria. This reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth and neutralizes acids that would otherwise break down enamel and cause tooth decay. 
  2. Saliva also contains antimicrobial agents that kill disease-causing bacteria. Without this daily “cleaning service,” you’d find that you’d develop gingivitis, gum disease, and other oral infections much faster. 
  3. When acid does manage to damage tooth enamel, saliva actually repairs the tooth’s protective surface in a process called remineralization. Calcium, phosphorus, fluoride, and other minerals contained in saliva work together to coat and repair your enamel. 

Saliva Symptoms and What They Mean 

Aside from protecting your mouth, sometimes your saliva can be a key indicator that something is wrong in your body. Unusual production or consistency in your saliva can be a red flag to let you know that there’s a problem. 

Not Enough Saliva

This is a condition known as dry mouth. Without enough saliva to coat your mouth, it can feel dry, sticky, and very uncomfortable. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of things, including: 

  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications
  • Medical treatments
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Hypertension

…and more. Depending on the cause, dry mouth can be relieved by hydration, special oral rinses, medication to promote saliva production, and more.

Too Much Saliva: 

Also known as hypersalivation, having too much saliva in your mouth can be just as uncomfortable as dry mouth. You may find yourself having to constantly spit or swallow throughout the day, which can even cause anxiety. Causes of hypersalivation include: 

  • Nausea
  • Inability to swallow 
  • Inability to keep mouth closed 
  • Sinus or throat infections 
  • Ulcers, inflammation, or pain in the mouth 
  • Parkinson’s disease 

…and more. In minor cases, hyper salivation can be treated at home with remedies such as brushing your teeth and using mouthwash to temporarily dry out the mouth. Hypersalivation can also be treated with medication, periodic botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, or in extreme cases, surgery.

Unusual Consistency 

If your saliva is thick and opaque, that may be a sign that you have a yeast infection called oral thrush. This condition is more common in children and the elderly, and is treated with antifungal medications taken orally. 

If your saliva is bloody, that may be an indication that you have developed gum disease. Bloody saliva will be most noticeable in the sink after brushing or flossing. If you think you have gum disease, call Eggert Family Dentistry and schedule an appointment right away. Treatments for gum disease include periodontal scaling and root planing. 

Have Concerns About Your Saliva? 

If you find that you’re producing excessive amounts of saliva, are experiencing bouts of dry mouth, or have noticed an unusual consistency in your saliva, call our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Jeff Eggert or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert will be able to diagnose any problems and recommend or prescribe any treatments you may need. Call us today at 651-482-8412.

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Sensitive teeth? How to prevent issues and make yourself more comfortable.

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

For people who struggle with sensitive teeth, eating or drinking anything too hot or cold can be uncomfortable. Sometimes, even brushing your teeth or using floss can be uncomfortable if you have sensitive teeth. 

But what causes tooth sensitivity and will you ever be able to enjoy hot coffee or cold ice cream again? 

Causes and Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth are caused by enamel on the teeth that gets worn down. Enamel is the hard outer layer that protects the softer interior of your teeth. When the enamel gets worn down, the softer, more sensitive part of your teeth are exposed. When the dentin or dentin tubules that run to the nerves in your teeth are exposed to heat, cold, or pressure from chewing, the nerves get hyperactive and can send a jolt of pain through your mouth. 

The things that most commonly wear down the enamel on your teeth are:

Tooth sensitivity is often caused by underlying tooth problems. By finding and fixing those problems, discomfort from sensitive teeth often resolves on its own. Some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth include:

  • Infrequent brushing
  • Overly aggressive brushing 
  • Gum recession
  • Periodontal disease
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • A dysfunctional bite

What to Do if You Have Sensitive Teeth

If you have mild tooth sensitivity, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff can recommend a desensitizing toothpaste or prescription fluoride toothpaste to use at home. The ingredients in these toothpastes help prevent hot and cold sensations from reaching your mouth. Regular fluoride varnish treatments at our office can also help reduce pain. 

There are also at-home remedies we found online, you could try these to get relief: 

  • Salt-water rinse: Add ¼ to ¾ teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Gargle the salt water twice daily for up to 30 seconds. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse: Add two caps of 3% hydrogen peroxide to an equal amount of warm water, and swish in your mouth for up to 30 seconds. The mild antiseptic and disinfectant can help deal and prevent inflammation. 
  • Honey and warm water: Mix a spoonful of honey with warm water, and rinse your mouth with the mixture. Hone is an antibacterial agent that helps speed healing and reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. 
  • Turmeric: Massage ground turmeric on your teeth and gums twice a day for pain relief. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory treatment and enhances wound healing. 

If you have severe tooth sensitivity, you may need more involved treatment to resolve your discomfort. When sensitivity is caused by decay or when teeth are worn or decayed, we may recommend a filling, crown, or bonding to fix the root issue. Also, if a dysfunctional bite is keeping the nerves of your teeth hyperactive, changing the tooth positions is an important part of the healing process. 

Addressing the Underlying Issues That Cause Tooth Sensitivity 

Another way to make huge improvements in relieving tooth sensitivity is to look for and treat underlying issues with your bite. By undergoing our records process, we can determine if improvements to how your teeth come together and how you chew can stop your tooth sensitivity – often for good!

One of the best ways to improve sensitive teeth is by developing healthy oral hygiene habits, including regular visits to the dentist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, contact our office at 651-482-8412.

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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Drug Abuse on Dental Health?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Drug and alcohol abuse have been on the rise in the last few years, and those numbers increased even more during the pandemic. Numbers from the CDC suggest that more than 10% of Americans over the age of 12 have abused illegal drugs in the last month. In addition, 24% of American adults had at least one episode of heavy drinking in the last year.

Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse can cause numerous dental health problems, including:

Enamel Breakdown and Mouth Sores from Drug and Alcohol Abuse

One of the most common impacts of drug abuse on dental health is enamel breakdown. Because cocaine and many other drugs are highly acidic, they can break down the enamel on teeth. Cocaine is especially damaging when it is smoked or when people use powdered cocaine in their mouths to be absorbed through their gums. This can lead to mouth sores, which can get infected.

Cocaine can also cause injuries in the mouth when it is snorted. The tissues in the upper palate are weakened, which can cause a hole to form between the nose and the mouth.

Essentially all alcoholic beverages are acidic, with some having a higher pH level than others. Wine is especially acidic and seeing tooth erosion in wine drinkers is very common. So many mixed drinks also contain mixers like juices and sodas, all of which have high levels of acidity and can cause damage to tooth enamel.

Another negative dental health consequence from drug abuse is called transient chorea. This causes muscle spasms in the jaw and mouth, which can make people grind their teeth. When people grind their teeth too much, it weakens the tooth enamel and causes the teeth to crack.

Drug Abuse Can Make Teeth Rot

Tooth rot is so common from meth use that the condition is known as “meth mouth.” Black and brown holes form all over the teeth due to decay. Meth kills blood vessels, which causes problems in the gums. Meth also makes the mouth feel dry. And without saliva, the enamel on the teeth is much more subject to the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Bad Dental Hygiene from Drug and Alcohol Abuse

When people abuse drugs and alcohol, their dental health suffers. The drugs and alcohol themselves are hard on people’s teeth. However, another side effect of the abuse is neglecting basic dental hygiene.

When people use drugs and alcohol, they often forget to take care of their basic dental needs – such as brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash. Finally, some drugs, such as meth, make people crave sugary foods and drinks, which are hard on your teeth. This combination makes it hard to keep your mouth healthy.

A No-Judgment Appointment to Discuss the Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse on Your Dental Health

If you’re concerned about the impact drugs or alcohol are having on your oral health, contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff for a no-judgement appointment. Call our office at 651-482-8412 to schedule your appointment.

What to Consider Before You Get an Oral Piercing

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

What Are Oral Piercings?

Oral piercings use a needle to add a hole and jewelry to the mouth. Oral piercings can be inside the mouth, known as intraoral, or outside your mouth, known as perioral. This includes piercings in the:

  • Tongue
  • Cheek
  • Lip
  • Uvula, which is the tissue that hangs at the back of your throat
  • Frenum, which is the tissue that connects your lips to your gums and your tongue to the floor of your mouth

Risks of Oral Piercings

Oral piercings are a common way for people to express themselves. Unlike piercings in other parts of the body, however, oral piercings come with a host of complications because of the sensitive nature of the mouth.

Piercing any part of your mouth is riskier than piercing other parts of the body. Throughout the day, oral piercings touch your teeth and gum tissue, which each contain millions of bacteria. As a result, the risk of infection is higher.

Oral piercings can interfere with talking, chewing, and swallowing. Even if those interruptions don’t bother you, oral piercings can cause of range of mouth damage, including:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Trouble talking or breathing
  • Infection, pain, and swelling
  • Damage to the gums, teeth, and fillings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Challenges during dentist appointments
  • Blood-borne diseases
  • Endocarditis

Taking Care of an Oral Piercing If You Already Have One

While we understand piercings are becoming more common, at Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe it is much safer to consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem and don’t pierce on a whim – the piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep.

If you already have an oral piercing, one of the best ways to prevent an oral infection is by consistently taking care of your mouth. Keep your piercing clean by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Avoid clicking your oral jewelry against your teeth, which can chip or crack them or cause your teeth to become loose.

Finally, it’s also important to take oral piercings out when you play sports, and remember to wear a mouthguard.

When to See Help for an Oral Piercing

Because of the increased risk of infection, it’s important to visit us at Eggert Family Dentistry regularly. And if you notice any signs of infection – such redness, swelling, discharge, smell, rash, fever, or excessive bleeding – it’s important to contact us as soon as possible. Contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff if you’re concerned that your oral piercing may be infected. Call our office at 651-482-8412 to schedule your appointment.

Oral Care for Cancer Patients

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

May is oral cancer awareness month. And although oral cancer affects more than 50,000 people each year, regular visits with your dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry can help detect early warning signs.

Regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed with oral cancer or another cancer, you may notice changes in your mouth. Chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and other types of cancer treatments can have an impact on your mouth. Your gums, teeth, and salivary glands can be seriously affected.

However, with good oral care, you can help mitigate the side effects and lower the risk of other oral challenges.

Oral Sides Effects of Cancer Treatment

The type of cancer treatment you receive will affect the symptoms you have, as well as the oral care you need. The most common oral side effects of cancer treatment include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Changes in taste
  • Mouth sores
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease

The Best Oral Care for Cancer Patients

The most effective oral care for cancer patients may feel similar to the best dental hygiene you could have. Oral care for cancer patients includes:
Brushing your teeth, but maybe more gently: Because your mouth can be more sensitive, be sure to use your soft toothbrush and brush more gently than you normally would.

Brushing your teeth more often: In addition to brushing your teeth gently in the morning and at night, consider brushing after every meal because of the decrease in saliva.

Maintaining your flossing routine: If you already floss your teeth, continue flossing, ideally before bed. However, if you haven’t been a regular flosser, start now, but be prepared for slightly more irritation in your gums at first.

Rinsing your mouth every 4 to 6 hours: An important part of oral care for cancer patients includes rinsing your mouth multiple times each day. The best rinses will be plain water, salt water, or baking soda water.

Keeping your lips moisturized: Because your mouth will produce less saliva than normal, it’s important to keep your lips moisturized. Apply a moisturizer (such as Aquaphor or Vaseline) every 4 to 6 hours.

Be prepared for yeast infections: Especially if you wear dentures, due to more limited saliva production, you will be more prone to yeast infections. Keep your dentures impeccably clean and rinse your mouth as described above.

Managing Oral Pain During Cancer Treatment

The right oral care for cancer patients can help alleviate mouth pain during cancer treatments. In addition to the steps listed above that you should add to your routine, there are other things that you may need to remove from your routine. During cancer treatment, you should avoid:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Mouthwash, especially any that has alcohol or sugar
  • Salty food and strong spices
  • Citrus fruit and juice
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Other acidic foods or drinks
  • Hard, dry, or coarse foods
  • Very hot or cold foods and liquids

Schedule an Appointment Before You Start Cancer Treatment

If you’re starting cancer treatment, it can be helpful to meet with the dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry first. Your body is going through a lot right now, and good oral care is essential in helping your mouth feel as good as possible. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, call our office at 651-482-8412.

Dentistry Is Not Expensive–Neglect Is!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If you want to save money on dental care, invest in floss, toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste!

The good news is that you can have a huge impact on how long you keep each tooth, and how healthy it is. When you take good care of your teeth, you defer or prevent the investment in dental procedures altogether. For some people, this is highly motivating. Whether you are motivated by money, vanity, or health concerns, we are here to help you take the best possible care of your teeth, which is the best way to avoid the cost and time involved with dental procedures.

Please follow these tips, and reach out to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff if you have any questions about how to take the best possible care of your precious teeth and smile.

Brush Properly

It’s important to use good technique to get the most out of brushing. Remember to be gentle, move your brush in circular motions, and brush all surfaces. Better brushing means less plaque, less gum disease, and longer-lasting teeth.

Never Go To Bed without Brushing Your Teeth

The best time to brush is about an hour after you eat. The ideal practice is to brush after every meal and snack. However, many people shirk their brushing practice right before bed because they’re too tired. However, this is the most important brushing session, because any germs and plaque that remain on your teeth when you go to bed have at least eight hours or so to do their damage.

Brush Your Tongue

Plaque also accumulates on your tongue, which can this lead to bad breath and other oral health problems. Always gently brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

We recommend using fluoride toothpaste for best oral protection. It helps remineralize damage to enamel caused from bacteria and acid in your mouth.

Be as Dedicated to Flossing as to Brushing

Flossing removes stuck food particles, but it also stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and help reduce gum inflammation. Please floss at least once daily. If you find it challenging to floss, look for alternate remedies such as disposable dental flossers.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash has multiple benefits, depending on the product, including reducing acid in the mouth, cleaning hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizing teeth. It’s particularly helpful for people who don’t do a great job of brushing, such as children and the elderly.

Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Our teeth evolved to benefit from a workout, so it’s good for our jaws and teeth to eat crunchy, chewy things. Instead of soft processed foods, eat crunch raw vegetables and fruits, and whole grains. Giving your jaw a workout is good for your teeth and your breathing habits, too.

Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acid erodes tooth enamel, which causes cavities. The bacteria in the mouth can also convert sugar to acid in the mouth. While few of us will give up all acidic foods such as coffee, tea, and fruit, be mindful of eating these things, and rinse after consuming them.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is good for your overall health as well as your oral health. It helps wash food residue and particles out of your mouth and reduce the impact of sticky and acidic foods and beverages. Drink water with your meals, and swish out your mouth a few times after your last bite.

See Us at Least Twice Yearly

Professional cleanings are a necessary component of dental care. It is not possible for you to be able to clean every area effectively on your own. We will also look for cavities and any other issues that may need treatment. Prompt treatment is the best way to minimize both discomfort and expense.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth want the best for your mouth and your health, so let us keep a professional eye on your teeth and gums so you can get appropriate and timely treatment. Give us a call today at 651.482.8412 to set up your next recare appointment.

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Why a Fitted Mouth Guard Provides the Best Protection

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

A fitted mouth guard is the best way to protect an athlete’s teeth and mouth area when playing sports throughout the year.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth always recommend to parents of our sports-playing patients that a custom-fitted mouth guard is the best way to protect their kids’ teeth, jaws and general health. This is especially important in traditional high-contact sports like hockey, wrestling, and football, but it’s also true in other sports like baseball and gymnastics in which an errant move may cause a dentofacial injury that is disastrous for the teeth or jaw.

Many athletes rely on the one-size-fits-all or boil-and-bite mouth easily found at sporting goods stores and online, and they are definitely an improvement over no protection.

However, the benefits of custom mouth guards are worth the investment. Your child has just one set of adult teeth, and keeping them intact should be your priority. The longer they can go in life without requiring dental reconstruction, the better. In addition, the cost of a custom set of mouth guards is far more economical than multiple dental visits.

Better Fit

When you get a custom mouth guard, it’s molded exactly to your child’s teeth and jaw. When you choose an off-the-shelf guard, it’s generally bulky and fits far from perfectly. It’s probably uncomfortable to wear and hard to speak around. As a result, kids tend to not wear them for the entire length of the game or competition or they play with them during competition rendering them ineffective.

In contrast, a custom-fit mouth guard is much more comfortable and easy to speak with. This seriously increases the likelihood that your kid will wear it for the duration of their athletic event.

Improved Breathing

One of the most common complaints kids have about one-size-fits-all mouth guards is that they interfere with breathing, especially during intense exertion. It’s no surprise that athletes object to this problem, because it’s hard to perform at your best when your respiration is impaired. Research indicates that custom mouth guards don’t interfere with breathing. In fact, some research suggests that custom mouth guards may actually improve athletic performance. When kids complain that they can’t breathe well while wearing a store-bought mouth guard, upgrade to a custom-made one

Better Protection

The American Dental Association strongly encourages athletes of all ages to wear mouth guards and reduce the risk of orofacial injuries. Studies support this. A 2018 meta-analysis established that mouth guard users are 82-93% less likely to suffer dentofacial injuries. A study of college athletes showed that custom mouth guards provide the best protection against injury while playing contact sports.

The ADA states that the most effective mouth guards share these qualities:

  • Cover the user’s teeth on one arch
  • Are properly fitted to the user’s mouth
  • Are accurately adapted to the user’s oral structures
  • Stay in place comfortably and securely

Stock mouth guards don’t meet these criteria, but custom mouth guards do.

Help your kids graduate into adulthood with a healthy, intact set of teeth. Please talk to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr Jeff about getting a custom mouth guard to protect your athletic offspring’s dentofacial health.

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Enjoy a Brighter Smile for the Holidays

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, full of laughter and good times. Unfortunately, some people are reluctant to smile and laugh authentically because they don’t want to show off their teeth. They are embarrassed that their teeth are dingy, discolored, or punctuated with fillings.

Well, our first advice is: Go ahead, laugh and smile and enjoy yourself. It’s unlikely anyone is as critical of your teeth as you are.

And it’s also true that you can partner with us, your dentists, to improve the cosmetic aspect of your teeth, so you can laugh and smile with confidence. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are here to help you take good care of your teeth so you’ll be happy to display your teeth and your joy.

Here are few ways to achieve and maintain fresh, attractive teeth for the holidays, and all year round.

Avoid Staining Foods

If your teeth are prone to discoloration, you can improve matters by avoiding acidic, sugary, and dark-colored foods. Major culprits include coffee, wine, berries, and chocolate. If you do choose to indulge, rinse your teeth as soon as possible afterwards and make sure to brush with regular intervals. Better still, consume these in moderation and load up on fresh fruits and veggies, and enjoy cheese and dairy for the beneficial calcium they offer as they are less likely to stain your teeth.

Stay Away From All Types of Tobacco

Tobacco stains teeth, including vaping and chewing tobacco. If taking care of your physical health doesn’t motivate you enough to quit, maybe vanity can! Tobacco is a prime cause of yellow, dingy teeth, so please quit. There are many effective cessation programs if you need help.

Preventative Care at Home

We will never stop singing this same old tune: Brush and floss, brush and floss. Your preventative care is the best way to keep your teeth healthy, and healthy teeth are attractive teeth. Brush and floss twice daily to combat gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. And please, do both! It’s impossible to brush the tight interproximal areas in between your teeth, so floss every time you brush. For anyone wondering whether your dentist can tell if you floss and brush routinely, the answer is YES. We can.

Get Regular Cleanings by a Professional

No matter how well you brush, you will get some tarter buildup, a by-product of plaque. When plaque builds up on teeth, it hardens and turns into tartar or calculus. It requires professional cleanings to scrape it off your enamel. Please get twice annual dental cleanings, and remember that plaque buildup doesn’t reflect on any brushing deficit – it happens to everyone.

Get Your Teeth Whitened

Consider professional teeth whitening to improve the shade of your teeth. We hear from our patients that store-bought whitening products don’t always live up to their promises, so schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff or Dr. Elizabeth for professional teeth whitening.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments

For a stain-resistant and beautiful smile, consider cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers. We can apply porcelain veneers that mimic the look of natural dental enamel but are a uniform shade of your choice. They look natural, but they resist stain.

Your smile is your most precious commodity, so take good care of it! Please reach out to us at Eggert Family Dentistry for professional dental care to enhance the beauty and the health of your pearly whites–call 651.482.8412 to set up your next appointment!

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