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11Aug

When we think about oral healthcare, our minds often go to brushing and flossing. However, it is also important to pay attention to what kinds of foods and drinks we are coating our mouths with day in and day out.

In this article our Glendale dentists are going to be talking about how one indulgence in particular—chewing gum—can affect your oral health. Let’s get started!

Effects of Sugar

Many types of chewing gum are packed with sugars, and sugars are fuel for oral bacteria. So, whenever possible, look for a sugar-free formulation, perhaps one that uses Xylitol as a sweetener. If you do indulge in a sugary piece of gum, make sure to rinse your mouth right after you finish chewing, and don’t chomp on a piece all day long. You really want to minimize the number of hours that bacteria are feeding on sugar.

TMJ

Chewing gum can be hard on your temporomandibular joints, especially if you are dealing with an uneven bite. The TMJs are the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. If you find that your jaw is feeling sore or overtaxed, talk to your dentist about the possibility of TMJ dysfunction. And make sure to stop chewing on gum if your jaw starts to “lock up,” as this is a sign of serious TMJ issues.

Prolonged Contact with Teeth

Another thing to keep in mind when consuming gum is that it can stick to those hard-to-reach spots on your smile. Our dental team recommends using floss, rather than pointy wooden or metal toothpicks to dislodge these particles from between your teeth. Toothpicks difficult to use with any precision, and they can inadvertently cause damage to your oral tissues. 

If you want to learn even more about how you can protect your oral health through your diet, don’t hesitate to give our Glendale dentists a call. We look forward to speaking with you!

 

04Aug

One of the best things you can do to support optimal oral health is to take a look at your diet. Every day we expose our teeth and gums to different foods and beverages—some of them are good for dental health, while others can a toll on your smile

Today, our Glendale dentists are going to be talking about the ways that refined carbohydrates affect your smile. Let’s get started!

What are refined carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates that have been refined have been stripped of their fiber, bran, and nutrients. Many of the foods that we enjoy every day are refined carbs:

  • White bread
  • Cereal
  • Pizza
  • Bagels
  • White rice
  • Pastries and sweets

Additionally, you will find refined carbohydrates in many condiments, fruit juices, yogurts, and sauces.

When you consume these things, the oral bacteria in your mouth are able to use the sugars and refined carbohydrates as fuel to grow and multiply. This is why it is so important that you consume these foods and drinks thoughtfully.

What can I do to protect my smile?

Obviously, limiting your consumption of carbs and sugars will go a long way toward maintaining oral health. If you are able to swap white bread out for wheat or whole grain, for example, you are making a good decision for your smile. Additionally, it can help to eat and drink at specific, time-limited periods of the day. We are trying to limit the amount of time that oral bacteria are able to be active and feeding on your teeth and gums.

Our Glendale dentists are here to help you refine your diet and your daily dental routine to optimize your results. You can call our office to schedule a personal consultation, or use the Contact Us page on our website and we will get back to you shortly.