Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Family Dentist

Understanding Medication Side Effects on Oral Health: Advice from Your Family Dentist

As your trusted family dentist, Family 1st Dental is here to ensure your oral health is in top shape, especially if you’re taking prescription medications or dietary supplements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications, and over half take vitamins or other supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, medications can have side effects that impact your oral health. That’s why it’s crucial to keep us informed about any medications or supplements you’re taking, especially if there have been changes since your last visit.

Here are some common medication side effects that can affect your oral health:

  1. Abnormal Bleeding: Certain medications can thin your blood and reduce clotting, leading to excessive bleeding during dental treatments or oral surgery. Inform your dentist about any medications or supplements you’re taking before scheduling such treatments.
  2. Dry Mouth: Many medications can decrease saliva production, making your mouth more prone to inflammation, infection, and tooth decay.
  3. Fungal Infection: Oral Candidiasis, a fungal infection, can affect individuals using oral inhalers for conditions like asthma. Patients with inhalers should rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after each use.
  4. Gum Tissue Enlargement: Some medications may cause overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue. Proper oral hygiene is crucial for preventing inflammation or decay in these cases.
  5. Soft Tissue Reactions: Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of certain medications. Your dentist may prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen to alleviate discomfort.
  6. Tooth Decay: While not a direct side effect, some medications, especially those in liquid, chewable, or lozenge forms, contain sugar to improve flavor. Over time, these sugars can increase the risk of tooth decay. Opt for sugar-free versions of medications whenever possible, take them with meals, or rinse your mouth afterward.

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, or even tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist immediately.

At Family 1st Dental, we’re dedicated to providing you and your family with comprehensive dental care, taking into account your overall health and any medications you may be taking. Don’t let medication side effects compromise your oral health. Contact us today for personalized care and advice tailored to your needs.

Family First Dental

Protecting Your Child’s Smile: The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports | Family First Dental

Protect Your Child’s Smile with Family 1st Dental Mouth Guards

At Family 1st Dental, we understand the importance of protecting your child’s smile while they’re playing sports. Sports-related dental injuries can be serious, painful, and costly to treat. That’s why we recommend mouth guards for children who participate in sports.

According to the American Dental Association, athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to experience dental injuries. Mouth guards are designed to absorb shock and protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue from injury during sports. They can help prevent broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, and cuts or bruises to the mouth. Additionally, mouth guards can reduce the risk of concussions by cushioning the impact of a blow to the jaw.

There are different types of mouth guards available to suit your child’s needs. Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to wear, but they may not provide the best fit. Boil-and-bite mouth guards can be molded to fit your child’s teeth, providing a more customized fit. However, custom-fitted mouth guards, made by a dentist like Family 1st Dental, offer the best fit and protection.

When choosing a mouth guard, consider the type of sport your child plays, as well as their age and size. Some sports, like football, hockey, and wrestling, have a higher risk of dental injury, so a more protective mouth guard may be necessary. Younger children may need a smaller mouth guard to fit their smaller teeth and mouth.

In addition to protecting teeth, mouth guards can improve athletic performance. They help stabilize the jaw, reduce muscle fatigue, and even improve breathing, which can enhance endurance.

It’s essential to ensure your child’s mouth guard fits properly and is in good condition. A poorly fitting mouth guard can be uncomfortable and may not provide adequate protection. Replace mouth guards if they become worn or damaged.

Overall, mouth guards are a vital piece of protective gear for children who play sports. They can prevent serious dental injuries and improve performance. Encourage your child to wear a mouth guard and help them choose the right type and fit. By taking these precautions, you can help keep your child safe and healthy while they enjoy playing sports.

For more information on how you can protect your child’s smile with mouth guards, contact Family 1st Dental to schedule a consultation.

Family First Dental

Finding the Balance: How Much is Too Much When it Comes to Brushing Your Teeth? | Family First Dental

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is a cornerstone of good dental health, and brushing your teeth plays a pivotal role in this regimen. However, is it possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing? At Family First Dental, we explore the delicate balance between proper oral care and over-brushing to ensure your smile stays healthy and vibrant.

Understanding the Recommended Guidelines

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, as part of your oral hygiene routine. While some individuals may feel compelled to brush more frequently, especially after meals or to freshen up midday, excessive brushing can have unintended consequences for your dental health.

The Pitfalls of Over-Brushing

Brushing your teeth more than three times a day, or for extended periods exceeding two minutes, can lead to adverse effects on your oral health. Over time, this habit can wear down your tooth enamel, the protective outer layer that defends against tooth decay. Damaging the enamel makes your teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and cavities, undermining your overall oral health.

Striking the Right Balance

Practicing proper oral hygiene at home is essential, but understanding the limits is equally crucial to preserving your smile’s integrity. Using a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance ensures you’re employing a safe and effective tool for cleaning your teeth. These toothbrushes are designed to minimize enamel erosion, featuring soft bristles that gently cleanse without causing harm.

Partnering for Comprehensive Oral Care

While home care is vital, regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist are integral components of maintaining optimal oral health. These appointments not only ensure a thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums but also allow our dental team to monitor your oral health closely, identifying any issues before they escalate.

Take the Right Steps Towards a Healthy Smile

Ready to strike the perfect balance in your oral hygiene routine and safeguard your smile’s health? Contact Family First Dental today to schedule a comprehensive cleaning and exam with our experienced dentist. Together, let’s ensure your smile remains radiant and healthy for years to come.

Family First Dental

Unveiling the Oral Health-Hypertension Connection | Family First Dental

At Family First Dental, we understand the pivotal role oral health plays in overall well-being. Through routine examinations, our dedicated team not only assesses your dental health but also identifies potential indicators of systemic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Surprisingly, recent research unveils a lesser-known connection between oral hygiene and hypertension, emphasizing the significance of proactive oral care practices. Here’s what you need to know about this intriguing link:

Discovering the Oral Health-Hypertension Nexus

A compelling study published in the Journal of Periodontology explored the correlation between oral hygiene habits and high blood pressure. Analyzing data from nearly 20,000 adults participating in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), researchers uncovered a noteworthy association. Individuals with suboptimal oral hygiene practices, such as irregular brushing, exhibited a higher likelihood of hypertension. Conversely, those who maintained robust oral care routines, including frequent brushing and supplementary use of floss or mouthwash, demonstrated a reduced risk of hypertension. These findings underscore the potential role of good oral hygiene in mitigating or managing high blood pressure, offering new insights into preventive healthcare.

Empowering Through Oral Hygiene Practices

The implications of this research highlight the significance of prioritizing oral health as a cornerstone of overall wellness. Consistent brushing, flossing, and integrating oral health products into your daily regimen not only promote a healthy smile but may also contribute to maintaining optimal blood pressure levels. By nurturing good oral hygiene habits, you empower yourself and your family to safeguard against potential health risks and enhance your quality of life.

Partnering for Optimal Oral and Overall Health

At Family First Dental, we are committed to supporting your family’s journey toward optimal oral and overall health. Our comprehensive approach to dental care encompasses regular examinations, thorough cleanings, and personalized guidance to optimize your oral hygiene practices. By scheduling your appointment with our compassionate team, you take proactive steps toward preserving your family’s well-being and reducing the risk of hypertension.

Take Charge of Your Family’s Health Today

Ready to prioritize your family’s oral health and potentially decrease the risk of hypertension? Contact Family First Dental to schedule your appointment for a comprehensive examination and cleaning. Together, let’s embark on a path toward a healthier, happier family.

Family First Dental

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth | Dentist Near Me

When you find yourself short on time for brushing or flossing, incorporating certain foods into your diet can still promote oral health and keep your mouth feeling fresh. Family 1st Dental recommends these convenient and tooth-friendly options for maintaining a healthy smile, even when you’re on the go:

Cheese: Indulge in cheese to enjoy its tooth-protecting benefits. Not only does cheese preserve and rebuild tooth enamel, but it also prevents plaque formation and balances the acidity level in your mouth. Additionally, cheese stimulates saliva production, which helps combat bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea: Sip on tea to harness its polyphenols, which slow the growth of bacteria associated with dental issues. Polyphenols also inhibit the conversion of sugar into plaque, while fighting the bacteria responsible for bad breath.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Munch on crunchy fruits like apples, and vegetables like carrots and celery, to promote saliva production through chewing. Saliva helps neutralize bacteria, massages gums, and cleans between teeth by removing food particles.

Calcium and Phosphorus-Rich Foods: Incorporate vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus to strengthen tooth enamel. These minerals help redeposit minerals into tiny enamel lesions caused by acidic foods, promoting overall oral health.

Sugarless Gum: Chew on sugarless gum containing xylitol, which prevents plaque formation and stimulates saliva production. Enjoying sugarless gum also helps maintain fresh breath throughout the day.

Raisins: Snack on raisins to benefit from their phytochemicals, which combat bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. Certain compounds in raisins also inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria.

Water: Stay hydrated with water to stimulate saliva production, your body’s natural defense against plaque-causing bacteria and cavities. If brushing isn’t immediately possible after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help prevent tooth decay.

While incorporating these foods into your diet can aid in fighting plaque buildup and tooth decay, they should complement—not replace—your daily oral hygiene routine. Family 1st Dental emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced diet alongside regular brushing, flossing, and scheduled dental appointments for optimal oral and overall health.

Family First Dental

Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste | Family 1st Dental

Discover the versatile uses of toothpaste beyond just cleaning your teeth with these handy tips from Family 1st Dental. While toothpaste is renowned for keeping our smiles bright, its ingredients can also provide relief for common ailments, tackle stubborn stains, and even make everyday items sparkle. Check out these unexpected ways toothpaste can simplify your life:

  1. Soothe Insect Bites: Experience relief from bee stings and insect bites by applying a small amount of toothpaste to the affected area. Not only does it alleviate itching, but it also helps reduce swelling and promotes faster healing.
  2. Remove Wall Marks: Bid farewell to crayon and scuff marks on painted walls by gently rubbing them with toothpaste on a damp cloth. Watch as the marks vanish without damaging the paint.
  3. Prevent Mirror Fog: Keep bathroom mirrors fog-free by applying toothpaste and wiping it off before your shower. This simple trick saves time during your morning routine.
  4. Clean Dirty Shoes: Restore the shine to dirty or scuffed shoes by applying toothpaste directly to the affected areas. Scrub with a brush and wipe clean for a refreshed look.
  5. Sparkle Jewelry: Make silver jewelry and diamonds shine like new by rubbing toothpaste onto them and leaving it overnight. In the morning, wipe clean with a soft cloth for dazzling results.
  6. Repair Scratched Discs: Revive scratched DVDs and CDs by applying a thin layer of toothpaste, gently rubbing, and rinsing clean. This technique works best for shallow scratches and smudges.
  7. Shrink Pimples: Reduce the size of pimples by applying toothpaste to the affected area before bed. The drying properties of toothpaste help accelerate the healing process overnight.
  8. Deodorize Hands: Eliminate stubborn odors from your hands by washing them with toothpaste and soap. This method effectively removes lingering smells from foods, cleaning products, and fragrances.
  9. Patch Nail Holes: Fill small nail holes in walls with toothpaste, then use a putty knife to remove excess paste. Once dry, your wall will be as good as new, and you can touch up the paint if necessary.

Next time you visit Family 1st Dental, share with our team how you’ve found creative uses for toothpaste beyond its traditional role in dental care. We love hearing about innovative ways to make everyday life a little easier!

Family First Dental

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | Dentist Near Me

How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile. 

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth 

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine. 

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies 

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.  

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard. 

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel. 

Steps for Preventing Decay 

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.  

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.  

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our office.

Family First Dental

Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue? | Best Family Dentist

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is hairy tongue? 

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance. 

Who is at risk of hairy tongue? 

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances. 

What causes hairy tongue? 

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae. 

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our practice at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.  If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our practice for an appointment today.

Family First Dental

Silence Isn’t Always Golden | Restorative Dentist Near Me

Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive inflammation of the gum tissue. It is most frequently caused by bacterial infection. Left untreated, gum disease can have serious consequences for your oral and overall health.  However, one of the biggest challenges for early detection and treatment of gum disease is its silence. Gum disease can often begin and progress with few or no symptoms until reaching an advanced stage. 

Gum disease is caused when the bacteria found in plaque builds up between the teeth and gums. As the bacteria grow, the gums can become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. When gum disease is not treated promptly, it can worsen, leading to increased gum recession, infection, and bone loss. In addition, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. 

Gum disease also impacts other aspects of your overall health. Research has found links between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious inflammatory illnesses. To help prevent gum disease, ensure you are practicing strong oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, use of mouthwash, and regular dental examinations. Be aware of your risk factors for developing gum disease, such as age, tobacco use, genetics, stress, medications, grinding, obesity, or other inflammatory diseases, among others. Consider having an annual periodontal evaluation with our Family First dentist

While symptoms may not appear until later stages of the disease, it is important to watch for the warning signs of gum disease. Some of these include: 

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums 
  • Mouth pain 
  • Bleeding gums caused by brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods 
  • Loose or separating teeth 
  • Pus between gums or teeth 
  • Mouth sores 
  • Chronic bad breath 
  • Gums receding or pulling away from teeth 
  • Changes in your bite or the fit of dentures 

Gum disease can start silently, but may cause great damage if left untreated. Once gum disease has started, it can be effectively treated, but not fully cured. Protect your oral and overall health with preventive dental care and regular periodontal screenings. For more information about gum disease or to schedule your periodontal screening, contact our Family 1st dental office.

Family 1st Dental

The Truth Behind 5 Popular Dental Misconceptions | Family First Dental

Clearing up misconceptions about oral health can help improve personal oral hygiene efforts for a beautiful and healthier smile.  If you keep up with your oral hygiene regimen, dental visits are significantly easier and dental care is more manageable.  

Misconception #1 – My teeth are fine if I have no pain 

Tooth decay (cavities) usually doesn’t cause pain until they become very severe.  Once it gets to this stage, the amount of decay could lead to more invasive and costly treatments.  Some of the most dangerous oral disorders, such as oral cancer and gum disease, typically don’t cause pain at all.  It is important to keep up with scheduled dental appointments.  Our Family 1st dentist in can diagnose problems even at its earliest stages when there is no pain. 

Misconception #2 – Cavities are only caused by sweets 

When you eat sweets, the bacteria in your mouth start consuming it and produce acid.  This acid dissolves the enamel of the tooth, which results in tooth decay or cavities.  However, this process happens when you eat anything that is a starch or carbohydrate.  Food and snacks, such as crackers, bread, potato chips, fruit, peanut butter and pasta, have the same effect on your teeth. 

Misconception #3 – If my gums bleed, I should stop flossing 

Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease.  This happens when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of efficient cleaning.  With regular brushing and flossing, gums will be much healthier and should rarely bleed.  However, gum inflammation can occur despite best oral hygiene habits.  In such instances, you should see improvement if you rinse with warm salt water and continue to brush and floss. 

Misconception #4 – Whiter teeth are healthier teeth 

Healthy teeth come in a wide range of natural shades.  Whiter teeth cannot show if there is an infection or cavity between the teeth.  Although pure white teeth do not equate to healthier teeth, they should still be naturally on the whiter side.  

Misconception #5 – Children are more prone to tooth decay 

Tooth decay (cavities) can develop at any age.  People assume children have poor brushing habits and are more prone to tooth decay.  Cavities form when bacteria cause a loss or weakening in tooth enamel and eventually decay forms a hole in the tooth.  This is usually seen in people with poor brushing and flossing habits, regardless of age.   Excellent oral health promotes overall good health and is definitely not a misconception.  It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits.  If you have any questions regarding your dental health, please contact Family First Dental.

Family 1st Dental

Our Dental News

Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Family Dentist

Understanding Medication Side Effects on Oral Health: Advice from Your Family Dentist As your trusted family dentist, Family 1st Dental is here to ensure your oral health is in top shape, especially if you’re taking prescription medications or dietary supplements. […]

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Protecting Your Child’s Smile: The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports | Family First Dental

Protect Your Child’s Smile with Family 1st Dental Mouth Guards At Family 1st Dental, we understand the importance of protecting your child’s smile while they’re playing sports. Sports-related dental injuries can be serious, painful, and costly to treat. That’s why […]

Learn More

Finding the Balance: How Much is Too Much When it Comes to Brushing Your Teeth? | Family First Dental

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is a cornerstone of good dental health, and brushing your teeth plays a pivotal role in this regimen. However, is it possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing? At […]

Learn More