Biggest Dental Myths Busted

dental mythsUnfortunately, for many people dental health get fairly dismissed.  A quarter of the U.S. population do not brush their teeth routinely, and nearly half of people don’t know how to use dental floss.

Clearly, there is a need for dental health education. So in an effort to dispel some common misconceptions, here are the most common dental myths and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: There is no harm in sharing toothbrushes.

Fact: It is always best to keep to your own toothbrush because your unique bacteria does remain on the brush and some bacteria simply should not be shared in this way. 

Myth 2: Eating fruit before you go to bed cleans your teeth.

Fact: While containing necessary nutrients, a lot of fruits contain sugary substances that are not good for your teeth before bed. Eating fruit before bed provides sugary and acidic conditions for plaque bacteria to thrive.

Myth 3: Brushing your teeth harder than normal is a better way to keep them clean.

Fact: Brush for two minutes, twice a day with a soft to medium toothbrush, using a gentle circular brushing motion with fluoridated toothpaste.

Myth 4: All mouthwashes do the same job.

Fact: Mouthwashes, like toothpaste, contain different ingredients that are included to achieve different results. Some of the ingredients are not suitable for all individuals. People with a dry mouth, who suffer with mouth ulcers or who have sensitivity should avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

Is it time for an appointment? Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today  – (626) 795-0221.

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What Is Sleep Apnea and How Can Your Dentist Help?

The word “apnea” (pronounced app-knee-uh) comes from the Greek word for “to breathe.” If you experience apnea, your lungs may be working, but oxygen and carbon dioxide are not exchanging.

Dr. Stender treats a condition that has this word in it — sleep apnea. This occurs when you have a tendency to pause your breathing or breathe in a very shallow manner when you sleep. While the occasional pause in breathing is not cause for concern in a person, sleep apnea occurs multiple times during a night’s sleep. The results are that you may find you awake frequently throughout the night (sometimes with your own snoring), your partner tells you that you snore loudly and you never feel rested, even after a long night’s sleep.

While there are several types of sleep apnea, Dr. Stender can specifically address obstructive sleep apnea at his Pasadena cosmetic dentist office. This sleep apnea type occurs when your airway is blocked or collapses while you sleep. The tongue or jaw position of the body can cause this to happen.

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can be harmful on your body — and cause you to always feel tired and worn-out. Sleep apnea increases the risk for harmful heart rhythms that weaken and damage the heart. Those with sleep apnea are also at increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and stroke.

Dr. Stender can address your sleep apnea concerns through creating a custom dental appliance that works to re-position the jaw and/or tongue to open the airway and keep you breathing more normally during sleep. These appliances closely resemble a retainer, but may have a special “cup” that holds the tongue in place, helping to keep it forward so the airway is more open. Another option is an appliance that pulls the jaw slightly forward to keep your airway open while you are sleeping.

Dental sleep apnea treatments are not for everyone, but they could help you if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are often an alternative for patients who cannot wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device while sleeping.

Dr. Stender and your sleep medicine specialist can evaluate your unique condition and symptoms to determine if an oral appliance is the best option to treat your sleep apnea.

To learn if sleep apnea devices from Dr. Stender’s office could help you get a better night’s sleep, please call our Pasadena sleep apnea office at (626) 795-0221.

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The Harmful Dental Risks of Fast Food

fast foodWe can’t escape fast food here in Southern California. They are a part of our culture. And, while a lot of these chains are trying to “health-ify” their menus – it’s simply not enough to keep people away from greasy cheeseburgers and french fries.

Unfortunately, fast food is not only harming our waistlines, it is also ruining our teeth. What we eat has a prominent effect on our teeth and gums.

Foods that cling to teeth — most soft, sweet and sticky foods — put you at a much higher risk for cavities because they allow acids that cause tooth decay to build up on the tooth surface. Diets that eliminate entire food groups or are extremely restrictive can also be harmful because they put you at a high risk for nutrient deficiencies.

Fermentable carbohydrates, which are found in fries, crackers, cookies and chips, are extremely common and create the perfect opportunity for dental cavity-causing acids to flood your mouth.

Some of the worst offenders are soda and bottled iced tea. These drinks are filled with empty calories and sugar and can wear down your teeth’s enamel over time. Clear sodas and iced teas are especially harmful because they are full of flavor additives. Stick with water!

Sure, we all have our cravings for fried foods, starchy fries, and sweets – and it’s okay to indulge those cravings once in a while. If you do, try chewing sugarless gum or rinsing your mouth with water for 30 seconds afterwards to prevent food from sticking to your teeth.

And, if you really want to be kind to your body (and teeth) reach for fruits or vegetables for a snack – not a large fry.

Is it time for an appointment? Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today  – (626) 795-0221.

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