Movie Snacks vs. Your Teeth

Do you prefer to watch movies at home, drive-in theaters, or theaters? Regardless of your preference, drinks, and snacks pair well with your movie. Lots of good movies are out or soon to be released, be sure to learn the effects it will have on your teeth.

Popcorn

Walking into a theater, you immediately smell the freshly popped butter popcorn. We all know it’s hard to resist, but something we don’t know is popcorn packs a surprise… The kernel! Be careful this can actually crack your tooth! It’s also easy to get caught in between your teeth and the sharp edges can scratch your gums.

Another thing to know is popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth. This is damaging to your enamel if not cleaned properly. If a kernel gets stuck in your mouth it can irritate your gum tissue and bring more bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Favorite Snacks

As you go through the line for snacks and drinks at the movie theater they have candy right next to the register for any last minute decisions/cravings. Typically, there are chocolate, sour candy, or hard candy. Sticky candy gets stuck in between teeth putting your teeth at a higher risk of decay. Sour and hard candy such as Skittles and Jolly Ranchers are highly acidic.

Sugar doesn’t directly create a cavity, the process is a chain reaction. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, some beneficial but some are harmful. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. As the bacteria feed on sugar, it produces acid, and that acid attacks your tooth enamel.

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Soft Drinks

Soda is bad for your teeth. No news here, but did you know some sodas are worse than others? Not all sodas are created equally. Some have more acid while some have more sugar. Let’s take a look at two popular sodas, Coca- Cola and Mountain Dew.

Coca- Cola vs. Mountain Dew (link to video)

In this video, the young scientist drops a molar in a bottle of Mountain Dew and another into a bottle of Coca-Cola and leaves it soaking for almost three weeks. He notes that Mountain Dew has a pH of 3.1 while Coca-Cola has a pH of 2.5 meaning Coca-Cola is six times more acidic than Mountain Dew.

He weighed each tooth before soaking them and found out that the Coca-Cola tooth lost 7% of its mass while the Mountain Dew tooth lost 14% of its mass. Mountain Dew contains organic citric acid and Coca-Cola has phosphoric acid. In conclusion, he found out that citric acid eats away at enamel more than phosphoric acid.

Other Drinks To Be On The Lookout For

  • Coffee and Tea – They can stain your teeth and if you add sugar or vanilla it causes more harm.
  • Sports Drinks – They are high in sugar and acid that erode your enamel. Some drinks also have a high amount of sodium, which can tally more than a bag of potato chips.
  • Citrus – They are highly acidic and can wear away at your tooth enamel.
  • Alcohol – Reduces saliva production which can lead to dry mouth and increases your risk of gum disease.

Wow, that was a lot to take in! Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry we’ll give you three #ProTips to help you have healthy long lasting teeth and enjoy your movie. The first thing to know is saliva is your teeth’s natural protector! Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate which strengthen your teeth. This process is called remineralization.

#ProTip 1. is MODERATION. We all know soda and snacks aren’t good for our teeth or physical health but also hard to resist. Instead of consuming the most your body can, take time and challenge yourself to follow the suggested serving size.

#ProTip 2. WATER. Carry a bottle with you at all times. Take a sip and swoosh it around to re-hydrate your mouth and flush away sugar and acid after snacking.

#ProTip 3. ORAL HYGIENE. Remember to brush twice a day and floss daily. Also, make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for your check-up because without a true exam you don’t know what’s hiding in or around your pearly whites!

Life Smiles Dental Care

La Jolla: 858-455-7777
Chula Vista: 619-482-5555
El Cajon: 619-441-8000

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Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and nearly 10,860 people die annually. It is twice as common in men as women. Oral cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity. Which is the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, your dentist can detect abnormalities at an early stage resulting in less extensive and more successful treatment.

5 Myths and The Actual Facts

  1. Oral Cancer is rare.

Fact: More people are diagnosed with oral cancer than stomach cancer.

  1. I’m too young to get oral cancer.

Fact: It’s now more common for our younger patients to develop oral cancer because of the link to human papillomavirus (HPV.)

  1. I don’t smoke so I can’t get oral cancer.

Fact: Smoking does increase your risk for oral cancer but it isn’t the only factor. Drinking alcohol, HPV, and genetics play a role in developing the disease.

  1. No pain, no problem.

Fact: Not all cancer spots can cause pain.

  1. I will know when I have oral cancer.

Fact: It’s not easy to identify, it can go undetected in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and the base of your tongue.

Causes

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but here are some things that can put people more at risk.

  • Tobacco of any form – cigarettes/ e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms or Oral Cancer

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing and moving the jaw and tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Lump in the neck
  • Constant bad breath

A lot of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other things, schedule an appointment if any of these conditions go on for more than two weeks.

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Prevention

Stop using tobacco or don’t start. It exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive alcohol can aggravate cells and make them more susceptible to cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun! Constant exposure increases the risk of cancer. Be sure to use chapstick with SPF!

Last but not least, see your dentist regularly! It’s recommended to have an exam and cleaning every six months. Schedule yours today!

Life Smiles Dental Care

La Jolla: 858-455-7777
Chula Vista: 619-482-5555
El Cajon: 619-441-8000

 

Spark Joy In Your Smile

As you get ready for your day, look in your mirror, smile and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” This can be part of your spring cleaning routine. It’s time to get rid of any clutter, throw out broken or non-working items, and remember to get a breath of fresh air – literally or figuratively.

Make your smile spark joy!

Obviously, we have teeth to chew our food but they do much more than that. They shape your face and help you speak, healthy teeth and gums are just as important as a healthy body.

Teeth Whitening – Nothing sparks joy like a sparkling smile. It’s a completely safe, life brightening process that can positively change your physical appearance and enhance your mental health.

Veneers– Do you want to make your teeth more attractive? If you want to fix crooked, discolored, uneven, and unsightly teeth, the solution is porcelain veneers!

Dental Implants– Fill the missing gap in your smile. Implants involve putting a new “root” into the bone of your jaw. The success rate is high because they feel and look like your natural teeth.

Orthodontics – Always wanted that straight smile? You might also have the option to straighten your teeth with a clear aligner. That means you can eat all the foods you want and not worry about it being stuck in your braces because they are removable!

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Oral Health and Overall Health

Your teeth are more than just how you and others see them. How does oral health affect my heart? The bacteria infects your gums causing gingivitis that leads to periodontitis. It can also get into your bloodstream. Our gums protect our teeth and bone. If they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained it can lead to tooth loss as well as other medical complications.

What exactly is gum disease? Some signs are bleeding gums when you brush and floss, persistent bad breath, and your teeth look longer because your gums are beginning to recede. The only for sure way to know if you have gum disease is a visit to your dentist.

Does gum disease go away on its own? No, brushing and flossing will not make it go away. The best way is getting it professionally cleaned, your dentist can deep clean below your gum line to remove the built-up plaque and tartar. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. It’s treatable, don’t ignore it!

Can impacted wisdom teeth affect my health? They are the last teeth to come in and there isn’t enough room for them to erupt normally. Most people have four, two on top and on the bottom, Because they are hard to clean, they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, Some people are lucky enough to not get painful symptoms. Others might have swelling around the jaw, tender, or bleeding gums, bad breath, or trouble opening your mouth.

Can I prevent my wisdom teeth from erupting sideways? No, the best way to monitor your teeth us by going to your 6-month dental check-up. X-rays can show if your wisdom teeth are impacted or not before you suffer from any symptoms.

A spring cleaning is more than just your closets and cabinets. Be sure to clean out your mouth too! Schedule your appointment today to spark joy in your smile.

 

Life Smiles Dental Care

La Jolla: 858-455-7777
Chula Vista: 619-482-5555
El Cajon: 619-441-8000