Is Gum Good for Your Oral Health? The Surprising Answer! | Dentist in 51449

Chewing gum is a popular habit for many people, and it has been around for centuries. While some people chew gum for the flavor, others do it to freshen their breath or simply to pass the time. But the question is, is gum good for your oral health?

The answer is yes, but with a caveat. Sugar-free gum can actually be beneficial for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. This, in turn, can help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

However, not all types of gum are created equal. Gum that contains sugar can actually have the opposite effect and be harmful to your teeth. The sugar in the gum can feed the bacteria in your mouth, leading to the production of acid that erodes your tooth enamel and causes cavities.

When choosing gum, it’s important to look for those that are sugar-free and contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities. Xylitol works by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities and helping to neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Another benefit of chewing gum is that it can help to freshen your breath. This is because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. Additionally, many types of gum contain flavorings and essential oils such as mint or cinnamon, which can also help to freshen your breath.

While chewing gum can be beneficial for your oral health, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly are still essential for maintaining good oral health.

In conclusion, chewing sugar-free gum can actually be good for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. However, it’s important to choose gum that is sugar-free and contains xylitol to avoid the risk of cavities. And as always, proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining good oral health. So, go ahead and chew that gum, but make sure it’s the right kind!

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Dentist in 51449

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved. 

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Daily Flossing | Dentist in Lake City

We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine: 

  1. Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. 
  2. Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss. 
  3. Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come. 
  4. Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age. 

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with our dental team today.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist | Lake City Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines. 

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months 

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger. 

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar 

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.  

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.  

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar. 

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our team suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks. 

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health. 

To schedule a visit to our dental office, please contact our team.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

6 Harmful Habits That Affect Your Teeth | Lake City IA Dentist

Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Here are a few common habits and tips for how to break them.

1.   Nail Biting

Why it’s harmful: Your dental health may suffer from nail biting by possibly chipping your teeth or impacting your tooth. You place pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for long periods of time. You could also tear or damage your gums.

The solution: Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouth guard to deter form nail biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter tasting nail polish.

2.   Brushing Too Hard

Why it’s harmful: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure to not brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently.

The solution: Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45 degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.

3.   Grinding and Clenching

Why it’s harmful: This can chip or crack your teeth as well as cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your

mouth wide.

The solution: Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while

you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain, or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.

4.   Chewing Ice Cubes

Why it’s harmful: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice and sometimes it may be the tooth.

The solution: Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.

5.   Constant Snacking

Why it’s harmful: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food and produces acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after to wash away the leftover food.

6.   Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Why it’s harmful: Using your teeth as a tool to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries.

The solution: Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you for it and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.

Contact Family First Dental – Lake City to schedule your next dental appointment.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Maintaining Your Oral Health During Illness | Lake City IA Dentist

Sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. Being sick can make it more difficult to keep up with your daily routine. Don’t let your cold or flu become an excuse for overlooking your oral hygiene. In fact, when you’re sick it is essential that you continue to stick to your regular brushing and flossing routine. Here are a few tips to keep you on track and on your way to getting better. 

Brush After Each Meal 

When you’re sick, try maintaining a schedule of brushing your teeth shortly after each meal. Your mouth can be a prime location where bacteria breed. Being extra vigilant in your brushing routine is an excellent way to minimize the multiplication of germs and bacteria. 

Be Selective with Cough Drops and Lozenges 

Numerous brands of cough drops and throat lozenges contain sugar. In fact, many cough drops or lozenges are similar to candy. Candy, particularly sucking candy that lasts in your mouth for an extended period of time, can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feeds off sugar to create acids that damage your teeth. Consider looking for drops and lozenges that are sugar free, or those that do not include corn syrup and fructose. 

Rinse Carefully 

If you are vomiting, keeping your mouth clean is important. Stomach acids can damage your teeth. However, brushing right away will just cause you to rub the acids all over your teeth. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash and wait at least 20 minutes before reaching for the toothbrush. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Staying hydrated is one of the keys to recovery. Drinking water is also an effective way to prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to decay and bad breath. Some medications you might be taking to relieve your cold or flu symptoms might dry out your mouth, so be sure to continue to drink water throughout the day. 

Replace Your Brush 

Once you have recovered from your illness, consider replacing your toothbrush. While it isn’t likely that you would cause yourself to get sick again, you may wish to err on the side of caution. The American Dental Association recommends that you regularly replace your toothbrush every three to four months. 

When you are sick, make it a point to keep up with your oral health. Your medications or over-the-counter remedies can have an impact on your oral health. Watch out for sugar content in cough drops and throat lozenges, and stay hydrated with water to avoid dry mouth. Keeping your mouth healthy is the first step to keeping your entire body healthy. 

For more oral health tips or to schedule a visit to our office, please contact Family First Dental – Lake City.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

The Connection Between Diet and Tooth Decay: Strengthening Your Teeth Through Good Nutrition | Lake City IA Dentist

It’s no surprise that what we eat and drink has a direct effect on our health and well-being. What many people don’t realize is that the food and beverages that we consume can also have a major impact on the health of our teeth. In fact, the connection between diet and tooth decay is so strong that it’s estimated that about 50% of all cavities are caused by diet. 

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down the enamel of the teeth. This breakdown can be caused by a number of factors, but one of the most common is the consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose feed the bacteria in our mouths, which in turn produce acids that erode the enamel of the teeth. Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, fruit juices, and sodas, can also contribute to tooth decay. The acids in these foods and drinks can weaken the enamel of the teeth and make them more vulnerable to decay. 

Not all foods and drinks are bad for your teeth, however. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help to strengthen the teeth and keep them healthy. Fruits and vegetables are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help to support the teeth and gums. Additionally, calcium-rich foods like dairy products, nuts, and leafy greens can help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, reducing the risk of decay. 

In addition to eating a nutritious diet, it’s also important to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth, reducing the risk of decay. Visiting the dentist on Lake City regularly for check-ups is also important, as they can identify any potential problems before they become more serious. 

In conclusion, there is a clear connection between diet and tooth decay. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limiting sugary and acidic foods and beverages can help to keep the teeth healthy and strong. Practicing good oral hygiene habits is also essential for reducing the risk of decay. By following these guidelines, you can help to keep your teeth in great shape and prevent tooth decay. Contact Family First Dental – Lake City today to schedule your next appointment. 

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Revolutionizing Dental Care: How Dental Technology is Changing the Way We Treat Tooth Decay | Lake City IA Dentist

In today’s world, dental technology has become an integral part of treating tooth decay. Dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat problems, providing faster and more accurate results than ever before. This technology has made it easier for dentists to provide better care for their patients, while also reducing the amount of time it takes to diagnose and treat tooth decay.

Tooth decay is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and feed on the sugars and starches in food. These bacteria produce acid that can break down the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities and other issues. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to a wide range of complications, including pain, infection, and even the loss of teeth.

Dental technology has made it easier for dentists to diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging technology, dentists can see detailed images of the entire mouth, including the teeth, gums, and jaw. This allows dentists to identify tooth decay in its early stages and treat it before any serious damage is done. Advanced imaging also allows dentists to detect hidden cavities and other issues that might not be visible to the naked eye.

Another important piece of dental technology is lasers. Lasers can be used to remove enamel decay from the teeth, as well as treat gum disease. Lasers are also used to whiten teeth, remove plaque, and even reshape teeth. Lasers offer a minimally invasive way to treat oral health issues and can be used to improve the overall appearance of the teeth.

Finally, dental technology has allowed dentists to provide more personalized care to their patients. With the help of digital tools, dentists can design custom-made dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures, that fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. This can improve the comfort and effectiveness of treatments, as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to complete them.

Overall, dental technology has revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and treat tooth decay. With advanced imaging, lasers, and custom-made dental appliances, dentists are able to provide better care for their patients in a shorter amount of time. This technology has made it easier for dentists to detect and treat tooth decay, as well as improve the overall look and feel of the teeth. Contact Family First Dental – Lake City today.

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

The Sweet Truth About Cavities: Exploring the Relationship between Sugar and Dental Health | Dentist Near Me

Sugar is often blamed for causing cavities, but the truth is a bit more complicated than that. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acid when they feed on carbohydrates, including sugar. This acid can eat away at the enamel on teeth, leading to decay and cavities.

While sugar is not the only culprit when it comes to cavities, it is a major contributor. Sugary foods and drinks provide a ready source of fuel for the bacteria that cause cavities. In addition, sticky sweets like candy and gum can cling to teeth and provide a constant source of sugar for bacteria to feed on.

However, it’s not just the amount of sugar you consume that matters when it comes to cavities. The frequency with which you consume sugar can also play a role. Frequent snacking or sipping on sugary drinks can create a constant supply of sugar for bacteria to feed on, increasing the risk of cavities.

It’s worth noting that not all sugars are created equal when it comes to dental health. Simple sugars like glucose and fructose are more likely to cause cavities than complex sugars like lactose, which are found in milk and other dairy products. This is because simple sugars are more easily broken down by bacteria in the mouth, providing a quick source of energy for them to produce acid.

So, does sugar cause cavities? The answer is yes, but it’s important to remember that sugar is just one factor in the development of cavities. Other factors, such as poor oral hygiene, genetics, and the presence of other bacteria in the mouth, can also play a role.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of cavities, even if you enjoy sugary treats. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily can help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks can also help reduce your risk of cavities, as can chewing sugar-free gum after meals.

In addition, it’s important to see your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can help identify cavities early on, before they become more serious and require more extensive treatment.

In conclusion, while sugar does contribute to the development of cavities, it’s not the only factor at play. By practicing good oral hygiene and making smart choices when it comes to diet and lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cavities and enjoy a healthy, happy smile.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Lake City IA Dentist

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let us know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit. 

Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health: 

Abnormal Bleeding 

Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding. 

Dry Mouth 

Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. 

Fungal Infection 

Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler. 

Gum Tissue Enlargement 

Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay. 

Soft Tissue Reactions 

Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort. 

Tooth Decay 

While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine. 

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact your Lake City IA dentist immediately and schedule an appointment with our Lake City dentist.. 

Family First Dental – Lake City
Phone: (712) 464-3124
1331 West Main Street
Lake City, IA 51449

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Dentist Lake City

Lake City Location

1331 West Main,
Lake City, IA 51449

(712) 464-3124

Family First Dental - Dr. R. Louie Ching

Our Dental News

Dentist Lake City

Is Gum Good for Your Oral Health? The Surprising Answer! | Dentist in 51449

Chewing gum is a popular habit for many people, and it has been around for centuries. While some people chew gum for the flavor, others do it to freshen their breath or simply to pass the time. But the question […]

Learn More

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Dentist in 51449

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults […]

Learn More

Creating a Healthy Smile for Life | 51449 Dentist

Good oral health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. As a parent, it’s important to instill good oral health habits in your children from a young age. Teaching children good oral health habits can help them maintain […]

Learn More