Teresa Kang, DDS, PLLC

3 Ways to Brush Up on Your Dental Habits

Hi Friends,

So I had a meeting with my friends the other day on important dental habits since it is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Here are 3 big dental habits to practice:

1. Never Skip Flossing
The best part about flossing is it doesn’t matter if you do it before or after brushing, as long as it gets done! Flossing scrapes away the plaque that builds up on our teeth throughout the day and prevents cavities from forming.
2. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Nobody likes bad breath! Bad breath is caused by a buildup of bacteria on your tongue, so when you brush your teeth don’t forget to go ahead and give your tongue a brush too!
3. Get Enough Calcium
Calcium is an important mineral for your teeth. Not only does it keep your teeth strong and healthy, but it also helps keep your gums healthy too!
One more quick tip, don’t forget the 2×2 rule! Brush for 2 minutes at a time, 2 times per day.

Smile Away,
Dr. Kang and Team

Do you have white spots on your teeth that you would like to remove?

Our office offers Icon treatment at our office this is one of our favorite procedures to perform.  ICON is a revolutionary approach to treatment of incipient cavities and unsightly white spots on teeth. Developed in Europe over the past decade, it is the subject of numerous international studies proving its effectiveness. This breakthrough micro technology fills and reinforces demineralized enamel without destructive drilling or painful shots.  Icon will minimize the appearance of white spots from fluorosis, deminerilization, trauma and discoloration left after orthodontics.  ICON provides a highly esthetic alternative to destructive treatments of white spots. Dr. Kang has a customized technique that is very conservative and effective. This procedure is painfree it requires no drilling and no anesthetic and is completed in one appointment. After one appointment you will see the results!

In addition we also offer remineralization treatment with MI paste.  If you have white spots or even other colored spots on your teeth please let us know at your next appointment and we can discuss customize a treatment for you.  Please call 425-821-8411. 

 

Acidity of Drinks and Your Teeth

Now that it’s getting warmer it’s even more important to stay hydrated.  We would like to share with you acid levels of popular drinks and damage it can cause to your teeth.  Not only does drinking high level of acidic drinks cause damage to teeth they also can cause damage to your digestive system. Even if sugar free a lot of these drinks can also contribute weight gain.

Let’s understand ph, this is the number value that we measure liquid to determine if it’s acidic or basic.  Any value below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7 is basic with water being neutral at 7. Each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-times.  For example if a beverage has a ph of 2 or lemon juice ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit juice at a ph of 3 and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice  with ph of 4. Each change in ph makes a huge difference!

Acidity of Drinks

Energy Drinks
Not only is it  high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 1.5. With the high sugar content and acidity not only does it cause erosion but it also promotes teeth decay.  This includes you Red Bull and Rock Star.  Rock star should definitely be avoided it has a ph of 1.5  and to put that in perspective car battery is at 1.  Stomach acid ranges from 1-3.

Soda
Soda is one of the most acidic drinks out there. Not only acidic, but also high in sugar, causing even more damage to your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth turn excess sugar into acid that wears down tooth enamel. Most sodas have a pH of 3 or lower which is extremely damaging to teeth overtime.

Fruit Juices
Although most people would think fruit juices are healthy, they are actually highly acidic and contain a lot of sugar. Most fruit juices on grocery store shelves have added sugar, and very little actual fruit fruit juice.  Eating whole fruits are better for your teeth and overall health. Most fruit juices have a pH lower than 3.

Also consider making your own juice that you can blend with vegetables to make and even healthier options.  Great vegetable to blend are carrots, kale and other leafy greens.

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, have significant negative effects on your teeth. Although they help in re-hydration, they are also highly acidic and can cause tooth enamel to wear down. Most sports drinks have a pH of 3 and lower, and also contain high levels of sugar, which can lead to more cavities and tooth decay.

Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages have high acidic levels and are damaging to tooth enamel. Wine, beer, and hard liquor all have a pH balance of around 4 and lower. Wine is more acidic than beer, with sweet wines being the most acidic. Alcohol can be especially damaging when paired with other acidic drinks, such as pop and fruit juices.

Coffee
Coffee is another drink that you might drink daily that could be damaging your teeth. Not only does coffee cause discoloration, coffee has acidic levels that can lead to tooth decay. Coffee is especially damaging for those who add a lot of sugar.

Being Informed

Even though teeth are the strongest bones in our bodies, they can be damaged by what we drink. Excess intake of acidic beverages can wear down tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.  Most of our favorite beverages are highly acidic, we are not asking you to give up everything you drink and just drink water. We want you to be informed and enjoy drinks in moderation and make healthier choices.
Switching to healthier alternatives can help limit tooth decay and cause better oral and overall health.

Tips
Keep water nearby so you can help dilute the acid covering your teeth, while also increasing the saliva production that helps protect your enamel. Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best alternative to acidic, sugary drinks. Water has a neutral level of acidity, which won’t cause damage to tooth enamel
Don’t brush immediately after consuming such beverages. Why? Thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, the enamel of your teeth will be slightly softer, and brushing ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of your teeth. If you want to brush, save it for an hour or so later. This is also for our pregnant patients suffering from morning sickness we ask that you not brush immediately but rinse.
Drink with a straw not only does it decrease the amount of contact the acidic beverages have on teeth causing less damage.  It also helps you decrease staining on your teeth.
Unsweetened tea is also a good alternative, especially if you’re looking for a caffeine kick. Acidic levels in natural teas are lower than coffee, causing less damage.
Milk is also a healthier, less damaging beverage. Milk contains high amounts of calcium, which can actually protect and strengthen tooth enamel.

Here is list of popular drinks and pH levels

NEUTRAL pH 7.00
Dentin dissolves below 6.50
Enamel dissolves below 5.50

Sports Drinks
Powerade – pH: 3.89
Gatorade Endurance – pH:  3.22

Energy Drinks
Red Bull – pH: 3.3
AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
Full Throttle  – pH: 1.45
Rock Star – pH: 1.5

Soda
A&W Root Beer -4.75
Diet A&W Root Beer-4.53
Barq’s Root Beer-4.47
Mug Root Beer-4.03
Diet 7UP-3.70
Diet Coke -3.65
Diet Mountain Dew-3.36
Sprite-3.29
Diet Coke-3.28
Mountain Dew-3.22
Diet Coke with Lime-3.21
7UP-3.20
Coke Zero-3.18
Diet Dr. Pepper -3.16
Diet Pepsi-3.03
Dr. Pepper-2.89
Squirt-2.89
Pepsi-2.53
Coca-Cola-2.52

Juices
V8 100% Vegetable Juice-4.29
Tropicana 100% Apple Juice-4.05
Crystal Light Sunrise Ruby Red Grapefruit-3.81
Minute Maid Orange Juice-3.70
Welch’s Concord Grape-3.24
Ocean Spray White Cranberry Peach-2.96

Other Popular Drinks
Filtered Ionozed Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
Water – pH: 7.o
Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
Vita coco – pH: 5.2
Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0

7 Tips to a Whiter Smile

  1. Good home care – brush twice a day for two minutes at a time and floss twice daily.
  2. Routine dental cleanings every 6 months for patients without gum disease, and every 3-4 months for patients with gum disease.
  3. Avoid Tobacco; it causes brown stains that are difficult to remove and the longer you smoke the more you’ll stain. Smoking also causes bad breath and gum disease while also increasing the risk of most types of cancer.
  4. Brush teeth immediately and rinse with water when you have deep colored foods including fruits and drinks like tea and coffee.
  5. With darker drinks, try drinking with a straw.
  6. Wear darker lipstick as it gives more contrast.
  7. Bleaching is a great option to get whiter teeth.  Our office offers In-office bleach where we bleach for you, it gives the most instantaneous results.  We also offer custom take home bleach kits. If you have concerns about your teeth color let us know and we will be happy to give you tips and go over how we can help you get whiter teeth.