Posts for category: Oral Health
The amount of sugar your child consumes has a huge bearing on their tooth decay risk: The more they take in, the higher it is for this destructive disease. That's why you should moderate their intake of the usual suspects: sodas, candies and other sugar-laden foods. But you should also put the brakes on something considered wholesome and nutritious: fruit juices. And that includes all natural juice with no sugar added.
Sugar in any form is a prime food source for decay-causing bacteria. As bacteria consume leftover sugar in the mouth, they produce acid as a byproduct. With an ample source of sugar, they also multiply—and this in turn increases their acid production. Acid at these high levels can soften and erode tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay and cavities.
Limiting or even excluding sugar-added foods and snacks can help minimize your children's risk for tooth decay. For designated snack times, substitute items like carrot sticks or even popcorn with a dash of spice rather than sweet snacks and candies. If you do allow occasional sweet foods, limit those to mealtimes when saliva, which neutralizes acid, is most active in the mouth.
As you manage sugary items your children may eat or drink, the American Academy of Pediatrics also advises you to moderate their consumption of fruit juices, including all-natural brands with no added sugar. Their recommended limits on daily juice drinking depend on a child's age and overall health:
- Infants (less than one year) or any children with abnormal weight gain: no juice at all;
- Toddlers (ages 1-3): 4 ounces or less per day;
- Younger children (4-6): 6 ounces or less per day; and
- Older children (7-18): 8 ounces (1 cup) or less per day.
As for the rest of your children's daily hydration needs, the most dental-friendly liquid for any of us is plain water. For older school-age children, low- or non-fat milk is also a sound choice.
Preventing tooth decay in your children is a continuous task that requires all of us, parents and dental providers, to do our part. Besides daily hygiene (brushing and flossing) and regular dental visits, keeping sugar at bay—including with juices—is an important part of that effort.
Do you have good oral hygiene habits? Here at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, your general dentists, Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley, aim to provide patients with healthy smiles that last for life. Your disciplined hygiene habits help with this important goal.
Brushing, flossing, eating, checking
Good oral hygiene habits don't just happen—they take attention and work every single day. Here's what your general dentist in Decatur and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend for children, teens, adults, and seniors:
- Brushing your teeth. The ADA says that we should brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush or electric brush for a full two minutes twice a day. Two minutes can be longer than you think, so employ a kitchen timer or brushing app on your phone. Use a gentle circular motion on your chewing surfaces and the front and back of your teeth. Include your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth. Brushing removes plaque, the sticky film that causes cavities and gum disease, and should be performed after breakfast and before going to bed.
- Flossing around your teeth. Use strand floss, interproximal brushes or a water flossing machine to remove the plaque that your toothbrush misses. It doesn't necessarily matter when you floss during the day, just make sure that you are thorough and consistent.
- Watching what you put in your mouth. Less sugar and fewer carbohydrates make your oral environment less bacteria-friendly. Also, stop smoking and chewing tobacco. By implementing these measures, you will reduce your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, dental stains, and bad breath.
- Going to Corley Family Dental twice a year for hygienic cleaning and check-up. Both your hygienist and your dentist check for decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Your dentist will review their findings and show you what services you need to improve your oral health and make your smile bright and beautiful.
- Wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth and soft oral tissues from cuts and broken teeth if you play a rough sport such as football or hockey. Save yourself a lot of pain and expense—wear this acrylic appliance every single time.
Your oral health is priceless
So, take care of it. Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley and their staff will help you and your family every step of the way. Call your general dentist at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, with any concerns you have about your oral health: (217) 330-6217.
You've heard it. Your parents heard it—maybe even your grandparents too. Dentists have been alerting people for more than half a century that high sugar consumption contributes to tooth decay.
That message hasn't changed because the facts behind it are the same in the 2020s as they were in the 1950s: The bacteria that cause tooth decay feast on sugar and other leftover carbohydrates in the mouth. This causes them to multiply and increase their production of acid, which softens and erodes tooth enamel.
What has changed though, especially over the last couple of decades, is a growing understanding of how sugar consumption may affect the rest of the body. Just like the evidence of sugar's relationship to tooth decay, current scientific studies are now showing there are strong links between sugar and diseases like diabetes, heart disease and liver disease.
What's startling about what researchers are finding is that cases of these diseases are growing, Especially in younger people. This is a parallel trend to our skyrocketing increases in per capita sugar consumption: the average American now eats the equivalent of 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Health experts generally agree we should consume no more than 6 teaspoons a day, and children 4.
This is vastly more than we consumed a generation ago. One reason is because processed food manufacturers have increased sugar in their products, hiding under technical, unfamiliar names in ingredient lists. But it's still sugar, and an estimated 74% of processed foods contain some form of it.
But the real surge in sugar has come from our increasing consumption of sodas, as well as energy and sports beverages. These beverages are high in sugar—you can meet your daily allowance with just one 12-oz can of soda. These beverages are now the leading source of sugar in our diets, and, according to experts, a highly dangerous way to consume it.
In effect, dentists of old were on to something: too much sugar is bad for your teeth. It now turns out that it may be bad for your overall health too. Strictly limiting it in your family's diet could help lower your risk of tooth decay and dangerous diseases like diabetes.
Although our Decatur office is currently closed, your oral health is still our concern
Is your smile as healthy as it could be? In addition to visiting your Decatur, IL, family dentists, Drs. Natalie and Chad Corley, for checkups, these steps can help you maintain good oral health:
Say no to sugar
Staying away from sugary foods and beverages can help you reduce your risk of cavities. Sugar is a problem because it interacts with the bacteria in plaque to form strong acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel, causing cavities.
Sugary foods aren't the only problem. Eating foods high in carbohydrates can also trigger acid production. When you chew chips, pretzels, white bread, and other similar foods, carbohydrates break down into sugars.
Avoiding these foods and snacking on fruits and vegetables can help you keep your tooth decay risk low.
Reevaluate your oral hygiene routine
By now, brushing your teeth has probably become second nature. Unfortunately, if you don't take enough time to brush, you may be leaving plaque behind on your teeth. The American Dental Association notes that brushing for two minutes twice a day is crucial to keeping plaque under control.
Don't forget to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth. Plaque accumulates on your tongue and can transfer to your teeth just minutes after you brush them.
Flossing is just as important as brushing, yet it's a task that many people avoid. When you don't floss, plaque remains in the spaces between your teeth, where it can soon cause cavities. Daily flossing gets rid of plaque and food particles that can cause bad breath.
Follow brush and flossing with mouthwash for extra protection. Look for products in stores that contain fluoride and offer anti-bacterial benefits. Fluoride, whether it's in toothpaste or mouthwash, rebuilds tooth enamel weakened by acids. Using fluoridated oral care products regularly offers a simple way to reduce your risk of cavities.
Good oral hygiene helps you protect your smile! If you have a dental emergency, call your family dentists in Decatur, IL, Drs. Natalie and Chad Corley, at (217) 330-6217. We are open for dental emergencies. Call with any concerns or questions.
The Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
The importance of our teeth is immeasurable to us, although sometimes we take them for granted. It is important to take care of them because we rely on our teeth every day. Our smile also gives us confidence in our appearance. Although teeth sometimes don't come in straight and perfect as we would like. This is where orthodontics can help. At Corley Family Dental, in Decatur, IL. Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley work hard to help patients regain their confidence with the help of orthodontics.
What is an Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontics is the specialization of straightening teeth. Orthodontic treatment can be prescribed for cases like overbite, underbite, crossbite, misplaced midline, spacing or crowding. There are many different types and variants of orthodontic devices that people can use, both removable and fixed. The concept behind all of them is to provide gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws which can slowly realign them into a better position.
How Orthodontic Treatment Is Beneficial
Not only can orthodontics boost your self-confidence by straightening out your teeth, but it can also bring with it some health benefits. The goal of orthodontics is to bring about a normal and functional bite and proper tooth alignment. This promotes oral health by making sure there are no small gaps or cavities where food can lodge and cause bacterial growth.
Learn How Corley Family Dental Can Help You
Our teeth are very important to us, not only for our survival but also for our appearance. We at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, know how important this is to our patients. We work with you to come up with orthodontics that fit your lifestyle the best. If you live in or around Decatur, IL and want to boost your confidence with straighter teeth, call our office at (217) 330-6217 to find out how we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals with our orthodontic treatments.