Science Behind a Confident Smile Series- Part 4 of 4

August 23rd, 2019

 

Your Saliva: Flowing Freely

Saliva plays an important role in a healthy mouth, neutralizing acids, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away leftover food particles. Enzymes in your saliva also help digest food. Coming back to my car metaphor, saliva is the oil in your well-oiled-machine. If you want to keep your mouth in tip-top shape, don’t forget about an adequate supply of this ever-important substance.

Lack of adequate saliva, or dry mouth, has different causes, including certain medications, aging, chemotherapy, diabetes, and stroke. Chronic dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores, and oral yeast infections.

Chronic dry mouth warrants a trip to the dentist, but in general, keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water, avoiding mouthwashes containing alcohol, and limiting acidic drinks like orange juice and soda. Seek help for severe snoring, and if the air in your bedroom is dry, consider using a dehumidifier to help relieve dry mouth.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

 

 

Contents from https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2019/06/science-behind-confident-smiles

Science Behind a Confident Smile Series- Part 3 of 4

August 9th, 2019

Your Breath: Reasonably Fresh

We all experience bad breath first thing in the morning, or after over-indulging in those Safeco Field garlic fries. But halitosis — chronic bad breath — is another story. A healthy mouth isn’t always minty fresh, but it shouldn’t knock people over left and right with it’s pungent odor either.

In most cases, halitosis is a sign of poor oral hygiene. When not cleaned away regularly, bacteria in your mouth produce foul-smelling sulfur compounds. Infections and tooth decay also cause nasty odors, as does food trapped and rotting between dentures or underneath crowns.

Assuming your breath passes muster, keep it that way with good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular trips to the dentist.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

 

 

 

contents from https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2019/06/science-behind-confident-smiles

Science Behind a Confident Smile Series- Part 2 of 4

July 26th, 2019

Your Teeth: Handle Hot and Cold Foods Well

I’m not asking you to chomp through a popsicle as though it were a cob of corn. (Cringe!) That being said, your healthy teeth should withstand a reasonable amount of hot and cold foods without pain. For this, you have your strong enamel to thank.

Think of your tooth enamel like a coat of armor. Made up of hard, calcified tissue, it is the first defense protecting your teeth from all of the curveballs life throws at them. Directly below that armor is your dentin. Dentin contains microscopic canals that serve as a highway leading directly to nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

Decay fractured teeth, weak enamel, and worn fillings allow food and drink to breach the enamel and reach the center of your tooth via those tiny canals. Do this and alarm bells sound. Likewise, an exposed root can also be sensitive. Hot or cold beverages, sweet or acidic foods, or even a quick intake of cold air can cause sharp temporary pains. This is your mouth’s way of telling you to back off and see your dentist.

To keep your teeth from becoming sensitive in the first place, take these important steps:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid acidic foods that break down enamel
  • Consider a bite guard if you grind your teeth
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Ask your dentist about in-office fluoride treatments
 For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.
Contents from: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2019/06/science-behind-confident-smiles

Science Behind a Confident Smile Series- Part 1 of 4

July 12th, 2019

Science Behind a Confident Smile Series- Part 1 of 4

Think of your mouth like a car. (Stay with me here, it will make sense in a minute.) If you take good care of your vehicle, you don’t just visit the mechanic when you hear funny noises or the engine starts to smoke. You rotate your tires, change your oil regularly and do a multi-point inspection just to make sure everything is in good working order.

Like your car, it is just as important to check for signs of a healthy mouth as it is to check for signs of disease. Understanding what goes on in a healthy mouth helps you keep everything in good working order and stay vigilant for signs of a problem.

On that note, we put together our own multi-point inspection for a healthy mouth. Here is what to look for in a well-tuned mouth, preventative steps you can take to keep it that way, and of course, the science behind it all.

Your Gums: A Consistent Color

Like skin tone, healthy gums range in color. Yours might be red, pink, or dark brown. The important thing to look for is consistency, both throughout your entire mouth and over time. If your gums change color in a short period of time, or if portions of your gums are darker or lighter than usual, this is a cause for concern.

A change to your gum color might be the result of something innocuous like an amalgam tattoo — harmless and caused when particles from fillings and crowns become dislodged — or it might be the sign of something more serious, like gingivitis or trench mouth, an acute form of gingivitis that causes a layer of dead tissue to build up over the gums.

As the first stop on your multi-point inspection, scan your gums to check for dark or light spots or changes in color. If you notice anything unusual, it’s time to give your dentist a call.

Your Gums: Firm to the Touch and Flush to Your Teeth

Color isn’t the only thing to look for when it comes to healthy gums. Your gums, aka gingiva, play an important role in keeping teeth in line, anchoring them in your mouth, and protecting them from shocks. Made up of fleshy tissue, they are covered by a layer of mucous membrane and adhere to your teeth with tiny fibers called the periodontal membrane.

In a healthy mouth, your gums appear snug against your teeth, not loose. This snug fit minimizes the chance of gum disease by keeping bacteria away from your roots. Healthy gums are also firm to the touch, not puffy, and they rarely bleed when you brush or floss. Puffiness and bleeding are early signs of gum disease.

If you notice puffiness, bleeding, or pocketing on your gums, a week or so of vigilance is often enough to remedy. Floss daily and brush twice a day in a gentle circular motion. If these symptoms continue, make an appointment with your dentist.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

 

 

The above post is from: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2019/06/science-behind-confident-smiles

Summer Care for your Teeth

June 23rd, 2019

Summer sun brings summer fun. While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine. Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:

Stay on a routine 

Whether your kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when they sleep in the next morning. “Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,” says ADA pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes. “It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”

No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, supervise that they are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s a chance to spend more time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them!

And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once a day. “Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch,” Dr. Hayes says. “However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.

Say no to sugary drinks and snacks 

As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or nearly any community event. “Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda,” says Dr. Hayes. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”

If you find yourself spending more time at home, snack smarter, and let your children tell you when they’re hungry instead of offering snacks throughout the day. “They’re not afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!” she says.

Make your back-to-school dental visit early 

Some schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these checkups can be a good way to be sure your child’s teeth stayed healthy. It is a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help insure you get the appointment time that works best for you. “We can help spot and take care of any issues, so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts,” Dr. Hayes says. “Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.”

adapted from the ADA

6 things a dental cleaning can do for you

March 15th, 2019

6 things a dental cleaning and do for you

  1. Prevent cavities  The whitish film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth enamel and, if left unattended, can lead to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.
  2. Stop tooth loss Gum disease, which starts with built-up plaque, is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. Luckily, the chance of this happening to you can be greatly reduced through regular dental cleanings combined with good oral hygiene habits.
  3. Brighten your smile Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth. The result? A whiter, brighter smile!
  4. Freshen your breath  Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.
  5. Boost your overall health  Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam.
  6. Save money  Get the most value from your dental benefits. Most Delta Dental plans have low or no copayments/coinsurance for dental cleanings and oral exams.4If you take advantage of your benefits now, you may be able to save money in the long run by helping to protect your oral health and potentially avoiding more costly and extensive procedures.

Thirsty? Always looking around for water? Could be your medications at play.

March 15th, 2019

The Link Between Medications and Cavities

You may wonder why you’re suddenly getting cavities when you haven’t had them in years. As we get older, we enter a second round of cavity prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. However, it is a side-effect in more than 500 medications, including those for allergies or asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

This is just one reason why it’s so important to tell your dentist about any medications that you’re taking. Your dentist can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and prevent cavities. Here are some common recommendations:

  • Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash.
  • Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.
  • Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your mouth needs constant lubrication.
  • Use sugar-free gum or lozenges (xylitol) to stimulate saliva production.
  • Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.

Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or varnish to protect your teeth from cavities. She may also prescribe a fluoride toothpaste for prevention as well.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

Information from American Dental Association

Why I do I need a crown?

March 15th, 2019

Why do I need a crown?

If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown, sometimes called a "cap" to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.

A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling.  We often see this on the very back molars when a corner or cusp of the tooth breaks away.  Crowns can also be placed proactively to protect a weak tooth  and prevent it from breaking.  A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored  from an injury or tetracycline staining or  are badly shaped, too small or too large. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.

If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.  At Duvall Family Dental, we will show you photographs of your tooth, explain it's condition and why a crown may be recommended for you.

Crowns are made out of a variety of materials at a dental laboratory.  The dentist will choose the material that is the most appropriate for the individual situation depending on whether the need is strength or esthetics or a combination of both.

The Process:

The crown procedure consists of two separate visits. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the crown with local anesthetic. An impression or imprint of the prepared tooth is taken, and a temporary tooth-colored acrylic crown is placed over the tooth. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the dental crown will be manufactured.  During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed, the fit and esthetics of the final crown are evaluated.  The crown is then placed on the tooth with a permanent dental adhesive.

A crown is the definitive royal treatment for a broken tooth. For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

Is it a toothache or a sinus infection?

March 15th, 2019

If you're like the 28 million adults who suffer from sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you know how painful they can be. The addition of sinus infection tooth pain caused by pressure in your nasal cavity can be all the more distressing if you're unaware of this side effect.

It's important to determine whether a sinus infection is the cause of your toothache, though. Reach out to your doctor if you have a cold turned sinus infection, or contact your dentist if the pain originated in your teeth.

The American Rhinologic Society (ARS) defines sinusitis as the inflammation of your nasal passage lining, and a cold that persists longer than two weeks can develop into an acute sinus infection. This begins in your maxillary sinuses, located just above your molar teeth roots, and can swell with the buildup of bacterial or viral mucus. The pressure it puts on dental nerve endings can cause a painful sensation on one or more of your teeth.

If you have a sinus infection, the best way to get rid of your tooth pain is to target the backlog of mucus. Try these five tips for relieving sinus infection tooth pain:

  1. Drink Fluids and Use SteamWater helps hydrate the mucus membranes and decreases mucus buildup. So, have fluids on hand to stay hydrated.

If you've become dehydrated, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, and water doesn’t naturally contain electrolytes. You may therefore want to add coconut water to your diet, which contains electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and sodium. Likewise, magnesium supports your immune system, which helps to fight both bacterial and viral sinus infections.

Add a steamy shower or a peppermint steam solution to your daily care, as well. Peppermint and steam both help cut decongestion and pain (all the more reason to drink tea when it's cold).

  1. Eat Spicy Foods

Even if you have a sensitive palate, don't be afraid to stock up on foods that have a kick, such as horseradish or chili peppers. The ingredients in both of these have mucus-thinning properties. But not all spicy foods work equally; check with your doctor first to be sure you're not causing more harm than good.

  1. Use an Expectorant

The key to relieving sinus infection tooth pain is to drain the mucus, decreasing the pressure in your sinuses. Over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants and expectorants can provide fast relief, but in different ways. Baylor College of Medicine advises that expectorants "melt" mucus, whereas decongestants effectively dry out the passages to relieve the pressure. Look for a nasal expectorant, but take some time to read the instructions on how to flush the area and how many times per day you should do so. If symptoms persist past the prescribed usage, however, you should always consult your doctor.

  1. Hum Yourself to Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important means to increasing your body's general resistances. During sleep, your body has an opportunity to produce white blood cells and cytokines, which "enhance immunity," according to the Pflugus Archieve - European Journal of Physiology. But when you have a painful sinus toothache, it's hard to relax enough to rest.

Surprisingly, humming has been linked to a decrease in sinus pain. Air flow in the area acts similarly to water in helping to clear and drain mucus buildup, as observed by two studies reported in The New York Times.

If you've taken an expectorant but still find yourself up at night, try humming at different tones. Humming naturally vibrates your facial "mask," and you can softly hum the tone that best engages the inflamed area. Infants are calmed and lulled to sleep by similar rocking, and this can also help you relax enough to get much-needed rest.

  1. Position Your Head for the Best Drainage

When resting, keep your head in a propped, tilted position. Laying horizontally can cause blockage and continued pressure, but sleeping with some of your upper body propped up is a better way to drain the pain.

It is always important to contact your dentist if you feel that the toothache you are experiencing is severe and persistent. Also contact your physicians office if your cold/flu or sinus symptoms isn't being relived with over the counter medication.

Contact Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!

 

 

 

Article sources from colgate and the aforementioned health and media sources.

 

Protect Your Teeth During Morning Sickness

March 15th, 2019

One of the hallmarks of pregnancy is morning sickness. (We didn’t say it was the fun part.) Despite its name, morning sickness can strike any time of day…and does.

Over half of pregnant women suffer from the nausea and vomiting that may be caused by a sudden increase in hormones. Degrees of morning sickness range from woozy feelings caused by certain smells (or the mere mention of them) to vomiting several times a day. This makes going to work, traveling and going about the day challenging for roughly the first half of pregnancy.

Morning sickness can also do a number on your teeth. Stomach acid is tough on tooth enamel.

Here are some tips to get you through:

Switch to a bland-tasting toothpaste

Grossed out by toothpaste? Don’t skip brushing. Switch to a different flavor or plain-tasting product instead. Make sure it has fluoride which strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Your dentist can recommend some. Try changing the time of day you brush, as well. Another trick is to use a smaller amount of toothpaste.

Rinse

Following bouts of vomiting, rinse your mouth with plain water. Add baking soda to the water to neutralize acids in your mouth and on teeth.

Control triggers

Avoid smells that make you, well, gag. Some use a peppermint lip balm or another calming scent to keep morning sickness at bay. Sipping ginger tea is also an age-old remedy.

Don’t bounce back with sugary foods

Many reach for sugary foods and drinks as energy sources, particularly when feeling depleted. Turn to healthier, tooth-friendly foods instead for longer lasting energy. Cheese, veggies, nuts and lean proteins are good choices.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 354-3628. Drs. Jessica Chen and Emma Etemadi at Duvall Family Dental are caring and compassionate dentists looking forward to answering your questions.

 

Article from the mightymouth.org

How Much Toothpaste Should my Child Use?

February 5th, 2019

On February 1, 2019 the Centers for Disease Control released a study regarding the overuse of Fluoride Toothpaste by young children. What is the bottom line that parents need to know regarding this subject?

Here is the summary from the CDC:

"Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Fluoride prevents dental caries; however, excessive ingestion by young children can discolor and pit the permanent teeth. Toothbrushing should commence when the first tooth erupts, and children aged <3 years and 3–6 years should use a smear the size of a rice grain and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, respectively.

What is added by this report?

In a survey of toothbrushing practices, nearly 80% of children aged 3–15 years began toothbrushing at age ≥1 year, approximately one third brushed once daily, and nearly 40% of children aged 3–6 years used too much toothpaste.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Health care professionals can educate parents about using the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste under parental supervision to realize maximum benefit."

Children aged 3 and up:

The American Dental Association recommends squeezing a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste onto the brush for kids aged 3-6. Unfortunately, a child’s perception of the size of a pea may differ from a parent’s perception. If the child loads their toothbrush themselves, they are likely to use too much paste. Combined with some children’s inability to spit and rinse well, they are  also at risk for fluorosis (mottling and streaking) of their permanent teeth.

We recommend supervising your children’s daily brushing until they are at least 7 years old. Demonstrate to your child how much toothpaste they should be using or place the toothpaste onto the brush yourself.

Infant children to age 3

For younger children, especially under the age of three, we recommend using a “tiny smear” of toothpaste. Some healthcare sources suggest a “grain of rice”.  Again, the size of a grain of rice can be perceived differently. For toddlers, all that is needed is the tiniest smear of a fluoride toothpaste. This should definitely be done by the parent or caregiver for this age group. Children this age, if left to their own devices, will tend to overload their toothbrush resulting in ingesting too much toothpaste and too much fluoride. Most children under the age of 3 are unable to spit out and will swallow much of the excess paste.

“Can’t I just skip the fluoride toothpaste and use unfluoridated toddler toothpaste?”, you may ask. We strongly recommend the use of fluoridated toothpaste from the time the first tooth erupts in the child’s mouth. Tooth decay is still a very prevalent disease in children and can be prevented or at least significantly reduced by using fluoride daily.

In a nutshell-

We recommend brushing infant and toddler’s teeth for them from the time of eruption (approximately 6 months of age) with a “tiny smear” of fluoridated kid’s toothpaste twice daily. We recommend brushing children’s teeth, aged 2-6 for them with a “pea” sized amount of fluoridated kids’ toothpaste twice daily.

Remain present with the child until the brushing is completed and assist them to rinse out their mouth.

Using these suggestions should minimize the risk of using too much paste yet simultaneously reduce the chances your child will have early childhood tooth decay.

Duvall Family Dental

Drs. Emma Etemadi and Jessica H.Y. Chen

425-354-3628

You can find the full CDC report here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6804a3.htm

Whitening at Home with Custom Whitening Trays

February 3rd, 2019

Teeth whitening is very popular. Patients ask us all the time how they can brighten their smile. One method to achieve a brighter smile that we offer at Duvall Family Dental is custom fabricated whitening trays.

How Do Whitening (Bleaching) Trays Work?

We make the trays for you with two easy impressions of your teeth and then provide you with the whitening agent (Carbamide Peroxide gel) to use safely at home. Before starting the whitening process, we will want to clean your teeth and treat any existing dental problems like decay or gum disease. The next step is making your custom trays.

When you return to receive your whitening kit (trays plus gel), we will instruct you how to place a small amount of the whitening solution into the clear trays and to wear the trays on freshly brushed teeth for up to 45 minutes per night. The key to success with this method is to wear the trays for up to one hour a day, everyday, for one to two weeks. It is very important to use the trays for consecutive days. One night of whitening here or there will not give your enamel long enough exposure to the whitening agent to see much change. Using the trays nightly for at least a week will give you better results. Patients are often amazed at how much whitening takes place during this time, and an occasional treatment now and then is all you'll need to keep your teeth looking their best.

Side Effects

Whitening your teeth is a very safe, effective way to brighten your smile. Within one to three days after starting the whitening process, you may experience some increased cold sensitivity with some or all of your teeth. If this happens, alternate nights with the trays. Whiten only your upper teeth one night and then just your lower teeth the next night. Typically this sensitivity resolves 2-3 days after completing the whitening process. If any sensitivity persists, check with your dentist to rule out any other dental problems.

 

Stay Bright

Naturally, those with shiny white teeth and a brilliant smile want to keep it that way. Here's how:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste
  • Floss daily.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, wine, carrots, blueberries and other dark-colored foods.
  • Schedule regular cleaning appointments.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.

Duvall Family Dental 

425-354-3628

Dr. Emma Etemadi and Dr. Jessica H.Y. Chen

The Cold and Flu Season and your Oral Health

January 30th, 2019

 

When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth.

Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:

Practice Good Hygiene

When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. Be sure not to share your toothbrush with anyone while you are sick to prevent the spread of the virus.

You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. It’s not likely that you will reinfect yourself unless your immune system is severely compromised. It’s not a bad idea though to routinely replace your toothbrush with the new one we provide at your dental checkup and cleaning

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. Sugary cough drops will provide a food source for the bacteria that cause cavities. If you are sucking on them all day long for a cough, you will increase your risk for  tooth decay.

Swish and Spit After Vomiting

One unfortunate side effect of a stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. Avoid brushing immediately or within 30 minutes of vomiting. The acids in your mouth can contribute to erosion of your enamel if you brush too soon.

Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.

Choose the Right Fluids

When it comes to your mouth and your body, one beverage is always best. Water. Sports drinks , although good for your electrolyte balance and rehydration, can have a high sugar and acid concentration and can contribute to erosion and tooth decay risk.

You might also want something to warm you up. Tea with honey is very soothing for a sore throat or an upset tummy. Limit the sweetener in your tea to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Dental Appointments

Dental visits for cleanings, fillings and crowns can be very challenging when you are congested and can’t breathe well through your nose. The same is true for an acute cough. Consider deferring your visit until you feel better.

Duvall Family Dental

425-354-3628

Drs. Emma Etemadi and Jessica H.Y. Chen

Back to Top