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We all know that improving your diet can help you lose weight, gain energy, and feel healthier. But, did you know that watching what you eat can also improve your smile? Keep reading to get more information from our Saint Louis dentists.

It makes sense when you think about it: every single thing that we consume comes into contact with our teeth and gums. Over time, our favorite foods and beverages can alter our smiles. Here are some general truisms about the ways in which dietary decisions can affect oral health:

Acid Erosion

Acidic foods and drinks can cause dental enamel to thin, become weaker, and develop cracks, chips, and cavities. When your enamel comes into contact with an acidic substance, it temporarily softens, or de-mineralizes. It typically takes 20 to thirty minutes for enamel to re-mineralize after acid exposure. Thinks like coffee, tea, citrus fruits, fruit juices, sodas, and red wine are all quite acidic.

Damaging Sugars

You’ve probably heard, time and time again, that sugar is bad for your smile. This is the case because oral bacteria love to feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates; the more of these things you consume, the more fuel you give bacteria to grow and multiply.

Staining Substances

Deeply colored foods and drinks can leave color deposits on your dental enamel over time. The discoloration process is often accelerated when the enamel has thinned and become weaker. Some commonly consumed staining substances include red wine, coffee, chocolate, red sauces, tea, and soda. The biggest culprit when it comes to dental staining is tobacco.

In order to minimize your risk of developing these oral health issues, you want to partner with your dentist to make a personalized treatment plan. Generally speaking, it is better to consume acidic substances and sugars in moderation, and in specific, short sittings, rather than continuously throughout the day. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer questions that you may have—give us a call to get started! 

Keeping your teeth looking white, fresh, and clean doesn’t have to be difficult; once you’re armed with the information you need, you can optimize your daily routine to protect your smile. With that in mind, our Saint Louis dentists are here to share some information about how different beverages can affect your teeth. We hope that this short overview helps you make solid daily decisions for your smile. 

  • The number one best beverage for your smile is plain old water. Water rinses away dental debris, and prompts saliva production. Plus, water is sugar-free and doesn’t stain teeth. 
  • Fruit juices can be beneficial for your overall health, but they are quite acidic. When teeth are exposed to acid, the dental enamel of the tooth temporarily softens. During this period of time the enamel is vulnerable to damage, discoloration, and erosion.
  • Coffee and black tea are both popular beverages, especially in the morning. Unfortunately, both of these beverages cause dental staining and discoloration. You may be surprised to learn that black tea is actually even more discoloring than coffee!
  • Soft drinks aren’t particularly good for overall wellness, and, as you might imagine, they are equally bad for your smile. Sodas contain loads of sugars, on which oral bacteria feed. Every time that you coat your mouth in sugary soda, you give harmful oral bacteria a boost.
  • Although energy drinks are often advertised as being part of a healthy lifestyle, they too are packed with sugar. Additionally, these drinks are often acidic, so your smile has to deal with a double whammy oral health threats.

It is a good idea to, as much as possible, minimize your consumption of harmful beverages. When you do indulge, try to do so over a short period of time, rather than little-by-little throughout the day; remember, oral bacteria stay active for about 20 to 30 minutes after they are exposed to sugars.

Our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have; please feel free to call our office to schedule a personal consultation!

 

Many of us want to improve the appearances of our smiles, but we’re just not sure where to start. How do we got about refreshing and rejuvenating dental aesthetics?

Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists help our patients to identify cosmetic goals, so that they can move forward with treatments that meet their needs. With that in mind, keep reading to learn about the top 3 aesthetic issues that are aging your smile.

  • Untreated Damage

Many of us, despite our best efforts, develop small dental imperfections over time: things like cracks and chips in our enamel. These minor structural issues can make your smile look older, and poorly maintained. The good news is that simple, and fast, treatments like dental bonding can be used to repair enamel conveniently.

  • Worn Down Enamel

Teeth are strong, and designed to stand up to wear and tear, but they certainly aren’t indestructible. Our chewing and bite patterns, as well as conditions like bruxism, will cause the edges of dental enamel to thin and become blunted over time. The visual effect of this condition is teeth that appear poorly proportioned and unnaturally short. Dental restorations, veneers, and dental bonding can all be used to build the tooth back up and improve the balance of the smile.

  • Dental Discoloration

Natural dental enamel can become discolored for a number of reasons. Environmental staining results from staining foods, drinks, and tobacco products. Additionally, worn down teeth will start to look yellow, because the 2nd layer of the tooth—the dentin—is able to show through the tooth’s surface. Severely injured teeth may take on a dull or gray appearance due to nerve damage. Our team treats dental discoloration with professional whitening treatments (which is best for environmental staining), as well as cosmetic options like veneers and dental bonding.

If you’re dealing with any of these aesthetic issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists to learn more about your treatment options!

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