If you are active, or if your kids are involved in sports, there is a good chance that sports drinks are part of your life. People reach for sports drinks because of their ability to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes after periods of exertion. However, while sports drinks may be a favorite of professional and amateur athletes alike, they definitely don’t rank highly with dentists. In fact, many dentists consider sports drinks to be as harmful to teeth as sodas. Here is look at how sports drinks could be affecting your teeth or the teeth of your student-athletes.
Sugars and Tooth Decay
Many sports drinks contain a significant amount of sugar. Some popular sports drinks contain more sugar than a can of soda. When you drink a sugary sports drink, you are bathing your teeth in a sugary solution that will stick to the surfaces long after you’ve finished the drink. This sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn causes tooth decay to occur. Drinking something sugary tends to expose your teeth to greater amounts of sugar than eating a piece of sugary candy, both because you’re likely to consume the drink over a longer period of time and because the liquid will coat all of your teeth.
Acids and Enamel Loss
Choosing a sugar-free sports drink won’t save your teeth from negative effects. Sports drinks, even sugar-free ones, are extremely acidic. The acid weakens your tooth enamel, which can lead to serious consequences, including teeth sensitivity and greater vulnerability to decay. Enamel cannot be replaced, so any that is lost from drinking sports drinks is gone for good.
Water is sufficient for most people who need to rehydrate after activity. Water with electrolytes is also a safe alternative. For people seeking the electrolyte restoration, bananas and coconut water are lower in sugars and acids and thus safer for your teeth. If you do drink sports drinks, consider using a straw to reduce the amount of tooth exposure and rinsing your mouth with water when you’re done.
Do you have more questions about habits that could be impacting your oral health? At University Associates in Dentistry, we can help you make the right choices to reduce your risk of gum disease, missing teeth, and cavities. Call (312) 704-5511 to make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago.
Cracked teeth can happen for many reasons, from being hit by a ball while playing your favorite sport to biting down on a hard piece of food a little too aggressively. Fortunately, your dentist can fix cracks in your teeth so that they look and feel their best.
There are several ways your dentist can fix cracked teeth. One popular method is veneers. Veneers are thin, wafer-like pieces of porcelain put on the surface of your teeth. Once your veneers are in place, the surfaces of your teeth will look and feel smooth. Bonding is another treatment option. Bonding uses a plastic material designed to match the appearance of your natural teeth to hide imperfections, like cracks. If the crack is at the base of your tooth, your dentist may recommend contouring to smooth it away.
Don’t let a cracked tooth affect your smile. Talk to your dentist at University Associates in Dentistry today about your treatment options. You can learn more about cosmetic dentistry in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511.
Your dentist is an important member of your healthcare team, but sometimes, misconceptions about dentistry keep people from getting the care that they need. Maybe the idea that a procedure is painful has left you fearful of making an appointment, or perhaps a myth about an oral health problem has led you to dismiss your symptoms. Could myths and misconceptions be standing in the way of you seeing your dentist when you need to? Here are some myths about dentistry that definitely need to be dismissed.
Myth: You should brush your teeth as much as possible.
You may assume that if brushing your teeth twice a day is good, then brushing them more often is even better. However, brushing your teeth too often can actually do damage. Over-brushing can damage the enamel on your teeth, which triggers sensitivity and leaves your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Brushing twice a day is sufficient for most people.
Myth: Fluoride is toxic.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. However, some people have the idea that it is dangerous and can increase the risk of cancer, arthritis, and kidney disease. In reality, fluoride is safe when used in appropriate amounts. It would be difficult for most people to get too much fluoride, but if you’re concerned, talk to your dentist about what is right for you.
Myth: Fillings and root canals hurt.
For any treatment that could potentially cause discomfort, your dentist will use local anesthesia to make sure that you don’t feel a thing. Most people are surprised after getting a filling or root canal that their procedure didn’t hurt and that they experienced only mild discomfort, if any, after the procedure.
At University Associates in Dentistry, we use the very latest technologies to deliver quality general and cosmetic dentistry treatments, including veneers, teeth implants, and teeth whitening in Chicago. Schedule your appointment today by calling (312) 704-5511.
You already know that it’s important to see a dentist every six months to reduce your risk of cavities and other oral health problems. But did you know that your teeth and gums can also affect your waistline, and vice versa? There are a few ways in which oral health and weight loss intersect.
Individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of periodontal disease.
If you’re looking for motivation to stick with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, consider a recent study published in the medical journal Oral Diseases. It indicates that individuals who are overweight or obese have a nearly six-fold increased risk of suffering from periodontal disease. It’s thought that the increased presence of systemic inflammation in overweight individuals may play a role in the elevated risk of gum disease. This wasn’t the only study to evaluate this issue. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine conducted a study that led them to conclude that overweight individuals who successfully lose weight are better able to fight off gum disease.
Poor oral health can lead to poor nutrition.
A person’s waistline can influence his or her oral health, but the reverse is also true. People who have poor oral health are more likely to have poor nutrition, which can negatively affect weight management. For example, if you have severe toothaches, loose teeth, or missing teeth, you might think twice before reaching for healthy foods like crunchy apples, carrots, and almonds. You might prefer softer foods that are easier to eat, like sugar-laden muffins that can add to your waistline.
Oral health and weight management benefit from the same lifestyle choices.
Although it can be disheartening to learn about the ways oral health and weight management can be negatively affected, there is good news. The same healthy habits that benefit your waistline will also support your oral health. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight by cutting out soda, you’ll also have a lower risk of tooth decay. Another trick is to brush your teeth immediately after a meal so you won’t be tempted to keep snacking.
The entire team at University Associates in Dentistry is committed to helping you improve your oral health and overall wellness. New and current general dentistry patients in Chicago can give us a call at (312) 704-5511 to request a dental consultation. We always welcome your questions and concerns about your oral care routine.
Dental trauma can happen to anyone. Tooth and soft tissue injuries can develop from tripping and falling on the stairs, for instance, but athletes are undoubtedly at a higher risk of dental trauma than most people. Amateur and professional athletes alike can benefit from seeing a sports dentistry specialist. A dentist who has experience working with athletes can provide appropriate recommendations for mouth protection and care.
Always wear your sports mouth guard.
If you don’t yet have a sports mouth guard, you need to visit a dentist right away. Over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards are available. These are typically the “bite and boil” kind. Unfortunately, since they aren’t custom-fitted, OTC mouth guards can be uncomfortable, poorly fitted, and inadequate. As a result, athletes might be tempted to skip wearing them, leaving themselves even more vulnerable to dental trauma. Protect your smile by visiting a dentist to have a custom-fitted mouth guard made, and always wear it for practices and games. You’ll thank yourself for it the next time you get tackled, take a tumble, or get hit by a hockey puck.
Keep your sports mouth guard clean.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush your mouth guard after every time you wear it. Some people like to rinse the mouth guard with antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs. Afterward, rinse it in cool water, and pat it dry with a clean towel before storing it in its container. Clean the container regularly too.
Know what to do for an avulsed tooth.
An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely expelled from the mouth. If you act right away, your dentist can save the tooth. Just follow these rules:
- Only handle a knocked-out tooth by the crown, not the root.
- You can rinse the tooth in water, but never scrub it, dry it, or use cleaning products.
- Gently replace the tooth in its socket if possible.
- If you can’t replace the tooth, place it in a clean cup with tooth preservation product (available at drugstores).
- If you lack tooth preservation liquid, use a cup of milk.
- Get to the dentist as soon as possible.
The team at University Associates in Dentistry has more experience than most in treating sports-related dental trauma. We are the official sports dentists for the Chicago Blackhawks. Call our office at (312) 704-5511 to request our next available sports dentistry consultation.
Along with our compassionate, personalized care, University Associates in Dentistry is known for offering our patients the very latest in dental technology. Our dentists celebrate new technological advancements because they bring greater comfort and health to our valued patients. As an example, our patients no longer have to dread the sounds and sensations of the dental drill. Our exciting alternative is laser dentistry!
Unlike dental drills, dental lasers don’t produce heat, pressure, or vibrations. This results in a far more comfortable experience for our patients, particularly those with dental phobias. Our dentists can use these gentle lasers to treat tooth decay, reshape gum tissue, remove lesions, and perform biopsies. This technology typically allows patients to use less anesthetic, and it can reduce the risk of swelling, bleeding, and post-operative pain.
University Associates in Dentistry welcomes dental consultation requests from new and current patients. Call (312) 704-5511 or check out our website for more information on laser dentistry or our other high-quality dentistry services in Chicago.
Scuba diving is a thrilling adventure that gives you a ffront-rowseat to the aquatic wonders of lakes and oceans. But did you know that nearly half of all scuba divers experience dental problems while underwater? If you’re thinking about taking a diving class, start with a visit to your dentist. Dental problems in the water stem from the drastic changes in atmospheric pressure. They are also caused by the need to constantly clench the air regulator in the jaw. These problems can be exacerbated by the supply of very dry air, and the awkward positioning of the jaws.
Scuba divers frequently report symptoms like jaw pain, gum pain and soreness, and even broken dental fillings and loosened crowns. It’s becoming increasingly apparent to those looking into this issue that divers who already have oral problems are more likely to experience severe symptoms underwater. Visiting a dentist first to take care of any problems might reduce the risk.
Recreational and professional athletes alike turn to University Associates in Dentistry for high-quality, personalized care, including sports dentistry . Call (312) 704-5511 if you would like to schedule a dental consultation in our Chicago office.
These days, practically everything is going high-tech. Why not your dental care routine? Dentists recommend brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. To turn these two minutes into a mini vacation for your mouth, download the Brush DJ app. Brush DJ was developed by a dentist, and it’s intended for teeth cleaners of all ages.
The app’s primary feature is a timer. Set it to play for two minutes, and pick your favorite music. Since the app takes the music directly from your own devices, streaming service, or cloud, you can play whatever your heart desires—from Mozart to Motown. The app also lets you set dental hygiene-related reminders to help you stay on top of your oral health.
You can request a dental consultation in Chicago by calling (312) 704-5511. Here at University Associates in Dentistry , our dentists can handle everything from cavities to teeth whitening to dental implants.
A greasy burger and fries can hit the spot, but your dentist won’t be happy about the effect it could have on your oral health. Regular fast food intake is also linked to halitosis, which could reduce your self-esteem. Watch this video and see if your favorite fast food is causing your bad breath.
Most fast food options contain greasy residues that cause reactions inside your body as you swallow and digest the food. These reactions result in an unpleasant smell that comes up through your mouth and taints your breath. Fast food also makes your stomach more acidic and can contribute to gastric reflux, so balance your diet with fruits and vegetables.
University Associates in Dentistry can give you a dental consultation in Chicago to find out what is causing your bad breath. Call us today at (312) 704-5511 or visit our website for more information, including general and cosmetic dentistry.
Your teeth are much more fragile than they might seem. If you aren’t careful to avoid unwise oral care habits, you can end up doing serious damage to your smile. If you’ve had restoration work done in the past, these bad habits can be especially destructive. Here are some common habits that you should try to steer clear of if you want to protect your teeth:
Drinking Too Many Sugary Beverages
When you drink a sugary beverage such as soda or even juice, some of the sugar is likely to remain on your teeth. As the bacteria in your mouth consume the sugar, they leave behind acids that gradually erode the enamel of your teeth. Over time, the acids can lead to tooth decay. While regular brushing will help to reduce your risk of cavities, it’s also important to cut back on your sugar consumption if you want to maintain good oral health.
Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Everybody knows that you’re supposed to brush your teeth at least twice a day. But if you brush too hard, you might end up counteracting the positive effects of brushing by wearing down your enamel, which weakens your teeth. Brushing too hard can even lead to gum recession, which makes you more vulnerable to periodontal disease. To avoid this, buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush using a gentle, circular motion.
Brushing Right After Eating
Many people have heard that they should brush immediately after they eat, but that’s not exactly true. In fact, brushing too quickly after you eat food with acids in it can actually do damage to your enamel. To be safe, you should always wait at least 30 minutes after eating most types of food before brushing. However, it’s still fine to floss right after eating.
Whether you require treatment for sleep apnea, scaling and root planning to treat periodontal disease, or restorative procedures for misaligned teeth, you can find the exceptional dental care you deserve at University Associates in Dentistry. To request a consultation at our office in Chicago, call (312) 704-5511.
- Dental History
- Gum Disease
- Dental Implants
- Dental Health
- Teeth Whitening
- Sleep Apnea
- Bad Breath
- Dental Veneers
- Sports Dentistry
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Crowns
- Tooth Loss
- CT Scans
- DEXIS CariVu