August 23rd, 2017
With so many toothpastes available in so many price ranges, it can be difficult to be sure you are selecting the right one for your needs. You need a product that not only protects against tooth decay, but also addresses any special concerns that Dr. Mark Argo and our team have raised. Look for the American Dental Association seal and do some research to find the toothpaste that best meets your needs.
Choose a Product Approved by the American Dental Association
The American Dental Association approves dental products such as toothbrushes, dentures, mouthwashes, dental floss, and toothpastes when they meet certain quality standards. Before products can display the seal, the American Dental Association must verify that the product does what it claims to do. Look for the American Dental Association seal on the toothpaste package before you buy it. Also, check to make sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps protect against decay.
Consider Special Needs
You may be depending on your toothpaste to perform extra tasks beyond cleaning your teeth. These are some common concerns that the right toothpaste can address.
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Sensitive teeth
- Plaque or gingivitis
- Yellowing teeth
The American Dental Association’s website has a tool that lets users input their requirements and view a list of the toothpastes that carry the American Dental Association’s seal and address those particular oral health needs.
Make Your Children’s Tooth-Brushing Experience Fun
If you select toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal, most types of toothpaste will be fine for your children as long as they have no special needs. Allowing your kids to select fun toothpaste can encourage them to enjoy the brushing experience more, so that they brush more frequently and do a better job.
The following toothpaste characteristics can make brushing more fun for children.
- Fun flavors, such as bubble gum, berry, and watermelon
- Sparkles and swirls that make the toothpaste appear more attractive
- Toothpaste that comes in a pump
- Toothpaste with a container decorated with superheroes
August 16th, 2017
Many people consume carbonated or sugary drinks and acidic foods every day but have no idea those beverages may be harming their teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth erosion. The acid in the foods we eat and drink can cause tooth enamel to wear away, making your teeth sensitive and discolored. Dr. Mark Argo will tell you that in many cases, what’s important is not what you eat and drink, but rather how you consume it.
What is tooth erosion?
Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure caused by the weakening of dental enamel, which is the strongest substance in the human body. Enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth’s structure and shape. When the enamel is weakened, it exposes the underlying dentin, causing your teeth to appear yellow.
What causes tooth erosion?
Tooth erosion may occur when the acids in the foods and beverages you eat and drink, as well as other factors we will discuss later, weaken the enamel on your teeth. Typically the calcium contained in saliva will help remineralize (strengthen) your teeth after you consume foods or drinks that contain some acid. However, the presence of a lot of acid in your mouth does not allow for remineralization to happen.
Acid can come from many sources, including the following:
- Drinking carbonated or fruit drinks. All soft drinks (even diet varieties) contain a lot of acid and are capable of dissolving enamel on your teeth. Bacteria thrive on sugar and produce high acid levels that can eat away at enamel.
- Eating sour foods or candies. All those sour candies may taste great, but these treats can be acidic to your teeth. Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which is known to ruin enamel.
- Low saliva volume. Saliva helps prevent decay by neutralizing acids and washing away leftover food in your mouth.
- Acid reflux disease. Acid reflux, or GERD, brings stomach acids up to the mouth, where the acids can erode enamel.
- Bulimia or binge drinking. These conditions can cause tooth damage because they frequently expose teeth to stomach acids.
- Wear and tear. Brushing your teeth too vigorously or grinding your teeth at night can erode enamel.
What are the symptoms of tooth erosion?
Acid wear may lead to serious dental problems. When your tooth enamel erodes, your teeth become more vulnerable to cavities and decay, and you may begin noticing the following symptoms:
- Severe sensitivity or tooth pain when consuming hot, cold, or sugary foods or drinks
- Tooth discoloration
- Rounded teeth
- Transparent teeth
- Visible cracks in teeth
- Cupping, or dents, that show up on the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth
What you can do to prevent tooth erosion
- Reduce or eliminate altogether your consumption of carbonated drinks. Instead, sip water, milk, or tea.
- If you must consume acidic drinks, drink them quickly and be sure to use a straw so that the liquid is pushed to the back of the mouth. Don’t swish them around or hold them in your mouth for a long period of time.
- Instead of snacking on acidic foods throughout the day, we suggest eating these foods just during meal times in order to minimize the amount of time the acid makes contact with your teeth.
- After consuming highly acidic food or drinks, rinse with water to neutralize the acids.
- Chew sugar-free gum to produce more saliva, as this helps your teeth remineralize.
- Brush with a soft toothbrush and be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.
- Dr. Mark Argo may also recommend daily use of a toothpaste to reduce sensitivity (over-the-counter or prescription strength) or other products to counter the effects of erosion.
It’s important to know that the majority of dental problems, such as tooth erosion, do not become visible or painful until they are advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat. A deep cleaning twice a year by our team at Mark Argo, DDS is the best way to hit all the spots you may have missed with brushing and flossing and prevent any issues that may have gone unseen.
Make sure your teeth get the professional attention they deserve! If you are overdue for your next checkup or cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our conv
August 9th, 2017
If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, teeth whitening may be an excellent choice for you. Many patients of Dr. Mark Argo suffer from darkened teeth due to the natural aging process, regular consumption of coffee or tea, or nicotine staining from cigarettes.
Some people may have darkened teeth due to long-term use of medication. Certain medication-related stains on the teeth cannot be lightened, but virtually every other type of teeth stains can be effectively lightened using either professional dental whitening or at-home whitening.
While both types of whitening have benefits, at-home kits are less expensive and less effective overall. Professional teeth whitening is a highly effective option, but it requires a bit more of an investment. Here is the basic info on each type of whitening.
At-home whitening is done in a number of different ways today. Some of the most popular options include:
- Whitening strips that are applied to teeth and then removed after a specified period. These will typically be used once a day for at least a week.
- Whitening gels or pastes that are placed in a one-size-fits-all plastic tray. These trays are worn, retainer style, for a set period of time once a day.
- Whitening toothpaste, which is used daily, and whitening mouthwashes are also available today. These products require constant use to realize results.
In-office whitening is the fastest way to achieve whiter teeth. If you want an almost immediate difference in the color of your teeth and their overall appearance, this is probably the option for you.
Dr. Mark Argo will typically apply the whitening formula directly to your teeth. Following the application, we will have you relax in our office between half an hour and an hour.
Some office-whitening formulas are strengthened with the use of heat, specialized lighting, or laser application. Patients will usually notice whitening results after only one application, but it usually takes at least a few appointments at Mark Argo, DDS to notice a truly dramatic change in tooth color.
August 2nd, 2017
Inflamed gums are a fairly common dental issue, but unfortunately, many people don't take the problem seriously enough. If you ignore inflamed gums and continue your usual routine, you could be encouraging a much more severe inflammation problem, and the pain that goes along with that. Fortunately, it is quite easy to relieve inflamed gums if you use the tips below.
Use Soft Bristles
A soft-bristle toothbrush - the softest you can buy - is a must for anyone with inflamed gums. Anything that makes contact with your gums can cause you pain, so fine and soft bristles are always the best choice.
Use Sensitive Formula Toothpaste
The toothpaste marketed as “Sensitive Teeth Formula” contain special ingredients to help relieve sensitivity. When your gums are inflamed, even light brushing can cause some pain. Using a special toothpaste will help reduce that pain and make it easier to brush your teeth effectively. The effect becomes stronger as you use the toothpaste more, so use it for each brushing.
Visit Our Office
If your gums remain swollen for more than a few days or a week, set up an appointment with Dr. Mark Argo. There is a long list of conditions that could be causing your swollen gums, everything from gum disease to pregnancy, so you need to find out where your issue is coming from. Most of the time, Dr. Mark Argo can easily treat the swollen gum issue at our Owasso, OK office, or can give you an effective treatment to take home.