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El Portal Dental Blog


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What And How Often You Eat Can Affect Your Teeth

Eating habits and food choices can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Study showed snacking sugary foods and sipping sugary drinks all day long can damage your teeth.Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. This plaque will build up over time if you don’t remove it daily.

Plaque bacteria use sugar to make acid that attacks enamel, the outside layer of the tooth. The acid can attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after you consume sugary foods or drinks. When you have sugary foods many times a day or sip the same sugary drinks for a long time, acid attacks the enamel again and again. Repeated acid attacks can cause tooth decay or cavities. Untreated decay can travel down to the tooth nerves which will need root canal therapy.

How to reduce your risk of tooth decay:

  1. Limit sugary drinks and snacks between meals. If you do snack, choose foods that are low in sugar and fat (read nutrition fact labels).
  2. If you have sugary foods and drinks, have them with meals. Saliva increases during meals and helps weaken acid and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  3. Drink tap water with fluoride right after consuming sugary foods and drinks. The water can help wash away the sugar component in your mouth.
  4. Very important to see your dentist regularly. Recommended once every 6 months.

Healthy Smile Tips:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months

Toothache? What to Do while Waiting for a Dental Appointment
  • Take a painkiller. Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help to relieve minor pain.
  • Numb the area. Buy an over-the-counter tooth and gum numbing gel to help ease the throbbing for a few hours. These gels are applied directly to the affected area and usually work for several hours.
  • Apply a cold compress. Fill a food storage bag with ice, cover it with a thin cloth or paper towel, and apply it directly to the tooth or the cheek area just outside the tooth. The cold temperature will help ease the pain. Do not apply the ice directly to the tooth. This will increase the pain.
  • Clean your mouth thoroughly by flossing around the tooth, brushing the area, and using a rinse.
  • To help it along, make a rinse with warm water and a spoonful of sea salt. Repeat several times daily until the pain subsides.

  • How to Care For Your Child's Teeth

    A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth," are as important as the permanent adult teeth.

    Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and one year. Primary teeth help children chew and speak. Primary teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday.

    A dental visit at an early age is a "well-baby checkup" for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can demonstrate how to clean the child's teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.