Pregnancy and Oral Health: What’s the Connection?

Pregnancy is an exciting time for women, but it can also be challenging when it comes to health. One area that many pregnant women overlook is their oral health. However, caring for your teeth and gums during pregnancy is just as important as caring for the rest of your body. 

Why oral health is important during pregnancy

Research has shown that hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect a woman’s oral health. An increase in progesterone makes pregnant women more susceptible to gum disease, which can cause gums to become inflamed and bleed more easily. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis and, according to the CDC, can affect up to 70% of pregnant women.

Untreated gum disease can lead to more serious problems, such as periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss and damage to the supporting structures of the teeth. Gum disease bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and affect the developing baby.

Pregnancy can also cause changes in a woman’s diet and oral hygiene habits, which can further affect oral health. Cravings for sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of cavities.

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health During Pregnancy

Fortunately, there are several steps pregnant women can take to maintain good oral health during pregnancy:

Schedule a dental check-up: It is important to have a dental check-up early in pregnancy, ideally in the first trimester, to identify and treat any existing dental problems. Be sure to inform your dentist that you are pregnant, as some treatments may need to be postponed until after delivery.

Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent cavities. If you experience morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash after vomiting to remove acid from your teeth. No matter how gross your mouth may feel after getting sick, it’s important not to brush immediately after doing so, as brushing rubs stomach acid onto the teeth. 

Watch your diet: Limit sugary foods and drinks, and choose healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and rinse your mouth after consuming sugary or acidic foods and drinks.

Consider using mouthwash: An antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and prevent gum disease. Just be sure to choose a mouthwash that is safe for use during pregnancy.

Take care of your overall health: Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest can help reduce the risk of oral health problems during pregnancy.

Taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is important for your own and your baby’s health. Following these tips can help prevent oral health problems and maintain a healthy smile throughout your pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to call us about any concerns you may have regarding your oral health during this special time.

 

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Can You Brush Your Teeth After A Tooth Extraction?

Tooth Extractions in Twin Falls, ID

Tooth extractions can be painful, and it’s important to realize how to take care of the extraction site afterward to promote healing and avoid complications such as dry socket. After tooth extraction, it’s important to maintain healthy dental practices, but extra care is required.

Brush Gently

Do not forgo your everyday oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, even if you’ve just had a tooth extracted. However, it is important to brush gently and use care, especially in the areas close to the extraction. To be safe, avoid brushing or rinsing your mouth in the first 24 hours after the tooth extraction procedure. Afterward, brush with care, and don’t get close to the extraction site with the toothbrush. Also, don’t swish water, mouthwash, or any oral care fluid in your mouth. Instead, just lower your mouth and let water or mouthwash pour out.

What Else Do I Need To Do After A Tooth Extraction

Beyond brushing with care, there are a number of other things you can do to help yourself heal quickly and avoid pain and complications after a tooth extraction.

Choose Soft Foods

Stick with easy-to-chew foods for the first few days following your tooth extraction. On the first day after surgery stick to foods such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Jell-O
  • Ice cream
  • Applesauce

After the first day, you can try a wider variety of foods, such as:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes
  • Broth-based soups

Avoid eating chewy or sticky foods during the first 4-5 days after the extraction, as these can get stuck in the socket left after the tooth was surgically removed. Also, sticky or chewy foods can attach to the clot in the extraction site, and these will remove the clot.

Chew Wisely

How you eat your food is also important, and you should try to only chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the extracted tooth. Also avoid using straws after an extraction, because the suction of the straw could dislodge the blood clot and lengthen your recovery time.

Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

After a tooth extraction, it’s important to follow your dentist’s, or oral surgeon’s, instructions. These usually include taking pain medication and antibiotics and making follow-up appointments to ensure you’re healing and that there are no complications.

Having a tooth extracted is a common procedure that many people will experience. Knowing how to care for your extraction site can speed up the recovery process and avoid complications such as dry socket. If you have any questions about tooth extractions, please call our office at 208-735-1415.

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How to Fix an Overbite

How to Fix an Overbite

Overbites are very common in both children and adults, with many having at least a tiny overbite. While not typically the most serious dental problem, a significant overbite can lead to several dental health problems. There are a number of ways to prevent or treat an overbite, and here at Mint Dental, we can help find the right treatment for you or your child.

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is when a person’s upper teeth extend beyond their bottom front teeth. The most frequent cause of this is the size of the jaw or teeth – there may not be enough space in the jaw to fit one’s teeth.

Other causes can include frequent nail biting, teeth grinding, and for children thumbsucking and using a pacifier after age three. Read more about the causes of an overbite.

Is an Overbite Bad?

An overbite can cause a number of problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, an overbite can also cause enamel to be worn down or teeth to be chipped or cracked due to friction between teeth. An overbite can also make it more difficult to chew and bite since the teeth are misaligned.

How to Fix it

There are different ways to treat children and adults for an overbite. For children, braces can be used to slowly shift the teeth into a proper alignment. This is followed by a retainer to keep the teeth in place. Another treatment option for children is to use palate expanders, a type of growth modification device, to reposition the jaw during growth spurts. Another option is to extract baby teeth or permanent teeth to create room for adult teeth.

For adults, extracting teeth to create room for the remaining ones is also an option. Another treatment option is to use clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, to reposition teeth impacted by the overbite. This is an excellent option for many adults, as they are discreet and can be removed when eating.

If you or your child is experiencing an overbite, don’t wait for serious issues to develop. Call our office today at 208-735-1415. We’re here to help you get the best possible treatment in a safe and comfortable environment!

Is Water Flossing Better Than String Flossing?

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Water flossers or water picks, technically an oral irrigator, if you’re asking, are increasingly popular, but are they effective? Only 32% of adults floss daily, so there is absolutely a need for an easier way to clean between teeth. Going without daily flossing, or some form of interdental cleaning leaves all of those people, most of us, at serious risk of gum disease. So let’s find out if water picks live up to the hype.

Are Water Flossers Better Than String Floss?

Water flossers seem to be very effective according to current research. A 2013 study on the effectiveness of water flossers  compared to string floss found that water flossers were “significantly” more effective than string floss. Specifically, they found that after a single-use water flossers were 29% more effective at removing plaque. They were particularly better at removing plaque and accumulations from between teeth, and that’s most of why we floss, isn’t it?

Something that may be worth considering is that one of the authors of the 2013 study, Deborah Lyle, was employed by the Waterpik corporation from May 2004 until January 2022 as their Director of Clinical Research. Waterpik’s page for clinical research about water flossers lists many studies that include Deborah Lyle as a contributor.

However, other researchers were involved, and other studies exist that point to the effectiveness of water flossers. A 2021 study on the effectiveness of water flossers compared to string floss is an example, though they did not have such strong conclusions as the 2013 Deborah Lyle study did. They found instead that water flossers were just as effective as string floss, not more so. That is why they recommended water flossers to those with braces, retainers, or who have fine motor skill issues.

So, water flossers do seem to work and could potentially replace string floss or floss picks in your oral health routine. But are they superior to string floss? They might be, but considering, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to knock yourself if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon just yet.

Are There Any Downsides to Water Flossers?

While great at cleaning your teeth, there are a few things to consider before you run out and get one. Water flossers can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, according to a 2021 study. Put simply, because water flosser heads touch your mouth and stay wet, oral bacteria can grow on it. Even in spite of following provided cleaning recommendations. That’s not all, this study limited itself to studying only the nozzle, not the hose or water reservoir itself. So while trying to clean your mouth there is the possibility that you could be spraying your teeth with bacteria.

It’s no secret that toothbrushes can be a source of illness and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. However, proper storage and sanitary precautions, even ones as simple as rinsing your toothbrush and letting it dry, have been shown to reduce bacteria considerably. Allowing it to dry is crucial and would be much more time-consuming to practice with a water flosser. Because a water flosser is a reservoir of water with an attached hose it seems proper cleaning would require draining it and its components and allowing them to dry after each use, at a minimum. Certainly more time-consuming than standard care and cleaning instructions would have you think is necessary for proper use.

Besides cleanliness, it’s also worth considering that no one is likely to travel with a water flosser. That just means that you’ll need to keep using string floss for overnight stays. That is to say, even if you get a water flosser, don’t throw out all your old string floss. You’ll still need it if you intend to keep up a daily hygiene routine.

If I Get One, What’s The Best Water Flosser? 

The ADA, the American Dental Association, has an approved list of water flossers. The ADA only allows its seal to be used on products that “include data from clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and efficacy according to product category requirements developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs”. The ADA is one of the largest professional organizations for dentists meaning that any product bearing the ADA seal can be reasonably trusted. If you are considering trying a water flosser we strongly encourage you to factor the ADA’s recommendations into your decision.

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Blue Covarine Toothpaste: Does it Really Whiten?

Learn About Teeth Whitening and Blue Covarine With Mint Dental

There’s always a demand for new ways to whiten teeth. From at-home tips like brushing with charcoal to new professional whitening techniques like ultra violet light activated gels, there’s no end in sight. One ingredient that has been getting attention for the past few years is called blue covarine.

Blue covarine is an ingredient in some toothpastes that is supposed to gently whiten teeth through consistent usage.

Does Blue Covarine Toothpaste Really Whiten Teeth?

The evidence is mixed. A 2015 article in the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that toothpastes containing blue covarine were no more effective than standard whitening toothpaste. In that same study at-home teeth whitening products containing carbamide peroxide, a similar ingredient to hydorgen peroxide, and professional in-office teeth whitening treatments were both far more effective at whitening teeth than either toothpaste.

Another study investigating the effectiveness of blue covarine toothpaste found that it was no more effective than a regular toothpaste. Most of it’s effectiveness came from the abrasive effect of brushing itself rather than the toothpastes ingredients.

A 2019 study from the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that blue covarine toothpaste was less effective than either standard whitening kinds of toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide or containing microbead abrasives. Interestingly, toothpastes containing microbeads were the most effective at whitening teeth.

In conclusion, blue covarine toothpaste does not seem to compare to other whitening methods, even other mild teeth whitening products. There’s no reason to use blue covarine over other whitening toothpastes with better ingredients.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Navigating the best way to whiten teeth at home can be overwhelming. You want whiter teeth, but you don’t want to risk damaging or wasting your money on something that doesn’t work. Check out the professional whitening options offered at Mint Dental Care.

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What Foods Stain Teeth: Common Culprits

Many people wish that their teeth were whiter. One thing that you may not realize is causing your teeth to be discolored is the things that you eat. The foods you eat can actually have a significant effect on the color of your teeth. Join us at Mint Dental as we dive into some of the most common foods that can stain your teeth.

Coffees & Teas

Tea and coffee are both highly acidic, which can weaken the surface of your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. Tea and coffee also both contain tannins, which help their coloring stick to your teeth. There is some evidence that having milk in your tea or coffee can help reduce the amount of staining.

Sauces

Dark-colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries also cause staining. Switching to lighter or creamy sauces can help mitigate some of the staining.

Fruits & Berries

There are many vibrant fruits that can stain your teeth. Think of the fruits that can stain your clothes – pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. In the same way that they can stain your clothes, they can stain your teeth.

Sodas

Sodas are highly acidic thanks to their carbonation. In addition, the dyes in these drinks – including light-colored ones – can cause staining. There are also chemicals in the drink that eat away at your enamel.

How to Mitigate Staining

There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of food on the color of your teeth. While cutting out the food listed above would be the number one way to reduce their effect, even we enjoy having them so we’ve included things you can do to reduce the staining while still enjoying your favorite foods.

  • Use a straw. Using a straw when drinking your favorite beverage helps reduce the amount that the acidity and coloring of the drink come into contact with your teeth.
  • Brush after you eat. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you eat food that can stain. It’s important to wait a little bit of time to allow the acidity in your mouth to get balanced out so you don’t cause additional damage.
  • Rinse your mouth. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and remove some of the staining agents from your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist. Having regular checkups and teeth cleanings at your dentist is a great way to help your smile stay beautiful.

In addition to providing teeth cleanings, we also proudly offer teeth whitening services in the Twin Falls area. Please give our dental office a call at 208-735-1415 or use the link below to schedule an appointment for teeth cleaning or whitening.

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Wisdom Teeth 101: Answering Your Questions

At Mint Dental Care in Twin Falls, ID we get a lot of questions about wisdom teeth removal. It is a fairly common procedure, but it can still cause people to be nervous and have questions. That’s why we put together this blog – to help answer all of your questions!

What Can I Eat After Surgery?

Following the procedure, we recommend that you primarily eat soft, cool foods for at least the first few days. This includes foods like:

  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Soup

Most people feel comfortable reintroducing solid foods into their diet after 3-4 days, but this depends on your level of pain.

How Long Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Take?

Removal surgery does not take very long. Most procedures only take one hour or less to complete. You will need to rest for at least a day following the procedure to ensure that you can heal and recover.

What Age Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?

For most people, wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 17 and 25. It’s completely normal for them to come in a little earlier or later than this range. We can identify if you have wisdom teeth using X-rays.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Them Removed?

This depends on your individual oral health situation. It is possible for wisdom teeth to grow straight and in line with your other teeth. This would have little to no impact if they were not removed. However, many people’s wisdom teeth do not grow nice and straight. It’s very common for them to grow crooked or towards your other teeth which can cause them to become impacted. This can cause issues such as:

  • Pain
  • Infections or cysts
  • Damage to other teeth
  • Teeth crowding
  • Gum disease

We hope that these answers help you better understand wisdom teeth removal. If you still have more questions about wisdom teeth removal, call our Twin Falls, ID office at 208-735-1415 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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How to Remove Tobacco Stains From Teeth

Teeth Whitening at Mint Dental

Teeth stains are a common problem for nicotine users regardless of whether they use e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigarettes, or cigars. Tobacco stains, and all stains from nicotine use, can be hard to remove. Often teeth stains can set into the deeper layers of the teeth so they are resistant to typical whitening methods. The effectiveness of any teeth whitening method will depend on its strength and how deeply set into the teeth the stains or discolorations are.

Options For Removing Tobacco Stains From Teeth

  • At-home whitening. Using at-home whitening methods such as toothpaste that contain baking soda, whitening mouthwashes, and over-the-counter whitening strips can all help whiten teeth. However, most at-home options won’t be able to affect deeper, older stains.
  • Professional whitening. In-office whitening treatments use much higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide than are available or advisable for at-home use. That’s why professional treatments are the best way to remove tobacco stains or any nicotine stains from teeth. In-office treatments often use lights that speed up treatments alongside a protective cover for the gums to reduce irritation.

Preventing Further Tobacco Staining

  • Rinsing and staying hydrated. Rinsing your mouth with water after using tobacco or nicotine is an easy way to reduce some of the risk of stains. Nicotine use often reduces saliva production which allows bacteria to thrive. By staying hydrated and reducing leftover residue from tobacco use the risk of staining goes down.
  • Good oral health habits. Brushing twice a day and regularly flossing are the two pillars of good oral health. If you are currently or have previously used tobacco or nicotine products maintaining good habits is even more important.

Tobacco Use and Your Oral Health

While there are ways to remove stains damage to gums is harder to correct. Oral tobacco use such as dipping pouches or loose tobacco will have a significant impact on the health of gums with regular use. Nicotine use reduces saliva which increases bacteria growth, increasing the risk of cavities and infections. The best way to prevent further staining, damage, and other negative effects is to reduce and end tobacco use.

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Mint Dental Care

1415 N. Fillmore, Suite 701
Twin Falls, ID 83301
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Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
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