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Oh, sugar. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Whether your sweet tooth tends to love chocolate or leans more toward licorice or soda, the craving for something sweet can be extremely powerful. In fact, it’s often hard to ignore because not only do sweet treats taste good, some (like chocolate) can cause our brains to release endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals that make us happy. And we all like to feel happy, right?

Unfortunately, sugary snacks can lead to a whole slew of health problems. Too much sugar aids in obesity and contributes, in part, to diabetes. But, of course, what we’re here to discuss is sugar’s effect on our dental health.

This will come as no shock — sugar is bad for your teeth. Period. Sugar can cause cavities to develop and, if left untreated, will lead to more serious dental health issues. So how do you kick that sugar habit? Here are some quick tips that might help you out:

Quit Cold Turkey

This technique works for many people, but we’re not going to mince words– it could be tough. What this means is that you’ll be making a clean break of your sugar habit and never looking back. If you can resist the urge to ingest sugar, this can help your brain reset, allowing you to lose your addiction. So if you have the willpower, go for it!

Throw Out the Sugar

It’s time to tear through your kitchen and get rid of everything (or at least most things) that contain sugar. Yes, it may be painful to remove all these sweet treats, but trust us — your teeth and overall health will thank you. However, keep two important things in mind. First, when we say to get rid of everything with sugar, we don’t mean to have a sweet tooth free-for-all and devour pounds of candy. And second, if you feel like throwing away so much food is wasteful, perhaps you should consider giving it away to someone who will eat it in moderation. Or, heck, save it for Halloween, which is pretty much right around the corner.

Check the Labels

While the high sugar content of candy bars and soda is quite clear, what you need to be on the lookout for are foods that contain sugar, but are kinda sneaky about it. Even those sports drinks that are touted as being “healthy” often contain high amounts of sugar that can be detrimental to your health. The first thing you should do is check the nutritional information on the back of a package. Next, look for anything that ends with “-ose” on the list of ingredients, as in fructose, dextrose, glucose, and sucrose. Other words to run away from are maltrodextrain, corn syrup, and malt.

Manage Your Cravings

A sudden sugar craving is often hard to ignore, especially if sugar has become a regular item for you to ingest during the day. You can manage these cravings by distracting your brain. Start off by drinking a glass of water. The sustenance could satisfy your mind and body in a similar way that sugar does as you attempt to kick the habit. If that doesn’t work, go for a walk or engage in some other activity. Being active will often cause your food craving to pass. And if not, grab a piece of fruit or other type of food with natural sugar.

Even if you kick your sugar habit entirely, that doesn’t mean that visits to the dentist aren’t important. For proper dental and oral health, it is vital for you to have regular check-ups to take care of any problem that might have developed without your knowledge and to prevent future problems from occurring. Dr. Bruce McArthur prides himself on providing the very best dental treatment money can buy, and can help you devise a plan to ensure your dental health. Contact his office today and we’ll get you started!

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Just last week, we discussed several foods and beverages that are damaging to your teeth. We’d like to switch it up for this week’s discussion and focus on a selection of foods that can actually be beneficial. More specifically, we’re going to focus on a few fruits and vegetables to add to your diet that will not only improve your overall health, but also your dental health. If you don’t already have some of these tucked away in your fridge, it’s time to add them to your grocery list and pick some up as soon as you can.

Citrus Fruits

Yes, we know. In last week’s post, we ended our discussion by explaining that citrus fruits could be damaging to your teeth because they’re highly acidic in nature. While that is true, citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C, which is critical for the health of your gums. We suggest oranges, pineapples, and tomatoes for the best results. The trick is to eat these in moderation and be sure to drink plenty of water to help wash away any acid that stays behind. By doing so, you can improve your dental health rather than harm it.

Fruits Rich in Fiber

Many people don’t realize that when you eat fruits that are high in fiber, your saliva production increases. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums, in addition to reducing your mouth’s acid level and preventing dry mouth. The prevention of dry mouth can be especially important, as it can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. And as an added bonus, chewing fiber-rich fruits massages your gums, promoting their health as well. Popular fruits in this category include apples, oranges, pears, and watermelon. So add a few to your diet and enjoy the benefits.

Vegetables That Promote Strong Teeth

Your body uses beta carotene to make vitamin A, which helps to build strong teeth and bones. This is why eating hard and fibrous vegetables like carrots and celery can be beneficial to your body and dental health. The water content of these vegetables is also quite useful, as it keeps your teeth and gums clean by washing away food debris and bacteria that could otherwise be damaging. And, like fruits rich in fiber, as mentioned above, hard and fibrous vegetables will also massage your gums as you chew. If you’re not a big vegetable fan, we suggest that you grin and bear it, because you don’t want to pass these up.

Onions

They’re not just for making people cry anymore! Indeed, onions are fantastic for your oral health thanks to the antibacterial sulfur compounds contained within them. These compounds kill bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. While cooked onions are helpful, this vegetable is at its most potent when eaten fresh and uncooked. We don’t suggest you eat one as if it’s an apple like George Costanza did, but if you choose to eat an onion in its healthiest form, be sure to brush your teeth or at least use mouthwash afterwards. Your friends and loved ones will thank you for it!

Eating the rights kinds of foods and avoiding the wrong kinds of foods is an essential part of ensuring your dental and oral health. Eating the fruits and vegetables listed above will help you stay on your path toward strong teeth and gums, but you also need a reputable dentist in your back pocket.

Would you like more dental tips to help you improve your oral health? Are you in need of a check-up or some assistance on how best to care for your teeth and gums? Give Dr. Bruce McArthur a call today and we’ll set you up with an appointment right away!

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Many foods are ingested not only for sustenance, but for enjoyment. With all the sweets, salty snacks, fried foods, and everything else that’s readily available, who can resist all of these tasty treats?

The problem is that in addition to numerous health problems when you indulge a little too much, certain foods can be damaging to your teeth. If any of the following foods are on your list of regularly eaten food, we suggest that you cut down or eliminate them from your diet entirely.

Soda

Let’s start this list with something you should cut out of your diet for a variety of reasons. We’ve touched on the dangers of soda (or pop, if you prefer), but you just can’t repeat it enough times — this sugary drink is not only bad for your overall health, but very bad on your teeth. This is especially true when working an office job or performing some other task where you may nurse your drink for hours and constantly bombard your teeth with acid and sugar.

Ice

As everyone knows, water is great for your body, and can help rinse your mouth of bacteria, thereby keeping your teeth clean. Ice, on the other, is not good for your teeth when you chew on it. Why? Because it’s a hard substance — and anything hard against your teeth can damage your enamel and make your teeth vulnerable to injury.

Hard Candies

Whether it’s jawbreakers or lollipops, the sugar contained in these treats isn’t good for your dental health. What’s even worse (or at least just as bad) is the fact that crunching on hard candies, like ice, can weaken and damage your teeth.

Sticky Foods

This can include anything from gummy bears to certain types of dried fruit. Any type of food that is sticky has a tendency to adhere to our teeth for longer periods of time than foods that are not sticky. If you can’t avoid these, we suggest rinsing your mouth after eating sticky snack, in addition to brushing and flossing carefully.

Potato Chips

Don’t get us started on how yummy potato chips are. Those little slivers of salty goodness are enough to get us excited any time of the day. Unfortunately, many types of chips are full of starch, which gets trapped in your teeth and causes damage over time. The solution is to make sure you floss extra carefully at the end of the day to avoid a build-up of plaque.

Alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with responsibly having a drink every once in a while. Many people love to wind down after a long day or especially long week. That being said, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a host of health problems, and that includes tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral problems due to a reduced saliva flow that would normally help rinse out bacteria. Plus, heavy alcohol consumption also increases the possibility of mouth cancer.

Sports Drinks

Many sports drinks are touted as a healthy alternative to sodas. You should be aware, however, that sugar is a primary ingredient in many of these drinks. This especially includes energy drinks like Red Bull. So before you grab that bottle and guzzle it down, make sure you check the labels for a low sugar content. Or, you know, stick with water.

Citrus

As we all know, fruits are good for your health. You should make them a part of your daily eating habits. However, it’s important that you limit the amount of fruits like lemons and limes because of they’re highly acidic, which can quickly erode your enamel, making them prone to decay.

Do you need more sound advice for oral and dental health? Is it time for a check-up to ensure your dental future? Contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS for an appointment today!

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August is the month when millions of children will head back to the classroom after a nice summer break. If they’ve been following a good summer dental routine, that’s great. But after a summer of hot dogs, swimming, and sugary drinks, it may be time to reevaluate their dental and oral health. Here are some quick tips that will help maintain this health as you send them back into the jungle of education:

Tip #1: Eat Healthy at Home

Proper dental hygiene and oral health starts and ends at home. Inside of packing your shelves full of chips and candy, fill your refrigerator with fruits and vegetables. We all know that children have a sweet tooth (many adults do, too!), and the best way to satisfy that sweet tooth is to grab a piece of fruit. Also be sure to provide plenty of whole grains, dairy products, and proteins for a balanced diet.

Tip #2: Send Them to School with Healthy Snacks

Even though kids are often inundated with unhealthy snacks at school, you can help combat this by sending them with healthy alternatives. Fruits will satisfy a sweet tooth and milk will strengthen their teeth and bones. If your child scoffs at drinking milk, send them with some string cheese instead. Also be sure that you discourage picking up sugary snacks with friends after school, especially from the ice cream truck that can commonly be found throughout the U.S. as soon as the bell rings.

Tip #3: Avoid Sugary Foods

It’s been known for decades that foods loaded with sugar aren’t good for you. In addition to multiple health problems, such as diabetes, that can develop after years of ingesting sugary foods, your teeth can become prone to cavities within mere days or weeks. Evidence can be found everywhere that there is a sugar epidemic sweeping the nation, much of which was chronicled in last year’s movie, That Sugar Film. Start off by doing small things like switching out your child’s normal applesauce with a type with no sugar added. Also cut out sticky candies like gummy bears, which are not only chock-full of sugar but can also stick in your child’s teeth.

Tip #4: Avoid Sugary Drinks

Whether you call it pop or soda, one thing we don’t have to tell you about those products is how extremely bad they are for you. Many Americans have a habit of drinking sugary drinks to such an extent that it borders on full-blown addiction. Products like Coke and Pepsi should be given as a special treat to your children, not as a way to satisfy their thirst. Think of soda as a desert. You wouldn’t want your kids to eat 16oz of chocolate cake three times a day, would you? Or, to put it into the simplest of terms, that 16oz bottle of soda is packed with the equivalent of approximately 14 sugar packets. Scary, huh?

Tip #5: Give Your Child a Refresher Course

Before you send your child back to school, it is imperative that you help them get back into practicing good dental habits, which can sometimes be difficult to stringently follow while they’re on vacation, especially if they’ve been away from home. Not only should you make sure that they’re flossing and brushing twice a day, but that they’re following the proper techniques. Getting them back on track should take less than a week or so, and the effects will last throughout the school year.

A quick trip to the dentist just before school starts or soon after can help alleviate many dental health problems. Be sure to contact Dr. Bruce McArthur for your kid’s check-up to help them maintain excellent dental and oral health. We’ll make sure that your child’s school year is a healthy one for their teeth!

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Despite the rash of very unhealthy foods that range from two pieces of fried chicken sandwiched on either side of a mound of cheese and burgers made with a pair of glazed donuts, many people are turning to foods that will help them lose weight, have more energy, and overall gain a more healthy lifestyle.

While it’s good to think of your body as a whole, one thing that’s easy to overlook is dental health. What you eat and drink can drastically affect the condition of your teeth, to the point that going overboard on sweets and whatnot can severely damage your chompers and lead to costly dental treatments or tooth loss.

How can you prevent such things from happening? We suggest that you start by adopting these four lifestyle changes:

Cut Out the Sugary Sodas

At times, this country seems to have been built on Coke and Pepsi. We know how difficult these drinks are to resist. After all, they’re everywhere you go, from gas stations and convenience stores to fast food restaurants and movie theaters … and, of course, they’re quite tasty. But make no mistake — these sugary sodas are highly acidic and detrimental to your overall health, and they eat away at your teeth like nobody’s business. This is especially true for office workers and others who “nurse” their soda for hours, because it results in a constant acid bath and film of sugar on your teeth. Although diet sodas try to fool you into thinking they’re a healthy alternative, they’re not really any better. Avoid them at all costs and switch to flavored water with no preservatives or a squeeze of lemon. You’ll improve your over health and your dental health.

Increase Your Water Intake

We’re sure you get tired of hearing people tell you to drink more water, but it’s absolutely true. Water does a fantastic job at cleaning sugar and other harmful substances from your mouth, in addition to improving your overall health in a lot of ways. If you insist on drinking sugary acidic drinks from time to time, at least make sure that you drink water to wash away the nastiness, which will help prevent bad breath and tooth decay. Although not everyone agrees to have much water you should drink on a daily basis, going by the “old school” belief of eight cups per day is a great standard to achieve.

Move on from Chewy Candies

If someone out there is ever able to create tasty, chewy candies that don’t hurt a person’s oral health in one way or another, they’ll be richer than Midas. As it stands now, though, this just isn’t happening. It’s not just when you eat the candy that’s harmful. The problem is that these sticky sugars are allowed to hang around for an extended amount of time. Hard candies dissolve and disappear much more quickly from your mouth, but if you insist on chewy candies, make sure that you drink some water afterwards to flush out the sugar.

Switch to Xylitol Gum

Many gum users — or chewers, as the case may be — may already be aware that chewing gum is really good for your mouth because it helps it stay moist, which freshens your breath and keeps your tongue and gums healthy. If you want to go one step further, you should chew xylitol gum. This type of gum doesn’t contain sugar, but it’s still sweet and your mouth can’t break it down, which can also help prevent bad breath and tooth decay.

Although these lifestyle changes can help improve your dental health, nothing beats regular dentist visits, because this is where you can learn the condition of your teeth and gums, and what can be done to make improvements. Contact the office of Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS and we’ll get you started on a regimen that will keep your teeth healthy and clean.

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Although we don’t have a whole lot of time before summer ends, many families are still planning to take a trip before the season is out. The travel essentials that most people consider are things like clothes, sunscreen, and electronic games for your kids to keep them occupied (and quiet — let’s be honest here).

But what about dental essentials? A vacation should be fun, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to forgo the need for proper dental health. Yes, it may sound a little stodgy, but the simple truth is that going even a few days or a week without proper oral care can damage your teeth and prompt a visit to the dentist after you get back home where one could have been avoided.

What are these essentials exactly? These are the ones that we would recommend:

Toothbrush and Floss

These are obviously a no-brainer. The most important things to take with you to ensure proper dental health are your toothbrush and floss. If you want to save some space or don’t want to take your normal toothbrush with you for whatever reason, then pick up a travel toothbrush for the trip. You can find a travel brush at any local drugstore or even at the airport or hotel in case you forgot yours or lose it.

Toothbrush Holder

To avoid your toothbrush coming into contact with other items in your bag, it’s recommended that you pick up a toothbrush holder. This will keep bacteria and germs from other items away so that you don’t brush your teeth with an infected brush.

Travel Mouthwash

Most containers of mouthwash are kinda big, so you might want to avoid sticking a standard-size bottle into your bag unless you have plenty of room. A great alternative is to pick up a travel-size container. These can be found at your local drugstore as well. This is especially important if you’re flying since a travel-size bottle will conform to TSA regulations.

Pack of Gum

Truth be told, you should always have a pack of gum nearby for “fresh breath” emergencies. This is especially important when you’re on vacation because you never know where you might end up or what you might be doing. It’s possible that you may be away from a bathroom for an extended period of time and chewing on a piece of gum can help freshen your breath and keep your teeth clean in a pinch.

Plastic Baggie

If you simply toss your dental supplies in your bag, you’re just asking for trouble. With all the movement that happens on a trip, there’s a good chance that you might find yourself with an exploded tube of toothpaste or spilled mouthwash. To keep the rest of your belongings safe, keep your dental care items in a plastic baggie.

Paraffin Wax

Here’s one item that many travelers don’t consider. While on vacation, anything can happen. So you want to be prepared. For example, you could experience a chipped tooth due to summer-related activities or simple carelessness. If this happens, you can apply paraffin wax to the jagged edge to prevent cutting your mouth, which is a common occurrence when you can’t get to a dentist right away.

Carrying these items with you on vacation will help you ensure proper dental health. Once you return home, it’s a good idea to get your teeth checked out by a professional to avoid future problems. Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS has been treating patients for a variety of dental issues for several years. No matter what your problem might be, Dr. McArthur can get you on the track to better oral health. Give us a call and you can start today!

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Leading Causes of Bad Breath

by on July 16, 2015 | Posted in Blog

The fear of having bad breath is one of the leading causes of social anxiety. Okay … so we can’t back that up with case studies or anything, but if you’ve ever had someone discretely (or bluntly) tell you that you have bad breath, it will be a while before you trust that your breath isn’t on the verge of wilting nearby flowers every time you leave the house.

There are ways to cover up bad breath with the use of items such as gum, mouthwash, mints, or … hmm, is Binaca still a thing?

While using one of the these items to mask your bad breath will help in the short-term, it’s important to realize that this issue — medically termed halitosis — is due to the build-up of bacteria inside your mouth, and the best way to fix bad breath is to understand its leading causes, especially since some of the causes might indicate something more severe.

Poor Oral Hygiene

The most common cause of bad breath is also the simplest to prevent. We all know that our lives these days can be quite hectic, but if you skip brushing and flossing on a regular basis, the accumulation of trapped food particles in your teeth will create a foul stench that will not make you a popular person to be around. Be sure to brush and floss twice a day for two minutes, and especially after meals whenever possible.

Gum Disease

If you do brush and floss on a regular basis and still have problems with bad breath, then you very well could be suffering from gum disease, which is caused by a consistent build-up of bacteria and plaque. Since this can lead to more serious dental issues, all the way up to possible tooth loss, contact your dentist immediately if you believe gum disease is the culprit.

Cavities

Many people seem to be surprised at how bad their breath can be when they only have a small cavity. That’s because a cavity, as most are aware, is the decay of a tooth. And when things decay, a foul-smelling odor typically emerges. If you notice that a cavity has formed, however small, contact your dentist and set up an appointment right away. And make sure that you’re getting a routine exam performed every six months.

Dry Mouth

As if sufferers of dry mouth weren’t annoyed or uncomfortable enough, they also have to deal with the possibility of bad breath. That’s because a primary function of saliva is to wash away bacteria and dead cells, in addition to neutralizing acids. If you’re not producing a healthy amount of saliva, then — you guessed it — bad breath!

Dentures

Just because dentures aren’t “real”, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them as if they were your original teeth. Food can get stuck in dentures just as easily as your previous choppers, causing the growth of bacteria. You can prevent this by cleaning your dentures as instructed by your dentist.

Diseases

In addition to gum diseases, there are other ailments that can cause bad breath. These include something a bit mild like sinus infections and acid reflux to more severe conditions that include respiratory tract infections, diabetes, liver problems, and kidney issues. This means that heading to your medical practitioner should also be on your list of things to do.

Are you suffering from bad breath or would to need a dental check-up to ensure oral health? The office of Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS has helped hundreds of patients will all sorts of dental health needs. Give us a call today and we’ll set up an appointment to get you started on the road to oral health.

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Summer is the time for hitting the beach, barbecuing with friends, playing out in the sun, and letting loose. Allowing yourself to enjoy some rest and relaxation, though, doesn’t mean that you should get careless with your oral health and dental routine. In fact, you should be extra diligent with the changing of the seasons. To ensure that you and your mouth both have a happy and healthy summer, here are a few tips for proper care and maintenance.

Swimming

If you regularly hit the pool during the summer, listen up: frequent swimmers can develop yellowish-brown to dark brown stains on their teeth after prolonged exposure to chemical additives in the water. The brown spots are referred to as “swimmer’s calculus.” This condition is especially likely to occur in those who swim more than six hours per week. Work to prevent staining by brushing 3 times per day with an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste. If a buildup of swimmers calculus has already occurred, you should speak to your dentist about a professional deep cleaning.

Diving

Many people decide to explore the depths of the sea by trying SCUBA diving during the summer. When the proper precautions aren’t taken, though, jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems, or “tooth squeeze” (a pain in the center of the mouth) can occur. These conditions are related to biting too hard on air regulators. It’s a good idea to have your dentist check out your overall level of dental health and discuss the fitting of your air regulator’s mouthpiece before hitting the water.

Moderate Intake of Sweets

Summertime fairs, festivals, and trips to the boardwalk often lead to the consumption of sweets like ice cream, sugary lemonade, cotton candy, soda, and more. The high volume of sugar present in these types of foods can lead to excess plaque, cavities, and the loss of tooth enamel. To avoid these problems, be sure to moderate your snacking. After eating or drinking something sugary, be sure to brush your teeth right away. If brushing isn’t possible, chew on sugarless gum for 20 minutes. This can reduce tooth decay and plaque.

Treat Teeth Kindly

We see it all the time – a patient walks into our office with a chipped tooth after attempting to open a bottle with their teeth or chewing on ice. Although it can be tempting to try to use your teeth as a bottle opener when you’re craving a cold one, remember that your teeth aren’t tools. Save yourself from the pain and expense of dental issues by using your teeth only for their intended purpose.

Use Mouth Guards

Summer sports enthusiasts, beware! You could very well be putting your teeth at risk when you don’t work to protect your mouth. Custom mouth guards can be made to safeguard teeth. These mouth guards are fitted to your mouth for maximum comfort and protection. Making the small initial investment will help to reduce the likelihood of cracked or chipped teeth, bleeding gums, and jaw injuries.

Don’t Forget Your Lips

Although most people remember to apply sunscreen on their bodies before spending time outdoors, many tend to forget about their lips. This is a huge problem because your lips are more susceptible to burning than most other parts are of your body. By utilizing a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15, you can prevent the pain and discomfort associated with burning while also taking preventive measures against developing skin cancer.

Whether any of the above apply to you or not, it’s important that you maintain your oral healthy throughout the year. Summer is the perfect time to get a dental check-up, so it’s time to call Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS and set up an appointment.

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These days, moms can really have it rough. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a single mother, or have a flourishing career to take care of, it’s sometimes difficult to get everything done each day in a 24-hour period, and that often means that certain things fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, oral health is one of those things that busy moms can quickly take for granted.

Caring for your teeth should not be something that you take lightly, no matter how busy you are, but it’s an easy thing to forget about if you’re not careful. The good news is that busy moms can have clean teeth, too. It’s not a difficult goal to achieve once you keep a few simple things in mind, which we’ve detailed for you right here:

Drink Water Throughout the Day

With all the sodas and various flavored drinks that are chock-full of sugar and unhealthy ingredients on the market, many people forget to drink enough water on a regular basis. The truth is that drinking eight cups of water on a daily basis can improve your health in a number of ways, and this includes your dental health because it flushes toxins from your mouth, clearing it of bacteria that can cause cavities and other issues. You should always have drinking water available in a variety of places, such as a water dispenser in your kitchen, a pitcher in your fridge, a full glass on your nightstand before bed, and a bottle in your car. This will keep you hydrated all day and will improve your oral health.

Carry Toiletries in Your Purse

You never know when you might find yourself in a situation where you need to brush your teeth or freshen your breath. This is why it’s always a good plan to keep toiletries for clean teeth — toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash — in your bag at all times. While these items are available at your corner drugstore, it may not be convenient for you to plan a trip there because, as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keeping toiletries in your purse can also be a godsend at the office after you’ve eaten a lunch that is less than favorable for your breath.

Keep Healthy Snacks Available

Yes, we realize that the vending machine down the hall is an enticing option. Where else can you find potato chips, licorice, and cookies all in one convenient location? These items are not healthy, however, and will do harm to your oral health. Instead of relying on vending machines or even fast food, what you want to do is keep healthy snacks in your car. What you choose is up to you, but a few examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts, pretzels, seaweed snacks, popcorn, and protein bars. For packaged items, what you want to focus on are items that are high in protein, but low on sugar and with few ingredients. Concentrating on these types of snacks, whether packaged or not, will provide you with healthy alternatives to fast food and candy throughout the day.

Whether you’re a busy mother or father, it’s important that you maintain a healthy regimen for clean, strong teeth. Having a reliable dentist to help you reach your goals is a great start, and that’s why you should give Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS a call right away. With many years of experience, our office can help you meet all your dental needs and give you back the oral health that you once had or help you maintain what you’ve fought so hard to achieve. Contact us today for more tips or to schedule an appointment!

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Having a toothache is a real pain! Sufferers can experience a range of senses from feeling some mild soreness to an unbearably sharp or throbbing pain in the teeth, gums, or around the jaws. These feelings can be caused by a host of underlying issues including cavities, infections, a cracked tooth, an exposed root, gum disease, loose fillings, jaw joint disorders, and more. Because of this, it’s extremely important to seek out the professional opinion and care of your dentist.

In the meantime, though, you’re probably looking for some relief. Here are a few things you can try in order to dull the pain:

1. Painkillers

The first thing that people typically do when experiencing a toothache is to check out the various over-the-counter painkillers available in their local pharmacy. Both aspirin and ibuprofen are able to decrease inflammation and reduce pain. If there is no inflammation, you may want to try acetaminophen as it blocks pain messages in the brain. Oral pain relievers like Anebsol and Orajel are also great temporary solutions. Always make sure to inform your dentist of any OTC drugs that you have been taking to treat your condition.

2. Salt Water

In many cases, toothaches are amplified by the inflammation of the gums surrounding them. Salt can act as an anti-inflammatory, working to dull the pain while also decreasing the spread of bacteria that could cause further pain or infection. Mix approximately one tablespoon of salt with a glass of warm water and swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Repeat this process, as needed, throughout the day. If you are on a low-sodium diet due to high blood pressure or other medical issues, you should talk to a physician before trying this particular remedy.

3. Cloves

You may be surprised to learn that cloves possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anesthetic properties. You can either apply a mixture of ground cloves and olive oil to your tooth, or slightly dampen a cotton ball in clove oil and rub it on the area where the pain is occurring.

4. Asafetida

Both toothaches and sore or bleeding gums can benefit greatly from this handy powder. Blend about a one-half teaspoon of powered asafetida with two teaspoons of lemon juice. Many users choose to warm the mixture up slightly. Dip a cotton ball or pad into the solution and dab it onto the problem spot(s) for fast relief.

5. Garlic

Garlic does more than ward off vampires – it can also ease up some of your tooth pain. Garlic has antibiotic and medicinal properties that can work wonders. Crush a garlic clove and apply the garlic directly to the affected area to gain some pain relief.

6. Guava Leaves

Like cloves, guava leaves are known for their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties, all of which can alleviate toothaches. Chewing on one or two leaves will allow the juice to start to work its magic on the affected tooth.

7. Ice

Whether it’s your jaw or your teeth, icing the sore spot could help to dull the aching sensation. Fill a plastic baggie with several ice cubes and hold it against the outside of your cheek along the area that hurts. If the ice is too cold, try wrapping the bag in a paper towel or thin cloth.

Although it can be painful, don’t allow a toothache to stop you from enjoying your life. These simple home remedies can quickly and effectively ease your pain while you wait to work with your dentist to pinpoint the underlying cause and restore your oral health. Give Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS a call today and we’ll get you started on a great dental strategy!

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