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Oral Health

For teeth’s sake! May have a little milk with my tea?

By General Dentistry, Oral Health

Each day, approximately 158 million Americans drink tea. What’s that have to do with your teeth? Tea stains your teeth—in fact, because of its higher tannin content, it’s more likely to stain your teeth than coffee. Tannin is a compound that gives tea its dark color.

Of course brushing your teeth daily can help limit surface stains in tooth enamel, and so can rinsing your mouth with water after drinking tea. But research shows that adding a little milk to your tea can help prevent stains in tooth enamel.

The study, published in the November 2014 issue of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, shows that the casein protein in milk binds the tannins in tea and limits their staining properties. The study showed that the effectiveness of milk on teeth is greater than whitening toothpaste and comparable to some bleaching gels!

Many people like their tea “straight,” without milk or cream. But for those who can tolerate a little milk in their tea, in addition to diligent oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings, it can help keep your teeth white!

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.


Does your child grind his or her teeth?

By Oral Health, Pediatric Dentist

Teeth grinding is a common habit among young children—particularly those under 11 years old. It is so common that it should only be a concern if it happens at night, or if it is causing tooth pain or is wearing down teeth.

During intense concentration or stressful situations, a child may unconsciously grind his or her teeth. If you make him or her aware of the problem, and remind the child each time you see him or her doing it, it may be enough to help break the habit.

Often teeth grinding or bruxism occurs during sleep. Bruxism is common in young children who snore or breathe through the mouth while asleep. In these cases teeth grinding may be related to sleep apnea or enlarged tonsils.

When older teens grind their teeth, it may be done in association with smoking, or alcohol or drug use. Medication, trauma, and certain diseases, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy may contribute to bruxism.

Most bruxism is related to some type of anxiety or stress. Be sure to have your child’s teeth examined regularly. If your pediatric dentist determines that bruxism is affecting your child’s teeth or bite, he or she may recommend a nightguard, or refer you to a specialist.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Anthony LaVacca of Naperville Dental Specialists.

help! what should i do about a mouth ulcer?

By Oral Health

i was hoping that it would go away but it’s been 2 weeks so i am thinking that maybe there’s a problem or something special that i need to do. how do i get rid of a mouth ulcer? peter

Peter – There are various causes of an ulcer in your mouth. The ulcer is usually not serious and goes away within two weeks. Some ulcers last longer. A tooth infection, or abscess, can cause a sore in your mouth. A virus or bacteria may also be the cause, and certain conditions or diseases may result in mouth ulcers. Do you have a fever or a general feeling that something is making you ill? If you have these additional symptoms, see your dentist or medical doctor right away.

If you have no additional symptoms, you can consider using antibacterial treatment that is made specifically for mouth sores. If you don’t get any relief in a few days, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she will examine the ulcer, and if necessary perform a blood test or biopsy to determine the type of mouth ulcer you have and how it should be treated.

If you prefer, you can schedule an appointment with your dentist or doctor right way, without trying to take care of the mouth ulcer yourself.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca

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