How to Get Rid of Chalky White Spots on Teeth

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A beautiful smile makes a person more attractive. The key to a beautiful smile is pearly white teeth without any spots. For this reason, your looks and personality may be marred if you develop white spots on your teeth for some reason or the other. If you notice that your teeth have white spots on them, this indicates the  surface of your teeth is losing mineral content which is called enamel. The technical term used for this loss of mineral content is hypocalcification.  The chalky white spots on teeth are the first signs of tooth decay. Several things cause chalky white spots on teeth including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Acidic foods
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Excessive fluoride
  • Teeth whitening strips
  • Braces for teeth
  • Celiac disease

The good thing is that you can easily get rid of the chalky white spots on your teeth. Some of the ways to get rid of chalky white spots on teeth include:

  • Making remineralizing toothpaste at home
  • Using homemade remineralizing tooth powder
  • Avoiding phytic acid foods
  • Eating mineral rich foods
  • Using green tea to rinse your teeth
  • Oil pulling to remineralize teeth

While the above-mentioned ways can get rid of chalky white spots on teeth, a better thing to do would be taking measures to prevent the white spots from occurring in the first place. You can prevent white spots from developing on your teeth by:

  • Reducing sugar in your diet
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Minimizing caffeine drinks
  • Avoiding spicy or salty food
  • Ensuring there’s enough calcium in your diet

Chalky white spots on your teeth can make you look unattractive. By using the aforementioned- information, you can prevent the white spots or get rid of them in case they develop on your teeth.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

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Everyone knows that a smile is the most beautiful thing anyone can wear and no one should be deprived from smiling as bright as they possibly can. However, missing teeth can be one of the most deterring factors in flaunting your smile. You automatically become more self conscious the moment you have any dental issues. Not only will missing teeth stop you from smiling, but it will also make you feel uncomfortable while eating and talking.

However, dental implants have significantly solved this problem. This procedure gives the patient a replacement tooth that not only looks real but also feels natural. This dental implant will seamlessly integrate with your teeth and will perform the same functions as your original missing tooth, ensuring that you can smile with confidence.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a procedure in which the dentist will surgically insert an artificial tooth in order to replace the missing tooth. This artificial tooth is constructed using metallic and bone like ceramic materials. These teeth are designed uniquely for your jaw so that they are compatible with it. In addition to that, while designing a replacement tooth for a patient, it has to be checked that the tooth blends perfectly with the jawbone for optimum functionality. Not only are dental implants used to replace missing teeth but they are also used for supporting crowns and bridges.

Currently there are two types of dental implants that are prescribed by the academy of general dentistry. Both of these types of dental implants are mentioned below,

  • Endosteal implant
  • Subperiosteal implant

An Endosteal implant is the most common dental implant and is directly placed into the bone. On the contrary, a Subperiosteal implant is placed on top of the bone and is used in situations where there is inadequate bone height. Both of these dental implants are unique in their own perspective and only a certified dentist can ascertain which implant best suits your current dental condition.

What are the advantages of implants? 

By now you must be wondering why dental implants have become so popular. This is partly due to the ease of treatment and due to the array of benefits that implants provide. Some of the profound benefits of implants are mentioned below,

  1. Dental implants is the perfect replacement to your natural teeth
  2. Dental implants are meant to last long term
  3. Dental implants are cost effective
  4. Dental implants provide you with confidence you deserve
  5. Dental implants retain the natural stature of face and smile
  6. Dental implants protect your teeth
  7. Dental implants do not slide and neither is there a chance of them falling out
  8. These implants will not hamper your speech or pronunciation pattern
  9. Dental implants are simple surgeries that can be done in no time
  10. These implants do not hamper the way eat
  11. The preserve the contour of your face
  12. Preserve the jawbone

All of these advantages reiterate the fact that dental implants have completely revamped the dental industry and have empowered people to smile like never before.

Teeth loss and the immediate solution

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With time our teeth deteriorate and that happens due to a variety of reasons and eventually we all require the help of a dentist in such a case. Many people have a common misconception that people only loose teeth at a very young age or when they are old, but this is not true as decaying teeth can plague any age group.

Tooth loss has severe consequences and it deteriorates the quality of life by a substantial margin, some of the immediate consequences are mentioned below.

  • Impairs speech pattern
  • Sagging appearance of the face
  • Poor nutrition as diet has to be modified
  • Loss of self confidence
  • People stop smiling

Out all of the consequences the most disturbing one is the fact that people stop smiling once they start losing teeth.  A smile is the closest distance between two people and is the universal language of communicating your happiness. This is exactly why no one should be deprived of the ability to smile.

Currently the most effective treatment for teeth loss is partial dentures. These are artificial teeth that replace the missing teeth. They can be modified according to the structure of your teeth and your jaw bone, besides this it also preserves the contours of your face. Partial dentures are removable and are considered to be the immediate solution for people who have lost some of their teeth.

People who have lost their teeth can easily contact their dentist who will take a couple of factors into consideration and will then prescribe the best partial dentures that will meet the patients’ specifications.

However, to help people understand why they lose their teeth in the first place, we have articulated a list of factors that contribute to teeth loss.

Inadequate oral hygiene 

One of the factors that contribute the most to teeth loss is bad oral hygiene. Having bad oral hygiene causes acid to produce bacteria that results in cavities and the expedited deterioration of the teeth. This is exactly why it is imperative that every individual makes sure that they brush their teeth more than twice a day.

Poor nutrition 

Another factor that contributes to teeth loss is poor nutrition as our diet plays an integral role in maintaining the quality of health. People who eat a lot of junk food and do not consume the essential vitamins and minerals, have a higher chance of suffering from teeth loss. Our teeth require calcium in order to resist normal wear and tear. Calcium is also responsible for bone density, which is exactly why dentist recommend a high intake of calcium.  Besides this poor nutrition can also decrease the mouth’s resistance to infections and deteriorates the oral hygiene significantly.

Smoking and drinking 

Everyone is aware about the adverse effects of smoking and drinking, but most people do not have any idea how these habits harm their teeth. As both these habits increase the chances of developing gum diseases that can result in teeth loss.

Why do dentist use Nitrous Oxide?

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Nitrous oxide or commonly known as laughing gas is a safe sedative agent that dentist use before performing any intrusive surgeries that could be very pain full. Currently this maybe the only option a dentist can opt for to help sedate a patient during any dental procedure in order to save the patient from a world of pain. Our teeth and gums are very delicate and this is why sedation is considered to be a core prerequisite before most dental procedures.

We all know how painful it is when teeth start aching so imagine the pain when a dentist is operating. This is exactly why dentist simply cannot perform certain procedures without sedating the patient as the pain can be excruciating, which can hamper the effectiveness of the procedure. But still there is a substantial amount of people who avoid dental procedures due to the fear of sedation and that is completely normal. However, nitrous oxide is not that powerful and numerous studies have proven that it represents the most ideal clinical circumstance.

What exactly Nitrous oxide? 

Nitrous oxide is simply a gas which is odor and color less. It was initially discovered in 1772 and since then has been widely used in the health care industry as one of the most effective ways of sedation.  Unlike most sedation techniques Nitrous oxide is administered by simply inhaling the gas. It immediately provides relief from pain and also provides a soothing feeling.  Some people have also stated that they have hallucinated on nitrous oxide, but this happens in rare circumstances.

Once Nitrous Oxide is administered you feel the effects within a matter of minutes, as a feeling of euphoria and happiness will encompass you. In most cases the sedating effect only lasts a couple of hours. Since the gas is not administered via your blood flow there is no chance that your body has a reaction and this also ensures that no patient has to deal with any side effects.

The effects of nitrous oxide depend on the concentration and length of administration. However, there are four levels which people normally experience. These four levels of experience are mentioned below:

  • A tingling sensation in the legs and arms
  • Warm sensation
  • A feeling of euphoria and well being
  • This is the highest level of sedation and provides the patient the feeling of being extremely sleepy

What are the advantages of using nitrous oxide?

The underlining reason why nitrous oxide is the foremost choice for dentists is due to the array of benefits that it provides. Some of these benefits are mentioned below:

  • Immediately brings the desired results
  • The dentist can control the concentration of sedation
  • No hangover or after effects
  • No injection is required
  • Is one of the safest options for inducing sedation

Why you should consider in office teeth whitening

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There are many teeth whitening products that you can use in the confines of your home, but these products mostly contain bleach which deteriorates the quality of your teeth.  Beside this there have been many cases of people suffering from adverse reactions because of using these products and have to be rushed to the hospital.

The underlying reason why these products are not safe is because of the fragility of the human anatomy. Each one of us is unique in our own perspectives. This means that a product that works wonders for you can actually display completely opposite results for another person. This is exactly why in office teeth whitening has become popular as people finally understand the dangers involved with using random products on their teeth. Even if you read the label behind these products, they clearly state that there is a risk of contracting side effects and adverse reactions.

In office teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that takes place under carefully monitored conditions.  These conditions are carefully monitored to make sure that nothing goes wrong and that the patient isn’t harmed in any way during the procedure. It is not only safe but a completely painless procedure that uses a high concentration of bleaching gel to immediately whiten your teeth.

Some of the benefits of in office teeth whitening are mentioned below:

  • Produces immediate results
  • It is a completely pain less procedure
  • Performed in a controlled environment
  • Zero chances of side effects
  • Cost effective
  • Can remove even the most persistent stains

So next time you want to whiten your teeth to perfection, consider in office teeth whitening as the solution to your stained teeth problems.

Children’s Dental Health

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Let’s seal the deal… dental sealants, that is!

Parents often ask our advice about what can be done to protect their children’s teeth, a topic very much worth considering as our kid’s dental health has an impact on the general health and well-being of the child. A study in North Carolina revealed that children with poor oral health were 3 times more likely to miss school due to dental pain and that kids reporting dental pain were 4 times more likely to have a lower grade point average than their peers without dental pain.

Keeping our youngster’s teeth health requires a multi-focal strategy, starting with twice daily brushing for at least two minutes, fluoride oral hygiene products, a diet that is low in sugar (especially any sweetened beverage, including fruit juices) and having dental sealants placed on all permanent molars.

Several studies have produced strong evidence that pit and fissure sealants are effective in preventing dental decay in children. Sealing the pits and fissures of newly erupted permanent molars in kids with plastic resin acts as a cost-effective barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Due to the deep grooves found in permanent molars, toothbrush bristles are not effective in adequately removing debris from deep depressions. Dental sealants protect vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. Dental sealants do not require anesthesia or any cutting of tooth structure and are relatively easy to apply by dental hygienists in a clinical setting.

In short, prevention pays off. The average cost of applying a dental sealant to a child’s permanent teeth is roughly one-third the cost of filling a cavity. So seal the deal!

Ask Us! Oil Pulling

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Question: I’ve heard a lot about “oil pulling,” a dental cleaning practice consisting of vigorously swishing sesame or coconut oil in the mouth.  It is supposed to be great for achieving and maintaining healthy gums.  What do you know about this practice and is it effective?

Answer: Oil pulling has certainly gained in popularity in the United States during recent years.  It has been used for many years as a traditional Indian folk remedy and is reputed to decrease the amount of plaque that attaches to the teeth and to promote healthy gums.  Numerous recent trials have been performed to test these effects and it seems as if there is compelling evidence backing the researchers’ claims.  In randomized controlled studies done in 2009 and 2011, participants were asked to “pull” or swish their mouths vigorously with either chlorhexadine (a strong antimicrobial mouthwash) or sesame oil for 10 minutes each morning.  In both studies, plaque scores, as well as the plaque’s bacterial count were significantly reduced, indicating that sesame oil pulling is a highly effective method for oral health promotion.  It is our opinion that oil pulling for 10 minutes per day is an acceptable practice for maintaining good oral health, but it is much more labor intensive than simply brushing and flossing, which can effectively be done in 3 minutes.

What oil pulling can do:

  • Reduce plaque build up by inhibiting the plaque’s ability to attach to the tooth surfaces.
  • Promote good gum health by reducing “bad” bacteria through saponification.

What oil pulling cannot do:

  • Remove hardened tarter build up on the teeth.
  • Arrest and reverse the decay process.  Once a cavity is past the initial stage, it cannot be reversed by oil pulling.
  • Strengthen dental enamel.

Does your office preform oral cancer screenings? I have recently been hearing that there is an increase in younger people getting oral cancer and was wondering why.

Answer: We do complementary oral cancer screenings in all adults, 18 or older, as a part of our cleaning/dental wellness appointment. As you mentioned in your question, there is a new cancer epidemic on the rise. It’s an aggressive throat and mouth cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Public health officials estimate that nearly 80 per cent of the adult population has been infected with HPV. Most people spontaneously clear the virus within 18 months of exposure; it’s not known why or how it stays around and develops into cancer in some.

HPV-positive oral cancers tend to develop on the base of the tongue, the tonsils, the soft palate or the back of the throat, an area collectively known as the oropharynx. This makes them harder to detect than cancers closer to the front of the mouth, which are often identified by dentists and dental hygienists. We check for this by asking you to stick your tongue out and carefully examining the sides and back of your tongue, the floor of the mouth and palate. It is done quickly, painlessly and best of all, it is free of charge.

In addition, when you come for your cleaning, please alert us if you have noticed any lumps, bumps or changes on your mouth or neck so we can screen the areas for abnormalities. Early detection is key for successful treatment!

Jeannie’s Breast Cancer Survival Tips

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    • If a member of your family had a form of breast cancer, find out what type. For example, invasive lobular carcinoma does not share the same diagnostic characteristics as ductile carcinoma in situ.
    • As mentioned above, knowing your family history will help you make more informed decisions about things like hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, etc. Some cancers are fueled by estrogen and you should discuss risks with your physician.
    • Know under what type of density your breast tissue is classified. There are 4 medical “types”: fatty, normal, moderately dense and highly dense. If you fall into the moderately to highly dense category, discuss the possibility of getting a 3-D mammogram! My tissue type was considered very dense and my 4 tumors were not detected by the “normal” mammograms.
    • Breast care nurses no longer do manual breast exams at mammogram centers due to state policy BUT they can be done by your OB/GYN if you request them. My cancer was first found by a routine manual breast exam followed by a 3-D mammogram to verify the findings. I feel that the manual breast exam is what allowed my invasive cancer to be found while in Stage 1.
    • If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, please know that there is so much hope! Breast cancer research has increased survival of this disease tremendously. Allow the people in your life to share in your journey, help you in daily tasks when you are tired and gain inspiration from you. Truly, new “angels” enter your life in the form of survivors, nurses and doctors, caring co-workers and neighbors. This loving support is part of your treatment.
    • Finally, knowing that breast cancer treatments keep improving, stay positive BUT realize that when the treatment is done, you can greatly increase your health by adopting modifiable lifestyle factors:
      • Diet
        • Mediterranean diet or vegetarian diet
        • Removing white sugar and flour from your diet
        • Intermittent fasting
      • Daily exercise
      • Stress reduction techniques
  • If I can ever be of assistance, I will gladly share my survivor lessons in more detail, as they are too numerous to mention! Consider me an email away at

Notes from the hygiene department:

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Flossing has quietly lost its place among recommendations for daily health, at least as prescribed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are issued every five years by the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. This has come as a surprise to many patients as well as the general dental community, posing the question, if flossing does not help my oral health then why do my gums stop bleeding when I floss each day?

Needless to say, the Mallard Family gang was aghast at this proclamation as we have seen first-hand how much daily flossing has transformed the oral health of our patients. So what gives?

We will acknowledge that flossing is not the only – or the best – way of cleaning those murky little interdental spaces. As a matter of fact, if you can fit a “Soft Pic” or an interdental brush between your teeth, you will most probably do a much more effective job at preventing both decay and gum diseases. Note that I wrote “most probably.” This is due to the fact that very few empirical or long-term studies are funded to actually test the efficacy of oral hygiene practices. We know they work, but why aren’t they studied in academic settings?

In order to test the hypothesis that flossing has a positive effect on dental decay, researchers would need a very large sample size. We need to make sure that the sample of people we recruit is representative of the U.S. population. Next, utilizing a randomized controlled design, we would need to randomly assign participants to either the no flossing control group or the flossing group. To adequately wait enough time to look for disease trends, we would need a testing period of at least 3 years… if not 5 years. What other variables could have an effect on dental health besides flossing? How about how much sugar (especially in the form of soda pop) is consumed, whether or not there is fluoride in the water supply, or if the person has had sealants or not? Think about the potential “other things” that can cause decay and then think about trying to find a way to build a study around them.

In summary, what the Dietary Guidelines for Americans failed to explain is that there are just not enough studies to make a “statement of fact.” That is because the studies are too lengthy and expensive and the funding could go to more pressing problems. We can offer you a mini-research project that you can do in your own homes. If you have a gum area that tends to bleed, floss or Soft Pic it daily for one week. With a confidence interval of 95%, we can guesstimate that the bleeding will stop. Reason? You have just removed the bad bacteria that causes dental diseases.

Mallard Family Dental Center is a Boise Idaho Dentist. Contact Us for more information.

Stomach Acid Reflux: Are Your Molars Being Eroded?

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You might be surprised at your next dental visit when one of our hygienists asks you about having possible digestive problems.

“Have you noticed a tendency for indigestion, particularly at night when you are lying down?”

Although one doesn’t usually think of the dental team as a source of information about stomach acid reflux, we are often able to detect acid reflux by-products, long before the patient himself/herself is aware of a problem.

G.E.R.D., the acronym for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder, happens when the muscular closure between stomach and esophagus becomes weakened, allowing stomach acid to navigate up to the oral cavity when a person is lying down. The National Cancer Institute estimates that as many as 40% of those suffering from it are asymptomatic and are unaware of any discomfort (2012).

Unfortunately, the increase in salivary acidity can result in extreme wear patterns in the teeth, particularly molars. This, in turn, can cause an increase in decay and tooth erosion, necessitating new fillings and crowns to correct the damage. Additionally, extreme irritation of the soft tissues of the oral cavity and esophagus can occur, increasing the incidence of acid reflux-caused esophageal cancer being diagnosed.

It is highly recommendable to consult with your physician if signs of acid reflux are brought to your attention at your dental check up. It is through the partnership of your dental care team and your medical providers that we can work together to support your whole body health.