increase in tooth decay

increase in tooth decayMiami and Coral Gables, FL

As an adult, you may be well aware of how to practice good oral hygiene, yet why do you still develop cavities? Brushing and flossing daily, as well as routine dental checkups and cleanings should just about take care of it, right? Although good oral hygiene habits certainly contribute to your oral health, it is not the only thing that matters. Nearly 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have had at least one cavity or more in their permanent teeth. Over time, dental hygiene has improved, so why is there still an increase in tooth decay? The answer is in your diet!

What we eat affects our oral health. It is no surprise that sugar has devastating effects on teeth, but other foods and beverages you consume could be to blame for your tooth decay. Sugar in the mouth attracts bacteria that causes tooth decay. Although you may avoid sodas and candy, did you know milk, coffee drinks, juice, fruit, and even crackers are harmful to your teeth? These foods and beverages break down into simple sugars, known as lactose and fructose, and attract bad bacteria in the mouth. Although eating some of these things is good for your health, doing so excessively may be bad for your teeth. Most people tend only to brush twice a day, meaning these sugars accumulate throughout the day while you eat and remain until you brush before bed.

A solution to this dilemma is to limit your intake of these types of foods and beverages. If you must snack during the day, be sure to brush your teeth afterward. At the very least, drink water to rinse the sugars out of your mouth. It is also better for your teeth if you sip on water instead of juice throughout the day.

For more information on healthy oral hygiene habits, contact Miami Designer Smiles. We welcome patients from Miami and Coral Gables, FL. Not only can we help educate you on practicing good oral hygiene, but we also provide professional dental cleanings, checkups, and treatments for your dental care needs.

can i put mouthwash in my electric flosse

can i put mouthwash in my electric flosseMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Research has proven that brushing alone is not enough to maintain good oral health. You may think brushing your teeth is all the preventative maintenance you need to protect your teeth, but there is more to it than that. Tooth brushing only removes dental plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that are visible. Ever heard the saying, “Only floss the teeth you want to keep?” There is more truth in this statement than one would think! Although brushing removes less than half of the plaque in the mouth, flossing helps to remove the majority of bacteria and plaque that are left, done so correctly and routinely.

Now, what about flossing? The string type of floss has traditionally been the most effective means of removing bacteria and plaque from between teeth and under the gums. If you were perfect and efficient at using traditional dental floss to clean between your teeth, you could stop reading right here. The truth is, most people do not floss at all or do not floss correctly, leaving bacteria lurking in the mouth. Why not improve your oral hygiene by adding an easy, quick method for removing bacteria from your mouth? Recent inventions of an electric flosser have proven to be an effective measure for removing bacteria from the mouth when used in combination with traditional string floss. Not only do water flossers clean between teeth and under gums, but they also help remove plaque from tooth surfaces that were missed when brushing.

Water flossers operate simply on water, but what about adding mouthwash or other oral rinses to the machine? Each water flossing device will come with instructions for recommended usage, as determined by the manufacturer, and it is typically recommended to use warm water for flossing. However, adding a small amount of mouthwash helps to not only add flavoring to the water but helps to enhance the effectiveness of your oral hygiene regimen. Chlorhexidine and Listerine have been clinically tested for safe use in a water flosser, according to Waterpik, a leading brand water flosser. It is important to note that any time a solution other than water is used in your water flossing machine, make certain you thoroughly rinse the machine after use. This helps to preserve the inner components and longevity of the device. Also, always be sure to consult the dentist for any special rinsing agents that may benefit you specifically.

For more information on oral health and the importance of electronic flossing, please contact us at Miami Designer Smiles. For more than 20 years, Dr. Raul Garcia and Dr. Conchi Sanchez-Garcia have been creating beautiful, healthy smiles for patients. With a combination of their passion for dentistry and a holistic approach, you can be sure you are receiving quality care. Miami Designer Smiles welcomes patients of the Miami and Coral Gables, FL areas.

why does my kid sleep with his mouth open

why does my kid sleep with his mouth openMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Does your child sleep with his or hers mouth open or loudly snore while sleeping? If so, your child may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Most people associate OSA with older adults or adults who are overweight, but OSA can strike even young children as well. Under normal circumstances, children should not be mouth breathers, especially while sleeping. If this sounds like your child, read further.

OSA results from a restricted airway, meaning air is not able to pass through the airway properly, which interrupts sleep. Sometimes OSA in children is caused by an improper positioning of the mandibular (lower) jaw or by enlarged tissue of the adenoids or tonsils. The goal in treating OSA is to open the airway, allowing for proper airflow. Ignoring your child’s OSA causes health and behavioral issues both now and later in life.

Symptoms commonly associated in children with OSA include mouth breathing during the night, restlessness while sleeping, sleeping in unusual positions and episodes of choking or gasping for air while sleeping. Also, waking up during the night for unknown reasons, and age-inappropriate bed wetting. Some children who suffer from OSA begin to exhibit behavioral and even cognitive issues from a lack of adequate sleep. Behavioral issues include poor focus, crankiness, and hyperactivity. Your child may also perform poorly in school or sports. If you find that your child exhibits any of these symptoms, consider a sleep study for your child.

To diagnose OSA, your child can undergo a sleep study that records their sleep patterns. The dentists at Miami Designer Smiles help diagnose and treat OSA in children. OSA is treated differently for each patient, which is why a consultation is important. In some children, wearing a repositioning device while sleeping helps to open their airway, providing them with proper airflow. However, some children may require surgery to remove the enlarged tissue of the adenoids or tonsils. Sleep is a crucial component for your child’s development. If you believe your child suffers from OSA, do not delay. Call Miami Designer Smiles for a consultation. We welcome patients of the Miami and Coral Gables, Florida areas.

what it means when your child snores

what it means when your child snoresMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Children should not snore when they sleep. During bouts of sickness, snoring may be normal, but if your child snores more than four consecutive nights they should undergo a sleep test and here is why.

Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In other words, your child’s airway is restricted from adequate airflow. This means their little body is being robbed of oxygen that it needs to function, grow, and thrive. When a child is not receiving proper airflow, the child is likely to exhibit symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

OSA affects children differently than adults. Instead of feeling sluggish during the day, children are more likely to become hyperactive, have trouble concentrating, perform poorly in school, and experience moodiness. This is only a short list of health-related symptoms that your child may experience. Others include depression, daytime fatigue, cognitive dysfunctions, memory loss, and social interaction problems. So, if you have been told your child has ADHD, consider your child’s sleeping patterns and quality of sleep that could be to blame for their behavior. A simple sleep study can determine whether or not your child suffers from OSA.

Snoring is not the only sign of OSA in children. Does your child grind their teeth at night? This is referred to as bruxism and is typically related to stress. How could a child be stressed? It is simple; they are not getting enough sleep! Your child may not even realize they are experiencing stress related symptoms or anxiousness. This is why a sleep study is so important for your child’s growth and development.

Early intervention is key when it comes to your child’s OSA disorder. In a recent study of more than 11,000 children, it was determined that children that snored or breathed through their mouth while sleeping exhibited signs of hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, and anxiety. This study took place over a span of six years and began when the children were only six months of age. These children were 50 to 90 percent more likely to develop symptoms related to ADHD than children who breathed normally. By age 2 ½, children with OSA had the highest risk of developing behavior disorders such as hyperactivity. The study was conclusive in that early intervention is key.

Even more startling is the link between OSA and dementia. The early stages of Alzheimer’s disease are known as dementia. A key indicator of dementia is a buildup of the protein amyloid in the brain. In a study conducted using mice, in which their oxygen levels were decreased, results showed a buildup of amyloid in their brain. This is startling! What if the prevention to Alzheimer’s was a better night’s sleep?

With simple diagnosis and treatment, why risk it? At Miami Designer Smiles, we not only diagnosis OSA but help treat it as well. To schedule a simple, at-home sleep test for your child, contact Miami Designer Smiles today. We welcome patients of Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.

Miami and Coral Gables, FL

Your middle of the night trips to the bathroom may seem like a bit of a routine by now. At this point, you may even feel like getting up throughout the night to pee is what is holding you back from a restful nights’ sleep, but it does not have to be this way. Instead of consulting with a urologist, consider a consultation with a sleep apnea specialist, such as the dentist. That is right, a sleep apnea disorder could be the cause of your frequent awakenings to urinate and the dentist can help.

In an ideal world, you would not wake up even once at night to urinate, but it is normal for people to wake up at least once to use the bathroom. If you are getting up at night to urinate more than once, this could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as sleep apnea. Frequent urges to urinate during the night are referred to as nocturia. Studies have shown that in both men and women, awakening at night to urinate appear to be linked to poor quality of sleep, even while considering other factors such as pain or medical conditions. Even more so, nocturia is the most common factor related to poor quality of sleep among the elderly.

For years, physicians and patients alike have associated nocturia to enlarged prostate, hormones, overactive bladder, older age, or even medications. However, studies have shown that as we age, we have an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Even stranger is that women are ten times more likely to develop sleep apnea during menopause. Sleep apnea is characterized by temporary pauses in breathing while asleep. These pauses in breathing cause fragmented sleep, lower blood oxygen levels and causes nocturia, all of which disrupt your sleep. Sleep apnea should not be ignored as it can lead to more adverse health conditions such as increased risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and depression. With today’s advancements, even your dentist can help in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.

Here are some symptoms to look out for in determining whether or not you may suffer from sleep apnea. Loud snoring, daytime fatigue, insomnia, loud gasping or choking sounds while sleeping, dry mouth, headaches, concentration issues, or even mood problems are only some symptoms associated with sleep apnea. Despite these symptoms, a sleep test is the most definitive way of determining whether or not you have sleep apnea, and your dentist can help!

At Miami Designer Smiles, we specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea disorders. We can easily conduct a sleep study to determine whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. Why delay another day? Our team of dentists can take special steps in treating your sleep apnea with simple, easy methods of treatment. Allow us to help you be on your way to a peaceful nights’ sleep. Contact Miami Designer Smiles today for a consultation. We welcome patients of the Miami and Coral Gables, FL areas.