6 Ways to Make Your Mouth Extra Kissable for Valentine’s Day

I am happy to share this post from the ADA’s Mouth Healthy website which explains why bad breath may not be your only concern when kissing this Valentine’s Day.

Photo of kissing couple behind a heartFrom the “Kiss Me” messages on tiny candy hearts to romantic songs on the radio, a kiss is probably on your list this Valentine’s Day. Before cozying up to your loved one this year, make sure your mouth is in good health because, as it turns out, a kiss is more than just a kiss.

Kissing stimulates saliva, which can help fight cavities. However, if the person you’re kissing has poor dental and overall health, you run the risk of getting unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases instead of candy, flowers or cards this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what you need to know about making your smile a vision of love for February 14.

Cavities Can Be Contagious

Whether through kissing or something as simple as sharing a fork, the bacteria that causes cavities can spread to another person. Brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day for cleaner kisses and a cavity-free smile.

Beware Bad Breath

Bacteria is a big culprit of bad breath, so regular habits like brushing and flossing are especially important. Other ways to stay fresh are over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes or chewing sugarless gum. Both can freshen your breath instantly and get saliva flowing—especially after you eat foods with a strong scent. (And look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on both!)

Share a Life (But Not a Toothbrush)

For many couples, a big relationship step is keeping a toothbrush at each other’s place. Just make sure you each have your own because sharing toothbrushes also means sharing germs.

Brighten Your Smile

Nothing is more attractive than a confident smile. If whitening makes you feel better about yours, talk to your dentist about which option is best.  There are a number of over-the-counter whitening products, or you could get an in-office treatment at your dentist.

Smoking Isn’t Attractive

Smoking is bad for your breath and stains your teeth – not to mention terrible for your overall health. Smoking affects how well you smell and taste. People who use tobacco twice as likely to get gum disease as someone who doesn’t smoke. Smokers are also more at risk for oral cancer. Give yourself a gift this Valentine’s Day and quit today.

Don’t Forget About the Dentist!

A good relationship with and regular visits to our office can help keep your mouth at its best all year long. We can help keep you healthy, discuss any concerns and give more advice on keeping your smile fresh. As always, I invite you to call with any questions. Feel free to contact us at Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA at 215-230-7667.

More from MouthHealthy

Share the love with these downloadable valentines!

7 Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

tongue-scraper-photoIn my last blog I discussed some of the causes of bad breath. Here are a few bad breath prevention methods recommended by the American Dental Association that you can follow to avoid these annoying breath problems!

  1. Brush and Floss
    Meticulous home care is essential to controlling the bacteria often associated with bad breath. Proper brushing and flossing are the first line of defense in preventing bad breath.
  2. Keep Your Tongue Clean
    Using a tongue scraper or brush to remove bacterial laden film from the surface of the tongue may be an easy fix for a breath problem. Don’t neglect this important step when doing your oral hygiene.
  3. Mouthwash
    While I’m not a huge fan of mouthwashes for the purpose of masking bad breath (it’s a little like ” sweeping the dirt under the rug”), they can provide temporary relief. Just don’t rely too heavily on them, and never as a substitute for good home care!
  4. Clean Your Dentures
    If you are a denture wearer, always remove them at night and clean the inside of your mouth as well as the dentures themselves. I would also recommend taking them out after every meal to remove odor causing food debris.
  5. Monitor Your Saliva
    Saliva has antibacterial properties that help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and yes, bad breath. If you suffer from occasional dry mouth, try chewing some sugar free Xylitol gum. The very act of chewing stimulates salivary flow. If it is a recurrent problem – see me!!
  6. Quit Smoking
    Smoking (as well as chewing tobacco) is one of the worst breath offenders. Giving up tobacco will improve your breath and your health.
  7. See Your Dentist Regularly
    Having your teeth professionally cleaned and your mouth examined by a dentist is the best way to rule out more serious causes of bad breath. Identifying the exact cause of the problem is key in selecting the right solution!

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding how to prevent bad breath, don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact me or the staff at my office any time at 215-230-7667.

Photo courtesy of MouthHealthy.org

Six Causes of Bad Breath

There are many reasons for having bad breath and while most are innocuous, bad breath can be a sign of something more serious! According to the American Dental Association, 50% of adults have had bad breath. Here are six causes of bad breath of which you should be aware.

  1. Bacteria – There are hundreds of bacteria that are indigenous to the human oral cavity. These bacteria help to initiate the digestive process but also contribute to Dental Plaque formation. Without good oral hygiene these bacteria will contribute to bad breath.
  2. Dry Mouth – Dry mouth (the absence of saliva) can be caused by many medications, problems with the salivary glands or simply by breathing through the mouth. Saliva has many anti-bacterial properties and without sufficient saliva, bacteria can overtake the mouth and cause odors.
  3. Gum Disease – Simply put, bacterial plaque causes gum disease. Bad breath is one of the subtle warning signs for gum disease.
  4. Food – Aromatic compounds in foods like onions and garlic are eliminated through the lungs, not the digestive tract! No matter how good your home care, these foods will cause breath problems!
  5. Smoking – Smoking causes bad breath as well as a whole host of other potentially more serious problems like gum disease and cancer. It also affects your ability to smell and your sense of taste.
  6. Medical conditions – Bad breath can result from sinus problems, liver or kidney diseases, gastric reflux or any of a host of other causes. In the absence of other obvious causes, referral to a physician may be needed.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding how to prevent bad breath, don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact me or the staff at my office any time at 215-230-7667.  Next blog- 7 Solutions to Bad Breath!

Three Ways That Modern Dentistry Can Help Improve Your Love Life!

lovelife

Three Ways That Modern Dentistry Can Help Improve Your Love Life!

Don’t believe it? Well, it’s true. There may even be more! I can think of at least three ways that modern dentistry could change your love life. I’ve seen it happen time and again. Here are the three ways that come immediately to mind:

1.Cosmetic Dentistry

Repeated studies have shown that people with attractive smiles have an advantage – at work and at life in general. They are more likely to get that job, a date, or a new spouse because a beautiful smile naturally attracts more positive  attention. Whether it’s tooth whitening, porcelain laminate veneers or cosmetic bonding, dentistry today can help you get that winning smile!

2. Fresh Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a real “buzz kill”. No one wants to kiss someone with bad breath. Most bad breath comes from inadequate home care. Just brushing and flossing properly can solve most of these problems.

Other causes can, however, occasionally be the culprit. These include: smoking, sinus infections, periodontal disease, eating foods that contain aromatic compounds  such as garlic and raw onions that are eliminated through the lungs, and Xerostomia or dry mouth. Whatever the cause, the dental office is the place to start. By asking a few questions we can usually determine the cause and solving the problem can sometimes be surprisingly easy.

3. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and sometimes life threatening medical condition that is often treated with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines but can in many cases be alleviated with oral appliances. Patients with OSA show more sexual dysfunction relating to erectile dysfunction and sexual dissatisfaction when compared to normal subjects. Treating patients with OSA with oral appliances when possible has been shown in controlled studies to improve erectile dysfunction as discussed by Aarnoud Hoekema in his book: Oral-appliance Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea-hypopnea Syndrome.

And there you have it, three ways in which modern dentistry can improve your love life! I’d be interested to hear from any of you who have your own stories to share.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Preventing Bad Breath – Dr. Stone’s top ten ways

fearfulwoman

There are many causes of bad breath (halitosis) and many people may be unaware they have it. It’s just one of those things that folks are often reluctant to talk about.

Causes include poor oral hygiene, gum disease, sinus and respiratory tract infections, acid reflux and more. But by far, the most common cause is poor oral hygiene. Below is a list of some easy things you can do to prevent or minimize bad breath if you think you may be suffering from it.

  1. Keep the saliva flowing. Drink plenty of water and chew Xylitol gum.
  2. Avoid antihistamines and other medications that dry the mouth, if alternative medicines work just as well.
  3. See your dentist regularly and get prompt treatment for any problems.
  4. Get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least twice a year.
  5. Practice meticulous oral hygiene. That means flossing regularly and brushing your teeth and tongue diligently. That’s right, the tongue. Brushing the upper surface of your tongue every time you brush your teeth removes a lot of gas-producing bacteria.
  6. Avoid foods (like onions and garlic) you find make your breath smell bad. These foods contain aromatic compounds that are eliminated through the lungs and sweat glands. Keeping your mouth clean will not eliminate these odors!
  7. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. They encourage the growth of mouth bacteria and irritate the nose and sinuses, making them more vulnerable to infection.
  8. Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
  9. Keep Xylitol breath mints on hand for a quick, if temporary cover-up.
  10. Finally, relax. It’s simple to reduce bad breath in the morning.

Just remember to always check with us when you are in the office to rule out any systemic causes and to make sure you are doing what is necessary  or you to prevent this problem. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!