Dentist shares tips for healthy summer dental hygiene (Ellysa Gonzalez Blog)

It’s summer time but a local dentist reminds kids it’s not a time when healthy tooth hygiene should be ignored.

A press release from Schmidt Public Affairs on behalf of Dr. D Ray Gifford, a dentist at Kool Smiles, sent a press release with tips to keep up dental health throughout summer vacation.

Healthy breakfast: For many kids, summer means later find-your-own breakfast mornings. Choosing from a selection of healthier breakfast items such as seasonal fruit as opposed to sugar-filled cereals could help maintain a healthy smile.

Soft drinks: Limit soft drink intake. Encourage kids to drink ice water with a lemon or orange slice and discourage consumption of sodas.

Brush regularly: Make sure kids brush after every meal and before bedtime. A tooth brush should be the last thing in a child’s mouth before going to sleep.

Pack healthy: Whether it’s a trip to the beach or the neighborhood pool, pack your own healthy snacks. Avoiding greasy and sugary foods is better for the body and the teeth.

Brushing routines: Eating three healthy meals, brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once can help keep up dental hygiene.

Schedule a check-up: Summer is an ideal time to schedule a dental appointment. Checkups should be done every six months.

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Why it is vital you read to your child

READING is a vital skill that every parent wants their child to learn, yet almost half of UK mums and dads admit they lack the confidence and know-how to help improve their child’s reading at home.

But there is help at hand, both through a programme which uses footballers as role models to change children’s attitudes towards reading, and through a new guide highlighting fun ways to help kids learn to read.

National Literacy Trust research has found that less than a third of young people read outside school every day.

As a result, it’s joined up with the Premier League to run Premier League Reading Stars, an annual initiative which has enlisted the help of 20 Premier League footballers to use children’s passion for football to motivate them to enjoy reading.

Sarah Thorne, 38, from Southbourne Grove, Westcliff, is mum to Alex, nine, and Amelia, six.

She said: “I think it’s great this national advice is forthcoming. I try really hard to get my kids engaged. From a young age, I read to Alex and encouraged him to read. He did take it on board but I did have difficulty choosing the right books to get him interested.

Now, of course, it’s anything about football. He loves it. I can get him to read for up to 30 minutes just by choosing the right books.

“I have learned this with Amelia and she does get switched on with the right type of books, like the Paper Dolls. And, of course, anything with a Frozen theme.

“I think parents sometimes also lack time. They don’t know what books to choose, so they just choose books in the house. I think it’s great that this advice is now available. It will really help parents.

“Watching your child grow in terms of reading skills is amazing.

I think it’s so important that parents put in the time and not just think that schools are doing it for them.”

On the campaign website, players including Frank Lampard, Adam Lallana, Joey Barton and Boaz Myhill explain why they enjoy reading and how they’ve decided on their favourite adult and children’s books. The players have also set literacy challenges for participating children, allowing them to unlock statistics, tips and videos from each footballer as they progress through the online programme.

Schools and libraries involved with Reading Stars are also delivering weekly football-themed “fixtures”, or literacy sessions, focusing on different types of reading, such as newspapers, fiction, non-fiction and the internet.

Several of the Reading Stars themselves, including Lampard, who is the author of the Frankie’s Magic Football children’s books, are reading role models and have chosen books which they enjoy reading at home to their children. The players are also calling on dads to take an active role in reading to their child and supporting their literacy.

Manchester City midfielder Lampard says: “As a dad, literacy is a cause close to my heart. I love reading with my girls, and would really encourage other parents to keep reading with their kids, because your influence is so important, and the skills that children get from reading are priceless.

“Even ten minutes a day is valuable, and a great time spent with them.”

Jim Sells, manager of the Reading Stars programme at the National Literacy Trust, agrees that just ten minutes a day reading with children can make a huge difference to their reading – and be great fun.

“Find out what they like, help them find suitable reading material, and spend ten minutes a day reading with them,” he advises.

“Just that short time will make a massive difference, and it will probably be some of the best minutes of their day.”

For slightly older children who need more motivation to read, the Reading Stars programme, hopefully combined with a bit of reading with mum or dad, could be exactly what’s needed to spark their interest.

“Parents have a huge impact on their child’s motivation and ability to read and it’s great to see so many of our Reading Stars, who are also dads, share their love of reading and books,” says Sells.

“Using football as a hook to get children to enjoy reading gives them a significant uplift.”


Dental problems could be a sign of an eating disorder

People with eating disorders often mask their disease, making it hard for a primary physician to detect. But the dentist can see telltale signs, such as redness and ulcers, that patients can’t hide. Dr. Gigi Meinecke, a practicing dentist and president of the Maryland Academy of General Dentistry, discusses how dentists can help treat people with eating disorders.

Why are dentists able to detect eating disorders?

It might surprise some people that a large number of diseases and conditions of the body have symptoms that can appear in the mouth. Some of these manifestations are disease-specific and help to raise a degree of suspicion in the alert practitioner. Eating disorders are among those conditions which present with very classic appearances on the teeth as well as the soft tissues inside the mouth.

Patients suffering from these disorders often attempt to keep their food-related problems a secret and will avoid their medical practitioner. It’s not uncommon for the dentist to be the first practitioner to diagnose these disorders. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 28 percent of patients with bulimia are first diagnosed during a dental exam.

What are some of the oral health symptoms for someone who might have an eating disorder?

The dentist will often identify one or more of the following in patients with eating disorders: specific wear-patterns on the teeth in characteristic locations, redness and/or ulcerations in the mouth, lesions on the soft palate, irritations in the corners of the mouth, decreased saliva production and enlarged parotid glands, the large salivary glands located between the ear and jaw. Additionally, the patient may present or complain about dry mouth, burning tongue and sensitive teeth, or they may notice that their teeth appear shorter.

Which eating disorders cause these problems?

Eating disorders are commonly classified in two groups: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Both have subtypes, and many patients often present with a combination of symptoms which may blur the distinction between anorexia or bulimia. Generally speaking, these disorders may involve the following: severe calorie restriction, binge eating, purging and self-induced vomiting. Each of these behaviors will produce harmful or destructive effects in the mouth which become detectable to the dentist.

How can malnourishment caused by eating disorders contribute to dental problems?

Nutritional deficiencies will typically manifest themselves first as the soft tissue complications that I’ve described. Here are a few that come to mind: chronic ulcerations in the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis), painful inflammation of the tongue (glossitis), fungal infections of the mouth (candidiasis), burning sensation in the mouth or tongue (glossodynia), poor healing of oral injuries, loss or distortion of taste and predisposition to gum disease. Nutritional deficiencies may also contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia). Unfortunately, most people are not aware that persistent dry mouth encourages tooth decay.

How are dental problems caused by eating disorders treated?

Identification of the problem with a proper medical referral is a dentist’s first priority. Then, patient education regarding the oral effects of their disorder with a compassionate, nonjudgmental approach is often key to enlisting the patient as a partner in their treatment. I’ve personally watched patients become highly motivated in preventing further damage to their teeth once they understand the link between their eating disorder and their dental problems. Sadly, many of the effects on teeth may require placement of caps (crowns) or other filling materials, with some advanced cases needing root canals or even removal of the tooth.

Is there a way to prevent these dental problems while treating the eating disorder?

Simple strategies, such as rinsing with plain water and not brushing your teeth for an hour after vomiting — which contradicts what most people are inclined to do — will decrease the damage caused by stomach acids. Additionally, using a fluoride containing toothpaste and home fluoride treatments prescribed by the dentist can decrease decay as well as decrease tooth sensitivity. Regular dental visits to check for problems before they become large and expensive is also something everyone should do.


How To Be Healthy, In One Minute Or Less

Whether it’s eating well or getting the right amount of exercise, staying healthy can often be time consuming. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

We’ve partnered with MinuteClinic, the medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores, to bring you a list of quick and easy things you can do to be just a bit healthier. You have no excuse — each of these items literally takes less than 60 seconds to complete.

Stretch When You Get Out Of Bed
wake up morning

After hours of lying still (or mostly still) throughout the night, it’s important to stretch your muscles upon beginning your day. You’ll shake off your morning grogginess, improve your flexibility and get your blood flowing. It’s easy to start: just reach your arms above your head, stand on your toes for a few seconds and reap the benefits immediately.

Give Your Eyes A Screen Break
looking at computer screen

Staring at a computer screen all day puts incredible strain on your eyes. An easy way to help prevent this strain is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, avert your gaze from the screen and look at something 20 feet away — for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a nice break from the glare and will help you stay focused throughout the day.

Use Moisturizer With SPF
applying cream mirror

No matter the time of year, your skin can be damaged by the sun’s rays. To help protect against skin cancer and early skin aging, the American Cancer Society recommends using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher in combination with other sun protection measures.


Brushing your teeth isn’t the only thing necessary for a healthy mouth. Adding a thorough floss to your daily oral hygiene routine is an easy way to help prevent gum disease and cavities, ensure fresh breath and keep your dentist smiling and happy.

Brush Your Tongue
child tongue

Another way to keep your mouth in tip-top shape is to brush your tongue. When you’ve finished brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to scrape the bacteria and plaque from your tongue, from back to front. This will only take a few seconds, but it will do wonders for your oral health … and your breath!

Wash Your Hands
hand washing

It’s especially important to wash your hands during cold and flu season, when germs run amuck. You should scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds to ensure you are truly getting clean. One easy trick? Recite the alphabet to ensure you’re scrubbing for the correct amount of time.

Get A Flu Shot
flu shots

Getting a shot isn’t the most pleasant thing, but if it can keep you from getting ill, isn’t it worth it? The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated. The vaccine can take about two weeks to take effect, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Drink Plenty of Water
girl with glass of water

According to the Institute of Medicine, men need roughly 13 cups of fluids per day and women need about 9 cups. Now: This doesn’t mean you have to slug it all at once. Since food provides about 20 percent of your total water intake, eight glasses of water should work just fine. So remember: sips here and there throughout the day will go a long way.

Use Hand Sanitizer After Sneezing And Coughing
sneeze office

Yes, this is important to do year-round, but it’s especially important during cold and flu season. If you don’t have a tissue handy, follow the guidelines set by the CDC and sneeze or cough into your elbow. If you cover your mouth with your hand, do yourself and those around you a favor by using hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should have an alcohol level of at least 60 percent to be effective.

Hug A Friend
hugging friends

Hugs are not just a way to say hello to your loved ones. They’re good for you, too. Numerous studies have pointed to the health benefits of hugs, which include being a natural stress reliever and a way to lower blood pressure.

Turn Down the Volume
headphones listening

Listening to music too loudly can have serious long-term effects on your hearing.Osteopathic physician James Foy told CNN that it’s best to follow the “60-60” rule when concerning headphones. He suggests listening to music no louder than 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.

Focus On Your Breathing
woman stretching desk

When you feel yourself getting stressed, taking a few deep breaths has been proven to have calming effects. In addition to relieving stress, deep breaths have also been shown to alleviate anxiety and negative emotions, as well as lower blood pressure.


Huffington Post

ss, deep breaths have also been shown to alleviate anxiety and negative emotions, as well as lower blood pressure.

Save money with these key dental care tips

A lot of people worry about the cost of dental treatment. Here are some dental care tips that can help you keep your teeth healthy and lower your costs.

Visit your dentist on a regular basis.

You should visit the dentist regularly. The chances of getting an infection or tooth decay decreases with regular checkups. This is quite obvious because if the dentist sees something wrong then he/she will recommend a treatment to resolve the problem. Allowing it to continue untreated could result in a more serious problem.

Rinse your mouth after meals.

Once you have eaten meal, it is beneficial for you to brush. However, sometimes this is not possible. If you can’t brush, try rinsing your mouth after every meal instead. When you rinse, the food left in your mouth will be removed and pH levels will be neutralized in your mouth.

Use dental floss.

Tooth decay can be fought with proper use of dental floss. This will clean the areas between your teeth which are at risk of getting infected. Make sure that you do not irritate gums while flossing. Get in touch with the dentist if your gums bleed during flossing. The idea is to slip the floss between your teeth and then hug the side of the tooth with the floss whilst using an upward motion (for lower teeth) or a downward motion (for upper teeth) to clean the side of the tooth. This should be repeated for the other side of the tooth.

Brush your tongue as well as your teeth.

It is essential for you to clean the tongue while brushing as there are various kinds of bacteria which tend to reside there.

Utilize anti-bacterial mouthwash.

In order to maintain a healthy mouth, opt for anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Stop Smoking.

Smoking is bad for teeth and gums. Smoking can also discolor teeth. The blood supply to the gums is disrupted and it makes it harder for them to maintain good health. With the lack of blood supply, it is also harder to diagnose gum disease.

Avoid choosing to have an extraction.

It is always better to save the natural tooth rather than going for permanent solutions like bridges, etc.

Permanent constructions can be better than dentures.

When people have missing teeth, they usually opt for dentures because this is less expensive than alternatives. But these people are not aware of the fact that dentures can provide only 20 percent of the strength that a natural tooth can provide. On top of that partial dentures might apply more pressure which can lead to damage of teeth in the long term.

There are some instances where bridges can create more damage to teeth than a denture so it is always good to get a dentist’s opinion, as they can guide you on what options are available for you.

Stay away from staining drinks and food after teeth whitening.

Once you are done with teeth whitening you will find that the white shine of your smile lasts only a little while. This is because of the kind of lifestyle choices that you make. In order to maintain your bright smile, avoid fizzy drinks and colored food. Smoking and red wine will also stain your teeth.

Eat spinach and fish, and drink milk.

Calcium is essential for teeth and for this you need to eat spinach and drink milk as these are rich in calcium. Vitamin D is required to absorb Vitamin C. Oily fish is good for this as it contains vitamin D.

Eating carrots can help to have healthy gums.

Carrots, rich in vitamin A, can help in development of saliva. This can help in maintaining teeth and gums healthy as saliva possesses anti-bacterial qualities.

Stay away from sudden temperature changes.

When teeth are exposed to sudden temperature changes, sensitivity can occur and in extreme cases it can lead to enamel damage. Do not consume hot and cold food together.

Make use of minimal treatment for cosmetic dentistry.

For your smile makeover, veneers or crowns are used by dentists. The end result is the same from both. When veneers are used, your tooth will be trimmed a little bit. Crowns are more destructive to the tooth tissue. Ensure that you seek the dentist’s opinion for which one would be best suitable for your teeth.

There are many factors that have an impact on the price of dental treatment. If you opt for private dental care, it will prove to be expensive. Location as well as reputation will influence cost. Therefore in order to get reasonably priced dental care, you need to shop around to get best value for your money. Do not forget to check credentials.

Do not fear the dentist.

Nowadays with the advancement of technology it has become possible for you to get dental treatment that is painless. So there is no need for you to fear the dentist.

Do not wait until it is too late.

Just leaving your teeth infected, damaged and untreated can leave you with serious problems. If you visit the dentist at the initial stages it can prove to be reasonable and quick treatment. So if you find any problem, get in touch with the dentist soon!

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Stay minty fresh over the party season with these top tips to beat bad breath

There’s so much to worry about at Christmas, from the presents to your party dress – but we often forget about our breath.

Bad breath can not only be embarassing but it can also be a sign of something more serious like gum disease.

Whether it’s rich food, office drinks or pre-party exercise, you’ll be shocked to learn how lifestyle changes during the festive season can impact bad breath.

Dentist Luke Thorley has given us the lowdown on what to watch out for in order to maintain fresh breath.

Here’s the top tips from the dentist’s mouth…

tips to maintain fresh breath


We’re all tempted to eat more of the things that we shouldn’t over Christmas and often don’t realise the effect that constant grazing can have on our breath. If you want to stay fresh-breath confident throughout the party season, try these top tips.

Beat the buffet: Be aware that Christmas party favourites like walnuts, brazil nuts, smoked salmon and cream cheese canapés can contribute to bad breath, as they provide a source of sulphur-producing bacteria which can cause oral odour. Other foods with sulphur-producing bacteria include dairy, meat, fish, egg, nuts and beans, so mix it up when you’re piling up your plate.

Pass the parsley: Christmas platters are filled with parsley and mint, so don’t leave them on the buffet table! Chew on a fresh sprig of parsley, as the chlorophyll in these green plants are a known breath deodoriser and neutralise odours.

maintain fresh breath this festive season

GETTYHold back on the fruit juices, these acidic drinks can make bad breath much worse

Acid Attack: Acids make bacteria that causes bad breath to reproduce much faster. To slow it down, reduce the amount of acidic foods or beverages you’re eating and drinking, such as tomato and citrus juices.

Vegetate on vegetables: Head for the crudités! Snacks of crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables are natural cleansers and help clean plaque off your teeth, while stepping up your saliva flow to help wash away bacteria from teeth, tongue and gums that can cause bad breath.

Re-think your mint: Get those salivary glands flowing. Chewing is great, as it stimulates the salivary glands to produce more saliva that helps to combat negative bacteria that leads to bad breath.

However, mints/gum that contain sugar will only feed the bacteria creating even more offensive, sulfur compounds, so double check the ingredients in your gum first. Strong or fruit flavourings in most mints and gum only mask your bad breath.

Use a sugar-free chewing gum that contains zinc, fluoride and Xylitol to give you fresh breath confidence.

top tips to maintain fresh breath


Increased alcohol consumption over Christmas is inevitable and it can also lead to bad breath. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it dries up the saliva in your mouth which is needed to break down and rinse away bacteria. If you’re looking to have a tipple or two during Christmas, try to:

Mix it up: Drinking can change the normal oral environment and cause a reduction in the flow of saliva and reduce its effectiveness in controlling the effect of the bad bacteria. Combining alcohol with watery mixers help wash away food particles and bacteria.

Equal measures: With every unit of alcohol you consume, keep your mouth hydrated and have a glass of water to counteract your dry mouth (this will reduce the sore head in the morning too!)

Improve your morning routine: Use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients Zinc acetate and Chlorhexidine diacetate that neutralises and helps prevents the formation of the Volatile Sulphur Compounds that cause bad breath. Rinse in the morning with a mouthwash designed to last for 12 hours to see you through the working day and on to the party.


Excessive exercise during the festive season in a last attempt to squeeze into party-wear, coupled with rushing around between present buying and making it to the school nativity play, can all have an impact on your breath. Make sure you adopt these tips below to stay fresh breath confident:

Hydrate: Swap that egg nog latte for a bottle of water when you’re Christmas shopping  and increase your H2O intake during exercise, as water dilutes the chemicals causing bad breath.

Postpone your post-workout shake: A high-protein diet forces the body to burn fat for energy. In doing so this can have a negative effect on your breath, as the body cannot process the acetone molecule, which is instead mostly released through the breath.

Up your oral game: Between visits to the in-laws and food shopping for a turkey, don’t forget to do the oral basics. Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day can help keep the mouth fresh and clean all day long.

Always keep mouthwash handy. Use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients zinc and chlorhexidine to give you protection against bad breath for 12 hours. Using a good mouthwash together with improving oral hygiene can be more effective at reducing oral malodour.


Tooth Care 101 with Dr. Nicholas Ng and the Mint Dental Clinic

Proper maintenance of your teeth and regular visits to the dentist clinic will not only ensure a beautiful, healthy smile, but will contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.

Dr. Nicholas Ng and his team of certified professionals specialize in family, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. The friendly dental team values long term relationships with their patients, and in respect to their values, they will take the time to get to know you and your family. Aside from visiting the Mint Dental team regularly, you should also practice good oral health care at home. As a strong advocate for preventative oral care, Dr. Ng places significant emphasis on dental education for his patients. He’s always eager to offer brushing tips, natural care remedies, and preventative measures to ensure that your mouth remains in the best possible condition. On behalf of Dr. Ng and his team of dental technicians, here are a few tips to ensure complete care for your teeth:

1)    Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush to remove decay-causing plaque. Maintaining a 45 degree angle with your brush, move it back and forth in gentle, tooth-wide strokes. Take your time while brushing; each session should be two to three minutes in length to ensure a thorough cleaning.

2)    Flossing is key to your overall oral health. Plaque can build up in between your teeth and lead to gum disease, which is one of the main causes of tooth decay and tooth loss. Use floss to clean between your teeth at least once a day.

3)    Using mouthwash on a daily basis can boost your oral health care from good to great. Gargling with mouthwash after brushing can help remove plaque, strengthen your teeth, and provide that extra, minty-fresh breath you crave.