Posted in dental health, Dr. Robert McLean, General, Marietta Dentist, oral care, oral health

This Is How Vaping Damages Your Smile

Vape? E-cig? Do you know anyone who has one? It affects your oral and overall health. This trend has become popular within the last decade. E-Cigarette use from 2017 to 2018 increased 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school.

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  • Excess Bacteria
  • Dry Mouth
  • Inflamed Gums
  • Overall Irritation
  • Cell Death

In 2018 a study found that teeth that have been exposed to e-cigarette aerosol had more bacteria. More bacteria can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases. E-cigs base liquid, propylene glycol can cause dry mouth. Which can lead to bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay. In 2016, a study suggested that e-cigs can cause an inflammatory response in gum tissues. This may lead to periodontal diseases. Cell death can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, bad breath, tooth decay, and periodontal diseases.

E-cigarette cartridges are filled with nicotine and other chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved e-cigs as a way to quit smoking. Nicotine causes gum recession, it reduces the amount of blood that can flow through your veins. Because of a lack of blood flow, your gums won’t get the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Overall Health

Did you know an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease may increase your risk of heart problems? Without daily cleaning, bacteria are free to flow into your bloodstream and can travel to your arteries.  Arteries are blood vessels that distribute oxygen from your heart to your body. This can lead to atherosclerosis where plaque builds up on the inner layers of your arteries. This can cause clots that can block blood flow through your body. Increasing the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Don’t increase yours or your child’s chance of gum disease, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. STAY AWAY FROM VAPING! Read a book, go out for a walk, or try something relaxing – like yoga. Choose your health, take care of your teeth and gums as well as your body (1).pngheart.

Living a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming but remember to make small strides daily. Here are five healthy habits for a happy life.
– Smile and Laugh
– Adequate Sleep
– Physical Activity
– Floss once a day
– Brush your teeth twice daily
– Preventive health care screening, at least once every six month

If you have any questions about vaping or breaking your teen’s habit call us today! We’re here to help you live your healthiest life!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

 

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Posted in dental health, Dr. Robert McLean, General, Marietta Dentist, oral care, oral health, preventative care

Teeth Friendly Snacks For The School Year

YAY – it’s back to school season!!! It’s parent’s favorite time of year and kids least. It’s time to pack your kid’s more healthy snacks for school! Did you know that 42 percent of children who are ages 2 – 11 develop a cavity in their baby teeth? Healthy snacks can benefit more than just your overall health, it’s your teeth too!

The first thing to remember, you are your child’s example! Teach them healthy habits from the start, from eating well to taking care of your own teeth, and going to the dentist regularly. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques, brush 2x a day and floss daily.

Have you ever wondered what plaque is? It’s a soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and it forms regularly. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that invade tooth enamel and can damage your gums. It contains millions of bacteria that love the food and drinks you consume every day. Do you know who plaque’s best friend is? If you guessed tooth decay you are correct!

If dental plaque isn’t removed within a couple of days it hardens into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing cannot remove tartar, only a dental professional can. Fun fact: 68 percent of adults have tartar! They even deposit faster with age!

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The bacteria in your mouth thrive off of saliva, food, and fluids. Plaque loves carbohydrates, simple sugars, soft drinks or candy. It hides between teeth and under the gum line, brushing cleans your surfaces of your teeth and your tongue and flossing removes plaque between your teeth.

Plaque is your worst enemy, it hides between your teeth and gum lines and there’s no way to avoid it entirely, that’s why it’s important to have a good oral routine. It can also lead to bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues.

3 Things To Remember For Back To School

  1. Visit your dentist every 6 months
  2. Brush twice a day and floss daily
  3. Pick the right snacks

Make brushing and flossing fun! You can use a sticker calendar and have your child place a sticker after they brush and floss. Also, you can let them choose their favorite color toothbrush or a themed one with their favorite character. Make it fun for you too, play a song for two minutes and brush together!

#ProTip: look for a kid-friendly floss holder, they make flossing more comfortable for small mouths.

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  • Cheese cubes
  • Celery sticks and baby carrots
  • Apples and pears
  • Nuts

Snacks To Limit

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Candy
  • Chewy granola bars

Schedule your cleaning sooner rather than later and get the kiddos in before school starts!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

 

Posted in Marietta Dentist, oral health, preventative care, Summer

8 Other Ways to Use Toothpaste

Ahhh, it’s July. It’s prime tourist season, where are you and your family going this summer? Or are you having a laid back summer and just staying home with the kids? Doing art projects with your kids is fun but can leave your house a bit of a mess. Prices add up, and the total is a bit intimidating. If you are looking to save a few bucks, look for an all in one product. Such as toothpaste, obviously it’s used to brush your teeth but did you know that it can be used for so much more?

8 Other Ways to Use Toothpaste

  • Remove pimple/ zit
  • Treat poison ivy
  • Clean smell from hands
  • Remove gum from hair
  • Remove carpet stains/ crayon marks
  • Clean sneakers/ leather shoes
  • Clean foggy headlights
  • Shine jewelry

If you’re thinking “WHAT? That can’t be true!’ Well believe it, it’s a life hack! Toothpaste contains baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol which can help dry your pimple out. The menthol can also temporarily reduce swelling and pain. Toothpaste also helps with poison ivy, because it helps with soothing away the itch. It’s important to remember, don’t use toothpaste on broken skin as it can cause further damage.

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Just spent the day filleting your freshly caught fish? Good fish, bad smell! Wash your hands with a bit of toothpaste, it makes your mouth smell fresh and it works on your hands too. Nobody wants their hands smelling like fish all day!

Have a long day? Fell asleep with gum in your mouth? You don’t need to cut your hair off, just use toothpaste! Toothpaste is designed to break down the sugars, making it easier to remove gum from your hair. Just one of those summer days when your kid decides it’s a good idea to draw on the walls with crayons. Put some toothpaste on the wall and start scrubbing with a brush, rinse with water, and wow you have a brand new wall! This also works for carpet stains.

Bring your favorite sneakers with you to your summer camping trip and can’t get the dirt off? Grab your old toothbrush and start brushing them. Clean it off with a damp cloth and you’re all set to go. If your car headlights are foggy with dirt, put toothpaste on a sponge and scrub. It’ll make them look brand new!

After time, your ring or jewelry might lose its natural shine. Pick up an old toothbrush, apply toothpaste and brush your jewelry. Use a damp cloth to pick up any of the residue.

No matter what your summer plans are, these are good household #hacks to have. It’s also important to note that if your skin gets worse stop using immediately. Don’t forget – DON’T apply toothpaste to broken skin.

Last thing- remember to use your toothpaste on your teeth!! Brush twice a day and floss once. With summer here, enjoy snacks and drinks in moderation. Stay hydrated!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

 

Posted in dental health, Dr. Robert McLean, Marietta Dentist, oral health, preventative care

Defining A Dental Emergency

What is a dental emergency? If you feel pain, call! You don’t want it to get worse than it already is.

Also, getting a tooth knocked out is an emergency too! If this ever happens, the sooner you get to the dentist the better chance of your tooth being saved.

Did you know over 5 million teeth get knocked out every year! Whether it’s sports related or accidental. Speaking of sports, with the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs are going on, don’t try to mimic your favorite moves without using a mouth guard.

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Prevention is Key!

It’s summer, a good time to learn a new sport or play in leagues. Any contact sport is best played with a mouth guard. You never know what to expect, an elbow to the mouth, falling to the floor, unable to catch your fall and a ball/puck to your mouth. A mouthguard can’t protect you sitting in your gym bag! Discuss with your dentist which option is the best for your activities.

What To Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

When your tooth is knocked out, other things are in danger as well. Nerves, blood vessels, and tissues can also be damaged from the trauma. After it’s been knocked out, you want to pick it up by the crown and not the root. Rinse the tooth gently, but not the root because you could be scrubbing away the periodontal ligament or the cementum which is important to hold your tooth in the socket. Soap and chemicals are damaging to the cells remaining on the root and will most likely make the tooth impossible to reattach and save.

Another thing you can try is putting the tooth back in the socket. Sounds weird right? But it can help keep the tooth moist, giving it a better chance to be reattached. Another option to try is to leave it in a cup of milk because of the biological compatibility and low bacteria count, the milk can help preserve the tooth.

The most important thing to do is to call your dentist office ASAP! Your dentist will be able to determine if your tooth can return to full function or not. The longer you put off the dentist the higher the risk of permanent tooth loss If your tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will go over dental bridge and implant options.

Dental Emergency vs. True Dental Emergency

Is there a difference? Absolutely! Not to confuse you, but in both scenarios, you should see your dentist regardless! Let’s clarify the difference and explain anything that is unclear.

Signs of a True Dental Emergency

  • Tooth Loss
  • Extreme Pain
  • Tooth Abscess or Pus
  • Swelling
  • Cracked or Chipped tooth

Losing an “adult” tooth is a dental emergency and needs quick action to save the tooth. With pain, you should call your dentist, especially with extreme pain that doesn’t lessen or go away with over the counter medicine. That could be a sign that something more significant is wrong. Pus is a sign of infection and you could need antibiotics. It’s important to get treatment right away to help the pain and infection go away. If left untreated a tooth abscess may lead to continuous dental problems. If you see swelling on your gum line or jawline it can also be a sign of an infection. Cracked or a chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies. A cracked tooth exposes your nerves, which can cause more pain and if left untreated, the crack may get worse resulting in tooth loss.

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Things happen and can’t be controlled, but it’s important to be able to identify what’s wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist right away.

You can never plan for a dental emergency, but you can always have your bi-annual cleanings scheduled and our number saved in your phone!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

Posted in Dr. Robert McLean, Marietta Dentist, oral care, preventative care

Movie Snacks vs. Your Teeth

Do you prefer to watch movies at home, drive-in theaters, or theaters? Regardless of your preference, drinks, and snacks pair well with your movie. Lots of good movies are out or soon to be released, be sure to learn the effects it will have on your teeth.

Popcorn

Walking into a theater, you immediately smell the freshly popped butter popcorn. We all know it’s hard to resist, but something we don’t know is popcorn packs a surprise… The kernel! Be careful this can actually crack your tooth! It’s also easy to get caught in between your teeth and the sharp edges can scratch your gums.

Another thing to know is popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth. This is damaging to your enamel if not cleaned properly. If a kernel gets stuck in your mouth it can irritate your gum tissue and bring more bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Favorite Snacks

As you go through the line for snacks and drinks at the movie theater they have candy right next to the register for any last minute decisions/cravings. Typically, there are chocolate, sour candy, or hard candy. Sticky candy gets stuck in between teeth putting your teeth at a higher risk of decay. Sour and hard candy such as Skittles and Jolly Ranchers are highly acidic.

Sugar doesn’t directly create a cavity, the process is a chain reaction. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, some beneficial but some are harmful. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. As the bacteria feed on sugar, it produces acid, and that acid attacks your tooth enamel.

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Soft Drinks

Soda is bad for your teeth. No news here, but did you know some sodas are worse than others? Not all sodas are created equally. Some have more acid while some have more sugar. Let’s take a look at two popular sodas, Coca- Cola and Mountain Dew.

Coca- Cola vs. Mountain Dew (link to video)

In this video, the young scientist drops a molar in a bottle of Mountain Dew and another into a bottle of Coca-Cola and leaves it soaking for almost three weeks. He notes that Mountain Dew has a pH of 3.1 while Coca-Cola has a pH of 2.5 meaning Coca-Cola is six times more acidic than Mountain Dew.

He weighed each tooth before soaking them and found out that the Coca-Cola tooth lost 7% of its mass while the Mountain Dew tooth lost 14% of its mass. Mountain Dew contains organic citric acid and Coca-Cola has phosphoric acid. In conclusion, he found out that citric acid eats away at enamel more than phosphoric acid.

Other Drinks To Be On The Lookout For

  • Coffee and Tea – They can stain your teeth and if you add sugar or vanilla it causes more harm.
  • Sports Drinks – They are high in sugar and acid that erode your enamel. Some drinks also have a high amount of sodium, which can tally more than a bag of potato chips.
  • Citrus – They are highly acidic and can wear away at your tooth enamel.
  • Alcohol – Reduces saliva production which can lead to dry mouth and increases your risk of gum disease.

Wow, that was a lot to take in! Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry we’ll give you three #ProTips to help you have healthy long lasting teeth and enjoy your movie. The first thing to know is saliva is your teeth’s natural protector! Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate which strengthen your teeth. This process is called remineralization.

#ProTip 1. is MODERATION. We all know soda and snacks aren’t good for our teeth or physical health but also hard to resist. Instead of consuming the most your body can, take time and challenge yourself to follow the suggested serving size.

#ProTip 2. WATER. Carry a bottle with you at all times. Take a sip and swoosh it around to re-hydrate your mouth and flush away sugar and acid after snacking.

#ProTip 3. ORAL HYGIENE. Remember to brush twice a day and floss daily. Also, make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for your check-up because without a true exam you don’t know what’s hiding in or around your pearly whites!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

Posted in Marietta Dentist, oral care, oral health, preventative care

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and nearly 10,860 people die annually. It is twice as common in men as women. Oral cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity. Which is the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, your dentist can detect abnormalities at an early stage resulting in less extensive and more successful treatment.

5 Myths and The Actual Facts

  1. Oral Cancer is rare.

Fact: More people are diagnosed with oral cancer than stomach cancer.

  1. I’m too young to get oral cancer.

Fact: It’s now more common for our younger patients to develop oral cancer because of the link to human papillomavirus (HPV.)

  1. I don’t smoke so I can’t get oral cancer.

Fact: Smoking does increase your risk for oral cancer but it isn’t the only factor. Drinking alcohol, HPV, and genetics play a role in developing the disease.

  1. No pain, no problem.

Fact: Not all cancer spots can cause pain.

  1. I will know when I have oral cancer.

Fact: It’s not easy to identify, it can go undetected in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and the base of your tongue.

Causes

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but here are some things that can put people more at risk.

  • Tobacco of any form – cigarettes/ e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms or Oral Cancer

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing and moving the jaw and tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Lump in the neck
  • Constant bad breath

A lot of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other things, schedule an appointment if any of these conditions go on for more than two weeks.

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Prevention

Stop using tobacco or don’t start. It exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive alcohol can aggravate cells and make them more susceptible to cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun! Constant exposure increases the risk of cancer. Be sure to use chapstick with SPF!

Last but not least, see your dentist regularly! It’s recommended to have an exam and cleaning every six months. Schedule yours today!

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232

Posted in Cosmetic, Marietta Dentist, preventative care

Spark Joy In Your Smile

As you get ready for your day, look in your mirror, smile and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” This can be part of your spring cleaning routine. It’s time to get rid of any clutter, throw out broken or non-working items, and remember to get a breath of fresh air – literally or figuratively.

Make your smile spark joy!

Obviously, we have teeth to chew our food but they do much more than that. They shape your face and help you speak, healthy teeth and gums are just as important as a healthy body.

Teeth Whitening – Nothing sparks joy like a sparkling smile. It’s a completely safe, life brightening process that can positively change your physical appearance and enhance your mental health.

Veneers– Do you want to make your teeth more attractive? If you want to fix crooked, discolored, uneven, and unsightly teeth, the solution is porcelain veneers!

Dental Implants– Fill the missing gap in your smile. Implants involve putting a new “root” into the bone of your jaw. The success rate is high because they feel and look like your natural teeth.

Orthodontics – Always wanted that straight smile? You might also have the option to straighten your teeth with a clear aligner. That means you can eat all the foods you want and not worry about it being stuck in your braces because they are removable!

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Oral Health and Overall Health

Your teeth are more than just how you and others see them. How does oral health affect my heart? The bacteria infects your gums causing gingivitis that leads to periodontitis. It can also get into your bloodstream. Our gums protect our teeth and bone. If they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained it can lead to tooth loss as well as other medical complications.

What exactly is gum disease? Some signs are bleeding gums when you brush and floss, persistent bad breath, and your teeth look longer because your gums are beginning to recede. The only for sure way to know if you have gum disease is a visit to your dentist.

Does gum disease go away on its own? No, brushing and flossing will not make it go away. The best way is getting it professionally cleaned, your dentist can deep clean below your gum line to remove the built-up plaque and tartar. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. It’s treatable, don’t ignore it!

Can impacted wisdom teeth affect my health? They are the last teeth to come in and there isn’t enough room for them to erupt normally. Most people have four, two on top and on the bottom, Because they are hard to clean, they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, Some people are lucky enough to not get painful symptoms. Others might have swelling around the jaw, tender, or bleeding gums, bad breath, or trouble opening your mouth.

Can I prevent my wisdom teeth from erupting sideways? No, the best way to monitor your teeth us by going to your 6-month dental check-up. X-rays can show if your wisdom teeth are impacted or not before you suffer from any symptoms.

A spring cleaning is more than just your closets and cabinets. Be sure to clean out your mouth too! Schedule your appointment today to spark joy in your smile.

Dr.Robert McLean DDS

1820 The Exchange SE, Ste 700
Atlanta, Georgia
(770) 980-0232