Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

5 Ways Yogurt Is Good For Your Dental Health

Visit a dentist in Madison or Saddle River for Periodontal Therapy and you are bound to be told to eat more yogurt daily. Dentists around the world consider yogurt to be a superfood for your mouth. Not only it is very tasty and a fan favorite amongst kids, men, women, and elders, but it is also an excellent source of calcium and probiotics.

There’s even many research studies that have found enough evidence on yogurt being highly beneficial for your oral health. If you’ve never heard of these benefits, keep on reading as our dentists reveal the 5 ways yogurt is good for your oral health.

Yogurt Keeps Your Gums Healthy And Safe

  • Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics (good bacteria). These bacteria have active cultures that effectively slow down the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. 

Keeping your gums healthy is crucial for your oral health and your overall health because gum disease can increase the risk of various health conditions in your body including heart disease. When you are shopping for yogurt next time, make sure its label says it has active cultures in it.

Yogurt Strengthens the Teeth in Both Adults and Kids

  • Did you know that yogurt is a rich source of calcium? And you may already know that calcium is extremely important for the bones as well as the teeth. If you have growing children, make sure you encourage them to eat yogurt on a daily basis. The calcium from the yogurt will help strengthen their teeth as well as their growing bones.

Yogurt also protects the tooth enamel and effectively prevents tooth decay in young children and adults alike. So eat away as much as you can!

Yogurt Can Freshen Your Breath

  • Yogurt reduces bad breath in your mouth by eliminating bad bacteria that contain compounds like hydrogen sulfide. When this bacteria is cleared away by the probiotics, your breath eventually gets better.

Yogurt Reduces The Acid In Your Mouth

  • Harmful bacteria in your mouth can live longer and become stronger if the environment in your mouth is acidic. Yogurt can effectively bring the pH levels within the mouth into a friendly zone where such bacteria cannot survive or become strong. 

So next time you are shopping for yogurt, try and get your hands on sugar-free variants for the best results. Dentists also recommend eating Greek Yogurt because it is one of the best kinds of yogurt due to a higher number of probiotics contained in it. 

  • If you or your children do not like the taste of sugar-free yogurt, you can try adding fruits, honey or other sweet food into the yogurt to give it a better taste. Just make sure you are not using foods high in sugar.

Yogurt Is Excellent if You Wear Braces

  • If you are wearing braces then you should eat yogurt regularly because it is very braces-friendly food. It is soft and easy to eat and never requires any chewing to swallow. Yogurt is also versatile which means you can combine it with other healthy food and reap even more benefits.


There is no doubt that yogurt does wonders for your oral health. Combine yogurt with daily brushing and flossing for healthier teeth. 

5 Drinks And How They Affect Your Teeth In Good And Bad Ways

By now you are already familiar that what you eat and drink not only affects your overall health, but it can also affect your oral health including your teeth and gums.

Beverages have several effects on your oral health but it typically depends on a few things, but most of the time, the damage or good a beverage is doing to your teeth comes down to their acidity levels.

For instance, any beverage that has at least 5.5 or less pH value, it is considered acidic. And when you drink or eat acidic beverages or foods, it can soften the enamel which can result in sensitive teeth, leaving your teeth open to damage. 

Moreover, drinks that have a significant sugar portion can also pose several threats to your teeth. Do you know what you are drinking? We at Viteralli Dental recommend that you drink beverages with caution.

Knowledge is your best friend when it comes to protecting your teeth and gum from potential damage. This list consists of common beverages and how they affect your teeth – both in good and bad ways!

Beer – Somewhat Good

  • It may be surprising to hear, but some evidence suggests that beer is actually beneficial for your teeth. There isn’t much data available but researchers say that hops in the beer have a positive effect on teeth and gums.

As surprising as this may sound, beer can also protect your teeth from cavities. However, this does not mean that you excessively drink beer because alcohol in this beverage still poses several threats to your overall health if not taken in with caution.

Water – Neutral But Helpful

  • Water does not affect your teeth in good or bad ways. However, if you are living in an area that has water with fluoride in it, then it provides you a significant benefit by protecting the enamel of your teeth.

When you drink a lot of water and stay well hydrated, the flow of saliva is significantly improved in the mouth. When saliva flow is good, it can help remove harmful bacteria from your mouth. Saliva also makes it possible to protect your teeth from decay because it may spread protective minerals within your mouth to help protect your teeth and gums.

Soda – Bad For Your Teeth

  • As you may have guessed already, soda and other beverages containing high amounts of sugar are bad for your teeth. What you may not know is that even sugar-free variants are bad for your teeth.

According to research, the enamel dissolution occurring from sodas, whether regular or sugar-free, is pretty much the same. 

  • What effects your teeth is the acidity level of the drink and because soda drinks can be acidic, they can pose a threat to your teeth.

Fruit Juices – Good and Bad

  • Whether fruit juices do good to your teeth or bad, it all depends on the pH level of the fruit beverage you are having. For instance, orange juice has a pH of 3.5 while cranberry has a pH of 2.6.

So next time you are drinking fruit juice, make sure it isn’t high on acidity level!

Milk – Best for Your Teeth

  • Milk is really good for your teeth. The proteins and minerals such as calcium in milk can help protect your enamel as well as make your teeth strong and healthy. Milk also prevents the growth of several cavity-forming bacteria in the mouth.

Dentists recommend drinking milk every day for stronger teeth, especially for young individuals who are still in the growing phase. 

With regular brushing and flossing, and routine dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist, you can easily protect your teeth and gums from damage. Keep a good eye at what you are eating and drinking and you’ll enjoy a beautiful and natural smile for a long time to come. 

5 Best Foods For Your Teeth – As Revealed By Dentists

When it comes to your wellbeing and overall oral health, you eat what you are. Try consuming too much candy, soda, or other sugary food and you will end up with tooth decay. There is enough research that suggests when you are on a bad diet consisting of sugar and acidic food, your oral health is the first one to deteriorate. 

This is why eating healthy food is so important for your overall health. Here are five best foods for your teeth as revealed by the dentist. Use these in your diet to stay healthy and fit with pristine teeth!


  • Yogurt is very rich in calcium, protein, and probiotics, making it one of the best foods to eat when you want to strengthen your bones and teeth. The probiotics – good bacteria – found in yogurt also have a very positive impact on your gums.

Bad bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay typically depend on the acidic and sugary environment in the mouth to thrive. If you add more plain yogurt to your diet, the pH levels within the mouth are balanced and bad bacteria are forced to move out, making way for healthier gums and teeth.


  • The American Dental Association recommends staying away from sweet foods but fruits are an exception. There are many fruits like apples which may be sweet but they are very high in water and fiber. Apples basically produce more saliva in your mouth which rinses away food particles in the mouth and as well the bad bacteria.

Another big benefit of eating fibrous fruit is that they can stimulate the gums. Although eating apples isn’t the same as brushing or flossing your teeth, it will still clear away most bacteria and food particles in the mouth.

  • Try your best to add apples to your diet and eat them in slices during lunch to give your mouth a good scrubbing after an afternoon meal.


  • Celery may not be everyone’s favorite food due to its bland taste and excess water, but just like apples, it does the same job as a toothbrush by scraping away any food particles and bacteria residing on the teeth and gums. 

It also provides vitamins A and C which are two antioxidants particularly good for your gums. If the taste is what keeps you away from celery, then combine it with a dip such as cream cheese to give it good taste and eat away as much as you can!


  • Cheese is loved by a lot of people, but now you have a reason to eat this tasty food. There are several studies that found eating cheese can raise the pH levels in the mouth which decreases the risk of tooth decay.

Chewing cheese is good for your oral health because your mouth has to produce a lot of salivae to break it down. Cheese also contains protein, calcium and other important nutrients that give your enamel a much-needed boost.

Leafy Greens

  • Leafy green vegetables are an important part of any diet. They are full of minerals and vitamins while being extremely low in calories. Vegetables like spinach and kale promote oral health as well because they are high in calcium.

These vegetables also contain folic acid that provides several health benefits including treating gum disease. If you don’t like the taste of leafy greens, try adding a bit of spinach in your salad or throw some kale as a topping in your favorite food. Greens can also be mixed with vegetable smoothies.

Visiting a Dentist

Although these superfoods are great for your oral health, you should never ignore going to the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends visiting a dentist for routine dental exams and cleaning after every six months for optimal oral health.

You should visit your dentist as soon as you get the chance and have your oral health inspected. There are a lot of underlying issues that take time to show their symptoms but once they do, they are hard to treat. So catch mouth conditions before they get bad by visiting a dentist today. 

5 Ways Green Tea Benefits Your Oral Health

Green tea may well be great for your overall health and weight loss, but new research suggests that it has benefits for your oral cavity as well. Green tea has several compounds that help in controlling inflammation and fighting back bacterial infections. The hot beverage also has antioxidants which have many healthy attributes.

But how does it benefit your oral health? Here are five ways green tea benefits your mouth health.

Helps Control Periodontal Disease

Green tea has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help control periodontal disease (gum disease). A recent survey of 1,000 participants suggests that those individuals who drink green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who don’t.

Another study recently held found positive results when people were asked to eat candies containing green-tea extracts. If your gums continue to bleed or swell, don’t wait to visit a dentist for periodontal therapy

Prevents Cavities

Green tea has the power to control bacteria and reduce acidity in saliva and dental plaque. It is recently found to be a useful tool in preventing future cavities. A study recently revealed that people who rinse their mouth with green tea for five minutes had fewer bacteria and acid in their mouths and as well as reduced bleeding from gums.

There are several other research studies that suggest drinking green tea regularly shows promising results in preventing conditions like tooth decay.

Protects Against Cancerous Tumour Growth

The rich antioxidants of green tea have been shown to protect your body from cancerous tumor growth as well as protect against cellular damage. In a study recently held in Texas, green-tea extract was given to several patients with precancerous lesions of oral mucosa and the findings show there was a slowed progression in oral cancer.

There have been several animal studies that have also found that tea compounds can prevent cancer growth. 

Prevents Tooth Loss

Green tea prevents cavities and gum disease, so it makes perfect sense that it also protects your teeth and prevents tooth loss. Recent research reported that women and men who had more than one cup of green tea a day were more likely to hold onto their teeth than those who didn’t consume enough green tea.

Fresher Breath

Green tea has time and time been associated with fresher breath because it kills microbes that promote bad breath in the mouth. A recent study measured the level of smelly compounds in the mouths of patients after they were given green-tea extract to consume. At the same time, another substance was given that prevented bad breath.

The research findings suggested that green tea was far better in preventing bad breaths than the other substance including parsley seed oil and chewing gum.

Don’t Like Green Tea?

Green tea is great for your health but there are many individuals who do not like drinking green tea. If you are one of them and still want to reap the benefits of green tea for your oral health, then we suggest using oral care products that are rich with green tea extracts.

There are many kinds of toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral products containing green tea. You can even find chewing gum with green-tea extracts. Make good use of these products if you are not a fan of the tea itself. 

Green tea is great for your oral health but it doesn’t mean you should stop visiting your dentist. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist for regular dental exams and cleanings on a bi-yearly basis. So make sure you visit your dentist every six months to get a good picture of how your oral-health is functioning.

Vitarelli Dental in Saddle River is accepting new dental patients all year round. Check our website for appointment details. 

The Long-Term Benefits of Dental Sealants You Need to Know

Brushing and flossing your teeth is important but if you have kids, then dental sealants are the best way to protect their teeth from cavities. For those of you who don’t know what they are – dental sealants are thin coatings that are painted on the teeth to protect them from cavities.

It is a pain-free procedure and is extremely easy for children to go through. At Vitarreli Dental, we have a welcoming environment where children feel safe and our dentists are friendly natured and always willing to work with children.

  • Dental sealants are safe and effective contradicting what people usually think about them. They’ve been used for over 40 years to protect teeth from cavities and there is nothing wrong with having a sealant on the teeth.

According to dental research, sealants are capable of preventing 80 percent of cavities for at least two years after the first application. They continue to protect the teeth against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years.

  • The sealants can be on the teeth for up to nine years before going completely bad and needing replacement. Dental sealants are extremely good for children because there are a lot of children in the United States who miss their school time due to tooth decay. This condition which is very common in children can often interfere with their sleep, eating, and other regular activities. 

Moreover, sealants can help protect the teeth stay intact for as long as they are there. 

The only few drawbacks of dental sealants are that they require reapplication if they fall out, wear away, or chip. During replacement, the excess material often has to be drilled down or removed using a scaler which is scary for some children.

  • At Vitarreli Dental in Saddle River, we make sure the procedure of replacing a dental sealant is as smooth as possible for your child so that they can easily have it replaced without being frightened. We have created a friendly environment where children feel safe and welcomed, thus they don’t panic when the procedure is being done by one of our dentists.

Long-Term Benefits of Dental Sealants

  • Depending on the application technique, dental sealants can stay on the teeth for a lifetime. This is why it is important to work with an expert dentist with years of experience. If you are not careful and don’t work with a dentist who has considerable experience and uses advanced technology to apply sealants, you could be looking at frequent replacements.

That being said, here are some of the long-term benefits of dental sealants.

  • When children start getting new teeth in, they have a condition known as fissure or pits that are like morals and premolars. These can be sealed as soon as they erupt. This usually happens when a child reaches age 6, 12, or 18. 

Toddler teeth can also be sealed but the child should be old enough to tolerate this procedure. Toddlers are hard because the dentist and their assistant have to hold their mouth open and make sure they don’t move while the procedure is underway. The sealants are only applied to babies who are at a high risk of tooth decay. Talk to your dentist today about your baby’s teeth health to find out if they require sealants or not.

  • Adults also gain benefit from sealants because as people age, their teeth are exposed to decay and the protective quality of their saliva changes over time. This is why adults can opt for dental sealants to prevent decay. 

If you have more questions about dental sealants, don’t forget to come to one of our dental offices in Saddle River. Vitarreli Dental is accepting new patients for 2020. 

Brushing or Flossing – Which One is More Important According to Dentists

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), good oral health depends on both regular brushing and flossing. However, a lot of patients that walk-in Vitarelli Dental office in Seattle often ask if either is more important than the other.

We always recommend a healthy dose of both brushing and flossing every day for optimal oral health, however, if for some reason you choose to only use one method, flossing is more important than brushing.

The goal of both brushing and flossing is simple, it is done to remove food particles, bacteria and remove any plaque buildup between the spaces of teeth. The plaque has several colonies of harmful bacteria that gradually eat away your teeth. Since brushing only removes plaque from the outside of the teeth, and is usually unable to reach the spaces in-between, it is important to floss regularly. 

Flossing allows individuals to remove plaque from the spaces between the teeth and underneath the gums. These are usually very hard to reach areas and it is where the most harmful bacteria reside. If you are unable to remove the plaque from these areas, it can eventually cause oral diseases like gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontitis. 

The Correct Way of Flossing

  • Before you can achieve optimal oral health, you must learn how to floss your teeth properly. Proper flossing involves using the string in C-shape and covering as much surface as possible., You should cover half of the tooth diameter from every angle possible. Make sure that you move the floss in an up and down motion against the surface and the gum tissue.

This way, the floss will gradually clean the entire tooth including the spaces in between and underneath the gum. It is very important to use both brushing and flossing for the best oral health possible. 

  • According to a recent study, a lot of people don’t brush or floss their teeth properly. Dentists recommend spending at least two minutes brushing one side of your jaw with a brush and spending about 4-5 minutes flossing your teeth making sure to cover every teeth and the spaces in between them.

For people who are starting out with flossing, the time it takes to completely clean your teeth may be quite a bit. But once you start regularly flossing your teeth, the time significantly reduces as you get used to the dynamics.

Visit Your Dentist

Regular checkups will ensure that no underlying oral disease is left undetected. Early detection of an oral disease means better and easy treatment options. 

Doors of Vitarreli Dental are always open for new patients. You can simply call us for an appointment or log in to our website and request an appointment online. It only takes a few minutes for a regular checkup, so don’t ignore visiting the dentist until its too late.

How Can You Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night

Have you ever woken up from your sleep at night with sore teeth and jaws? There is a good chance that you could be grinding your teeth. The medical term for this condition is bruxism – a rhythmic clenching of one’s jaws and grinding of the teeth. The habit can develop at any age.

The worst part is that individuals who suffer from the condition usually grind their teeth unconsciously or in their sleep, but they can also do it while fully awake. 

An individual may start to grind their teeth during the day especially when they are working on a task that requires concentration. They often place their teeth together and start to apply force through the contraction of the jaw muscles.

This is usually associated with tasks such as heavy weight lifting, reading, driving, or writing. During sleep hours, the individual can start to clench their teeth in rhythmic contractions, unknowingly.

The Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

  • One of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding is a headache. People who grind their teeth at least 2-3 times a day are more likely to experience these headaches compared to a normal individual. 

Other symptoms include enlargement of facial muscles, muscle aches, stiffness of the neck and shoulders, temporomandibular joint discomfort, pain in the ears, and trouble sleeping. 

  • If teeth grinding is not controlled in a timely manner, it can start to show abnormal wear and tear on the teeth and cause mobility issues in the mouth. Moreover, if left untreated, it can lead to fracture or loss of teeth. Hence it is very important to talk to a dentist immediately so a solution can be found.

What are the Causes of Teeth Grinding?

  • The usual causes of the condition are depression, stress, smoking, anxiety, sleep disorders, and caffeine. However, there is very little proof that these directly support the causes. Research has also found out that sleep bruxism is usually found in people who snore a lot or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. 

People who occasionally smoke or drink alcohol and caffeine abnormally also suffer from the condition.

  • But according to research, about 70% of individuals grind their teeth due to anxiety and stress. It can also occur if you have a stressful work environment.

Teeth Grinding Treatments

  • How can you prevent yourself from grinding your teeth? It really comes down to the root cause. If you are grinding your teeth due to a sleep disorder, for example, you may have to make some lifestyle changes and reduce stress and anxiety in your life.

Whatever the cause is, it is important to visit your dentist to help him/her evaluate the situation with a comprehensive routine dental exam. This will allow them to come up with a treatment plan that is specifically designed for you.

  • The best way to prevent the condition and protect your teeth from wear and tear is to wear a mouthguard. The mouth guards are capable of reducing jaw muscle pain and protect the teeth from wear and tear. The guards are usually worn when you are going to sleep. Your dentist or doctor may be able to help you decide the times you have to wear a mouthguard.

Teeth Grinding in Children

Children who grind their teeth are usually suffering from anxiety or stress. If that is the case, then behavioral management is crucial to prevent it from becoming a permanent habit. There are many relaxation techniques including meditation that can help manage stress and anxiety in both children and adults.

Putting an end to this medical condition requires close evaluation by a dentist. The doors at Vitarelli Dental are always open for you. Visit our Saddle River dental office and we will evaluate your situation and come up with a treatment plan specifically designed to help you get rid of the condition. 

What Are the Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection and How to Treat it

Salivary Gland Infection, also known as Sialadenitis common affects the parotid salivary glands on the side of your face situated nearest to the ears of under the jaw where the submandibular salivary glands are located.

It is an oral condition caused by a bacterial infection. Here is what you need to know about the condition.

Salivary Gland Infection Facts

  • Salivary gland infection can affect anyone including toddlers, but according to statistics, the elderly and the chronically ill people experience it the most.
  • The medical condition is also known as Sialadenitis and is commonly caused by bacteria or viruses in the mouth.
  • The infection of the salivary gland is capable of spreading to the deep tissues of the neck and head. Most medical experts label this stage of the condition as life-threatening. 
  • A blockage or salivary stone can also cause acute infection. If you have chronic inflammation of the salivary gland, it can also reduce or completely stop the function of the organ.

Causes of Salivary Gland Infection

Salivary gland infection can be caused by a variety of oral conditions but it is most commonly caused by bacteria especially the staph or the Staphylococcus aureus bacterias. The infection happens mostly to people who have a dry mouth. This could be due to several reasons listed below.

  • Limited fluid consumption by the patient, prescribed medicine side effects or illness.
  • Due to salivary stone, blockage or kink in the duct of the salivary gland.
  • The condition can also happen to people having Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Common Symptoms of Salivary Gland Infection

You may have salivary gland infection if you experience the following symptoms.

  • Redness, tenderness or pain on the side of your mouth, head, and neck
  • Swelling of the salivary gland and the surrounding tissue
  • Difficulty opening mouth while eating or yawning
  • Chills and fever
  • Infectious fluid being drained from the gland

If you experience the symptoms above, book an appointment with Vitarelli Dental and let us have a thorough look at your mouth. The key to preventing or treating this condition lies in early detection.

During your visit, the dentist will check your medical history and thoroughly examine the salivary glands in the mouth. You may also be required to go through imaging tests such as CT scan or ultrasound to help detect any salivary blockages due to tumors or salivary gland stones.

Available Treatments for Salivary Gland Infection

  • If the condition is still in its early stages and the parotid glands have not been severely infected, the doctor or the dentist may prescribe you intravenous antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading in the deep tissues of the neck and head. 

If the condition has worsened to a point that it has become an uncontrolled infection, it will lead to the swelling of the neck and may even block the airways. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the bones in the face and can become life-threatening.

  • For conditions this worse, you may require surgical treatment. 

This is especially true if the infection does not respond to antibiotics after you have been on them for 48 hours. A doctor or a dental surgeon will perform oral surgery and attempt to drain the salivary gland in order to control the infection and prevent it from spreading further.

  • If there are salivary stones present in the salivary glands and are contributing to the condition, the dental surgeon will remove them surgically. If the stones within the salivary gland are small, then the doctor may use a technique called the sialoendoscopy which is a minimally invasive method of removing the stones. 

If you suspect that you have the symptoms of salivary gland infection, make sure to visit your dentist today for periodontal therapy. The doors at Vitarelli Dental, Saddle River are always open and our highly qualified dentists are every ready to assist you in beating this dangerous oral condition. 

5 Easy Ways to Naturally Get Rid of Cavities at Home

The teeth, just like any other part of your body, requires care and attention to keep them in a healthy state. There are a lot of people who don’t like visiting the dentist. If you have cavities and want to prevent them on your own, you have come to the right place. 

With excellent oral hygiene and some very simple and easy to adopt dietary changes, you can not only prevent cavities but also reverse tooth decay. 

Dentists at Vitarelli Dental have created a list of natural ways you can use at home to prevent tooth decay and stop cavities. 

Chew a Lot of Sugar-Free Gum

  • Chewing gum is actually a very good way to help prevent tooth decay as long as the gum is sugar-free. Most sugar-free gums contain something called xylitol, a component that acts as a natural sweetener. 

Xylitol, unlike other food, does not create bacteria inside the mouth. Moreover, when you chew on the gum, your mouth creates extra saliva that washes away the bacteria and food particles making sure your mouth is clean.

Make Simple Dietary Changes

  • Switching to a healthy diet has more benefits than just helping you lose weight. What you eat can change your health for the better no matter what your goals are. Research suggests that changing your diet can help reverse tooth decay. 

Since sugar and acidic food can lead to tooth decay, if you stop eating sugar-rich foods and beverages that have high acid, you may never face problems like tooth decay and cavities. 

  • Your diet should be rich in calcium because it is the main building blocks of your bones and teeth. To get more calcium, eat and drink dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, and sour cream. 

Always drink beverages unsweetened. Avoid sugar-rich beverages like fizzy drinks, soda, and juices. You can instead aim for fruit smoothies, unsweetened coffee and tea, and water. Speaking of water, drink a lot of it to keep your body well hydrated which triggers better saliva production in the mouth.

Never Stop Basic Dental Care

  • You must be very familiar with this – regular dental care keeps your oral health in check and stops your tooth enamel from decaying. If you want to protect your teeth from harmful conditions, follow this pre-cavity oral care routine.

Brush your teeth daily for at least two minutes, twice a day. Make sure to brush every surface of your teeth never ignoring the farthest parts of the mouth. 

  • Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing is important because there are gaps in the teeth where a toothbrush can never reach. Floss can help pull out food particles from these gaps and prevent germs from growing. 

Use a mouth wash and fluoride toothpaste. Mouthwash has antibacterial attributes that help you get rid of excessive bacteria in the mouth. Avoid mixing the mouthwash with water to get better results.

Change Toothbrush After 2-3 Months

  • A lot of people ignore this fact. A toothbrush, no matter how good it is, lasts for about 3 months before it needs changing. The bristles on the toothbrush can become harsh after continuous use which can lead to gum bleeding and other oral problems.

Picking the right toothbrush is also very important. Here are some tips.

  • Make sure to always purchase a medium-sized brush and make sure the bristles are soft and can easily reach the farthest corners of your mouth.

Never cover your toothbrush with a cover. It may seem that a cover protects your toothbrush but in reality, they harbor microorganisms and bacteria that can easily rest on the bristles and enter your mouth when you brush. Instead, just wash your brush properly before each use and let it rest in the open air. 

  • Change the toothbrush after 3 months because the bristles can easily deteriorate with regular usage and the toothbrush becomes ineffective. 

Get Regular Dental Cleanings

  • While brushing and flossing are good for cleaning your teeth, you will need to visit a dentist every six months to get them professionally cleaned. You may not like visiting the dentist but if you just go for regular dental checkups and cleanings, it will prevent oral problems that need scary procedures to bring your teeth back to normal.

A dentist cleans near the gum line on the front and back of your teeth making sure all the plaque is properly removed from these areas. Regular cleaning is important to reverse cavities and keep your oral health in check.

Regular cleanings are very simple and there is no pain or scary procedures involved. Book your appointment today with Viterrali Dental and let us clean your teeth to prevent future dental cavities.

Teeth Problems Caused by Thumb Sucking in Young Children

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for toddlers. Typically, the young sucks on fingers, thumbs, pacifiers and other objects to make them feel happy, secure and learn more about the world around them. 

Some children even suck their thumbs to soothe themselves which helps them sleep. As much as it is soothing for young children, thumb sucking can harm the teeth and cause other oral problems.

Here are some problems caused by thumb sucking in children that parents must be aware of.

How Thumb Sucking Affects the Teeth of Children

  • When permanent teeth come in children, thumb sucking can cause problems in the growth of the mouth and as well as the alignment of the teeth. It can also change the way the roof of the mouth is formed leading to oral health problems.

Many parents believe pacifiers are a good alternative to thumb sucking but according to dentists, they can affect the teeth and mouth in the same way finger sucking does. 

  • The harm to teeth, gums, and overall mouth depend a lot on the intensity of the sucking. If the child comfortably rests their finger or thumb in their mouth, then it is less likely that they will develop oral problems in the future.

However, if a child sucks their finger, thumb, or hand vigorously, they are more likely to develop oral problems including problems with baby teeth.

Some of the long-term effects of thumb sucking are listed below.

Long-term Effects of Thumb Sucking

Vigorous thumb sucking can lead to many problems of the teeth and mouth because of the way repetitive pressure the thumb places on the teeth, the roof of the mouth and the jawbone. This can lead to – 

  • Changes in the shape of the jaw
  • Alignment issues with teeth
  • Problems with speech patterns
  • Reduced development of a lisp
  • Sensitivity on the roof of the mouth
  • Overbite
  • Other bite issues including teeth tipping inward and outward 

Most of these issues can be avoided if the child stops sucking thumb when the permanent teeth come in. Children who continue to suck their thumb for a long time are at risk of developing the side effects mentioned above.

  • Talk to your dentist to learn how to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb. Here are some ways you can try encouraging them at home too.

Help Your Child Stop Sucking Thumb

Children love to be praised and acknowledged, based on this fact, here are some things you can do to stop thumb sucking in children.

  • Praise or acknowledge your child for not sucking thumb
  • Choose a method and make it interactive and fun for children
  • Visit a dentist and let them offer encouragement by explaining what could happen to their mouth if they don’t stop
  • Reduce anxiety in the child by providing other ways to comfort them

If these techniques don’t work for you then you may have to take special steps to ensure your child breaks the habit. You can cover their thumb with a bandage or put a sock on their hand at night. 

Visit one of our pediatricians if nothing works and they will gladly prescribe a bitter medicine that can be used to coat the tip of the thumb which prevents the child from sucking it.