Dental Blog

Being Vegan

Posted On: March 25, 2019

How Being Vegan Affects Your Teeth

There is no doubt that a plant-based diet is optimal for health. Omnivores and vegans alike benefit from the nutrients present in plants.

But how does what we eat relate to our dental health?

Is a vegan diet better or worse for dental health?

Well, it depends. There are some concerns for oral health when one consumes a vegan diet. Here are the main ones:

Vitamin B12 deficiency: A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Vegans should supplement with adequate B12, as plants do not provide this important nutrient. 

Lack of remineralizing foods

 Remineralization occurs when essential minerals that support hardened, healthy enamel are resupplied to the tooth after loss caused by acid erosion. The best remineralizing foods include cheese, meat, and milk, but nuts and leafy greens can also help.

Lack of important amino acids

One example is the amino acid arginine, which is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. Arginine helps prevent cavities and gum disease by breaking down dental plaque. While arginine is found in higher quantities in meat, vegan sources of arginine include pumpkin seeds, peanuts, soybeans, lentils, and chickpeas.

Calcium concerns

Your body needs enough calcium to support healthy teeth and gums. Vegans need to supplement their diet with plenty of plant sources that contain calcium (almonds, leafy greens, beans, etc.) as well as fortified vegan milks (almond, soy, rice, etc.).

Frequent snacking

Continual snacking provides an environment for bacteria to thrive and attack your tooth’s enamel. Vegans may be more prone to frequent snacking in an effort to meet their body’s need for energy. You may find eating meals with a higher fat content helps you stay full for longer periods of time.

More sugars/starches in the diet

 It can be easy as a vegan to eat a diet based on sweet/starchy foods like fruits and grains (cereal, bread, pasta, crackers, rice, etc.). But the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay thrive on sugar. Make sure to round out your diet with non-sugary foods, such as tofu, nuts, seeds, and plenty of vegetables.

If you’re a vegan, you already know you have to be mindful of certain key nutrients that you may need to focus on or supplement in your diet. Keep this list in mind to ensure your dental health is also in tip-top shape!





Don't like flossing?

Posted On: January 06, 2019

Don’t Like Flossing? Try One Of These Methods and Get Those Gums in Shape!

When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter floss, the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for you?

  • Dental Pick:If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good old fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We also recommend using Soft-Picks with a flexible tapered bristles that fits between teeth.  It removes food between the teeth, stimulates and massage gums.  We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated! We’ll even give you a packet of these for free the next time you come in!”
  •  Electric Flossers: Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There are vibrating flosserspower flossers, and air flossers. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gum line, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. We recommend avoiding the use of these flossers buy using an electric toothbrush along with floss twice a day to keep your teeth clean and gums healthy.
  • Oral Irrigator:An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and your dentist can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam.
  • It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing – still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!
  • Are you already our patient or looking to schedule your first appointment? Ask about our special for our patients. Mention this blog post and receive 10% off a Triumph Genius Electric Professional Toothbrush to make the job of brushing easy and fun.

Apples are good for you.

Posted On: November 01, 2018

At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them. You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind.

 As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay


Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes

Posted On: October 01, 2018

Electric or Manual Toothbrush:  Which is better?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions!  Our answer?  It's not the brush that matters, it's who;s doing the brushing.

Let's break that down.  The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent(daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay.  A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that.  Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day.  Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush.  Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush.  An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.

The same tooth brushing rules apply-two times per day, two minutes at a time.  One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in-timer.  If you're one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you could do better with a manual or electric brush!  And, as always, don't forget to floss!


Foods that cause tooth decay.

Posted On: September 03, 2018

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities.

Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.

Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy.

Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy. Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers.

 The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur.

For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:

- Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches  

- Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal 

- Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages

 - Swish with water after meals and snacks 

 - Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush twice a day)

And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay. 

Give us a call 352-307-3006 or email us at



New Blog August

Posted On: August 01, 2018

Diabetes & Oral Health

Special Care is Needed to Protect Your Teeth.



Diabetes and your teeth may not seem to be linked, but having diabetes can boost your risk for oral health problems. The good news: A little extra attention will help keep you healthy! Here's what to watch for.

Oral health problems associated with having diabetes include: 

Gum Disease

Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection. Including gum infections, that can lead to serious gum disease. In its early stages, gum disease is known as "gingivitis". That's when gums are swollen, soft, and may bleed, particularly during brushing or flossing.  

If gum disease progresses, however, the gums can begin to detach from the teeth, forming pockets between the teeth and gums that can trap bacteria and boost the risk of infections. Untreated, the infections can destroy the underlying bones that hold the teeth in place.

Surgery may be needed. In one procedure called pocket depth reduction, the dentist folds back the gum tissue, removes the bacteria, and then secures the tissue into place so that it fits more tightly around the teeth, sometimes cutting away some of the unattached gum.

Slower Healing after Dental Surgery

With diabetes, you're likely to heal more slowly after oral surgery.  We'll prescribe antibiotics to keep any infection after surgery at bay. Pay close attention to and control your blood sugar levels before and after oral surgery.

Fungal Infections

If you have diabetes, you may also be at risk for fungal infections in the mouth, called oral candidiasis or "thrush".  This can happen even if you wear dentures. We can prescribe a prescription rinse that will help clear up this infection.  

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, called xerostomia, is another common problem among people with diabetes.  Saliva is important to your oral health--it helps wash away food particles and keeps the mouth moist.


When you don't have enough saliva, bacteria can thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth are more prone to decay.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Taking care of your oral hygiene at home every day is crucial.  Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.  Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help reduce the bacteria that cause plaque buildup on teeth and gums.  Examine you mouth for inflammation or signs of bleeding gums.  If you notice either, let us know right away.

Once We Know, We Can Help!

Be sure to tell us if you've been diagnosed with diabetes.  Also, please provide us with a list of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.  Only then can we do our best for you!



Sjogren's Sndrome

Posted On: July 01, 2018

July 23rd is World Sjogren's Day. It's named after Dr. Henrik Sjogren, the Swedish ophthalmologist who noticed a connection between patients he was seeing with dry eyes, and patients who suffered from a consistently dry mouth. Further investigation resulted in the discovery that these symptoms were caused by an immune system attack on these patients' moisture-producing glands. Today, approximately 4 million Americans live with this chronic disease, and many more go undiagnosed. Let's take a quick look at the symptoms, and learn more about this disease that causes far more complications than the occasional parched mouth. Read more

What is Sjögren's?

Sjögren's is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. However, it has also been known to cause dysfunction of other non-exocrine organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. While you may not have heard of Sjogren’s, you’re likely aware of world tennis star, Venus Williams, who discovered she had the disease herself in 2011.

What are the primary symptoms?

Among individuals with Sjögren's, the most common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and dry eyes and mouth. However, since these symptoms can also point to other illnesses, Sjögren's is often misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. This is such a pressing concern for medical professionals involved in diagnosing and caring for Sjögren's patients, they have made it their mission to cut the time to diagnosis in half by 2017. Currently, the diagnosis isn’t typically made until a person with Sjögren's has been suffering with symptoms for 4.7 years on average – a fact that often leads Sjögren's patients to experience complications related to the disease like cavities, oral thrush, and vision problems.

When does it develop? Can kids be affected?

Sjögren's can develop at any time, affects women more commonly than men, and (while rare) can also affect children.

If I have Sjögren's, does my dentist need to know?

Yes, without a doubt, your dentist plays an important role in the management of Sjögren's. They may also be the first person to suggest you see a specialist for further examination. Since Sjögren's affects the body in a variety of ways, patients often work with a team of medical professionals, including rheumatologists and ophthalmologists, who work together to help patients control this complicated illness.

For more on the importance of saliva, and how it affects your teeth and overall health, read perhaps the best article on saliva you’ll ever read in your life, on the European Food and Information Council’s website. Saliva is indeed, amazing stuff!


Are My Gums Receding? And Why?

Posted On: June 03, 2018

Are My Gums Receding? And Why?

Have you ever noticed you're often in the dark about having put on weight until the day you need to don that dress or suit that's been hiding in the closet since last year? Progressive change can be difficult to notice, especially when it occurs to us and not someone else.  Changes that occur along our gum line certainly fall into this category, and given the measurement used to gauge erosion is measured in millimeters, it's no wonder it's easy to miss. So, how much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let's take a look.

Unfortunately to most, gum recession is considered to be a normal part of aging.  Even the expression "long in the tooth" stems from the age-old story that as we get older, our gum line tends to recede and expose more of the surface of our teeth. But there really is nothing "normal" about gum recession, and for most of us, it can actually be prevented. So, unless you're inclined to keep things as they are, and embrace gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, we can help.  

First things first. There are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gum line. The best part is, the VAST majority of these causes are preventable.  Here are some of the biggies:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Over vigorous, or improper brushing
  • Aggressive flossing
  • Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
  • Tobacco use
  • The frequent use of whitening productAll of the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. All of them.  If you grind your teeth at night, you can wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you're sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You're not slicing cheese - go easy, there, friend!  If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you're actually trying to look like Ross from the show "Friends" by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now, your teeth have got to be super-white already!
    What's next? How can you tell if your gums are receding faster than the Amazon rainforest? Well, the most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you're going regularly, your dentist has been monitoring your recession for some years now. If you've ever noticed your dentist poking around in your mouth with a metal object you can't see, all while reciting numbers to the hygienist, he's probably doing two things: measuring the recession of your gums, and the depths of your gum pockets. Both speak to the health of your gum line.

    So, the next time you hear your dentist reading off what seem like lottery number choices, just ask how your gum-health is going … they'll be happy to keep you in the loop.

    The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce, or eliminate the above discussed habits, and ask your dentist how you're doing in terms of taking care of your gums. With a little bit of knowledge and proactive behavior, no one will be saying you're "long in the tooth" any time soon, and you'll still be able to maintain your sage status. And, that's a good thing.