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Archive for April 2016


3 Dietary Vices That Can Benefit Oral Health in Moderation

When you want to keep your smile healthy and bright, you may avoid certain foods that can lead to cavities or staining. However, three common dietary “vices” may possess properties that fight cavities and are good for your teeth and oral health. It’s important to remember though that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and that practicing moderation with these three foods is the best course of action.

Dark Chocolate

The health benefits of dark chocolate have been common knowledge for a while, but you might not know that they can help your teeth. Cocoa beans contain antioxidants that can be beneficial to your teeth including:

  • Tannins – These give dark chocolate that slightly bitter but delightful taste and they aid in preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth.
  • Polyphenols – The antimicrobial properties of these antioxidants aid in reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
  • Flavonoids – These plant-based antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help slow tooth decay.

By reducing bacteria, preventing it from sticking to teeth and slowing tooth decay, you can reduce your chances of having gum disease and bad breath. When choosing dark chocolate for these desirable properties, opt for something with 70% cacao or higher and consume in sensible moderation.

Red Wine

Similar to dark chocolate, red wine also contains helpful antioxidants including tannins. Whether or not it contains alcohol, red wine can inhibit the production of oral biofilms and bacteria that develop into plaque. If you don’t like wine, a study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that grape seed extract has similar antimicrobial characteristics.


Black coffee, not coffee filled with sweeteners and cream can help inhibit bacteria growth. An extract known as Coffea Canephora exists in approximately 30% of the coffee in the world and it can contribute to destroying the biofilms that lead to plaque. There are also tannins in coffee like there are in chocolate and red wine. A darker, stronger roast coffee may be the most beneficial and you need to drink it free of sugar and cream that can coat your teeth and expose them to damaging acid.

Stain Warning

Chocolate, red wine, and coffee all contain pigments that can lead to stains on the teeth, which is why dentists often advise avoiding them, especially in people with veneers, crowns or recently whitened teeth. Consult with your dentist about the best way to prevent stains and remember to consume these dietary vices in moderation and follow by brushing or swishing with water to enjoy their oral health benefits without risking your teeth.


To brighten your smile and keep it healthy, contact Dupont Dental to learn more about our variety of dental services.


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Tips on Achieving Your Healthiest Smile

There are many common myths and concerns regarding the most important aspects of maintaining great oral health. The goal of any quality dental practice is to help their patients achieve their healthiest smile, and although a flawless Hollywood smile may be what some patients want, healthy is more important than perfect.

Health Over Perfection

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a perfect smile, but it should be the perfect smile for each patient and not adhere to an unachievable standard. Smiles make everyone unique and adds a bit of character. As long as the smile is healthy enough to last a lifetime and the patient feels great about it, that’s all that matters. Dental professionals ask their patients what they love about their smile and what, if anything, they want to change so they can work together to achieve a bright, healthy smile.

Home Oral Health Extremely Important

Keeping up great dental hygiene at home is the most important dental work that can happen in a person’s mouth. Aside from elected cosmetic dentistry and treating decay or cavities, dentists are happiest when they only need to see their patients every 6 months for a normal cleaning and exam. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is the best way to prevent decay and cavities.

Proper Alignment More Important than Perfectly Straight

Braces and other orthodontic treatments produce straight, evenly spaced teeth, but what’s more important is that they create a properly aligned bite. Even someone with straight teeth may require bite alignment if they frequently bite their lips or cheeks, have difficulty chewing, suffer frequent headaches, clench or grind their teeth and have crowding or gaps between teeth. If a misaligned bite doesn’t receive some sort of correction, it can lead to more serious oral health issues.

Poking Around Gums is Necessary

Nearly everyone who has ever gone to the dentist complains about the dental hygienist and/or dentist poking around in their gums until they become sore or even bleed. Although some view it as a type of torture, dental professionals do it because they want to ensure their patients have the healthiest teeth and gums possible. The same holds true for asking about flossing habits. Only with a thorough exam and honest answers to questions, can dentists get a complete picture of a person’s oral health. Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth and with gum disease affecting almost half of adults 30+ in the U.S., it’s not something anyone can ignore. Without healthy gums, patients can’t receive treatments such as teeth whitening, bridges, veneers, Invisalign or dental implants. Once a patient achieves healthy gums, then they can consider additional cosmetic or restoration treatments.

Over-whitening Teeth can Cause Oral Health Issues

While brighter teeth can improve a person’s appearance, it’s possible for patients to over-white if they use at-home kits too often. In-office teeth whitening treatments are the safest, most effective way to brighten a smile, and a dental professional can advise a patient when they’re trying to bleach too often. Over-bleaching can cause gum irritation, tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns in the soft tissue of the gums. It can also wear away tooth enamel leaving teeth at a higher risk for decay. While touch-up treatments are often necessary to maintain results, it’s important that people whiten in moderation to maintain a healthy smile and avoid damage.

Achieve your healthiest smile with regular cleanings and exams from Dupont Dental.

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Surprising Benefits of Dental Implants

Healthy, strong teeth are essential for a stunning smile that lasts a lifetime, but the truth is that most people weren’t born with perfect teeth that stay strong and look great forever. Having a healthy and complete smile helps overall health while boosting confidence. It’s important for anyone missing one or more teeth to seek a replacement to prevent bone loss and preserve their facial structure. With today’s dental implants, it’s possible to have permanent tooth replacement and a complete smile at any age. Dental implants have many benefits, but some of them may be surprising.

Youthful Smile and Face

A healthy smile keeps a person looking younger because teeth help preserve facial structure. The lips, cheeks and skin of the face remain firmer and tighter when teeth are present. Missing teeth and the gaps they leave can lead to bone loss, which gives the face a sunken appearance and causes the skin around the cheeks, eyes, and mouth to look more wrinkled and looser. Patients who receive dental implants often comment on how they feel and look younger and how much more willing they are to smile.

Success in Social Life and Career

A smile is one of the first things people notice during a first impression, and a healthy smile ensures that it’s a positive impression. A study showed that men found smiling women without makeup were more attractive than women hiding their smiles and wearing makeup, which proves the impressive power of a great smile. It’s common to hide one’s smile due to missing teeth, and this can make them seem unapproachable or unfriendly when they’re truly not. Having a full set of teeth encourages a person to feel more confident and smile more, and this can lead to greater opportunities in social and professional aspects of life.

Healthier Food Options

Someone living with missing teeth or traditional dentures that slip and aren’t as durable as natural teeth may live on a limited diet with foods that are easier to chew and may not be healthy. Difficult or painful chewing due to missing teeth makes it difficult to enjoy harder, healthier foods like apples, carrots, and other firm option.  Bones stay healthy and strong with exercise, and this applies to the jawbones too. With dental implants replacing missing teeth, a person can chew on healthy foods that keep teeth and bones strong.

Halt Bone Loss

The loss of bone material in the body, a condition called osteoporosis can affect both women and men and the jawbone is one of the first areas doctors find a loss of bone. When a person has all their teeth thanks to dental implants, they can chew properly and have a strong jawbone. The placement of dental implants directly into the jawbone can slow down, halt and sometimes reverse bone loss. Dental implants help keep surrounding teeth healthy too as they don’t require modification for implant placement and the new teeth prevent natural teeth from shifting.

Learn how dental implants can address any missing teeth issues by contacting Dupont Dental today.  


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The Unique Challenges Women Face Regarding Oral Health

When it comes to oral health, women face unique challenges due to their hormonal cycles. Hormonal cycles in women affect how their bodies react to plaque and bacteria on their teeth and gums. It’s important for a woman to understand the relationships between hormones and her oral health so she can address any concerns before they develop into a serious dental issue.

Gums and Hormonal Cycles

During puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, progesterone and estrogen levels increase and this can cause an increase in gum sensitivity. Some women experience swollen gums and bleeding right before menstruation, a condition called menstruation gingivitis. While this may clear up quickly, it may require additional oral health diligence. During pregnancy, some women experience more serious gingivitis that can lead to non-cancerous oral tumors. Pregnant women need to maintain regular dental appointments to treat any hormone related issues. Another factor that only women have to deal with is that oral contraceptives increase hormone levels and can lead to vulnerability to gum disease and tooth sensitivity. Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can cause oral health issues for women such as dry mouth that can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Additional Oral Health Issues Affecting Women

Temporomandibular Disorder, called TMD or TMJ Disorder, is something that women are twice as likely as men to suffer as it’s usually caused by teeth grinding or teeth clenching. TMJ Disorder can strain the jaw joint and damage teeth without treatment. Continued research suggests a potential link between HPV and oral cancer, and as women are the only ones with a test for HPV at this point, it’s important that they undergo regular oral cancer screenings. Women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than their male counterparts, and this condition can lead to jawbone loss and periodontal disease issues.

The Good News

Despite the issues hormones can cause with women’s oral health, women are much better at taking care of their teeth and gums than men. Maintaining great dental health habits reduces the risk of teeth and gum issues and studies show that women:

  • Consistently have regular dental checkups
  • Have better attitude toward dental health
  • Have great personal dental habits

With a better awareness of the effects of hormones on their body, women can take a much more proactive role in maintaining the health of their teeth and gums. A great, healthy smile can be a woman’s best accessory, and it helps boost her mood while giving a positive first impression.

If you’re a woman with concerns about your dental health, contact our understanding professionals at Dupont Dental.

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Conditions That Require Oral Surgery

There are multiple conditions that can require treatment with oral surgery, but with today’s innovative dental practices, a patient can feel safe and comfortable undergoing such a common practice. Sometimes oral surgery is avoidable with good oral hygiene and sometimes it’s necessary to treat any oral issues that could become worse without attention. Tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgeries, but there are also jaw problems that may require surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

The third molars or wisdom teeth develop last and most of the time there isn’t room for them in the mouth, which prevents them from emerging and leads to impacted teeth. The impacted teeth become trapped between the gum tissue and jawbone, and this can cause pain, swelling, and infection in the gum tissues. Impacted wisdom teeth may damage nearby teeth, bone, and gums permanently and cause tumors or cysts that can destroy jaw sections. For these reasons, dentists perform oral surgery to remove the impacted wisdom teeth. Sometimes other teeth such as bicuspids become impacted too and require removal.

Tooth Replacement

Someone who has suffered tooth loss and seeks tooth replacement with dental implants will have to undergo oral surgery to place the implants. Dental implants replace the tooth root with a titanium rod anchored in the jawbone and the dentist then places an artificial tooth that functions like the remaining natural teeth.

Jaw Problems

For some people, their jaw doesn’t develop properly and this unequal jaw growth can lead to difficulties with eating, speaking, breathing, and swallowing. While issues such as misaligned teeth are correctable with orthodontics, more serious jaw problems need oral surgery to reposition the jaw for proper function. Sometimes severe cases of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) require oral surgery on the joints to correct problems in the temporomandibular joint.

Proper Fit for Dentures

First-time denture wearers may need oral surgery to correct jaw irregularities before the dentists makes the dentures. These corrections help the dentures fit better. Long-term denture wearers may also benefit from oral surgery if the jawbone deteriorates and the dentures don’t fit properly anymore. The oral surgeon may perform a bone graft to strengthen areas of bone loss.

Repair After Facial Injury

Someone who has suffered a facial injury, such as broken facial bones or fractured jaws, may require oral surgery to restore the structure and health of the teeth, gums, and jaw.

Treat Facial Infections

Infections in the neck, jaws or face can become life threatening without proper treatment. Oral surgery such as tooth extraction or making an incision to drain the infections may be necessary.

Oral surgery has many beneficial issues to oral and overall health and today’s dental professionals work to make it as stress-free an experience as possible. Learn about your oral treatment options by contacting Dupont Dental.


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Treat Gum Disease

Treating Periodontitis Can Save Your Teeth

It’s common for people to think that cavities are the biggest threat to their teeth, but cavities are actually unlikely to cause tooth loss. Cavities can lead to tooth infections that threaten the heath of a tooth, but the bigger cause of tooth loss is gum disease (periodontitis). The best way to keep teeth healthy and save teeth with gum disease is to consult a periodontal expert who understands all stages of periodontitis.

Gum disease more common than most believe

Gum disease presents a high risk for tooth loss because it’s more common than many believe and patients, therefore, may not be looking for signs of the disease. Periodontitis affects almost half of adults over 30 years old and of that half, 30% have moderate gum disease. Even moderate periodontitis can lead to bone loss around teeth and receding gums. In severe gum disease, there’s an increased danger of tooth loss. Knowing the signs of gum disease/periodontitis can help a person receive prompt treatment. These signs include:

  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Food debris between gums and teeth
  • Teeth appear longer than they used to
  • Dark areas around teeth
  • Teeth sensitivity, especially deep in the tooth root
  • Movement in teeth

For someone with one or more of these symptoms, it’s vital that they visit the dentist and begin treatment to reverse gum disease and avoid tooth loss.

Importance of periodontal expert

A periodontist has the experience and knowledge required to properly treat and reverse gum disease. As gum disease is so common, most dentists are periodontal specialists and have the proper dental training that focuses on tissues surrounding the teeth, bones and gums. Periodontists know the best options for treating gum disease and these can range from noninvasive treatments to surgery, and they work with their patients to find the best treatment to restore a healthy mouth and prevent tooth loss. An expert in treating periodontitis has the skill to prepare the mouth for whatever treatments are necessary and performs the procedures necessary to save teeth. If tooth loss does occur, a periodontist can place dental implants as needed to restore a patient’s smile and avoid the risk of bone loss from missing teeth.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to contact a qualified dentist right away to reverse the disease and restore your healthy mouth. Dupont Dental provides numerous dentistry services to protect and preserve your smile.

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Fixing crooked teeth

The Importance of Correcting Crooked Teeth

Crooked or misaligned teeth are more than just a cosmetic concern as without correction, they can lead to oral complications and health problems. With today’s innovative dental treatments, adults with crooked teeth can have healthy, straight teeth and a smile they’re confident sharing.

Crooked teeth causes

There are various reasons why teeth become crooked. Quite often, as permanent teeth grow in replacing baby teeth, they don’t grow in straight because they grow in one at a time and the existing teeth in the mouth affect their position. This is why it’s common for teens and pre-teens to undergo braces once all of their baby teeth have fallen out. Tooth loss is another common cause of crooked teeth as the remaining teeth move position to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. When the teeth shift, they’re usually misaligned. Less common causes of crooked teeth include TMJ disorder or a cleft palate.

How crooked teeth affect oral health

When the teeth have proper alignment, they support each other and help maintain the proper oral structure, which makes eating and speaking possible. However, when teeth are crooked, they can cause muscle and jaw strain as they don’t provide enough support and this leaves the mouth more vulnerable to damage or injury. Having teeth out of alignment can also lead to sensitivity or tooth pain and has the potential to increase the risk of gingivitis and tooth decay as it’s harder to reach all areas of the crooked teeth while brushing and flossing.

Treating crooked teeth

Treating crooked teeth requires working with a dental professional experienced in orthodontics. There are many ways of fixing crooked teeth and children and adults can both benefits from traditional braces. Today’s braces can be less obvious and more comfortable than braces of the past, but the most discreet option is the Invisalign system of aligner trays. Invisalign braces are very convenient for today’s busy adults and they’ve advanced so that they can treat a great degree of misalignment than when they were first introduced. The clear plastic trays of the Invisalign system are easy to remove during eating, brushing and flossing ensuring that teeth stay healthy as they move into a better position. For patients who don’t want to undergo orthodontic treatments and who have misaligned teeth that are more of a cosmetic issue, dentists may suggest placing porcelain veneers over crooked teeth. Veneers give a patient’s smile an even, smooth and properly aligned appearance.

There’s no reason to endure misaligned teeth in your mouth that make you self-conscious. Contact Dupont Dental to find out how we can restore and improve your smile.

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