From chewing gum to preventing tooth staining, Denise Newton, a registered dental hygienist, gives tips about general oral health.
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I have a lot of patients ask that and I say, you have less exposure to the liquid but you’re still going to have staining, if you drink coffee if you drink it through a straw, or drink it through your nose you’re still going to have some coffee stains so— I actually recommend to some patients to chew sugar free gum. Any type of sugar-free gum that you want to choose is good. They have now an artificial sweetener calls xylitol, that’s in a lot of gums and xylitol actually helps fight against tooth decay and that orbit—that have xylitol in them. Those were the two that I chew that I’ve looked into. With all of the patients we always check the tongue and the tissue around the teeth and around the lips and stuff. We check for any type of red lesions, white lesions, any type of marks on the tongue that we feel shouldn’t be there. A lot of people they will have what we called geographic tongue which they just have spotting of the tongue that is completely normal, it’s just what they were born with. Most of the times it’s kind of just a red discoloration, just a tongue kind of varies in color of pink or red, but when we see white lesions number one big red flag we’re always in for second opinions on white lesions of the tongue. And lesions that are also rated that are real tender to the touch or anything like in and out of it is pink and the borders of it are a little red, that type of thing. Yes, chewing on ice is very bad for your teeth just because ice is so hard. It can cause small fractures of the teeth which can one day flare up. It may not happen the same day that you are chewing on ice or the same day that you call a small fracture, but one day it could flare out and call some infection. You could break it too, that type of thing. So, ice is not good for your teeth. We see a lot of patients who come in with broken teeth or they’ve chipped the teeth by chewing ice.

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