6700 West Gate Blvd, Suite 101 Austin, TX 78745

Patient Comfort

Brushing 2.0 – Get Informed!

Thought You Knew Everything About Brushing Your Teeth? Think Again!

by Trey M. Latiolais, D.D.S.

Taken from our blog: www.westgatefamilydental.wordpress.com

Recently, we received a question from a patient, they asked:

“Does it promote cavities (or wear enamel) to eat acidic food like tomatoes and then brush your teeth shortly after?”

SHORT ANSWER: YES!!!

tooth-imageEXPLANATION: This is an interesting question that I feel like will benefit the vast majority of readers that come across it. If you ask most people when the best time to brush their teeth was, the answer you would hear over and over would be “after meals and right before bed.” WRONG. Another common answer would be “after breakfast and before bed”. Again I would argue, you guessed it, WRONG. I know this is hard to believe, because it flies in the face of what the majority of people have either been taught or assumed their entire lives. So when is the RIGHT time to brush your teeth? BEFORE MEALS!! I know this seems backwards, but that is because people either have no understanding or don’t fully grasp two main concepts: A) What causes cavities and even more surprising B) why do we brush in the first place? By answering these two questions first, we’ll be able to better wrap our heads around the logic.

WHAT CAUSES CAVITIES?
Cavities are essentially caused by ACID destruction of tooth structure. Two primary factors contribute to this.
1) Acidic foods and beverages can weaken enamel and dentin. Things like soda and sweet tea are a double whammy since they are both acidic and also feed the bacteria to produce more acid.
2) Certain bacteria, specifically Strep mutans, digest sucrose (sugar) and other fermentable carbohydrates producing acid as a byproduct.

WHY DO WE BRUSH?
Common sense tells us that we should brush to get the food off of our teeth, right? Wrong. We brush our teeth specifically to remove plaque and bacteria from our teeth. Food and debris removal is just an added bonus so we don’t get made fun of for having that little piece of green leafy something stuck on our front tooth…you know what I’m talking about.

SO…….If we brush AFTER meals, our teeth have plaque/bacteria on them when we eat or drink. This means that our teeth are being attacked not only by the natural acidity of what we’re ingesting, but also from the acid produced by the bacteria. It only takes 5 minutes for these bacteria to start creating acid. In contrast, it takes 30 minutes for your body to regulate the acidity caused by these processes back to a neutral environment. By the time you brush your teeth, it’s too late. In addition, if you brush your teeth following this acid exposure (especially with abrasive toothpaste and/or a hard toothbrush), the tooth structure is going to be more susceptible to mechanical abrasion or erosion. If we brush BEFORE meals, the plaque and bacteria are decreased, limiting the amount of acid that can potentially harm our teeth.

SUMMARY: It’s best to brush first thing in the morning BEFORE breakfast and again after work, but BEFORE dinner. It’s still good to brush before bed, but just make sure it has been at least 30 minutes since you last ate or had your favorite carbonated beverage!

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Patient Comfort

blanket12-300x235At Westgate Family Dental, patient comfort is one of our highest priorities. We offer a large array of cozy comforts in addition to Conscious Sedation for those nervous folks that are white knuckled just by the thought of going to the dentist. We know that the dental office isn’t anybody’s desired place to be, so we do our best to generate the most relaxed atmosphere imaginable.

Our patients are like our family and when you come to Westgate Family Dental we want you to feel as if you are at home as much as humanly possible. We offer comfy plush leather operatory chairs coupled with a beautiful view of our 100 year old oak tree and plush green backyard. If you want to just unwind, close your eyes and disconnect, we also offer dark sunglasses and wireless headphones to drain out the clamor of the busy dental office. Got ESPN? We do! We have 32″ HD TV’s in all of our operatories that viewable when lying back in the dental chair. You can kick back, relax and watch your favorite daytime television program and use our wireless headphones to tune everything out but the TV! Got Pandora on your smartphone? We have FREE Wi-Fi and an available iPad for your convenience to listen to commercial free Pandora during your visit!

For clinical and health standards we tend to keep our office a little bit on the chilly side so we offer all of our patients plush fleece blankets, pillows and neck rests. We do our best to create an atmosphere of comfort and we want more than anything for you to feel like you are somewhere other than the dental office!

In addition to our cozy perks, we also offer IV Conscious Sedation and Oral Conscious Sedation. IV Conscious Sedation is safe, reversible and puts you in a relaxing rest while we efficiently complete your dentistry. IV Conscious Sedation is administered through an IV and has an almost immediate effect. Dr. Yarbrough was specifically educated to administer IV Sedation during a General Practice Residency program he attended after dental school. Overall, this is the best way to take care of your dentistry, not only does it relax you, it also relaxes the jaw muscles and makes for a speedier and pain free recovery!!

For a more cost effective approach, we also offer oral sedation which has almost the same sedative effect as IV Sedation excluding the immediate result. Both sedation practices require an escort to drive you to and from your appointment.

We also offer Nitrous Oxide (gas) which doesn’t require a companion, after your procedure we place you on Oxygen which safely removes the Nitrous from your system. You are done and are able to drive home immediately following your procedure. In addition to our sedation options we always administer a local anesthetic to numb the area of the mouth we are treating. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stay numb the rest of the day because we also offer Oraverse, an injectible reversing agent that eliminates your numbness!

Check out our list of Cozy Comforts!


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6700 West Gate Blvd
Suite 101 Austin
TX 78745
appt@dryarbrough.com
(512)447-0808