Dentist Blog

Posts for: April, 2014

By Thomas W. Kauffman, DDS, PC
April 29, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Foods  
Dental NutritionOur bodies are like complex machines, and the foods that you choose are the fuel.  How often you “fill up” can significantly affect your general health as well as the health of your teeth and gums.  According to the American Dental Association, many dentists are concerned that their patients are consuming a record number of sugar filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that affect their teeth.  These items typically have little, if any, nutritional value.  Over time they can take a toll on your teeth. By visiting our office, our Atlanta dentist can offer you the information you need to maintain a healthy diet and smile.

Choose Your Foods Wisely

When you eat, food passes through your mouth and meets the germs, or bacteria, that live in your mouth.  Plaque, as told by your dentist, is a sticky film of bacteria.  The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugars that are found in many foods. When you don’t properly clean your teeth after eating, bacteria use the sugar to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of the tooth, called enamel.  The more you eat and the longer food is left in your mouth, the more damage occurs. 
There are some foods that you would least expect contain sugars, such as fruits, milk, bread, cereals and even vegetables.  The key to choosing foods wisely is not to avoid foods that contain sugars, but to limit your consumption.  What you eat does significantly impact your health, but also when you eat can make a big impact in your dental health.  Eat a well-balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.  If you are on a special diet, keep your physician’s advice in mind when choosing foods.  To get a well-balanced diet our dentist in Atlanta encourages everyone to eat a variety of foods and choose foods from each of the five major groups:
  • Breads, cereals and other grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Milk, cheese and yogurt

Children and Nutrition

Good eating habits beginning in early childhood can go a long way in ensuring a lifetime of good oral health.  Children are encouraged to eat foods that are rich in calcium and other minerals, as well as maintaining a healthy balance of the essential food groups.  Fluoride supplements may also be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but it is important to consult our Atlanta, GA dentist first. 
If you allow your children to eat excessive amounts of junk foods, containing starches and sugars, including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars, it is placing them at risk for serious oral health problems.  The carbonation that is found in soda can erode tooth enamel, so encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda, or offer other alternatives to drinking soda. 
Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums, as well as your general health, to ward off infection, decay and disease.  Contact our dentist in Atlanta, GA today for more information on how proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet can help your smile sparkle for longer.

Why do Teeth Darken?

Did you know that teeth are naturally between a light grey and yellow in color?  Aging plays a role in the dimming of a bright smile, as you age the whiter enamel of your teeth starts to thin displaying more of the yellow dentin underneath.  The shade of your teeth can also be affected by staining caused by the consumption of certain foods or the use of tobacco products.  The perception of tooth color can also be influenced by skin tone or makeup.  People with darker skin tones or who use darker makeup have teeth that appear whiter. 

In home solutions to teeth whitening can cause damage to your teeth.  Brushing too vigorously can cause small abrasions in the enamel of your teeth which allow those areas to stain more readily.  Using over-the-counter whitening toothpastes too frequently may lead to enamel damage as well; this is due to the abrasive nature of the pastes.  As most whitening solutions cannot change the shade of any existing dental work (caps, crowns, or partial dentures) it is important to discuss your whitening options with your dentist.  Dr. Kauffman can evaluate your smile and coordinate whitening along with any other necessary or cosmetic dental treatment in order to maintain a consistent shade for all restorations and natural teeth. 

Here at Dr. Kauffman’s office in Atlanta we offer teeth whitening and a wide array of other cosmetic dental services to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted.

Whitening Solutions:

There are many over-the-counter bleaching options available, but your dentist will be able to help you with a solution that is customized just for you.  Dr. Kauffman uses a Chair-side whitening solution by LumiBrite®, designed to comfortably and quickly whiten patients’ teeth.  The combination of LumiBrite® desensitizing enhancer and LumiBrite® whitening gel reduces chair-time required for effective whitening compared to traditional chair-side bleaching treatments.

The treatment can be supplemented with a course at home and of course remembering to avoid the following items: Red Wine, Dark Colas, Coffee or Tea, Red Sauces, Mustard or Ketchup, Soy Sauce, Steak Sauce, Tobacco Products, or anything that would stain a white shirt.

As always seek regular professional dental hygiene care to maintain oral health, keep staining at a minimum, and determine the need for whitening touch-ups.  Practice good oral hygiene including thorough tooth brushing, flossing to remove debris from between teeth, and tongue cleaning.  Whitening your teeth can improve your smile and give you a renewed sense of confidence.  Give us a call today to schedule your whitening consultation, or mention it to your hygienist at your next appointment.  

By Thomas W. Kauffman, DDS, PC
April 05, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Dental Checkup - Communication for Dental AnxietyWhen you visit your Atlanta dentist, do you sometimes hesitate to tell us when you are experiencing pain? Do you accept that pain is just a normal part of the dental experience? This is only true if you say nothing to your dentist during your procedure.
If you are able to communicate with your dentist during your visit, you will be able to enjoy a more pleasant experience at the dental office. Communication is a key part of avoiding dental anxiety and making the best decisions about your personal oral health. So talk to Dr. Thomas Kauffman—our dentist in Atlanta—for more information on proper communication.

Dental Anxiety

For many, an intense and real fear builds up when faced with the prospect of a dental visit. Since this is a very common anxiety, dentists should be trained and prepared to deal with dental anxiety. However, if you do not communicate your feelings of anxiety to Dr. Thomas Kauffman, our family dentist in Atlanta, the fear will continue to get worse and seeing the dentist will become more and more difficult each time.
The key to controlling dental anxiety is to be open and honest with Dr. Kauffman about what you are feeling. If he does not know how you are feeling, he will not be able to do anything to make you feel more comfortable. Once Dr. Kauffman is fully informed of your condition, he will be able to make sure that you are feeling comfortable at all times during your dental visit.

Choosing the Right Treatment Option For You

Another time where communication is very important is when you face a decision about what course of treatment you should pursue. Because of technological advances in modern dentistry, many times you are presented with a choice of several different options. In situations like these, it is very important for you to be honest with Dr. Kauffman and our staff about your concerns. By knowing what you are most comfortable with and your financial situation, we will be able to collaborate with you to come up with the best course of treatment.

Taking Control

One particular reason why people don’t enjoy going to the dentist is because they feel like they lose control of what is happening to their bodies. When something causes them pain, they feel like they can’t do anything to stop it. This method of thinking is problematic. Dr. Kauffman is there to make you feel comfortable and offer you the best possible care. Simply let our Atlanta, GA dentist know that you are feeling uncomfortable.
As a dentist in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Thomas Kauffman encourages you to schedule an appointment with our office to learn more about your dental care and to keep the lines of communication open.