We have many patients ask if they have to stop chewing gum. If you can’t quite give up your love for bubble gum here are some things to keep in mind. And, as always, if you suffer from TMJ issues we never recommend gum chewing as it inflames your jaw muscles.
Which gums should I choose?The best place to start is with whether or not the gum you want has sugar. If it does, it will do more harm than good to your teeth. There are not exceptions. If it is sugar free, the next thing you should look for is the American Dental Association seal of approval. Products only get this seal after they undergo a basic level of scientific scrutiny, so as a consumer you can be sure that your gum does not contain anything that will harm your teeth. However, there are several areas, such as remineralization or the neutralization of acids, for which gum can earn the seal for, so if you are worried about on specific area then you should do a little more research into your chosen brand to see exactly why it earned the ADA seal of approval.
The good effects
When you chew you mouth naturally produces saliva, which is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth healthy. Saliva is the body’s way of naturally controlling bacteria that are growing on your teeth, and the more of it you have the better off you will be.
Gum has also been shown to trap a small, but significant, number of bacteria as it comes in contact with your teeth. This means that when you spit-out your gum, it will be taking several million bacteria along for the rid.
So chewing can replace brushing and flossing?
Unfortunately, chewing gum alone is not nearly enough to protect your teeth, even if you pick sugar free gum. You still need to brush at least two times a day and make sure to floss at least once. However, popping a piece of dental gum after a meal is a great way to help clean up any of those leftover bits of food that like to hang around and cause trouble.
LET’S GO CAPS!! Another playoff season is upon us in the DC area as the Cap’s battle for the Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin lost his front tooth to a high stick he took in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007- hopefully no teeth will be lost in this series with any players. How do these guys protect their teeth, with a sports guard! Now these guards can’t prevent all accidents but it is the best way to try and keep your teeth safe while playing sports. Another type of guard that people don’t give much though to is a night guard. So many of us in the area have stressful jobs, horrible commutes etc and were does this stress come out- night time grinding of your teeth. Most people don’t even know they are grinding at night, some people have symptoms of jaw pain or headaches when they wake up in the morning but don’t really know why. We can see many signs of grinding when you come in for your visits. A guard made specifically for night time grinding is a must if you want to save your teeth from this wear, just like athletes use them to save their teeth from sports accidents. We would be happy to review the benefits of our guard at your next visit! Call us NOW for an appointment- 703-548-8584- you will be glad you did and so will your teeth!
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 businesses across the United States joined Freedom Day USA, a national Thank You Movement for the members of our military along with Veterans. Each business donated services in the form of free services, goods, discounts, and various other offers. Locally, Kathleen Mullaney DDS of Alexandria, partnered with Freedom Day USA to provide free cleanings, x-rays, exams, oral cancer screenings, fillings and extractions to those that serve our country.
Dr. Kathleen Mullaney and her team welcomed many of our nation’s veterans and active duty service members to her practice to provide free dental services. Dr. Kevin Brewer, an oral surgeon from Alexandria Oral Surgery volunteered his services as well. Participants were asked to schedule an appointment in advance and “we were even able to offer walk-in appointments throughout the day into the late afternoon due to our great team support”, says Dr. Mullaney.
Alexandria Mayor William Euille dropped by in the afternoon to meet some of the Veterans and give his thanks to Dr. Mullaney and the team for this event. Breakfast and lunch were generously provided by local businesses in Alexandria. Goody bags donated from dental companies and other businesses were given to each patient before they left. Those that came to the practice were elated and very pleased with the services provided – some even decided to make Dr. Mullaney their new dentist! Of the practice’s success on Freedom Day, owner Dr. Mullaney said, “This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I’m so happy that we made it come true to give back to our deserving service members.” Dr. Mullaney and team are committed to making Freedom Day USA an annual tradition in her dental office!