Our Blog - Dr. Michael Bell DDS


Why Baking Soda is Helpful for Whitening Your Teeth

So many ask why baking soda is a preferred at-home whitening method. Not only is this a natural product that so many people keep in their baking cupboards, but it is one that is also effective.

Understanding a bit how it works can give you some information on whether or not this is the best whitening method for you to use. Consider some of these aspects regarding baking soda and what it does for the teeth that might be stained in your mouth.

The Compound Makeup of Baking Soda

The makeup of baking soda is awesome. Not only does it work as a minor abrasive, but this means that it can scrub off those surface stains that are on the outside of the teeth. You don’t have to worry about scrubbing it in either.

Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Add the paste over the top of the teeth and let it sit there for some time. This gives the person a way to whiten the teeth without having to worry about scrubbing any mixtures, using any lights or having to go through extensive, invasive treatments.

The baking soda is a natural component and just a little bit of sitting on your teeth, you will see whitening results in a matter of days. This is why so many people choose to use it over chemical methods available.

Our Dentists Know Whitening

While baking soda is ideal for surface stains, sometimes other stains will not remove from the surface of the teeth. If this is the case, then it is important that the person call us to speak with our dentists regarding other whitening methods that we provide. We can ensure that your smile is whiter, healthier and happier in the end.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.


Oral Piercings Can Really Damage Your Teeth

You might think having your tongue pierced looks cool now, but did you know that oral piercings can damage your teeth?

Oral piercings can, in the long run, make your teeth move. Your teeth shouldn’t move, and once they do, you will end up with a gap in your smile. You don’t want that! Here are a few other ways oral piercings can damage your teeth.

Can Cause Your Teeth to Crack and Chip

Not only, when your teeth move from having an oral piercing, can create a gap, but once the piercing causes the chips and cracks in your teeth, this will cause an even bigger hole. Having a gap in your teeth can make you look bad. The chips and cracks can be due to bumping the teeth against the piercing. You can easily hit the two together while eating or even talking to someone.

Can Cause Bacterial Infections

If you don’t maintain the piercing good enough, especially within the first couple of weeks after having it done, you can end up with a bacterial infection in your mouth. Some of these infections include blood-borne hepatitis, angina, and herpes. Since no one wants this to happen, read further to find out how to avoid these problems.

Ways to Avoid Problems After You Have Gotten an Oral Piercing

If you have already gotten your tongue pierced, don’t worry because there are ways to avoid these problems associated with oral piercings. The main thing to remember is to care for your tongue piercing all the time, especially within the first few weeks of getting it done. If you don’t keep it clean and maintained like you are supposed to, you will end up with an infection in your mouth.

When you first get your piercing on your tongue, gauge it accordingly by getting an extended piece of jewelry instead of something small. If you choose something small, like a stud, at first, this can cause it to swell over the piercing. After you have had it for a while, and after the initial swelling goes down, you can then get your stud put in.

Contact us for ways to maintain your oral piercing or for information on why you should not get one in the first place.


Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water on a Daily Basis

For those who are particularly conscious about their oral health, it is always good to be aware of new things that could help to boost the strength of one’s teeth and gums. In recent years, coconut water has started trending and many people will swear by the health benefits that it provides.

All in all, coconut water is just water with a little bit of coconut infused. However, there are a couple of benefits that it can have on your teeth and gums.

A Replacement for Electrolyte Drinks

There are a lot of energy drinks out there nowadays that are designed to replace electrolytes. A lot of these drinks, however, also have acids and sugars in them, which can be very damaging to the teeth. For those who exercise regularly, just drinking plain water will not be enough to help replenish the body’s resources. This is not helped by the fact that a lot of the ingredients in them tend to be artificial.

Replacing these kinds of beverages with coconut water can help to decrease the level of acidity in your mouth, especially if you are someone who tends to drink a lot of soft drinks. However, acidity levels are still rather high and therefore you should keep an eye on your daily intake.

A lot of commercially available coconut water also tends to have added sugars, so it is a good idea to look at the brands that you are buying. Drinking it on a daily basis can be hugely beneficial, even for your teeth, however make sure to limit your intake.

If you would like to know more about what you can do to maintain your oral hygiene, do not hesitate to contact us!


Places to Easily Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet

Sugar is not good for teeth or for your overall health. This is why it is important to cut the sugar from your diet and make sure to keep it off of your teeth. You want to have healthier teeth and gums overall, but where are you going to cut the sugar out? What if you already feel that you’re eating somewhat healthy?

Here are some tips for not only cutting out the sugar, but making sure that you keep the sugar off of your teeth.

Tips for Reducing Sugar Intake

While you might feel like you don’t intake a lot of sugar on a daily basis, you can still reduce the amount that sits on your teeth. Here are some great tips for helping your oral health and getting more out of the things you eat and the integrity of your teeth.

  • Reduce the amount of candy or baked goods that you eat on a daily basis.
  • Rinse out your mouth after eating anything that is acidic or high in sugar content.
  • Brush after each meal to reduce any type of sugar or other food that might be sitting on the outside of the teeth.
  • Stay away from acidic drinks and food, since these can be just as bad as the sugary ones that you eat.
  • Do not drink soda, as this can damage the teeth and your overall health because it is a sweet, sugary drink with a high sugar content.
  • Drink milk, tea and coffee through a straw to reduce the effects that they have on the teeth.

There are many ways you can eat healthier, reduce sugar and still maintain healthier teeth. Keeping up on your oral hygiene and cleanings at the dentist are great ways to do so. Speak with us today to schedule an appointment.


How Common Are Cavities When You Have Braces

When you have braces, you find that they can be somewhat uncomfortable, but they’re being done so you have a straighter, healthier smile. When this happens, you can ensure that you’re working with the best dentist out there.

Our office knows how important taking care of your teeth are when it comes to having braces. You want to make sure that cavities do not form in the process. This is because they are quite common for those that have braces.

Braces and Cavities

Since braces cover a lot of area of the teeth, it is harder to get in between and inside them. This is due to the toothbrush not having the proper head to fit in between these smaller spaces. You want to make sure that you brush really well, but sometimes the teeth can still have decay on them.

Braces are a cause for a lot of cavities in teens. When the mouth is not properly taken care of, you will note that you have a lot more cavities than usual. It is also why it is recommended that those with braces stay away from sugary, sticky and other cavity causing foods. These can create worse cavities in the end.

It is essential that the person with braces know how to properly brush their teeth. This is because they have to reduce the number of cavities that they get while wearing them by properly brushing in all of the right places throughout the mouth. The orthodontist will show you how.

Speak with our office today regarding braces, cavities or just to come in and see a dentist or specialist. We can provide you with an appointment. We provide high quality care to those in the area that wish to have better oral hygiene overall. Call us today and set something up.


Little-Known Facts About Cavities

A lot of people get a cavity in their teeth now and again. It isn’t something anyone plans for, but it does happen. If you recently found out that you have a cavity, then it is important that you go in as soon as your dentist has an opening to get it filled.

That way, you don’t have to worry about your cavity growing and affecting nearby teeth.

Did You Know….

Did you know that cavities are able to spread from tooth to tooth in a way? It’s true. The decay keeps growing until it is removed, and if you let it go on too long, it can affect neighboring teeth.

Cavities can keep growing until you either have the decay taken out and the space filled, or until they completely consume and kill your tooth. This can also be an incredibly painful process for you to go through.

Large cavities require you to have some type of a covering over them most of the time. This covering is usually in the form of a crown. However, it is up to your dentist to figure out which covering is best.

Your filling is not expected to last the rest of your life. Most people think that once they have a filling, the tooth is then taken care of. The truth is, your filling will wear out. While fillings do need to be replaced eventually, with good oral hygiene, they can last you a very long time before that becomes necessary.

If you want to know more about cavities or the fillings used to help protect the remainder of your tooth, ask your dentist. They know more about cavities and fillings than anyone else. They can also tell you what you can do to help prevent fillings in your dental future.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.


Lifestyle Factors That May Increase Your Risk of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, while usually highly treatable, can be a serious or even life-threatening condition. Although we do our best to closely screen all of our patients and catch developing oral cancer when it is still in its early stage, we are not able to do everything without your help.

That is to say, there are things that you can do—or, more accurately, things that you can avoid doing—that will affect your chances of developing oral cancer.

Simply put, there are certain lifestyle choices that can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Here is more information on a few of the most dangerous lifestyle factors.

Tobacco Use

Given the huge amount of negative publicity surrounding tobacco use, it probably comes as no surprise to you to learn that tobacco use can contribute to the development of oral cancer. If you smoke—even if you are not a heavy smoker—you expose your body to literally thousands and thousands of carcinogenic substances.

Some of these substances go into your lungs and cause problems there, such as emphysema and lung cancer. Others can go into your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body, causing problems far and wide. Yet others remain in the mouth, interacting with your oral tissues and increasing the likelihood of developing oral cancer.

Likewise, using smokeless tobacco greatly increases your chance of developing oral cancer. When you hold the tobacco between your cheek and gum, it releases many dangerous substances. Some of these are absorbed into your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body; however, many of them remain in the mouth and cause problems there.

For Your Health, Stop Using Tobacco

If you use tobacco, you need to make a serious effort to cut back or even eliminate it from your life. Doing so will greatly decrease your risk of oral cancer.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at today.


Drinking Tea Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Oral Health

One of the healthiest drinks anyone can have is tea. This is especially true if you don’t add anything to it, like sugar. Tea has many good properties to it, most of which can directly improve your oral health simply by adding it into your daily diet. If you want to increase the levels of your oral health, tea may be the one small change you need to make to really increase how healthy your mouth really is.

Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

All types of tea are known to help increase your oral health, but green tea is the most beneficial. Studies have shown that drinking green tea helps to reduce how many cavities you get. Tea protects against gum disease, showing signs that it can help reverse the effects of gum disease, too. Plus, tea helps to eradicate bad breath.

If you are replacing sugary or acidic drinks with the tea, you get even more benefits. Both sugar and acid do a lot of damage to your teeth. That is why it is so important to drink unsweetened tea. That way, you get all of the benefits without the detrimental effects. Let the tea replace everything you drink if you want, other than water. Even if you just drink one cup of tea per day, it still provides your mouth with the benefits that will help improve your oral health.

Talk with your dentist if you are considering changing all of your drinks to tea. They may suggest a specific type of tea that will do the most good for you specifically. Ask them what type of things to be on the lookout for as your mouth starts to improve from your change of beverage, then smile because you are doing a great thing for your mouth.

If you have any questions or please contact us today.


Do You Scrape Your Tongue When You Floss? If Not, You Should

Tongue scraping isn’t something everyone has heard of. In fact, even brushing one’s tongue is not common practice for everyone. If you want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible, it is important you keep tongue scraping as a regular part of your oral hygiene routine.

This can help improve your oral health, plus it has benefits that can be applied to other parts of your life.

Why You Need to Start Scraping Your

There are many benefits that come along with tongue scraping. The first is that you remove the bacteria and tartar that tends to coat the tongue. This means it is not sitting in your mouth as a breeding ground for bad breath. Plus, once your tongue is clean, you will be able to taste your food more fully than you may have been able to do in quite some time.

When that film is off of your tongue, it also means that it is not going down into your stomach when you eat or swallow. That can cause you to struggle with proper digestion. One of the lesser known benefits of tongue scraping is that it can also give you an immunity boost. By not having film coating your tongue, it can more efficiently fight off any germs that make their way into your mouth.

Tongue scraping may not be as popular as it should be, but it is gaining ground. If you want to get the most out of your daily oral health routine, make sure that tongue scraping becomes part of it. It only takes a few seconds, but it can make a significant impact on how healthy your mouth and body are. Ask your dentist what he or she thinks about it, and chances are, they will agree with these benefits!

If you have any questions please contact us today.


Do You Have a Spring Wedding?

Woman in wedding dress holds flowers.Planning a wedding involves taking care of several details. Even minor details, such as the linens on your tables, or the font on the place cards, matters. One small detail that often goes overlooked (because you don’t often think about it in terms of your wedding), is the condition of your smile. If you have a spring wedding, here’s how to create the perfect smile that will leave you with photos you are proud to show off.

Visit Your Dentist

If you haven’t been to your dentist in a while, now is the time. Your dentist will be able to give you a thorough cleaning as well as a comprehensive exam. During the exam, you can discuss any concerns about your teeth and mouth that you may have. Your dentist will take note of any cavities or issues (such as chips or cracks) and make suggestions about how to best deal with them. The earlier you can take care of oral problems, the better your smile will be on the day of your wedding.

Maintain a Routine at Home

Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is essential to your oral health, and can greatly help to improve the appearance of your mouth. A regular regimen of brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is recommended. Brushing helps to eliminate plaque, bacteria, food particles and surface stains. Flossing takes care of the hard to reach spaces between your teeth. These tasks help to keep bacteria at bay, lowering your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can affect the appearance of your teeth and gums.

Consider Whitening

Discolored teeth, even just minor discoloration, can lead to a lack of confidence, and therefore affect not just the appearance of your smile but how you smile as well. Teeth whitening is a great way to get back a brilliant bright white smile. You can choose from over the counter whitening products or speak with your dentist about professional whitening for the best results. And after your whitening, be sure to take measures to maintain your smile.

Don’t forget about your smile in the planning of your wedding. If you aren’t already, start a regular oral hygiene routine and schedule an appointment with your dentist. And don’t forget to ask about whitening products. By taking care of your mouth now, you will be sure to have a dazzling smile when the big day arrives. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please contact us today.