Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

6 Common Dental Habits

cta - appointment2Is it cliché to have a New Year’s Resolution? Probably, but there are a few habits you’d like to kick to the curb! It’s common for people to want to start living a healthy lifestyle. Why not be completely healthy and improve your dental health too? Poor oral health can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Nail biting can chip or crack teeth. It can even fracture the enamel on your teeth from chewing on hard surfaces. Also, it has an impact on your jaw and as a result, you can develop TMJ. Even though we wash our hands, it’s hard to keep them clean. Nail biting may also lead to gingivitis: there is a lot of dirt under our fingernails we aren’t aware of!

Are you grossed out yet? Need tips to stop the biting? Cut them short! If you prefer the longer nail look, paint it with bitter-tasting nail polish. If you don’t like color, you can always opt for a clear coat! Because nail biting is often stress-induced, get a tiny stress ball or something to fidget with to keep your hands busy.

Chewing on ice can break your tooth or filling. While your teeth are far stronger than ice, there are instances where ice can break your teeth. If your enamel is weakened by decay or injury (that you may not be aware of), you are even more likely to fracture teeth. Slow down the chewing, and try drinks without ice so you won’t be tempted. If you insist on ice, drink with a straw and a lid to keep the ice out of sight.

Teeth as tools may seem convenient at the time but are not good for your teeth. They aren’t supposed to open bags, rip tags off, hold things, or open bottles. They are strong, but using them as tools can result in cracks and fracture or even worse, oral and facial injuries. Biting or chewing metal can cause serious damage. We already have real tools made especially for different tasks, so you don’t have to use your teeth. Teeth are not bottle openers, scissors, or bags – teeth are for chewing and smiling!

soft bristlesHard brushing can cause damage to your gums. Soft bristles are the best for your gums. This can be tricky because it’s good to brush twice a day, but how do you know if you are brushing too hard?  One sign is a frayed or flattened toothbrush.  You should not need any more pressure than you can provide with two fingers.  If you also begin to notice your gums receding, soften up on the brushing, and get an evaluation! Don’t scrub or do circular movements with the bristles against your gums! Think about brushing as a gentle massage, and look at the brushing instruction video on my website!

Smoking and use of other tobacco products increase your risk of oral cancer, and turn your teeth yellow or brown. You are also at much greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, and tooth loss. Over time, smoking will make your gums weaker, and cause great destruction to your jaw bone.  Smoking is toxic and destroys your circulation and immune system.  Don’t start, but if you are already hooked, get help, and quit today!

Not visiting your dentist is a no-brainer! It’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months to avoid issues. Regular dental hygiene visits prevent tartar from eroding your teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Besides having all bacteria removed from your teeth professionally, you should get regular dental examination for other abnormalities that could be a larger health issue.

Repeat this to yourself: New Year, New Me! Cross things off your list, spice up your oral routine, go crazy at the gym, and eat healthy trendy foods. And most importantly, share how important a solid oral health routine is. Smile at all camera opportunities, and show the benefits of a healthy smile.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

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Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Be A Breath Of Fresh Air This Holiday Season

It’s the season to get together! As it gets closer to time with family, we may do our best to impress those around us. This extends to our breath too. If you are worried, here are some tips to help.

Did you know that over 40 million people in the U.S have bad breath? Most of the time you aren’t able to smell your own breath! Because of the embarrassment, often times we don’t mention it when we smell others breath.

What is Bad Breath?

It’s your oral bacteria which are living, eating, and breeding organisms. You know how all living things need food and needs to dispose of it? That’s what is happening in your mouth! Use this as motivation to start a better dental routine!

Typically, we all wake up with bad breath because there is no constant saliva flow as we sleep. Saliva helps wash away bacteria growth. A reminder to why we brush and floss before we go to bed and when we wake up.

What Causes Bad Breath?Brush

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diet

The worst cause is smoking because it reduces saliva flow. Dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It is your mouth’s natural defense and without it plaque and bacteria build up faster.

Certain drinks like alcohol and coffee dry out your mouth as well. Sugary foods and drinks are bacteria’s favorite, it helps them grow and multiply faster. It’s important to brush and floss to help prevent plaque build-up.

Keep a close eye on your tongue as well. Your tongue doesn’t have a smooth surface; food debris, bacteria, and dead cells can be trapped there. Over time, a coating forms across and as it gets thicker, the odor will become stronger.

If you are stuck on what to bring for your gathering try peppermint bark. It’s a nice breath refresher for anyone that needs it! Pro Tip: Use dark chocolate chips – it’s good for your teeth (in moderation)!

If you are questioning, “How in the world is dark chocolate good for my teeth?” The answer is dark chocolate contains polyphenols which helps fight the growth of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. It can also offset bad breath!

Have a great holiday season!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Is it Genetic or Environmental

The air is becoming crisper, leaves are changing colors and falling off their trees. It’s that time of year when it’s appropriate to add pumpkin spice to any food or drink and not be judged. #PumpkinSpiceEverything

_Pumpkin PieWhat’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving gatherings? Do you consider yourself to have a sweet tooth? Here’s something mind-blowing: a sweet tooth might be genetic. So, when you are going for seconds on that pumpkin pie, be sure to show extra gratitude to your parents.

Some people are born with a weakened sweet taste, which means they need more sugar to taste the same level of sweetness. Studies propose that genes might explain up to 30 percent of how much sugar you can taste.

But wait… there’s more! Is it possible bad teeth run in the family as well?

Tooth Decay

The bacteria in our mouth that cause cavities aren’t there at birth. It most likely comes from family members who kiss their child’s lips, share utensils, or even blow on their foods. Studies show that this bacteria isn’t associated with tooth decay. It also revealed that bacteria that can form cavities were environmental. For example, eating sugary foods and lack of oral care.

Tooth decay is preventable but some people are more at risk. Yes, it’s confusing, but really, what isn’t? Jokes aside, genes control how teeth develop. Often times, dentists look into family history because it might help them understand why a child’s teeth have more decay than someone with a similar diet. You don’t get a say about how your teeth develop, but you can control how often you brush, floss, and visit your dentist!

Size, Shape, and Alignment

Are your teeth crooked because of genetics or environmental factors? If you said both, you’re correct! The size of your jaw, teeth, and mouth are typically decided by DNA. Thumb sucking, accidents, or an unbalanced diet are reasons for crooked teeth that you can’t blame your parents for.

It’s never too late to get your teeth in line! Why should you get them straightened? Crooked or crowded teeth can cause tooth decay, difficulty maintaining your daily oral care, and improper chewing.

Gum Disease

_ParentsDid you know half of our population has gum disease? Genetics also play a role in how likely you are to develop periodontal disease. There are tests to run to show if you are affected. The best way to keep your mouth healthy is brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow?

It’s a mixture of genes and environment. Typically, if you have thin enamel your teeth will most likely look more yellow. You have no control over the growth of your tooth, but should be aware of what foods and drinks will contribute to the yellowing of your teeth. Example of tooth staining food and drinks are coffee, fruit juices, berries, and tomato sauce.

When it comes to our body developing its natural functions, it usually relies on genes. In conclusion, unhealthy teeth are controlled by both genes and the environment. And ultimately you are in complete control of your daily dental routine.

One of the most important things about knowledge is being able to share it. While you are devouring seconds or thirds you can enlighten everyone else at the table. You can also bring a bag of floss picks to share!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Why Sort Your Kid’s Halloween Candy

When you think of October, what comes to mind? Fall, pumpkins, or Halloween… Did you know that its National Dental Hygiene Month? It was created to increase awareness of the importance of oral care to your mouth and body.

The Daily 4

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing
  • Chewing

Brushing

You’ve heard it before, brush twice a day. For best results, use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush, and use a rotational stroke, pushing the gum onto the teeth (please look at the demo on my website – much easier to understand).  Do NOT do circles or scrubbing or lateral motions with the brush – this will damage the gum around your teeth or implants.

Flossing

How important is flossing? Brushing your teeth doesn’t completely clean your teeth. Flossing removes about 65% of plaque from your teeth, brushing about 35%.  Do both carefully, and you can remove 100%!  To be really effective, brush first, then floss, then brush again, always using correct technique.  Don’t do anything else when flossing or brushing – look in the mirror to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Again, I ask that you look at flossing and brushing videos on my website.

Rinsing

Do you use mouthwash? It is no replacement for actually removing plaque with floss and brushing, but rinsing with any fluid is always beneficial.  No OTC mouthwash is superior to simple salt water rinses, but it tends to taste better.  If you use a rinse, fluoride is good, but avoid the tartar control rinses (and toothpaste).

Chewing

Chewing? Yeah, you’re probably thinking “how does that help my teeth?” Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks or meals stimulates saliva glands that help clean your teeth.

Also, this month is for giving our hygienists a special shout out! Every day they work hard to make our smiles healthy. Share your healthy smile, tag us and use #DentalHygieneMonth

Trick or TreatWith Halloween around the corner, you might be spooked on how to maintain your healthy smile. Of course, by now you know that candy isn’t good for your teeth. That doesn’t mean don’t have any, remember moderation is key! What are the chances of people giving out sugar-free candies?  Unlikely due to tradition, and some would say that no candy takes the fun out of trick-or-treating. Dr. Rogge gives packages of dry-roasted nuts and balloons and puzzles to kids on Halloween, and has never received one complaint!  In fact, he has had children return to get more treats and has received compliments from parents.  Some sugary candies are worse than others. You can separate the candy into piles to limit sugar intake.

Gummy candy sticks to the teeth longer, and it increases the risk for developing a cavity.  Some examples are taffy, gummy bears, or gummy worms. Sour candies are a double shock to your teeth, they have a lot of sugar and are highly acidic.

The number one concern for hard candy is biting into it breaking or damaging your teeth. Candy in your mouth for a long time can also bring more sugar into your mouth. Enjoy the Halloween treats in “bursts”, then brush well afterward.  Try to limit the amount of time sugar is in your mouth – the longer sugar and acid are in your mouth, the more cavities can occur.

Surprisingly, dark chocolate is a better choice since it has less sugar and dissolves quickly. It also contains some calcium, a beneficial nutrient.  Also, powdery candy is not sticky and dissolves quickly giving bacteria less time to cling to teeth.

Dental Hygiene MonthEven though the Halloween season is coming to an end, taking proper care of your teeth is never ending! Go through your kid’s pile of candy and make sure they are eating in moderation.  Parents should avoid eating too much of the leftover candy as well – we all know how tempting candy can be!

Be sure to always brush twice a day, floss, rinse, and keep sugary snacks to a minimum. To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with us, schedule your dental checkups today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Back to School Bling

Wow, can you believe the back-to-school season is already upon us? It feels as if summer started yesterday! Are you ready to send your kids back to school with a shining smile? Preventive dentistry is the best way to protect them.

These next couple of weeks will be busy as you begin to check things off your back to school checklist. Have you made one for your children’s dental hygiene? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Schedule their bi-annual dental hygiene visit
  • Create or improve their home oral hygiene routine
  • Replace their toothbrush every 6 months, and have lots of floss available
  • Shop for healthy foods and snacks
  • If your child plays sports- protect their teeth with a custom mouth-guard

_Check-listEditedRegular hygiene appointments can help reduce missed school days in the future.  Your dentist / hygiene team can carefully remove all the disease-causing bacteria in your child’s mouth and can prevent further dental issues. Having a set routine helps them develop good habits, and helps them understand the importance of maintaining their oral hygiene. It’s recommended to change your toothbrush every six months or earlier if the bristles are frayed. Healthy foods and snacks can strengthen teeth which may result in fewer cavities. When playing sports, it’s important for your child to wear a mouth-guard to shield their smile from unpredicted hits.  Trauma without a mouth guard can sometimes lead to chips, fractures, and extractions.

Are you up to date with the latest dental trends?

Trends come and go, and “tooth gems” have once again gained popularity. It is a small glass or non-precious stone glued onto the surface of your tooth.

Risks of Tooth Gems

  • Can cause discoloration on the tooth’s surface.
  • The jewels can wear away enamel, increasing the risk of decay and infection
  • Food can hide behind them promoting the growth of harmful bacteria

Tooth gems can be placed by a dentist or yourself and can last up to 6 months. It can be removed or replaced at any time. The longer it’s left on your teeth the more harm it will cause. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes, but the problems they can develop last forever.

With tooth gems coming back in style, we can’t help but think about what might be next? Do you remember dental grills? They are made from gold or silver-like metals that snap over one or more teeth. They often damage the surface of your teeth by removing enamel, causing teeth to shift and develop bite problems, and greatly increase the risk of decay.  While they are removable, they must be taken off to eat and to allow thorough brushing and flossing. Putting them on immediately after eating can increase plaque build-up.

Another trend to keep an eye out for is getting a tattoo on your teeth, which is also known as #tatooth.  The chemicals used to place these tattoos are not regulated and in some cases, are toxic. Some of these tattoo chemicals have been found to have inks and pigments used in toner and car paint. The FDA has not authorized any coloring for injection for cosmetic purposes.

_TrendsGetting permanent ink in your mouth is growing in popularity, as people are interested in getting inner lip tattoos. The most requested tattoo is a symbol or a short word. They are known to be one of the most painful areas to get a tattoo. If you want one, you have to hold your lower lip open while being completely still throughout the whole process. Touch-ups are needed frequently because of the high cell turnover in your mouth.

Dangers of Inner Lip Tattoos

  • High risk of infection because your mouth is filled with bacteria
  • Every touch-up increases risk for infection
  • Foods with high acid content can cause sensitivity.
  • An allergic reaction to the ink can cause painful lumps of scar tissue under the skin, which are difficult to remove.

Before getting any procedure done it’s important to understand how it will affect your health.  If you have any questions about the safety of a new procedure or device, please contact us! Be picky when it comes to trends, you don’t have to follow all of them. We hope you have a great school year!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in Periodontist in Virginia Beach

What’s In a Kiss?

In 2006 International Kissing Day was established and it’s celebrated on July 6th. In our society, a kiss is a sign of affection or a warm greeting but did you know a single kiss can spread up to 80 million bacteria?

_BlogALTWe are not born with the bacteria that cause cavities. Studies have proven that parents often infect their child before age 2. Once your child becomes exposed they are prone to cavities in baby and permanent teeth. In fact, babies can also begin to develop them before their first tooth erupts!

Tooth decay is a disease known as dental caries. It is caused by specific germs and is easily spread throughout families by sharing a cup, utensils, or toothbrushes, and lasts a lifetime. Did you know it’s more common for a child to have cavities than any other chronic illness? Bacteria loves sugar and attacks the structure of teeth by diminishing calcium. It also creates plaque which builds even more enamel-eroding acid.

Can tooth decay be spotted early?

Early tooth decay can be hard to see. A sign is a white strip along the gum line at the base of the teeth.  During the early stages, you might be able to see brown spots on the teeth, and gums are red and inflamed. When more advanced, the spots are blackened.

If you have had your fair share of troubles with your teeth, it’s important to take precautions when it comes to your child’s dental care. It’s recommended to bring your child to the dentist six months after the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. The best way to limit cavities is to brush and floss with your kids daily. Setting the example helps create and reinforce these healthy habits.

Tips for keeping decay away from your children:

  • Wipe down your baby’s gums with a washcloth after feedings, even if the first tooth has not erupted.
  • Start brushing with fluoride-free toothpaste as the first tooth erupts.
  • When your child is two or three years old, begin using toothpaste with a small amount of fluoride, and begin flossing when two teeth are touching.

What can happen to untreated cavities?

Cavities don’t go away by themselves. If you ignore a cavity, it continues to grow. They are small holes in your teeth that will become wider and deeper making your teeth more fragile, increasing the risk to crack. If left untreated, the cavity will next reach your tooth’s nerves, which is likely to cause severe pain. Depending on your situation, your tooth will either need a root canal or require extraction. If your tooth is infected you will need antibiotics along with cavity treatment.

_stages of perioWhat is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection at your gum line which may result in a damaged jaw bone. There are three different stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque. If not removed it hardens and turns into tartar while plaque continues to form more build up. The only way for it to be removed is by visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
  • Gums that are pulled away from teeth- making teeth look longer
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bad breath

What happens if I don’t treat my Periodontitis?

The first stage of gum disease might be easy to miss, but if left untreated it will result in larger problems. If you notice any of the warning signs or think you may have gum disease contact us today. Lack of treatment results in tender gums, receding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, and eventually leads to tooth loss. Let’s prevent that together!

Have you ever wondered why we kiss with our eyes closed? Maybe it’s because when oral care wasn’t popular nobody wanted to see others teeth up close… Just kidding! But because of dental advancements, it’s easy to keep your smile in tip-top shape. Protect you and your family from bacteria and tooth decay by requesting your appointments today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Suns Out Gums Out!

What time is it? It’s summertime! It’s the season to enjoy sunny poolside days and warm nights under the stars. Summer is known for spontaneous adventures, relaxation, and most importantly, unconditional smiles that you want to capture forever! Along with showing your smile off! Another staple of summer is delicious foods, snacks, and drinks. Summer diets can make your taste buds happy but it may cause harm to your teeth.

We hear it all year long, soda is bad for us! But with the warmer weather and vacations, it may be your go-to drink. Have a look at the nutrition facts before quenching your thirst!

Drinks to be aware of:

  • Soda
  • Sport Drinks
  • Fruit Juices

Soda contains enamel-destroying acid and contains plenty of unwanted sugars. Because of the summer heat, you might want to grab a sports drink to replenish any lost minerals from sweating. It’s been proven that sports drinks contain high levels of sugars and acids which can lead to cavities. Fruits contain natural sugars and often times store bought juices have additional sugar added, resulting in damaged teeth.

The acid in these drinks exposes your teeth to more bacteria, which attracts the sugars in your favorite drinks! This bacteria sneaks into the cracks of your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.

Foods to be aware of:

  • Popsicles
  • Ice Cream
  • Corn on the cob
  • Barbecue Sauce

_Food and DrinksWarm days call for cold cravings, but popsicles, freezes, and ice cream can actually harm your smile! They are loaded with sugars and are in constant contact with your teeth. Sugar sticks to your teeth and gums to create bacteria that attack your enamel. Did you know? A single cup of vanilla ice cream has five teaspoons of sugar!

Are you looking forward to enjoying a sweet corn on the cob? Eat it with caution, as they’re known to knock loose fillings and even chip teeth! Kernels can also get stuck in between your teeth and if not properly maintained causes plaque build-up.

Did you know barbecue sauce is high in sugar and acid? Just like it sticks to meat, it also clings to your teeth. The main ingredients are vinegar and ketchup, which are loaded with acid. Because barbecue sauce is a dark color, it can also stain your teeth.

This doesn’t mean to avoid these foods and drinks completely! Just keep in mind moderation is key!

Tips:

  • Sipping sugary drinks with a straw reduces the contact of the liquid with your teeth.
  • Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a soft drink, can damage your enamel.
  • Make homemade fruit juices without adding additional sugar!
  • Cut your corn off the cob.
  • Don’t use your teeth open plastics or anything, they are for food only!
  • Water is the best source for staying hydrated.

Healthy Snacks for Your Smile

Are you wondering what snacks are good for your teeth? Instead of a bag of potato chips, go for the fruit platters! Apples, pears, peaches, or seedless watermelon for a refreshing choice! Veggie trays are also a good snack, raw broccoli, celery, and carrots. These can be seen as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing off any plaque build-up and stimulating saliva to clear your mouth of unwanted particles.

1, 2, 3 say cheese!

Dairy products contain low sugar and are rich in calcium and phosphorous which strengthens and protects your enamel. The more dairy you eat it can lower your chances of developing gum disease!

_SmileIf you are hosting any gatherings this summer, you can serve seedless buns and keep dental floss picks handy! You may also want to offer sugar-free gum rather than mints. Chewing gum gets your saliva flowing and fights acids from cavity-causing bacteria that eat away at teeth.

Because of the wide range of food and drinks you’ll be consuming this summer, maintaining proper care is important. You wouldn’t want anything to ruin your summer fun! Have a great summer, and keep smiling.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444