Summer Treats and Your Oral Health

Summer can be a time for indulgences which unfortunately is not the best time for your oral hygiene.  With the heat of summer, it’s common for many people to drink cold beverages and eat ice cream as well as being out in the sun.  We want to provide a few tips to enjoy the benefits of the good weather without having to worry about your next dental visit.

Your Teeth Are Not Tools!

Your teeth are designed as the initial digestion method of your body and are used to break down food for your stomach.  Many people feel that their teeth can substitute for tools and use them to open bottles, wrappers, and chew ice.  Some of these habits can harm your teeth and can be costly to repair.  So remember to only use your teeth for their intended purposes and not as tools.

Use Mouth Guards During Sports

When playing sports in the summer, even if they are not contact sports, it is a good idea to wear proper protection.  Your teeth can be easily protected by wearing a mouth guard during your sports activities.  Come in and see us at Dental Health Group and we can provide you with a custom mouth guard that will protect your teeth this summer.

Summer Treats Can Hurt Your Teeth

Remember that while enjoying a refreshing cool snack such as ice cream, slushies, sodas, freezies, there is just a few things to remember as some of these snacks may not be the best for your oral health.  Also, learn how you can help offset the damage.

Sugary Ice Cream Can Cause Tooth Decay

Dairy products, like ice cream, can be a good source of calcium.  Unfortunately, most ice creams are made with lots of sugar, one of the leading causes of tooth decay.  When buying ice cream, we suggest buying sugar-free or low-sugar ice cream.  However, if your child wants regular ice cream, there are a few ways to minimize the impact the sugar has on the teeth.

  • Brush teeth after eating ice cream or rinse with water or mouth wash.  This will help get some of the sticky sugars off the enamel.
  • Avoid ice cream with extras like caramel or syrup
  • Eat ice cream at the end of a meal.

Water is Best!

Are sodas bad for my teeth?  Yes, they are!  The acids in sodas start to eat away at the enamel on your teeth only 20 minutes after your first drink.  Plus, the extra calories provide no nutritional value.  We recommend ddrinking water to quench your thirst on the hot days.

Be Sure To Wear Lip Balm with an SPF of at least 15

Even if you remember to wear sunscreen on your face and body when spending time outdoors, you may forget about your lips. Your lips are more susceptible to burning than most parts of your body, yet many people don’t think about protecting them from the sun.  A quick application of lip balm will go a long way in protecting the lips from the sun’s harmful rays.

Remember, summer time is a time to enjoy.  We hope these simple tips will remind you to maintain good oral health practices!

When to Consider Braces – Adults and Kids

Are you thinking about braces for yourself or your kids? It may be time to visit your dentist to talk about when and what kind of braces are right for you or your child. You have a lot more choices than you did when you were a kid, and you may be a candidate for Invisalign or another option.

Furthermore, you should know when and what kind of braces to consider for your child, as well. If you get them braces too early, their mouths may still be developing, and orthodontic treatment may not be as effective. Read on to learn about braces for kids and adults, including the different types available, when to consider them, and how long they need to be worn. Everyone can benefit from a perfectly aligned smile.


Correcting Your Bite at Any Age 

First, in addition to the aesthetic advantages of braces, they also help align your teeth and correct your bite. This can greatly reduce wear and tear on your teeth, giving you better dental health for the years to come.

Aligning your bite can also help reduce or eliminate TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMJ), which is a big factor in bruxism (teeth grinding) and can be very painful and hard on your teeth. So, before you write braces off as a purely superficial treatment, consider how much correcting your bite can help your dental and overall health in the long run.


Braces for Adults 

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a perfectly aligned smile with beautifully even teeth? If you’re like most people, you weren’t born with that perfect smile. If you didn’t get braces while you were in middle school or high school, you probably have a few teeth that are out of place or misaligned, and you probably wish for a straighter smile.

Even if you did get braces back in the day, though, teeth have a tendency to settle back into place over the years. Your once straight and beautiful smile could be right back where it was before you ever visited an orthodontist. Whether this is the case or you just need some minor straightening, you may be hesitant to go through the whole process of getting braces again.

After all, when you think of your years wearing braces, you probably imagine how awkward you felt and how difficult it was to talk without a lisp. Furthermore, you probably aren’t too excited about giving presentations at work with a mouth full of metal brackets and rubber bands. Fortunately, though, you may not have to go through all of that again because you may be a candidate for Invisalign or other options for straightening your teeth that don’t involve traditional braces.



If you have mild to moderately misaligned teeth, you are most likely a candidate for Invisalign or porcelain veneers. With Invisalign, you’ll have an impression taken of your teeth, and custom, invisible trays will be made to fit over your teeth and slowly bring them into alignment. Your first trays will fit almost exactly over your teeth as they are now, and each set of trays will be progressively closer to bringing your teeth into perfect alignment. You’ll wear each set for approximately two weeks, taking them out only to eat or drink beverages other than water. 

The whole process usually takes about 12 months, but may take more or less time, depending on how much your teeth have shifted and how much straightening they need. 

If your teeth are only slightly misaligned, you may be a good candidate for an even faster solution with porcelain veneers. These very thin porcelain shells are shaped to fit perfectly over your teeth and can be made to correct unevenness, gaps, and/or minor crowding for a beautiful smile. The whole process usually takes only two visits, and the results can be amazing. 

If your teeth are moderately to significantly misaligned, you may want to opt for ceramic braces that are less noticeable than metal braces, or you may be able to choose braces that fit to the backs of your teeth and will be completely hidden from sight.


Braces for Kids 

While most children get braces in middle school or high school, you may want to consider braces for your kids earlier than that. As we mentioned earlier, braces can help avoid many dental and oral health issues for both kids and adults, and starting the process earlier rather than later may decrease your child’s odds of developing bruxism, TMD, and other disorders.

There is no set age when children should get braces, but a good dentist in Burlington – like the dentists at Dental Health Group – can make observations about your child’s teeth and help you determine the best time to consider braces. All kinds of environmental and genetic factors can play into whether and when a child may need braces, including but not limited to:

  • Early loss of baby teeth
  • Injury or trauma
  • Adult teeth coming in crooked under baby teeth that have not fallen out yet
  • Thumb sucking
  • Nail biting
  • Bruxism
  • TMD

Most kids won’t be candidates for Invisalign or veneers, as their mouths are still developing. While Invisalign can correct the alignment of teeth and veneers can correct their appearance, neither can correct a child’s bite as well as braces with brackets and rubber bands. That said, kids can opt for ceramic braces or braces that fit on the backs of their teeth. Your child could get all of the benefits of braces without ever looking like they have a mouth full of metal.

No matter which style of braces you and your child choose, you can typically expect your child to wear braces for two to four years, though this time does vary. How long your child has to wear braces will depend a great deal on how early they start the process and how much correction is necessary.

Talk to your dentist in Burlington about braces for yourself and/or your child at your next appointment to find out about all of your options for a straighter, more beautiful smile.

Different Types of Toothbrushes – Finding The Best Option For You!

Toothbrush Reviews for Manual, Spin, and Electric


You know that you need to brush your teeth at least once every morning and once at night before you go to bed. To encourage good dental hygiene and to help you make sure that you’re using a new, effective brush that hasn’t been worn down or matted with use, most dentists give their patients new toothbrushes at every cleaning.


However, is the toothbrush your dentist gave you really the best for your dental and oral health needs? How can you tell which brush is right for you? Should you go with a manual brush, a spinbrush, or is it worth it to go with one of the more expensive electric toothbrushes? In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about the best toothbrush for your teeth as we review each type of toothbrush and go over its pros and cons.


Manual Toothbrush Reviews


Without even considering spinbrushes or electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes present you with a lot of choices. You can select a conventional head that’s shaped roughly like a rectangle with rounded corners, or you can choose a diamond head, which is narrower at the top and can help reach into tight spaces around the back teeth.


Then you get to the hardness of the bristles. Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled brush for sensitive teeth and gums. If you don’t suffer from sensitivity, but you have trouble with plaque building up, though, you may want to consider a medium bristle for more effective cleaning.


Once you’ve chosen the shape and texture of your toothbrush, you’ll need to decide what kind of bristle pattern you want. The old traditional block pattern has no variation, and while it’s effective at cleaning your front teeth, it can be difficult to reach some of your back teeth and really get them clean.


A wavy (or v-shaped) bristle pattern is good for getting a lot of contact between your teeth and the bristles. Multi-level trim patterns are good for getting at hard-to-reach spaces in the back of your mouth and between your teeth. A criss-cross pattern is said to remove plaque better than some other patterns, and a polishing-cup pattern may be able to lift stains and help whiten teeth better.


For more information on different types of manual brushes and how to choose between them, check out this helpful article at


Spinbrush Reviews


The least expensive style of powered toothbrush, the spinbrush is battery-operated works by spinning, rotating, or oscillating as you brush your teeth. Studies have shown that people who take the time and effort to brush properly with a manual toothbrush can achieve the same overall effectiveness as using a spinbrush. However, spinbrushes can cover the teeth with more strokes and more cleaning power in less time. So, if you’re not the best at making sure that you reach every single tooth and thoroughly brush along your gum line with a manual brush, you might get some benefits from a spinbrush.


Selecting a good spinbrush for your dental hygiene needs is a lot like selecting the right manual toothbrush. You’ll want to review the shape of the brush’s head, as well as its bristle pattern. Many spinbrushes have a round, spinning or oscillating portion of bristles and then a static portion. If you brush as you normally would instead of letting the spinning portion of the toothbrush do all the work, you can lift a lot more plaque and even lift some minor stains, as well.


When choosing the right spinbrush, you’ll want to look for one that’s shaped such that you can reach all of your teeth. If your toothbrush can’t reach or fit into the back of your mouth to clean your molars, it won’t be helping you out very much at all. If you get one that is the right shape and size, though, you may be able to save time and effort in the mornings and evenings when you brush your teeth.


Electric Toothbrush Reviews


Finally, when it comes to higher-end electric toothbrushes, you’re faced with even more choices. Each one claims to get the best results, but it’s hard to tell from marketing alone which is really the most effective. Some water-assisted toothbrush manufacturers claim that you won’t ever have to floss again because their products floss for you with the power of tiny streams of water spraying between your teeth.


Most dentists will likely agree that you should continue flossing, even if your electric toothbrush claims that it does it for you. However, there are two things that more expensive electric toothbrushes have over spinbrushes. They are rechargeable, and they combine spinning and oscillation for optimal cleaning and polishing.


First, because they’re rechargeable, you’ll never have to worry about the batteries dying on your electric toothbrush. Furthermore, a lot of these models come with warranties, so you can get them replaced or repaired if something goes wrong with them.


Second, while one part of the head of a rotation oscillation toothbrush spins, the rest of the head will oscillate. This dual-action motion reaches more of your teeth in less time, and you get better cleaning results without any real effort on your part.

smiling young child


Choosing a Toothbrush for Your Child


Finally, spinbrushes and electric toothbrushes both have another advantage over manual toothbrushes. They’re both more entertaining to kids than regular toothbrushes. While you might not want to invest in a really expensive electric toothbrush for your little ones (after all, kids can be hard on electronics), you might want to consider getting them spinbrushes. You might be surprised at how much more fun kids find brushing their teeth when their toothbrushes buzz and spin. This can lead to good dental hygiene habits for the rest of their lives.

If you’re still not sure which type of toothbrush you should get for yourself and/or your kids, talk to your dentist and get their recommendations. A good dentist, like the ones at Dental Health Group will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each kind in the context of your specific dental needs. Then you can make an informed decision and get the best toothbrush for your teeth.

Halitosis – What Is It and What to Do About It

young woman checking her breath with her hand

Did you know that halitosis (bad breath) is the third leading cause for people seeking dental treatment and care in the world? When it comes to their dental and oral health, people are more concerned about what causes bad breath and how to treat it than they are about almost anything else (with the noted exceptions of tooth decay and gum disease). So why are we so concerned about our breath?


When you wake up in the morning, before you brush your teeth, you don’t expect your breath to be the freshest. However, with good dental and oral hygiene habits, you shouldn’t have to worry about your breath smelling bad throughout the day…especially if you haven’t eaten any garlic or raw onions with your lunch. With halitosis, though, that’s not the case.


When you suffer from this condition, you can chew gum, pop breath mints, and be as careful as you can about your diet, but your breath can still ruin your chances at your next big interview. So what causes this bad breath, and how can you treat it?


Bad Breath is Usually Related to Oral Health


To properly treat halitosis, you must first know what’s causing it. In most cases, the underlying problem has to do with your dental and/or oral health. Tooth decay and gingivitis can cause your breath to smell rank, as can a coating of plaque, food, and/or bacteria on your tongue, as well as pieces of food stuck to your tonsils (if you still have them).


If you want to know what’s causing your bad breath and how to treat it, and you haven’t been to a dentist in some time, it’s time to make an appointment. Going to a reputable dentist in Burlington like the ones at Dental Health Group can help you out immensely. Your dentist can examine your mouth and determine if you have cavities or gum disease and if these things are causing or adding to your halitosis issue.


If this is the case, your dentist will recommend regular cleanings and will discuss your dental and oral hygiene habits with you. He or she may recommend a different mouthwash, flossing more regularly, and/or buying a new toothbrush or changing your brushing technique. If your halitosis is caused by poor dental or oral health, getting proper dental care from your dentist and maintaining good dental hygiene should fix the problem.


Other Causes and Treatments


All that said, some cases of halitosis are related to your internal problems, rather than dental health problems. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic or if you have chronic acid reflux, your bad breath could be related to these issues. These can also affect your dental health, though, so talk to your doctor about correcting them and then visit your dentist to ensure you’re doing everything you need to keep your teeth healthy and your breath fresh.

Now that you know what causes bad breath and how to treat it, you should never have to worry about your breath ruining your day again. Visit a dentist you trust today and get your breath minty fresh.

Different Kinds of Toothpaste – So Many Options!

When it’s time to buy a new tube of toothpaste, do you stand in the aisle at the grocery store and stare at all the options? One says it’s perfect for sensitive teeth, while another boasts that it’s packed with fluoride. Still another one claims that it can whiten your teeth by several shades in a few weeks. Which one should you choose?

Everyone is different, and everyone has different oral and dental hygiene needs. The best toothpaste for you depends entirely on those needs. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, though, toothpaste companies market their products in this order: brands, “sub-brands”, flavors, and dental benefits. They rely more on their branding than on their products’ functions to sell toothpaste, which can make it hard to choose the right one for your needs.
Fortunately, however, whatever brand you prefer, most toothpaste producers make a range of products, each of which is designed to help specific oral hygiene and dental health issues. If you know what you’re looking for, you can read past the brands and sub-brands to see which toothpaste is the best for you. Let’s take a look at a few different types of toothpaste and why you might choose one over another.

Whitening Toothpastes

If your teeth are dull or dingy-looking, but they are generally clean, you may want to consider whitening toothpastes. These products use silica, enzymes, and/or trace amounts of bleach to scrub your teeth, lift stains, and give you a whiter smile. They aren’t as effective as going to your dentist in and getting your teeth professionally whitened, but they do produce some good results if you want to brighten your smile.

Macro close up of perfect teeth.

Fluoride and Anti-Cavity Toothpastes

It’s long been known that fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and can make your teeth more resistant to cavities. If you’ve had issues with cavities in the past, an anti-cavity toothpaste with a fluoride count of at least 1000 PPM will probably be the best choice for you.

Anti-Plaque vs. Anti-Calculus Toothpastes

Calculus (tartar) occurs when plaque is left on teeth for more than three to five days. In this time, the plaque hardens and calcifies, and it cannot be removed without dental tools. If it is not taken care of at your next regular cleaning, it can lead to tooth decay and bone loss.
With that in mind, you might think that an anti-calculus toothpaste could perform better than an anti-plaque toothpaste. After all, if you’re brushing regularly, shouldn’t any toothpaste get rid of plaque? The difference between these two is that anti-plaque toothpastes prevent plaque from building up on your teeth in the first place, thereby preventing calculus from forming; anti-calculus toothpastes claim that their zinc citrate and/or pyrophosphate content can reduce the rate at which calculus forms.
If you’re still not sure which toothpaste is right for you, talk to your dentist. Dentists like the ones at Dental Health Group in Burlington can give you good advice about the best products to keep your teeth whiter, brighter, and healthier for years to come.