Make Dental Care Part of Your 2021 Resolutions

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Dental Hygiene, Oral Health

New Year’s Resolutions are made each and every January and can range from committing to eating healthier to training to run your first marathon and anything in between. But all resolutions typically have the same underlying notion — to get healthier. This year is no different, and we may actually put more emphasis on health now more than ever before. Additionally, it’s important to know that oral health goes hand-in-hand with overall health. That’s why your dentist in Rocky Mount is here to encourage you to make dental care part of your 2021 resolutions. 

The Importance of Dental Care 

Dental care and overall health are directly linked, and how well we care for our smiles can affect our bodies in other ways. For example, gum disease can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and dementia. So if you’ve resolved to get healthier this year, there are things you should do outside of eating a well-balanced diet and exercising. 

  • Schedule An Appointment with Your Dentist In Rocky Mount

Many patients make the mistake of only seeing the dentist when they’re experiencing a problem. However, preventive dentistry can go a long way in keeping these problems from occurring in the first place. Additionally, appointments with your dentist every six months allow your dental team to catch and treat any problems early before they have a chance to affect the rest of your health. One of the best things you can do to fully commit to a healthier 2021 is to schedule an appointment with your dentist and maintain those visits every six months. 

  • Brush Your Teeth

Besides seeing your dentist, you should also do your part at home by brushing your teeth twice a day, every day. Gently brushing your teeth in the morning and at night will help remove bacteria buildup and reduce the risk of decay and even gum disease. But at-home dental care doesn’t end there. It’s also important to floss daily. Flossing removes particles in between your teeth and up under the gum line, further protecting you from problems down the road. 

  • Quit Smoking

One of the most common resolutions people make every year is to stop smoking once and for all. It’s also one of the hardest resolutions to keep. But following through on this commitment can greatly improve your life and your health by reducing the risk of cancer, including oral cancer, and lowering the risk of decay, gum disease, and tooth discoloration. Make a plan and find supportive friends or resources to help. 

  • Stop The Soda Habit

Another way you can help your body and your teeth is to stop drinking soda, or at least limit how much you drink and how often you drink it. Soda is packed with sugars that feed bacteria in the mouth. As these bacteria eat, they give off an acidic byproduct that can eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Soda can also increase the risk of whole-body problems such as diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease. Instead, drink water as often as possible and try to drink at least 64 ounces every day. 

As we welcome 2021, make a resolution to take care of your dental health. Your body, your smile, and your dentist in Rocky Mount will thank you.

Can You Whiten Your Teeth Too Much?  

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene

There are so many ways to get a whiter smile these days. From over-the-counter whitening strips to a professional whitening treatment from your dentist in Rocky Mount, getting a bright, white smile is no longer reserved for only celebrities. Usually, we interpret a white smile as a healthy, attractive smile, but can you whiten your teeth too much? Let’s find out. 

Over-Whitening Is Possible

Even though we all strive for a beautiful, white smile, there is such a thing as over-whitening. In fact, teeth that are too white can have the opposite effect that we were trying to achieve in the first place and can cause some problems. Some common negatives that go along with over-whitening include:

  • Enamel Erosion – Enamel erosion can occur from too much exposure to whitening ingredients. Enamel erosion increases the risk of decay as well as other oral problems including darker teeth and sensitivity, which we’ll take a look at next. 
  • Darker Teeth – As the enamel erodes away it can also cause teeth to appear more translucent as more of the naturally darker inner tooth becomes visible. 
  • Tooth Sensitivity – Additionally, a lack of tooth enamel leaves teeth at increased risk for sensitivity. Sometimes, over-whitening can lead to constant tooth sensitivity and a lot of pain. 
  • Gum Irritation – If too much of the whitening solution makes contact with the gum tissue it can cause irritation. 

An easy, yet unofficial way to find out how white your teeth should be is to try to match them to the whites of your eyes. 

How to Safely Whiten Your Smile

Even though there can be negative side effects of over-whitening, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting a whiter smile, but you should start by talking with your dentist in Rocky Mount. Together, you can find the best way to whiten your teeth. Some common whitening treatments include: 

  • Whitening Strips can be a cheaper option but are not custom-fitted which could lead to a higher risk of irritation and sensitivity. 
  • Whitening Trays tend to be a bit more expensive than strips but come with similar concerns of irritation and sensitivity. 
  • In-Office Professional Whitening is probably the fastest way to get a whiter smile. Plus, since it’s done at your dentist’s office, you have a trained professional guiding you through the entire treatment.

Once you decide on a treatment, make sure you read and follow any directions of your chosen product. Never leave a whitening product on longer than recommended as this can increase the risk of gum irritation, cause sensitivity, and can damage enamel. Stop use of the whitening treatment if you do have any sensitivity or irritation and talk with your dentist. 

There are many different ways you can get a brighter smile, but you can whiten your teeth too much which can lead to larger problems. We always recommend starting your journey to a whiter smile by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Rocky Mount. If traditional smile whitening treatments aren’t appropriate for you, we can explore additional cosmetic dentistry options that can still transform your smile. 

Kissing Under The Mistletoe & Oral Health

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Dental Hygiene, Oral Health

Getting caught kissing under the mistletoe is a long-time holiday tradition that spans centuries. But did you know that this holiday smooch can also lead to some unwanted problems? Of course, kissing anyone can transfer cold or viruses, but your dentist in Rocky Mount also knows that smooches may also increase your risk for cavities.  

From Kissing to Cavities

How exactly does someone catch a cavity from kissing? Well, it’s a little complicated, and in fact, cavities aren’t technically contagious. However, the bacteria that can cause cavities are. Our mouths are home to thousands of different types of bacteria, some are good bacteria and some are bad. These bacteria can be swapped back and forth between two kissers, and if one of you has an abundance of bad bacteria, it can increase the risk for cavities. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. 

Benefits of Kissing

There are both whole-body and oral health benefits associated with kissing. From an overall wellness perspective, kissing can release endorphins and make us happier, work out facial muscles, and may even burn a calorie or two. When it comes to kissing and oral health, we already covered how good bacteria can transfer from person to person, but your dentist in Rocky Mount doesn’t want to forget about the saliva. Yes, we’re talking about spit. While that may sound gross, spit is an important part of oral health. Saliva helps wash away excess bacteria and neutralizes acids that can wear away tooth enamel. When we kiss, saliva production increases and can further protect oral health.

Kiss Safely 

Kissing a great way to show someone that you love them, but as we know now, it doesn’t come without risks. Kissing someone who is sick can spread illness very easily since germs and viruses are also swapped through saliva. It can also increase someone’s risk of cavities. But this doesn’t mean you have to stop smooching altogether. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of spreading (or catching) cavity-causing bacteria through kissing such as: 

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Rinsing your mouth with water between brushings
  • Chewing Xylitol gum
  • Seeing your dentist in Rocky Mount twice a year 

Don’t forget, kissing is a two-way street, so both you and your partner should follow the tips above to protect yourselves from catching anything besides a healthy, happy mistletoe kiss.

Are Plaque and Tartar The Same Thing? 

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Dental Hygiene, Oral Health

There are many misconceptions about oral health. One of the more common misconceptions is that plaque and tartar are the same things and that the terms can be used interchangeably. While this isn’t completely false, it is a bit misleading and something that your dentist in Rocky Mount wants to clear up. After all, understanding what’s going on inside of your mouth is a crucial part of keeping it healthy. 

A Peek at Plaque

It makes sense for us to start by taking a look at plaque. Plaque is something that accumulates on everyone’s teeth each and every day. It’s unavoidable, it’s sticky, it’s packed full of bacteria, and it can cause a whole lot of trouble. You see, plaque forms as a result of foods we eat and latches on to the area around the gum line. The bacteria that make up this sticky substance then start to feed on food particles in the mouth. As a result, the bacteria release an acidic byproduct. This acid then attacks the tooth enamel, wearing away at this protective layer and leaving teeth at increased risk of cavities. If plaque is not removed every day, it will start to harden and turn into tartar. 

Tartar Troubles

Tartar is very similar to plaque but, essentially, is a more progressed version. Also known as calculus, tartar is a super hard substance that occurs when plaque is not properly removed. Additionally, while plaque is invisible, once it transforms into tartar it can appear as yellow or brown lumps. Another key difference between tartar and plaque is that while you can effectively remove plaque on your own, your dentist in Rocky Mount is the only one that can remove tartar once it forms. Like plaque, tartar can increase the risk of cavities as well as other problems, including tooth discoloration, sensitivity, and gum disease. 

Preventing Plaque Problems

Since tartar occurs as a result of plaque buildup, it’s important to take a look at how we can prevent problems from plaque in the first place. The most effective way to remove plaque is to practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. Make sure to brush both morning and night to remove plaque that has built up overnight and throughout the day. Additionally, choosing what you eat can also help keep plaque away. Try to pick plaque-busting foods like cheese and crunchy vegetables and avoid sugary foods and drinks. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help wash away bacteria, neutralize acids, and further protect teeth. 

Outside of brushing, flossing, and eating well, it’s also crucial that you see your dentist in Rocky Mount twice a year. These checkups give your dental team the opportunity to monitor your oral health, catch problems early, and remove any tartar buildup before it can create trouble. 

If it’s time for you to see your dentist, we welcome you to call our Rocky Mount dental office to schedule an appointment.

New Study Shows Link Between Alzheimer’s & Gum Disease 

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in General & Preventive Dentistry, Gum Disease, Oral Health

National Alzheimer’s Disease Month is recognized every November, and this year is no different. More than 5 million Americans are living with this form of dementia and there’s not much known about what causes it or how to prevent it. But your dentist in Rocky Mount does want to share some good news that was recently released by the National Institute on Aging that may change how we prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.  

Gum Disease & Alzheimer’s

An article published earlier this year by the National Institute on Aging shows promising research regarding a potential cause of this debilitating disease. The culprit at the center of the study? Gum disease. 

Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissues caused by a buildup of bacteria. Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and some medications are just a few of the things that increase someone’s risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bad breath, and whole-body issues such as heart disease and now, as suggested by recent research, Alzheimer’s. 

The Research

The research from the National Institute on Aging takes a closer look at how gum disease can cause Alzheimer’s. In short, it has to do with a type of bacteria that can cause gum disease. Our mouths are home to hundreds of different types of bacteria, but the one that concerns dentists and researchers alike is one known as Porphyromonas gingivalis. In the study, this form of bacteria was the most common cause of gum disease. Additionally, one of the major staples found in Alzheimer’s patients called plaque of beta-amyloid protein may be produced as a byproduct of gum disease caused by Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria. 

In another study from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, brain tissue samples were taken from patients with dementia and from those without dementia. What researchers found was that the dementia patient tissue contained gum disease bacteria whereas the non-dementia tissue did not.

But how do bacteria in the gums end up in the brain? Well, infections can easily enter the bloodstream and be carried to other areas of the body, including the brain. This is also how gum disease can contribute to heart disease. 

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease, and therefore perhaps Alzheimer’s, is to have good oral hygiene habits. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, gently scrub your tongue, and floss in between every tooth daily to further remove dangerous bacteria. It’s also important that you see your dentist in Rocky Mount at least every six months. 

While additional research is needed in order to further understand the potential connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s, researchers are on the right track. Besides, brushing your teeth and seeing your dentist in Rocky Mount can only benefit you, even if it may not completely prevent Alzheimer’s. 

What To Eat After Having Dental Work Done

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Dental Hygiene, General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

Having dental work isn’t like other procedures where you can eat whatever you want afterward. In fact, it can be difficult to find something you can easily eat after dental treatment. Whether you’re recovering from oral surgery, a dental implant placement, a root canal, or even a filling and are having trouble finding easy-to-eat foods, you’re in luck. Your dentist in Rocky Mount has a whole list of foods you can eat after having dental work done. Let’s check out a few of our favorites. 

Avocados

A mushed-up ripe avocado is one of the best things you can eat after dental treatment. Not only is it easy to eat, but avocados can provide your body with needed healthy fats and a ton of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber. These are some of the reasons that it’s often called a superfood. 

Broth

Broth or soup is another excellent choice. Not only is it comfortingly warm, but it also requires little to no chewing. Beef bone broth, in particular, is also packed with protein, which is important. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, soft foods with healthy fats and protein like beef bone broth may also even help promote healing by repairing muscles and tissues and fighting off infection. Remember, if you’re recovering from wisdom teeth removal or other oral surgery, keep your broth warm and not hot. Hot foods and drinks can irritate gum tissue and make recovery take longer. 

Scrambled Eggs

This breakfast favorite isn’t only for mornings and would be easy to eat at any time following dental treatment. Similarly to bone broth, scrambled eggs are a healthy, protein-packed option that’s easy to eat and promotes healing. Besides, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? 

Fish & Potatoes

If you’re looking for something that feels more like a complete meal, look no further than fish and potatoes. Fish such as tuna, salmon, and tilapia are soft and easy to chew, and they contain a lot of heart-healthy fats. Pair fish with delicious mashed potatoes for a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-eat meal. Spice up the dish by choosing sweet potatoes over russet. 

Ice Cream

We couldn’t complete this blog without turning to the age-old favorite of ice cream. This sweet treat is a go-to option for your dentist in Rocky Mount because it’s easy to eat and it’s cold. The coolness of ice cream is the perfect way to get some relief if you’re feeling sore and may even reduce swelling. Make sure to avoid flavors that contain nuts, frozen candy bars, or other hidden crunchy goodies. 

Even if you don’t necessarily feel like eating after dental treatment, it’s important that you do. If it’s easier, choose to eat several smaller meals or snacks throughout the day instead of large meals. Also, make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to keep your body and mouth properly hydrated. 

Your dentist in Rocky Mount is always here to help you if you have any questions about your dental treatment, or what you can comfortably eat afterward. Just ask!

How Facemasks May Affect Oral Health

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

Facemasks are now a common thing in all of our lives. We see them hanging from rearview mirrors as we drive down the road, everyone in the grocery store is masked up, and they’re even starting to become a fashion statement to some. While facemasks are encouraged in public places nowadays to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, there’s a little-known side effect that involves your dentist in Rocky Mount

Disclaimer About Facemasks 

Before we dive into the oral health side effects of facemasks, we want to make sure that all of our readers know that this does not mean we don’t support the use of facemasks. Please don’t stop wearing your mask. The benefits far outweigh the potential downsides that we’re about to discuss. Besides, there are things you can do to completely eliminate these downsides. More on that in a bit. 

The Way We Breathe

Now, another important thing to note is that the facemask itself isn’t to blame. It’s the way our bodies react to this new change. Since most of us are not used to wearing a facemask every day, we tend to automatically adjust the way we breathe while wearing one. In fact, many people are finding themselves breathing out of their mouths instead of their noses while wearing a mask. Even people who naturally breathe out of their noses and dislike mouth breathing can adopt a new way of breathing because it can feel more comfortable. However, mouth breathing isn’t something your dentist in Rocky Mount takes lightly.  

Mouth Breathing & Oral Health

Take a few deep breaths in and out using only your mouth. Do you feel what happened? Your mouth probably feels uncomfortably dry and as if you could use a drink of water, stat. Now let’s say you did that every time you wore a mask. That’s a pretty dry mouth, isn’t it? When we breathe out of our mouths instead of our noses it dries up saliva and can prevent more from being produced. The result is the dry, dehydrated feeling. But discomfort isn’t the only thing concerning your dentist in Rocky Mount. In fact, dry mouth can also cause oral health problems. 

Cavities

A mouth needs saliva to remain healthy. After all, it’s this spit that helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acids. But without saliva, these bacteria and acids are left around, increasing the likelihood of cavities.  

Bad Breath

Additionally, mouth breathing and dry mouth can also cause bad breath for similar reasons. With no saliva to remove bacteria, these pesky problem-makers will feed on leftover food particles. Then, as with all living things, the bacteria will release unused byproducts. It just so happens that bacteria’s byproduct smells bad, hence bad breath.

Keeping Dry Mouth Away

The good news is even if you do breathe out of your mouth, either while wearing a facemask or just naturally, there are ways you can prevent dry mouth and reduce your risk of cavities and bad breath. 

  • Water. Taking breaks to sip water throughout the day can help keep the mouth hydrated and ready to fend off bacteria and acids.  
  • Hard Candy. You read that correctly. Your dentist in Rocky Mount is telling you to have candy, but make sure it’s sugar-free candy or gum containing Xylitol. Chewing or sucking on these can stimulate saliva production. 
  • Good Oral Hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day will help remove bacteria buildup. If you can, brush after meals to further protect your teeth. 

We’re always here to help our patients and neighbors, so if you have questions about dry mouth or you’re experiencing dry mouth and are unable to find relief, give us a call to schedule an appointment. 

Current Stress & Oral Health 

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

Over the past couple of months, you may have been feeling more stressed out than usual, and rightfully so. Our lives have changed, some dramatically, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future and a bigger focus on staying healthy than maybe ever before. But believe it or not, the stress we’re feeling about staying healthy may be having the exact opposite effect. In fact, stress is known to affect both overall and oral health. Take it from this New York Times article and your dentist in Rocky Mount when we say that lowering your current stress levels can go a long way in keeping your body and your mouth healthy. 

How Stress Relates to Oral Health

  • Teeth Clenching & Grinding – One of the most common ways stress affects our oral health is by clenching and grinding our teeth. Oftentimes, this response to stress is done while sleeping or completely subconsciously. Basically, a lot of times we don’t even know we’re doing it. But how can we stop something we don’t know is happening? Well, while we may not be aware of the habit while we’re doing it, the side effects of clenching and grinding are often obvious. Constantly clenching or grinding our teeth can result in chipped, broken, or cracked teeth. If this happens, your dentist in Rocky Mount will want to restore your tooth. Stressful clenching and grinding can also put unnatural and excessive stress on the jaw joint, known as your TMJ or temporomandibular joint. Over time, this can cause something called TMJ disorder or TMD which is a painful condition that can cause popping or clicking of the jaw or even a locked jaw. 
  • Gum Disease – Another way stress can affect oral health and, in turn, overall health is through gum disease. Gum disease is often caused by tobacco use or poor oral hygiene, but increased levels of stress can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. If not treated by your dentist in Rocky Mount, gum disease can lead to other whole-body health concerns such as the increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, and some cancers. 
  • Canker Sores – Even though stress is not the only thing that can cause canker sores, research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry suggests a possible correlation between stress and canker sore development. Canker sores are tiny red or white sores that resemble ulcers. They can be painful but are not contagious. 

Stay Healthy By Lowering Stress

Stress can affect not only your oral health but your overall health, too. And nowadays, it’s incredibly important to do everything you can to lower stress and stay healthy. Some stress-reduction techniques recommended by experts include:

  • Sleep. Our bodies recover as we sleep. This means our immune system is better prepared to fight off infections. It also means lower stress levels. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid your phone or other sources of blue light at least an hour before bed, listen to relaxing music or calming sounds, and keep a regular sleep schedule even on days you don’t have to get up. 
  • Exercise. Scheduling time for some exercise every day not only helps your cardiovascular and muscular systems, but it can also reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the happy chemical, and can lower the feelings of stress. So dust off that treadmill or get your downward dog on, whatever you do, get some sort of exercise daily. 
  • Meditate. Some cultures have been using mediation as a way to relax and stay healthy for centuries. Focusing on your breath and clearing your mind has been proven to lower heart rate and stress levels.  Find an app that will guide you through mediation practices and set aside time each day to just breathe.

Just like the way stress affects everyone differently, stress reduction is different for everyone, too. Try a few techniques above, keep practicing, and find what works best for you.

Should You Get Dentures or Dental Implants?

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in Dental Implant, Oral Health

Our teeth are designed to last a lifetime. However, tooth loss happens all too often as a result of either age, accident, or disease. In fact, according to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million are missing all of their natural teeth. When someone is missing a tooth or several teeth, it can affect both oral and overall health. This is one reason why your dentist in Rocky Mount believes that everyone who is missing a tooth or teeth should find the best tooth replacement treatment for them. Oftentimes, this means either getting dentures or dental implants. Join us as we take a closer look at each of these restorative dentistry treatments in this blog. 

Dentures

Dentures, also sometimes known as false teeth, are a type of restorative dentistry that can replace a few missing teeth (often called a partial) or an entire mouth full. This tooth replacement option is removable and may be the preferred choice for people who are missing a series of teeth instead of just one or two here and there. Dentures are custom-crafted to fit comfortably in your mouth, and thanks to advancements in dental technology, dentures can now appear more realistic than they ever have before (so long, Chiclet teeth!). While dentures are usually more affordable than dental implants, they do require some maintenance. Both full dentures and partial dentures need to be removed, cleaned, and soaked every night to keep them in good shape and fitting properly. Dentures also require denture adhesive when putting them back in when you wake up, which can be cumbersome for some people and may cause dentures to slip while eating and talking. However, they may be the best tooth replacement option for you if you’ve been told you have bone loss in your jaws or that your jaws aren’t healthy enough for surgical dental implant treatment. 

Dental Implants

Another tooth replacement option highly recommended by dentists in Rocky Mount is dental implants. Unlike dentures, dental implants are a permanent, non-removable restorative dentistry treatment that can replace either one or several missing teeth. While dental implants are initially more expensive than dentures, the treatment is often superior and can end up saving you money in the long run. Dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw bone and allowed to heal. Afterward, a custom-created crown tops the implant. Dental implants can also be inserted into the jaw bone and topped with a custom full set of prosthetic teeth. This allows your dentist to replace all of your teeth without the hassle of removable dentures. Since dental implants are permanent, there’s no worry about slippage while eating or talking, and they function just like your natural teeth. Additionally, implants can continue to stimulate the jaw bone-  which can help in appearance as well as function. 

As with any dental treatment or medical treatment, there is no absolute right choice for every single person as everyone is different. It’s best to speak with your dentist in Rocky Mount to find the best tooth replacement option for your specific situation. 

Is Cow’s Milk Really The Best Milk For Teeth?

Written by Dr. Richard Hunt on . Posted in General & Preventive Dentistry, Oral Health

In the past few years, many people have been ditching cow’s milk for other often plant-based alternatives such as soy milk. While your dentist in Rocky Mount certainly understands the appeal of this lower-calorie milk option, we do want to make sure that we examine the potential effects from an oral health standpoint. So what do you say? Join us in taking a closer look at the impact of soy milk on oral health. 

Up First — Cow’s Milk 

Before we dive into some of the potential oral health side effects of soy milk, it’s important to understand why your dentist in Rocky Mount is such a big fan of cow’s milk. Essentially, this staple go-to for many families provides our teeth with some of the most important things we can ever give them — calcium and vitamin D. The powerhouse combination of calcium and vitamin D is crucial to not only building and maintaining strong teeth but bones, too. Calcium and vitamin D help bones and teeth replenish minerals they lose over time. In terms of oral health, this replenishment helps keep teeth tough, strong, and protected against bacteria and acids. Without them, teeth are at increased risk of decay and cavities. 

A Closer Look at Soy Milk

While there are many different types of cow milk alternatives, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the more common choices of soy milk. Soy milk is a popular choice because it’s lower in calories and contains less saturated fat than cow’s milk. It even still has our powerhouse duo of calcium and vitamin D. So from a dietary perspective, soy milk is a great choice. However, your dentist in Rocky Mount wants you to know that the amount of calcium and vitamin D is often lower in soy milk when compared to cow’s milk, and there’s also an interesting thing that happens after we drink soy milk. According to recent studies, when introduced to soy milk, mouth bacteria produce six times more acid than they do with cow’s milk. Why is this concerning? Well, more acid means a bigger chance of enamel erosion as well as an increased chance of decay and cavities. An important thing to note: As with any type of research, more studies are needed in order to develop a strong correlation between soy milk and acid production in the mouth, but this is a good place to start and we’re comfortable saying when in doubt, drink cow’s milk.

What If You Can’t Drink Cow’s Milk? 

We understand that many people can’t drink cow’s milk due to dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance or religious reasons. When this is the case, it’s important to get calcium and vitamin from other sources such as soy milk or other foods and drinks such as: 

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Calcium-fortified coconut or almond milk

Now, even though diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth, it’s still crucial to take care of your teeth at home and see your dentist in Rocky Mount every six months. So make sure you brush and floss regularly and schedule (and keep!) your appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist twice a year.