Back to School Dental Tips

School is in full swing, which means a lot of kids are back into their routines, but are you making sure they are caring for their teeth correctly? The rush to get ready for school in the morning can lead many children to forget to brush and floss their teeth. Proper oral health habits are essential to preventing cavities. Scheduling a visit with your dentists in New Albany, OH, is a great way to help your kids remember the importance of proper oral hygiene. Here are some other back to school dental tips to help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy this school year.

Daily Timers

A great way to help kids to remember to brush and floss is to set a timer. Have one in the morning and another in the evening before bed. Reminders like this can go a long way to strengthening the teeth enamel and safeguarding teeth from cavities and other issues like gingivitis.

The Importance of Water

Remind your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water helps to flush excess bacteria from the mouth, reducing the likelihood of plaque leading to cavities. Unlike sodas and other sugary drinks, water doesn’t stick to the teeth.

Healthy Snacks and Lunches

If you pack home lunches for your child, plan on packing healthy lunches. Avoid the sugary supplies like fruit snacks as they can stick to a child’s teeth. Vegetables and fruits are great alternatives, and some of them even help to clean the teeth when they chew on them. Remember to pack a water over sugary drinks and milk as both of these items increase the bacteria in the mouth that leads to tooth decay.

Use Mouthguards

For children that play contact sports, consider using a custom mouthguard. A mouthguard will help to protect a child’s teeth if they do get hit while playing sports. The mouthguard protects teeth from enamel damage due to grinding.

Schedule Annual Cleanings

Make it a habit to schedule a cleaning and exam for your child in the spring and fall. Annual dental visits are one of the best ways to prevent cavities and ensure your child’s teeth and gums are. As teeth continue to develop and your child starts losing teeth, it is important to meet with a dentist to discuss their orthodontic needs. Planning ahead for braces is helpful for many families with multiple children that need expensive orthodontic care in the future.

For more information about back to school dental tips, visit your dentists in New Albany, OH, today!

Why You Should Brush Your Tongue

Have you ever thought about including your tongue in your oral hygiene routine? Here at your favorite Albany family dentist, we want you to know why thinking about your tongue can also save your teeth! It makes it possible for you to eat, drink, taste food, swallow, whistle, and speak. Ignoring it is a bad idea!Learn why you should brush your tongue from your Albany family dentist.

Why Should I Brush My Tongue?

Your tongue has lots of bumps and crevices that harbor hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, dead skin cells, and food particles. There’s also a very thin layer of mucus that covers it for protection. Not cleaning it can lead to some pretty bad breath, discoloration, oral yeast infections, and gum disease. A filthy tongue can even dull your taste buds!

While mouthwash kills some bacteria and freshens breath, it isn’t quite enough. The biofilm that accumulates will only die off with mouthwash for a time. But, the under-layer will continue to grow, rubbing off on your teeth and gums. You must remove the bacteria on your tongue by brushing.

How Do I Brush My Tongue?

Every time you brush your teeth (at least twice per day), brush your tongue too. You can brush back and forth and from side to side, but not too hard! If you break the skin, it will be painful, damage your taste buds, and be at risk for infection. You can either use the rest of the toothpaste in your mouth after brushing, or use a small bead of toothpaste and focus on the top of the tongue, starting at the back and moving forward. Use gentle pressure and then rinse with water.

If brushing your tongue is uncomfortable, you may be scrubbing too hard. The skin can become inflamed when irritated, so hold off for a couple of days if that happens. If you have a sore on your tongue, don’t make it worse by brushing. Consult our dentists for advice on how to proceed with a delicate tongue. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, try cleaning the back of your tongue very slow and light at first, to get used to the feeling. Hum a tune to override the reflex and get the job done.

It’s a pretty simple thing to add to your routine, so making it a habit shouldn’t take long. Your Albany family dentistry wants your smile to shine! If you have any questions about your dental health, contact us today.

Protect Your Teeth This Summer

Concerned about your child's teeth this summer? Get a custom mouthguard!Summer is finally here, which means so are summer sports and lots of activities. A simple day at the beach or an escape to the waterpark could end up with an emergency dental visit from a simple run in. How can you keep your kid’s from causing serious damage to their teeth this summer? Here are some tips from New Albany Pediatric Dentist to help you and your kids stay safe this summer.

Prepare and Prevent

One of the best things you can do for your kids is to prepare them for summer with mouthguards. If your kids play contact sports, mouthguards are one of the best pieces of equipment you can use to help them prevent cracked and broken teeth. Mouthguards can even help if your kids do swimming activities like waterskiing and wakeboarding. Many people think swimming sports do not need mouthguards. But, more often than not, people will end up clenching their teeth when they swim. A mouthguard helps to prevent prevent teeth grinding, which could end up ruining the teeth and cause jaw pain.

Emergency Plan of Action

What happens if you have a tooth knocked out? Can you replace the tooth? Our New Albany dentist specialist in emergency dental treatments and we can often save a knocked out tooth. If we are unable to save the tooth, we do have various cosmetic dentistry procedures we can use to replace the missing tooth. We provide emergency dental hours to help patients after hours and during business hours for any serious dental problem.

Safety First

When playing outside this summer, remind your children of the importance of being aware of their surroundings. Children often get carried away in different activities. Their failure to pay attention to their surroundings can lead to a serious oral health emergency. When they are playing different sports, give them the right mouthguard and helmet to reduce the risk of injury to the mouth.

Contact your New Albany Cosmetic Dentist

If you have lost a tooth this summer, or you ended up with a nasty broken tooth, call our office immediately. We have many cosmetic dentistry treatments to restore the tooth and perfect your smile once again. We know how easily accidents happen. Don’t let a day at the park end up costing you a beautiful smile! Call our office to get fitted for your personalized mouthguard and for any cosmetic dentistry needs you have.

The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste

There are many different toothpastes out there. You’ll want to be sure you are choosing the right toothpaste for you or your family. At Clark Family Dental, we want to give you some helpful tips on finding the best toothpaste for your needs.Find the best brand of toothpaste for your dental needs.

As your New Albany dentist, we are here to help you pick out the right toothpaste. We have compiled this list of toothpastes and given them a rating based on some factors. There are many factors that go into why you should choose a toothpaste and different patients have different needs. This list will give you a good overview of the best organic and natural toothpastes out there and how well they actually live up to that name.

The toothpastes with a “5 Toothbrush” rating are the best all around. The lower the “toothbrush” rating the less effective the toothbrush is likely to be. These toothpaste guides take into account if the toothpaste is organic, certified, and how much fluoride they contain.

Toothpastes with a “5-Toothbrush Rating”

  • Dr. Bronner’s All-One Toothpaste by Dr. Bronner’s
  • >Happy Teeth Toothpaste Organic by Poofy Organics
  • Mieessence Toothpaste by ONE Group
  • Mint Sweet Orange Toothpaste by Made Simple Skin Care
  • Green People Toothpaste and Green People Toothpaste Kids

Toothpastes with a “4-Toothbrush Rating”

  • Weleda’s Toothpaste
  • Face Natural’s Tooth Cleanser
  • Herbal Choice Mari Natural Tooth Gel by Natural Brands
  • Cinnamon/Peppermint Toothpaste by Krista’s Natural Products
  • Dirty Mouth Primal Toothpowder by Primal Life Organics

Toothpastes with a “3-Toothbrush Rating”

  • Just the Goods Vegan Toothpaste
  • TruthPaste Natural Toothpaste by Diamond Dental System
  • Thieves Toothpaste by Young Living Essential Oils
  • The Peelu Co. Toothpaste
  • Redmond Earthpaste Toothpaste

Toothpastes with a “2-Toothbrush Rating”

  • Dr. Brite
  • Coral White Toothpaste
  • Healing Secrets Toothpaste
  • Lavera Toothpaste
  • David’s Natural Toothpaste

Toothpastes with a “1-Toothbrush Rating”

  • Honest Toothpaste
  • Desert Essence Toothpaste
  • Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care Toothpaste
  • Cleure Toothpaste
  • Auromere Ayruvedic Herbal Toothpaste

Your New Albany dentist is here to answer any questions you have. We are happy to give specific recommendations for the best toothpaste to fit your teeth and needs. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Gardening and Teeth: Careful Maintenance

In an increasingly plugged in society, finding time to be in nature seems rare. Studies continue to show how gardening increases nutrition and by extension dental health. It also reduces stress, improves mental health, and provides much needed exercise.

The Benefits of Gardening

  • NutritionGardening your own fruits and vegetables can encourage health benefits like healthy teeth, more exercise, and mental acuity.

    Do you need to eat more vegetables? Plant a garden. Research demonstrates that gardeners eat more vegetables and fruits than others. Also, kids who take part in after school gardening programs are more confident about trying new types of foods. Homegrown garden produce provides some of the healthiest food you can get your hands on. Last of all, food from your own garden tastes better! And when it tastes better, you’ll want to eat more. A diet rich in the essential vitamins and minerals provided by fresh vegetables and fruits can lead to improved dental health. The fiber and natural sugars found in homegrown goods leave you feeling more satisfied and less likely to eat artificial sugars. That way, you can avoid cavities and other dental problems.

  • Exercise

    The average American spends 93% of their time indoors. Social media, binge watching television shows, and the vast availability of online entertainment have made outdoor activities a mere afterthought to adults and children alike. The digging, stretching, and weeding required for gardening get your body moving and the blood pumping. It is an excellent form of low impact exercise. Gardening is especially helpful for those who deal with chronic pain or a disability and want a less vigorous form of exercise.

  • Mental Care

    Studies show that regular interaction with nature increases mental acuity and decreases stress. And, it can even help kids with behavioral challenges. Some research shows that gardening can also decrease the risk of dementia.

Getting Started

You don’t need a huge backyard to begin a vegetable garden. Start by caring for houseplants or gardening from pots and containers. If you only have a window seal or a small deck you can still start growing your own food. For instance, cherry tomatoes only need a five-gallon bucket with holes for drainage on the bottom. Search online or in local listings for community gardening groups or classes to join. You’ll discover a variety of books and information available to help you begin a home garden.

Gardening takes time and patience. Be sure to apply the same attention to detail as you care for your smile. Like gardening, dental health connects to mental and physical well being. For a consultation to assess your dental health, visit Clark Family Dental today, one of the best dentists in the Columbus and Albany areas. This spring let us help you begin your journey towards a brighter and healthier smile.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning isn’t just about ridding your house of unneeded or unwanted excess. The concept of a springtime refresh can extend to how you care for your dental health. Cosmetic dentistry This spring, add sprucing up your smile with cosmetic dentistry in New Albany.can spruce up your smile in a way that boosts confidence, brightens your smile, and contributes to your overall health.

  • Cosmetic Dentistry can whiten your smile.
    There’s something about Springtime that gives people the urge to update, refresh, and clean. For instance, a fresh coat of paint can make an average room sparkle and radiate warmth. One of the most common cosmetic services at Clark Family Dental in New Albany is teeth whitening. This quick procedure will make teeth more brilliant and attractive. Studies show that people with whiter smiles are more likely to get hired and are perceived as more friendly and successful.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry can improve overall health.
    Have you ever noticed how Springtime cleaning revitalizes you? Studies demonstrate that living in a clean and more organized space contributes to your overall well-being. Likewise, cosmetic dentistry services can benefit your overall health in ways you never imagined. For example, a cosmetic dentistry procedure like dental bonding does much more than strengthen teeth. Overtime, misshapen or cracked teeth can evolve from tiny defects into severe jaw pain, periodontal disease, or headaches. Choose today to speak with some of the best cosmetic dentists in New Albany at Clark Family Dental to discuss how a cosmetic service could improve your overall health.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry can improve your social life
    After springtime cleaning is complete, people generally feel more like inviting friends and family over to host a dinner or throw a party. This isn’t surprising given that a clean and organized space generates a sense of confidence and success. A brilliant, white, and straight smile has the same effect: it makes people more social, amiable, and confident in social situations. With a brighter smile, chatting with neighbors or coworkers can become a more rewarding experience because you aren’t worried about crooked or yellowing teeth.

At Clark Family Dental, we offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures including Invisalign, teeth whitening, and veneers. We understand the value you put on your health and want to assist you in achieving your cosmetic dental goals. Let us help you spruce up your smile this spring by arranging a consultation today. You can reach our main office at (614) 503-7801. We look forward to serving you!

Thank You For A Great Year at Clark Family Dental!

Happy New Year at Clark Family DentalAs the year draws to a close and the holidays swiftly approach, our hearts are full. It has been another great year at Clark Family Dental, and we have enjoyed meeting new patients, offering new services, and enjoying the company of loyal clients who have been coming to our practice for years. We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and enjoys their well-deserved time with their family and friends.

We also want to take the chance to thank our incredible staff. We know that you work tirelessly to create a warm, welcoming, and comfortable place for all of our patients, and we truly couldn’t do it without you. You work hard to create an environment where great dentistry and customer service can thrive, and we know how much you care about the patients that you serve.

Make Your Teeth a Priority

This time of year, we want to encourage our patients and employees alike to look after their dental health. The holidays are filled with new dishes and sugary indulgences, and some items can damage your teeth faster than you might think.

Watch out for foods that are hard to chew, such as hard candies, unshelled nuts, and popcorn kernels. Hard foods can make it easy to damage existing dental work, or even cause cracks, fractures, or dental chips. If you enjoy sugary foods, try to swish your mouth with water afterwards to dilute bacterial acids. Also, focus on avoiding artificial dyes present in frostings, candies, and punches, which can leach into dental enamel and leave behind unsightly stains.

Dental Emergency? Clark Family Dental Can Help

If you find yourself with a dental emergency this holiday season, don’t despair. Clark Family Dental is here to help. Our team of professionals is more than happy to fit you into our schedule, and both Dr. Beth and Dr. Chris Clark are dedicated to resolving dental emergencies as soon as possible. If you have questions about how to avoid dental problems during the holidays, make an appointment as soon as possible to learn how our New Albany family dentistry office can help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of expressing gratitude to the ones that you love, enjoying family and friends, and of course, eating a meal that will keep you full for the rest of the week. Here at Clark Family Dental, we want to wish all of our patients and your families a happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for allowing us to serve your dental needs and for being part of our practice family!

Thanksgiving Dental Care Tips

Although the holidays are great for bonding with relatives and testing out new recipes, they can be hard on your teeth. Here are a few tips for taking care of your teeth this Thanksgiving.

  • Watch Out for Starchy Foods

    The oral bacteria that live in your mouth feed off of simple starches like glucose and sucrose, which are found abundantly in rolls, pies, potatoes, and stuffing. When starchy foods get wet, they are also exceptionally sticky, which contributes to plaque and tartar buildup. To prevent plaque and dental decay, watch out for starchy foods or avoid them altogether.

  • Brush and Floss After Your Meal

    You might feel silly heading to the bathroom to brush and floss while your relatives whip out the card games, but you’ll be glad for your nice breath and clean teeth when you head home after dinner. To make the job easier, pack a travel toothbrush and a few dental picks in a plastic bag and toss them in your pocket or purse. That way, you can take care of your teeth with minimal inconvenience.

  • Don’t Sip Throughout the Day

    Instead of sipping on soda or juice all throughout the day, try to limit your teeth’s exposure to potentially harmful foods to a single dining session—and remember to drink enough water. This will help dilute sugars and acids in your mouth, keeping them off your teeth.

  • Remember: Pigmented Foods Stain

    Heavily pigmented foods like coffee, wine, cranberry sauce, and dark chocolate can dye your teeth, since the pigments can leach through enamel and stain the underlying dentin. To avoid stains that stick, skip foods that are heavily pigmented, or make sure to wash them down with water.

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving from our New Albany family dentistry practice. If you have any questions about your teeth and how to keep them shining, contact us!

Teeth Whitening: Professional or Over-the-Counter?

DIY has become all the rage, from DIY gifts to DIY home repair.  But there are some things that you should never try to do without a professional, like surgery and electrical work.  Is teeth whitening on that list?  Maybe not, but it certainly straddles the line. Over-the-counter whitening systems are typically inexpensive and easy to use, but they may not last as long or work as effectively as professional teeth whitening, and there are risks to over-the-counter treatments that can be removed under the supervision of a dentist.

Over-the-counter Options for Teeth Whitening

  • Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are clear strips that you place on your teeth and leave on for about 30 minutes, or as directed in the instructions.
  • Whitening Gum: If you’re looking for a gentle and easy way to whiten your teeth, whitening gum is a good option. It removes the outer layer of protein buildup that plaque and bacteria cling to,  and help balance the pH levels in your mouth. However, whitening gum only works on the outside layer of stains, and will not work in all cases.
  • Whitening Toothpaste: Whitening toothpastes contain active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and mild abrasives that remove surface stains on teeth.
  • Brush-On Whitening: With brush on whitening, you paint or draw whitening gel on your teeth for a quick and easy tooth whitening treatment.

In most of these cases, the focus is on the outer layers of your teeth, meaning these treatments do nothing for deep stains. Also, the concentration of bleaching agents is low for safety reasons, so you may need many whitening sessions to get the results you want. And because you aren’t under the supervision of a dentist, it is possible to get undesirable results like patchy whitening or graying from overuse.

Professional Whitening

Professional whitening systems use high concentration gels that would be unsafe for over-the-counter use. Under the supervision of a dentist, these gels are safe and effective, generating faster results than over-the-counter systems.

  • In-Office Whitening Systems: In-office whitening systems are quick and thorough. You’ll come into our office for a one-hour treatment, and leave with your teeth significantly improved, whitened three to eight shades in a single visit.
  • Take-Home Whitening: If you prefer to take your tooth whitening into your own hands, we can fit you with a take-home whitening system more effective than over-the-counter kits. We will create a custom mouth tray and give you professional-strength whitening gel to help you whiten your teeth within a few days.

Professional Whitening is Superior

In terms of high speed and low risk, professional whitening is superior to over-the-counter whitening systems.  It is a safer, more effective, and quicker way to whiten your teeth than over-the-counter methods.  Trusting a professional to whiten your teeth will reduce the risk of complications such as sensitivity and splotching.  If you’re looking in New Albany for cosmetic dentistry, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up your appointment.

Watching for Gum Disease in Your Family

Every parent knows the importance of semi-annual trips to the dentist. Cleanings are necessary to prevent cavities, and preventing cavities is just one of the many things parents can do to ensure their children are happy and healthy.

There is, however, one oral-related health problem some parents don’t monitor closely enough: gum disease. Luckily, our family dentistry office is on top of this disease and provide a vast amount of easily understood, and accessibly, information concerning the effects of gum disease.

Gum disease has a host of risks, including:

  • The possibility of contracting chronic gingivitis. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, this is a fairly common issue in children. However, it can easily be prevented and treated.
  • Aggressive periodontitis. This is more common in teenagers and young adults, and affects mainly molars and incisors.
  • Generalized aggressive periodontitis. This occurs when periodontitis attacks the entire mouth, not just molars and incisors.

Obviously, none of the above risks are any you want your children to face. So in between visits to Clark Family Dental, you need to watch your children for the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums that occur during regular tooth brushing/flossing, or at any other time
  • Swollen, bright red gums
  • Gum recession. This is identified by gums that recede away from teeth, at times receding so far the roots become exposed.
  • Constant bad breath that doesn’t clear up, no matter the amount of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash your child uses.

While the above isn’t a complete list of gum disease symptoms, they are the most easily noticeable ones for parents to look for. If oral hygiene is neglected, it can quickly turn into one of the three aforementioned gum disease risks.

As a parent, the best thing you can do aside from checking the mouths of your children is to set a good example by openly practicing oral health habits. And at appointments for family dentistry in New Albany, ask our office about any signs of gum disease that you may have missed. Call us today to schedule your child’s next appointment, and protect them from periodontal disease.