Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Does Bottled Water Contain Fluoride?

For many people, bottled water is a staple of their daily diet. While bottled water is favored by many due to its lack of impurities and fresh taste, it may lack fluoride - an important mineral for your teeth.

Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the Earth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. In fact, in the 1930s, researchers discovered that people who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had up to two-thirds fewer cavities than people living in areas without fluoridated water.

While brushing with a fluoride toothpaste or rinsing with a fluoride mouth wash can help, water can be an even greater source. Unfortunately, if you drink bottled water or use a home water filter, you could be missing out on the health benefits of this mineral.

While some people prefer bottled water simply for the taste, others drink bottled water because they live in an area where tap water may be contaminated or unsafe to consume. Either way, if you choose to drink bottled water, you should try to find the kind that contains fluoride. If you're not sure, check the label. If you have or are thinking of installing a home water filter, check out the ADA site for a list of water filters that do not remove fluoride from tap water.

Dr.Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC provides dental resources in this blog and on his website (see: Dental Treatments, Raleigh NC for information and videos about dental treatments).  Contact Dr.Melcher to schedule an appointment for your next cleaning or dental treatment in Raleigh: 919-782-0548.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Your Diet and Your Dental Health

Did you know that your dental health is greatly affected by what you eat and drink? Most people are aware that too much sugar can be bad for teeth and that substances like coffee or wine will cause discoloration, but a lot of folks might be surprised to know that diets high in carbohydrates or acidic substances can also contribute to dental problems.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. The ADA recommends avoiding the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar such as soft drinks and candy. Additionally, snack foods that are very starchy or high in carbs can also contribute to tooth decay.

Giving up these things completely would be great for your dental health, but for most people, this is unrealistic. A soda every once in a while or some candy here and there probably won't be detrimental to your teeth. Just remember that moderation along with regular, effective dental hygiene practices can help you maintain a healthy smile.

Here are a few tips for making your diet tooth-and-gum-friendly:
  • Drink plenty of water (limit soda and juices)
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including: whole grains fruits vegetables lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
  • Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose healthier options like fresh fruit or a piece of cheese.
The ADA says that foods eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day. This is because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.

We hope you learned something today!  Thanks for visiting our blog and please remember to call Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC to schedule your next appointment: 919-782-0548

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Proper Tooth Brushing Technique

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important daily habits to maintain a healthy smile. Unfortunately, many people don't realize they aren't bushing effectively. Improper brushing can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and expensive dental bills. How frustrating it would be to continue to have dental problems, even though you're brushing regularly!

Here's a quick look at the most effective way to brush your teeth. These recommendations come straight from the American Dental Association (ADA).  You can learn more at

First, a few tips... Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. (Sooner if the bristles become frayed or bent). Use an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. (Or ask your dentist to recommend one for your specific condition).

Now, for the technique... Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Move the brush back and forth gently in short, tooth-wide strokes. Be sure to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces and chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inner surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

For a helpful visual guide, download the How to Brush PDF from the ADA.

Remember, brushing is only one part of maintaining dental health. Flossing and regular cleanings are also recommended to keep your smile healthy!  Be sure to schedule your next appointment with Dr, Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry: 919-782-0548.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Importance of Flossing

Brushing and flossing typically go hand-in-hand when it comes to healthy dental habits. Unfortunately, many people neglect to floss, despite regular brushing. While it may not seem like a big deal, The American Dental Association warns that people who avoid the floss will likely have serious dental issues in the future.

Flossing is important because it helps remove plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is that sticky yellowish coating that builds up along the gumline. It's full of nasty bacteria that excrete acidic matter, causing damage to your teeth and gums. If plaque continues to build up and is left untreated, it could lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Most toothbrushes cannot effectively clean the areas between your teeth, so even if you're a die-hard brusher, you'll still need the aid of dental floss to clean those hard-to-reach places. This may be a hassle for people who have difficulty handling dental floss, but it is a very worthwhile hassle. If you need some help, your dentist will probably be more than happy to give you a quick lesson on how to floss during your next visit. You can also download a How To Floss PDF from, a website from the ADA.

Remember, flossing is just one part of maintaining oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth after meals (or at least twice a day) and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings are also essential for keeping your smile bright and healthy.

Contact Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh today to schedule your next routine checkup: 919-782-0548