How Allergies Can Affect Your Oral Health

Spring is often filled with outdoor adventures, especially here in Arizona.  However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, seasonal allergies affect more than 50 million Americans. If left untreated, allergies can escalate to a sinus infection, which can cause facial pain, congestion, bad breath, coughing, and dental pain.

Snow Family Dentistry Allergy Tips

Try the following options to relieve your allergy symptoms:

  • Antihistamine: This is your typical allergy medicine. Some examples of over-the-counter brands include Allegra, Zyrtec, and Claritin.
  • Decongestant: This medicine will help relieve your congestion. Sudafed and Mucinex are a couple of medicines that can help.
  • Humidifier: Keeping air warm and humid can help relieve the symptoms of allergies.
  • Stay inside: Check your local weather for pollen counts and windy days. These are good indicators of when you should avoid being outside
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy): If none of the above options work, you may need to take allergy shots. This is a series of shots that slowly allows your body to acclimate to the allergen causing your symptoms.

When to See a Dentist

If your teeth hurt and you have a sinus infection, don’t worry! It’s most likely due to your maxillary sinus cavity not being able to drain properly. This puts pressure on your teeth, causing pain.

While a sinus infection can be the cause of your tooth pain, your teeth may also be the cause of your sinus infection. If you deal with allergies, it may be hard to determine the cause of the pain in your teeth.

If you have a prolonged toothache, we recommend that you go to you a dentist like Snow Family Dentistry for an examination. A dentist will be able to determine whether there is an issue with your mouth that is causing your pain. If we do not find anything notable in your examination, we may refer you to an endodontist who can check for nerve damage.

If you have had tooth pain with or without a sinus infection, click here to schedule your free Snow Family Dentistry consultation today!

 

How Smoking Can Affect Your Teeth

Everyone knows that smoking can wreak havoc on your health, but many don’t realize the level of damage it can also do in your mouth.

At Snow Family Dentistry, we want you to live your best and healthiest life, and therefore want you to realize the danger of tobacco can have on your teeth and gums.

Tobacco use can cause:

Yellow Teeth

The more you smoke, the more likely you are to notice tooth discoloration. In fact, regular tobacco use can turn your teeth yellow or brown. The amount you smoke will also play a role in how discolored your teeth become, as well as how long you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products.

Tooth Decay

Tobacco can cause tooth decay, which can lead to cavities or broken teeth. Large cavities that exist around the gum line can lead to infections and can weaken your teeth overtime. Broken teeth are very painful and costly to repair.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that occurs in your mouth. Over time, this infection impacts the gums significantly.

The first sign of gum disease is usually bleeding gums, but sometimes a receding gum line can also be noticed.

While the early stages of periodontal disease can often be reversed if you see a dentist, long-term smoking and tobacco use can make it severe.

Permanent Damage

If gum disease is left untreated for too long, the infection can spread into tissue and bone, which can then become weaker. Over time, bone damage can occur.

In severe cases, periodontal disease can get so bad that surgical intervention is necessary. Bone grafts and restorative surgery are sometimes required in these cases.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

No matter what kind of shape your teeth are in at the moment, many of the problems related to smoking and using tobacco can be fixed or stopped.

In many cases, discoloration can be fixed with cleaning, polishing and whitening procedures. Decay can be treated with fillings, root canals and crowns. Additionally, periodontal disease is often reversible via deep cleaning, sometimes referred to as scaling and root planing.

At Snow Family Dentistry, we offer all of these services! Click here to schedule a free consultation today

When to Replace a Toothbrush

Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric one, over time the bristles become less effective at cleaning your teeth. So, how often do you change your toothbrush or electric brush head? Continue reading to find out!

When to Know It’s Time

At Snow Family Dentistry, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Additionally, you should consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick or if your toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes.

When in doubt, we also suggest looking at your toothbrushes’ bristles. If they are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as thoroughly. Most children brush harder than adults, and therefore have to have their toothbrushes replaced more often.

Different Types of Toothbrushes

There are two styles of toothbrushes to consider, including manual and electric. At Snow Family Dentistry, we suggest choosing what feels comfortable and makes you want to brush your teeth regularly.

For instance, a manual toothbrush is portable and ready to use every time you need it. It makes no noise, and you will have complete control over the pressure it puts on your teeth and gums. However, it might not clean as effectively as an electric toothbrush. The rotating movement of the bristles makes it easier for electric toothbrushes to clean between teeth and at the gum line. Many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors to make sure you brush long enough and don’t press too hard.

Maintaining Your Toothbrush

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, you need to keep it clean. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends rinsing your toothbrush under tap water after you brush to wash away lingering toothpaste and saliva. After you are done, store your toothbrush in a vertical position, with the bristles positioned so they can air dry.

This is because storing a toothbrush in a closed container can cause bacteria to build up, therefore it’s best to let the bristles of your toothbrush fully dry between each use. At Snow Family Dentistry, we even recommend using disposable toothbrushes if you’re traveling.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Interested in learning more about proper toothbrush hygiene or care? Schedule an appointment with us today!

What Do Energy Drinks Do to My Teeth?

Despite many reports stating energy drinks are bad for your health (and teeth), they continue to gain popularity. What most people don’t know is that the high acidity level in these beverages can strip teeth enamel and leave permanent damage. It’s time to consider whether the extra boost is worth the permanent risk to your smile.

What Qualifies as an Energy Drink?  

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states:

“Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults.”

Some of the most popular brands of energy drinks sold in North America include Red Bull, Monster, and RockStar.

Energy Drink Ingredients

Most energy drinks contain the following ingredients:

  • Caffeine
  • Taurine (an amino acid that shows no evidence of providing energy)
  • Guarana (a plant native to the Amazon region that contains a very high concentration of caffeine)
  • Sugar

Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth

Energy drinks cause cavities in the same way sodas do: high sugar content and very acidic pH level.

Mouth bacteria consumes sugar, which produces acid. When this acid stays in contact with the enamel surface of your teeth, it begins to weaken it. This process creates cavities.

Additionally, all energy drinks, even the sugar-free versions, have a very low pH level. Consistently drinking very acidic drinks predisposes you to a higher risk for cavities.

How to Quit Energy Drinks

You might have a dependency on caffeine if you are used to drinking multiple energy drinks per day. To quit drinking them altogether, you may have to practice small steps. Here are a few methods to consider:

  • Drink smoothies and juices: Using natural sources like fruits and vegetables can help supply your body with Vitamin B, which helps your body perform at optimum levels.
  • Green Tea: Green tea contains natural caffeine in small quantities and also carries health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Water: Water is actually a great energy drink because your metabolic reactions slow down when you’re dehydrated. This can lead to lower energy levels.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

If you need more suggestions on how to stop drinking energy drinks, or have concerns about tooth damage resulting from consuming them, schedule a free consultation with us today!

How to Comfort Your Baby During Teething

Did you know that your baby is born with 20 teeth under the gum line?  Additionally, your baby’s first tooth usually appears between six months and one year of age.

When your infant starts teething, it can be a very challenging time. Follow these Snow Family Dentistry tips to help soothe your child during this trying period.

Signs Your Baby is Teething

If your baby is around 6 months old (timing varies), you may start noticing the following teething symptoms:

  • Sore gums
  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Low fever
  • Chewing
  • Diarrhea
  • Drool rash around the mouth

It should be noted that if your baby has a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and has diarrhea, you should speak to your doctor.

Soothing Methods

  1. Massage Your Baby’s Gums

Applying pressure to your infant’s gums may help ease the pain. To do this, wash your hands and massage your baby’s gums gently with your finger.

  1. Use a Cold Washcloth

Letting your child chew on a cold, damp washcloth can help ease their pain.

  1. Refrigerate Pacifier

Refrigerate your child’s pacifier to numb their gums and to relieve pain. Additionally, you can use this same method with solid teething toys.

  1. Create Milk Popsicles

Your child may stop eating when they are teething due to discomfort.

As a solution, we suggest finding popsicle molds and filling and freezing them with breast milk or formula.

  1. Wipe Away Drool

Babies have a tendency to drool while teething. This can cause a rash and further irritation if not wiped away quickly.

  1. Chill Fruit

If you have introduced your baby to solid foods, try freezing some types of foods to help soothe irritated gums. At Snow Family Dentistry, we recommend chilling mashed bananas.

  1. Snuggle Time

Sometimes the best way to help a baby in discomfort is some extra cuddle time. Rocking your baby in a big chair or carrying your baby around the house are great ways to soothe their discomfort.

  1. Pain Medications

As a last resort, you can talk to your doctor about providing over-the-counter pain medication. These medicines help alleviate pain and allow your baby to go to sleep.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Once your baby’s first tooth appears, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first dental visit. Additionally, regular dental visits set the foundation for your child to have healthy gums and teeth.

At Snow Family Dentistry, pediatric dentistry is one of our many specialties! Click here to schedule an appointment with us today!

Tips to Reduce Sugar Intake 

Did you know that eating sugary foods can make your body crave it? Additionally, regularly eating sugar can cause many health problems- including tooth decay and gum damage. Here at Snow Family Dentistry, we often see teeth that have been damaged by eating too much sugar, and it can be a difficult issue to fix. 

How Much Sugar is Too Much?

The recommended daily sugar allowance is 10-14 teaspoons of sugar; however, most people go over this amount every day. To check how much sugar you are consuming, click here!  

Snow Family Dentistry Tips on How to Beat Sugar Cravings

Eating sugar releases endorphins that make us feel calmer, creating a natural boost while also giving you a short term energy boost and a dose of serotonin. This means that we feel like it’s doing us good, while it is actually depleting the body and setting us up for an energy crash that will leave us feeling that we need more sugar.

 To avoid falling into these sugar cravings, try the following Snow Family Dentistry tips:

Cut Out All Sugar

Cutting out sugar altogether is a pretty challenging idea for most of us, but it could re-set your body’s cravings by adjusting your taste buds. Most people find that just cutting out sugar for a few weeks, or a month, can help them get control of their cravings. If you try this option, you may experience withdrawal symptoms in the first few days, especially if you consume a lot of sugar. Just be prepared for headaches and frustration as your body begins to detox.

Lower Your Sugar Intake

If you tend to overeat sugary treats, you may be able to cut down on the amount of sugar you consume by eating just a little of the thing you want each time. Try having a couple of squares of chocolate instead of a full bar. This will give you the sweet taste you crave will also helping you to control the amount of sugar you are eating. As a result, this will reduce the damage sustained by your teeth and gums as well.

Substitute Foods 

When you really want sugar, try to substitute it with something healthier. For instance, fruit is naturally sweet, and is a great snack to substitute for other sugary treats. 

Chew Gum

Chewing gum can help reduce cravings, while also distracting you from the sugary foods you want to eat. At Snow Family Dentistry, we recommend carrying sugar free chewing gum with you to chew when you feel a craving coming on.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry 

At Snow Family Dentistry, we know that It isn’t easy to give up sugary treats; however, we hope these tips will help you reduce your intake! 

Think you need a checkup or a cleaning? We would love to work with you! Click here to schedule an appointment with us today!

Pregnancy Dental Health Tips

Being pregnant actually requires a lot of sacrifice. For instance, during this time, a mom-to-be can get so focused on making everything perfect for her little one that she can neglect her own health. However, a pregnant woman who cares for herself is also caring for her unborn child—that’s especially true when it comes to oral health.

Contributors to Declining Tooth and Gum Health

It’s common for a pregnant woman’s tooth and gum health to decline during pregnancy due to a multitude of reasons, including: 

Fatigue

Pregnant women often experience fatigue or exhaustion. As a result, routine nighttime brushing and flossing can get skipped, in addition to regular dental visits. This can lead to plaque and bacteria build-up which may lead to tooth decay.

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, changing hormones can cause pregnancy gingivitis, irritated gums that bleed because they are inflamed. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that includes bone loss. Research also suggests a link between babies born at a lower birth weight and gingivitis. 

Morning Sickness

Vomiting causes stomach acid to get into the mouth, which weakens tooth enamel. This puts pregnant women at a greater risk for cavities.

Cravings

Eating more often during pregnancy is common, but frequent snacking (especially on sugary or starchy foods) puts teeth in constant contact with acid. As mentioned above, this can weaken the tooth enamel.  

Prenatal Vitamins

Expecting women consume prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid to support their babies’ health during pregnancy. However, chewy or gummy vitamins stick on the teeth and most contain sugar that can damage teeth. To avoid this, we recommend choosing a vitamin that is in pill form. 

How Dental Hygiene Can Affect Your Baby’s Health 

When a pregnant woman has excessive bacteria growth in her mouth, it can enter the bloodstream through her gums and travel to the uterus. This can trigger the production of chemicals called prostaglandin, which may result in premature labor. 

Additionally, after the baby arrives, a mother can potentially pass her bacteria on to her newborn. Therefore, a mother who has a lot of bacteria in her mouth may pass that bacteria to her newborn.

How to Avoid Complications

Expectant mothers who brush their teeth thoroughly can reduce the risk of suffering dangerous complications in pregnancy. At Snow Family Dentistry, we suggest brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, and after each meal when possible. You also should floss each day.

Additionally, we recommend getting frequent checkups and cleanings during your pregnancy to help control plaque and prevent gingivitis. 

If you’re an expecting mother-to-be and need to schedule a checkup, please click here!. 

What Causes Tooth Enamel Loss and How to Prevent It 

Tooth enamel is the hard, outer surface layer of your teeth that protects against tooth decay. Additionally, tooth enamel is considered to be the hardest mineral substance in your body. Acids that develop from starchy and sugary foods and drinks can put your enamel at risk. This occurs when plaque bacteria produce acids that can weaken and destroy tooth enamel; acids can attack and soften the tooth surface. Unfortunately, once your enamel is gone, it cannot be restored. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Enamel Loss?

Some possible signs of tooth enamel damage include:

  • Discoloration: Yellow or shiny teeth 
  • Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods 
  • Texture: Roughness around the edges of your teeth

Causes of Enamel Loss


Stomach acid is one of the most possible causes of tooth enamel erosion. Conditions that promote this problem include:

  • Bulimia
  • Acid Reflux
  • Binge Drinking (Frequent bouts of binge drinking lead to vomiting, which causes acid to break down your teeth) 

Snow Family Dentistry Tips That Can Help Protect Tooth Enamel 

Use Specialized Toothpaste

Try brushing with a toothpaste like Crest Gum & Enamel Repair. It neutralizes plaque and bacteria along the gum line and is proven to help repair weakened enamel. 

Avoid Sugary Drinks and Food

As mentioned above, sugary foods and drinks can cause plaque build up on your teeth. This causes acid to break down your tooth enamel overtime. If you do indulge in a sugary treat, make sure your brush your teeth before you go to sleep. 

Use a Fluoride Mouthwash

By adding a fluoride mouthwash to your routine, you can protect your teeth against cavities in hard-to-reach areas, and help neutralize that plaque bacteria in your mouth that can weaken enamel. 

Brush and Floss Regularly

We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day, along with daily flossing, to help promote oral health. 

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry 

At Snow Family Dentistry, we can help you achieve your perfect smile! From regular checkups, to teeth whitening– we will work to keep your teeth healthy and bright! To schedule a free consultation with us today, please click here!  

Teeth Whitening Myths and Tricks 

Get on social media any given day and odds are you will see a couple different DIY teeth whitening methods. Despite this, some of these “tricks” can actually be harmful to your teeth. At Snow Family Dentistry, we’re here to set the record straight and help you determine fact from fiction. 

Method: Using Household Items to Whiten Your Teeth

This method claims you can make your teeth whiter and brighter using household staples that are naturally acidic (like lemons, oranges, apple cider vinegar). 

At Snow Family Dentistry, we agree that fruit is a healthy food choice; however, fruit and vinegar contain acid that can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer layer of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. Therefore, we do not recommend this method. 

Method: Using Charcoal to Whiten Your Teeth 

This method involves brushing your teeth with activated charcoal or baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth. 

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, there is no evidence supporting this method. Additionally, scrubbing your teeth with something that is too rough and abrasive can actually wear your enamel away. 

In fact, when enamel is worked down- it can actually make your teeth more yellow than white. 

Instead, we recommend choosing a whitening toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. The Seal lets you know the toothpaste you choose is safe, effective and won’t damage your teeth.

Method: Swishing Oil or Spices Can Whiten Your Teeth 

This method involves swishing oils (like olive or coconut oil) or spices in your mouth to whiten your teeth. This practice is not supported by any evidence or facts. 

Snow Family Dentistry Teeth Whitening Tricks 

Although the above stated methods will not whiten your teeth, the following practices will! 

-Brush daily! It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
-Use whitening toothpaste
-Try staying away from food that stain your teeth (example: coffee, red wine, tea).
-Get regular checkups and cleanings.

If you’re interested in getting your teeth professionally whitened or are in need of a check up, we can help! Our family practice will do our best to make you feel at home and will cater to your every need! To schedule an appointment with us today, click here

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During the Holidays

To keep your teeth healthy and clean this holiday season, follow these Snow Family Dentistry tips! 

  1. Avoid Cracking Nuts with Your teeth 

Although protein found in nuts helps keep muscles and bones strong, you shouldn’t test the strength of your teeth by shelling nuts with them. The hard surface of most nutshells can cause serious tooth and gum damage, and may even crack teeth. To avoid a dental emergency, shell nuts before eating them. 

  1. Be Careful When Eating Chewy Treats

The holidays are full of candy platters that are usually loaded with chewy treats that can harm your teeth. This is because substances that are sticky can cling to tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Additionally, caramel and taffy treats can even yank out fillings. We’re not saying avoid these items all together, just eat them sparingly and along with other foods to keep them from sticking to your teeth.

  1. Don’t Use Your Teeth to Open Packages and Bottles

While opening presents, avoid using your teeth- they are not the right tools for the task! Gripping a package or stubborn bottle cap with your teeth can crack them, possibly requiring a root canal or crown. To avoid this, reach for scissors or a bottle opener instead.

  1. Avoid Chewing On Hard Things 

Crunching on ice or hard candy can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, which are painful and pricey to treat. Whether you’re enjoying a sweet, or finishing the ice in your holiday cocktail, let it dissolve naturally. Better yet, skip these items altogether. Ice can cause discomfort for sensitive teeth, and hard candies promote tooth decay.

  1. Do Not Bite Your Nails 

We all know that the holidays can be very stressful; despite this, try to avoid biting your nails as much as possible! This habit is bad for your fingernails and teeth, and is linked to teeth grinding, clenching, jaw problems, facial pain and sensitive teeth. If you get the urge to start biting your nails, distract yourself for a few minutes. If that doesn’t work, consider buying bitter-tasting nail polish that’s designed to dissuade you from putting your nails anywhere near your mouth.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry 

From our family to yours, we hope you have a very happy holiday season! If you would like to schedule a check up or teeth whitening service before you visit family and friends, schedule an appointment with us today!