Should You Say Good-Bye to Gummy Vitamins?

Children's oral health in LafayetteA fun way for your child to get the recommended daily allowance of key vitamins and minerals, AND it tastes like candy? If it sounds too good to be true, there’s probably a good reason. Parents and children across the country have fallen for the seemingly harmless, kid-approved gummy multivitamin. The growing popularity of gummy vitamins has raised eyebrows in the dental community, says Dr. Michael Young. Young, a general and family dentist in Lafayette LA, cautions parents to think twice before starting their child on gummies.

Could a Bite-Size Gummy Really Inflict That Much Damage?

Possibly. We frequently advise parents that some types of candy, such as hard candy, caramel, and gummy bears, cause more harm than others. Even the cleanest mouth harbors millions of bacteria that love sugar and use it to create plaque. Sticky candy hides between teeth, under the tongue, between the gums and cheeks, and in every nook and cranny imaginable. When your child consumes candy during the day, saliva helps to wash away some of the sugar and bacteria. If your child takes a gummy vitamin immediately before bedtime after brushing and flossing, the risk of tooth decay increases. Dr. Young attributes this to the fact that salivary glands are less productive during sleep.

Are Chalky, Chewable Vitamins Equally Damaging?

At this time, studies have not been conducted to determine whether gummies cause any more destruction than other forms of chewable vitamins. Nonetheless, a high sugar content and gooey texture makes any food or supplement more likely to develop cavities. Dr. Young adds that a diligent regimen of brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups can protect your child’s teeth. If you offer gummy vitamins, you must be vigilant in teaching your child the importance of and proper way to care for teeth and gums. Encourage your child to brush his or her teeth immediately after taking either a gummy or chewable vitamin, and offer them only at bedtime instead of in the morning. Does a once-daily gummy multivitamin mean certain doom for your child’s teeth? No, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Questions about the effects of nutrition on your child’s teeth? To request more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young, contact our Lafayette dentist office at 337-237-6453. We serve families living in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. Dr. Young also invites you to find us on Facebook, where you’ll find news, tips, and valuable resources.

The Link Between Tap Water, Bottled Water, and Tooth Decay

Family dentist in Lafayette LAOver the last five years, Americans’ consumption of bottled water has increased at an astounding rate. According to the International Bottled Water Association and Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans drank 9.7 billion gallons of bottled water in 2012. Many of Dr. Michael J. Young’s patients have concerns about whether drinking bottled water instead of tap water will affect their oral health. Dr. Young, a family dentist in Lafayette LA, explains the importance of fluoride and its place in drinking water.

Convenient and Great-Tasting, But What’s the Catch?

We can’t deny the ease with which you can stash bottled water in school lunches, purses, gym bags, and desk drawers. True, bottled water lacks chlorine and the tell-tale metallic taste that we associate with tap water. Nonetheless, heath experts express concern about the lack of fluoride in most brands of bottled water. Specifically, they wonder whether children who exclusively drink bottled water will have a greater risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems.

Fluoride Offers Added Protection From Tooth Decay

Fluoride strengthens teeth and defends against de-mineralization, which occurs when bacteria in your mouth mix with sugar from foods and beverages. The bacteria produce acid that eats away at our tooth enamel. Over time, these acid attacks contribute to tooth decay with the possibility of tooth and bone loss. Although you can purchase fluoridated products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels, fluoride proves most effective when used throughout the day as opposed to once or twice daily. Drinking tap water is the simplest, most cost-effective way to achieve this.

Multiple studies show that drinking fluoridated water makes you less likely to experience tooth decay, citing a decrease of 20 to 40 percent. However, Dr. Young notes, studies have not shown a direct link between the prevalence of tooth decay with consumption of bottled water. The American Dental Association advises adults and children to drink tap water throughout the day to enjoy the full benefits of fluoridation. Regular cleanings and checkups protect your entire family, keeping your teeth strong, healthy, and attractive.

Questions about fluoride or cavity prevention? To schedule an appointment or request more information, call our Lafayette LA dentist office at 337-237-6453. We proudly serve families living in Youngsville, Broussard, Scott, Breaux Bridge, and the surrounding communities.

Are Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks Better Than Soda? Don’t Bet on It

It’s no secret that Red Bull, Monster, and other energy drinks contain tons of sugar, but our patients often ask whether these drinks are a better alternative than soda. Unlike colas, many energy drinks claim to provide at least some nutritional value, usually B vitamins or mysterious herbal blends.  Not to be outdone, sports drinks like Gatorade have insinuated themselves into our vending machines and gyms as well. Surely your favorite fitness center wouldn’t offer an unhealthy beverage to its patrons, right? Wrong, says Dr. Michael J. Young, a family and cosmetic dentist in Lafayette LA. In fact, sports and energy drinks may be even more harmful to your teeth than sodas. Fortunately, preventive dentistry can help. Lafayette LA dentist

Two Dangers, One Drink

When we caution our patients against drinking soda, we cite sugar as the primary reason.  Powerade, Gatorade, and other sports drinks contain about half as much sugar as your favorite soda, while the amount of sugar in energy drinks like Fuel and Monster is often as much as, or more than what you find in soda. Sugar isn’t the only issue, though. The real problem? Acid.

The amount of acid in the typical sports or energy drink has the potential to cause ten times more damage to your tooth enamel than that found in soda. The Academy of General Dentistry performed a study to determine the effects of these drinks on your tooth enamel. Researchers submerged tooth enamel in some of the most popular energy and sports beverages, then allowed the enamel to remain immersed for 15 minutes. The experiment was designed to simulate the effects of drinking an energy drink two or three times a day. After only five days, the test enamel sustained significant damage.

Why Does This Worry Us?

As sodas come under attack for their high sugar content, sports and energy drinks have managed to slip into the mainstream relatively unnoticed by health advocates. Manufacturers have launched massive campaigns to target teenagers and young adults, and it appears to be working. In less than five years, this market has nearly tripled in size. A recent poll indicates that well over 50 percent of teenagers consume these unhealthy concoctions at least once daily.

Can You Drink Energy and Sports Drinks Without Damaging Your Teeth?

In a word, no. These drinks will never be compatible with oral health. However, you can minimize the damaging effects of these drinks on your teeth. In addition to twice-yearly dental cleanings:

  • Don’t sip. Each time you take a drink, you immerse your teeth in the sugary, acidic liquid. You don’t have to chug, but taking fewer drinks limits the amount of time during which your teeth are exposed. Alternately, use a straw.
  • Rinse. After you finish your drink, rinse your mouth with water. If possible, chew sugar-free gum. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after, however, as the acid has slightly softened your enamel. Brushing too hard could cause further damage.
  • Drink sports drinks before, not after, your workout. Dehydration reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva, as you know, protects your teeth naturally. If you drink sports drinks while dehydrated, you will not have enough saliva to offer protection against sugar and acid.
  • Save sports drinks for intense activity. Sports drinks are best reserved for intense physical activity lasting longer than one hour. If your workout is less intense, stick with water.

Worried about your tooth enamel? Call our office at 337-237-6453 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young. We serve patients living in and around Lafayette, including Broussard, Youngsville, Browbridge, and Scott.

Your Lafayette Dentist Explains Gum Contouring

shutterstock_103838846We all know about the basics of dental care: brushing and flossing, exams and cleanings, even dental fillings and teeth whitening. But what about laser dentistry and gum contouring? These dental care services aren’t things from a futuristic sci-fi movie, they’re beneficial health care procedures that can transform the health and appearance of your smile. Today, Lafayette dentist Dr. Michael Young wants to discuss gum contouring and laser dentistry.

What is gum contouring?

The art of gum contouring is just how it sounds: altering the shape of the gum tissue. Gum contouring is performed for several reasons, including:

  • to lengthen the surface area of a tooth prior to placing a dental crown or other restoration (crown lengthening)
  • to correct uneven gum tissue across several teeth to give the teeth and gums a more uniform appearance
  • to reduce gum tissue to make teeth appear larger
  • to correct areas of gum tissue following treatment for periodontal disease (more…)

Can Changing Your Shopping Habits Help Prevent Cavities?

Mom and daughter making healthy food choicesIf you grew up like most Americans, your parents probably warned you that eating too much sugar would “rot your teeth.” As a concerned parent, you’ve probably found yourself admonishing your own children to limit their sugar intake or run the risk of developing cavities. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of what scientists call “free sugars” (sugar, honey, fruit concentrates, and other sweeteners that are added to processed foods) can be difficult in today’s culinary environment. Current research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the bulk of Americans’ free sugar intake comes from foods and drinks consumed in the home. Clearly, the choices you make at the grocery store can have a huge impact on your family’s oral and general health. In today’s blog, Lafayette LA family dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, provides the tools you need to make informed shopping choices and improve the long term health of your family’s smiles. (more…)

Cosmetic Dentist Shares Important Information about Teeth Whitening

smiling woman lafayetteAre you considering teeth whitening treatment so that you can finally get the luminescent smile you have always wanted? If so, there are several things that you should know before you decide on a treatment. An experienced cosmetic dentist, your Lafayette LA dentist, Dr. Michael Young, has helped many patients get the results they want from teeth whitening treatment. He is now sharing some helpful information with you so that your smile transformation can end up how you have always imagined. (more…)

Learn About Invisalign Clear Braces

smile

Do you cover your mouth when you laugh? Do you try to avoid appearing in photos? For many people, uneven teeth can be an embarrassing ordeal. While many people desire a more esthetically pleasing smile, but fear wearing metal braces will hurt their professional appearance. Fortunately, we offer a clear and comfortable alternative to metal orthodontics. Your Lafayette LA dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, offers practically invisible smile correction with Invisalign clear braces.

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Replace Failing Teeth with Natural-Looking Dentures

separated set of teethDon’t let missing teeth ruin your holiday season by not allowing you to eat some of your favorite foods! Consider dentures. Dentures are false teeth that replace teeth you have lost. Over the years, there have been major advancements in the look and fit of dentures. Today, dentures are custom-made for each individual, and mimic natural teeth. Dr. Michael Young in Lafayette, LA has a goal to provide you with the most technologically advanced dentures possible. You don’t have to live with missing or decaying teeth. Dr. Young can help you regain your smile. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Gives the Dish on Dentures

Older Couple OutdoorsLafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, has restored the smiles of many a patient dealing with missing teeth. There’s no doubt that losing a permanent tooth is upsetting, and can really change both the way you look and the way you are perceived. If you have missing teeth, but you’re not sure the best way to replace them, you are wise to do plenty of research. Each method has their pros and cons, and every person has varying needs. For some, tried-and-true dentures may be the best possible solution.

Dentures Have their Place

You may have known about dentures your entire life. Many of our grandparents or older relatives had the need for bridges or dentures because dental care wasn’t as good when they were growing up. Dentures are custom-made (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Talks about Dental Bridges

Smiling Middle AgedOur family and cosmetic dental office provides multiple tooth replacement options. Losing teeth can have cosmetic and functional repercussions. Furthermore, the whole situation can be simply embarrassing. Addressing tooth loss in an expedient manner is important if you want to avoid issues like other teeth drifting out of place, or jawbone density issues. Your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, would like to highlight a particular tooth replacement method: dental bridges.

The Design of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges were designed to mimic structural bridges. The dental apparatus relies on two end points that hold up the foundation of your bridgework. Between the two abutment teeth will be the same number of porcelain crowns as the number of teeth that are missing. Dental crowns are designed to look and act just like (more…)