How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth | Overland Park KS Dentist

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Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals. 

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains: 

  • 11 grams of fiber 
  • 67% Iron 
  • 58% Magnesium 
  • 89% Copper 
  • 98% Manganese 
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium 

Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so. 

Chocolate and Your Teeth 

Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.  

Chocolate and Your Health  

Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure. 

Chocolate Benefits  

Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage. 

Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.  

While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact Kansas Dental Center.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

How Probiotics Improve Oral Health | Overland Park KS Dentist

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Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.  

Reducing Gingivitis 

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status. 

Combating Periodontitis 

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth. 

Fighting Cavities 

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.  

Minimizing Bad Breath 

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.  

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.  

Contact Kansas Dental Center for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today. 

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Health Alert: Preventing Osteoporosis | Overland Park Dentist

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Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.   

What is Osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility. 

Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis 

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow us to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you.  

What You Can Do 

The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our Overland Park dentist regularly can help lower your risk. 

Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our team may be able to identify early signs of bone loss.  

Schedule your visit to Kansas Dental Center today.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why | Overland Park KS Dentist

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Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it. 

What is it? 

Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.  

Who does it affect? 

Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.  

What can it do? 

Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth. 

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart. 

How can I prevent It? 

Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.  

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our Overland Park dentist to see which solutions might be best for you. 

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.  

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact Kansas Dental Center.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs | Dentist in Overland Park, KS

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​​An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries are a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth while you play. 

Why Wear a Mouthguard? 

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Additionally, your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports. Mouthguards help defend your mouth and teeth against such injuries.  

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard? 

Yes. High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. However, all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear, no matter which sport you play. 

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective? 

Our team can help you during your next visit to our office. There are many options available, ranging from store-bought to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly.  

If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, we may recommend a special type of  mouthguard. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works. 

Prevention is the best solution to oral sports injuries. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.  For questions or to schedule an appointment, please click here to contact us. 

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Are You Using the Right Mouthwash? | Dentist Overland Park

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While it should never be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your at-home oral healthcare routine. Here’s what you need to know in order to pick the best mouthwash for your needs. For more information, or for a personalized recommendation on the best mouthwash for you, contact our dentist in 66210 today! 

Choosing the Right Mouthwash 

Though there are plenty of brands and varieties of mouthwash available, most fall into one of two general categories as recognized by the ADA: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes treat symptoms only, such temporarily masking bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes aim to treat the cause of an issue. Fluoridated anti-cavity mouthwashes are designed to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and prevent cavities. Anti-bacterial and antiseptic mouthwashes kill odor and disease-causing bacteria in your mouth, with antiseptic options typically having a higher alcohol content. We can help you better understand the difference and find the mouthwash that’s right for your particular needs. 

Should I Use Mouthwash? 

If you maintain a proper oral care routine at home and visit your dentist at least twice yearly, you might not need to use mouthwash. However, depending on the unique needs of your teeth, it might be beneficial to talk to our dentist about working a specialized mouthwash into your routine.  

Though mouthwash is not an acceptable substitute for regular brushing and flossing, it can be a helpful tool to keep your mouth fresh and clean throughout the day. Swishing mouthwash after eating can help dislodge any food that might be stuck in your teeth and mask any odor that might be lingering on your breath. 

Tips for Your Mouthwash Routine 

Generally, you want to use mouthwash after flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth. Swish the mouthwash around for 30-60 seconds and avoid rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes afterwards to give the mouthwash time to work. 

Side Effects of Mouthwash 

When used properly, there are minimal risks associated with mouthwash. Many mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation in your mouth. If the sensitivity continues long after use or increases over time, ask our dentist about different alcohol-free options. For children, it is important that you supervise their brushing routine, as swallowing mouthwash can be dangerous. 

Mouthwash can be a useful tool for anyone. Whether you’re looking to fight bad breath or help protect your mouth from tooth decay or gum disease, the wide array of mouthwashes available means there’s an option for everyone. Talk to our team during your next visit to learn more about the benefits of working mouthwash into your oral care routine. 

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment to our Overland Park, KS dental office, please contact our dental team today!

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Chewing Gum for Your Oral Health | 66210 Dentist

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Sugary, sticky, and sweet candies can damage your teeth by increasing your risk of decay. Though gum can be considered a type of candy, chewing sugarless gum approved by the ADA can actually help protect teeth and prevent tooth decay. Here’s what you need to know about gum and your teeth. 

How it Works 

Chewing gum helps increase the production of saliva. Chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay because the saliva helps wash away food and other debris from the surface of your teeth. Increased salivary flow can also neutralize acids that bacteria produce inside your mouth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, leading to decay. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which aid in strengthening tooth enamel.  

Look for the ADA Seal 

The ADA Seal assures you that the gum is sugarless and has met the ADA’s criteria for safety and effectiveness. ADA-labeled products are tested to ensure they provide the benefits guaranteed by the seal. Companies must verify all relevant data with the ADA to become certified. If you are unable to brush for a short period of time, chewing gum with the ADA seal is a great option to help clean your teeth after a meal or snack. 

Can I Stop Brushing if I Chew Gum? 

No. Chewing gum for twenty minutes after a meal helps but is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. You should brush at least twice each day, for two full minutes. Chewing gum also does not eliminate your need for regular dental examinations. Our dentist in Overland Park recommends scheduling two visits each year, with additional visits necessary for high-risk patients with oral health conditions.  

Chewing sugarless gum has noticeable benefits for your oral health, such as increasing the production of saliva. While this can help prevent the build up of decay-causing bacteria, chewing gum should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Our dentist recommends that if you are chewing gum, be sure to choose an ADA approved brand of sugarless gum. 

To schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Overland Park, KS.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Understanding Periodontal Disease | Dentist Overland Park KS

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Maintaining your gum health is vital to your overall health. When you visit our office for an examination, our trained hygienists perform a periodontal exam. In fact, during your examination, our team is quietly assessing your oral health by performing a number of checks. Here’s what our 66210 dentist needs you to know about periodontal disease. 

Many Names, One Illness 

You may have heard periodontal disease referred to as gum disease or gingivitis. Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of your gums. These names are frequently used interchangeably. 

Signs & Symptoms 

Periodontal disease may be marked by swollen and red gums. Bleeding, especially while brushing and flossing, may also occur. Another symptom of periodontal disease is persistent bad breath. If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, please contact our office. 

Periodontal Disease Can Impact Your Overall Health 

Your gum health is linked to your overall health. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth loss. The effects of periodontal disease extend well beyond your mouth. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, the disease can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

While you may think of your teeth as the primary reason to visit our office for a regular examination, understand that our team is looking beyond your teeth to assess your oral health and potential impacts on your overall health. Talk to our experienced dental team in Overland Park if you experience any signs or symptoms of periodontal disease. Our team is trained to identify signs of periodontal disease. When detected early and managed properly, periodontal disease is treatable.  

For more information regarding your gum health, please contact our Overland Park, KS dental office, or schedule a visit to see us.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Oral Cancer Risk Factors | Dentist in 66210

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During a comprehensive dental examination, our dentist in Overland Park will look for signs of oral cancer. Early detection is key with oral cancer. If caught early, most forms of oral cancer are treatable. Our dental team in Overland Park, KS is trained and educated to identify oral cancer. 

Everyone is susceptible to the disease, but some groups of people are at a higher risk level than others. Here are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer. 

Age 

Are you in your mid 40s? Your risk of developing oral cancer increases with age. A noticeable increase is evident in people in their 40s and older. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the majority of diagnosed cases occur around the age of 62, but the average age is declining. The recent increase in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cases is causing more people to be diagnosed for oral cancers between the ages of 52 and 56. As the average age for oral cancer cases decreases, it is vital that you receive regular oral cancer screenings at any age. 

Gender 

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to women. Part of this difference may be related to regular intake of alcohol and tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, the gender difference is decreasing since more women are drinking and using tobacco today than in previous generations. There has also been a trend in recent years of younger men being diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Both men and women should schedule regular oral health examinations to detect oral cancer early.  

Tobacco 

Smoking or chewing tobacco can greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth or throat. Additionally, oral tobacco products cause cancers associated with the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. Development of these cancers depend on the duration and frequency of tobacco use. Non-smokers are not immune to oral cancer, so be sure to schedule an appointment with our team for an examination.  

Alcohol 

Among those that are diagnosed with oral cancer, about 70% of people are characterized as heavy drinkers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as having an average of two or more drinks per day for men, and one or more drinks per day for women. People who drink heavily can be more than twice as likely to develop oral cancers than people who do not drink. Oral cancer can still occur in people who have never had an alcoholic drink. Contact our team to schedule an examination. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 

This sexually transmitted disease is associated with at least 10,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. People who have HPV-related oral cancers tend to be younger and are unlikely to smoke or drink. Typically, those diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers are at a much lower risk of death or reoccurrence. We suggest a proactive approach by maintaining regular visits to our dental office. 

Sunlight 

People who work outside or with prolonged exposure to sunlight have a higher risk of developing lip cancer. It is vital to use UV protection when under the sun. Many lip balms offer UV protection. If you work outdoors frequently, schedule an additional examination with our team. 

Diet 

Poor nutrition can increase your risk for developing oral cancer. According to the American Dental Association, reports have shown that a link exists between diets low in fruits and vegetables and a higher risk for oral cancers. However, oral cancer can develop in healthy individuals. No matter your diet, schedule a visit with our team for a comprehensive oral examination. 

Oral cancer does not discriminate. While these seven factors have been tied to an increased risk of oral cancer, that does not diminish the importance of regular oral examinations for everyone regardless of their age, gender, or other factors. Regular dental examinations make it possible for our team to detect oral cancer early. Contact our dentist to schedule a comprehensive oral examination to our dental office in Overland Park, KS.

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile | Overland Park KS Dentist

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We all know the importance of making a great first impression. Whether you’re going into a job interview or about to go on your first date with someone new, you want to have the confidence that comes with a great smile. After years of wear and tear however, a lot of people end up with teeth that they’re not completely proud to show off. If you feel unhappy with the way your smile looks, don’t worry; there are plenty of options that can help. 

Figuring out the best ways to improve your smile can be a daunting task, but our Overland Park dentist is here to help, offering a range of services dedicated to helping you look and feel your best. 

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile 

  1. Teeth Whitening 
  1. Dental Crowns 
  1. Veneers 
  1. Tooth Bonding 
  1. Braces or Invisalign® 
  1. Dental Implants 
  1. Brushing and Flossing 
  1. Regular Dental Visits 

There are a myriad of ways you can improve your smile. Whether you decide to pursue a more in-depth treatment at our clinic or simply want advice on how to improve your oral health routine at home, our dentist in Overland Park KS is happy to help. Our highly trained team offers all the state of the art services necessary to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining bright. 

It’s clear that there are a lot of treatments available for anyone looking to improve their smile. With options for any budget, there’s no reason to wait to begin your journey towards a better smile. To schedule a professional cleaning or to speak with someone about a personalized treatment plan, contact our Overland Park Dentist today! 

Kansas Dental Center
Phone: (913) 353-4802
8625 College Blvd., Suite 104
Overland Park, KS 66210

Contact Us

Overland Park, KS Dentist

8625 College Blvd Suite 104,
Overland Park, KS 66210

(913) 353-4802 |

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Dentist Overland Park

Dentist in Overland Park, KS

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