Johns Family Dentistry

Living With Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems

Diabetes can lead to a whole host of health problems, but did you know that it can also put you at risk for dental issues? The implications of high blood sugar extend to every part of the body — including teeth and gums. When it comes to diabetes, teeth and gum problems are something you need to be aware of.

Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to Look Out For

Here are few of the ways diabetes can wreak havoc on your mouth, and how you can prevent this damage from occurring if you are one of the 21.9 million people in the U.S. who suffer from diabetes.

Gum Disease

Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums, which increases the risk for gum disease. This risk is amplified if you had poor dental health prior to being diagnosed with diabetes.

Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less serious, but can develop into periodontitis if left untreated. In addition to cutting off blood to the gums, diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation caused by the bacteria in the form of plaque. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the more it irritates the gingiva — the part of your gums around the base of your teeth.

The main symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as these symptoms develop so the problem can be addressed.

Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which affects the tissue and bones that support your teeth. In addition to red bleeding gums, other symptoms include bad breath that won’t go away and changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums and jawbone to pull away from your teeth. This in turn causes your teeth to loosen and potentially fall out.

To further complicate matters, periodontitis and diabetes can lead to a catch-22 situation. Diabetes slows your body’s ability to heal and fight bacteria, so the infection takes longer to go away. Additionally, periodontitis raises blood sugar, which makes diabetes more difficult to manage.

Dry Mouth    

If you have diabetes, or know someone who does, you know that one of its chief symptoms is dry mouth and a constant feeling of thirst. This is an annoyance for sure, but can also lead to more serious dental issues.

Diabetes reduces your mouth’s saliva production, which makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay and can also contribute to gum disease. Saliva helps wash away plaque and tartar from teeth; the less saliva in your mouth, the more likely plaque and tartar are to stick around.

Symptoms accompanying dry mouth include a dry tongue and dry, cracked lips. It can also lead to difficulty chewing, swallowing, or talking.
Your dentist can prescribe a fluoride rinse to keep your mouth moisturized and prevent tooth decay. Sugar free gum and mints are also good for stimulating saliva flow and keeping the mouth moist.

Dry mouth associated with diabetes is worsened by caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, as well as spicy and salty foods. Avoiding these foods will help prevent the problem from becoming worse.

Oral Care for Diabetes Patients

The risks for diabetes make good dental hygiene non-negotiable. Dental care and diabetes care must be practiced in tandem to effectively combat issues like gum disease and dry mouth.

Start the process by following these tips:

1. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss once per day. This will help keep plaque buildup at bay and remove food particles that can lead to tooth decay. Consider an electric toothbrush for the best brushing results.

2. Manage your diet. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar will help control your diabetes and your oral health.

3. Tell Dr. Johns about your diabetes. This will ensure that you receive the best care possible for your specific needs.

4. Schedule regular dental visits at Johns Family Dentistry. Consider going beyond the minimum recommended two visits per year so your dentist can monitor progress and watch for new developments in your mouth related to diabetes.

Johns Family Dentistry offers specialized treatments for gum disease and other issues related to diabetes. Contact us today to learn more about how to get on the road to good dental health while managing your diabetes.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Your Gums Play a Part

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women, coming in only behind skin cancer. A huge percentage of women – 12% – in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime! The good news is that occurrence of breast cancer is declining, and there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors living among us today.

While breast cancer might not seem like it would have an association with your oral health, it turns out it does. Studies have shown that breast cancer and gum disease are closely related. The cycle of connection is certainly a tough one to break – a person suffering from poor oral health is more likely to develop breast cancer while a person who is undergoing treatment for this cancer is vulnerable to dental problems.

Poor oral health is a risk factor for cancer 

Apart from the commonly known risk factors that can lead to breast cancer, studies have revealed that there is a link between dental health and breast cancer. One is about 11 times more likely to develop the dreaded disease if dental health is poor. A survey carried out by Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that those suffering from periodontal disease of the chronic kind were more likely to develop breast cancer.

Breast cancer treatment can cause dental problems

On the other side of the fence, 1/3 of those being treated for breast cancer are prone to dental health problems. It is highly recommended that one visits his or her dentist before undergoing cancer therapy. Chemotherapy, which is a common treatment to kill cancerous cells, also affects healthy cells. The treatment may cause dryness of the mouth, sore and inflamed tissues, cavities, bleeding gums and decreased saliva flow. Pre-existing conditions are expected to worsen during treatment and all dental problems need to be treated before chemotherapy.

So how do you maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of breast cancer?

Regular brushing and flossing and regular visits to your dentist will help keep your gums healthy. A healthy mouth will have reduced bacteria inside the mouth and help to prevent gum disease. During breast cancer treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene is a must to avoid dental infections since your immune system is reduced. Treatment should be in coordination with your physician, Dr. Johns and an oncologist.

Medications’ Impact On Oral Health

MEDICATIONS’ IMPACT ON ORAL HEALTH

Many of us need to take medications to treat a wide variety of conditions.

However, even as those medications treat our illnesses, they could be causing problems for our teeth and gums.

Medicine And Oral Chemistry

Some medications—even some vitamins—can damage our teeth for the brief period that they’re in our mouths. This can pose a particular problem for children. As adults, we swallow most of our medicines. Children’s medicine tends to come in the form of sugary syrups and multivitamins, which feed oral bacteria and leads to tooth decay.

Inhalers for asthma can also cause problems, specifically oral thrush, which is white patches of fungus in the mouth that can be irritating or painful. The best way to avoid this complication of using an inhaler is for you or your child to rinse with water after each use, and the same goes for sugary cough syrups and chewable multivitamins.

Side-Effects For Your Mouth

Plenty of other medications, though they don’t do any damage while you’re ingesting them, can be harmful to your mouth in the long term because of the side-effects. Let’s take a look at some of the more common side-effects.

Inflammation And Excessive Bleeding

If you notice your gums becoming tender and swollen shortly after you start on a new medication, you should talk to a medical professional about it. Several medications can cause gingival overgrowth (or excessive growth of the gums), which puts you at increased risk of gum disease.

Altered Taste

Some medications, such as cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and smoking-cessation products can leave you with a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth, or even interfere with your overall sense of taste. This isn’t necessarily a serious side-effect, but it can be unpleasant, especially for food-lovers.

Dry Mouth

The most common mouth-related side-effect of medications is dry mouth. A wide range of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease medications, and antidepressants can all cause it.

Aside from feeling uncomfortable, dry mouth is very dangerous to oral health. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense. It contains compounds that remineralize your teeth, neutralize acids, and keep bacteria in check. Without enough saliva, that bacteria runs rampant and there’s nothing to neutralize the acid or add minerals back into your tooth enamel. From there, you can develop mouth sores, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Taking Medications? Let Us Know!

The best thing you can do to ensure your medications aren’t clashing with your oral health is to tell your dentist about your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications you’re taking. From there, we can formulate a plan for how to counteract the medications’ effects.

At our practice, we’re rooting for your oral—and overall—health!

How Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?

If you have been to our office in the past couple months, you are most likely aware that we have another staff baby on the way! Heather, our hygienist, is pregnant and due at the end of this month with her third child. Pregnancy brings up a great topic in dentistry.

How Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?

It’s a myth that calcium is lost from a mother’s teeth and “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.” But you may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary changes are due to a surge in hormones – particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone –- can exaggerate the way gum tissues react to plaque.

How does a build-up of plaque affect me?

If the plaque isn’t removed, it can cause gingivitis – red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. So-called “pregnancy gingivitis” affects most pregnant women to some degree, and generally begins to surface as early as the second month. If you already have gingivitis, the condition is likely to worsen during pregnancy. If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.

Pregnant women are also at risk for developing pregnancy tumors, inflammatory, non-cancerous growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Normally, the tumors are left alone and will usually shrink on their own after the baby’s birth. But if a tumor is uncomfortable and interferes with chewing, brushing or other oral hygiene procedures, the dentist may decide to remove it.

How can I prevent these problems?

You can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gumline. You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible. You should also floss thoroughly each day. If brushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or with antiplaque and fluoride mouthwashes. Good nutrition – particularly plenty of vitamin C and B12 – help keep the oral cavity healthy and strong. More frequent cleanings from the dentist will help control plaque and prevent gingivitis. Controlling plaque also will reduce gum irritation and decrease the likelihood of pregnancy tumors.

Could gingivitis affect my baby’s health?

Research suggests a link between preterm, low-birthweight babies and gingivitis. Excessive bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected to induce premature labor.

 

When should I see my dentist?

If you’re planning to become pregnant or suspect you’re pregnant, you should come see us at Johns Family Dentistry right away. Otherwise, you should schedule a checkup in your first trimester for a cleaning. Dr. Johns will assess your oral condition and map out a dental plan for the rest of your pregnancy. A visit to Johns Family Dentistry also is recommended in the second trimester for a cleaning, to monitor changes and to gauge the effectiveness of your oral hygiene. Depending on the patient, another appointment may be scheduled early in the third trimester.  Any questions, feel free to contact us at 253-848-3723.

Deep Dental Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning – Did the Dentist Just Refuse to Clean Your Teeth?

When can your dentist refuse to clean your teeth? When they’re trying to protect your health.

Imagine this scenario: You’re at home, brushing your teeth, during your normal routine. Maybe you floss every day, maybe you don’t. When brushing, you notice your teeth seem to look a little longer. Maybe they seem farther apart, or have shifted a little. Maybe you’ve been chewing a lot of gum because your spouse tells you your breath is bad, even after brushing. Maybe you notice a little blood on your brush, on the floss, or in the sink. Maybe it’s more than a little. Maybe you feel some tenderness in your gums, or notice redness or swelling. You decide maybe it’s time to go in for a dental check-up.

Your dentist or hygienist completes an exam, and reviews your x-rays. They probe around your gums, and there’s a good chance you feel like jumping out of the chair. Then they tell you something maybe you’ve never heard before, or maybe you heard it mentioned in previous visits but didn’t think it mattered.

You have gum disease. Periodontitis, to be precise.

Your dentist shows you the x-rays that reveal the progression of bone loss, and the buildup of calculus. They show you the size of the pockets between your gums and teeth, where the bacteria collect and cause chronic and systemic infection and inflammation immune response. They explain a common treatment procedure, called scaling and root planing. They explain the difference between a deep dental cleaning vs a regular cleaning. A deep cleaning is a treatment procedure that requires anesthesia and several follow up visits to make sure the infection has been cleared and your gums are healing.

Okay, you say. I’ll come back and do that another day. Can you just clean my teeth so I can be on my way? Then your dentist says something you never thought you’d hear: I’m sorry, but no.

What is Periodontitis?

When will your dentist refuse to clean your teeth? When they are trying to preserve your health. This isn’t going to sound nice, but we’re going to explain periodontitis as clearly as possible.

Periodontitis is a chronic infection. Periodontitis is a disease. Bacteria have collected in the pockets and spaces below the gum line, around calculus (plaque) that has built up, usually due to infrequent flossing and inadequate oral hygiene. The bacteria secrete acids that dissolve the bone tissue that connect your teeth and jawbone.

Left untreated, this chronic infection can and will progress. You will lose your teeth, and your jaw bone will continue to suffer bone loss that can’t be recovered or restored. We aren’t trying to scare you, we’re just stating the facts. Periodontitis is, quite literally, a symptom of your body destroying itself in a desperate attempt to fight off a chronic infection. This is not an upsell, this is a diagnosis and a sign of serious oral health issues in the near future.

Like any healthcare professionals, dentistry has a standard of care, which regulates what kind of treatment we can provide based on the condition of a person’s oral health. Periodontitis is considered a big red flag when it comes to oral health. A chronic and systemic infection in any other area of the body should be treated and addressed immediately – the mouth is no different.

The Difference: Deep Dental Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning

A regular cleaning, which focuses at and above the gum line, may disturb the colonies of bacteria, releasing them into your bloodstream and into the rest of your body. A regular cleaning polishes your teeth, and a deep cleaning removes the bacteria colonies from your mouth. That’s why there’s really no comparison between a deep dental cleaning vs regular cleaning.

So no, we cannot clean your teeth when you have untreated periodontitis. It’s against our ethical and professional standards. It’s with your best interests at heart. Maybe this makes you angry – this is a very common response from patients who receive this diagnosis. Maybe we’ve frightened you. It’s not our intent to use scare tactics when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

But nearly half of all adults in the United States over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is a huge public health issue, with widespread impacts on health issues such as heart disease, COPD, other inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy.

So what should you do? Get mad, get a second opinion, but whatever you do, take action. Gum disease is treatable, curable, and most importantly, preventable. If you have dental insurance, chances are deep cleaning treatment is covered. If you are pregnant, seek treatment right away – gum disease is linked to preterm birth and babies with low birthweight. If you are having trouble making ends meet, make a plan. Ask us how we can help you.

Patients who have had their periodontitis treated at our office have repeatedly told us how much better they feel overall after their treatment. Not just their mouth, but their whole body. It’s amazing how hard your body can work to fight off systemic infection, and what a toll it can take on your energy levels and overall health. Patients who have come back for follow up maintenance visits and regular cleanings post-treatment report that brushing and flossing is easier, and isn’t painful anymore. Their partners are happy to kiss them again because their chronic bad breath has gone away. Most importantly, our patients are able to keep their natural teeth for years to come.

Who knew the health of your mouth and indeed your whole body could rest on your dentist telling you “no?”

Correcting Teeth with Crowns or Bridges

No one ever expects that their teeth will become damaged or fall out completely, but these oral health problems still take place at an alarming rate. Tooth loss is such an extensive problem that almost everyone will lose at least one adult tooth before they turn 75. For these patients, crowns or bridges can restore the smile and protect the remaining teeth after chips, cracks, tooth decay and other forms of damage have taken place.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are false teeth that can be used to “cap” a damaged tooth or can be attached to an implant after losing a permanent tooth. If the dentist determines that a crown should be used, they will take impressions of the patient’s teeth. What makes crows so unique is the fact that they are custom-made for every patient. They will match the size, shape and color of the surrounding teeth.

Attaching a crown to an implant is a slightly more complicated process. Our dentist will need to anchor a rod into the socket that has been left by the missing tooth so that the bone can form a bond with the rod. On average, crowns will last for around 15 years, but some patients have been able to keep their crowns for 20 years or longer, depending on the situation.

What are Bridges?

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Dr. Johns can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Restoring Your Smile

Set up a time to talk to the team at Johns Family Dentistry to see if crowns or bridges are right for you. Getting a beautiful and healthy smile may be much less complicated than you once thought. Our office is located in the Sunrise Medical Campus of South Hill, WA. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment to learn more.

Apples – Teacher Appreciation

Ask people which gift they are most likely to associate with teachers, and they’ll say, “an apple of course!”

That’s because since the 16th century, apples have come to represent what teachers experience and enable: variety, change, and growth.

And now, research has shown that apples give teachers another reason to smile. They are not only symbolic, healthy, and delicious, but have another benefit: they are great for our teeth!

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we thought we’d explain why apples are so great for teachers’ (and everyone else’s teeth), and provide a list of some other dental-healthy snacks. All of the foods and drinks below fight bacteria, remove plaque, strengthen enamel, and even freshen breath.

• Apples: Some dentists call apples “nature’s toothbrush.” They stimulate gums, increase salvia flow, and reduce plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities. All that chewing is also helpful because it serves as a cleansing mechanism, clearing bacteria away. Crunching celery and carrots is very effective, too.

• Cheese: Most people associate dairy foods with strong teeth and bones, but cheese—in moderation (it is very high in fat)– has been shown to be particularly dental-healthy. Unlike milk or yogurt (also good), eating cheese results in a coating of calcium on the teeth, which protects them from cavities.

• Unsweetened Green and Black Teas: The anti-oxidants that these teas are famous for kill those bacteria that turn sugar into plaque. Think of them as superheroes fighting dental crimes.

• Kiwi and Strawberries: Here’s a quick way to get Vitamin C. Kiwi and Strawberries have more of this essential for their size than any other fruits. Why is this important for your teeth? Without it, your gums risk deterioration, leaving you susceptible to periodontal disease.

• Water: Water, of course, is vital for your whole body, and it is also critical for your dental health. It keeps gums hydrated and stimulates saliva, which is your best weapon against tooth decay. And don’t forget regular rinsing, which washes away food particles that lead to bad breath.

• Sugar-free gum: Sugar substitutes taste sweet and keep breath fresh without exposing your teeth to their worst enemy: Sugar. It also stimulates healthy saliva flow

The adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” doesn’t apply to the dentist. It is imperative that you visit yours at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and a check-up to ensure dental health and maintenance.

Find going to the dentist too costly? Relax. We can help. Please feel free to contact Johns Family Dentistry at 253-848-3723.

Eat healthfully and keep smiling!

Spring! It calls for a fresh and crisp smile!

Can you smell the spring aroma? It’s that time of year to set our clocks one hour forward and prepare for our favorite spring-related activities. Whether you’re planning to graduate or participating in your favorite spring sport, we can always help you better your life with our exquisite dentistry options.

Here is how we can help:

Graduation is just around the corner – The day is almost here. You have been studying 4+ years to gain your degree to move on to the next step in your life. You want to capture the moment of your well-deserved degree landing in the palm of your hands.

Having a bright, dazzling smile is the best feature to truly capture the moment that changes your life, and thanks to our cosmetic dentistry, your dream smile can be achieved. We offer exquisite services to truly let your smile shine. Our cosmetic dentistry options include:

Porcelain veneers
Teeth whitening

Smile proudly during your graduation, and let your smile display your proud achievements!

Participating in sports – It’s time to kick-off the spring sports and maybe you’re the star on the baseball, golf, track, tennis, or soccer team. Either way, while it’s important to get your daily dose of exercise, it’s equally important to protect your pearly whites from traumatic damage.

Dr. David Johns can craft you a customized mouthguard to fully protect your teeth from direct impact. We will customize your mouthguard to match the unique contours of your mouth while it rests comfortably, allowing you to maximize your performance while protecting your teeth.

While you maintain healthy habits, make sure you keep up with your daily oral hygiene. Lack of exercise is not the only factor contributing to serious health risks. Multiple studies have indicated that forms periodontal disease can increase your chances of gaining heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and much more. Our customized hygiene plans can put you in the right step to prevent periodontal disease and let you live a healthy life.

We are passionate to providing quality dental services so you can be confident with your smile while participating in life’s events. Give us a call today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Johns at Johns Family Dentistry.

Creating a Comfortable Dental Visit

Going to the dentist for any treatment, from a simple cleaning to an invasive extraction, can make people anxious. This is especially true for new patients who have never been to our dental office before and don’t know what to expect. At Johns Family Dentistry, we do our best to make all of our patients feel comfortable whether they have been coming to us for 15 years or for the first time.

 

Comfortable Dental Visits
Experience – When you go to a dentist, it is important that they have a lot of experience in the services you are needing. When a dentist has several years of experience, it is easier to trust that they will give you the best care. Dr. David Johns has over 15 years of experience providing those in the South Hill – Sunrise area superior dental care.
Knowledgeable staff – Many dental procedures can seem overwhelming when you are not sure what to expect, which is why our staff does their best to explain every step of the procedure to you before your appointment. If you have any questions, we will also make sure they are all answered and that you are completely informed before we do anything.
Modern equipment – Modern technology can make dental procedures easier and faster, allowing us to give you more efficient care. We offer several services; all of which have the most current and updated technology, including our teeth whitening treatments, laser therapy, crowns, and implant restorations.
Comfortable environment – From the moment you walk into our office we want you to feel at ease, which is why we have a comfortable waiting area, warm neutral tones throughout the office, and windows in our exam rooms.
Great reviews – When you are a new patient, it can be difficult to tell whether a dental office is good or not. Reviews are a great way to see how patients feel about the care they have received at a specific office and for you to get honest opinions. We have reviews on Yelp and Google as well as testimonials from our patients on our website.
The Best in Dental Care
At Johns Family Dentistry, Dr. David Johns and his team care about their patients and want to make sure each patient is comfortable and stress-free during every visit. If you would like to know more about our office or schedule an appointment, please contact us today!

The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love, in all of it’s forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.

St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.

The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.

Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic ses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.

The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 stems of roses.

It doesn’t matter if you are giving your 5-year old, your spouse, or your significant other a Valentine’s Day kiss, no one wants to kiss or be kissed by anyone with bad oral hygiene. In fact, you should always keep your mouth healthy and attractive by brushing at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride and flossing at least once daily. Another tip is to reduce the amount of sugary and acidic food and drinks you consume like candy, sodas, and sports drinks. Instead, eat a well balanced diet of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and fiber. And if you feel the need for gum or a mint to freshen your breath, be sure to select products with xylitol, as studies have proven that it actually reduces your odds of getting cavities (tooth decay). Lastly, drink plenty of water (preferably fluoridated), as dry mouth is one of the key causes of halitosis (bad breath).

Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at Johns Family Dentistry wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!