Wear a Sports Guard: Protect Your Teeth and Smile

kenmore-dentalIt’s summertime! For your kids, that means more time for recreational sporting activities. The increased physical activity is definitely good for their health. Of course, it also means risk of injury, including injury to the mouth. By wearing a mouth guard for sports, which our family dentists recommend, you can minimize some the damage should an impact occur.

Why a Mouth Guard for Sports?

Some people are under the impression that a mouth guard is only necessary for high-contact activities like boxing or football. However, dental injuries can happen in just about every sport. Taking an elbow or palm to the lower face is not uncommon in basketball, soccer, street hockey, and many other sports.

A mouth guard protects the upper teeth, gums, and cheek lining. The upper jaw is more prone to injury because they stick out more, whereas the lower teeth are further back.

Wear braces? Then our orthodontists highly recommend a mouthpiece. Damaged metal braces can cut into and lacerate the gums. Our cosmetic dentists recommend them as well. An aesthetic smile, after all, is not possible when your teeth are visibly cracked or chipped.

Naturally, you or your kids may be hesitant to wear a mouthpiece. It does, after all, feel bulky and disrupts your breathing. There is an upside to mouth guards, though, besides protecting your molars. For one thing, they require you to keep your mouth closed. This is beneficial because injuries tend to be more pronounced when impact occurs while the mouth is open. Secondly, having to keep your mouth closed also means breathing more through your nose or through a tiny slit in your mouth. Breathing through your nostrils allows you to take in more oxygen.

Sustained a Sport-Related Dental Injury?


We get increased visits during the summer. Many of these are emergency cases sustained while playing a sport. Often, the patient was not wearing a mouth guard. Should this happen to you, even if you were wearing a mouth guard for sports, then immediately visit Kenmore Dental for emergency treatment.

Prompt Dental Treatment for Sustained Mouth Injuries

Serving the dentistry needs of Kenmore, Alderwood Manor, Bothell, Brier, Juanita,
Lake Forest Park, Kirkland, Woodinville and the surrounding area for almost 50 years

Edited by Justin Vorhees

How to Treat a Hyperactive Gag Reflex

kenmore-dentalA routine dental visit becomes much more unpleasant if you have a gag reflex. Simple procedures from an X-ray to having your mouth probed by a dental pick can become extremely unpleasant. It also makes the job more difficult for the dentists. If you happen to experience troubling gag reflexes, there are a few ways to mitigate the issue.

Self-Treatment Methods

The method most family dentists recommend is to take full deep breaths through your nose when the gag reflex is about to kick in. Beyond that, treating the problem just involves repeated conditioning. This means making a practice out of sticking objects into your throat until you become used to it. The best object is your own toothbrush. Stick it deeper into your mouth than you normally would and keep your mouth closed with the tongue making full contact with the stick of the brush. Keep the brush in your mouth until you begin to feel the gagging kick in.

Here are a few additional life hacks that some gaggers swear by:

  • Making a tight fist with your left hand with the thumb tucked inside the fingers.
  • Pressing your finger against the groove between your chin and lower lip.
  • Numbing the tongue and inside of the mouth with a numbing gel. Alternatively, you can try a sore throat spray.
  • Avoid eating anything until after your appointment

If all the above methods fail, then there is always the option of sedation dentistry. Continue Reading →

Does Cell Phone Use Affect Your Dental Health?

kenmore-dental-3-2016Most people are familiar of the risk of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure from cell phone use. What few people know, though, is the correlation between cell phone use and dental health. Recent research suggests there may be a dental health risk. Many family dentists are advising their patients to monitor their mobile phone use.

Why Mobile Phone Use May Be Harmful

For those with amalgam dental fillings, EMF exposure may cause the filling to leach mercury. It’s believed that EMF exposure causes the fillings to produce electrical currents that stimulate the release of mercury vapor. Mercury is highly toxic and has been linked to Alzheimer’s. Mild exposure has also been linked to nervousness, mood swings, headaches, and muscle atrophy.

Orthodontists also recommend limiting cell phone use if you wear metal braces. A study found that adults with dental braces that spend a significant amount of time on their phones had increased concentrations of nickel in their saliva.

What’s more, EMF may also influence the behavior of Dentinal Fluid Transport (DFT) in your mouth. DFT is produced around the upper jaw line and helps wash out cavity-causing bacteria. Since it’s produced so close to your ear, this area is prone to EMF exposure. If DFT production is affected, this could leave you prone to cavities and dental caries. Continue Reading →

The Effects of Binge Drinking on Dental Health

kenmore-dental-3Getting pinched for not wearing green is the least of your concerns this St. Patrick’s Day. If you plan to spend the holiday by drinking a pitcher or two, then there are far more pressing health issues. This includes the effects of binge drinking on your oral health. More dentists are treating gum disease and cavities at least partially caused by alcoholic consumption.

How Drinking Alcohol Affects Oral Health

Some alcoholic beverages, particularly cocktail mixes, contain sugar. Sugar breaks down and converts into food for the bad bacteria in your mouth. According to the American Cancer Society, excessive drinking drastically increases your risk of developing oral cancer. Studies also show that 70% of oral cancer patients reported being frequent drinkers.

Binge Drinking Negatively Affects Your Gums

Furthermore, other studies reveal that frequent drinkers also had a greater periodontal pocket depth. This occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth. It’s also a symptom of moderate to severe gums disease. Continue Reading →

3 Ways Improve Your “Kissability” – Valentine’s Day Dental Tips

kenmore-dentistIt’s the month of the year when love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day, there will surely be a romantic dinner, gifts, hand holding, and of course, kissing. To show your significant other what a great kisser you are, follow these Valentine’s Day dental tips for 3 ways to improve your ‘Kissability’.

Freshen Your Breath

It’s not just smoking and garlic that causes bad breath. Poor oral hygiene also leads to foul mouth odors. When you skip a morning or afternoon brush, bacteria is given time to accumulate. This causes inflammation that releases noxious odors with a sulfur-like smell. Our family dentists always advise clients to brush twice a day and use a mouthwash with anti-bacterial agents like alcohol. Non-alcoholic mouthwash may mask bad breath, but it does not kill the bacteria responsible for the odor. Continue Reading →

3 Christmas Dental Tips for a Jolly Holiday

cookiesThe Christmas holiday is full of tempting sweets and treats, from candy canes to sugary eggnog. We’re not saying don’t indulge; but our dentists suggest you follow some Christmas dental tips to prevent tooth decay.

1. Offer Alternatives to Sweet Treats

By all means, serve the gingerbread and sugar cookies, but mix it up with healthier alternatives like a veggie tray. Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery help stimulate saliva flow from the excess chewing. This helps remove some sugar buildup from the teeth and gums.

2. Limit Sugary Drinks

Eggnog is a holiday favorite; it’s also loaded with sugar. It isn’t all bad, though. Egg nog is made from milk, which is fortified with teeth-remineralizing calcium. Go ahead and enjoy the time-honored beverage, but instead of a whole cup, just use about ¼ to ½ cup and fill the rest with regular milk, unsweetened soy milk, or even plain H2O. The same goes for all other sugary drinks.

Holiday beverages may also contain teeth-staining dye. Our cosmetic dentists recommend limiting drinks that utilize artificial colors.

3. Watch Your Stress Levels

The holiday season brings joy to some, but it’s also a cause of stress for others. Stress causes bruxism in some people. The condition leads to tight clenching of the teeth, which can lead to mandibular problems and crooked or cracked teeth that will need to be corrected by a family dentist.

Too much anxiety has also been linked to periodontal disease; this has been scientifically verified in this study. Continue Reading →

5 Dental Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinnerIt’s the month of giving thanks for family, friends, and of course, the delicious food on the table. While it’s okay to indulge this Thanksgiving, don’t get too lax when it comes to your dental care. In fact, you need to even be more stringent when it comes to your oral care due to the extra food you’ll be exposing your teeth to. Follow these dental tips for Thanksgiving to ensure you have a hearty meal without compromising your oral health.

1. Shorten Your Meals

A Thanksgiving meal typically lasts much longer than an ordinary dinner. Dragging out a meal means more time for cavity-inducing bacteria to accumulate in your mouth. If the evening is going to drag out, spend the additional time socializing, watching a movie, or playing with the kids rather than continuing to munch.

2. Drink Water

Drinking water with meals serves a double purpose. First, it helps wash away food debris from your teeth. Second, it’s an excellent substitute for sugar-infused beverages, such as wine, cider, and cocktails. Drinking water also stimulates saliva flow, which helps fight off cavities. Continue Reading →

Dental Tips for Halloween

Kenmore DentalFor kids, Halloween is the holiday of dressing up, entering spooky mansions, watching spooky episodes of their favorite shows, and most of all, free candy! After a night of trick-or-treating, your kids are going to have a bagful of sugary delights; good for their taste buds, bad for their teeth. So how can you let your children indulge without damaging their teeth and gums? Instill these Halloween dental tips in your little ones as they fill their bellies with Sugar Daddies and Smarties.

1. Eat Candy After Meal

Before your children start stuffing their faces full of candy, ensure they eat dinner beforehand. Eating a full meal increases saliva production, and saliva dilutes some of the acids produced by sugar-feeding bacteria. Continue Reading →

Back to School Dental Tips for Parents

Kenmore DentalIt’s the time of year your children dreads. While September is the month for stocking up on pencils, notebooks and binders, it’s also more important than ever to maintain appointments with your family dentist. Many parents neglect routine checkups for their kids during the school year, due to the little ones being less available. However, missed checkups can lead to periodontal disease and emergency dental visits that lead to missed school days. These back-to-school dental tips will ensure your children maintain a healthy smile as they return to the classroom.

Dental Care Tips When School Is in Session

Make Sure Your Children Continue to Brush – Your kids may use homework as an excuse for skipping out on their brushing, or may be more tempted to rush through it. Continue to monitor their oral hygiene to ensure they go through the correct motions with respects to brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Continue Reading →

Dental Advice for Men:

Testosterone May Prevent Tooth Decay

Kenmore DentalIn Seattle, there are an estimated 50,000 men between 35 and 44 years of age. As you near 40 and beyond, testosterone levels naturally begin to decline. Aside from decreased libido and loss in muscle mass, recent research also suggests a link between low testosterone and tooth decay.

The Study of Testosterone & Tooth Decay

The research consisted of 220 adult men between 30 and 65 years of age. With variables like economic status and alcohol use excluded, a link was found between low testosterone levels and low Bone Mineral Density (BMD). Low BMD is associated with tooth loss, tooth decay, and dental caries.

How to Raise Testosterone Naturally

Those with chronically low androgen levels may consider testosterone replacement therapy. However, it’s always best to elevate your T levels naturally before resorting to medical means. Give your testosterone an organic boost with these following methods: Continue Reading →