My Blog

Posts for: November, 2015

By Valerin Dental Group
November 20, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Cleanings  

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and for most of us, that means fun, family and tons of delicious food. You already know that too much of the wrong kinds of food can sabotage your diet, but have you ever considered how the holiday foods you choose can affect your teeth as well?Wine

Whether you just visited Manny Valerin DDS, PC at Valerin Dental Group in Peoria for a professional teeth whitening or you want to avoid an unnecessary trip to your dentist, here are five foods and beverages you will want to avoid this holiday season in order to keep your teeth white.

1. Wine

It probably comes as no surprise that deep red wines can stain your teeth, but did you know that even white wines can stain your teeth as well? If you want to keep your teeth a beautiful, sparkling white this holiday season, you'll want to skip the wine and drink water instead.

2. Berries

Berries may be a good, low-fat option for those trying to avoid consuming too many calories this holiday season, but they aren't a good option for those trying to keep their teeth bright and shiny in between visits to their dentist at Valerin Dental Group in Peoria. Dark colored berries such as cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates all have the potential to stain your teeth, whether you eat them straight or enjoy them in juice or desserts.

3. Tomato Sauce

Will any of your holiday dishes this year include tomato sauce? If so, you may want to consider making something else. Not only is tomato sauce a bright red color, but it is also highly acidic. This means it has a greater potential to wear down your tooth enamel, leading to even greater tooth discoloration.

4. Brightly Colored Desserts

It's hard to pass up on the beautiful holiday desserts, but if they are brightly colored, you just may want to. If your favorite holiday desserts stain your tongue or would stain your clothes, chances are they would stain your teeth as well. Choose something else instead.

5. Coffee

Once the meal is over and everyone is gathered around talking and laughing, someone inevitably makes a pot of coffee to enjoy. This year, go ahead and pass. Coffee is known for causing tooth discoloration, making it a beverage you'll definitely want to avoid.

This holiday season, enjoy the food and festivities without ruining your teeth in the process. Avoid these five foods that stain your teeth and be sure to visit your dentist at Valerin Dental Group in Peoria for professional teeth whitening or cleanings as needed.


By Valerin Dental Group
November 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
NoGleeinToothGrinding

Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.

“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.

Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.

Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.

Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.

If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.

When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.

Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.