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Tips to avoid staining teeth!

Everyone wants those pearly whites! How do you keep them once you get them? It’s quite easy!

1. Drink with a straw.

This one is super easy to do and can go a long way in preventing stained teeth. By drinking from a straw, you can prevent a lot of contact from drinks ever touching the surface of teeth.

2. Be careful about eating notorious teeth-staining foods

The dental community has found many culprits that like to leave their marks on shiny teeth. Tea, wine, soda and coffee all have been noted to stain teeth. Many berries, especially blueberries, are known to very quickly start staining. It’s important to brush or at least wipe your teeth somehow within 20-30 minutes of eating them.  Some sauces, such as soy sauce or tomato sauce can be dangerous to your teeth’s color!

3. Other bad habits that can also take a tole on your teeth

Some of this kind of goes of pieces mentioned in tip #2. Tobacco and caffeine related products are good to avoid if you want to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco and drinking coffee are all habits that can affect your teeth extremely negatively and have other bad health effects on top of that.

4. Brush mid-day

If you can, try to get a brush in sometime after lunch. Otherwise if you’re waiting until after dinner or before bed, that’s a long time gone without your mouth being cleaned. We know it can be difficult with work or school but small travel-sized dental materials are available and you can just leave it in your backpack or car. If you can’t manage that, perhaps carry a small bottle of mouthwash.

There’s all the tips we have for now! If you don’t manage to avoid stains, you can try teeth whitening! Be careful about overdoing it though, it can cause your teeth to become very sensitive. If you’re in need of dental supplies, check out

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Dentists say link between oral and cardiovascular health

Recent studies have shown that there is some sort of connection between lacklaster oral health and poor cardiovascular health such as heart disease. Moderate or advanced periodontal disease can be linked to a higher chance of heart disease. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that damages gums and can destroy the jawbone. Even though there is a correlation between the two, there has not been any proof of cause from one to another which means that having one doesn’t necessarily instantly make you more likely to get the other.

There are, however, multiple risk factors that both periodontal disease and heart disease have in common. These are poor nutrition, smoking cigarettes, diabetes, and being a male.

There are many ways to help prevent periodontal disease and some of them also help reduce the chance of heart disease as well. Here are some recommendations from a local dentist, Sylvester Family Dental. Some of these methods include: properly brushing 2-3 times a day preferably right after meals, flossing daily, rinsing with mouth wash twice a day, avoid smoking cigarettes or using tobacco in general, eat a well-balanced diet.

All of the above will help prevent one, the other, or both issues. We’re sure to see more studies and data become available on the topic in the future, given how much of an issue heart disease is currently, especially in the United States.

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Toothpaste characteristics

Toothpaste is one of the basic tools to great oral health! You won’t find a dentist who doesn’t recommend toothpaste! Did you know the technical name is dentifrice? It is a paste or power or gel that helps remove plaque from teeth and build tooth enamel. What exactly goes in toothpaste? We’re going to tell you a few of the common ingredients today.

1. Flouride – This is the main active ingredient in toothpaste because it has been found in many trials to prevent tooth decay. It both affects the bacteria that can harm your teeth and makes the teeth more resistant to the acids that attack them.

2. Mild Abrasives- This is the ingredient that aids in removing leftover food, stains and plaque that is forming on teeth. The point of this ingredient is to make them abrasive enough to clean but not too much or it can actually damage the tooth enamel or other parts of the tooth that make up the surface.

3. Binders – This is what is used to give the mix a paste or gel-like form. It also provides a lot of the texture.

4. Flavor and color – Usually natural sweeteners(non sugar) are the most common. Along with specific ingredients for the certain tastes.

5. Antibacterial – These are added to reduce plaque growth.

6. Detergents- Creates the foaming to help get across the surface area of all your teeth.

7. Preservatives- Helps the toothpaste last longer by preventing bad stuff from growing in it!

8. Humectants- Stops the toothpaste from drying out when exposed to air.

If you have any questions about specific ingredients when looking at your toothpaste container, please don’t hesitate to call your dentist. They will have answers to all your concerns. Especially if it is allergy-related. Please refer to a professional opinion over just searching on the internet.

There you go guys! Dental tips from !


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The Importance of Flossing


A Brief Introduction
I’m sure many of you have heard your dentist encouraging you to floss but never really took your dentist seriously. Many people would just shrug off that word of advice and go on just brushing their teeth every morning and every night. While brushing your teeth is very beneficial, many people don’t realize the importance of flossing. So I encourage you to take a moment and reconstruct your opinion about flossing. Flossing can and should be an extremely beneficial component of your morning and nightly routine. It does not have to be time consuming. A good flossing only takes about a minute each morning and night. But this two-minute a day effort can provide dental benefits that can stretch throughout the rest of your life.

Tooth Health
Brushing your teeth is a great way to promote dental hygiene. But brushing alone won’t always help you avoid the dentist’s chair. Flossing can reach places that your toothbrush just can’t. Toothbrushes are only effective at removing the bacterial buildup on the outer layer of the teeth. Flossing is able to pick out and remove all of the remaining plaque and tartar buildup that forms in between your teeth. This plaque between teeth is the plaque that causes most cavities because it is able to lay dormant and destroy tooth enamel from inside the gaps of your teeth.

Gum Health
Flossing also benefits your gums as well. Plaque that hides along the gum line of your mouth can cause gingivitis if the plaque is not removed. The bacteria involved in causing gingivitis can be very painful when trying to eat or brush your teeth. The plaque buildup can even lead to deeper infections if not checked by a dentist. These infections can cause tooth loss and oral pain which will can cost a person a large amount of money in dental insurance.

Breath Health
The main cause of bad breath is bacteria that lays in between teeth. Flossing can reduce the amount of bacteria buildup and prevent bad breath. Mouthwashes and gum can mask the issue of bad breath but only for a short period of time. Unless flossing is implemented into a person’s routine, bad breath will continue to be a problem.

If you’re in the Springfield, IL area and you’re looking for a high rated dentist, visit  Join the “No Cavity Club” and receive a free spinbrush!

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Soda Damages Teeth

Soda Cans

When a person thinks of dental health, they need to be extremely aware of the harsh side effects that soda can have on teeth. Drinking a large amount of soda can wreak havoc on a persons teeth. This soda damage could add up and will cost even casual soda drinkers very expensive dental bills. But first lets discuss what makes soda so destructive to a person’s teeth.

The Cause
Soda, in its very nature, is acidic. Anything that is acidic can be harmful to a person’s teeth. However, soda contains citric acid, which contains erosive properties that can damage a person’s dental record. Citric acid is so harsh that its effects have been linked to the same erosive properties of drain cleaner and battery acid. Many people believe that diet soda may provide a loophole to the damaging effects of soda. However, even though diet soda does not contain the calories and sugar that regular soda has, it still contains just as much citric acid as regular soda.

The Effect
Soda is particularly damaging to a person’s tooth enamel. Enamel is a thin outer layer of the tooth that can not be replaced once it is lost. Soda attacks this layer and can lead to increased number of cavities, yellowing of teeth, and hypersensitivity after the enamel has been warn away.

The most obvious way to stop the harsh effects of soda is to simply stop drinking it. Head for other substitutes such as milk, water, and 100% fruit juice (drink in moderation). If a person simply can not stop his/her craving, then drinking in moderation through a straw could help it bypass hitting the teeth and hopefully lessening the effect of the citric acid.

Financial Cost
Soda’s effect on teeth can leave a hefty hole in a person’s wallet. Without enamel, the teeth cannot protect themselves which will lead to more frequent dentist appointments and increases in regular cleaning. So if you would like to continue drinking soda, please do it in moderation, or you will end up spending a a lot of money in dental insurance.

If your teeth have been damaged by soda or you’re suffering from other dental pain and are in the BLoomington IL;Lafayette, IN; or Fort Wayne, IN area check out


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Teeth and Cavities


Dental cavities are holes (or structural damage) in the teeth.

Alternative Names

Caries; Tooth decay; Cavities – tooth

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Tooth decay is a common disorder, second only to the common cold. It usually occurs in children and young adults but can affect any person. Tooth decay is a common cause of tooth loss in younger people.

Bacteria are normally found in your mouth. These bacteria change foods — especially sugar and starch — into acids. Bacteria, acid, food pieces, and saliva combine in the mouth to form a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque sticks to the teeth. It is most common on the back molars, just above the gum line on all teeth, and at the edges of fillings.

Plaque that is not removed from the teeth turns into a substance called tartar. Plaque and tartar irritate the gums, resulting in gingivitis and periodontitis.

Plaque begins to build up on teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If it is not removed, tooth decay will begin.

The acids in plaque damage the enamel covering your teeth, and create holes in the tooth (cavities). Cavities usually do not hurt, unless they grow very large and affect nerves or cause a tooth fracture. An untreated cavity can lead to a tooth abscess. Untreated tooth decay also destroys the inside of the tooth (pulp), which leads to tooth loss.

Carbohydrates (sugars and starches) increase the risk of tooth decay. Sticky foods are more harmful than nonsticky foods because they remain on the teeth. Frequent snacking increases the time that acids are in contact with the surface of the tooth.


There may be no symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may include:

  • Tooth pain or achy feeling, particularly after sweet, hot, or cold foods and drinks
  • Visible pits or holes in the teeth

Signs and tests

Most cavities are discovered in the early stages during routine dental checkups.

A dental exam may show that the surface of the tooth is soft.

Dental x-rays may show some cavities before they are visible to the eye.


Treatment can help prevent tooth damage from leading to cavities.

Treatment may involve:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canals

Dentists fill teeth by removing the decayed tooth material with a drill and replacing it with a material such as silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or composite resin. Porcelain and composite resin more closely match the natural tooth appearance, and may be preferred for front teeth. Many dentists consider silver amalgam (alloy) and gold to be stronger, and these materials are often used on back teeth. There is a trend to use high strength composite resin in the back teeth as well.

Crowns or “caps” are used if tooth decay is extensive and there is limited tooth structure, which may cause weakened teeth. Large fillings and weak teeth increase the risk of the tooth breaking. The decayed or weakened area is removed and repaired. A crown is fitted over the remainder of the tooth. Crowns are often made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain attached to metal.

A root canal is recommended if the nerve in a tooth dies from decay or injury. The center of the tooth, including the nerve and blood vessel tissue (pulp), is removed along with decayed portions of the tooth. The roots are filled with a sealing material. The tooth is filled, and a crown is usually needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Treatment often saves the tooth. Early treatment is less painful and less expensive than treatment of extensive decay.

You may need numbing medicine (lidocaine) and prescription medications to relieve pain during or after dental work.

Nitrous oxide with novocaine or other medications may be preferred if you are afraid of dental treatments.


  • Discomfort or pain
  • Fractured tooth
  • Inability to bite down on tooth
  • Tooth abscess
  • Tooth sensitivity

Calling your health care provider

Call your dentist if you have a toothache.

Make an appointment with your dentist for a routine cleaning and examination if you have not had one in the last 6 months.


Oral hygiene is necessary to prevent cavities. This consists of regular professional cleaning (every 6 months), brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least daily. X-rays may be taken yearly to detect possible cavity development in high risk areas of the mouth.

Chewy, sticky foods (such as dried fruit or candy) are best if eaten as part of a meal rather than as a snack. If possible, brush the teeth or rinse the mouth with water after eating these foods. Minimize snacking, which creates a constant supply of acid in the mouth. Avoid constant sipping of sugary drinks or frequent sucking on candy and mints.

Dental sealants can prevent some cavities. Sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This coating prevents the accumulation of plaque in the deep grooves on these vulnerable surfaces. Sealants are usually applied on the teeth of children, shortly after the molars erupt. Older people may also benefit from the use of tooth sealants.

Fluoride is often recommended to protect against dental caries. It has been demonstrated that people who ingest fluoride in their drinking water or by fluoride supplements have fewer dental caries. Fluoride ingested when the teeth are developing is incorporated into the structure of the enamel and protects it against the action of acids.

Topical fluoride is also recommended to protect the surface of the teeth. This may include a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. Many dentists include application of topical fluoride solutions (applied to a localized area of the teeth) as part of routine visits.

Content provided by Dr. Colton Sylvester. If you’re having cavity problems or looking for routine maintenance in the Bloomington, Illinois area, give Dr. Sylvester a call at Sylvester Family Dental.

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Tooth Decay and Gum Disease


Tooth decay and gum disease are largely caused by plaque, a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to accumulate on teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If this plaque is not removed thoroughly each day, tooth decay will flourish. Over time, plaque will harden into tartar.

Plaque and tartar lead to a number of problems:

  • Cavities — holes that damage the structure of teeth
  • Gingivitis — swollen, inflamed, bleeding gums
  • Periodontitis — destruction of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Abscesses, pain, inability to use teeth
  • A variety of health problems outside the mouth, from preterm labor to heart disease

Healthy teeth are clean and have no cavities. Healthy gums are pink and firm. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, follow these steps:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably after every meal and at bedtime.
  • Floss at least once per day.
  • Schedule an appointment with a dentist for a routine cleaning and examination. Many dentists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months.
  • Keep dentures, retainers, and other appliances clean. This includes regular brushing and may include soaking them in a cleansing solution.

Ask your dentist:

  • What toothbrush you should use, and where your problem areas are located. Ask if an electric tooth brush is right for you. Such brushes have been shown to clean teeth better than manual tooth brushes.
  • How to properly floss your teeth. Overly vigorous or improper flossing may injure the gums.
  • Whether you should use any special appliances or tools, such as water irrigation. This may sometimes help supplement (but not replace) brushing and flossing.
  • Whether you could benefit from particular toothpastes or mouth rinses. In some cases, over-the-counter pastes and rinses may be doing you more harm than good, depending on your condition.

Regular teeth cleaning by a dentist removes plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult for you to reach on your own. Professional cleaning includes scaling and polishing. This uses various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. Routine examination may include dental x-rays.  If you live in Fort Wayne, Indiana area and are looking for a dentist to clean and polish your teeth, visit Lakewood Family Dental.


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Fast Food and Dental Problems

Fast food


Can You Eat Fast Food?

Fast foods are quick and easy substitutes for home cooking. But fast foods are almost always high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

Some restaurants still use hydrogenated vegetable oils for frying. These oils contain trans fats. These fats increase your risk for heart disease. Some cities have banned or are trying to ban the use of these fats.

Now, many restaurants are preparing foods using other types of fat. Some offer low-calorie choices instead.

Even with these changes, it is hard to eat healthy when you eat out often. Many foods are still cooked with a lot of fat. Many restaurants do not offer any lower-fat foods. Large portions also make it easy to overeat. And few restaurants offer many fresh fruits and vegetables.

In general, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease must be very careful about eating fast food.

When You Go to a Fast Food Restaurant

Knowing the amount of calories, fat, and salt in fast foods can help you eat healthier. Many restaurants now offer information about their food. This information is much like the nutrition labels on the food that you buy. If it is not posted in the restaurant, ask an employee for a copy.

In general, eat at places that offer salads, soups, and vegetables.

With pizza, get less cheese. Also pick low-fat toppings, such as vegetables. You can dab the pizza with a paper napkin to get rid of a lot of the fat from the cheese.

Healthier sandwiches include regular or junior size lean meats. Adding bacon, cheese, or mayo will increase the fat and calories. Ask for vegetables instead. Select whole-grain breads or bagels. Croissants and biscuits have a lot of fat.

If you want a hamburger, get a single meat patty without cheese and sauce. Ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Limit how many French fries you eat. Ketchup has a lot of calories from sugar. Ask if you can, substitute a salad for fries.

Look for meat, chicken, and fish that are roasted, grilled, baked, or broiled. Avoid meats that are breaded or fried. If the dish you order comes with a heavy sauce, ask for it on the side and use just a small amount.

In your salads, avoid high-fat items. Dressing, bacon bits, and shredded cheese all add fat and calories. Choose lettuce and assorted vegetables. Select low-fat or fat-free salad dressings, vinegar, or lemon juice. Ask for salad dressing on the side.

Eat low-fat desserts. A rich dessert can add fun to a well-balanced diet. But eat them only on special occasions.

Order smaller servings when you can. Split some fast-food items to reduce calories and fat. Ask for a “doggy bag.” You can also leave the extra food on your plate.

Your food choices can teach your children how to eat healthy, too. Choosing a variety of healthy foods and limiting portion size are key to a healthy diet for anyone.


American Heart Association Nutrition Committee; Lichtenstein AH, Appel LJ, Brands M, Carnethon M, Daniels S, et al. Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006 Jul 4;114(1):82-96. ,  Dr. Lindsey Hans DMD – Hans Family Dental in Champaign, IL

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Dental Insurance Plans

Dental insurance is a necessity for everyone in your family, but it can be expensive. Learn about individual dental plans and enroll in the plan that’s right for you at the premier online source for dental insurance. Get the fact, such as co-payments, deductibles, and more.

Everyone is Eligible. Find out more now.

Dental disease is preventable. Our program makes preventive care affordable. We help you take better care of your teeth and it will cost you less to do it. So what are you waiting for? Enroll today!

Here are a few facts about the plan:

Orthodontics (braces) for both children and adults.

Cosmetic Dentistry such as bleaching or aesthetic bonded finishes in selected markets.

All Specialists: Pediodontists, Endodontists, Pedodontists, Oral Surgeons, Orthodontists, & Prosthodontists.

All Pre-existing conditions are covered except orthodontic treatment in progress, even if you’ve had a dental problem for a long time.

Members also get vision, chiropractic, and prescription benefits as a bonus.

Click here to receive your free and affordable Health Insurance quote.

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