3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
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October 15, 2019

Don’t Overindulge on Holiday Goodies

The holidays will be here before you know it and that means lots of food you wouldn’t normally indulge in. Of course, there is the good stuff that isn’t bad for your teeth, such as the Thanksgiving turkey, and fresh green beans, but other holiday foods can cause serious problems for your teeth and your gums.

According to your dentist in Independence It’s okay to indulge, just be careful, and when in doubt pass those caramels over for something healthier for your body and your teeth.

Plan Ahead for Healthy Teeth and Gums

While you won’t know, what every holiday food table will be like you can plan ahead. If your company is having dinner at a local restaurant, there will probably be a set menu. Ask your boss or call the eatery in advance, especially if you are avoiding sticky, sugary, starchy, or acidic foods.

If you wear dentures and are worried about an unfortunate accident, know what’s on the menu. The last thing you want is to endure jokes at next year’s family Christmas party.

If you do wear dentures, talk to Dr. David Schaefer about dental implants. Dental implants are just as strong as natural teeth and will allow you to eat what you want and smile when you like.

Still Time for Cosmetic Dentistry

While you may want to start the dental implant procedure after the holidays, you can still have a brighter smile with other cosmetic dentistry treatments. Professional tooth whitening can happen chair side or in a couple of weeks depending on what you decide. Dental crowns and porcelain veneers take two appointments, but there is still plenty of time.

If you would like a healthy smile, call and schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in Independence. The holidays are almost here and you want to be ready with a smile that can’t be beat.

Call for a no obligation consultation with your Independence cosmetic dentist today.

December 15, 2017

Your Teeth and Gums Don’t Have to Pay the Price

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during the holidays can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. You can prevent an emergency dental visit if you follow these tips from Dr. David Schaefer.

Below are a few things you should stay away from during the holidays to keep your teeth and gums safe.

Stay away from Hard Candy

Keep the canes on the tree and the hard butterscotch candies on the shelf at the store. Hard candies are a double-edged sword as they are loaded with sugar, which erodes the enamel on your teeth, and they can break or crack a tooth if you bite down.

Gummy Bears and Sticky Candy

Gummy bears, licorice, saltwater taffy and any other sticky candy can pull out your fillings and wreck havoc for dental sealants. According to Dr. Schaefer, sticky candy is also hard to remove and can stay in the fissures and grooves at the back of your teeth.

Pies, Cookies and Cakes Oh My!

Your Great Aunt Martha’s pecan pie may be as delicious as your own sugar cookies, but those delicious treats can cause problems for your teeth and gums. If you must indulge rinse after as starchy foods can get caught in the grooves and fissure at the back of your teeth. Add sugar to the mix and your teeth will suffer for it.

Dried Fruit

That yummy dried fruit platter that arrives at your front door every year can cause issues with your teeth. Sticky figs, dates, and apricots are loaded with sugar, and just like gummy bears can stay on your teeth, even after brushing.

You don’t have to schedule an emergency dental visit with Dr. Schaefer if you watch what you eat and see your dentist twice a year.

Schedule your bi-annual dental appointment with Dr. David Schaefer today.

December 15, 2016

Preventing Cavities ~ Timing Could Be Everything

Preventing cavities is imperative, but it’s not just what you eat that increases your risk of tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, how often you enjoy a meal is equally as important as what you put in your mouth. Have Grandma’s sugar cookies with a meal and you will be doing your teeth a big favor.

According to your Dr. David Schaefer, when you eat your meals can have long term effects on your oral health and in preventing cavities. Learning how the food you eat, and when you eat it affects your teeth and gums is your first step to a healthier mouth.

Immediate Changes

The minute you eat certain foods your mouth will begin to produce acids. Those acids will begin the cavity process.

So What Happens

All carbohydrates will eventually become simple sugars breaking down into fructose, lactose and maltose. Carbohydrates that ferment will break down in your mouth. Other foods will not break down until they get to the digestive tract.

Fermentable carbs join forces with the bacteria to create acids that will decay your teeth. Obviously cakes, cookies, candy and soft drinks are at the top of the list when it comes to the worlds most sugary foods, but other foods such as cereal, bananas, crackers and bread can also wreck havoc on your teeth.

Certain types of bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar you just enjoyed producing acid that will begin to dissolve the minerals inside the tooth eating away the enamel known as demineralization. Remineralization occurs when the teeth regain their minerals with the help of saliva. Fluoride and certain foods such as cucumbers and celery can also help with remineralization as can cheese and certain dairy products.

This holiday season watch what you eat and remember to keep an eye on, “When,” you eat as well when it comes to preventing cavities, and don’t forget to schedule your annual dental checkup with Dr. Schaefer today.

Happy Holidays from the team from Dr. David Schaefer and the team from Schaefer Dental!

November 15, 2015

What you Eat can Affect your Teeth

During the holidays most people aren’t too concerned about their waistline and will pretty much eat what they like when they like, however, what you eat during the holidays, and any other time of the year for that matter, really can affect your oral health.

The majority of people are aware that brushing twice and flossing once each day along with regular checkups with your dentist can go along way when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but so can the foods you eat. Watching what you put in your mouth really can help prevent dental caries and gum disease.

If you are a workout fanatic, but are also a fan of sports drinks and energy drinks, you may want to take a step back as energy and sports drinks are loaded with sugar. Add acid to the mix and the enamel on your teeth is eroding before your eyes. Even if you opt for a sugar free sports or energy drink, you are still dealing with acid. Instead of using this as an excuse to stop working out, opt for water instead. Carry a bottle of water with you to the gym and in a few weeks, you won’t be missing those sugary energy and sports drinks.

When it comes to snacking, most people recommend fruits and vegetables. However, munch on dried fruit and you could be putting your teeth at risk. Dried fruit is full of sugar and because it’s so sticky will get caught in between your teeth. Dried fruit will also stick to the fissures and grooves in your molars. If you enjoy dried fruit, make sure that you rinse after you enjoy.

Although everything in moderation really is the key when it comes to a healthy diet, it is important that you rinse after eating starchy foods. That pretzel that you had after lunch has mostly likely converted to sugar and bacteria happily wearing away the enamel on your teeth. Bread, potato chips, fries, and pretzels will stick to your teeth. Rinse as quickly as possible to help prevent tooth decay.

If you are unsure about your diet, call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist who can help you choose a healthy diet that is good for your body as well as your teeth and gums.

February 15, 2015

Root Planing and Scaling For Healthy Gums

Gum disease is reversible as long as you take care of it immediately. If your gums are red and swollen and bleed when you brush, floss, or take a bite out of an apple, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can be nipped in the bud with a professional cleaning from your dentist, but if it has progressed to the more serious periodontal disease, Root Planing and Scaling may be recommended to help your gums heal.

According to Web MD, a stubborn case of gum disease can be reversed with Root Planing and Scaling. This procedure will remove the tartar and plaque from your teeth to help your gums become pink and firm.

During the Scaling portion of the procedure, your dentist may or may not numb your gums and the roots of your teeth using a local anesthetic. Although the procedure is not painful, it can be uncomfortable.

After your gums are numb, your dentist will use tools to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from your teeth both below and above your gum line. This is called Root Scaling. Some dentists may use an ultrasonic tool or a combination of the two.

Once the Root Scaling has been completed, your dentist will begin Root Planing. This involves smoothing out the rough spots on your teeth and the roots in order to prevent the bacteria and plaque from adhering to your teeth.

Although Root Planing and Scaling can usually be taken care of in a single visit, your dentist may prefer to do a quarter, or quadrant, or half of your month during each dental appointment.

Root Planing and Scaling is a simple procedure, but it is important that you let your dentist know your health history as the treatment can introduce certain bacteria into your bloodstream. This is especially true if you have liver disease, a systemic illness, heart problems, or an immune system that has been compromised.

For more information regarding gum disease and Root Planing and Scaling, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can determine if your teeth and gums are healthy.

January 15, 2015

Tips for a More Appealing Smile

An attractive smile not only boosts your self-confidence but can also make you more appealing to others. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96 percent of those who responded felt that an attractive smile made the person more appealing.

Of course, your dentist explains that good oral health goes beyond your smile. Your mouth is literally the gateway to your entire body meaning that the condition of your teeth and gums will affect your overall health.

Brushing regularly is the first step when it comes to good oral health as it helps remove the bacteria loving food particles, freshens breath, and cleans your teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association and be sure to brush at least two minutes twice each day. If you have a tough time, consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with a built in timer.

Flossing once a day helps to remove the bacteria that your toothbrush can’t get to. Flossing helps prevent gum disease and when you floss before bedtime, you are helping your mouth become less vulnerable to bacteria. When you sleep, your mouth produces less saliva making you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

Only your dentist can spot gum disease in its earliest stages. Schedule twice-yearly cleanings and checkups with your dentist. If you are more prone to cavities and gingivitis or periodontal disease, consider seeing your dentist quarterly. In addition, if you have diabetes, cancer or other immune disorders, ask your dentist how often you should schedule appointments.

Examine your mouth regularly checking for any irregularities. If you have a sore that just won’t heal, bleeding or sensitive gums schedule an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible.

Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin C can help boost your immune system. Because your teeth are mostly made up of calcium, dairy foods and other calcium rich foods such as kale and sardines can keep your tooth enamel strong. In addition, vitamin C can help prevent gingivitis as it helps keep your gums healthy.

Avoid sticky and sugary foods and keep starchy foods to a minimum as they can stick to the crevices in your teeth. Bacteria will feed off the sugars while releasing cavity-causing acids. If you must indulge, rinse or brush as soon as you can.

Kick the habit and you are less likely to be diagnosed with gum disease. Your teeth will be noticeable whiter and your breath won’t scare others away if you give up tobacco products.

Your dentist also recommends tooth whitening, dental veneers, and other cosmetic restoration procedures for a healthier and more attractive smile.

For more information regarding cosmetic dental restorations or a total mouth makeover, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

October 15, 2014

Healthy Food Choices for your Teeth

You really are what you eat, and although you may be proud of your new waistline thanks to healthier food choices, your dentist will tell you that you could be damaging your teeth and gums.

According to the Huffington Post foods that you think are good for you, can actually cause harm.

Most people know how damaging hard candy can be. Sucking on a piece of peppermint or butterscotch all day is like bathing your teeth in a tub of sugar. Unfortunately, your dentist understands that dried fruits can be just as bad. Dried prunes, figs, apricots, pineapple, and mango are covered in sugar and because of the stickiness in the fruit can be even worse than hard candy. Unless you rinse or brush after eating dried fruit, it will stick to your teeth. Beware of trail mix as well. Crunchy granola and so-called healthy snacks can also have their fair share of dried fruit.

Whole grain pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes may be better for your body, but even healthy carbohydrates can be damaging to your teeth. Those pre-digestive enzymes that your saliva contain quickly metabolize the carbs converting them to sugar and acid. These types of foods, especially rice and whole grain breads, can get caught in-between your teeth. Although you shouldn’t revert to white bread, remember to rinse after eating.

It’s not just coffee, tea and red wine that will stain your teeth. If you have been cutting back on sandwiches at lunchtime in favor of beef stir-fry, the soy sauce that you use could stain your teeth. Other foods such as curry and marinara sauce can turn your teeth from white to yellow. Even cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries can take their toll.

Citrus fruits can erode the enamel on your teeth. Never suck on a lemon and keep your intake of grapefruits, oranges, tomatoes, and limes to a minimum. Even better, enjoy citrus fruits as part of another meal. If you did have a tangerine as a snack after lunch, your dentist advises you to rinse with water immediately.

Believe it or not, Snapple’s, flavored antioxidant waters are loaded with sugar and contain the equivalent of a couple of Good Humor Éclair bars. Energy, vitamin, and sports drinks aren’t any better. Pack a bottle of good old-fashioned water when you head to the gym, or go for unsweetened juices.

Chews and gummies may make it easier for you to swallow your vitamins, but they are tolerable because of the sugar content. Not only are they loaded with the white stuff, but chewable vitamins can also get stuck between your teeth and in the fissures of your molars. If you must take vitamin chews, rinse with water immediately afterwards.

A healthy body includes your teeth and gums. Remember to brush twice and floss once a day and don’t forget to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist.

3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055