Five Reasons Xylitol Will Make You Smile

 Have you ever had a cavity? At Greenville Family Smiles, we recommend cosmetic white fillings to restore your tooth and reduce your risk of further tooth decay, but that’s not all. Dr. Goldston also has a “sweet therapy” that he encourages all of his patients to indulge in – even people who have never had a cavity. 

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but it can wreak havoc on your teeth. While a little sugar in your daily diet can be handled by your mouth’s natural defenses, the standard American diet is excessively sweet and can increase your risk of dental decay. There’s a better alternative – and you can pick it up at the checkout counter of your grocery store. If you’ve never heard of xylitol – a unique sweetener – here are a few reasons you should be using it:

  1. Xylitol Is All Natural – If you’re cleaning up your diet and you want to avoid the latest fake sweetener, be sure to give xylitol a try. It’s 100% natural and you’re already consuming it in small amounts when you eat fruits and vegetables. The only problem is that it’s in such small amounts, most people don’t eat enough to enjoy a therapeutic dose for their smile.

  2. Xylitol Protects and Improves Your Smile – If you don’t have the greatest brushing habits, xylitol can help. Due to its unique nature, xylitol actually reduces the stickiness of cavity-causing plaque, minimizing the odds that it will cling to your teeth.

By reducing plaque formation, your risk of cavities is reduced – and that means a healthier smile. Even better, its sweet taste can make your mouth water, which helps your mouth repair damage that’s already happened to your tooth enamel.

  1. You’ll Never Know the Difference – With xylitol, you can have your cake and eat it, too, but with ⅓ less calories, when compared to sugar. Best of all, it tastes great and keeps your mouth (and taste buds) happy.

  2. Xylitol Is Safe – It doesn’t take much xylitol to reduce your risk of cavities. With as little as 15 grams a day, to enjoy the benefits, everyone in your family can take advantage of it.  In fact, the World Health Organization has given xylitol its highest food additive safety rating.

  3. You May Already Be Using It – If xylitol sounds like a great addition to your health regimen, you’ll be happy to know how convenient it is to incorporate. You don’t need to go down the supplement aisle of your favorite store to pick it up, just stroll down the dental care aisle – or head straight for the candy.

Not only do many toothpastes contain xylitol for better taste and dental benefits, but many candies do as well. Check your sugar-free gum! It may already contain xylitol. Just be sure that xylitol is listed as the only sweetener, since many sweeteners (artificial or otherwise) can actually increase your risk of cavities.

Enjoy a better smile by adding xylitol to your daily diet – and be sure to keep it healthy with regular dental checkups at our Greenville office. If it’s been awhile since you saw the dentist, call Greenville Family Smiles today!

5 Ways to Strengthen Tooth Enamel

 All cavities start with a weak spot in your tooth’s protective outer layer called the enamel.

Follow these tips from Dr. Anna Goldston to help keep your enamel tough and resistant to decay:

1. Increase Dairy Intake

Calcium-rich snacks are good for enamel and bone. Milk and yogurt don’t increase the acidity of your mouth and can help reinforce enamel. Cheese has been found to contain some ingredients which can fight cavity-formation.

Incorporate foods containing calcium into your meals and choose cheese as a healthy snack option.

2. Cut Down On Acidic Foods

Your enamel might not be able to grow back, but you can limit how many acid attacks it experiences.

Reduce the number of acidic drinks you sip on throughout the day. Things like coffee, soda, juice, and sports drinks are harmful to enamel. Pick water as your primary source of hydration as often as possible.

Switch sugary carbs for whole grain and fiber-rich items. These are better for your enamel and your overall health.

3. Get Lots Of Fluoride

Getting a balanced amount of fluoride is essential for children with developing smiles. Once in adulthood, there’s not much need to limit your fluoride use. Look for more fluoride sources to reinforce your enamel against decay.

Fluoride occurs naturally in some foods like tea, fish, and tap water. It’s a good idea to supplement your intake with fluoride toothpastes, rinses, and professional treatments.

4. Reduce Plaque Buildup

Dental plaque is made up of bacteria and food debris and it is a very acidic substance. You can’t avoid plaque altogether, but you can control how much accumulates. Daily brushing and flossing are the most effective ways to prevent these acids from wearing down your enamel.

5. Have Your Enamel Regularly Evaluated By A Professional

A dentist like Dr. Goldston can take a good look at your enamel and identify its weaknesses. X-rays and other diagnostic tools will help you locate potential problems and treat them before they worsen. Dr. Goldston and her team will also make personalized recommendations for you to strengthen your enamel.

Call Greenville Family Smiles today to plan your smile consultation.

Choosing the Right Toothpaste for Your Family

ToothbrushToothpaste shopping may not sound like a big deal. After all, toothpaste is easy to find in virtually every store and it seems like a no-brainer to choose a product based on price and a tasty flavor. But, your choice of toothpaste can have a bigger effect on your family than you may realize.

Dr. Anna Goldston recommends that you select dental hygiene products based on your family members’ unique needs.

Sensitivity Toothpastes

Sensitivity can be a big problem for folks with:

  • Gum recession
  • Lots of dental work
  • Worn enamel
  • Gum disease

An anti-sensitivity toothpaste has fluoride and potassium nitrate. These reinforce tooth enamel and block up open enamel pores that cause sensitivity. Using a sensitivity toothpaste as a conditioner after regular brushing can bring significant relief.

Fluoride Protection And Safety For Kids

Fluoride strengthens kids’ teeth and helps them avoid cavities even if they aren’t great brushers and flossers. But very young children shouldn’t use adult toothpastes that contain fluoride because they may swallow it too often, which can lead to tummy upsets.

Shop for fluoride-free “training” toothpastes if your little one hasn’t yet learned how to spit everything out.

Preventing Gingivitis

Products like Colgate Total® contain an ingredient called triclosan. This ingredient prevents the buildup of plaque, reducing bacteria and tartar buildup. If someone in your family is struggling with gum inflammation, then a toothpaste that has anti-gingivitis properties is a good choice.

Are Natural Toothpastes Right For You?

A lot of patients turn to toothpastes with natural ingredient. There’s usually nothing wrong with this, if that’s your preference. Just keep in mind that most “natural” toothpastes, while cleaning your teeth, don’t contain the disease-preventing elements other products have. Most are also completely free of fluoride.

Talk with our dental experts at Greenville Family Smiles to see how you can keep your teeth strong while using a natural toothpaste.

Get more suggestions for an effective toothpaste by scheduling a visit with Dr. Goldston. Greenville Family Smiles welcomes the entire family for routine dental checkups and cleanings. Plan your visits today to get started on the track to a healthy smile for life.

3 Foods That Cause Tooth Decay

 Contrary to what you might have heard growing up, sugar is not the sole cause of cavities. But, it can contribute to it. It’s actually bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans is the species that lives in everyone’s mouths and spells trouble for our tooth enamel.

S. mutans produces an acid that wears away through layers of tooth. As a cavity is created, more bacteria invade and cause destruction. Does sugar play any role in this process? Yes, because carbohydrates are the food of choice for bacteria-causing S. mutans. Sugar in itself is very acidic. As your saliva breaks down the carbohydrates in your mouth, these acids stick to teeth and gradually weaken the enamel. So not only does sugar fuel bacteria, but it makes their job go a lot faster.

The following three foods are just a few examples of the most dangerous types of food you should limit to lower your cavity risk:

1. Bagels

Very doughy and chewy carbohydrates have the tendency to get stuck in teeth for long periods of time.

Most of us enjoy a good bagel. But you can likely recall the unpleasant sensation of finding pieces of your breakfast stuck in your molars hours later. When those gooey pieces are left in contact with teeth for a long time, that’s more acid exposure for your enamel.

2. Sports Drinks

Sweet drinks contribute the most to cavities on upper front teeth and between the back teeth.

Drinks like Gatorade are popular in hot weather and in the gym. But despite their healthful appearance, these beverages are loaded with sugar and additional acids that wash and soak the teeth with every sip, making them worse than soda!

3. Crackers and Chips

You might not think of a salty crunchy snack as being a cavity-causer. Yet, chips and crackers are carbohydrates. They can be even more dangerous than a one-time slice of cake because you’re munching on them slowly throughout the course of a movie or game.

Fortunately, you can fight back against decay with diet changes and adequate prevention techniques. Greenville Family Smiles offers all kinds of diagnostic and preventative therapies to help you stay on top of your cavity risk. Call our Greenville practice today to schedule an appointment with the experienced cavity-fighter, Dr. Anna Goldston.

Make a Smile Makeover One of Your New Year’s Resolutions!

 What do you resolve to do differently this year? Now is a great time to set new goals and resolutions. A new year means a fresh start and with that comes the motivation to improve your health and lifestyle.

Along with your plans to exercise more and eat better, why not complete the package with a gorgeous new smile?

What’s In a Smile Makeover?

If you’ve ever seen an interior home renovation or somebody’s hair and makeup makeover, then you understand that it’s a different experience for everyone.

Likewise, a smile makeover is simply an appearance-boosting procedure that makes changes according to individual needs and preferences.

Your smile makeover may be as simple as teeth whitening or as extreme as tooth extractions and braces. There are a whole spectrum of treatments that fall under this category:

  • Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Veneers
  • Gum reshaping
  • Implants
  • Crowns
  • Braces

What works for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. When you plan your makeover, you’ll select only the procedures you need to reach your goals.

Is a Smile Makeover Right for You?

To reach your goal of getting a beautiful smile this year, you’ll first need to make sure it’s a healthy one. A healthy smile is a beautiful one and you can’t get cosmetic dental treatment that lasts unless your teeth are in good shape. In fact, as you work towards restoring the health of your smile, you can incorporate elements of beauty.

For example, a dental crown will both restore a decayed tooth and make it look a lot better. It’s important to consult a dental expert when deciding which procedures to include in your makeover. A dentist like Dr. Anna Goldston can help you design the most practical treatment plan.

Begin Your Smile Makeover

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Greenville, Greenville Family Smiles has it all. Let this new year mark the beginning of a new you! Get started on designing the smile of your dreams by planning a visit with Dr. Goldston.

Are Dental Veneers Right for Your Smile?

 You’ve probably heard some great things about dental veneers. As a matter of fact, veneers can do wonderful things for your smile. They have long been the trade secret behind those stunning smiles that celebrities flash for the camera.

Now, fortunately, just about everyone could take advantage of the procedure to enhance their own smiles.

How do you know if you qualify?

What You Need To Know About Veneers

Dental veneers are thin porcelain wafers that replace the outermost layer of enamel on the front of a tooth.

Veneers are irreversible in that once that enamel is trimmed away, it’s not coming back. You’ll always need to wear a veneer in its place. However, dental veneers are not permanent. They will last a long time if you take good care of them, but they will also need to be updated at some point.

What can veneers do for you?

– Close gaps
– Smooth the texture of a tooth
– Mask deep stain
– Fill in chips in your enamel

Basically, you could get the beautiful and professional smile you always wanted, but never believed possible.

How Do You Get Your Veneers?

Dr. Anna Goldston prepares the front of the tooth by gently shaving away a thin layer of enamel. She takes an impression of this preparation and sends it to a lab that custom designs the final product. While you wait, you’ll have a temporary plastic veneer to protect your tooth. Two weeks later, your permanent new smile is ready to bond in place.

Is There Any Reason To Not Get Veneers?

Only cavity-free teeth can have veneers since these coverings are cosmetic and won’t stop tooth decay. The tooth has to be a permanent one in an adult smile, so this rules out veneers for kids.

Keep in mind that veneers are a personal investment since they are not usually covered by insurance. You’ll have to be prepared to pay out of pocket for this procedure, but that’s made less difficult thanks to our financing options.

Are you interested in finding out whether veneers are right for you? Contact Dr. Goldston’s Greenville dental team today to schedule a visit.

Why Does My Breath Smell So Bad?

istock_000047020160_mediumPerhaps the worst thing about foul breath is the fact that others tend to notice our malodor before we ourselves do. A strong and persistent case of bad breath can’t be blamed on a one-time meal that had a lot of garlic in it. To properly address your halitosis, you’ll need to first get to the bottom of whatever may be causing it.

Here are a few common contributors:

Poor Oral Habits

Bad breath can be caused by a variety of oral habits such as:

– Smoking
– Inadequate oral hygiene
– Mouth-breathing

Counseling with a dental professional like those at Greenville Family Smiles can help you take control of your habits – and the smell of your breath! We’ll show you how making some lifestyle changes will do what no breath mint could ever accomplish.

Breathing Issues

Blocked sinuses and bacteria will cause you to breathe out of your mouth and is likely to make your breath smell. If you have a cold or sinus infection or allergies, you can bet that’s playing a role.

Digestive Problems

Frequent vomiting, heartburn, and indigestion expose your mouth to acids which can linger on the breath. In fact, a lot of patients who complain about bad breath never realized that they had a digestive concern. Talk with your doctor about this possibility and see if that helps to clear up bad smells.

Oral Infections

Some people realize too late the importance of keeping their oral appliances clean. Dirty dentures or retainers harbor loads of bacteria that create the stink. Make sure you properly clean your denture, partial, or retainer every day and get it checked on occasion for signs of a fungal infection.

Rotting teeth and infected gums will give off a unique stench. You could enjoy fresher breath simply by staying on top of your dental treatment for things like cavities and periodontitis.

Are you struggling to conceal your smile out of fear others will notice your bad breath? Don’t live with such uncertainty any longer. Plan your visit with Dr. Anna Goldston to start treating your bad breath at its source.

Metal or White Filling – Does It Matter Which You Choose?

 Paper or plastic?
Organic or inorganic?
Biodegradable or non-biodegradable?
Go green? BPA-free? Solar?

We’re all faced with a variety options in everyday matters that reflect how we feel about our bodies and environment.

It might seem like dental fillings aren’t such a big deal. Metal or white fillings could simply reflect your style preference. Yet, your choice in this matter also has some far-reaching effects.

About Metal Fillings

Silver fillings contain a bit more than just silver. They’re an amalgam of metals including copper and mercury. This combination helps a metal restoration set quickly and stay strong.

To make a piece of metal fit snugly into a hole in a tooth, the dentist needs to undercut the enamel a little bit. This creates a lock-like mechanism to hold the filling in place. With time, your tooth can start to weaken from the stress of expanding and contracting at a slower rate than the amalgam restoration does.

Why It’s Best to Go with White

White fillings aren’t merely a color option. They’re made from a composite resin material that contains no metal. This material sets up with a special light and creates a chemical bond with the tooth. Dr. Anna Goldston doesn’t need to remove any more tooth structure than is necessary when she places white fillings.

Composite resin is much more conservative and behaves more like natural teeth than metal amalgam does. Your chances of preserving tooth structure are higher when you choose white dental fillings.

Make Your Fillings Last

You might be interested in upgrading your metal fillings to white ones. But even if not, the most important thing is making the fillings you do have last as long as possible. Do this by brushing and flossing daily, getting lots of fluoride, and scheduling dental checkups with Dr. Goldston.

At Greenville Family Smiles, we proudly offer gorgeous white fillings to complement any smile. First, however, Dr. Goldston checks all teeth with x-rays and a careful examination to be sure of what they need. Call us today if you suspect that you might need a dental filling.

3 Reasons to Whiten Your Teeth

 Some people feel that teeth bleaching is a vain and unnecessary procedure. But closing off your mind to the benefits of whitening could cause you to miss out on the best smile of your life.

Dr. Anna Goldston recommends a safe and balanced practice of teeth whitening for anyone who’s ready for a new start.

1. Take Years Off Your Smile!

No one ever laid down a rule stating that yellowed teeth are ugly or unacceptable. It’s just a fact that discolored teeth bespeak years of use and stain. Kids’ teeth are naturally brighter and cleaner than those of adults because of their anatomical design.

By whitening your teeth, you will make them look fresher, stronger, healthier, and younger.

2. Stay Ahead of Your Dental Restorations

At the time you have dental bonding or a dental crown made, the restoration will be colored to match your surrounding teeth. Once that color is chosen and placed, it can’t be changed. If you want to whiten your teeth after having such work, then your restoration will unpleasantly stand out.

It’s much better to whiten your teeth well before having any other such cosmetic work done. This way, you can be confident that your teeth have reached their maximum whiteness. Something like a crown can later be made to match.

3. A Confidence Boost Will Show in Your Smile

Sometimes, just seeing that bright flash in the mirror is enough to lift your spirits and stroke your ego a bit.

Knowing your smile looks amazing is reason enough to show it off! This confidence, in turn, will help you make a great first impression in important areas such as:

    • Social events
    • Job interviews
    • Business deals and meetings
    • Acting, performing, or modeling careers
    • First dates

Never underestimate the power of a confident and dazzling smile!

Ready to take your smile to the next level? Greenville Family Smiles can help you do just that. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Goldston to find out how a little change to your smile can make a big impact on your life.

Reasons to Avoid Soda

sodaWith the holiday season full speed ahead, there are lots of parties and festivities, along with rushing around in the hustle and bustle. Sometimes during this time of year, we get wrapped up in what we are doing, and forget to think about what we put into our mouths.

Lots of holiday celebrations have not so healthy options for beverages, and sodas tend to be a go-to drink. Not only do sodas take a toll on your body, they can wreak havoc on the environment inside your mouth.

In fact, sodas are so harmful, some states are passing taxes on sodas quicker than they are passing taxes on alcohol. Also, before long, a warning label may even be added to sodas, much like those that you see on tobacco products, warning the consumers of the harmful benefits.

What happens when you drink sodas:

● The acidity of sodas is very close to that of battery acid. This acidity can wear down the enamel on your teeth, resulting in decay, tooth erosion and abrasion and other tooth
● The sugar in one soda is at least 100 percent of your recommended daily intake. So it can cause a sugar spike and complicate health problems like diabetes.
● The sugar also sits on your teeth, eating away at the enamel, once again resulting in decay and other tooth problems.
● Over time, the sugar in sodas will lead to weight-gain, especially consumed on a regular basis.

There are plenty of more things that happen to your body, but the point is, that sodas are not good for your body or your mouth. During this season, instead of reaching for the easy can of sugary syrup, reach instead for water, and allow your mouth and your body to have a Happy Holiday as well!