Take Care of Your Teeth and Slow Down the Aging Process, Part 1

Our teeth are incredibly strong. They constantly endure extreme temperature and pressure from the chewing, crunching, and biting we do. Still, everyday wear and tear and the natural aging process take a toll on our teeth.

Follow this advice to prevent your age from showing in your smile.

Preventing Acid Erosion

The biggest threat to your teeth is sugary and starchy food. These carbohydrates ferment and cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids, which quickly eat away at your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth become much more susceptible to tooth decay.

What You Can Do:

  • Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
  • Avoid frequent snacking, which causes acid levels in the mouth to remain high over an extended amount of time.
  • Chew sugarless gum when you get a craving for something sweet. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps cleanse the mouth and neutralize acidity.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and floss daily.
  • Have regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months.

 

Preventing Mechanical Wear and Tear on Your Teeth

The main function of your teeth is to bite and chew to break up your food for digestion.

While teeth do not become more brittle with age, continuously using a chipped or cracked tooth to bite can cause serious damage. Teeth that have fillings or have had root canals are particularly vulnerable because they are missing components of their natural structure.

Grinding and clenching your teeth, also called bruxism, is a negative habit that is frequently caused by stress or anxiety. Bruxism can wear down the biting surfaces of your teeth over time.

What You Can Do:

  • Avoid chewing on ice and other very hard foods.
  • Check to make sure that pitted foods have no pits before you bite down on them.
  • Come in for appointments regularly. I can spot cracked or broken fillings that may weaken your teeth. I will also check for signs of bruxism and suggest methods of treatment if necessary.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust, and I’m a family dentist, which means I see patients of all ages in my dental office in Ankeny, Iowa. Check back from time to time for more tips to keep your teeth from aging, or call Dental Impressions at (515) 965-0230 to schedule an appointment.

Giving Ankeny and Polk City Smiles for Life

Dental Impressions in Ankeny, Iowa, is all about creating smiles for families from Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, Alleman, and the surrounding communities.

Being a family dentist is a very specific-and rewarding-job. I have the opportunity to treat entire families in my office at one time, making it a convenient option for dental health for families with busy schedules. I also have the opportunity to help instill healthy dental hygiene habits in young children and watch as they grow and develop and lead healthy lifestyles.

Whether it’s just you, or you, your toddler, and your grandmother, I want to see you in my dental office. Having regular dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months is so important for your oral and overall health. In addition to cleaning your teeth, I will screen you for signs of serious health problems, such as gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth decay.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust, and I invite you to call (515) 965-0230 to schedule an appointment for you and your loved ones. My team and I always are always excited to see new patients in our office. Just let us know that you are looking for a new dental family when you call, and we will take care of you!

7 Steps for a Better Smile

Quality oral health goes a long way. Having a healthy mouth is an intricate part of having a healthy body. Considering how important oral health is, it seems like it would be hard to achieve and maintain, but think again. Follow these 7 simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to stellar dental health in no time!

1.     Brush regularly. Brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans your teeth, and freshens your breath. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste will help to strengthen your teeth, but it is important to brush thoroughly for at least two minutes to get the full effect.

2.     Floss daily. Flossing goes hand-in-hand with brushing, but, unfortunately, most people don’t floss their teeth. Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. I recommend flossing twice a day, each time you brush your teeth, but if you only do it once daily, be sure to floss before bedtime. You produce less saliva when you sleep, so flossing before bed protects your teeth and gums from bacteria.

3.     Visit your dentist. I can’t stress enough how important it is to go to the dentist regularly. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. Your dentist can spot early signs of gum disease, which can be treated if caught during the early stages. Your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups if you are prone to gum disease and cavities, or if you have other health problems, such as diabetes or cancer.

4.     Eat a healthy diet. “You are what you eat” applies to everything, even your teeth and gums. Be sure to eat plenty of dairy and calcium-rich foods. This, along with plenty of vitamin C, helps to maintain strong bones, teeth, and gums.

5.     Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. People who smoke are four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. Smokeless tobacco is also risky because it increases your chances of developing oral cancers, including lip, tongue, cheek, and gum cancer. Tobacco also contributes to chronic bad breath.

6.     Whiten teeth. Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure for a reason. With today’s products, whitening is a very safe procedure that can take years off of your appearance. Over-the-counter products are effective for minor staining, but I recommend professional-strength whitening products if you’re looking to lighten your teeth dramatically.

7.     Consider cosmetic procedures. As a dentist, I know how important your smile is to the first impression you give off. Having a crooked, stained, or otherwise flawed smile can affect your confidence. There are countless cosmetic dental procedures available to give you the smile of your dreams.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust, a general dentist in Ankeny, Iowa, and I want to help you maintain a healthy smile and lifestyle. I invite you to call my dental office at (515) 965-0230 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for You and Your Family

Visiting the dentist every six months for regular dental exams and cleanings is the best thing you can do for your oral health, but at-home dental hygiene is just as important.

Your best bet for keeping your mouth healthy between dental appointments is by having a thorough at-home dental hygiene regiment. This all starts with quality toothpaste.

Generally, toothpastes should include gentle abrasives (magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, phosphate salts), substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out (glycerol, sorbitol, or other “humectants”), and thickeners to give the toothpaste a homogenous appearance and texture (seaweed, mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, natural gum). Quality toothpastes should also contain fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay, flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay (saccharin, for example), and detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.

While aisles and aisles of toothpastes in the grocery store may seem overwhelming, there’s a perfect “cheat” to help you out. Just look for the ADA seal of approval. This symbol means that the toothpaste manufacturer has participated in a voluntary testing program conducted by the ADA to test the product’s safety and effectiveness.  Toothpastes that don’t do what they claim to do, contain sugar, etc. will not get the label.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust, and your dental health is my priority, so I encourage you to call my family dental office in Ankeny, Iowa at (515) 965-0230 for more information.

Family Dental Care Under One Roof

It seems like, these days, our kids are busier than ever. Between demanding school schedules, and soccer practice, and doctor appointments, it’s hard enough to keep up with the children’s schedule let alone your own. If you’re the mom, you have to do both…and much more.

Sometimes, certain things have to be sacrificed just to get a moment to breath. Don’t let going to the dentist be one of them.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust, and I’m a family dentist. This means that I can treat you, your children, your spouse, and your grandmother in my dental office in Ankeny, Iowa.

If that isn’t easy, then I don’t know what is! My front office team will work with you to schedule appointments that are convenient for you and fit into your busy schedule. If you want to be seen in the same appointment block as your kids, just let us know when you call us at (515) 965-0230.

Call our office to find out when to bring your children in for their first dental checkup and cleaning. Early dental checkups are important because they set the stage for lifelong, quality dental health.

I want to work with you to help instill healthy hygiene habits in your kids and to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile of your own. Dental Impressions serves families from Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, Alleman, and the surrounding communities. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your family in my office!

How do you feel about your smile?

Your smile is the first thing people notice about you. A beautiful, white, healthy smile gives off a great first impression, and it’s been proven that people with attractive smiles are more successful both personally and professionally.

With the help of cosmetic dentistry, you can have the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of and give off a stellar first impression.

I’m Dr. Amanda Foust of Dental Impressions, and I want to help you achieve your perfect smile. First, however, it’s important for you to identify what you would like to change about your smile. This short quiz can help!

1.     What color best describes your smile? Bright white, Yellowish, Gray-blue, Brownish

2.     Which term best describes the position of your front teeth? Perfectly straight, Gapped, Crowded, Uneven

3.     Which adjective describes the shape of your front teeth? Nice and attractive, Pointy, Uneven, Rough-edged

4.     Which words describe the size of your teeth? Proportionate to my mouth/face, Too big, Too small, Too long, Too short

5.     How do you feel about your smile? I love it!, It’s embarrassing., It’s okay., I don’t smile.

This quiz is based on how you feel about your smile, so there are no correct or incorrect answers. Hopefully, this quiz helped you identify what you want to change about your smile. I offer cosmetic dental procedures in my Ankeny, Iowa, dental office that can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

These procedures include:

  • Teeth Whitening
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Cosmetic Bonding
  • Dental Bridges and Partials

I want to help you fall in love with your smile every time you look in the mirror. Please call (515) 965-0230 to schedule a consultation to discuss which smile makeover procedure is right for you.

Tooth Enamel, Your Mouth’s Diamonds

The hardest substance in the body is tooth enamel. In fact, the only natural occurring substance harder than tooth enamel is diamond. Tooth enamel, your teeth’s natural defense system, is the hard white substance covering the crown of a tooth.

Unfortunately, tooth enamel can wear away over time. For example, rigorous brushing may diminish tooth enamel. However, special toothpastes can partially help.

Acids also temporarily soften your tooth every time you eat or drink, so it becomes vulnerable. Luckily, your saliva contains compounds that re-strengthen tooth enamel soon after this occurs. All components of the mouth work together, and therefore you need regular check-ups to make sure that everything is functioning properly.

Not only does tooth enamel protect your teeth, but it also controls how temperature is sensed in the internal nerve of each tooth. Essentially, if you have sensitive teeth, your enamel might be the cause of the problem. While there is no true substitute for tooth enamel, modern composite resin (durable and esthetic material for dental restoration) can desensitize teeth without compromising a white, attractive smile.

Your tooth enamel is examined at your dental check-ups and cleanings with Dr. Amanda Foust of Dental Impressions. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, call her Ankeny, IA, dentist office at (515)965-0230 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Foust cares for patients residing in Ankeny, Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, Alleman, and surrounding areas. Your teeth, like diamonds, need to shine!

Why Does Your Child Need to Visit the Dentist?

Adults are supposed to visit the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. But children? Why do kids need to see the dentist? After all, they don’t even have permanent teeth!

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by the age of one year, then regularly after that. Even before the age of one, though, you should swab your child’s mouth daily, gently, with a moist terrycloth towel.

For babies and toddlers, a dental visit serves two purposes. One, it provides an opportunity for Dr. Foust to look at the child’s teeth and gums for developmental assessment. If anything looks suspicious, it’s best to know early. Two, a baby will turn into a child, then a teen and an adult (even though those days seem far, far away). By exposing your baby to the dentist’s office regularly and early, you’ll create a familiarity that will reduce the potential for future fears and apprehension about dental visits.

When a child has his primary teeth and can sit still for more than a few minutes, dental cleanings can begin. So, by the age of three or four, your child may be able to undergo six-month dental cleanings. Dr. Foust offers children’s dentistry, but if your child needs a pediatric dentist, she’ll let you know. Because she’s a family dentist, Dr. Foust will be happy to care for everyone in your household – as well as your extended family and neighbors. (more…)

Why Do You Need a Dental Cleaning?

This post is a follow up to “Why Do You Need a Dental Checkup?”

In addition to a dental checkup every six months, you also need a dental cleaning. Yes, you need a dental cleaning. Clean teeth may feel great when you leave the dentist’s office, but don’t let that fool you. A dental cleaning is not a massage or a manicure. It’s imperative to your continued oral health.

At your dental cleanings, a hygienist will inspect your gums where they meet your teeth. She’ll look for signs of periodontal pockets, which can indicate gum disease. Plaque naturally occurs in our mouths, and if it isn’t removed, it hardens into tarter on teeth, at the gum line. This irritates gums and can contribute to bacterial infection, or gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is linked to increased risk of many systemic health problems, and it’s the main cause of adult tooth loss.

The hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque, tarter, and food debris. She’ll polish your teeth, as well, leaving them silky smooth and plaque-free. By giving your teeth a good cleaning every six months, you’ll deter the potential for developing gum disease and bad breath. (more…)

Why Do You Need a Dental Checkup?

Have you ever wondered why the golden rule in dentistry is “get a checkup and cleaning every six months?” What if your teeth are fine? Is it a gimmick? Is it a ploy to get people to spend money at the dentist’s office? Not at all. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone over one year of age visit the dentist for a cleaning and checkup twice a year – and with good reasons.

  • Dental caries (cavities) is the most widespread childhood disease.
  • Oral cancer claims 8000 lives each year in America.
  • Gum disease increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes complications, low-weight births, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.
  • Gum disease afflicts about 80% of Americans, and many don’t know they have it.

Found and treated in the early stage, tooth decay, oral cancer, and gum disease are treatable.

Left untreated, these conditions will worsen and can cause serious overall health problems, ranging from an abscessed tooth to premature death.

When you visit the dentist every six months for a checkup, you are essentially undergoing a scheduled preventive maintenance plan for your oral (and overall) health. (more…)