Category Archives: Oral Health Maintenance

Spring Dental Tips

Your smile deserves it, too.

Philadelphia Dental ImplantsSpring has sprung – well, at least we think so. After what seems to have been a very long week filled with lots of teeth-staining coffee, tea and hot cocoa, it’s time to brighten your smile and for a good teeth cleaning. At Amsterdam Dental, we agree and also have a few other tips to pass along.

  • Get a new toothbrush
    As you clean out draws and stow away the winter garb, remember to replace old and worn toothbrushes. Why? When the bristles wear down, they are no longer able to reach the small crevices and can leave food particles behind. Also, toothbrushes are prone to retain infectious agents that can cause colds and viruses. Therefore, in addition to regularly replacing your toothbrush every three months, it’s a good idea to grab a new one after any cold or flu.
  • Mouthwash can expire
    Like everything else we eat and drink, mouthwash does have a shelf like. It’s indicated right on the bottle. Not only does outdated mouthwash taste bad but it will lose its effectiveness. Check yours to be sure it provides the best possible breath freshening, plaque removal and tooth decay prevention.
  • Stock up on floss
    Did you know it is recommended that 18 inches of floss to maximize the benefits? That’s a foot and a half every time you floss and literally 45 feet per month! It may sound like a lot but after wrapping the “string” around your fingers, an inch or two is needed to that actually do the work. Since brushing alone is not enough, make sure you never run out.
  • Set a date in the dental chair
    Brushing and flossing is great but a visit to the dentist for an exam, check up and preventative treatment is highly recommended. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry getting a professional cleaning a least twice a year can have a significant impact on your long term oral health. So, while checking the calendar to meet up with relatives or friends, remember to visit your dentist too!

For more FAQs and other dental tips, visit or contact any member of our team.

The Sweet Truth

Dispelling the sugary tale

The Sweet TruthEveryone’s heard the old adage – eating sugar causes cavities. Well that’s not necessarily true. There have been numerous studies over the years on this topic alone and one specifically showed there was no correlation between kids who eat those sugary breakfast cereals and dental cavities. However that’s not to say go ahead and dig into a bag of chocolate chip cookies every chance you get. Instead, as we celebrate National Nutrition Month®, it’s better to understand the what and how you eat (and drink) will make the difference.

  • Frequency vs. Quantity
    What has come out of studies is that actually frequency is more important than amount when it comes to sugar-filled diets. This is why sugary sodas and energy drinks can cause such damage to teeth. It is the repetitive nature of sipping these beverages over long periods combined with the acidic base that causes demineralization. If you can’t escape such beverages, drink fast or try a straw.
  • Oh Those Carbs
    No matter how infrequently your sugar intake, refined and processed carbohydrate foods – including healthy choice options – can lead to both decay and inflammation. The debris which wreaks havoc is not only found in cookies but whole grains and vegetables, too.
  • One Lump or Two
    Over the years what has come to light in most studies is that added sugars are worse than natural sugars when it comes to dental health. So, how much is too much? If you ask the World Health Organization, they recommend no more than 10% of total calories per day should come from added sugars.
  • Real vs. Artificial
    Whether you choose the yellow Splenda® packet or prefer the blue hue of Equal®, it appears these artificial sweeteners have little to no impact on periodontal disease or cavities. Similarly, sugar alcohols don’t seem to influence oral health and in the case of chewing gum after meals may even decrease cavity risk.

The long of the short of it
Sugar is not at the root of all dental evil. It’s actually plaque – a buildup that occurs with each meal no matter what is on the menu. Whether from candy or carbs, the erosive nature of plaque can lead to the onset of cavities if not brushed or even rinsed away frequently. The best advice is to reduce how often you eat sugary foods and beverages, watch your intake of carbohydrates and limit added sugars.

For more FAQs and other dental tips, visit or contact any member of our team.

Heart Health and Dental Care

Keeping your best interests at heart

Last year during American Heart Month, we highlighted the connection between periodontal disease and overall health. One of the most often discussed is the effect on heart disease. What is less frequently highlighted is the relationship between various cardiovascular conditions and dental treatment.

So this year, we at Amsterdam Dental Group want to focus on the care and precautions important for patients suffering from the many types of heart disease. This can include reviewing medications, measuring blood pressure and even delaying treatment. But nothing is more important than open communication to provide the best possible care.

Here are some common conditions and related dental treatment.

  • Heart Attack
    After a heart attack, dental treatment should be delayed at least six months. Since cases, conditions and medications differ, most dentists will want to consult your physician as it may impact the method of treatment as in the case of blood thinners and cautions related to dental surgery or extractions. Another is to ensure oxygen and nitroglycerin is on hand during appointments.
  • High Blood Pressure
    There are a number of possible oral side effects to high blood pressure medications – dry mouth, altered taste, gum overgrowth and faintness. Although most will safely interact with anti-anxiety drugs and local anesthesia, it is important for your dentist to be made aware of any prescriptions. For those suffering with this condition, a baseline blood pressure should be taken at the start of each visit and monitored throughout the procedure.
  • Angina
    Dental treatment will vary for stable and unstable angina sufferers. Stable angina generally does not require special circumstances except having oxygen and nitroglycerin on hand. For those with unstable angina, only emergency dental care should be undertaken during which your heart should be monitored continuously.
  • Stroke
    There are various long-term effects caused by a stroke and some can impact oral health care. To help, special toothbrushes and floss holders are available along with fluoride gel and saliva substitutes. Denture wearers may require adjustments. Although routine dental care is safe, it is recommended to bring a copy of recent bloodwork and have your dental and medical professionals consult prior to in depth dental procedures.
  • Congestive Heart Failure
    In general, there are usually no special guidelines for those with congestive heart failure (CHF), yet your dentist may choose different alternatives based upon prescribed medications. For those with more severe CHF, dental chair position should be modulated to avoid possible fluid build-up in your lungs. Patients should refrain from sitting up quickly, which can cause light-headedness. In some cases, dental treatment may be best suited in a hospital setting.
  • Pacemaker Wearers
    Patients with a pacemaker should avoid non-emergency dental care for several weeks after implantation. Once cleared, it is important to review any possible interactions between your dentist’s electromagnetic devices and pacemakers. The dental staff can check this in advance with a call to the manufacturer and your dentist can plan accordingly.
  • In the end, the interrelationship between heart health and oral health cannot be untangled. They often go hand in hand. The best advice is to open the lines of communication between your dentist and physician – both who will have your best interests and care at heart.

    For more information, please contact any member of the Amsterdam Dental staff or your dental professional.


Amsterdam Dental Group joins the American Dental Hygienist’s Association

American Dental Hygienist’s AssociationAmsterdam Dental Group joins the American Dental Hygienist’s Association (ADHA) and others in promoting the benefits of oral health maintenance during National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM). Throughout the month, we will share tips and resources to further awareness of this important part of overall health for people of all ages.

NDHM focuses on the four components of optimal oral health maintenance:

  • Brushing teeth twice daily
  • Rinsing with mouthwash
  • Flossing every day
  • Chewing sugar-free gum

Known as the “Daily 4” by many, these tips represent the foundation for healthy smiles. According to the ADHA, brushing for two minutes two times a day helps reduce biofilm and prevent caries, gingivitis and other diseases. Proper flossing or use of other interdental cleaning methods removes food particles and plaque that a toothbrush can’t reach.

They go on to add that rinsing targets other areas of the mouth and an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps further eliminate biofilm and bacteria. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks protects teeth by stimulating salivary glands to help clean out food particles and neutralize acids on the teeth.