4 Foods that Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

Are you searching for a gentler way to achieve a bright smile—even on the those hard to reach molars? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Several foods like raw vegetables and fresh fruits contain key ingredients that shield teeth from decay and combat hard-to-remove plaque. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself. I’ve gathered our favorite foods below to help you achieve a brighter smile with every bite.

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Strawberries
A paste made of strawberries and baking soda has been known to reveal a naturally whiter smile. The malic acid in the bright fruit acts as a whitener, but brushing afterwards is a must since the berry also contains sugars.

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.Oranges
Don’t throw the peel away! Contrary to popular belief, orange peels are not acidic like other citrus fruits. The skin of the fruit contains variants of vitamin C, which can be a substitute for teeth whiteners. Thoroughly wash off the peel, then rub the inner, white portion across the surface of the enamel to fight tartar buildup and minimize plaque.

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Carrots
This crunchy veggie has an abrasive surface that stains don’t stand a chance next to. Besides just snacking on a raw carrot, try rubbing the bright roots against your teeth for a quick smooth polish.

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.Broccoli
Eat this veggie raw and it can act as a natural toothbrush that can clean teeth as you chomp away. Plus, the high levels of iron can coat the enamel to help ward off stains, harmful bacteria, and acid erosion.

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I hope you enjoyed this list of teeth whitening alternatives! If you ever want a stronger whitening, give us a call and we would be more than happy to help out! And remember, it’s important to keep up with your six month cleaning appointments. You can use these tips in addition to your regular oral healthcare!

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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

5 Non-Dental Medical Issues Your Dentist Might Discover

It’s important to visit your dentist regularly, every six months or so, to keep up on your dental health. But seeing your dentist can also help you keep up on your overall health. Dentists can spot signs of non-dental medical issues in your mouth during an exam. Some of the conditions that exhibit signs within your mouth include oral cancer, HIV, osteoporosis, diabetes and infections.
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Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer is the sixth-most common type of cancer in the U.S., with more than 50,000 Americans diagnosed each year. When you visit your dentist twice a year, they can look for signs of the disease. Most cases appear as red and white lesions on the bottom of your mouth, palate, or on the tongue. Risk factors that increase the chances of oral cancer include heavy alcohol use and smoking. A dentist can perform an oral cancer screening if any warning signs are present.
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HIV:
Some oral conditions may indicate that a patient has HIV. Adults with HIV might exhibit signs like oral warts, lesions, white, red, purple or brown spots on the tongue or in the mouth and other infections. These symptoms alone do not mean that the patient definitely has HIV, although a dentist who spots one or more of these signs might recommend seeing your primary care physician for testing.
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Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the weakening of the bones, so your dentist may notice signs like loose teeth or a receding gum line, which can indicate changes in the bone that supports your teeth. When a dentist notices these signs, they can refer you back to your primary care physician for testing.
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Diabetes:
Signs that may indicate diabetes include loose teeth, dry mouth and receding, dry and bleeding gums. A poor immune system can also make it more challenging for wounds and gum line infections to heal in diabetic patients. Bleeding gums don’t always mean that you have diabetes, this problem can also come from gingivitis and other gum diseases. However, these early warning signs might cause your dentist to encourage you to visit your primary care physician for testing.
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Infections:
If your dentist sees any troubling signs of infection in your mouth they might prescribe antibiotics to fight the issue. You could experience an oral infection after trauma to your mouth, a dental procedure or a number of other problems. Signs of infection can include swelling, redness, fevers, and drainage from the affected area. Infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and heart, so it’s critical to treat it right away.
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Keeping up with regular dental care comes with many advantages. Your dentist can watch for changes in your mouth, some of which can indicate more serious problems. A dentist might be able to catch problems early, allowing you to seek treatment right away for more successful outcomes. So be sure to come see us regularly!
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Cavities for kids: Why do dentists bother to fix cavities on baby teeth?

Even though children are using a set of teeth they will eventually lose, they still need to be healthy enough to survive until the adult teeth guide them out of the gums, which ensures that they will grow in the right places. Because of this, oral hygiene is important no matter how young the child may be. However, it can be hard to maintain strong oral hygiene at such a young age, so cavities do happen. And when they do, it is important to get them filled.
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Though baby teeth aren’t permanent, they are the only teeth your child will have for several years, until the adult teeth come in. To preserve your child’s oral health, the dentist will opt to drill out the cavities in baby teeth and fill or crown them accordingly. The primary teeth help the adult teeth to come in properly, so losing primary teeth before they’re ready to come out isn’t good for your child’s permanent teeth.
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However, sometimes your dentist will have no choice but to pull the baby tooth early. If the decay is so advanced it’s causing gum issues or pain for your child, removing it becomes the best option. Many dentists fill the gap where the extracted baby tooth was removed with a prosthetic to maintain the correct space for the adult tooth to come in.
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If you’re anxious about your child’s first filling, we hope that we can put you at ease. We develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your child, with an aim to preserve the baby teeth until the adult teeth come in. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep teaching your kids about proper oral hygiene and continue scheduling regular professional teeth cleanings to minimize fillings and more invasive care.
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Black toothpaste? Here’s what you need to know about charcoal toothpaste

If you haven’t noticed, charcoal is everywhere lately.
Charcoal teeth whitening, charcoal face masks, charcoal toothpastes, and the list goes on! All these things are blowing up our social media feeds and it can be quite startling to see a smile smeared in what looks like black dirt.
But is charcoal toothpaste safe? Is it effective? Or is it all just a gimmick?
Let’s find out!
So, what is activated charcoal?
Basically it is known for its detoxifying powers. It binds to chemicals and prevents any harmful substances from being absorbed by the body. But it isn’t the same kind of charcoal you might find in your barbecue. This kind of charcoal is also called activated carbon, which has millions of tiny pores that trap toxins and chemicals.
How does it work?
Activated charcoal works by trapping unwanted materials, toxins, and chemicals within its pores and then it’s flushed away. This process is called adsorption.
Charcoal toothpaste concerns:
The biggest concern people have with using charcoal toothpaste is eroding enamel. If the toothpaste is too abrasive, it could wear down your enamel and cause permanent damage to your teeth over time. So be careful when choosing a charcoal toothpaste, make sure it isn’t too gritty!
Charcoal toothpaste benefits:
If you’re a coffee or wine drinker, charcoal toothpaste could benefit you because it does great at removing stains! It is also good for removing acidic plaque and improving halitosis, or bad breath. This is because it raises the pH of your mouth.
How to use your charcoal toothpaste:
The first thing to know is that charcoal toothpaste isn’t the same as normal toothpaste, so you shouldn’t be using it the same way. Instead of brushing it on your teeth, you can just smear it on them and let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then rinse. Do not aggressively brush because that will lead to the wearing down of your enamel! You also don’t have to use it everyday, or at all if you don’t think you need the benefits. But if you do, it’s definitely worth trying!
Thanks to Dr. Mark Burhenne for the inspiration for this blog!

Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Eight ways to treat tooth decay

  1. Increase the amount of arginine (an amino acid) in your diet. Eat more spinach, soy, seafood and nuts.                                                                          spinach
  2. Brush with baking soda. If you don’t like the taste of it, you can just apply toothpaste to your brush and then dip it in a little baking soda to reduce the flavor!
  3. Apply chlorhexidine varnish (Cervitec Plus) to exposed roots. Follow up with fluoride varnish one week later. The chlorhexidine arrests the enzymatic breakdown of dentinal collage and the high dose of fluoride will help with the mineralization process.                                                                                      cervitec-plus
  4. Stock up on Nuvora products and use them daily. All of their lozenges contain xylitol and baking soda. (Check out our last blog post to learn about xylitol) Check out www.nuvorainc.com
  5. If you’re dealing with severe dry mouth, try products like arginine mouthwash or pilocarpine lollipops. lollipops
  6. Try glylic lollipops! Glylic is a compound from licorice root that has specific antimicrobial properties against cariogenic and periodontal organisms.
  7. Xylitol is a great preventative aid, you should try to get six grams per day, which you can do simply by chewing gum like IceBreakers Ice Cubes. xylitol-ice-breaker
  8. Use MI paste to help change your plaque biology. Simply apply a small amount to your toothbrush and brush normally, but there is no need to rinse.
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Thanks to Dr. Nový for the great list!
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Preventing Cavities with Sugar??

I know, it sounds crazy! How can we prevent cavities with one of the main things that causes them? Well, xylitol isn’t just any sugar. It is a naturally-occurring sugar compound (or sugar alcohol) that can be used to sweeten foods, mints or even toothpaste. Sugar alcohols are like hybrids of a sugar molecule and alcohol molecule. Their structure gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.

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Not only is it sweet, but xylitol also disarms the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth! Studies have shown that five to 10 grams of xylitol a day can reduce the acid-producing bacteria by as much as 95% after six months. So with consistent use, that oral bacteria is virtually harmless.
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Xylitol looks and tastes just like regular white table sugar, so side by side you may not be able to tell the difference, but xylitol has a much different effect on the bad bacteria in our mouths. Because the bacteria can’t metabolize xylitol, they cant create the acid byproduct that is created when bacteria eats up regular sugar. So the bacteria starve and die off!
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So what should you do with this new information? Start buying products that are 100 percent sweetened with xylitol. There is everything from chewing gum to lollipops. So next time you have a craving for something sweet, trade out the white sugar for some xylitol!
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentisry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

2017: A Year in Review

 The year of 2017 is coming to an end and it has been a wonderful year for us here at Alpine Smiles. Our entire staff would like to thank all of our patients we have had the pleasure of seeing this year and we look forward to seeing you again for your checkups in 2018. Throughout the year we have shared hundreds of posts with our patients on a number of social media platforms to keep them informed and entertained with dental facts, photos and even the occasional update on my life as your dentist. We would like to reflect on this year’s posts and share our most popular posts for each month in the year of 2017.
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January: Our first popular post of the year was of this patient’s adorable reaction to the laughing gas
“I feel strong.” 😂💪 #LaughingGas
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February: Our next popular post was our promo video explaining Alpine Smiles, this one is still our favorite!
Brighten your smile, brighten your life. ✨ Learn why our patients trust Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry for their family’s dental needs. 😁
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March: Our most popular post for March was our post on International Women’s Day!
Happy International Women’s Day to all my ladies out there! We are equal, we are women! 💪
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April: We had an inspirational post get the most attention.
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Wear yours big and proud! 😄👑
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May: In May we had a funny, but so true, meme become the most popular post of the month!
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All of our hygienists here at Alpine Smiles are amazing! 💞
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June: This month our most popular post was celebrating Maria’s birthday!
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Happy Birthday to our beautiful hygienist Maria. You are Thirty Flirty and …Pregnant!! Enjoy your day!
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July: In July we shared a BuzzFeed article that seemed to get everyone’s attention.
Ew😷😂
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August: Our most popular post for this month was part of our Summer Selfie Contest!
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Summer selfie contest☀️
Thank you, Cody Hays for sharing your #selfie with us! Don’t forget to share this picture and get your friends and family to Like it as well.
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September: The most popular post from this month was when we had a patient’s daughter help out with her mom’s appointment!
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“Amazing 1st time experience for my daughter. No fear involved whatsoever! I couldn’t have asked for a better first time dentist visit, more than exceeded my expectations!”
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October: This month’s most popular post was celebrating my birthday!
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Happy birthday to our favorite dentist, Dr. Pasut!💞🎉
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November: In November we posted a photo with some of our favorite patients.
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We absolutely loved getting to see Riley, Talia, Kaila and Bruce last week. What a wonderful family💞
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December: This last month our most popular post was when we all matched!
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All matching and wishing for snow! ❄️❄️❄️
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We hope you enjoyed reading and looking at some of our top posts of 2017. Our goal is to keep our patients in the loop while entertaining and educating them through social media. Give us a call to get your appointment set for the new year at (928) 774-9553 We look forward to seeing our loyal patients return and meeting new ones along the way! Happy New Year!
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 Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Four things we’re thankful for at Alpine Smiles

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year, by far. You get to enjoy tons of tasty food, spend time with family and revisit all the things you are thankful for. Here at Alpine Smiles, we have the privilege of working with many families from the Flagstaff area and we have a few things that we are absolutely thankful for, and we want to share them with the people we want to thank, our patients!
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  1. Cavity-Free Smiles: Over this past year we were able to fix so many smiles by treating cavities, but we were also able to celebrate many cavity-free smiles with a bunch of our patients.
  2. New Patients: Here at Alpine Smiles, we are always so excited to be able to bring in new patients and work on their beautiful smiles. This year we have been lucky enough to work with so many new patients. We want to give a big shout out to all the new families that have joined the Alpine Smiles family and thank you for seeking us out to care for your dental needs!
  3. Lifelong Patients: On top of all the great new patients we’ve gotten to meet, we have had the opportunity to continue working with families that have brought joy and laughter to our lives over the years. We are so incredibly grateful for all the people that we are lucky enough to continue working with on a regular basis. We look forward to your visit every six months!
  4. Staff: Finally, I am so grateful for everyone who works here at Alpine Smiles. From my assistants and hygienists to the front office staff, everyone is so wonderful. I am so lucky to have a group of people that are passionate about their jobs and our patients. I am always thankful that I am able to come to an office everyday with people that I enjoy working with and we all love the work we get to do!
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Clearly we all have a lot to be thankful for here at Alpine Smiles. We all hope you have a happy start to the holiday season and we can’t wait to see you at your next visit! If you aren’t already a patient, call today to set up an appointment. (928) 774-9553
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

Dental Hygiene Month

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October is National Dental Hygiene Month! This month is all about bringing awareness to the importance of good oral health and hygiene.
National Dental Hygiene Month is sponsored by both the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program. The goal is to educate patients on “The Daily 4” in hopes that this set of guidelines will become positive personal habits that last a lifetime.
So what exactly is the “Daily 4”?
Brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing! 20151-810x602
Brushing twice a day, every day. Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste and a gentle circular motion along the gum line to get the best results.
Flossing at least once a day and after every meal if possible. Your dental hygienist will be more than happy to demonstrate proper flossing techniques at your next visit.
Rinsing with a fluoride rinse daily will help keep enamel strong and teeth cavity free.
Chewing sugar free gum after a meal when you don’t have time to brush has been found to have a positive effect on removing the bacteria that comes with food.
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Along with making the “Daily 4” part of your everyday routine, it is important to remember to see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and check ups! Call to make an appointment today! (928) 774-9553
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86001

10 Worst things you’re doing to your teeth

We all know the basics of good dental hygiene, brush and floss twice a day, visit the dentist every six months and avoiding sugary foods. But what are the things we’re doing that aren’t so great for our teeth? Here is a list of 10 things that you might be doing that could be negatively affecting your teeth.
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  1. Using your teeth as tools
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  1. Grinding your teeth
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  1. Using a brush with too firm bristles
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  1. Chewing ice
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  1. Consuming sugary foods and beverages
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  1. Nail biting
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  1. Flossing incorrectly
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  1. Playing sports without a mouthguard
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  1. Incorrect brushing technique
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  1. Not replacing your brush regularly
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So there ya have it! Do your best to avoid these bad habits and continue to brush and floss every day.
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Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ
86011