Regular Teeth Cleaning

You’re taught from an early age to clean your teeth regularly. But what are the consequences of not doing so? And why is cleaning your teeth twice per day so vital to your long-term oral health?

Our mouths are home to billions of tiny microbes that feed on the food that we eat. In our evolutionary past, people used to eat the kinds of foods that were beneficial for oral health, like roots and tubers. There were no toothbrushes for thousands of years, yet people generally had healthy teeth. The reason for this, researchers think, is because of healthy foods select for beneficial mouth bacteria – the kind whose byproducts do not inflame the gumline and lead to gum disease.

The bacteria which thrive on modern, sugary foods, however, are different. Over time, sugar-eating bacteria churn out inflammatory factors that damage the lining of the gums. If someone neglects to clean their teeth for a couple of days, they induce microscopic damage to the gumline as the bacteria begins to penetrate the tight seal between the gum and the tooth. Within a few days of not brushing on a high-sugar diet, the gum becomes visibly red and inflamed and may start to bleed if brushing resumes.

The Dangers Of Gum Disease

Gum disease is harmful. Not only are gum infections painful, but they can lead to tooth loss, tooth decay, and even bone loss. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease where the byproducts of all those sugar-eating bacteria damage the gum to the point where it loses its integrity and begins to bleed. Gingivitis, in turn, can lead to the more severe condition of periodontitis.

Periodontitis occurs when the seal between the gum and the tooth fails, and a gap opens up. Food and plaque bacteria get into this gap and thrive in the moist warm environment. Periodontitis is a serious condition which can result in facial bulging, the breakdown of surrounding bone, and damage to the structure of nearby teeth, including the root canal.

How To Prevent Gum Disease And Tooth Decay

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent gum disease or tooth loss from emerging in the first place.

First, you need to brush your teeth at least twice per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening, with fluoride toothpaste. Manual toothbrushes are okay, but many dental professionals recommend electric toothbrushes, thanks to their superior ability to clear plaque. If you have gaps between your teeth, you may also want to brush once per day with interdental brushes to scrub areas inaccessible to conventional brushes.

The second step is to visit your dentist regularly. If bacteria have managed to penetrate the gumline, then regular brushing will be less effective. A dentist can use special tools to eliminate bacteria below the gum, preventing flareups and possible damage to your teeth.

If you’re a new or existing patient and you want to schedule a checkup or have any questions, contact us today!

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

Are you suffering from issues with sleep apnea? It’s quite possible that you are experiencing this condition without even realizing it. Problems here can cause long term issues in your life and discomfort.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the throat to close in on itself while you are sleeping. This can lead to temporary breaks in your breathing that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple minutes. The physical signs of this condition are usually loud snoring. You probably won’t notice this unless the condition is so severe that it causes you to wake up in the middle of the night. However, your partner may have spotted the problems with your breathing.

Sleep apnea can also cause you to get a poor night of sleep leaving you exhausted in the morning. It’s also quite common for patients to experience painful headaches during the first hours after they wake up.

You might be wondering what treatment options are available to you. One possibility that you should consider is the use of oral appliance therapy.

Benefits Of Oral Appliance Therapy

There is a massive level of benefits of using oral appliances to treat your sleep apnea. You might be worried that something that fits in your mouth is going to be uncomfortable. On the contrary, since these slip fully inside the mouth, they do not disrupt your movement in your sleep. You can lie however you want which isn’t always the case with sleep apnea treatment when using a CPAP. Instead, you are usually confined to sleeping on your back. Since the device is small enough to fit inside the mouth it can also be easily and quickly adjusted if it does become uncomfortable.

Another big benefit is that these have been proven to be an effective form of treatment with limited side effects. Some sleep apnea treatments cause issues with dry mouths and noses that feel blocked or even a rash around the mouth. Oral appliance therapy doesn’t involve these issues and as such will not be removed halfway through the night to provide relief. This leads to a higher level of success for all patients.

Furthermore, since these devices are small they can be taken anywhere. Whether you’re heading to a hotel, going on vacation or travelling internationally on a business trip, these can fit in your backpack or your pocket. It also means that you won’t have to spend even a couple of nights without the device you need.

Importance Of Oral Appliance Therapy

Sleep apnea is more serious than most people realize. Those who suffer from this issue are more likely to experience conditions including strokes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and issues with high blood pressure. Thankfully, with oral appliance therapy, the condition can be treated without surgery or a CPAP. Instead, patients can get the relief they need and ensure that these risks are greatly reduced, simply by using a device that fits into the palm of your hand.

We hope this helps you understand why oral appliance therapy is so useful and beneficial for treating sleep apnea. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Is Beer Good for Your Teeth?

This may come as a surprise to most of you but beer may actually benefit your oral health. But before you get too excited know that there are, of course, stipulations to this theory. However, it is good to know that when it comes to the effects that beer has on your health, the news is not all bad. Your dentist in Ballwin MO has some surprising information about the benefits beer can have on your teeth.

Benefits Of Beer For Your Teeth

One of the benefits that beer can have is that it dissolves biofilm on your teeth. Biofilm is that slimy coating that you can often feel on your teeth in between brushing. When biofilm accumulates that means that harmful bacteria is being collected on the surface of your teeth. It creates a slimy and mucky environment and if not taken care of is harmful. It can appear yellowish and if not brushed away can lead to periodontal disease or gingivitis.

Beer that is high in hops contains tannins which are antioxidants. This can inhibit the growth of plaque causing bacteria and can even kill it. This helps your teeth to stay clean longer and will even protect gum health.

Beer can also strengthen teeth. Calcium and silicon are elements that protect and reinforce teeth, both of which are found in beer. Of course beer should not be your main source of calcium, but it’s still good to know that it’s helping strengthen your teeth.

While it’s exciting to know that some of the beer you drink has some dental benefits, drinking too much is not wise for not only your dental but overall health. Here are some tips to keeping your teeth healthy and drinking in a safe limit.

  • Drink plenty of water. Even drinking water between sips of beer will help wash away the acid before it can cause harm. It will also help to keep a clear mind.
  • Brush and floss daily. Doing these simple steps after you’ve been drinking is especially important for keeping your teeth healthy.
  • Chew sugar free gum. This helps stimulate the flow of saliva in your mouth. It can help to wash away the alcohol and will give you fresher breath.
  • Drink responsibly. While occasional drinking is enjoyable especially when this time is spent with friends, it’s important to do it responsibly. Be aware of how it’s affecting you and take the steps necessary to stay safe.

One last tip from your Ballwin family dentist: schedule regular dental cleanings! This is so important. Don’t put it it off or miss it. This is a no brainer when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. Dr. Postol is one of the best dentists in Ballwin. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

5 Dental Resolutions for 2019

Dr. Postol and his team hope you had a happy holiday and a wonderful new year! Now that 2019 is here, the team is hard at work in the office, working on New Year’s Resolutions. Some of the most common resolutions are exercising more, eating better, and saving money. But, your Ballwin cosmetic dentist recommends you add in some dental resolutions to make your 2019 a happier, healthier year.5 Dental Resolutions for 2019

  1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

    Eating crunchy, healthy foods like apples, celery, and carrots help to scrape away food particles and plaque that accumulate on your teeth. Plus, fruits and vegetables are good for you, so this resolution can cover multiple goals!

  2. Quit Smoking

    2019 is the year to quit smoking! Smoking cigarettes and even vaping have negative effects on your dental and overall health. If you work to quit smoking by the end of the year, your teeth will thank you! The risk of gum disease and oral cancers decrease by a large margin after you quit smoking.

  3. Limit Alcohol Intake

    Sugary cocktails and excessive drinking can have an adverse effect on your teeth. Studies show that drinking too much can contribute to gum recession. Try to cut back on drinking when you go out, and be sure to brush your teeth afterwards!

  4. Brush and Floss More Often

    Dr. Postol recommends you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. Brushing in the morning and at night will clear away any remaining food particles and bacteria, and will help prevent cavities, gum recession, and tooth decay. Flossing can get food particles and plaque that your toothbrush can’t, and can help protect your teeth against gum disease.

  5. See Dr. Postol for Regular Checkups

    One of the best ways to improve your dental health is seeing your dentist more often! Many people only see the dentist if they have a problem, but Dr. Postol recommends that you come in for regular checkups so he can help prevent any problems from happening. Plus, if you are interested in cosmetic dentistry, tooth restorations, or even TMJ treatments, he can help you out.

Work these 5 resolutions into your schedule, and your dental and overall health will thank you! Your dental health and overall health are connected, so when you take care of one, you can also take care of the other. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol today to get a start on your New Year’s Resolutions! As one of the best dentists in Ballwin, Dr. Postol can help you get the smile of your dreams.

Tooth-Friendly Stocking Stuffers

Shopping for the holidays is in full swing, and you may be wondering what would be fun and unique stocking stuffers for your family. If this holiday has you truly stumped, Dr. Kevin Postol has some great suggestions for you! From the latest dental tech to unique toys and gifts, these ideas are sure to bring smiles for your family.See some great stocking stuffers that are good for your teeth!

  • Fun Kids’ Toothbrushes

    If you’re struggling to get your child to brush their teeth, these unique toothbrushes can help! Your child can pick a toothbrush from their favorite Disney Princess or cartoon, and it can even sing the theme song to time your child’s brushing. These gifts are fun, unique, and your kids are sure to love a toothbrush that fits their interests. And, to keep the fun going, you can even get flavored toothpaste! Flavors like Watermelon and Strawberry are our favorites here.

  • Bluetooth Toothbrushes

    For your adult family members, bluetooth toothbrushes are the latest in dental tech. This handy brush hooks up to your phone, so you can track brushing time, technique, and your progress over time. This is a fantastic gift that keeps on giving well after the holidays!

  • Teeth Whitening

    If your loved ones are looking to improve their smiles, purchase a teeth whitening session in Ballwin! Our cosmetic dentistry can create amazing, lasting results in just a few sessions. This is a gift your loved ones are sure to love.

  • Healthier Snacks

    Instead of buying candy canes or M&Ms, dried fruits and dark chocolate-covered nuts are a delicious and healthy holiday snack. We won’t tell anybody if you decide to keep some for yourself! 😉

  • Small Toys and Crafts

    Getting your loved ones small, unique toys will make this a holiday season to remember. For instance, you can create a custom Lego person that looks just like your family member, or you can make a small spaceship that is sure to please your Star Wars fans. If you want to exercise your crafting muscles, you can try making a custom ornament for each of your family members. These are great ways to make memories, and add another decoration to your tree!

With these great ideas, your loved ones are sure to love their stocking stuffers this year. And, if you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment before New Years, give us a call today. We are happy to help. Dr. Postol and his team want to wish you a very happy holidays, and a wonderful New Year!

5 Secretly Healthy Foods You Can Make For Thanksgiving

If you’re trying to finish out the year with a healthy lifestyle, the upcoming holidays may be causing you a lot of stress. Cold weather brings heavy, hearty meals, and plenty of excuses to get your baking on. But, if you are trying to keep to your healthy goals, your Ballwin family dentist has some healthier recipes you can try this season. Even though they may be healthier, they are still flavor-packed! Learn about them below:

5 secretly healthy recipes you can make for Thanksgiving

5 Secretly Healthy Recipes

  1. Thanksgiving Turkey

    It’s a well-known fact that turkey has many health benefits over other meats like ham and chicken. Just one 3.5 ounce serving has 30 grams of protein, so you can feel full and satisfied enough to participate in your family’s Turkey Bowl! To keep this lean protein a healthy meal, use plenty of spices to give it flavor, and try avoiding using a lot of butter or fats.

  2. Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole

    Who knew that something so delicious could be so good for you? These tubers have large amounts of fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin C–even more than white potatoes. So, indulge your sweet tooth by having a scoop of sweet potato casserole–but try not to add too many marshmallows!

  3. Wild Rice and Bulgur Stuffing

    Bread stuffing is great, but it has a lot of extra calories and added sugars that can wreck your healthy eating goals. Instead, try this wild rice stuffing! The rice is hearty and full of fiber, and still has a huge amount of flavor.

  4. Pumpkin Souffle

    Did you know pumpkin is good for your teeth? Beta-carotene and other vitamins help strengthen your enamel. And, pumpkin is versatile enough that it can work with both sweet and savory dishes. Try going on the sweeter side with this souffle–add cinnamon, which can help reduce stress, and get to baking!

  5. Garlic and Lemon Green Beans

    Skip the green bean casserole this year and go for garlic and lemon green beans! With a fraction of the calories, this recipe has a ton of flavor, and they’re super easy to make.

So, there you have it! Try these great recipes, and enjoy the flavors without worrying about your physical or dental health. Of course, if you need help improving your smile, give Dr. Postol a call today! Whether you need a dental cleaning, teeth whitening, or tooth restoration, he is the Ballwin cosmetic dentist for you!

5 Spooky Facts About Dental History

Brushing your teeth daily in the old days wasn’t a normal thing. Taking care of your teeth was either unheard of or no one knew enough about it to have good dental health. Some of the early dental practices are so unusual they are spooky! To celebrate Halloween, here are a 5 spooky facts about dental history.5 spooky facts about dental history

  1. Brushing Regularly

    Brushing teeth daily was not a common occurrence. It wasn’t until after World War 2 that people started picking up this habit. The military required soldiers to brush their teeth twice a day, and so they brought this habit home after the war. Thank goodness they did too. Brushing twice daily is so important. It’s a habit, that if taught early and correctly, can lead to a lifetime of good dental health.

  2. Superstitions

    Some old wives tales make a little more sense than others. Like “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But a belief during medieval Germany was that the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey. Not as believable as the other is it? If you have a toothache, don’t kiss a donkey! Contact one of the best dentists in Ballwin to help take the pain away.

  3. George Washington’s Teeth

    Another tall tale is that George Washington had wooden dentures. This is totally untrue. They were actually made from human, cow and horse teeth, and ivory. Today, dentures are made pretty sturdy. They are made out of porcelain or acrylic resin, not other people’s teeth. Contact our office today to find out more about this service we provide!

  4. Ancient Cosmetic Dentistry

    About 2,500 years ago, the Mayans took cosmetic dentistry to a whole new level. They used advanced tools to actually make their teeth into new and unusual shapes. They even bejeweled their teeth. If you want to make your teeth look beautiful and sparkly, may we suggest teeth whitening, or even porcelain veneers? Try staying away from the bejeweled look. Your Ballwin cosmetic dentist has different options for you to choose from if you’re looking to turn that ordinary smile into extraordinary.

  5. THe Origin of Cotton Candy

    Cotton candy is a sweet favorite adored by adults and children alike. At times it even reminds us adults of our childhood. Did you know the cotton candy making machine was co-invented by a dentist? Before it was called cotton candy, it was called “fairy floss.” Be sure and brush your teeth after having cotton candy and all the other sweets you will be indulging on this time of year. Enjoy it all in moderation and have a fun and spooky Halloween!

If you have any questions about the dental services we offer, schedule an appointment today! We look forward to seeing you.

5 Ways to Pack a Healthy Lunch

Packing yourself a lunch every day is hard work! Choosing the wrong kind of food can be detrimental to your dental and overall health. But, your Ballwin family dentist has 5 tips for packing a healthier lunch. Read on to learn more!

5 ways to pack a healthier lunch

  1. Prioritize Your Health

    Motivation is the key to keep your health goals in focus. Each of us has a different way of finding motivation. When you find yours, remind yourself of it every day. This will help you to have more control over any health goal, including packing your own lunch.

  2. Include Healthy Food You Like

    When trying to eat healthier, the main thing you want to focus on is increasing the number of fruits and veggies you eat. Add a serving of protein and whole grains to a fruit and veggies based lunch, and you’ve got yourself a healthy lunch that will keep you full for hours. Make sure when you do this that you are picking healthy foods that you enjoy.

  3. Preparation is the Key to Success

    Prepare some large batches of salad, soup, or another healthy recipe on Sundays to pack into containers for your week. Refrigerate the containers, and in the mornings you can just grab a container on your way out the door. This will help you to avoid purchasing items throughout the day that are loaded with extra sugar, carbs and low nutritional value.

  4. Make Enough Dinner for Leftovers

    If you make a large healthy dinner pack some away in a container and refrigerate it for the next day. Then you already have a lunch that’s ready to go.

  5. Don’t Forget the Water

    Invest in a quality reusable water bottle that you like. Drink water at lunch time, as well as throughout the day, to stay hydrated. Avoid sugary sodas, teas, or juices. These items pack on the calories and the sugar is horrible for your teeth.

Prevention is the best medicine for your smile. Veneers, crowns and whitening at your Ballwin cosmetic dentist can make your teeth stronger and brighter. But, you can save pain and money by brushing, flossing, and eating right. Eating a large amount of any food or drink that is loaded with sugar is just plain unhealthy for our teeth. Eating healthy food and drinking water will help strengthen your teeth, make your mouth feel and look amazing and make that smile last a long time. If you have any questions about your diet or would like to see what we can do for you, schedule an appointment with one of the best dentists in Ballwin! We’re excited to meet you.

5 Natural Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

Sometimes, bad breath is temporary and intermittent, like after eating garlic or onions, or drinking coffee or alcohol. At other times, bad breath is indicative of underlying health problems, like dental cavities, gum disease, or a bacterial imbalance in your gut. These pre-conditions may cause halitosis.stop bad breath with 5 easy ways

Halitosis is the emanation of a foul odor from the mouth, caused by buildup of sulphide producing bacteria. This condition is not a medical emergency, but 25% to 30% of the world suffer with this embarrassing problem.

While your Ballwin family dentist is happy to help with chronic bad breath – especially if it may indicate other dental concerns- there may be some home remedies that could clear the problem up for you.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

Try ideas like these:

  • Stay Hydrated

    The healthy, “good” bacteria in your mouth that fights disease, helps digestion and doesn’t give you bad breath likes a moist environment. Keep yourself hydrated to keep this good bacteria happy and thriving. You might even consider swishing water around in your mouth like mouthwash. This is especially helpful to freshen “morning breath,” after you’ve gone for a whole night without hydrating.

  • Brush After Every Meal

    Your Ballwin cosmetic dentist would recommend this for freshening your breath, AND livening your smile. It will quickly eliminate the severest of foul smelling food buildup, and protect your teeth from harmful compounds.

  • Replace Your Toothbrush

    The harmful bacteria that wants control of your body can be found anywhere – especially on your old toothbrush. No matter how well you wash it, once you’ve used a toothbrush enough, it will begin storing bacteria and pathogens of all kinds. You should replace your toothbrush approximately every two months, and even more frequently if it quickly frays or discolors.

  • Chew Lemon or Orange Rind

    The rind is the thin, colorful bit of the peel, separate from the bitter white membrane beneath. First, the rind tastes good. Second, the citric acid stimulates your salivary glands, which fight bad breath. Third, there are additional health benefits associated with orange rinds.

  • Chew Cloves, Fennel Seeds, or Star Anise

    These spices are naturally antiseptic, so they kill off the bad bacteria that cause halitosis. Plus, like orange and lemon rinds, they taste good!

Lastly, if you are still worried about chronic bad breath, please come visit Dr. Postol! Dr Postol is happy to help with any issue, no matter how severe or mild, to help you gain the self-confidence you deserve and feel more comfortable with your mouth. Schedule an an appointment today!

5 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth

Dr. Kevin Postol and his team are excited to let you in on a few of mother nature’s secrets that can help whiten your teeth. There are wonderfully natural ways to counter day to day staining, and they can be delicious! As a family dentistry in Ballwin, we know it’s important to find fun and simple ways to help you and your kids take care of their teeth.

How Can Food Whiten My Teeth?

5 foods that can whiten your teeth

Many of our patients come to us looking for the best cosmetic dentist in the Ballwin area for teeth whitening. While we are proud to be able to offer excellent cosmetic dentistry services, we also want you to be able to keep up that bright white smile in between whitenings! For kids who don’t regularly get professional whitenings, it’s even more essential to maintain those pearly whites. Some raw vegetables and fresh fruits contain important ingredients that can naturally whiten your teeth. Don’t believe us? Try them for yourself.

  1. Citrus!

    Eating tart fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, oranges, nectarines, and pineapples may cause the mouth to produce more saliva. Saliva is our mouths natural anti-bacterial agent, and it does its best to minimize bacterial build up. Beware of using lemons directly on teeth though, too much acidity can wear away enamel.

  2. Watermelon!

    These fruits may stain your shirt, but they will whiten teeth! Watermelon has one of the highest percentages of malic acid. Malic acid is strong enough to clean your teeth without damaging your enamel. A few other malic acid rich fruits are strawberries, apricots, mangoes, peaches, and pears! As if you needed more excuses to eat more of these delicious fruits!

  3. Veggies!

    Carrots, celery, and broccoli are just party platter snacks, they also act like natural stain removers by increasing saliva production as well as providing high fiber roughage that scrubs the hard to get to places in your mouth. The high levels of iron found within broccoli also shields enamel from stains.

  4. Nuts!

    Nuts and seeds are an essential part of any healthy diet and are a high-quality source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and easily digestible fiber. Eating them might also help keep your teeth healthy. Aside from being an easy and portable snack, nuts and seeds are slightly abrasive, to loosen plaque on your teeth. Almonds, for instance, are a particularly tooth-friendly food, thanks to their high levels of calcium, and low sugar content.

  5. Dairy!

    Milk, cheese, and yogurt contain high amounts of lactic acid. A study posted in the journal, Dentistry, found that “kids who ate yogurt four times per week had less tooth decay than kids who didn’t eat yogurt.” It is suspected that proteins in various dairy products bind to enamel and strengthens them, making them more resistant to strong acids that eat through the enamel and cause cavities. Hard cheeses are preferable to soft cheeses thanks to their abrasive qualities. You’re welcome!

Get Teeth Whitening in Ballwin

We hope you have fun using and sharing our natural teeth whitening secrets! They may not get you the immediate results of professional teeth whitening products—but they are cheap and natural, and that should leave you smiling. If you’ve got an important event coming up or you just want to look your best and have a smile you’re proud of, call our family friendly staff today to schedule an in-office cleaning and teeth whitening in Ballwin!