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By Great Florida Smiles
July 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition  

Your teeth must last a lifetime, and you should do everything you can to care for them--including monitoring what you eat. Your DeFuniak nutritionSprings and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentists, Dr. Michael O'Donnell and Dr. Chris Farrugia, encourage you to consider how your diet benefits your teeth and gums. What you eat and drink should not be a list of don'ts, but instead a lifestyle that strengthens and beautifies your oral health. So here are some tooth-friendly tips from the professional team at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics that will keep you smiling.

Four categories of do's

Before you eat or drink something, consider if it nourishes your smile. The American Dental Association says that a poor diet impacts your mouth before it affects anything else. So strive to include these 4 kinds of foods in your diet. Research shows that oral health improves with intake of:

  • Calcium-rich foods
  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fiber

All 4 categories help avoid dental decay, gum disease and yes, even oral cancer. Here are some suggestions on how to include them in your meals and snacks.

1. Consume cheese, yogurt and low-fat milk. All 3 foods are rich in bone- and enamel-building calcium, but they also help your mouth in other ways. Cheese and yogurt, says the American Academy of General Dentistry, contain probiotics, healthy micro-orgranisms which benefit your digestion and also keep bad oral bacteria at bay. Cheese buffers acidic foods such as wine and tomatoes, too.

2. Drink several glass of water. Water washes food residues off your teeth and gums, and it increases saliva production. What's the big deal about saliva? Saliva has excellent antibacterial properties and defends you against cavities and gum disease.

3. Increase lean proteins such as fish and poultry. Even almonds and other nuts provide significant amounts of this nutrient, keeping gums and other oral tissues strong and vibrant.

4. Include several servings of leafy green vegetables and fibrous fruits daily. They literally scrape teeth and gums clean, exercise the jaw bone and are a good source of vitamin C. When choosing breads, crackers and cereals, look for high fiber content as well.

Two don'ts

While your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach dentist wants you to consume nutritious foods, your oral health also benefits from avoiding 2 things--processed sugar and starch. That means limiting:

  • Soda pop and sports drinks
  • White bread
  • Sugary cereals
  • Candy

If you do consume them, brush and floss right away, or if you cannot, at least rinse your mouth well with water. Carbohydrates are the building blocks of toxic plaque and tartar which lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Eat well and come see us

Your friends at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics advise six-month exams and cleanings for patients of all ages. Is it time for your routine visit? Call for your appointment. You can ask your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentist more about the benefits of a healthy diet.

By Great Florida Smiles
May 31, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Are you a brushing and flossing pro? A good oral hygiene routine is the key to preventing cavities and gum disease. Dr. Michael oral hygieneO'Donnell and Dr. Chris Farrugia of Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics in DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, explain why good oral hygiene is so important.

Plaque is always ready to attack

You may not be able to see plaque, but it's constantly trying to ruin your smile. When bacteria in plaque combine with sugar, a chemical reaction occurs that creates strong acids. The acids erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth with regular flossing and brushing is a simple way to avoid tooth decay. Floss once a day and brush in the morning and evening to keep plaque from damaging your teeth.

Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel

Fluoride, found in most toothpastes and many mouthwashes, has an amazing effect on your teeth. The mineral can actually repair and strengthen weak spots, making your teeth less vulnerable to cavities. Protecting your tooth enamel is another important reason to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

Using the proper technique is key

Stronger isn't better when it comes to brushing your teeth. When you brush too hard, you can erode your enamel and push your gums away from your teeth. When gums begin to recede, your teeth become sensitive, and your exposed roots may be at risk of tooth decay. For best results, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and use short, gentle strokes. Make sure you only buy toothbrushes labeled "soft," as harder bristles can cause enamel erosion.

Dental visits help support your oral hygiene routine

Paying a visit to Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics in DeFuniak Springs or Santa Rosa Beach is an excellent way to keep your teeth healthy. Regular visits help Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Farrugia ensure that tooth decay or other issues don't threaten your smile. If they do notice a problem, they'll recommend a treatment plan to address it.

Plaque and tartar can collect in places you can't reach with your toothbrush or floss. Dental cleanings, part of every dental exam, remove the substances from your mouth and also eliminate mild stains on the surface of teeth.

Has it been a while since you last made a dental appointment? Call Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Farrugia of Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics at the Santa Rosa Beach office (850) 622-5888 or the DeFuniak Springs office (850) 892-2500 to schedule your visit.

By Great Florida Smiles
March 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canals  

What your dentist in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, Florida, wants you to know about root canal therapy.root canals

Root canals can save your teeth and save your smile. When you have tooth decay, millions of harmful bacteria can spread throughout your mouth, causing problems with your other teeth and soft tissue. You can have decayed teeth extracted, but then you are faced with living without teeth or considering expensive methods of tooth replacement. Why not keep your teeth instead? Now you can, thanks to root canal therapy.

Dr. Michael O’Donnell at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics wants to share how root canals help your smile. He has two convenient office locations in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Spring, Florida, to serve you.

There are some common signs and symptoms indicating you may need a root canal. Dr. O’Donnell wants you to know you may need a root canal if you experience:

  • A sharp pain when you bite down
  • Continuous severe pressure and throbbing pain
  • Continuous pain after eating hot and cold foods
  • Swelling in your gums near a tooth root
  • Pus or a whitish area near a tooth root

Sometimes, you can still need a root canal even if you have no symptoms. For unknown reasons, a tooth can die naturally, or trauma can cause a tooth to die. In these cases, a tooth will usually begin to darken and appear gray compared to the teeth next to it.

Dr. O’Donnell begins your root canal treatment by creating a small opening in your infected tooth. He will remove the diseased and dying inner tissue of your tooth and place a sedative material inside your tooth. After your tooth has calmed down and is free of pain, he will fill the inside with an inert material and seal the tooth permanently with a metal filling.

Modern root canal treatment is easy and quick, with minimal discomfort and downtime. It’s also usually less expensive than dental extraction and tooth replacement options.

Your teeth are important and most dentists agree it is better to keep your teeth if possible. Root canal treatment allows you to keep your smile intact. For more information on root canal treatment call Dr. Michael O’Donnell at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics. He has two office locations in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Spring, Florida, so don't let pain stand in your way!

By Great Florida Smiles
January 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Learn more about dental implants from your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach dentists.

Have missing teeth? Dental implants are a popular option to replace missing teeth. Dr. Michael O'Donnell at Great Florida Smiles & dental implantsOrthodontics, which is located in DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL offers state-of-the-art dental implants to their patients. Here are six amazing benefits of dental implants.

1. Looking Better- Dental implants will improve your appearance and make you look younger. A face with one or more missing teeth can sag and appear sunken. Implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your smile and face.

2. Easier Eating- Dental implants will help restore your ability to chew food. They will help you enjoy food again. Taste and enjoy the foods you love without hesitation. With dental implants, you will experience the full taste of the foods you eat.

3. Improved Comfort- Dental implants do not move or slip. This eliminates some of the key problems of full and partial dentures, including discomfort from exposed nerves, gum irritation and poor fit. The result is comfort and freedom from embarrassment.

4. Prevent Bone Loss- Losing one or more teeth can lead to other health problems, such as the loss of some of your jawbone. Implants help to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.

5. Improved Self-Esteem- Losing your teeth can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. It can make it embarrassing to smile or speak in front of people. Dental implants will improve your self-esteem and help to eliminate any embarrassment caused by your missing teeth.

6. Improved Speech- Losing your teeth can mean struggling to pronounce words. Not so with dental implants, which feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants will restore your smile and improve your clarity of speech.

You look so much better when you smile. Make your smile your signature accessory. Call Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics in DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL today to schedule your consultation. Don't you owe it to yourself to get your smile back?

By Great Florida Smiles
November 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

According to the Oral Health Foundation, one in four adults say that they don't brush twice daily and one in ten regularly forget to brush. oral hygieneThe statistics are even worse when it comes to flossing. You might ask yourself from time to time if you're caring for your smile as you should to ensure good long-term dental health. Here are a few questions to answer that will either give you confidence in your routine or encourage you to make some important changes like visiting your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL dentist more often.

Are You Committed to Daily Brushing and Flossing?
Brushing twice per day and flossing at least once per day are two crucial steps to keeping your smile healthy, bright and beautiful. Each time you brush and floss, you clear away food particles and film before plaque, a sticky substance that's a haven for bad bacteria, has a chance to form. The more often you brush and flush the less likely you are to develop cavities and tooth decay.

Are You Eating the Right Foods?
A sugar addiction can wreak havoc on your smile. Sugary sodas, candies and cakes are the perfect food for the bad bacteria that causes cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. One way to care for your smile is to eat a proper diet that includes:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach.
  • Calcium-rich foods like milk and yogurt (which also has good bacteria for your teeth).
  • Apples, carrots and other cruciferous foods (which clean your teeth).

Do You Go to the Dentist At Least Twice Per Year for Checkups?
You should go see your friendly DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach dentist a minimum of twice per year for checkups and a professional cleaning. That's because your dentist has the ability to spot potential problems before they get worse. Your dentist is also able to remove hard calculus and plaque that you can't get rid of with brushing.

Call for a Better Smile
Your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL dentist plays a crucial role in ensuring that your smile is properly cared for. Call Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics today to set a time to come in for a checkup.





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