How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mouth

Too much sugar in your bloodstream from diabetes can cause pain, infection, and many other oral problems involving all areas of your mouth including your teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth, and inside of your cheeks.

Glucose (sugar) is present in your saliva. If diabetes is not under control, the high sugar levels in our saliva help harmful bacteria grow. This can lead to gingivitis, tooth decay and other dental problems. Since uncontrolled diabetes can weaken your immune system, you may develop infection more easily. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth leaving pockets that can become infected. This can lead to resorption of the bone that surrounds your teeth. The gums, bones, and tissue that support the teeth are eventually destroyed if left untreated. Teeth may become loose and might need to be removed.

As a diabetic, it is important to be aware of the early warning signs of infection. Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums are the first clues of gingivitis. Some of the signs may not be noticeable initially. Your best defense is to stay on top of your dental exams so your dentist can check for signs of any developing problems.

Tips Prior to Dental Appointment

If you take insulin or other diabetic medication, take them as prescribed prior to your dental visit. It is also helpful to bring your diabetic medications with you to each dental appointment.

You may need to postpone any nonemergency dental work if your blood sugar is not under control. Give us a call and we will reschedule your visit until it is under control. The South Tampa Smiles team can adapt dental treatment to your meet needs. Give us a call at (813) 289 – 0560 if you have questions or concerns and to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy and bright!


Floss Your Teeth Like a Dental Hygienist

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Keep your smile healthy and bright by following a proper dental hygiene routine at home. Be sure to include flossing in your daily dental care along brushing at least twice daily. South Tampa Smiles would like to share our expert flossing advice and techniques so our patients have the skills to floss like a pro!

First, make sure you are flossing at least once a day. Another tip is to floss before you brush so the particles and bacteria will be dislodged then brushed away. Either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job. Use a longer strand of floss— about 18 inches. Wrap the floss around your two middle fingers, with one of the two fingers having the majority of the floss. Using your two middle fingers will free up your index fingers to use as a guide to floss. Start with the very back tooth and gently slide the floss down to the gum line until you meet some resistance. Move to the opposite side of that tooth and gently slide the floss down in between two teeth and work it up and down several times. As you slide the floss up and down against each tooth, let out a little floss and wrap it around the finger picking up the slack. This way you are using a clean area of floss and don’t transfer the bacteria from tooth to tooth. Repeat until you have reached all areas between your teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth.

Congratulations! You have just gone through all the steps to floss your teeth like a dental hygienist! South Tampa Smiles encourages all of our patients to be knowledgeable about oral health and proper dental care techniques. Contact us at (813) 289 – 0560 to schedule your next dental checkup and cleaning. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you.

Further Reading: Why is Flossing so Important?

Source: ADA.org


Top 5 Questions About Enamel

There are many myths and facts about the enamel of your teeth. There are many misconceptions about its purpose and abilities. We have picked our top 5 questions about enamel so you can better preserve your smile for years to come.

1. Is enamel the hardest substance in your body?

Yes. The skull and femur are often mistaken as being the hardest structures in your body. However, the most resilient substances are in your tooth enamel. The minerals in enamel make it the hardest and toughest substance in your body.

2. Does saliva strengthen your enamel?

Yes. Saliva contains calcium, which strengthens enamel. Saliva washes food and debris away from the surfaces of your teeth. Furthermore, it neutralizes acids and bacteria in your mouth, preventing additional damage to your teeth.

3. Can enamel Regenerate?

No. Enamel cannot regenerate itself. Minerals like calcium and phosphate create enamel. It is not a living tissue, therefore, it cannot grow back.

4. Does grinding your teeth damage your enamel?

Yes. Grinding your teeth can damage your enamel. Our teeth are meant to chew and grind up food, but too much grinding can be damaging. Teeth grinding in more serious cases can cause the enamel to become so worn that it can crack and split.

5. Are certain foods more harmful to enamel?

Yes. Sugar acts as an acid that attacks the enamel and slowly wears it away. Also, crunchy foods like chips and ice can break away enamel. Better choices are healthy, crisp foods like carrots and celery to stimulate salivary flow. Also, calcium in dairy products and phosphorus in animal proteins strengthen your enamel.

See your dentist at least twice a year and have your teeth checked to catch any signs of damage early. Contact South Tampa Smiles at (813) 289 – 0560 to schedule your next dental visit. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy, strong and beautiful smile!


Jaw Relaxation Techniques – National Relaxation Day

Ever woke up in the middle of the night clenching your teeth and having jaw pain? Or find yourself tightening your jaw when you are feeling stressed? If you have any of these experiences, you should learn some jaw relaxation techniques before the damage gets worse. Waiting too long can cause you to need various forms of dental treatment to control pain and repair broken and chipped teeth.

Grinding and clenching can cause headaches, joint pain and lead to TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction). If left untreated, TMD can lead to tooth decay, sore muscles, headaches, and nerve pain. TMD can become so severe that it disrupts the ability to chew and open the jaw normally.

We have listed a few jaw relaxation techniques to prevent chronic headaches and TMD caused by grinding and clenching:

• Jaw stretching: Using small, circular motions, gently massage your jaw with your fingertips. After massaging, open your mouth as wide as you can and hold there for a few seconds and gently close. Repeat 10 times. This exercise promotes blood flow to the jaw and relaxes the face and jaw muscles.

• Focal Visualization: Sit in a comfortable and quiet space. Begin slow, deep inhale and exhale exercises. Keep your focus on relaxing the entire face, mouth and jaw. Scrunch your face tightly and pull  open widely then relax and repeat. Focal visualization is a powerful jaw relaxation technique.

• Yawning: Yawning on purpose is another way to get your jaw to relax. Open your jaw wide and take a deep breath then exhale and repeat. This exercise relaxes the muscles of your face and jaw.

If you have tried these techniques and are still experience pain associated with grinding or clenching your teeth, contact South Tampa Smiles at (813)289–0560 today for your TMD consultation!


Lipstick Etiquette in Dentistry

Today is National Lipstick Day! Most women enjoy applying lipstick to enhance their smile. However, if you are a lipstick lover and have squeezed in a dental visit, this tiny detail may slip your mind— Be sure to remove your lipstick before your appointment.

Colorful lips can be a perfect fashion accent for work, dining out, daily outings and special events, but you should considered skipping the lipstick prior to a dental visit. Dental procedures can get a little messy around the mouth area with water, saliva and dental materials. Wearing lipstick just adds more to the mix. It can get all over dental instruments gloves, x-ray devices and YOU. Also, if your dentist is performing a tooth restoration, colored lips make it more difficult to evaluate what tooth shade matches your natural teeth best. So, there’s no need to freshen up your lipstick before your appointment. However, if you do wear it, your lipstick will definitely need freshening afterwards!

If you follow proper lipstick etiquette and apply minimal makeup for your appointments, your trips to the dentist will be much more pleasant. You can always reapply once your appointment is finished. If your dental visit included a cleaning, whitening, or a cosmetic procedure, you will probably be excited to show everyone your new smile. So, you head straight to a mirror and apply your favorite color to accessorize your bright, beautiful new smile.

Feel free to wear lipstick, but be aware that your dentist may politely ask for it to be removed before beginning your exam, cleaning or any dental treatment. Trust us when we say that we think you look beautiful without it! Be sure to keep regular dental checkups and cleanings to keep your smile healthy and bright. Call South Tampa Smiles at (813) 289-0560 to schedule your next appointment. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you!


National Give Something Away Day

Donate Oral HygIene Products

We stand over our bathroom sink and rarely give caring for our teeth a second though. A toothbrush and toothpaste are only as far away as the local supermarket for most of us. July 15 is National Give Something Away Day. On this day, many will be donating clothes, food, and other household items. Don’t forget to donate oral hygiene products like toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste and mouth rinse. These essential items are sure to put a smile on someone’s face that is struggling to keep products needed to keep up with a proper home care routine.

South Tampa Smiles team loves random acts of kindness and helping each other in the community. This day is the perfect opportunity for us to put toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste in the hands of people having a difficult time acquiring dental care necessities. Health concerns from not maintaining proper dental hygiene go far beyond cavities. Dental health has been linked to heart health and diseases including AIDS and hepatitis can be passed from one person to another by sharing toothbrushes. This is why it is so important for everyone to have access to their own individual toothbrushes.

Remember, as you lend a hand and give something away on July 15, stay on top of your own oral health and make sure to stay current with your own dental checkups and cleanings. Everyone is recommended to have a dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months for prevention and early detection. Give us a call at (813) 289 – 0560. The South Tampa Smiles team of caring professionals will set up an appointment that works with your schedule. We offer extended hours from 7 am until 7 pm to accommodate busy work schedules. We look forward to hearing from you!

Take what you need, give what you can!

Further reading on dental care gifts.

Post on social media using #GiveSomethingAwayDay


Celebrate the Power of a Smile

June 15th is National Power of a Smile Day! When you smile at another person you not only help yourself, but you help the other person. A smile is a universal greeting of happiness. It can also change the mood of someone that is feeling down. The staff at South Tampa Smiles would like to take this message and focus on the importance of proper home dental care, good nutrition and regular dental visits. Here are a few simple ways you can celebrate the power of a smile at home:

    1. Gift Yourself – Replace your toothbrushes. Everyone should replace their toothbrushes every 3 or 4 months or as soon as the bristles appear frayed. Buy a batch of new brushes for the whole family or finally get that powered toothbrush you’ve been eyeing.
    2. Gift Someone Else – Family volunteering at a local charity is a perfect way to give back. Take this opportunity to donate to community services for those who can’t afford regular dental check-ups. Or give someone the gift of a bright smile by providing cosmetic dental procedures or dental whitening treatments.
    3. Say Cheese! – Say cheese in more ways that one! Incorporate nutritious foods into your diet. Make healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheeses a part of your diet. Or show off your family’s happy smiles with a new family photo. Or capture your smile with a fun selfie showing off those pearly whites. Join in on the fun by submitting your selfie to win prizes on their Facebook Page.

Celebrate the Power of a Smile this June 15th and every other day by staying on top of your regular checkups and cleanings. Also, find out about our teeth whitening treatment to brighten your smile! Modern advances in dental treatment, combined with good oral hygiene, can help transform your smile from guarded and infrequent to confident and constant! Give us a call at (813) 289 – 0560. The South Tampa Smiles team of caring professionals can help you harness the Power of Your Smile!  

Celebrate the power of a smile on social media using #smilepower and #smilepowerday

National Day Calendar – National Smile Power Day


Women’s Hormones & Oral Health

Hormones can affect just about everything including your weight and your mood. Hormonal changes can make all aspects of your health go haywire. But did you know that hormone surges may make you more vulnerable to problems with your teeth and gums?

Women experience oral health issues throughout their life due to hormonal fluctuations. Women are more sensitive to the presence of plaque and bacteria around the gums when their hormone levels are high. It’s important to pay attention to women’s hormones and oral health at various stages of life, especially during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Women’s Hormones & Oral Health Timeline:
    1. Puberty – Increased production of progesterone and estrogen can lead to increased blood flow to your gums and cause swelling & bleeding during brushing and flossing. Removing plaque and bacteria thoroughly every day can reduce the inflammation, discomfort and bleeding
    1. Pregnancy – During pregnancy, the increased levels of progesterone can bring on pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that causes gums to be red and tender. You can help keep it under control through good daily habits. If you notice any other changes in your mouth during pregnancy, see your dentist.
    1. Menopause – Hormonal changes in your body and age specific medications can cause dry mouth, which increases your risk for developing dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.  Loss of estrogen can lead to bone loss. Loss of bone in your jaw can lead to tooth loss. Talk to your physician and dentist to make sure you are getting the right amount of calcium and vitamin D.

South Tampa Smiles encourages eating a well balanced diet, brushing & flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist twice a year. Give us a call at (813) 289 – 0560 if you are experiencing symptoms or it’s time to make your next appointment. The South Tampa Smiles team is here to assist you!

For further reading on Women’s Hormones & Oral Health visit MouthHealthy.org.


Finding the Right Dentist in South Tampa

May 24th is National Scavenger Hunt Day and searching for the right dentist in your neighborhood can feel very much like a scavenger hunt. South Tampa residents should be selective when choosing the right health professionals for their families. There are many considerations when searching for the perfect dentist and practice that fits you and your family’s needs. We love keeping our community readers informed by sharing helpful information about all aspects of dentistry. We have put together a few pointers to aid in the process of finding the right dentist in South Tampa for you:

  1. Location – For some people a convenient location holds a lot of weight when deciding on a dentist. If location is a big factor, your search can be narrowed down significantly. Our office is conveniently located at 4066 Henderson Blvd Tampa, FL 33629 by Kahwa and CVS in South Tampa. View Map.
  1. Hours – Finding a dentist that has appointment times available before and after work can make all the difference for those with busy work schedules. We accommodate our patients with difficulties taking time off of work. Our hours are from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday.
  1. Fees – The cost of dental care is high on the priority list for many people. Dental insurance and provider networks probably hold the most weight. Most dental offices will help in determining your coverage and your out-of-pocket expense.
  1. Level of Care – For some, level of care is the most important factor and their only concern is to received the highest quality of care possible. Word-of-mouth is a great way to learn about the quality of care from other patients and community. Another great resource is reading reviews online about different dental offices to get some insight.

We are happy to offer tips in the decision making process of finding the right dentist for you and your family. We hope this helps with narrowing down your search so you can find the right dentist that can provide quality dental care for you and your family for years to come.

Contact Us

Visit our website for more information about our hours, location and fees. Read about our outstanding dentists Dr. John Cannariato and Dr. Rebecca Benedict to learn about their background and expertise.

Contact South Tampa Smiles at (813) 289 – 0560 for further questions or to make your next appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!


Are Strawberries Good for Your Teeth?

It’s almost summertime, which means that strawberries are back in season. This is why the month of May is National Strawberry Month! What a great time to have some fresh strawberries,  try a new dessert recipe or strawberry infused drink. Delish! Strawberries are not only a delicious fruit, they are also good for your body. This brings us to the questionAre strawberries good for your teeth?

Strawberries are indeed great for your overall health. They are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial to heart health. Just like oranges, strawberries are packed with collagen-producing vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential in maintaining the strength and integrity of your gums. Just one serving provides about half of your daily vitamin C needs. They are high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals including folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and magnesium.

Although strawberries are a tasty part of a healthy diet, too much of anything can be bad for your teeth. Just like many citrus fruits, they are highly acidic. Eating acidic foods on an ongoing basis can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel. Erosion wears down the protective coating of enamel of your teeth, which is irreversible. This can lead to a wide range of dental problems, including discoloration, cracked teeth, sensitivity and even tooth loss.

South Tampa Smiles encourages eating a well-balanced diet for maintaining good health and wellness. If your diet is low in the nutrients, your overall health and oral health become more vulnerable to infection and other complications. Discuss your diet at your next dental visit if you have more questions or concerns about proper nutrition to keep your teeth and gums in great health. Give us a call at (813) 289-0560 for your next dental appointment. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy and bright!

Read our previous article: Can Strawberries Whiten Your Teeth?

Source: 1-800-DENTIST and colgate.com


Follow us

On Social Media

Call Now