Five Health Benefits of a Straighter Smile

The advantages of having a straight smile reach far beyond your mouth. From looking better to feeling better, a straight smile will help you be the best version of yourself. Although teeth that are naturally straight aren’t common, our team at Dr. Allan S. Thomas D.D.S. are here to help you get the smile you deserve.


Let’s start with the foundation. Gums are vital to the health of your teeth. They are made of soft tissue that forms a protective barrier around each tooth to keep bacteria at bay. If teeth are too crowded or are spaced far apart, gums may become inflamed and teeth may become exposed to infections. This can lead to gum disease and possibly tooth loss. Straight teeth allow your gums to fit properly around each tooth and protect against periodontal issues.


When teeth aren’t aligned properly, your bite could be wrong, which will cause unusual wear overtime. Over time, tooth enamel loss can lead to fractured teeth, jaw problems as well as ineffective chewing abilities. A straighter smile will keep teeth strong and allow them to endure the test of time.


Teeth that are crooked or crowded have less exposed surface area, making them harder to clean. Because of this difficulty, brushing alone is often not enough to rid the teeth of plaque. Flossing can also be more difficult because of the tightness between the teeth or the awkward angles at which flossing must be done. These factors can lead to plaque buildup and, after time, tooth decay. Straight teeth are easier to clean, which means fewer worries for patients down the road.


If your teeth aren’t healthy, it will affect your entire body’s health. The bacteria in your mouth will lead to decay and infections that can spread throughout your body. The ADA has done studies that show that oral infections can lead to heart disease, pneumonia, increased blood sugar and other problems. Straight teeth are easier to clean, which means it is easier to keep infections out of your body.


Your self-image and mental health are every bit as important as your physical health. A study by Invisalign has shown that behind weight, teeth are the second highest item people feel insecure about. Having a straight, healthy and beautiful smile has been shown to lead to higher self-esteem and lower social anxiety.


We want all of our patients to be healthy and confident. With our Smile Design services, we can help you achieve the perfect smile and all of the benefits of one! Ask us how we can help you during your next visit to Dr. Allan S. Thomas D.D.S. We look forward to seeing you!

What to Look for in an Electric Toothbrush

Learn about what to look for in an electric toothbrush in Murray, UT.

Electric toothbrushes aren’t anything new on the market, but they’ve seen vast improvements over the last decade. There are so many choices available, it can be hard to know which features are bells and whistles and which are useful. Everything you need in an electric toothbrush can be condensed into three categories: design, features and portability.


These categories go hand in hand in manual and in electric models. No matter what type of electric toothbrush you get, it needs to be comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver. Massage brushes with smaller heads are often better for mouth feel and can clean tight spaces more effectively. Most adults need a toothbrush with a head around a half inch wide and one inch tall. Soft bristle brush heads are also the dentists’ choice because they do not damage gums, especially for those aggressive brushers. Of the brush head types, look for models with a rotation oscillation. These round-headed brushes pulse and spin, allowing you to focus on one tooth at a time and rotate up to 8,000 times a minute. This makes them more effective than other styles.


Not all electric toothbrushes are created equal, but in the end, a toothbrush is only as effective as your brushing technique. That’s why there have been new models sprouting up that help you improve your own brushing skills. Look for the two-minute timer feature that will help you get the minimum brushing time in and whiten your smile. Other common, useful features include charging stands, travel cases and different settings like massage or sensitive modes.

You should also remember to replace brush heads every three months. The less expensive, battery operated models last about two weeks with a normal brushing, creating a hidden cost in replacement batteries. Look for brushes with replaceable heads, you’ll need to replace your brush every three months or so.


If you travel often, portability is an important quality to look for in an electric toothbrush. Even if you aren’t a frequent jetsetter, you still need to brush your teeth while you’re away from home. Depending on the power source, a toothbrush can become unwieldy or come with extra components to pack. Many budget friendly models use batteries while those on the higher end usually use charging stands with cables. The rechargeable models are often better performers, but battery operated models are more portable and less expensive.

Common Brushing Mistakes


Brushing your teeth twice a day is critical for good dental health, but the way it’s done could be damaging to your teeth. It is important to not only brush your teeth on a regular basis, but to brush them right. Avoid these common brushing mistakes for healthier teeth.


Not Brushing Enough


Some people feel the need to only brush their teeth once a day, but this could not be more damaging. Over the twenty-four hour time period, millions of bacteria have the chance to grow, not only causing plaque to build, but causing bad breath as well. It is critical to brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once directly before going to bed. Because our bodies produce less saliva when we sleep, it is especially important to brush our teeth before bed to protect them from plaque.


Bad Brush Strokes


The wrong brush strokes can be damaging to your gums and enamel. those who use aggressive horizontal strokes will begin to erode the gumline, damaging the tissue. It is better to angle your brush at 45 degrees and use short soft strokes. Use a circular motion to better clean your teeth, avoiding damage from the brush.


The Wrong Toothbrush


There are different types of toothbrushes in terms of the bristles. While there is some in between variation, the two main categories are soft and hard bristle. Hard bristles can cause more harm than good to your teeth, damaging the enamel and making the dentine more vulnerable. If you notice swelling of your gums, switch to softer bristles. This is especially important for those who already have sensitive gums as it is.


Updating Your Toothbrush


Your toothbrush should be replaced about every three months for a healthier smile. Over time the bacteria and food particles you remove from your teeth can begin to build in your toothbrush, deep inside the bristles and leading down into the handle. Even if you own an electric toothbrush it is important to change the head on a regular basis to prevent these damaging elements from going back into your mouth. In addition to this, any time you are sick you should replace the toothbrush after you are feeling better.

These are just a few of the common brushing mistakes that you can avoid in your day to day life. Striving to keep your teeth clean and healthy is crucial to your overall health. Make sure you do what is necessary to better protect your teeth from damage.

Poor Dental Health Consequences

While we know that not taking care of our oral health will be detrimental to our teeth, did you know that it could influence the health of your entire body? Poor dental health can have greater consequences on your overall health than you may realize. Take a look at some of the biggest problems that can arise from neglecting this part of your body.


Dental Health Steps


To ensure proper dental health, it is important that all things associated are in place. This includes:


  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, morning and night. This is the simplest and most effective way to rid your mouth of bacteria and plaque before it has the chance to do damage.
  • Flossing is just as important as brushing for your health, but an alarming number of people don’t floss on a regular basis. It is estimated that only half of Americans will floss their teeth daily. This is essential for getting rid of any leftover particles between the teeth.
  • Scheduling a dental appointment for every six months can help detect problems before they become serious. More than a third of the American population did not have a dental appointment in the last year.
  • Eat the right foods that will promote healthy teeth and gums rather than causing more advanced problems.


These four steps together will be key in preventing the following health problems.


Health Consequences


These health consequences will make themselves known the longer you neglect the most basics of oral hygiene:


  • Halitosis – bad breath is often a complaint from many that can be taken care of with proper oral hygiene. Often when food gets stuck between our teeth and as they collect bacteria they begin to smell. Flossing and brushing together can remove these particles, reducing this occurrence.
  • Atherosclerosis – when there are high levels of bacteria that can cause disease in your mouth, it can cause the clogging of the Carotid Artery. This can lead to serious problems, including the risk of stroke.
  • Heart Disease – people who have periodontal disease (a bone deterioration around the teeth) have a higher risk of developing heart disease. The periodontal bacteria and plaque will enter the bloodstream from the gum, causing the arteries to narrow. In addition to this, cholesterol levels can rise in the face of gum disease and cavities.
  • Diabetes – Almost all adults, about 95%, who have diabetes also have periodontal disease. This can be the first indicator for this dangerous condition.

These are just a few of the health consequences that come when your teeth are not properly cared for. Make the changes in your dental hygiene to prevent more serious problems down the road.

Tips for Whiter Teeth

Your teeth are important to your overall dental health. Your permanent teeth should be attended to throughout your life, as they are the last set of teeth you will have. While professionally whitening your teeth is always a great way to keep your smile fresh, there are things you can be doing at home to maintain a healthy smile. Follow these tips for a whiter, healthier, and all around better smile.


Drink Plenty of Water


Water is essential to good health. It is essential that we drink enough water for many reasons, one of which is saliva production. This substance protects our teeth from bacteria, flushing away cavity causing agents. In addition to this, get into the habit of drinking a glass of water after every meal. This will rinse away acids, bacteria, and other elements that are a potential threat to your teeth.


Chewing Gum


While sugary gums are bad for our teeth, sugarless gum can be beneficial, helping to keep your teeth clean. As we get older, our mouth’s ability to produce saliva diminishes. This can lead to tooth decay if nothing is done to prevent it. By chewing sugarless gum, you can stimulate the production of saliva, protecting your teeth from decay.


Avoid Damaging Drinks


We often think about our diet in terms of the foods we eat, but what about the drinks we consume? Not only do some of these drinks have high concentrations of sugar and calories, their coloring and acidic composition can be dangerous to your teeth. Those who drink coffee, red wine, tea, and certain energy drinks will eventually start to notice stains on their teeth. Either cut down on these beverages or instead drink them through a straw to better protect your teeth from damage.


Raw Vegetables


Vegetables are good for our health for a number of reasons. As opposed to fruits, most vegetables are low in sugar. When raw, these foods can act as a scrub against your teeth, cleansing and removing harmful stains and plaque. Find some vegetables that you like and can incorporate into your daily diet for healthier teeth.

There are many changes you can make in your life for a healthier whiter smile, and these are just a few. Make sure you take part in the changes now that will make an impact in your dental health over time. By doing this, you will have less trouble down the road in keeping and maintaining a healthy smile.

Tips for Stronger Enamel


While the enamel of your teeth is the strongest substance in your body, it can be damaged just as everything else. Take care of your tooth enamel and make it stronger through these methods. These simple yet important solutions will be instrumental in your oral health, keeping your teeth white, healthy, and strong.


Eat Right


There are foods that are healthy for your teeth, and others that do more damage than they are worth. Those foods that are high in calcium including dairy will help to strengthen the enamel, protecting your tooth all around. Citrus foods can also be a good source of calcium, but should be eaten with caution as the high sugar content can be damaging to teeth.


Foods that are high in sugar, sticky, and rest against the teeth for longer periods of time can all damage enamel. These will rest against the exterior of your teeth, wearing it down. Foods such as caramel, suckers, and popsicles should be avoided whenever possible.


Don’t Over Brush


Brushing is an essential part of keeping your tooth enamel healthy, but bad brushing habits can be just as damaging as forgetting to brush. Be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush and be gentle in your brushing pattern. Using excessive force will put additional wear on the enamel of your teeth.


Take Care of Heartburn


Heartburn can not only be damaging to the esophagus, it can cause damage to your teeth. The acids emitted from your stomach will work their way up. When the acids pass too often against the teeth, they will begin to break down the enamel. Make the changes in your diet or find other solutions to prevent heartburn.


Avoid Dry Mouth


Not only can dry mouth be an uncomfortable condition, it can be damaging to your teeth as well. Saliva is one of the most important substances in maintaining healthy teeth. Keep yourself hydrated, drinking plenty of water to prevent sugary substances from resting against your teeth. If your mouth is dry, chewing gum is one way to increase saliva.


Don’t Grind Your Teeth


Grinding your teeth will have negative consequences over time. This will wear directly on the enamel, causing damage. If you find yourself grinding your teeth during the day, making a conscious effort to stop it. For those who grind their teeth at night, a night guard may be necessary to stop the problem.

Protect the enamel of your teeth from damage. By making the appropriate changes in your daily routine, you will reduce the chance for enamel erosion, preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Steps for a Healthier Smile

Your smile is one of your most defined and best features. Taking better care of your smile will be instrumental in boosting your confidence, along with a number of other advantages. Follow these steps for a healthier smile, ensuring a bright and beautiful look for years to come.


Visit The Dentist


The dentist is there to help keep your smile healthy. By keeping your appointment every six months, your dentist can determine how effective your daily dental habits are, and if more advanced help is needed. During this time you will have your teeth professionally cleaned, protecting against some of the plaque you may have otherwise been unable to reach. In addition to this, your dentist is trained to identify oral problems that could indicate a deeper problem is at work, including cancer, and diabetes.


Daily Habits


You should be brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day to promote a healthy smile. Brushing is the most fundamental step in oral health, as this will remove most of the food particles left in your mouth. Get these out before bacteria has the chance to take root, doing damage to your teeth and gums.


While brushing is important, it cannot stand alone. Flossing every day will remove food particles from the hard to reach places between your teeth. This is especially important to do before bed, since saliva production isn’t as heavy during sleep. Make this a part of your daily habits following brushing.




Eating a healthy diet is important for overall health, and this includes your dental health. Make sure to include foods high in calcium and vitamin C. Calcium will help maintain the strength of your teeth while vitamin C is crucial for healthy gums. Just as important as it is to choose healthy food options, it is equally important to avoid the bad ones. Avoid soda, sticky foods, and those high in sugar for better oral health.


Avoid Tobacco


Tobacco is one of the most damaging substances to your overall health. Because it passes through your mouth to consume, your oral health takes the first hit. Those who smoke are at a much higher risk for gum disease. In addition to this, many types of oral cancer become far more likely when tobacco is involved.

Your teeth are important, pay attention to your oral health to guarantee your perfect smile. A healthy smile will go a long way in your personal and professional interactions, as well as your own self confidence.