Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Benefits of Using Mouthwash

Do you use mouthwash? 52% of Americans are unaware that mouthwash holds any value in dental or health care. While mouthwash is not a necessary part of oral hygiene, it is highly recommended by dental professionals. Using mouthwash has many benefits; however, a lot of people do not use it or even know what kind to get. Read on to learn more about the benefits of mouthwash and tips for using it.

Using mouthwash has many benefits. First, it decreases cavities. If the mouthwash has fluoride in it, it helps to strengthen the enamel, therefore building up a stronger resistance against cavity-causing plaque. Mouthwash also helps disinfect the mouth, reducing the amount of bacteria that may cause decay. Another benefit to using mouthwash is that it helps prevent gum disease. Antibacterial mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria under or around the gums that may lead to a periodontal infection. Because of this, mouthwash can also help to soothe canker sores inside the mouth, since it kills any bacteria in the area that may be causing irritation. Lastly, many mouthwashes provide a solution to halitosis, leaving you with fresh breath after using.
Though the benefits of using mouthwash outweigh the drawbacks and many of these are case-by-case, they should still be considered before using mouthwash.  Though mouthwash can help reduce canker sore irritation, if the alcohol content is too high, it could potentially have the opposite effect. Another problem with mouthwash is that while it does freshen your breath, it simply acts as a “mask” and only lasts for a short time. If a long-term solution is required, mouthwash would not be the best option.
There is also some controversy over whether or not alcohol-containing mouthwash causes oral cancer. While it has never been proven nor disproven, some mouth rinses containing alcohol have been carefully reviewed by the American Dental Association and given the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If you are going for an alcohol-containing rinse, it is best to look for one with the seal, as it is the safest bet.
There are many types of mouthwash that each serves a different purpose. The one that is best for you is the one that best meets your personal dental needs.
·        Fluoridated: Some mouthwashes contain fluoride. Though we typically do not need this fluoride as we get plenty from our toothpaste and water, it can help as reinforcement for strengthening teeth.
·        Antiseptic: Antiseptic mouthwashes are specially formulated to stop bacterial growth and treat infection in the mouth. If you are especially prone to cavities or gum disease, this type of mouthwash can help prevent that.
·        Cosmetic: The main purpose of cosmetic mouthwash is to disguise bad breath, not to reduce decay. If you’re simply looking for a way to freshen up your breath, cosmetic mouthwash is a good option.
·        Total Care: Total care mouthwashes contain antibacterial ingredients which help to reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent gum disease.
·        Natural: Natural mouthwash is alcohol and fluoride free. Many people find that some natural mouthwash is helpful in soothing pain following a tooth extract.
You can make your own natural mouthwash at home with ingredients you probably already have. Here are some recipes you can use if you want to make your own mouthwash.
·        Basic mouthwash: 1 cup of water + 1 teaspoon baking soda + 3 drops peppermint essential oil
·        Disinfectant mouthwash: 1 cup of water + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
·        Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash: 1 part hydrogen peroxide + 1 part water
·        Salt water rinse: 1 cup water + 1 teaspoon of salt

Dentists highly recommend using mouthwash because it can help kill bacteria in your mouth that may lead to cavities or gum disease. Mouthwash should never be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing; however, it is a great supplement to these things. If you decide to use mouthwash, you can ask your dentist for a recommendation, she will know which kind is the best for you. If you live in the 5 Towns area, contact us at (800) 223-0801 today to schedule an appointment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Get The Facts About Your Teeth!

Get the facts on your dental health by checking out these great sites from around the web. Alina Bergan DDS offers both general and cosmetic dentistry options. Visit us on our website or call us at (800) 223-0801 to schedule an appointment at our Cedarhurst office today!

·        Get details about the Zoom! teeth whitening system and how it works on
·        Find an overview of tartar on You’ll learn how tartar forms and how it can cause dental problems if not properly removed.
·        Your dental health is important for your overall health. Find out how keeping your teeth and gums healthy with regular visits to your dentist can lower your risk of developing dementia in this article.
·        Learn how to make the most of your regular dental checkups on
·        X-rays help your dentist spot any problems during your regular checkups. Learn how often you should receive dental x-rays in this article on

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Common Conditions That Can Affect the Health and Appearance of Your Smile

When your teeth and gums are healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. However, your oral health may be affected by seemingly unrelated conditions. If you suffer from diabetes, osteoporosis, or acid reflux, you may need to schedule appointments with your family dentist more often than others and take extra precautions to maintain your dental health.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop serious gum disease than those without diabetes. Diabetics have a lower white blood cell count, making them more susceptible to the bacteria that cause gingivitis. If you suffer from diabetes, protect your gums by using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss at least once per day and ask your dentist to recommend an antibacterial mouthwash. In some cases, insurance companies will actually increase the frequency of your cleaning visits benefits if you are a diabetic, because it can be so compromising to your dental health.  Visit your dentist right away if you experience any pain or inflammation.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a loss of density in the bones, including the jawbone. According to the National Institutes of Health, tooth loss affects one third of the 10 million Americans over age 65 who suffer from osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, you can help keep your teeth healthy by eating a calcium-rich diet, maintaining your oral hygiene, avoiding tough foods, and visiting your dentist regularly to ensure that your jawbone remains strong.
Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus, causing a painful sensation in the chest and throat called heartburn. The refluxed substance is acidic and can erode tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay and sensitivity to certain foods and temperatures. If you have acid reflux, your dentist may recommend that you use a softer toothbrush, fluoride treatments, and a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Medications and Chemo Therapy
Certain medications and/or chemo therapy can lead to increased problems in the mouth as well. Dryness or acidity changes in the mouth can be quickly problematic for oral health.
It’s amazing how eating certain things can ravage your mouth!  Sugared drinks are notorious, but other foods can do surprising damage. For example starchy foods such as pretzels and white bread, can be sticky and cause trouble, too.  If you want to keep your dentist busy, chewy, sticky candy is very bad, in fact, the material we use to assist in removing crowns from the mouth are very much like a sticky candy (without the yummy taste!).
Dr. Alina Bergan DDS, is dedicated to ensuring that your smile stays healthy. Whether you suffer from one of the above conditions or simply need a check-up, you can visit us in Cedarhurst for general, advanced, and cosmetic dentistry care. If you live in the 5 Towns area, contact us at (800) 223-0801 today to schedule an appointment.