4 thoughts on charcoal toothpaste...from a Dentist
4 thoughts on charcoal toothpaste...from a Dentist
We have all seen the advertisements and "before & after" pictures of black teeth turning magically white with the use of charcoal toothpastes.
Dr Cavka decided to order some & try them out herself and then be able to tell you exactly what we think of these.
Dental providers generally have different thoughts and worries about teeth, most of our concerns aren't really addressed by these bloggers and advertisers so we decided to do our own little research.
We started by ordering several different charcoal toothpastes on Amazon - and there are a ton! Decided to stick to the ones with the "amazing" reviews.
Here are some thoughts Dr. Cavka had when using charcoal toothpastes / powder:
1) BAD TASTING / NOT FRESH
My mouth just did not like the texture of these...I just felt the urge to rinse. It was gritty, almost bitter, and definitely not fresh at all. And some of them had “mint” or “fresh taste” on the packaging. I would feel the need to brush with regular minty toothpaste after if I was on my way to the office after one of these brushing sessions :)
2) DIFFICULT TO RINSE
After the normal brushing time, I rinsed really REALLY well and still had a TON of black residue. Then I used my electric brush, with regular toothpaste, and I still had a lot left (especially between my teeth). Then I flossed...still residue remaining. This worries me from a dental perspective, what about these little grainy pieces getting stuck in gum pockets and creating infection? In the dental world we see things like this all the time (popcorn kernels are notorious). Definite worry for a dentist!
My teeth felt clean when I ran my tongue over them - so that's great; but it also worries me. Our field has been very concerned about abrasive toothpastes - we know that some tooth pastes, especially the ones who are marketed as "whitening” are almost like sandpaper. They do whiten – a little – but that’s by removing the protective, white layer of enamel we have on our teeth. This does not regenerate, so once it’s lost, we cannot get it back. Also, removing enamel actually will make your teeth darker over time by exposing yellow dentin! Using abrasive toothpastes, like charcoal, will definitely increase tooth sensitivity over time.
4) MY TEETH WERE NOT WHITER
I definitely did not see an immediate whiter set of teeth in my mouth. There is also NO research at all that supports the notion that charcoal has any properties to make teeth whiter in the long term. The dental field knows that the proven way to get whiter teeth is to use a version of hydrogen peroxide, for a prolonged period of time. It can cause some sensitivity but it does not damage or remove enamel and it is fairly cheap and easy to use. Talk to us about PROVEN whitening options if you are concerned about the color of your teeth.
As always, as a summary, we recommend using a soft brush & regular fluoride toothpaste for your regular dental maintenance (add some flossing in there too). Call us with any questions!
Aida Cavka, DMD
Do you have pregnancy gingivitis?
With a pregnant doctor, this topic is of current discussion in our office.
We routinely educate expecting mothers, and their significant others, on pregnancy gingivitis - the causes, ways to help it, consequences....but we're realizing more and more that most OBs seem to skip over this topic.
Let's face it - with pregnancy there is SO MUCH going on - who has time to worry about their teeth on top of everything else?
Well, with very common morning sickness, nausea, changes in dietary habits, as well as pregnancy gingivitis - a healthy mouth can make for an healthier (and more comfortable) pregnancy.
So what is pregnancy gingivitis - it's basically a inflammation of your gums, causing sore, inflamed and oftentimes bleeding gums. It's caused by bacteria you always have, but it's the reaction of your gums (mostly due to increased hormones) which causes you to bleed more.
Ways to help treat it:
- see your hygienist at least once during pregnancy! Our hygenists can make sure they remove bacteria, plaque and calculus and help guide you so you're more comfortable
- step up your oral hygiene at home - it's very common for expecting mothers to shy away from brushing/flossing more due the soreness and bleeding - but that approach actually makes it worse. So increase whatever you're doing by double - within 7 to 10 days you should see a difference!
- do warm salt water rinses at home - these rinses are useful for any type of oral inflammation. It's cheap, easily accessible, and does not burn!
As always, let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance!
Cavka Dental Center
Should you replace your old silver fillings?
We frequently see patients in our office who have been told by other dental professionals to change ALL their existing metal fillings? Patients ask – should I do that? Other patients come with requests to change all of their existing fillings – are they aware of possible complications?
In these situations, I think patient education is extremely important. First of all, is there a reason to replace the fillings? Is there new decay present, what do the radiographs show, is the tooth fracturing? Those are all important questions to consider. If there is a significant reason to replace those fillings, we are more than happy to discuss all of the options.
Of course, some patients might simply want to change the fillings for esthetic reasons, to get rid of the gray metal in their mouth. Lately we have more and more patients with concerns about mercury.
Whatever the reason might be, I truly think it’s important for the patient to know that every time we replace a filling sensitivity is possible. The nerve of the tooth might die and require more extensive treatment like a root canal or crown.
At Cavka Dental Center, we therefore only recommend replacement of fillings if we see a clinical need to do so. Using this approach, we minimize the trauma to the tooth and avoid unnecessary procedures for the patient.
With proper informed consent, I will replace fillings for patients when they request the procedure, without a significant clinical need. I just believe that if patients receive the proper information, including pros and cons of procedures, they can make an informed decision about their treatment. As in all cases, we strive to make patients part of our dental team!
Aida Cavka, DMD
Implants - the modern tooth replacement option
This topic is of interest to anyone missing ONE, MULTIPLE, or even ALL teeth! Missing teeth are very common in our population, some tooth loss is linked is congenital, while other teeth are lost due to injury, disease, or tooth decay.
Missing teeth can affect us by making us uncomfortable about smiling, give us problems eating in public, even give us issues digesting our food properly.
Implants are really the new standard for tooth replacement and should be discussed with every patient in modern dental offices. Not every patient might be the ideal candidate, but with advances in technology it’s becoming more accessible to everyone.
What are implants?
Dental implants are basically root replacements – they’re placed into the bone and support the customized prosthesis your restorative dentist, me, designs for you (crowns, bridges, even dentures). Implants are composed of titanium and with time fuse with the jaw bone.
How can implants help?
Implants not only restore missing teeth, they also maintain the bone in those areas of the jaw. That is a great long term benefit to your overall dental health and helps prevent bone loss and give you long term stability of your prosthesis.
Call our office today at 329 3371 to set up a time to discuss implants with me!
We’ll customize a treatment plan and give you all the options so you can make an informed decision!
Do you understand your dental insurance?
Dental insurance can be very confusing to patients…what is my maximum, at what percentage does my insurance cover, how do I submit a claim?
That’s why we have professionals in our office who have real-world experience when it comes to insurance, to answer your questions and help guide you. At your first appointment, the doctor will examine you and recommend treatment, if indicated. During your exam, the insurance coordinator is working behind the scenes contacting your individual insurance policy to understand your specific coverage fully. Using the Dr. Cavka’s customized treatment plan, the insurance coordinator will provide you a good-faith estimate of your insurance coverage and give you a written treatment plan that gives you an estimate on your patient portion, if there is one!
No treatment is performed in our office, until you know exactly how much you can expect to pay!
Even after you leave the office, our work is not done yet! The front staff submits your claim to the dental insurance on your behalf, along with all pertinent information like x-rays and pictures. If there is no prompt response, she follows up with them frequently and even re-submits claims which are denied. This continuous work helps ensure insurance pays as they said they would – because many times, they try to find a way out of paying! If, for some reason, your insurance does not pay and there’s a discrepancy, we contact you with all the details of what has been happening and get you involved, so you’ll never just be blind sighted with a bill (and no explanation) months later.
Keep in mind that we are preferred providers with almost all PPO plans. You can expect an average automatic discount of about 30% of our regular fees, and on top of that, most insurance plans cover treatment at 50-80%. That’s a huge discount!
Call us today & schedule your appointment to find out how much your insurance will cover! If you have no insurance, no problem – we have many options and discounts available to self-paying patients as well!
Dr. Aida Cavka
Sleep, Relax and be Comfortable with Sedation Dentistry
Most patients we see have some form of dental fear. The reasons vary significantly, but most are tied to previous negative dental experiences.
We pride ourselves in being able to change one's perception of dentistry!
Using some sedation medications, along with free "laughing gas", we can make your appointment a breeze.
You'll be much more relaxed, and usually sleeping, during your whole appointment. The time will go by faster, and you won't remember all the details of your appointment the next day.
Using this approach, within 1-3 appointments, we can get all of your dental work done and you can finally be proud of your smile!
Even if you aren't necessarily scared of the dentist, you can still benefit from some comforts in our office like blankets, TVs, headphones, our beverage station...
Call us at 904 329 3371, schedule your appointment with us today and Sleep, Relax, and be Comfortable!
Is your new diet damaging your teeth?
This issue is becoming more and more of an important topic in the dental world.
One of my friends brought this up last year when she drastically changed her diet, for the better, and started experiencing some new dental pains she had never had before.
We came to the conclusion that the snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables, and chewing on nuts was actually causing damage. We had to analyze the diet and discuss alternatives and things to look out for!
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recently published an article named "Damaging Diets - How weight loss fads and popular health drinks can hurt teeth". The whole article can be accessed at:
Interestingly, the article discusses diets which focus on juices and smoothies. We've seen several patients who have had detrimental tooth problems related to diets like these.
Call us with any questions about your current diet! We’ll be glad to share tips on how to make sure your healthy diet is not compromising the health of your teeth!
Yes, we see children!
And GLADLY, might I add.
This is one of the most common questions we get asked, "Do you see kids"?!
We do, and we are able to take care of 99% of our children patients without any problems!
We try our absolute best to make it an easy, simple, and comfortable for the kids. There should be no fear.
Just last week, we had Adam (a 4 year old) come by the office with his mom. After "helping" my assistant take xrays of his mother (he pressed the button!), we had him watch some TV. Then I had him assist me in polishing his mom's teeth by holding my instrument the whole time. Within seconds we switched roles, had him in the chair - he let me count his teeth, polish them, and even apply fluoride!
As a parent, the best you can do is to make the trip fun and not a big deal. We'll take care of the rest :) In the rare instance that your child requires extensive treatment at an early age, and sedation is indicated, we do work with some great specialists in town who we can quickly and easily refer to!
We finished our first full day of seeing patients and it was exciting!
No matter how prepared we felt, we were still slightly nervous but once the first patient was in the chair we eased right back into the rhythm of things. We were even able to squeeze in a patient who was in pain and take a few teeth out right away!
I have to personally thank my staff for being amazing and willing to go above and beyond to help our patients!
We're back at it tomorrow so call us and schedule your own appointment :)
We're ready to open...
Finally the day has come. The office is fully ready.
The contractor has finished up the construction and we started setting up our furniture this weekend.
The staff and I will be spending the next week training, finalizing and perfecting the office.
We want everything to be 100% before any patient comes in for treatment -
April 7th at 8 am - we have our first patient scheduled already!
I am blessed, honored and thankful for this opportunity and can not wait to treat my patients in my own space after many years under the direction of hospitals and private owners.
It is liberating to practice dentistry under no corporate guidelines and be able to put the patient treatment FIRST. Nothing else matters as much to me as my patients' comfort, happiness and health.
If you are one of our old patients and want to start seeing us, please call us today!
We're also excited about all these new patients who have been calling and scheduling appointments, if you know of anyone who is looking for a dentist, please share our info!
Our phone number is 904 329 3371 and we'll be taking calls 8 am - 5 pm all week!
Thank you to my supportive patients, staff, family and friends. I am honored to be your dentist and have you become part of my life!
Love, Dr. Cavka
Why are sodas so bad for your teeth?
Everyone has heard that sodas are bad for you in general – but why exactly are sodas so harmful to your teeth?
Here are a few bad aspects to keep in mind the next time you reach for your soda:
- Sugar – sodas are loaded with sugars. Let’s take the traditional can of Coke (my personal guilty pleasure). It’s loaded with 33 grams of sugar! That’s huge! The added calories will not only widen your hips, the sugar acts as the best food bacteria can hope for. Bacteria use this sugar to make products that break down your tooth structure and create decay!
- Acid – most sodas are extremely acidic in nature. This means their pH is very low. Research shows that depending on the soda the pH ranges from 2-3. That’s very low, since neutral is at 7. Why does pH matter you might ask? Not only does acid wear away at your tooth structure, i.e. think of people using soda to clean their coins, etc. Even more importantly, in the dentist’s mind, is that the decay-causing bacteria thrive in low pH. So every time you have your soda, you are making your decay-causing bacteria happy, happy, happy! This low pH lasts from 30 minutes to 1 hour in your mouth, so every time you sip, you are prolonging their perfect environment.
- Stain – dark sodas contain substances, which might stain your teeth. They will counteract your whitening products and make your teeth darker and duller, and therefore have you appear older.
Now, you might think you’re not ready to give up your soda. I’m not either!
If you’d like to still enjoy a soda every once in a while, here are a few simple rules to follow:
- Reduce the amount of soda you drink (we all know they’re not good for you). Your overall health will thank you!
- Do not sip - drink it quickly! Ideally, only consume sodas while you are eating, while your teeth are already undergoing an attack of sugars and acids. Never, ever sip sodas while driving or working! It is one of the most common bad habits my patients have. Every time you sip, you prolong the time of low acidity in your mouth. When you’re done with your soda, swish with water afterwards for a quick cleanse!
- Wait – wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve finished your soda to brush your teeth! The worst thing you can do is brush your softened teeth with a toothbrush during one of those low pH times! You will wear away your enamel quickly.
I have to admit that even though I know all this, I still have my soda every once in a while. I just make sure to follow the advice above. And remember, it’s not just soda that can do these bad things to your teeth. I’ve had patients with large amounts of decay who never drank sodas. Other common culprits include sipping on sweat tea, children who drink juice through sippy cups…even one patient who sipped on milk all day at work!
Dr. Aida Cavka