15 Things Every Pregnant and New Mom Should Know about Dental Care

written by CariFree

shutterstock_37462990Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase your risk of developing gum disease, because your oral health can affect the health of your developing baby don’t forget these important tips about staying healthy! After your little bundle of joy joins the world their oral health is in your hands. Know the best ways to ensure a healthy, happy baby free from oral health issues.


1. Don’t wait for an emergency to tell your health care providers you are pregnant. This information could change their treatment plan.

2. Avoid oral x-rays during pregnancy. If you need x-rays your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby. Advances in dentistry have made x-rays much safer today than in past decades.

3. Chew xylitol gum. This study shows mothers that chew xylitol gum during pregnancy can reduce the incidents of tooth decay in their child by 70%. Ask your dentist which brand he or she recommends.

4. Because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease, make sure you show up to your scheduled appointments. You are also at risk for a condition called pregnancy gingivitis (tender gums that bleed easily). It is a smart idea to schedule more frequent cleanings during the last part of your pregnancy.

5. Make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Use a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush. Use a toothpaste and brush for at least 2 minutes to remove plaque.

6. If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change the flavor of your toothpaste to one can tolerate. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.

7. Rinse your mouth out with water or an alcohol-free mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness. The stomach acid can be harmful to your teeth and lead to acid erosion or cavitation.

8. Ask your dentist about the need for fluoride supplements. Since fluoride is found in water and almost all brands of toothpaste, fluoride supplementation may not be necessary.

9. Think about how often you are snacking. Remember the more in more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay.

10. Eat for your baby’s teeth. Your baby begins to develop teeth around 12 weeks. Be mindful and make sure your diet includes healthy sources of calcium. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are a good option.

11. Make sure to inform your dentist of all supplements, medications and instructions your doctor has given. This information is critical to ensure you and your baby are receiving the best care.

12. If you experienced any gum problems (including pregnancy gingivitis or a pregnancy tumor) during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and your periodontal health evaluated.

13. Once you meet your little bundle of joy, remember vertical transmission is a real risk. Avoid ‘cleaning’ things like pacifiers and bottle nipples and utensils with your own mouth, and as hard as it may be, avoid kissing your baby on his/her lips. If you have the bacteria that contribute to decay, you can pass it directly to your baby.

14. Babies are never too young to begin an oral health routine. Before teeth erupt it is advisable to still wash the baby’s gums with a soft cloth.

15. Avoid bottle tooth decay. If your baby goes to bed with a bottle there is a higher risk of tooth decay. The carbohydrates and sugars in the liquid rest in the infant’s mouth and can lead to early decay. Be sure your baby finishes their nap time or bedtime bottle before putting them down.


Category: Bacteria,Xylitol

How to Eat Sugar and Not Get Cavities: 5 Tips

written by CariFree


Sweet candies and spilling jar with rustic wood background

Believe it or not, sugar does not cause cavities. The belief that sugar exposure is the direct cause of tooth decay is one of the most widely held myths in dentistry.

The truth is, sugar exposure only causes tooth decay when the mouth has an abundance of cavity causing bacteria that can process that sugar into enamel demineralizing acids and/or sugar is consumed in large amounts frequently throughout the day. Individuals that do not have a high bacterial challenge or a high quantity of cavity causing bacteria on their teeth are at lower risk for sugar consumption causing cavities.

So… how do you eat sugar and avoid cavities?

1. Get Tested

Many dentists now have the ability to test for the magnitude of cavity causing bacteria on your teeth using the CariScreen Caries Susceptibility Test. If you test high, eating sugar can mean your teeth are exposed to more acid than if you test low. The dentist can also recommend ways to lower the number of bad bacteria on your teeth. Click here to find a dentist in your area that offers the CariScreen Test!



2. Limit Frequency

Every time we eat our teeth are exposed to acids and our bodies are naturally wired to defend against this acid attack. But a healthy mouth is only designed to handle 4-5 acid challenges a day before it is overwhelmed and teeth begin to demineralize. If you are going to eat sugar, limit it to a desert at a regular mealtime rather than snacks between meals (see graph).


3. Pick the right sweets

Some sugary snacks are worse than others. Candies that slowly dissolve, are sticky, or also contain added acids as part of their recipe should be avoided. Instead choose sugary snacks that can be enjoyed without the added acids or long term exposure in the mouth. For example, a chocolate may be a better choice than a chewy fruity candy that also contains citric acid.


4. Boost it!

After eating sugar, help your body’s natural defenses against cavities by boosting the pH in your mouth back up to healthy levels. A pH of approximately 7 is a normal healthy pH and there are a number of ways to get your pH up after eating or sugar exposure. Products such as the CariFree CTx2 Spray and CTx2 Gum are extremely popular and specifically designed to boost the pH in the mouth after an acid attack and fight bad bacteria with xylitol.


5. Beware the acid bath

Fruit juice, sports drinks, and sodas are all not only acidic, but they also contain sugar for a potential double whammy on your enamel. Minimizing the amount of time you are bathing your teeth in acid is essential to avoiding acid erosion, and unhealthy, rough, chalky looking teeth. Keep those drinks to mealtimes and DO NOT SIP! Little sips of sugary acid will be the death of a healthy bright smile.

Eating sugar and maintaining a healthy bright smile can be done easily if you watch your pH and avoid creating an ongoing acidic oral environment. Your dentist and hygienist are likely enjoying just as many sweets this holiday season, but they know how to manage their oral environment and avoid acid erosion and cavities. Now you do to!

Category: Caries

Drink 100% juice…at your own risk

written by CariFree


Recently Forbes online published an article:

Pure Juice Won’t Rot Your Kids’ Teeth

It made the author’s top 5 most popular articles, and to date has received thousands of views. The article was based on the information from this study that concluded:

“Our study findings are consistent with those of other studies that show consumption of 100 percent fruit juice is not associated with early childhood caries.” HOWEVER it is SO important to know that  the study was based on the consumption of 4-6oz a day as depicted in the picture below.



sippy cup

Now, I am a mom of 2 little kids, and 4-6 oz is nothing in the world of preschool drinking habits. Many dentists are worried that the overly-confident headline of the Forbes article is going to mislead parents. We all know that giving kids juice is the easy option, but so much research has shown how sipping on sugary and acidic beverages is terrible for our teeth.

Our advice?

Don’t throw the healthy teeth out with the tap water based on this misleading headline.  Be the smart parent you are and say no to juice whenever you can.  If you do say yes, let it be 100%, use a straw, and finish up the 4-6 oz during lunch or snack time.


FYI, here is a table of common drinks and their pH and sugar per 6 oz.

 Drink        pH          Sugar (g per 6 oz)
Mountain Dew  3.1  23
100% Cranberry Juice  2.3  22.8
100% Pineapple Juice  3  22
100% Fruit Punch (Juicy Juice)  3.5  19.8
Coke Classic  2.53  19.5
100% Apple Juice  3.4  18
Grapefuit Juice (white)  2.9  16.8
Category: Uncategorized

Do you selfie?

written by CariFree

Dental Selfie



Some of the most entertaining photos on the internet are people taking selfies at the dentist. Celebrities do it, regular people do it, and most of the time the images are absolutely epic. Ranging in emotion from sheer terror to happy-gas-giddy, dental selfies seem to encompass the range of emotion one can experience when sitting in the dental chair.

Have you done it?  If so, we would LOVE to feature you on the blog and on Facebook.  Make sure to caption your photo!


Send your images to info@carifree.com and see your selfie on the blog!

Category: Miscellaneous

Do I brush first or rinse first? James Brown has the answer

written by CariFree

James Brown

Everyday we get calls about how to properly use the CariFree products.  One of the main hang-ups for people is the order of product use.  If you are like most of America, you probably grew up brushing your teeth THEN rinsing with mouthwash.However, with CariFree things are a bit different.  No matter what gel and rinse you have in your bathroom you ALWAYS want to RINSE then BRUSH.  Although it seems strange at first, there is a scientific reason behind the order of use.

If you are using the CTx4 Treatment Rinse to decrease the amount of cavity causing bacteria there, be aware that the rinse works ON CONTACT. In other words, it does not need to continue to work after you spit it out.  Once you spit it out, it’s job is done.  So, after rinsing with the CTx4 Treatment Rinse, we want to brush with the gel. The gel is special because it is going to continue to keep the pH elevated WHILE delivering nano particles of hydroxyapetite to the teeth.

To put simply, the longer process in the equation is what dentists refer to as ‘remineralization’  (the adding of minerals to the enamel) and it is the job of the gel. This process takes more uninterrupted time. Therefore, we want to brush second so the minerals in the gel have the opportunity to do their work. That also means we don’t want to rinse with water after brushing.

The very same rules apply if you are using the CTx3 Rinse.

If you need help remembering the order, I always think of the song by James Brown (who had an amazing smile) I Feel Good…..why?  Because it is a classic Rhythm and Blues tune…and R&B to me says Rinse & Brush :)


Have a great R&B this morning



Make money and prevent cavities? Sold!

written by CariFree


As Halloween approaches many dentist offices begin planning ways to help their patients avoid eating pounds and pounds of sugar.  Many provide educational materials, encourage handing out things like play doh instead of taffy and the like.  What you may not know is many dental teams take the time of year so seriously they are willing to PAY YOU for your candy! That is right- they host something called a Halloween candy buy-back the days following trick-or-treating. Usually they request you bring in your loot and they will pay you cash per-pound. One dental office Dassani Dentistry of Houston Texas is already marketing their buy back.  They are offering $1 and a free toothbrush for every pound of the sweet stuff.  How can you participate a candy buy back?  Here are a few things you can do:

1. Call your dentist
Ask them if they will be hosting a buy back, if they have not planned on it, suggest the do!
2. Check your local paper
Often offices will advertise their buy back in the newspaper
3. Ask your friends
If you don’t have a regular dentist Halloween is the perfect time to find one. Ask your friends if their dentist is hosting a buy back and jump on board.  Often you do not have to be a regular patient to participate.
4. Conduct your own buy back
If you can’t find a buy-back in your area, host your own.  Offer your kids money, toys or some other reward for giving up their treat bags- their dentist will thank you.
5. And the mother of all resources to find a candy-buy back? HALLOWEEN CANDY BUY BACK This is the official program website. You can simply insert your zipcode to find a local office. What is more, this program sends the candy collected to service members overseas, along with free toothbrushes and floss.


Category: Miscellaneous

You are invited!

written by CariFree


Sugar Awareness Month at Advanced Dentistry by Design in Carson City, NV

October 1 - November 1

Drs. Kelly, Clint Euse and Dr. Randy Wright along with the Advanced Dentistry by Design team want to be sure you are making smart choices for yourself and your children this Halloween season to prevent cavities.

They would like to invite everyone this Halloween Season to try a “teeth friendly” treat. CTx1 Lollies are a sugar free candy that is made with an ingredient called Xylitol.  The Xylitol substitutes for sugar and reduces the enamel eating acid. The only thing that our little Ghouls and Goblins will notice is how great they taste, and moms and dads will want to stock up on extras for themselves.

While the doctors at Advanced Dentistry by Design do not expect everyone to totally avoid candy around the Halloween season, they do want you to know that there are healthy alternatives. We can have our sweets and keep out cavities! Of course it goes without saying that the doctors also want to remind everyone that when you do indulge your sweet tooth, be sure that you brush and floss those pearly whites.

For more information about Advanced Dentistry by Design or the CTx1 Lollies that they will be handing out, you can visit the following website:www.advanceddentistrybydesign.com or stop by the office at:
Advanced Dentistry by Design
403 W. Nye Lane, Suite A; Carson City, NV 89706
Phone: 775-883-7244

Category: Xylitol

7 easy ways to beat dry mouth

written by CariFree


If you find your mouth feels dry and sticky during the day and night you may be one of the millions of sufferers of dry mouth. There are many causes of dry mouth, some controllable and some not. No matter the cause, lack of saliva diminishes your body’s natural ability to protect itself against cavities. Saliva is our body’s way of neutralizing the acids from food or those produced by acidic bacteria. The absence of saliva often leaves you uncomfortable and your teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you want to take control of your dry mouth here are 7 easy ways to make that happen.


  1. Use xylitol gum or alkaline saliva substitutes to stimulate your natural saliva production. This will also limit the acid production of cavity-causing bacteria.

  2. Use a 0.05% sodium fluoride rinse with xylitol and neutralizing pH to help prevent a caries infection and remineralize teeth.

  3. Limit sugary/carbohydrate containing items in your diet as well as acidic beverages (i.e. diet soda, coffee, tea, sparkling water, alcohol).

  4. Drink plenty of water to help keep the mouth moist.

  5. Find out if there are effective alternatives to the medications you take that do not claim dry mouth as a side effect.

  6. Brush and floss regularly

  7. Use only alcohol-free mouth rinses and be sure you know the pH of all your dental products (pH of 7+ is ideal).

For more information on how to treat dry mouth, visit: www.carifree.com.



5 drinks NOT to send to school

written by CariFree
School is back in session and that means parents are once again faced with the task of packing school lunches.  Make sure to pack a tooth-friendly lunch this year by avoiding some of the most harmful drinks.  The key to protecting kids’ teeth is to keep drinks above the critical pH point of 5.5.  At 5.5 demineralization occurs (mineral loss of the teeth) and cavity-causing bacteria activate.  Here are 5 popular drinks with very low pH points that can be avoided this year.

1. Sunny Delight

It may taste orangy-sweet and be begged for by kids everywhere, but watch out!  This drink sits at the VERY low pH point of 2.4.

sunny d











2. Capri Sun

These sweet sips are also one to avoid as they are a pH of 2.6.  They may be convenient, but you might regret packing them at your next dental visit.









3. Welch’s white grape juice

Grape juice is a lunchbox standard, but if you are concerned with your child’s oral health it might be better to avoid the old standby.  With a pH of 2.8 it will do more harm than good.












4. Juicy Juice

With a low pH of 3.5 Juicy-Juice can take the fun out of lunchtime in a hurry.












5. Gatorade

As sports seasons kick off many parents want their kids to stay hydrated.  Send water at a pH of 7.0 instead of Gatorade that sits at a low 2.95.












So what is a busy parent to do?! Safe options include milk (pH of 6.8) and water (pH of 7). Your kids don’t have to miss out on ALL the fun.  Milk comes in easy to pack boxes or you can splurge on a fun thermos! If plain water is too boring, try infusing the water with things like cucumber, mint or berries.














What drinks do you send to school?

Category: Bacteria,Caries

6 cavity myths busted

written by CariFree



For years myths about the cause of cavities have been held on to as fact.  Today we set the record straight and give you the truth about decay.

MYTH 1: Brushing and flossing are enough to fight decay.

FACT: Brushing and flossing alone do not kill the bacteria that are the real cause of decay. Dental Caries is a very complex biofilm infection. There are currently 23 identified strains of bacteria in biofilms that produce the acids responsible for causing cavitation. It is more than lack of home hygiene that puts you at risk for the disease.  Check out this Caries Risk Assessment to see a comprehensive list of risk factors: CariFree CRA form

MYTH 2: Cavities are not contagious.

FACT: Studies show that infants are not born with the bacteria that cause cavities, but that they are infected most often by their parents or caregivers. This route of infection is often referred to as “vertical transmission.” This vertical transmission takes place when the infant is kissed, milk or food is “sampled” for temperature, and pacifiers are “cleaned” in the parents’ mouth. It is not uncommon that whole families will be affected by the caries infection. In order to know if you have the infection, find a dentist near you that can screen your family

MYTH 3: Sugar is the reason I get cavities.

FACT: Bacteria that cause cavities are driven by an acidic pH. Acidic conditions in the mouth (pH below 7) cause a shift in the species of bacteria that form the biofilm (thin layer of bacteria that every person has) on the teeth.  When this shift occurs, cavity-causing bacteria take over and good bacteria die out. Once the cariogenic bacteria dominate the biofilm, tooth decay sets in.

MYTH 4: Fluoride is the answer to stopping decay.

FACT: Studies show that the increase in fluoride use has not lowered the incidence of decay in adults; in fact Tooth decay is an epidemic in American children with 50% of 5th graders showing active signs of the disease. The World Health Organization says that worldwide 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have cavities.  While fluoride is one of the ways to help manage decay it is not the sole answer.  There are 5 key elements to treating tooth decay and a Caries Risk Assessment and CariScreen test can provide individual patient a targeted and comprehensive therapy they need to lower their risk.

MYTH 5: I get cavities because I have soft or weak enamel.

FACT: The acid produced by bacteria is no joke! It is a scientific fact that when the pH in the mouth drops below 5.5 demineralization of any enamel takes place.  The acid producing bacteria eat away at the enamel that we call cavities.  If you are getting cavities, it is not because your enamel is ‘softer’ than someone else; you have risk factors that are keeping your mouth too acidic.  Ask your doctor what risk factors you can change and what elevated pH products are right for you.

MYTH 6: Filling my cavity cures the disease.

FACT: Only medical treatment can change the bacteria that cause cavities.  Drilling and filling is a necessary intervention when the cavity has reached a point of significant damage.  However, patching a hole in the tooth does not address the larger issue of the biofilm infection.  Once a biofilm is infected the bacteria must be treated with the appropriate agents before long term health can be achieved.  Patching holes in teeth with no biofilm therapy is like building a deck on a house while it is burning down; the work won’t last.

To find out more truths about dental caries, ask your doctor for a copy of the book Balance: a guide for managing dental caries for patients and practitioners. Or, go to www.carifree.com