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Dr. Spadafora's Dental Blog

Does a Low-Carb Diet Help Your Smile?

January 19, 2018

Filed under: Diet and Your Teeth — Tags: , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 8:46 pm
A low-carb diet with fresh foods can be excellent for your teeth.

A low-carb diet with fresh foods can be excellent for your teeth.

Whether you’re an athlete or you’re trying to shed pounds, odds are you’ve heard or considered trying a low-carb diet. Many famous dietary lifestyles such as the ketogenic diet and paleo emphasize eating more protein and fat while significantly limiting carbohydrates. While there is little doubt that these diets result in losing weight, not many people understand that they’re beneficial for your teeth as well.

Are Carbohydrates Bad for Your Teeth?

While condemning all carbs at once may be a stretch, the simple answer would be that yes, many carb-heavy foods are terrible for your teeth. From bread to sugar, almost all starchy carbohydrates break into small particles of sugar that stick to your teeth.

The Carbohydrate and Sugar Connection

Every teaspoon of sugar has 4g of carbohydrates, but the connection goes deeper than that. When you digest carbohydrates, they break down into sugar and enter the bloodstream. From this perspective, carbohydrates are essentially sugars or at least they enter your body as sugars. This also means that your favorite carb-heavy foods are loaded with sugar that can take its toll on both your smile and waistline.

Examples of Carb-Heavy Foods That Can Be Bad for Your Teeth

In general, foods that involve bread, sweet flavors, or a starchy texture are the foods that are high in carbs and therefore, high in sugar. This list of foods that contain a lot of carbs will help you monitor your intake.

  • Syrup
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Potato Chips
  • Bread of All Types
  • Pastries
  • Pizza Crust
  • Soda
  • Jelly and Fruit Preserves

The Verdict – Limit Your Carbs for a Healthy Diet and Smile

Whether for your smile, fitness goals, or general health, it is strongly recommended that you limit your intake of carbohydrates. While carbs vary in quality – a serving of quinoa is better for you than a cinnamon roll – all carbs ultimately break down into sugar. Therefore, limiting your carb consumption is a beneficial decision for your body and smile.  

Choose Dr. Spadafora for Your Next Appointment

Along with oral health care at home, diet is a factor that plays a major role in your health and smile. Even with perfect home care, it is still vital to visit the dentist for professional exams, oral cancer screenings, and professional cleanings. When you’re ready to schedule your next exam, contact Dr. Spadafora for an appointment.

Give the Gift of Opalescence Teeth Whitening this Holiday

December 5, 2017

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry — Tags: , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 6:45 pm


The holidays are fast-approaching and the time for getting gifts for your loved ones is almost here. While chocolates, gadgets, and clothing items are all common and beloved holiday presents, perhaps you know someone who would appreciate a different kind of gift – one that can greatly enhance their smile. Discover why Opalescence Teeth Whitening from Dr. Spadafora can make an excellent gift this season.

Why Would Someone Want a Whiter Smile?

You don’t have to be an actress, model, or diva to wish you had a whiter smile. Stains can occur for a wide variety of reasons, some of which aren’t even your fault. Why live with a stained smile if it’s easily treatable? Some of the reasons why it’s advantageous to brighten your smile include the fact that research shows that you’re more likely to get a raise or promotion with a whiter smile. Giving someone a whiter smile is like giving them a boost in confidence.

Limited Offer: $100 Off Opalescence Teeth Whitening Treatment

Along with the many benefits of a whitened smile, there’s another reason to consider Opalescence Teeth Whitening this holiday season. For a limited time, you get $100 off the price of an Opalescence Teeth Whitening treatment with Dr. Spadafora. It’s just one of many ways we’d like to show appreciation for our patients.   

What is Opalescence Teeth Whitening?

Opalescence is a system of professional take-home teeth whitening that is only available through dental professionals. It works by using a customized tray that you fill with whitening gel and leave on for a certain time frame depending on the concentration of gel you receive. With just a week of using Opalescence Teeth Whitening system, you’ll see results that no over-the-counter whitening product can match.

4 Simple Steps to Using Opalescence Teeth Whitening

Once you or your gift recipient has scheduled the consultation with Dr. Spadafora, he will create a customized tray that fits the contours of your mouth. From there, you’ll receive the simple instructions on how to use Opalescence for significantly whiter teeth.

  1. Apply gel to your whitening tray
  2. Insert tray into your mouth, tapping it to ensure a tight fit
  3. Remove the whitening tray and brush your teeth
  4. Thoroughly clean and store your whitening tray

Benefits of Opalescence Teeth Whitening

  • Wear it at day or night in the comfort of your own home
  • Formula is designed to provide a long-lasting whitening effect
  • Several different concentrations provide different levels of whitening
  • Whitening gel contains fluoride and potassium nitrate
  • Provides profound whitening results in a short time
  • May have 3 flavors to choose from: Melon, Mint, and Regular

Know Anyone Who Would Appreciate a Whiter Smile?

There’s no single gift that everyone will love, but if you can choose the right present for the right person, they’ll never forget it. Whether it’s your mom, fiance, or one of your favorite siblings, perhaps someone in your family would benefit greatly from a safe and effective Opalescence Teeth Whitening treatment. Contact Dr. Spadafora in Hermitage, PA for a consultation.

Be the Star of Your Potluck with these Dental-friendly Dishes

November 9, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 7:59 pm

November is a month that falls right in the middle of the holidays, and that means getting together with family and friends. When you have to bring a dish to a potluck, the priority is typically bringing something you know everyone will like – but what options are excellent for your teeth? Discover some of the dishes you can bring that are beneficial for party-goer’s smiles.

Blackberry and Feta Salad

Featuring ingredients you don’t typically see on an average Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, Blackberry and Feta Salad is a recipe that people will remember. Plus, there’s no added sugar, so any diabetics or those who are watching their waistline will be able to partake. To look at why this recipe is excellent for your teeth as well, simply examine the main ingredients.

Why it’s Good for Your Teeth

  • This dish can be made without adding sugar
  • Research shows that blackberries fight gum disease
  • Cheese contains calcium and is excellent for your teeth

Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs

Served with veggie sticks and a dip of your choice, this creative take on meatballs will appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike. If you’ve never heard of tempeh, it’s fermented soy, and it also has the most protein content of any vegan food. As an appetizer or side dish, Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs are likely to peak everyone’s interest at your next holiday event.

Why it’s Good for Your Teeth

  • Veggie sticks including carrots and celery are phenomenal for your teeth
  • Little to no sugar content makes it great for your smile
  • Soft texture of tempeh won’t stick to your teeth

Creamy Jalapeno Hummus with Pita Chips & Veggies

One thing about holiday dinners is that they’re usually devoid of spicy food. You can change this by bringing Creamy Jalapeno Hummus with stuff to dip in it to your next potluck. Hummus is made from garbanzo beans which offer a solid serving of protein and good fats, while the spice from the jalapeno is a nice touch that keeps the dish interesting.

Why it’s Good for Your Teeth

  • Hummus has a unique property that keeps sugar from sticking to your teeth.
  • Veggie sticks scrub your teeth clean with each bite
  • The lack of sugar in this dish makes it better for your smile

Visit Our Hermitage, PA Dental Team for Quality Dental Care

Knowing which foods will help or harm your teeth is a vital part of keeping your smile white and strong. Home oral care is crucial too, as is making it to your biannual dental appointments with Dr. Spadafora. Contact us if you’re ready to schedule your next appointment.

Discover How Xylitol Products Can Help Your Smile

October 20, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 4:14 pm

Chewing gum | Dr. Dale SpadaforaYou may have grown up thinking that chewing gum is terrible for your teeth, and if you were chewing Bubble Yum and Bazooka, you were correct. But like most things that earn a bad reputation, chewing gum isn’t all negative. In fact, some types are legitimately good for your smile. Explore some of these cavity-fighting brands of gum and learn about xylitol, the active ingredient that is excellent for your smile.

Understanding Xylitol and How it Fights Cavities

The active ingredient in many sugarless gums and other products that makes them great for your teeth is xylitol. As a natural sweetener, xylitol is typically used in place of sugar for gum, candy, and other products. At its foundation, xylitol is a sugar alcohol, but it has special properties that make it decrease cavities that develop on the teeth. Learn more about these properties and how they combine to provide benefits for your smile.

Xylitol Prevents Bacteria from Sticking to the Teeth

The unique ability that makes xylitol so smile-friendly is that it naturally keeps debris from clinging to your teeth. This means that chewing xylitol gum before or after meals is advantageous because it will minimize a lot of the damage caused by your meal.

It’s Sweetness Stimulates Saliva

Another way that xylitol benefits your oral health is because its sweet flavor stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense system, washing it free of debris and keeping it fresh. By boosting saliva production, your mouth is left with extra protection from cavity-causing plaque.

The Chewing Action of Xylitol Gum Scrubs the Teeth

If you’re taking your xylitol in the form of chewing gum, then the natural action of chewing the gum cleans debris from the teeth. This is a trait of all forms of gum, but when it contains sugar, the chewing action does more damage because it spreads this sugar throughout your teeth. With sugarless xylitol gum, this benefit is useful because there’s no sugar involved.

Not Into Gum? Here are Other Ways to Find Xylitol

While gum is the most popular way to consume xylitol and it provides additional benefits due to the chewing action, there are other ways to take advantage of xylitol. Check out these common alternatives to xylitol gum and see if any of them are of interest to you.

  • Xylitol Toothpaste
  • Xylitol Mints
  • Xylitol Mouthwash
  • Xylitol Sweetener
  • Xylitol Dental Kits

Try Sugarless Gum with Xylitol – Your Teeth Will Thank You!

If you grew up in the age where blowing big bubbles with a mouth full of Bazooka gum was the norm, then it may be surprising to you that gum can actually be phenomenal for your teeth. But thanks to xylitol, it’s sweet flavor comes with advantages to your oral health. Chewing xylitol gum along with your normal brushing and flossing routine is an excellent way to ensure that your smile stays fresh between biannual appointments. If it’s time for your next dental exam, contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Spadafora today!


How is Botox Used to Treat TMJ Disorders?

September 5, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , , , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 5:26 pm

Have you experienced jaw pain? What about unexpected headaches or aching in your ear, neck, or face? If you’ve had these types of pain, then you may have a TMJ disorder.

Understanding Your TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the skull. A wide range of disorders can occur in the TMJ and they can be extremely disruptive to your chewing and speaking abilities. A variety of treatments are available for disorders of the TMJ, and Botox is emerging as an effective treatment. Discover how Botox is used to treat disorders of the TMJ and learn about why it’s so effective.

Brief Overview of Botox

Botox is made from the bacteria that causes botulism and contains a toxin called botulinum that shuts down all nerve activity in muscles. It’s this feature that makes Botox so valuable cosmetically.   While most patients are familiar with Botox as a way of smoothing facial wrinkles, this treatment has found new use as an effective treatment for TMD.

How Botox Became the Go-To for TMD Treatment

Those who suffer from a TMJ disorder (TMD) endure involuntary movement of the jaw. That can result in difficulty eating and speaking, as well as painful and awkward experiences in daily life.

Botox has the ability to dull the nerves in muscles, essentially keeping them numb for weeks or months at a time. This makes Botox an excellent tool for controlling disorders of the TMJ. This temporary paralysis prevents the uncomfortable spasms that cause the headaches, pain, and other side effects that often accompany jaw joint pain and TMJ disorder.

Where is Botox Injected for TMD Treatment?

When Botox is used to treat TMJ disorders, it’s injected directly into the chewing muscles, known as the masseter and temporalis. Once Botox enters your chewing muscles, it causes them to relax. This simple action can put an end to headaches and other unwanted symptoms of TMD, especially since the effect is safe and only lasts a few months.

Botox May Also Be Effective in Controlling Lockjaw

While research on Botox use in TMD treatment is limited due to how new it is, many experts are optimistic about the potential of Botox to minimize lockjaw. The advantage of Botox is that it can quickly reduce tension in the muscles surrounding the TMJ. Since lockjaw is one of the most menacing TMJ disorders, the fact that Botox may be the key to treating it provides hope for thousands of TMD sufferers.

Our Team Can Fight Your TMD in Hermitage, PA!

The use of Botox to treat TMD is a recent innovation – and that’s important to our Hermitage dental team. We take pride in consistently finding and implementing the latest and most advanced methods of treating patients. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

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752 Brookshire Drive, Suite A, Hermitage, PA 16148 USA
Dr. Dale Spadafora Hermitage, PA preventive, restorative, preventive dentist. (724) 342-7395