Health Tips for Portion Control

Each year, December 15TH recognizes National Cupcake Day. This single-serve cake makes it convenient for small indulgence. Portion control can be more effective than completely omitting certain foods. It allows us to enjoy our favorite sweets in moderation without feeling guilty.

Here are a few more smile-friendly health tips for portion control:

    • Start with Smaller Portions -Try filling a salad plate with a good variety of foods instead of a full-sized dinner plate. This gives you the perception of more on your plate with less quantity.
    • Chew Slow – Your brain doesn’t have time to process what the food actually tastes like and that you may already be getting full. Try putting down your fork in between bites.
    • Take Smaller Bites – This goes right along with chewing slow. This slows down the amount of food you are digesting at once. Smaller bites also mean less strain on your teeth and jaw.
    • Avoid distractions – Don’t deprive your taste buds of the eating experience. Try turning off the TV during your meals. Your taste buds will thank you.
    • Utilize Resources – Free apps like My Fitness Pal are great to help track the calories you consume.

One important note, to ensure there are no hidden sugars and additives, is to make your meals from fresh ingredients. Limit the amount of processed foods in the snacks and meals you consume. Practicing these healthy habits, along with scheduling routine dental exams and cleanings, will help keep your general health and dental health on point. The staff at Westchase Premier Dental encourages healthy lifestyles for all of our patients. Stay on top of your overall health and keep your dental exams and cleanings up-to-date. Give us a call at (813) 475 – 4528 for your next appointment. A healthier waistline means more confident smile.



Diabetes Impacts Your Dental Health

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. There are almost 30 million Americans with diabetes in the United States. Along with overall health concerns, diabetes impacts your dental health as well. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, oral infections and dry mouth to name a few.

Periodontal disease is perhaps the most common dental problem for diabetics. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that can destroy the soft and hard structures supporting your teeth. Gingivitis is the beginning stages of gum disease and is marked by red and swollen gums. This is the body’s natural response to harmful bacteria. If left untreated, the more serious form of periodontal disease can develop. The gums will pull away from the teeth and the supporting bone is destroyed. With no supporting structure, the teeth may become loose and fall out.

Any infection in the body may cause blood sugar levels to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight off the bacteria in the gums. Controlling your blood glucose level, practicing good oral hygiene habits and regular checkups are vital in preventing dental problems with diabetes.

At Westchase Premier Dental, we encourage nutritious food choices to keep your smile healthy and bright. Keeping your sugar intake to a minimum will help control the bacteria levels that cause tooth decay. Drinking plenty of water will not only keep you hydrated, it also rinses away excess food particles from your teeth. These simple dietary measures are equally as important as proper dental care at home, regular checkups and professional cleanings. Give us a call at (813) 475 – 4528 to make your next dental appointment and keep your smile in excellent health.

Source: Colgate

Mouth Healthy


Frightened of all those tasty sweets constantly available this time of year? Be sure you keep your healthy diet this Halloween Season and stay on top of your checkups and cleanings. Give us a call for your next visit at (813) 475 – 4528.


Improving Dental Health in Seniors

It is important to be aware of the effects of aging and oral health as we enter our senior years. Our mouths go through changes at this time and we become more at risk for developing a variety of oral health conditions. The nerves in our teeth can become smaller. This can make any cavities or other dental problems less noticeable, which could lead to a late diagnosis. Being aware of this process as you age can help reduce the chance of severe dental problems by regular dental exams for early diagnosis.

Dry Mouth, tooth decay and gum disease become more of a problem and significantly impacts seniors’ health and well-being. Improving dental health in senior years is vital in keeping these dental problems at bay. Poor dental hygiene increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Poor dental health also affects nutrition. Many seniors may prefer soft foods that are easy to chew and not have enough nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Tips for Improving Dental Health in Seniors

Improving dental health in seniors involves a rigorous daily dental care routine and a well-balanced diet. Doing so will significantly improve oral health and prevent worse conditions from developing. Seniors should brush their teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day. They should also keep dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months. If you take care of your teeth and get proper dental care, your teeth can last a lifetime.

Preventative maintenance and repairs will help keep any developing dental issues from becoming more severe with aging adults. Westchase Premier Dental encourages everyone to stay on top of your dental checkups and cleanings throughout your life so that you can approach your golden years with a head start on a healthy smile. Give us a call to schedule your next checkup and cleaning at (813) 475 – 4528.  We look forward to being your family dentist for years to come.

Further Reading About Improving Dental Health in Seniors:


National Relaxation Day – Stress & Oral Health

Today is National Relaxation Day! Most of us have plenty of stressful events throughout our lives that cause us tension and the inability to relax. Stress can have negative effects on your overall health, but it can also have significant negative effects on our oral health. Stress can be a major contributing factor to many dental problems including:

Periodontal Disease

Long-term stress can weaken your immune system. A weakened immune system contributes to the risk of having inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and developing gum disease (Periodontal Disease).


Stress contributes to temporomandibular joint disorders, known as TMJ or TMD. Stress and Bruxism are common causes of TMJ disorder. The trauma from grinding the teeth as well as anxiety and depression are common triggers.


Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of your teeth mostly while you sleep. Stress can bring Bruxism and can cause your teeth to become chipped, cracked, and loose.

Canker Sores

Although these shallow lesions have an unknown cause, research suggests several factors including the likelihood of being stress induced. Canker sores are shallow lesions at the corners of the lips and are generally harmless, but they can be quite painful. They are believed to be stress induced.

Dry Mouth Syndrome

Dry Mouth Syndrome (Xerostomia) occurs when the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. Dry Mouth Syndrome can result from conditions caused by stress or medications used to treat anxiety and depression.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome, by definition, is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, gums or palate. Though the direct cause is unknown, stress is one of the triggers for burning mouth syndrome.

Viral Infections

Viral infections due to stress can trigger a reaction called Lichen Planus. It produces white, lacy patches or lines in the mouth, which can be unpleasant and painful.

All of these symptoms show the indirect ways stress can influence your oral health. For this National Relaxation Day, we would like to remind everyone to stay vigilant on your daily oral hygiene routine during periods of high stress. If you are concerned that stress is affecting your teeth and gums, contact Westchase Premier Dental at (813) 475 – 4528.


Relief from Chapped and Cracked Lips

We have more than our share of warm and sunny days in the Tampa Bay area. Unfortunately, this is prime weather to bring on dry, chapped and cracked lips. It’s not uncommon in the summer months to see lips that suffer from annoying, painful cracks. Many of us will experience chapped lips at some point this summer. Knowing the causes and what you can do to remedy chapped lips may save you from pain and discomfort all season long.

What Causes Dry, Chapped Lips?

There are many factors that can be the cause for dry, cracked lips such as climate change, sun damage, and wind exposure. Common contributing factors include dehydration, smoking, spicy food, or ill-fitting dental appliances. Certain medications can also be the culprit due to side effects and allergic reactions. There are also some serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, that cause chronic dry lip problems.

How to Get Relief from Chapped and Cracked Lips

Stay Hydrated – It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated and keep drinks that cause dehydration to a minimum, such as alcohol.

Use Ointments – OTC creams work well, especially before you go to bed. Avoid balms with eucalyptus and menthol that could have a burning sensation.

• Don’t lick your lips. Saliva on your lips evaporates and removes moisture from them. Licking your lips will dry out your lips even further.

Don’t Overuse Products – Frequent use and over-application of commercial skin treatments, such as flavored lip balms and cosmetics will also dry out your lips.

Eat a Healthy Diet – Diets lacking in vitamins A, B, C, and E can contribute to cracked lips. Vitamin deficiency tends to take away moisture from the lips and result in dryness.

Keep Regular Dental Checkups – You should have a professional dental cleaning and dental exam every 6 months to keep your smile healthy and catch any developing problems early.

Westchase Premier Dental is very much attuned with the oral health care of our

community. Contact Westchase Premier Dental at  (813) 475-4528 for your next

checkup and cleaning. We look forward to being your family’s oral healthcare

providers and keep your smiles healthy and bright.

Smiling should never be painful!


Share Your Smile Power

Today, Westchase Premier Dental would like to share with you that June15th is National Smile Power Day! So be sure on this day to share your smile with everyone! A smile is a universal way to connect with people and convey a sense off happiness. Smiling releases endorphins in your brain, making you feel better. These endorphins help you feel relaxed and boosts your immune system.

A beautiful smile can make your day more delightful. When you give someone a warm and sincere smile, you pass along a pleasant feeling that can last throughout the day. Recent studies have shown that smiling is contagious! Just one smile can start a shift in your mood. When people around you are smiling, it can change your day even if you don’t feel much happier straight away. When you share a smile, people around you are more likely to smile!

This is the perfect time to express the importance of practicing good oral hygiene at home and maintaining regular dental visits. This is the easiest and least expensive way to keep your smile healthy and bright. Here are a few simple steps keep your smile bright so that you may share your smile power for many years to come:

    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
    • Floss everyday to clean between your teeth.
    • Cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
    • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings.

At Westchase Premier Dental, we would never question the power of a smile.  Share your smile not only on National Power of a Smile Day, but everyday. And bring a bit of happiness to everyone around you! If you have questions about taking the best care of your smile or to make your next dental appointment, contact us today at (813) 475 – 4528. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you!

Share your Smile Power on social media using #smilepower and #smilepowerday

National Day Calendar – National Smile Power Day


Road Trip Teeth Tips

The season for road trips has just kicked into high gear. Lots of folks will be grabbing the family and hitting the open road. Whether it’s a day out at the beach or a lengthy vacation, road trips are a fun and often scenic way to really get the most out of your vacation. Long car rides should be planned and organized prior leaving so you and your family are prepared for “whatever” when you are out on the road.

Many people feel like they have a hard time taking care of their teeth when they are on vacation. We would like to share some tips to keep your family’s oral health in check and keep their smiles bright throughout your trip.

Our Top Road Trip Teeth Tips:
    1. Clean Bill of Oral Health – Always make sure your teeth are in good health before leaving. If you are due for an exam and cleaning, it’s a good idea to go prior to your trip and allow enough time for any dental treatment needed. This will keep the risk down of developing dental problems when you are away from your family dentist.
    1. Store Emergency Numbers – It’s helpful to have your doctor and dentist phone numbers in your contacts on your phone. This will keep you from having to hunt down numbers should an emergency situation arise.
    1. Bring Oral Hygiene Essentials – Don’t forget all your dental care items including floss, toothpaste and toothbrush. It may also be a good idea to bring extra for those that do forget to bring theirs.
    1. Pack Healthy Snacks  Carrots and celery are packed with fiber, which stimulates salivary flow. This is a natural cleanser for your teeth and keeps plaque bacteria from sticking to your teeth.

If you are planning a long trip this summer, get your family lined up with your regular checkups and cleanings first. Contact Westchase Premier Dental at (813) 475 – 4528 to make your next appointments. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you!


Salad is Good for Your Teeth

May is National Salad Month! There’s nothing like the crunch of a fresh, cool, vegetable salad. Incorporating salad into your diet is easy considering there’s a wide variety of delicious summery salad choices. The foods you eat have a strong impact on your overall health as well as your dental health. Westchase Premier Dental wants to help keep your oral health and point out a few reasons why salad is good for your teeth.

Most salads consist of mainly vegetables, which contain vitamins and nutrients that promote healthy teeth and gums. Along with their high nutritional value, eating raw, fibrous vegetables allow your teeth to practice grinding action. Chewing on these fibrous foods gives good resistance to your teeth. Celery’s fibrous strands can naturally cleanse your teeth. Carrots and broccoli are also high in vitamin A, which forms tooth enamel.

Although eating salad is good for your teeth, you should consider what you put into your salads. Salad dressings contains high amounts of vinegar and sweeteners. Acidic and sugary foods only feed your oral bacteria, thus, increasing your chances of developing cavities. These make a salad very acidic and can change the pH of your mouth from alkaline to acidic, putting your teeth at risk for erosion and decay. These crunchy veggies are also full of water, which can mitigate their sugar content.

Please enjoy all the tasty whole foods that are great for your body and teeth. A healthy smile and waistline have a positive influence on your overall health. A healthier you is a happier you and when you are happy, you smile more! Westchase Premier Dental wants you to keep your smile bright and healthy. Contact us at (813) 475 – 4528 for your next checkup and cleaning. Our friendly staff will work with you to make an appointment time that best fits into your schedule. We look forward to being your Westchase family dentist!

Related Articles: Best Fall Foods for Your Teeth / Cinco de Mayo Chili Pepper Tribute


Spring Cleaning for Your Dental Care Routine

Now that spring has begun and the plants have started to bloom, many people turn their focus to spring cleaning, organizing and freshening up their homes. Once the winter months and holidays have gone, you might even be excited about giving your home some much needed attention and scrubbing. Spring is the time for new beginnings and many will take this time to also do a “detox” by cleaning up their diet with healthier eating habits. Why not add spring cleaning for your dental care routine to your list?

Here’s a few things you can do to give your dental care routine a spring cleaning of its own!

    1. Change Out Your Toothbrush – Dentists recommend swapping out your brush at least once every three to four months. Throw out damaged toothbrushes with tattered bristles. Remember to replace your brush after you’ve been sick. There could be harmful bacteria left behind.
    2. Update Your Toothpaste – If you have been using the same toothpaste for some time, now is the time to consider if you are using the right toothpaste for you. The best toothpastes will effectively clean your teeth without damaging the enamel. Choose a toothpaste that is not too abrasive.
    3. Get a Professional Cleaning – A professional dental cleaning at least twice a year is an important part of your dental health. It is strongly recommended that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every three to six months.
    4. Get a Whitening Treatment – For dramatic whitening, professional treatment is often the best option. Professional whitening offers efficient brightening without prolonged exposure to products that can lead to uncomfortable tooth sensitivity.

Westchase Premier Dental encourages everyone to take this time to freshen up your dental health care routine and enjoy the coming months with a beautiful, bright smile. Give us a call at (813) 475 – 4528 if you are behind on your dental checkup and cleaning or want to brighten up your smile with a whitening treatment this spring. We want everyone to enjoy this season with a healthy and confident smile!


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