John Calvert, DDS is a Texas-based dental professional who owns and operates Smile Creations, a dental practice in Austin, Texas. Throughout his experience in oral health, he aims to create natural and beautiful smiles, correcting flaws and preserving healthy teeth for years to come. As a seasoned dental professional, he provides valuable insight into the causes of adult oral health concerns, as well as various conditions dealing with the TMJ and jaw pain.
Not only does he have more than 28 years of experience in the field, addressing dental health issues in adults, he teaches people of all ages the benefits of maintaining optimal oral health – even tweens. There are differing dental health concerns teenagers face, particularly tooth decay and more. While some of the poor dental hygiene issues are not exclusive to just young people, John Calvert implores teenage patients to pay close attention to their dental health.
He applauds a recent article in The Washington Post regarding dental health concerns for teenagers, highlighting a mother’s surprise at the variety of health concerns her teenage children are susceptible to. The first rule of thumb for individuals at this age is to heed the dentist’s advice regarding summer: the worst time for cavities: “Parental rules relax, allowing more candy and soda into the mix at the same time brushing slackens.”
According to the report, “Tooth decay begins with bacteria that naturally lives in the mouth. In order to thrive, the bacteria burns sugar, converting sugar into acid. The acid then eats away at a tooth’s enamel, which begins the decay and cavity process.”
John Calvert, DDS weighs in on the detrimental effects of sugary foods. “Foods like candy, soda, sports drinks and ice cream only serve as catalysts for the bacteria. Sugary, acidic or sticky foods are harmful to teeth.” The article points out the food-based causes of tooth decay, noting that “Sugary foods fuel bacteria. Many children consume their sweet or gummy vitamins after they brush their teeth, so the sugar remains on their teeth all morning. Sticky foods such as Skittles, Starburst candies, gummies and dried fruits linger on the teeth, giving the bacteria extra occasion to execute damage. Long-lasting fare, such as lollipops, Jolly Ranchers and cough drops, allows the sugar to dawdle in the mouth for a prolonged period.”
Dr. Calvert adds that “Starchy foods, such as French fries, white bread and pretzels can easily get stuck between teeth, causing them to convert into sugar by pre-digestive saliva.” In order to avoid the eating away of tooth enamel, the report advises teens to stay away from acidic foods, drinks like soda and citrus or tomatoes. On the effects of tooth decay in even younger children, Dr. Calvert states, “Tooth decay in children can lead to numerous problematic situations, including difficulty eating, speaking and learning. In order to preserve healthy teeth for years to come, parents need to proactively spur their children on toward positive oral hygiene habits. Young children and teens who brush and floss twice a day will see a significant impact – however, it is important that they don’t use too much toothpaste at first, since kids often end up swallowing the toothpaste and ingesting too much fluoride that stains the teeth. Flossing is crucial when back molars come in.”
John Calvert, DDS believes parents that get their children in a “good groove” with their oral hygiene routine are setting them up for future dental health success. “Children should start going to the dentist regularly so they are accustomed to those proper hygiene habits, inspiring life-long, positive dental care,” he said. According to Calvert, early visits are paramount to the child’s future success in oral health. Early visits provide early opportunities to examine potential issues with the mouth, teeth and gums, as well as the opportunity to offer guidance regarding diligent flossing and brushing techniques.
The article heeds individuals, especially teenagers, not to chew on ice, a habit that can cause tiny fractures in the teeth that eventually collect extra bacteria, causing additional breakage. Dr. Calvert encourages patients to eat to support tooth health, offering tips and tricks like chewing a pinch of parsley as a “natural” way to take care of teeth. According to the American Dental Association, this practice does in fact support dental health, as well as eating high-fiber vegetables like celery, which takes longer to chew, thus they stimulate saliva production, causing saliva to neutralize acids.
“Foods like pears, apples, yogurt and other dairy are ideal for neutralizing acids,” said Dr. Calvert. The report notes that “foods that provide calcium and phosphate, such as raw nuts and yogurt can strengthen the tooth’s surface.” It also highlights the benefits of crunchy fruits and vegetables, declaring that foods like apples, celery and cucumbers are high in water content, in turn helping to dilute the sugar and wash away food particles. Not surprisingly, oral health hygienists urge individuals of all ages and health conditions to drink water throughout the day, washing the teeth and flushing bacteria. “If you must drink sugary drinks, sip them through a straw,” said Dr. Calvert. “It will limit the amount of contact the sugar has with the teeth.”
The report spotlights Casey Seidenberg’s thoughts on dental heath as the co-founder of Nourish Schools, a district based nutrition education company. “The foods that damage teeth have been shown to damage overall health, and the foods that are favorable to teeth tend to be favorable to health,” Seidenberg asserts. “No surprise. Just one more reminder of why we should eat well and avoid sugar – not that any of our kids wanted one more reminder.” John Calvert, DDS is passionate about instilling life-long oral health habits for children, teens and adults, spreading awareness for oral health prevention.
John Calvert, DDS established his dental practice, Smile Creations, more than 26 years ago in Austin, Texas. Calvert addresses extensive dental concerns, including full mouth reconstruction, sleep apnea and TMJ pain. He is well known for his expertise in cosmetic dentistry to create brighter, healthier smiles in his patients to inspire confidence and optimal oral health. He enjoys traveling with his family in his free time and participating in and his favorite outdoor activities; scuba diving and snow skiing.