Saturday, August 29, 2015

7 Bad Habits For Your Teeth

Image result for visiting the dentist twice year

1. Not Visiting The Dentist
You brush, floss and even use the water pik to remove plaque. Even though you think you are doing a great job, this does not mean you should skip your regular  (3mo.,4mo.,or 6mo.) professional cleanings.

2. Not Brushing & FlossingImage result for importance of brushing and flossing teeth
You probably do not realize just how damaging skipping brushing @ least twice a day as well as flossing once a day can be to your dental health.  Interesting statistics from a 2014 Health and Well being survey found that more than 30% of Americans do not brush enough, and 23% have actually missed two or more days without brushing at all!.  When it comes to flossing, only 40% of people floss at least once a day, and 20% just do not floss . The reason we need to brush & floss is to remove the food debris & bacteria that exist in our mouths. Leaving this bacteria around will allow it to colonize and produce acids that break down the teeth resulting in caries (decay) and Periodontal (gum) Disease.Image result for importance of brushing and flossing teeth

3. The Horizontal Scrub (brushing side to side )
Proper tooth brushing technique is important to learn to help thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth without causing damage to your teeth & gums (gingiva).  Always use a soft toothbrush! When using a manual toothbrush, one method recommended is brushing in small circles for at least 2 minutes, instead of side to side. Aggressive horizontal scrubbing with abrasive toothpastes (ie-whitening toothpaste) may cause , overtime, damage to both your teeth and gums. When using an electric toothbrush,(follow the manufactures directions), allow the brush to do the work.  Applying additional force may also harm both your teeth and gums.Image result for tooth brushing techniques

4. Choosing a Non-Fluoride Toothpaste
Some toothpastes, especially the natural ones, brand themselves as fluoride free. The fact is that you need fluoride to achieve the healthiest teeth possible. Using a fluoridate toothpaste acts like a delivery system to delivery concentrated amount of fluoride to all the surfaces of your teeth.  Fluoride can help replace the mineral worn away by bacteria-producing acids.

5. Using Your Teeth As A Tool                          

Avoid using your teeth to open bags, bottles or even biting your finger nails. This can be damaging to your pearly whites! Take the time to find a scissors or bottle opener. As an adult, your teeth's edges become worn and thin,making it very easy to break your teeth                                                                          Image result for opening bottles with your teeth                       

6. Chewing Ice       
Your teeth are not made to resist fracture from that kind of force placed on your teeth when chewing ice. ( as well as popcorn kernel's ,fruit pits...)) Part of chewing ice is the thermal aspect. Subjecting your teeth from hot to cold, which tend to make things expand and contract very slightly. This can cause micro-cracks in your enamel & overtime, these small cracks build up and one day may cause your tooth to fracture.

Image result for chewing ice with your teeth

7. Nursing A Sugary Drink All Day
Sipping all day on a sugary drink ( ie- Pop, Sport/ Energy Drinks,  Image result for sipping on sugary drinksthroughout the day is feeding your mouth's bacteria (plaque) sugar all day long. (plaque + sugar = acid). If you drink a sugary drink, drink it all at once and then brush your teeth .  If you are unable to brush, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to activates your saliva to help wash away some of the sugars.  Remember, when it comes to sugar, frequency can be more damaging than quantity. ( This includes starchy snacks such as potatoes chips )  To best cut down on the acids from sugary drinks & snacks, it is to incorporate these foods & drinks with your meals.
Image result for sipping on sugary drinks

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Essential Oils For Oral Care

The Benefits of essential oils are more than aromatic, they have amazing therapeutic and healing properties.

Essential oils are fantastic for helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong!

Which are best for the mouth?


Peppermint & Spearmint Essential Oil: They both contain antiseptic oils, which help treat pain.  They are great in a mouthwash or toothpaste, which is why they are prevalent flavors in oral hygiene products. In addition, they both are effective in treating halitosis (bad breath)
Cinnamon Essential Oil:  This has been used for its medicinal properties, specifically its antifungal, antibacterial properties.  It helps fight germs and like peppermint, numbs pain and fights halitosis (bad breath.) Research has shown the cinnamon oils has the greatest potency against the bacteria which causes caries (decay) and periodontal (gum) disease. 
Rosemary Essential Oil:  Is a good disinfectant and takes care of mouth odors.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil:  This is a germicide that has been reported to help fight plaque build up, gingivitis (inflamed gums), and prevent caries ( decay)
Manuka or Tea Tree Essential Oil:  For oral hygiene, these are both invaluable-helping to fight germs, heal cold sores and kills halitosis (bad breath)
Myrrh Oil: Has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  This oil is very good for oral hygiene in that it strengthens gingiva (gums)
Lemon Essential Oil:  Is an antiseptic that strengthens your gingiva (gums) and helps
whiten teeth
Lavender Oil: Enhances blood circulation and tissue (& smells wonderful)
Oil of Cloves : Properties include - Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, a natural fungicide, insecticide, stimulate etc. Also acts a powerful disinfectant & local anesthetic

How to use essential oils?
The nice thing is that you can mix & match with what you have on hand, experimenting until you get a flavor you like.  After you brush your teeth, add a few drops of oil to your brush and gently brush the teeth and gums.  Rinse & spit.

10ml peppermint, 5ml spearmint, 5ml cinnamon, 5ml clove, 5ml tea tree or manuka, 5ml lemon essential oils.  lend together, and add to either 8oz of a carrier oil or water (you will need to shake a water blend well each time before using !)   After  brushing, add a few drops to your toothbrush and gently brush your teeth and gums.  Spit and rinse- DO NOT SWALLOW !  Or use a mouth rinse after brushing.  You can adjust the strength to your taste by making the essential oil concentration stronger or more diluted.

 Using Essential Oils for Oral Health :
 (applied  a few drops topically with toothbrush)

** NOTE** Essential Oils are not meant to replace routine visits to your dentist, replace brushing your teeth, flossing, or other oral care measures.

  •                                    Halitosis (Bad Breath)
     The best essential oil is Peppermint followed by Lavender and Patchouli
                                             Caries (Cavities)
              The best essential oil is Tea Tree Oil followed by Peppermint and Eucalyptus
                                              Gingiva (Gums)
              The best essential oils are Lavender, Myrrh and Tea Tree Oil
                   Periodontal(Gum )Disease/Gingivitis (Inflamed Gums)
             The best essential oils are Myrrh, Tea Tree Oil followed by Helichrysum and Rose
                                              Mouth Ulcers
              The best essential oil is Basil followed by Orange and Myrrh
                                              Teething Pain
             The best essential oil is Lavender
              The best essential oil is Clove followed by Tea Tree Oil


      Sunday, July 19, 2015

      Stages of Teething

       Some babies are fussier than others when they are teething. This may because of the soreness and swelling of the gums. These symptoms can begin a couple weeks before the tooth shows and the fussiness usually ends after the tooth has broke through the skin.

                                 STAGES OF TEETHING:

      0-6 Months: Your baby is born with a full set of teeth beneath the gums which are referred to as "Milk Teeth".
      6 Months:  Around this age the first set of teeth that begin to erupt are the incisors (upper and lower front teeth). Before eruption, the bumpy edges are often felt beneath the gum line and you may notice your baby begin chewing on their hands, toys or other items

       10-14 Months: Here come the ... Primary Molars (upper and lower jaw, towards the back of the mouth)! This stage is similar to stage 2 but with an increase in drool, crankiness and the urge to chew on everything in site! In this stage you may also notice your child experiencing fevers, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

      16-22 Months: During this stage your baby's canine teeth (pointed teeth on the upper and lower jaw) will erupt

      25-33 Months: Revenge of the molars! These are twice the size of the other teeth. Most parents will say this is the most difficult time of the teething process.

      Although teething can be a difficult time for parents & the child their are remedies to help your child feel better while they are teething:
      • Use a clean finger to gently rub your baby's gums for a couple minutes.
      • Provide some teething rings/toys. *Try refrigerating a teething ring, this helps reduce swelling and soothes sore gums*
      • Ask your pediatrician on over the counter medicine.
      • Orajel

      Saturday, July 11, 2015

      Suffering From Arthritis or a Loss in Your Grip ?

                        TOOTH BRUSH ADAPTATIONS

       Taking care of your teeth is made easier when you add extra mass and sometimes extra length to the handle of your toothbrush.

      This can be done with many house hold items such as:

      • Toothbrush attached to hand by a rubber band - Attach the brush to the hand with a wide rubber band. Make sure the band isn't to tight.
      Toothbrush Attached to Hand by Elastic or Rubber Band

      • Tennis ball on the handle of the toothbrush - Cut a small slit into a tennis ball and slide it onto the handle of the toothbrush.

        Tennis ball on the Handle of a Toothbrush
      • Toothbrush with a bicycle grip as a handle - Slide a bicycle grip onto the handle.
      Toothbrush with a Bicycle Grip as a Handle
      • Power toothbrush - Power toothbrush already comes with a thick handle.
      Illustration of a power toothbrush

      Regardless of your choice remember to change your toothbrush every three to four months!

      Saturday, June 27, 2015

      Just As It's Important To Practice Good Dental Hygiene, Good Toothbrush Hygiene Is Essential !

      The toothbrush has been around for nearly 5,000 years. “Chew sticks,” bone, wood, ivory and hog bristles all make up the far-reaching history of this instrument of oral health. The nylon bristled toothbrush that we now use was invented in 1938. Today, battery powered toothbrushes are available in addition to manual toothbrushes.

       Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean teeth. People who have difficulty using a manual toothbrush may find a powered toothbrush easier or more comfortable to use. The size and shape of the brush should fit your mouth comfortably, allowing you to reach all areas easily.

      No matter what type of toothbrush you choose, the American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner daily.

      Here are five easy ways to make sure your toothbrush is truly clean:

      Don’t share toothbrushes. Using someone else’s toothbrush exposes you to another person’s body fluids and potential germs, which could make you sick. People with compromised immune systems or who are sick with something they could pass on to another person should take special care to use only their own toothbrush.

      Rinse your toothbrush after brushing. Give it a thorough washing to remove any leftover toothpaste or debris.

      Store your toothbrush in an upright position. When you’re done brushing, try to store it standing straight up and allow it to air-dry until your next brushing. If there’s more than one brush in the same holder, try to keep them as separate as possible to prevent cross-contamination.

      Keep your toothbrush out in the open. Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment, such as a closed container, is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air.
      Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Bristles that become frayed and worn with use and will be less effective at cleaning teeth. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adult brushes. Look for toothbrushes that display the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

      Sunday, May 31, 2015

      Problem With Stained Teeth: Could Food Be The Culprit?

      Over time, many of the foods we eat can cause our teeth to discolor. Many foods have artificial coloring in them, such as soda or kool-aid, and many are naturally dark in color, such as fruits and fruit juices. For this reason, it is recommended that you limit your intake of these types of foods and drinks.
       There are some things you can do to keep your teeth whiter! Bleaching is of course the number one thing to eliminate stains fast, although you can only do this safely a couple times per year. Have your teeth cleaned regularly.  Plaque build-up will attract a stain faster than a smooth, clean tooth. If you have deeply stained teeth, the Dental  Hygienist can professionally remove the stain . It is also recommended that you use an electric toothbrush, and use an antibacterial mouthwash to help remove plaque. Do this religiously after eating or drinking and you will greatly reduce the chances of stained teeth!
      Below are a few foods to eat in moderation if you are prone to stains on your teeth:
      Soy Sauce



      Dark Colored Fruit Juices
      • Red Wine
      • Dark Color Pop


      Tobacco Products

      Sunday, May 24, 2015

      Surprising Things Your Tongue Can Reveal About Your Health

      Strawberry Red

      It could mean: You have a vitamin deficiency. A glossy, bright red tongue may be a sign your body is lacking iron or B12. “Vitamin B12 and iron are needed to mature papillae on the tongue. If you are deficient in those vitamins, you lose those papillae, which can make your tongue appear very smooth.

      In severe cases, this “balding” can cause pain when eating hot liquids or spicy food. Vegetarians are especially prone to low levels of B12, which is found in certain meats.  If you are a vegetarian & noticed this balding supplements may help. This strawberry Red Balding tongue may also  be associated with an autoimmune disease in the GI tract, in which the stomach doesn’t absorb vitamins


       Black or Black Fuzz



      It could mean: You don’t have the best oral hygiene. A tongue covered in dark hairs (actually called “black and hairy tongue”) may look nasty, but doctors agree that it's not cause for major concern.

      Papillae are normally worn down by chewing and drinking, but sometimes they can become overgrown, which makes them more likely to harbor bacteria or become discolored from food. This can cause bad breath or taste abnormalities. Typically [black and hairy tongue] is brought on by smoking, drinking coffee and dark teas, or poor dental hygiene. Removing the offending cause, like smoking

      & using a tongue scraper !



             It could mean: You’re getting older (yes, even our tongues show signs of aging). Fissures and cracks in the tongue are typically harmless, but problems can arise if poor dental hygiene leads to infection within the crevices. Once in a while a fungal infection can develop inside the clefts. Sudden pain, a foul smell, and sometimes burning can occur with these wrinkles.  Often the infection is treated with a topical antifungal medication. Some dental appliances, like dentures, can also cause indentations on the tongue.  Make sure your removable appliances fit well, drink a lot of water & practice good oral hygiene esp. clean your tongue.
      Small Patches of White
      It could mean: Something is irritating your mouth. Painless white patches (called leukoplakia) are caused by an excess growth of cells. Often associated with smokers, the lesions have about a 5 to 17 percent chance of developing into cancer. In many cases, leukoplakia can reverse when you stop smoking.

      Not a smoker? “The patches can also sometimes result just from the abrasion of the tooth constantly rubbing against the tongue. It is extremely important to see your dentist, if the lesion does not go away within 2 week
       Hills and Valleys
      It could mean: Absolutely nothing. A very normal, common condition, “geographic tongue” refers to a tongue that looks like bumpy terrain. Typically harmless, geographic tongue affects between 1 and 14 percent of the U.S. population.  They can regenerate, so some go away and some don’t. Geographic tongue (also called: Migratory Glossitis ) typically requires no treatment or checkup, but if it becomes painful, a doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-inflammatory steroid paste or antihistamine rinse.


       Burning sensation

      It could mean: You’re postmenopausal, or using the wrong toothpaste. If your tongue stings and burns as though it’s been scalded—but looks perfectly normal—hormonal changes could be to blame. Though burning tongue syndrome can happen to anybody (it affects up to 15 percent of the population), women are seven times more likely to experience it than men. It’s uncertain why this occurs, and the condition goes away in some individuals while it persists in others.

      Some people can also experience burning sensations from developing an allergy to certain toothpastes. An ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which helps toothpaste get foamy, can cause stinging—sometimes suddenly. “Someone might be using one toothpaste their entire life, and then suddenly, their mouth starts hurting, try Sensodyne Tp. For other causes, a doctor may be able to prescribe treatments such as antibiotic rinses or pills for neuropathic pain.
      Cottage Cheese White


      It could mean: You have a yeast infection. A lumpy, white-coated tongue could be thrush, an oral yeast infection caused by overproduction of candida. The condition is often linked to antibiotics When you take an antibiotic, which selectively kills off bacteria, it can allow yeast, which is not killed by antibiotics, to take over, which might cause taste disturbances or a bit of pain, can also occur in those with weakened immune systems. Typical in young children, thrush also affects people with autoimmune diseases, people with diabetes that isn’t well controlled, chemotherapy patients, and the elderly.  Candidiasis( thrush)can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal products.

       Persistent Red Lesions

      It could mean: You have signs of tongue cancer. Not be confused with a canker sore, which resolves itself within two weeks, red lesions or patches that don’t go away could be serious. Get it checked immediately. Though typically attributed to tobacco use, oral cancer can also be caused by the HPV virus. Get it checked out even if it’s not bothering you—many oral cancers don’t hurt in their early stages.