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.
















Sunday, May 10, 2015

12 Surprising Household Uses for Toothpaste

If you don't feel inspired when brushing your teeth, this might change that.
Toothpaste is a master multitasker, capable of polishing gemstones, buffing bowls, smoothing scratches and so much more. Here's what it can do for you!

Erase scuffs from shoes
Don't you hate when your new kicks have fresh marks? "Toothpaste is great for getting scuff marks off sneakers," says Barbara Reich, owner of the organizing company Resourceful Consultants. "Just a little dot will go a long way, so start small and add more if needed."
Remove crayons from walls
 Toothpaste will make crayon marks disappear faster . Spread over the artwork, scrub, then rinse with water. The abrasives in the toothpaste will easily get your wall back to normal."
Help you hang art
Now that your walls are crayon-free, use a dab of basic toothpaste (no whiteners or fresh strips) on the back corners to press lightweight posters, collages and other mementos into position. (Decent hold and no holes!) And for frames backed by teeth hangers or picture hooks, toothpaste can be used to determine where to position and pound the nail.
Fill wall holes
In a pinch, plain white toothpaste can also be used in lieu of Spackle to patch holes left by pins, nails, screws, etc. It's not really a permanent solution, and will probably make real repairs trickier down the line, so use this method only if you don't plan to stick around (and your landlord deserves it).  
Treat pimples
If you've been a teenager, you've gone to bed with toothpaste on your face. But have you tried blending it with crushed aspirin? Aspirin is derived from willow bark, the same source for salicylic acid, a popular acne fighter. So the former dries the pimple up, the latter fosters cellular turnover and decreased inflammation.
Brighten your nails
Whitening peroxide toothpastes can help restore luster to nails discolored and yellowed by dark polishes. Use a nailbrush or unused toothbrush to scrub the stains away — really get in there, especially under the nails. Follow up with a nice lemon juice soak.
Shine diamonds
Beautiful digits demand more beautiful bling, right? Make your best friends shimmer by using toothpaste and a very soft toothbrush to clean your diamonds. Your diamonds will shine in just minutes !
Polish the silver
From tarnished picture frames to dingy jewelry, a thorough tumble with old-school white toothpaste (gel formulas don't really work) will cause tarnish to literally rub off your hands, blacken your brush and turn your polishing cloth gray. Follow with a good rinse and buff dry.
Clean your toilet
In less than 30 seconds, you can shine up the inside rim and bowl or your porcelain throne, sans toxic chemicals. This is also a fantastic way to use up your kids' barely-used toothpastes. 
Lighten grout
Return your blackened grout to its original light gray color using sudsy, whitening paste and a toothbrush. If you care about speed (and your arms, back, knees), consider using an electric. Use a rag to wipe up the toothpaste muck as you go, since it's way harder to clean once it dries all crusty.
Remove water rings
No coasters? No problem. Removing water rings on wood furniture by a gentle rub of white, non-gel toothpaste. Focus on the ring only, since toothpaste can potentially damage a wood finish.
Deodorize containers
Toothpaste was made to help eliminate stinky food odors, and it can do the same for baby bottles, thermoses and other containers that have gone ripe. Simply scrub, using it in place of dish soap. For the same reason, toothpaste can quickly eradicate garlic, onion, curry and other potent food smells from your hands.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

4 Signs You May Have A Problem:
Diabetes puts you at risk for dental problems.  It impairs the ability to fight bacteria in your mouth. Having high blood sugar encourages bacteria to grow & contributes to periodontal (gum) disease. You may have periodontal disease if you have:
  •  Gingiva (gums) that are red, sore, bleeding or swollen, or that pulls away from your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  •  An irregular bite or dentures that do not fit
                                                          Control Diabetes to Keep Your Smile Your Smile
    Well controlled diabetes contributes to a healthy mouth.  If you have poorly controlled or high blood sugar, your risk increases to dry mouth, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss and fungal infections like thrush. Since infections can also make blood sugar rise, your diabetes may become even harder to control. Keeping your mouth healthy can help you manage your blood sugar.
                                                       See Your Dentist Regularly

    People with diabetes are prone to oral infections.  You should get dental checkups at least twice a year.  Let your dentist know you have diabetes and what medicines you take.  Regular checkups and professional cleanings can help keep your mouth healthy.
                                                        Keep Plaque at Bay
    Sticky plaque-food, saliva, and bacteria-starts to form on your teeth after you eat, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel.  Untreated plaque turns to calculus (tartar), which builds under the gingiva (gums) & is hard to remove with flossing.  The longer it stays on your teeth, the more harmful it is. Bacteria in plaque causes inflammation and leads to periodontal (gum) disease.  Having high blood sugar often makes periodontal (gum) disease worse.
                                                 Take Care of your Dentures

    Loose-fitting or poorly maintained dentures can lead to gum irritation, sores, & infections. It's important to talk to your dentist about the changes in the fit of your dentures.  When you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of fungal infections like thrush and mouth sores that are difficult to heal.  Poorly maintained dentures can also contribute to thrush.  It's important to remove & clean dentures daily to help reduce your risk of infection.  (it is also recommended that you do not sleep with your dentures in to allow your tissues to breath at night).
                                                         Toss The Tobacco
    Tobacco products-including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipes-are bad for anyone's oral cavity. If you have diabetes and smoke, you are increasing your risk of periodontal (gum) disease.  Tobacco can damage the gum tissue and may cause receding of your gingiva (gums).  It can also speed up bone and tissue loss, leading to lost teeth (Periodontal Disease)
                                                         Prepare for Oral Surgery
    Well controlled blood sugar reduces the risk of infections and speeds up healing. Tell your dentist and surgeon you have diabetes beforehand.
                                                         4 Steps to Protect Your Health
    The same steps that ensure a healthy mouth also help you manage diabetes
    • Eat a Healthy diet
    • Don't smoke
    • Keep up with your diabetes medications
    • See your dentist regularly to reduce the risk to developing a serious problem
                                                                Know the Warning Signs

    Regular dental checkups are important because your dentist can spot periodontal (gum) disease even when you do not have any pain or symptoms.  You should examine your teeth and gums yourself for early signs of trouble.  Infections can move fast. If you notice redness, swelling. bleeding. dry mouth, pain, or any other symptoms that concern you, call your dentist right away.

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    April is Oral Cancer Month

    Oral Cancer: is the growth of abnormal cells in any part of the mouth or lips. Most oral cancers start in the lining of the lips or mouth where you have thin, flat cells squamous cells. This type of cancer is called oral cavity cancer or oropharyngeal cancer.

    Risk factors:
    • Smoking (or using smokeless tobacco)
    • Heavy alcohol use
    • Being male
    • Using Marijuana
    • Having human papillomavirus (HPV)
    • Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds-cancer of the lips, exposure over a long period of time
    • A sore on your lip or in your mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal
    • A lump or thickening on your lips, gingiva (gums), cheeks, or in your mouth,
    • A white or red patch on your gingiva (gums), tongue, tonsils, or the lining of your mouth.
    • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in your throat.
    • Unexplained difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue.
    • Numbness or pain in your tongue or other areas of your lips or mouth.
    • Swelling in your jaw that makes your teeth loose or your dentures fit poorly.
    • Changes in your voice.
    • Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
    * When your dentist performs an oral cancer screening, they are looking closely at your lips, mouth, tongue and throat to check for signs of oral cancer.
    ** Other tests may be needed if there are possible signs of cancer,  such as a biopsy, an X-ray, or an MRI.
    *** Oral cancer is usually treated with surgery & radiation therapy. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer and your health factors. Chemotherapy may also be necessary.

    For more information, please visit the National Cancer Institute website :




      Sunday, March 1, 2015

      You Might Be Over-Whitening ! Do It Naturally With Foods

      Most of us have either used whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, or brushed with baking soda to help whiten our teeth.

      It's not recommended to use any whitening strips more than once a month and any other whitening method more than once a week - any more than that and you'll strip away too much enamel.

      If you feel the need to whiten your teeth daily, do it naturally with foods like strawberries and pineapple. Both are acidic in a cleansing way.

      Strawberries contain malic acid (increases saliva), but they also offer the benefits antioxidants that reduce staining bacteria as well as inflammation. Plus, vitamin C that protects against gum inflammation and periodontal disease.

      Pineapple is the only food that contains bromelain.  Bromelain is also effective stain-removing ingredient!

      Also try celery, pears and apples. They contain fiber, which increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. The more saliva you're making, the cleaner your teeth!!      
            Simply chewing on an apple scrubs your teeth. Plus, the high concentration of malic acid also increases saliva, which also helps to clean teeth.

      Raw broccoli, like an apple, will scrub your teeth. Plus, all the iron in broccoli provides a wall of protection again acid created by bacteria, thus preventing stains.

      The fact that raisins call be good for your teeth may be surprising, since they are also sticky! Chewing raisins help stimulate saliva production that guards teeth against stains and cavities.