Chewing on Ice
It’s natural and sugar free, so you might think ice is harmless. But munching on hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. And if your mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow. Hot foods and cold foods may trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a lingering toothache. Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum instead.
Playing Sports With No Mouth Guard
Whether you play football, hockey, or any other contact sport, don’t get in the game without a mouth guard. This is a piece of molded plastic that protects the upper row of teeth. Without it, your teeth could get chipped or even knocked out when the action gets rough. Self-fitting mouth guards may be purchased at a store, or you can have one custom made by your dentist.
It’s never too early to protect teeth. Giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice, milk, or formula, can put new teeth on a path to decay. The baby may become used to falling asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. It’s best to
The foods we eat, the beverages we drink and age itself conspire against our teeth, making them yellow and less attractive over time. Whether your teeth are lightly stained or very yellowed, it is possible to go from yellow teeth to white teeth, gradually or very quickly, depending on the method of whitening you choose.
Fast and Professional
If you need to go from a yellow smile to a brilliant white one very quickly, your best option is to see your dentist for an in-office whitening treatment. Your dentist will use a whitener with a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, sometimes along with a light to speed the whitening process up. Your teeth will be noticeably whiter at the end of the treatment, though your dentist may suggest more than one treatment if your teeth have yellowed considerably.
Your dentist can also provide you with an in-home whitening kit with a custom mouthpiece and a whitening gel that has a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide than the in-office treatment. By wearing the mouthpiece filled with whitening gel each day for a number of weeks, you can achieve a whiter smile. This type of whitening takes
What Is the Right Way to Brush?
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
- Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the chewing surfaces
- For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.
How Important is the Toothpaste I Use?
It is important that you
A healthy smile is a good indication of a happy child. Oral health experts are all in agreement that developing healthy smiles in children should start in infancy. CDC experts have promoted a set of pediatric oral health tips that if followed will significantly prevent tooth decay in any child and save the child from suffering embarrassment.
Pediatric Oral Health Tips
Start early. As soon as the first tooth appears, start with wiping to clean it every day with a clean, damp cloth. When more teeth come in, switch to a small, soft toothbrush. You can start using toothpaste with fluoride when the child is 2 years old and if your doctor recommends it you can use toothpaste with fluoride even earlier. Do not let a child under the age of 6 use fluoride mouth rinse unless the child’s doctor or dentist recommends it.
Check with your child’s doctor or dentist about the specific fluoride requirements of your child. At age 2, most children are getting the right amount of fluoride to help prevent cavities if they drink water that contains fluoride and brush their teeth two times daily with a very small amount of toothpaste with fluoride. If the drinking water does
When people finish their meals, all they need to do is grab a toothbrush or gargle some mouthwash for instant fresh breath for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, cats and dogs do not have the natural intelligence to clean their mouth after every meal, causing them to have naturally fouler smelling breath than their human counterparts. For this reason, it is essential to set aside a part of your day giving your furry friends some attention, particularly to that of their oral hygiene.
Why Bad Breath Occurs In Pets
Many people believe that animals are naturally different from humans, and for the most part it is true. However, just like humans, they are living creatures which need the same amount of love and care in order to live a full and happy life. If their basic needs, such as oral hygiene and is neglected, this can cause some unpleasant results, such as bad breath in pets.
The most common reason why bad breath occurs in pets is because of their poor oral hygiene. After every meal, the dogs and cats naturally have some food stuck in between their teeth or at the back of the mouth. When food gets stuck or is
Dental bonding is a crucial and most important procedure of Cosmetic Dentistry that involves applying a tooth-colored composite material on the tooth, which is then carved into shape, followed by the process of hardening and polishing the same. The process of tooth bonding can be easily performed by any Boston dentist who is practicing cosmetic dentistry from past few years. Cosmetic dentistry Boston MA deals with fixing smiles by setting right the broken or chipped tooth or shutting the small gaps amid the teeth. The process of dental bonding also helps people to get rid of cavities thus is widely opted by many people who want to wear that radiant smile forever.
Before one heads out to consult any Boston Cosmetic Dentist, it is important to know the possible risks and aftercare of tooth bonding that will save you from hampering the entire job done:
Brushing: It is advised that one must brush their teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night, with the toothpaste having fluoride. The brushing should be detailed covering the outside, inside, as well as the top of each tooth, followed by cleaning the tongue. Dentists in Boston MA also advise that the toothbrush
Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Here are some tips to help you look after your teeth.
Brush at least twice a day. The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.
Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
Brush thoroughly. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
Floss your teeth daily. Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
Limit sugary foods. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
Protect your teeth from injury. Wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
Try to save a knocked out tooth. If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately.
Avoid using your teeth for
What you eat can directly affect your oral health, and your food choices can spell the difference between strong, healthy teeth or a mouth that’s full of cavities.
While dental procedures and professional care can cure many teeth problems, it’s better and cheaper to avoid them in the first place by proper oral health habits and eating right. Here’s a quick list of the best foods for your gums and teeth, and why they are so:
Chicken, Meat, Cheese and Milk
These foods are bundled together as one in the list because they provide similar nutrients that are helpful for teeth health. They provide phosphorus and calcium which are important for the remineralization of teeth. Remineralization is a natural process that involves the depositing of minerals into tooth enamel after they are removed by acids.
Fruits and Vegetables
The best choices when it comes to fruits and vegetables are crunchy and firm ones. Think apples, pears, and celeries. These choices have high water content, which dilutes the effects of fructose (fruit sugars) and stimulate the production and flow of saliva. Saliva washes away food particles and buffers mouth acids, and protecting the teeth against decay.
Other great choices are fruits rich in Vitamin C, which is
In pediatric dental care, prevention is a priority. This means establishing good dental habits as early as possible. Building the right habits will prevent dental costs and problems in the future. Self-care is one of the most important habits a parent can teach to their children.
1. Start early.
From brushing your child’s teeth to taking him to visit a dentist, care should be done as soon as his first tooth erupts. You can even begin to care for his gums before a tooth comes out by gently wiping it with a damp washcloth after feeding especially with solids. Habits form during infancy. Once your baby gets used to the routine of cleaning their teeth at certain times during the day, it will not be as hard to inculcate the good habit of brushing one’s teeth as they get older. Teeth also need care as it takes years before permanent or adult teeth come out. Dental caries and tooth decay are problems that are very preventable during your child’s early years.
2. Teach self-care.
Include your child. The goal is to help our children maintain good oral hygiene by themselves once they grow up and become independent. From teaching them how to
1. Go on a white-teeth diet.
If you’re quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, gravies, and dark juices. Bottom line: If it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentist’s office. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple.
2. Chuck your toothbrush…
…or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. According to Beverly Hills dentist Harold Katz, D.D.S., the best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.
3. Clean your tongue.
Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help
Tips to Control Bad Breath
Adjusting Your Diet
Foods are often the leading causes of bad breath. Certain types of foods contain a sulphur compound called mercaptan. Once they are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are transported to your lungs and are released in your breath. These foods include garlic, onions, and spicy foods. Coffee, alcoholic beverages and high doses of vitamin supplements can also cause unpleasant mouth odour.
On the other hand, eating crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery and carrots help minimise bad breath odour as they clean your teeth while eating them. They are not only loaded with vitamins and minerals; they are also good for your teeth and gums.
Clean Dental Appliances Regularly
Wearing false teeth or a retainer is not an excuse to set aside proper dental routines. Dental appliances such as dentures and partials are like your natural teeth and require daily cleaning. Food particles and plaque stuck in dental appliances can create bad breath, so it’s important to brush and clean them every day.
Reduced salivary flow and dry mouth are also leading causes of halitosis. Drinking plenty of water helps saliva fight bad breath in a natural way by reducing harmful oral
Almost everyone living in the UAE already knows how Vitamin D deficiency affects our bodies. However, did you know that Vitamin D and your teeth are also related?
First off, we need to remember that sugars and starches themselves DO NOT cause tooth decay. Acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is what actually causes cavities.
Vitamin D helps produce compounds in your mouth called defensins and cathelicidin. Both of these contain antimicrobial properties that help lower the number of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. The less bacteria in your mouth, the less likely you are to develop severe cavities.
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should also make sure you (and your children) are getting adequate amounts of safe sun exposure every day. Exposure to the sun helps your body regulate the production of Vitamin D, which in turn may help fight against cavities.
Tips For Safe Sun Exposure
Here are some fantastic tips from Vitamin D Council about safe sun exposure:
You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get Vitamin D
You can take Vitamin D3 supplements if you are worried about skin cancer or live in a location that isn’t ideal for sun exposure.
Generally if you have lighter
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but they’re only the beginning. A marvelous mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube — think improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to cigarettes.
David Leader, DMD, an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, outlines eight oral care musts for a healthy mouth.
- Pay a visit.If you’re prone to ditching the dentist, you’re among the roughly 50% of adults in the United States who don’t see a dentist yearly because of dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect. But spend some quality time with your dentist (twice a year, the American Dental Association advises), and you’ll catch problems such as decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer at an early stage when they’re treatable, not to mention more affordable to take care of.
- Count the years.Toddlers and older adults tend to fly under the dental health radar, but they need mouth maintenance just like the rest of us. Children should see a dentist by the time they’re 1, and until they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes they’ll need help cleaning their teeth. Older folks have their own oral issues.Arthritis can make brushing and flossing challenging, and as people
Remember how your mother used to tell you almost everything you did was “bad for your teeth?” You may have forgotten some of her warnings. And some things she said might not be as bad as you think. Read on.
“The function of teeth is to chew food — and to some extent, help you talk and form words,” Richard H. Price, DMD, retired dentist and former faculty member of the Boston University School of Dentistry, tells WebMD. He is also a spokesman for the American Dental Association.
Teeth, Price says, are not to be used for:
- Coat hangers
- Ice crushers
- Potato chip bag openers
- Knot looseners
- Fork tine straighteners
- Chomping frozen candy bars full of caramel or frozen nuts
“Blenders have special blades to crush ice, for heaven’s sakes,” he laments.
Whiteners: Good or Bad?
Gregory L. Paskerian, DMD, a private dentist and former assistant professor at Tufts University, tells WebMD that the new whitening rage follows a continuum of products. “The strips and other over-the-counter whiteners do not damage teeth or burn gum tissue,” he says. “The trays (to hold the peroxide solution) you can buy may can contain an acidic, unbuffered solution, which could damage enamel.”
The best tray-type lightening, he says, is provided by the dentist, who can control the solution and timing.
You have so many good reasons to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. Their sparkling smiles. Being able to chew for good nutrition. Avoiding toothaches and discomfort. And new research suggests thatgum disease can lead to other problems in the body, including increased risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Here’s how:
- Start children early.Despite great strides in decay prevention, one in four young children develops signs oftooth decay before they start school. Half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have cavities. “Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months,” Caryn Solie, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, tells WebMD. “Teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At about age 2, you can let kids try brushing for themselves — although it’s important to supervise.”
- Seal off trouble.Permanent molars come in around age 6. Thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent decay in the pits and fissures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants can significantly reduce caries. Yet only one in three U.S. kids
It’s a common myth that senior citizens are destined to lose their teeth, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). There is no reason seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, since tooth loss is simply the result of an oral disease – not the aging process.
The elderly, who make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, are healthier and have kept more of their natural teeth than prior generations. But there’s still room for improvement. Many seniors do not visit a dentist even once a year – one of the key preventive strategies in ensuring that teeth last a lifetime.
“Seniors often take long absences from seeing the dentist,” says AGD spokesperson Nick Russo, DDS. “Sometimes they stop caring as much because they’re not out in the public very much, and they think oral hygiene doesn’t matter.”
Family members should encourage seniors who are disabled or have trouble getting around to seek dental care, Dr. Russo says. Seniors planning to enter a nursing home should inquire about on-site dental care.
Regular dental visits are especially important for older people since many suffer from dry mouth, which slows down the flow of saliva. Saliva plays a major role in preventing
Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush are as important as ever. Flossing can help you save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gumline that your toothbrush cannot reach.
What are some problems I should watch for?
Gingivitis. Most people don’t realize how important it is to take care of their gums. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque that attack the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist at once. Gingivitis can lead to periodontal (gum) disease if problems persist. Most adults show signs of gum disease. Severe gum disease affects about 25 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds. In gum disease, your gums begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, bacteria form pockets between the teeth and gums, weakening the bone. All this can lead to tooth loss if untreated, especially in patients with osteoporosis. If regular oral care is too difficult, your dentist can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep
The good news: A few changes to your dental routine can help. Here, a few dental care tips for healthy teeth and the warning signs to watch for—and fixes that will keep your smile healthy.
Warning Sign: Twinges
Fluoridated water was less widespread when Sota was growing up, and there were no fluoride rinses. Without that protection, “most of us in this age group have fillings, and that’s where we often see cracks in patients over 50,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “When a tooth is repaired, it’s never as strong as the original.” But with age, even unfilled teeth become vulnerable to cracks. And those are prime breeding grounds for bacteria.
Another dental care tip, beware a common entry point: the gum line, where tissue recedes with age. “Decay here can become serious quickly because it’s close to the tooth’s nerve,” says Harms. “If you don’t
Ax the Dental Visit Anxiety
If being in the dentist’s chair makes you anxious, encourage calm by bringing a music player and headphones to your next appointment. And because some people hold their breath when they’re nervous — boosting that anxious feeling — focus on breathing regularly. Above all, communicate with your dentist. They understand your fears and want to help.
Floss First or Brush First?
Flossing first helps make brushing your teeth more effective by removing food that gets trapped between teeth. If handling floss flusters you, look for floss holders at the drugstore. When it’s time to brush, be sure to angle bristles 45-degree at the gum line, then brush gently, moving the brush back and forth.
Go Easy With Toothpicks
If you don’t have floss, a toothpick will work to remove food stuck between teeth, but be gentle. It’s easy to press too hard and damage your gums, or even worse, break off a toothpick below the gum line. Floss helps remove food from between teeth better than a toothpick and fights plaque buildup by getting rid of bacteria that form there. Regularly using a toothpick to remove food trapped in a single area may indicate a bigger problem that requires a
When you create a disaster plan for your family, you might not consider your oral health. But dental challenges can arise at any time, and knowing what to do if you can’t reach your family dentist will help you stay comfortable and healthy.
Dental emergencies: If you experience oral pain, swelling or bleeding, visit a dentist as soon as possible. For severe dental or facial pain or swelling, seek immediate medical attention.
Orthodontic care: Don’t worry if a disaster prevents you from an orthodontic appointment; it’s usually possible to wait an additional month or two between adjustments. If your orthodontic appliances are damaged or irritating your oral tissues and you can’t reach your orthodontist, try contacting a regular dentist for help. Most dentists can treat minor orthodontic emergencies.
Temporary crowns or bridges: Temporary crowns and bridges should be checked and possibly recemented within a month after placement. If you are wearing a temporary crown or bridge and cannot visit your regular dentist within a month, contact another dentist to have your restoration checked. To keep your temporary crown or bridge safely in place, avoid eating and biting on it, try to keep it clean and do not chew hard or sticky foods.
If you’re looking for natural ingredients to keep your gums and teeth healthy, you’ve got more than one product to try. Whichever you choose, don’t forget that it’s not a replacement for brushing, flossing, or rinsing with a mouthwash. You’ve still got to stick with those good habits to protect your smile.
Safe and Effective?
Natural oral care products typically are safe to use, says Wenyuan Shi, PhD, chair of oral biology at the UCLA School of Dentistry.
Overall, we’re still learning which natural ingredients work best to help prevent cavities and gum disease. Fluoride definitely helps you avoid cavities, though. All toothpastes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance have it.
Peroxide, Tea, and Oils
Some natural or herbal substances, including common foods and drinks, can help clean teeth.
Look for these in your pharmacy or grocery store:
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- Peroxide (must be carefully diluted, since it can cause burns to gums at full strength)
- Green tea
- Eucalyptol, menthol, and tea tree oil
- Xylitol gum or lozenges
- Vitamin D
Baking soda can help fight tooth decay and peroxide can help fight off certain bacteria, Shi says. On the downside, you need to mix peroxide with water to weaken it. If you use it at full strength, you might