Toothpaste and Orange Juice – Not a Good Match

 Ever wonder why orange juice tastes so bad after you brush your teeth?

You can thank sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) for ruining your drink, depending on which toothpaste you use. Both of these chemicals are surfactants — wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid — that are added to toothpastes to create foam and make the paste easier to spread around your mouth. They’re also important ingredients in detergents, fabric softeners, paints, laxatives, surfboard waxes and insecticides.
While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.
So, anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would. Is there any end to this torture? Yes. You don’t need foam for good toothpaste, and there are plenty out there that are SLES/SLS-free. You won’t get that rabid dog look that makes oral hygiene so much fun, but your breakfast won’t be ruined.

Is Oral Piercing Safe?

Oral piercing is a form of body art and self-expression that’s all the rage among teenagers and young adults. While piercings of the tongue, lip or cheek might seem safe because “everyone has them,” that’s not entirely true. The mouth is a moist place, which means it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. And the primary danger of oral piercing is increased risk of infection. There are other risks, too. Oral piercings can also chip or crack teeth, cause nerve damage and produce an allergic reaction to metal. Some people also notice that it’s more difficult to speak, chew and swallow after piercings.
Do the smart thing and have your teenager see a dentist before piercing. Learning about the potential risks will make for a happier, healthier loved one.
And if your teen decides to go ahead with a piercing, make sure he or she keeps it clean! This is the single most effective way to fight off infection. And if your teen notices any of the following symptoms, schedule a dentist appointment right away:
·        Pain, soreness or swelling
·        Chipped or cracked teeth
·        Damage to fillings
·        Sensitivity to metals
·        Numbness

Hot Beverages Contribute to Tooth Staining

Estimates suggest that annually Americans consume 45 million pounds of caffeine and hot coffee and teas are the most popular sources for the legal psychoactive stimulant drug. Both beverages are associated with having dental health perks as black coffee has been found to lower acid levels on teeth, reducing the odds of cavity development and green tea has been found to be powerful in reducing gum inflammation and subsequently gum disease. Despite the perks of the beverages, when consumed at their steamiest stage, the unflattering side effect may be tooth staining.

Science has shown that heat will cause molecules and atoms to vibrate faster, increase space between atoms and cause expansion. Tooth enamel is one such substance that will expand under heat and during that stage, the tannins in coffee and tea can lodge into the void and as the teeth cool down again, tooth staining can be the result.

Proper oral hygiene can help teeth stay clean and lower the level of dental plaque, and brushing with a whitening toothpaste may help alleviate some of the discoloration. Patients may also choose to get professional teeth whitening from a dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry.

Dental Care Checklist for Kids

 

  • Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings. Now that their permanent teeth are growing in, it’s the perfect time to get kids used to healthy habits that are good for their teeth — that includes going to the dentist every six months!

 

  • Teach them how to brush and floss. By the time your child reaches the age of 6 he or she should have the coordination skills required to brush teeth. Teach your child proper tooth brushing techniques (short, up-and-down and back-and-forth strokes and brushing around their gum line). Teaching your child how to floss might be trickier, so you may want to buy floss picks to start.

 

  • Ask us about dental sealants. Dental sealants offer added protection against tooth decay.

 

  • Monitor fluoride use. Check to see if your community water supply is fluoridated. If not, ask us about professional fluoride treatments for your child. Keep in mind that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis.

 

  • Ask us for mouthwash recommendations. We know which types of mouthwash are safe for kids. Generally speaking, an alcohol-free mouthwash made especially for children is your safest bet.

 

  • Prepare healthy meals and smart snacks. A nutritious, well-balanced diet is just as important for your child’s teeth as it is for overall health. Instead of cookies, potato chips and ice cream, give your kids smart snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, unsalted pretzels, plain yogurt, nuts and low-fat cheese.

 

  • Schedule an orthodontic evaluation. It’s recommend that children receive a complete orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7.

 

Embarrassed It Has Been So Long?

 

If you’re nervous about having to sit through a lecture on the importance of dental health, you can stop worrying. We’re not here to cause you anxiety or point fingers. Trust us, we of all people know that dental health is affected by a number of factors that could be environmental, hereditary or habitual. Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
This might surprise you, but there’s almost nothing that can surprise us when it comes to teeth. If you think your teeth are bad, we’ve probably seen worse. A large part of our training and professional work involves being exposed to just about every dental problem you can imagine. Without that kind of experience, how could we properly evaluate your teeth and treat them? We couldn’t.
One of the most important things you can do is to be up front with us. If you have dental anxiety, don’t silently suffer in the chair – tell us! The same goes for anything specific that might scare you – whether it’s needles or anesthesia or just sitting in the chair. And please tell us what we can do to make your visit more comfortable. Many people find that a blanket and pillow makes their visits much more relaxing. Others like us to explain what we’re doing before we do it. And some people find that taking frequent breaks is helpful.
Let’s talk about what you need before you talk yourself out of scheduling another visit. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure that you have a positive experience getting the dental care you need.

 

Oral Hygiene is a Must for Germ-a-Phobes

Those suffering from Misophobia or Mysophobia are burdened with the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs. A study has shown that nearly 80 percent of American’s are concerned about the little critters on their hands, but the reality is they should focus more on their dental health if they really want to lower the chances of defiling their health.

According to Sigmund Socransky, associate clinical professor of periodontology at Harvard University “In one mouth, the number of bacteria can easily exceed the number of people who live on Earth,” (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/08.22/01-oralcancer.html). These organisms band together and form colonies leading to excess dental plaque.

While the plaque community, a sticky film that can look off-white in appearance, can look harmless because of its size, the reality is that it will cause health issues. If left unchecked, the community will lead to gum disease and all the dental problems associated with that infection including halitosis and tooth decay. Science has proven that an excess of dental plaque can cause health problems such as strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

When it comes to cleaning the human mouth, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily is the best way to remove harmful bacteria. Brushing should take a full two minutes allowing 30 seconds for each dental quadrant. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also recommended. Individuals should pay special attention to brushing teeth gently while maneuvering a toothbrush to reach the back teeth and the gum lines. If dental plaque has already hardened into dental tartar, only a cleaning from a professional dentist will do.

5 Clues Your Child Is not Brushing

 

1. The toothbrush is dry.
It’s tough to keep the toothbrush dry if you’re actually brushing! Make sure to check your child’s toothbrush every day (and night ) – before it has time to dry.
2. You can still see food particles.
After your child has brushed, ask for a smile. If you can still see bits of food on or in between your child’s teeth, send your child back to the bathroom for a do-over.
3. Teeth don’t pass the “squeak test.”
Have your child wet his or her finger and rub it quickly across the outside and inside of his or her teeth. If the teeth are clean, you will hear a squeaking sound.
4. Breath is everything but fresh.
If your child is brushing and flossing regularly, his or her breath should be fresh. The foul odor associated with bad breath is most often caused by food particles — either food left in between teeth or food trapped in the grooves on the tongue.
5. Your child has a toothache.
Even if you can’t tell if your child is brushing well, a toothache is a red flag. Make sure your child sees the dentist right away – a filling or other treatment may be in order.
Remember, brushing is just one part of your child’s total oral health regimen. In order to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup and prevent other dental problems, regular exams and cleanings are a must. Plus, your dentist can help reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene with your child.

Swelling: A Sign to See Your Dentist

 If you notice swelling in your mouth or jaw, call us right away for an appointment. Oral swelling is almost always caused by an infection of a tooth or the gums. If an infected tooth is the culprit, it usually means there’s a deep cavity allowing bacteria to infect the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth. Without treatment, the infection will spread to the tissues and eventually form an abscess. Abscesses also spread – to the jawbone and cheek. And the longer an abscess is left untreated, the more the swelling will spread. A gum infection can also cause swelling when plaque and debris get trapped under the gum line. This almost always occurs in people with pre-existing gum disease. In either case, swelling is not something to take lightly; it requires immediate professional attention.

Swelling caused by an infected tooth will be treated with either root canal therapy, to remove the infected nerves, or with an extraction. In most cases, it’s preferable to save the tooth with root canal therapy rather than remove it. For gum infections, we can clean under the gum line to treat the infection.

Before your dental visit, try rinsing with warm salt water (8 oz. of water with 1 tsp. of salt) every two hours to bring some of the swelling down. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, or a topical ointment like Orajel® to help with the pain.

Boost Brain Power

The human brain is a marvelous piece of organic design. The organ controls the nervous system in all vertebrates, including humans. The hub of what helps distinguish man from the rest of the animal kingdom processes about 70,000 thoughts a day and in order to keep the synaptic connections sharp, daily brushing and flossing are necessary.

According to a study conducted by a team of British psychiatrists and dentists, “…gingivitis and periodontal disease were associated with worse cognitive function throughout adult life, not just in later years.” (http://www.prevention.com/health/brain-health/surprising-tips-boost-your-brain). The information was unearthed after the team analyzed thousands of subjects aged 20 to 59. They suggest following dentist recommendations of brushing teeth twice daily for two minutes a session, plus flossing every day to remove dental plaque. A solid preventive oral health regime will keep you sharp, regardless of your age.

White-Hot Composite Fillings

When it comes to fillings, most people think of amalgam, or silver. That’s no surprise. Dentists have used amalgam to fill cavities for over 150 years and for good reason: Amalgam is one of the most durable and long-lasting restorative materials used in dentistry.
But what amalgam offers in affordability and endurance, it lacks in aesthetics. Composite resin, on the other hand, matches your natural tooth color. No one – not even you – can see composite fillings with a naked eye.
So what is composite resin?
Composite resin was first introduced to dentistry in the 60s and is made of a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with silicon dioxide (glass). Early on, composite fillings were only used to restore front teeth because they weren’t strong enough to withstand the chewing pressure produced by back teeth.
Today’s composites not only look more natural but are also tougher, more versatile and can be used to:
·        Restore small- to mid-sized cavities
·        Reshape chipped teeth and broken teeth
·        Replace amalgam fillings
Composite fillings have other benefits, too. If you have sensitive teeth, composite fillings may make them less sensitive to hot and cold. And with composites, more of your tooth structure stays intact – that’s not the case with silver fillings. Composite fillings are also easily fixable if they’re damaged.