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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.