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Surprisingly Simple Way to Lengthen Your Life

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A new study suggests that happiness in older people may lead to a longer life.

 

 

We all know that eating our fruits and veggies, keeping fit, getting enough sleep and not smoking will help us live longer – upwards of over 10 years longer. But there are some other simple ways you can add years to your life. Among them:

 Smile big and wide.

Smiling big and wide is related to living longer, according to research published in the journal Psychological Science. These researchers looked at professional baseball players’ photos and compared the lifespan of players with big smiles, no smiles and partial smiles.

Even after controlling for factors that are related to longevity such as education level and marital status, bigger smiles were still related to a longer life. The researchers found that the biggest smilers lived to an average of almost 80 years, while their straight-faced teammates reached only an average of 73 years. Why? In part because smiling builds your immune system and improves your mood and stress levels. And as an added bonus, smiling makes you more attractive.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

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It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. Here’s what to do:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
  • For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
  • For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
  • Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily.

Stressed Out about a Gummy Smile? Did You Know it Can Be Corrected?

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Stressed Out About a Gummy Smile? Did You Know it Can Be Corrected?

The amount of gum tissue we possess, just like how much hair we have on our heads, is merely a matter of personal anatomy – some of us just have more of it than others. If you are unhappy with your smile though, and consider yourself to have “too much” gum tissue, there are a few ways to relieve you of a gummy smile. Let’s take a look at the three most common options:

Gingivectomy (Gum Lift, Gum Contouring)

The most common and speediest solution for revitalizing a gummy smile is a gingivectomy. A gingivectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of gum tissue from the crown of the tooth. It can be done with a scalpel, an electrosurgery unit, lasers or diamond dental burs. There’s some art to this procedure, since your dentist effectively “carves” away the excessive tissue, reshaping the landscape of your smile so it conforms to your desired result. The procedure is done under local anesthetic and takes only a few minutes to an hour to complete depending on the number of teeth to be done.

Lip Repositioning

This one might sound a bit scary, but other than post surgical swelling and some initial tightness, it can be a good solution if your gumminess comes from how high your lip raises when smiling, instead of excessive gingiva.

In this procedure, a small horizontal section of tissue inside your upper lip is removed, then stitched back together in what is effectively a “lower” position. If you can imagine having a cut in your skin where some of the skin tissue in the middle of the cut is lost, and the remaining “ends” of the skin are stitched back together, that is essentially what happens in a lip positioning. Your lip isn’t actually lowered, it’s just that some of the movement of your top lip is restricted so it doesn’t raise too high and show too much gum. Surgery only lasts about 45 minutes, and the results are immediate.

Crown Lengthening

With the word “lengthening” in the name of this procedure, you may think it requires some sort of painful stretching of the tooth’s crown to make it longer. Thankfully, that’s not what happens. Instead, in this surgery a dentist would make an incision in the gum tissue, creating a “flap” that can be folded downward, exposing the bone that encases your teeth. A portion of that bone would then be shaved down few millimeters and the gum flap sutured back into place. At this point, however, because the bone height is lower than it was previously, the gum tissue would rest at a lower height, leaving more of the crown visible when smiling. This would make it appear as though the crown were “longer” and thus the name – “crown lengthening” is given to this procedure. While crown lengthening is a means to correct a gummy smile, many dentists recommend orthodontic treatment, instead (which, over time actually does pull the crown down a few millimeters), because it doesn’t require surgery, or the permanent removal of bone tissue.

Modern dental surgery can really do wonders for our smiles in a multitude of ways. If you’re concerned about how much gum you are flashing each time you smile, or have stopped smiling all together, have a chat with your dentist. You might be surprised at just how quickly we can get you back to smiling widely again!

Is Pool Water Harming Your Child’s Teeth?

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Is Pool Water Harming Your Child’s Teeth?

Now here’s a question you’ve perhaps never asked yourself before. Can swimming regularly in a chlorinated pool damage your teeth? Surprisingly, it can. The trick is understanding how and why it can happen, and what you can do to minimize or eliminate the damage. And, that’s where we come in! Let’s learn how this healthy form of exercise can contribute to staining, and even eroding, your tooth enamel – yikes!

What’s in the water that’s bad for teeth?

Well, there are two concerns, actually. No one wants to be swimming in algae and bacteria, so chlorine is added to the pool to manage that situation. This is a good thing. But in order to keep things in check pH has to be monitored.

We’ve written about pH before, and it can be a confusing subject, but if you’re familiar with the concept of how acidic beverages can erode tooth enamel, the same principal applies to pool water – a pool with too low a pH means the water is technically acidic, which can erode tooth enamel. And, if you have kids on the swim team putting in more than six hours a week in a pool with a pH that isn’t being monitored properly, that sort of damage can happen fast. This is of particular concern in pools that are “gas chlorinated.” One study showed severe sensitivity and enamel loss in a man swimming in a high pH pool in just 27 days!

Aside from enamel loss, which is only a concern in improperly monitored pools (like the one in your backyard, perhaps?), tooth discoloration is a much more common ailment. Here, the offender is how chlorine interacts with proteins in our saliva. It’s pretty fascinating reading, if you’d like to learn more, but in a nutshell this chemical reaction results in what’s known as “swimmers calculus.”

Should I pull my kids from swim team?

No. If you’re kids are swimming in a properly monitored public pool, the risk of an imbalance in pH causing severe enamel erosion is low. However, since you’re not testing the pool yourself, it might not be a bad idea to ask the pool’s management team how often it is tested. In fact, some pools post readings publicly so residents can see they’re handling the pool professionally. You may even suggest this if your pool isn’t already doing so.

And with regard to staining, the solution there may be as simple as visiting the dentist prior to swim season and having a fluoride treatment applied to your child’s teeth.

What to do if you OWN a pool?

So far we’ve talked mostly about kids who might be on the swim team. But what if your kids are logging hours in their own backyard pool for more than six hours a week? The only way to keep these threats at bay is to keep a backyard pool as maintained as a professional pool. Test kits are available in a range of styles and costs, and with their own recommendations as to how often pool water needs to be tested. The key is to follow those instructions and do the test. Or better yet, hire a professional to maintain your pool. Again, staining is a preventative pursuit you can plan out with your dentist.

Swimming should always be a fun and engaging activity, good for body and soul. So, do it right, and have fun!

Frequent Headaches? The Cause May Be in Your Mouth

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Frequent Headaches? The Cause May Be in Your Mouth

Did you know that in many cases, frequent, or even constant headache pain can be treated more effectively by your dentist, instead of by your GP? Headaches are strange beasts. Their cause is often elusive, and they can range from mildly irritating to unrelentingly painful. Since frequent headaches can interfere with your quality of life, if you experience pain that remains after treatment from a physician, you might wish to see your dentist. After all, you may be suffering from what is called a “dental headache.”

What Can Trigger a Dental Headache?

Most dental headaches are classified as “tension” headaches, and are the result of muscular tension that builds up in the region of the face and jaw. Frequently, this tension is a symptom of malocclusion, or – to put it simply – a “bad bite.” All sorts of things can cause a bad bite, including previous dentistry, orthodontics or incoming wisdom teeth. Having a bad bite essentially means the chewing surfaces of the teeth do not meet along a smooth curve when the jaw is shut. This causes the muscles in the jaw to continually overcompensate for the imbalance, resulting in pain and soreness that radiates throughout the head.

Understanding “Referred” Pain

This radiating of headache pain is part of why a headache can be difficult to diagnose.  Because of the complex nerve structure in this region of the body, where pain is often “referred” from its place of origin to other locations throughout the skull, patients experiencing such pain can unwittingly steer a doctor away from a proper diagnosis by merely focusing on the localization of the pain. So, in instances of referred pain, even though we may be experiencing discomfort in the temple region of our head, for example, the true origin of the pain may be in the musculature surrounding the jaw and the result of an improper bite. The good news is, malocclusion can be fixed rather easily by reshaping teeth that might be too high, or by wearing an orthotic that corrects your bite over time.

TMJ and Bruxism

Two other issues we see in the dental world that can result in frequent and/or constant headaches are Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) and teeth grinding (Bruxism).  TMJD occurs as a result of problems with the mechanism of the jaw and its surrounding muscles, and 99% of the time is the result of an injury to the joint. Anything from whiplash to sports trauma, or even something as simple as having your mouth extended too wide for too long in your dentist’s office can trigger TMJ.  If you experience frequent “popping” or “clicking” of your jaw, particularly if you’ve ever experienced trauma in this area of your head, you’ll want to visit your dentist for a checkup.

Lastly, Bruxism, a habit even babies can develop, can be another cause of frequent headaches.  After all, grinding your teeth for hours upon hours as if you were consuming a Thanksgiving feast all night long, puts the muscles of your face through a tremendous workout without rest. If you find that you often wake with a headache that goes away shortly after rising, you may be, in fact, grinding your teeth.

So there you have it, the story of the headache your dentist is best primed to correct. It’s also worth mentioning that, aside from headache causes described above, headache pain can also be caused by more familiar dentistry issues like cavities, a tooth infection or an abscess.  All the more reason to visit your dentist to see if that headache you’re always suffering from is actually coming from your mouth.

Two Great, Healthy Father’s Day Gifts

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Image result for fathers day 2017

 

Father’s Day is one of those holidays that children really seem to relish … probably because aside from Mother’s Day, it’s the only day when *they* get a chance to pick out a gift and give it to someone – especially someone as special as their Father. All the Dads in our life enjoy the attention (even if they’re actually Grandfathers!) – it’s their day to finally shine. So why not mix it up a bit this Father’s Day? After all, Dad probably has a pretty fine collection of ties and after-shave from years gone by … so, here are two unique gifts Dad might really enjoy this Father’s Day.
First on deck, we’d like to suggest what’s known as a water flosser or oral irrigator. This product is a great gift for those of us who don’t possess an affinity for flossing (which is pretty much everyone, right?), because it really simplifies the process, and even makes it a bit fun. A flosser/irrigator works by using water pressure to dislodge food debris and bacteria between teeth and helps to keep your gums clean and healthy. It also works exceedingly well if regularly used after a cleaning from a hygienist, and they’re the perfect gift for any dad.
And for the dad who plays sports? How about a custom mouthguard? You can find out more about these in our sports dentistry article, and your dad will love it if he plays in any summer leagues, or if he skis and snowboards in the wintertime. As a matter of fact, a dad who’s really active in just about anything sports-related might benefit from a custom guard. Regardless of the season, this is one of the most affordable gifts you can give to an active dad so he can keep that smile of his in great shape for years to come.
Happy Father’s Day, and happy June to everyone!

Yes, Coffee Might Actually Be Good for Your Teeth

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If you have a desire to stain your teeth, consuming multiple cups of coffee a day is a sure way to get you there. That much you likely already know. What you may not know, though, is that drinking coffee in moderation can actually help you protect your teeth,  because of coffee’s unique anti-bacterial properties. And, coffee isn’t alone in this regard. Tea, too, has some pretty marvelous properties, despite its propensity to stain teeth as well! So, if you’re a fan of a cuppa’ warm joe or tea in the morning, read on … you’ve got one more reason not to give it up!

The main reason coffee and tea are good for you? Antioxidants.

Scientists believe antioxidants (polyphenols and catechins, specifically) help reduce inflammation in the body, aid in reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke. They also help reduce inflammation in your mouth. Find ‘em in fruit, vegetables, red wine, coffee, and chocolate to name a few.

If you do want a good reason to keep drinking coffee and tea, though, the trick is to consume each without cream and sugar (sugar and cream feed bad bacteria). You may also want to enjoy them “warm” as opposed to excessively hot. There is some speculation about how the temperature of your beverage can affect the lining of your esophagus. Visit this article for more on that concern.
 Fluoride, trigonelline and caffeine

  • Tea: The benefit? Fluoride!
    We all know that at prescribed and monitored levels, fluoride is good for our teeth. But did you know black tea contains fluoride because of how its leaves absorb fluoride from the soil? More, it seems, than the plain glass of water coming out of your faucet, even! This, of course, can have good and bad complications for your teeth. If you drink from a non-fluoridated water source, ask your dentist or physician if they think it may be beneficial to drink a bit of tea from time to time. Over-consuming black tea, though, has been shown to affect rates of skeletal fluorosis.

    So, as with anything in life, moderation is key. And any time you want to start doing more of something you’re not doing already, from ingesting new foods to ramping up the exercise, always consult with your family physician first.

  • Coffee: The benefit? Trigonelline!
    Trigonelline is what’s known as an alkaloid. And this alkaloid appears to be of specific benefit to our teeth. It’s found in its highest levels in Arabica coffee beans, and research suggests it interferes with cavity-causing bacteria’s ability to adhere itself to tooth enamel. Research is ongoing, but it does seem to be another feather-in-the-cap of your morning “joe.”
  • Tea and Coffee: The benefit? Caffeine!
    Ah, caffeine – beloved and vilified. Yes, we know. And, we know that caffeine can cause some people to experience anxiety and increased stress, which could lead to teeth grinding and clenching. And that is most certainly NOT good for your teeth. Or, jaw. Or, bone structure, in general.

    Where caffeine is a benefit, though, is in its apparent ability to impact longevity in patients with oral cancer. And, that’s something to think about. Read up on the study yourself and make a decision that’s best for you. Recent research also suggests caffeine in coffee may help protect individuals from liver cancer as well.

SO! Everything in moderation, right? If you like a morning beverage, we hope this little primer gives you a bit more to think about!

What’s in your toothpaste? An ingredient checkup.

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What's in your toothpaste? An ingredient checkup.

When was the last time you read the ingredient list of your favorite toothpaste brand? Actually, have you ever read the ingredient list? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve become an ingredient-list-reading crazy person these last few years, and it would be wise to add that toothpaste label to your list of reading materials. So, let’s explore the most common ingredients, learn a bit about how they function, and help you make the personal choice whether to avoid any or not.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Of all the ingredients that make their way into toothpaste, if there’s one you may be familiar with, it’s likely Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s used in toothpaste mainly as a foaming agent, to give you the sense that your brushing is having the effect it should. Some argue it’s an unnecessary ingredient given that it’s prone to irritate the oral tissues of some, and can contribute to the formation of canker sores. More dubious, however, is the claim that SLS is a carcinogen. And, while The American Cancer Society and the federal government do not consider SLS to be a carcinogen, there are some scientists who believe more testing is necessary, and that consumers should avoid the ingredient if possible. If you’re at all concerned, the decision to avoid SLS is yours – not all toothpastes contain the ingredient.

Flavorings

Making toothpaste taste good isn’t a simple task. And trust us, you want that stuff to be palatable! Flavor additives are often oils/extracts/flavorings such as cinnamon, anise and mint, but can be synthetic (aspartame, for example.) Most would prefer a natural flavoring, but recognize that in some people these additives can cause irritation to oral tissues, and mint for some is a heartburn trigger. If you suspect your toothpaste is the cause of any mouth irritation you may be experiencing, play around with different flavored toothpastes till you find what works best for you.
Dyes and Colorings

It’s not really that necessary to have colored toothpaste. So, if you’d like to avoid things like colors followed by numbers like Blue #2, just say no to additional colors. These too can be irritants to some individuals.
Fluoride

Fluoride! You need it, you want it. Make sure your toothpaste has it. Fluoride works by strengthening tooth enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Some of us may even require fluoride supplementation.

Alcohol

Alcohol dries out your mouth, and your mouth doesn’t enjoy that feeling very much. It can contribute to gingivitis, and generally doesn’t leave you feeling as fresh as you’d like. So, why use toothpaste with alcohol?
Triclosan

The jury is still out on Triclosan.  Only Colgate Total contains it – and it’s used (very effectively) as an antibacterial agent to fight gingivitis. Some researchers, however, contend it needs more recent and continued study given its questionable relationship with cancer. Measuring risk vs. benefit is always yours to consider. Here is what some in the scientific community are saying about Triclosan.
Abrasives

Silica, along with Baking soda, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphates and alumina, are abrasive agents used to remove stains from teeth. If you’re a frequent coffee, tea, red wine, or soda drinker, you might feel the need to brush with a toothpaste containing these ingredients. Recognize, however, that they are abrasive to your teeth. Go with toothpaste with a low rating for abrasiveness. Or, reduce the quantity of your stain-inducing foods and beverages. Also, we’re going to assume that you’re not a smoker – which really stains teeth!
Humectants

Keeping toothpaste moist and in good form requires a humectant. Otherwise, you’d end up with a hard block of toothpaste or a chalky mess. Glycerin, sorbitol and water are the most common additives to your toothpaste to get this job done, and wonder-ingredient Xylitol has also been making an appearance as of late because it not only provides moisture but helps fight cavities.
Thickeners

Carrageenan, cellulose gum, guar gum, xanthan gum, and even gluten help thicken your toothpaste. They’re generally benign ingredients, though if you have celiac disease or if gluten is a concern for you, you’ll want to check out this list of gluten-free toothpastes.
Preservatives

The last thing you want to be spreading all over your teeth is moldy toothpaste. Sodium benzoate, methyl paraben, and ethyl paraben are the three most common preservative ingredients used to keep your toothpaste from become home to all sorts of nasty bacteria. They’re a bit of a necessary evil. Of the three, sodium benzoate may be your best choice as parabens have come under intense scrutiny – particularly because they mimic estrogen in the body, according to the Breast Cancer Fund.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot that goes into your toothpaste! Do your own homework, so you can make the decisions that are right for you and your family. And, brush those teeth!

Different Techniques for Flossing

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When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for your kids?

  • Dental Pick: If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good ol’ fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look kinda’ like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated!
  • Electric Flossers: Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There arevibrating flosserspower flossers, and air flossers. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gumline, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. Ask your dentist which is best for you.
  • Oral Irrigator: An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and your dentist can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam and calling out numbers!

It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing – still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!

Five Reasons Why You May Have a Dry Mouth

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We all know drinking copious amounts of water is good for one’s health. And, boy howdy, when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours. But what do you do when you find yourself drinking far more than the recommended amount, and are still feeling as though your mouth is as dry as a desert? There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth, ranging from the benign to the serious – let’s take a look at the top five.

  1. Physiologic: Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreases in salivary production due to sleep are all considered physiologic (or, “normal”) causes of dry mouth.
  2. Prescription medication: Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. That’s a lot of interference. What’s worse, the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. That’s why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.
  3. Habitual use of alcohol, cigarettes, and/or drugs: Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity. No real surprise here.
  4. Chronic Disease: Sjögren’s disease, a chronic autoimmune disease in which white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands; along with the inflammatory disease, Sarcoidosis; Hepatitis C; and Diabetes, can all cause dry mouth.
  5. Psychogenic or Idiopathic: When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose. If you find yourself with a persistent case of dry mouth that you’re unable attribute a cause to, see your doctor for further diagnosis.

Dry mouth can be uncomfortable to live with on a daily basis, and is an indication there is something causing the symptom that requires further examination. As always, with any persistent medical condition, it’s important to never rely on self-diagnosis, and to see your doctor for proper evaluation.

Brushing Without Toothpaste: Should You Even Bother?

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It’s happened to all of us. You’re unpacking your travel bag after a long trip, and you’re dyin’ to get to bed. Eager to brush up and hit the rack, you grab your toothbrush, and aim for the toothpaste. Nothing. Groggy-eyed, you fumble around some more, searching. Still nothing. Looks like you forgot the toothpaste – again. After the front desk informs you they’re out, you wonder what you’re going to do. Should you even bother to brush? Well, as it turns out, according to the American Dental Association, brushing without toothpaste might be just what you needed.

In a six-month trial published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, patients who first brushed their teeth with a toothbrush that didn’t contain toothpaste (and then with toothpaste afterwards) saw a 63% reduction in plaque build-up, and a 55% drop in bleeding. Now that’s something worth considering. Let’s look at the best way for you to capitalize on this new “old” way of brushing your teeth!

  1. Use a dry brush: While a dry brush is most recommended because it’s stiffer than a wet brush, if you’d like to add a little water to your brush to soften it up a bit, it’s not really a big deal. After all, it’s going to get wet in your mouth in a matter of a minute or so, anyway. That said, start with it being dry if you can.
  2. Shoot for 45-degrees: Effective brushing means brushing at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. Since plaque hangs out near your gums, angling your brush is the best way to remove it effectively. This holds true when dry brushing and when brushing with toothpaste.
  3. Brush from the inside, out: The easiest plaque deposits to miss are nearest your tongue, so start on the inside bottom teeth first, then navigate to the inside top teeth, then outside to finish up the job.
  4. “Dance” the brush: You’ve got to put a little bit of wiggle in that brush to get the best results, so use little circles and visualize, if you can, the individual bristles sweeping across the surface of your teeth. If you think about brushing as a massage for your teeth and gums, you’ll likely end up with the proper brushing technique.
  5. Take your time: Advice on the length of time you should brush can depend on the uniqueness of your own mouth, and range from 1.5 minutes up to 20! So, chat with your dentist about their personal recommendations for your teeth.
  6. Get out of the bathroom: Dry brushing is best done when you’re not in the bathroom. Why? Because you’ve got a deeply ingrained habit that suggests you’ve brushed correctly while standing for a minute or so in the bathroom. Hardly accurate. So, take the brush into the living room, use it while watching television, or sitting down reading. Be conscious of your technique, the time spent doing it, and what your teeth feel like afterwards. Which brings us to the final step. The feel …
  7. Aim for smooth: Brushing dry means brushing for “feel” instead of time. When you’ve done an effective job of removing plaque from your teeth, they should feel as smooth as they do when your teeth are cleaned professionally.
  8. Don’t rely completely on feel, though: Understandably, tooth brushing is a bit of a guessing game. It doesn’t have to be though, because there are always disclosing tablets to save you from your brushing inadequacies! Remember those fun purple or red tablets you chewed as a kid to see if you were brushing correctly? Well, there’s nothing to stop you from using them as an adult, so hop online, or waltz into your dental office and pick up a box. Kids shouldn’t be the only ones who have all the fun in life, right!?

How to care for your dental implant

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Dental implants are now a very common treatment option to replace missing teeth among adults. Implants can also be used to help stabilize a denture for comfort and function. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 3 million people have implants and that number is growing by 500,000 a year.

To ensure the longevity of an implant, specific techniques and efforts are necessary to keep it clean and free of destructive bacteria and plaque, which can cause infection in the tissues around the implant and lead to failure. Without tenacious biofilm removal, peri-implantitis can develop and result in implant loss.

The dental hygienist has an important role to play in keeping dental implants disease-free. Traditional dental hygiene scalers used on natural chompers can scratch a crown, abutment, or implant, so your hygienist will instead use special gizmos made of plastics and resins to thoroughly clean without causing damage.

Implant recipients also play a significant role in the success of their own restoration and must be motivated to take care of the implant. Here’s how to provide the best care at home.

              For single implants:

  • Clean at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Use a low-abrasive toothpaste
  • Brush under and around the implant crown
  • Use a nylon coated interdental brush to clean hard-to-reach places
  • Floss daily with unwaxed tape or implant-specific floss

Implants are a profoundly successful medical procedure despite the atypical cleaning challenges they present. The prevention of peri-implant disease is paramount to implant health and function. How you care for your implant is an important part of success.

Sinus lift – Why Do You Need It?

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A Sinus Lift is often required as a first step when placing a dental implant in the back of your upper jaw. When upper back teeth are lost, bone in that area naturally naturally shrinks or resorbs over time.

Consequently, your sinuses expand to occupy the empty space where the bone used to be. Because there is insufficient bone available to securely place the dental implant.

The sinuses must be lifted in order to create space for placing additional bone in that area.

After bone grafting is done, implant can be placed successfully.

Happy New Year !

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Happy New Year !

At Bright Smile Dental we wish you a new year in which all your dreams come true, you become more successful and each moment of your life will have joy and become diver of happiness.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Christmas brings family and friends together; it helps us appreciate the love in our lives we can often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings.
At Bright Smile Dental we treat our patients as a family!

What are the benefits of dental implants over other treatments?

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It has been estimated that 69 percent of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth, and one in four over the age of 74 have lost ALL their natural teeth.

Many options exist to replace missing teeth but only one – dental implants – provides the  feel, function and appearance of natural teeth

  • Why are dental implants often the first choice and a standard of care compared to other options to restore missing or damaged teeth?
    • Next best thing to healthy, natural teeth.  Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth. Other options can lead to bone deterioration, and may interfere with eating, smiling, speaking and other activities of everyday life.
    • Built to last. Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time.
    • Enjoy life without worrying about your teeth!  No need to stay home or feel uncomfortable in public, embarrassed because your smile looks different, or worrying that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun or that removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement teeth will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat or laugh. Teeth restored with dental implants are teeth that let you, not your teeth, lead your life.
    • Retain your natural face shape, and smile.  A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
    • Protect healthy bone. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to additional health issues, such as the loss and deterioration of some of your jawbone. When it is not being used to support a natural tooth, the jawbone deteriorates, losing its strength and firmness. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
    • Keep your teeth in your mouth – not in a cup. Dental implants allow you to keep your teeth where they belong – in your mouth. And no more worrying that your dentures might slip or fall out. Brush, floss and care for teeth that have been replaced using dental implants exactly the way you would natural teeth – in your mouth.
    • Speak easy.  Adjusting to removable dentures can mean struggling to pronounce everyday words. Not so with dental implants, which function like natural teeth.
    • Eat your favorite foods! Taste and enjoy the foods you love without hesitation. You can bite naturally, eat virtually anything you want and, unlike removable dentures that can feel uncomfortable, you can experience the full taste of the food you eat with dental implants, too.
    • Look Mom, no cavities! Cavities can’t occur in an implant-restored crown, or replacement tooth; however, you will need to visit your dentist as scheduled and clean and care for it and your gums and mouth every day, the same as you would if it were a natural tooth.
    • Keep teeth in place – silently. Dentures may slip when you eat, talk, smile, laugh, kiss, yawn or cough, so that you have to “reposition” them back into place in the mouth. Dental implants are fixed in place and fuse naturally with your jawbone, meaning your replacement teeth won’t move, click or shift.
    • Protect your healthy teeth. Placing a tooth-supported bridge requires grinding away the teeth on one or both sides of the missing tooth or teeth – thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore those that are missing. The modified healthy teeth are attached to, and support, the bridge. Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
    • More predictable than other repair and restoration methods. Dental implant treatment has a track record of reliable, long-term successful outcomes and is often considered “more predictable” than other treatments to repair or replace missing teeth, including bridgework, removable appliances and retreatment of failing root canal (endodontic) therapy.

Tooth decay risk doubles in children exposed to secondhand smoke

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There is a high level of dental caries in deciduous (baby) teeth in developed countries, at a rate of 20.5% in children aged 2-5 in the US and 25% in children aged 3 in Japan.

While caries prevention in young children generally focuses on sugar restriction, oral fluoride supplementation and fluoride varnish, some studies have suggested that secondhand smoke plays a role.

Caries can result from various physical, biological, environmental and lifestyle factors.

Causes include cariogenic bacteria, inadequate salivary flow, insufficient exposure to fluoride and poor oral hygiene. A crucial event in oral health is the acquisition of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans).

S. mutans, among other bacteria, produce acids from sugar that is consumed, and these dissolve the hard enamel coating on teeth.

The bacteria are usually transmitted from mothers, and the age of highest risk is at 19-31 months.

Fast facts about tooth decay

  • 42% of American children aged 2-11 have decay in their primary teeth
  • 23% of children aged 2-11 have untreated dental caries
  • The average child has 1.6 decayed primary teeth and 3.6 decayed surfaces.

Learn more about dental care

Children exposed to passive smoking also have lower salivary IgA levels and higher levels of sialic acid with higher activity. Sialic acid enhances the agglutination ofS. mutans, leading to the formation of dental plaque and caries.

This would suggest that reducing secondhand smoke among children could help prevent caries, although it has not been proven.

A team of researchers based in Japan set out to investigate smoking during pregnancy and exposure to household smoke in infants at 4 months of age as risk factors for caries in deciduous teeth.

They wanted to know whether maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure of infants to tobacco smoke at the age of 4 months would increase the risk of caries in deciduous teeth.

The team analyzed data for 76,920 children born between 2004 and 2010, who attended routine health checkups at 0, 4, 9 and 18 months, and at 3 years of age at health care centers in Kobe City, Japan.

Mothers completed questionnaires to provide information about secondhand smoke exposure from pregnancy to 3 years of age and other lifestyle factors, such as dietary habits and oral care.

Incidence of caries in deciduous teeth was defined as at least one decayed, missing or filled tooth assessed by qualified dentists.

High risk of caries in children of parents who smoke

Prevalence of household smoking among children included in the study was 55.3%, and 6.8% showed evidence of tobacco exposure. A total of 12,729 cases of dental caries were identified, mostly decayed teeth.

Compared with having no smokers in the family, exposure to tobacco smoke at 4 months of age was associated with an approximately twofold increase in the risk of caries. The effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy was not statistically significant.

Limitations include the fact that this was an observational study, so conclusions about cause and effect cannot be drawn; results may also have been influenced by other unmeasured factors.

Despite the limitations, the researchers conclude:

“Exposure to secondhand smoke at 4 months of age, which is experienced by half of all children of that age in Kobe City, Japan, is associated with an increased risk of caries in deciduous teeth. Although these findings cannot establish causality, they support extending public health and clinical interventions to reduce secondhand smoke.”

Take care of your oral health and your child teeth. At Bright Smile Dental we care about you.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301299.php

CHEESE: THE NEXT BIG THING IN DENTAL HEALTH?

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A new study suggests small amounts of cheddar shield your teeth from the enamel damaging effects of coffee, tea, and wine.

Sure, ordering a sandwich or burger sans cheese helps you save on fat, but it turns out that cheddar may do more than turn up the flavor of your food. According to a new study from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), cheese protects your pearly whites from acid erosion—the breakdown of enamel brought on by coffee, tea, wine, soda, and so on.

How’s it work? Well, our mouths naturally have a slightly acidic (low) pH, and when we consume foods or drinks that drive that pH level even lower, our tooth enamel takes a hit. While saliva acts as a neutralizing agent and restores pH levels in the mouth after we eat, some foods can assist in the pH-boosting process. When AGD researchers tested how milk, yogurt, and cheddar cheese affect oral pH levels, they found that cheese elevates pH for 30 minutes after eating (milk and yogurt’s protective effects lasted only 10 minutes).

Why Your Teeth Are Crucial to Your Health >>>

Researchers believe two factors make cheese a dental superstar. First, it’s a “sialogogue,” a compound that causes salivation. Cheese also contains teeth-strengthening casein phosphate. The best part: Neither factor is related to cheese’s fat content, which means low-fat varieties are just as effective, says Jeffrey Cole, DDS, president of the AGD.

Still, you don’t have to devour a whole wheel of low-fat cheese to enjoy its protective benefit. All it takes is a 1/3-ounce serving, or about a third of a slice. For the biggest mouth-saving effect, Cole recommends taking bites from a piece of cheese throughout the course of a meal, snack or glass of wine, and always ending with the cheese.

3 More Foods That Won’t Wreck Your Teeth

  • Fruit: If you’re craving sugar, hard fruits, like apples and peaches, are your best bet. These sweets won’t stick to your teeth. Plus, they contain fructose (fruit sugar), which is gentler on enamel than sucrose (table sugar), says Cole.
  • Vegetables: Chomping on hard vegetables, like carrots, will help keep your teeth strong without leaving behind a sticky residue.
  • Water: While not a food, water is nature’s mouthwash. A swish of water after eating will help restore natural pH, says Cole.

And 3 Foods That Attack Tooth Enamel

  • Diet Soda: Because diet soda has an extremely low pH (between 2.5 and 3.5), its erosion effects are just as bad as those produced by the drug methamphetamine, according to another recent study from the AGD. “You could even be drinking white household vinegar, which has the same acidity as diet soda,” notes Cole.
  • Sports Drinks: With large amounts of acid and sugar, sports drinks turn teeth into cavity hot spots.
  • Coffee and Tea: Your morning cup of Joe is essentially a mug of acid, and when you sip it slowly, it breaks down tooth enamel. Tea is worse thanks to its tannic acids, says Cole. Your best bet: Opt for coffee without sugar (and with a splash of milk) over tea, and try not to sip it all morning.

 

http://www.mensfitness.com/styleandgrooming/grooming/cheese-next-big-thing-dental-health

Did You Know That About Tongue Print ?

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It’s a well-known fact that everyone has unique sets of fingerprints, but what you may not realize is the same goes for your tongue and teeth.
Like a fingerprint, a tongue print is a special signature that applies only to you.
Although it would be significantly messier to take tongue prints instead of fingerprints! smile emoticon

Bone Augmentation or Bone Grafting.

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At Bright Smile Dental we perform All Types of Implant Related Surgeries !

For dental implants to be successful, the jawbone must have enough bone to support them.

Tooth loss often leads to more loss of bone over time. The tooth loss may be caused by:

  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Dental caries (cavities) and infection
  • Injury or trauma
  • A defect in development

If the bone under your gum is not tall enough, not wide enough or both, you will need a procedure to add bone to your jaw before implants can be placed.

Bone augmentation is a term that describes a variety of procedures used to “build” bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve grafting (adding) bone or bonelike materials to the jaw. The graft can be your own bone or be processed bone (off the shelf) obtained from a cadaver. After grafting, you have to wait several months for the grafted material to fuse with the existing bone. “Off–the-shelf” grafted materials either cause surrounding bone to grow into the graft or cause cells around the graft to change into bone.

After bone augmentation implant can be placed.

What Are Dental Bridges?

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At Bright Smile Dental we offer all types of teeth restorations.

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge.

As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges: porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Dental CROWN WITHOUT THE WAIT

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Now you can have a Dental CROWN WITHOUT THE WAIT!
At Bright Smile dental we offer the best technology CAD/CAM !
Advanced dental technology known as Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing, or CAD/CAM, makes it possible to fabricate laboratory-grade crowns and other dental restorations in minutes.
A tooth that has been structurally damaged by decay or trauma sometimes needs to be crowned or “capped” so that it can look good and function properly again.
Crown fabrication traditionally takes place in a dental laboratory. But these days, there’s a much more convenient alternative: SAME-DAY CROWNS made in the dental office

3D Imaging XRay system

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We offer the Best – 3D Imaging ! http://vkdds.com/

At Bright Smile Dental we now offer a remarkable new technology that creates virtually limitless views of the face, neck and teeth, for more complete treatment planning. It called 3D ConeBeam Imaging . Using it together with Cerec-crown machine we can see best possible positions for the implant placement and restoration.

With 3D X-rays we can view abnormalities from any chosen perspective. This ensures greater diagnostic accuracy. The more you can see, means greater safety and security.

TRABECULAR METAL DENTAL IMPLANT.

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TRABECULAR METAL DENTAL IMPLANT.
We offer new dental technology – The Best thing next to bone.

By design, the Zimmer Trabecular Metal Dental Implant allows the bone to grow INTO the implant, not Just ONTO the surface providing treatment benefits beyond any other implant.

Traditional dental implants serve as an artificial tooth root and have used for many decades with high success rates.

Leveraging a technology that has been used in orthopedic implants for over a decade, Zimmer has integrated Trabecular Metal Material to dental implants. Trabecular Metal Technology is a 3D material that enables your bone to grow into the implant for stability.

 

How To Prevent Cavities From Halloween Candy?

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How To Prevent Cavities From Halloween Candy?

Halloween might feel like a holiday made for creating tooth decay, but the truth is that it is actually a great time to teach your kids about how to prevent cavities and about making healthy choices. It is nearly impossible to avoid Halloween candy altogether, but there are some simple and fun ways in which you can minimize the sugar overload after trick-or-treating is over.

Brush Away the Treats

Whether your child eats one piece of candy or ten, it is essential to brush properly to prevent tooth decay. A brand new toothbrush is always a fun way to get your child excited about brushing. Be sure to drop one in your child’s Halloween treat bucket, along with some floss, before they head out for the night.

After indulging in Halloween treats, have your child both brush and floss, since candy can easily get stuck between teeth. Remind your child of proper brushing techniques. Show him how to move the brush back and forth against his teeth and gums with short, gentle strokes and how to place the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. Younger children will need your help to brush and floss thoroughly.

Make a Candy Plan

The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Have a talk with your child about what the plan will be after the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and parcel it out slowly or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. Regardless of what you decide, the most important part is to establish the rules beforehand. It can be especially helpful for younger children to repeat the conversation a few times.

Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one’s body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and dental health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.

Not So Sweet Rewards

There are a lot of alternatives to simply deciding whether or not you will allow your child to indulge in Halloween sweets. A candy swap is a great way to let your child enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without overloading on sweets. The basic concept is to swap your child’s candy for a non-candy treat, such as a toy that your child has wanted for some time or an activity he has wanted to try. You can also extend the swap by trading out small amounts at a time rather than the whole thing at once; for example, you can allow your child to pick one piece of Halloween candy a day but then give them the opportunity to do a daily trade for something as simple as a sticker.

Remember that Halloween does not have to be scary for dental health. Use it as a teachable moment to help your child learn about moderation and dental care. You will set your child up for a future of healthy choices.

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/cavities/article/sw-281474979223092

Home Oral Hygiene

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Once we understand the causes of gum disease (and tooth decay as well ), it is relatively easy to prevent those conditions from happening. Tooth decay and gum disease both start asymptomatic and progress if left untreated. Both of them will eventually lead to the loss of teeth. Among other things, one major factor contributing to the problem is the bacteria, which stays on the teeth and the gums in the form of plaque. Plaque is a soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth; composed of bacteria and food debris due to inadequate dental hygiene. Removal of plaque (and bacteria, contained in plaque) on a daily basis can prevent you from a lot of problems.

Home Oral Hygiene

In order to successfully treat any disease, one should try to eliminate the reasons. Since the main reason for gum disease is accumulated bacteria in dental plaque, we have to try to reduce plaque and tartar formation to a minimum. That’s why your good home oral hygiene is step number one in prevention and treatment of gum disease.

 

We all brush our teeth, but do we do it right? While brushing, we have to remember that we have to remove possibly all of the plaque sitting on the tooth surface and around the gums. This plaque forms on all surfaces of the tooth, including the places where the regular tooth brush can not reach. The experienced dental hygienists will work closely with you to choose the right brushing methods for you, and will advise you on the tooth brush and others hygiene tools you need to use.

 

Bass Brushing Method

The most recommended brushing technique is modified Bass Cleaning technique. It has proven its worth both for people with healthy gums and gingivitis/periodontitis patients. This technique concentrates on cleaning at the gum margins. The toothbrush must be soft, in order to not damage the gums when positioning the toothbrush.

Outer surfaces: Place the toothbrush on the gums at an angle of 45°.

Always start at the back.


Inner surfaces:

Small circular movements (vibratory motion).

 

Front teeth:

Place the toothbrush in an upright position behind the front teeth.

Lastly, brush the chewing surfaces using to and from vibratory motions, from the back to the front

 

Electric Tooth Brush

In recent years the electric tooth brushes became very popular. The advantage of the electric tooth brush is it’s ability to move the bristles at a much faster rate than the human hand can possibly move, therefore allowing much better and thorough cleaning, compare it to a regular tooth brush.
There are two main types of electric toothbrushes: One that oscillates, meaning the bristles rotate in one direction and then the other, and then there is the Sonicare, which vibrates at a very fast pace. Both types of these brushes do the job and provide better and deeper cleaning than the traditional tooth brush. It is a matter of preference which tooth brush to use. Do not forget to change the brushing head as it wears of.

 

Flossing Technique

Wind 18″ of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1″- 2″ length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.

 

Keep a 1″ – 2″ length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
    

Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. DO NOT SNAP FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH. Contour floss around the side of the tooth.

 

Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line.

Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

 

     

 

Inter-proximal Brushes
Interproximal or interdental brushes are the the great tools in removing tartar from between the teeth. It should be used by people who has some bone lose. You shouldn’t use them in the areas where the don’t pass freely.
Interrpoximal brushe is a must tool for people with bone lose. If the brush freely fits in between the teeth it is one of the best ways to remove plaque and food debrie from in between the teeth
Remember: if the brush don’t easily fit in between the teeth do not force it! You can try either smaller size cylindrical brush or you do not use the brush in this particular space!
Interproximal brushes are manufactured by different companies. They come in two major designs: the handle with brush- great for the home use, as the long handle allows easy access to back teeth. With this design yoy have a long handle and small brushes which snap to to the handle. As brush wears of you put the new brush on to the handle.
The other type is the travel size brush. They have small handle with the brush firmly attached to it. You change the whole brush as it wears of.

The brushes itself come in different sizes and can be tapered or cylindrical. Cylindrical type is easier to fit in smaller spaces.
The regular tooth brush or electric tooth brush can not reach in between the teeth, so cleaning in between the teeth as important in maintaining good oral health and in prevention of gum disease, as a regular tooth brush. 

Keeping it clean is the main idea in preventing gum disease!

Keeping it clean is the first step in treating gum disease!

Keeping it cleanis the first step, and probably the most important one in making your smile beautiful.

 

Everything You Must Know About Tooth Decay!

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What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay or caries is caused by demineralization of hard structures of the tooth by acids. These acids form as a chemical reaction between mouth bacteria, contained in plaque and carbohydrates from sugars. As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. These acids wash out the calcium in the tooth (demineralize), break down the enamel, and the caries process begins forming cavities.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay?
Understanding the etiology and causes of caries, it is possible to prevent them and reduce the formation of cavities. As it was mentioned before, the interaction of bacteria in plaque and carbohydrates in sugar, lead to the the production of acids which then  lead to tooth decay. How can we stop this interaction?
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. it is a mixture of food debris and millions of bacteria. Proper home oral hygiene with proper brushing techniques and flossing can reduce number of bacteria presence by a lot.

Carbohydrates is an important part of our diet and we can not completely eliminate it from our day to day consumption. What we have to remember is that bacteria will feed on sugar and produce the acid, demineralizing the tooth for about 20 min. If let’s say you “supply” the bacteria with sugars every 20 min, the acid producing process will never stop and demineralization will exceed remineraliztion of enamel, leading to destruction of tooth structure and formation of cavities. So the main factor in caries decay formation process is not the amount of sugar, but the frequency of exposure to it. It is probably the best example of how continuous use of sugar containing products leads to caries is nursing bottle syndrome.
Nursing bottle syndrome or nursing caries syndrome is a severe form of tooth decay affecting mostly front teeth in children between ages 2 and 5.This tooth decay is a result of  juices and sweetened milk in nursing children especially during sleep. Another reason for the nursing bottle syndrome is a sweetened pacifier in sugar or honey. In both scenarious the continuous flow of high content of sugar leads to demineralization of enamel and leads to caries all around the tooth.

Very often caries goes unnoticed, not causing any symptoms, till it destroys a big part of the tooth. At this point you can have high sensitivity to hot and cold, sweets, or food may stick in between the teeth.  Caries develops as a funnel affect which means that it starts in one point and expands once it penetrates the enamel surface.  Enamel is the hard substance that covers the outer portion on the crown of the tooth and it is pretty difficult for bacteria to destroy it.  Once the bacteria make an opening through the enamel, it will enter the dentin layer, which is much softer and easier for the bacteria to destroy. This is the reason why people don’t realize that they have a large cavity in their tooth; it is mostly covered by the hollowed out enamel until that piece of enamel breaks off. Frequent exams and check up X-rays can diagnose development of decay at its early stages. The sooner the cavity is diagnosed, the more the healthy tooth structure can be preserved by the doctor using less invasive treatment options. There is also a higher chance that decay did not reach the nerve, when the root canal treatment must be done.

 How Are Caries Diagnosed ?
Caries can be diagnosed by dentist during routine oral exam with the direct view, with the dental explorer (special dental instrument used to probe the tooth structure), by the x-ray images. Computerized diagnostic becomes also a helpful tool. Caries indicator solutions are available to help dentist in diagnostic of decay. The initial stages of caries can be asymptomatic. From the symptoms which can accompany the development of tooth decay the most important are sensitivity to sweets, cold and hot. This sensitivity should disappear as soon as the factor causing the sensitivity removed. If the pain continues after these factors removed it could be a sign of nerve involvement.

So, How Can We Restore The Decayed Tooth?

After you were diagnosed with caries, doctor can offer you different treatment options, depending on the teeth involved, the extent of the decay and you overall conditions in the mouth. After you been num, all the decay and involved dentin have to be cleaned out with the special burs till the sound structure of the tooth reached. Then the doctor will shape the cavity to accept the desired restoration.

Gum Disease Stages

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Stages of Gum Disease

If left untreated, gum disease progresses through different stages, causing more harm and destruction to your overall dental health, making each step more difficult to treat. Timely treatment and prophylaxis is essential in prevention of teeth loss.

HEALTHY GUMS

  • Gums are firm
  • Gums are light pink
  • Hug the teeth tightly
  • Don’t bleed when brushed
  • Gum Pocket depth when measured is no more than 2mm

 

GINGIVITIS – First stage of periodontal or gum disease which involves soft tissue only: bones has not yet been affected at this point

  • Gums bleed when brushed or probed
  • Inflammation and redness present
  • Possible bad breath
  • Pockets could be more than 2 mm

This stage of gum disease is reversable as no permanent tissue damage is done.

 

MILD PERIODONTITIS – This is the second stage of gum disease where the bone starts to get affected

  • Gums bleed very easily
  • Gum swelling is more pronounced
  • Gum pocket depth reaches 3-4mm
  • Bad breath/taste
  • Loss of firmness and texture
  • Loss of the attachment fibers
  • Bone loss may be evident on x-rays

 

MODERATE PERIODONTITIS – This stage of gum disease may be accompanied by pain and acute inflammation

  • Gum line starts to recede and teeth appear to be longer
  • Sensitivity may appear
  • Abscesses or gum boils may appear
  • Pain may appear
  • Teeth may shift and spaces can form between teeth
  • Redness and bleeding is very apparent
  • Further inflammation and loss of texture
  • Mobility of teeth
  • Neck of the tooth get exposed
  • Visible part of the tooth (clinical crown) looks elongated
  • Pocket depths 4-6mm
  • Significant bone loss is detected with x-ray
  • Faulty smells appear

 

ADVANCED PERIODONTITIS

  • All of the above symptoms are very pronounced
  • Pocket depths exceed 6mm
  • Severe mobility and bone loss
  • Inability to chew or bite into hard food as it accompanied by pain
  • Possible need for extractions