Posts for tag: oral health
While it’s great to have choices, sometimes having too many options can quickly become overwhelming. When you walk down the aisle of oral hygiene supplies at your local grocery store or pharmacy, you won’t be able to ignore the seemingly countless options of toothpaste, mouthwashes, floss, tongue scrapers, and toothbrushes. Even within one brand, such as Colgate or Crest you will notice nearly a dozen varieties of products. The good news is there is a brand and a product for every personal preference and particular concern. How do you decide though, which brands and products are best for you?
In this particular article, we are going to break down how to choose the perfect toothbrush.
Here’s what you need to consider…
Soft, medium, or hard? While you might think that using a hard-bristle brush is better suited to removing plaque and stains, you are better off opting for a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles and hard brushing can actually lead to teeth sensitivity, enamel erosion, and receding gums.
If the head of your toothbrush is too big, it will be challenging to reach way in the back of your mouth and to maneuver your brush in tight spaces. While there are large-head toothbrushes available, a small to medium-sized one will likely help you do a better job at keeping every one of your teeth clean. A toothbrush head that is around a half-inch wide and one-inch tall is pretty standard for an average adult mouth.
Manual versus electric
This is totally personal preference; however, the entire Parker family uses a Sonicare electric toothbrush. Sonicare makes a variety of electric toothbrushes for all different budgets and toothbrush preferences. But, they all have been proven to remove up to ten times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, leads to up to seven times healthier gums, and removes a significant percentage of surface stains in just three days.
If you decide to go with a manual toothbrush, make sure you choose one that is backed by a reputable brand. Your toothbrush is something you put in your mouth at least twice a day, and you want to make sure that it is made properly and using safe materials. There is also a great selection of non-plastic disposable toothbrushes. Many of these new eco-friendly toothbrushes are made out of bamboo.
Seal of approval
You are probably wondering how to know if you are purchasing a reputable brand of toothbrush or other dental products. If you see the ADA Seal of Approval on the packaging, you know you're buying a product that is safe and high quality.
Make sure that you change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. If you have any questions about what toothbrush you should be using, don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve. Using the right toothbrush is key to maintaining your beautiful and healthy smile.
We’ve talked about some of the best foods for your teeth in the past. However, it is important to be conscious of your consumption of these particular foods and beverages, as they can be potentially harmful to your teeth. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make the right decisions for your oral health.
Find out which nine foods and drinks are the worst for your teeth and why.
Whether it’s hard, sticky, chewy, or sour, candy is one of the worst foods for your teeth. Most candy is bursting with refined sugar and artificial coloring. Candy also has no nutritional value. Regularly eating candy can contribute to cavities, enamel erosion, and dental emergencies. If you are going to indulge in a sweet treat, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Out of all the types of candies, chocolate, especially dark chocolate is the least damaging. Chocolate washes off of teeth easier than sticky candies. Dark chocolate has some nutritional value as well; it is high in antioxidants.
You might think dried fruit is healthy because it is fruit, but it can pose a threat to your teeth. Dried fruit is high in sugar, and due to its stickiness, it can be hard to get off of your teeth. Be extra careful if you have any fillings, crowns, or wires in your mouth.
Mints and Gum
Chewing gum or sucking on a mint is like chewing or sucking sugar. Opt for sugar-free gum or mints to avoid putting your teeth in harm’s way.
Carbonated drinks contain phosphoric and citric acid, both of which erode the protective enamel on your teeth. When the enamel on your teeth is compromised, you become more prone to cavities, chips, and cracks in your teeth. Plus, carbonated sodas are very high in sugar.
While sports drinks are great at quickly rehydrating your body after intense physical activity, they contain a lot of sugar. If you are going to drink or eat anything that has a high sugar content make sure that you brush your teeth afterward.
Alcohol is high in sugar. Regular and excessive alcohol consumption can also reduce your saliva production, which can then increase your chances of tooth decay and other oral infections. Heavy alcohol consumption also increases your chances of developing oral cancer. If you are going to drink alcohol, make sure you also drink plenty of water and always brush your teeth before bedtime.
While citrus such as oranges and grapefruit are high in vitamin C, the acidity of this type of fruit can also erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. As with many of these potentially harmful foods and beverages, as long as you consume them in moderation, drink plenty of water, and keep up with brushing and flossing your teeth, you can enjoy these treats without worrying about permanent damage to your teeth.
Due to the high level of tannis, regularly drinking black tea can lead to tooth discoloration. If you are going to drink tea, lighter teas like green tea are a better option.
Starchy foods like potato chips and bread can easily get stuck between your teeth. Make sure that you floss your teeth after eating starchy foods to avoid a plaque build-up and permanent damage to your teeth.
While you don’t necessarily need to give up these foods and drinks entirely, if you are going to enjoy them, do so in moderation, brush your teeth afterward, floss twice a day, and drink at least two liters of water to help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
We all have a bad habit or few that we know we should stop but haven’t managed to yet. A bad habit is anything that negatively impacts your health and wellness or the health and wellness of others. Oral bad habits are common. It is likely that you will be guilty of at least one of the habits on this list of habits that need to be broken.
You know what they say though, there is no time like to present to kick a bad habit and replace it with a good one!
Brushing too hard
Brushing too hard, especially with a firm-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel to wear away on the surface of your teeth over time. Without this protective layer, you are more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities. Opt for a softer bristle toothbrush and take your time brushing your teeth using a gentle circular movement on each tooth.
While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for maintaining a healthy and clean mouth, your toothbrush isn’t capable of cleaning out those tight hard to reach spaces between your teeth. If you don’t floss, you are only removing around two-thirds of gingivitis-causing plaque from your teeth.
A commonly offered piece of advice from your dentist goes something like this; “You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.”
Grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth is very harmful to your oral health. Grinding can cause your teeth to chip or crack, the protective enamel layer to wear away, and can cause muscle tenderness, joint pain, and headaches. If you are a chronic grinder, make sure you talk to Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve about some easy solutions to break this habit.
Biting your cheeks
While we’ve all accidentally bitten the side of our cheeks at least once before, habitually biting your cheeks is problematic. Whether this occurs due to misaligned teeth or as a nervous tick, this habit can lead to mouth sores and serious infections. It is speculated that cheek biters are more prone to developing oral cancer too.
Ignoring your lips
The skin on your lips is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. For this reason, it is more susceptible to chipping, cracking, environmental damage, and early signs of aging. It is essential to keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun on a daily basis.
Using the wrong toothpaste
We live in an era of choices. There are dozens of toothpaste brands and types readily available for all different concerns and flavor preferences. While some toothpaste may claim to “control tartar,” be careful that the toothpaste you are using isn’t too gritty. Some “tartar control” toothpaste are too abrasive and will erode the enamel on your teeth and can cause receding gums. The most critical ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. The rest is all personal preference.
Using your teeth as tools
Your teeth are not intended to be used in place of scissors or nail clippers. Stop using your teeth to open packages! Using your teeth for anything other than eating puts you at a higher risk of chipping a tooth, injuring your jaw, and swallowing something inedible and harmful.
Crunching hard candies and ice
Bad, bad, bad! Crunching hard candies and ice is a recipe for disaster! This hard habit, especially when done over a long period can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth and damage existing dental work.
Carbonated sodas contain phosphoric acid, which over time can erode your teeth. Sodas contain excessive amounts of refined sugar, as well which is not healthy for your teeth or your body. The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas have negative impacts on your overall health, as well.
It is time to learn to love water! If you do drink a soda though, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Smoking is good for nothing! Aside from significantly increasing your chances of developing oral cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and painful lesions in the mouth, smoking also reduces your sense of smell and taste, contributes to bad breath, stains your teeth, increases your chances of losing your teeth, and can cause your gums to recede.
Don’t ignore symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, pain, or sensitivity in your mouth if it lasts more than a few days. It is far easier to treat a condition when it is addressed in the early stages. At Parker Dentistry, we are always here for you and always just a phone call away.
“The mouth is a mirror of health and disease in the body.” - U.S. Surgeon General
When most of us non-dental professionals think about our oral health, we tend to only focus on concerns like cavities, bad breath, tooth discoloration, crookedness (malocclusion), and bleeding gums. Our oral cavity is typically viewed as a completely separate entity from the rest of our body.
If we have bad breath, it’s because we haven’t been flossing and brushing enough. If we have a toothache, it’s because we have a cavity or need a root canal. If our teeth are crooked, it’s because of genetics. While there is truth between these connections of symptoms and conditions, it is also important to consider that the symptoms you are experiencing in your mouth aren’t always directly linked to something else in your mouth.
As dentists and hygienists at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we know that the mouth is an excellent indicator of what’s going on in the rest of your body. Based on the alignment of your teeth, the condition of your gums, the coloration and texture of your tongue, and the smell of your breath, we can tell a lot about your current state of health. This information is then very useful so that you can act either curatively or preventatively to address the health concern depending on what we find.
Just by having a look around in your mouth, we can identify potential signs of certain types of cancer, anemia, kidney or liver failure, gastroesophageal reflux, lung abacuses, bronchitis, tonsil stones, a sinus infection, vitamin deficiencies, and widespread inflammation. As we have discussed at length before, inflammation, in particular, is at the root of most chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. When there is a lot of inflammation in your mouth, it is likely that there is a lot of inflammation in the rest of your body.
Several conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver failure, bronchitis, and gastroesophageal reflux can be guessed based on the distinct smell of your breath!
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness we are firm believers in preventative healthcare, and it is through our oral assessments that we can help you help yourself in becoming your healthiest self. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to stay on top of your oral health and keep to your twice a year professional dental cleanings. We care about more than just your teeth. We care about you as a whole!
Remember how at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuventation and Wellness we are always talking about how your oral health affects your overall health? Well, a recent study discovered that there is actually a link between certain types of cancer and periodontal disease. “Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, which included comprehensive dental exams from 7466 participants from Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina. Subjects were followed from the late 1990s until 2012. The data showed that 1648 new cancer cases were diagnosed during the follow-up period.”
Let’s back track a little first and talk about what periodontal disease is and how you get it.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plague. “Interestingly, it is your body's response to the bacterial infection that causes most of the problems. In an effort to eliminate the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that cause inflammation and destruction of the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease), and loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).”
When your oral hygiene routine is subpar and or you don’t keep up with your biannual teeth cleanings, your risk of developing periodontal disease is very high. Smoking, misaligned teeth, grinding, stress, certain medications, certain types of chronic ailments, and genetics also play into your risk factor. This preventable disease has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Now, on top of the fact that you could lose your teeth, develop heart disease, or have a stroke from having periodontal disease, but you might also develop cancer. The study found that there was a significant increase in the risk of developing lung and colon cancer in particular in patients who also suffered from severe periodontal disease. Some aspects of our health are out of our control, but fortunately a great deal is within out control; and your oral hygiene and health is definitely one of those things.
If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, talk to Dr. Steve or Dr. Blake during your next visit, as this is an early sign of periodontal disease. It is far easier to a prevent disease than it is to cure one. Preventative healthcare is the best approach to your health and well-being and by preventing periodontal disease, you are helping to prevent a lot of other diseases in your future.