I know we have been conditioned that if you really want to get something clean you need to give it a good scrubbing. However, when it comes to your teeth, you can cause more harm than good!
Brushing to hard can wear down your tooth’s enamel as well as damage your gums by exposing very sensitive roots. It can also cause receding gums. Once your gums recede, it can result in an avalanche of dental issues from there. Periodontal Disease and cavities on the root of a tooth can lead to a root canal or tooth extraction.
Choosing the right toothbrush is important when you are extra diligent with your dental care. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled tooth brush when brushing your pearly whites. Hard bristled or medium bristled toothbrushes are not the best choice for people who brush aggressively.
Knowing you are an aggressive brusher is the first step to correcting the issue. Being taught good dental brushing habits will usually prevent any dental damage from getting worse. Brushing your teeth aggressively is not the way to ensure all the plaque is removed. Plaque can be easily removed with a soft bristled brush as long as you reach all the surfaces that it hides.
It’s all about the technique! Have you heard the expression quality verses quantity? It should take you 2 to 3 minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly. First start by tilting your brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. Make sure to brush the inside and outside chewing surface of each tooth. And last but not least, gently brush your tongue.
We all know we need water to live, however many people don’t know about the amazing powers of water. Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water. Drinking water throughout your day assist in distributing nutrients throughout your body and gets rid of waste from our system. As an added benefit, it helps give our skin a healthy glow and keeps are muscles hydrated for top performance.
What people are less familiar with is the benefits that water can provide for your teeth. Drinking the required 2 liters per day will help in the battle to maintain good dental health.
Water Keeps Your Mouth Clean
Your mouth has lots of bacteria. That bacteria in your mouth loves to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel. Most drinks such as soda, juice or sport drinks are loaded with sugar. Many of these drinks also have added acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also eat away at your teeth.
Drinking lots of water washes away bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth with each sip. It also washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. Many of us don’t carry a toothbrush throughout our day to brush after every meal. So when in a pinch, sip on some water until you can thoroughly brush later in the day.
Water Keeps Your Mouth Hydrated
A dry mouth breads and multiplies the bacteria in your mouth. That bacteria eats away the enamel of your teeth. Drinking water keeps your mouth hydrated and washes away harmful bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth.
Drinking Water with Fluoride Strengthens Your Teeth
Drinking water with fluoride is a great way to strengthen your teeth. Per the ADA, Water fluoridation is safe, effective and healthy. Seventy years of research, thousands of studies and the experience of more than 210 million Americans tell us that water fluoridation is effective in preventing cavities and is safe for children and adults.
Most people have heard of a root canal. The idea of needing a root canal tends to create unneeded fear for its recipients. Most of a persons anxiety in relation to this procedure is caused by misinformation or a lack of knowledge of what to expect. The question is,”what is it and why do you need it?”.
Why Do You Need a Root Canal?
Let’s start by explaining why a root canal is needed. This procedure is needed when your tooth’s root becomes damaged either by injury or a deep cavity. The pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth) has become inflamed or diseased. At this point, a patient typically displays symptoms of pain and swelling. If this situation is not addressed, the tooth can become irreparable. However, that is not the only thing. A patient with an untreated infection, even in a tooth, will become more ill as time passes.
How Is A Root Canal Performed.
First of all, not all dentist will perform a root canal. If your family dentist does not perform that procedure, he will recommend an Endodontis (which is a dentist that specializes in root canals). During a procedure, the troubling tooth is numbed. An opening is made in the crown of the tooth where special tools are used to clean out the infected canals and root of the tooth. Once that is complete, your tooth is filled with a permanent material to ensure that your tooth remains free of contamination and infection. The final step fills the crown of your tooth with a temporary filling. The temporary filling will remain until a permanent filling or crown is used to replace it.
What Is The Alternative To A Root Canal?
The only alternative to a root canal is to pull the tooth. As a dentist, I always recommend working to keep all your pearly whites as they are not replaceable. It is a cheaper option but ultimately can cause you other dental issues as time moves on. For example, teeth shifting, eating, bone loss.
Why Do I Need a Deep Dental Cleaning?
Sometimes we avoid going to the dentist as often as we should. You can make all kinds of excuses ( lack of time, fear of the dentist, unable to get time off from work ) but when all is said and done, lack of maintenance of your teeth can be a costly mistake not only for your health but your pocket as well. The consequence for avoiding those much needed dental visits and cleanings can leave you dealing with gum disease and cavities which could have been prevented.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Over time, plaque builds up on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque causes gums to become inflamed and easy to bleed if not removed. As the plaque and bacteria on your teeth increases, pockets begin to form in areas where the gum has began to pull away from the tooth. These pockets leave more room for plaque and bacteria to build increasing the damage to the gums and depth of the pocket. As the damage to the gums increases, the onset of gum disease begins.
How to Correct Gum Disease Once It Has Began
To correct the problem and return your gums to a healthy state, a deep cleaning is needed. To determined if a deep cleaning is needed, your dentist or hygienist will probe your teeth and determine if you have periodontal pockets 4 millimeters or greater in your gums. Only the areas with periodontal pockets 4 millimeters or greater will need a deep cleaning (scaling or root planing) to return your gums to a healthy state.
What is a Deep Cleaning ( Root Planning or Scaling)?
A deep cleaning is when your hygienist needs to remove bacteria, tartar and plaque from below your gum line. A regular cleaning requires removing plaque and tartar from above the gum line. Since the deep cleaning (Root Planning or Scaling) is more invasive, this procedure is performed using a local anesthetic for numbing. While having this procedure done, Glasscock Dental highly recommends using Arestin along with your deep cleaning treatment. Arestin is an antibiotic to treat the bacteria under your gums. The antibiotic will last under your gums for approximately 90 days which will help your gums heal better than without it.
Recovery From Your Deep Cleaning
As with any more invasive treatments, it isn’t unusual to experience some tenderness or discomfort. Discomfort typically won’t last more than 24 hours and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Next time you are looking for a healthy snack, consider having a carrot. I personally prefer organic carrots but any carrot choice will do. I’m sure you remember being told as a child “eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyes”. Well jack, that’s a fact and not a myth. Mom was right. Carrots contain Vitamin A which is a nutrient needed for good vision and the benefit of carrots doesn’t stop there.
Benefits of Carrots
Carrots provide a number of essential vitamins to provide overall good health. In addition to Vitamin A, carrots provide vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E , K, fiber, manganese and potassium. They also provide you with some powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients, One of the powerful antioxidants supplied, which gives carrots their color, is beta- carotene. Beta-carotene in itself has some amazing benefits. It stimulates skin cell growth and builds collagen (which is considered to keep you looking young). Several studies have shown that beta-carotene can protect the body from cancers and heart disease. The studies have also shown it can lower your cholesterol and reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
Carrots and Your Teeth
Eating raw carrots should be incorporated into your daily routine. Raw carrots, when being eaten, are abrasive. This abrasive vegetable stimulates your gums and eliminates sticky plaque from your teeth. While chewing a carrot, your mouth produces lots of saliva. The production of saliva benefits your teeth and gums in multiple ways. Saliva washes away food and debris from your teeth and gums. It also plays a huge role in regulating the bacterial growth within your mouth. It is acidic which aids in the prevention of plaque as well as calcium rich which aids in the process of strengthening your teeth.
So, with that being said, the next time you wander off the to refrigerator to search for something to snack on, grab the carrots first. This healthy choice could be your first step to a healthy happier you.
Your wisdom teeth don’t make themselves known until you have nearly reached adulthood. Usually between the ages of 17-25. The name “Wisdom Teeth” was adopted as these teeth don’t arrive until you have reached, what is considered the “age of wisdom”.
Are Wisdom Teeth a Problem?
Wisdom teeth are not always an issue. Not everyone needs to have them removed. If your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly aligned, there is no reason for fuss at all. As a matter of fact, about 30 percent of people are missing one or more of their wisdom teeth.
Issues With Wisdom Teeth
Unfortunately, for many of us, the need to have one or more wisdom teeth removed during a lifetime is likely. It is estimated that 85 percent of all people will need to visit the oral surgeon sometime in their life in relation to a wisdom tooth/teeth. Often, wisdom teeth do not grow in properly. If a wisdom tooth does not make it to a normal position, it can cause problems with chewing, damage adjacent teeth or periodontal problems. Your dentist can make an assessment and recommend an oral surgeon if necessary.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that becomes stuck under the gum or partially emerges from the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth unfortunately are a common occurrence. Depending on the person, they may or may not cause pain. When your wisdom tooth is trying to emerge, it can cause your gum to become inflamed and swollen. When emerging, they can also cause pain in your face, other teeth or ears.
Signs of an Emerging Wisdom Tooth
- Swelling of the gum in the back of your mouth
- Difficulty opening your jaw
- Bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Pain when you open your mouth
- Pain when chewing or biting
The best way to know if your wisdom teeth are a problem is by visiting your dentist. Regular check ups can avoid big problems later.
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Dental Facts to Chew On!
Dentistry has come a long way since the beginning of time. Enclosed is a list of Dental Facts for you and your family to chew on.
- The number of cavities in the average mouth is down and people are keeping their teeth longer with the advances in dentistry. People, on average, have healthier mouths than even 10 years ago.
- 60% of people don’t know that a sore jaw, when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack – especially in women.
- The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime.
- The average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day, the recommended amount of time is 2-3 minutes.
- More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.
- Just like fingerprints, tooth prints are unique to each individual.
- 32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.
- Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
- A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans
- Only 40% of young people age 6 to 19 have experienced their first cavity. That’s down from 50% a decade ago.
- Over the last ten years the number of people age 60 who’d lost all their teeth had decreased from 33% to 25%.
- 44% of dental care expenditures are paid out-of-pocket.
- 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.
- Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
- More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
- More than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental related illness.
- 94% of Americans say they brush nightly’ 81% say they do it first thing in the morning.
- People who drink 3 or more sugary sodas daily have 62% more dental decay, fillings and tooth loss.
- People with red hair are more sensitive to pain and consequently need more anesthetic during operations than other patients. Those with red hair needed 20 percent more anesthetic to numb the pain, according to New Scientist.
- The enamel on the top surface on your tooth is the hardest part of your entire body.
- Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
- If you get your tooth knocked out, put it in milk and hold it in your mouth—this will help your tooth to survive longer. Make sure you see a dentist right away.
Tough Brushing Tortures Teeth
Most dentists don’t go a day without seeing patients who are damaging their teeth and gums by brushing too hard. Some report that as many as two out of three patients brush their teeth too hard. This is a problem. A stiff-bristled toothbrush combined with overzealous brushing teeth can cause serious dental problems over time, including gum disease and tooth sensitivity.
People think that if they brush twice as hard, they will do twice as much good, In fact, overzealous brushing can cause significant damage to the periodontal tissues and bones that support the teeth. If you used the same amount of force and brush the side of your arm, you could take your skin off.
One way to avoid damaging your teeth and gums is to purchase a “soft” toothbrush featuring rounded bristles which are less abrasive to teeth. You should hold the brush between the thumb and forefinger, not with the fist. When brushing, do not `scrub’ the teeth with a horizontal, back-and-forth motion.
Instead, start at the gum line and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush both the teeth and the gums at the same time. Push hard enough to get the bristles under the gumline but not so hard that the bristles flare out. It’s also a wise move to limit the amount of toothpaste because it is abrasive.
The irony is that dentists want people to brush longer, not harder. Children and adults tend to spend less than one minute at a time brushing their teeth, even though removing plaque from the mouth requires at least two to five minutes of brushing at least twice a day. Remember: brush longer, not harder.
Dental Myths: Fact vs Fiction
Myth: I can’t see any problems with my teeth, so I don’t need to go to the dentist.
Fact: There are dental problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye – gum disease, hairline fractures and root canal disease are just a few. Dentists use sophisticated technologies – like digital X-rays – to detect problems both on and beneath the surface of your teeth. Plus, it’s a mistake to think of dental visits asemergency care; they’re just as much about preventive care.
Myth: I don’t need to worry about my teeth because my parents never had problems.
Fact: Though genetics may play a small role in predicting your oral health, how well you take care of your teeth will be the single most important determinant in how healthy they are.
Myth: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing.
Fact: It’s true that chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help clean your teeth, stimulate saliva flow and freshen your breath after meals. But it’s no replacement for a thorough brushing and flossing, which actually removes dental plaque and food debris.
Myth: I shouldn’t brush my teeth if my gums are bleeding.
Fact: Bleeding gums can be a sign that you’re brushing too vigorously or gum disease. Keep brushing, but make some adjustments. Use a toothbrush with medium-soft bristles and brush in a circular motion. If the bleeding continues after a few days, see your dentist.
Myth: If I have a toothache, placing an aspirin tablet next to the tooth will relieve pain.
Fact: Putting an aspirin tablet in direct contact with the soft tissues of your mouth will not help relieve a toothache. In fact, this can lead to painful chemical burns. Don’t do it! See your dentist for relief.
Myth: All dental procedures must be avoided during pregnancy.
Fact: Although certain procedures, such as X-rays or dental surgery, should be avoided during pregnancy, regular dental treatments should continue as usual.
Avoiding the Baby Bottle Blues
When it comes to thumb sucking, babies are naturals — maybe because they practice even before they are born. Children begin sucking on their thumb while in the womb to develop the skills necessary for breastfeeding. Not surprisingly swapping a thumb for a pacifier or baby bottle is an easy transition for many kids.
In a child’s first few years, pacifier use generally doesn’t cause problems. But constant, long-term pacifier use, especially once permanent teeth come in, can lead to dental complications. Constant sucking can cause top front teeth to slant out, and bottom front teeth to tilt in. It also can lead to jaw misalignment (such as an overbite) and a narrowing of the roof of the mouth.
It is generally advised that children stop or drastically reduce their pacifier use around age 3. If a child is dependent on the pacifier to be calmed and soothed, try giving it to him or her only when absolutely necessary and using positive reinforcement to wean them off the habit.
Many children also use a baby bottle longer than necessary. Apart from the risks associated with the sucking motion, bottles also carry a heavy risk of promoting tooth decay if they contain anything other than water.
Frequently sucking or sipping on milk or juice from a bottle over an extended period of time will increase your child’s risk of tooth decay. When sugars and carbohydrates come in consistent contact with teeth they create an environment for decay-causing bacteria to thrive. Tooth decay can lead to painful infection and in extreme cases children may need to have a tooth extraction or dental treatment to extensively repair damaged teeth.
Long-term use of pacifiers and bottles can lead to speech and dental problems as your child gets older. Since children develop at different ages, it is a good idea to speak with your dentist and pediatrician to make sure that your infant or toddler’s early oral habits don’t cause problems.