Healthy Teeth for Life: 10 Tips for Families

You have so many good reasons to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. Their sparkling smiles. Being able to chew for good nutrition. Avoiding toothaches and discomfort. And new research suggests that gum disease can lead to other problems in the body, including increased risk of heart disease.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Here’s how Continue reading

Maintaining good dental health throughout one’s life is wise in that any needs can be assessed early and overcome. Dr. Clayton Cooke, a highly regarded Fallbrook dental professional since 1976, offers some valuable tips for maintaining good dental health.

Preventative care

Addressing dental hygiene at home is very important, Cooke said, citing that establishing an oral health regimen can make a lifetime impact on one’s overall health. Various ailments such as respiratory and heart issues have been linked to inadequate oral care. Cooke recommends dental visits twice a year for cleanings, and periodic x-rays, depending on need.

Periodontics

All patients need and deserve to have a complete periodontal examination, Cooke said, which is recorded in their dental chart. This ensures that advanced periodontal disease is detected and provides a way to identify beginning changes in periodontal status that will benefit a patient by initiating early and simple treatment.

Restoration and reconstruction

When restoration and reconstruction work is needed, it is important for the right assessment and plan to be made. Using quality materials is also important to a top notch dental expert. When Cooke approaches these procedures, he uses high magnification and high definition impression materials, trusting only well-regarded laboratories. He also commented on the following:

Bridges easily restore not only the balance of the mouth’s biting and chewing motions, but typically look and feel as natural as one’s own teeth, while maintaining the shape and contour of the patient’s face.

Crowns are applicable for teeth that show wear and tear or are crooked. After reshaping, a material such as porcelain is used to augment the tooth.

Dentures must be custom fit to an individual’s mouth and gums for comfort and a natural effect, securing bite and smile.

Implants usually look and most like natural teeth of any replacement procedure. By utilizing a titanium or ceramic “root” positioned within the jawbone, an artificial tooth or crown is then attached. (Over 90 percent of the implants that Dr. Cooke has placed are still in function today.) 

Cosmetic fillings consist of different composite filling materials to choose from. Early detection of cavities is the best way to treat them, as many can be filled without the need of drilling or needles.

Cosmetic services

Knowing that patients want their teeth to look as attractive and healthy as possible, Cooke performs a spectrum of cosmetic procedures. He explained his procedures as follows:

Whitening includes a custom-fit tray as well as a suitable plan for each individual’s unique requirements

Veneers involve bonding a thin layer of porcelain to the prepared tooth surface, thus making the teeth look whiter, straighter and more evenly spaced, often in only two sessions. This procedure is often used to repair cracked teeth or fill in the gap between the two front teeth.

Bonding uses a composite resin, which is the color of tooth enamel. It can be used to repair fissures, chips, and reduce or get rid of gaps. Instead of having a traditional filling, this procedure can result in a more natural look.

 

Source: My Valley News

 

7 Steps to a Better Smile

It’s probably no surprise that a bright, white smile can make you appear younger and more attractive. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a whopping 96 percent of respondents surveyed believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.

But good dental health goes beyond the way you look. The mouth is the gateway to the body, which means the state of your teeth and gums affects your overall health. By following these steps to a better smile, you’ll be taking important strides for the rest of your body, too.

1. Brush regularly. Brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A toothpaste with fluoride helps strengthen teeth, but you must brush for at least two minutes to allow it to do its work, says Jonathan Abenaim, DDS, a dentist in private practice in Hawthorne, N.J. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in two-minute timer, which can make brushing for the full amount of time easier, he says.

2. Floss daily. Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush does not reach, which helps prevent gum disease. Dr. Abenaim recommends flossing twice a day, but if you only do it once daily, be sure to floss before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva, which leaves teeth and gums particularly vulnerable to bacteria.

3. Visit your dentist. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. Your dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease, which is more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, consider visiting your dentist every four months.

Similarly, if you have other health conditions that put you at higher risk for dental problems (such as diabetes, or a depressed immune system from HIV, cancer, or chemotherapy), ask your dentist how often you should have an exam. A special dental-hygiene regimen should be considered for pregnant women, people with diabetes, and anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or using medications that can affect the gums (such as antiepileptics) or dry out the mouth (including some psychiatric medications).

It’s wise to examine your own mouth regularly for signs of trouble, such as a nonhealing sore on the lip or inside of your cheek, swollen gums, or sensitive or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these conditions, make an extra dental appointment to have them checked out.

4. Eat a healthy diet. Include plenty of dairy and other calcium-rich foods, like sardines and kale, in your diet. Calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, and the vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health.
Related: Avoid These Dental Health Dangers

Equally important to what you do eat is what you don’t. Sugary and sticky foods that stick to the crevices of your teeth are particularly bad, as bacteria feed off the sugars and release acids that cause cavities. If you do eat candy or other sweets, try to brush immediately afterward or, if that’s not possible, rinse your mouth with water, suggests Herman Waldman, DDS.

5. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. People who smoke are four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease, according to a study by the Journal of Periodontology. Using smokeless tobacco increases a person’s risk for oral cancers, including lip, tongue, cheeks, and gums. On a smaller scale, tobacco products contribute to bad breath, or halitosis.

6. Whiten teeth. While the benefits are solely cosmetic, with today’s products, whitening is a very safe procedure that will not harm your teeth as long as the products are used as directed and you are under the care of a dentist, says Dr. Waldman. Over-the-counter whitening products are effective for minor staining; professional-strength whitening products are better for more-severe yellowing. Speak to your dentist before undergoing any whitening procedure to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.

7. Consider cosmetic procedures. The first thing a person sees when they meet you is your smile, says Abenaim, and having crooked, stained, or missing teeth can affect your confidence. There have been great advances in cosmetic dentistry over the past decade, and it is possible to fix most cosmetic problems. Veneers for improving the appearance of crooked, stained, or oddly shaped teeth and orthodontics for straightening teeth are only two of the many cosmetic procedures offered.

However, most cosmetic dentistry is not covered by insurance, and it can be costly. It’s important to schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist prior to undergoing any type of procedure.

 

Source: Everyday Health

Better teeth mean better health

The human mouth is home to billions of bacteria.

And if you haven’t brushed your teeth recently, you may have more bacteria living in your mouth than there are people living on Earth.

“The mouth is pretty much the gateway to the body, and it’s full of bacteria,” said Al Watanabe, a dentist at Gentech Dentist in Salmon Creek.

Normal body defenses and daily brushing and flossing keep the bacteria under control, Watanabe said. In addition, most of the bacteria in the mouth is harmless, he said.

But when people aren’t maintaining their oral hygiene, they open themselves up to tissue and gum infections, tooth decay and abscesses, and even life-threatening infections, Watanabe said.

The culprit is plaque: the sticky, colorless film of bacteria on teeth.

 

Image Via The Columbian

 

Plaque is constantly building up, hardening and thickening on teeth. If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it can contribute to gum infections and tooth decay, Watanabe said.

The bacteria in the plaque can then travel through the bloodstream and cause problems elsewhere in the body, he said.

“Poor oral health can contribute to other diseases and conditions,” Watanabe said.

Having “good oral health” essentially means having healthy gums and teeth, said Melody Scheer, program coordinator at Clark County Public Health and a dental hygienist.

Oral health also means being free of chronic oral and facial pain, oral and throat cancers, oral soft tissue lesions and other diseases affecting the oral and dental tissues, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s first oral health report, issued in 2000.

Having cavities doesn’t mean a person has poor oral health, Scheer said. If the cavities are treated and the person takes steps to keep their teeth and gums healthy, they can still be in good oral health, she said.

The methods for maintaining oral health are pretty simple, Watanabe said.

For starters, brush and floss daily, he said. Parents should help their children to brush until the child has enough dexterity to write his or her name, Watanabe said.

Regular visits to the dentist are also important, he said. In most cases, you should see the dentist every six months for exams and cleanings. You should also contact the dentist as soon as you detect a dental problem, Watanabe said.

Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables and avoiding smoking also promote oral health, Scheer said.

Poor oral health, however, can affect a person’s overall health.

Research has linked poor oral health to heart infections, clogged arteries, strokes, respiratory problems and, for pregnant women, premature birth and low birth weight, Watanabe said.

In many cases, the additional health problems are due to bacteria in the mouth spreading via the bloodstream, he said. The bacteria can attach to damaged areas of the heart and can aggravate existing lung conditions, increasing the risk of pneumonia, Watanabe said.

Poor oral health can also negatively impact people with diabetes, he said.

“It can increase the severity of diabetes because when the person has gum disease, they have a harder time controlling their blood sugars,” Watanabe said.

In addition, poor oral health can cause pain, poor appearance, difficulty chewing and sleeping problems — all of which affect a person’s quality of life and well-being, Watanabe said.

A person’s health conditions can also impact his or her oral health, Scheer said. A person receiving chemotherapy for cancer or taking certain medications may experience dry mouth. Dry mouth increases a person’s risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, she said.

“Oral health is important in so many ways many people don’t realize,” Scheer said

 

Source: The Columbian

 

Dental Health Tips for Children

Children are often afraid of the dentist, and we understand. That’s why our pediatric dentists have special training regarding children, infancy through young-adulthood. About six months after your child’s first tooth comes in (or if they are a year old and haven’t seen a dentist yet), schedule their first visit.

Tips to keep them brushing:

  • Make it fun! Get a soft toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character.
  • Try children’s oral care products like bubblegum flavored toothpaste.
  • Make brushing educational! Point out different parts of the mouth while brushing, and see if they can remember them.
  • Always remind them that brushing twice a day, and flossing every day will keep their teeth strong and healthy.

If your child develops good brushing habits early, it is much less likely that they will have oral problems once they develop their permanent teeth.

 

Tips for the parents:

  • Monitor bad habits like thumb sucking and tongue-thrusting. These, coupled with hereditary factors, weigh heavily on your child’s oral development.
  • Set a good example by keeping sugary snacks and drinks to a minimum and encourage good daily habits.
  • Until your children’s permanent teeth come in, annual visits are recommended so the dentists can track their oral development.
  • Remember, the habits children develop early on will stay with them through adulthood.

 

Source: Corner Dental

Top 10 Tips to Good Dental Health

Dental health care has come a long way since the days of wooden dentures and baking soda. There has been great technologies and advancement in oral care techniques to keep our teeth free of bacteria and plaque. Nowadays, there is so much you can do to keep your oral health good than just brushing twice per day. Below are ten tips on maintaining your oral health at a high standard from a prevention perspective.

1. Have you tried waterjets?

Waterjets are also referred to as oral irrigators, and can be used to substitute flossing. In this case, devices that deliver pressurized streams of water are used; the water jet blast out the plaque and bacteria that collect in areas where brushing alone cannot suffice. It has been established that use of Waterjets in addition to daily brushing greatly reduces chances of calculus and gingivitis.

2. Brushing

It might seem so obvious, but most people ignore or casual undertake this practice. It is vital to thoroughly brush your teeth first thing when you wake and last thing when you go to sleep at night. Brushing is essential to remove the bacteria and plaque that accumulate especially overnight. Acquire a small headed brush that has soft bristles. Make sure you clean all the facets of your teeth as well as the gums and tongue, gently and thoroughly.

3. Use of mouthwash

Most mouthwashes have antibacterial and antifungal effects when used. They can therefore be used to keep oral bacteria in check and reduce dental health complications. Rinse and gargle twice daily, morning and always evening and do this after brushing.

4. Flossing

Dental flossing comes in handy when cleaning in areas where the brush might not cover effectively, such as in between teeth, this is also where plaque accumulates. It is advisable to floss before you brush to increase the effectiveness of your oral cleaning exercise. Keep in mind that almost 90% of teeth problems such as decay are caused by collection of plaque in between teeth.

5. Try electric toothbrushes

Electric tooth brushes work on the same principle as manual toothbrushes in improving your dental health, but they are far more effective. They have small heads that have the ability to cup around teeth and remove the accumulated plaque and bacteria a bit faster.

6. Avoiding dry mouth

Saliva serves a vital role in preserving your dental health; it protects your teeth against periodontal disease and tooth decay. Saliva deficiency can therefore reduce oral immunity and cause serious dental problems. Persistent dry mouth may also be a side effect of some medications or a disease symptom. Ask your dentist for recommendation on products that replace or stimulate saliva production.

7. Fresh breath

Everybody experiences bad breath once in a while. Persistent bad breath however may be as a result or poor oral hygiene or accumulation of bacteria. Basically, bacteria in the mouth do feed and break down the plaque that accumulates in between teeth and release the volatile sulfur compounds that are mainly responsible bad breath. Keep the plaque in check by regular brushing and flossing of your teeth.

8. Whiter teeth

Having white teeth is a sign of good dental health. Nothing beats the smile and happiness that emanates from white clean teeth, but maintaining such white teeth is quite elusive to many. A good start however is to avoid smoking, red wine and such other tannin containing drinks in addition to regular brushing.

9. Gargle with apple cider vinegar

Vinegar is helpful in maintaining your dental health to a good standard as it kills bacteria in the mouth/gums, whiten teeth and removes stains. Gargle with apple cider vinegar in the morning prior to brushing.

10. Eat ‘detergent’ foods.

These are foods that are crisp or firm and help clean your teeth when eaten. This is a trick least known to many. The best choices include apples, celery, raw carrots, and popcorns. These “detergent” foods are best eaten last after all your other meals.

 

Source: Healthy Forever