How to Use Dental Floss Effectively
You may be having the habit of flossing which is great. However, in order for dental floss to remove effectively the plaque from your teeth, you should ensure that you make use of the correct technique.
Because you may be required to place your fingers into your mouth during flossing, make sure that you first wash your hands neatly before you even reach for the floss. Then you can be following one of these steps:
• Using enough floss. Break off a any piece which is 18 inches long. That certainly sounds like a lot, but you should be able to keep a completely clean segment in place as you keep moving from tooth to tooth. Wrap much floss around either your middle finger or the index finger from one hand, whichever you choose to and then a small amount with the middle or index finger of opposite had hand. Remember that using the middle finger would be leaving your index finger free for manipulating the floss.
• Sliding between teeth. Gently ensure that you slide the floss between the teeth in a complete zigzag motion and take care to see that you do not let this floss snap or simply pop between teeth.
• Forming a “C”. Try making a C shape with the floss while you are wrapping it around the tooth. Then ensure that you carefully start pulling the floss in an upward direction from the gum line to the topmost portion of the tooth.
• Rolling along. As you keep moving from one tooth to the other one, make sure you keep unrolling a fresh section of the loss from the finger from one hand while you roll the used floss with the finger of the other hand. You may use your thumb as a guide.
• Reach both sides. Ensure that you do not forget to floss the back side from each tooth.
As long as you make use of the correct technique, the type of floss which you are using is only a matter of personal preference. There are many types from which you can choose, including choosing a variety of types for meeting your needs as well as those of your family members. Either way, by employing correct technique you can effectively remove the excess food stuff and the plaque buildup between the teeth. This can help in improving your oral health.
Ten natural remedies relieve teething pain
Is your child suffering from teething pain? Relieve them from puffy gums, pain and other teething symptoms by following these simple remedies.
Let us start with the most basic remedy. What do you do when your ankle is sprained? You try to numb the pain using ice. Similarly, apply ice or other cold foods to compress pain from sore tooth or gums.
Take a clean, wet cloth, put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for an hour to chill. Give it to your child to munch on it. This can relieve your child from the pain and the fabric massages the ridges of their gums. For an added effect, soak the fabric in chamomile tea. This calms fussy babies and helps them sleep.
Try giving your child a refrigerated tether or pacifier. There are a number of refrigerated teethers available in the market.
Do not store your tether in the freezer, it can get very hard when frozen and may damage your baby’s gums.
If you have started giving solids to your baby, offer them frozen fruit and let them chomp on it.
Your baby’s urge for pressure!
Teething babies often crave pressure on their developing gums, this is because the pressure helps distract their brain from teething pain.
Rub the baby’s gums with clean fingers until the friction produces a squeaky sound.
There are many topical anesthetic available over-the-counter such as a numbing gels or cream, which can be rubbed on your baby’s gums to relieve teething pain.
However, be careful that you avoid the ones containing benzocaine, they may not be safe for your babies. Before picking a medicine, consult your doctor.
If nothing else is working and your baby needs relief, your doctor might recommend trying an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen. (Note: Never give any medicine to a baby under 3 months old without first checking with a doctor.)
For babies at least 6 months old, ibuprofen is an option, too, and can also help reduce inflammation in your baby’s gums. But bear in mind that the drug can irritate the stomach, which may be problematic if your baby’s already turning down food (which some teething babies do).
Aspirin is off-limits for anyone under 19 years old. Don’t give it to your baby or even rub it on her gums. The drug is associated with Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition.
If a painkiller is not doing the trick and symptoms persist beyond 24 hours, consult your pediatrician.
You can also choose homeopathic teething tablets and drops. However, some pediatricians say that the risks of homeopathic treatments outweigh potential benefits.
7 Fresh Tips to Prevent Bad Breath
When we go back in time to 1550 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates, renowned as the father of medicine, gave us a great formula for sweet-smelling breath, he said that rinsing with a mouthwash made of red wine, anise and dill, would result in a sweet breath.
Today, many people across the world suffer from chronically bad breath (halitosis). This condition may sometimes signal other health problems. However appealing you are, bad breath may ruin everything. So if you or your loved ones are suffering with bad breath issues, a few tips can help you have a fresh breath.
1. Keep your tongue clean. Time and again, doctors, parents, TV advertisements and even our blogs remind you to brush and floss twice a day. Along with this exercise, scrub off your mouth using a tongue scraper, or brush your tongue. Experts say that your tongue, especially the hind portion of it, is a serious source of chronic halitosis. This is because your tongue has a lot of filaments that may trap food particles as well as bacteria, which lead to oral odor.
2. Chew gum. It may sound silly, but saliva is the best bet against bad breath. Chewing a gum regulates saliva.
3. Scent your breath. You may think of mint when you think of natural herbs to get away from bad breath. But mint only masks bad breath. But cinnamon has odor-combating compounds that battle odor-causing bacteria.
4. Keep your mouth moist. It is very important to drink more water. It helps wash away bad-smelling bacteria. Researchers also suggest that drinking tea may be helpful as it curbs bacterial growth.
5. Pay attention to what you eat. Low-carb diet, such as the Atkins plan, may be the reason for bad breath and a cure for this is by chewing mint leaves or parsley to mask the problem.
6. Choosing the right mouthwash. It is very important to choose a good antibacterial mouthwash that helps combat oral infections, thus improving breath.
7. Rule out Dental problems. 90% of the time, halitosis is caused by microbes in mouth. Common dental problems like cavities, gum disease cause bad breath.
Signs of Cavity
There are many people who suffer from Cavities, but what exactly are Cavities? Cavities may be described as the holes formed in the outer pat of the tooth. What causes these Cavities? There are many reasons that result in cavities, the main reasons however are the Bacteria that settle on teeth or poor teeth health and one of the most frequent reasons is consumption of sweet foods. How do they hurt us? Well if one is infected with cavities, they suffer with a tingling and self trigged pain, sensitivity and bad breath caused by decay of tooth by bacteria. Most of the population is affected by cavities but it is not noticed in many cases since small cavities cause no pain or irritation. Large cavities can cause toothache and causes irritation with intake of hot and cold sugar /sweet food. How to identify or detect cavities:
You may be unable to identify a cavity when it is just in the beginning; there is a possibility that you may not have any symptoms at all. But your dentist may be able to see that decay has started and recommends steps to keep it from getting worse.
• Tooth sensitivity
• Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
• Visible holes or pits in your teeth
• Pain when you bite down
• Pus around a tooth, especially when you press on your gums
The above are some symptoms to help you identify cavities. A dentist can tell whether have a cavity just by looking in your mouth. He/she can find a sensitivity or soft sport in the teeth or any enamel destruction whereas white spots are seen in the early stage of decay. Other ways cavity can be detected during an oral exam, by the use of dental instruments to examine the health of your teeth. Dark sports and holes in your tooth is a sign of cavity. Dental x-rays are also a useful tool to help your dentist detect the severity of the cavity or any holes that may not be otherwise visible during a normal dental exam.
Brushing your teeth regularly at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss helps reduce acid plaque damage to enamel, and frequent flossing between your teeth removes the acid plaque. Other alternative is to try chewing self-cleaning foods at the end of the meal like apples and celery as they help sweep away food debris and plaque. Chewing sugarless gum for a few minutes at the end of a meal can also help prevent cavities
Why is candy bad for your teeth?
Oh baby don’t eat a lot of candy… it’s not good for you! This is a common thing we hear. Mothers, fathers, uncle, aunts and dentists’, people change but the advice remains constant. This is also very commonly seen on TV these days. A beautifully dressed lady walks up to someone who has a sick expression and a hand on jaw! Cavities, cavities and cavities! But what does the poor candy has to do with it? Well it has a lot to do. Eating too much candy has the potential to rot your teeth, but what exactly does that mean, and how does it happen?
Let me put it in simple words. Your mouth contains naturally occurring bacteria, called streptococcus. That bacteria’s favourite food is anything that contains a lot of sugar and once it finds sugar in your mouth, it breaks it down into acids that eat away at tooth enamel. But did you ever notice any possible rot on your teeth? Most of them might say NO! This is because the visible parts of teeth are usually pretty safe from these acids, because they’re washed away when you drink water or brush your teeth. The acids however affect the insides of your teeth. You can run into problems, when sweets get lodged in the crevices of your teeth, where bacteria have more time to feed on them. That is when the monstrous bacteria find time to finish its task. The amount of sugar you ingest isn’t necessarily a determining factor whether you’ll get a cavity; it’s more about how long sugars take rest in your mouth. For this reason, soft candies like caramel can be considered particularly unwelcome because they stick to your teeth and hang on for a long time.
So how do you think you can prevent these attacks? Simple avoid hard candy! Simple it may sound, but difficult to follow. So let me give you another alternative. Brush or wash your mouth out with water after you’ve had candy, brush at least three times each day and floss at least once – but the only surefire way to keep sugar from damaging your teeth is to not ingest it. But it is so difficult to stay away from the colorful, deliciously flavored candy. Well reduce the amounts. That you can do!
Best and worst foods for your teeth
Surveys mention that when you meet a person for the first time, in most of the cases, the person first observes your smile. As they say first impression is the best impression, it is very important that we maintain good teeth to enhance our smile. Here are some foods that can cause damage to your teeth.
Citrus fruits and juices: While we are aware that Citrus fruits are very essential for human body as they are a rich source of vitamin C and other nutrients, it is very important to know that too much of citrus fruits are not good for your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juice, in particular, are highly acidic and can harm your tooth enamel over time.
Sticky candies: Attention candy lovers, the candy you love can be the worst thing you are doing for your teeth. Extra-chewy candies stick to teeth for a long time, allowing the bacteria in our mouths to enjoy ample time feasting on the sugar deposited candies and cause cavities.
Pickles: Acid (especially vinegar) is an important ingredient in the process of making pickles. It’s what gives pickles their sour, salty taste. Well what appeals your taste buds may not be the best for your teeth! The acids are a potential hazard to tooth enamel.
After a list of foods that can harm you, let us see what is best for teeth health:
Today we find sugar-free gums in the market. These gums help clean teeth by stimulating the production of saliva, which is a natural way of washing away acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
Water: This is considered to be the best gift from Mother Nature. Water in many ways is useful for us where in the form of saliva it helps wash sugars and acid off teeth. It also contains fluoride, a mineral that protects against tooth erosion and is found in toothpaste and some mouthwashes.
Leafy vegetables and other high-fiber foods work wonders for your teeth. They require a lot of chewing, which means an exercise to teeth.
Strawberries are yet another magical food which contains malic acid, a natural enamel whitener.
Natural Tooth Cure for Curing Cavities and Preventing Root Canals
Sometimes your dentist may advice you to get a root canal, but it is very important to know what root canal is and if you really need it. Root Canal is a dental procedure to remove any infection in your tooth.
Find if you have an infection:
The basic thumb rule is that if your tooth doesn’t hurt, and you feel no pain, then you can be half assured that you don’t have any tooth infection.
Dentists identify a tooth root infection from an x-ray. It can also be diagnosed by observing symptoms. The basic identification that points out to a tooth infection is pain and inflammation.
What are the signs of a tooth infection?
• Very noticeable cold and hot sensitivity
• Swelling and pain
• Constant bad taste in mouth
• Puss formation on the gum line
Check if you have any of these symptoms, and if you don’t have any infection, what are the benefits of going for a root canal? It is but obvious! There is no need.
How to prevent infection?
You can avoid infection by eating special foods. Having a careful diet always prevents teeth from being infected.
Keep a check on processed sugars and flour, eat a lot of greens and fruits, and milk products.
Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing twice a day.
Plantain Poultice – Plantain is one of the most popular weeds in the world. It is extensively used for many ailments due to its property of pulling out toxins from the body. It is an astringent, soothing demulcent. We can prepare a plantain poultice by grinding the fresh plant and apply it on the infected area. Doing this will heal your infection.
Goldenseal Powder – You can apply it directly to the tooth or gum.
Echinacea – You can take this herb in tea or you can simply place the powder on the tooth. It fights off tooth infections.
Use herbal tooth and gum powders. These contain natural ingredients that help heal and soothe teeth and gums.
Our body has been tailored wonderfully to protect itself from infections, but for this we have to be very careful with the choice of foods we eat. When you do this, healing of infected teeth becomes easy, and you can also prevent tooth decay and infection, thus preventing root canals.
Your Happiness Truly Affects Your Health
The focus on depression has seen a substantial growth over the last decade. This has benefited many individuals. But some medical experts have shifted their focus to dissecting happiness in the recent times, considering its influence on long-term health.
Happiness is often viewed as one’s general attitude on life. Each person finds place on the graph of optimism/pessimism, and the position you are in appears to have a significant association with health.
For instance, optimists can handle stress better, as their stress hormones such as cortisol are significantly low. This, in turn, boosts their immunity. According to the researchers, people who are optimistic have less fatigue and fewer aches, coughs and pains when compared to less optimistic peers. Experts say that laughter flows more freely when a person feels optimistic and happy. It plays a positive role in the process by lowering stress hormones, lowers blood pressure and also works in reducing pain. In addition to this, laughter also increases immunity, by increasing the number as well as the activity of natural “killer” cells.
Improving your outlook towards life can also improve your health. Here is how you can enhance it:
• Rephrase negative thoughts. For example, don’t tell yourself that you failed at something, instead try to identify the reason and focus on excelling in it. Always say “I did the best I could, and I will improve.”
• Wipe away negative thoughts; choose a better, positive approach. Do not get accept defeat and get depressed when you run into an obstacle. See it as a challenge. Remember, “Failure is the stepping stone for Success.”
• Always choose people with positive thoughts. Positive energy can melt rocks.
• Try to find the positive outcome of negative situation. For instance, you may have lost your job, but this can give you a better opportunity, and a better career.
• Always view the progressive picture and step away from troubling situations.
• Get physical, because physical and mental health goes hand in hand. Exercise improves your fitness, health and attitude.
Four ways to have healthier teeth
Having healthier teeth reflects good health. Not just health but having perfect and shining white teeth with no problems like cavities or gum bleeding or tooth ache can also boost your confidence. By giving a little attention to a few details, one can protect his/her teeth from serious complications like tooth loss or enamel replacement. Most of the dental problems occur in children and there is a need to take extra care when children start developing milk teeth. This is a very simple exercise. Cleaning teeth with a soft damp cloth or soft bristle brush can be helpful.
Cavities are the most common problem in children in the age group of 12-15. Children of these age groups tend to eat a lot of sweets. Consumption of simple sugar and sweet foods like chocolates and cookies causes damage to the outer layer of teeth; this in turn results in decay. We can curb these effects by brushing twice a day and using floss to prevent acid attack, which occurs in the soft gaps between the teeth. It is suggested that a visit to your dentist for regular check-ups is needed for all the family members.
Not only children, dental problems also occur in teenagers using braces and other adults, hence experts advice adults to change tooth brush once in three months and teenager with braces need to use a special tooth brush and liquids prescribed by dentist for dental hygiene.
One of the most important things necessary for good tooth health is the use of a good tooth paste. Tooth paste containing sufficient amounts of Fluoride in it and drinking water with ample Fluoride levels play an important role in dental care. Fluoride makes your enamel stronger and prevents decay caused by acid. It can reverse the early stages of acid damage by re-mineralizing areas that have started to decay. But remember that too much of anything can be harmful. High amounts of fluoride can cause white spots on teeth of children, so it should be given in small quantities.
Rinse or chew gum after meals: In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay and gum problems. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal increases the flow of saliva, which naturally washes bacteria away and neutralizes acid.
Stress, anxiety can lead to teeth grinding
Clenching or grinding of teeth is most common in a lot of people. It happens with most people at some period in their life. This occasional teeth grinding, which is called bruxism, medically, does not usually harm your oral health, but if this happens on a regular basis, it may be a signal of some damage to your teeth and may also lead to other oral health complications.
Why Does this Happen?
Grinding and chipping of teeth may be attributed to stress and anxiety. It often happens while sleeping and the most likely reasons for teeth grinding is by an abnormal bite or missing a bite or crooked teeth.
How to find it out?
Most people are unaware if they grind teeth as this usually occurs during sleep. However, a mild, constant headache or sore in the jaw is a visible symptom of bruxism. Most of the times, people learn that they grind their teeth by the person sleeping beside them as they hear the grinding at night. Do not hesitate to talk to your dentist if you think you may be grinding your teeth. They will examine your jaw and mouth for signs of bruxism, such as tenderness of jaws and abnormalities in teeth.
How can Teeth Grinding be Harmful?
In some of the cases, teeth grinding can lead to loosening, fracturing, or loss of your teeth. The chronic grinding may result in wearing teeth down to scratch. When this happens, dental surgeries like crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, partial dentures, or even complete dentures may be needed.
How to Stop Grinding Teeth?
If the problem is very high, your dentist can fix it with a mouth guard. This will help protect your teeth from further grinding while sleeping. Try to stay away from stress which causes grinding teeth. Your doctor or dentist may advice you to attend stress counseling, and other options to relieve you from stress.
Some other tips include:
- Avoiding foods and drinks containing caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Stop chewing things other than food.
- Try not to clench or grind your teeth.
6 common dental problems and how to fix them
Even a small dental problem can cause a lot of suffering. Here we have listed out six common problems and how to fix them:
1. Tooth decay
Tooth decay can be billed as the most common dental problem. Most of the people who complain of a toothache are likely to have tooth decay. Tooth decays heal automatically with proper dental care. But if the problem persists, it is better that you consult a dentist. Depending on the severity of your decay, the dentists will advice you the best treatment. You can either get it filled or get a dental crown. Both the treatments are tailored to restore tooth’s strength and health.
2. Crooked teeth
Crooked teeth can be problematic. Apart from making you unattractive, crooked teeth also hinder your ability to chew food and speak normally. Not just these, crooked teeth are very difficult to maintain as your brush may not be able to reach the corners of. People with crooked teeth can go for orthodontic treatments such as traditional metal braces, Invisalign clear braces, or other appliances.
3. Discolored teeth
The foods and beverages you enjoy can stain or discolor your teeth. The other reasons include aging, use of medications. For many people with discolored teeth, a dentist advises professional whitening treatment. This treatment can make a very significant difference. In case of patients with very stubborn staining, dentists use veneers to hide the stains and make their smiles better.
4. Gum disease
Most adults suffer with gum diseases. In early stages of gingivitis, patients can go for in-office treatments, which include removal of plaque and tartar. After thus their oral health habits are to be improved.
5. Wisdom teeth
In some people, wisdom teeth grow properly without causing any trouble, but it may not be the same for many. These teeth often grow crookedly or they erupt partially, leading to painful infections. They also cause several other problems. It is better to get your troublesome wisdom teeth extracted.
6. Missing teeth
Missing teeth increases your troubles while eating, interrupts your speech and hinders your smile. There are multiple options for people who have missing teeth. Some patients can get benefit from partials, dentures, or appliances like fixed bridges. People can also have dental implants because they offer a permanent solution.
A tooth abscess is a complication of tooth decay. Bacteria get into the pulp of the tooth through the cavity and cause infection. Pus then collects in the center of the tooth, causing an abscess. Abscesses can also be caused by trauma to the tooth, such as chipping or breaking.
Tooth abscesses can be a serious problem, leading to complications such as tooth loss, blood infection, and infection in soft tissue, jaw bone and other areas. Untreated tooth abscesses can cause life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of tooth abscesses include:
- Severe toothache (the most common symptom)
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Painful chewing
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
- Swelling of the gum over the infected tooth (it may look like a pimple)
- Bad breath
- General discomfort
- Swollen neck glands
- Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw (this is a very serious symptom)
If your toothache stops, it is still important to see a dentist. Sometimes toothaches stop if the pulp dies, but the infection may still spread.
- Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection, warm salt-water rinses to soothe the area and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Root canals can sometimes save the tooth, but if the infection is severe the tooth may need to be removed. Surgery may be required to drain the abscess
Tips for a Burned Tongue or Mouth-burnt
Tongue or mouth burns can be very frustrating. The pain can be described as a sensitivity causing discomfort to whole mouth. These burns can also cause tingling or numbness, a metallic taste, and dry mouth in some cases. It is important to understand that BMS is not a disease and can affect any one, but is commonly seen in middle-aged or older women suffering from menopause, nutrition deficiencies or dental problems.
Here are some tips to get relief from the pain:
For most of the people, the burning sensation starts late in the morning, and reaches its peak by evening. It often calms down at night. While some suffer a constant pain, others say that their pain comes and goes. People suffering with the burning mouth syndrome often complain of anxiety and depression. This may be the result of their chronic pain.
Other symptoms of Burning Mouth Syndrome include:
• Tingling or numbness on the tongue/ mouth
• Change in tastes. The tongue often feels bitter or metallic in taste
• Dryness or sore mouth.
What causes BMS? The many causes of this problem include:
• Damage to nerves controlling taste and sensations of the tongue
• Hormonal changes
• Dry mouth caused by medication and other disorders such as diabetes or Sjögren’s syndrome
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Fungal infections in mouth such as oral candidiasis
• Acid reflux
• Poorly-fitted dentures or allergies to the materials used
• Anxiety and depression.
In some people, the BMS may be due to more than one cause. But the exact cause of the symptoms cannot be found in many.
How is diagnose a burning mouth syndrome?
Examining your medical history, a careful oral analysis, and a common medical examination could help identify the root of your burning mouth. The tests to find out BMS may include:
• Blood tests to look for a certain infection, nutritional deficiencies, and other disorders related to BMS such as thyroid or diabetes problems
• A test to check for oral candidiasis.
• Testing for allergies due to denture materials, foods, or any other substances that may cause your symptoms.
What is the treatment for BMS?
Every individual has to have a specially tailored treatment for their individual needs. Depending on the Symptoms of your burning mouth syndrome, the possible treatments include:
• Replacing irritating dentures
• Treating existing problems such as diabetes, thyroid problem or Sjögren’s syndrome to improve BMS
To get a relief, you can also try some self-care tips that will help ease the pain of BMS.
• Chew gum, Sip water frequently to keep your mouth moist.
• Take the help of ice chips to sooth your tongue.
• Avoid hot, spicy foods; mouthwashes, and foods high in acid.
Treating Mouth Sores
What are mouth sores?
Canker sores or Mouth sores are small sores that appear on the inside of your mouth, especially on the cheeks, inside of the lips, and the tongue as well. They are also called aphthous ulcers. At times, these sores may also appear on the roof of your mouth or on your gums. Usually, small canker sores disappear within a week to14 days and don’t leave any scar. Large sores take much time to heal. They are less common, and can leave scars. Unlike cold sores, canker sores aren’t contagious. According to analysts, canker stones are more common in women and in people who are aged 10 to 40 years. Most of the people get these sores regularly, at least once a year. For some individuals, the case may be severe and they may get them one after another.
What causes Canker Sores?
Doctors do not know the exact reason as to what causes canker sores. These sores may be hereditary, but doctors have not found out exactly how people inherit the tendency to get these sores. Some researchers believe that the cause may be an overreaction to the Streptococcus bacteria. This observation came into light as this bacteria is often found in the canker sore. Allergies also may be one of the reasons for an increased risk of canker sores.
In women, mouth sores often occur during the time of a menstrual period. Another reason attributed to the cause of these sores is stress – for instance, many students get them during tests. Other possible causes associated to mouth sores include lack of cyanocobalamin or vitamin B12, iron, folic acid. There are a few foods that may trigger canker sores or act as nutrients for Streptococcus bacteria.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
For a naked eye, Mouth sores appear like a small round white bubble with a red lining. They form on the soft tissues inside the mouth, like inside the lip or the cheeks, or on the roof of the mouth. Small sores measure about 1 mm to 2 mm across and often come in groups. Large canker sores ones have an irregular shape.
Doctors say that some people may feel burning or itching sensations up to 24 hours before a canker sore develops. In some people, Canker sores do nothing and for some, the sores cause a lot of pain that lasts for 4 to10 days. The pain gets worse if hot or spicy foods that touch the sore. As a result of canker sores, people may also get fever, have swollen glands, and may feel run-down. Sores that keep appearing from time to time indicate that important vitamins may be low.
How to treat them?
Canker sores usually heal by themselves without any treatment. Treatments are only useful to relieve the pain. People with canker sores are advised to rinse their mouth with salt water, and should avoiding hot and spicy foods. We must make sure the body is not deficient in folic acid or vitamin B12.
How coffee and tea affect your smile
Did you ever look into the mirror and smile because of your bright teeth? Will drinking a lot of coffee and tea may stain your smile! Medical professionals suggest that coffee and tea are very tough on teeth. This is because of tannic acid present in the beverages. This is the same compound that gives the drinks a dark colour. The acid gets deep down into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel and can stain teeth brown. But how can you cut down on the energizing coffee and refreshing tea? Well here is a little help. It is something you can do after pouring down a cup of coffee or tea. Dental experts suggest that rinsing with a glass of water after every cup may be of some help. Another quick tip is to use a straw if you prefer ice coffee or tea. That way, the tannins won’t even touch your front upper and lower teeth. With this exercise, you may stain the back of the teeth, but not the front.
The really white-obsessed can wipe off their front teeth with a tissue. Or ask your dentist about bleaching. The process of bleaching is successful in about 90 percent of patients, but not everyone is lucky enough to get rid of the stains. Teeth that have hints of yellow, brown, or orange respond best. Teeth that are gray from years of smoking will see results, but they won’t be as dramatic. Even if you don’t drink coffee, try to swish and swallow some plain water at the end of each meal. Water neutralizes acids left in your mouth after eating and reduces cavity-causing bacteria by about 30 percent.
If you set aside the staining part, tea is not only healthy for your body, but it is also good for your teeth. While it may stain the outside of your teeth, its effects are like that of water – it leaves the enamel unscathed. It even has a little fluoride to strengthen your teeth. It is unlike orange juice, soda, and coffee, all of which are very acidic and soften the enamel.
Foods Good for oral health
Did you ever realize that the food you take has a lot of effect on your teeth? What are the foods that benefit your oral health? Let us look into the foods which benefit your oral health.
A good diet is very important for not just the teeth but for whole body. To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, your diet plays a key role. By diet it implies what you eat and how often you eat. Do you know that our mouth starts reacting the very minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. A brisk process it is! The more often you eat any snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.
What foods are best for your mouth?
If you have to choose what is best for your mouth, pick foods which are rich in proteins; cheese, and milk for example are ideal for your oral health. Other than milk products, foods like chicken or other meats, nuts, etc are good for you. These foods are expected to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to re-mineralize teeth.
Other good food choices include fruits like apples and pears, which are crunchy and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
Now that you have understood what foods are good for you, let us see what harms us. What is not good food include candy! Candies like lollipops, hard candies are a total NO! So is the case Mints, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, French fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria.
Maintaining Good Dental Care Habits
Dental problem are neglected a lot, until you find them interfering with your overall health. Taking care of your teeth at home act as the first step to stay away from dental issues and prevent periodontal, or gum, disease.
Medical experts say that regular home care should include brushing, flossing and scrubbing your tongue. Dental professionals advice you to brush thoroughly, at least two times a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. Flossing at least once a day is very important. Proper dental care at home, combined with regular visits to your dental doctor, is your clean ticket to good dental health as well as a flourishing overall health.
How to Achieve Dental Health at Home
Experts advise to use quality products like toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, etc., as they are safe to use and will keep your mouth healthy.
Here are some basic tips that will help you achieve near perfection while caring for your teeth, gums and mouth:
• Professionals advice to spend at least three minutes for brushing your teeth, and this should be done two times a day. You make sure of it; use a timer if you have to. It is very important to ensure that you spend enough time on your oral care routine.
• Cleaning your teeth is not everything; make sure that you clean in between your teeth as well. Use floss at least once a day every day.
As a thumb rule, one must keep in mind to brush and floss, and doing it correctly also counts.
The main aim of regular home care is to battle the buildup of plaque that affects in and around your teeth as well as the gums. Proper care also combats bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Adults who neglect their teeth and let plaque buildup in their mouth often develop infections in delicate tissue around their teeth.
These days, you can buy whole arsenal of dental health tools off the shelves from drugstores to help you clean your teeth and maintain them at home. These dental tools range from regular toothbrushes to electronic toothbrushes, inter-dental cleaners, waxed as well as un-waxed floss, mouth rinses and oral irrigators. Before laying your hand on these products, it is very important that you consult your dentist, who can better advice you.
What Happens because of Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is an open invitation to plaque to accumulate around the base of the teeth and gum line. This causes your gums to become red and swollen.
If Plaque is allowed to accumulate on teeth and gums, it leads to tooth decay and gum diseases. If you neglect the care at home, there are chances that the accumulated plaque leads to formation of empty spaces around your teeth.
Oral health and Vitamin D
While fluoride has always topped our lists for dental health, making its presence felt in our everyday toothpaste; it has also on the other hand been proven to have extreme negative effects on teeth, causing ailments like dental Fluorosis. Recent reports on the other hand have re-affirmed that benefits of Vitamin D in protecting against tooth decay far exceed that of fluoride without actually having any of the negative effects of fluoride.
“There were also several studies reported on vitamin D and dental caries in the 1920s and 1930s. May Mellanby and coworkers in Sheffield, England, did studies on the role of vitamin D on teeth in the 1920s.
The first experiments were with dogs, where it was found that vitamin D stimulated the calcification of teeth. Subsequently, they studied the effect of vitamin D on dental caries in children, finding a beneficial effect.”
Studies suggest that Vitamin D helps in Calcium metabolism while also inducing an antimicrobial peptide which guards against oral bacteria that are one of the major causes of tooth decay. Studies even suggest that Vitamin D is a better and safer option than using fluoride to reduce cavities.
“Use of vitamin D appears to be a better option for reducing dental caries than fluoridation of community water supplies, as there are many additional health benefits of vitamin D and a number of adverse effects of water fluoridation such as fluorosis (mottling) of teeth and bones. … “
In an article titled ‘Vitamin D is better than Fluoride in Reducing Cavities’, Dr. Mercola suggests that the lack of Vitamin D can not only cause tooth decay but also a host of other gum diseases. He points out the risks that such a deficiency can cause. He states, “… gum disease increases your risk of several other serious diseases, including, pneumonia, lung disease, diabetes and stroke—and vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of all of these conditions! This is a beautiful illustration of the interdependency between seemingly disparate systems within your body.”
Sources of Vitamin D
The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Dr. Mercola points out, “getting about 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure a day, with at least 40 percent of your skin exposed will boost the vitamin levels above 40 ng/ml for many”
Other sources for obtaining Vitamin D from food-stuff are: Cod-liver oil, soya-beans and tofu, fish, eggs, fortified cereals and milk products.
Not only are the benefits of Vitamin D related to the above-mentioned points, Vitamin D also helps protect against osteoporosis and even decrease the risks of cancer.
A brief Know-how on gum diseases
Even though we are mostly familiar with certain basic aspects of oral hygiene, it is more often than not that we tend to forego certain tasks like brushing and flossing our teeth. This enables food to stick in between the teeth and around the gums thus increasing the risks of having gum diseases.
How is gum disease caused?
Gum diseases/ periodontal diseases as they are also called are primarily caused by oral bacteria that thrive when there is left over food in the mouth. Such bacteria often breed in plaque and tartar formed in the mouth. Other than the most obvious cause of remnant food particles, gum diseases can potentially be caused by:
- Using Tobacco for chewing or smoking.
- Doing clenching and grinding actions with your teeth.
- Certain forms of medication.
- It may also be a genetic problem.
Stages of Gum disease include:
Gingivitis: This is the beginning, reversible stage of gum disease. However the disease is usually undetectable at this stage.
Periodontitis: When left untreated, gingivitis may give rise to this next stage of gum disease. While there can be several stages of Periodontitis, the most usual bodily effect is the swelling up of the gums. This inflammatory effect is caused by the body breaking down bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth. This may later result in tooth and bone loss.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, bleeding, and/or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Mobility of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
- Abscessed teeth
- Tooth loss
Gum disease may contribute in a host of other kinds of diseases including:
Heart disease and Stroke: Studies have shown that high levels of bacteria in the oral cavity during gingivitis may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Diabetes: Studies have shown that people with diabetes usually have some form of gum disease. This is highly because of the presence of high amount of blood glucose.
Preterm Birth: Studies have revealed that women who have gum disease are much likely to give birth to pre-mature babies i.e. babies which have not completed the regular gestation period. Studies also suggest that women are more susceptible to gingivitis when they are pregnant. This is why it is highly recommended that pregnant women take proper care of their teeth to ensure their and their child’s good health.
Treatment for gum disease
While there can be various forms of treatment depending on the kind and intensity of the gum disease, some of the more common forms of treatment are:
- Clinical scaling of teeth to remove plaque and calculus.
- Mouth rinsing medications like chlorhexidine gluconate or others as suggested by your dentist in order to kill bacteria and remove food fragments from between teeth.
- Surgery may be in certain cases when the disease reaches advanced stages.
We must remember that gum diseases can be avoided by carefully brushing and flossing teeth and that its best to prevent rather than try and cure later.
Ingestion habits that put teeth at risk
Eating habits can be a major factor in determining the oral health of a person. Starting from direct corrosive effects of certain substances to deficiency related effects caused by lack of certain nutrients, our eating habits can immensely predict our oral hygiene.
Substances that cause tooth decay:
Food heavy in simple sugars and starch can be really harmful for teeth as they tend to make the mouth a major breeding ground for oral bacteria. Food-stuff like cakes, hard candy, cookies, dry cereals, breath mints and chips as well as products like milk, honey and ice-cream which have a tendency to stick to the teeth and are not easily washed away by saliva have a higher probability of inviting decay causing bacteria.
Frequent snacking habits also cause food to stick to the teeth while frequently sipping soda has a corrosive effect on the teeth and a bacteria causing effect on the gums. Similarly tobacco smoke can be another major cause for corroded teeth, not only causing nicotine stains but also direct corrosion on teeth due to the presence of tar.
Parents are also encouraged not to feed their babies with milk, juices or other drinks containing sugar as the sugar sticks on overnight hence making it easier for oral bacteria to attack.
Eating disorders that put oral health to a risk:
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “Without proper nutrition, gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth may bleed easily. The glands that produce saliva may swell and individuals may experience chronic dry mouth.”
Eating disorders can be classified into certain kinds of illnesses like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and various others. Such kinds of eating disorders often cause the patient to have emotional, behavioral and attitudinal problems in relation to food and body-weight related issues. Other than the most obvious defects like lack of nutrition, such disorders can often make the patient empty the contents of their stomach through their mouths. This may cause digestive gastric juices to corrode away at the teeth. This combined with the lack of nutritional components like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Fiber and Calcium can cause to become brittle and erode very easily. This can even cause teeth to chip away.
It is very important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet in order to have good oral health. A diet that consists of ample amount of fresh and crunchy fruits and vegetables helps maintain a steady source of vitamins and fiber. Such nutrients in turn not only directly affect the strength of teeth but also help in cleansing our system and safe-guarding against oral bacteria.
Dental health care: A must for healthy living
While at least a few visits to the dentist’s chamber become compulsory during the lifetime of the average person; it is more important to contemplate on the conditions under which one has to go to the dentist. Is one going for a regular check-up or, are we talking about one of those painful root-canal sessions? Taking good care of your teeth not only keeps your visits to the dentist at a minimum, it also makes sure that the most basic causes for commonly occurring dental ailments are eliminated.
Richard H. Price DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association suggests that one should brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice in a day. A former clinical instructor at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Price advices, “Be sure to floss at least once a day. I do it after every meal when I can.” A regular dental health-care regime prevents periodontal, or gum, disease from developing.
Relationship with food
A healthy diet is related to your teeth in more number of ways than you can imagine. Other than of course the obvious connection of eating, a healthy diet which provides the right balance of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and even fluoride up to a certain extant can aid in the prevention of decay and thereby provide ample resistance to cavities. On the other hand, food heavy in simple sugars and starch can be a major feast for oral bacteria. A diet filled with sugars and mostly composed of over-processed food can be dangerous for health. This kind of food is usually devoid of vitamins and minerals that are provided by raw fruits and vegetables.
What can the teeth endure?
While food can only be one of the factors leading to the decay of teeth, there are an ample number of bad habits which can cause a serious depreciation of the teeth. Smoking of course tops the list in such a case. Starting from tar which can cause decay to the most obvious nicotine stains, smoking has all the components to turn your teeth into the ugliest feature on your face. Not to forget of course, the major effect it can have on your gums. Forcefully chewing on hard things or cold things like ice can damage teeth as well.
Proper methods of brushing and flossing
It is very important to be vigilant when brushing and flossing your teeth. One should make sure that the act of brushing should remove stray particles from the teeth, massage gums, eliminate plaque and freshen breath. Utmost attention should be given to removing debris from in between teeth while flossing.
Regular dentist check-ups
Remember no matter how healthy you are, it is important that you go for your regular check-ups on time. This is important because often we over-look certain basic problems which when diagnosed at an early stage can prevent a lot of major dental problems. A professional’s assessment of your teeth is very important, both as a preventive measure as well as a measure for care.
Regular dental care and health check-ups not only play a preventive role, they can even help reverse gum diseases in their early stages.