The Great Organic Debate
The focus of consumers is changing; more and more people are asking and looking for items labeled ‘organic’ or ‘natural’. Should your toothpaste choices be any different? On one hand you want to limit the amount of chemicals you intake on a daily basis for your own health, but on the other you’re probably wondering if they really clean as well as main stream brands. Natural toothpastes have developed a long way from their farm origins so fear not, you won’t be brushing with a dollop of clay if you do decide to switch over.
The reality is that we brush to clean our teeth. We want to remove the plaque that causes decay and gum problems. Toothpaste adds a nice flavor and can provide benefits that address our specific problems.
If you have a decay problem, use a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride hardens the teeth and helps prevent future decay.
If you have a gum problem, use a toothpaste that is designed to help control gum disease. Keeping the bone and gums healthy will prolong the life of your teeth and will reduce the risk of germs contributing to disease through out your body.
I realize, we are not necessarily addressing the organic issue, but it is my job to help my patients and reduce their risk of dental disease. The problem with organic toothpastes is that there are no scientific studies that verify the benefits and or risks of organic toothpastes.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, by all means feel free to use an organic toothpaste. I am no different than my patients. I look for organic alternatives in my life. Yet, I am also science oriented and I want to use the things that benefit my teeth and overall health.
Santa Brings Coal but Plaque can Bring Holes
The Holiday season is in full force and if you’re anything like us, resisting those winter treats is probably not going as well as you anticipated. Between all the Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving pies, and cozy comforting bakes and breads, the things we eat are often our favorite part of the Holidays. If you’re a parent, you might start telling your kids this season that all those treats will rot their teeth. Maintaining their sugar intake and your sanity is important and while we won’t give away your secrets, we will reassure you that your sweet tooth is not your enemy this season. Well, it is not your enemy if you keep your teeth clean.
Plaque is the culprit. Plaque is that sticky stuff that clings to your teeth. The plaque consists of mostly germs. When you brush your teeth you’re actively removing plaque, which starts building up after every meal. When plaque builds up and doesn’t get brushed away, it erodes the outer layer of enamel by producing acids. This leads to the formation of cavities – or those little holes we find in your teeth. Kids are more susceptible to cavities, given their brushing and eating habits, but since the introduction of fluoride (which hardens the teeth} in water systems, that statistic has gone down.
Adults are not risk free. The chance of decay can occur throughout our lives. Yet, adults can reduce their risk of decay by good oral hygiene, proper diet (less sugary foods) and regular dental checkups. I CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH THE NEED FOR REGULAR CHECKUPS FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. These checkups allow us to thoroughly remove the plaque, examine the teeth, and apply fluoride and to repair early decay before it causes major problems.
Top 5 Free Dental Apps for Your Smartphone
There’s an app for everything these days and if you’re both an app-dict and a tooth enthusiast, this is for you. We’ve compiled a selection of our 5 favorite and free apps for your smart phone to help hygiene feel fun. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between your teeth and your fingertips. Without it, these two body parts might not have ever even met. Enjoy all your fun together.
1. Brush D.J.
This app was created by a dentist and is raved about by hygienists and other dentists alike. It plays 2 minutes of music, taken at random or from a playlist from your library, and has a visual display indicating where to brush. It’s timed at what every dentist recommends to be the amount of time needed to properly clean your teeth. Award winning and fun, this app aims to entertain.
2. Dental Trauma First Aid
Lets face it, the last thing you think about in an emergency is your teeth – unless they’re yours or your kid’s. Most of us aren’t educated on how to take care of a dental-related accident and this app runs the gamut on what to do when something goes wrong. This app will show you what to do if a tooth is knocked out, or chipped, and how immediately necessary a dentist’s visit is. It’s a great medical guide informing the user of what actions to take.
3. Pediatric Dental Expert
This app is a parent’s guide to understanding the aspects of your child’s dental care. It covers all the important information you should know about your kids and their teeth. Advice is given on the best ways to minimize your little one’s fears and anxieties about going to the dentist and how to better care for their teeth at home. The extensive FAQ page entails advice and answered question from dental experts in their given field. This app will follow your kid through losing their teeth to the day they may or may not need braces or need their wisdom extracted.
Orasphere is an informative app that can be used for both patients and dentists alike. Dentists can use this app for instructional and educational videos for things like reducing liability or increasing patient case acceptance. Educating your patients is an easy way to calm their anxieties. Patients can use this app to figure out exactly what happens during a root canal, for example, and easily watch procedure explanations on their device.
5. Monster Mouth
This gaming app is geared mainly toward children, but we won’t judge you, it’s fun. They (or you) get to play as a dentist that takes on the dangerous task of fixing monster teeth. You’re challenged to perform a variety of dental feats within a time constraint. This game is an undeniably fun and funny app and also provides kids a graphically interesting way to grasp the real-life seriousness of plaque and cavities. It wasn’t initially invented to be geared toward teaching dental care, but inadvertently, it looks as though that’s exactly what it became.
Do You Need Dentures?
Dentures- an interesting topic if you ask me. Tooth loss is scary, but potentially possible if you let your oral hygiene become neglected. That being said, you should never be nervous seeing your dentist about these matters-that’s what we are here for!
So we are all clear, dentures are removable replacements for lost or missing teeth. Dentures are indeed false teeth, Think of them as fake hands; they may look like real hands but trying holding a pen to write your name. There is a learning process with dentures. Most people adapt to a top denture. The lower denture is more difficult to accept. A moving tongue, poor bone support and difficult retention make the lower denture less stable.
There are many situations throughout life when you could need teeth replacements. Dentures are a more affordable option if you are missing all or some of your teeth. So how do you know if you need dentures? Its important firstly to know which type of dentures you need. Partial dentures are used when teeth still remain. The remaining teeth act as anchors to help keep the denture in place. Partial dentures are more secure and stable than full dentures, especially for lower teeth.
Tooth loss is something we all may face at some point if your teeth aren’t properly cared for. With regular check ups and the right care, anyone can keep their teeth all their life! If you think you may need partial or full dentures, the best advice would be to visit us. Semi annual check ups (every six months) will ensure your teeth a longer and healthier chance of staying put.
The How To On Dental Hygiene From Dr. Jay
- Maintaining your dental hygiene may seem like an easy task but it is an increasingly tough issue for all ages. As we age, remembering to complete simple dental routines tend to lapse. We’ve come up with these 8 tips to achieve healthy oral hygiene, and make it easier to maintain overall health. Lets start with the more well known habits we tend to forget.
- Brush twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride strengthens enamel and helps teeth resist acids that lead to cavities. We brush to decrease the amount of bacterial load in our mouths to prevent disease, get rid of bad breath, etc… You would be surprised to learn that it’s not necessarily the frequency, rather the efficiency in which you brush your pearly whites. Dentists most commonly re teach patients how to brush teeth properly for the maximum impact. Since people don’t usually know how to properly do this, we stick with the twice a day rule.
- Floss, floss, floss!! Not only does flossing remove plaque from between teeth where the brush can’t reach, it also helps prevent gingivitis which can become irreversible. If flossing causes bleeding, then this may already be onset of gum disease-but don’t worry! With consistency this can discontinue in about two weeks. If flossing is beyond uncomfortable for you, try an oral irrigator.*
Break up with your habit of smoking. Smoking causes a myriad of issues, dentists claim to be nightmares if gone on for too long. Though smoke stains are surface and and can be polished off by your dentist, some can soak deep into your enamel and stay there permanently. It inhabits healthy gums and can cause teeth to appear larger and have dark spaces between them, making your smile an Austin Powers look-alike and that is not so “groovy baby”.
- Make water your best friend- or at least one of them. Water is the healthiest drink for your body. It flushes out bad bacteria and replenishes your system with healthy nutrients. It does the same thing for your mouth! It flushes your teeth clean and discourages tooth decay
- Limit coffee, tea and red intake to avoid unwanted staining. Don’t give up your Friday evening glass of wine or Monday morning cup of joe, but reducing overall consumption of these liquids will be beneficial to your health and mouth hygiene. Try drinking these beverages through a straw to limit the amount of stains on your teeth and to reduce dreaded morning coffee breath.
- Diet is actually a key factor in oral hygiene.sticky and sugary foods can produce acids that lead to unwanted outcomes like decay and gum disease. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies are awesome for your teeth due to the increase in cleansing salvia, which gives your mouth a fresh feel.
- Diet is actually a key factor in oral hygiene.sticky and sugary foods can produce acids that lead to unwanted outcomes like decay and gum disease. Healthy foods like fruits and veggies are awesome for your teeth due to the increase in cleansing salvia, which gives your mouth a fresh feel. Fun fact- raw onions have powerful antibacterial properties and studies have shown that onions have wiped out four strains of bacteria that can cause gum disease.
- See your dental hygienist the recommended amount per year, which is about once every six months. We’re here to help keep you and your mouth healthy! In addition to removing stains and tartar, dental hygienists can screen for health conditions like oral cancers and gingivitis. Many health conditions manifest themselves in your mouth, so your dentist can make your aware of systematic issues that you should then follow up about with your MD.
Are you using the right toothpaste?
Choices choices choices. There are a lot of choices out there regarding which toothpastes will do wonders for your teeth. Like an expensive car, you want to be picky about which soap will make it really shine. Which toothpastes should I use then, you might ask. I could never tell you which ones not to use, but by listing some simple recommendations of what to look for in your toothpaste will hopefully make standing in front of the dental care section at Walmart a little less stressful.
First things first, a few things to note: before choosing your toothpaste be sure that it has an ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the box. This means that the product’s claims are legitimate because it’s been tested, and the ingredients prove to be effective. The taste, whether it be bubble gum, cinnamon or spearmint has nothing to do with the product’s effectiveness to protect your teeth. On the other hand these flavors have been exquisitely designed to bring you a rush of tasty distraction from the yucky taste of, well, mouth.
You’re probably aware that fluoride is great for your teeth in that it promotes fresher breath and healthier teeth overall. Many toothpastes have fluoride in them and some do not. Being a naturally occurring mineral, fluoride helps protect your teeth from acid that is released when bacteria feed on sugars left on your teeth. For this reason I recommend brushing and spitting but not rinsing; you’ll leave the fluoride behind and let the ingredient work its magic longer.
Tartar build up sounds gross right? Well, it is if you let it get out of control and too hard- at that point the only savior is that little pick us dentists wield to scrape it off. Toothpastes that contain fighting elements against tartar can help prevent heavy plaque from hardening. Look for ingredients on the label like pyrophosphates and zinc citrate.
Most toothpastes promote their whitening factor, and why wouldn’t they? White teeth are the prettiest teeth! Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive particles to help you attain a pearly white smile. Silica is the ingredient in whitening toothpastes, but don’t get scared. These ingredients are proven to be no more harmful to your teeth enamel than other types of toothpastes.
At the end of the day, choose a toothpaste that you enjoy using. It will drive you to brush more often, longer and in an effective way. Keeping up other healthy oral health practices are necessary in maintaining a healthy smile, so don’t solely rely on your toothpaste to get the job done! With regular dental visits and use of the proper dental habits, you’ll have a gorgeous smile year round.