Mouthwash Helps Provide a Total Clean

Mouthwash Helps Provide a Total Clean

Mouthwashes are a great addition to your oral hygiene ritual. There are two predominate kinds, one with fluoride, a chemical used to strengthen teeth and reduce decay; and there’s the kind with antiseptics, designed to attack the germs that can cause decay and gum disease. Both are effective in their promise and will deliver results to the user, but they’re no substitute for flossing and brushing, and should be treated as an accessory to use after your more thorough regime is complete.

I know most of my patient’s dislike flossing. Not without reason, it’s time consuming and awkward. For infrequent flossers, there can be some discomfort associated with picking at your gum-line. But, it is absolutely essential for your mouth health. I can see when my patients don’t floss correctly, or even at all. Plaque builds up along the bottom gum line and can cause discomfort if left untreated for too long. Bleeding gums and pain are all potential signs of peritonitis and can be avoided if one practices proper flossing habits. With so many options available, you can make it easy to find something that fits you. There’s personal flossers with handles, there’s the traditional dental string and there’s even dental tape. Differentiating thicknesses and wax application make the options endless and are aimed to find a solution to the discomfort many people experience during the process. The more you take flossing into your own hands, the less I have to scrape out during your visits to me.

Mouthwash is a great tool to use after flossing, and your mouth will be extra healthy with this winning combination. After food and plaque gets uprooted and loosened away from the teeth, rinsing with mouthwash neutralizes what was just brought out and kills the germs that surround the base of our teeth. Mouthwash can get in between the crevices of teeth and more easily remove buildup that’s been loosened with the proper care techniques. There are a few different kinds of mouthwash you can choose from, they’re all effective but if you have specialized concerns, a little research into what you’re swishing with can go a long way.

Mouthwashes with fluoride are used to help strengthen teeth while adding extra protection against tooth decay. Since fluoride is present in most toothpastes, and tap water – consuming excessive amounts can have some negative health side effects, so keep in mind an approximate amount that you’re actually consuming. Antiseptic mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine gluconate, a chemical that stops the growth of bacteria. This mouthwash is recommended for people who are battling an infection and stronger versions can be picked up over the counter with a prescription from your dentist. These mouthwashes break down plaque intensely in the short term, but can cause more bacteria to grow if overused, since it so harshly strips the mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash is also useful for anyone who suffers from halitosis. Fresh off the farm to table trend, natural mouthwashes are now more available than ever. They’re alcohol free and contain no fluoride, so they work similarly to conventional or cosmetic mouthwashes. If you’re going the au-natural route, a pinch of salt and warm water can ease inflammation and pain associated with dental problems, and this can also treat the mouth for infection and injury.
While mouthwashes are great for a lot of things, they won’t replace regular checkups with me. I love a lazy life hack as much as the next guy, but you’re still going to need to brush and floss twice a day, every day, even with the addition of a mouthwash. Be sure you’re following your oral hygiene routine normally to keep your teeth happy and healthy, and visit me regularly so I can remind you of what a great job you’re doing.

The Link between Diabetes and Dental Health

The Link between Diabetes and Dental Health

Research is continually highlighting the correlation between a patients’ dental problems and other medical conditions they may have. Our teeth are one of the more individually unique features to ourselves, and a patient’s dental health can play a major role in determining other kinds of illnesses or problems. If my patients have diabetes, for example, I can know simply from a few visits.

There’s an existing link between diabetes and Periodontal Disease. People who suffer from diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum and bone infections that hold the teeth in place. If allowed to advance, Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing problems and even tooth loss, in rare cases, and like any infection, gum disease can make it even more difficult to keep your blood sugar under control.

If you do suffer from diabetes and are noticing the effects are shifting to your mouth, keep in mind that the more you control your diabetes, the less persistent infections become. Good diabetic control is the best protection against periodontal disease. Statistics show that people with good control of their condition have no more periodontal disease than a person without diabetes. Literally the only difference would be the predisposition when their care is neglected.
There are a few physiological reasons this correlation exists. Blood vessel changes caused by diabetes lead to a thickening in the vessel which makes carrying away the tissues’ waste products slower. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue and cause infection. Because bacteria thrives on sugars, the sugar linked to diabetes lead to exceptionally large glucose levels which helps germs grow inside the mouth. Consequently, if you already have shaky dental hygiene habits and diabetes, your preexisting exposure is running high for possibility of infection.

I try to drum this knowledge into my patients whom I know have diabetes and also suffer from frequent infections. Seeing them get to a place where they can thrive is a passion of mine and dentistry can be a close-up look into a person’s health and hygiene habits. I’ve been fortunate to say most of them heed my advice and have seen improvements in their overall wellbeing once they start taking control.

The Great Organic Debate

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

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.

The How To On Dental Hygiene From Dr. Jay

The How To On Dental Hygiene From Dr. Jay
 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?

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.