Thursday, March 31, 2016
What causes enamel damage?
Tooth enamel refers to the hard, semi-translucent, whitish part of the tooth that shows above your gums. The enamel is primarily composed of minerals that are strong but susceptible to highly acidic foods. When acid reacts with the minerals in enamel, it results in tooth decay. Strongly pigmented foods can also damage enamel by discoloring the surface of the tooth.
Foods that harm enamel
Acidic foods are the greatest source of enamel damage. To determine whether a food is acidic, look up its pH. Scientists use pH, on a one-to-seven scale, to define the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Foods with low pH levels, between a one and three, are high in acidity and may damage your enamel. Foods with high pH levels, such as a six or seven, are far less likely to cause enamel harm.
So which foods should you avoid? Many fruits are high in acidity, including lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, and apples. The high sugar and acid content in soda makes it another huge contributor to enamel decay. Moderately acidic foods include pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, cottage cheese, maple syrup, yogurt, raisins, pickles, and honey. The foods that are least likely to cause enamel damage include milk, most cheeses, eggs, and water.
Beverages such as red wine and coffee also damage the enamel by discoloring it. Although stains do not necessarily undermine the integrity of your teeth, they can be unsightly.
What can I do to prevent enamel damage?
Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles.
Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.
Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis.
Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.
Types of Floss
Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned that “bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health.” If you are avoiding fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health. One 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65 percent of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained.
If bottled water happens to be your or your children’s beverage of choice, check the label to make sure your brand contains fluoride. Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Wires are changed every few weeks or even months and as time passes, the wires become stronger. Usually the first two wires tend to be flexible, which leads to wires sliding out of their bracket slots. Brushing your teeth and eating can also be a factor in the wires moving around. Assistants bend the end of wires to try and prevent this from happening, but that isn't always the case.
We highly recommend calling the office right away when it happens. They will try and fit you in as soon as they can, but there are procedures you can do at home until then. Wax is usually provided at the bonding appointment. Place a bit of wax on the end of the sharp wire. Another quick fix is using clean tweezers to try and slide the wire back in. For this procedure, you should be very careful and gentle. This can only be accomplished on the beginning flexible wires. Don't try and slide the heavier wires because it may lead to brackets popping off.
Remember that this is a common emergency, because as the teeth are being moved around, the wire will also be shifting.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
The associations between gum disease and whole body health
The links between the health of your mouth and the health of your body are too many to ignore. Is it a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together? Researchers don’t think so, despite the lack of definitive proof.
Here are four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.
- Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater incidence of clogged arteries.
- The American Society of Microbiology has revealed that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
- Loose teeth are often believed to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
- Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.
So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than give you a nice-looking smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at ridding tiny particles between your teeth.
Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body.