Monday, November 19th, 2018
Your teeth and the structure of your mouth play important roles in your ability to eat and speak and stay healthy.
Most of us take our teeth for granted … until something goes wrong. Our teeth help us chew and digest food, play an important role in speech, and impact our health overall. And by brushing up on your dental health knowledge, you’ll be taking the first step toward giving your teeth the attention they deserve.
How much do you know about your pearly whites?
The Development of Teeth
Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages. Although the timing is different, the development of each of these sets of teeth is similar. Here are some facts about how people develop teeth:
- Teeth tend to erupt in parallel, meaning that the top molar on your left side should grow in at about the same time as the top molar on the right.
- Tooth development begins long before your first tooth becomes visible. For example, a baby’s first tooth appears at around six months of age, but development of those teeth actually begins during the early second trimester of pregnancy.
- The crown of a tooth forms first, while the roots continue to develop even after the tooth has erupted.
- The 20 primary teeth are in place by age 3 and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make way for the permanent set of teeth.
- Adult teeth start to grow in between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.
- Permanent teeth are larger and take longer to grow in than primary teeth.
The Parts o the Tooth
A tooth is divided into two basic parts: the crown, which is the visible, white part of the tooth, and the root, which you can’t see. The root extends below the gum line and anchors the tooth into the bone. Your teeth contain four kinds of tissue and each does a different job. These include:
- Enamel. Enamel is the visible substance that covers the tooth crown. Harder than bone, enamel protects the tooth from decay. Enamel is made up of phosphorous and calcium.
- Dentin. Underneath the enamel you find dentin, which is calcified and looks similar to bone. Dentin is not quite as hard as enamel, so it is at greater risk for decay should the enamel wear away.
- Cementum. This tissue covers the tooth root and helps anchor it (cement it) into the bone. It is softer than enamel and dentin; the best way to protect this softer tissue from decay is by taking good care of your gums. Cementum has a light yellow color and is usually covered by the gums. But with inadequate dental care, the gums may become diseased and shrink, exposing the cementum to harmful plaque and bacteria.
- Pulp. Pulp is found at the center of your tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues that deliver nutrients and signals to your teeth.
Types of Teeth and What They Do
Teeth help you chew your food, making it easier to digest. Each type of tooth has a slightly different shape and performs a different job. Types of teeth include:
- Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These are the teeth that you use to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt, at around 6 months of age for your first set of teeth, and between 6 and 8 years of age for your adult set.
- Canines. Your four canines are the next type of teeth to develop. These are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Primary canines generally appear between 16 and 20 months of age with the upper canines coming in just ahead of the lower canines. In permanent teeth, the order is reversed. Lower canines erupt around age 9 with the uppers arriving between 11 and 12 years of age.
- Premolars. Premolars, or bicuspids, are used for chewing and grinding food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later.
- Molars. Primary molars are also used for chewing and grinding food. These appear between 12 and 15 months of age. These molars, also known as decidious molars, are replaced by the first and second permanent premolars (four upper and four lower). The permanent molars do not replace, but come in behind the primary teeth. The first molars erupt around 6 years of age (before the primary molars fall out) while the second molars come in between 11 and 13 years of age.
- Third molars. Third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to develop and do not typically erupt until age 18 to 20, and some people never develop third molars at all. For those who do, these molars may cause crowding and need to be removed.
Your mouth is important. Don’t take your teeth or oral health for granted. For good dental health, brush and floss your teeth regularly, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups. A healthy mouth makes for a healthy body … and a pretty smile.
Src:Dental health . everyday health . Connie Brichford | Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD . 28Nov2011 . web . 7Sep2015
Monday, November 19th, 2018
What Do Sore Gums Mean?
Millions of Americans have experienced sore gums. You’re brushing or flossing and notice a painful sensation in your gums. Sometimes, your sore gums may even start bleeding while you’re brushing or flossing.
Since the pain from sore gums isn’t usually very severe, and it’s such a common problem, many people don’t pay much attention to sore gums. Fortunately, addressing sore gums isn’t usually very difficult, especially in the early stages of gum disease.
Sore Gums And Gum Disease
Sore gums, or gums that are swollen or bleeding, are most often linked to gum disease. There are two stages of gum disease, both of which may cause sore gums.
- Gingivitis: This is the early and mildest form of gum disease; sore gums are often one of the first signs that you may be suffering from gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease. (1)
- Periodontitis: Advanced form of gum disease with more serious implications, such as possible tooth loss and other health problems. (2)
If you notice sore gums, consult with a dental professional for evaluation and advice.
Stop The Pain From Sore Gums
When you notice sore gums, here are a few things to consider that might help you pinpoint the cause of your discomfort.
- Am I eating right? A healthy and well-balanced diet can help prevent sore gums and gum disease. A diet that includes plenty of Vitamin C and calcium may minimize your risk for gum problems. (3)
- Do I use tobacco? Tobacco use has been associated with gum disease and increases your risk for sore gums.
- Am I stressed out or overwhelmed? Stress raises the levels of cortisol in your body, which increases the likelihood of inflammation. Inflamed, sore gums can be a side effect of a stressful lifestyle.
- Do I take proper care of my teeth and gums? Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and help prevent sore gums.
In conclusion, sore gums can be a warning sign of gum disease and should be taken seriously. Early gum disease can progress to serious infection that can cause tooth loss and may have other overall health implications. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will help you maintain good oral health now and in the future.
Src: General Oral Hygiene . Oral Care Topics . Crest . web . 7Sep2015
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Do you know how many bacteria live on your toothbrush? Brace yourself! Researchers have found that a single toothbrush can be loaded with as many as 10 million germs and bacteria. In fact, recent studies even found that your toothbrush could be a breeding ground for tiny microorganisms.
But before you swear off brushing, know this: These bacteria aren’t a big threat to your pearly whites. According to Richard Price, DMD, a dentist in Newton, Mass. and a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, the researchers who discovered those toothbrush-dwelling microorganisms found that they didn’t make people sick — toothpaste has an anti-germ component built into it, and the microbes need moisture to survive. So as long as your toothbrush is given time to dry after you use it, it should be safe.
Squeaky-Clean Toothbrush Tips
To take care of your teeth and your toothbrush, it’s important to use your toothbrush the way you’re supposed to, rinse it in tap water, and then let it air dry, Price says.
This starts with storing your toothbrush in an upright position. Most people don’t need to worry about storing it away from other toothbrushes — germs are airborne, but they don’t hopscotch from one brush to another. However, if someone in the household has an immune deficiency, you can’t be too careful, says Price.
If you’re really fastidious about dental care, you can soak your toothbrush in alcohol to kill the germs, Price adds. Mouthwash is also an antiseptic, so it works as a “toothbrush soak,” too, as does a solution of half water and half hydrogen peroxide. Another option is to dip it in boiling water for about five to 10 seconds.
Interestingly enough, toothbrush sanitizers haven’t shown to have much effect. And you should never put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave: You’ll just end up damaging it.
Time for a New Toothbrush?
The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush (or brush head, if you use an electric type) about every three months — more because of the wear on the bristles than germs.
And that depends on the brusher and not the brush, Price emphasizes. If you have a heavy hand, the bristles might wear out sooner. Remember that the key determinant is not the calendar but the shape the bristles are in. “You need to replace your toothbrush when the bristles spew in different directions,” Price says. Check your children’s toothbrushes regularly because they probably will need to be replaced more frequently.
Should you replace your toothbrush after an illness, like a cold? No, says Price. Just be sure it dries out between uses so that germs can’t survive.
Some toothbrushes have bristles that change colors to indicate they’ve worn out (a glaring reminder it’s time to buy a new brush).
You can also develop the habit of changing your toothbrush with every check-up (provided you see your dentist every six months) and then again midway before the next appointment. Or try timing the change to the first day of every season — and remember: To every toothbrush, there is a season.
Src:Dental health . everyday health . Beth W. Orenstein . Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH . 28Nov2011 . web . 7Sep2015
Monday, November 19th, 2018
|A sealant is a clear or tinted plastic protective coating for teeth. It is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). These are the areas where most cavities form.
Molars and premolars have grooves and crevices. Dentists call these pits and fissures. Food can get stuck in these crevices. Some are so deep that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach in
Grooves and crevices provide the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause cavities. Sealants help to prevent this from happening. They cover the grooves and crevices so that food cannot get into them.
What It’s Used For?
Sealants are applied to teeth to help prevent cavities. In the past, they usually were used only in children. But adults also can get sealants.
Not only are sealants very effective, they cost a lot less than filling cavities.
In children, sealants can be applied to baby molars to protect them from cavities. Eventually, these molars fall out and the new, permanent molars come in. These molars can be sealed, too. Most dentists recommend that sealants be applied to each permanent molar as soon as possible. This can be when the tooth is only partially erupted into the mouth. However, it can be done only if the tooth can be kept dry and free of saliva while the sealant is applied.
If your child has a high risk of cavities, your dentist may decide to seal the premolars, or bicuspids, as well. The premolars are the teeth directly in front of the molars.
Sealants can be used in adults who have an increased risk of developing cavities. Your dentist can suggest whether sealants are appropriate for you.
Sealants can be put on teeth that show early signs of decay. But once the decay has broken through the enamel, the tooth will need a filling.
Applying sealants is quick and painless. It can be done during a routine dental visit. No injections are needed. However, it is very important to sit still so the tooth or teeth being worked on will stay dry. This allows the sealant material to stick properly to the tooth.
How It’s Done
The dentist cleans the area to remove any food or debris in and around the teeth. Then he or she makes sure the teeth are dry so that the sealant can stick. The sealant is applied in liquid form. It flows over and into the grooves and crevices. The sealant usually hardens (sets) within 20 to 60 seconds. Sometimes it is set with a special light.
|Studies show that sealants can last a long time, sometimes as long as 15 years. But they don’t last forever.
The dentist will check the sealants during routine visits. If necessary, the sealants can be replaced.
Remember, sealants work well, but they can’t keep teeth cavity-free without some help. Keep brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting a dentist regularly.
Children with sealants still should:
- Brush twice a day with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss between any teeth that touch each other.
- Get the right amount of fluoride, either by drinking fluoridated water or taking fluoride liquid or pills.
- See a dentist regularly.
Although it is rare, sealants can cause problems in people who are allergic to plastics or components of plastics. There has also been some concern about the possible harmful effects of bisphenol A (BPA). This chemical is found in some sealants. However, studies show that any release of BPA from sealants is very small and limited to the time right after they are applied. The American Dental Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have found that sealants are safe.
When To Call a Professional
Ask your dentist to talk with you about the benefits of sealants. Most pediatric dentists (dentists who specifically treat children) use sealants routinely. However, not all dentists do so. Therefore, your dentist may not think to talk with you about them.
Src: simplestepsdental . preventing problems .”Dental Sealants” . Columbia University of Dental Medicine . January 20, 2012 . web . 19Aug2015
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.
What Goes on During a Regular Visit
Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if your dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits.
Many dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.
During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, your dentist will likely look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination.
The Head and Neck Examination
Your dentist will start off by:
- Examining your face
- Examining your neck
- Checking your lymph nodes
- Checking your lower jaw joints (TMJs)
The Clinical Dental Examination
Next, your dentist assesses the state of your teeth and gums by:
- Examining the gums
- Looking for signs of gum disease
- Checking for loose teeth
- Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth
- Examining your tongue
- Checking your bite
- Looking for visual evidence of tooth decay
- Checking for broken teeth
- Checking for damaged fillings
- Looking for changes in the gums covering teeth
- Evaluating any dental appliance you have
- Checking the contact between your teeth
- Taking x-rays
The Dental Cleaning
During the final part of the dental visit, your dental professional cleans your mouth using these methods:
- Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
- Removing any plaque and tartar
- Polishing your teeth
- Flossing between your teeth
- Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques
Once your examination and cleaning have been performed, they’ll tell you about the health of your teeth and gums and then make any additional recommendations. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Monday, November 19th, 2018
August 14, 2015 | Posted in Dental Care Every Day | Be the first one to comment
Dr Alldritt said it was particularly alarming to find those who were aware of the Dentists are warning high levels of sugar and acids in many sports drinks can have a harmful impact on a person’s oral health.
Australian Dental Association [ADA] committee chair Dr Peter Alldritt said players should stick to water to avoid erosion and tooth decay.
“People sometimes drink sports drinks thinking they are healthier than a soft drink,” he said.
“They can contain six to eight teaspoons of sugar in one drink, which is not far behind some soft drinks.”
An ADA survey of 1,200 Australians revealed over 50 per cent of adults and around 30 per cent of children consume sports drinks every week, unaware of the health risks.
dangers still continued to consume the drinks.
He said Australia is recording higher levels of dental diseases than ever before.
In Australia, 50 per cent of children and three out of 10 adults have untreated tooth decay.
Sports drinks can leave you thirsty
Exercise physiologist Robert Skeat said while sports drinks can help restore electrolyte imbalance, water is the healthiest way to hydrate.
“The high levels of sodium in these drinks leaves you thirsty and the sugar makes them easier to drink,” he said.
“They’re often sold in gyms and health clubs so we assume they can’t be that bad for us.”
Dental Health Week begins today with a focus on the oral health habits of active Australians.
Dr Alldritt said it was important to protect teeth from sporting injury by wearing a custom-made mouth guard.
He added it was not case of one-size-fits-all and warned generic guards could cause more damage to a person’s teeth.
“Seventy-five per cent of the people we surveyed are just buying a mouth guard over the counter at a sports store or pharmacy,” he said.
“These mouth guards don’t provide proper protection for your teeth.”
Sports Medicine Australia is currently urging sporting organisations to commit to a no mouth guard, no play policy.
src: www.abc.net.au / Edwina Seselja
Monday, November 19th, 2018
If you suddenly experience symptoms of dry mouth, it may be because you’ve started taking a certain type of medication. Medications are a major cause of dry mouth. In fact, medications cause approximately 90 percent of all cases of dry mouth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.
You may not be able to discontinue your medication, but you should keep your dentist informed when something in your overall health changes and you start taking medication.
For example, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories and anti-hypertensive medications are just some of the many types of drugs that can contribute to a dry mouth. In addition, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or lupus and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can also cause it.
Even stress and anxiety can contribute to dry mouth, as can the medications you might take for them. It is important to communicate with your dentist about issues concerning your overall health because anything that increases your risk for dry mouth also increases your risk for gum disease. Your dentist or dental hygienist may advise you to pay special attention to your daily oral care routine, and to schedule an additional dental cleaning during a time of increased risk, such as during pregnancy or before starting chemotherapy.
If your dry mouth is persistent and severe, talk to your doctor about whether you can reduce the dose of the medication that is causing the problem, or possibly switch to a different medication. Everyone responds differently to medications, so switching to another drug that serves the same purpose may yield the same benefits with less dry mouth.
Src: OralB website
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child’s overall health. This is why your child’s doctor will talk with you about good dental habits even before your child’s first tooth appears.
Once your child has a tooth, your doctor may recommend that your child receive fluoride varnish treatments in the pediatrician’s office to help prevent tooth decay. This can be done 2 to 4 times per year. The number of treatments depends on how likely it is that your child may get a cavity.
Pediatricians are trained to apply fluoride varnish because many young children do not see or have access to a dentist until they are older. If your child is seeing a dentist at a young age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fluoride varnish may be applied in a dental office instead.
Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about fluoride varnish.
What is Fluoride Varnish?
Fluoride varnish is a dental treatment that can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse. Fluoride varnish is made with fluoride, a mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel (outer coating on teeth).
Keep in mind that fluoride varnish treatments cannot completely prevent cavities. Fluoride varnish treatments can best help prevent decay when a child is also brushing using the right amount of toothpaste with fluoride, flossing regularly, getting regular dental care, and eating a healthy diet.
Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?
Fluoride varnish is safe and used by dentists and doctors all over the world to help prevent tooth decay in children. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Then it is brushed off after 4 to 12 hours.
Some brands of fluoride varnish make teeth look yellow. Other brands make teeth look dull. However, the color of your child’s teeth will return to normal after the fluoride varnish is brushed off. Most children like the taste.
How is Fluoride Varnish Put on the Teeth?
Fluoride varnish is painted on the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush. It is sticky but hardens once it comes in contact with saliva. Your child may feel the hardened varnish with his tongue but will not be able to lick the varnish off.
It does not hurt when the varnish is applied. However, young children may still cry before or during the procedure. Fortunately, brushing on the varnish takes only a few minutes. Also, applying the varnish may be easier when a child is crying because his mouth will be slightly open.
You may be asked to hold your child in your lap while you are placed knee-to-knee with the person applying the varnish.
How Do I Care for My Child’s Teeth After Fluoride Varnish is Applied?
Here are general guidelines on how to care for your child’s teeth after fluoride varnish is applied. Check with your child’s doctor for any other special instructions.
- Your child can eat and drink right after the fluoride varnish is applied. But only give your child soft foods and cold or warm (not hot) foods or liquids.
- Do not brush or floss teeth for at least 4 to 6 hours. Your child’s doctor may tell you to wait until the next morning to brush or floss. Remind your child to spit when rinsing, if he knows how to spit.
Steps to good dental health include:
- Regular care by a dentist trained to treat young children
- Getting enough fluoride
- Regular brushing and flossing
- Eating right
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants receive oral health risk assessments by 6 months of age. Infants at higher risk of early dental caries should be referred to a dentist as early as 6 months of age and no later than 6 months after the first tooth erupts or 12 months of age (whichever comes first) to establish their dental home. Every child should have a dental home established by 12 months of age.
Src: Fluoride Varnish Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
Monday, November 19th, 2018
Brush, Book, Bed, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has a simple and clear message for parents:
- Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.
- Read a favorite book (or two)!
- Get to bed at a regular time each night.
Having a predictable nighttime routine will help them understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime.
All young children need help with brushing from an adult to make sure a good job is done. When possible, teach children to spit out extra toothpaste, but don’t rinse with water first. The little bit of toothpaste left behind is good for their teeth! Once teeth touch, they can also be flossed. Visit your dentist regularly starting with your child’s first birthday or sooner if there are concerns. Your pediatrician can answer questions about oral health, too. Remember, the last thing to touch the teeth before bed is the toothbrush!
- As soon as baby is born, you can start good oral health practices. If possible, use a soft washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after feedings. Remember not to put babies to bed with a bottle filled with milk. And, when it is time to introduce solids, choose healthy foods to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
- For children under age 3: As soon as you see a tooth in your baby’s mouth you can start to BRUSH! Use a smear (grain of rice) of toothpaste with fluoride 2 times per day.
- For children ages 3–6: Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. It is OK to let them practice with the brush, but you get your turn too.
After toothbrushing and before bed, find a comfortable spot to sit and read with your child. Spending some time, even just 15 minutes each day, to read aloud together will help improve your child’s language development and social-emotional skills. Make up your own stories, use silly voices, sing songs, and just enjoy this special bonding time with your child. Visit your local library or bookstore, and give your child the opportunity to explore different kinds of books.
Remember, it is never too early to share books with your child. As your child ages, so will the kind of books he or she enjoys. Take a look at these tips for sharing books with your child at each stage of development!
Sleep is very important to your child’s health and well-being. In fact, good sleep habits start from birth. However, getting young children to sleep (and to stay asleep) is often one of the most daunting tasks of parenthood. Regardless of your child’s age, the key is to have a predictable series of steps that help him wind down from the day.
Set regular bedtimes (and, if appropriate, nap times) and stick to them. Do not wait for your child to start rubbing his eyes or yawning — that’s probably too late. Putting your child to bed even 15 to 20 minutes earlier can make a big difference and ensure everyone has a good night’s rest.
Src: American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2014)
Monday, November 19th, 2018
There may be a new fruit you should add to your diet.
Recent studies have shown that pomegranates have numerous health benefits. The pomegranate is a fleshy red fruit containing numerous vibrant seeds. It is seen in salads, in addition to the numerous pomegranates juices that have been developed in recent years.
The antibacterial qualities in the pomegranates may serve to thwart dental plaque. Therefore, pomegranates may lower the chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Pomegranates also can curb overall inflammation, which would lower the risk of inflammatory conditions like stroke or heart attacks. Pomegranate juice may also improve circulation, according to numerous studies, based on the ability to prevent clotting and raise the amount of oxygen sent to the heart.
Pomegranates also possess vitamin C and E.
If you’re looking for the best pomegranates, they come from Turkey and Iran, according to some studies.