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5 Bad Dental Habits To Break

5 Bad Dental Habits To Break

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Many of us brush our teeth on autopilot, but our teeth and gums need TLC if you want to keep them healthy.

And you know you’re not fooling anyone at the dentist’s office when you say you floss regularly–they can tell whether you are or not, and in truth, you’re only cheating yourself of good health with poor dental hygiene.

Break your bad brush habits before it’s too late.
Bad dental habit: Brushing with too much pressure

Lighten up. “When you apply too much pressure, you’re increasing abrasion and this can encourage your gums to recede and increase sensitivity,” says registered dental hygienist Clayton De Corte.
Bad dental habit: Using an old toothbrush

De Corte recommends replacing your toothbrush seasonally, that is, every three to four months. However, get a new brush if you’ve been sick with the cold or flu, he says.
Bad dental habit: Brushing right after drinking pop

Although you might think you’re doing your teeth a favour by brushing right after drinking a soft drink, these sugary beverages can actually soften your enamel and brushing immediately after drinking one could damage your teeth, says De Corte.
Bad dental habit: Not brushing (or flossing) before bedtime

When you skip brushing before hitting the sack, you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth many hours of it being inactive to do work on eroding your enamel and inflame your gums. Floss before or after you brush (De Corte personally prefers to floss before brushing so you can loosen up food and bacteria and get it out when you rinse when you brush) and then brush for at least two minutes.
Bad dental habit: Using whitening toothpastes on sensitive teeth

“Whitening toothpastes are slightly more abrasive in order to slough off staining,” says  De Corte. So if you have sensitive teeth and want a whitening toothpaste, make sure to use one that is specifically designed for sensitive teeth.



Src: by Karen Kwan,

Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease

Monday, November 19th, 2018

The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Poor oral hygiene and excess sugar consumption can lead to periodontal disease where the supporting bone around the teeth is destroyed. It is thought that chronic infection from gum disease can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to heart disease through a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Despite convincing evidence linking poor oral health to premature heart disease, the most recent UK national guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: “As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD.” He added: “Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals.”

The authors refer to the well-publicized New York ‘soda ban’ controversy which has brought the issue to the attention of many. Yet, they point out, in the UK fizzy drinks remain commonly available in public areas ranging from hospitals to schools. Dr Rashid said: “The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”


Src:A. Bains, M. A. Rashid. Junk food and heart disease: the missing tooth. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2013;

Your Dental Health Care Team

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Each member of your dental health team plays an important role.


As the leader of your oral health team, your dentist brings years of specialized education to understanding your oral health. Only dentists can examine your teeth, gums and mouth, and recognize any problems that could affect your overall health.

They have the training and skills to:

  • examine and diagnose your oral condition;
  • recommend and carry out treatment;
  • look for signs of oral cancer—and often be the first to spot them;
  • help you understand oral health care and its importance, helping you to keep your teeth healthy and comfortable for your entire lifetime;
  • inform you about postoperative care options; and
  • perform emergency or required procedures—and help you determine a long-term treatment plan that meets your needs and circumstances.

Dental Therapist

In some jurisdictions, dental therapists work with dentists to provide community-based preventive oral health programs. They also perform basic dental treatment and preventive services as well as providing patient assistance and referrals.

Dental Hygienist

The dental hygienist is registered and trained to clean your teeth and to help you develop a home-care routine tailored to your needs.

Regulations vary from province to province, but a dental hygienist’s work often includes:

  • taking x-rays;
  • taking dental impressions; and
  • cleaning, polishing and applying fluoride to your teeth.

In some jurisdictions, the dental hygienist may also be allowed to perform a basic exam.

Dental Assistant

This is the team member who prepares you for treatment, sterilizes instruments, assists your dentist and helps keep your mouth dry during procedures. In some jurisdictions, a dental assistant may also take x-rays and dental impressions, and polish and apply fluoride to your teeth.

Receptionists and Business Staff

Receptionists maintain the dental team’s schedules and allow the office to run smoothly. The receptionist is usually your first point of contact and may often provide you with general information about your appointment and billing.

The dangers of gum disease

Monday, November 19th, 2018

When you want to highlight your smile, perhaps you whiten your teeth or choose a flattering shade of lipstick. But what about the health of your gums? After all, inflammation of gum tissue is far from attractive. Even in the early stages of gum disease—which is caused by plaque deposits that aren’t removed with proper oral hygiene—you may have bad breath, your teeth may appear to be unnaturally long due to receding gums, and your gums may bleed or look red, puffy and shiny instead of pink, firm and stippled (which means they should look textured with tiny bumps).

“Gum disease is very common,” says Dr. Sayed Mirbod, a periodontist in Halifax and president of the Canadian Academy of Periodontology. “It has become the main reason patients lose their teeth, surpassing cavities and the fracture of root canal–treated teeth.” Today’s advanced dental care is helping us to keep our nat­ural teeth in good condition for longer—but poor gum health can still be our dental downfall. And that’s not all: Gum inflammation is also associated with cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled diabetes, lung disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and, in women who are pregnant, preterm and low-birthweight babies. Researchers are still looking at some of these causal relationships, but the links are there.

Fully one third of Canadians age 20 or over have early-stage gum disease, which is called gingivitis. Another fifth have perio­dontitis (moderate to severe gum disease). The prevalence goes up with age, though even children can have what’s called aggressive periodontitis; about 70 percent of Canadians will eventually have some degree of gum disease in their lifetime.

Unless you know what symptoms to look for, gum disease can be silent for several years in its early stages. Yet that is when it’s most reversible. As untreated gingivitis gets worse—progressing to perio­dontitis and infecting the bone and tissues holding your teeth in place—you can experience bleeding, pain, loose teeth and gaps between your teeth. Chewing becomes difficult and tooth loss is possible. Once gum disease progresses from gingivitis to this more advanced periodontal disease, it is no longer reversible. At this point, tooth loss is unavoidable, and lifelong maintenance in a dental care office will be required.



Fluoride and Your Child

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods. It has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.

Fluorides are used by communities as a public health measure to adjust the concentration of fluoride in drinking water to an optimum level (community water fluoridation); by individuals in the form of toothpastes, rinses, lozenges, chewable tablets, drops; and by the dental profession in the professional application of gels, foams and varnishes.

The availability of fluorides from a variety of sources must be taken into account before embarking on a specific course of fluoride delivery. This is particularly important for children under the age of 6, where exposure to more fluoride than is required to simply prevent dental caries can cause dental fluorosis. Provided that the total daily intake of fluoride is carefully monitored, fluoride is considered to be a most important health measure in maintaining oral health.

Your dentist is able to assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.



Is it better to floss before or after brushing my teeth?

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Great question. Alas, surprisingly few studies address it directly. Based on existing evidence, flossing first isn’t necessarily better for oral health than the other way around.

Still, dentists have opinions on the matter. Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a spokesman for the American Dental Association and a professor of restorative dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, recommends flossing first. His rationale? Get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it. “Let’s face human nature, if you’re going to skip one, which one will you skip?” he said.

By contrast, Dr. Philippe Hujoel, a professor of oral health sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, advises his patients to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, then floss. That way your mouth will be awash with fluoride as you are maneuvering the floss, he said.

However, it turns out flossing is not a proven way to prevent cavities, even though some dentists and hygienists suggest it is.

Rather, flossing’s main benefit is stanching bloody gums and reducing the gum inflammation known as gingivitis.

“Gingivitis is the first step in losing your teeth,” Dr. Hewlett said. “The nice thing about catching inflammation when gums are bleeding is you can reverse it then, if that’s all that’s going on.” (Teeth brushing and flossing aren’t adequate to treat more advanced inflammation.)

A 2012 review of 12 randomized controlled trials found that people who brushed and flossed regularly had less gum bleeding than the brush-only camp, though the authors cautioned the quality of the evidence was “very low.”

That same report, in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found only “very unreliable” evidence that flossing might reduce plaque at one and three months. And no studies reported on the effectiveness of flossing combined with teeth brushing for cavity prevention.

“Self-flossing clinical trials have failed to show a benefit in the reduction of dental decay,” said Dr. Hujoel, a periodontist.

There are practical reasons to floss, of course. It can dislodge raspberry seeds and other food debris you may or may not be able to feel, for example, and some overachievers prefer to attend meetings without spinach in their teeth.

As for technique, the American Dental Association recommends guiding the floss along the curve of the gum line at the base of each tooth, in addition to flossing up and down between teeth.

It could be that amateurs just don’t know how to floss correctly, because there is some evidence that professional flossing can reduce cavities in children who have had minimal exposure to fluoride.

One systematic review of six trials  found that when professionals flossed the teeth of those children on school days for 1.7 years, there was a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities.

That may be good news for the children and spouses of dental hygienists. But for the rest of us who don’t have a professional at home to floss for us, we can choose whether we floss before or after brushing our teeth.


Src: By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS the new york times

Cavity Prevention and cheese

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Cavity Prevention is one of the most important benefit of cheese:

Cheese is extremely high in its calcium content. This is the most important thing when it comes to strong teeth. In addition, cheese has a very low content of Lactose. Lactose is a substance that comes from food and can harm teeth (The older the cheese, the lower the Lactose levels). Eating certain varieties of cheese such as aged Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Monterey Jack, Brie, Gouda, and processed American cheese immediately after a meal or as a snack has been proven to prevent tooth decay.

Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks

Monday, November 19th, 2018

To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, your diet — what you eat and how often you eat — are

important factors. Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods.

Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).

Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.


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