Archive for February, 2010

6 Tips for Great Valentines Day Kissing from Dr. Katz

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

valentine's day
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From the Desk of Dr. Harold Katz

I have been happily married for over 30 years to the same wonderful woman and my favorite holidays are the ones when I get to kiss her. Our birthdays and anniversary are sure-fire kissing opportunities. Obviously New Year’s Eve is also a big one for me. Even the Fourth of July is great – my kids will probably make gross gagging noises when they read this, but we’ve been known to set off some fireworks of our own. I will admit though that Halloween and Labor Day, try as I might, are less eventful.

But the biggest and best kissing holiday of the year is right around the corner. Nope, not Groundhogs Day. That already passed. Check your calendar. I am talking about Valentine’s Day, folks. It’s coming fast, so you better pucker up.

According to Robert Morabito of Scienceline, philematologists (the scientists who specialize in the science of kissing) say that we kiss because of many reasons. Our lips and tongues are packed with nerve endings, which help intensify dizzying sensations of being in love when we press our mouths to someone else’s. We also kiss because it brings our sense of smell into play, helping out to sniff out the right mate. It is usually that sense of smell that becomes most important in deciding if you will ever get to kiss a person again.

Harlequin Publishers, the Romance people, polled their readership last year about their romantic likes and dislikes. They discovered that the biggest turn off for both men and women towards the opposite sex was bad breath. Nothing came as close to instantly causing a person to become repellent to another, and there were some other pretty unappealing things on their list. When halitosis (the scientific name for bad breath) rears its ugly head people notice, and that’s not good. Our sense of smell is very primal – it taps into rather primitive instinctual urges. For example when you smell baking cookies, you are usually reminded of positive childhood memories associated with your mom, freshly baked treats, home, safety, and love. That is probably why sneaky realtors will bake cookies at open houses – you start to think of their house as a place you could call your home.

Similarly, bad breath is also a very evocative smell. It smells of decay, rot, and infection. The odors in bad breath include such nasty chemicals as Hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg smell), Cadaverine, and Putrescine. Our instincts associate these smells with danger and tell us to flee. We may find some character traits like poor posture or narcissism unattractive but nothing will actually cause you to retreat in genuine physical revulsion like halitosis. It’s like the Godzilla of undesirable traits.

So, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, you may be doing some kissing, and halitosis absolutely cannot be involved. As America’s Oral Care Expert and self-professed lover of kissing holidays it is my honor to provide you SIX QUICK TIPS to make sure bad breath is not a factor.

#1 Saliva is nature’s mouthwash. A dry mouth is a smelly mouth. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep the drool flowing. When your mouth makes less germ-killing saliva, germs flourish and your breath gets worse. So drink plenty of fluids to naturally clean your breath.

#2 Take your time. Brush for 2 minutes with a soft nylon bristled toothbrush. Rinse for 90 seconds. The active ingredients in mouthwash and toothpaste need time to be effective. And, if you happen to use an alcohol based mouthwash, before you panic about how much rinsing for 90 seconds can burn…

#3 Don’t use an alcohol based mouthwash that burns. Recent studies have associated all sorts of serious long term health problems with mouthwash that contains alcohol. A recent study published in the Dental Journal of Australia said alcohol based mouthwashes “can cause oral cancer and should be removed from supermarket shelves.” While testing in the US has not been as conclusive, one thing we do know is that alcohol in mouthwash definitely reduces saliva production. If you refer to tip #1 you will know this is bad. Less saliva means more halitosis. Look for oral rinse that is alcohol free and uses methods like oxygenation to kill germs without serious side effects, like TheraBreath or TheraBreath PLUS.

#4 Make sure to floss every day. The stuff in between your teeth smells very unpleasant. Don’t believe me? Go grab some floss, use it between a couple of your front teeth, then smell it. Go ahead – I will wait…

If you haven’t been flossing regularly I am sure you will agree that it is not an extremely pleasant smell. Oral bacteria create smelly odors by breaking down proteins in food particles – the stuff in between your teeth is like a gourmet feast for germs. Make sure you floss between every tooth and then vigorously rinse with a good oral rinse to wash all that gunk out.

#5 Brush your tongue. With your toothbrush. Doing it with your hairbrush is gross. Germs live in the crevices of your tongue. The white or yellow coating that sometimes forms on your there is their collected waste. That bacteria waste is sulfurous and extremely stinky. Brush that stuff off before it makes your mouth extremely unpleasant to be around.

#6 Skip sugary mints. They can cover bad breath for a few minutes but ultimately just feed the germs that produce odor. If you want a little breath pick me up try gum with Xylitol (like TheraBreath Gum). Gum tends to increase saliva flow and the chewing can help to clean between teeth.

Follow these steps for a few days and your mouth should be in tip-top kissing shape. So get ready, grab your Valentine, and plant a big wet one on them. If it goes well and they are pleasantly impressed by your minty freshness, I have done my job.

PS. Sorry to be a predictable Dentist, but please remember to go easy on the Valentine’s Day candy. It rots your teeth.

Yours in good health,
Harold Katz, DDS

P.S. I am scheduled to appear on the TBS show LOPEZ TONIGHT this evening giving Valentine’s Day breath makeovers. It should be extremely entertaining. Tune in if you get a chance.


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Random Dental Health Facts

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

bad breath

Babies are not born with caries-forming bacteria.  They only get it directly if someone blows on food before feeding it to the baby, or if someone kisses the baby and germs get in the mouth.

One of the main sweetening agents in toothpaste, Saccharine Sodium, is actually 500 times sweeter than sugar!  This is not in TheraBreath’s toothpaste.

If you have a cold, sore throat, or some type of infection, make sure to replace your toothbrush.  Bacteria can live on them and proliferate, possibly leading to reinfection.

Try to keep your toothbrush at least 6 feet away from where you brush.  Airborne bacteria from a flush can travel up to 6 feet. 

The year the most popular carbonated drink was launched, there was a massive surge of patients with tooth decay.

Children below 5 years of age should be given non-fluoridated toothpastes, because it can be harmful to swallow too much fluoride. 

Replacing the cap on a toothpaste tube after brushing your teeth allegedly helps bacteria proliferate.

Brushing your teeth too fast or hard can contribute to the problem of enamel erosion, which causes teeth sensitivity, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.

Source: dentalhealthsite.com

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Adolf Hitler Had Bad Breath

Monday, February 8th, 2010

We have another reason to not be like Hitler!  He allegedly had bad breath, according to a German dentist who studied Hitler’s medical record.  The dentist, Menevse Deprem-Hennen, said that Hitler “ate very badly and suffered from tooth decay,” according to the Sunday edition of Bild newspaper.

The dentist studied his dental records during the course of her doctorate and said that one could conclude from the research that the Nazi dictator was afraid of the dentist.  She said that it seemed that Hitler was very sensitive to pain: it took him eight times to get root canal treatment from his personal dentist, whereas the normal person would need one or two sessions.

Hitler also had a molar removed after he had gum disease.  SS general Hugo Johannes Blaschke treated Hitler and other Nazi figures.

Source: earthtimes.org

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Don’t miss your chance to save 50% or more on TheraBreath products for the whole family!

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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February is National Pet Dental Month!

Friday, February 5th, 2010

pet health

February is National Pet Dental Month!  According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats allegedly have symptoms of dental disease by age three!  Beyond that, oral disease is also the most commonly diagnosed health issue for our canine and feline friends.  We may hear about bad breath in pets all the time, but that doesn’t mean that it could be caused by something serious. 

Periodontal disease has the same roots in dogs and cats as it does in people.  Bacteria from food can build up in the oral cavity, and if it’s left untreated, the bacteria cause plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gumline.  Over time, if the buildup is neglected, periodontitis can form, which is an irreversible condition involving gum inflammation and infection.  If the gums are inflamed, they become separated from the teeth, thus allowing bacteria to enter and attack the tooth’s root.  Furthermore, bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and venture on over to the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs, and cause serious problems.

These are all reasons as to why it is very important to be proactive about protecting your pet’s health.  Some warning signs that you can look for in your pet are: bad breath, yellow-brown crust on the teeth, bleeding gums, changes in eating/chewing habits, pawing at the mouth, and/or depression.  These are all potential signs that the pet has an infection, and you should schedule a dental checkup as soon as you can.  If the pet is in good health, one should schedule regular veterinarian visits anyway.   A pet owner should schedule a professional cleaning to have the following done: tartar removal, cavity/growth check, diseased teeth extracted, and tooth polishing.  Tooth polishing helps prevent the formation of new plaque/tartar buildup

You should also practice regular brushing with your pet, and follow a home care regimen.  You can introduce toothpaste to your pets by using a small amount on your finger and rubbing it on their teeth.   Make sure to use a toothpaste that is specially made for cats and dogs.  The next step is to have the pet lick the bristles of a toothbrush with the toothpaste on it.  Then, you can begin brushing its teeth.  This should be done twice every week.  Don’t give up if your pet doesn’t seem willing to have its teeth brushed. 

Also, certain pet foods actually help plaque/tartar removal, so you can look for that in stores.  Ask your pet’s doctor for any advice.  Good luck and spread the word!

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