Archive for the ‘white teeth’ Category

The best and worst treats for your teeth

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Everyday we intake food and drinks that stain our teeth. Some of us have become so addicted to certain treats that our teeth have been dyed an unsightly shade of yellow. Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in your body, but harsh food and drinks like soda, coffee and popcorn are much stronger. We all want bright, white teeth, and there are many products on the market that claim to produce sparkling results; however, some products can leave your teeth in even more troubling than before. Teeth whitening products found in stores strip the teeth of enamel, making them extra sensitive to extreme temperatures and prone to chipping. Below are some of the top villains and heroes of teeth.

Soft Drinks

Many people love fizzy drinks, but these are some of the worst beverages for your teeth. Not only do they contain a large amount of sugar that spoils those pearly whites, the high acid content does major damage. Corrosive acids like malic, citric, phosphoric and tartaric are in these types of beverages, and their favorite meal is your teeth. Surprisingly, clear, citrus-flavored drinks are worse than colas. Energy drinks fall under this category, too.

Gummy Vitamins

What?! You may be taking these vitamins thinking “These are good for me, and delicious, double whammy!” Unfortunately, they can contain a concentrated acid that sticks on your teeth and causes damage. If you are taking these, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards to clear the mouth of any leftover gummies.

 

Sports Drinks

This is another villain that often claims to be good for you, but don’t be fooled. Some of these drinks contain a high concentration of acid and sugar that tears apart the teeth. If you tend to rehydrate yourself with sports drinks, try to make the switch to water or coconut water that contains very high levels of potassium to hydrate you much better than these acidic counterparts.

Starchy foods

Things like white bread, pasta and potato chips are major culprits of an unhealthy mouth. Even though they may not seem sugary, these carbo-loaded treats turn are just sugar in disguise. The starch almost immediately turns into sugar and eats away at the teeth.

Nuts

Many nuts contain high levels of calcium for healthy teeth and gums, while providing your body with tons of vitamins and minerals. Chomping on peanuts, almonds, cashews or walnuts will make for extra healthy teeth.

Dairy products

It’s no surprise that calcium-filled products like milk, yogurt and cheese can keep teeth nice and strong. These products help replace minerals into teeth, and enriched milk has vitamin D which helps the body utilize all the calcium goodness of these snacks.

Tea

Sipping on green or black tea is healthy for you in many ways. These wonder drinks contain polyphenols that interact with plaque causing bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing acid that kills teeth.

H20

What isn’t water good for? When it comes to oral health, water is a valuable tool. It is the primary component of saliva, acts as a rinsing agent for food and sugary drinks and can strengthen the enamel of teeth if it is fluoridated. Slurp up as much water throughout the day as you can, and make sure to drink a glass after eating or drinking anything bad for the teeth.

Consuming products high in fiber, like broccoli, helps the enamel stay strong, or drinking a glass of milk before or during a meal will help re-harden the teeth. This will help the teeth from turning yellow. Professional teeth whitening products are the best for getting extra pearly whites. For those with extra sensitive teeth, sensitive treatment plans are great solutions.

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Tooth Enamel Erosion and Prevention

Friday, January 13th, 2012

The strongest and hardest tissue in the human body is tooth enamel. Two percent of enamel is comprised of organic material—protein, lipids and citrate. The other 98 percent consist of water and the minerals calcium hydroxylapatite and calcium fluorapatite (1). Enamel completely envelops other components of the tooth structure, including the dentin, cementum and dental pulp. Enamel protects teeth against the daily wear of biting and chewing. It enables the teeth to withstand hot and cold temperatures, acid and other chemicals which have an erosive effect on teeth. (1, 2, 3).

Tooth enamel ranges in thickness from 2.5 to 3.0 millimeters. It appears white, but actually has a semi-translucent color. The enamel receives it white appearance from the dentin underneath. Coffee, tea, wine, and cigarette smoking discolors are some of the main reasons for discolored tooth enamel (3).

Causes of Tooth Enamel Erosion

Enamel has a high mineral content, which makes it vulnerable to “demineralization” from ingested foods, which contain starch and sugar.

Sugar

Candy, soft drink, fruit juices, and other sweets leave a large amount of sugar coatings on the oral cavity. Sugar may constitute the single largest contributor to enamel erosion. Bacteria flourish on sugar and generate lactic acid, which eats into the enamel.

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Brushing a Dog’s (or Cat’s) Teeth

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

brush dog's teeth

Does your dog have bad breath? Well, maybe you are not employing the use of proper oral hygiene. After all, us humans need to maintain a level of oral care so that we don’t have halitosis. Also, just like people, dogs and cats can get gum disease–and if a dog or cat’s gums are infected and abscessed, bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing liver, kidney, and even heart malfunctions. So, what’s a good way to brush your best friend’s teeth?

Here are some tips for brushing your pet’s teeth:

#1 Start off slowly. Make sure to use a toothpaste formula that is specifically made for animals, since human toothpaste can give stomach upsets to animals. Have your pet lick the paste off of your finger, and you might need to try a few different flavors to find one that your pet likes.

#2 Once you can get toothpaste into the animal’s mouth, use a slight amount on your finger and run it across the dog or cat’s teeth. This might even take several days to get your pet to do this agreeably. Once your pet is fine with you doing this to its teeth, use a toothbrush (made for pets) and make small circles on the gum line. Don’t brush too hard!

#3 Be sure to cheer on your pet and express approval during this process. Afterward, you could also give your pet a treat, playtime, a walk, etc., so it will think of brushing as a positive moment.

#4 In order to practice proper oral hygiene with your pet, try to brush your pet’s teeth every day.

Here are some warning signs to look for in your pet’s mouth:

  1. Yellow or brown tartar, especially where the teeth and gums meet
  2. Red, swollen, bleeding, inflamed, tender, and/or receding gums
  3. Chronic halitosis
  4. Teeth that are chipped/broken
  5. Tooth resorption (especially common in cats)- a very painful condition in which the tooth dissolves
  6. A change in the animal’s diet, chewing habits and appetite can signify depression (along with pawing at the face/mouth).

Also, don’t forget to try this oral rinse for dogs and cats that helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup.  Be sure to practice good oral hygiene with your pet, so that the both of you can have great smiles!

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Protect Your Smile / Stop Halitosis

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

white smile

As you get older, you’ll realize how important proper oral hygiene is.  There are ways you can keep tabs on your oral health every month or so.  Check your mouth for white and red patches, tongue flakiness, pigmented lesions, and sores with uneven borders.  Oral cancer is rare with non-smokers, but it’s still possible to get it.  In order to check yourself for it, look at your outer and inner lips, and all sides of the tongue.  Look on the outside and inside if you cheers, and if there’s ever abnormalities that last longer than 14 days, ask a dental expert about it. 

Here are some things that you can pay attention to in order to protect your oral health:

Canker sores: these tend to pop up when people are stressed.  You can try a topical pain reliever directly on the spot.  Dentists can also use a soft-tissue laser to get rid of them.

Fix bad breath: If you’re not sure that you have bad breath at any given moment, use a cotton ball or gauze pad on the back of your tongue and smell it.  Whenever you brush your teeth, make sure to also get the back of your tongue, since this is where bacteria really like to proliferate.  Alcohol is found in most mouthwashes, but the problem with that is that alcohol helps dehydrate — thus drying the gums and reducing saliva flow.  After this, the bacteria multiples and causes the halitosis to worsen.  Keep in mind that TheraBreath sells an alcohol-free mouthwash!

Back of the mouth: Make sure to get this area when brushing, especially along the gum lines.  If you have a hard time accessing that area when brushing, slighty open the mouth.

Floss, floss, floss!  This is especially needed to prevent tartar buildup.  Toothbrushes can only get so far between the teeth–only 1 millimeter under the gums.  The problem is that gum pockers are usually 3-4 millimeters, which is deeper.  The bacteria feeds off the particles that get caught in these pockets, and if you don’t take care of the issue, you’ll have tooth decay and in extreme cases, jawbone loss.  Keep in mind that 80% of adults allegedly have a form of gum disease!

By practicing good oral hygiene, you’ll help keep your smile white and clean!

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Probiotics, Teeth Whitening, and Bad Breath

Friday, February 19th, 2010

probiotics

Probiotics have taken an even greater plunge into the mainstream. The mint form of these probiotics are now stocked in over 7,000 stores throughout the US. Allegedly, this probiotic mint is supposed to help encourage good health for the teeth and gums. It is said that this oral probiotic supposedly has teeth whitening qualities, as well as the ability to banish bad breath. Streptococcus mutans is the main bacteria that causes tooth decay, and this bacteria transforms sugars in the mouth (from snacks, meals, etc.) into acids, which in turn attack the enamel of the teeth and possibly cause lesions or caries. This probiotic targets this bacteria and helps prevent the damage it can cause.

Obviously, more research has to be done on these new probiotics before further developments and assumptions can be made.  We are finally seeing the probiotic market expanding throughout the US, after being stuck in a smaller niche for so long. Other companies are doing research in hopes to formulate a type of probiotic that fights against dental caries. Some of these new formulas will likely have the probiotic Lactobillus paracasei, which binds to the bacteria that causes caries and groups them together.

Also, Aktiv-K12 is an excellent probiotic that helps prevent and treat bad breath, so check it out!

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