Archive for the ‘white teeth’ Category

Keep Your Teeth White Naturally (and Avoid Bad Breath at the Same Time!)

Friday, January 8th, 2010

white teeth

Here are some pointers that will help keep your teeth whiter and minimize the occurence of bad breath:

1) Avoid bubbly soda pop and other acidic beverages. Drinks, like sports beverages, have enamel-stripping acids, like phosphoric, citric, malic, and tartaric acids. If you find that you need to drink them, rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.

2) Drink tea instead of orange juice. Unfortunately, even though there are tons of benefits from orange juice, the acids also help strip away the enamel, the protector of your teeth. You can try to drink black or green tea instead, because not only do they not harm the enamel, but they also contain fluoride.

3) Eat more greens, along with other vegetables and fruits. This prevents staining of your teeth. Apples, carrots, and celery help remove stains, whereas spinach, lettuce, and broccoli can act as stain barriers.

4) Eat some yogurt! Yogurt, which is full of probiotics, seems to help in the prevention of gum disease and tooth loss. If you have a couple of ounces each day, your oral health will benefit. The probiotics, also known as “good” bacteria, help balance the flora in your mouth, as well as your gut.

5) Use straws. If you use a straw, you mimimize the contact that certain beverages (ie. cola, iced tea, etc.) have with your teeth. If you put the tip of the straw by the back of your mouth, there is less contact between the teeth and the acids.

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Stars with Best White Teeth – Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, and Who Else?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

So, who are the celebrities known for having the best teeth?  If you’ve heard the news lately, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt have topped the polls on “best looking teeth“.  Julia Roberts has been famous for her white teeth for years now.  Her smile is one of the most memorable in Hollywood, and after topping a recent survey for the best teeth among the stars, she still is ranked the star with the best smile according to most cosmetic dentists.  This makes up for the fact that she reportedly had bad breath from drinking too much coffee on movie sets.  Brad Pitt himself ranked #1 for best male celebrity smile in 2008, whereas David Beckham ranked second on that same list that year.

Who else has a great smile in Hollywood?  Halle Berry was voted the #1 female celebrity who had the best smile in 2006, according to the AACD.  Also, in 2006, surveys said that Mathew McConaughey had the best male celebrity smile.  Mathew had also stated that he had somewhat of an obsession with his teeth!  AACD chose Eva Mendes as the celebrity with the “most glamorous smile” in 2006-2007.  Will Smith and Anne Hathaway are generally near the top of the best smile lists.  Hilary Duff was voted by 40% of survey respondents for having the best smile among the teen stars.  Last but not least, the controversial Tiger Woods has been known to dominate the vote for the greatest smile among male athletes.
Source: California Dentist

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Probiotics Serving New Functions in Different Markets

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

probiotics

Many people are beginning to understand with probiotics that not all bacteria are bad.  In fact, probiotics have been contributing to good health for years. With an increasing demand of probiotics, people are requesting that they be available in forms other than yogurt and oral dietary supplements.  Consumers want more choices, since some people are sensitive to certain kinds of processing (i.e. temperature).  However, with constantly-improving technology, probiotics are being used in a broader market of goods.

The thought of beneficial bacteria has become more popular with the public, since studies have shown that probiotics can aid the immune system in the fight against the “bad guys”.  More and more yogurt brands are boasting probiotics on their labels, and companies are continuing to find ways to implement good bacteria strains into other foods that are not cultured by tradition.  This doesn’t necessarily mean a consumer will purchase this product, since a company tried adding probiotics to cheese, and this product didn’t sell too well.  This is because a consumer is not generally looking for cheese to add health benefits to a meal; instead, he or she usually uses cheese to add taste to what is being eaten.

People tend to be the most comfortable with probiotics being added to oral health care products, since strains of bad bacteria reside in the mouth, gums and teeth, and these bacteria can cause tooth enamel and gum disease.  Two of the most popular products that have received a high increase in growth are gums and mints, since functional gum has jumped 10% between 2007-2008.  A current trend in consumer education is people learning about the role that good strains of bacteria have in staying healthy and recovering one’s health. 

Streptococcus mutans is one of the Lactobacillus strains that work against enamel-eroding bacteria, and people can expect this strain to appear in gums and mints.  A sugar-free gum that came out recently contains the strain Lactobacillus reuteri, and there are mints that contain a mixture of strains L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosis and L. acidophilus, which target bad breath-causing bacteria.  Another company has developed a breath mint that features Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus uberis, and Streptococcus rattus, all targeted at preventing and fighting dental decay and halitosis.  Surprisingly, there is even a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus oralis that actually has a whitening effect on the teeth, since it crowds out bad bacteria on the teeth’s surface. 

Pharmaceutical companies are creating different probiotic breath mints that will be designed for improving oral health, and lasting much longer than current probiotics without being stored in cold temperatures.  An important thing for manufacturers to remember is that the new oral care products being made need to use bacteria that exist naturally in the oral cavity, otherwise they will not last long in the mouth. 

 There are over 400 different species of bacteria in the digestive, and all of these strains are competing for space to inhabit.  In general, the good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria, which is why consuming probiotics can be helpful for those who have diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, H. pylori (ulcer-causing bacteria) problems, and colon cancer.  It is also worth pointing out that these bacteria exist all over the body, including the mouth, skin, reproductive organs and other membranes.  Ingesting probiotics can even be beneficial for those with allergies, autism, arthritis, and liver and kidney problems.  

One of the major areas for probiotic’s growth in the market may be in immune defense, since probiotics can benefit the immune system’s response.  Immunity is related to gut health, and research has shown that probiotics improve cold and flu symptoms, allergic rhinitis and pollen allergies.  Asia and Europe have already been linking probiotics with immune health for many years, but the U.S. only recently caught on.  Probiotics also are known to prevent certain infections, so it may be useful with epidemics like the swine flu.  Various strains of bacteria have relieved fever symptoms, viral respiratory infections, and pneumonia

Probiotics, especially Lactobacilli, are effective in aiding the immune response and increasing the resistance to pathogens.  Newer territories that researchers are exploring are the effects of probiotics on inflammatory disease, cholesterol reduction and even anti-aging properties, post-myocardial infarction depression and stress management.  Even more surprising, there is groundbreaking research that probiotics can be beneficial in infant formulas, vaginal microbiota, and satiety (for weight management).

 A major challenge in administering probiotics is getting the right dosage, and making sure the correct strains go to the correct places in the body.  It is far from simple, and one of the major challenges that face manufacturers is heat, since it destroys the beneficial flora.  The ingredients in the probiotic supplements must be able to tolerate the handling, storage, processing, shelf-life issues, and the tempestuous environment of the acid in the stomach.  The limited amount of conditions that probiotics can handle seldom allow for applications outside of refrigerated supplements; however, more and more companies are improving the probiotics’ survival, so they are more protected- with longer shelf lives and slower releases.  With new technology constantly being released, some companies have even created a probiotic chocolate, and up and coming probiotic applications in cereal bars, cereals, ice creams, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, meal replacements, and biscuits.  Probiotics in hot tea and soup have even been made possible with these new advances in technology.  Last but not least, topical and personal care applications are now possible with probiotics, since antifungal and antiviral properties can be brought out during a process of fermentation.

 Currently, one of the main trends is pairing probiotics with other probiotics, since this enhances the probiotics’ ability to survive.  With the ever-changing and improving research, technologies and education of probiotics, innovators will continue to deliver new and improved products geared at improving everyone’s health. 

Source: Natural Products Insider

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Five Secrets That Dentists Keep From You

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

dentist cartoon

Aside from brushing and flossing, there are other things that your dentist could you tell so you can better care for your teeth.  There are secrets that dentists know that their patients do not.  These usually include the following:

1)  Your dentist can tell if you smoke.  Even if someone brushes their teeth or tries to cover it up with mints, gum, or mouthwash, the smell is actually embedded in the mouth, especially the gum tissue!

  • Smokers are also 4X more likely to get periodontal disease than those who do not smoke.

2)  The oral bacteria that causes cavities can spread on food and cutlery.  For instance, mothers will share their utensils and food with their kids, but bad bacteria can be spread this way.  This also goes to say that one should take special care when kissing (especially their little ones) if he or she has gum disease or cavities, since these bacteria are contagious.

3)  When most people brush, they only clean less than 1/4 of their mouths!  Most people brush for 30 seconds or less, and good oral hygiene requires at least five minutes of brushing and flossing each day.  One should brush at least 2-3 minutes at a time, and floss for 1-2 minutes each time.  When people brush only 30 seconds, they are missing their back molars 90% of the time. 

4) Bleaching Teeth Too Much Can Make Them Translucent!  Teeth whitening can thin the enamel, so never bleach your teeth more than once every six months.  If the gel bothers your gums and teeth, try a fluoride rinse or gel before and after using the bleaching gel.  This will make your teeth less sensitive. 

5) Don’t get your mouth deep cleaned when you only need a regular cleaning.  Some dentists want to charge your insurance more, so they will tell you that you need a deep cleaning when you do not.  Those who need a deep cleaning are people who have a lot of tartar on their roots or other symptoms of disease. 

Source: ABC News

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Tooth Pain Relief / Remedies

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Many people have experienced tooth pain from oral surgery or other reasons.  It is important to know various forms of relief and natural remedies in case this ever happens. 

To begin, teeth are made up of an outer layer, the exposed enamel, and cementum which is embedded in the gums.  The dentin is the middle layer in teeth, which is comprised of tiny tubules (small openings).  There are nerve branches that come from the teeth’s pulp located inside each of the tubules.  The pulp of the teeth, located in the center, is made up of blood vessels and nerves supplying to the tooth. 

Tooth sensitivities cause pain in the teeth for various reasons.  Dental sensitivity is caused when the dentin is exposed, so nerve endings are exposed to hot and cold temperatures, thus causing much pain and sensitivity.  This often happens after gum surgeries, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, eating acidic food and beverages, etc.  The central pulp of the tooth can be exposed due to decay, filling, or a break in the tooth, thus causing pain and sensitivity.

Healing Your Painful Teeth

1. Brush your teeth softer, thus preventing the enamel being worn down.
2. Avoid acidic foods/beverages as much as you can in order to avoid oral health problems.
3. Natural remedies like garlic cloves and ginger root being placed on the painful teeth.

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