Posts Tagged ‘caries’

Educating Parents to Improve Kids’ Oral Health

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

tooth-decay-bad-breathTo improve children’s oral health and keep them active in the classroom, education for parents may be the first step. From the early 1970s to the 1990s, the amount of cavities in the baby teeth of children ages 2 to 11 declined, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. However, in their latest study, that trend flipped. A small yet significant rise in tooth decay showed that 42 percent of kids have some form of cavity or dental caries. That’s about 21 million American children.

Education starts at home, where parents are lifelong teachers. Since day one, we learn from what our parents do, how they treat others and how they take care of themselves. You are your kids’ learning models. The attitudes you maintain about oral health inspire theirs and can steer them to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Even if your kid seems to rebel against you sometimes, little Johnny or Sara will take after you more than you realize.

After all, tooth decay in primary teeth has hefty implications on dental health later in life.

“We do know from a number of studies that when children have tooth decay in their baby teeth, they tend to have decay later in their adult teeth,” lead researcher Bruce Dye of the National Center of Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told ABC News.

Encourage your children to eat nutritious meals and avoid frequent snacking. If you pack his or her lunch for school, make sure to throw in an apple, banana or some other fruit. Teach them from a young age to develop good habits for flossing and brushing. Dentists recommend that adults and kids floss once a day. Interestingly enough, it has been shown that flossing before brushing is more likely to develop into a habit. Why? Often after we finish with the toothbrush we feel like our mouths are sufficiently clean, so we postpone using the thread until tomorrow … or sometimes next month. Always floss before brushing!

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

How Cranberries Protect Your Teeth from Cavity-causing Bacteria

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

1339875_95150591When you’re devouring Thanksgiving foods, the bacteria in your mouth are feasting too.

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Hundreds of different kinds live on our gums, teeth, tongue and cheeks. While some bacteria are helpful, others can cause harm, such as those that play a role in tooth decay.

To say sugar is the main cause of cavities isn’t quite the whole story. While it can do nasty damage to teeth, the leading cause of dental caries is called Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans, which is a type of bacteria that lives in your mouth. In fact, it falls under the category of anaerobic bacteria, meaning that it can live without oxygen – think of anaerobic workouts, such as weight lifting, which doesn’t consume a lot of oxygen, and aerobic workouts, such as long-distance running, which are known to lead to huffing and puffing.

Let’s take a look at the science behind S. mutans. This troublesome bacterium splits sugars in foods and uses them to build its own little capsule, which sticks tightly to the teeth. The bacteria produce a strong acid that attacks enamel and starts to erode the tooth. If the acids are not removed, it can end up creating tiny holes in the tooth – what we all know as cavities.

So, how do cranberries help protect against dental caries?
When you’re scooping delicious stuffing, turkey and gravy onto your plate at dinner time, don’t forget about cranberries! These red berries have been proven to contain a boatload of antioxidants and can help fight off dental plaque. A team from the University of California at Los Angeles and Oceanspray Cranberry showed that the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin in cranberries prevent S. mutans bacteria from sticking to teeth, thereby reducing the amount of cavities.

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

Poor Oral Health Slowed Down 2012 Olympians

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

468230_30211180Winning the gold takes everything. Many Olympians spend decades training for their event to earn the chance to stand above the rest on the podium. While staying in top physical peak is a big priority, is oral health important? Based on the 2012 Olympics, having a healthy smile is a bigger factor than most realize.  

According to a new study led by Professor Ian Needleman at University College London Eastman Dental Institute, more than half of Olympians had poor oral health, and many found it inhibited their performance. Researchers recruited 302 athletes to the dental clinic in the London 2012 athletes’ village during the two-week international event. Those surveyed were from the Americas, Africa and Europe, and represented more than 25 different sports, including track, boxing and hockey. The results were pretty shocking.

Fifty-five percent of the athletes involved showed signs of tooth decay. Cavities, rotting and the beginning of caries were all evident. Of that demographic, 41 percent of the damage was irreversible. More than three-fourths of the individuals suffered from gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. The statistic is dramatically higher than people their same age – around 70 percent, based on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

“Oral health is important for wellbeing and successful elite sporting performance,” explained Professor Needleman. “It is amazing that many professional athletes – people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities – do not have sufficient support for their oral health needs, even though this negatively impacts their training and performance.”

While almost one in five athletes said their training or performance was negatively impacted by oral health, nearly two-thirds said their poor dental care was affecting their quality of life.

It is clear that oral health and athletic performance are bound together. Gum disease and cavities often trigger pain and inflammation, which may reduce the quality of life and self-confidence of a competitor and therefore lower his or her ability to rise to the occasion. Stunningly, the researchers said that the dental hygiene of the world-class athletes resembled that of people living in disadvantaged populations. Nearly half of the 2012 London competitors said they hadn’t been to the dentist in more than a year.

(more…)

No Comments Yet »

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

No Comments Yet »

New Year’s Resolution: No Bad Breath!

Monday, January 4th, 2010

new years resolutions
Happy new year everyone!  Since we all want a fresh start with the new year, why not also start with fresh breath? In order to combat bad breath, we need to know what causes it in the first place. Anaerobic bacteria exists in the biofilm that is formed on the tongue, and these bacteria break down proteins in food, resulting in the production of offensive smells due to gases like hydrogen sulphide and skatol.

Here are some tips to help avoid halitosis this new year:

1) Proper oral hygiene. One should gargle with lukewarm water after eating, even if it’s just a snack. Brushing should be done 2-3 times a day, and you should also use floss and a tongue scraper. Add TheraBreath to your daily regimen.
2) Proper brushing techniques. Avoid brushing too vigorously, as this does damage to the gums. Excessive brushing can damage tooth enamel. Try to brush the upper teeth in a downward direction, and the lower teeth in a upward direction.
3) Tooth picks
4) Food habits. Some foods that people eat are certainly smellier than others. Sometimes they say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a raw onion a day keeps everybody away.” Also, try to maintain regularity in food timing.
5) Water intake. Keep hydrated to maintain a stable level of saliva.
6) Natural fresheners. Try spices like clove, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cumin seed. Citrus fruits can help banish bad breath.

And if these bad breath cures do not work, try the following:
1) Remove the underlying cause. Get checked out for general and systemic diseases like gastric disorders, diabetes, fevers, liver diseases, etc. If you have an infection, antibiotics, antifungal and antiviral medicines can help. You may even want to try saliva-producing tablets.
2) Get regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you have caries, make sure they get filled.
3) Tonsillectomies can help if you have recurrent tonsilitis.
4) Homeopathy. In this case, medicines are selected based on the physical, mental, social, and emotional characteristics of a person.
5) Psychological counseling.  Sometimes chronic halitosis sufferers are very depressed and have the tendency to avoid the public. 

Good luck and happy 2010!

2 Comments »