Posts Tagged ‘cavities’

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!

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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.

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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.

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Milk can Help Fight Cavities

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

1155002_70100397Did your mom ever tell you to drink a glass of milk each day? She was right. Research conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry found that drinking milk after sugary meals, like cereal, can reduce dental plaque buildup and prevent the erosion of tooth enamel. And no, we don’t mean the sugary milk that’s left at the bottom of the bowl.

The research, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, was conducted on 20 adults who ate 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal. After consuming the product, each individual was asked to drink a different beverage: whole milk, 100 percent apple juice or tap water. Those who drank the apple juice didn’t notice a change in their pH levels, while the individuals who drank water saw their pH levels rise from 5.75 to 6.02 in 30 minutes. Those who drink milk had their pH level rise from 5.75 to 6.48 in the same time period.

“Our study results show that only milk was able to reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops,”  Shilpa Naval, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said. “We believe that milk helped mitigate the damaging effect of fermentable carbohydrate and overcome the previously lowered plaque pH.”

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Did You Know TheraBreath Products are Gluten Free?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

As you may already know, here at TheraBreath, we’re big believers on being aware of the ingredients in your toothpastes, mouthwashes, gums, sprays and more. After all, these are thing that are going in your mouth! Many of our Mommy Bloggers also are mindful of what harmful ingredients are not in our products. Some ingredients you want to steer clear of are alcohol (which can cause dry mouth), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) (which might cause canker sores) and sugar (which can lead to tooth decay and cavities). As we mentioned in a previous post, alcohol in mouthwash has been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid.

But did you know that all of our products are gluten free? Yes that’s right, so if you are worried about gluten or perhaps have Celiac disease our products are perfect for you! In addition to being the #1 selling premium oral care brand, many if not all of our products are: vegan, certified Kosher, not tested on animals, made with natural ingredients, approved for diabetics and the packaging is recyclable.

So here’s a handy tip when shopping on TheraBreath.com: all of our products have badges associated with them (see image) under the product image. Simply click on a badge to learn more about what each one means. And stay tuned because we have more categories coming.

We applaud you in being a conscious consumers and hope you find this tip helpful.

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