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  • Are Water Picks Worth The Cost?

    For Many People, the Answer is Definitely Yes

    water pickWith the hundreds of products available on the market today for cleaning your teeth, it can be difficult for dental patients to determine which product will best meet their needs. The dentists at Personal Care Dentistry are happy to assist patients in choosing the appropriate products for cleaning their teeth, as every smile is different.

    Among the many types of toothbrushes available, the general categories are manual and electric toothbrushes.  However, a more unique solution for cleaning your teeth at home can be found with a water pick.

    How does a water pick work?

    A water pick is also sometimes referred to as a water flosser.  Water picks work by using water to irrigate the spaces between your teeth and powerfully blast away debris from other hard to reach places.  A water pick works to mimic the high pressure water cleaning that your dentist uses to prepare your teeth for procedures or to rinse them during professional cleanings.

    Is using a water pick the same as brushing?

    It is important to know that using a water pick is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth.  Over time plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth. This plaque harbors bacteria and germs that can lead to bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay.

    When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why the dentists at Personal Care Dentistry want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

    Is using a water pick the same as flossing?

    While water picks work to provide extra cleaning power for your smile, it is important to know that they do not ever take the place of brushing or flossing. Despite the nickname water flosser, water picks do not get completely in between each of your teeth. Water picks may not be an effective solution for cleaning between teeth that are crooked, overlapping or tightly spaced. Floss is the only guaranteed way to eliminate debris from between your teeth.

    What are the advantages to using a water pick?

    People with painful gum disease or highly sensitive gums may find water picks useful or even therapeutic. However the use of a water pick is only advised as a supplement to regular brushing and flossing, especially in patients with advanced gum disease.

    Orthodontic patients, especially those with traditional metal braces may find added benefit from using a water pick to flush out hard to reach places within their wires and brackets.

    If you are considering adding a water pick to your daily at home dental care routine it is important to understand that these devices do not replace traditional brushing and flossing.

    So how do you choose the right water pick?

    Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

    If you’d like more information about how to best care for your teeth at home, including information about water picks at home, contact Personal Care Dentistry today.

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  • Does Your Mouth Feel Like The Sahara Desert?

    What to do if you suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth)

    Do you go through life with your mouth constantly dry? Does it feel like the Sahara Desert has taken up residence in your mouth? If you answered yes, then you may be suffering from xerostomia commonly called dry mouth.

    Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva. We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food. Saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.

    sahara-desert-sand-dunesWhen you don’t make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, many treatments can help against dry mouth, also called xerostomia.

    What Causes Dry Mouth?

    Side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, colds, obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension, diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma and Parkinson’s disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.

    Side effect of certain diseases and infections. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, Sjogren’s syndrome,  rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.

    Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that make saliva, can reduce the amount of saliva produced. For example, the damage could stem from radiation to the head and neck, and chemotherapy treatments, for cancer.

    Nerve damageDry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.

    DehydrationConditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.

    Surgical removal of the salivary glands.

    Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect how much saliva you make and aggravate dry mouth. Breathing with your mouth open a lot can also contribute to the problem.

    What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

    A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth

    Frequent thirst

    Sores in the mouth; sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips

    A dry feeling in the throat

    A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue

    A dry, red, raw tongue

    Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing

    Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat

    Bad breath

    Why Is Dry Mouth a Problem?

    Besides causing the symptoms mentioned above, dry mouth also raises your risk of gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay, and mouth infections, such as thrush.

    Dry mouth can also make it hard to wear dentures.

    How Is Dry Mouth Treated?

    If you think your dry mouth is caused by certain medication you’re taking, talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry. He or she may suggest you check with your medical doctor to adjust the dose you’re taking or switch you to a different drug that doesn’t cause dry mouth.

    Your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry may also suggest an oral rinse such as Biotene to restore mouth moisture. If that doesn’t help, you may want to consider a medication that boosts saliva production called Salagen.

    You can also try these other steps, which may help improve saliva flow:

    Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum.

    Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist.

    Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and visit your dentist regularly.

    Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible.

    Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air.

    Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

  • How Much Do You Know About Your Pearly Whites?

    Your teeth and the structure of your mouth play important roles in your ability to eat and speak and stay healthy.

    Most of us take our teeth for granted – until something goes wrong. Our teeth help us chew and digest food, play an important role in speech, and impact our health overall. And by brushing up on your dental health knowledge, you’ll be taking the first step toward giving your teeth the attention they deserve.

    Loving Couple Smiling Together At HomeHow much do you know about your pearly whites?

    The Development of Teeth

    Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages. Although the timing is different, the development of each of these sets of teeth is similar. Here are some facts about how people develop teeth:

    Teeth tend to erupt in parallel, meaning that the top molar on your left side should grow in at about the same time as the top molar on the right.

    Tooth development begins long before your first tooth becomes visible. For example, a baby’s first tooth appears at around six months of age, but development of those teeth actually begins during the early second trimester of pregnancy.

    The crown of a tooth forms first, while the roots continue to develop even after the tooth has erupted.

    The 20 primary teeth are in place by age 3 and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make way for the permanent set of teeth.

    Adult teeth start to grow in between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth. These teeth are larger and take longer to grow in than primary teeth.

    The Parts of the Tooth

    A tooth is divided into two basic parts: the crown, which is the visible, white part of the tooth, and the root, which you can’t see. The root extends below the gum line and anchors the tooth into the bone. Your teeth contain four substances and each does a different job. These include:

    Enamel. Enamel is the visible substance that covers the tooth crown. Harder than bone, enamel protects the tooth from decay. Enamel is made up of phosphorous and calcium.

    Dentin. Underneath the enamel you find dentin, which is calcified and looks similar to bone. Dentin is not quite as hard as enamel, so it is at greater risk for decay should the enamel wear away.

    Cementum. This tissue covers the tooth root and helps anchor it (cement it) into the bone. It is softer than enamel and dentin; the best way to protect this softer tissue from decay is by taking good care of your gums. Cementum has a light yellow color and is usually covered by the gums. But with inadequate dental care, the gums may become diseased and shrink, exposing the cementum to harmful plaque and bacteria.

    Pulp. Pulp is found at the center of your tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues that deliver nutrients and signals to your teeth.

    Types of Teeth and What They Do

    Teeth help you chew your food, making it easier to digest. Each type of tooth has a slightly different shape and performs a different job. Types of teeth include:

    Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These are the teeth that you use to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt, at around 6 months of age for your first set of teeth, and between 6 and 8 years of age for your adult set.

    Canines. Your four canines are the next type of teeth to develop. These are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Primary canines generally appear between 16 and 20 months of age with the upper canines coming in just ahead of the lower canines. In permanent teeth, the order is reversed. Lower canines erupt around age 9 with the uppers arriving between 11 and 12 years of age.

    Premolars. Premolars, or bicuspids, are used for chewing and grinding food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later.

    Molars. Primary molars are also used for chewing and grinding food. These appear between 12 and 15 months of age. These molars, also known as decidious molars, are replaced by the first and second permanent premolars (four upper and four lower). The permanent molars do not replace, but come in behind the primary teeth. The first molars erupt around 6 years of age (before the primary molars fall out) while the second molars come in between 11 and 13 years of age.

    Third molars. Third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to develop and do not typically erupt until age 18 to 20, and some people never develop third molars at all. For those who do, these molars may cause crowding and need to be removed.

    Your mouth is important. Don’t take your teeth or oral health for granted. For good dental health, brush and floss your teeth regularly, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups. A healthy mouth makes for a healthy body… and a great smile.

    Source: Everyday Health

  • Do You Keep Making Excuses to Not Floss Your Teeth?

    Learn the 8 most common excuses and what you can do to solve each one

    flossingDo you floss? Or, like many people, do you always seem to find a reason not to? A national survey found that only 41% of Americans floss daily, and 20% never floss. That’s most unfortunate, because flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to preventing periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss.

    The list of excuses for not flossing are varied and many. But for every excuse, there is a simple workaround that can help you consistently floss and enjoy better oral health.

    Excuse #1: Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth, so I don’t need to floss.

    Flossing isn’t so much about removing food debris as it is about removing dental plaque, the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

     

    Excuse #2: I don’t know how to floss.

    Flossing isn’t easy. In fact, it’s often considered the most difficult personal grooming activity there is. But practice makes perfect. Here’s a great primer on how to floss from the American Dental Association:

    Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.

    Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.

    When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.

    Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.

    Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, unspooling fresh sections of floss as you go along.

    Don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth.

    Excuse #3: I’m not coordinated enough to floss.

    Many tooth-cleaning options exist for people whose manual dexterity is compromised by poor coordination, hand pain, paralysis, and amputations — or simply by fingers that are too big to fit inside the mouth.

    One option is to use floss holders. These disposable plastic Y-shaped devices (some equipped with a spool of floss) hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use.

    Another option is to forgo floss and clean between teeth using disposable toothpick-like dental stimulators (Stim-U-Dents, Soft-Picks, and so on); narrow spiral brushes (interproximal brushes); or the conical rubber nubs (tip stimulators) found at the end of many toothbrushes or mounted on their own handles.

     

    Excuse #4: I don’t have time to floss.

    flossbrushEffective flossing does take a while — once a day for several minutes is recommended. But even 60 seconds of flossing is of enormous benefit. As with exercise, bathing, and other daily activities, the key is to make flossing a habit. Keep floss in plain view, alongside your toothbrush and toothpaste. If you’re too tired to floss before bed, floss in the morning or afternoon. Or keep floss on hand and use it when you find the time.

    Excuse #5: It hurts when I floss.

    If flossing causes gum pain or bleeding, odds are you have gingivitis or gum disease — precisely the conditions for which flossing is beneficial. Stopping flossing because of bleeding [or pain] is just the opposite of what you should be doing. The good news? With daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, gum pain and bleeding should stop within a week or two. If either persists, see a dentist.

    Excuse #6: My teeth are spaced too close together to floss.

    If unwaxed floss doesn’t work for your teeth, you might try waxed floss or floss made of super-slippery polytetrafluoroethylene. If the spacing between your teeth varies (or if you have significant gum recession), yarn-like superfloss may be a good bet. It stretches thin for narrow spaces and fluffs out to clean between teeth that are more widely spaced.

    Excuse #7: The floss keeps shredding.

    In many cases, broken or fraying floss is caused by a cavity or a problem with dental work — often a broken or poorly fabricated filling or crown. Consult your dentist.

     

    Excuse #8: I have dental work that makes flossing impossible.

    Try floss threaders. These monofilament loops make it easy to position floss around dental work.

    SOURCE: WebMD

  • Carbonated Soft Drinks Erode Tooth Enamel

    It’s called Soft-drinks“pop” in the Midwest and most of Canada. It’s “soda” in the Northeast. And it goes by a well-known brand name in much of the South. But however they say it, they’re talking about something that can cause serious oral health problems – carbonated soft drinks.

    Soft drinks have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities. In extreme cases, softer enamel combined with improper brushing, grinding of the teeth or other conditions can lead to tooth loss.

    Sugar-free drinks, which account for only 14 percent of all soft drink consumption, are less harmful. However, they are acidic and potentially can still cause problems.

    We’re Drinking More and More
    Soft drink consumption in the United States has increased dramatically across all demographic groups, especially among children and teenagers. The problem is so severe that health authorities such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have begun sounding the alarm about the dangers.

    How many school age children drink soft drinks? Estimates range from one in two to more than four in five consuming at least one soft drink a day. At least one in five kids consumes a minimum of four servings a day. Larger serving sizes make the problem worse. From 6.5 ounces in the 1950s, the typical soft drink has grown to up to 20 ounces today.

    Children and adolescents aren’t the only people at risk. Long-term consumption of soft drinks has a cumulative effect on tooth enamel. As people live longer, more will be likely to experience problems.

    What to Do
    Children, adolescents and adults can all benefit from reducing the number of soft drinks they consume, as well as from available oral care therapies. Here are some steps you can take:

    • Substitute different drinks: Stock the refrigerator with beverages containing less sugar and acid such as water, milk and 100 percent fruit juice. Drink them yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
    • Rinse with water: After consuming a soft drink, flush your mouth with water to remove vestiges of the drink that can prolong exposure of tooth enamel to acids.
    • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse: Fluoride reduces cavities and strengthens tooth enamel, so brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash also can help. The dentists at Personal Care Dentistry can recommend an over-the-counter mouthwash or prescribe a stronger one depending on the severity of the condition. They also can recommend a higher fluoride toothpaste.
    • Get professionally applied fluoride treatment: Your dental hygienist can apply fluoride in the form of a foam, gel or rinse.

    Soft drinks are hard on your teeth. By reducing the amount you drink, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking help from your dentist and hygienist, you can counteract their effect and enjoy better oral health.

    SOURCE: Colgate

  • Healthy Teeth for Life: 10 Tips for Families

    Keep a Sparkling Smile From Childhood to Old Age

    There are so many good reasons to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. Their sparkling smiles. Being able to chew for good nutrition. Avoiding toothaches and discomfort. And new research suggests that gum disease can lead to other problems in the body, including increased risk of heart disease.

    Happy-family-of-four-smiling-300x135In fact, most experts agree that almost all tooth decay and most gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene. We’re talking about taking a few minutes each day to brush and floss. That’s not a lot in return for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

    Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Here’s how:

    1. Start children early. Once that first tooth appears usually around six months you should begin a child’s dental care. Teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At about age 2, you can let kids try brushing for themselves — although it’s important to supervise. Start early and avoid your child being part of the 50% of children between the ages of 12 and 15 who have cavities.

    2. Seal off trouble. Permanent molars come in around age 6. Thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent decay in the pits and fissures. Yet only one in three U.S. kids receives dental sealants. Talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry.

    3. Use fluoride. Fluoride strengthens enamel, making it less likely to decay. Three out of four Americans drink water that is fluoridated. If your water isn’t fluoridated (i.e. you drink bottled water), talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry, who may suggest putting a fluoride application on your teeth. Many toothpastes and mouth rinses also contain fluoride.

    flossbrush4. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Gum disease and tooth decay remain big problems — and not just for older people. Three-fourths of teenagers have gums that bleed, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Also remember to change your toothbrush 3 to 4 times a year.

    5. Rinse or chew gum after meals. In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay and gum problems. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can also protect by increasing saliva flow, which naturally washes bacteria away and neutralizes acid.

    6. Block blows to teeth. Most school teams now require children to wear mouth guards. But remember: unsupervised recreational activities like skate-boarding and roller-blading can also result in injuries. Your dentist can make a custom-fitted mouth guard.

    7. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Tobacco stains teeth and significantly increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, consider quitting. Counsel your kids not to start.

    8. Eat smart. At every age, a healthy diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods — including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products — will provide all the nutrients you need for healthy teeth and gums. Some researchers believe that omega-3 fats, the kind found in fish, may also reduce inflammation, thereby lowering risk of gum disease.

    images-of-pop9. Avoid sugary foods. When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode tooth enamel, opening the door to decay. Sugary drinks, including soft drinks and fruit drinks, pose a special threat because people tend to sip them, raising acid levels over a long period of time. Sticky candies are another culprit, because they linger on teeth surfaces.

    10. Make an appointment. Most experts recommend a dental check-up every 6 months — more often if you have problems like gum disease. During a routine exam, your dental hygienist will remove plaque build-up that you can’t brush or floss away and look for signs of decay. They will also look for early signs of oral cancer, wear and tear from teeth grinding, and signs of gum disease.

    SOURCE: WebMD

  • Tips to Help Your Child Avoid Cavities from Their Baby Bottle

    Here are nine tips for baby bottle usage to help you keep your little one free of cavities.

    Avoid Sugary Beverages

    Sports drinks and fruit juices are packed with sugar and are not recommended for your baby’s bottle. That’s because lots of sugar leads to tooth decay and can create a host of dental problems as their baby teeth start to show. Plus, cavities in your baby’s teeth can sometimes create problems in their new adult teeth when they start to appear.

    Be Sure to Wipe Their Mouth After a Meal

    Fifteen minutes after each liquid or solid meal, wipe out your baby’s mouth with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove sugar and residual food and beverage than can increase the chance of cavities.

    Beware the Bedtime Bottle

    A bottle at bedtime might seem like a good idea for an infant, but it can negatively impact their teeth and gums. The sugar in formula, breast milk and milk can lead to infection if a bottle is regularly given to a child at bedtime. That’s because you won’t be able to wipe out your child’s mouth before they go to sleep, so that sugar will stay in their mouth all night. Try to develop a routine at bedtime that doesn’t involve a baby bottle, or if it does, use water in the bottle.

    Encourage a Drink Before Bedtime

    Encourage your child to develop a routine that involves them taking a long drink before they go to bed. This will help them avoid wanting a bottle at bedtime.

    Skip the Microwave

    Don’t heat a formula-filled baby bottle in the microwave. Granted, it’s more convenient and quicker, but your microwave won’t heat the formula evenly and may produce formula too hot for your baby to drink. Also, the plastic in your baby bottle may be damaged from the heat produced by the microwave.

    Use Warm Water to Heat

    Your best approach to warming a baby bottle is to use a pot on the stove filled with water. Be sure to use a pan that will allow you to completely cover the baby bottle with water. Use a low to medium setting, warm the water for five minutes, then put the baby bottle in the warm water and heat for up to two minutes. Squeeze a drop on the inside of your forearm before giving the bottle to your infant – it’s a good way to check the formula’s temperature.

    Walking and Baby Bottles Don’t Go Together

    Avoid letting your child walk around while drinking from a baby bottle. They are bound to fall when they are learning to walk, and a fall with a bottle in their mouth can result in a facial injury.

    Lidless Cups Should Be the Goal

    Around the time your child begins to walk (generally 12 to 18 months) is when you should start to wean your child off their bottle. Start by having them drink from a sipping cup at mealtimes, or even from a cup without a lid. There’s bound to be a good deal of spilled liquids initially, so start with water (or a beverage without sugar) because it’s easy to clean up.

    Regular Check Ups

    The #1 way to help your child avoid tooth decay is by making sure they see a dentist before they turn one. It’s important to have your child become relaxed about going to a dentist. It will make their check up every six months much easier and set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

    Source: Healthychildren.org

  • What Do Bones, Ox Hooves and Burnt Eggshells Have in Common? Ingredients for Toothpaste!

    Group of broken egg shells isolated

    Have you ever wondered what people in ancient civilizations used for toothpaste? It certainly wasn’t the convenient tube of good-tasting fluoridated gel that we now put on our toothbrushes.

    Ancient toothpastes were used to treat some of the same concerns that we have today keeping teeth and gums clean, whitening teeth and freshening breath.

    Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000 BC, before toothbrushes were invented. Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have used toothpastes, and people in China and India first used toothpaste around 500 BC.

    The ingredients of ancient toothpastes were however very different and varied. Ingredients used included a powder of ox hooves’ ashes and burnt eggshells, that was combined with pumice. The Greeks and Romans favored more abrasiveness and their toothpaste ingredients included crushed bones and oyster shells. The Romans added more flavoring to help with bad breath, as well as powdered charcoal and bark. The Chinese used a wide variety of substances in toothpastes over time that have included ginseng, herbal mints and salt.

    The development of toothpastes in more modern times started in the 1800s. Early versions contained soap and in the 1850s chalk was included. Betel nut was included in toothpaste in England in the 1800s, and in the 1860s a home encyclopedia described a home-made toothpaste that used ground charcoal.

    Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpastes’ were usually powders. During the 1850s, a new toothpaste in a jar called a Crème Dentifrice was developed and in 1873 Colgate started the mass production of  toothpaste in jars. Colgate introduced its toothpaste in a tube similar to modern-day toothpaste tubes in the 1890s.

    Until after 1945, toothpastes contained soap. After that time, soap was replaced by other ingredients to make the paste into a smooth paste or emulsion – such as sodium lauryl sulphate, a common ingredient in present-day toothpaste.

    In the second half of the twentieth century modern toothpastes were developed to help prevent or treat specific diseases and conditions such as tooth sensitivity. Fluoride toothpastes to help prevent decay were introduced in 1914. Toothpastes with very low abrasiveness were also developed and helped prevent the problems caused by overzealous brushing.

    The most recent advances in toothpastes have included the development of whitening toothpastes, and toothpaste containing Triclosan, which provides extra protection against caries, gum disease, plaque, calculus and bad breath.

    Toothpastes today typically contain fluoride, coloring, flavoring, sweetener, as well as ingredients that make the toothpaste a smooth paste, foam and stay moist.

     

  • Gingivitis Is Not a Word You Want to Get to Know

    guy-with-tooth-painThis Form of Periodontal Disease Can Lead to Inflammation and Infection – and Worse

    Gingivitis is a word that many people have heard, but not a lot of people know what it is or why you don’t want it in your mouth. Why? Because gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease that produces inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone).

    Gingivitis is due to the long-term effects of plaque deposits on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris that develops on the exposed parts of the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth decay.

    If you do not remove plaque, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar (or calculus) that becomes trapped at the base of the tooth. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen, and tender.

    The following raise your risk for gingivitis:

    • Poor dental hygiene
    • Certain infections and body-wide (systemic) diseases
    • Pregnancy (hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gums)
    • Uncontrolled diabetes
    • Misaligned teeth, rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (such as braces, dentures, bridges, and crowns). Use of certain medications, including phenytoin, bismuth, and some birth control pills

    Many people have some amount of gingivitis. It usually develops during puberty or early adulthood due to hormonal changes. It may persist or recur frequently, depending on the health of your teeth and gums.

    What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis?

    • Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
    • Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
    • Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless
    • Mouth sores
    • Swollen gums
    • Shiny appearance to gums


    How Do You Treat Gingivitis?

    The goal is to reduce inflammation. The best way to do this is for your dentist or dental hygienist to clean your teeth twice per year or more frequently for severe cases of gum disease. They may use different tools to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. Careful oral hygiene is necessary after professional tooth cleaning. Any other related illnesses or conditions should be treated.

    How Do You Prevent Gingivitis?

    Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent gingivitis. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist at Personal Care Dentistry to show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.

    Special devices may be recommended if you are prone to plaque deposits. They include special toothpicks, toothbrushes, water irrigation, or other devices. You still must brush and floss your teeth regularly. Antiplaque or anti-tartar toothpastes or mouth rinses may also be recommended.

    Regular professional tooth cleaning is important to remove plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing. Personal Care Dentistry recommends having your teeth professionally cleaned at least every 6 months.

    Source: ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

  • What Are the Top 10 Foods for Healthy Teeth?

    What you eat can be just as important to your teeth as brushing and flossing daily. In fact, certain foods and beverages will both keep your teeth in shape and provide them with the nutrition they need. You can’t get your original teeth back once you lose them, and imagine a life of eating and drinking minus your teeth.

    So the next time you are looking for something to eat or drink, pick a food or beverage that will make your teeth smile! Here’s list of 10 smile-producing foods to benefit your dental health.

    Fruit that is raw is a winner for your teeth because it reduces plaque and gives your gums a healthy massage. Fruits high in Vitamin C are the best because they keep our body cells together. If you are lacking Vitamin C, your gums will become tender and more easily develop gum disease.

    Sesame seeds dissolve plaque and help you build tooth enamel. They are also high in calcium, which keeps your teeth healthy along with your jawbone. It’s best to consume sesame seeds on bread or rolls.

    Vegetables are a wonderful foundation builder for oral health.  Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots and broccoli are bursting with Vitamin A, which helps to form tooth enamel. Plus if you eat them raw you get a double dose of goodness, since raw vegetables will clean your teeth and massage your gums.

    Onions may have some smelly side effects, but they are loaded with bacteria-killing sulphur compounds. Don’t forget, it’s bacteria that does so much harm to your gums and teeth. If you like onions (and aren’t planning on going to a party), then eat them raw for maximum effect.

    Celery eaten raw is like nature’s toothbrush. It will clean your teeth and massage your gums. It also prompts your mouth to produce more saliva, which will neutralize the bacteria that creates cavities.

    Dairy products like yogurt and milk are a good choice to quench your thirst or have a healthy snack because they are low in acidity and sugar (and both of those lead to tooth erosion and tooth decay). Plus milk is full of calcium, which fortifies your teeth and bones.

    Cheese also has important benefits for your teeth and gums. Cheese is packed with calcium and phosphate which promotes healthy teeth and helps to balance the pH level in your mouth (which is a good outcome). It also helps you produce more saliva, rebuild important tooth enamel and kill bacteria that create cavities and lead to gum disease.

    Green Tea has earned a reputation for providing many benefits for your oral health. A major benefit of green tea is that is provides you with natural antioxidant compounds, which prevent plaque from accumulating. Plaque leads to cavities and bad breath. Plus some green teas have fluoride, which also helps reduce tooth decay.

    Proteins such as chicken, beef, turkey and eggs contain a ton of phosphorus. That’s a good thing since phosphorus combines with calcium and Vitamin D to create our bones and teeth.

    Water provides an array of good things. It hydrates your whole body (gums included), which is essential. But for your oral health, it helps clean your mouth so your saliva can nourish your teeth. When you rinse with water, it cleans your mouth so that your saliva can nourish your teeth, and it washes away food particles that can lead to cavities.

    Source: Dental.Net Print