All About Preventing Cavities

Do you or your family members get cavities frequently? Dental research has identified factors that increase your risk of getting decay. Next time you visit the dental office, ask about your risk factors and discuss the best ways to reduce your risks and limit dental decay.

To prevent your teeth from decaying, you can do two things — strengthen your teeth’s defenses with fluoride and sealants, and reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.

Fluoride strengthens teeth by penetrating the tooth structure and replacing lost minerals to repair acid damage. Everyone should brush with a fluoride toothpaste every day. Dental offices sometimes recommend additional toothpastes, gels and mouthrinses for both children and adults.

Sealants are protective coatings placed over the tops of chewing teeth — molars and premolars. They block bacteria and acids from sticking in the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of these teeth. Children should get sealants soon after their teeth erupt into the mouth.

Although you can never get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth, you can control bacteria by brushing regularly and flossing daily, seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for a thorough cleaning and check-up, and reducing the number of times each day that you consume fermentable carbohydrates.

Some prescription mouthwashes (those that contain chlorhexidine) can help prevent decay by reducing the number of bacteria in the mouth. Chewing sugarless gums, especially those with xylitol, can help reduce decay and increase the flow of saliva.

©2001-2007 Aetna All rights reserved.

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Bad Breath: Do You Have It?

Most people are unaware of the fact that they have bad breath, or “halitosis” as dental professionals refer to it. Actually, one in four people have bad breath and some studies have reported that approximately 50 percent of the adult population does have it.1 In fact, it is estimated that nearly 60 million people will suffer from chronic halitosis in the United States.2

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath can be caused by external and internal factors. External factors can be the types of foods we eat, such as spicy foods or those that are odorous in nature. If you think your bad breath is related to the foods that you are consuming, consider recording the food you are eating to determine if this is the reason. People who use tobacco and alcohol can also experience bad breath.

Internal factors include oral factors that can affect the body systemically. The tongue provides a place for bacteria to attach and grow. Most odour-causing bacteria produce compounds that cause bad breath called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). These primary VSCs that cause bad breath are hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. Most of these odour-causing bacteria reside in the posterior area of the tongue.

Other causes of bad breath can include the following:3

  • Dental issues (poor oral hygiene, gingivitis and periodontal disease)
  • Dentures (plaque and food can develop on dentures)
  • Dry mouth (lack of saliva flow)
  • Mouth, nose and throat issues (sinus or throat infections and cryptic tonsillitis)
  • Systemic diseases (diabetes, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, gastrointestinal conditions)
  • Patients who are dieting on a regular basis

Please see your dental professional for a dental appointment to determine why you are experiencing bad breath and continue to properly clean your mouth with an antibacterial fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and clean your tongue with a tongue brush or scraper.

©Copyright 2009 Colgate-Palmolive Company

Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

It is important to protect children’s teeth and teach them the importance of good dental hygiene. Neglecting children’s first set of teeth can affect the development and health of their permanent teeth. The top five ways to protect your children’s teeth are:

Care don’t share
It is important that parents do not share utensils such as knives and forks with their children as this is one of the main ways that bacteria can be passed. Many parents try to “clean” their child’s pacifier by putting it in the mouth and removing the dirt, however this can cause more harm than good by transferring the bacteria from your mouth to theirs.

Regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste
Children should be taught from a very young age to brush their teeth twice a day. Children above two years should use a fluoride toothpaste that helps in strengthening your child’s teeth.

Eat healthy food and drink fluoridated water
It is important to teach children that sugary and acidic foods can cause cavities and weaken the tooth enamel. Children should be drinking optimally fluoridated water which will help strengthen their developing teeth.

First dental visit on first birthday
Many children will only visit the dentist when they are experiencing pain or have noticeable decay on their teeth. By this stage it is too late and much of the damage has been done. Dental decay is a preventable disease. By bringing your child to the dentist when they turn one, the dentist can help form healthy eating and brushing habits and identify if your child is at risk of dental decay.

Seal out decay
Dental Sealants are recommended for most children as they “seal out” dental decay. Many young children do not brush their teeth properly and therefore it is important that their teeth are protected. The dentist can apply a resin to avoid cavities. Sealants are a preventive and pain free solution to a healthier smile for young patients.

To book an appointment with one of our Pediatric Specialists please Call one of our branches today.

Things People Believe About Toothaches

HAVE A TOOTHACHE? Wear these fish bones around your neck, repeat a chant, and drop a few pears into the river!

Sounds ridiculous, right? But those are toothache remedies you’d hear during the Middle Ages! You can imagine how frustrating it must have been for our ancestors with tooth pain—they were willing to try anything for relief! Modern dentistry has swept away many bizarre superstitions—however, some people still believe dangerous myths about toothaches and how to cure them.

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Smile-Friendly Breakfast Secrets Now

BREAKFAST MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day, but for many of us it’s also the most unhealthy. A bad breakfast is not only bad for our teeth, but makes us feel sluggish before we even get out the door—setting us on a track for unhealthy choices throughout the day.

[…]

Yes, Soda Really Is Bad For Your Teeth

HERE’S ONE REALLY SIMPLE THING that you can do to make your mouth healthier:reduce the number of sugary, acidic drinks in your diet!

When we say sugary, acidic drinks we mean more than just soda. We’re including sports drinks, energy drinks, and even fruit juice. Read on!

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