Do saltwater rinses work?

You can use salt water has a wide variety of helpful benefits.

You can gargle it to heal a sore throat, canker sore or even to help cure bad breath.

But is it really effective for all these things?

In the past, people have been using salt water to help treat wounds – for at least 5000 years. It’s believed the Chinese first used salt water rinses to treat gum disease. The ancient Egyptians also noted its effectiveness on injuries. Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, encouraged his fellow healers to use salt water to heal various ailments.

So why is salt water good for your mouth?

Salt water rinses are beneficial since they alkalinize the mouth or increase pH levels. This limits bacterial growth because bacteria need a moist environment in order to thrive, so without enough water, they can’t survive.

This is backed by a 2010 study by the Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry. The study shows saturated saline rinses – a solution containing 9 tsp of salt per 2/3 cup of water – kills bacteria in the mouth by dehydrating it. The oral bacteria that the saturated saline attacks can be responsible for a variety of health problems, such as gum disease and bad breath.

Salt water is also astringent and promotes wound healing by reducing inflammation and contracting the tissues. This is why dentists use warm salt water rinses to ease the swelling and pain after dental procedures.

Things to keep in mind

Although salt water rinses are an effective bacteria killer, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support its use as a daily mouth rinse. Some dentists argue that excessive use of salt water rinses can be harmful because the acidity of it can wear away tooth enamel and cause chipping and cavities.

Swallowing large quantities of salt water can also be unsafe and lead to dehydration. As you drink salt water, the water present in your body is rerouted to help your body break down the excess salt. This causes your other bodily functions to suffer because of the deficient water levels in your system. This means the more saltwater you drink, the more water your body will lose, which leads to thirst, dry mouth, cramps, and vomiting.

Of course, drinking small amounts of salt water won’t hurt you. It’s sometimes even recommended for intestinal and bowel flushes. But the take-home message is clear: If you’re going to use salt water rinses, please do so in moderation.

So do you think salt water rinses are as effective as mouthwash? Please leave your comments below and give us your thoughts. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Sources

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Why Does Salt Work as a Preservative?
http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodcookingchemistry/f/Why-Does-Salt-Work-As-A-Preservative.htm
Dr. David Kerr. “Mouthwash or salt water rinse”
http://www.todaysdentistry.com.au/ask-a-dentist/mouthwash-or-salt-water-rinse/
Eberhard J. Wormer. “A taste for salt in the history of medicine”
http://www.tribunes.com/tribune/sel/worm.htm
S RupeshJJ WinnierUA NayakAP RaoNV Reddy“Comparative evaluation of the effects of an alum-containing mouthrinse and a saturated saline rinse on the salivary levels of Streptococcus mutans”
http://www.jisppd.com/article.asp?issn=0970-4388;year=2010;volume=28;issue=3;spage=138;epage=144;aulast=Rupesh

Sirah Dubois. “The Use of Salt Water for Washing the Mouth” http://www.livestrong.com/article/547267-the-use-of-salt-water-for-washing-the-mouth/

Vicki M. GiuggioWhat if you drink saltwater?” http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/what-if/what-if-you-drink-saltwater1.htm

Alcohol: Why It’s Harmful For Your Oral Health

While enjoying an alcoholic beverage once in a while is fine, too much of it can be a bad thing.

Besides giving you a bad hangover, drinking too much can seriously harm your gums and teeth – especially when consumed on a frequent basis. And since most people drink at least socially, it’s a good idea to be aware of the effects of alcohol on your oral health.

So what are these harmful effects?

High Acid Content

Most alcoholic drinks are highly acidic. Acid wears away tooth enamel, making your teeth weaker and more susceptible to decay. It can also damage gum tissue, increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

Binge drinking is the worst for your oral health. If you’re regularly vomiting from drinking too much, your vomit (which also contains your stomach acid) is further eroding your gums and teeth.

Dehydration

Alcohol dehydrates you and that means your mouth is dehydrated as well. When your mouth is dehydrated, it contains less saliva, which acts as a buffer against harmful bacteria and acid. Saliva helps clean away plaque and bacteria in your mouth and keeps your gums and teeth healthy. Less salvia means you’ll be more prone to bad breath, tooth decay and erosion.

Sugar Assault

Many alcohol beverages, such as pina coladas and sweet sherry, may taste great but are loaded with sugar. This is bad news for your teeth since the bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugar and discharge acid, which further erodes your teeth.

The harmful effects are multiplied when you mix alcohol with soft drinks (such as cola and red bull) since these carbonated drinks are laced with sugar and highly acidic. The worst mixed drink is probably rum and pure cola, due to its mix of sugar, acid and carbonate content. Instead, go for a diet cola instead.

Long Term Consequences

It’s safe to say that if your drinking habits are heavier than ‘recommend’, you should be careful of the long-term effects of alcohol on your body. You may not notice the effects right away (besides the occasional hangover) but they can add up over time and do some serious damage to your health.

Studies show that people who drink excessively are more at risk of developing mouth and throat cancer due to tissue damage. In fact, people who combine smoking and drinking are 3 times more at risk of oral cancer than if you just smoke or drink.

What’s the Solution?

We understand that cutting out alcohol completely is going to be hard for most people. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help protect your teeth when you have your next drink:

  • Stay away from sparkling alcoholic drinks, such as wine and champagne, which have a lower pH level. Dry sparkling wines are the worst since the bubbles are formed by carbon dioxide and thus acidic.
  • When mixing drinks, fruit juices are a better choice than sodas. This is because juice has a higher pH level and is non-carbonated.
  • Use a straw since the drink will go straight to the back of your mouth and limit the amount that comes into contact with your teeth
  • Drink plenty of water. This will help dilute the acid and minimize its wear on your teeth
  • Chew sugarless gum. This will help stimulate saliva and keep your mouth moist.

Sources:

Cancer Research UK. “Alcohol and cancer: the evidence” http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/alcohol/stats_and_evidence/alcohol-and-cancer-the-evidence
Destination Hope. “The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on Your Teeth” http://www.drugrehabfl.net/2012/08/15/the-effects-of-alcohol-abuse-on-your-teeth/
ETAN SMALLMAN. ” How that nightly glass of wine can wreck your teeth: Dentists warn of the dangers of alcohol for oral health”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2718388/How-nightly-glass-wine-wreck-teeth.html
Natasha. “The Worst Alcoholic Drinks For Your Teeth”
http://www.drbradhylan.com/blog1/the-worst-alcoholic-drinks-for-your-teeth/
News.com.au “What alcohol does to your teeth”
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/what-alcohol-does-to-your-teeth/story-fneuzlbd-1226694406322
Patient Connect 365. “Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?” https://www.patientconnect365.com/dentalhealthtopics/article/beer_wine_and_whisky_good_or_bad_for_your_mouth

Floss Vs. Waterpik – What’s Better?

Where in your mouth is the most important place to clean?

In between your teeth. This is where plaque starts forming and is also the hardest place to reach. Flossing has long been the accepted as the best way to clean these hard to reach areas. However, another device is becoming an increasingly popular option: the Waterpik.

A Waterpik is a device that uses the power of water pressure to flush out bacteria and food debris. It also offers an assortment of interchangeable tips to perform specific cleaning duties, such as cleaning around braces. Nevertheless, both floss and Waterpik have their pros and cons.

Floss – Benefits and Drawbacks

One of the biggest benefits of floss is that it’s super cheap. You can easily pick some up for $2- $3 that can last you for months. Floss is also very effective at removing plaque since it can scrape and clean the areas between your gums and teeth. This is important to prevent oral problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

What makes floss less attractive though is that it can be abrasive for some individuals. People with sensitive gums will find flossing rough, and it can even cause bleeding. Also if you’re wearing braces, you won’t be able to use floss since it won’t be able to get past your braces and clean your gums.

Waterpik – Benefits and Drawbacks

Compared to floss, a Waterpik is much gentler on your gums and less likely to cause bleeding. It’s also perfect for people who wear braces since the water can get past the metal wires and rinse out the bacteria and food debris.

A Waterpik may also be better for individuals with gum disease since it can rinse out the deep pockets that are created when your gums pull away from your teeth. Floss simply can’t reach these areas.

However, a big drawback for the Waterpik is that can’t remove plaque as well as floss. The reason is when you’re flossing; you’re literally scraping the sticky plaque off your teeth. A Waterpik only douses these areas with water, which makes the plaque less likely to be removed.
Another drawback is that it’s much more expensive. While floss only costs a few dollars, a Waterpik can cost around $50. This can make it difficult for people who are on a budget.

What’s the verdict?

While waterpiks are great at washing away bacteria and food debris, they do not remove plaque as effectively as floss. That’s why we recommend combining flossing with waterpiks to achieve the best results for your oral health. However, for people who wear braces, have dexterity problems, or who just simply hate flossing, waterpik use will be beneficial. If you can’t or not willing to floss, using a Waterpik is definitely better than just brushing, which fails to clean the areas between your teeth.

Ideally, you should be brushing twice a day and flossing and water picking at least once. It’s best to do it at night since you won’t be in a rush and thus will likely do a better job at cleaning your mouth before you sleep.

If you have any questions about flossing or waterpik use, contact our office today. Our staffs are experienced and are always will to help those who want to improve their oral health. One smile at a time.

Sources:

Jane Sheehan. “Water Vs. Floss” http://www.livestrong.com/article/287399-waterpik-vs-floss/
Mark W Langberg, DDS, FAGD. “Are Waterpiks a substitute for flossing?” http://www.drlangberg.com/blog/cosmetic-dentistry/are-waterpics-a-substitute-for-flossing/
Park Ridge Family Dental Care. “Ask the Dentist – Floss vs. Waterpik” http://parkridgedds.com/ask-the-dentist-floss-vs-waterpik/

Why Green Tea Is Awesome For Your Oral Health

One of the best drinks for your teeth is…

Green tea.

Yep, that’s right.

While it’s well known that green tea offers a host of health benefits – such as heart health, lose weight and cancer prevention – it also helps protect your smile as well.

So why green tea is good for you?

All true teas, such as black, oolong and green, come from the camellia sinesis plant. However, what sets green tea apart is how it’s made. Compared to the other tea varieties, green tea is a lot less processed and not fermented. This means it retains more its antioxidant properties, which help with fighting cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

One of the main benefits of green tea is that it isn’t soda or juice. While this might seem obvious, it’s important to point out. Sodas and juices are extremely acidic and can strip away your tooth enamel. Your enamel is your teeth’s main line of defense against oral problems, like cavities and decay. Green tea, in comparison, is gentle and won’t erode your gums and teeth.

Research shows that people who drink green tea regularly have better oral health than those who don’t. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology analyzed 940 Japanese men who had signs of gum disease (such as bleeding or receding gums). Those who drank at least 1 cup of green tea a day showed improvement in their gums.

Another study published by Preventive Medicine shows that green tea can help also prevent tooth loss. The researchers studied more than 25,000 Japanese men and women who drank green tea and found that folks who drank at least 1 cup a day were more likely to keep all their natural teeth.

These oral benefits could be because green tea contains catechins – an antioxidant which helps kill the bacteria which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Final thoughts

With all the health benefits that green tea offers, it would be foolish not to give it a try. Just keep in mind – don’t add sugar to your tea. Your mouth’s bacteria feed off sugar that produces acid which can erode your teeth. Also stay away from bottled ice teas, since these are loaded with sugar too.

Finding simple ways to protect your oral health – such as drinking green tea – will ensure your smile lasts a lifetime. You only have 1 set of teeth, so be sure to take care of it.

Sources:

123dentist.com. “Drinking Green Tea Can Strengthen Your Teeth” http://www.123dentist.com/drinking-green-tea-can-strengthen-your-teeth/

Delta Dental. “Tea is terrific for teeth (and great for gums, too)” http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/tea.html

Amy Feinstein. “Sip on Green Tea for a Healthy Smile” http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/green-tea-for-a-healthy-smile.htm

Jessical Marshall. “Green Tea May Strengthen Your Teeth” http://news.discovery.com/human/health/green-tea-teeth-dental.htm

Do You Have Dental Fear or Phobia?

Are you afraid of seeing the dentist?
Do you dread your dental appointment for weeks?

If so, you’re not alone.

Studies show that as many as 75% of people have at least some fear when visiting the dentist.

For some people its general anxiety; however, for others, it’s extreme dental phobia where they’ll break into a sweat just thinking about going to the dentist. People with dental phobia have an intense fear – so much so that they’ll avoid any dental treatments. In a recent study by the Huffington Post, it was shown that most of this fear is passed on from parent to child.

While having some nervousness every now and then while seeing the dentist is understandable, avoiding the dentist is definitely not the answer. By not seeing the dentist, you risk serious consequences for your oral health.

People with dental phobia are more at risk of gum disease and tooth loss. There may also be emotional costs involved since stained or damaged teeth can make people feel less attractive and more insecure. They may be embarrassed to smile and have lower levels of self-esteem.
People with the dental phobia may also have poorer overall health. The reason is poor oral health has been linked to several serious conditions, such as lung and heart disease.

Advances in dental techniques and technology

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, rest assured you’ll find the experience more tolerable these days.

The majority of people who have dental fears and phobias have bad memories from childhood during their visit. Things like smells and sounds from their surgery may make them feel uneasy or even scared.

However, modern dental facilities are much warmer environments, with flowers and decorations in the waiting room, and friendly staff. Also with background music playing and quieter dental instruments smells and sounds during your visit should be less noticeable.

Dental technology has also improved making your surgery more comfortable. Pain-free treatments are now possible thanks to the dental wand and numbing gels. The dental wand is a computerized pen that slowly delivers anesthesia that is painless, so it’s perfect anyone afraid of needles. A numbing gel can also be applied to your gums prior to injections so you don’t feel anything.

Relaxation and coping techniques

If you’re feeling nervous about visiting the dentist, here are some simple ways to calm your fears:

  • Find a dentist who you feel comfortable with and you can trust. Ask your friends or family members if they have anyone they can recommend.
  • When you’ve found a dentist who might be a fit, visit their practice and have a look around. Check out the office, meet the receptionist and if possible, talk to the dentist about your issues.
  • Once you’re ready, set up an appointment but make it in the morning. This will give you less time to dwell on it.
  • Keep in mind, your first appointment is only for a checkup so you don’t have to worry about needles or drills. See this visit as an opportunity to get to know your dentist better.
  • Take a friend or someone you can trust with you to your appointment. The dentist should be fine if they join you while you have your checkup.
  • Agree on a mutual sign with your dentist (such as raising your hand) to let them know you need to stop or a break. This will make you feel more in control and help you relax.
  • Bring a music player or book with you. This will help keep you occupied and mind off of worrying.

Sources:

Dr. Paul Glassman. “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety” http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/overcoming-dental-fear-and-anxiety/
Dr. Sam Daher. “Why You Should Fear The Dentist No More” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-sam-daher/dentist-fear_b_4081183.html
NHS. “Fear of the dentist” http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Fearofthedentist.aspx
The Huffington Post Canada. “Dentist Fear: Anxiety At The Dentist Passed On From Parents, Study Finds” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/16/dentist-fear_n_2144477.html?just_reloaded=1

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes It And How to Treat It

Do you experience pain when drinking something hot or cold?
Do you hate brushing because it’s uncomfortable?
If you answered yes, you probably have sensitive teeth.
So how do get sensitive teeth?

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity happens because of exposed dentin due to enamel loss or receding gums. Dentin is the grayish or yellowish tissue that is found under your enamel and contains a large number of tubes. These tubes run from the tooth’s outer surface to the nerve, and when exposed are highly sensitive to temperature changes. That’s why eating specific foods (such as hot, cold or spicy) may be painful.

Causes for tooth sensitivity can include:

  • Brushing too hard – Aggressive brushing can wear away your tooth enamel and gum line, exposing your roots
  • Cracked teeth – A cracked tooth can expose your dentin and make your tooth vulnerable to bacterial plaque, inflaming your nerves
  • Grinding your teeth – Continuous teeth grinding can wear down enamel and uncover your dentin
  • Gum disease – Gum disease can cause pain as your teeth break down and gums recede
  • Tooth bleaching – Teeth bleaching products that contain peroxide or baking soda can irritate exposed roots or dentin
  • Age – People who are between the ages of 25 to 30 years old are more susceptible to sensitive teeth

How to tell if you have sensitive teeth

The best way to see if you have sensitive teeth is by visiting your dentist. Your dentist will check for exposed dentin and try to determine what the cause is. If your tooth sensitivity is due to cavities, they can be treated. If it’s due to gum disease, a comprehensive cleaning can be done to remove plaque and tartar. However, if the cause is due to exposed dentin, there are a number of treatment options available to reduce sensitivity.
In office treatments

  • Fluoride varnishes can be applied to seal tubule openings and rebuild exposed dentin and worn away enamel
  • Fluoride gels or foams can be placed in a disposable tray covering your teeth. As you bite down on it for a few minutes, it provides a high dosage of fluoride to strengthen your teeth
  • Bonding agents can be used to seal exposed dentin and reduce tooth sensitivity

At home treatments

  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush which can minimize the erosion caused from brushing too hard
  • Use toothpaste with potassium nitrate, which penetrates exposed dentin and soothes painful tooth nerve endings
  • Brush with a high concentration fluoride toothpaste that can strengthen your teeth and help protect them from pain
  • Brushing gently and ensuring you don’t over brush

Tooth sensitivity is unpleasant and can be a sign of more serious oral problems. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, definitely seek out professional dental help. The dental professionals at the Lotus Dental Group are experienced at treating a wide variety of dental issues and take patient care seriously. Contact us today at (669) 222-8315 if you’re having problems with your teeth.

Do I Have Gum Disease?

Gum Disease: What Are The Stages?

Did you know 7 out of 10 Canadians will have gum disease during their lifetime?

In fact, it’s the most widespread oral disease in Canada. Gum disease can start out painlessly but can quickly become a serious problem if left untreated.

If you think you have gum disease (and even if you don’t) it’s important to get the facts so you know what you’re dealing with.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection that affects your gum and bone tissues that keep your teeth in place. The bacteria in plaque slowly build up on your gums and teeth and if not removed can harden and turn into tartar. As gum disease becomes more serious, it can cause your teeth to become loose and painful and eventually fall out.

Gum disease progresses in 3 main stages:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

The earliest stage of gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed as a result of plaque buildup. If the plaque isn’t removed (by daily brushing and flossing) it can infect your gums and cause gingivitis. Symptoms include bleeding and sensitive gums. This stage of gum disease can be easily treated since it only affects the gums and not the bone tissue that supports your teeth.

Stage 2: Periodontis

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to the more serious stage known as periodontitis. At this stage, your gum and bone tissues supporting your teeth are affected. Pockets will begin to develop below your gum line where plaque and food debris can get trapped. Proper oral hygiene and professional dental care can help stop further damage to your oral tissues.

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontis

During this stage, your gum and bone tissues are so damaged that they can’t support your teeth anymore. This causes your teeth to shift and loosen. Teeth may even have to be removed if the damage is severe enough.

Signs and Symptoms

Even though gum disease mostly affects adults, children can also be affected. Many of the signs may not be obvious and if not detected early, can quickly progress to the more serious stages of gum disease. Symptoms include:

  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Deep pockets that have developed between your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in your teeth alignment when you bite

Diagnosis and Treatment

The best way to check for gum disease is scheduling an exam with your dentist. During your exam, your dentist will check your gums for bleeding and tenderness. Your teeth and bite will also be evaluated. The key to fighting gum disease is detecting it early so it doesn’t progress to more serious forms. In the early stages, good oral hygiene is often enough to treat and reverse the development of gum disease. Brushing removes the sticky plaque on your tooth surfaces, while flossing removes the plaque between your teeth and gums.

However, if gum disease is allowed to progress, plaque buildup can turn into tartar, which can only be removed through professional cleaning by your dentist. If there’s bone loss or severe gum recession, ‘scaling’ and ‘root planning’ (SRP) may be required. Scaling involves scraping the plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line. Root planning smoothes uneven surfaces on your teeth’s roots so plaque and germs are less likely to form.

By brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist every 6 months, gum disease can be detected early and more easily treated. If you think you have signs of gum disease, contact our office today at 669-222-8311 to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

Arestin. “There are 2 main stages of periodontal (gum) disease” http://www.arestin.com/periodontal-gum-disease/stages.php

Canadian Dental Association. “Gum Disease FAQs” http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs/gum_diseases_faqs.asp

Colgate. “Fighting Gum Disease: How To Keep Your Teeth” http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Popular-Topics/Gum-Disease/article/Fighting-Gum-Disease-How-to-Keep-Your-Teeth.cvsp

Colgate. “What are the Stages of Gum Disease?” http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Popular-Topics/Gum-Disease/article/What-are-the-Stages-of-Gum-Disease.cvsp

4 dental myths debunked!

You know how you should brush after every meal? Actually, you don’t. Sugar isn’t the main cause of cavities. And bleaching doesn’t weaken your teeth. With so many misconceptions surrounding dental health, it’s not surprising that we’ve made up a few myths over the years to explain our dental issues. So why do we believe these myths? We usually heard them from somewhere, and they get repeated over and over again that we just take them for face value. But when it comes to your dental health, having false information can be dangerous. For your benefit, we have debunked four of the most common dental myths below:

Myth #1: You should brush after every meal

It’s obvious that brushing your teeth is important. But you may be surprised to learn that brushing right after a meal may be harming your teeth.

Wait, what!?

Yep! When you eat, your mouth produces acids, which soften your tooth enamel while it breaks down food particles. Brushing too soon after eating can actually wear away the protective tooth enamel, your mouth’s primary defense against cavities. It’s best to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before brushing to give your saliva time to neutralize the high acid levels in your mouth caused by eating and drinking.

Myth #2: Sugar is the main cause of cavities

Contrary to popular belief, sugar itself doesn’t cause cavities. It’s the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth which causes cavities. These bacteria are triggered to produce acid whenever you eat anything with carbohydrates or sugar. The acid eats into your tooth, creating decay and therefore the cavity.

The amount of carbs or sugar you eat doesn’t matter as much as how long your teeth are exposed to it. If you gulp down one soda for lunch and stop there, that’s not too bad. But if spend all day sipping on that soda, you’re exposing your teeth for a much longer time, and that’s much more unhealthy for your teeth.

Just remember: Sipping all day causes tooth decay.

Myth #3: You should brush less for bleeding gums

On the surface this myth makes sense – if your gums are bleeding it seems reasonable you should leave them alone and let them heal. In fact, the opposite is true. Gums often bleed because plaque and food particles become caught along the gum line causing it to become inflamed. A build-up of plaque irritates sensitive gum tissue.

To stop bleeding gums, you need to begin consistently brushing and flossing gently twice a day. The key is holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, with the bristles pointing to your gums. This is the best way to remove plaque by brushing. It the bleeding persists, it may be a sign of possible gum disease and you should consult with your dentist.

Myth #4: Bleaching and whitening weakens your teeth

We’d all like our teeth to be whiter. Luckily there are many bleaching and whitening products available to make your teeth look their best. However, some people worry that using bleaching products can be harmful to their teeth and make them weaker.

Is there any truth behind this? No, there isn’t. Bleaching products are generally safe if used according to the directions. That’s because bleaching only changes the color of the teeth by removing tooth pigmentation, and doesn’t affect their health or strength. Just keep in mind that over bleaching may cause tooth sensitivity and irritated gums, so if you decide to use whitening products, please do so responsibly.

So, how do you steer clear of dental myths?

The best way to avoid them is to see your dentist on a regular basis. He will diagnose any dental problems and let you know the facts regarding your oral health. Therefore take the time to educate yourself and develop good dental habits towards a healthier smile!

5 Super Foods to Strengthen your Teeth in Adulthood

Maintaining good oral health is very important in life. As we get older, we often think there’s not much we can do to strengthen our teeth once we pass a certain age. We seem to believe that strong teeth can only be developed when we’re still young. The good news is with some simple lifestyle adjustments, adults of any age can make their pure whites stronger.

5 Super Foods

Tooth decay is largely based on mouth chemistry – a chemistry that can be changed at any time in your life by adjusting your eating habits. Decay begins when your teeth enamel becomes weak leaving you susceptible to cavities, chipping and other teeth problems. By eating the proper foods you can stop this process, known as demineralization, and reinforce your teeth enamel. Here are 5 great foods for stronger healthier teeth.

1. Raw Dairy

Raw Dairy

Just like your mother said, “Drink your milk and you will grow big and strong.” However, add one caveat: Choose raw dairy products, such as raw milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese, which are loaded with calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous. These help to strengthen your teeth enamel and promote re-mineralization. They also increase saliva secretion, which can help protect teeth against bacteria and balance the mouth’s pH level.

2. Celery

Celery

Celery is great when eaten raw because its crisp texture can help protect teeth and its enamel by wiping away plaque-causing bacteria. Its fibrous nature promotes more saliva production which helps to maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth. Also, its high fiber content has the added effect of gently massaging your gums while bringing freshness to your breath.

3. Sesame

Sesame

Sesame is similar to celery in that its abrasive texture can help cleanse teeth and remove debris-causing bacteria. It stimulates teeth growth since its rich in calcium, which helps to protect the bone around the teeth and gums. Mix a small handful of sesame seeds with your next meal for some extra oral protection.

4. Strawberries

Strawberries

Strawberries are chock-full of vitamin C and antioxidants, which are essential in maintaining the overall health of your teeth. They also help to whiten your teeth and remove discolorations due to its malic acid content. To boost the teeth-whitening effects of strawberries, mix a crushed berry with one half of a teaspoon of baking soda. Apply and leave it on your teeth for five minutes, and then rinse your mouth out and brush thoroughly with toothpaste.

5. Parsley

Parsley

Chewing parsley after a spicy meal is a great natural breath freshener. Parsley contains monoterpenes, substances that quickly evaporate into your bloodstream and into your lungs, releasing a pleasant smell through your breath. The herb is also rich in calcium and fluorine which help to re-mineralize your tooth enamel. Next time, instead of chewing sugary gum, munch on some parsley instead to freshen your breath and fortify your teeth.

When Should You Get A Soft Reline?

You notice that your dentures are starting to rub against your gums, leaving them sore.

Your denturist has already adjusted your dentures, but it’s still a bit lose and uncomfortable.
When Should
So what are your options?

It’s probably time for a soft reline.

A soft reline involves using soft material that provides a cushioned buffer between your denture and gums tissues. The liner helps to keep your denture in place by restoring its snug fit. It also makes it more comfortable to wear and easier to chew with.

A soft reline is most suitable for people who have:

  • acute sore gum tissues
  • thin gum tissues
  • flat gum tissues

Why your dentures becomes loose

Your dentures can become loose after your teeth are extracted. Following extraction, your jaw bones go through the ‘resorption’ process and lose bone tissues. In fact, your jaw bone structure can decrease up to 40% after wearing dentures, with the biggest changes occurring within 6 months of extraction. The aging process also plays a role in bone loss.

Because a denture is used to replace missing teeth, the denture will eventually become loose – especially if it was worn right after your teeth were extracted. So instead of fully replacing loose dentures, a soft reline can restore your denture’s fit – at least temporarily.

Situations for a soft reline

A soft reline is commonly used in 3 situations:

  • For an immediate denture to allow for proper bone healing after a tooth extraction.
  • After surgery – like the removal of excess bone – to help minimize swelling and pain.
  • Following the placement of an implant, when the reline material is used to stop direct contact between the implant and the base of the denture.

In each of these situations, its fine if the reline material is left longer than 30 days. However, if left for too long, the material can become hard and cause damage to your gum tissues. Thus, soft liners require regular checkups to preserve its fit and elasticity.

How your dentures are relined

Before the reline material is applied to your denture, your soft mouth tissues and the denture’s inner areas have to be clean and dry.

Liners are originally in powder and liquid form, which is then mixed to create the thick paste. It is applied to the insides of the denture and inserted into your mouth while you gently bite on it. To enhance your comfort, you may be asked to bite into cotton rolls for a couple of minutes. You will also be required to move your mouth in various directions to mold the reline material for an optimal fit.

The entire process takes approximately 6 minutes, which is how long it takes for the reline material to set. Any excess material is then removed.

Taking care of relined dentures

When you’re not wearing your relined dentures, you should keep them in water instead of conventional denture cleanser since it can wear away the reline material.

Your dentures should also be rinsed with water after you eat to keep them clean. However, you should not brush the relined areas to prevent erosion.

Improper cleaning methods can ruin the reline material and lead to deterioration, poor fit and damage to your gum tissues.

With appropriate care, a soft reline can provide you with a temporary, comfortable solution for your loose denture problems.