Posts for: January, 2018
Winter is the time for snowy landscapes, hot cocoa and flannel PJs, but for some 'tis the season for tooth trouble. What can you do to keep your teeth from becoming a pain this winter?
Tackle tooth sensitivity. Does crisp winter air on your teeth give you a jolt? A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that 1 in 8 people (over 12%) suffer from tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold. Sensitivity can result from receding gums, erosion of tooth enamel, tooth decay or other dental problems. If you experience tooth sensitivity, use toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth and breathe through your nose to protect your teeth from extreme cold. Most importantly, schedule a dental exam to determine why your teeth are sensitive.
Stay hydrated. In winter, we spend more time with the heat on and we tend to drink less water. A dry mouth can result, which can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Staying well hydrated keeps your gums and teeth moist and helps you produce more saliva, which is key to good oral health and fresh breath. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria, neutralize decay-causing acid and repair weakened tooth enamel. For healthy teeth and gums, be sure to drink plenty of water this winter.
Safeguard your teeth on the slopes. Are you planning to hit the slopes this winter? Be sure to wear a mouthguard to help protect against injury. Beginning skiers and snowboarders are more likely to suffer falls that could result in dental injuries, while experts may fly over bumps and jumps, causing the upper and lower teeth to knock together with force. Even backyard sledders are at risk of dental injury. Mouthguards help protect against chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth as well as soft tissue damage. So before you enjoy wintertime sports, make sure your teeth are protected. For the best fit and comfort, ask us about a custom mouthguard.
If you have questions about these or other dental issues, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity” and “Dry Mouth.”
How often should I go to the dentist?
The answer to this question is not the same for everyone. A dental professional considers many factors when deciding on a suitable recare schedule. It is the job of the dental professional to make recommendations based on your oral health needs, not on what your insurance will cover. More frequent visits may help you to achieve your oral health goals.
Things dental professionals consider when deciding on the recare interval:
Inflammation - This is a significant consideration since inflammation in the mouth can negatively affect overall health. Studies show that there are links between oral health and systemic health. The bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body, which may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Tell-tale signs of inflammation are red, tender and swollen gums, bleeding when brushing and flossing and bad breath.
Periodontal Disease - This is a form of gum disease that has progressed to the destruction and loss of the bone supporting the teeth. More frequent cleanings are needed to maintain the bone and keep the inflammation under control.
Cavity Risk - When someone has a high risk of cavities, it is essential to have regular check-ups to find any decay early before it becomes a more serious dental issue.
Calculus/Tartar - Some people are more prone to getting tartar build-up and need more frequent cleanings to prevent gum disease.
Oral Hygiene - How well you can keep your teeth clean between dental visits. Motivation and ability are considered. Those with dexterity issues may need more frequent cleanings.
Pregnancy - Hormones produced during pregnancy can increase the risk of inflamed gums. Since gum disease is linked to preterm births and low birth weight babies, it is essential to monitor oral health during pregnancy carefully.
Diabetes - Gum disease and diabetes are closely linked, especially with uncontrolled diabetes. Those with diabetes may have delayed healing and less resistance to infection, making them more prone to gum disease.
Lifestyle factors - Those who smoke or drink a lot of coffee and tea may have increased staining of their teeth and may need more frequent cleanings. Smoking is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease, so that will also affect the recare interval.
Orthodontics - Braces, brackets, bands, and wires make it harder to keep teeth clean. Usually, more frequent cleanings are recommended.
There may be other individualized factors that your dental professional will take into consideration. You and your dental professional can come up with a recare plan that works for you both. Call us to get started now: 905-286-1569
How many actresses have portrayed a neuroscientist on a wildly successful TV comedy while actually holding an advanced degree in neuroscience? As far as we know, exactly one: Mayim Bialik, who plays the lovably geeky Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory… and earned her PhD from UCLA.
Acknowledging her nerdy side, Bialik recently told Dear Doctor magazine, “I'm different, and I can't not be different.” Yet when it comes to her family's oral health, she wants the same things we all want: good checkups and great-looking smiles. “We're big on teeth and oral care,” she said. “Flossing is really a pleasure in our house.”
How does she get her two young sons to do it?
Bialik uses convenient pre-loaded floss holders that come complete with floss and a handle. “I just keep them in a little glass right next to the toothbrushes so they're open, no one has to reach, they're just right there,” she said. “It's really become such a routine, I don't even have to ask them anymore.”
As many parents have discovered, establishing healthy routines is one of the best things you can do to maintain your family's oral health. Here are some other oral hygiene tips you can try at home:
Brush to the music — Plenty of pop songs are about two minutes long… and that's the length of time you should brush your teeth. If brushing in silence gets boring, add a soundtrack. When the music's over — you're done!
Flossing can be fun — If standard dental floss doesn't appeal, there are many different styles of floss holders, from functional ones to cartoon characters… even some with a martial-arts theme! Find the one that your kids like best, and encourage them to use it.
The eyes don't lie — To show your kids how well (or not) they are cleaning their teeth, try using an over-the-counter disclosing solution. This harmless product will temporarily stain any plaque or debris that got left behind after brushing, so they can immediately see where they missed, and how to improve their hygiene technique — which will lead to better health.
Have regular dental exams & cleanings — When kids see you're enthusiastic about going to the dental office, it helps them feel the same way… and afterward, you can point out how great it feels to have a clean, sparkling smile.