Whether for work or pleasure, travel is like an unraveling ball of yarn with changing colors. There are good times and stressful times, and the preparation is a feat unto itself. What chances there are to suffer stress from travel typically come from the little things that make a big difference: bringing enough underwear, remembering your deodorant, forgetting to pack your toothbrush.
Traveling represents a substantial step out of your daily grind, which doesn’t always come as a break in routine but by positively smashing them. Forgetting your toothbrush or toothpaste can be as disruptive as the changes in your diet, and what those changes mean for your breath and teeth can be horrendous.
Oral hygiene habits are (perhaps unsurprisingly) the first to suffer when you hit the road. That’s why we’ve provided a quick overview of some of the dental hygiene hurdles you might encounter while traveling. We’ll also teach you how to overcome them!
The importance of pre-departure dental check–ups
It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination: you arrive to your destination, enjoy the first few nights of revelry, and wake up mid-week with a toothache. You think it’s the food or the drink, but it gets worse, and within two days you’re hardly eating anything. Where do you go to fix it? Does your dental insurance even cover the area you’ve ventured to?
Scheduling regular dental check-ups is always important, but before departing for far-off destinations it’s that much more important to get your teeth checked out. Your dentist can detect problems before you find yourself far from home. Better yet, take your dentist’s number with you so that you can call in case of emergency.
Toothbrush, favorite toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, nightguard: whatever dental equipment you use at home, it’s a huge mistake not to pack it. And when you remember to bring it, be sure to use it without skipping a beat. If you remember to pack it but deviate from your regular care, you can find yourself in just as bad of shape as if you’d forgotten to pack your kit altogether.
Also, remember that it’s just as common to forget to pack care items when you’re returning home. Be sure to keep these items top-of-mind.
New foods, new bacteria
Traveling makes maintaining your preferred diet a little tricky, particularly when you’re on vacation and want to enjoy yourself. Foods you’re tempted by away from home are typically not just unhealthy in terms of fats, sodium and cholesterol, but bad for the natural pH and balance of bacteria in your mouth.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re tempted by, try to steer clear of some of worst offenders. Carbonated sodas and sticky sweets will not be easily forgiven by your teeth. And, if you won’t be able to brush right away, that might be a reason to be a little more diligent with your restaurant selections—save the sticky sweets for when you know you can brush afterword.
That said, vacation is about enjoying yourself. Whatever foods out of the ordinary you do eat, be sure to brush and floss and otherwise stay on your best behavior when it comes to your teeth. Carry your dentist’s phone number, and make the most of your time away without any inconvenience from these common oral hygiene hurdles while traveling.
via Blogger Top Hurdles To Oral Hygiene While Traveling (And How To Overcome Them)
We associate a beautiful smile with good oral health—and pearly, bright whites are one of the first measures we look for. Whatever differences we have in body types, fashions and so forth, the desire for a bright smile is universal, which is why tooth whitening is so popular around the world. And its popularity continues to grow.
There are innumerable products and methods, from home-based boxes to treatments that need to be performed in a professional setting. You have the luxury of choosing the one that best suits your budget and preference.
But, did you ever wonder how some of these whitening treatments work? Read on to find out!
Most tooth whitening procedures use materials that contain hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide as active ingredients. The mechanism of each is basically the same—more commonly, we call it bleaching.
The layers of tooth right below enamel is comprised of dentin, and its natural color is a soft yellow. As you age, dentin tends to become darker, and your enamel begins to appear blurry. No matter how diligent you are in your tooth brushing and oral hygiene, your teeth will naturally change color over time.
That said, stellar oral hygiene is the best way to combat this natural effect. But if push comes to shove, there are these whitening options to consider.
Here’s where teeth whitening steps in:
About 20 years ago, it was discovered that applying products with 10% active ingredient carbamide peroxide permeates through the enamel and decomposes the discoloration of the dentin beneath, while also clearing the enamel back to its earlier translucent shine. When carbamide peroxide is kept in contact with the tooth long enough, voila! You can whiten it from beneath the enamel itself. The longer the contact, the whiter the tooth becomes, sometimes until there is nothing left to bleach.
Note that redundant bleaching can carry negative side-effects, like initiating the very decomposition of enamel, so start with a consultation with your dentist to establish what whitening regimen makes sense for you.
Due to high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in these “bleaching” products, your gums are protected during treatments with cofferdam, or a gel called opaldam. Whitening gel is then applied to your teeth and can be activated by light, heat or chemicals.
Another interesting tooth whitening fact is that black or brown discolorations from cavities cannot be removed—these need to be drilled and filled. And, for that matter, bleaching doesn’t work on fillings, so the degree to which you whiten might also have to do with how white the fillings are that you’re working around! Of course, you can always take out old fillings and replace them with whiter ones, too.
The options are many, which makes it all the more important to start with a consultation with your dentist.
via Blogger How Do Tooth Whitening Treatments Work?
Baby teeth—also known as milk, deciduous, or primary teeth—start sprouting between months four and seven after your baby is born, and they keep on erupting until about age three. For as few teeth as there are in your child’s mouth (as compared with an adult jaw), these little teeth seemingly just keep coming in.
There are outlying cases where a first tooth might come in as early as month three, or as late as month 18. Early and late development are nothing to be worried about, just ask your dentist if you’re unsure about your child’s specific case. By the time children reach age three, the great majority of them have all 20 of their baby teeth.
Baby teeth pre-birth development
Baby teeth start to form between weeks six to eight of fetal development, sometimes before a mother even knows she’s expecting. More interestingly yet, baby teeth actually develop over the sites where adult teeth begin to form directly beneath them—also during fetal development. Your baby begins developing those little quick-sprout baby teeth around two months into development—and then, before he or she is even born, the development of their adult teeth begins deep in the jaw around week 20.
The order baby teeth grow in
The first teeth you’ll see in your baby’s tiny mouth are the two central lower incisors. A few months later, your baby will probably grow upper incisors, with the standard pace of one tooth per month. Most children have around six teeth by the time they’re one year old. Over the course of the next couple of years, there are about another dozen teeth to go: starting with two remaining lower incisors, and four molars. Interestingly, you might notice that your child’s molars do not grow adjacent to the incisors—they save enough space for the later sprouting of canines.
The second-to-last burst of teeth are your child’s canines. After that (typically once your child is about three and a half years old), four new molars emerge behind the first set, finishing the set of 20 deciduous teeth. Of course, this is how it usually goes. Every baby’s mouth is different, so if you see something out of the ordinary, feel free to ask your dentist about it.
The tender pains of teething
During the process of baby teeth eruption, the gums above the sprouting baby teeth become swollen and a painful, which is the classic source of a teething baby’s irritability. Your baby will also have the insatiable desire to chew on toys to help put pressure on painful gums. Baby teeth growth is followed by increased saliva secretion, too, so you might notice a rash around your baby’s mouth and neck as a consequence. This is common, and nothing to worry about.
The funny thing about baby teeth
The funny thing about baby teeth is, after all that development and work, they start falling out between ages five and seven. This is one of the magical experiences of childhood that will also start to reveal what the oral health reality might be for your child as he or she reaches adolescence. Are teeth coming in straight? Could braces be in their future? Whatever the case, give your children their best shot at good oral hygiene by modeling good habits of your own!
via Blogger How Do Baby Teeth Grow?
We talk about it all the time, and sometimes you find yourself hearing the same lines over and over again. “Brush your teeth; oral hygiene is easy; flossing is really important, too!” But somehow, setting the routine and making the habit for good oral hygiene continues to be hard for most of us.
Oral hygiene doesn’t have to be complicated, even if the reasons behind our “inability” to make the habit leaves us puzzled. Brushing your teeth twice a day is what you’ve always heard, but it’s not enough—especially with most diets today.
Take a look at this snapshot oral hygiene guide for a few reminders about what’s important, and why.
At least once every six months, schedule a routine check-up at your dentist’s office. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned is reason enough to go, but your dentist can also detect issues before they develop into full-scale decay or disease.
Creating new or improved routines can be tough. But the beauty is that, once established, it’s easy to follow the momentum. Take care of your teeth, and keep these tips top-of-mind. When we see you next, we want you to smile big and feel confident doing it!
via Blogger Oral Hygiene: The Ultimate Snapshot Guide
Do you remember a time when your teeth were whiter? Do you look at photos and think about changes to your teeth since you were young? Or, do you find yourself looking at family members or peers whose pearly whites are enviable, and wonder where you went wrong?
Do you feel like you haven’t done enough coffee drinking or smoking in your life to have such a yellow smile?
There’s been hot debate for years whether genetics can leave you pre-disposed to tooth decay. The idea is, if genes dictate absolutely every feature of our natural form, maybe some of us have teeth that become discolored faster. Obviously, something that leaves stains needs to hit your teeth—coffee, cigarette smoke and wine are three famous culprits. But do some people have tooth enamel that’s less resistant to those types of stains?
Are your teeth yellowing thanks to genetics, or other factors?
To start, some people are born with naturally whiter teeth, while others’ are less white. What’s more, each individual tooth in your mouth could sprout as a slightly different shade than its neighbor.
Natural tooth color depends on the structure and density of the tissues that make up your tooth. And though you’re born with a specific composition to your teeth, external factors affect it as well. Most dentists agree that tooth yellowing is usually the consequence of lifestyle, but that’s not to say some people’s teeth don’t get yellower faster.
Any change in the structure of a tooth can alter its color. Meaning, the better your oral hygiene is, the better the chances that you can keep your smile white.
That said, even if all the people in the world avoided smoking and drinking wine and the like, we’d still have differently colored teeth. This proves that there are at least some genetic pre-determinations that come into play.
Which parts of the tooth is responsible for tooth color?
Natural color, plus natural dispositions
Knowing where tooth discoloration occurs, your tooth color is influenced not only by the color teeth come in as, but also by their resistance to external factors. But genetics alone are never to blame for discolored teeth. Lifestyle and trauma to individual teeth continue to be the greatest factors determining tooth color.
If you come from a family with lots of yellow or gray teeth, but not for any lifestyle choice like smoking, you might be genetically pre-disposed to teeth that show stains over time. Take the best care of your teeth that you can, and what yellowing or damage does occur is that much more likely to be reversible.
via Blogger Tooth Color and Genetics
Even if you have a great relationship with your dentist, it’s not uncommon to feel nervous about climbing into the dentist chair. We all know how getting dental work done can stir uncomfortable anxieties. And, with some treatments subjecting you to physical discomfort on top of it, anxiety might seem unavoidable.
Feeling anxious about dentist appointments can manifest itself in a very real fear of getting work done on your teeth. Even when your fear-ridden mind tells you to avoid subjecting yourself to voluntary pain, common sense reminds you that we need to go scheduled dentist appointments for the good of our oral and overall health.
To reduce any emotional symptoms related to dentist visits, we have a few tricks to share. Keep on reading and your next appointment could be a cakewalk.
Whatever the case, and however you decide to cope, fear of going to the dentist isn’t always a bad thing. Some of our patients with the greatest anxiety around visits are also those who take the best care of their teeth! If it means fewer dentist trips, you have every reason to brush and floss after every meal.
via Blogger Tips To Make Your Dentist Visit Less Stressful
Every season has its charm. Summertime has warmth and sunshine, and all the activities that come with it. Perhaps you’ve noticed that, as soon as the sunny weather starts, your diet and eating habits change with it. Outdoor feasts are a summer luxury that means eating richer foods and ice cream treats. And, in the heat, sodas or a cold beer sound especially refreshing. On Sunday, say you and your friends drive to the nearby picnic spot. What do you bring to the picnic? Let us guess: snack foods, heavily dressed sandwiches, candy or fast food, and fruity drinks.
Every time you eat or drink, the pH in your mouth decreases and it becomes more acid-saturated. Once this acidic environment is created, your mouth becomes the perfect place for bacteria to grow. And at the same time, acid attacks your tooth enamel, making it less resistant to stains or decay.
10 oral health tips for staying “in pH balance” this summer
If there is a silver lining to taking care of your teeth while enjoying summer foods and fun, it’s that you can always wait a little while after a meal before flossing and brushing. In fact, study has shown that brushing about 30 minutes after a meal is even more effective at lowering acidic concentrations.
Make sparkling, healthy teeth part of what you think of in summertime! Enjoy your summer foods, but stay smart about your oral hygiene.
via Blogger Summer Oral Health Tips
April is oral cancer awareness month—this is a good time to take heed and visit your dentist for a screening. Get involved—tell your family and friends—everyone should get screened, regardless of gender or whether you smoke or drink.
Is Oral Cancer Common?
Oral and pharyngeal cancer, cancer of the mouth and upper throat, combined kills nearly one person every hour, every day of the year, 24/7/365—around 9,000 individuals in a year. Of the people diagnosed with these types of cancers, only about 60% will live longer than five years.
Moreover, the people who do survive often suffer long-term obstacles, such as trouble eating and speaking or severe facial disfigurement. The death rate associated with oral cancer remains exceptionally high, not because oral cancer is hard to diagnose, but because the malignancy is being discovered late in its development.
Are You at Risk for Oral Cancer?
Oral and throat cancer most often begin in the flat cells, or squamous cells, that cover the surfaces of the lips, tongue, and mouth. Most of the risk factors for oral cancer originate from actions that can be avoided. Some risk factors include heavy consumption of alcohol, tobacco use, infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), poor nutrition, sun exposure, and history of oral cancer. Interestingly, oral cancers are 2x more common in men than in women.
The fastest expanding population of oral cancer patients is healthy, young, nonsmoking individuals due to the HPV virus. Public awareness is the only hope to save lives because we cannot stop the virus from spreading. Doctors urge parents to visit with their children about the risk of oral sex and the vaccination against HPV.
Schedule Your Dental Screening
Your dentist is not only interested in your teeth, but also the general appearance of your tissues. The American Dental Association developed recommendations to help your dentist check for oral cancers.
Your dentist can look for changes that could indicate disease—checking for signs of cancer is a routine part of your dental checkup. A cancer diagnosis cannot be made based off of a visual assessment—only a biopsy from tissue removed from the area can diagnose it. However, your dentist can recognize suspicious-looking areas or lumps that may need further evaluation.
If anything unusual appears, your dentist will likely reexamine you in one to two weeks; it is possible that the spot in question will heal during that time. Another common practice is your dentist may refer you to another dentist for a second opinion. You and your dentist can discuss what might be causing the abnormality and your options. Together, you will decide the ideal next step for you.
How to Perform a Self-Exam to Detect Oral Cancer
Along with routine visits to your dentist, self-exams are crucial in the early detection of oral cancers:
What to look for:
Screening is our best hope of decreasing the mortality rate from this condition. By participating in oral cancer awareness month, you are not only offering a rewarding service to yourself, but you are helping others see the value of oral cancer screening.
Original Source: Early Detection of Oral Cancer Saves Lives
via Blogger Early Detection of Oral Cancer Saves Lives
Corrosive isn’t a word you want to hear in connection to your teeth, but the reality is you want to be smart in protecting your smile and oral health. Teeth are actually porous, which means that sugars and acids can easily get in and break enamel down or leave teeth discolored—and these consequences can show a lot sooner than you’d think.
Sugary foods and beverages promote bacterial growth that leads to decay, not to mention bad breath. Acidic items actually strip your mouth of its natural pH, which allows those same bad bacteria to grow. Acids also eat away at your tooth enamel, inviting decay and discoloration.
Corrosive foods: be careful of double and triple damage
Corrosive foods range the whole gamut of natural and artificial sugars, particularly in the form of hard or sticky sweets. Citrus fruits are a double-whammy, with loads of natural sugar on top of even more natural acid. Sour candies are about as bad as it gets, with artificial sugar, added citric acid and the sticky texture that bonds to your teeth doing damage until you work it off.
If you like chewing on ice, remember: water is healthy in any form, but anything that requires that much “bite” can damage enamel and even chip teeth.
Corrosive beverages: the unshakable
The beverages that are worst for your teeth are also the hardest to kick. Coffee and soda are not only loaded with sugars and caffeine, but are among the biggest culprits for staining teeth, too.
Anything with citric or other acids will also continue to strip your mouth of its natural pH and eat away at enamel. Alcohol strips your mouth of its pH balance and invites bacteria, especially consuming sugary mixed drinks. The worst alcohol for your smile, however, is probably wine, which stains brilliantly and in short time.
Indirect wear and tear: acid reflux
Even if you aren’t prone to acid reflux, foods that make you burp or provoke the heartburn you only occasionally get can add insult to injury in your oral care. Sodas are a common trigger of acid kick-back. Coffee, alcohol and citrus fruits are also high on the list.
The silver lining is that many of the foods and beverages that stain teeth are also the ones that damage enamel, strip pH and cause excessive burping or acid reflux. This means that you can cross some things resolutely off your list. However, other items are so intimately ingrained into your day-to-day that it’s painful to think about giving them up, as much as you want to stop your teeth from yellowing or rotting out.
The good news
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your coffee consumption or sweet-tooth snacking without your teeth falling out of your head. If you’re already good about your morning and bedtime teeth brushing, how about a post-lunch scrub? And could you become one of the few who really flosses?
These foods are corrosive, and however nasty the word it’s a reality to face if you want to keep your teeth. If some of these foods and drinks could literally double as cleaning products, why let them sit on your teeth? Eat what you want, but only if you can take a couple minutes to floss and brush after.
Flossing is as important as brushing once you’ve consumed any of these caustic items, because it helps keep your gums healthy. As much as you think about your teeth, you have to remember that your gums are what hold your teeth in your head. Acidic foods and beverages can lead to receding gums, which is a clear problem if you want healthy teeth.
Stay serious about your oral hygiene. Think about what you put your teeth through, and care for them accordingly.
Read full post at What Corrosive Foods Really Do to Your Teeth
via Blogger What Corrosive Foods Really Do to Your Teeth
With so many teeth whitening products on the market, a bright smile is seemingly available to every one of us. And as much as we all want the sparkling smiles of Hollywood, new questions arise when it comes to the safety of these products and procedures. The simple answer is that teeth whitening is always safe when performed in a dental office under dentist supervision. But what about your other options?
As long as the instructions for home treatments are followed, side-effects are rare—though not absent. A percent of patients reports higher sensitivity in their teeth and gums after whitening. This and other side-effects are not common, but no one wants to be the one who suffers them. To give you a fair shake at avoiding them, we’ve provided you with some guidelines to help you brighten your smile without added risks.
Don’t let yourself become addicted to tooth whitening, or go overboard with any treatment. If you’ve followed the instructions and see results, wait a while before you start with the process again. Once per month is more than enough, while professional treatment is recommended only once every six months.
First Appeared at: 8 Tips For Safe Teeth Whitening
via Blogger 8 Tips For Safe Teeth Whitening
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