Monday, June 20, 2011

5 Best Foods that Help to Protect Your Teeth

Protecting your teeth is not just about brushing, flossing and going for your six-month check-ups.  In order to properly protect your teeth, you need to choose the right foods and limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you eat and drink. The foods we consume can either function to decay/destroy our teeth or they can help to protect them from harmful bacteria and plaque.  By choosing the right foods you can naturally fight bacteria, strengthen enamel, remove plaque, and freshen breathe.  Here are 5 foods that go a long way to protect your teeth so that you can have a bright white smile for years to come.  

1. Water - When it comes to what you put in your mouth, water is the best consumable product for periodontal health.  Drinking water helps remove loose particles present in your mouth, preventing them from aiding the progress of tooth decay.  Water consumption also helps keep your mouth hydrated, slowing the process of bacteria and plaque.  Bacteria thrive in a dry mouth. 

2. Vitamin CVitamin C is another consumable that aids in the fight against tooth decay.  Healthy gums require a regular dose of vitamin C.  Fruits like kiwi, oranges, grapefruits, etc. are loaded with this mouth friendly vitamins.

3. Raw Celery, Onions, Mint Leaves - Eating celery can actually benefit your teeth and gums.  Celery’s rough texture helps clear food on and between your teeth.  Not only that, but chewing celery encourages saliva production which helps neutralize cavity causing bacteria in your mouth, indirectly which prevents the build up of plaque and helps to strengthen our gums. Onions have natural antibacterial sulfur compound that helps to fight the sulfuric acid released from cavity causing bacteria. Eating peeled raw onions is the best way to release the natural antibacterial into your mouth. Mint leaves after eating a meal will help to keep your breath smelling fresh.  Mint leaves contain monoterpenes, monoterpenes is a substance that travels to your lungs where it releases a sweet fresh smell.  Your lungs functions to push the smell out of your mouth creating fresh minty breathe. 

4. Cheese – Cheese helps protect your teeth in a variety of ways.  First, cheese helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth, balancing out the pH levels making your mouth less acidic. Moreover cheese provides calcium and phosphate, a key building block in tooth enamel. Cheese also encourages saliva production.

5.Sesame Seeds - Seeds dense material helps to prevent the build up of plaque and breaks up caked in plaque.  Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium, which helps to rebuild tooth enamel.  Primitive humans ate lots of seeds, which helped to protect their teeth from cavities before the invention of toothbrushes.

Other than these food there are wasabi, green tea, apples, sprouts of beans, glass of milk, yogurt or fresh fruits are also good for healthy teeth and gums. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dental Myths vs Facts

Dental problems are among the most ancient and wide spread diseases affecting mankind. The misconceptions quite often lead to complications of the disease causing increased difficulty in management of the condition. Following are the myths (dental myths ) generally associated with dental care.

Chocolate Eating causes caries/ cavities/ tooth decay 

This is true only if you do not rinse your mouth properly after eating the chocolate. The chocolate particles stick to your tooth and the decay causing bacteria reacts with these food particles to produce acids which are mainly responsible for tooth enamel erosion and decay.

Brushing my teeth several times a day harms the enamel 
This is partially true. Usually, it is enough to brush your teeth two times a day, but if you have an opportunity to brush your teeth more frequently (for example, after every meal), use a soft or extra soft toothbrush.

Upper teeth in children protrudes because of Thumb sucking habit
Thumb sucking is a normal habit for infants and the children feel happy and secure by thumb sucking. This habit starts decreasing one the child reaches 3 years. If the habit continues beyond the age of 4 to 5 years there is a cause for concern because it causes the problem of forward placement of the teeth. You must consult a dental surgeon on this habit if the habit is severe and more frequent.

Decay in Baby Teeth is not a Problem
Parents are of the opinion that there is no need for brushing baby teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene because they will be falling after sometime. They believe dental care of babies can start only after the babies get permanent teeth. In fact, the permanent teeth are growing under the primary teeth and tooth decay in primary teeth will result in damage to permanent teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth might result in improper positioning of the permanent teeth thereby necessitating orthodontic treatment in future.

Extraction of upper teeth will affect vision 
Not true. This is a misconception. Treating the upper teeth or extracting it has nothing to do with vision.

Worms are responsible for Tooth Decay 
Not true. Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel is destroyed. Food items such as pop, milk, raisins, candy and cake contain sugars, carbohydrates and starches and if these items stay on the teeth for longer periods it will cause tooth decay. Bacteria inside your mouth react with such foods and produce acids. These acids cause erosion of the enamel on your tooth which in turn results in tooth decay over a period of time.

Professional cleaning/scaling/removal of tartar loosens the teeth
Teeth are held firmly by the supporting tissues of the periodontium including bone. Bad oral hygiene results in the deposition of tartar /calculus on the tooth surface. These deposits irritate the gums and can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If the tartar is not removed, the gums may recede and the supporting bone around the teeth gets destroyed. The tartar on the teeth thus causes great harm to the supporting tissues of the teeth. However, patients may experience slight mobility of the teeth after tartar is removed as it kind of binds the teeth together. Professional cleaning removes this tartar and arrests further destruction of supporting bone. Removal of tartar deposits only helps to recover the health of supporting structures. This chain of events does not take place in people who have dental checkup regularly and experiences good dental health.

So, don't fall prey to this myth.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Animal Dentistry

Veterinary dentistry popularly known as animal dentistry is the field of dentistry applied to the care of animals. It provides prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions, diseases, and disorders of the oral cavity (mouth) and the maxillofacial region (bones and jaws) as it relates to animals. In the United States, veterinary dentistry is one of 20 veterinary specialties recognized nowadays. Veterinary dentists offer services in the fields of endodontics, radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral medicine, orthodontics, pedodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. Similar to human dentists, they treat conditions such as tooth decay, jaw fractures, malocclusions, oral cancer, periodontal (gums) disease, and stomatitis (infections) and other conditions.

Braces, teeth cleaning, tooth reconstruction, root canals, cleft palate surgeries and other dental procedures used to be limited to human beings. But nowadays, more human beings are willing to pay to improve the health and comfort of their pets by taking them to the dentist.

Common problems associated with animals :
One of the most common problems seen is periodontal disease (gum disease). This is quite prevalent among animals, mainly because they don’t brush. If left untreated, the teeth may become loosen and fall out, thereby preventing the animals from eating properly. To fix the problem, the teeth are cleaned thoroughly. In severe cases, a surgical procedure is done to improve the contour of the gums.

Fractured teeth are the second most common problem. A root canal treatment is done, the nerve, blood vessels and pulp are removed and filled with some material. If left untreated, abscesses can form and this can kill an animal.

The third most important problem is fractured jaws. This is treated with the help of surgical procedures done under anesthesia.
Cancer of the oral cavity is fairly common.
Generally, dentistry treatments for animals are derived from treatments developed for humans, but there are many biological differences between human and other animals that need to be studied.

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