June 29, 2006

Simple and easy actions to have a healthy smile

1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Try to do it just after getting up and before going to sleep. One a day use dental floss or inter dental cleaner to have deeper dental hygiene and take off the rest of foods from the places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Make sure to take mouth washer after brushing. Fluoride protects dental deterioration at any age. Most communities in the U.S. receive services of running water with added fluoride. Bu not everybody lives in a community with a centralized, public or private, resource of fluoride water. Consult your health or water department of your community to know if there is fluoride in your water.
Brush gently every side of each tooth with a soft-haired toothbrush and with fluoride toothpaste on. Circular and short movements forward and backwards give the best results.
Take your time to brush along your gums and brush smoothly your tongue to remove plaque and food rests. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you the appropriate way to use dental floss.
Change your toothbrush at least every three months or before if you fin it very wasted. A new toothbrush removes more plaque then one that has over three months of use.

If you use dentures make sure to take it off at night and wash it before put it on the next day.

2. Try to have a healthy lifestyle. We know it is hard these days but it is a must. Eat healthy food. Reduce dental deterioration by brushing your teeth after meals and avoiding sugar foods between meals.

Do not smoke. Smoking increases periodontal disease risks, oral and throat cancer and oral infections by fungus.

If you drink alcohol only drink it in a moderate way, no more than one drink for women and no more of two for men. The excessive consume of alcohol increases oral and throat cancer too. When you consume alcohol and tobacco you have much a much higher risk or oral cancer than taking just one of them.

3. Visit the dentist regularly. Having an oral exam twice a year helps to find out the early signs of an oral disease. During regular check-ups dentists may find out signs of nutritional deficiencies, diseases, infections, immunologic alterations, injuries and some types of cancers.

Make an appointment ASAP if your gums bleed frequently, if you notice any red or white spot on them or on your tongue, if you have a non-stop mouth or jaw pain, if you have blisters that don’t heal in weeks or if you have problems to chew of swallow.

Besides dentists there are other professionals who provide oral attention:

Dental hygienists: they are part of your dentist’s staff. They clean gums and teeth, and teach patients how to prevent oral diseases and to keep oral health.

Periodontists: Dentists specialized in periodontal diseases, place dental implants or fake ones.
Oral surgeons: dentists who take biopsies (take tissues sample to examine them with a microscope) and practice oral surgeries.

4. If you have another health problem think how it may affect your oral health. For instance, if you take medication that cause you oral dryness, ask your dentist or dental hygienist if there is another medicine you can take instead. Get an oral exam before starting a cancer treatment. If you have diabetes it is very vital to keep a good oral health to prevent periodontal diseases.

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June 24, 2006

Teens and oral health

There is evidence that reveals periodontal disease may increase during adolescence for lack of motivation in practicing oral health. Children who keep good oral health habits until the 13 years old have more chances of keeping brushing and using floss than those kids who were never taught an appropriate oral health care.

Hormonal changes related to puberty may increase in teenagers the risk of developing periodontal disease. During adolescence, the level increase of sexual hormones like progesterone y possible estrogens cause and augmentation in gums bloodstream. This may cause more gum sensibility and a reaction much stronger to any simple irritation, and even small rests of food and tartar.

During this phase, gums may get irritated, red and feel pain. As long as youngsters are passing to adolescence, the gum inflammation starts decreasing. In spite of this it is still very important to follow a good oral health regime during puberty that includes daily brushing and the use of dental floss. In some cases, a dental specialist might recommend a periodontal therapy to help preventing harm to the tooth’s surrounding tissues and bone.
Advice for parents

Early diagnose is important to get a successful treatment for periodontal diseases. For this, it is important kids receive a periodontal exam as a part of their visit to the dentist. You must consider a general medical evaluation for teenagers with a severe periodontitis, especially if it seems to be resistant to therapy.

Many medications may get the mouth dry or create other oral health menaces. Make sure to tell your oral health professional about any other medicine you child is taking.

Observe very well if your son or daughter grind his/her teeth. Teeth grinding may increase the periodontal disease risk besides causing teeth getting fractured and splintered. Dentists can make custom mouth trays to avoid grinding at night.

Investigators suggest periodontal disease might be contagious through saliva. This means, that the common contact with saliva among relatives and couples may expose kids and teenagers to come down with this disease from a close person. So, if someone in the family or if your children have a mate they all should go to a specialist to receive a periodontal evaluation.

The most preventive measure against periodontal disease is definitely establishing good health care habits in your kids at a very early age. There are three basic preventive measures to help your children keep a good oral health:

- Once your child is 12 months old begin establishing seriously the first oral health habits. You may at that age starting using toothpaste for brushing. But, use only a little bit of it and push it inside the toothbrush hair for avoiding you kid swallowing it up. And when the spaces between the teeth start closing, it is time to use the floss then.

- Be a role model: practice good health care habits. Make your family regularly visit the dentist for check-ups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.

- Examine your child’s mouth to see if there are any signs of periodontal disease like gum bleeding, gums getting red and swollen, gum receding and bad breathe.

If your child has now bad oral health habit, make the endeavor of leading him or her to change them ASAP. It is much easier to change habits in kids and teens than in grown-ups. If your child models his or her behavior following yours, it is logic you should serve as a positive oral health role model for him or her. A healthy smile, fresh breathe and strong teeth contribute to the appearance of the teenager, as well as his or her self-confidence and self-esteem.

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June 23, 2006

Children Oral Health Care

Many people usually think periodontal disease is an adult’s problem. Nevertheless, studies indicate that gingivitis (first phase of periodontal disease) is universally found in children and teenagers. The most advanced phases of periodontal disease are rarer in kids than in adults, but they may occur.

Making sure to have healthy teeth as a grown-up, relies on establishing appropriate oral health habits as a child. Parents can good oral habits at home. For example, parents may award their kids when playing tooth fairy when one of their teeth gets off or when the child passes a dental exam.

Types of child periodontal diseases

Chronic gingivitis: It is quite common among in children. It generally causes gums get easily inflamed, red and bleeding. Gingivitis can be prevented and treated following a customary routine of brushing, using dental floss and visiting the dentist. If your child does not receive medical treatment on time, the disease may progress over time towards more serious of periodontal disease.

Aggressive periodontitis mat affect the healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis happens to adolescents and young adults too, and mainly affects the primary molars and the cutting or incisor teeth (the frontal ones). It is characterized by the severe loose of the alveolar bone, and ironically, patients form little tartar or dental plaque.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may start around puberty and may involve all the mouth. By gum inflammation and big accumulations of dental plaque. Over time it might produce teeth get loose. Periodontitis associated with systemic diseases happens in children, teenagers as in adults too. Among the conditions that make children more susceptible to this disease are the following ones:

Down syndrome
Papillon-Lefevre syndrome
Diabetes Type 1: In recent research among 263 people with diabetes type 1 between 11-18 years old, 10% had evident periodontitis

  • There are 4 basic signs that will indicate you if your child has periodontitis:
    – Gums bleed when brushing your teeth, using dental floss or at any time
    – Gums inflamed and red
    – Receded gums from the teeth, even exposing the roots
    – Bad breath that doesn’t disappear even after brushing or using floss.

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    June 21, 2006

    What is oral health?

    The word “oral” is referred to mouth, including teeth, gums and the supporting tissues. It is easy taking oral health for granted, but the key is to live day by bay comfortably. Oral tissues are the ones that allow us to smile, sigh, kiss, smell, taste, chew, swallow and cry. They also permit us show a series of feeling through their expressions. Taking good care of these tissues can help avoiding diseases on them and all over the body.

    Which are the most common oral health problems?

    The most frequent oral health problems are definitely cavities and periodontal diseases.


    We are all in jeopardy of having cavities any days along our lives. At reaching adultness, 85% of people have had cavities!

    This is how it happens: it is natural that we have bacteria (germens) inside our mouths. Bacteria merge with saliva and small food rests in our mouths to form an adherent coat onto our teeth (dental plaque). Plaque has teeth wasting acids. These acids can penetrate into our teeth and create holes or cavities in them.

    Periodontal diseases

    They are caused by infections or plaque around our teeth, and they are a usual cause of teeth loss after the 35 years old. The first phase of periodontal diseases and one of the most common is gingivitis. Gingivitis irritates gums and makes them bleed and get swollen. Periodontal diseases are more frequent while people grow old, and most people present signs of them between their 30 or 40 years old.

    Periodontitis is a type of more serious periodontal illness, which is left aside for treatment becomes worse as long as infectious focuses are formed between teeth and gums. This makes gums get separated from their respective teeth and their supporting bones get deteriorated as well. Id teeth do not have a support, they may decay. This illness is caused by mouth bacteria. You have more possibilities of getting infected of this if:

    Someone in your family has it.

    You are a smoker.

    Have diabetes or HIV.

    When plaque is not removed is hardens forming a dental calculus (tartar). As long as plaque and calculus keep on accumulating, gums start receding (getting away from teeth) and forming bags between teeth and gums.

    When the periodontitis is advanced gums recede much more destroying more the bone and the periodontal ligament. Teeth, even the healthy ones, may get loose and get removed.

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    June 17, 2006

    More on dental bonding

    Is dental bonding for you?

    It must be considered when the person has deteriorated, chipped or cracked teeth. When there is a considerable separation between them, or they are too short that produced asymmetry with the neighboring teeth, when there is a dental portion exposed because of gum receding; also to improve the look of discolored teeth or to replace the dark and anti-aesthetic amalgam fillings.

    How is the bonding procedure?

    Phase one: Preparation. This process does not a big especial preparation at all. Only when there is the case of decayed teeth the dentist will have to apply anesthesia and select a tooth color-matching composite resin.

    Phase two: The process. The tooth’s surface will be filed for putting on a conditioning liquid on it in order to allow the bonding material to adhere to it. The composite resin once applied is shaped and smoothed as it is desired. Then an UV laser is used to harden the material, and the dentist will trim, shape and polish the tooth until it looks like the rest of your teeth. This procedure takes from 30-60 minutes per teeth.

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    June 13, 2006

    Cosmetic Dentistry

    Comprends a group of techniques and procedures used to improve teeth, smile and personal image. It is afact that an extreme smilemakover can have astonishing results on a person’s apperance and confidence that will lead to social, romantic and career success.

    Cosmetic dentists make use of one technique or procedure or combinate them to enhance teeth, gums and finally the complete smile. In recent years cosmetic dentistry has experimented an amazing advance and development that has gone beyond the typical extractions and amalgam fillings to dental implants and full mouth reconstructions.

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    June 04, 2006

    Alternative cosmetic dentistry techniques

    Crowns: Protective covers made from porcelain or ceramic which are located over the tooth’s surface to hide dental cracks and yellowish stains. To start the procedure each teeth is shaped to pu on it the crown with local anaesthetic. Then a tooth impression is taken for the dental lab to elaborate a crown of similar color. In the meantime, the patient will be placed with temporary crowns for 2-3 weeks. And finally, on the second visit the final crowns will be bonded into teeth.

    Keynote: A good crown placement is done when the crowns look like natural teeth and can go along with implants or any other dental reconstruction technique.

    Bonding: This is another altenative to cosmetic dentistry which consists on composite resin that is molded onto the teeth to change their color and shape. The resin material can stain and chip over time. This procedure can usually be done in one office visit.

    Implants: complex pieces formed by a titanium rod –compatible material with the tooth’s tissues, bones and nerves- used as a base for an artificial tooth, as well for bridges, crowns or dentures. This is probably the most expensive alternative of all since the cost is very high per tooth! But it’s long-lasting -15 years approximately- and is quite suitable for those poeple who have lost most of thier dental pieces.

    Dental bridges: In case a teeth has been lost or removed a dental color-matching bridge is placed between the gap left among the adjacent teeth. A special lab-made structure that incorporates a hollow crown to support the lost dental piece, and then the bridge if fitted in the missing tooth’s place.

    It’s more the most preferred among permanent treatments since it’s more comfortable and less invasive than a fake denture.

    Dental orthodontics or “braces”: Even though is more usual in teenagers, nowadays more adults are going for using braces. Neverthless the process for them is lenghty due to the fact that their bones are already developed and not in continuous movement and realigning as in teens. Braces are small pieces applied on the tooth’s frontal face supported by a wire and very small bands per piece, bespoken to realign teeth’s position.

    Before their colocation some procedures must come first like cavities restoring, getting x-rays of the jawbone and taking samples of the teeth’s alignment. This is also a very expensive treatment and demands lot of patience from the patient since it takes at least 1 year or continuous visits to the dentist.

    Keynote: now there are removable braces for a period of months and invisible braces too (invasilign), and the results are as good as the regular braces, but depends on the specialist’s determination according to the particularities of each case.

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    June 03, 2006

    Cool and fashionable Veneers

    Venners are nowadays the most popular alternative in cosmetic dentistry. They are small delicate facings or “shells” of only 1mm thick made of porcelain that due to its color and shape look pretty much like contact lenses or fake fingernails.

    They are aimed to improve and stylish teeth’s appearance, for people who have very small teeth, separated, with irregular sizes (not twisted) or not severely stained.

    The process is based on trimming each tooth’s enamel to place each veneer on it, so its is partially invasive and it is IRREVERSIBLE, so you must be very sure of undergoing this technique.

    Veeners’ waste goes from just 0.7 to 0.8 mm per year; their duration is for 10 years approximately, after which you will have to get replacements. You can have your meals without any problem, just avoid eating bones and opening anything with your teeth for not damaging the veneers.

    The veeenring procedure is generally doen in only 2 dentist visits, between them the peatient witll be fitted temporary veneers till the bonding of the final ones.

    Venners have become quite popular lately and not only among celebrities –have you noticed Hillary Duff’s brand new smile?- but also to the common people like you and me. They represent a good and very quick and aesthetic alternative to teeth bleaching, and less painful too.

    Venners look nice are comfortable and yes, still affordable if you get a good dental health care plan.

    They are different types of veneers depending on the material they are made such as:

    Composite veneers

    They are made in one session in the clinic, no previous lab phase is required.

    They modify the color and shape of our teeth. This is a conventional technique since it doesn’t need the dentist to carve upon the teeth.

    The only inconvenient is that these veeners may suffer some color modifications when time passes by. That’s why an anual polishing is reccomended by specialists.

    Porcelain veneers

    They are lab-made structures thatr ecover the teeth’s frontal side. Witht hem the teeth’s color and shape can be modified. As well as porcelain crowns, they need teth carving producing the loss of some tenths from dental tissue.

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