October 02, 2009

Oral piercing and dental health problems

oral piercing
Lip piercing, tongue piercing or cheek piercing are quiet popular, I personally love piercings and I’ve been thinking about getting one once I finish my braces treatment. However, before you or I hit the piercing parlor we should have certain consideration in mind:

The most common dental problems we can have if get oral piercings are fractured teeth and infection. Teeth can get chipped or fractured when we eat, talk, chew or even sleep. If a tooth gets fractured on the enamel it would only need a filling, but if it goes deepen then a root canal or extraction would be necessary.

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September 30, 2009

Exercises to stop grinding teeth

grinding teeth
Grinding teeth (bruxism in dental jargon) is like snoring or sleep apnea, you do not you have it until somebody else tells you. You can be making the creepiest sounds with your mouth at night but you can stay totally unaware of it if you sleep alone, however your mouth would give you’re the alert.

Worn-out and cracked teeth and aching jaw can be the signs of hectic teeth at night. One common solution is sleeping a teeth grinding guard that I’m sure most people hate wearing or find useless. That is why I want to present you this natural solution: mouth exercises.

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September 28, 2009

Tips for sensitive teeth care

sensitive teeth
Although you have the whitest and straight marbles, having sensitive teeth can make your perfect smile turn into a sour grin.

The sudden ache you feel is caused is produced by the disturbance on the nerve endings of your teeth. No too cold neither too hot drinks, nor too sour or sweet food are good for me. Even opening my mouth can let the air make me ache. Damn, how can I enjoy life like this?

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April 06, 2009

Braces color, should I go colored or white?

On a previous post we talked about those little O-like colored rubber bands called ligatures, now let’s talk aesthetics for all you “dental fashionistas”…

Braces colors are like the rainbow, and considering that wearing braces is far from favoring to our looks, having the chance top choose our braces color is such a luxury.

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April 03, 2009

Braces ligatures, what are they?

If you are getting your braces soon you should know the dentist will place little rubber bands called ligatures that have the noble duty of fixing the archwire to the braces.

These ligatures will be changed on a frequent braces determined by your dentist (I get mine changed every weekend or once every two weeks).

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April 01, 2009

Braces bands, what are they?

Let’s set the record straight: braces bands are made of stainless steel, not rubber and they can only be removed by your dentist when your orthodontic treatment ends.

Braces bands are as metal covers placed around the upper and lower molars that serve as anchorage for the arch wire.

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March 31, 2009

How to take care of dental braces

As a grown-up you are conscious that dental braces are a delicate thing, and after all you the money and time invested in them, you better take good care of them.

The problem is with children who usually have hard time getting used to them, that is why parents must establish these braces dental care rules before finding their kid trying to remove them with tweezers, scissors and God knows with what else.

Avoid eating hard or sticky foods as candy, ice, and bubble gum (sorry, but this is a definitely NO, NO) and others that can break the arch wire and/or the braces, and therefore delay your treatment.

Do not bite your nails, pencils, toothpicks or any other object that can tweak the arch wire and alter the normal movement of your teeth.

Use braces toothbrush and try to give yourself the most through brushing and flossing to prevent pieces of food and sugar get stuck between the braces and form tartar, that will lead to gum inflammation and bleeding, cavities and teeth stains.

In case one of the braces or the arch wire come off, set an appointment with your dentist to fix it. Remember making the best of your time.

Do not miss your dental appointments. Missing one means losing three weeks of effective treatment that might harm your teeth and gums, AND you will not get the results you expect.

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March 30, 2009

Wisdom tooth bacterial infection

In case wisdom teeth emerge partially, and the rest of them stay submerged, the surrounding gum may get infected and inflamed.

This leads to swelling of the cheek and the neck. Becomes worse in times of stress… This swelling, called pericornitis, tends to become acute in times of high stress when the immune system is not at its best condition, and when bacteria lie in wait for of infection the crown of the wisdom tooth.

How bacteria gets into wisdom teeth

Usually at the end of the mouth, where wisdom teeth are placed, there is a gum flap that may extend over the tooth’s surface. Debris and food may get trapped inside under this gum, and this obviously leads to infection.

When wisdom teeth emerge well or bad. When the wisdom tooth emerges in good position, the flap can be trimmed, so any infection will be avoided. This procedure is called Operculectomy.

When the tooth does not emerge because there is no place for it, then it has to be extracted. A wisdom tooth removal is done by an oral surgeon.

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March 27, 2009

Rules of thumb for toothbrush care

Although you can always buy a new toothbrush, you still must take care of it not only to make it last longer but to prevent dental disease and injured caused by toothbrushes in bad conditions.

  • First rule of thumb is NEVER sharing your toothbrush with anybody else, not even your closest relatives or partner. This is an important issue for people with vulnerable immune systems or infectious diseases as oral herpes and HIV/AIDS. 
  • Second rule: Change your toothbrush every three or four months. Some people seem they only renew their toothbrush when the last bristle comes off!  
  • Third rule: This is not only because an old toothbrush is a little bag of bacteria, but also because it loose its mechanical efficiency. 
  • Fourth rule: Make sure you buy a toothbrush holder that keeps them separated. 
  • Fifth rule: Do not cover them or keep them in closed cases (attention with the travel toothbrush). The moist environment within the case favors bacterial growth more than open air.  
Finally, I have heard the trick of washing your toothbrush in a dishwasher or sterilizing it in a microwave. Just NO: domestic disaster. 

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March 26, 2009

Braces rubber bands: how to cope with them

If you have dental braces - as I proudly do- you know what a nag the rubber bands are, they hurt when the dentist replaces them and how terribly tarnished they look after a week more or less.

Braces rubber bands have a very important purpose: moving you teeth back and forward, depending on the purpose the dentist wants to give them. These long elastics are placed in diagonal way. They are not the little ligatures attached to each brace.

At first they hurt as hell because they are very tight, so you can change them frequently. It is better you take off their rubber bands before each meal and place new one after eating and also before going to bed.

I also recommend you avoiding hard-chewing meals as bread and meat, too (I have some ice cream to ease the pain).

What happen if I swallow one of my braces rubber bands?

Do not worry; braces bands are made of medical latex safe for human consumption. It will be evacuated through the feces.

They are only dangerous if you swallow too many of them, which only a child would do, so keep an eye when you child is changing his braces rubber bands.

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March 25, 2009

Is toothpaste dangerous for my teeth?

Have you ever read those little letters on your toothpaste tube? Probably you have, but the thing is: Do you understand what those long names mean?

Soap, shampoo, beauty products…and toothpaste, they all contain chemicals. And despite these are well integrated within the products, they can be released over time as result of the constant use and cause damage to your health and the environment.

Dental toothpaste contains triclosan, an antibacterial substance that can irritate your eyes and skin, and that might cause cancer.

A publication of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University indicates that the combination of water chlorine and the antibacterial agents of triclosan that some toothpastes have could create cancerous chloroform.

Colgate toothpaste contains triclosan and other products of Colgate-Palmolive have it too. However, it contains it minimal quantities and the chloroform created when combined with water is minimal as well, as their have stated due to the investigation of Chinese authorities on soaps and toothpastes with triclosan.

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March 24, 2009

Breath RX, dental product of the day

What is this Breath RX that has been haunting me for days?

Breath RX is an oral care system composed by whitening toothpaste, tongue scraper toothbrush and antibacterial mouth rinse. Other complementary products mints, gumballs and breath spray: a complete oral army to fight bad breath.

Breath RX Fresh Breath System was developed by Dr. Bill Dorfman, an American dentist who gained media recognition through the Extreme Makeover Dentist show.

BreathRX 1-2-3 blue gel system consists of:

Breath RX toothpaste with fluoride for tartar protection.

Breath RX Brush: Tongue scraping my dears. That is the key for good tooth brushing. Most people make the mistake of just brush their teeth, but what about the biggest source of bacteria, our tongue?

I think it is not much the toothbrush, but your thoroughness when brushing what makes the difference.

Breath RX Rinse is alcohol and sugar free. Two very important aspects for me, since mouthwashes with alcohol tend to irritate your mouth. And in case you are diabetic, sugar free mouth rinses are great relief if you accidentally swallow it.

Source: Breath RX

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March 23, 2009

Breath stinks? It could be your heart

When there is something going on within us our own organism is the first one to send us the alarm. And bad breath…gee, what an alarm it is!

If you have been lots of popping mints and Listerine strips lately with no success, you should book an appointment with the doctor because that stinky breath might be the symptom of severe conditions.

Some conditions as HIV/AIDS, periodontal disease, cancer, eating disorders, STD’s, among others break out in our mouth.

In the case of heart disease, a bad dental health can cause conditions in other parts of the body.

How come if my breath stinks my heart gets affected?

Let’s start by the well-known fact that our mouth if full of bacteria. In the cleanest of mouths, there are still a lot of bacteria. Some of these are good for our mouth while others are just hazardous for our health when they overpopulate.

The best example of this is gum disease. The bad bacteria of this condition can get into the bloodstream and therefore have a first class trip through other parts of our body.

Now, the challenge for scientists is replace the good bacteria, which can be done with a probiotic mint as EvoraPlus that prevents the growth of the bad guy and hence, the bad breath.

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February 16, 2009

Homemade paste for mouth ulcer

Mouth ulcers really suck; they are so painful and embarrassing if you want to kiss someone (you just avoid it). 

Mouth ulcers are still a mysterious condition, though we know that citrics have healing and relieving properties that we can use to prepare a homemade remedy against mouth sores. So this is how we do it:

Step 1: Take some oranges and lemons, peel them and put the skins to dry on fire. Toast them to make them get dry but do not let them get burnt.

Step 2: Grind the skins and blend them with toothpaste (any toothpaste). Pour the mix in a tight-closed container.

Step 3: Brush your teeth every morning and evening with this paste.

You will see how mouth sores reduce and disappear. This homemade paste helps disinfect your mouth and prevent the outbreak of mouth ulcers. 

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February 12, 2009

Brushing baby teeth

Your newborn baby does not have any teeth yet, so you do not have to "brush" her teeth as if she were a bigger kid. However, you do have to take her of her gums. Dental care for children should be as early as possible.

From 0 to 18 months

What most pediatricians recommend is dipping a gauze pad in bottle water and introducing it gently with clean hands into the baby's mouth. Use your index o pinky finger to cleanse her upper and lower gums and under the tongue. If it is necessary, change the gauze.

From 18 to 29 months

Buy a small baby toothbrush and a small plastic cup for it. Make sure the bristles are very soft. Rinse it and introduce it gently in his mouth and brush in circles the upper and lower teeth and molars, while doing so rinse the toothbrush. Let the baby spit, though if you can not make her do so just rinse the toothbrush as many times needed.

Older than 29 months

If your kid can speak and understand basic instructions teach him how to brush his teeth by himself. Put a bit of toothpaste on his toothbrush or dental rinse gel and emphasize on making him rinse his mouth.

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February 06, 2009

Fiber avoids teeth problems in children

We know that American nutrition has been in deep trouble for long, butluckily more and more people are becoming aware and trying to have a healthier lifestyle. Good. And here goes one more reason to make change happen: fiber rich foods will keep you children teeth problem free

Apples, carrots, jam beans and other fiber rich foods must take part in your child’s daily diet, but you have to serve them in large slices to make him chew in order to strengthen his bite

When you fee you child with soft, mashed, minced or grinded foods you are not making him chew enough and this is the main cause of misaligned or crooked teeth due to the lack of space in the gums.  

Your child’s jaw needs to work out as any other muscle or bone in his body. So, as soon as he is able to chew, replace the baby food for sliced –not grated- food to exercise his jaw bones.

In addition to fiber enriching your child’s diet, you can prevent he develops teeth problems by teaching good dental hygiene habits as soon as his first tooth comes up to avoid the most common teeth problems such as cavities, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and abscesses. 

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February 05, 2009

Invisalign: invisible braces

Braces are far from sexy and comfortable – though some people fancy them sexually, but this is not our subject- therefore, dentists came up with one the coolest dentistry innovations to make patients have and better looking: Invisalign, an invisible way to straighten teeth without ugly looking braces! 

Invisalign consists of custom made invisible retainers that hold your teeth instead of the heavy duty wires and braces. You wear the invisalign aligners for two weeks, you just take them off to eat, drink, brush, floss, etc. The dentist will replace the invisalign retainers with the next in the series – your teeth will move little by little- until your teeth adapt to the final position he has determined.

To get Invisalign braces you have to consult Invisalign certified dentists (this is a relatively new dentistry treatment, so there are not many good orthodontists out there doing it) that will determine the best alignment for both your appearance and your bite.  

If the dentist determines you are a perfect Invisalign candidate, congrats! The next step is taking molds and taking X-rays or digital pictures from your teeth, from which your aligners will be fashioned. The number of aligners you will depend on how much movement your teeth need to get straightened.

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February 04, 2009

Am I good candidate for tooth bleaching?

We all want brighter and whiter teeth for sure; it is our right to look good and fab smile. However, tooth bleaching is not necessarily the best solution for you... or for me.

Most people decide to take over the bleaching treatment by themselves getting over-the-counter whitening products, however the wisest thing to do is going to the dentist to get an evaluation of your dental condition, and therefore recommend the best dental solution for your case.  

Depending on the type and condition of your dental stains, you dentist will suggest among these the best tooth bleaching treatment for you:  

  • Professional dental cleaning to get rid of external stains produce by food and tobacco. 
  • Bleaching toothpaste to get rid of shallow stains. (In order to get better results you may use teeth whitening gel and teeth whitening strips). 
  • Professional dentist bleaching or home bleaching is for the hardest yellow stains.  
  • Veneers and fillings are for reconstructing the most affected teeth or getting specific results. 

Great, seems I have plenty of options, but still what works better for me?

If you have very yellow teeth you are quite lucky. That’s right, you are because your teeth respond better to bleaching than those with a grayish o brownish coloring, or even better than teeth stained by tetracycline (a.k.a. Sumycin, Terramycin, Tetracyn, Panmycin, etc.) and dental flouring can not get totally white after bleaching. 

If you have veneers, fillings or crowns on your frontal teeth, dental bleaching is NOT for you because the dental bleacher will have no effect on the material of these dental applications.  

If you have sensitive teeth and or periodontal disease, you should avoid chemical tooth whitening since they can irritate your gums. 

If you have serious teeth and jaw problems, dental crowns and veneers are way better you give you a perfect looking white smile. 

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February 03, 2009

Feeding you baby asleep boosts dental cavities

Breastfeeding your child asleep boosts “bottle cavities” due to the cleansing effect of saliva decreases during sleep time, leaving their teeth unprotected to the high content of sugar concentrated in his/her mouth.

These bottle cavities attack milk teeth and they can be very destructive: they can even damage fifteen dental pieces!

This kind of dental cavities mainly appear in 6-month and four to five-year-old children. It starts destroying the enamel. Small white stains appear in your baby’s teeth that eventually go yellow, spread and become darker. 

The reason why these awful dental stains appear is the prolonged contact your baby’s teeth have with sugar-rich liquids and when you give them a pacifier dipped in sugar, but especially when you let him sleep with the bottle filled with milk or processed juices.

No surprise mother’s milk is the best solution for dental cavities. Breast milk fat works as dental protection. Also, it is better you get your baby used to drinking water instead of industrial juices and keep the pacifiers and bottle only until he is two years old. It is necessary he learns to chew by himself, so his jaw gets stronger and he can segregate saliva. 

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February 02, 2009

Molars and teeth can grow again with mother cells

Teeth and molars would be able to be regenerated in a matter of five or ten years, indicates the Washington Post.  

In theory, it would be possible to remove a damaged tooth from your mouth and reconstruct it out from the mother cells within it and transplant it again in your mouth, which means a much better and compatible alternative to replace missing teeth than metallic dental implants used nowadays.

Titanium dental implants are prone to get loose and produce infections as gingivitis and periodontitis due to the incompatibility between the bone and the dental implant.

This new treatments means great news for patients who can not be candidates –they have not enough bone in their jaws to support titanium screws - for regular dental implant surgery or anyone who prefers dental implants derived from his own natural teeth and molars.

This naturally leads us to think about our milk teeth and wisdom molars, they are just the perfect pieces for dental regeneration (means the days of our good old friend the tooth fairy will come to an end?).

In these days of recycling, we see something like this happening other formerly considered waste materials like newborn umbilical cords, since new therapeutic uses are discovered for mother cells contained in the blood of umbilical cords. 

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