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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