Not a Fan of Flossing? Try These Alternatives.

First there was the toothpick, then there was floss, and now there are a bevy of new dental tools making their way to the shelves of your local stores. Why the need to keep innovating? Simply put: plaque removal is just not fun…but these alternatives sure help!

For those fed up with flossing, or the many who fail to follow through with it altogether, gingivitis is not inevitable. Give these new solutions a try and say goodbye to knotted string, cramped fingers and excessive plaque build up for good.

1. Floss Picks

If you’re overwhelmed by all the new dental care products available, this could be a solid upgrade for you. Floss is strung tightly between two points to provide optimal tension no matter your angle of approach, with a handle for added comfort. Some varieties even come with a tongue scraper as an added bonus, and most are sold in convenient bags that make sharing more hygienic and easy.

2. Electronic Flossers

Now you can completely forget manual flossing and let an electronic device do the job. Similar in appearance to the floss pick but attached to an energy source, vibrations are emitted to remove plaque quickly and efficiently. Having the flossing motion done for you can make the process faster, but you should pay extra attention to the speed setting and pressure applied to your gums to avoid bleeding and other oral injuries.

3. Interdental Brushes/Flossers

It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Instead of using string, a small brush with fine bristles is inserted between the gaps of your teeth. One swift motion in and out is all it takes, quickly removing plaque and gently (but effectively) stimulating your gums in less time than floss. No sawing and string winding are necessary, and it can be done with one hand.

4. Water (or Oral) Irrigators

For comfortable, yet efficient plaque removal, oral irrigators are your best bet. Instead of floss, picks or brushes, strong pulses of water are directed between your teeth to dislodge bacteria and stuck food particles. Oral irrigators are also effective at removing tonsil stones, a common cause of halitosis (bad breath). Home devices can range in size with varying speed options, but portable options also exist for added convenience.

Which One is Right for You

Any of these solutions is better than not flossing at all, but a little research and even a few product trials can help you figure out the best floss alternative for your budget and lifestyle.

Consulting with your dentist can also help narrow down your options based on your oral health. He or she may recommend one option and advise against others due to individual factors such as gum sensitivity, past dental work and orthodontic hardware.

For added assurance on the safety and effectiveness of the product you choose, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the packaging. Finally, always proceed with extra care, and stop immediately if you notice excessive bleeding, receding gum lines or other issues you think may be linked to a flossing/plaque removal product.

Sources:

http://www.oralb.com/topics/dental-floss-picks.aspx

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/flossing-alternatives_n_1119217

Why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?

By: Jennifer Berry, Medical News Today

🤒 Is tooth sensitivity after a filling normal?

Learn the reasons why it occurs, treatments to help relieve tooth sensitivity, and when to see us viaMedical News Today! The Oral Surgery DC Team

A filling is a dental procedure that involves a dentist cleaning away any decay from the tooth and then filling the space with new material.

After injecting a numbing agent around the tooth, the dentist will then clean out the decayed area of the tooth, usually with a dental drill. They will then fill the space with gold, silver amalgam, a composite, or porcelain.

For several hours after having a filling, a person’s face may still feel numb, tingly, itchy, or puffy. They may have difficulty eating, swallowing, talking, or moving their face.

Sometimes, dentists recommend that people avoid eating or drinking for a few hours, as this may result in a person accidentally biting their tongue or cheek.

Once the numbing agent has worn off, these feelings will go away. But, in the following days and weeks, a person may notice some new sensations as they adjust to the new filling.

Sensitivity in the filled tooth or area around it is one of the most common occurrences during this time.

What does sensitivity after a filling feel like?

When a person has a sensitive tooth, they may notice that certain triggers cause a temporary, uncomfortable sensation in the filled tooth or surrounding area. It may feel like a shock of cold or sudden pain that comes on quickly and goes away.

Factors that can trigger tooth sensitivity after a filling include:

  • cold foods or drinks, such as ice cream, popsicles, or beverages with ice
  • hot drinks, such as coffee or tea
  • air hitting the tooth, such as when breathing through the mouth, which may be worse with cold air
  • sugary foods, such as candy
  • acidic foods and drinks, including fruit, juice, and coffee
  • biting down when eating

Why do fillings cause tooth sensitivity?

Some sensitivity after a tooth filling is normal and temporary. Sometimes, however, sensitivity after a filling is due to other causes that need treatment or repair.

Below, we discuss possible reasons for this symptom and when to see a dentist.

An irritated nerve

Short-term tooth sensitivity after a filling usually occurs because the filling procedure has aggravated or caused inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth.

Usually, the tooth’s outer layers — the enamel and cementum — protect the nerve from exposure. But fillings, especially deep ones, can get close to the nerve endings and cause irritation and uncomfortable sensations.

As the nerve heals, the sensitivity will go away. This may take a few days or weeks. Once the nerve has healed fully, a person should feel no difference between the filled tooth and the other teeth.

Incorrect bite alignment

A dentist must ensure that the filling lines up with the other teeth in the mouth. If the filling is too tall, it can cause extra pressure as a person bites down. This can cause pain and sensitivity that is often more severe than normal post-filling sensitivity.

It is quite normal for a person to experience some minor sensitivity when biting down in the days following the procedure. Typically, the bite will correct itself within a few weeks.

However, if a person experiences severe sensitivity, or they have difficulty eating or putting their teeth together, they should ask their dentist to check the bite. The dentist may decide to smooth down the high point of the filling to properly fit the bite and eliminate discomfort.

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is inflammation of the pulp deep within the tooth. It can cause tooth sensitivity and pain.

Pulpitis does not regularly occur with minor fillings, but it might happen if:

  • the tooth has had trauma, such as from an accident that resulted in a cracked or broken tooth
  • the cavity was very deep, reaching the inner pulp layer
  • the tooth has undergone multiple fillings or procedures

There are two types of pulpitis:

  • reversible pulpitis refers to mild inflammation where the pulp remains healthy, and the tooth will heal on its own
  • irreversible pulpitis is when there is a damaged nerve that starts to die, in which case a person will need a root canal to save the tooth

A dentist can usually resolve pulpitis with a new filling or a restorative procedure, such as a root canal. A person may also need to take antibiotics to clear any bacterial infection.

How to treat a sensitive tooth

When a person experiences normal, post-filling sensitivity, a dentist may recommend that they use a desensitizing toothpaste.

These products contain an ingredient called potassium nitrate that helps stop the sensations on the surface of the tooth from reaching the nerve endings inside.

These products do not work immediately, but a person should notice relief within several days if they use the toothpaste twice a day.

A person may also try the following methods at home to help relieve tooth sensitivity:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Topical numbing ointment designed for the mouth.
  • A toothbrush labeled for sensitive teeth. These are softer than standard toothbrushes and will be less harsh on the tooth enamel.
  • Brush with gentle, circular strokes on the teeth and gums. Avoid scrubbing back and forth or aggressive pushing of the brush on the teeth.
  • Floss once a day, taking care to be gentle on the gums and teeth.
  • Take note of which foods or drinks cause sensitivity and avoid them if possible.
  • Avoid whitening toothpaste and products, which can make sensitivity worse.
  • Rinse the mouth out with water after consuming acidic foods or drinks, such as coffee and fruit. Acidic foods and beverages can wear away the tooth enamel.
  • Avoid brushing the teeth immediately after eating acidic foods, as it may remove more of the enamel.

If tooth sensitivity does not improve in the days following a filling, talk to a dentist. It is essential that the dentist rules out other potential causes of sensitivity that may not be related to the filling.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324267.php?fbclid=IwAR37moOZnm3Wmycc8r74nZN-5ynCfIwvInvdmzh2XnpVYpI_ze86rTtjT4g

8 Everyday Habits That Harm Your Smile

Your teeth are supposed to last a lifetime. But some common habits could be reducing the durability of your teeth without you even realizing it.

By recognizing the habits that can compromise the structure and health of your smile, you can take steps to protect it.

1. Avoiding Regular Dental Care

Many individuals skip regular dental cleanings or avoid getting necessary procedures due to anxiety, a lack of time, or other personal reasons. However, doing so can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other common oral health issues.

As such, you should be sure to visit the dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and also, as necessary, if you notice a change or issue with your teeth.

2. Brushing Too Hard

Brushing is an essential component of good oral health, but not when done incorrectly. Brushing too hard can wear down enamel, irritate your gums, increase your teeth’s sensitivity, and cause cavities.

By purchasing a soft bristled or an electronic toothbrush, you can avoid the damage while still cleaning your teeth and removing plaque.

3. Using the Wrong Materials to Clean Teeth

Have you ever had something stuck in your teeth and not had floss? If so, you might have reached for things like paper clips, toothpicks, or even pieces of paper that easily slide between your teeth. However, each of these items can cause gum and tooth damage.

You can easily resolve this problem by keeping a small container of floss or an interdental cleaner in your purse, backpack or car.

4. Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaw

Many Americans grind their teeth or clench their jaw, which can cause fractures or other damage and may lead to headaches and jaw pain. If grinding or clenching happens while sleeping, a night guard that cushions your teeth and reduces impact on your jaw can help. If it happens during the day, chewing gum may help to prevent it.

5. Biting Your Nails, Pens, Ice, or Other Hard Objects

When you bite your nails, chew on pens, or crunch ice or even hard candy, you could be causing splinters and cracks in your teeth. But that’s not all!

In fact, biting any foreign object can also introduce bacteria into your mouth and cause infections. By eliminating these bad habits, you can keep your teeth protected and eliminate additional germs in your mouth.

6. Using Your Teeth Improperly

How often do you bite open a package or try to cut something with your teeth? You may do it without thinking twice and probably more frequently than you realize.

Biting even just a thread off of your shirt could cause micro cracks that, over time, can lead to more serious structural damage. It’s easy to avoid this by grabbing for a can opener, knife, or pair of scissors instead.

7. Drinking Soda, Sports Drinks, and Alcohol

While everything is acceptable in moderation, soda, sports drinks, and wine can cause significant damage when consumed in large amounts. Sports drinks and soda, which contain acid and sugar that feed bacteria and erode enamel, leave teeth susceptible to cavities.

Alcohol contains acid that produces similar effects. Additionally, because alcohol dries out the mouth, it reduces saliva production and allows bacteria and plaque to thrive.

By limiting your consumption of all of these drinks, you can do your part to keep your teeth protected.

8. Tobacco Use

If you smoke cigarettes or cigars or use chewing tobacco, you’re also at risk. Nicotine not only yellows teeth, it also can cause oral cancer. Chewing tobacco is even worse because carcinogens directly contact gum tissues and can remain there for a long time.

While quitting any tobacco use is difficult, it’s worth it when you consider the oral (and general) health risks of daily, or even infrequent, use.

Transform Your Everyday Habits From Harmful to Beneficial

While the habits described above are harmful, there are simple ways to correct them. Transforming destructive habits into protective measures can keep your teeth looking great for years to come.

Sources:

http://www.nusmiledentalfl.com/blog/2014/november/everyday-habits-that-can-harm-your-teeth.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits?


What to do for healthy teeth and gums

By: Jennifer Berry, Medical News Today

Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. But, take note that oral health is more than avoiding cavities and gum disease. Research has shown that there is an association between the health of a person’s mouth and their overall health.

Follow these tips from Medical News Today to improve not only your dental care practices but your overall health as well. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day and having regular dental checkups.

However, oral health is about more than cavities and gum disease. Research has shown that there is an association between the health of a person’s mouth and their overall health. Experts consider oral health problems to be a global health burden.

Without treatment, tooth decay or gum problems can lead to pain, problems with self-confidence, and tooth loss. These issues may lead to malnutrition, speech problems, and other challenges in a person’s work, school, or personal life.

People can prevent these problems with proper dental care, both at home and in the dentist’s office. The following are some best practices that can keep teeth and gums healthy.

1. Brush regularly but not aggressively

Most people are aware that brushing their teeth twice a day is one of the most important practices for removing plaque and bacteria and keeping teeth clean. However, brushing may only be effective if people use the correct technique.

People should brush using small circular motions, taking care to brush the front, back, and top of every tooth. This process takes between 2 and 3 minutes. People should avoid sawing back-and-forth motions.

Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. The effects of this may include tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth, and gum erosion.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend using a toothbrush that has soft bristles. They also state that people should change their toothbrush every 3 months or when the ends start to look frayed, whichever comes first.

2. Use fluoride

Fluoride comes from an element in the earth’s soil called fluorine. Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.

However, some dental products do not contain fluoride, and some people do not use it at all.

Evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if a person takes care of their teeth otherwise. A recent review found that brushing and flossing do not prevent a person from getting cavities if they do not use fluoride.

Many communities in the United States have added fluoride to their water supply. Several organizations recommend this practice, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the ADA.

People can find out whether the water in their area contains fluoride by contacting their local government. Reverse osmosis water filters remove fluoride, and people who use well water will need to check the fluoride levels in this water to find out how much is present. Many bottled water brands do not contain fluoride.

3. Floss once a day

Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth.

Although there is a lack of long-term studies proving that flossing is beneficial, the ADA continue to recommend it. The CDC also state that people should floss their teeth.

Most dental health professionals recommend gently pushing the floss all the way down to the gumline before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions. It is important to avoid snapping the floss up and down between the teeth, which can cause pain and will not remove plaque as effectively.

4. See a dentist regularly

Experts recommend that people see a dentist every 6 months for a checkup. During a routine dental examination, a hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar.

The dentist will check for visual signs of cavities, gum disease, mouth cancer, and other oral health issues. They may sometimes also use dental X-rays to check for cavities.

The results of a recent study confirmed that children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities. However, adults who practice good dental hygiene every day and have a low risk of oral health problems may be able to go less frequently.

The authors of a recent review state that there is a need for more high-quality studies to confirm the ideal frequency of dental checkups.

People can speak to their dentist about how often they need a checkup. The answer may vary depending on a person’s health history, age, and overall dental health. However, anyone who notices changes in their mouth should visit a dentist.

5. Do not smoke

Smoking harms the body’s immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those in the mouth. The CDC name smoking as a risk factor for gum disease, while the ADA warn that people who smoke may experience slow healing after a dental procedure.

Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.

6. Consider a mouthwash

Some studies indicate that certain mouthwashes can benefit oral health. For example, one review found that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, an antibacterial ingredient, helps control plaque and gingivitis. Mouthwashes with certain essential oils are also effective, according to a meta-analysis.

People may wish to ask their dentist which is the best mouthwash for their individual needs. A mouthwash cannot substitute brushing and flossing, but it can complement these practices.

Mouthwashes that may help with bad breath and dental problems are available online.

7. Limit sugary foods and starches

Consuming sugar can lead to cavities. Studies continue to highlight the significant role that sugar plays in adverse dental health outcomes. Common culprits include candy and desserts, but many processed foods also contain added sugar.

The WHO recommend that people limit their intake of sugar to below 10 percent of their daily calories. The authors of a systematic review concluded that lowering this to 5 percent would further reduce the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

Experts have also stated that starchy foods, such as crackers, bread, chips, and pasta, can cause tooth decay. The ADA explain that these foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars, on which acid-producing bacteria feed. This acid can cause tooth decay.

Instead of starchy foods, the ADA recommend eating plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products without added sugar.

8. Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the typical diet of those in the U.S. Sipping on soda, juice, or other sugary drinks can lead to a higher risk of cavities.

The ADA recommend drinking water or unsweetened tea throughout the day and only drinking sugar-sweetened drinks at meal times and in small volumes.

Tips for kids

A child’s primary teeth, which people sometimes call baby teeth, are just as important as their permanent teeth. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. They are placeholders for the future permanent teeth.

If a child loses a baby tooth to decay, this can disrupt the space in the mouth and make it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly.

With this in mind, it is best to introduce good dental care for children during infancy. The following practices will help keep a child’s teeth and gums healthy:

  • Wipe a baby’s gums with a warm, wet washcloth every day, even before they have any teeth. Doing this removes sugars from the gums and can help a baby become familiar with the feeling of cleaning their teeth.
  • Babies and toddlers should not go to bed with bottles or sippy cups. Milk and juice contain sugars that can cause tooth decay if they remain on the teeth for extended periods.
  • As a baby approaches 1 year of age, start getting them used to a sippy cup. Aim to stop using bottles by their first birthday.
  • Allow toddlers to sip water from sippy cups between meals, but save juice or milk for meal times only.
  • Once a baby has teeth, brush them twice a day with a soft baby toothbrush. Use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice. Children who are 3 to 6 years of age may use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Parents or caregivers should brush the child’s teeth for them until they can clean all of their teeth thoroughly without help. Monitor them to make sure that they spit out the toothpaste.
  • Keep the toothpaste out of children’s reach when it is not in use.
  • The ADA recommend that children see a dentist within 6 months of their first tooth appearing or at 1 year of age, whichever comes first.
  • Parents and caregivers should not share eating utensils with a child or clean pacifiers by putting them in their mouth. Both of these actions can pass the adult’s cavity-causing bacteria to the child.

Summary

Practicing good dental care from infancy to adulthood can help a person keep their teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing daily, not smoking, eating a healthful diet, and having regular dental checkups can help people avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. It may also benefit their overall health.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324708.php?fbclid=IwAR1AzboRmV3IZ8EPPGADW59tFk93cagU4jsTcg-6zizS8e82qqSjuoXAe-0


Andy Shallal on How His Anacostia Busboys and Poets Will Engage Its Neighbors

By: Christina Sturdivant Sani, Washington City Paper

It’s finally happening, Busboys and Poets Anacostia will be opening next week!

Congrats Andy Shallal & Team, welcome to our community 🎉 The Oral Surgery DC Team

Five years after owner Andy Shallal announced that Busboys and Poets would be expanding east of the Anacostia River, he will be hosting 500 people, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, at his newest outpost in Historic Anacostia Wednesday evening. The restaurant opens to the public next week.

While continually navigating a terrain of skepticism around his art and social justice-themed restaurant chain, Shallal says he’s committed to bringing quality food and coffee, hospitality industry jobs, and culturally-conscious programming to a side of town that he calls “spiritual and special.”

“There’s a sense about Anacostia that really resonates with folks—even people who don’t live around here,” Shallal told City Paper at the restaurant on Monday. “They understand the challenges that this community has had and they also understand the love and the beauty that comes out of this community.”

The restaurant located at 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE was still a construction zone Monday afternoon, but you could see a sketch of Frederick Douglasswatching over a counter scattered with construction materials. 

Busboys and Poets’ art curator Carol Rhodes Dyson greets artists who stream in carrying large-scale paintings. She says 90 percent of the rotating art will be from artists who live in Wards 7 and 8.

To choose an artist for a permanent mural, Dyson fielded entries from people who sketched their interpretations of the best Anacostia has to offer. “I had never seen so much amazing work at one time,” says Dyson, who ultimately selected and commissioned Mia Duvallfor the task.

Duvall’s mural will feature images of deities representing art in the community as well as historical figures with roots in the area such as Frederick Douglass, social worker Ophelia Egypt, and former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry

Barry, who was still a Ward 8 councilmember when he died in 2014, will have a room named in his honor. “A lot of people see him with all his flaws, but with flaws come a lot of other things,” Shallal says. “He brought so much good and empowerment to black folks in the city. I think that gets dismissed sometimes from those who don’t know his legacy and his history.”

Curation of this space borrows from Shallal’s playbook when opening other Busboys locations, with four in D.C. proper and two in the suburbs. “I’ve always entered into communities by honoring and respecting the culture and the people who live there,” he says.

But some Southeast residents, such as Nicole Odom, don’t find the restaurant beneficial for their families. “We don’t need a Busboys and Poets. We need childcare. We need schools,” Odom told City Paper in 2018. The reality, according to Shallal, is that the space “was going to be a restaurant—whether it was me or somebody else.”

Outsiders also view Busboys and Poets, many of which anchor new developments in up-and-coming neighborhoods, as a driver of gentrification. “The Busboys and Poets Effect,” a theory coined by real estate blog UrbanTurf, asserts that whenever a new chain opens in a neighborhood, single family home prices in that area increase in a matter of months.

“I think a lot of times it’s just too easy to blame retailers and restaurants for gentrification—that’s really not what causes gentrification,” Shallal contends. “I think people have their energy misplaced when they say a restaurant causes gentrification. What they mean is that once people see something is nice, they’ll want to move there. So what’s the alternative—not having nice things so people don’t move there? That doesn’t make sense.”

And the onus isn’t on him as a business owner, Shallal continues. “The government has to intervene in order to take off the edge of gentrification whether it’s taxes or rent going up,” he says.

What he can do, Shallal says, is open a restaurant in a community that’s long suffered from a lack of quality food options. “We know for a fact that a lot of our customers come from Southeast because they say to us that they don’t have many places to go to if they want to have something vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free.”

He plans to partner with the Anacostia Community Museum, which is closing temporarily for renovations, to bring programming to the space. “There will be conversations about issues that I think are important to this community on a regular basis,” he says. Look for high-profile speakers, too. Busboys and Poets is known for bringing in black powerhouses such as Angela DavisNikki Giovanni, and Alice Walker.

While “an overwhelming majority” of the 80 people hired to work at the Anacostia location live in Wards 7 and 8, according to Shallal, the restaurateur says he won’t go through with the hospitality and culinary institute initially billed to operate alongside the restaurant when announced in 2014.

“There are a lot of culinary programs around this area so we didn’t want to just open another one,” says Shallal. Instead, he’s working with his nonprofit landlord, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, to develop a leadership program.

“So we’re really trying to create partnerships more so than moving people out of the way and taking over—that’s not what I intend to do,” he says.

Sources: Busboys and Poets, 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE; busboysandpoets.com

https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/food/article/21049799/andy-shallal-on-how-his-anacostia-busboys-and-poets-will-engage-its-neighbors?fbclid=IwAR3iZXPEARZg8XlJ_a1EUnurl0FtPgnt4AoCToU2EFaFQgBRUoaExNfD0o0

Christmas Foods to Avoid for Fresh Breath

 

By: Capitol Hill Times

 

🎉 The holidays bring lots of good food, drink, and socializing, but sometimes the conversations may be short due to what you’re eating.

Dr. Harold Katz, developer of the TheraBreath line of oral products and widely recognized as “America’s Bad Breath Doctor” says there are certain holiday foods to avoid – if you don’t want to be avoided on New Year’s! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

If you wonder why people keep a safe distance during these festive occasions, it might be because of your bad breath. Some of the traditional dishes and beverages America enjoys at family gatherings and office parties are the main culprits.

“Some of the most popular holiday foods can really stink up your mouth, which is especially lethal at a loud gathering when you have to lean in close to have conversations,” says Dr. Katz, who is also a dentist and bacteriologist. Bad breath bacteria react immediately to changes in the oral environment and unfortunately many Holiday foods provide the fuel which they convert into Volatile Sulfur Compounds, including Hydrogen Sulfide (the rotten egg smell).

Dr. Katz says these are some of the worst holiday foods in terms of causing bad breath:a

Alcohol: Chemically, it’s a dehydrating agent – and dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Furthermore, many old-fashioned mouthwash formulas contain high concentrations of alcohol which may exacerbate your dry mouth. Look for alcohol-free oxygenating oral products instead.

Ham: Ham is not only high in protein, but the way it’s prepared (salted, cured, smoked) also leads to dry mouth.

Garlic and onions: Already loaded with smelly sulfur compounds.

Wine and cheese: This classic party snack packs a double bad-breath wallop: the wine is dehydrating, and the cheese is rich in proteins, easily converted into sour milk odors.

Cranberry sauce: If it’s loaded with sugar, as most canned cranberry sauces are, it’s going to be no better for your teeth (and your breath) than a slice of cake.

Dr. Katz says since holidays are a time of close personal contact with large groups of people, it would be prudent for people to at least know which foods cause the worst bad breath.

 

Source: https://www.capitolhilltimes.com/2018/12/18/christmas-foods-to-avoid-for-fresh-breath/

Removing plaque and tartar from teeth

 

 

The buildup of plaque tartar on the teeth can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. However, several simple home remedies can help treat and prevent plaque and tartar. Learn them viaMedical News Today! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on the outside of the teeth and along the gum line. A person can often prevent and treat plaque buildup at home. If a person does not practice good dental hygiene, plaque can turn into a hard yellow-brown substance called tartar.

When people eat, bacteria in the mouth breakdown the carbohydrates from food into acid, which mixes with leftover food particles and saliva to create plaque.

Brushing and flossing often prevent plaque and tartar from forming. However, tartar can be more difficult to remove and sometimes requires a visit to the dentist’s office for a professional cleaning.

Poor oral hygiene can also cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease (gingivitis). Recent research has also uncovered possible associations between gum disease and other health conditions, including pneumoniadementia, and heart disease.

In this article, learn about simple ways to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup at home.

Practicing good oral hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to remove plaque and tartar. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. They also recommend flossing once a day.

Flossing first will remove pieces of food and plaque from between the teeth and hard-to-reach areas. After flossing, the toothbrush will remove plaque on the surface of the teeth.

To brush the teeth effectively, a person can:

  1. Start in the back of the mouth with the top molars.
  2. Use short, circular brush strokes.
  3. Brush the front and back surfaces of all the upper teeth.
  4. Repeat steps 1–3 on the bottom teeth.

People can achieve great results using manual toothbrushes. However, a 2014 systematic reviewfound that electric toothbrushes, especially those with oscillating heads, are more effective at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis.

After flossing and brushing the teeth, rinse out the mouth with mouthwash. Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain fluoride for extra protection against plaque.

People who have gingivitis may require a stronger type of mouthwash. A dentist or another healthcare provider can prescribe antiseptic mouthwashes that are more potent than those available over the counter.

Brushing with baking soda

Brushing with baking soda is a safe and effective way to remove plaque. Baking soda can remove plaque without damaging the enamel.

Studies suggest that toothpaste that contains baking soda may be more effective at reducing the amount of plaque in the mouth than traditional toothpaste.

Baking soda also protects against demineralization, which is a chemical process that removes calcium from tooth enamel.

Carbohydrates from food can drastically lower the pH level in the mouth, creating an acidic environment that causes demineralization.

Scientists measure the acidity of a substance using the pH scale. The lower the pH, the more acidic the substance.

The lower limit for enamel pH ranges between 5.1 and 5.5. When the pH drops below this range, demineralization begins to occur.

Baking soda reduces demineralization because it has a high pH, which can help balance the pH level inside the mouth and prevent enamel loss.

The mouth is home to a diverse ecosystem of bacteria, some of which are beneficial while others can be harmful. Streptococcus mutans, for example, is the bacteria primarily responsible for tooth decay.

Baking soda also has antimicrobial properties that may prevent tooth decay. Research suggests that baking soda can significantly reduce the amount of S. mutans.

People can find baking soda in many grocery stores and online.

What can cause gum pain?

  By: Rachel Nall RN MSN, Medical News Today   The gums are soft, fleshy tissue that supports and protects the teeth. Gum pain can be a sign of irritation, infection, or injury to the gums and teeth. Medical News Today discussed some of the possible causes of gum pain, treatment, home remedies, prevention, and when to see us! The Oral Surgery DC Team  

Causes

Usually, gum pain is temporary, but it can be the result of infection. Gum pain can range from a minor irritation to severe and debilitating. Some potential causes of gum pain include:
  • Canker sores: These are small, painful ulcers that can occur on the gums. Causes of canker sores can include emotional stress, mouth injuries, an impaired immune system, or other underlying health conditions.
  • Cuts or injuries: Food and objects that enter the mouth can sometimes cause minor cuts or injuries to the gums and teeth. A person may also accidentally bite down on the gums, which can sometimes cause pain and bleeding.
  • Gum disease: Also known as gingivitis, this condition occurs when bacteria build up under the gums and cause inflammation and bleeding. Without treatment, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis and lead to loose teeth. People who smoke are at a higher risk for gum disease than nonsmokers.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially during pregnancy, can cause a person to experience swelling, pain, and bleeding in the gums.
  • Improper flossing or brushing techniques: Brushing or flossing too vigorously or frequently can sometimes cause the gums to bleed and be painful.
  • Sinusitis: A bacterial or viral infection in the sinuses can cause swelling of the sinus cavity. Some people with sinusitis also experience gum pain and toothache.
  • Tooth abscess: A bacterial infection in the root of a tooth can cause an abscess or pus-filled sac. Tooth abscesses can lead to gum swelling and pain. They can also be serious and spread to other parts of the body, so it is essential to see a dentist quickly.

Treatment

Treatment for gum pain depends upon the underlying cause. For people with gum disease, for example, a dentist may recommend professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the gums. They may also prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash, such as one containing alcohol or chlorhexidine, to kill excess bacteria and prevent the future build-up of plaque. If a person has severe gum disease, a dentist may recommend surgery to repair bone or gum loss that the condition has caused. Sometimes, this can include bone and tissue grafting to encourage the growth of new, healthy tissue. People with tooth abscesses may require root canal treatment. During this procedure, a dentist will remove the infected pulp, or soft tissue inside the tooth, and the abscess from the root and then repair and seal the damaged tooth. Gum pain due to sinusitis usually lessens once the infection clears up. For bacterial infections, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Home remedies

People with gum pain that they cannot explain should see their dentist for a checkup. However, some simple home remedies may help relieve the discomfort. These include:
  • Gargling salt water. A person can prepare a gargle by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Clove oil. Applying clove oil to gums can reduce pain and swelling.
  • Pain medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to reduce gum pain.
  • Brushing carefully. Brush sore, swollen, or bleeding areas of the gums gently.
Avoiding foods that can irritate or scratch the gums may also help while they are healing. Examples include:
  • acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes
  • sharp or scratchy foods, such as chips, nuts, or pretzels
  • spicy foods, such as those containing chilis or other hot peppers
For people with canker sores, taking vitamin and mineral supplements, such as iron and vitamin B-12, may help reduce gum pain.

Prevention

Good oral hygiene can help prevent gum pain and other dental issues. This includes:
  • brushing teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes
  • flossing once daily
  • using a dental mouthwash daily
  • having regular checkups with a dentist, such as every 6 months
If a person stops smoking, this can also improve gum health. Smoking can reduce blood flow to the gums, which may impair healing and lead to discomfort.

When to see a dentist

It is advisable for people with severe, persistent, or recurring gum pain to see a dentist for a checkup. A dentist can examine the gums, teeth, and mouth for signs of infection, tooth decay, and other dental issues. A person may also want to consider seeing a dentist if the pain occurs alongside any of the following symptoms:
  • bad breath that does not improve with tooth brushing
  • bleeding gums
  • gums that are receding
  • loose teeth
  • pain when chewing
  • red gums
  • sensitive teeth

Summary

There are many possible causes of gum pain, including gum disease, infections, abscesses, and ulcers. People with gum pain they cannot explain may wish to consider seeing a dentist for a checkup. Without treatment, some causes of gum pain can lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. Home remedies for gum pain include applying clove oil to gums, rinsing the mouth with salt water, and avoiding irritating foods.   Source: bit.ly/gum-pain

Breastfeeding: 6 Things Nursing Moms Should Know About Dental Health

By: Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association (ADA)

 

🤱 Breastfeeding can help your baby’s body fight infections and reduce health risks like asthma, ear infections, SIDS and obesity in children and studies show nursing moms may lower their chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

But did you know breastfeeding can impact the dental health of both baby and mom? The American Dental Association explains how. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Breastfeeding is one of the first (and most personal) decisions a mother makes for her baby. It can help your baby’s body fight infections and reduce health risks like asthma, ear infections, SIDS and obesity in children. Nursing moms may lower their chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. But did you know breastfeeding can impact the dental health of both baby and mom? Here’s how:

Breastfeeding May Help Build a Better Bite

Several recent studies, one in Pediatrics in 2015 and one in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that babies who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months were less likely to have teeth alignment issues such as open bites, crossbites, and overbites, than those exclusively breastfed for shorter lengths of time or not at all.

Still, this doesn’t mean your exclusively breastfed baby won’t need braces someday. Other factors, including genetics, pacifier use, and thumbsucking, affect alignment. “Every baby, every child is different,” says Dr. Ruchi Sahota, mother and American Dental Association spokesperson. “The best thing for a mom to do is to take the child to the dentist and make sure the dentist is able to monitor eruption, that baby teeth are coming out at the right time and permanent teeth are coming in at the right time.”

You Don’t Have to Wean When Your Baby Gets Teeth

It’s a question that often pops up in parenting message boards and conversations with new moms: Should I stop breastfeeding when my baby starts teething? The answer is not if you don’t want to.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a baby’s life; the World Health Organization encourages moms to go for two. “As it goes with breastfeeding, every child is different, every mother is different,” Dr. Sahota says. “You should stop breastfeeding when you think it’s the best for you and the baby but not just because the teeth come in.”

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Another benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, Dr. Sahota says, is a reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay, the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. This type of tooth decay often occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk or fruit juice. (Water is fine because the teeth won’t be bathed in sugary liquids for a prolonged time.) It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Breastfed Babies Can Still Get Cavities

It’s one of the most common questions nursing mothers ask: Can breastfeeding cause cavities? Yes, it can. Although natural, breast milk, just like formula, contains sugar. That is why breastfed or bottle fed, it’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. A few days after birth, begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth every day. Then, brush her teeth twice a day as soon as that first tooth emerges. Use fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

Need Dental Work Done? Double Check Your Medications

If you need to have a dental procedure that requires medication while nursing, check with your dentist, personal physician, and pediatrician to make sure it is safe for baby. “It’s important to know there are antibiotics we can give you that won’t hurt the baby,” Dr. Sahota says. “It’s not only safe to go to the dentist while you’re pregnant and while you’re nursing, but it’s also very important to do so for the best health of your child.”

Another helpful resource for nursing moms is the U.S National Library of Medicine’s Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Simply search for any medication and get information about how it affects your supply, your baby and if there’s an alternative available. Talk to your doctor about what you find.

Mom, Take Care of Yourself

Dr. Sahota says there’s one thing she sees in new moms, breastfeeding or not. “I definitely see moms who are, as simple as it sounds, are not able to take care of themselves as well as they did before the baby,” she says. “Moms that are just not brushing as much as they used to, whether they’re brushing once a day or not brushing at all.”

A dip in dental care could lead to more gum disease and cavities. Cavity prevention is especially crucial for moms, as even the simple act of sharing a spoon with could transfer that bacteria into your baby’s mouth. “It’s really important to do the basics: Brush twice a day, floss once a day. See your ADA dentist regularly,” she says. “Make sure you have prevented decay and don’t have any cavities so you don’t transfer that to your baby.”

Dr. Sahota says she also sees more teeth grinding (bruxism) in moms. “I see a lot more head and neck muscle tension, which causes our jaws to be a little bit tenser and then that causes us to grind our teeth,” she says. “Trouble sleeping when we’re pregnant, that can cause us to grind our teeth a little bit. Postnatally, stress can increase and it can also be an issue.”

All moms need to stay hydrated, especially if breastfeeding. “Not drinking enough water, that in itself is a very dangerous thing for your mouth,” she says. “If we have a dry mouth, we put ourselves at risk for gum disease, for cavities, so many things.”

And there’s one last piece of advice Dr. Sahota gives all moms. “Just like if you’re on an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you put it on your child,” she says. “If you’re not healthy, you will not have the time and the energy to make sure your children are also healthy.”

 

Source: bit.ly/6breastfeedingtips

Baby Teeth

By: MouthHealthy, American Dental Association (ADA)

 

👶 If you think your baby’s toothless smile is cute, just wait until their first few teeth make an appearance!

After that first tooth comes in, don’t forget to follow these key takeaways from the American Dental Association to care for your baby’s oral health! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

When Do Baby Teeth Come In?

A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth and typically begin to appear when a baby is between 6 months and 1 year.

Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3. Check out this baby teeth eruption chart to see the order in which teeth break through and at what ages you can expect specific teeth to appear. Every child is different, but usually, the first teeth to come in are located in the top and bottom front of their mouth.

When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on. If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your dentist or physician.

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help him or her chew, speak and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find a room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?

After the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a “well-baby checkup” for the teeth. Besides checking for cavities and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to handle habits like thumb sucking. Learn more about how to prepare for this visit.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. Here’s what to do:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
  • For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
  • For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
  • Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily.

 

Source: bit.ly/babyteethimportance