10 common oral hygiene mistakes, according to dentists

By: Wendy Rose Gould, NBC News

📊 According to the CDC, more than 80% of people develop at least one cavity by age 34. Genetics play a factor in tooth decay as well as the most common oral hygiene mistakes listed in this article via NBC News. The Oral Surgery DC Team

It’s been ingrained in your mind since you were old enough to wield a toothbrush: spend two minutes brushing your teeth three times a day. You still might even hum a familiar tune every time you step in front of the sink or go through the exact same “up and down, round and round” motions you did at age five.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 80 percent of people develop at least one cavity by age 34, so something’s not quite adding up. While genetics plays a factor in your likelihood to experience tooth decay, it’s not the only variable. To uncover some of the most common oral hygiene mistakes that may be contributing to the problem, we asked dentists to weigh in.

Problem #1: Only brushing in the morning

Many are naturally compelled to brush in the morning in order to curb bad breath, but it’s all too easy to neglect nighttime brushing as we climb into bed exhausted.

“By the end of your day, you have the most amount of food debris stuck on and in between your teeth. Additionally, when you sleep, your mouth is the least active for saliva production, which functions to help bathe the teeth clean,” explains celebrity dentist Dr. Jon Marashi. “As a result, the bacteria in your mouth now have a festive food supply in which they consume. The by-product is an acid secretion that leads to tooth decay. Brushing your teeth at night is non-negotiable.”

Problem #2: Brushing your teeth too hard

There’s a misconception that says the harder we scrub, the better we clean. This is false.

“Aggressive scrubbing over time can cause enamel abrasion and gum recession, ultimately leading to sensitivity issues and tooth structure loss,” warns New York City-based dentist, Dr. Inna Chern. “Ideally, you should use a soft-headed toothbrush, or an American Dental Association (ADA)-approved electric brush, which comes standard with soft heads.”

Signs that you’re scrubbing too hard include a frazzled brush head in as little as one to two months, increased sensitivity, and a receding gum line. If you can’t break the habit, Dr. Chern recommends using an electric brush with a pressure indicator.

Problem #3: Not spending enough time brushing

Even if you’ve committed to brushing your teeth throughout the day, the effort is for naught if you aren’t allocating enough time to the task. Dr. Marashi says, “If you don’t spend adequate time brushing your teeth, it is likely that the tartar and biofilms will not have a proper removal from the tooth surface, leading to plaque deposits, gum inflammation, bad breath, and even cavities.”

Also, he adds, brushing in a hurry often translates to missing teeth in the back, which is where many cavities form. He suggests using a sonic toothbrush with a built-in timer, or you can set a timer on your phone for two minutes.

Problem #4: Replacing flossing with mouth wash

“Although mouthwash is a great add-on for any oral hygiene regimen, it does not take the place of the mechanical cleaning of those hard-to-reach spots in between and around the teeth,” notes Chern. “After we eat, food debris gets broken down in the mouth into a compound called material alba. We have an eight to 12-hour window to remove the debris before it hardens into plaque and tartar, which require professional cleaning by your healthcare provider.”

Mouthwash disinfects the oral cavity, but it doesn’t effectively remove oral debris. Take the extra few minutes to floss with either traditional floss or a water flosser. In addition to getting a better clean, Chern says that people who floss see a marked improvement in gum health between dental visits.

Problem #5: Only using floss picks

While using floss picks is better than not flossing at all, they’re not as effective as traditional string floss or water flossers. “Most people don’t even use the picks to their fullest potential [and instead] ‘pop’ them through the contacts and move on to the next space,” says Dr. Irina Sinensky, a dentist for NYC’s Dental House. In addition to not being thorough enough, “this can also spread bacteria from one location to another. It’s the up and down cleaning motion of each root surface that is recommended,” she says.

Problem #6: Not flossing because you see blood

“Patients tell me all the time that they don’t floss because their gums bleed when they do. I tell them to floss more instead,” says Dr. Sinensky. “Unhealthy gums — usually caused by bad oral hygiene — will bleed easily when they are touched. It’s like having a splinter under your skin that you never remove. The body will try to rectify the situation by bringing blood to the area and try to get rid of the infection.”

The more you floss, the less you’ll bleed and the better your oral health will be. Sinensky says to try a one-week challenge of flossing daily. You’ll see a significant improvement.

Problem #7: Drinking a sugary beverage at lunch

Gulping a sugary energy drink or soda may keep you mentally powered throughout the day, but it’s wreaking havoc on your oral health.

“A 16-ounce can, can have upwards of almost 30 grams of sugar,” says Marashi. “Sugars are carbohydrates that oral bacteria like to consume, and sugars are also acidic which can cause chemical erosion of your teeth.”

If you need a caffeine fix, swap out your sugary drinks for black or green tea, which are better for your oral health (and your overall health) since they don’t contain nearly as many sugars. You can also opt for coffee. To avoid staining, sip through a straw.

Problem #8: Buying whatever toothpaste is on sale

All toothpaste is not created equal. The better deal might not serve you well.

“It is important to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp on products because the ADA ensures that proper testing has been done on a given toothpaste and that it contains the minimum amount of therapeutic ingredients to maintain a healthy, cavity-free mouth,” says Chern, who adds that this is also important when it comes to buying “all-natural” products. “Ask your dental healthcare provider for their opinion of the best toothpaste to suit your individual needs. For example, if you have cavity issues it is important to use a toothpaste with fluoride and if gingivitis is an issue, there are a slew of toothpaste that can help with minimizing inflammation,” says Chern.

Problem #9: Using non-ADA approved whitening products

Similarly, not all whitening products are created equal. Chern says to only use products that have earned ADA stamps, which indicates the product’s been rigorously tested for formulation and efficacy. “The other products on the market may be a dice roll and cause issues such as sensitivity and damage, or not work at all,” she warns. “When in doubt, talk to your healthcare provider so they can educate you on the various over-the-counter products on the market.”

Problem #10: Only seeing the dentist when you’re in pain

Leaving work early to get to the dentist is, well, a pain — but it will save you real pain in the long run. Seeing a dentist regularly ensures your teeth and mouth are healthy. If you wait until you feel the pain to see the dentist, there’s a strong likelihood you’re dealing with a serious issue versus one that could have been addressed effectively — and less expensively — much earlier.

“Many believe that if their mouth doesn’t hurt then there are no problems, and therefore they do not see their dentist regularly. However, a more intense and expensive treatment will be required if patients neglect to see their dentists at regular intervals and treat the small issues that may arise,” says Sinensky.

You should see your dentist for a regular checkup every six months. How long has it been for you? Time to get an appointment on the calendar.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/10-common-oral-hygiene-mistakes-according-dentists-ncna1030551

How to Get Whiter Teeth: Four Top Tips to Help Achieve a Brighter Smile

By: Matty Edwards, Independent

🦷 What does good oral hygiene mean for you?

Aside from brushing, keeping our teeth whiter and healthier also involves crucial steps to take. The Independent features other dental care solutions that can help protect your smile! The Oral Surgery DC Team

How do you get whiter teeth? The answer may appear simple – to brush more – but it’s not that easy.

Firstly, there are two types of whitening, extrinsic and intrinsic, according to Askthedentist.com. The former is removing staining to restore tooth whiteness to what it once was, whereas the latter is for people who want their teeth to be whiter than natural, ie what we see from celebrities.

Good dental hygiene

First and foremost, good dental hygiene is a solid way to prevent your teeth from going yellow. The build-up of plaque can give your teeth a yellow tinge, so brushing, flossing and using mouthwash is not to be underestimated.

Although whitening toothpaste can add that little extra to your daily dental routine, Ask the Dentist argues that the toothbrush itself is even more crucial for extrinsic whitening.  

Cut out the bad stuff

Apart from the buildup of plaque, either the staining or wearing away of your enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, can also cause discolouring. 

If you are committed to leading a life of purity then there are lots of things to avoid to protect your teeth from staining.

These range from coffee and red wine to fizzy drinks and processed sugary foods. Smoking is also a big no-no.

Home remedies

If you can’t quite say goodbye to red wine and cigarettes, then there are plenty of home remedies that may help, from the more orthodox to the outright unusual.

Although lots of sugary fruit might not be best for your teeth, munching on crunchy raw vegetables has been said to help rub plaque away as you chew. In addition, strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been claimed to help whiten your teeth.

Brushing with baking soda can help whiten your teeth over time, because it acts as a mild abrasive that slowly rubs off the enamel stains. 

To use this remedy, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste a few times per week, according to healthy living website, Healthline.

This paste can also be combined with bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide, but shouldn’t be used too often to avoid the erosion of enamel.  Apple cider vinegar diluted with water can be used as a mouthwash too, but sparingly. 

A slightly more exotic method is oil pulling, the swilling of oil around your mouth, which is a traditional Indian folk remedy. It can be done with coconut oil and aims to stop plaque buildup.

Healthline recommends putting one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and moving around your mouth for a full 15–20 minutes, which is safe to do daily, because it doesn’t erode the enamel.

Cosmetic treatment

If all else has failed or you are in search of a quick fix, then more severe steps and even cosmetic treatments to turn to, including our best picks of teeth whitening kits.

Whitening strips and gel trays are a relatively inexpensive treatment to get that dazzling smile sooner rather than later.

The strips are attached to your upper and lower teeth and removed after bleaching chemicals have worked their magic. Gel trays operate in a similar way except the gel is brushed directly onto the teeth.

Veneers are the most extreme and most expensive option. The process, which can cost thousands of pounds, involves your teeth being ground down and replaced by extra-white veneers.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/how-to-get-white-teeth-fast-quick-with-braces-top-tips-diy-in-one-day-nhs-a8119036.html

What You Can Do About Bad Breath

By: Peter Jaret, WebMD

Don’t be afraid to get a little close this National Fresh Breath Day! Check out the 8 natural ways to freshen your breath. 😁 The Oral Surgery DC Team

It’s easy to improve your breath and keep your teeth and gums healthy at the same time. Try these simple steps to make your mouth feel fresh and clean.

1. Brush and floss more often.

Plaque, the sticky buildup on your teeth, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Trapped food also adds to the problem.

Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your breath, do both a little more often.

Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.

2. Rinse your mouth out.

Besides freshening your breath, a mouthwash adds extra protection by getting rid of bacteria. A fresh minty taste can make you feel good. But be sure the mouthwash you choose kills the germs that cause bad breath. Don’t just cover up the smell. Rinse daily with a good mouthwash and stop bad breathat its source.

You can also help your breath if you swish your mouth with plain water after you eat. It can get rid of food particles that get stuck in your teeth.

3. Scrape your tongue.

The coating that normally forms on your tongue can be a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush.

If your brush is too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a scraper. “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t take care of,” says hygienist Pamela L. Quinones, past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

4. Avoid foods that sour your breath.

Onions and garlic are big offenders. But brushing after you eat them doesn’t help.

The substances that cause their bad smells make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out, says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

The best way to stop the problem? Don’t eat them, or at least avoid them before you go to work or see friends.

5. Kick the tobacco habit.

Besides causing cancersmoking can damage your gums, stain your teeth, and give you bad breath.

Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge. If you need a little help, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about quit-smoking programs or prescription medications that can help you give up tobacco for good.

6. Skip after-dinner mints and chew gum instead.

The bacteria in your mouth love sugar. They use it to make acid. This wears down your teeth and causes bad breath. Chew sugarless gum instead.

“Gum stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s natural defense mechanism against plaque acids, which cause tooth decay and bad breath,” Quinones says.

7. Keep your gums healthy.

Gum disease causes bad breath. Bacteria gather in pockets at the base of teeth, which creates an odor.

If you have gum disease, your dentist may suggest you see a periodontist, who specializes in treating it.

8. Moisten your mouth.

You can get tooth decay and bad breath if you don’t make enough saliva. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day.

Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. Also, try a humidifier at night to moisten the air in your house.

9. See your doctor.

If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, make an appointment with your doctor. He’ll check to see if your problems are related to a medical condition.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/get-rid-bad-breath#2


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/

Drinking Red Wine Can Improve Oral Hygiene, Study Claims

By: Olivia Petter, Independent

DYK? Drinking red wine can improve your oral health!🍷

So, how about wine-flavored toothpaste?

These facts may sound odd, but a new study has revealed drinking red wine actually offers a number of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere feel-good factor.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading for more awesome news shared by The Independent. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Wine-flavoured toothpaste, anyone?

It might not be as far fetched as it sounds, as a new study has revealed drinking red wine actually offers a number of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere feel-good factor.

After analyzing the effect of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in red wine, Spanish chemists found that exposure to such compounds can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the gums that would normally lead to cavities and plaque.

Scientists from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid examined the oral health benefits of two types of red wine polyphenols: Caffeic and p-coumaric acid, both of which are also found in coffee and cranberry juice.

Both were successful in preventing potentially harmful microbes from sticking to the gums which could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists said the effect was stronger when the polyphenols were combined with the oral probiotic streptococcus dentisani bacteria.

Despite the promising findings, the study’s authors were quick to warn that we shouldn’t jump to starting our day with a gargle of Merlot quite yet, as the chemicals analyzed in the study were far higher in concentration than those found in wine.

Instead, they advise using the molecules in red wine in preventative medicines that would help curb oral diseases.

Exposure would also need to be fairly extensive in order to really see the benefits, given that exposure to the polyphenols in the experiment lasted for up to 47 hours.

You might think you like red wine, but even the most hardcore of fans would struggle to keep the grape-based drink in their mouths for that long.

Plus, as Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a nutrition professor at the University of Reading, pointed out, the two compounds identified in the study are much more abundant in other foods, such as berries.

“This is interesting work done on cells outside of the body, but it is very preliminary and so one must be very cautious about extrapolating these results to any current health advice,” added Naveed Sattar, a professor in metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow. 

“The findings suggest some compounds called phenols should be investigated further for their roles in preventing bacteria binding to cells and causing infection, but this needs much validation.”

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/red-wine-oral-hygiene-health-improvements-gums-spain-study-drinking-a8222901.html

A Visibly Straighter Smile with Invisible Orthodontics

😷 The invisible orthodontics is one of the leading alternatives for both teenagers and adults. While the primary reason many choose this option is that they don’t like the appearance of metal braces, there are several other measurable benefits that make this a superior choice. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Traditional orthodontics isn’t for everyone. The thought of years of painful adjustments and inconvenient appointments could keep some from pursuing the dream of a straight smile. But, there’s another option.

What is Invisible Orthodontics?

Invisible orthodontics uses BPA-free, plastic “aligners” to straighten teeth. Aligners can be removed to eat and clean your teeth, which makes it easy to go about your schedule without having to worry about restricting your diet due to wires or cleaning around brackets.

Typically, a set of aligners is worn from two to six weeks and then you visit your dentist for your next set. This process is repeated until your teeth are straight. With invisible orthodontics, it’s important to remember that the success of the treatment is completely dependent on compliance. Once you have completed the treatment, you will be given retainers that will help keep your teeth straight for years to come.

There two main companies for invisible orthodontics – ClearCorrect and Invisalign.

Understanding ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect has been an option for almost a decade, offering serious benefits to users who want an invisible, removable solution to straighten their teeth.

After being evaluated by your dentist, your aligners will be made and you will start wearing them. With this system, you’ll wear your aligners for 22 hours each day and will visit your dentist for new sets of aligners every four to six weeks.

Understanding Invisalign

Invisalign also provides an invisible, comfortable, convenient way to straighten teeth. Your dentist will create a customized treatment plan and will make aligners that you will change yourself every few weeks to slowly move your teeth. For most patients, checkups are only required every six weeks to monitor your progress. Invisalign aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day for maximum effectiveness.

Once treatment is complete, you may want to opt for Vivera retainers from Invisalign. These retainers help lock in your smile to make sure it looks just as great in 10 years as it does the day you finish treatment.

Minimal Interruptions for Maximum Results

Whether you’re a teenager worried about how braces will affect your social life or an adult who isn’t willing to suffer through years of metal braces for a straight smile, invisible braces are a great alternative.

Regardless of which company you choose, you can expect your smile to transform into the straight, radiant smile you’ve always envisioned with minimal disruption to your life.

Now that’s something to really smile about!

Sources:

Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.invisalign.com

Retrieved June 5, 2015, from https://clearcorrect.com


In Defense of Root Canals: The Unsung Hero of Dental Care

🦷 Think you might need a root canal? It’s not the end of the world, nor is it as torturous as you might think! Even though a root canal is usually the last resort for decayed teeth, when compared with other alternatives, it’s quite practical and cost-effective.

Put your fears to rest by discovering the truth about this much-maligned treatment, and find out why it’s considered by many dentists to be the unsung hero of dental care. The Oral Surgery DC Team

When and Why Root Canals Are Necessary

Left untreated, tooth decay can eventually result in bacteria infiltrating the very core of the tooth, infecting its sensitive nerve tissue (otherwise referred to as “root” or “pulp”). Once the pulp has been infected, a pocket of pus known as an abscess can form and wreak havoc beyond the problem tooth itself. From swelling of the mouth, jaw and face, to bone loss and even the spread of infection into the skin, the cost of delaying treatment can compound rather quickly.

If the problem is caught in time, a root canal may be possible, allowing the dentist to clear the infected pulp without having to sacrifice the whole tooth. Keeping your natural tooth not only helps maintain proper chewing and speech but also it requires less time and money compared to tooth removal and implant.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

If you experience any of these symptoms, you might need a root canal:

  • Acute, shooting pain when pressure is applied to a tooth
  • Noticeable darkening or discoloration of the tooth compared to neighboring teeth
  • Lingering tooth sensitivity, particularly to extremely hot or cold foods
  • A pimple on the gums that never seems to go away
  • Swelling of the gums near the problem tooth
  • Continuous pain or throbbing even when not chewing or using the tooth

See your dentist to know for sure, and let him or her know about your situation when scheduling an appointment to ensure you are seen as soon as possible. Like most dental problems, it’s best to be proactive. The sooner the dentist is able to diagnose and treat the infected area the better — and it could decrease the amount of post-procedure discomfort.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

The length of time for treatment can vary widely depending on the complexity of each patient’s situation, but it’s safe to say that multiple visits are required to complete a root canal. Anesthesia may be applied, but it is not always necessary since the nerve is already dead. The first phase of a root canal involves thoroughly ridding the tooth of any infection and decayed matter — usually by drilling an access hole, flushing out the pulp, and applying medication to the tooth and surrounding gums. The dentist will then seal off the area completely, or in extreme cases, wait several days for the infection to clear before sealing off the tooth.

The second phase of treatment focuses on filling the tooth. To do this, a dentist normally uses sealer paste or a rubber-like compound to fill the empty nerve canal and interior of the tooth. After the tooth has been filled, a metal post is inserted into the tooth to further strengthen it.

Restoration, in which a crown is created to cap off the tooth, is the final step of treatment. Once the custom crown arrives, the dentist covers the tooth and shapes the crown to function as optimally as possible.

Post Treatment Care

As with any lengthy dental procedure, temporary tooth and gum sensitivity are to be expected but should go away within a day or two. If the permanent crown has been applied, you can return back to your normal routine immediately.

Root canals have a very high success rate, but it’s important to remember that there is always a possibility for the filling to become infected. To avoid complications and additional root canals down the road, make oral hygiene a top priority and schedule regular visits to your dentist.

Sources:

Dental Health and Root Canals. (2015, January 26). Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-root-canals

Johnstone, G. (n.d.). The Latest on Root Canals. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/root-canals/

What is Root Canal Treatment and Why Would You Want It? (2010). Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/root-canal/

More than a smile: Importance of your kid’s long-term oral health

By: CNN Philippines

🦷 Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Children, in particular, are prone to problems brought by poor dental health. Sadly, its consequences may escalate up until adulthood; thus, affecting their social and psychological welfare.

Thankfully, this article via CNN Philippines highlights some effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Dental health is an essential — yet often overlooked — aspect of one’s general well-being.

Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Kids, on the other hand, would rather munch on their favorite snacks and sweets than grab a toothbrush after meals.

But the risks that come with not brushing our teeth go beyond gum disease and bad breath — it may affect our social and psychological welfare.

Children, in particular, are the most vulnerable to problems brought by poor dental health as its consequences can escalate up until adulthood.

How poor dental habits affect kids

Global health research shows that having dental conditions during childhood will effectively limit a student’s performance in school and education — an effect of all the absences due to sickness.

Filipino children are mostly affected by this, as toothache has been listed as the top reason for absenteeism among students.

Impaired physical appearance due to oral diseases can likewise affect a child’s confidence. Tooth loss and even halitosis (chronic bad breath) can prohibit a kid from coming out of his or her shell, making it difficult for him or her to develop social relationships with peers.

In the Philippines, local data shows that dental caries, or tooth decay, have the greatest impact on the quality of life of children.

This condition has been directly linked to poor diet and nutrition which— if not managed properly— can lead to other illnesses in the long run.

What to do when your kids resist brushing

In line with this, medical experts have long urged parents and caregivers to help children practice good oral health habits.

However, it’s common for your kids to clamp down whenever they see a toothbrush nearby.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities:

– Get the child involved: Letting your kid pick a colorful child-sized toothbrush and flavored toothpaste will make the process fun for your kid.

– Pay a quick visit to the dentist: Having an expert explain the benefits of good dental hygiene to your child can still do wonders. Who knows, maybe your child is in for a sweet treat at the clinic?

– Look for a win-win solution: When their children won’t cooperate, some parents resort to giving a reward system. This could mean an additional episode of the kid’s favorite cartoon— or perhaps a spontaneous afternoon walk in the park.

– Don’t take the fun out: Parents can still make brushing fun and playful for kids by humming a tune or even “accidentally” spraying their kids with water.

An early start to proper dental hygiene will contribute to good overall physical health and emotional well-being. A brush or two will lead not only to a smile — sometimes it will also last you a lifetime.

Source: https://cnnphilippines.com/lifestyle/2019/9/28/more-than-a-smile-importance-of-your-kids-long-term-oral-health.html

Genetic make-up has little impact on dental health, a new study finds

purple and pink plasma ball

By: University of Melbourne, Medical Xpress

📃 A new study has found genetic makeup does not predispose people to tooth decay, however, the research did find that children with overweight mothers are more likely to have cavities.

🤰 A research conducted by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found a link between the mother’s health and lifestyle during pregnancy and the child’s future dental health, with obesity in pregnancy a definite marker for increased risk of child tooth decay. Learn more about this surprising news via Medical Xpress – Medical and Health News! The Oral Surgery DC Team

The paper, published in the latest edition of Pediatrics, estimates that one in three Australian children have tooth decay by the time they start school.

Lead researcher Dr. Mihiri Silva, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said the study looked at the teeth of 173 sets of twins (identical and non-identical) from pregnancy through to six years of age.

“How genetics impacts on dental health has not often been studied,” Dr. Silva said. “This is the first twin study that looks at both genetics and early life risk factors, such as illness and lifestyle.

“We found that identical twins, with identical genomes, have varying degrees of decay. This means that environmental factors, like a lack of fluoride in water, seem to be the prime cause of cavities not genetic makeup.”

However, Dr. Silva said the research did find a link between the mother’s health and lifestyle during pregnancy and the child’s future dental health, with obesity in pregnancy a definite marker for increased risk of child tooth decay.

“The relationship between maternal obesity and child tooth decay is complex,” Dr. Silva said. “Perhaps the mother’s weight has a biological influence on the developing fetus or perhaps the risk of decay rises because of increased sugar consumption in that household.”

One in three of the twins studied (32.2 per cent) had dental decay, and almost one in four (24.1 per cent) had advanced decay.

Dr. Silva said it was important that people don’t think of tooth decay as genetic.

“If people think the health of their teeth is down to their genetic make-up, they may not be prepared to make important lifestyle changes,” she said.

“Our findings also reinforce how important it is for pediatricians and other health professionals to educate children to start preventive measures early in life, prior to the onset of damage to dental tissues.”

Dr. Silva said tooth decay was a serious health problem, because there was a clear link between child cavities and developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.

“Tooth decay is also the leading cause of preventable hospital stays for Australian children,” Dr. Silva said.

According to 2011 Victorian Department of Health statistics, more than 26 000 Australians under the age of 15 are admitted to hospital to treat tooth decay every year.

Dr. Katrina Scurrah, from Twins Research Australia and the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, said the study illustrated the advantages of studying twins to find out about health conditions and the importance of considering the effects of early life risk factors as well as genes.

But she said it’s important to try to replicate these findings in other studies that follow children through to adulthood and to explore other risk factors for dental decay.

This latest study in Pediatrics collected data about the twins at 24 and 36-weeks’ gestational age, at birth, 18 months and six years of age. This included a dental examination at age six.

Questionnaires about the mother’s weight, illnesses, medication use, vitamin D levels, stress, alcohol intake, and smoking were collected during pregnancy.

Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-04-genetic-make-up-impact-dental-health.html

TMJ and Jaw Pain – Why Does My Jaw Hurt?

By: 123 Dentist

Trauma, dental problems, and other health conditions can cause jaw pain. Pain in the jaw can range from uncomfortable to extreme, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. Once a health professional diagnoses the source of your jaw pain, you can receive treatment to alleviate or eliminate your pain.

Structure of Your Jaw

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your mouth connect each side of your lower jaw, or mandible, to your skull. These joints are flexible and can easily move, slide, and rotate in various directions as you speak, eat, drink, yawn, brush and floss your teeth, and perform other motions with your mouth. However, if your TMJ is hurt or overused, they can click or pop rather than move freely, which can cause you pain and discomfort.

Any problem or pain associated with TMJ is labeled as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), sometimes called temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJD). This common problem affects between 5 and 12% of people, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Common Causes of TMD

Several lifestyle factors and events can trigger TMD such as the following:

  • Mouth or jaw injuries or trauma: Injuries and trauma can damage or move your TMJ out of place, impacting their ability to move freely.
  • Teeth clenching or grinding: People who clench or grind their teeth put pressure on their TMJ, which causes jaw pain. Clenching and grinding often occur while you’re sleeping, and you may be unaware of this habit.
  • Opening your mouth too wide: Opening your mouth too wide when you eat or talk can put a strain on your TMJ and cause TMD.
  • Rheumatic diseases: Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases impact and cause pain in various joints, including your TMJ.
  • Tension headaches: Most commonly caused by stress, these headaches can cause pain throughout the face and jaw.
  • Sinus infections: The maxillary sinuses sit above the top row of teeth. When they become infected, they can cause swelling and pain around the eyes, cheek, and upper jaw. Many sufferers report feeling a tight, constant pressure in their upper jaw during sinus infections.
  • Neuropathic pain: This type of pain occurs after nerve damage. The damaged nerves send pain signals to the brain. If the damaged nerves are near the jaw, the condition manifests itself as jaw pain. People can experience jaw pain from neuropathic pain constantly or now and again.
  • Synovitis or capsulitis: These conditions cause inflammation in joints, such as the TMJ, or connecting ligaments. Inflammation around the jaw can be painful.
  • Ill-fitting dentures: When dentures don’t fit correctly, they can force your mouth into an unnatural position that can trigger and aggravate TMD.

Other Symptoms of TMD

Jaw pain is one of the most obvious and troublesome signs of TMD, but sufferers usually experience a range of symptoms:

  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Restricted TMJ movement.
  • Frequent jaw locking.
  • Difficulty chewing food.
  • Stiffness in the TMJ.

If you experience these symptoms, especially when coupled with jaw pain, you should make a dental appointment.

Other Causes of Jaw Pain

TMD is the most common cause of jaw pain, but it’s not the only trigger. Abscesses, tumors, infections of the gums, and other dental problems can also make your jaws hurt. Dentists can diagnose these problems. They can then put a treatment plan in place or refer you to another medical professional who can provide more specialized care.

Jaw Pain Treatment Options

The cause of your jaw pain will determine the best course of treatment. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth and jaw to develop your treatment plan. Blood tests, X-rays, MRI tests, and psychological tests may also be undertaken to diagnose your condition and optimal treatment solution.

Treatment can be as simple as taking antibiotics to resolve infection or adopting a soft diet to relieve pressure on the jaw until the issue resolves itself. Some patients may need to wear a mouth guard to discourage bad behaviors and correct a misaligned bite. Steroid injections and pain medications can relieve swelling and inflammation around the joints. Physical therapy can also help some patients. Surgery may also be necessary to remove tumors, damaged bones, or infected teeth, or to treat impacted nerves.

Preventing Jaw Pain

Once your jaw pain is resolved, preventive measures can minimize the chance of it recurring in the future:

  • Choose soft foods, such as pasta and soups, over hard, crunchy ones.
  • Take small bites of food when you eat.
  • Adopt relaxing habits such as meditating, practicing yoga, and getting regular massages.
  • Sleep on your side or back, rather than your stomach.
  • See your dentist regularly for oral checkups.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only specialists with a wide enough surgical knowledge of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and since TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection is critical. 

We can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw, visit us at https://oralsurgerydc.com/

Source: www.123dentist.com/tmj-and-jaw-pain-why-does-my-jaw-hurt