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

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.