05Dec

Dentists have always recommended that patients brush at least twice a day to reduce the possibility of cavities and gum disease. Ideally, you should also brush after every meal to maximize your chances of keeping your teeth for life. However, many people find brushing a boring, time-consuming activity, so they rush through brushing or brush incorrectly. Whether you are one of these people or simply want the best for your teeth, you may be wondering whether you should buy an electric toothbrush. You need wonder no longer — you should.

What Is an Electric Toothbrush?

Before delving into the benefits of an electric toothbrush, it might be helpful to explain exactly what the term means. Electric toothbrushes and battery-powered toothbrushes are not identical. Battery-powered toothbrushes rely on AA batteries; electric toothbrushes plug into an electrical outlet when they need to be recharged. Battery-powered models have a little vibration for a bit of extra cleaning, but rechargeable toothbrushes may vibrate, rotate, employ sonic technology or oscillate. Some models of electric toothbrushes have additional features, including pressure sensors, settings for sensitive teeth or digital reminders that you need to replace the brush head. Battery-powered toothbrushes may be a small step above manual brushes, but electric toothbrushes are in a class of their own.

It's also important to understand that all electric toothbrushes are not equal! We've checked many different electric toothbrushes. We only recommend the Sonicare Electric Toothbrush by Philips

The Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes

Although electric toothbrushes provide a number of benefits, it is important to remember that you will only receive the maximum benefit if you actually use the brush correctly. Do not assume that merely having an electric toothbrush automatically guarantees that you are brushing better. When used correctly, however, an electric toothbrush can help in the following ways.

A Healthier, Cleaner Mouth

Every time you brush your teeth, you should spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. However, studies have shown that many Americans spend a total of approximately 30 seconds to brush every tooth they have. Furthermore, they often fail to clean their tongues or pay proper attention to their gums. Most models of electric toothbrushes have timers that beep when 120 seconds have elapsed, and some models beep every 30 seconds to signal that it is time to move to another quadrant. Since electric toothbrushes do a better job of removing plaque and trapped food particles, the result is a fresher, cleaner, healthier mouth.

Reduced Risk of Gum Disease

Food particles can become trapped along your gums, and over time, plaque can accumulate in that area. Even if you floss, these areas are hard to clean thoroughly, primarily because they are difficult to reach. Electric toothbrushes are excellent tools for getting these problem areas cleaned thoroughly. You reduce your risk of gingivitis and other gum diseases, which is important because periodontal disease increases your risk of potentially life-threatening health conditions such as stroke and heart disease.

Prevent Excessive Pressure During Brushing

Many people do not realize that it is possible to brush too vigorously. Brushing too hard can damage your gums, and since gum tissue does not regenerate, your gums could recede or become more susceptible to infections. In addition, excessive pressure can remove or damage the protective enamel that coats the surfaces of your teeth. Electric toothbrushes make it virtually impossible to apply excessive pressure; you should be simply holding the brush and letting the moving bristles handle all the work.

Easier for Those Having Dexterity Issues

Using a manual toothbrush can be challenging for those having limited mobility in their arms or feet, suffering from arthritis or having issues with fine motor skills. The handles on electric toothbrushes are larger than the handles on manual toothbrushes, so electric models are easier to grip. The powered brushes handle the actual cleaning, so they are also easier for people who lack sufficient dexterity to brush the backs of teeth or move a toothbrush manually.

Great for Youngsters

Young children are especially prone to rushing through their brushing or failing to brush correctly. Most kids, however, enjoy using an electric toothbrush more than they enjoy using a manual toothbrush. As a result, they are more likely to brush longer and more thoroughly. Electric toothbrushes can also help youngsters with braces be more effective at removing food particles that are trapped in places that are difficult to reach with a manual brush.

Once again, all electric toothbrushes are not equal! Check the Sonicare Philips Toothbrush. You and your teeth will be happy you did

12Oct

Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

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As Halloween looms around the corner, so do visions of candy apples, chewy caramels and sacks full of candy. Unfortunately, treats bring the threat of cavities with them too. If only you could trick yourself into staying away from Halloween candy completely. Instead, find out which candies are the worst for your teeth and how to reduce your chances of getting cavities after indulging.

Teeth, Meet Sugar

We grow up hearing that candy is bad for our teeth. In reality, the sugars in many foods, including bread and pasta, can contribute to cavities.

Your teeth are coated with plaque, which is a sticky film made of bacteria. When that bacteria is exposed to sugar, acid is produced. The acid degrades the enamel, eating away at it and leading to decay.

The Worst Candies For Cavities

If you’re concerned about your dental health or that of your kids this Halloween, you should know that some treats are worse for your teeth than others.

Sour Candies
Tooth enamel starts to be worn away when the pH level in your mouth is at 4.0. Sour candies have more acids than many other types of sugary treats. In fact, they tend to have a pH level of below 5.5. Below are the pH levels of common sour candies:

  • Sweetarts – 3.0
  • X-treme Airheads – 3.0
  • Sour Punch Straws – 2.5
  • Skittles – 2.5
  • Laffy Taffy – 2.5
  • Starburst – 2.4
  • Lemon Heads – 2.4
  • Sour Skittles – 2.2
  • ;Wonka Grape Nerds – 2.0
  • Wonka Fun Dip Powder – 1.6

To compare, battery acid has a pH of 1.0.

Sticky Candies
Treats that are chewy or sticky tend to cling to your teeth for longer than others, giving the sugar more time to combine with the bacteria and degrade the enamel. If your enamel has already eroded, your teeth might be more inclined to develop cavities.

You'll often know if you have enamel erosion because you might experience symptoms such as:

  • Sensitivity when you consume cold, hot or sweet items
  • Slightly yellowed teeth
  • Transparent enamel at the biting surface
  • Visible indentations on the surface of your teeth

Hard Candies
Hard candies are designed to melt away slowly. The longer they stay in your mouth, the more they wreak havoc on your teeth. Plus, you run the risk of damaging your teeth or breaking your fillings if you crunch down on hard candies.

The Best Candies For Your Teeth

If you're going to be picky about your Halloween candy, you might try to consume more of the treats that are less likely to contribute to cavities.

Sugar-Free Candy
Although sugar-free candy may be better than sticky, sugary goodies, some types of artificial sweetener are just as bad for your teeth as sugar. Plus, sugar-free foods often contain acidic additives, including citric acid, which damage the lining of your teeth.

Sugar-free treats that contain Xylitol might be a better option. Xylitol has been found to prevent bacteria from adhering to the teeth. It also helps the pH levels in your mouth remain neutral. Xylitol can even repair damaged enamel.

Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate. It also wipes off of teeth quickly. Choosing a piece of chocolate that contains nuts is even better. The nuts act as scouring pads and scrape sugar residue off of the teeth.

Powdered Candy
Although candy powders are usually straight sugar and acidic flavorings, they dissolve fairly quickly. Plus, you don't chew them, and they can largely bypass the teeth as they make their way across the tongue.

How To Take Care Of Your Teeth This Halloween

You're probably not going to bring a toothbrush trick-or-treating, and that's ok. Brushing your teeth immediately after they're softened from the acids in foods can grind away enamel quickly.

Wait approximately 30 minutes after eating candy before brushing your teeth. Drink and swish your mouth with plenty of water while you wait. Chewing sugar-free gum can pull sugar away from your teeth.

Although you may be tempted to sneak small bites of candy throughout the day, that's worse than eating a larger amount at one time. Your mouth is only designed to handle about four or five exposures to acid a day. If you limit the frequency of your candy consumption, you may be less likely to develop cavities.

If you're concerned about the health of your teeth, don't wait until they hurt to get them checked out. Regular cleanings remove the tartar that can build up around the gum line. Visiting your dentist frequently can help you monitor the status of your enamel and prevent cavities.

23Jul

Do I Have a Cracked Tooth?

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Chipped Tooth

You think you may have a cracked tooth, right? If so, you probably are feeling a little uneasy right now. You’re afraid that your tooth may suddenly split apart, and you would be subjected to intense pain. How can you know for sure, though, that your problems are the result of a cracked tooth and not something else?

Definition of a cracked tooth

What is a cracked tooth, anyway? It is simply a fracture or split within any part of the tooth. The crack may be on the outside of the tooth where it can be seen under the right conditions, or it could be hidden away from view on the inside of the tooth. The crack can penetrate the entire tooth or only a portion of it, and the crack can run in any direction. Symptoms associated with a cracked tooth. If you think you may have a cracked tooth, see if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain, especially when chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Sensitivity to sweetness
  • Swollen gums
  • General discomfort in one particular area of your mouth

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, does that mean it is a certainty that your tooth is cracked? As you probably have guessed by now, the answer is not that simple. While the symptoms listed above are often associated with a cracked tooth, they could be indicative of other problems as well. In most cases, unless you can actually see the crack in your tooth, it will be difficult for you to make a determination without professional help.

Causes of a cracked tooth

What causes a tooth to crack? Here are some of the more common reasons:

  • A physical injury to an individual tooth or to the mouth
  • A large filling in a tooth which causes the tooth to weaken
  • Biting down on a hard substance such as hard candy
  • Grinding the teeth, which often occurs during sleep

Avoiding a cracked tooth

How can you avoid cracking a tooth? One way is to wear a mouth guard when you play sports or participate in other activities that might subject you to bodily harm. Another is to use tools for prying things open instead of doing so with your teeth. Get regular dental checkups and never ignore potential problems. Also, keep your teeth healthy by practicing good oral hygiene which includes regular brushing and flossing. Keep in mind that a healthy tooth is less likely to crack than an unhealthy one.

Risks associated with a cracked tooth

Remember that your overall wellbeing is affected by your dental health. If you suspect that your tooth is cracked, and you leave it untreated, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of future problems, including the following:

  • Infections, such as an abscess, which may require antibiotics
  • Further tooth decay
  • Tooth splitting apart, requiring an extraction
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Seeking the aid of a professional

If you think you may have a cracked tooth, you will probably need to see a dentist who can provide the comprehensive care you need. That is because a cracked tooth can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. The dentist will likely ask you a series of questions concerning your dental history and the symptoms you are experiencing in an effort to locate the exact problem. He or she may examine your teeth using a magnifying glass and possibly take X-rays. Probes and other dental tools may be used to narrow down the search. In more difficult cases, the dentist may apply a dye which can make cracks more visible.

Treatment options

If it is determined that you do have a cracked tooth, what can you expect in the way of treatment options? This will depend, of course, on the severity of the damage and whether your tooth is actually cracked or not. If your tooth is chipped, the dentist may be able to repair it by either gluing the chipped piece back on or by fabricating a replacement part. A small crack can often be repaired by filling it with a dental bonding material. If the surface of the tooth is beyond repair, the typical fix would be to crown the tooth. Crowns, also known as caps, are made from compatible materials and bonded to the base of the tooth using dental cement. If the damage to the tooth has affected the root system, it may be necessary to perform a root canal, and in more severe cases, the tooth may have to be extracted.