October 16, 2014
With so many options in the dental health isle choosing toothpaste can be a little overwhelming. From baking soda, whitening, foaming, desensitizing, tarter control, anti-gingivitis, fluoride…the list can go on and on. No matter the brand always select a toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Dr. Tillman has a few tips for choosing the right toothpaste for you and your family’s needs.
- Anti-cavity: Almost all the options on the market contain fluoride. Fluoride is just as important as brushing in preventing decay and it actively strengthens tooth enamel.
- Anti-gingivitis: Do your gums suffer from redness and bleeding? You might have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Anti-gingivitis toothpastes help reduce oral bacteria and can be very effective at stopping this gum condition at its source.
- Desensitizing: Ever take a sip of hot coffee or a cold beverage and feel a shooting pain? This type of toothpaste might help to give you some relief – it helps reduce pain by blocking the tooth’s pain signal to the nerve.
- Tartar-control: As its name indicates, tartar-control toothpaste helps prevent the buildup of tartar. While this product is helpful in slowing new buildup on teeth, a professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove existing tartar and the bacteria it harbors.
- Whitening: Containing polishing or chemical agents that remove surface stains, this toothpaste is able to help maintain the natural color of your teeth.
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October 2, 2014
Getting your kids to brush their teeth, yet alone like it, can be tricky. We have some tips that might help you to get your kids brushing and like it!!
Dr. Tillman recommends that you choose a small, child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking the brush in warm water for a few minutes before brushing can soften the bristles even more. Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Monkey See Monkey Do: Modeling good behavior is one of the best ways to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth instead of thinking it’s a chore. When you brush your teeth, be happy that you’re doing it. If Mom and Dad make it look like fun, the kids will want to do it too. Let them copy you. Buy them the same color toothbrush as you have, or try an electric one, which may be more entertaining for them. Let them try brushing your teeth and then you can brush theirs to make sure they’re actually clean.
Give them a good story: Talk about why we need to brush – how the sugar bugs make holes in our teeth if we don’t brush them away. Sometimes kids need a reason or a good story to get on board.
Make bubbles: Encourage them to create lots of bubbles – that means they’re brushing well. You could hold a bubble-making contest with your kids to see who can create the most bubbles.
Make sure to bring your kids in for their routine check ups and cleanings and our hygienists can help encourage the kids with good brushing habits!
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September 18, 2014
When it comes to chewing gum, it’s the type of gum you chew that makes a difference in whether it’s helpful or harmful to your teeth. While chewing gum containing sugar may actually increase your chances of developing a cavity, there is evidence that demonstrates just the opposite for sugar-free gum. And there’s even better news when it comes to chewing sugar-free gum that is sweetened with xylitol.
Sugar-free gum helps to clean teeth:
Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help rinse off the acids released by the bacteria in plaque, which are harmful to tooth enamel. Both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate ten times the normal rate of saliva flow. Not only does the increased saliva flow neutralize the acids in your mouth, it also washes away food particles, helping to keep your teeth clean.
Xylitol reduces decay-causing bacteria:
Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol has the added benefit of inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria that cause cavities. In the presence of xylitol, the bacteria lose the ability to adhere to the tooth, stunting the cavity-causing process. With xylitol use over a
period of time, the types of bacteria in the mouth change and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces.
To chew or not to chew:
Although chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial in most instances, there are some cases in which chewing gum is not recommended. For example, if you are experiencing any type of jaw pain you should refrain from chewing gum and talk to Dr. Tillman about what options are available to you.
For most people, chewing sugar-free gum (especially gum sweetened with xylitol) can be a good preventive measure in
situations when toothbrushing and flossing aren’t practical, but sugar-free or not, chewing gum should never replace good dental hygiene practices.
With all these options waiting at the checkout candy rack, it is easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth and protect it from cavities at the same time. The next time you are in the mood for a sweet treat, why not bite into a piece of sugar free or cavity-fighting gum that is good for your teeth instead of a sugar-filled candy? Your teeth will thank you.
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July 11, 2014
- Teeth start to form even before birth. Milk teeth, or baby teeth, start to form when a baby is in the womb, but teeth don’t begin to show until a child is between six and twelve months old.
- No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
- Say Cheese! The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese is healthy or your teeth – it reduces the pH level in plaque and re-mineralizes the enamel.
- The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools!
- Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.
- Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
- The plaque found in your teeth is home to more than 300 different species of bacteria. Listerine, anyone?
- In Medieval Germany, the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.
- The average woman smiles about 62 times per day! A man? Only 8.
- 50% of people surveyed say that a person’s smile is the first physical trait they notice.
- U.S. and Japanese studies have found that black or green tea has antibacterial powers that help prevent cavities and gum disease.
- In Vermont, it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband.
- On September 20th, China celebrates “Love your Teeth Day” – a national holiday promoting oral awareness among its 1.2 billion people.
- A long time ago, humans utilized charcoal or ground up chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixture to clean their teeth. It was only around a hundred years ago that the toothpaste was invented.
- In the 1800s, people who had false teeth in England ate in their bedrooms before gatherings and events at the dinner table. This unique Victorian tradition protected them against the embarrassment of having their teeth ‘fall off’ while dining.
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