The Wonders of Vitamin D

 Have you ever wondered what Vitamin D can do to help your body? More over your oral health? Is milk really only for my bones?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins. It prevents periodontal disease, gingivitis, and cavities in addition to building bones and aids in absorption of calcium. Vitamin D regulates calcium and allows us to use it more efficiently in our bodies, which is vital to bone health. Recently this vitamin has been linked to the healthiness of your teeth! Studies have shown that addition of Vitamin D to the diet of children reduced evidence of tooth decay by up to 50% in the 3,000 children who were part of the study. In humans, Vitamin D is unique because if can be synthesized and can be absorbed naturally when exposed to the sun. Sadly, if you have a calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency it is likely that your bones and teeth will be affected. Therefore increasing and maintaining your calcium and vitamin D intake can help reduce the effects of premature bone loss.

One good source of Vitamin D and calcium that we can have every day is Milk! Who doesn’t like a nice cool glass of milk? Milk that is fortified with Vitamin D is beneficial to our oral health is because it packs the two for one punch Calcium and Vitamin D. Having strong teeth and bones is arguably one of the most valuable health benefits we strive towards with age. Generally teeth are very hard and  can withstand all the chewing and crunching of all the food we eat. However, tooth enamel is a complex calcium phosphate mineral called apatite. Because, calcium is continuously gained and lost by this mineral, addition of milk to our diets is a great way to replenish calcium. When we are deficient in calcium and Vitamin D, our teeth aren’t as strong, and we can acquire bone loss and even inflammation of our gums. Oral inflammation is a sign of periodontal disease, which results in bone loss if left untreated, when infection that causes bones loss is left untreated tooth loss is the final result. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues  that effect bone that support your teeth this disease occurs when plaque and other oral bacteria’s reach dangerous levels and are not removed by daily brushing or treated with surgeries.

There are many beneficial reasons to adding Vitamin D to your diet, one of the hidden reasons is for your oral health! Your teeth go through so much stress and strain from all of the yummy, delicious, sticky  foods you eat. Thank them by taking Vitamin D and maintaining your oral health with your family dentist and scheduling annual check-up and cleanings!

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Tetracycline, Pregnancy, and Oral Care.

Have you ever heard of the antibiotic called Tetracycline? It is used to treat conditions including acne and respiratory infections. What a lot of people don’t know is that if you’re taking this and you are pregnant, this antibiotic can cause certain risk factors to your child. If you take tetracycline after the fourth month of pregnancy, you can put your child’s teeth in harm. It can cause discoloration, or graying of the baby’s teeth. Because the staining forms when the baby’s teeth are developing, the discoloration is embedded in the tooth’s enamel and inner layers.  The discoloration is either gray or brown in color. They cover the entire tooth, or appear as a pattern of stripes. tetracycline discoloration develops on the teeth while they are still forming under the gum line. During the development of the baby’s teeth, the drug becomes calcified (hardens) in the tooth, generating the tooth stain. Children are susceptible to tetracycline discoloration from the time they are in utero until age 8.

Which leads me to my next point….You can never start oral care too early. If you’re an expectant mother, you can start taking care of your child’s teeth while they are in utero. Eating a variety of  healthy foods, and taking calcium supplements can help prevent decay from forming. Not only does that help with the prevention of decay, it also decreases the baby’s risk of being born with a cleft lip and palate.  When the baby is born, you can continue to help the prevention of decay. After each feeding, take a soft, damp wash cloth and gently wipe the baby’s gums. This will also decrease the baby’s risk of bacteria build up. When they reach the age of 6 months, when their teeth usually start to come in, you can take a very soft tooth-brush, and gently brush the gum lines, where the teeth form twice a day. As the children get older, parents should be brushing their teeth until they are 6 years old. This helps them develop a pattern, and routine for when they get older, and brush by themselves. You can also prevent sticky, and sweet foods from being a main part of their diet. This will help prevent cavities, and tooth decay.

 

We’ve Got Gas!

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing” gas, was introduced to the dental field in 1844.   Nitrous is a useful sedative for the patient who is a little anxious or very anxious about dental treatment.  Nitrous oxide is a gas you inhale through a mask that covers your nose during your procedure.  The gas is quick into your system, and quick out of your system.  The dentist will have you inhale oxygen at the beginning of the appointment and the end to clear your system.  Many people find dental appointments to be much more pleasant and do not fear procedures, if the know the nitrous is available to them.

Nitrous used alone will not create anesthesia that puts you to sleep.  You are able to talk with your dentist and respond to requests from them.  Your teeth will still require the use of local anesthetics for procedures.  Nitrous is not strong enough to provide adequate anesthesia if used alone.  Although, a ride is not required after you have been on nitrous; our offices recommend you have someone give you a ride home following your appointment.  Ask your dentist about nitrous at your next appointment.

We love the Dentist!

Mini Implants Stablize Loose Fitting Dentures

 

Nothing is more frustrating for a dental patient, than a loose fitting denture.  If there was a conservative option to secure your dentures in a day, would that be of interest to you?

Mini implants are a wonderful option to secure your existing denture.  Yes, we can use your existing denture.  Mini implants are smaller in diameter than regular implants.  They do not require surgery or healing time prior to being able to place the denture on the implants.  Usually, a minimum of four implants are placed in the bone.  They denture is modified by the dentist to house specialize attachments.  These attachments tightly fasten the denture to the mini implants.  Patients report little discomfort and a lot of satisfaction with their smile and functionality.

One appointment is all it takes to have a firmly secure denture, in one day!

 

Shopping for Toothbrushes

The first toothbrush with bristles was manufactured in China in 1498.  Bristles from hogs, horses and badgers were used.  The first commercial toothbrush was made in 1938.   When shopping for a toothbrush there are a few things to consider.  Electric toothbrushes are generally more efficient than a manual brush.  Electric toothbrushes can produce more brush strokes per minute and can remove more bacteria in a shorter period of time.

However, not everyone likes the “feel” of an electric toothbrush.  If you are fan of manual toothbrushes, please make sure they are soft or extra soft bristles.  It is much easier to replace your toothbrush than to repair the damage a medium or a hard bristle toothbrush can cause.  Be sure to visit your dentist and hygienist for the latest in toothbrushes.  Luckily, toothbrushes manufactures stopped using bristles from animals for the toothbrushes we use today.  

 

 

The Dangers of Artifical Sweeteners

Recently Dr. Mehmet Oz did a segment on his TV show “Dr. OZ”  highlighting the dangers of artificial sweeteners, which not to our surprise has increasingly become America nemesis to our waistline and oral health. He illustrates Metabolic Syndrome as one of the main effects of artificial sweeteners. Metabolic Syndrome occurs when the taste buds located in lower parts of the digestive track (in the pancreas) release insulin are send a pleasure responses to the addiction center of the brain telling our bodies that it has received something sweet and enjoyable. The addiction center then starts to crave another sugar fix sending those needs for the pleasure producing taste back to the rest of your body. All in all creating a vicious cycle of repetition and sugar addition, which in turn is producing weight gain from the increased production of insulin from the pancreas and eventually can lead to insulin resistance and obesity.

In a large study in the 1970’s “Saccharin” was linked to bladder cancer, this once caused the sweetener to come with a warning label. Now many studies done by the Food and Drug Administration cannot find a substantial link between artificial sweeteners and cancer, but only when consumed in limited amounts. Now that artificial sweeteners have been cleared  by the FDA for consumption,  applications are sky rocketing. Studies link just one diet cola a day to Metabolic Syndrome which comes with its laundry list of health concerns in addition the build up belly fat.

Regardless of health effects and linked controversy of said sweeteners many foods (and drink) that are harmful to your dental and overall health contain artificial sweeteners as a primary ingredient. Modern diets and eating habits  have increased your tooth enamels exposure to  foods high in acid resulting acid erosion of your teeth. Eating everyday foods high in acid, many of which include artificial sweeteners can eventually soften your enamel. This makes wearing away tooth enamel by brushing and eating easier and becomes thinner over time. Thinner enamel can also look visibly dingy and less brilliant that will also leave your teeth susceptible to heat and cold sensations over time.

When it comes to food and drinks there is no comparison between water, natural fruits and vegetables and foods that are highly processed and sweetened. Sticking to a diet consisting of natural unsweetened foods and beverages will most definitely reduce your risks of some cancers and enamel erosion. However, there is no replacement for the “occasional” indulgence to keep the heart happy. Dont deprive yourself of the things you love, simply love them in moderation – And always brush your teeth after life’s simple indulgences.

Banana peels whitening your teeth in the news

Is it possible? There have been a handful of articles in the news and on the internet lately claiming that whitening your teeth is as simple as rubbing old banana peels on your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Now we all know that bananas are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals for our bodies that can reduce cramping after a long work out, reduce blood pressure and the potassium producing power fruit is also known as a good source of daily energy, but whitening your teeth may be a stretch.

The average banana contains over 400 mg of potassium, 3 grams of fiber, over 10 mg of vitamin C and weights in at right around 100 calories which would definitely plop this fruit smack dab in the center of the super fruit category, but teeth whitening benefits may be beyond the grasp of this natural wonder.

Articles suggest using a ripened banana peel (which contain to the highest levels of potassium) to rub on your teeth for about two minutes (twice a day) will allow the natural minerals to whiten your teeth naturally. Sounds to good to be true! We agree, there is no replacement for professional cleaning and whitening procedures to whiten your teeth to their highest natural level. Now we will never dispute the bananas natural ability to aid in whitening but it is definitely not a replacement for regular dental care.

Lets leave the super fruit up to curing ulcers, eyesight issues and claims of rebuilding bones.

Wednesday’s Weird Fact

Its been commonly known that our nations first president George Washington had false teeth, but what were they you ask? Possibly wood, maybe ivory, maybe even animal bone. In 2005 researchers in Baltimore cleared any rumors by laser scanning a set of the late George Washington’s false teeth. Their results were mind-blowing. George Washington’s dentures were in fact made of gold, lead, ivory, actual human teeth and animal teeth – likely donkey and horse teeth. The apparatus had springs and bolts that held it all together. Despite his grim appearance in most historic pictures George Washington was a dancer and a horseman. By the time he was sworn into office at 57 had spent over 30 years battling tooth loss which started in his mid 20’s. Just another reminder why brushing your teeth can save you a lifetime of poorly illustrated portraits and preserve your smile for in this case all of eternity.