STOP IT!! These habits can harm your teeth!

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Ann Clark RDH

Enamel is the toughest substance of the body.  But teeth can still be vulnerable when it comes to neglect, abuse or misuse.

1) Chewing on ice, pencils- Harmless? think again.  This habit can chip or crack your tooth.  It can also irritate the inside of the tooth causing toothaches or sensitivity.

ice chewing

2)Sports without mouthguards-Many sports require a mouthguard, a molded piece of plastic protecting your teeth.  Without one you an chip or even knock one out.  Get a custom fit one from your friendly dentist.

3)Bedtime bottles-Giving baby juice, milk or formula at bed can lead to decay.  The remnants bathe the teeth in sugars over night.

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4)Tongue piercing-Biting on a stud can crack a tooth.  Metal rubbing against gums can cause damage that may lead to tooth loss.  The mouth  is a haven for bacteria increasing the risk of infection.  Over time the metal can also wear down the enamel changing its shape.

piercing

5)Drinking coffee-The dark color and acidity can cause yellowing over time.  Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to treat with a little whitening.

coffee-black

6)Smoking/tobacco products-These stain the teeth and lead the way to periodontal disease.  Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips and tongue.

cigarette

7)Drinking wine-The acids in wines eat at the enamel creating rough spots.  A stained tooth is like sandpaper attracting more bacteria.  Red wine contains chromogen and tannins which help the color to stick…rinse with water, alcohol dries out your mouth.

8)Constant snacking- This produces less saliva than when eating a meal, leaving food bits in the teeth longer.  Snacks should be low in sugar/starch…try carrots.

9)Binge eating-Binging and purging(Bulemia) can do damage from acids found in vomit that erode enamel, leaving them brittle and weak.  Acids also cause bad breath.

10)Whitening too often- Chronic whitening or not following directions acn lead to gum irritation and increased sensitivity.

11) Bottled water- Most have little to no Fluoride as do home filtration units.  Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth structure.

12)Grinding/Clenching-Bruxism wears the tooth down over a period of time.  If worn to the  inner dentin your teeth become sensitive.  Stress, boredom, and sleeping habits make it hard to control. Worn down teeth make you look older and cause pressure to fracture the teeth.

13)Medications-Oral contraceptives can change your hormones and lead to periodontal disease.  Cough drops are high in sugar content leading to decay.  Antihistamines asue dry mouth as do many meds.  We need our saliva to protect our teeth!

14)Drug Abuse(Meth)- Crystal Meth, an illegal and addictive drug can destroy your teeth.  Users crave sugary drinks and foods, clench and have dry mouth.  They notoriously lack in taking care of themselves.

15)Gummy candy-Sticky foods keep sugars and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours.  Eat them with a meal as more saliva is produced helping to rinse your mouth.

gummy bear

16)Sodas/Sports drinks/Fruit juice-Sodas have 11teas. of sugar per serving.  They also contain phosphorus and citric acids which eat at enamel.  Diet skips the sugar but adds more acid (artificial sweetners).  Don’t sip these beverages keeping the teeth bathed, chug them and rinse with water

17)Potato chips-Bacteria in plaque will break down starchy foods into acid.  This acid can attack teeth for 20+ minutes if stuck between the teeth…floss!

18)Using your teeth as a tool-It’s convenient to open a bottle or package this way but it canlad to a chip or crack and nail biting is full of germs and bacterias, don’t chew on them.

tooth tool

19) Brushing too much, too hard or with a hard bristle brush-This can erode enamel. Toothpaste can be abrasive, technique is important so as not to take away enamel.  Skipping check ups and not flossing will, of course, cause problems as well.

Being informed is your best defense!

Ann Clark RDH

 
Photo cited:
 
Cigarette  www.webmd.com
Baby bottle www.webmd.com
Gummy Bear www.markmatters.com
Tooth Tool www.webmd.com
Ice Chewing. www.personal.psu.edu
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Tooth Brushes!!

Karen

Karen Kelly RDH

As a dental hygienist, one of my most frequently asked questions is, ‘There are so many toothbrushes, which one should I use or should I just switch to an electric toothbrush?’.  My response is, first, always use a SOFT name brand toothbrush (I know stores sell medium and even hard toothbrushes but don’t buy them!!) and second to make sure you are brushing correctly at least 2 times daily and brushing for at least 2 minutes.  When I say correctly, I mean to aim the toothbrush up into the gums at a 45 degree angle.

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 Properly angled brushing

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Unhealthy vs. healthy gum tissue

I see lots of people who do brush their teeth, but since they don’t actually brush along the gumline, their gums are red and puffy.  So, brush the gums like you are giving them a massage; use little back and forth or circular motions.  Don’t use long scrubbing strokes, it is abrasive!  Then floss and/or use an interdental cleaner of some kind each and every day.  No matter how good a toothbrush is and how good someone brushes, it’s impossible to get in between the teeth clean with just a brush.  Also, change your brush often!  When the bristles begin to flare out or it’s been 3 months, change it, it makes a difference to use a new brush.

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                        If your brush looks like this, throw it out!                

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 A brand new SOFT toothbrush

If you brush really well with a manual toothbrush, you probably won’t see that much of a difference if you were to switch to an electric toothbrush.  The problem is, many people don’t clean their teeth that well with a manual toothbrush so that’s where the electric toothbrush can really help.  We recommend 2 brands of the electric brushes, the Sonicare and the Oral-B Braun.  These are not the battery powered toothbrushes, these brushes plug into the wall and have a rechargeable battery.  They just have so much more brushing action than a manual toothbrush that even if you aren’t that great of a brusher, you can do an excellent job if you use one of these brushes daily.  In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, they stated, “The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.”(1)  In another study, “the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush was found to be safe and significantly superior to a manual toothbrush in reducing gingivitis, sites of gingival bleeding and plaque over time.  DiamondClean reduced gingivitis and gingival bleeding sites up to two times more and removed up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush after four weeks of use.”(2)   Sonicare also states that their ‘DiamondClean toothbrush effectively removed extrinsic tooth stain within one and two weeks of use, and it was significantly superior to a manual toothbrush at both one and two week checks.'(3)  On the Oral B website, they state that their Professional Precision 5000 toothbrush has produced these results:  34% less gingival bleeding at 6 months vs. a regular manual toothbrush and 29% lower gingival bleeding scores at 3 months vs. Sonicare® FlexCare (4)

It is still important to use the powered toothbrush 2 times daily for at least 2 minutes and allow the toothbrush to clean along the gumline.  If you have an electric toothbrush but it mostly sits on your counter, that doesn’t count when we ask if you use an electric toothbrush!

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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

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                                                     Oral-B® Professional Precision 5000

Electric toothbrushes come in many different models and prices.  Take a look at a store like Target or Walgreens, they have lots of choices so you can find one that will fit your budget and taste.  We carry our favorite electric brushes and replacement brush heads in our office as well, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about toothbrushes.  I like to answer questions about brushes so much that I go to Target and walk up and down the dental isle just so I can give advice to shoppers!!

So, remember what I tell my younger patients:  2 times a day for 2 minutes.  It’s easy to do and easy to remember!

Karen Kelley  R.D.H.

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 Just some fun photos to make you smile!

 

1.  http://222.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674927

2.  http://sonicare.com/professional/en_AU/pdf/Gingival_DC_2011_Milleman.pdf

3.  http://staging1.microsites.ce.philips.com/DP_AU_EN_3_3_Orc2/pdf/Stain_DC_2010_Colgan.pdf

4.   http://www.dentalcare.com/en-US/oral-b-crest-professional-products/category/electric-toothbrushes/oralb-5000-professional-trial.aspx

Image Sources

http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/sonicare-hx9332-diamondclean-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush?ID=827710

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/proper-angle-for-brushing-your-teeth

http://www.impledent.com/patient-services/teeth-dental-cleanings/

http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/talkscience/2011/10/27/wonderful-things-more-than-meets-the-eye/

http://www.oralb.com/products/pro-health-gentle-clean/

http://www.oralb.com/products/professional-care-smart-series-5000/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Boralb%20%2B5000&utm_campaign=Oral-B_Search_Desktop_Brand+Awareness_Power|ProfessionalCare+SmartSeries+5000&utm_content=sGVAVXD2P|dc_21461550775_b_%2Boralb%20%2B5000

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