Oral Bacteria: Sharing or Spreading?

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Becky Larson RDH

            The sharing or spreading of oral bacteria happens very frequently and most people are unaware they are even doing it.  Our mouths are filled with millions of bacteria. When you share food, cups, utensils, toothbrushes, or have contact with someone else’s saliva these bacteria can be transferred from person to person. This can be particularly harmful when sharing with children.

Cavities (caries) are the result of a bacterial infection and young children can “catch” the harmful bacteria that cause cavities. While everybody has bacteria in their mouth, it’s important to try to keep these harmful bacteria from our children’s mouths during their first year or two. Babies are actually born without any harmful bacteria in their mouth.  Once the harmful caries bacteria are introduced, the child may experience tooth decay.

So what does this mean?  It means DON’T SHARE BACTERIA.  I’ve seen many parents (including my own husband) suck their child’s pacifier clean.  This can be both good and bad.  The parent has just introduced new bacteria into their child’s mouth.  Some bacteria are harmless and can actually help prevent allergic reactions.  However, if the parent has any caries bacteria, they have now given those bacteria to their child.  Sharing saliva can also spread the bacteria that cause inflammatory reactions and periodontal disease in adults.

Why does it matter? Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma.  When left untreated, the disease can cause developmental problems.  Tooth decay can lead to mouth pain, which makes it more difficult for a child to eat healthy foods, speak correctly, and even concentrate in school.  Tooth decay can also damage permanent teeth when they erupt.  Periodontal disease cannot currently be cured.  If left untreated, the gums, bone and tissues that support the teeth can be destroyed.  This can result in the loss of teeth.

            Tips on how to prevent bacteria transmission and cavities:

*If your child sleeps with a bottle, fill it with water rather than milk or juice

*Clean baby gums with wet cloth several times per day before baby teeth erupt

*Once your child has erupted teeth, brush them at least twice per day (even if it’s only one tooth!)

*Take your child to the dentist by their 1st birthday or when the first tooth erupts

*Avoid putting anything in your child’s mouth that has been in your mouth

*Avoid kissing your child on the lips

*Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and toothbrushes

*Help your child floss their teeth once the teeth are contacting

*Change toothbrushes every 3 months

*Eat a balanced diet, limit sugar intake

*Brush your own teeth twice per day and floss once per day

Sources:

http://www.perio.org/node/224

http://oralhealthmatters.blogspot.com/2013/05/bacteria-in-mouth-are-not-harmless.html

http://brushinguplasalle.com/tag/oral-bacteria/

https://www.deltadental.com/Public/NewsMedia/NewsReleaseBadThingsHappen201108.jsp

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35989527/ns/health-oral_health/t/moms-kiss-can-spread-cavities-baby/#.UpYHZ9F3uM8

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm

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Toothpaste

Kara

Kara Johansen BSRDH

The dental isle in the grocery store can be very overwhelming. Rows and rows of toothpastes, mouth rinses, and floss. We are here to help make that isle less confusing.  In a previous post Julie West BS RDH wrote about mouth rinses, thanks Julie! So here is the breakdown of toothpaste.

What is the purpose of toothpaste?

There are 4 reasons to use toothpaste. 1. Fluoride 2. Bacterial Plaque reduction 3. Tartar Inhibition 4. Desensitization. Here is the breakdown of each type of toothpaste.

Fluoride-

  • Fluoride has been the greatest public health venture in the United States. The most rampant form of disease in children is dental decay. Fluoride can cause a 20-30% decrease in decay (451, Wilkins). The fluoride remineralizes areas of decay that are in the beginning stages. When your dentist says they are going to “watch” a tooth it means that the he/she understands the decay can remineralize with good oral hygiene, great nutritional habits and fluoride use.
  • Here is a tip: switch up your oral hygiene routine.
  1. Mouthwash
  2. Floss
  3.  Brush for 2 min with fluoridated toothpaste.
  4. Walk away. Do not rinse after you brush. You want the fluoride to stay on your teeth and remineralize that weak spot that the dentist is watching.
  • Fluoride also helps with: tooth sensitivity, deceases tooth loss, promotes less frequency of periodontal diseases, overall bone health and bacterial reduction.

Bacterial Plaque Reduction-

  • There are different products in toothpastes to decrease the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Some of these products are: Triclosan, fluoride, Chlorhexidine, peroxide and bicarbonate, sanguinaria, and essential oils.
  • Brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce the majority of cavity causing bacteria in the mouth. Plaque is like pancake batter, it is sticky. Mechanical Removal will have the greatest affect on decreasing plaque levels in the mouth.

Dental plaque

http://mpkb.org/home/pathogenesis/microbiota/biofilm

Tartar Inhibition

  • The goal of these toothpastes are to reduce the production of tartar. These toothpastes however, do not have any effect on existing tatar. The toothpastes is meant to reduce the amount of tartar initially created. The only true way to get rid of tartar is mechanical removal by your dentist or hygienist. Come for you cleanings, they would love to help you out with that part. If you don’t love the scrapping do you part at home, brush with an electric toothbrush and floss two times per day.

pp002

http://colgate-sensitive-pro-relief.colgateprofessional.com.hk/patienteducation/Plaque-and-Periodontal-Disease/article

Desensitization

  • Sensitive teeth are no fun. Cold, hot , sweet foods or drinks, and mechanical forces can cause sensitivity.
  • How did I get sensitive teeth? This can be caused by multiple factors. The most common is tooth root exposure. When the gums recede a part of the tooth called dentin is exposed. It is a much more porous structure and sensitivity happens frequently.
  • pated_GingivalRecessionWithExposedRootDentine
  • colgateprofessional.com
  • When you are seeking out a toothpaste for sensitivity look for the active ingredients. Flip that tube of toothpaste over and take a peek. Potassium Nitrate calms down the nerve that is more sensitive with exposed dentin.  Sodium and stannus fluoride strengthen and occlude the more porous dentin.  A mix of Potassium Nitrate and fluoride is your best bet for desensitization.
  • MI Paste RECALDENT (CPP-ACP) has been found to help with sensitivity. Like fluoride it blocks the small porous openings of dentin. You can get a prescription for it from your dentist.
  • Other Products: Sensodyne, Pronamel, Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, etc. Scan the dental isle.

images

http://www.recaldent.com

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us.sensodyne.com/products.aspx

Colgate-Sensitive-Pro-Relief-TP-triBox

http://www.colgatesensitiveprorelief.com.sg/products/toothpaste

What is in my toothpaste?

Cleaning and Polishing 20-40%

  • An abrasive is used to clean and the polish smooths the surface of the tooth. These agents help to decrease the adherence of stain and plaque buildup.
  • Possible agents: Calcium carbonate, IMP, dicalcium phosphate, hydrated aluminum oxide, and silica

Detergents 1-2%

  • Detergents make your toothpaste foam and are surfactants. They lower the surface tension, loosen stains, foam, and emulsify debris.
  • Possible agents: sodium laurel sulfate, sodium cocomonoglyceride sulfonate
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate can cause sloughing of the tissue, make one more prone to canker sores and decreases healing time of mouth sores for some people. Patients who experience this should avoid Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Sensodyne does not use sodium laruel sulfate, this product would be a good choice for you.

Binders 1-2%

  • Binders keep your the solid and liquid ingreadients together

Now the next time you walk down the dental isle hopefully you will know exactly what type of toothpaste is perfect for you and your needs. If you have more questions ask your dentist or dental hygienist.  Watch out for the next post on what type of floss to choose, its going to be a duesy. Happy brushing and don’t forget to floss.

 

Sources:

GC America Professional Dental Site. Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.mi-paste.com/faq.php

Wilkins, E. M. (1994). Clinical Practice of the Dental Hyginienist: Seventh Edition. Media, PA: Williams and Wilkins.

Tongue Thrust

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Julie West BS RDH

During your child’s dental exam, the hygienist and dentist will evaluate your child’s bite to see if the teeth align properly.  As your child’s adult teeth start to emerge, the dentist will determine if orthodontics are recommended.   Most children who get braces will have straight, aligned teeth in a year or two.  However, if your child has a tongue thrusting habit, they may be back in those braces before you know it.

Tongue thrusting habit is a condition in which the tongue makes contact with any teeth other than the molars during swallowing.  It is considered an orofacial myofunctional disorder.  Although a tongue thrust is normal in infancy, development moves the tongue upward to form the shape of the palate, and the tongue thrust usually decreases and disappears as a child grows.  If the tongue thrust continues, a child may look, speak, and swallow differently than other children the same ago.    Older children may become self-conscious about their appearance.

The tongue is a strong muscle, and its constant pressure on the back of the front teeth can cause them to protrude outward.  Over time, this may lead to the front teeth not touching in what is called an “open bite”.  Although orthodontics can correct this, if the habit is not stopped, the teeth will eventually move out again.  In fact, many orthodontists have families seek therapy to correct tongue thrust before braces are put on to ensure treatment is successful.

A child’s speech may also be affected by tongue thrust habit.  One study sampled a group of children, half with tongue thrust, half without, and found that 86% of the children with tongue thrust exhibited lisping as compared to 0% of the children without tongue thrust.  Research examining various populations found 38% have orofacial myofunctional disorders and an incidence of 81% has been found in children exhibiting speech/articulation problems.

A speech therapist, myofunctional therapist, orthodontist, and your dentist can all help correct this habit in your child and restore their occlusion

Below is a picture of a child with tongue thrust and an open bite:

Tongue Thrust

Image source: healthline24x7.com

For more information on tongue thrust, please visit: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/OMD.htm

And ask your dentist or hygienist at your child’s next appointment!

 

 

Source:

Dixit UB, Shetty RM. Comparison of soft-tissue, dental, and skeletal characteristics in children with and without tongue thrusting habit. Contemp Clin Dent 2013;4:2-6

Hope Arising and Africa

Peggy

Peggy Storr BSRDH

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

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     This is a quote found on Hope Arising’s face book page and it is so appropriate that I had to include it here. In October, I was incredibly fortunate to travel to Ethiopia with Chantal Carr, one of two founders of Hope Arising, Dr. Chet Jenkins, and a team of 28 great people, including six teenagers. As I sit and try to write a blog about my trip, I realize that nothing I say will describe the experience nor do it justice. A picture being worth a thousand words, check out Hope Arising’s facebook page. This will offer a more accurate glimpse into the work that three humanitarians (Chantal Carr, Rochelle Sellers, and Dr. Chet Jenkins) have accomplished in a relatively short few years.

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When Chantal and Rochelle visited the small village of Dera, Ethiopia in 2008, the village people were walking as many as 5 miles to wait in lines to fill cans of water. These “Jerry” cans weigh 40 lbs and elderly women and small children were also making this trek. The country was in a 16-month drought and being completely dependent on nature for its water, Dera was in distress. There was no work and children no longer attended school, as the quest for water became the only thing that mattered. We can’t fathom what having no water would be like but without it there is only starvation, despair, disease and death. The amazing story of how these two women, two regular moms from Gilbert AZ, brought water to this village is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard.

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Through their efforts and compassion, a water reservoir was built. The people in a small village a world away now have hope and a future but the need is great and the work of Hope Arising continues to provide support and aid. When our team arrived in early October, we were greeted by a group of women whom had each been loaned a small amount of money to begin small businesses. They were so grateful to Hope Arising that they provided us with a celebratory meal. Self-sufficiency and independence is the goal and now these women can feed and support their families through the businesses they have started.

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These gorgeous women came to a class where they learned how to make soap on our latest trip to Ethiopia.

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Dera, Ethiopia has three elementary schools with combined capacity of over 4,700 students, a middle school, and a high school. Children attend in four hour blocks so everyone can have a turn going to school. When we first visited Agriti Elementary school with 1,600 children, they had no library and no books. Volunteers raised $500 and the school now has a bookshelf full of books, aptly called the library.

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The woman with trachoma getting fitted for her glasses.

I found the people in Ethiopia to be literally beautiful, despite extreme poverty and suffering. They have so little and yet they are a happy, gracious and proud people. Many of the children are orphaned (actually 6 million in Ethiopia) but like children everywhere, they sing and laugh and love to play. They literally have nothing…if they have a ball, it is homemade, stitched and stuffed at home. Simply taking a picture of them thrilled them, as most have never seen a reflection of themselves. This is true even of the adults. Can you imagine never having seen yourself in a mirror?

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What Hope Arising has accomplished is nothing short of incredible and it was my complete honor to have been a small part of it. Our dental team treated over 500 people and the eye team saw 736 patients. Many patients received glasses for the first time in their lives. The most difficult part of the trip was leaving, knowing that there were still many hundreds needing our help. If you have the ability to join this incredible organization please do so. There are many ways to help throughout the year, from donating your time, helping with the annual golf tournament, or running in a mud run. You can sponsor a family with a small monetary monthly gift. Go with them as part of the team sometime soon! It doesn’t matter what your strengths, experiences and talents are, there is a job for you and you will work hard. But it will be the best work and one of the most satisfying experiences of your life. And, who knows, you might just find yourself in the process. At the very least, you will come home with a different perspective on what a bad day really looks like.

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