How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

Lora Cook, RDH

How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

When to start cleaning your baby’s teeth

​You can start before your baby even has teeth, it is best to incorporate mouth cleaning at bath time. This routine will help your baby get used to you cleaning their mouth, which can allow a smoother transition when you do begin to brushing their teeth. This will also help you to know when your babies teeth first start to push through their gum tissue.

​The bacteria that lives in the mouth is not harmful to the gum tissue, but can be harmful to the teeth. The enamel on baby teeth are 50% thinner than adult teeth. Therefore baby teeth are more susceptible to the bacteria that causes cavities.

How to clean your infants teeth

​To clean your babies mouth before tooth eruption use a clean wet wash cloth. Wrap wash cloth around your finger then rub it gently around your babies gums.

When to transition to a tooth brush

​When the teeth have started to erupt, this will be time to transition from a wash cloth to a baby tooth brush. Look for a tooth brush specifically made for infants. This will usually start around six months old. This will also be the time to change from bath time mouth cleaning to brushing two times daily.

​It is fine to just dry brush with just tap water, or a fluoridated tooth paste can be used. When using toothpaste, use the tiniest smear. It is never too early to help create a good brushing routine for your child.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.myhealthunit.ca/en/livehealthyandprotectyourhealth/Caring-for-Your-Child-s-Teeth.asp

https://www.mambaby.com/en-us/faq/oral-care-teethers/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI24-c-oih1QIV05d-Ch0rNgnXEAAYAiAAEgL24PD_BwE

 

How do I know which Toothpaste to pick?

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

How do I know which Toothpaste to pick?

When it comes to choosing toothpaste, sometimes it seems like your options are endless. On the drugstore shelves you’ll see dozens of varieties that claim to whiten your teeth, decrease tooth sensitivity, prevent cavities, heal your gums, protect against tartar—even all of the above! But toothpaste doesn’t just polish teeth; it also removes the bacteria that cause dental plaque and bad breath, so it’s important select a brand that is approved by the American Dental Association. Since everyone has different needs, here are some tips that will help you choose a toothpaste to meet your individual needs.

Types of Toothpaste

  • Anti-cavity: This type of toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride not only helps to prevent decay, it also actively strengthens tooth enamel.
  • Anti-gingivitis: If have tender, swollen gums that bleed when you irritate them, this is probably an early sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Anti-gingivitis toothpaste helps fight oral bacteria and restore gum health, preventing more serious gum disease.
  • Desensitizing: If your teeth hurt when you consume things like ice cream or cold drinks, this toothpaste can help you. It will provide relief by blocking the tooth’s pain signal to the nerve so that sharp changes in temperature aren’t so painful.
  • Tartar-control: This toothpaste will help control tartar. However, the best way to remove tartar is by scheduling a professional dental cleaning with your Dental Hygienist.
  • Whitening: This toothpaste contains chemicals that are able to help whiten and brighten tooth enamel, thus maintaining the natural color of your teeth. If your teeth are sensitive this is a toothpaste you want to avoid.
  • Children’s: Fluoride or Fluoride free?  When making this decision it is important that you are aware if your child is swallowing the toothpaste.  If they have not learned to spit it out, stick with a non Fluoride toothpaste.  Fluoride is a great benefit for children as it helps remineralize teeth and prevent tooth decay.

It is recommended that everyone brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes and floss daily.  You only need a pea size amount of toothpaste. Today there is toothpaste to meet the oral needs of everyone. But while all of the products on the shelf might seem the same, with a little help from your Dentist or Dental Hygienist, you can determine which is right for you. It is important to schedule dental checkups and professional cleanings twice a year to prevent tooth sensitivity, gum disease, tartar buildup, and tooth decay. We hope to see you soon in one of your dental offices.

Sources:

www.colgate.com

www.ada.com

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

Why Do We Need to Brush and Floss?

Many of you know two questions that your Dental Hygienist will inevitably asked you when you go in for your regular check-up visit:  “Are you brushing two times a day?” and “How is your flossing going?”

As an Hygienist, we do not asked these questions to get after you.  We promise we do not love nagging you to floss.  We do it because we genuinely care for your health and helping our patients understand how brushing and flossing can keep you healthy is one of our professional goals.

Most of you know the guidelines. For optimum dental health, you should brushing two times a day for two minutes, and floss one time a day.  We know that is what we are supposed to do.  But do we know why?

Plaque (that soft, filmy, white stuff that grows on our teeth) accumulates constantly.  24/7.  It never stops growing.  Even if you do not eat food, it grows (common misconception that plaque only grows when you eat).  Inside plaque lives bacteria.  This is the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.  It is recommended that we brush two times a day to remove the plaque and disrupt the bacteria’s harm on our mouth.  If we do not remove the plaque, then we are allowing the bacteria to start creating cavities and cause inflammation and infection in our gums.

If the plaque is left in an area for a while then it will harden and calcify.  This is what we can tartar build-up, or you may even hear us refer to it as calculus.  While plaque is soft and can be removed with a toothbrush and floss, tartar is like a rock cemented onto your tooth.  You can brush and floss all day long, once it’s turned into calculus, it’s not going any where.  The biggest down side of that is that it still has the bacteria inside of it.  Now it’s stuck on your tooth, not going anywhere, with all this bacteria.  Even better for gum infections and things to occur.

Don’t worry, your awesome Hygienist will save you.  We have the tools and know-how to remove that calculus and get your mouth back to health!  But, so do you!  You can brush and floss every day, remove that plaque, and prevent that calculus from even forming!

Now many of you do brush your teeth.  Which is fantastic!  We love when you do that!  However, not as many of you floss.  I’m not sure why.  It’s just as important, and doesn’t really take that long.  Here’s something to remember when you want to skip flossing tonight… You can be THE most amazing brusher in the whole world, but you will never be able to clean between your teeth with just a toothbrush.  It’s a fact.  The best technique will not maneuver those toothbrush bristle to places they cannot physically reach.  Floss is the only way to clean the remaining 35% of your tooth that the brush did not get.  Floss is a toothbrush’s best friend.  They go hand in hand.  One just as important as the other.

I hope this helped you understand a bit more why we always ask these two simple questions.  If you have any other questions, we are here for you!  Just ask!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/teeth.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Teethcleaningguide.aspx

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-if-you-dont-brush-and-floss-your-teeth-2014-2

Essential Oils

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Lora Cook, RDH

Essential Oils

Recently several of my patients have asked me some questions about essential oils.  To be honest I have a very limited knowledge of the subject.  I hate when I don’t have all the answers for my patients.  So I thought what better way to learn more about the subject then to write about it.  However, let me preface this information with a reminder that while these essential oils can provide effective preventive and palliative care, it is not a substitute for dental care.  If you have a cavity or a toothache please do not hesitate to give us a call. Periodontal disease and cavities left untreated will only become worse over time.

As dental professionals we rely on tested clinical research and published blinded research studies to substantiate any therapeutic claims and demonstrate effectiveness.  However with essential oils there is little published research, because several problems present in trying to conduct research on essential oils.  First, essential oils are not standardized.  Synthetic Pharmaceuticals are reproduced to be identical, where as essential oils cannot be produced to be identical.  Second, while conducting research on essential oils it is difficult to gage for individual differences in how the oils affect people. Also little funding is provided for research on homeopathic remedies.  More research studies are done for synthetic therapeutics because these follow the usual scientific research path.

The Essential oils that I would like to talk about are:

1.)  Cinnamon oil

A.) Cinnamon bark oil

B.) Cinnamon leaf oil

2.)Tea Tree oil

3.)Myrrh

4.)Clove oil

5.)Peppermint oil

 

1.  Cinnamon Leaf Oil:  Leaf oil is primarily useful for palliative care.  It may be effective in reducing pain and inflammation

Cinnamon Bark Oil:  bark oil has antibacterial qualities, has been shown to effectively destroy 21 different types of bacteria.

How to use: You can rinse with diluted cinnamon oil after brushing, or put some on your tooth paste.  Cinnamon oil is very strong and should not be ingested.  Also some people  have been known to have allergic reactions to cinnamon oil, so test in a small area of your mouth first.

2.  Tea Tree Oil:  This oil is effective for antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties.

If you have a allergy to celery or thyme, you should not use this oil.  Also just like the cinnamon oil, tea tree oil is very strong and should not be ingested.

How to use: There are wooded toothpicks that have been impregnated with tea tree oil. These can be found at a health food store, or purchased on-line.  You can also mix a small amount with your toothpaste, then brush.

3.  Myrrh:  This is effective for mouth sores.

How to use:  Mix 1 to 2 drops in eight ounce glass of warm water, swish for thirty seconds then spit.

4.  Clove Oil:  This is effective for toothaches, also known to sooth sore gums.

How to use:  Mix one drop with a plant based carrier oil, olive oil wood be a good carrier oil to use.  Then apply with a cotton swab.

For gum tissue and other oral tissues mix 1 to 2 drops in eight ounce glass of warm water, swish for thirty seconds then spit.

5.  Peppermint Oil: This oil is effective in treating bad breath, it also has mild anesthetic properties.

How to use:  Mix two drops of peppermint oil with two cups of distilled water.  Shake we’ll before each use, swish a mouthful for one minute then spit.

There are other essential oils that are effective for oral health that I did not include in this overview: basil, almond, and lavender, just to name a few.  I hope that these basic guidelines can shed a bit more light on the subject.  All essential oils should not be ingested, and always consult your medical physician before starting any type of therapy at home.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/284574-cinnamon-oil-for-cavities/

http://www.teatree.co.il/en/Files/oral.pdf

http://www.intelligentdental.com/2010/11/30/how-to-use-tea-tree-oil-for-dental-health/

http://birchhillhappenings.com/mouth.htm

http://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/myrrh-oil.asp

Dentures and Partial Dentures

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Dentures and Partial Dentures

Removable dental appliances such as dentures and partial dentures require daily care as well as regular dental visits to keep them functioning properly. Denture and partial denture wearers need to pay close attention to the health of their mouths. Mouths should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, with or without teeth present. Partial denture wearers should pay close attention to the remaining teeth that their partials fit on to. Plaque and food debris can become trapped on or near the clasps that keep the dentures in place, and that plaque can lead to tooth decay or other dental issues.

Caring for Dentures or Partial Dentures

  • Remove and rinse dentures or partials after eating.
  • Rinse your mouth after removing your dentures.
  • Gently clean your dentures or partials at least once a day using a non-abrasive denture cleaner or mild dish soap. Avoid using toothpaste on your dentures as they are too abrasive and can cause small imperfections in your denture that can trap plaque and bacteria.
  • Soak your dentures overnight to keep them moist and to retain their correct shape. Always follow the instructions on the soaking solutions.
  • Always rinse your dentures after soaking them before putting them back into your mouth.
  • Maintain regular dental visits. Talk with your dentist or dental hygienist about the proper interval for your dental visits.

If you have any questions or concerns about your dentures or partial dentures, please call our office and schedule an appointment.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Myths of Dentistry

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Cortney Davis, RDH

Myths of Dentistry

 It’s no myth that to some dental work can be scary sometimes. Statistics show that around 12 percent of the population in the U.S. says they are anxious when it comes to visiting the dentist, and many don’t know how to take care of their oral health properly. With the overwhelming anxiety and stress build up around dentists and dental health, it’s not shocking that people may have made up or heard several dental myths over the years. People then tend to believe these myths and decide not go to the dentist regularly, rather than find out the truth. Having false information can be harmful to your health, so let’s talk about some of the common myths which you may believe yourself or have heard.

Myth #1- As long as I brush my teeth twice a day or don’t have tooth pain, I don’t need to go to the dentist.

Fact: While brushing twice a day and flossing once daily is Important, it is not enough. It is also important to get routine cleanings. During cleanings, the hygienist will clean the hard to reach areas, will make sure your gums are healthy, and will educate patients on proper home care. Dentists will also use x-rays and visual exams to make sure a patient doesn’t have any problems with their teeth or gums. Many don’t know this, but you don’t always have tooth pain when you have a tooth problem or gum disease, and if left untreated a tooth problem and unhealthy gum tissue will only get worse and lead to more serious problems. That’s why it is so important to come in for routine check-ups.

Myth #2 The dentist only wants my money

Fact: While some dental procedures and treatments can seem costly, they are completely worth it. As stated above, if dental problems are left untreated for a period, the treatment needed typically becomes more extensive which will cost more than a simple cleaning every six months. If a dentist can catch the signs of infection early, treatment will be minimal and less costly.

Myth #3 Bleaching your teeth can damage them.

Fact: Bleaching is a popular service that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster. Scientific studies have shown that using peroxide to whiten teeth is both safe and efficient. Although bleaching can cause some sensitivity when a patient is using it, bleaching gel is safe concerning damage of the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter.

Myth #4. If gums are bleeding, brushing and flossing should be avoided. 

Fact: The exact opposite is true. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque build-up which causes bleeding gums.   Bleeding gums is a sign of gum brokerage, and more care actually must be done to avoid worse oral problems.

Myth #5 Baby teeth aren’t important, they will fall out anyway.

Fact: Yes, eventually all of your child’s 20 baby teeth will fall out eventually. However, many serve important functions for your child’s development. Baby teeth are known as the natural space maintainers for adult teeth and if a child loses a tooth too early due to dental problems, they could cause crowding for adult teeth. The health of your child’s baby teeth can also affect the health of their adult teeth. If you leave dental decay in a baby tooth untreated, it could eventually cause your child pain, abscesses, swelling, and affect the adult tooth developing under the baby tooth. Also, if the infection got worse it could even spread to other parts of the child’s body.

Myth #6 I shouldn’t go to the dentist because I am pregnant

Fact: A dental check-up is recommended during pregnancy. Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make conditions worse or create new ones due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Local anesthetics and x-rays are okay during pregnancy although they are to be done only when necessary.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.pediatricdentistrichmond.com/downloads/Top10Myths_Childrens_Teeth.pdf

http://www.stlawrencedentistry.com/top-10-dental-myths/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/5-common-dental-myths.htm

Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy

KatieM

Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy

If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. However, many people think it is normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss. False! Inflammation and bleeding are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If not treated quickly and properly, those early signs of gingivitis may lead to a more serious infection called periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease affects the supporting tissues around the teeth including the gums, the periodontal ligament, and the bone. As the plaque in your mouth spreads and accumulates below the gum line, the toxins within that plaque infect and break down the “foundation” that hold your teeth in place. If not treated with periodontal therapy, the disease will only get worse and tooth loss may occur.

In the presence of periodontal disease, a “regular” prophylaxis cleaning can NOT be completed. The definition of prophylaxis is the prevention of disease. Once periodontal disease is diagnosed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend non-surgical periodontal therapy. Non-surgical periodontal therapy is also referred to as scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning. Scaling and root planing involves thoroughly removing the plaque and calculus (tartar) that resides above and below the compromised gums. Smoothing the tooth roots allows a clean surface for tissue re-attachment and pocket reduction. Local anesthetic is recommended to make this procedure comfortable and painless for the patient. The goal for non-surgical periodontal therapy is to treat and eliminate the active infection, reduce periodontal pocketing around teeth, prevent further bone loss. The shallower the pockets are around your teeth, the easier they are to keep clean and healthy! When periodontal health is achieved, your oral health care provider will recommended more frequent periodontal maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months to keep tissues healthy and stabilized. In few circumstances where periodontal health cannot be achieved, a referral to a Periodontist may be recommended for further treatment.

Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease:

  • Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
  • Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  • Pain/sensitivity when chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to overall health problems. You can read more about those on Andra’s recent blog post Oral Health: A Window to your Overall Health! Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

www.perio.org

www.colgate.com

What is Calculus?

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Lora Cook, RDH

What is calculus and what dangers does it cause to the health of your mouth.

Calculus or tartar, same thing is calcified plaque.  Plaque is the soft sticky film that will start to form twenty minutes after you brush your teeth.  Another name for the soft sticky plaque is biofilm.  This is basically a bacteria that grows in your mouth, a “slime layer”.  Plaque is white or pale yellow soft, sticky, slimy stuff.  This is what makes your teeth feel “fuzzy” when you first wake up and at the end of a long day.  So do all these pleasant descriptions make you want to go brush your teeth yet?

So where does calculus come from?  Calculus is calcified plaque.  When plaque is allowed to stay hiding in your mouth for twenty-four hours or more is has the opportunity to harden and turn into tartar. Calculus/Tartar, same thing, this is calcified plaque. Once this soft sticky substance (biofilm) becomes hard it will attach itself to the tooth surface, then you will not be able to remove it yourself with your tooth brush or your floss. Calculus will form above and below your gum tissue.

The calculus will be a physical irritant to your gum tissue, causing inflammation.  The calculus also becomes a source that harbors bacteria that causes harm to the tissue and bone around the teeth.  This aggressive bacteria may lead to periodontal disease. What is periodontal disease?  In short, it is bone loss around the teeth.  This bone loss may range from slight to moderate, to severe.  Some people will build up tartar more quickly than others, and some people are more prone to the bacteria that causes periodontal disease (bone loss).

So this brings the questions; What can I do to prevent calculus build up?

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH: electric tooth brushes have been proven to be more effective at cleaning than manual brushes. Use the rechargeable electric brushes, not the battery spin brushes.

CHANGE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH EVERY THREE MONTHS: Do not go longer than three months with the same tooth brush or tooth brush head.  Once the bristles start to wear out they cannot do a good job for you.

TIME YOUR BRUSHING ROUTINE: Brush for at least two minutes, preferably two to three minutes.  Sometimes just adding more time to your routine can make a big difference, most people will brush for only forty to sixty seconds. So try timing yourself, you will be surprised.  Two minutes feels like forever when you are brushing.

FLOSS DAILY: You don’t have to floss two times daily, once a day is sufficient. Make flossing part of your nightly routine.  Flossing techniques are important, because some techniques are more effective than others. It is important to floss under the gum tissue where everything likes to hide, not just in between the teeth.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/plaque-and-tartar

https://www.quora.com/Does-tartar-cause-gum-disease-purely-through-MECHANICAL-means/

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

AriannaM

Arianna Ritchey, RDH

Flossing: More Than Just a Guilt Trip

As a part of a regular preventive or periodontal maintenance visit with your dental hygienist, the topic of flossing usually comes up.  Most people have at least heard of flossing, and while some people floss regularly, most patients I see report flossing less than the ADA recommended once per day.  More often, people fall into the categories of flossing “once in a while” or “once in a blue moon.”  While some people are embarrassed to admit this to their dental hygienist, the condition and health of your gums reveal a lot about your oral hygiene practices at home without you saying a word.  (We can also read minds…just kidding.)

So, if most people have heard about flossing, and are reminded of it semi-annually by their dental hygienist, what is preventing them from actually cleaning between their teeth on a regular basis?

Maybe they don’t realize the impact that flossing has on the health of their gums and prevention of early tooth loss.  Maybe it’s difficult for them to manipulate string floss (it’s harder than it looks).  Maybe they are super busy (who isn’t?) and can’t find time to track down some floss and use it between their teeth.  Maybe they ran out of the sample-size floss their hygienist gave them a their last visit.  Maybe it hurts when they floss because their gums are inflamed, so they avoid the pain.  Maybe they are really committed and diligent for the first while, and then life gets in the way and they fall out of the habit.  All of these are totally understandable reasons, and I’ve been there.  (Hygienists are human, too!)

The good news is, your dental hygienist is interested in helping you to keep your mouth and gums healthy, and offers a judgment-free-zone to learn how to properly perform oral hygiene techniques, like flossing, and to help you come up with some ways to integrate flossing into your daily routine.  (Floss in the shower, floss while watching the intro to your show on Netflix, floss while on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest, floss while at a red light on your commute, etc.)

The other awesome thing your dental hygienist does for you, is giving you a clean slate to work with!  When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth by removing the plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) from your teeth, they are removing the bacteria that are causing the inflammation, pain, and bleeding in your gums.  (Hooray!)  Once these irritations are removed, the gums have a chance to heal, and by properly cleaning your teeth at home (brushing and flossing), you can keep them healthy.  When the gums are healthy, they don’t hurt, they don’t bleed, they are easier to floss, and you have a faster, easier dental hygiene appointments. (Even when your hygienist is gentle, nobody enjoys being in that chair.)

If you’re still reading, check out this video my former classmates and I produced that demonstrates proper flossing technique and briefly explains why flossing is important.  It’s a little cheesy, but definitely educational.  Make sure your sound is on, there’s some great instruction and music.  

After watching this video and practicing at home, if you’re still having difficulty with string floss, try some other interdental cleaners!  Here’s a great article that talks about lots of interdental cleaners and how to use them (scroll about halfway down).  

Remember, the best interdental cleaning tool is the one that you actually use consistently; if string floss just isn’t your thing, talk to your hygienist at your next visit, and we’ll be happy to give you some samples to try.  Happy flossing!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2015/03/22/what-is-a-periodontal-maintenance/

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/floss-and-other-interdental-cleaners

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2013/10/14/tooth-brushes/

youtube.com/watch

https://dentistrydonedifferently.com/2014/05/19/flossing-do-i-have-to/

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Dry Mouth…What Should I Do?

            I know we live in a desert, but our mouths don’t have to BE a desert of dryness!  The first step is to figure out where is the dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is coming from.  There are several factors that can contribute to dry mouth including damage to the salivary glands, medications or medical conditions, and life style habits such as smoking, drinking, or alcohol or caffeine use.  There are so many variables and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of factors.

Often times, there is nothing you can do to reverse dry mouth, however, here are some of the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth (1):

  • Be sure to REGULARLY take sips of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Practice good Oral Hygiene – brushing 2x daily and flossing 1x daily. You can also use mouth rinses WITHOUT alcohol in them.  The alcohol will dry out the mouth and makes symptoms worse.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Chew Sugar-Free gum or suck on Sugar-free lozenges
  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake

There are several companies that provide products that aid in dry mouth relief.  Some products and brands work well for some while others work better for others.  It truly is a trial and error process to see what works best for you.

Biotene is one of the biggest companies that focus on relieving dry mouth.  They have an array of products ranging from mouth rinses to chewing gum to saliva substitute.  It is sold in several stores, including Target and Walgreens.  Xylitol also has a variety of products that you can order including nose sprays, toothpastes, mints, and artificial sweeteners. (2) And of course, there are natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms as well.  Here is a good website that has a variety of things you can try to see if they alleviate any discomfort. (3)

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm

Dry mouth is NEVER easy to deal with, but hopefully with time and a little patience you’ll find something that will work for you.  If you need more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or dentist for other solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

  1. https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-health-impacts/dry-mouth-relief/
  2. http://www.epicdental.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=xylitol-products
  3. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dry-mouth1.htm