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

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Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

 

Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is the topic of mostly everyone this time of year.  So many of us love to see what Santa has left for us in our stockings.  When considering stocking stuffers, we have some recommendations to assist in keeping your child’s mouth and teeth at their healthiest.

When parents start thinking of what to place in their child’s stocking, they rarely think to put items that will benefit dental health.  Most parents fill their children’s stockings with candy, nuts, socks, hair bows, lotion or Chap Stick.  The list can be endless with what is placed in stockings.  So this year, why not give them items to help with their dental home care.

A New Toothbrush

Everyone loves a new toothbrush.  For the holidays, pick one that will get your kids excited about brushing their teeth.  There are character brushes, brushes that light up and even brushes that play music while you clean your teeth!  Be sure to choose a soft-bristled brush with the appropriate sized head for smaller mouths.

A Tooth Timer

If brushing the correct amount of time is difficult for your kids, consider getting a small timer to keep in the bathroom.  Most kids brush an average of 14 seconds but in their minds it was for two minutes.  A timer will insure that your child is brushing for the approiate time.   You can even join them by brushing together to make sure the family is brushing for two minutes.

A Fun Toothpaste Flavor

So many people choose mint or bubble gum for their toothpaste flavor.  You can look online and find some fun flavors.  Try giving your kids something silly that you wouldn’t usually pick.  There’s Bacon, Pickle, Cupcake, Oreo, Vanilla and Orange.  The list keeps growing.  Amazon has some great choices.

Flavored Floss

Floss is normally pretty plain, but it doesn’t have to be.  Like toothpaste, there is bacon, cupcake or pickled-flavored floss to match.  If those flavors don’t do the trick, there are banana and cinnamon-flavored options for kids to enjoy.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum with Xylitol

Did you know that chewing gum can actually be good for your teeth? While not a substitute for brushing, sugar-free gum can help in the production of saliva which washes away trapped food particles.  Further, gum containing xylitol has actually been proven to help reduce cavities.

Holidays are such a special time to share with your family and friend’s.  Signature Dental would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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.xlear.com

http://www.colgate.com

http://www.oralanswers.com

Is Your Toothbrush Making you Sick?

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

Is Your Toothbrush Making you Sick?

Everyone’s focusing on the hand washing when they’re sick, with good reason. But how about washing your toothbrush? Washing your hands can reduce the risk of illness since we put our hands in our mouths, our eyes, our ears. So why is there no focus on cleaning the toothbrush during illness when we stick it directly into our mouths? What can we do to prevent the germs from passing on?

Reintroducing that toothbrush back into your mouth could be the worst thing you could be doing for your health on a daily basis.

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That doesn’t mean don’t brush.

Many studies clearly state that all of the presently available toothbrushes have the ability to be infected by a wide range of microorganisms, including viruses which can cause the common cold to even herpes. Pneumonia-causing bacteria also are found on a toothbrush.

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What can you do?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a simple regimen for toothbrush care is sufficient to remove most microorganisms from your toothbrush and limit the spread of disease. Here are some common-sense steps you can take:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after brushing or flossing.
  • After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with warm water and store it upright to air-dry.
  • Don’t cover your toothbrush or place it in a closed container until it is completely dry. A moist environment can foster bacterial growth.
  • Use a completely dry toothbrush. Everyone should have two toothbrushes to give ample time (24 hours) for it to dry out in between uses.
  • Don’t share a toothbrush with anyone. Also, don’t store toothbrushes in a way that might cause them to touch and spread germs.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Dentists recommend this practice not as prevention against contamination, but because toothbrushes wear out and become less effective at cleaning teeth.
  • Always replace your toothbrush after a cold or other illness to prevent contamination.
  • If you or someone else in your family is sick, that person should use a different tube of toothpaste (travel size, for example), to prevent spreading germs to other toothbrushes.
  • The toothbrush should be viewed as a necessary evil as well as a bio hazard. Make sure it is clean before using it!

In summary, do not reuse your floss, keep your toothbrush clean, and replace during and after illness. Store it outside the bathroom and use it several times per day. Brush twice a day for two minutes and floss daily and see your dentist every six months for check ups!

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://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/toothbrush.html

http://guidetodentistry.com

http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol

The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

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Wendy Parker RDH

The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again, when the holidays are upon us, family and friend gatherings, and days seem to get shorter and shorter.  With each passing year, it seems like we become busier and busier and time grows shorter and shorter.  This holiday season, I hope we all take the challenge and remember all the big and the little things we can be thankful for each and every day.  At the end of your day, I hope that we remember to say thank you to someone, to smile, and to be grateful for the small and simple things in life.  With that said, and with the fact that I am a hygienist, I am listing just a few things that I am thankful that begin with the letter “T.”

TEETH that help me smile, talk, and eat
Teeth
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste to keep my mouth healthy and happy
Turkey, who doesn’t love Turkey?!
Turkey
Trivia, to enlighten me with random facts of knowledge
Trivia Pursuit
Technology that enables us to solve problems and obtain information at the touch of hand
Technology
Terrific Employers, Friends/Employees I work with and Patients that make my job more than just an occupation
Signature
consisting of:
North Stapley
Shalimar
Alameda
Smiles
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From all of us here, we wish you the happiest and most memorable holiday season!  May you know how grateful we are for YOU this Thanksgiving Season!

Tooth Sensitivity

KatieM

Katie Moynihan RDH

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth is one of the most common concerns among dental patients. Tooth sensitivity occurs due to enamel loss or gum recession which exposes the underlying dentin structure of the tooth. The dentin layer of your tooth is found underneath the enamel and contains several tiny tubes which run from the nerve to the outside of the tooth. When exposed, these tubes are highly sensitive to temperature changes, sweets, or mechanical forces. Not to mention very painful!

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Tooth sensitivity can be caused by several factors. Aggressive brushing can wear away your enamel at the gumline leading to gum recession and exposed tooth root. Another cause of sensitivity can be from continuous grinding of the teeth to the point that the enamel is completely worn down to the dentin layer. Cracked teeth or worn fillings can create passageways to the nerve of the tooth. Periodontal disease, or severe gum disease, can contribute to sensitivity because the gums around the teeth break down and lead to gum loss and bone loss.

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There are several ways to help reduce tooth sensitivity either at home or at the dental office. The type of treatment will depend of what is causing the sensitivity.

At home treatments include:

  • using a soft or extra-soft toothbrush while brushing gently in order to avoid toothbrush abrasion at the gumline (take a good look at your toothbrush…if the bristles are pointing in multiple directions, you’re brushing too hard!)
  • using a toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate, which penetrates the exposed dentin and soothes the nerve endings
  • using a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen the tooth and exposed dentin
  • using MI Paste (available at your dental office) to block dentin tubule openings
  • limit acidic foods and drinks because they can remove small amounts of enamel over time

In office treatments include:

  • application of a fluoride varnish – helps seal the tubules and rebuild exposed dentin
  • application of a fluoride foam – provides a high dose of fluoride to help strengthen teeth
  • bonding agents can be placed at the gumline if necessary to seal exposed dentin and reduce sensitivity
  • restorative treatment if needed to correct the tooth that is causing the sensitivity
  • periodontal treatment if needed to keep gums healthy around the teeth

A mix of potassium nitrate and fluoride is your best solution for desensitization. Some products which include these active ingredients include Sensodyne, Pronamel, Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief, and Colgate Prevident 5000 Sensitive. These products must be used on a regular basis for at least 30 days before any therapeutic benefit will take place. Whitening and tartar control toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that can damage tooth enamel and may be too harsh for those with sensitive teeth. The application of a fluoride varnish is always available in-office at your request. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, feel free to ask us which desensitizing agents will work best for you!

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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.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_33.ashx

https://us.sensodyne.com/faq.aspx

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/article/treatment-options-for-tooth-sensitivity

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sensitive-teeth

Whitening Options

PeggyS

Peggy Storr RDH

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When considering whitening your teeth, the options may seem confusing. There are many products that you can buy over the counter, online, or in your dental office; should you whiten at home, should you go in and have it done professionally, or just cross your fingers and hope that your toothpaste will do what it says it will do?

For starters, many whitening toothpastes can often have positive whitening and brightening effect because they have abrasive agents that remove surface staining. However, these toothpastes don’t lighten the tooth from the inside. The jury is out on too much use of abrasive products. I think occasional use of these kinds of toothpastes is not harmful.

Another inexpensive option is of course the whitening strips, which some patients of mine have had good results with. They are peroxide based and seem to work best in young adults. The disadvantage to these is they can sometimes be tedious, as you need to use them twice daily and they slip and slide.  Whitening rinses are also peroxide based like the strips, but they definitely are less effective than the strips and take up to 12 weeks to see results.

The fastest and most effective way if you’re willing to make the investment is in-office whitening. In our office, for example, a dental assistant will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth and you will have results in about 60 minutes. My daughter had this done after she got her braces off and the results were dramatic! You can also have trays made custom to your teeth and then take the product home and do it yourself. These trays will fit your teeth perfectly, and thus, work better than the over-the-counter trays. In addition, they won’t irritate your gum tissue.  Now is a great time to whiten your teeth professionally.  The Smiles for Life program is open from now until the end of June.  100% goes to children’s charities and it’s tax deductible for you.  Contact us for more details!

Overall, there really is no wrong way to go. It’s all in your preference, your budget, and your time frame. For example, if you want to get your teeth whitened for your wedding, the in-office treatment is the way to go for sure. ☺ But remember, your oral health is most important before you consider any bleaching option. Always check with your dental professional first!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sourcehttp://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening

“They are just baby teeth. So what does it matter”?

Peggy

 

Peggy Storr BSRDH

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Many people think that dental care of baby (primary) teeth isn’t really necessary. They aren’t permanent teeth and they will be lost eventually. The truth is that as soon as those little teeth appear, they should be cleaned daily. A tiny smear of toothpaste should start about the age of 1, as should the first visit to the dentist. Many of the baby teeth will be in your child’s mouth until he or she is 13 years old.

Look in your child’s mouth. White spots or lesions are early signs of demineralization or decay of the teeth. These lesions can be reversed with proper homecare and administration of fluoride and or MI Paste.

imgres

www.recaldent.com

Early-Childhood-Caries1

http://www.babyorganics.co.id/general/dental-caries-on-children/

Decay (cavities or caries) in baby teeth is a serious health concern that is now known to be contagious. Dental decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. While decay in permanent teeth has declined, decay in baby teeth is increasing. Left untreated, cavities can lead to dental pain that can affect a child’s eating, speaking, and learning. It can lead to expensive treatment, malnourishment, disruption of growth and development, and may even cause life threatening infections. If the dentist simply pulls the decayed tooth, it can affect how the permanent teeth grow in. The space from the baby tooth must be preserved or the permanent teeth may erupt in a crowded and incorrect position.

Most people are surprised to learn that cavities are contagious. But bacteria, particularly Mutans Streptococci, are responsible for tooth decay and bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another. If mom cleans the baby’s pacifier by putting it in her own mouth, or shares a spoon, she can transfer bacteria to the baby. Being mindful of diet is a first step in prevention of tooth decay. Dipping a pacifier in honey or sugar is a bad idea, as is letting a child go to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or anything other than water.

Chewy, sticky foods (such as dried fruit or candy) are best if eaten as part of a meal rather than as a snack. If possible, brush the teeth or rinse the mouth with water after eating these foods. Minimize snacking, which creates a constant supply of acid in the mouth. Avoid constant sipping of sugary drinks or frequent sucking on candy and mints. The sticky sour candies kids love so much are the worst as they stay in the mouth longer and cause significant increases in the acid that cause tooth decay.

Dental sealants can prevent some cavities. Sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This coating prevents the buildup of plaque in the deep grooves on these surfaces. Sealants are often applied on the teeth of children, shortly after the molars come in.

Fluoride is also recommended to protect against dental caries. People who get fluoride in their drinking water or by taking fluoride supplements have less tooth decay. Numerous studies report that products containing Xylitol decrease tooth decay. Gum or mints for children who are beyond the choking stage are recommended. Xylitol needs to be among the first three ingredients.

Dental disease can impact the total well-being of a child and is largely preventable.  So while they are “JUST BABY TEETH”, they are a vital consideration in the health of your child.  A healthy mouth contributes to the overall health every child.

Sources:

1. Ezer, Michelle, S, DDS, Swoboda, Natalie A DDS and Farkouh, David DMD, MS; Early Childhood Caries: The Dental Disease of Infants

2. Chow AW. Infections of the oral cavity, neck, and head. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 60.

3. Sleeper, Laura J, RDH, MA and Gronski Ashley; The Benefits of Xylitol; http://Dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/June 2014

4. http://www.thedentalleif.net

5. http:// twoothtimer.com

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

sensodyne-group-products-page-10_9_2013

pronamel-packshots_nonew-mock

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.