You flip through old photos and notice your grill doesn’t glisten like it used to. Luckily, you can get back your pearly whites without shelling out a lot of green. There are many safe, effective, and affordable over-the-counter (OTC) products that will brighten your smile. You can use them to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your home.
What’s the Best Option?
It depends on your goals and how much time and money you want to spend. Matthew Messina, DDS, an adviser for the American Dental Association in Cleveland, OH, says to opt for a well-known brand you can buy from a popular store or online. Some of your options include:
- Whitening toothpastes: These are like gritty cleansers that lift surface stains from your teeth. “They are safe and moderately effective, but they aren’t likely to give you the whitening results you’re looking for,” Messina says. He adds that toothpastes help keep your teeth white after your dentist bleaches them.
- Whitening strips: You apply these to the surface of your teeth for a certain amount of time. Hydrogen peroxide lifts the stains. You can expect your teeth to lighten about five shades, Messina says.
- Paint-on or brush-on formulas: You apply these before bed for 2 weeks.
- At-home trays: If you get them from your dentist, she’ll make a mold of your teeth to create fitted trays. She’ll give you a strong bleaching gel to use at home. Over-the-counter systems work the same way. But they can cause irritation and may not work as well. Some OTC kits come with a bendable mouthpiece. These work better than one-size-fits-all trays. The bleaching gels that come in these kits aren’t as strong as the ones you get from a pro.
Is It Safe?
Most teeth whitening kits use a bleaching agent, like peroxide. Studies show the process is safe. But check with your dentist to see if your teeth are healthy enough. “You want to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems like decay orperiodontal disease that could be causing your teeth to turn yellow,” Messina says.
Does It Work?
That depends. “Generally speaking, yellow teeth tend to whiten better than teeth with gray tones,” Messina says. Teeth that are stained by medicines don’t tend to lighten well. And bleaching won’t work on caps, crowns, veneers, or fillings. You may need to have your teeth restored first.
What Are the Side Effects?
These products can make your teeth more sensitive. It happens when the peroxide seeps through the enamel that covers your tooth and bothers the nerve. In most cases this feeling doesn’t last. If it does, or if your gums change color, see your dentist right away.
When Will I See Results?
You should know if it’s working in about a week, Messina says. Take a photo of your smile before you use an OTC whitening kit the first time. Take a second a week later. Compare the two. If you see a change, it’s working. But make sure your goals are realistic.
If your teeth aren’t brighter after 2 weeks, call your dentist. “If you’re not getting good results after one box of whitening strips, you’re not going to see better results after 10 boxes,” Messina says. You may need a stronger treatment.
Tips to Keep Your Teeth White
You’ve spent time and money to brighten your smile. Follow these tips to keep it that way:
- Quit smoking. Tobacco is bad for your health — and your pearly whites.
- Cut back on coffee, tea, cola, and red wine. “Anything you would get yelled at for spilling on a white tablecloth will stain your teeth,” Messina says. Sip through a straw to bypass your front teeth
- Keep your mouth healthy. Brush your teeth well at least twice a day. Use a whitening toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss.
- See your dentist. Get your teeth cleaned twice a year to help them stay white and healthy.
Splurging on your fitness can certainly be a worthy investment. But how can you tell the solid buys from the novelties destined to collect dust in your basement? Top fitness professionals identified six smart ways to spend your money.
1. Behavior changing programs. Programs designed to help you adopt a new exercise mindset—such as audio tapes, hypnotherapy or motivational classes—can be a great way to break those ingrained sedentary habits. “These types of programs can help with [any] behavioral issues that prevent you from engaging in a healthy lifestyle,” says Marta Montenegro, a professor of exercise physiology at Florida International University in Miami. Many use techniques such as visualization, positive suggestion, repetition and reinforcement to change patterns of thinking—so you’re more likely to hit the gym after work instead of the couch. Cost: About $150 for group classes or $30 for an audio recording. Private therapy sessions run $75 to $100 per hour.[5 Ways to Be Mindful and Achieve Optimal Health]
2. Fitness retreat or boot camp. These last anywhere from a day to a week and typically involve regimented meal and exercise plans, as well as motivational speakers, fitness instructors and team-based activities. Boot camps often schedule high-intensity workouts—many gyms now offer boot-camp-style classes—while fitness retreats tend to be more vacation-like, with nature-filled activities such as trail running, river rafting and snowshoeing. “Studies show that group classes motivate people to stick to an exercise program more than training by themselves,” Montenegro says. Cost: These getaways generally start at $200 per day.[Boot Camps With Your Dog in Tow]
3. Exercise coach. If you’re new to exercise, getting “professional assistance is money well spent,” says Wayne Westcott, who directs the exercise science program at Quincy College in Quincy, Mass. A personal trainer can assess your interests and abilities and create a personalized fitness program you’ll enjoy rather than wasting your time on activities that don’t suit you. A good trainer can also teach the proper form for, say, lifting weights or running. “Once you’ve mastered that you can train on your own,” Westcott says. Cost: $40 to $75 per hour.[Online Personal Training: 6 Fitness and Nutrition Sites That Rock]
4. GPS sport watch. Exercise physiologist Tom Holland, a sports performance coach based in New Canaan, Conn., swears by the Garmin 410, a GPS-enabled sport watch. It tells you your pace, heart rate, calories burned and distance covered in your workouts. Plus, the watch saves the data for easy download on your computer, so you can track your progress. Competing against your best times can help motivate you to “work out more frequently and have more fun doing it,” Holland says. Cost: About $325 for the Garmin 410; less sophisticated GPS watches start at around $120.
5. Treadmill work station. Anyone who sits at a desk for most of the work day should consider buying a desk equipped with a treadmill, contends Elizabeth Joy, a sports medicine physician at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City. “Research has shown that even 30 to 60 minutes of jogging a day won’t undo eight hours of sitting,” she says, adding that prolonged sitting has been associated with dying earlier. Joy walks about 1.2 miles per hour on a treadmill while she works. Yes, she can still write and tap on her computer key board. “It’s not fast enough to elevate your heart rate or even make you sweat,” she says, “but the average adult will burn about 100 calories per mile; burning 250 to 300 calories per day is associated with weight maintenance.” You can either buy a workstation like TrekDesk that fits over your current treadmill or a treadmill that’s been fitted with a desk. Cost:$400 for TrekDesk; $3000 to $4000 for treadmill/desk combinations.[6 Weight Loss Tricks that Don’t Involve Much Dieting or Exercise]
6. Home gym.”If you like to train by yourself and have discipline, having your own equipment at home can truly make the difference,” says Montenegro. She suggests buying one high-quality item that will delivers a full-body workout like an elliptical cross-trainer plus investing in a set of weights. Cost: A sturdy elliptical machine or bicycle (real or stationary) goes for around $500; a set of various weights with dumbbells and barbell start at around $100.
For source or more information – health.usnews.com
Most any dentist should be able to spot a the warning signs of a cavity, but do you know the warning signs if you’re between checkups?
The American Dental Association mentions these symptoms of a cavity:
- Having pain in your tooth.
Any kinds of aches and pains you feel in your mouth that are abnormal could be a sign you are starting to get a cavity in one of your teeth. Scheduling a dental check up would be best.
- Getting food caught in your tooth.
If some foods — like hard candy, breath mints, raisins and dry cereal — can get stuck in the grooves and crevices of your teeth, where they could cause decay. Fruit and yogurt, on the other hand, wash away easily with saliva and are, therefore, less likely to cause plaque buildup.
- Feeling a rough edge on your teeth against your tongue.
When plaque builds up in your mouth, it leads to tooth decay. Plaque starts building up after every meal, and if it isn’t brushed away frequently, it can erode the hard, outer enamel of a tooth, resulting in tiny holes in the tooth’s surface. These holes mark the first stage of cavity formation.
- Having a sensitivity to sugary foods, or hot and cold foods.
If your teeth hurt when you eat chocolate or other candies, or if you eat something really cold or hot, then your teeth enamel has started to wear away. These are warning signs of a cavity and it’s time to go see the dentist.
Brushing your teeth seems easy enough. But some toothbrushes are better than others and there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth.
Brushing your teeth regularly is key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing periodontal (gum) diseases, but it’s also important to make sure you choose the right toothbrush for your teeth and use proper brushing techniques. Done correctly, brushing your teeth at least twice a day — in the morning and in the evening before going to bed, for at least three minutes — can help ensure long-term dental health.
“It takes time to brush effectively,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA) and a former clinical instructor at Boston University Dental School. “Most people just rush through it.” Dr. Price suggests setting a timer for three minutes and brushing and flossing until the time runs out.
How to Choose a Toothbrush
Although some ancient civilizations used frayed twigs to clean their teeth, these days toothbrushes come in a variety of manual and powered forms. And the first step to taking good care of your mouth is to choose a toothbrush that’s right for you.
“Choose a brush that has the ADA seal on the box to be sure the bristles are not too hard,” says Price, who is retired from a 35-year dental practice in Newton, Mass. “Then find one that fits comfortably in your hand and mouth. If the brush is comfortable to use, you’ll use it more often and more effectively.”
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when choosing a toothbrush. You’ll want to pick one that:
- Has bristles that are softer rather than harder
- Fits your mouth size. If you have a small mouth, choose a small toothbrush and if you have a large mouth, pick a large toothbrush, says Price.
- Is easy to use, whether it’s a powered or a manual toothbrush
Once you’ve found an appropriate toothbrush for you, you need to brush your teeth the correct way in order to maintain good oral health and keep periodontal disease at bay.
How to Brush Your Teeth Effectively
The following tips can help you to get the most out of your daily brushing routine:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Some experts recommend brushing after every meal, if possible.
- Take time — at least three minutes — to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth.
- When you brush along your gumline, angle your toothbrush slightly toward your gums.
- Don’t brush too roughly — use a gentle motion so you don’t damage your gums.
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste to fight off tooth decay.
- Focus on cleaning every tooth surface with your toothbrush.
- Brush your tongue to scrape off bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- Brush your teeth with a clean toothbrush and rinse the brush thoroughly after each use. You can also use a small amount of hand soap on the bristles for more rigorous cleaning.
- Replace your toothbrush — or toothbrush head if you use an electric brush — every three to four months.
If you need additional help figuring out how best to brush your teeth, says Price, “Have your dentist/hygienist show you the proper method.” And if you are having dental problems or concerns about your oral health, see your dentist.
A toothbrush alone can’t do everything to maintain your oral health and your teeth, Price cautions. That’s because a toothbrush can’t get between your teeth. Only dental floss can do that, so remember to floss each day, too, and see your dentist for regular checkups.
For source or more information – everydayhealth.com
By now, we all know the basic recipe for healthy pearly whites, including regular brushing and flossing, and a diet rich in teeth-healthy foods. What we might not realize is how some food choices can contribute to the wear and tear of teeth.
So what makes a food bad for your smile? Matt Messina, D.D.S., consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and a dentist in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio, explains to HuffPost that bacteria living in the mouth burn sugars in order to live. The byproduct of this burning is acid — which dissolves tooth enamel and causes cavities.
In general, foods that are both sticky and sugary are bad for the teeth. That’s because when foods are sticky, they stay on the teeth longer, which “gives a greater chance for bacteria to burn the sugars and do all the evil things that they do,” Messina says.
Acidic foods can also be bad for the teeth, as they could potentially damage the tooth enamel, he says. That means foods and drinks that are both acidic and sugary (like soda), add up to double trouble for teeth — “they have a multiplying effect,” he says.
Saliva is great at helping to naturally wash the mouth of little food particles and can keep food from sticking to teeth, so anything that stalls saliva production — including some medications that facilitate dry mouth — isn’t ideal for tooth health either, Messina adds.
It’s important to note that some of the foods listed below aren’t necessarily bad forhealth— such as dried fruits — but the experts encourage teeth brushing or mouth rinsing after consumption to help prevent decay.
For many people, particularly children, the perfect Christmas stocking is one consisting of chocolate, sweets and other magnificent sugary treats. But while it may be tempting to cram in the selection boxes, it’s a ploy that could give their teeth a nightmare before Christmas.
Sugar-filled mince pies, chocolate selection boxes and fizzy drinks that make up a traditional festive diet are all likely to pose a hazard to teeth during the holidays. Whether young or old, the message remains the same; don’t forget about your oral health.
Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “It is important to be extra vigilant with your oral health over the Christmas period. It is not how much sugary food and drink we consume that is the problem. It is how often we have these. If you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover.
“Our stockings will inevitably be filled with to the brim with sweets and other sugar-based confectionary. If this is the case, try and eat them straight after mealtimes rather than grazing on them all day. Your teeth are under attack for up to one hour after eating or drinking, and if you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover. Any fruit juice they have should be diluted 10 parts water to one part juice as most are acidic and many contain added sugar.
“The word to remember is moderation. Enjoy the festive period, but for your teeth’s sake, try not to overdo it.”
Top stocking fillers that make it a jolly Christmas for teeth
- A two-minute timer. These are a fun way to get your child into one of the Foundation’s key messages of brushing for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
- A character-branded toothbrush, some of which have been approved by the Foundation’s accreditation scheme, have the potential to make toothbrushing fun for children, which will make them more likely to brush without any fuss.
- Sugar-free sweets and chocolate are great for teeth. Small selection boxes are better than large ones, and remember to limit how often children eat the contents.
- Unsalted peanuts, walnuts and monkey nuts are really good for bone and therefore tooth development. They may not sound glamorous, but they’re a great alternative to crisps.
- Cheeseboards. Not only do they make a great gift idea, cheese helps return the mouth to its natural acid balance and help reduce the chances of tooth decay. Chewing on sugar-free gum for around 10 minutes can also have the same effect.
For source or more information – medicalnewstoday.com
Tooth loss is a common problem we all face at various times throughout our lives, and for various reasons. Whether it is from non-restorable decay (cavity), severe gum disease, a failed root canal or accidentally being damaged beyond repair, the loss of a single tooth or multiple teeth can have dramatic and lasting effects on your pearly whites if not dealt with in a timely manner. Left untreated, gaps in your smile can not only appear unsightly, they can also lead to further problems through a cascade of negative events one might not be aware of. Tooth loss may cause you to need a dental implant.
Teeth adjacent to a space where a tooth has been lost often tend to shift or tilt into that space. This leads to further instability among neighboring teeth in the quadrant, and soon enough one may notice their bite suddenly seems misaligned. Additionally, teeth in the opposing jaw will often begin to “grow” further up or down, looking to make contact with a new mate once their previous counterpart has been lost. If none is encountered, the gum tissue in the area of the lost tooth may become the surrogate – a match that can lead to constant discomfort or a persistent sore spot. To compound the problem, the jawbone where the root(s) of the missing tooth or teeth used to sit is no longer stimulated during chewing, and hence it shrinks away slowly in a process known as “resorption.” Once jawbone volume is lost, it ‘s difficult to regain. Even with the sophisticated bone grafting techniques and materials utilized today, it’s difficult to duplicate the lost bone and gum tissue architecture that once existed when the tooth was still in place or just after it was lost.
As always, prevention is the best bet. But as noted earlier, at some point throughout our lives it’s inevitable. You will lose one or more teeth for whatever reason. So what to do? It’s simple: Replace them! But with what? A fixed bridge? A removable partial denture? Dental implants? What is the best solution?
For decades, the mainstay in dentistry for tooth replacement was the “fixed bridge.” Commonly, the teeth on either side of the space were shaved down, and a dental bridge that had a fake tooth in the middle was cemented over them. This certainly addressed the problem of adjacent or opposing teeth shifting, as well as provided an esthetic solution for the missing tooth or teeth. However, because chewing forces were now distributed to the bone surrounding the roots of the neighboring teeth, rather then the bone in the area of the space, the resorptive process often would continue, and over time a defect in the bone and gums in that area would develop and often a “food trap” would ensue. Furthermore, over time, the “margin,” or seam, where the natural tooth ended and the fake crown began would usually succumb to recurrent tooth decay, and thus the bridge would need to be redone every so often. If the recurrent decay were so severe that now more teeth needed removal, a longer bridge would then be made. This became a vicious cycle for many.
Today however, most dental professionals would agree that replacing a missing (or soon to be missing) tooth or teeth with dental implant supported crowns or bridges is the way to go. A dental implant is like an artificial tooth root implanted in the jawbone that is capable of supporting one or more teeth. No longer do we need to rely on neighboring teeth to support either a fixed or a removable bridge. The crowns or bridges supported by dental implants are typically cemented or screw-retained so that they cannot be removed. And because the implant once again transmits the forces of chewing down to the underlying jawbone, preservation of bone volume in that area usually occurs.
So how can one know if they are headed for tooth loss and dental implant therapy? Let’s revisit each common cause mentioned above.
In cases where irreparable decay is the culprit, or if a root canal has gone awry, typically the first warning sign is recurring and lingering pain that is unprovoked (not in response to eating or drinking). If you’re just sitting around and you have a toothache that is severe and won’t let up, it’s possible your tooth may need removal and a dental implant placed. Another warning sign is swelling of the gum tissue in the area. In some cases (typically in the front part of our mouths where we have single-rooted teeth that closely match the size of the implant), the day the offending tooth is removed a dental implant can be surgically inserted. This is known as “immediate implant placement.” Furthermore, a temporary crown can also be attached to the dental implant, known as “immediate loading,” and so the patient never has to have a gap in their smile at all!
In situations not ideal for immediate implant placement, such as where there is considerable bone loss around the failing root, “delayed implant placement” is usually planned for. In these instances, it’s common to have bone graft material placed in the socket or at the site of the extracted tooth to help rebuild the volume of bone that’s needed for future implant placement. Typically this occurs a couple months later, after the bone graft has “healed.” Many times a temporary device can be fabricated and worn until the implant crown is placed.
Similarly, in cases where a tooth is suddenly damaged or fractured and is thus in need of removal, again, either a dental implant can be placed the same day as the extraction or soon after healing of the socket has occurred and bone has filled the site. The difficulty with traumatic injuries, however, is they often occur at the most inopportune time and, of course, without warning.
In the scenario where a tooth is suffering from periodontal (gum) disease, the early warning signs are recession of the gum line (due to underlying bone loss) and increasing mobility of the tooth. These cases tend to be more challenging because there may not be enough bone left in the area to support a dental implant. Or, even if an implant can be placed, often it’s not in a good position to lead to an esthetic restoration. Once again, bone grafting in these situations is often employed in order to regenerate the lost bone prior to dental implant placement.
Regardless of the cause, replacing teeth that need to be removed with dental implants as early as possible will give patients the best chance for a successful and esthetic outcome, as well as eliminate or minimize the risk of having adjacent or opposing teeth shift, which can lead to further dental problems.
For source or more information – health.usnews.com
What are Common Bad Breath Causes?
If you suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, also known as halitosis, it’s important to identify the cause so you can determine an effective treatment.
Halitosis has many causes, including the following:
- Tobacco use. If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee ofbad breath. If you are ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
- What you eat, or don’t eat. Certain foods, such as garlic, contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
- Dry mouth. If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
- Infections. Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breathcan be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it’s important not to ignore the problem.
The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, your dentist may suggest an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.
For source or more information visit – oralb.com
Dental Visits – Every Six Months
Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you need additional help, your dentist may even suggest more frequent visits.
What Goes On During A Regular Visit
Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if your dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits.
Many dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.
During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, your dentist will likely look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination.
The Head And Neck Examination
Your dentist will start off by:
- Examining your face
- Examining your neck
- Checking your lymph nodes
- Checking your lower jaw joints (TMJs)
The Clinical Dental Examination
Next, your dentist assesses the state of your teeth and gums by:
- Examining the gums
- Looking for signs of gum disease
- Checking for loose teeth
- Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth
- Examining your tongue
- Checking your bite
- Looking for visual evidence of tooth decay
- Checking for broken teeth
- Checking for damaged fillings
- Looking for changes in the gums covering teeth
- Evaluating any dental appliance you have
- Checking the contact between your teeth
- Taking X-rays
The Dental Cleaning
During the final part of the dental visit, your dental professional cleans your mouth using these methods:
- Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
- Removing any plaque and tartar
- Polishing your teeth
- Flossing between your teeth
- Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques
Once your examination and cleaning have been performed, they’ll tell you about the health of your teeth and gums and then make any additional recommendations. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
For source or more information – https://www.oralb.com