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When To talk to your Dentist about sensitive teeth?

image5482600Many people experience some degree of tooth sensitivity. A study published in the March 2013 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) revealed that 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth. But many don’t discuss the condition with their dentist.

 

If you have sensitive teeth, you may think that the discomfort you feel when you eat or drink cold, hot, sweet, spicy, or sour foods or beverages is normal and that the solution is simply to avoid trigger foods and drinks.

 

Depending on the cause of your tooth sensitivity, avoiding these triggers may help alleviate your symptoms. But tooth sensitivity can also be a sign of a serious underlying problem, which is why it’s important to discuss any tooth sensitivity — as well as any other concerns — with your dentist.

 

When to Schedule a Dental Visit

 

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. “And they will — if you take care of them,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA), based in Minneapolis. But teeth are subject to damage over time. Enamel can wear down, making teeth more sensitive. Gums can recede, exposing the root and nerves and therefore increasing sensitivity. Teeth can develop cracks, cavities, and abscesses. And you might experience other dental problems.

 

Aside from your regular checkups, it’s important to see your dentist immediately if you suddenly experience an unusual level of tooth sensitivity, or if one particular tooth or area becomes especially sensitive. “Don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment,” says Dr. Harms.

 

If you have a cracked tooth, for example, bacteria can grow in the tooth and lead to an infection, she explains. The crack could also get worse. “It’s really important to take care of any dental issues as quickly as possible,” Harms says. “The longer you wait, the worse a problem can get.”

 

Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry also recommend that you get a dental evaluation if a tooth is highly sensitive for more than a few days and reacts strongly to hot and cold temperatures.

 

What to Expect During Your Visit

 

To rule out any underlying causes of tooth sensitivity, like a cracked tooth, a cavity, an abscess, or nerve damage, your dentist may ask questions such as:

 

  • How often do your teeth feel sensitive?
  • Do all of your teeth experience sensitivity, or is it just a single tooth?
  • How long does the sensitivity last — does it linger for a while or go away immediately?
  • Does the sensitivity occur only with really cold foods, like ice cream, or hot foods, like soup?
  • Does it occur when you’re consuming acidic food or drinks?
  • Do you have pain when you bite into something or chew?

 

Depending on your answers to these questions, your dentist may recommend changing your regular toothpaste to one that’s specially formulated for sensitive teeth; fluoride treatments to help strengthen your teeth and manage your symptoms; a mouth guard to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding or clenching; or a crown, inlay, or bonding. A surgical procedure, like a root canal or gum surgery, is sometimes necessary.

 

Talking to your dentist about your symptoms can help you find the best course of treatment for sensitive teeth.

 

 

Article Source: EveryDayHealth

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Dental Checkup

image5482639A regular dental check-up is important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months or as recommended by your dental professional. If you’re doubting the importance of that next checkup, consider these 5 reasons why getting a regular dental checkup is important.

 

Keep teeth clean

 

Even the most diligent brusher and flosser will miss spaces that are simply too hard to reach. Having your teeth professionally cleaned ensures that all parts of your mouth are free from bacteria, food particles, plaque, and tartar which can contribute to damaging your smile.

 

Oral Cancer Screening

 

Oral cancer isn’t easily detectable by the average person, especially in its early stages. Your dentist is highly trained to recognize signs and symptoms of oral cancer, and with regular dental checkups every six months, the likelihood of catching oral cancer before it becomes serious is dramatically higher. Recognizing oral cancer early is pertinent to successfully treating it.

 

Squashing bad habits

 

Part of the checkup process at Quince Orchard Dental Care is education. Many people are guilty of practicing bad habits that are detrimental to their teeth without even knowing it. At our dental checkups, we take the time to educate you on how habits such as chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee and red wine, and smoking are affecting your teeth and what you can do about it.

 

Gum Disease

 

Plaque and tartar buildup not only cause tooth decay but can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. This happens when tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, making the gum pull away from the tooth. This infection is known as gingivitis and as it progresses the tissue that attaches gums to the teeth breaks down. Regular dental checkups will allow gingivitis to be spotted and treated early.

 

Spot potential problems early

 

After your cleaning, the dentist will conduct an examination, checking for cavities or other problems. Tooth decay is easier to treat at its earliest stages. Once a cavity tears into the enamel, it can inflame the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside each tooth. From there, an infection can spread to the root. In extreme cases, extensive decay can lead to a serious bacterial infection.

 

Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. At Quince Orchard Dental Care, we are a complete health practice which means that we believe oral health is only part of good overall health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional, certified dentists.

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In Case You Missed It, We Have Moved!

Location-Satelite-Image (1)We are pleased to announce that effective April 2, 2018, our General and Pediatric Dentistry is now at our new facility located upstairs at 845-H Quince Orchard Blvd.

 

Our goal is to make this physical transition as seamless as possible. In order to do this, we will maintain the same convenient hours that you currently enjoy.

 

You will be able to access our brand new facility using the staircase found to the right of our current office. Simply park in the same parking lot as you’re accustomed to and proceed up the stairs and to the right. Handicap parking, with ramp access, is available on the rear side of the facility. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office directly at (301) 527-2727.

 

This is certainly an exciting time for Quince Orchard Dental Care and our entire team appreciates your continuous support. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

 

Thank you,
Quince Orchard Dental Team

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Healthy Habits Your Mouth Will Thank You for!

image5352127Better teeth means better health. Keeping your teeth healthy and your smile bright encompasses more than just brushing and flossing. Here are a few habits to adopt this year to improve your oral health and overall well being.

 

Limit the sugar

Sweets, sodas and sugar in general contribute to bacterial growth and an acidic environment in the mouth, which harms enamel. Refined white flours are just as bad, since starches convert to sugars and they stick to the teeth. Too much sugar and refined foods not only affect dental health but can lead to high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown that an unstable blood sugar level provides an environment for gum disease to develop. If blood glucose levels are high, bacteria in the mouth can grow and reproduce and eventually lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is caused by bacterial invasion of the gum tissue, but leads to chronic inflammation and bleeding of the gums.

 

Stay Active

Staying active and getting regular exercise is good for more than just weight loss. Regular exercise keeps your cardiovascular system strong, helps promote good sleep, and boosts your mood. While exercising, be sure to stay away from the sports drinks and energy drinks. These beverages are laden down with sugar which makes your mouth a party zone for bacteria.

Additionally, when participating in vigorous exercise, breathing through your mouth could be creating a dry oral environment and without saliva, acid on your teeth cannot be neutralized. It is possible to breathe mostly through your nose while jogging, cycling, lifting, or doing other high-intensity activities.

 

Drink More Water

You may have probably heard the phrase “drink 8 glasses of water per day” a thousand times. While the amount of water you need is dependent on a number of factors, the important thing still remains that you need to consume it. For good oral and overall health, plain water is, and will always be, the best way to hydrate your body. Fresh juices and energy drinks can provide valuable nutrients, but they are also full of sugar. Flavoured sparkling waters may not have sugars, but they typically contain ascorbic acid, which is harmful to your enamel. No one suggests you need to give up your morning coffee or evening glass of wine, but making water your first-choice beverage will go a long way toward maintaining good health.

 

Cut out the addictive stuff

Whether it’s junk food, binging on TV and movies, or sitting in front of the computer for hours on end—we all have bad habits we enjoy too much to give up entirely. We know they are not good for us, but we enjoy them too much to stop them outright. While it might be hard or even impossible to cut some of these things entirely out of our lives, reducing the frequency with which we engage in these activities is a step in the right direction.

  • For years, the link between smoking and cancer has been publicized and emphasized. Tobacco is known to lead to various types of cancer and tooth decay and tobacco and alcohol both increase your chances of developing gum disease.
  • When you’ve been sitting in front of the computer or TV for hours on end, you’re more likely to reach for the junk food or sugary snacks to keep your hands busy. These foods are full of sugar which leads to excessive mouth bacteria and just bad oral health.
  • Excessively playing video games usually encourages compulsive behaviors such as drinking, smoking, teeth grinding, and chewing on non-food items. None of these behaviors are good for the body or the teeth and gums.

 

Regular visits to Quince Orchard Dental Care can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”  At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that you cannot have good oral health without good overall health. Take some time to do some introspection and make a conscious effort to change habits that may be affecting your health.

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Household environment, not genetics, shapes salivary microbes

QODC Article 3Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered that the mix of microorganisms that inhabit a person’s saliva are largely determined by the human host’s household. The study, published this week in mBio®, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows that early environmental influences play a far larger role than human genetics in shaping the salivary microbiome — the group of organisms that play a crucial role in oral and overall health.

 

“It’s generally becoming known that there’s a link between our microbiomes and our health and that’s reason enough to find out what’s in there, how they arrived there, and what they are doing,” says Adam P. Roberts, senior lecturer in antimicrobial chemotherapy and resistance at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Roberts co-led the study, which was conducted during his previous post at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute. UCL Genetics Institute graduate student Liam Shaw adds, “The oral cavity is naturally colonized by hundreds of bacterial species, which stop external pathogens from establishing a foothold, but they also can themselves cause oral disease.”

 

The research team wanted to know how the salivary microbiome gets established and which factors are most responsible for the mix of bacteria found there. Roberts’ colleague, UCL immunologist Andrew M. Smith, had access to a unique sample set — DNA and saliva from an extended, Ashkenazi Jewish family living in various households spread across four cities on three continents. That allowed the team ask how much of the variation seen in salivary microbiomes is due to host genetics and how much is due to environment.

 

Because the family members are ultra-orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, they share cultural diets and lifestyles that control for many confounding factors. Also, because the family members’ DNA had already been sequenced to the level of single changes in the DNA code, the research team had a unique and precise measurement of their genetic relatedness.

 

Next, Shaw and the team sequenced the bacterial DNA signatures present in saliva samples from 157 family members and 27 unrelated Ashkenazi Jewish controls. Across all samples, they found the core salivary microbiome made up of bacteria from the genera Streptococcus, Rothia, Neisseria, and Prevotella.

 

To get at what might be driving differences at the bacterial species level, Shaw and the team used statistical methods adopted from ecology to determine which factors are responsible for the most variation. When comparing factors such as shared household, city, age, and genetic relatedness, the factor that determined who shared the most similar saliva microbes was overwhelmingly household.

 

“What that tells us is that the contact and sharing of microbes that goes on at the very local environment is what determines the differences between individuals,” says Shaw.

 

Spouses and parents and children younger than 10 living in a household together had the most similar saliva microbiomes. “The contact doesn’t even have to be intimate, like kissing,” says Roberts. “Individuals’ hands are covered in saliva and they are touching everything in the house.” Children younger than 10 had more similar bacteria to their parents than older children, perhaps reflecting that older children are becoming “more independent individuals,” says Roberts.

 

The team also looked carefully at whether genetic relatedness drove the makeup of the saliva microbiome. When they used a measure of relatedness based on family tree relationships alone, they saw a small, but statistically significant effect. However, when they used the genetic sequence information, a more accurate measure of relatedness, the effect disappeared. In other words, a person’s genetics played virtually no role in shaping their saliva microbes.

 

“Pedigrees do not always precisely reflect actual genetic relatedness in terms of the amount of genome shared,” says Shaw. Roberts encourages other researchers undertaking large-scale microbiome studies to use detailed human genetic sequence information rather than relying on family trees.

 

This study shows that environments shared during upbringing play a major role in determining what community of bacteria gets established. And knowing that the shared environment drives the microbiome, Roberts says, may gives us the ability to one day modulate it.

 

He points to the example of periodontitis, or gum disease, an incredibly common and often debilitating infectious disease associated with an altered microbiome. “Once we understand the members of the microbiome that are responsible for health, our everyday behavior could change to shift our microbiome favorably.”

 

Article Source: Science Daily

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8 Bad Brushing Habits to Break in 2018

Closeup on young woman brushing teethKeeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long

 

The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean—these are signs it’s time to let go. When you’re shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

 

Not Brushing Long Enough

 

Speed demons, listen up! Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing through cleaning, try setting a timer. Or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune!

 

Brushing Too Hard

 

Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed. Too much pressure may damage your gums.

 

Brushing Right After Eating

 

If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing—especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush.

 

Storing Your Brush Improperly

 

When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.

 

Using a Brush with Hard Bristles

 

Soft bristles are a safe bet. And be mindful to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet, as you brush. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.

 

Improper Brushing Technique

 

Here’s one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

 

Using a Brush That’s Not the Best Fit for You

 

There are many toothbrushes that can leave your teeth fresh and clean, including manual and power brushes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Both get the job done. Try different types until you find one you’re comfortable with. For example, a power brush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing. No matter which you choose remember that it’s not all about the brush—a clean mouth is really up to the brusher!

 

Article Source: Mouth Healthy

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The mouth is the window to the body’s overall health!

Dentist tools and mouth open with beautiful teethFor years, the vital relationship between health and the economy has been recognized and studied. Countries with a healthier workforce have shown strong economic performance and gain. However, in the area of public health and it’s improvement, the role of a dentist and the correlation of dental health to overall health and wellness is often overlooked.

 

The link between oral health and the overall health of the body is a subject that has been studied in much more depth in the past decade. For instance, recently in 2017, it was discovered that there is a definitive link between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis. Before that and over the past decade, the practice of screening for systemic disease indicators (such as white spots, abscesses, cavities, etc) has grown to be an integral component of the dental exam. Many oral diseases share risk factors with other noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. As a result, the role of a dentist is more than just the treatment and prevention of oral disease. In fact, some medical conditions can be hinted at just by examining the teeth, gums, and mouth. Conditions such as diabetes, anemia, heart disease and autoimmune disease can present symptoms in the mouth before the rest of the body. For some conditions, this could mean early diagnosis and subsequent early treatment simply through the process of a dental exam. The evidence is there, and it has shown that the mouth can sometimes be a window into the health of the rest of the body.

 

In the consideration of your overall health, oral health should not be overlooked. The mouth has often been considered the window to the body and your dental health may play into more aspects of your overall health and life than you thought.

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Sleep Apnea May Boost Alzheimer’s Risk

If your sleep is continually disrupted by a condition called sleep apnea, you might face a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s down the road.

 

So claims a new study that has linked sleep apnea with an increase in the development of amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The researchers found that the more serious the sleep apnea was, the more plaque accumulated.

 

“Sleep apnea is very common among the elderly, and many aren’t aware they have it,” said senior researcher Dr. Ricardo Osorio. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.

 

An estimated 30 percent to 80 percent of the elderly suffer from sleep apnea, depending on how it’s defined, the study authors noted.

 

Although none of the participants developed Alzheimer’s over the two years of the study, those with sleep apnea accumulated amyloid plaque, which could trigger Alzheimer’s in the future, Osorio said.

 

Sleep apnea occurs when you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep.

 

Those pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes, and they can occur 30 times or more an hour. Normal breathing usually starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal condition in which memory deteriorates over time. Alzheimer’s affects some 5 million older Americans, and as the millions of baby boomers age, that number will only grow.

 

Osorio suggested that treating sleep apnea would likely reduce the accumulation of amyloid plaque and also the risk of Alzheimer’s.

 
Sleep is necessary for the brain to clear itself of amyloid, Osorio explained. “During sleep, the brain does housekeeping and clears some of the proteins that have accumulated during the day, including amyloid,” he said.

 

But sleep apnea hinders the brain in its efforts to flush out these plaques, he added.

 

To understand the effect of sleep apnea on the development of brain plaque, Osorio and colleagues studied 208 men and women, aged 55 to 90, who weren’t suffering from any type of dementia.

 

The investigators collected samples of the participants’ spinal fluid to measure a protein that indicates plaque development, and performed PET scans to measure the amount of plaque in the participants’ brains.

 

In all, more than 50 percent of the participants had sleep apnea. Nearly 36 percent suffered from mild sleep apnea, and about 17 percent had moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.

 

Over two years of follow-up, Osorio’s team found that among 104 of the participants, those who suffered from more severe sleep apnea had signs in their spinal fluid that indicated the development of brain plaque.

 

Osorio’s group confirmed this increase in plaque by giving PET scans to some of the patients. Scans showed an increase in amyloid plaque among those with sleep apnea.

 

Although increases in plaque were seen, this did not predict mental decline, the researchers stressed.

 

The findings were published online Nov. 10 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

 

Osorio noted that the study was too short to determine who might go on to develop Alzheimer’s, but the researchers are continuing to follow the participants to see if dementia develops.

 

One Alzheimer’s expert said the link is plausible.

 

“We think sleep disorders are an important aspect in the development of the disease, and they are also treatable,” said Dean Hartley. He is director of science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association.

 
People suffering from sleep apnea should have a full sleep workup and get treatment, Hartley said.

 

“People often ask what they can do now to prevent Alzheimer’s,” he said. “This is one of those things they can do now.”

 

Article Source: WebMD

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Dental Health at Any Age

Mother and her baby brushing teeth togetherAwareness of the oral-health conditions you are likely to face at different stages of life can help you stay a step ahead of potential dental problems, and build a lifetime of healthy smiles.

 

Dental Health: Pregnancy and Children

 

Expectant mothers can give children a head start by eating an array of healthy foods and taking calcium supplements while pregnant. Also, taking folic-acid supplements decreases the risk of a baby being born with a cleft lip and palate. After the baby’s birth, parents should wipe the infant’s gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings, as this helps prevent the buildup of bacteria. When teeth come in, typically at six months old, parents can use a soft children’s toothbrush twice a day to clean the teeth and gum line, where decay starts.

 

Dr. Mary Hayes, a pediatric dentist in Chicago and a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, tells parents there is a risk for tooth decay even in children as young as nine months. “Parents need to pay attention to baby teeth — they aren’t disposable,” says Dr. Hayes, who also recommends parents brush their children’s teeth until they are six years old. “This instills good habits and a routine.” Hayes notes that prior to six years old, children aren’t able to brush their own teeth effectively. Parents can begin taking children to a pediatric or family dentist around one year of age. Another important habit parents can establish is to avoid feeding kids sweet and sticky foods. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese and crackers, for tooth-friendly snacks.

 

Dental Health: Adults

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report nearly one-third of adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Early detection is important: In the early stages, tooth decay is often painless and can be picked up only during a dental exam. A visible sign of the separate dental problem of periodontal disease is loss of bone around the teeth and requires a dentist’s intervention as well.

 

Risk factors for dental health are often tied to overall health. Diann Bomkamp, a clinical dental hygienist and president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, cites smoking and certain medications as risk factors for periodontal disease. “There’s a direct relation between gum disease and other diseases,” says Ms. Bomkamp. “If you’re on medications for high blood pressure or epilepsy, or have diabetes, visit the dentist on a more routine basis.” (To learn more, read Dental Health and Overall Health.) If you are taking medication for these conditions or have diabetes, talk to your dentist about how often you should go for checkups, as it may be best to go in more often than every six months. Additionally, people of all ages can drink fluoridated water to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. Most cities have fluoride in tap water — however, the majority of bottled waters do not. If your water source doesn’t have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements.

 

Dental Health: Older Adults

 

Even as people are living longer, more older adults are keeping their natural teeth. However, older adults still need to visit a dentist regularly, as they are at increased risk of developing throat and oral cancers (especially those who smoke or drink alcohol heavily). Bomkamp notes that older adults also have an increased risk of dry mouth and may be on a number of medications that affect oral health. For those with dentures, Bomkamp finds, “Many older patients don’t think they need to go to the dentist, but they might not be cleaning their dentures correctly.” If your gums are red and swollen, check in with your dentist, it may be a sign your dentures don’t fit anymore.

 

Article Source: Everyday Health

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Toothpaste 101

Toothpaste is not always paste. It can be a gel, powder, or paste that you brush onto your teeth and gums to help get rid of accumulating plaque and improve your oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), toothpaste is important to oral health because it helps to remove plaque and its bacterial buildup on teeth and fights off periodontal (gum) disease. Most toothpaste also contains fluoride, which bolsters tooth enamel and fights tooth decay.

 

What’s in Toothpaste?

 

The exact composition of different toothpaste may vary slightly depending on the benefits being touted by the particular brand (such as whitening teeth or reducing gum inflammation). In general, toothpastes include the following ingredients:

 

  • Gentle abrasives, such as magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and phosphate salts.
  • Glycerol, sorbitol, or other so-called “humectants,” substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Thickeners like seaweed or mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, or natural gum to give the toothpaste a homogeneous appearance and texture.
  • Fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
  • Flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay, such as saccharin.
  • Detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.

How to Pick the Right Toothpaste for Your Teeth

 

With the dizzying array of toothpaste choices in a typical drugstore aisle, it can be daunting to try and find one that’s right for you. “One almost needs a PhD degree to weather the dental ‘aisle of confusion’,” says Richard H. Price, DMD, spokesperson for the ADA, and a former clinical instructor at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

When choosing a toothpaste, the first order of business is to make sure that the product is safe and will do what it claims. Toothpastes containing fluoride are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since they make disease-fighting claims. These products will display a standard “drug facts” panel on the packaging listing active ingredients, warnings, and other relevant information. Toothpastes without fluoride are considered cosmetics and, therefore, do not fall under FDA supervision. However, these products should still provide a list of ingredients. To avoid counterfeit and unregulated products, steer away from any toothpaste that doesn’t clearly state ingredient information or is not properly labeled.

Confused toothpaste shoppers can find additional guidance by looking for the ADA seal of approval. This symbol indicates that the manufacturer has participated in a voluntary testing program conducted by the ADA to gauge a product’s safety and effectiveness. Any toothpaste containing sugar, for example, will not get the ADA seal of approval.

“With the ADA seal on it, you know that it will do what it says,” notes Dr. Price, who is retired from a 35-year private group dental practice in Newton, Mass.

 

The Benefits of Fluoride in Toothpaste

 

A key ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride has broad benefits for people, both young and old. “Fluoride toothpaste is not just for kids — it is beneficial for us our whole lives,” says Price. “The fluoride in the toothpaste heals and remineralizes microscopic cavities as they form, it hardens the tooth surface, making it more resistant to the acid attack of bacteria, and slows down the action of these acid-producing bacteria.”

 

Fluoride Safety

 

Although the FDA requires fluoride toothpaste to carry a warning label urging parents to contact a poison control center if their child accidentally consumes a large quantity of toothpaste, the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs takes the position that the FDA warning overstates the risks of ingested fluoride to children. According to the ADA statement, children cannot swallow enough fluoride from toothpaste during normal brushing to cause any serious problems. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, Price recommends limiting children under age 5 to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and supervising their brushing since most young children haven’t learned to rinse rather than swallow at the end of brushing.

 

Toothpaste for Particular Tooth and Gum Conditions

 

No matter what your personal oral health needs are, there’s likely a toothpaste for you.

If you have sensitive teeth, look for products with ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. To fight gingivitis or tartar buildup, choose a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphates, triclosan, and zinc citrate. In addition, you can find products designed to combat bad breath or formulated with special abrasives to help whiten stained teeth.

“If you have special needs, such as teeth that are sensitive to cold or heat, or problems with tartar buildup, look for toothpaste that address these issues that carry the ADA seal, or speak with your dentist for a recommendation,” Price advises.

 

Article Source: Everday Health

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