Posts for: October, 2018
Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You can choose gel forms and even some with ribbons of color and flavor. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth.
FLUORIDE. The majority of all dental patients should use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth; making them stronger and more resistant to decay.
SENSITIVITY PROTECTION. If your teeth are sensitive to temperatures, toothpaste with sensitivity protection can work wonders for your discomfort. Ingredients in these pastes or gels work to block the pathways to the nerves that react to hot or cold.
PLAQUE, TARTAR, & GINGIVAL PROTECTION. Everyone has bacteria in his or her mouth, and this bacteria is normal. Unfortunately, some bacteria also cause plaque. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which is the cement-like substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone.
WHITENING. White teeth are desirable, and manufacturers are heavily marketing whitening toothpastes. Most brands do not contain bleaching ingredients; instead, they use abrasives to polish stains away. Unfortunately, too much abrasive use can be damaging to your teeth.
According to a recent study, people with big smiles may actually live longer than those who don't! It has been known for quite some time that positive emotions have been linked to both physical and mental health. Researchers looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from a big smile, no smile, or a partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact longevity, including body mass, career length and even college attendance.
THE RESULTS. Researchers found that the players who were not smiling in the photos died at the average age of 72.9 years. While players with partial smiles lived to be 75, those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old!
What can we learn from the study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! If you have any questions or are in need of a dental appointment to give you a reason to brighten your smile, call our office at 918-455-0123!
Blood, saliva and even breath may one day be able to diagnose lung cancer, which is the number 1 cancer killer in the U.S. A primary reason why is that lung cancer is often detected at later stages than some other cancers. Lung cancer currently does not have a widespread and easy to implement screening test available compared with other cancers - think of the annual or biannual mammogram for breast cancer, routine pap smear for cervical cancer or colonoscopies for colon cancer.
New research is currently looking into developing an early screening method for lung cancer. Researchers are investigating whether body fluids other than blood may provide insight into diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage. The salivary diagnostics lab at UCLA School of Dentistry are analyzing molecules in saliva, including DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites and microbiota to determine whether these elements hold clues as to the individual's cancer status. Unlike the current lung biopsy, salivary diagnostics are a non-invasive, easy to use tool for patient specimen collection as well. Although more research is needed, these advances in the early diagnosis of lung cancer appear to be very promising.
Although it is commonly known of the importance of the recommendation to brush your teeth two times a day, for at least two minutes each time, many may not understand the true role that toothpaste plays in the process of maintaining dental health. The mouth is home to more than 500 types of microorganisms that feed on leftover food that gets stuck on and around your teeth. Since toothpaste is the best line of defense against all of those pesky microorganisms, let's take a look at just how it works.
Abrasives. Toothpaste contains mild abrasive additives that combat microorganisms and fight plaque. When you brush, the abrasives in toothpaste dislodge food particles and microorganisms more effectively than if you simply brush your teeth with water. The abrasives also work to remove food stains and polish the surface of the tooth. Some toothpastes include ingredients like triclosan and Xylitol. These chemicals prevent the growth of bacteria that produce plaque. Plaque not only causes cavities, but it can also lead to more dangerous issues like periodontal disease.
Fluoride. This is the key ingredient in toothpaste. As the microorganisms in your mouth feed off the leftover food particles, they leave behind acid and sulfur byproducts that wear away the enamel of the teeth. This is the fancy, technical way of saying that the acid on your teeth causes cavities. As for as the sulfur byproduct, this is the scientific cause for badbreath. Fluoride works to fight the acid and help protect the teeth. By brushing, the fluoride is incorporated into the tooth enamel, which in turn makes the tooth more resistant to acid and plaque.
Flavoring And Sweetening Agents. Not all toothpaste tastes the same. The type of flavoring or sweeting agents added to the toothpaste does not have anything to do with fighting microorganisms and plaque, but taste is one of the most important selling points in finding a toothpaste brand that you like. Flavoring agents mask the taste of some of the other ingredients in toothpaste, and without those agents, chances are nobody would be brushing their teeth two to three times a day.