Acidic foods abound in the American Diet and most patients are completely unaware of their hidden dangers that they present to your teeth! Nine out of ten adults are at risk of enamel loss due to the acid found in many commonly consumed foods and beverages. Even patients that are considered to have a healthy mouth can be at risk of enamel erosion due to these dietary acids. Early warning signs include surface changes (smoothing), thinning and translucency, which can be very difficult to identify.
Take a look at a few everyday things that can eat away at your enamel, some of which can be considered to be a part of a healthy diet.
- FRUIT JUICES & SMOOTHIES
- SPORTS DRINKS
- ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
Now let's take a look at ways to help minimize the effects of an acidic diet on your enamel.
- Aim to consume acidic foods or beverages alongside less acidic foods with your meal.
- Drink acidic beverages through a straw.
- Avoid swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth.
- Wait a minimum of 20 minutes after a meal or beverage before brushing your teeth.
- Use a special toothpaste that helps repair acid-weakened enamel.
Did you know that Dental professionals are actual experts in prevention-- yes, prevention of disease, but also of infection. By incorporating basic PPE and hand hygiene information, everyone can slow the spread of Covid-19! 2020 has been a crazy year so far. Covid-19 has flipped some lives upside down, and has introduced tragedy, stress, and financial burden on many. Everyone is hoping that a "magic" vaccine will provide a solution to all of the pandemic problems. With over 60% of the world's population collaborating towards this shared goal of developing and distributing a vaccine, it may well be the shining light at the end of the tunnel, but one question still remains, "How long is the tunnel?"
Even if this hopeful vaccine goal is reached, what will happen between the now and then? How can the detrimental effects of Covid-19 be slowed and stopped? How can we be prepared for the next epidemic or pandemic? One of the big answers to these questions is PREVENTION!
Prevention truly is the best medicine. Not only are dental professionals experts at preventing decay and disease, but long before Covid-19 surfaced onto the world stage, we were already highly trained in preventing the spread of pathogens through our infection control protocols. Aside from this, dental professionals also interact with the general public more frequently than most other health care professions. We routinely see healthy individuals two to four times per year, whereas other health care professions see patients less frequently, or when a particular concern arises. Simply implementing many of our current infection control stategies can really make a big impact in the spread of Covid-19.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, everyone has become familiar with the term PPE, predomiently gloves and masks. However, what's the point of wearing PPE if nobody uses them correctly. Take a look at the current basic recommendations for some PPE so that we can all do our part in contributing to a cleaner, healtier, and happier future!
- ALL MASKS MUST COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE TO BE EFFECTIVE
- WET OR VISIBLY SOILED MASKS FROM SWEAT OR MAKEUP DECREASE FILTRATION TO GERMS
- FREQUENT TOUCHING AND MASK ADJUSTMENTS CAN CONTAMINATE THE MASK
- UNWASHED CLOTH MASKS THAT ARE REWORN CAN HARBOR GERMS
- N95 MASKS ARE NOT INDICATED FOR PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN LUNG & HEART HEALTH CONDITIONS
- GLOVES ARE INTENDED TO BE SINGLE USE, OTHERWISE GERMS ARE CARRIED FROM PLACE TO PLACE
Here in Oklahoma, it's time for HHH! Every Summer we experience the Hazy, Hot & Humid days of August. It is very easy to become dehydrated, which can really affect your overall health. Your body is up to 60% water. Not only can running low on this essential ingredient cause headaches, dizziness, and tiredness, but it can also lead to a dry mouth, which can have very determental side effects to your oral health!
So now that we have reviewed the importance of staying hydrated, what's the best way to combat that parched feeling--WATER! Check out these 3 reasons H2O is so vital to not only your dental health.
- WATER washes away food and residue without the sugar and acid found in other drinks.
- WATER promotes saliva production, which is the first defense against tooth decay.
- WATER is sugar and calorie free, which reduces the risk of cavities and weight gain.
So don't wait until you feel thirsty to reach for a glass of water. Make hydration a priority and provide your body with an easy but essential component of staying healthy this Summer!
What's more refreshing on a hot day or when your are thirsty than an ice-cold pop or sport's drink? Although these beverages may quench your thirst, a recent study has now shown that they can quicky damage the enamel coating on your teeth!
Enamel is the hard-white substance that forms the outer protective part of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in the human body, even stronger than bone. Its resilient surface is 96 percent mineral, the highest percentage of any body tissue, making it durable and damage-resistant. The enamel acts as a barrier to protect the soft inner layers of the tooth, but can become susceptible to thinning by acids and sugars found in all pop and energy drinks.
Enamel erosion occurs when the tooth enamel is overexposed to excessive consumption of acidic and sugary food and drinks, like sipping on drinks overtime. The loss of enamel, if left untreated, can lead to various tooth conditions including stains, fractures, sensitivity, and translucence. Researchers observed that the surface roughness of the tooth enamel increased significantly as the immersive contact of the beverage increased. In other words, the longer it takes to consume a beverage, the more enamel erosion or thinning occurred. In addition, the research team also found that preferential etching or thinning in scratched tooth enamel occurred more quickly. Brushing your teeth too hard and using toothpastes with polishing particles that are advertized to remove dental biofilms, like some whitening products, can cause scratches on the enamel surfaces, which leads to more rapid areas of enamel erosion!
We all want our best and brightest smiles, and today there are many options that we can explore at home to make those beautiful smiles a reality. From healthy habits, a healthy diet, a whitening toothpaste, or a do-it-yourself home product, everyone has the opportunity to achieve whiter teeth.
HEALTHY HABITS. Proper brushing is the first step in keeping your teeth stain-free. Two minutes twice a day is the key. One of the highest missed areas is between and at the base of each tooth.
HEALTHY DIET. While most everyone considers that red wine, coffee, and tea can cause some of the worst enamel stains, acidic drinks like soft drinks and citrus beverages can cause even more problems by dissolving tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin underneath. Moderation and rinsing with water can reduce the potential damage.
WHITENING TOOTHPASTE. Toothpastes are available that can remove surface stains, which can keep your teeth their whitest after a professional whitening. However, the whitening ingredients won't penetrate the enamel surface or change the natural color of your teeth.
OTC WHITENING KITS. These products provide a peroxide-based gel that can be applied in a tray or with strips. If you choose a tray application, make sure that the trays fit properly so sensitive areas in your mouth are not irritated. If you decide on the strip method, always make sure that ALL of the tooth surfaces are covered to avoid uneven whitening.
While all of these whitening methods can be helpful, there are some circumstances when a professional whitening is best. Professional gel whiteners are more powerful, and can be more effective on darker stains that OTC products can't remove. On the other hand, some conditions, such as deep stains from trauma or medication, may require a different dental cosmetic procedure like veneers to achieve whiter teeth.
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