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Tagged "Oral Care"


The Good Teeth Guide

We’ve all heard the saying that your body is a temple so you need to treat it well. Taking care of your health is important, and while medical science is making great strides, that doesn’t get you off the hook when it comes to daily maintenance. One of the best ways to make sure you stay healthy and feeling good is to take excellent care of your teeth. Having a healthy smile will keep you feeling confident, and help you avoid the complications that come with poor oral hygiene. Here are some great ways to make sure you are taking the best possible care of your teeth.

Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

Throwing toothpaste on a toothbrush and running it across your teeth just is not enough. There are a lot of people who assume that a quick brush once a day is sufficient, but it isn’t. Here is how you really should brush your teeth:

  1. Choose the right tools – The toothbrush and toothpaste that you choose are the basis for your brushing routine. There are tons of options out there of both types. In terms of toothbrushes, you can get a manual brush or an electric one, and you can choose soft, medium, or hard bristle types. The American Dental Association (ADA) weighs in on the issue saying that either option can work, “Whether you decide on manual or powered, choose a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use, so that you’ll use it twice a day to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth.”
  2. Brush those teeth – As noted above, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about the best way to brush your teeth, “Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.” A complete cleaning takes a few minutes, but it will help you ensure that your entire mouth is clean.
A Guide to Flossing


Image: dailyspooge.com

A lot of people dread that awkward moment when their dentist asks how often they floss. Why do they keep asking? It’s because flossing really is important. There are little gaps and spaces between your teeth that need to be cleaned out regularly. Brushing your teeth can’t get into those tight places, so that’s where flossing comes in. Using dental floss regularly helps to prevent gum disease as it removes pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth that normal brushing can’t reach. When plaque is allowed to build up, the bacteria can cause inflammation and irritate the gums.

WebMD recommends that you floss twice a day, but if you can only fit in one session then choose to floss a night because, “’Your salivary flow is very low when you're sleeping,’ Srivastava says. ‘So for those 7 or 8 hours you're in bed, you're not washing away the bacteria teeming in your mouth.’” Don’t sleep with a bacteria-filled mouth, instead take a minute and floss before your head hits the pillow.

Mouthrinses Can Help


Image: psu.edu

Even though your teeth probably feel extremely clean, there is another step that can be really beneficial. Again, we turn to the ADA for details on why mouthrinses and mouthwashes can help, “Mouthrinses are used for a variety of reasons: to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, or to produce a combination of these effects.” With all of those benefits, it’s hard to justify not using a mouthwash.

One thing to remember is that you shouldn’t rinse right after you brush as you will be washing away all of the benefits that your toothpaste can provide. This includes rinsing with mouthwash, as it will remove all the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. To get the most out of your mouthwash, choose a different time to use it, for instance after lunch. Mouthwashes can be a great way to keep your entire mouth healthy, just make sure you stagger your use so as not to counteract the benefits of your toothpaste.

Taking excellent care of your teeth just makes sense. You’ll have fewer dentist visits, healthier teeth, and a better chance of preventing cavities and decay. Make oral hygiene a standard part of your daily routine, and you will be on track to keep your teeth healthy and sparkling white for many years to come.

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How Safe is it to Whiten Your Teeth?

style="text-align: justify;"It seems like some people will do anything to achieve the beauty standards they desire. But what is the cost? Of course you want to get a dazzling white smile, but you probably have some concerns about how safe some of these whiteners are for your teeth. How do these products transform a yellow smile into a white one, and are you doing any damage to your teeth when you use them? Read on to learn more about what teeth whitening products are made of, and how safe they really are to use on your teeth.

What is in Whitening Products?

First, it is good to know what ingredients are typically used in tooth whiteners. The American Dental Association (ADA) has the following to say “Whitening products may be administered by dentists in the dental office, dispensed by dentists for home-use, or purchased over-the-counter (OTC), and can be categorized into two major groups:

  • Peroxide-containing bleaching agents; and
  • Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices).”

These two types of products make up the majority of whitening methods. However, there are also some recipes for making your own at-home whitening pastes that do not require any chemicals at all, including making pastes from activated charcoal. Not all whitening methods contain chemicals, but how safe are teeth whitening products?

Are These Products Safe?

For the most part, the whitening products on the market have been proven to be safe as Colgate explains, “Teeth whitening techniques have been well evaluated over the years, and the results obtained both in the dental office and at home are virtually guaranteed.” These products and methods have undergone extensive studies and evaluations into their effects on teeth before they reach the homes (and mouths) of consumers.

The products are safe because they are not designed to impact the structure of your teeth, as the Dear Doctor website explains, “Generally speaking, whitening is safe because the chemicals used to attack the organic molecules do not materially affect the mineral structure of the tooth itself.” Most whitening products are designed to erase surface stains on your teeth caused by years of acidic and staining foods and drinks that leave your teeth dull and yellow. These stains are on the tooth’s surface, and are easily whitened away without harming the integrity of your teeth.

If you are especially concerned about the safety of whitening, then consider going to your dentist to get their professional advice on whether or not your teeth are suitable for bleaching.

Potential Issues

An unfortunate side effect of the whitening process is tooth sensitivity. While using the products is typically safe, they might still cause some tooth pain. Luckily, the sensitivity should not last long and will fade in time once you stop using the whitening product. If you are experiencing some dental pain, avoid beverages that are served at extreme temperatures and hot, spicy foods. As always, if your teeth are causing you a lot of pain, then you should visit your dentist to make sure everything is all right.

While the sensitivity is an unpleasant part of teeth whitening for some people, it is likely only temporary. Once you finish your treatment method, it should subside. The Pearly Whites Professional Kit comes with a desensitization gel to help replace minerals, seal your results and soothe after whitening.

Make an Informed Choice

If you want to whiten your teeth and have any concerns regarding your dental health or sensitivity issues, then talk to your dentist first. After all, no one knows your teeth better than they do! If you do the research and choose your whitening product and method wisely, then you will be able to safely and effectively whiten your smile.

[Click here for the Pearly Whites frequently asked questions]

 

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Ultimate Toothy Sayings List

Every year new expressions and sayings enter the public vocabulary, and old ones lose popularity and fall by the wayside. But some idioms have immense sticking power and have kept kicking around for hundreds – if not thousands – of years. Many of these old-timers allude to the most fundamental of human concepts: our own bodies.

And teeth, being that one strange part of our body that almost everyone will eventually lose yet manage to live without, are a particularly potent icon. Like bones we can see, our overall health can sometimes be inferred from how we treat and care for these important tools. In this era of dentures and teeth implants, we may forget how pivotal teeth were to the many generations of humans that came before us.

With that in mind, let’s take a glance at the origin and meaning of the long-lived and hard-hitting sayings that reference our teeth to describe how we interact with the world. You may find some surprising or enlightening, while others may be downright distasteful!

A Tooth For A Tooth

This classic expression has stood the test of time due in large part to its inclusion in the Old Testament. Along with the eyes, demanding a tooth be given for each one taken was a visceral demand for compensatory justice; an idea that was later made more grisly with Shakespeare’s “pound of flesh”. In essence, you not only must be punished exactly proportional for your crimes (but no more than that either), but punished out of your own body if needs be.

Getting Long In The Tooth 

It’s not human teeth this particular saying refers to, but horses. For a long time it was believed you could tell the age of a horse by its teeth due to a shallow groove that appears around 10 years old, and slowly travels down the length of the tooth as it appears to “grow out”, until it disappears again in the horse’s old age. Therefore, someone whose teeth have grown that long, must be pretty darn old. In reality, receding gums and a horse’s natural teeth variation play havoc with this system of aging, but a best guess is often better than none.

As Rare As Hens’ Teeth

Well, that’s simple enough, as hens don’t have teeth. The saying might have been on more shaky ground if it had been about geese teeth – dentists would disagree that these structures on a goose’s beak count as teeth, but if you were bitten by one I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate the difference!

By The Skin Of Your Teeth

Most wouldn’t recognise this as another saying with biblical origin, where the first instance of it was used to describe an escape with nothing at all, except one’s life. Since then, it has come to mean something avoided or achieved by an almost infinitesimally tiny margin. If you want to consider enamel the “skin” of your teeth, you will appreciate just how thin a margin that must be.

Bare Your Teeth

Some people smile without showing a sign of their pearly whites, but others are blessed with gummy and toothy smiles, and proud to flash them around. What appears to us humans as an expression of friendly openness is almost universally a bad sign in the animal kingdom. Showing another creature your teeth is a sign of extreme aggression, because it suggests you’re about to use them!


Image: Keeweedoc

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Is there anyone out there that hasn’t experienced the origin of this amusing saying for themselves? Often with a big piece of cake or ice cream, and hopefully not with a huge chunk of leathery steak. What was expected to be a delightful mouthful becomes an arduous undertaking flavoured with regret.

As Bad As Pulling Teeth

Fairly self-explanatory! Anyone who has had the misfortune to experience pulled teeth will surely have a shudder of pity for those put in any remotely similar situation. This is often said about occurrences that are only a truly awful experience, but also likely to be irreversible once they’re done. Though sometimes, people look at the silver lining that once the offending teeth are pulled and gone, they can’t cause any more pain and suffering.

Give Your Eyeteeth For It

The eyeteeth are another name for the canines, and were once believed to be connected by nerves to the eye itself. Your canine teeth are particularly important for the cutting action of tearing your food into bite-sized portions, before the molars come into play to grind it down into digestible paste. Losing your canines makes your bite more impotent, your smile particularly silly-looking, and was believed to be bad for the eyes as well, hence anything you would lose them for would have to be very important indeed.

Lie Through Your Teeth

In the present day, this idiom usually means a lie told through a smile; in other words the act of a very practiced or unrepentant liar. Sometimes it is a forced grin that is referred to. In its origins in the 14th Century, however, the saying was not referring to the liar’s teeth but those of the person they spoke to. Thus one lied in someone’s teeth, just as we would not say lied in (or to) someone’s face.


Image: thequirksofenglish.co.uk

To Fight Tooth And Nail

To fight with ones teeth and fingernails is the last defence a human has after all other weapons are lost and swinging room for punches has diminished. It’s the brief and fragile moments that decide if you live or die, and it can all come down to how willing you are to use your teeth on a living creature; another example of how potent an image teeth provide.

Sink Your Teeth Into It

You may be surprised to learn that the human jaw has an average crushing power of about 170 pounds (85kg)! And your teeth are the point where all this force leaves your body and enters whatever unfortunate thing you’re biting. Indeed, the strength of your teeth is the deciding factor in how hard you can bite; the pain of unfamiliar pressure will put you off long before your jaw muscles give out. Putting your teeth into something wholeheartedly is a great way to make an impact.

Set Your Teeth On Edge

Another figure of speech with an old, biblical and Shakespearian lineage, something that sets your teeth on edge is readily recognised to be something incredibly annoying or vexing. But the original usage referred to the sensation of acid on the teeth, such as when eating acidic or vinegared foods like citrus and pickles. Perhaps the connecting factor is that when you tense up your jaw and mouth in annoyance, your teeth may tingle or become a little numb – similar to when you’ve eaten a particularly sour grape!


Image: Whattoexpect.com

Got Teething Problems?

It’s a painful thing for a baby’s first teeth to grow out, and sometimes even for the adult teeth that come in sporadically in later years. ‘Teething problems’ is the term used for problems, annoyances and hiccups that occur as someone begins to do something new to them, which are expected to go away as they become accustomed or experienced with the task in question.

A Kick In The Teeth

You may be more familiar with an alternative expression with the same meaning – to be kicked while you’re already down. The only way someone’s foot is going to easily come in contact with your teeth is if your head is on the ground. And kicking you at that point is very unsporting, not to mention probably extremely painful. This is a saying often reserved for life’s worst moments.

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

This analogy refers to the practice of checking a horse’s teeth to determine their age and thus its value. When receiving a gift, you should be thankful for it rather than be seen to be wishing for more by assessing its worth.

To Have a Sweet Tooth

This figure of speech refers to the craving or desire to eat large amounts of sweet things like candy, cakes, ice cream, pastries or anything with a sweet flavour. An example would be if you just can’t seem to get enough chocolate or lollies.

We hope you enjoyed this list of teeth idioms, proverbs and sayings and understand a little bit more about where they originated from and what they mean. If you have any more you would like to see added to this list, feel free to contact us.

 

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8 Ways to Celebrate National Brush Your Teeth Day

The day after Halloween is often celebrated for its huge sales on unsold candy. But before you rush off to Target to stock up on caramels, did you know November 1st is also National Brush Your Teeth Day?

While slightly less exciting than half off chocolate bars, National Brush Your Teeth Day comes at the perfect time of year to talk about dental hygiene.  Whether you’ve eaten your share of the Halloween goodies, or you’ve chugged red wine just to get you through the costume party madness, your teeth have likely taken a ghoulish beating this Halloween season. Step away from the plastic pumpkin and check out these fun ways you can celebrate National Brush Your Teeth Day and erase that candy-coated guilt.

1. Treat Yourself to A New Toothbrush

Did you know it’s suggested you change your toothbrush every 3 months to keep germs at bay? If you can’t remember when you bought the toothbrush you’re using, it might be time to upgrade. Try something electric like an Oral-B to really knock out the damage done by your Halloween binging.

2. Sip Green Tea Instead of Coffee

You may think you need that dark, caffeine loaded goodness to wake you up after a night of celebrations, but a nice mug of green tea can also do the trick. Besides its energizing properties, scientists have found that green tea can actually reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth and freshen your breath.

3. Plan a Spa Day for Your Teeth

It is a holiday after all. Why not make some time to spoil yourself with an at-home teeth whitening kit? Relax with a good book or find someone to give you a massage as you let whitening strips undo the damage. Self-care is an important tactic for surviving the stress of the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself and your smile.

4. Share a Smiling Selfie

Brush Your Teeth Day is definitely one of the lesser-known holidays on the calendar but confidence and body positivity are always trending. Show some love for yourself and your gorgeous smile with a joyful selfie. Tag it with #BrushYourTeethDay to show your support for dental hygiene and flaunt those pearly whites.

5. Drink Fruit Infused Water

It’s hard to make sure you get the recommended amount of water into your daily drinking habits. Coffee and sodas may be tastier, but they can take a serious toll on the health and on the appearance of your smile. Make a one-day commitment to drink healthy, fruit infused water to help curb those sugary, staining habits. Try some cucumber slices, frozen grapes, lemon wedges, or strawberries and mint to add color and taste to your water.

6. Make A Snack That’s Smile Worthy

Sugars and sticky treats are known to lead to cavities and other dental nightmares. Try filling your plate with a snack your smile will thank you for. Make yourself a healthy meal including crunchy vegetables and calcium rich items such as nuts, cheeses, and fresh greens. Not only will these foods help you feel amazing, they will also help build up your enamel and fight gum disease.

7. Invest In A Water Pick

We all know the shame that comes with answering the dentist’s favorite question. No, you probably haven’t been flossing regularly but maybe investing in a water pick will motivate you to begin. Finding a quality water pick you enjoy can add an extra burst of clean to your daily hygiene routine. If you’ve tried flossing before and found it uncomfortable or difficult to manage, a water pick is perfect for you.

 8. Swap Your Red White For White

There’s a reason you always see red wine in those late-night carpet cleaning infomercials. The drink is one of the leading causes of teeth staining and shares an equal amount of guilt with our beloved coffee. If you’re a wine lover, consider making the occasional switch to white wine. With fewer stain causing food items in your diet, your teeth are sure to see an increase in brilliance.

However you choose to celebrate it, #NationalBrushYourTeethDay is a great reminder to start thinking about taking care of your body as we approach the holiday season. Not only is your smile an important part of your overall health, it also is the first feature you’ll notice when you start getting tagged in all those holiday party photos.  We all want to look our best, and have something to smile about. Following these eight simple tips can help you celebrate your smile and have a happy holiday season.

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A Fun Look at the History of Dental Hygiene

October is both National Dental Hygiene and National Orthodontic Health Month so we thought what better way to celebrate and raise awareness than with a look back at how scary oral care used to be.


A Tooth Puller – oil on canvas by Jan Steen circa 1625

A Fun Look at the History of Dental Hygiene

We all know the routine: brush your teeth after every meal, floss as often as possible, and get regular dental checkups. While this is the modern guide to dental hygiene, it wasn’t always that way. The history of oral care shows just how far we’ve come, and how important it is to keep those pearly whites clean.

A Long, LONG Time Ago…

Some people think that dental hygiene is a modern concern, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As far back as 5000 BC people were talking about tooth problems. Historians found references to “tooth worms” that decayed teeth in an ancient Sumerian text. While the image is, well, less than appealing shall we say, it shows how impactful dental hygiene has always been.

Since modern humans came into existence, teeth have been an extremely critical part of our anatomy. We need our teeth to stay healthy and strong to ensure we can properly chew and consume the food we require to keep our bodies running. Without even realizing it humans also rely on oral aesthetics such as straight, white teeth to help us succeed in school, work and love (more about that in our next exciting post!).

We’ve Come a Long Way


Image Source

Over the years every culture tried to come up with ways to combat oral health problems. Imagine getting a toothache before modern medicine was invented! As the medical profession’s advanced, so did the ability to care for dental problems with more effective solutions. However, the “Father of Modern Dentistry” didn’t appear until 1723 when French surgeon, Pierre Fauchard began developing the field into what it is today.

Even though dentistry saw a lot of advancements beginning in the early 1700’s, there were still some pretty frightening tools being used. The Smithsonian has a great blog post with pictures of some early tools that dentists used to work on patients. If you’ve ever taken a peek at the shiny tray of instruments that your dentist uses when you visit, you might even recognize some of the predecessors to those tools in the post!

Image Source: Smithsonian

Dental Care for the Modern Age

Can you picture a world without toothbrushes? It might seem like they’ve always been around, but the modern toothbrush wasn’t even invented until 1938. Colgate’s comprehensive overview of toothbrush and toothpaste history states that, “The development of toothpastes in more modern times started in the 1800s. Early versions contained soap and in the 1850s chalk was included.” Soap and chalk sound pretty unpleasant, especially now that we have delicious mint and cinnamon flavored toothpastes to use every day.

There’s Science to Back It Up

Oral care isn’t just a ploy to sell more toothpaste. A 2015 study conducted by the Japan Dental Association summarizes it best, “Moreover, research has made it clear that dental and oral health has the potential to maintain and improve systemic health status.” In fact, the report delves extensively into the ways that dental hygiene can impact a patient’s recovery from surgery. If you think that keeping your teeth clean won’t have much of an impact on your body’s ability to heal, think again! All of your systems are interconnected, and the report explains that while your body is healing from surgical procedures it’s critical to maintain proper oral hygiene. Otherwise, you risk developing complications or even infections that can cause huge problems as your body attempts to recover.

What Is “Good” Oral Hygiene?

The Mayo Clinic goes as far as to call your oral health “A window to your overall health.” There are so many conditions that can be impacted by your dental care that it’s important to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness possible. How can you do that? Luckily, England’s NHS put together a handy guide to help you stay on-top of your dental care. They recommend the following (of course talk to a dentist first before following a new medical care routine):

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes (enough time to clean the surface of each tooth) just before bed and at one other time during the day.
  • Use a toothpaste with the appropriate fluoride concentration.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth right after brushing your teeth, it’ll wash away all of the fluoride.
  • Mouthwashes can help strengthen teeth, but follow the no rinsing rule to make sure the fluoride isn’t rinsed off.
  • Flossing is important to prevent both gum disease and bad breath.

Following these tips can help keep your teeth and gums from getting infections, not to mention keep your breath smelling sweet. However, if history is any indication, there will probably be updates and revisions to these best practices as dentistry makes advancements and medical care evolves.

So there you have it, dental care is just as important as your parents always told you. It’ll keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life, and help you to maintain good overall health. We can consider ourselves lucky that dentistry and knowledge of dental care has come as far as it has over the centuries. Now it is simpler than ever to prevent those nasty “tooth worms” and keep your teeth strong and clean.

Now Get Cleaning!

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