Hops Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

beer bottle According to recent research published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a part of hops could help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Hop leaves, a part that isn’t used in making beer, help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth surface and gum lines, lowering the risk of infections and irritations.

Read more about the study here.

Cheese and Dairy May Fight Cavities

Cheese and dairy have been a long-time pivotal player in our food pyramid. But Medical News Today reports that according to a new study in General Dentistry journal, cheese and dairy products may actually help fight off cavities. The study looked at a tooth’s pH levels in comparison to plaque and cavity development of 68 study samples ranging from ages 12-15.

Read more about the study and how cheese and dairy can help your teeth here.

cheese

Reduce Sports-Related Concussions with Custom-Made Mouthguards

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photo by Peter Gordon

Sports organizations, everything from youth recreational programs to professional leagues, have all increased  their radar on the affects of mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions) and how to prevent them. According to Medical News Today, athletes can reduce their risk of concussion injuries by wearing custom-made mouthguards. In a study published in General Dentistry, high school football players who wore mouthguards bought from a store, over-the-counter, were more than twice as likely to suffer concussions than those who wore a mouthguard that was custom-made by a dentist for their mouth.

Read more about the study and topic here: Athlete’s Risk of Concussion Reduced by Custom-Made Mouthguards.

Toothbrushes and Toothpastes and Mouthwash… Oh My! A Guide to Dental Care Products

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Going down the dental care products aisle at your favorite store can be mind-boggling! Information, advertisements, suggestions and reviews come at you from every which way. What can you believe and what is downright not true? I’m not claiming I can give you all the answers, but here’s some information we found that might help you out when trying to sort through the array of options and decide.

ADA labelIf you only pay attention to one thing when in the market for at-home dental care, make sure it’s if the product is “ADA seal accepted.” A product with the ADA seal on it has been tested by the American Dental Association (ADA) and is scientifically proven safe and effective and will do what it claims to do. Not all products that attempt to get the seal are lucky (or good) enough to obtain it. The seal requires higher standards than what is required by law and it is never sold or used as advertising propaganda. You’d be surprised as to how many products by big name companies don’t have the ADA seal on it.

Toothbrushes:

Most all research stated that many of the features of manual toothbrushes rarely come into play when it comes to effectiveness. The most important aspect is proper brushing technique, so a toothbrush that encourages and makes that easier for you will be your best buy. When considering this, choose a brush with a head that fits comfortably in your mouth, rather than one that’s a bit bulky and stretches your mouth. As well as one with soft-nylon bristles (not medium or hard) or even perhaps ultrasoft if you have sensitive teeth or root exposure. And make sure to choose a tooth brush with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand and enables a firm grip. These are some of the most important things to pay attention to. Whether you want other features in your brush such as bristle shape, handle style and components for tongue cleaning is all up to you. There is a bit of a difference when it comes to choosing between manual or electric, however. A study done by Consumer Reports resulted that manual toothbrushes did as good, if not a better job at removing plaque and cleaning teeth than an electric brush if proper brushing technique was used. However, if one was physically unable or not attentive enough to brush properly and effectively, an electric toothbrush did a better job at cleaning. And studies have shown that a majority of us do not use the proper brushing technique.

Products bearing the ADA accepted seal have been clinically proven to do what they claim. And again, no matter how much you pay or what a toothbrush claims to do, it doesn’t matter if you don’t brush thoroughly and correctly. Check back for one of our next articles, Are You Brushing Correctly?, to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your toothbrush and are not part of the statistic!

To look up and compare toothbrushes that are ADA seal accepted click here.

Toothpastes:

The biggest differences between toothpastes lies with ingredients. The general ingredient composition of a toothpaste consists of: gentle abrasives (magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides and phosphate salts), anti-drying agents (glycerol, sorbitol, other “humectants”), thickeners (seaweed, mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, natural gum), flavoring agents (saccharin), foam-creating detergents (sodium lauryl sarcosinate), and fluoride. The ADA suggests that adults and children alike use a toothpaste with fluoride in it and even those with strong, healthy teeth can benefit from fluoride. Toothpastes containing fluoride in them are examined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and required to meet their regulations because they claim to fight disease and tooth decay. Other toothpastes are considered cosmetic and therefore not required to be examined or meet the FDA regulations, so pay a bit closer attention to ensure that it is properly labeled and ingredients are listed.

Most toothpastes today offer a range of benefits in addition to cleaning your teeth which may be appealing to you in your personal at-home dental care; for example, whitening agents, organic ingredients, tartar control, gum irritation and inflammation treatment, just to name a few. And to reiterate, your main focus should be finding a toothpaste that has been tested and accepted by the American Dental Association and bears the ADA seal.

To look up and compare toothpastes that are ADA seal accepted click here.

Mouthwash/Mouth rinses:

A mouth rinse can come in handy when freshening breath and rinsing out plaque and bacteria that was removed from teeth and gums while brushing but not discarded from the oral cavity; but is not as absolutely necessary like brushing and flossing for sound oral care. Using a mouth rinse after eating a meal or snack is also recommended, especially when brushing may not be so convenient. The main difference between a mouthwash and a mouth rinse is whether it is used before or after brushing per the labeled instructions. Washes are primarily used to “wash” out germs and/or particles, used after brushing and sometimes causes a burning sensation because of ingredients like alcohol. While rinses are usually used before brushing with ingredients such as fluoride in it and sometimes the user is advised not to drink or eat 30 minutes after use. And last but not least, make sure the ADA accepted seal is on the mouthwash or rinse label.

To look up and compare mouth rinses that are ADA seal accepted click here.

How to Prevent Dry Sockets

angry mouth Whether it be a routine wisdom tooth extraction, needing to remove an unhealthy and decaying tooth or any of various reasons, tooth extraction is common in dentistry. And with any surgery, risks and side effects are something to keep in mind. The most common concerning tooth extraction is dry sockets.

Some are more likely to get dry sockets like women on birth control and smokers. And it is estimated that 2-5% of people experience dry sockets, even with practicing preventative steps. But here are some things you can do to not join that statistics.

The first 24 hours after surgery are the most crucial in preventing a blood clot and dry socket. Avoid things such as coughing, sneezing, spitting and sucking through a straw as they increase your odds. And although it’s important to keep the wound clean, try not to rinse within the first 24 hours of having a tooth extracted. But the day after, rinsing with warm salt water can help keep inflammation and pain down. Watch what you eat and avoid foods that are likely to get lodged in the open wound or that require sucking to consume.

Read more about dry sockets here: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/how-to-prevent-dry-socket1.htm