How Does Swimming Affect Teeth?
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED any extra sensitivity in your teeth after a fun afternoon swimming? You aren’t imagining things, though it usually takes more than just one trip to the local pool before there are any effects. But what does swimming have to do with tooth sensitivity? The Effects Of Chlorine On Tooth Enamel When you hear the phrase “swimmer’s calculus,” you might think it’s advanced math for mermaids, but it’s actually the name of what gradually happens to tooth enamel with enough exposure to acidic chlorine ions in pool water. Chlorine in pools is great for keeping them sanitary for the public to swim in, but it also changes the acidity of the water. Prolonged exposure to the diluted hydrochloric acid in pool water can wear away the tooth enamel of avid swimmers, leading to yellow and brown stains on the teeth and increasing tooth sensitivity. A few visits to the
How Clean Is Your Tongue?
“BRUSH YOUR TEETH for two full minutes twice a day and floss your teeth once a day.” You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that, but how often have you heard that you should be cleaning your tongue every day too? The Difference A Clean Tongue Makes More bacteria likes to live on our tongues than just about anywhere else on our bodies. That’s because all those tiny crevices in the tongue’s surface are prime real estate for all kinds of pathogens. If we don’t actively keep our tongues clean, the harmful bacteria will stay put and multiply, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inner surfaces of our teeth. Another reason to regularly get rid of all that tongue bacteria is that it can dramatically improve your sense of taste. When the tongue is covered in bacteria, the tastebuds have a hard time doing their job,
What Are Those White Spots On My Teeth?
THERE ARE A LOT of things that can leave stains on our teeth, and stains can come in many different colors. You could see yellow stains, brown stains, or even the temporary stain from eating brightly colored candy, but what about when the stain is white? Where do those white spots come from, and is there anything we can do about it? White Spots From Fluorosis Surface stains that affect the tooth enamel sometimes appear on a tooth that is otherwise healthy. One cause of this kind of stain is fluorosis. Fluorosis occurs when developing adult teeth are exposed to too much fluoride. It doesn’t damage the teeth, but it does unevenly bleach them, leaving white spots on them before they even grow in. To avoid white spots from fluorosis, make sure to limit the amount of fluoride toothpaste you use when brushing your child’s teeth. A tiny smear (no bigger than a grain of
Common Toothbrush Mistakes To Avoid
MAINTAINING GOOD DENTAL health isn’t just about the quantity of your brushing — it’s also about the quality. There are several mistakes many of us make when brushing our teeth, whether because we’re using the wrong tools or because we’re using the right tools the wrong way. 1. Keeping A Toothbrush Too Long How long has it been since you got a new toothbrush? The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush at least three times a year, because broken, frayed bristles can’t do as good of a job of keeping your teeth clean. 2. Racing Through Your Brushing The average time people spend brushing their teeth is 45 seconds, which obviously falls far short of the full two minutes recommended. If you’re having trouble making it through two whole minutes, try setting a timer or playing a song. 3. Brushing Too Hard You might assume that the harder you brush, the
Daily Habits That Harm Our Teeth
OUR TOOTH ENAMEL holds the distinction of being the hardest substance in our bodies — even harder than bone! But don’t take that to mean our teeth are invincible. As hard as enamel is, it’s also somewhat brittle, so we should be careful to avoid daily habits that attack that weak point. Two of the most dangerous ones are mouth breathing and nail biting. Nail Biting: Bad For Nails, Bad For Teeth The most obvious evidence that nail biting is a harmful habit is the shredded, torn nails, but it’s just as bad for oral health, if not worse. Nail biting can erode, chip, and crack teeth. It can shift them, creating gaps, and can even affect the bite, increasing the risk of developing a chronic teeth-grinding habit. It also introduces all the dirt and germs under the fingernails to the gum tissue, where it can cause gum disease. Possibly the worst thing nail
Dental Scaling And Root Planing: The Basics
ROUTINE PROFESSIONAL DENTAL cleanings by your dental hygienist include scaling, or the careful removal of plaque and tartar from around the gumline. Tartar in particular can only be removed at a professional cleaning, as brushing and flossing alone can’t do the trick. However, if you have symptoms of gum disease, your teeth may need an even more advanced cleaning called dental scaling and root planing. The Effects Of Gum Disease Healthy gums fit snugly around the teeth, providing a barrier that keeps bacteria away from the roots. When gums become diseased, they begin to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets where bacteria can grow. That’s how plaque and tartar can build up beneath the gumline. Check out this video for the warning signs of gum disease https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1QIn9FIhVk What Is Dental Scaling And Root Planing? When you brush your teeth, you’re cleaning the visible surfaces. Dental scaling and root planing is a deeper
Don’t Take A Vacation From Oral Hygiene!
WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SUMMER comes the season of family vacations and exciting trips to new places. We’re as excited for it as our patients, but before everyone leaves to explore parts unknown, we want to give you a few tips and reminders about taking care of your teeth while you’re away from home. Before You Go, See The Dentist The last thing anyone wants while relaxing on a beach or enjoying the rides at a theme park is for their fun to be interrupted by a toothache or dental emergency. Depending where you go on your vacation, it might be hard to get proper dental treatment. You’ll save yourself a major potential hassle by simply scheduling a dental appointment before you leave! A simple dental checkup will ensure that your teeth are clean and cavity-free when you start your trip. It’s especially important to get any restorations (e.g. crowns and fillings)
It’s Time To Kick That Ice-Chewing Habit
CHEWING ICE MIGHT SEEM refreshing in the moment, but it’s not doing any favors for your teeth in the long run. Today we’re going to take a look at why ice chewing is such a common habit despite the dangers it poses, as well as what someone with this habit can do to stop. Compulsive Ice Eating The scientific name for compulsive ice eating is pagophagia. This goes beyond a simple habit and enters the territory of a mental disorder. Getting cravings for ice can be a sign of an eating disorder called pica, which involves a compulsion to eat things with no nutritional value, such as ice, clay, hair, and dirt. Pica is often the result of a nutritional deficiency. Iron Deficiency Anemia Studies have shown a correlation between compulsive ice eating and iron deficiency anemia, which is pretty common, with 20 percent of women, 50 percent of pregnant women, and 3 percent
Defeating Bad Breath
WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE BEFORE — sitting in the middle of a job interview or a first date and realizing that our breath is far from minty fresh. Even when everything else is going perfectly, bad breath can be enough to ruin your confidence and turn a good experience sour. Why do we get bad breath, and what can we do to stop it? Oral Bacteria And The Food We Eat In order to effectively fight bad breath, it’s important to figure out what’s causing it. The simplest and most common cause is leftover food particles stuck between our teeth after a meal. The bacteria in our mouths break down these particles, and the end result doesn’t smell good. We can combat this with a good daily hygiene routine, including daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, scraping our tongues clean, and chewing sugar-free gum. Causes Of Chronic Bad Breath Chronic cases of bad breath (also
A Closer Look At Our Teeth
WE USE OUR TEETH all day, every day, for chewing, talking, and flashing big smiles at friends and family, but what are the structures that allow our teeth to do so much? Let’s take a look at what our teeth are made of. Layer 1: Tooth Enamel The portion of each tooth that we can see above our gum tissue is the crown, and it has three different layers. On the outside is a protective layer of enamel, the hardest substance in our entire bodies. It has to be so that we can chew our food effectively. Unlike bone, enamel isn’t made of living cells, so it can’t repair itself as easily. It’s also vulnerable to acid erosion. We can protect it with regular brushing and flossing, dental visits, and by cutting down on acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Layer 2: Dentin Underneath that hard layer of enamel is dentin, which is softer