11 tips to cut down on sugar

11 tips to cut down on sugar
It comes as no surprise that sugar-related dental problems are still the most widespread cause of poor oral health and disease. The message is clear and simple though, reducing the amount of sugar that is in our diets will help to reduce the damage it can cause to our teeth, with the bonus of improving our waistlines along the way. With sugar-related dental problems being one of the most common complaints when visiting the dentist, Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, CEO at the Oral Health Foundation, shares his top tips to help with our ever-growing addiction to sugar:

1.Sugar by any other name is still sugar

When we think of sugar we probably picture the white stuff you pop in our tea. But there are many ‘hidden’ sugars in lots of things we would not even think of. Sugar can go by many names and recognizing them is the first step to avoiding them. There are too many to list but some to look out for are; sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolyzed starch, and corn syrup.

2.Have a smarter breakfast

A certain celebrity chef recently brought attention to the dangerously high levels of sugar in some breakfast cereals, with some shockingly made up of almost a third of the sugar. Switching out for a lower sugar cereal or one with no added sugar, and not adding any yourselves, will have a massive impact on your dental health and your health overall. Filling up at breakfast time is also a great way to avoid those unhealthy snacks throughout the day.

3.Snack happy

It’s 10:30 and we get that urge. It’s a little too far away from lunch and we need something to tide us over. Don’t reach for the biscuit barrel, a handful of nuts will provide that energy boost you need. Remember it’s not only about how much sugar we eat when it comes to your teeth it’s also about how often, so try opting for a sugar-free alternative whenever possible.

4.Fat-free is not trouble-free

Many products are marketed as a ‘healthy alternative’, but those claims on the packaging are only telling part of the story. Often products such as fat-free yogurts still contain high levels of sugars in the form of fructose or refined sugar.

5.Work out some ground rules

Let’s be honest, we don’t need a sweet dessert every day! By setting a set of simple ground rules we can make some simple lifestyle changes that can have a huge effect. Simple things like not eating in the hour before you go to bed, avoiding adding sugar to anything, and making sure we avoid dessert a few times a week soon add up.

6.Get fresh

When it comes to our teeth fresh whole foods are best, this all comes down to stickiness. By smashing up a banana and strawberry into a smoothie it releases the sugars which can coat the whole tooth, even in the tiny gaps, eating them whole helps to avoid this problem. And when it comes to stickiness dried fruit is a big no-no, this stuff can get right in those gaps giving the sugar a huge amount of time to cause problems.

7.Set a quota

When it comes to our teeth, it’s not only about how much sugar we eat, it’s how often we have it. It takes an hour for our mouth to return to a neutral state after eating or drinking and every time we have another mouthful that time starts again. Constant grazing can leave us with a toothless grin so if we do need a sugar fix, keep it to mealtimes and give our mouth a break.

8.Hit the hay early

Being a night owl can spell bad news for our mouth and this is all down to a routine. People who stay up late are more likely to skip brushing before bed and with the added midnight snacking this could spell disaster for our teeth.

9.The most important meal of the day

How many of us have skipped breakfast and then yearn for that sugary fix to get us through the day? This comes down again to giving our mouths a break to recover, having a filling and nutritious breakfast is the best way to start your day right.

10.Drinking like a fish

Whether it’s that pint of cider, a glass of prosecco, or even a cheeky G&T, the sugar in them can have a huge impact on our oral health. Try to moderate the number of alcoholic drinks you have and also have some water nearby to help wash down your tipple of choice. It helps wash some of the sugar from the mouth and our head will thank you for the next day too.

11.Keep an eye on your coffee order

Our double chocolaty chip crème frappuccino or tiramisu latte with extra whipped cream from our favorite coffee place may be delicious, and fun to say, but let’s be honest we know it’s laden with sugar. If we do need a caffeine fix and have a sweet tooth try to keep it to mealtimes, or we could just stick with an Americano or espresso. https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/11-tips-to-cut-down-on-sugar-ending-our-addiction-to-sugar

Causes of Tooth Decay

Causes of Tooth Decay
It’s critically important to help heal the misunderstandings that our culture has around how to navigate the path to greater oral health. Let’s study 5 aspects of how diet and nutrition can impact oral health.

5 dietary recommendations to positively impact oral health

  • Have sufficient fat-soluble vitamins in our diet (vitamins A, D, E, and K2)
  • Have plenty of vitamins B and C in our diet
  • Have sufficient minerals in our diet
  • Avoid too many foods that are high in acid
  • Avoid eating too much sugar (in all forms)
In this article, let’s explore the inner workings of diet’s impact on oral health. To put into perspective the role that diet plays in helping or undermining our oral health, this first article is going to explore the work of Dr. Ralph Steinman. Dr. Steinman was a dental researcher in the 1970s who did extensive research to determine the cause of tooth decay. He published his work in his amazing book, Dentinal Fluid Transport. He conducted tens of thousands of experiments on lab rats to determine the cause of tooth decay. What he found may surprise you.

What is dentinal fluid flow? (and how does it impact my oral health?)

Fundamentally, what Dr. Steinman discovered is that our teeth are alive. Contrary to the popular cultural belief that teeth are like small rocks, the fact is that our teeth have fluid running through them, and this is called ‘dentinal fluid flow’. The dentin is the layer of tissue in each of our teeth that’s just between the hard outer (enamel) surface and the inner soft tooth pulp. Dr. Steinman discovered that this dentinal fluid flow is part of the blood circulation that goes into and out of each of our teeth. He also discovered that when the dentinal fluid is flowing from the inside of the tooth outward, the teeth are very resistant to decay. However, when the fluid flow reverses and flows from the outer surface of the tooth towards the inner portion of the tooth, decay sets in very quickly. The thug bugs in our mouths contribute to tooth decay. If the dentinal fluid is flowing the healthy way, this flow prevents the thug bugs from being able to decay the teeth; the flow washes them out of the teeth. It’s like they have to swim upstream to get into the teeth. On the other hand, if the dentinal fluid flow reverses, then it’s like the thug bugs get a free pass on a highway right into our teeth! Dr. Steinman found that dentinal fluid flow is controlled by the parotid gland, a part of our salivary system that is located in the region behind our lower jaw.  Then he discovered that the parotid gland is controlled by the part of our brain called the hypothalamus.  For the sake of simplicity, let’s refer to this relationship between dentinal fluid flow, the parotid gland, and the hypothalamus as ‘dentinal fluid flow’. With these pieces in place, Dr. Steinman’s work helped us to understand that a healthy, balanced diet not only helps to control the thug bugs responsible for dental decay, but also helps to maintain a healthy, living tissue within the teeth that can help resist decay through healthy dentinal fluid flow. https://orawellness.com/why-do-teeth-decay/

Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding
Written by- https://www.mouthhealthy.org/ Teeth grinding is called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep. Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but also by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth. In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase of patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: Teeth grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain and headaches. The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling, and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety. Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence. Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:
  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding

7 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know about COVID-19 vaccines

7 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know about COVID-19 vaccines
Oral health is essential to your overall health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist has been working to put your health and safety first by taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the dental office. 1.     COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe and Effective  As doctors of oral health, reliable scientific information is important to us when recommending treatments for our patients. While these vaccines were developed in a shorter time frame than some other vaccines, it’s important to know that the science behind them was not rushed. These vaccines were tested by thousands of people to make sure they work and are safe for patients. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the data from the tests and authorized them for emergency use after determining they are safe and effective for the public. The CDC has set up expanded safety monitoring systems like the V-Safe smartphone tool to monitor vaccinations in real-time, as an additional safety measure. 2.     The Vaccine has some side effects COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. They might, however, come with some side effects that make you feel uncomfortable for a short time. Because vaccines teach your body how to recognize and fight off a COVID-19 infection, you might feel some of the symptoms you’d get if your body were fighting off the real virus, such as a fever, according to the CDC. While unpleasant, this is a sign the vaccine is working in your body. 3.     You Should Still Get the Vaccine Even If You’ve Had COVID-19 Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have some natural immunity that may protect them from getting sick again, but some people get re-infected. It’s unclear how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts and it can vary from person to person. The CDC recommends that people who’ve had COVID-19 still get the vaccine. 4.     Get All Recommended Doses If you are receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you need two doses to get the same level of efficacy seen in the clinical trials. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is recommended three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dose is recommended four weeks after the first. And if you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need a single dose. 5.     Vaccine Supply Is Increasing While the first available doses of the vaccine were set aside for healthcare workers and other essential workers, the federal government has called for the vaccines to be available to all U.S. adults by April 19, which means you’re likely eligible now. Check with your local health department to find out where it is being administered. 6.     You’ll Still Need to Wear a Mask Vaccines are just one layer of protection available in this pandemic, so it’s not time to get rid of your mask indoors just yet. Here’s why: a vaccine will protect you from getting sick from the virus, but it’s not yet known if it will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. That’s why the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks, wash their hands frequently and avoid crowds even after getting vaccinated. Your dentist will also continue to require masks at your appointment. However, the CDC says fully vaccinated people can now participate in more activities, like traveling and visiting with friends and family inside a home or private setting. 7.     You Can Get the Vaccine If You Are Planning to Get Pregnant Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or in the future, you should still get the vaccine when it is available to you. The CDC states there is no evidence that the antibodies created from COVID-19 vaccines will cause problems with a pregnancy. The CDC also says there is no evidence that fertility issues are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine.  https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/covid-19-vaccines

Five oral health faux pas you never knew were bad for you

In an era where people say appearance is everything, having a good smile is key! Many of them know to brush twice a day & stay away from sugar, Read more...
Written by-  George Bushell In an era where people say appearance is everything, having a good smile is key! Many of them know to brush twice a day and stay away from sugar but are you sure you’ve thought of everything? The Oral Health Foundation is providing the following information to those who’d like to make sure their dental health routine isn’t full of holes! 1. Spit Don’t Rinse Fluoride is very good for your teeth. You’re likely to find it in most of the toothpaste on the shelf at your local supermarket. To give your teeth the best chance of staying pearly white, you don’t want to lose the full benefit of brushing with fluoride toothpaste. So, after you’ve finished brushing, spit out the excess, and then do not rinse. Let the fluoride work its magic after you’ve finished brushing! 2. Mind the loo! This is something you might not think of too much, but where you keep your toothbrush when you aren’t using it is very important. If you keep your brush a little too close to your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the sprays will fly out the toilet and may land on your toothbrush. It’s always a good idea to move the toothbrush back to a safe distance after brushing. 3. Sharing is a no-go It doesn’t matter how close you are, or if you’re related, if you want your oral health routine to be air-tight, you should be the only person who uses your toothbrush. No exceptions. Not just because you can get colds and blood-borne diseases from people you share your brush with but also because you could be sharing your germs with others! Nobody is perfect, keep your germs to yourself, just like your toothbrush! 4. Brushing is NOT a quick fix Have you ever had a drink of something sugary or acidic right before bed and go to brush your teeth straight after you finish? You’d think it was a good idea, but you’d be wrong. Consuming anything even remotely bad for your teeth makes them weaker and if you brush straight away you could be brushing away fragments of your enamel. That can lead to toothache and increased sensitivity. Instead, give it an hour and then brush with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes as the last thing at night. In the meantime, read a book, catch up on your favorite TV series, or do those chores you’ve been putting off all week! 5. There IS such a thing as brushing too much! The enamel of your teeth is one of the hardest substances in your body – but it isn’t indestructible. Again, it might sound like a good idea to brush hard to provide the most thorough clean but being tough on your teeth can do more harm than good. By all means, be firm with your teeth and make sure you clean every tooth but there is no need to go crazy, whether that means brushing too hard or for too long. There’s a lot more to your oral health than you might think. Hopefully, you’ve gained a new perspective on how you can improve your dental hygiene at home, whether that be closing the lid of the toilet more often or deciding to buy a new toothbrush for your loved one. https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/five-oral-health-faux-pas-you-never-knew-were-bad-for-you

5 Fun Ways to Welcome the Tooth Fairy

For generations, the Tooth Fairy has left a small gift for children who hid their fallen baby teeth under their pillow. Read more…
Written by- https://www.mouthhealthy.org/ For generations, the Tooth Fairy has left a small gift for children who hid their fallen baby teeth under their pillow. This charming tradition is the perfect time to help kids learn more about taking care of their teeth. Here are 5 delightful and inexpensive ways to embrace this magical spirit with the whole family.

1. A receipt for your child’s tooth

This little document can be left in your child’s bedroom as a remembrance of the event. Buy a receipt pad and write it out yourself. Include your child’s name, the date, a description of the tooth received, and the reward, plus a small note such as: “Thank you for this lovely tooth! I can see that you are brushing every day. Keep up the good work!”

2. A tooth fairy dish 

Here’s a sweet alternative to the under-the-pillow trick (and one that is much easier to access): help your child choose or create a special dish to keep their teeth. Visit a local thrift shop or housewares store to find one, or paint your own at a local ceramics studio. Talk with your child about what she or he thinks might please the Tooth Fairy’s eye … perhaps one that is shiny and bright, like a healthy smile!

3. A keepsake book

A simple blank notebook can be turned into a lasting record of Tooth Fairy’s visits. Invite your child to choose one at an office supply store or bookstore. You can have fun decorating the notebook with your child’s name, hometown and any other details s/he would like the Tooth Fairy to know. Have your child write the Tooth Fairy a note before bed every time he or she loses a tooth. When you leave your child’s gift behind, record the date and add a little note, such as: “This is a very handsome tooth! Did you know you’re on your way to having 32 grownup teeth someday?”

4. A bright-smile calendar

The Tooth Fairy’s visit is a great time to engage kids in healthy dental habits. Along with the Tooth Fairy’s gift, leave a brushing calendar in your child’s room as an extra gift. You can also make it reusable by laminating it at your local office-supply store and provide a colorful dry-erase marker for your child to record each time he or she brushes, flosses, or visits the dentist.

5. A Tooth Fairy “Smilestone” scrapbook page

It can be fun to record how your child’s smile changes as baby teeth fall out and grownup teeth come in. Create a milestone keepsake album of “smilestones” to memorialize each visit from the Tooth Fairy. If you want to make your own, choose an album from the dollar or craft store — or have fun making one together with colored paper, stickers, yarn, and other supplies. You can also just add a scrapbook page to your baby book. Talk with your child about the experience of losing a tooth and capture memories in the pages of the album. Leave it out in your child’s bedroom for the Tooth Fairy to enjoy, too, and consider sharing with the dentist at your next checkup! https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/playing-the-tooth-fairy

How to avoid the risks of Mask Mouth?

How to avoid the risks of Mask Mouth?
Written by- https://orawellness.com/ There’s a new oral health development due to the events of 2020 that warrants a discussion. Dentists are witnessing an uptick in the prevalence of dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. This uptick is being attributed to habitually wearing masks for long periods, which is why the media has named this new phenomenon “mask mouth”. In this article, the focus will be on the solutions. There’s a physiology behind how wearing a mask can impact one’s oral health and how to reduce the risks. Understanding how masks can affect our mouths can help us to take action so we can safely wear masks, while maintaining our oral health. What is “mask mouth”? Mask mouth is a new phenomenon for our global culture – it refers to the effects on our oral health due to long-term mask usage. Due to the pandemic, the public at large is now faced with having to navigate the impact of prolonged habitual mask-wearing, including mask mouth. First, let’s take a look at what causes mask mouth. Then we’ll look into what you can do to avoid the risks of mask-wearing. What happens to our teeth when wearing a mask? Did you know that one cause of tooth decay is dry mouth? Yep, saliva levels play a huge role in whether or not the thug bugs implicated with tooth decay (and gum disease) gain the upper hand in the oral microbiome. Decreased saliva levels allow these trouble-causing oral pathogens to build their numbers. Wearing a mask might make you less likely to drink water during the day to stay hydrated and maintain the moisture important for a healthy mouth. You might also find yourself breathing more often through your mouth instead of your nose when wearing a mask. Habitual mouth breathing also invites a host of other system-wide breakdowns, including bad breath and even teeth becoming misaligned over time (because it prevents the tongue from being in the proper position against the roof of the mouth to help support the alignment of  the teeth). So, here’s the issue summary as it’s seen…
  1. Wearing a mask may make you less likely to drink water frequently, and more likely to breathe through your mouth.
  2. Both of these lead to decreased saliva and dry mouth.
  3. A dry mouth allows thug bugs to proliferate and gain the upper hand in the oral microbiome.
  4. If the above steps are habitual, then this shift in the oral microbiome causes an increased tendency for both tooth decay and gum disease
So if masks have to be worn right now due to the pandemic, what can be done to help ourselves?

What can be done to mitigate the risks of mask mouth?

Thankfully there are several actions that can be taken up to help navigate this challenging situation. 1. Find opportunities to safely remove your mask during the day. Simply put, seek to limit the amount of time you are breathing through a mask. Why risk causing the physiological down-regulation for longer than you have to? For example, the next time you’re on the road, take notice of how many people you see driving in cars by themselves while wearing a mask. When you’re in the car alone, that’s a good opportunity to give your body a break by lowering your mask and breathing freely (through your nose, of course!). 2. Be conscious of your breathing and water intake. If you need to wear a mask for longer periods, tune into your breathing. By bringing conscious awareness to your breathing regularly, you can remind yourself to breathe easily through your nose, and also to take breaks for water when it is safe. While in a mask-heavy zone, try setting a timer for every 15-30 minutes. This way, your little timer can go off and remind you to turn your attention to taking 5 slow, deep breaths. 3. Learn to keep your tongue in the ‘home’ position and to breathe through your nose all the time (even when you’re not wearing a mask). This gem is a big one for us. This technique has SO much benefit for the entire being. Limiting to just the scope of this article, learning to keep your tongue in the ‘home’ position helps to maintain existing saliva levels and it can even help to naturally increase the saliva production. Also, if the tongue is trained to rest in the place where it’s meant to hang out (the roof of the mouth), it becomes natural to breathe more fully, which addresses some of the negative consequences of mask-wearing. 4. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Some people start slacking on their oral hygiene when they know they’re going to be wearing a mask. After all, who’s going to smell your breath? While it might be tempting to save time by skipping some brushing sessions, this can be detrimental to the long-term oral health. (Also, remember that whether it’s fresh or stinky, you will be the one who is stuck smelling your breath in that mask! ) In all seriousness, it’s important to maintain diligence with healthy oral hygiene habits, including conscious brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning daily. https://orawellness.com/mask-mouth/

Is Baking Soda safe to brush with?

Is Baking Soda safe to brush with?
Written by- https://orawellness.com/ Is baking soda safe to brush with? “Will I damage my teeth if I brush with baking soda?” Some experts claim that regularly brushing with baking soda can cause wear on tooth enamel and gum tissue.

Is baking soda really to blame?

Our teeth like to be polished and our gums like to be massaged. If we remember just this one thing while brushing, we’ll be much more inclined to treat our teeth more carefully: Our teeth are living gems. Yep, our tooth structure is like a crystal. But, unlike rubies and diamonds, these ‘tooth crystals’ are alive The bottom line is that most of us brush our teeth unconsciously. We call it ‘zombie brushing’. Let’s face it, if we brush our teeth like we’re scrubbing a grout line in our bathroom, then yes, using baking soda to brush our teeth could potentially cause some real problems. One way to tell whether you brush unconsciously is to note how you hold your toothbrush. If you hold your toothbrush with a closed fist, you’re most likely scrubbing a grout line. So, before we dive any further into the details of whether or not it’s safe to regularly brush with baking soda, let’s firmly state that how we brush our teeth is more important than what we brush with. Let’s explore the risks and benefits of using baking soda to brush our teeth. Here are the potential downsides to using baking soda as a tooth powder.

Risk 1: Abrasivity

Is baking soda too abrasive? To answer this, let’s compare baking soda to some abrasives that are commonly included in oral hygiene products. In the world of oral hygiene products, there’s a scale called ‘Relative Dentin Abrasivity’ (or RDA). It ranks product abrasive from zero (not abrasive) to over 200 (super abrasive). Baking soda is only a 7 on the RDA scale. So, at first glance, it seems that when used consciously, baking soda isn’t too abrasive. Pay attention if you have receding gums As you know, the enamel is the outer portion of each tooth. Under the enamel is the dentin, then the tooth pulp. However, if we have receding gums, it’s very possible that the portion of the tooth around our gum line may no longer be enamel. As the gum recession progresses, the softer tooth tissue called ‘cementum’ may become exposed around the gum line. This explains why it’s more common for adults to get cavities along the gum line than on the chewing surfaces of their teeth. The receding gums expose the cementum, which is softer than the enamel that covers the crown of the tooth (therefore, it’s more prone to decay as well as structural damage from brushing too hard and using products that are too abrasive). However, overall, when used consciously, baking soda is ok to use in a toothpaste or powder.

Risk 2: What about the aluminum in baking soda?

This is a common cultural myth. Baking soda does not contain aluminum. Some product manufacturers have caused confusion by listing ‘aluminum-free baking soda’ on their ingredient list, but baking soda doesn’t have any aluminum in it.

Risk 3: Daily use of baking soda by itself may be too far…

There are experts in the field who suggest that brushing with baking soda alone is too ‘rough’ and compromises the healthy biofilm that our teeth need in order to be healthy. Now that we’ve unpacked some of the risks of brushing with baking soda, let’s explore some of the benefits.

Benefit 1: Supports a healthier oral pH

Our mouth pH plays a big role in determining which populations of bacteria flourish there. It’s generally recognized that the lower (more acidic) the pH in the mouth, the greater the risk of tooth decay. (Enamel demineralization occurs at pH 5.5 and lower.) You see, the bacteria that flourish at a pH of 5.5 will find a pH of 6.5 or 7.0 downright inhospitable. To successfully manage our oral microbiome, our job is to help maintain a mouth pH that supports the probiotic bacteria populations that help us to live healthy, vital lives. Baking soda’s pH of 8.3 helps support a more alkaline oral pH. It gently nudges the environment in our mouths to a healthier place. For more information on pH’s role in our oral health, check out our article, “Tracking your saliva pH“. This article contains a free OraWellness saliva tracking log that you can download to help you along your path.

Benefit 2: Baking soda lowers thug bug count  

Plenty of research shows that baking soda can really help lower the populations of thug bugs in the mouth, so it’s an effective support tool to reduce periodontal pathogens. This makes sense if you stop and think about it. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, so it’s a salt. All salts are naturally antimicrobial.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Given the above information, we believe that baking soda can offer support in helping us navigate to optimal oral health provided that we brush consciously and avoid ‘zombie brushing’ our teeth. Baking soda definitely provides plenty of ‘grit’ to help remove plaque. However, to avoid causing more harm than good, we must be vigilant and mindful while brushing with baking soda. You see, most of the grit from baking soda (and toothpaste, for that matter) is diluted with saliva and ‘used up’ within the first 20 seconds of brushing. So for example, if out of habit you always start on the upper left side when brushing, the teeth and surrounding gum tissue in that area are going to get more than their fair share of abrasive action, and they may weaken over time.

How to avoid overworking one spot in your mouth?

To help mitigate the risk of this habitual ‘starting to brush in the same spot every time’. Here’s the simple strategy… Presuming you brush twice a day, start on one side of your mouth in the morning and the other side at night. An easy way to remember this is ‘at night, start on the right’. So, each morning, start brushing on the left side of your mouth and each night, on the right. In this way, we reduce the risk of over brushing one area and we spread out the fresh toothpaste/tooth powder to various areas around the mouth.

How to use baking soda in a homemade tooth powder?

We are so grateful for the resurgence of the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement. From making deodorant to raising backyard chickens, we’re all waking up to the benefits of doing or making things ourselves. If you want to try your hand at making a tooth powder, definitely consider using baking soda as one of the ingredients. You may also consider using xylitol to boost remineralization. Just make sure that the xylitol is sourced from birch and not corn, so you avoid GMO exposure. https://orawellness.com/is-baking-soda-safe-to-brush-with/

The Stress of COVID-19 Linked to Increased Oral Health Problems

The Stress of COVID-19 Linked to Increased Oral Health Problems
Written by- Jessica Arnold Posted on October 30, 2020 If you’ve been feeling a little on edge lately, you’re not alone. According to a report released by Harvard Medical School and the University of North Carolina, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress levels in the U.S. by 55%! Elevated stress levels can lead to many overall health problems, including issues affecting your oral health. And the current public health crisis is highlighting how lifestyle stressors can impact health and well-being. New data from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute’s (HPI) COVID-19 impact poll reports that dentists have seen a rise in stress-related oral health conditions in their patients since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of the dentists polled reported an increase in teeth grinding (bruxism), chipped and cracked teeth, and disorders affecting the jaw muscles (temporomandibular symptoms). Over a quarter of these same dentists saw a rise in conditions like cavities and gum disease.

Stress affects your smile

It’s not uncommon for people under a lot of tension to begin grinding their teeth as a response to stress. Clenching the jaw or holding the teeth too tightly together during the day or while sleeping can cause jaw pain, earaches, headaches, and worn down teeth. Increased stress can also take a toll on your immune system. Evidence suggests that a compromised immune system makes it easier for infections to develop and fester. It means the infections in the mouth, like canker or cold sores, can take longer to heal. Stress can also lead to bad oral health habits like smoking, drinking, and neglecting a normal hygiene routine, including regular brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist.

Preventive oral care remains down

HPI survey showed that 99% of dental offices in the U.S. are open. Patient volume leveled off at just over 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels, indicating patients have not fully resumed the usual preventive care and treatment schedules. It is troubling news because it affects adults and children alike.

Ways to reduce stress-related oral health problems

It’s not possible to make the pandemic or the stress associated with it disappear overnight, but you can take steps to make your family’s oral health a priority and reduce stress-related oral health problems.
  1. If you find yourself clenching your jaw during the day, take a few moments to relax your face and jaw muscles and let your teeth part. If you’re a night-grinder, talk with your dentist about solutions, like a mouthguard.
  2. Build up your body’s immune system by getting enough rest and eating healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals.
  3. Brush and floss regularly. Keeping up a good oral hygiene habit at home is the number one way to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
  4. Visit the dentist. Dental offices are open and taking extra measures to keep you and your family safe. It could include pre-appointment screenings, temperature checks, extra cleaning and sanitation measures, and additional personal protective equipment for patients and staff.
Be sure to make time for some of your favorite ways to relax, like reading a book or going for a bike ride. It is also a great opportunity to try something new! Making healthy choices will help keep your physical and mental health in tip-top shape. http://deltadentalazblog.com/covid-19-stress-linked-to-increased-oral-health-problems/

What Causes Receding Gums?

What Causes Receding Gums?
Written by- https://orawellness.com/ The internet is full of misinformation around receding gums. What causes it? What can you do to make sure your gums are healthy? What can you do if your gums are already receding? Let’s start by exploring a bit of mouth anatomy to help create a foundation for this discussion on how to optimize your gum health.

Gum tissue anatomy 101

Our gums are nothing more than a layer of skin that covers the bone tissue of the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible). As long as the underlying jaw bone is intact, the gum tissue will stay strong and at healthy levels on the teeth. In other words, the only reason gums recede is because the bone that supports the gum tissue has withdrawn. So, to figure out what’s causing gum recession, we need to first take a look at the 5 main factors that cause jaw bone tissue to withdraw, or demineralize.

5 main causes of jaw demineralization

Here are the five main factors that contribute to diminishing jaw bone tissue:
  1. Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease)
  2. Bruxism (clenching and grinding the teeth)
  3. Nutritional deficiencies
  4. Trauma
  5. Genetics
The jaw bone tissue surrounds all sides of each of our teeth. Unfortunately, the layer of bone tissue on the facial (outside nearest the skin/lips) surface is very thin, and for some people, it can even be non-existent. The density of jaw bone tissue on the facial (outer) side of our teeth plays a very key role in gum recession. The demineralization process of the jawbone doesn’t occur overnight. The bone slowly loses minerals, but its overall structure remains intact. If the cause of the demineralization has been effectively addressed, as long as the ‘scaffolding’ of the jaw bone remains in place, the bone can remineralize. However, once the scaffolding-like structure of the bone also demineralizes, the gum tissue no longer has the support it needs to remain at optimal levels on the teeth. This bone loss does not immediately cause the gum to recede, but at this point, the gum tissue is very vulnerable to recession. Without the underlying support of the bone to keep it in place, any aggravation can provoke the gum tissue to recede.

How do we stop the gum recession?

We must first identify what’s causing the underlying bone to demineralize, to stop our gums from receding. One common contributing factor is general nutritional deficiency, so it is always important to ensure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. Below are some additional reasons why gums might recede.

Gum disease

Gum disease is common in modern times. So, unless we’re sure that we don’t have it, it might be best to operate under the assumption that we have an active infection. Periodontal disease is a gum disease that has advanced to a point where the jaw bone is being compromised. You see, in the mouth, the ‘thug bugs’ implicated with gum disease not only directly destroy bone tissue, but they also cause our immune system to go on ‘full alert’. In an attempt to stop the infection, our immune system creates inflammation in the localized region. When this infection is chronic (ongoing), it leads to chronic inflammation in the area, which also contributes to a breakdown in jaw bone health.

Bruxism (grinding and clenching)

The stresses of our modern lifestyle may play a part in why some people grind their teeth, researchers are now finding that nighttime grinding is very strongly associated with mild sleep apnea.

Trauma

The trauma of one accident can change the course of a person’s entire life. Overall, when we damage a bone, it commonly grows back stronger than before the trauma. However, in the case of our jaw bone, there’s so much risk of infection in or around the jaw that the common occurrence of ‘break it and it gets stronger’ doesn’t seem to apply here.

Genetics

The original thickness of the facial jawbones may be a matter of genetics. Just like we are all born with variations in our skulls, the texture of our hair, etc., the density of your jaw bone may have a genetic component. Some people may even have been born with a complete lack of jaw bone tissue on the facial surface. Like we stated above, if the facial jaw bone diminishes, the gum tissue that was being supported by that bone tissue becomes more at risk of receding.