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Archive for March, 2016

Mar28

Coffee: A Natural Way to Protect your Smile?



Conventional wisdom, and society in general, has often pointed to coffee as a leading cause of stains on teeth. After all, it stands to reason that dark pigments in coffee could stain porous surfaces like your teeth. Most Boston-area dentists would confirm this, and while it is true coffee can have that effect, new studies show that these risks may be negated by potential rewards.

First, the idea that coffee can really decrease the whiteness of your teeth is slightly exaggerated. Although coffee does have very dark pigments, the risk of staining is almost completely negated by regular brushing habits. So, as long as you’re already brushing twice daily, you needn’t worry too much about tarnishing your pearly whites. Adding milk or other creamer products that contain fats also help to prevent coffee stains from setting in.

All this is good news for your teeth, because besides carrying minor cosmetic risks in the form of pigments, coffee has some proven benefits to the health of your mouth. Coffee seems to prevent tooth decay by preventing the bacterial culprits from multiplying. When coffee was tested on S. Mutans (a bacteria that causes tooth decay) it was found to reduce the amount of bacteria by 98% as compared to control groups. Coffee also acts as an anti-adhesive agent, preventing would-be tooth decaying bacteria from grabbing onto the surfaces of your teeth. And even if regular brushing habits don’t fully preventing staining of your teeth, modern cosmetic dentistry has made teeth whitening a simple and safe procedure.

Sources:
-http://ezinearticles.com/?To-Fight-Cavities,-Drink-More-Coffee&id=3427525
-http://www.webdental.com/profiles/blogs/coffee-can-decrease-tooth-decay

Mar22

Chocolate Can Help Kill Bacteria in Your Mouth & Elsewhere

Food scientists have known for a while now that there are certain molecules in chocolate that give it antibacterial properties. These special molecules, called polyphenols, are also naturally occurring in tealeaves and red wine. These polyphenols, which protect plant cells from bacteria and other damage, can also be helpful in protecting our cells from bacteria. So, by consuming these products in moderation, you can be actively protecting your tooth surfaces from bacteria buildup. To reiterate: when consumed in moderation. No amounts of polyphenols justify a wine/chocolate binge in the name of your teeth.

However, scientists have recently been able to derive polyphenols from plants cheaply. The implications of this coating are very powerful in the dental field. They could be used to pre-treat implants, crowns and bridges to eliminate surface bacteria and prevent further build-up. The polyphenol molecules could also be used as an ingredient in your daily mouth rinses to prevent the formation of biofilms. Then, they could potentially surpass the field of dentistry, by being incorporated into other surgical implants, like prosthetic knees or hips. Advances like these serve to show how much science can teach us about the everyday items around us, and what can be derived from them. Surely as the scientific community advances, we will find many more unexpected uses for the foods we see on a daily basis!

Source:
http://discover.northwestern.edu/stories/antibacterial-coating-made-chocolate

Mar15

What Sugar Substitutes Mean For Your Teeth


While you may have switched to a sugar substitute to save your waistline, it is possible that it could be saving your enamel as well.

Sugar substitutes do not have the same effect on teeth as sugar does. While sugar fuels the bacteria in plaque, creating acids that wear away at teeth, sugar substitutes lack that effect. In fact, some sweeteners contain polyols, which have antibacterial properties and do not feed bacteria.

Chewing gum with sugar substitutes such as xylitol has even been proven to help reduce cavities. Gum also helps stimulate saliva, which washes away food particles, and acids. Saliva effectively neutralizes the mouth so that acids cannot wear away at bacteria.

Try a sugar substitute in your coffee to help ward off some of the damaging effects of sugar.

Coffee drinkers, this is a must read!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/science/are-sugar-substitutes-bad-for-teeth.html

Mar9

Why Chewing Gum is Good For Your Oral Health



Not all chewing gum is created equally. While people have been chewing gum since the beginning of time, there is a difference between gum that is good for your teeth, and gum that is bad for your teeth. The good gum comes in the form of sugarless. Sugarless gum has been shown to have oral health benefits and can even help to prevent tooth decay.

Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes a day can help protect your teeth. Chewing gum helps to increase saliva in your mouth. Chewing gum after eating is especially helpful because it increases the saliva in your mouth and helps to neutralize and wash away the acids in your mouth that are produced by broken down foods. By washing away this acid, you are protecting your enamel.

Increased saliva flow also helps to carry more phosphorus and calcium around your mouth. These nutrients are key to strengthening enamel, which lowers your risk for tooth decay.

Chewing gum after a meal has even earned the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. That means: that chewing gum is certified to meet certain dental standards such as reducing plaque acids, reducing cavities, and it must also show that it is safe to oral tissues.

After your business lunch, opt for a piece of sugarless gum. Not only will it keep your teeth healthy, but it will also give you fresh breath.

http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-category-information/chewing-gum

Mar2

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Oral Health



Those that unfortunately suffer from rheumatoid arthritis could indeed be at risk for oral health problems as well. Current research has suggested that rheumatoid arthritis can put a patient at greater risk for gum disease among other oral health issues, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel: there are steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

One of the most common forms of bacteria buildup in the mouth, gingivitis, causes an “inflammation of the gums and tissues” and because rheumatoid arthritis patients are more susceptible to “chronic inflammatory diseases” it puts them at a higher risk of developing the disease. Also, because of the stiffness created from rheumatoid arthritis, the process of brushing and flossing could also be affected, again potentially leading to more bacteria forming in the oral cavities.

Patients cannot rid themselves of this arthritis however, so what can they do specifically to help them from forming this bacteria buildup? First, schedule regular visits with your dentist to check in and help you monitor your dental health and hygiene. If there are indeed problems, they will be the first to know and the first to help you back to a normal healthy smile!

Next, if it is harder to hold the regular toothbrush, try switching to an electric one that will assist to getting in all the “nooks and crannies” of your teeth. Also, there are specific toothpastes and mouthwashes out there that require a prescription (your dentist can write this for you) that also aim to assist in bacteria prevention in the mouth. If you take the proper precaution and see your dentist regularly and also simply do not neglect your oral health, living with rheumatoid arthritis and a healthy mouth will be possible!

Link: http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/important-dental-tips-for-ra-patients-5837.aspx

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