Monthly Archives: November 2016

Oral Care At Home To Keep Your Mouth Healthy And Looking Good

Oral hygiene is very important for overall health and well-being. It also plays a major role in the transmission of body language on a social level too. You must care for your teeth throughout your life in order for your teeth to be at their best and your breath to be fresh.


Teeth are very responsive to their environment and are made up of incisors (biting teeth), molars (grind and break down food) and wisdom teeth (no clear purpose). Each tooth consists of enamel (hard, no living cells), dentine and pulp cavity (contains a network of nerves giving teeth its sensitivity).

Plaque is one of the greatest threats to oral health. Plaque is a sticky substance containing millions of bacteria. This forms when sugar in your diet reacts with plaque bacteria to form an acid. This acid then reacts with the calcium in your enamel, forming decay holes. This needs to be filled by your dentist. If your oral hygiene is inadequate, then plaque bacteria multiply and a condition called gingivitis may occur. This is an inflammation of the gum where it meets the tooth. You will know you have gingivitis if your teeth bleed when you brush them. If you have gingivitis, it is important to brush your teeth gently twice daily. If you gingivitis persists, visit your dentist for treatment, as this condition can lead to periodintitis. Periodintitis is a serious inflammation that spreads to the tooth socket, with a risk of losing the tooth.

Bad breath:

Bad breath is a common problem which often comes from the activity of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria form especially on the tongue, therefore a tongue scraper is the best tool to use to combat this condition. It is a disposable U-shaped plastic tool with tiny ridges on the side which is very easy to use and it will help clear away any left-over food and odour-causing bacteria that have settled on your tongue. Starting at the back of your mouth, gently drag the scraper two or three times, rinsing it between each pass. Follow up by drinking a glass of water to rinse out any remaining bacteria in your mouth.

Brushing teeth:

Regular, effective brushing of the teeth is the mainstay of a healthy oral care routine. Once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed will keep oral enemies at bay. The routine for effective tooth brushing are as follows:

-Tooth brushing should be at least three minutes long.

-Initial brushing should be with small circular movements, with the brush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth

-Teeth should be cleaned vertically – not from left to right as this can damage the gums – , to clear away the plaque.

-Take care to brush the inside surfaces as well, which is often forgotten.

Toothbrushes with soft or medium brushes are recommended and it is essential not to share your toothbrush with any other person (viruses can be spread this way). Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or when the bristles of the brush are getting damaged. Fluoride is an important ingredient which is need in your toothpaste, as it encourages the uptake of calcium to demineralised enamel.

Flossing is important for oral health because it removes food matter that accumulates between the gaps in your teeth. If it is left there, it decomposes and causes bad breath.

Mouthwash is also an essential part of oral health maintenance. It can be effective against bad breath, stubborn food particles and generally refreshes the mouth. Chewing gum after eating stimulates saliva production which neutralises the acid in the mouth. Ensure that the chewing gum is sugar-free.

Whitening teeth:

For those with discoloured teeth, professional bleaching by a cosmetic dentist is a way to achieve bright white teeth. For mildly discoloured teeth, whitening formulas are often effective (which are non-peroxide whitening systems).

Straightening out teeth:

If your teeth are particularly crooked, orthodontic treatment can help. For teeth that are only marginally crooked, porcelain veneers can be applied to even out the tooth line. Veneers can also be used to fill a gap between the front teeth, to regulate a discoloured tooth, to correct a chipped tooth or create a straighter finish to teeth that require slight re-alignment. Veneers are rarely available on the NHS and are expensive.

Detecting Gum and Tooth Disease

A Dog Depends On Healthy Teeth and Gums

The average person may not understand how critical this issue is to a dog – unless 1) they own or have owned a dog and 2) have experienced these problems – suffering the consequences.

We have raised Dalmatians for over 20 years and have learned this lesson. We watched Lady start to chew gingerly and delicately at first. Then she wouldn’t take her treats or crunchy bones. A trip to the vet and we discovered just how serious the problem had become. Chewing was actually uncomfortable – it hurt to eat. That should tell you a lot right away.

Well after several hundred dollars in vet bills, we learned how critical “dental care” is to a dog and its health. Not only do healthy teeth help chewing but healthy gums are important to holding the teeth in place and comfort of eating. Additionally, some gum diseases lead to other problems just like humans. Heart disease, stomach and similar problems are caused or exacerbated by poor dental health.

It Is Easy To Overlook – If You Are New To Pet Ownership

For some reason, the common wisdom is that a dog should have “bad breath”. Imagine what they eat and where they have been. The truth is simply much different. Other than some food odor – a “bad” smell should not exist and must be investigated. Because of this misconception many don’t check and most don’t “brush” a dog’s teeth.

Watch Your Dog’s Health Closely

Paying attention to your dog’s health is important to you both. Your dog’s well being, outlook, attitude and quality of life are important. Your wallet will also benefit from some preventive action – I promise.

If you catch a dog’s teeth problems early you can avoid the pain and discomfort of more severe dental disease. The easiest way to do this is — look at the teeth. “Look” means inspect and remember. Regular attention will alert you to unusual changes or issues that when small can be resolved by you rather than a professional.

Inspecting and Remembering Your Dog’s Teeth

The first time will be a little strange but with care and some kindness, it will become a process that you will become comfortable with in a short time. Just lift your dog’s lips all around the mouth. Look at the front and back teeth. The point is to observe and remember. The first few inspections set a “base line” for you and your dog’s present condition.

Remember, you and your dog have a “relationship” and this inspection is an extension of that mutual care and concern. Be gentle, speak softly, move slowly and allow your dog to understand what you are doing. He or she will pull back. Be ready. Don’t “jump” just wait and stroke around the mouth and nose until another chance to move the lips and look at the teeth. The whole issue is one of trust and will take a little time but it is not impossible.

Additionally, during the annual checkups your veterinarian will also take a look at your dog’s teeth. Obviously, you will want to make sure there is a routine to these exams and that you report any generalized concerns during the vet visit. Your vet is absolutely the best source for education on what to look for and how to treat any problems that may crop up.

What To Look For Between Vet Visits

Between the vet visits you should watch out for:

* Bad breath or any unusual changes in breath;

* Any reluctance your dog shows chewing or unusual behavior while chewing like whining;

* Any unusual or unexpected salivation – different then when he or she sees food or a treat – you will know when it s outside the norm;

* If you see red and/or puffy gums, watch them for a period of a few days. See if there is a change in condition. How does your dog react when he or she is eating. Any concerns contact your vet;

* If any of the gums are bleeding and there is no obvious reason – that is cause for concern and a trip to the vet’s office;

* Even tartar and hard coating on the teeth called calculus which is the result of plaque build-up is important. Believe it or not, dog’s teeth can be cleaned just like ours if it is too serious. Try some crunchy treats, bones and other solid items. Give them to your dog and see if that helps. A constant diet of caned food will add somewhat to the problem. If it does not improve or grows worse, consult your vet.

* Be on the look out for missing and/or loose teeth during your inspection. Watch closely, your first base line will tell you what to look for in the future. In some instances you may want to keep a journal to discuss with the vet.

* Then there is the general “catch all”. Anything that just doesn’t look “right”. We learned quickly that this will come natural to almost any pet owner. There is a sense we develop that warns. Just be open to those concerns and act as you feel best.

Always consult with your vet. Watch for early signs and resolve the problem early. In a future article we will describe the more serious aspects of dental disease and its more detailed care.

Beautiful Teeth and Your Life

Taking our teeth for granted is so easy that almost all of us do it. We often forget about them when they are causing no trouble, and leave them alone to virtually look after themselves.

The fact however is that teeth, if neglected and not cared for properly start to decay. If we ignore them we will eventually lose them.

Such an unpalatable situation can be easily avoided simply by giving your teeth a bit of care and attention each day, and by regularly visiting your dentist. With appropriate care, your teeth should look attractive and stay healthy for a lifetime.

The first steps in this regard should be taken in early childhood, because keeping a child’s milk teeth healthy is essential if the permanent teeth are to develop correctly. These permanent teeth also need care to keep them free of plaque and decay-causing bacteria. Regular visits to the dentist are important – not only to repair damage, but also to protect healthy teeth and to obtain professional advice about home care between check-ups.

Tooth care should begin as soon as a child’s teeth start to emerge. Plaque which forms on the surface must be removed by careful brushing. This will also ensure that the child gets used to the habit of brushing from an early age. Since a child depends on his milk teeth for a full six years, and also because these teeth act as guides for the growth of permanent teeth, their daily care is vital.

At birth, a baby’s first teeth are already formed within the jawbone. Between three and six months of age, these teeth (called “Milk Teeth”) start to appear; by the age of three years, a child should have a full set of 20 milk teeth.

The first permanent teeth begin to push their way through at about the time the child is settling down in primary school and by the early teens, a set of 28 permanent teeth should be in place. The four Wisdom Teeth (those at the back of the jaws) are the last to appear, usually around the age of 18 or 20.

Growth rates vary among children, so early or late appearance of teeth should not be a cause for alarm. With proper care, your permanent teeth should last lifetime. Sometimes permanent teeth grow unevenly or crowded together if there is no sufficient space for them – which can happen if the milk teeth are lost prematurely through decay.

The Importance Of Proper Teeth

Ideally your dentist’s only role should be preventive, to ensure that you are maintaining strong, healthy and in good condition teeth. One thing that you should be concerned with is the way in which you actually achieve your healthy teeth and gums. Your daily tooth care habits that you perform at home will contribute more than anything else to your dental condition. For good or bad, it is completely up to you to figure out what you need to know and to develop the proper habits that you need to have if you want to be able to take good care of your teeth. A good oral health program is made up mainly of three important behaviors. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist at least every six months. It is also important to make sure that your techniques for brushing and flossing are as effective as possible.

There has been a lengthy debate about the fluoride that is found in drinking water, toothpaste and a bunch of other oral care products. Even your annual checkup and cleaning will include what is tantamount to a “tooth bath” in a gooey fluoride paste. People who practice natural and alternative health care medicine believe fluoride to be an unhealthy substance. We’re not going to take part in that debate. So, if you’re comfortable using it, you should know that fluoride has been revered as a cavity prevention tool. So double check to ensure that your toothpaste actually contains fluoride because there are a lot of non-fluoridated toothpastes in production now to keep the anti-fluoride folks happy. Follow your conscience and do what is right for you.

Flossing is done because you want to get the food out from between your teeth and under your gums. Try as you may, simple brushing will not get the job done. In terms of which floss is the best, that really depends on which floss works best for you. Studies have proven that no brand of floss is at a significant advantage over another. The thing that you need to pay particular attention to is how much space there is between your teeth. Waxed floss is going to be bigger and that means that if there isn’t a lot of space between your teeth that could be a problem. In this case, you need floss that is wax free.

We all know that too much sugar ingestion is something that causes cavities. Obviously, however, if your tooth care habits aren’t up to snuff, your problem will only get worse. Another consideration to this problem is when you eat sugar. As an example, if you’re in the habit of eating hard candy that has sugar in it, the ever present presence of sugar in your mouth is not going to help you. A situation like that means your teeth are getting bombarded with the acid produced all the time. It’s very much recommended that you allow your teeth to have a break once in a while. Dentists say going sugar free for even two or three hours can be very helpful.