Whether or not it’s good for your teeth, chewing gum is a popular habit. The encouraging news is that the American Dental Association (ADA) has begun recognizing certain gums with the ADA Seal that some are scientifically proven to protect your teeth. Let’s learn exactly what gum might mean for your teeth.
Chewing increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which helps to neutralize and rinse away damaging acids in your mouth. More saliva also means more calcium and phosphate are distributed in your mouth, which strengthen your tooth enamel. Studies show that 20 minutes of chewing sugarless gum after meals can help prevent tooth decay.
The only gums that have earned the ADA Seal are sugarless, and have proven with scientific evidence that they effectively reduce acids, promote remineralization of enamel, or reduce cavities or gingivitis. The gum also must be safe for oral tissues. A chewing gum package that displays the ADA Seal has undergone stringent requirements for proving that the information is true, so you can trust packaging claims for safety and effectiveness.
One other thing to consider is choosing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol. It has been shown to help prevent tooth decay and cavities, because it stops bacteria from being able to stick to your teeth. Fewer bacteria that cause decay are able to survive on the surfaces of your teeth.
Don’t be confused about the role chewing gum can play in your dental health, because it doesn’t take the place of brushing and flossing. You still should brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and use dental floss every day too.
In addition, artificial sweeteners have linked to cancer in medical studies done around the world. Make sure to check the packaging ingredients before purchasing your gum.
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There’s more to maintaining good oral health than just brushing and flossing your teeth. You also need to consider what you’re eating, and how it’s affecting the health of your mouth. Knowing how choices in your diet impact your teeth and gums is a major step on the road to a healthy mouth.
You’ve probably already heard that eating sweets is bad for your teeth. However, it’s not realistic for many people to eliminate sweets completely from their diets. So it’s acceptable to eat foods containing sugar, but one important thing to remember for the health of your mouth is to eat quickly. That may sound unusual, but gradually consuming sugar just creates a steady supply of acid buildup in your mouth. And even after you’ve finished eating, acids continue to thrive in your mouth for thirty more minutes. That’s why experts suggest promptly eating your sugary foods in one sitting, and brushing your teeth soon afterwards.
Another thing to remember is that sugar isn’t only found in desserts. Carbohydrates like cereal, crackers, fruits, and bread contain sugars too. Carbohydrates break down into sugar even when they’re still in your mouth. Brushing after eating a carb-heavy meal is important, and another idea is choosing high-fiber or whole-grain varieties over white carbohydrates. These don’t break down into sugar molecules as much as the white varieties.
As always, maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year are important for your oral health. Cutting down on sugary foods is also recommended, but don’t fret when you indulge in them. Just eat them quickly, try to make good choices, and brush as soon as possible after enjoying those foods.
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Preventing tooth decay should have a role in your quest for healthy teeth. Brushing, flossing, and checkups each play a part in this goal, but new technologies are providing more ways to achieve good oral health. One of these ways is having your teeth protected with a dental sealant. Let’s learn more about this effective method in fighting tooth decay and cavities.
To prevent decay in the small grooves that exist in your teeth, dentists apply a clear or white plastic coating that acts as a barrier. This dental sealant helps prevent cavities from forming by keeping bacteria and food particles from sticking to the chewing surfaces.
Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth, especially your molars. The first set of molars typically erupts around age six, with the permanent set arriving about age twelve. Sealants are most effective in preventing tooth decay when applied to permanent molars.
Sealants are simple for your dentist to apply, requiring no drilling and involving no pain. The teeth are cleaned and then a special gel is placed on the chewing surfaces for a few seconds. The teeth are rinsed and dried, and then sealant is painted onto each tooth. Sometimes a light is used to harden the sealant. It only takes a minute for the sealant to set and begin working.
Sealants are invisible and don’t impact speaking or eating, but they are at work constantly guarding your teeth from decay. They provide long-term protection for 5-10 years, and your dentist will inspect them during checkups to ensure they remain in good condition. Continuing your regular routine of hygiene and dental visits are vital ways of maintaining your oral health, and adding sealants to your teeth is one more way to keep your teeth in good shape.
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Making a trip to the dentist’s office doesn’t usually top anyone’s lists of fun things to do; however, you don’t have to view the experience with dread. Regular checkups enable your dentist to evaluate your oral health and keep your smile in good shape. The American Dental Association actually recommends twice yearly visits in most cases.
Knowing what to expect from your visit may ease some of the stress. When you have specific issues to discuss, like cosmetic updates or replacement options for missing teeth, consider writing down your concerns and bringing the list with you. If you are new to the office, call ahead to find out about any necessary paperwork you may need to fill out before your actual appointment time.
At the beginning of your visit, the dentist or hygienist will usually review your oral and overall health to make any updates to your history. Depending on how long it’s been since your last appointment, X-rays may also be taken. Usually, the hygienist will look at your teeth, evaluate your gums, and perform a cleaning. If the hygienist discovers any issues, like signs or gum disease, the dentist will make recommendations to address the problems and restore your oral health.
After your cleaning, the dentist will usually examine your teeth, gums, and mouth. The doctor will want to assess your current oral health status as well as look at previous restorations to make sure there aren’t any problems. Your dentist will also let you know of any current concerns, including possible cavities or gum inflammation. At this time, your doctor will explain the suggested treatment and create a detailed plan for any additional care.Read More »