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Oral Health Myths Debunked

Oral Health Myths Debunked

It is commonplace for patients to have their own set of beliefs, whether they are from experience, their education or maybe word of mouth. Some beliefs are sometimes ludicrous while others make more sense. Regardless this Irvine sedation dentist knows how easy it is to believe in something, when we feel like it’s credible. Oral health is a department where several people beg to differ on what is good or bad for their chompers. As an Irvine sedation dentist, I feel it is my job to debunk some popular ones, if not for a healthier smile; for knowledge’s sake!

Oral Health Myth #1: We are born with weak teeth

This is absolutely not true. Many patients come in believing that they just have naturally ‘weak teeth,’ that allow them to be more susceptible to tooth decay or disease. However, ‘dentally speaking,’ ‘weak teeth’ means developmental defects for dentists. Of course, there are some effects caused by systemic illness or genetics, however, outside of these factors; lifestyle is the largest contributor to oral health. So much is preventable. That is what’s so great about healthcare.

Oral Health Myth #2: My teeth don’t bother me, so I don’t have to visit the dentist

The reality is that often times we don’t know if there is something wrong until it is too late. Many times gum disease does not prevent itself until it is so far along that drastic treatment must be taken. Furthermore, there are conditions that may not necessarily raise a red flag for you but should be treated. For example, teeth grinding, bleeding gums, teeth sensitivity or teeth flatness.

Oral Health Myth #3: My Gums are bleeding, so I shouldn’t brush so much.

If your gums are bleeding it seems natural to let them be, so they can ‘heal.’ However, gums aren’t like other parts of your body. When gums bleed it is a sign that food and plaque have accumulated and are therefore irritating your mouth. The best thing to do is to brush to remove all possible irritants. Gum bleeding can also be a sign that you are flossing or brushing too vigourously. Gentleness and consistency is key to a perfect smile, remember that!

Oral Health Myth #4: My breath smells, so I’m not brushing properly.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of different factors. This of course includes poor hygiene, but it can also mean that the foods you are eating are causing a pungent odor. Dehydration and illness also plays a role.

Root of Evil: Cavities

Some people like to say that the root of all evil is money. This Irvine dentist likes to blame it on a more likely (or more dental) culprit, the cavity. Yes, that was a bad dental joke. In all seriousness though, cavities found in the mouth can lead to serious problems—ranging from loss of tooth to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  It’s essential to safeguard against cavities, and the bad bacteria that cause.

As they say, prevention is better than a cure!

 

To help prevent the risk of tooth decay it is important to understand how we become susceptible to cavities. This Irvine dentist will give you the rundown of the top 4 causes.

 

1)   Sugar

             It seems like an obvious answer, eh? Well it all begins with a germ called mutans streptococcus. It’s the bad                  bacteria in the mouth that feeds on accumulated sugar and starches. By consuming a large amount of sugars,              you increase the risk of caries and decay because these bacteria create acid in the mouth, which start                            eating away at your enamel.

 

2)Acidic foods

As you might have guessed from the previous paragraph, acid isn’t really the best thing for your pearly whites. This is because acid can start to destroy the structure of the tooth, which gives way to damage. The best thing to do is limit the intake of citrus foods, carbonated beverages and alcohol.

 

3)Poor Hygeine

Before you roll your eyes and go, ‘duh,’ keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children to begin oral hygiene regimes before they even have teeth. This should stress the importance of a good oral hygiene routine. What’s even better is that you don’t have to always give up you nightly glass of vino.

 

4) Genetics

Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about this…well besides the first three things mentioned. If your family is prone to cavities it is incredibly be important to be more watchful than the average patient.

 

 

For more tips and information, contact your local Irvine dentist today.

Sore Gums

Soreness isn't necessarily a wanted sign, unless you've recently added a gym membership to your life. In that case, soreness may be good sign of progress. Nevertheless, in the world of this Irvine sedation dentist, soreness is never a good sign; especially when it comes to sore gums.

Let me explain further. Gums are like a good pair of skinny jeans. You want them to be tight, so they fit your body right. Teeth and gums should be tight enough so that they stick together, and it should only accommodate little more than the daily dental floss that we all surely use (at least this Irvine sedation dentist hopes so). Sometimes temporary irritation happens from tightness. However, the most likely scenario is that the gums have lost some attachment to the teeth, making them larger and looser—allowing bacteria and plaque to accumulate.

This accumulation then causes soreness, swelling and even bleeding. So how do you know if this soreness is just a passing phase or a chronic condition that needs treatment? The first step is to look in the mirror. Do your gums look swollen, red or have any ulceration? Gum disease and gingivitis may be the culprit. Still, even if you may not see anything; it may be smart to consult a dentist. This is because gingivitis is often caused by an invisible buildup of tartar and bacteria. So ask yourself, if your oral hygiene routine has been tip-top, if you have some doubt contact your local Irvine sedation dentist to treat your gums and to pick up a good oral health routine! 

Floss and Mouthwash for Kids

As adults we find it necessary to use floss and mouthwash on the regular—at least this Irvine dentist hopes so! However, what about the young people in our lives, the kids? Adults and children are similar in a lot of ways. We both need the basics, such as food, clothing and love; but the difference is in the amount, size and kind; the details.

Before I answer the question of whether the use of floss and mouthwash is needed or recommended in children, this Irvine dentist will discuss why these tools are important for adult oral health. As I hope most of us know, we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day. Still, that isn’t enough. Flossing plays a significant role in dental care, as it removes plaque and food from our teeth—which the bad cavity-causing bacteria in our mouths feed on. Mouthwash is also helpful, not only in keeping our breath minty fresh, but also in removing plaque and killing bacteria--all while guarding the gums against disease.

We go through the routine of dental care to protect ourselves in the long run, but the thing is children’s teeth is that they fall out, so does it even matter to go through such processed to protect them? The answer is most definitely yes. Just like us, children are vulnerable to all kinds of decay and disease. Therefore, the usage of floss and mouthwash can ensure their healthy smiles last, even if they have only a few teeth in their name.

What we have to remember is this. Not only does initiating this oral hygiene process reinforce behavior so that they are responsible for their permanent teeth when they do eventually come in; but it also sets the foundation for healthy teeth growth. You wouldn’t build a house on a shifty foundation now would you?

For more information on a child’s dental care routine, contact your local Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270. 

Does Milk do the Body Good?

Growing up your parents might have told you a few white lies, such as if you keep making that face it will freeze that way to if you’re not good the bogeyman will take you away. The personal favorite of this Irvine dentist is, “yes, we’re almost there.” However, one thing your parents did get right is that drinking milk does create healthy smiles and bones.

Studies have shown that drinking milk and eating cheeses with or after meals can increase the pH levels in your mouth. What this means is that it will lower acidity levels, which can damage the enamel of teeth and therefore create cavities. This Irvine dentist also would like to point out that milk has the ‘right’ ingredients in promoting top oral health. Besides the obvious factor of calcium, milk also has multiple proteins that help build strong smiles. One of them is casein, which helps recruit calcium phosphates to repair cavities. Casein also helps prevent cavity causing bacteria to adhere to the surfaces of the teeth. Other beneficial proteins include: whey, lactoferrin, lysozymes and antibodies that boost your immune system.

The recommended amount of milk for those ages 9 and up is about 3 cups a day. For children younger than 9, 2 should be okay—but consulting a pediatrician is always best. For more information on oral health, contact your local Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270!


-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental