Monthly Archives: August 2012

How to Deal With a Chipped Tooth?

How to Deal With a Chipped Tooth?

Sometimes your teeth take a hit and leave lasting damage. You might get a mark or, more terrifyingly, a chip out of a tooth. When you’re faced with that kind of damage, how are you supposed to deal with it? What are the options?

No matter how extensive the damage is, it would be a wise idea not to leave it alone for too long. It may not hurt, but any damage to your teeth will encourage further damage to the tooth and possibly the soft tissue surrounding it, which will make the problem harder to deal with physically and financially. You can discuss with your dentist what might be the best option for you and your situation, but don’t wait to solve the problem.

Treatment

 

Filling and Bonding:

The treatment of the tooth will depend on how badly the tooth is damaged. If it isn’t too bad, the tooth may only require filling and bonding. The filling will simply fill in whatever may be missing from the tooth and the bonding will seal the tooth to protect it from any possible wear and tear. It’s a relatively painless treatment and doesn’t take all that long to do. In some cases, you may have to get some porcelain veneers so your teeth will look great cosmetically.

Crowns, Inlays and Onlays:

Should your teeth be badly damaged, you may need to take a different route to mend your teeth. If the damage to the tooth doesn’t affect the placement of your teeth, you may need a crown with an inlay and possibly an onlay. A crown simply fits over the chipped tooth to provide a substantial surface for chewing and mashing up your favorite foods. An inlay is similar to a filling, preventing any kind of debris from getting under the crown and giving you grief. Onlays may not necessarily be needed, unless the crown can’t provide the protection your tooth needs.

Tooth Extraction:

If your tooth is too damaged for even a crown, then it will probably need to be removed. While it sounds like a scary prospect, it’s sometimes the best option. If you feel pain whenever you put pressure on the tooth, it’s probably time for it to come out. But there’s no need to worry, as the extracted tooth can be replaced with an implant or a dental bridge, covering up the damage cosmetically and also giving you a suitable chewing surface. This way, you won’t have to deal with any pain or aesthetic issues.

What it really comes down to is that the best way to handle a chipped tooth is to get it treated. Don’t leave it unattended and don’t try to deal with the damage yourself. Doing either can result in worse condition of the tooth and gums, which is a bigger hassle than anyone is willing to deal with. If you chip your tooth, visit your dentist and discuss what can be done to ensure the situation is handled properly.

How to Make Your Own Mouthwash?

How to Make Your Own Mouthwash?

If you want fresh breath and a clean mouth, mouthwash is the buddy you turn to. But that mouthwash you picked up from the store is full of toxic ingredients that may do more harm than you think to both yourself and your environment. Why do people always tell you not to swallow it?

Store bought mouthwash has actually been associated with an increased occurrence of oral cancer, enamel damage and tooth sensitivity. While that is merely an association, research has actually shown that mouthwash can damage DNA and is toxic for your cells. It won’t have an immediate effect, but will be damaging in the long run if you continually use mouthwash full of toxic ingredients.

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The good news is that you can make your own mouthwash with safe, natural ingredients that are affordable and easy to find. To make your own mouthwash, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup of distilled water
  • 1 cup of aloe vera juice
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoons of witch hazel
  • 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil

Snatch up an old mouthwash bottle, or some other bottle that will easily work, and a funnel. Using the funnel, pour everything into the bottle, shake it up and you’ve got yourself a homemade, safe mouthwash your whole family can use. It doesn’t have any toxic contents or alcohol, so your children can use it as well. If they swallow it, it won’t harm them at all, as the contents are all safe to swallow, but will freshen breath and catch those extra bacteria after brushing.

If you have a few extra minutes, toss out that toxic mouthwash and make your own. The ingredients are easy to shake together and lack the toxic contents that can lead to oral cancer and cell damage.

What Kind of Toothpaste Should I Use?

What Kind of Toothpaste Should I Use?

A visit to the toothpaste aisle can be overwhelming. There are so many options that you might be confused about what toothpaste you should use.

5 Things Most Types of Toothpaste Have in Common

Toothpaste’s main function is to provide abrasive agents that remove food and bacteria from your teeth. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive ingredient in toothpaste, though some brands may use a different ingredient in its place.
Most toothpastes include flavoring. Some brands add saccharin (sugar) to make toothpaste taste better. Available flavors vary widely and include mint (most common), cinnamon, citrus and even bubblegum. Toothpaste is also available without added flavoring or with natural flavoring for those who want to avoid artificial additives.
Detergents are added to many brands of toothpaste to create cleaning foam. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common detergent found in toothpaste.
Fluoride is added to most toothpastes. It’s a mineral that prevents tooth decay by making tooth enamel stronger and provides minerals to parts of teeth that have started to decay.
Moisturizers and thickeners. Toothpaste must be thick enough to spread on your toothbrush and must be kept moist inside the tube.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

If you experience tooth pain when eating or drinking things that are hot or cold, you might want a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. This kind of toothpaste contains compounds that reduce the sensitivity of your teeth.

Some people are prone to canker sores inside their mouths. Sodium lauryl sulfate may be one cause of such sores; to avoid this, find a toothpaste that is free of this common additive.

Tartar Control Toothpaste

 

Plaque is the layer of bacteria on and in between your teeth that you remove by brushing and flossing. If it’s not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. Toothpastes with extra compounds such as zinc citrate and triclosan can prevent tartar buildup.

Whitening Toothpaste

If your teeth are stained, you might want to try a whitening toothpaste. These specially-formulated pastes contain extra abrasives and chemicals that bind to stains in order to remove them.

Specially-Flavored Toothpaste

If you’re having difficulty getting your kids to brush regularly, a flavored toothpaste might help. Toothpastes developed for kids include flavors such as bubblegum, fruit punch and grape.

Adults might also enjoy some of the special flavors on the market. Instead of the typical mint, you can find toothpastes flavored like cinnamon, citrus and even herbs.

How to Choose the Right Toothpaste

First, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Your dentist is familiar with your specific dental needs and may encourage you to use a specific type of toothpaste.

Otherwise, as long as you choose a toothpaste that has been approved by the ADA (American Dental Association), you can’t go wrong.

How to Brush Your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush?

How to Brush Your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush doesn’t provide different results that a properly-used manual toothbrush. However, some people don’t brush thoroughly enough with a manual brush; those people will benefit from an electric toothbrush.

The brushing technique with an electric toothbrush is different from that of a manual brush. With a manual brush, you must provide all the movement; with an electric brush, you need only guide the brush. Here are the 10 steps to brushing with an electric toothbrush.

Floss your teeth before brushing. While using an electric toothbrush may clean your teeth more thoroughly, it can’t get between teeth like floss, so you’ll still need to floss your teeth. Though it doesn’t matter whether you floss before or after brushing your teeth, some dentists feel that brushing beforehand allows for better fluoride penetration from your toothpaste.

Make sure that your toothbrush is fully charged, or that the batteries are fresh. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes typically have lights that indicate the charge level so that you can see when the toothbrush needs to be charged. You can tell when battery-charged electric toothbrushes need fresh batteries when the toothbrush begins to slow down.

Apply toothpaste to the head of the brush. Use the toothpaste you normally use with a manual brush; special toothpaste is not necessary.

Turn the brush on and guide it to the outside of your front teeth. Don’t push down on the brush or move your hand around much; just guide the brush along the surface of each tooth, letting the brush’s action clean the tooth as you go. Hold the brush in place for a few seconds before guiding it to a new position on the tooth.

Guide the brush from one tooth to the next, allowing the toothbrush to clean the outside of every tooth.

Repeat the process, this time cleaning the inside surface of every tooth.

Clean the chewing surface of each tooth by guiding the brush along the surface, holding the toothbrush in place for a few seconds before moving on.

Rinse your mouth with a small amount of water.
Run the head of your electric toothbrush under water to clean it.
Wipe the handle of the brush to dry it and place the brush back on the charger (for rechargeable electric toothbrushes) or in a place where the toothbrush head won’t come into contact with germ-laden surfaces.

A Reminder…

Most manufacturers recommend that you replace the head of your electric toothbrush at least every 3 months.

How to Floss Correctly

How to Floss Correctly

Your whole life you’ve been told that dental hygiene is important. By now, you’re probably excellent at brushing your teeth, but have always questioned whether or not you were flossing properly. Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself for flossing, but that simple string can get places that your trusty toothbrush can’t. Of course, that’s only as long as you floss correctly.

Prepare the Floss

Take about an 18 inch string of floss and wind each end around your middle fingers and then pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. There should be about one or two inches of length in between.

Floss Position

Always keep one or two inches of floss taut between your fingers. Use your thumb to guide the floss for your upper teeth and your index finger to guide the floss for your lower teeth.

How to Floss

Glide the floss between your teeth using a zigzag motion. Be sure to be gentle and somewhat slow. Don’t hurriedly shove your floss between your teeth. While flossing, form a ‘C’ shape by angling the floss to hug the side of one tooth. Don’t forget to angle the floss the opposite way to get that other tooth.

Where to Floss

Floss up and down against the tooth surface and a dip under the gum line. Be sure to floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss on the same string. Even those molars in the back need flossing. After flossing, rinse with mouthwash or water.

Any kind of floss will be effective if you floss properly. Just be sure to floss every tooth along the sides and the gum line. Brushing can only do so much, but flossing will help your teeth be the cleanest they can be. Even teeth with broader spaces between them need flossing.

Braces or Other Dental Work

If you have braces, a permanent retainer or some other dental work that can get in the way of normal flossing, there is special orthodontic floss that’s stiffer and can be threaded under wires. There’s also the option of floss threaders, which look like plastic, bendable needles. You can simply thread the floss through the loop and easily push the threader and floss under wires.

How to Floss Correctly

How to Floss Correctly

Your whole life you’ve been told that dental hygiene is important. By now, you’re probably excellent at brushing your teeth, but have always questioned whether or not you were flossing properly. Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself for flossing, but that simple string can get places that your trusty toothbrush can’t. Of course, that’s only as long as you floss correctly.

Prepare the Floss

Take about an 18 inch string of floss and wind each end around your middle fingers and then pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. There should be about one or two inches of length in between.

Floss Position

Always keep one or two inches of floss taut between your fingers. Use your thumb to guide the floss for your upper teeth and your index finger to guide the floss for your lower teeth.

How to Floss

Glide the floss between your teeth using a zigzag motion. Be sure to be gentle and somewhat slow. Don’t hurriedly shove your floss between your teeth. While flossing, form a ‘C’ shape by angling the floss to hug the side of one tooth. Don’t forget to angle the floss the opposite way to get that other tooth.

Where to Floss

Floss up and down against the tooth surface and a dip under the gum line. Be sure to floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss on the same string. Even those molars in the back need flossing. After flossing, rinse with mouthwash or water.

Any kind of floss will be effective if you floss properly. Just be sure to floss every tooth along the sides and the gum line. Brushing can only do so much, but flossing will help your teeth be the cleanest they can be. Even teeth with broader spaces between them need flossing.

Braces or Other Dental Work

If you have braces, a permanent retainer or some other dental work that can get in the way of normal flossing, there is special orthodontic floss that’s stiffer and can be threaded under wires. There’s also the option of floss threaders, which look like plastic, bendable needles. You can simply thread the floss through the loop and easily push the threader and floss under wires.

Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Headaches?

Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Headaches?

Wisdom teeth can be a hassle. Or they can be nothing at all, just some extra teeth hanging out in the back of your mouth. But if you’re one of the unlucky people with troublesome wisdom teeth, you might start wondering what sorts of problems your good ol’ wisdom teeth area actually giving you. As they’re coming in, a headache might pop up. Sometimes a headache is just a headache. But if your wisdom teeth are coming in and giving you grief, that headache might be a wisdom tooth headache.

As those great teeth of false wisdom appear, a gum pouch develops where the tooth is trying to push through. This pouch can become infected, swelling up and getting in the way of some of your other teeth. Obviously, you don’t want to bite on that tiny pillow of infected gum tissue; it would hurt too much. So, most people solve the biting issue by adjusting their jaw position and changing their bite. This is where the problem really begins.

By adjusting the position of your jaws, you may be instantly developing a bad bite. This makes the jaw joints go into the wrong position, which causes them to become inflamed and provide pain and problems for you. If that isn’t horrible enough, the bad bite pushes your jaw joints into your ear muscles whenever your teeth bite together. Because of this, your jaw muscles try and correct the problem to keep the pressure of the ear muscles, but instead go into spasms and cause pain. That is what causes that awful headache. Headaches are terrible enough, but someone with incoming wisdom teeth may constantly experience a wisdom tooth headache.

Treatment

The best treatment for a wisdom tooth headache is the removal of those wisdom teeth. Taking painkillers will only take away the pain and will not correct the core problem. Removing your wisdom teeth will keep your jaw from developing an improper bite and will, in turn, stop those wisdom tooth headaches.

A Wisdom Tooth Infection

In some cases, a wisdom tooth infection can create pus that leaks into the jaw muscles and irritates them. Such an infection can prevent a person from opening their mouth and can also throw in that unpleasant wisdom tooth headache. In these situations, see a dentist immediately, as the infection can flow into the brain and cause long term issues or even death.

How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore

How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore

They annoy, they irritate, and—most of all—they sting. Canker sores are not pleasant and can often get in the way of enjoying everyday life. With a canker sore, that salsa is suddenly not as delicious as it usually is, or that lemonade has become the bane of your existence. That canker sore can create enemies out of your favorite foods until you’re finally free of its stinging existence. Naturally, you want it to go away as quickly as possible. There are more than a several ways to go about getting rid of that sore, ranging from pills to foods to a combination of home supplies.


Over the Counter

There are certainly over the counter treatments that can help with your canker sore, but be sure to read the label carefully. Some products may have ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction, such as those that use bee byproducts. There are pills that can be taken or gel patches to apply directly to the sore, depending on what works best for you. Some pills help prevent future outbreaks, if it’s a common occurrence, by building up the immune system. Gel patches can help with instant relief and healing, but won’t be as handy for prevention. There are also some liquid medications that can be swished around in your mouth like a mouthwash that will also help with healing and relief. Here are a few pharmacy products to try:

ACIDOPHILUS: Acidophilus is a probiotic often found in yogurt. It stimulates the immune system and helps the sore heal and get out of your hair. To get rid of the sore as quickly as possible, pick up the pill form from your nearest pharmacy. Take it two to four times a day with a healthy dose of milk.
ALOE JUICE: Aloe Juice can be purchased at a pharmacy and helps relieve and heal that canker sore. Aloe Vera does wonders for stings, burns and bites and it does the same for sores. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the most pleasant of tastes. Apply the juice to the sore several times a day for maximum relief and healing.
MILK OF MAGNESIA or MYLANTA: Both of these remedies are antacids and can help with that oral ulcer. They can be applied directly to the sore by dabbing a little onto the sore or just swishing it in your mouth to coat the sore. These help prevent an infection as well as helping the healing process.

But, if the sore is already infected, do not use either of these, as they will only protect the bacteria that causes the infection.

GO AHEAD and try a few until you find a product that works best for you. Or, if you’re not really into trying out such products, there are also plenty of home remedies to try.

Home Remedies

If you don’t want to make a trip to the store for an over the counter product, a home remedy might be more your thing. You might have a few of these things lying around the house to be put to use, or maybe you don’t get canker sores often enough to purchase that bottle of pills. These remedies might be an easier solution for you:

BAKING SODA: This home product can easily be mixed with water and helps clean the sore so it will heal better. Just mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with a dab of water to make a paste. Apply the paste directly to the sore.
SALT WATER or SALINE SOLUTION: Salt water is also very helpful in clearing away bacteria in the sore. Mix a single teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Swish the solution in your mouth for about thirty seconds. To speed up the healing process, repeat this treatment up to three times a day.
MOUTH WASH: That minty cleanser helps keep that canker sore clean and bacteria free so it will heal faster. But be careful not to use it too often, as it can get rid of the good bacteria hanging out in your mouth. You’ll want to keep those buddies, but flush out the bad.
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: Make a mixture of half 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and half water. Swish it around in your mouth, but do not swallow it and don’t overuse it. It will clear out the good bacteria, just like the mouth wash. If this is used in the early development of a canker, it could help prevent an actual sore.
ALUM: You can find this little guy in the spice section in the store. Of course, being a spice, it has a stinging effect that can be very painful. If you’re ready to brave this remedy, be prepared for a bite of pain. Apply it directly to the sore once or twice a day and then rinse thoroughly afterwards.
COPPER SULFATE (A.K.A Bluestone): This is an old remedy from a couple centuries ago and is rather difficult to find. It helps the skin contract to close the sore, but it also has a bit of a kick to it. If you happen to find it, be sure to consult your doctor before you try using it.
SAGE TEA: A simple cup of sage tea can help your canker sore heal up nicely. With each sip, go ahead and swish it around in your mouth a bit before swallowing.
CLOVE OIL: Applying clove oil directly to the sore will actually help numb it if the pain gets to be too much to bear.
PLUM JUICE: Sip up a couple of tablespoons of plum juice and swish it around for about two or three minutes . If you’re not one for swishing, go ahead and soak a cotton ball with plum juice and hold it against the canker sore.
WET TEA BAG: After making a cup of tea, it can be helpful to press the used tea bag against the sore. While it helps the canker sore to heal, it also relieves some of the pain.
RAW ONION: If you’re brave and love a good onion, this remedy might be your style. Take a chunk of an onion and hold it directly to the sore for a few minutes. It won’t help in the relief area, but it will help the sore heal faster than usual.

BASICALLY, A GOOD RULE to go by is to keep you canker sore clean and bacteria free. It will help the sore heal faster and keep it from being infected. When you have a canker sore, it’s best to keep away from certain foods. Spice, salty, acidic and crunchy foods may only aggravate the sore and bring a fresh round of pain. Although, ice cream and yogurt are helpful in relieving discomfort and irritation of the sore.

Most of the time, a sore is a sore. But, sometimes, a sore can be something more. If you develop a fever with your sore, take a trip to the doctor and see if everything’s okay.

Hopefully, with the extensive list of remedies, there will be a treatment out there that works best for you in getting rid of the awful canker sore. Try a few to see if one is right for you. Better yet, try them all if you can so you can pinpoint that perfect process.