Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tips on Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Oral hygiene is extremely important for maintaining those beautiful pearly whites and keeping your smile intact. To do this, you need to choose the right oral care products that help you maintain healthy, cavity-free teeth. Most people buy oral products, such as toothpastes and toothbrushes without taking into consideration their requirements and family dental needs. Buying the right toothpaste should be based on individual needs. So, a person suffering from tooth sensitivity should choose special toothpastes for sensitive teeth rather than getting a whitening toothpaste.

With the overwhelming variety of toothpastes in the market, it is difficult to pick one which is perfect for you. The best toothpaste should be able to remove food particles and stains while also eliminating dental problems, like bad breath and plaque. This Buzzle article provides you with simple tips for choosing the right toothpaste.

How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for Your Family

Toothpastes are available in paste, gel, and powder form. They contain abrasives, such as silicates that help in the removal of food and stains. Humectants, detergents, and thickeners are added to keep the texture of the toothpaste intact, while flavorings are added for better taste. Some other things that you need to lookout for include:

Consider Your Family’s Dental Needs

What are your family’s and your dental needs? Do you need a toothpaste to control bad breath or do you want one for plaque control? When choosing the right toothpaste, it is vital to consider your needs and those of your other family members. If a family member suffers from gingivitis and plaque, then it is best to get a toothpaste to suit that person’s dental needs, while you may need a regular fluoridated toothpaste for yourself.

Look for Fluoride in Toothpastes

One of the most common ingredients in toothpastes, fluoride is a mineral that helps in preventing tooth decay and allows the removal of plaque. Tooth decay is caused by the acid in the mouth which attacks the outer layers of the teeth. It is a major health concern all over the world. To avoid this, the American Dental Association recommends fluoridated toothpastes that prevent tooth decay and the occurrence of cavities. Fluoride also makes the tooth enamel stronger and helps in remineralizing of the parts that have suffered from decay due to acid damage.

Check the American Dental Association Seal of Approval

You should ensure that the toothpaste that you choose for your family should be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). When an oral care product has the seal of approval, it means that the safety and effectiveness of the product have been evaluated by an independent review board of scientific experts. The claims made by the ADA-accepted products are true and tested. It is important to note that only fluoride-containing dentifrices (toothpastes) earn the ADA seal.

Special Toothpastes for Whitening and Sensitivity

Do you experience a sharp pain when you consume something too hot or cold? This is known as sensitivity. People experiencing this problem have teeth and gums that are easily irritated by severe changes in temperature. There are special toothpastes that are meant for battling this problem. Most of these toothpastes contain ingredients, such as strontium chloride and potassium nitrate. The ingredients block the passageways between the nerve of your teeth and the outside surface, thus, preventing teeth sensitivity.

Apart from sensitive teeth, yellow stains and discoloration are the other common dental problems. Whitening toothpastes that contain more abrasives help remove teeth stains. It is important to note that people with sensitive teeth or plaque should avoid too much whitening toothpastes as the abrasives can wear away weak portions and damage the teeth.

For people with a risk of gum disease, antibacterial toothpastes with antibiotic, such as triclosan, are a good option. Tartar control toothpastes with chemicals, such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, remove the stubborn tartar deposit on teeth and gums.

Choosing Toothpastes for Kids

Pediatric oral hygiene is extremely important, and as a parent, you need to pick the right toothpaste for your child. For babies and toddlers who do not know how to spit out their toothpaste, it is important to get a fluoride-free toothpaste. Exposure or intake of too much fluoride in toothpastes can cause a condition called dental or enamel fluorosis. It can cause white lines or flecking on the surface of the teeth. In extreme cases, it can lead to pitted or discolored teeth.

It is best to choose special fluoride-free or low-fluoride pediatric toothpastes without any artificial preservatives, SLS, saccharine, or dyes. Do not buy toothpastes with whitening agents for kids. Once the child learns to swish and spit out the toothpaste, you can choose a toothpaste with fluoride.

Other Things to Consider

▣ Check the label, and read all the ingredients.
▣ Avoid highly sweetened toothpaste, which can contribute to tooth decay.
▣ If you are unsure, talk to your dentist about the oral hygiene products to use.
▣ Beware of fake or cheap toothpastes containing toxic ingredients, such as diethylene glycol.

The choice of the right toothpaste is also based on personal preference. Some people like a toothpaste because it tastes good, while others like the refreshing feel of another toothpaste. When buying the best toothpaste for your family, do not be overwhelmed by the variety of choices. Make sure you follow these simple tips to make the right decision for yourself and your family.

Ways to Treat Sensitive Teeth After Whitening

Tooth whitening/bleaching is a common procedure performed as part of cosmetic dentistry. It is cosmetic since there is no medical or health reason to whiten teeth. Just the need to have a nice, shiny, white-toothed smile is reason enough. This procedure can be performed at the dentist’s or at home using whitening strips and other such tools. A side-effect noticed by those who have had their teeth whitened, is that the teeth become sensitive and hence on contact with any stimuli, even air, they can ache. This sort of sensitivity can occur, whether the whitening procedure is done at home or at the dentist’s. How does teeth whitening sensitivity occur?

Human teeth are encased in gums. Inside each tooth is a vast range of dentinal tubules. These thin tubes connect the tooth nerve to the external surface of the tooth and are filled with fluid. When this fluid moves, the sensation makes the teeth sensitive. Food, external substances, in short, anything that enters the mouth, leaves a trace and such traces from the saliva, block the external ends of these tubes, thus hampering the fluids from moving up. But powerful chemicals used in bleaching or whitening teeth, wash away and destroy these blocking substances, thus cleansing the surface of the teeth. Such cleanliness means the fluids can now move freely and hence the teeth turn sensitive. So a common consequence of having sparkling white teeth is that your teeth are now too sensitive.

Dealing with Sensitive Teeth After a Whitening Procedure

Use desensitizing agents
Similar to local anesthetic and its numbing effect, desensitizing agents can help reduce and ease the pain that comes through sensitive teeth after the whitening procedure. These drugs can be present in the whitening bleach itself or can be separate medicines to be applied after the whitening procedure, by the dentist. Fluoride and potassium nitrate are the two most popular drugs of this type. Oxalate is another type and is used to rebuild the dental plugs destroyed by the whitening procedure. For whitening techniques at home, some over-the-counter desensitizing medicines are also available. Both over-the-counter and in-office drugs come in the form of pastes, gels and liquids, to be applied either through a nozzle or with a swab. They are also sold in the form of mouthwash. Examples of desensitizing drugs include AcquaSeal™, UltraEZ ® and SensiBlock®.

Use anti-inflammatory drugs
Pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medication designed to reduce pain, can help soothe sensitive teeth. They work on reducing the swelling of the tooth nerves, which are agitated due to the chemicals from the whitening or bleaching agent used on the teeth. With reduction in the swollen area, the nerves stop tingling and pain gradually reduces. Please take any such medication only after consulting your dentist. Do not take any pain-killers based on word-of-mouth advice or casual diagnosis. Your dentist will be aware of what chemicals were used in the whitening procedure and hence will prescribe the correct medication to prevent any accidental interference between medication.

Be smart with your oral hygiene
Use a toothbrush with ultra-soft bristles. Specially designed toothbrushes for sensitive teeth can help minimize the pain and preserve the enamel on your whitened teeth. To soften the bristles further, wash the brush in tepid water before brushing. Try using toothpastes and mouthwash products meant for sensitive teeth instead of regular toothpaste. Toothpastes containing potassium nitrate, as part of their chemical ingredients, will aid in easing sensitivity. Rinse or gargle your mouth using lukewarm water.

Watch what you eat and drink
After you get your car washed and it’s all clean and shiny, would you drive it through a garbage dump? Nope. Apply a similar logic to your newly minted but sensitive teeth and do not eat hot or cold foods for sometime. Your teeth will experience thermal sensitivity, i.e sensitivity to extreme temperature stimuli for sometime. So steaming bowls of soup, noodles, hot coffee and tea are definite no-nos. Ice-cream, iced-tea, frozen desserts, anything that has been in the freezer for more than 20 minutes, should be kept out for sometime before eating. Anything imbibed, drunk or eaten should be at room temperature only.

Ways to Get Rid of a Toothache

Painful ache in and around a particular tooth is a problem experienced by many people. Besides mild to sharp penetrating pain, other manifested toothache symptoms are redness, swelling, fluid drainage, bad smell, referred headache, and at times, fever. Scroll down to understand the causes of tooth pain and also how to get rid of a toothache effectively as soon as possible.

Causes

As with any medical condition, treatment starts with identifying the root tooth pain causes. The main cause for this dental problem is inflammation of the pulp that is present inside the pulp chamber, a condition called pulpitis. Other reasons for severe toothache are tooth decay, tooth fracture, abscessed tooth, and gum infection. Apart from these, faulty tooth filling is another cause for pain in tooth. Thus, toothache after filling is also reported by many who have undergone the procedure.

Treatment Methods

Tooth pain disturbs the normal well-being of an individual, in terms of eating, chewing, and talking. Treatment for this problem varies according to the underlying cause. Although severe cases require immediate attention by a dentist, there are certain things that one can practice at home to alleviate pain.

Clean Teeth Properly

At the first signs of tooth pain, it is imperative for every person to floss and clean mouth thoroughly for prompt cure. This will help in flushing off food particles that may be present in the corners of the teeth. First, rinse mouth with lukewarm water and then, gently brush teeth. Wash mouth and follow the same teeth cleaning after you have your meals.

Avoid Hot Foods

In most people having toothache, increased pain intensity is observed in responses to very hot and sweet food items. So, it is advisable to consume foods that are not too cold or too hot. Also, limit intake of sweet goodies, which again increases infection chances. If you have them, make sure you floss teeth as soon as possible.

Apply Ice pack

The best way to get instant relief is applying ice pack in the aching tooth. Ice numbs the area, thus reducing pain perception. This is the main reason why, many dentists recommend having ice creams at times of toothache and alike conditions. You can place ice cubes in a clean cloth and place over the affected tooth.

Don’t Pressurize Teeth

Some patients notice tooth pain, only when the pressure is applied to a tooth or teeth in doubt. If the same case is applicable to you, refrain from doing things that puts extra pressure to the teeth. So, avoid masticating hard foods, chewing with the affected tooth and having chewing gum. It is best to have soft foods that require less chewing.

Use Clove Oil

Using clove oil for tooth pain is effective in alleviating painful symptoms. Having natural analgesic properties, it can be used alone or mixed with any of the ingredients – pepper powder, oregano oil and olive oil. You can dip a cotton ball in the oil or mixture and place it over the aching tooth. Repeat this 2-3 times daily for best results.

Gargle with Salt Water

Being a frequently manifested condition amongst expecting mothers, knowing how to deal with a toothache while you’re pregnant is important. You can consider gargling with salt water. Add a pinch of salt in lukewarm water and gargle with it. Using saline water is effectual for relief and at the same time, reduces the risk of tooth infection.

Other Remedies

Other effectual toothache home remedies are chewing guava leaves, chewing fresh spinach leaves, using crushed garlic clove, and applying a mixture of pepper powder and table salt. Last but not the least, chewing raw onion for a few minutes is a good remedy. Onion possesses antibacterial properties and is effective for killing bacteria.

Since you now know what to do for a toothache, take action immediately for getting prompt results. As you follow proper dental care and the tips mentioned above, most probably the pain intensity will decrease gradually. If the symptoms persist even after 1-2 days, better consult a dentist. Based on the medical history and underlying cause, the doctor will recommend pain medicines in appropriate dosage for treating the tooth pain.

Ways to Stop Gum Pain

Gum pain is quite a common occurrence. One of the most common causes is emergence of wisdom tooth. Many of us have experienced gum pain for this reason as the new tooth tries to push itself too hard through the gums. The sensitive tissues of the gum may get injured by harsh brushing or by sharp edges of food particles such as biscuits, popcorn, etc. It can be a symptom of an underlying gum disease called gingivitis which is characterized by inflamed, tender gums that tend to bleed easily. Periodontitis is a more serious gum disease where pus gets accumulated in the gums and give rise to painful symptoms.

How to Stop Gum Pain at Home?

The intensity of the pain often varies from mild to severe. Initially, when the pain is mild to moderate, you can relieve it with the help of some home remedies. They are as follows:

Brush and Floss: Many a time, food debris trapped in between teeth causes gum pain. If the entrapped food particles are removed with the help of brushing and flossing, then the pain would go down. Use a soft bristled toothbrush that can access the areas that lie between the teeth and a toothpaste suitable for sensitive tooth for brushing. Make gentle, circular motions with the brush. Avoid any aggressive strokes as it can make the gums more sensitive. It should be followed by flossing as it can remove small particles hidden in difficult-to-reach areas of the gum. Floss should be used with care in order to avoid any kind of injury to the gums.

Ice Application: Cold ice has a numbing effect on the painful gums. Though some people prefer to place a small piece of ice directly on the achy tooth, I would rather advise you not to do so as extreme temperature can aggravate the pain further. Wrap an ice in a small towel and massage it gently over the cheek for a few minutes to reduce the pain and swelling of the gums.

Clove Oil: Many of you are aware of the fact that clove oil is an excellent remedy for gum pain. It can be applied on the gums in many different ways. Take one or two drops of the oil on your fingertip and massage it directly on the painful site. Alternately, you can make it more effective by mixing up a little garlic juice and rock salt with it. Clove oil, pepper powder and rock salt is another great combination that can provide instant relief.

Warm Saline Water: This has a calming effect on the pain. To prepare the saline solution, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Take this solution in your mouth and swish it around thoroughly inside your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat this several times in a day and you may not need any pain relieving medicines.

Oral Numbing Gel: There are a number of over the counter oral numbing gels available in local pharmacy stores. Topical application of this gel on sore gums can numb the pain for half an hour or so. When the pain is intense, you can use it to get a temporary relief.

Pain Relieving Medicines: If the pain seems to be unbearable, you can take anti-inflammatory medicines that are available over the counter such as acetaminophen for controlling the pain. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor once before taking medicines.

The above remedies should resolve the issue of gum pain within a few days. If it does not or it recurs again and again, then it is likely that there is a major gum problem and you must take an appointment from your dentist. Gum pain should not be neglected as it can cause severe damage to the gum tissues and may even lead to tooth loss in the long run.

Get Well Soon.