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How To Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Chances are, you're using a bottle to feed your baby. Have you ever heard of "baby bottle tooth decay", or "nursing bottle mouth"? It's one of the common ways your baby can develop cavities, and it can be avoided.
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when a child's teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids for long periods of time, usually through extended nursing on milk (including breast milk), formula or juice at bedtime or naptime.
How To Avoid It
Never use a feeding bottle as a pacifier.
Try not to put your child to bed with a bottle. If you must, make sure it contains plain water instead of milk, juice or formula.
Don't give a baby a pacifier that has been dipped in honey or sugar.
Caring For Your Baby’s Gums
After each feeding, gently brush your baby's gums using water or a baby tooth and gum cleanser on a baby toothbrush that has soft bristles. Or, wipe your baby's gums with a soft, damp washcloth or gauze pad.
Many people don't know that you don't have to wait until the first tooth appears to begin efforts to prevent tooth decay. Fact is, you need to start providing good oral care for your children right from birth, because from healthy gums come healthy teeth.
One of the most important points about tooth decay is that you don't always recognize it when it's in the early stages.
Which is exactly why it’s important to see your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for a thorough cleaning and oral exam, in addition to following a consistent oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing.
Whether decayed teeth cause a toothache depends on where they're located. A cavity in the tooth enamel doesn't cause pain. In fact, you won't notice that you have a toothache until the decay reaches the dentin, the softer mid-layer of a tooth that lies between the enamel and the pulp. Decayed teeth can be saved if they are identified while they affect only the enamel or dentin, but if they decay reaches the nerve-filled pulp at the center of a tooth, a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary.
A root canal will preserve the tooth, but in severe cases your dentist may recommend tooth extraction instead. If you have a tooth removed due to severe decay, it's important to practice good oral hygiene and follow your dentist's instructions for keeping the gum tissue clean while you consider options for a replacement tooth or teeth. Replacing missing teeth is important for oral hygiene for several reasons, in part because you will keep the neighboring teeth from shifting and affecting your bite
You may have always wondered just why fluoride is so important - or even if it’s safe.
The simple truth is that exposing your teeth to a modest but consistent amount of fluoride throughout life helps strengthen the tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay.
For most people - such as older children and adults - fluoride is safe in moderate amounts, such as the amounts in toothpaste, tap water, and mouthwashes. But infants and children whose teeth have not yet emerged from their gums can develop a condition called enamel fluorosis if they are exposed to too much fluoride. Fluorosis appears as thin lines or streaks on the tooth enamel.
One way that infants may become over-exposed to fluoride is if they are fed powdered infant formula mixed with fluoridated water as their primary source of food during their first year of life. This may result in a very mild or mild case of enamel fluorisis, which is barely noticeable.
Occasional use of formula mixed with tap water should not increase an infant’s fluorosis risk, but talk to your dentist and pediatrician if you have concerns. Breast milk contains very little fluoride, even if a breastfeeding mother drinks fluoridated water and uses fluoride toothpaste daily, so there’s no reason for a new mom to neglect her own oral health.
Enamel fluorosis affects the appearance of the teeth, but not their overall function. You can prevent your child from developing fluorosis by choosing a toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride. Once the teeth have fully emerged from the gums they are no longer at risk. But keep in mind that fluoride is not meant to be swallowed. Which is why some dentists recommend that very young children avoid fluoride toothpaste - they have not yet developed the reflexes to keep from swallowing it.
If you’re missing one or more of your teeth and would prefer not to have a bridge or full or partial dentures, you might consider asking your dentist whether you’d be a good candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants provide a more natural tooth replacement than dentures because they’re artificial teeth that are attached directly to the jawbone. To benefit from dental implants, you must be in good health (aside from missing teeth) and have a fully developed and healthy jawbone - healthy gums and a healthy jawbone are needed to support the implants.
If you’re healthy and your dentist determines that you’re a good candidate for implants, he or she will schedule the procedure to take place either at the dentist’s office under local anesthesia, depending on the patient’s particular dental health needs and the amount of surgery that is required.
But implants aren’t a good choice for everyone. Pregnant women and people with chronic illness or immunosuppression (due to the increased risk of infection during surgery), children (because their jawbones are still developing) and people who grind or clench their teeth (this habit can put too much pressure on implants), are not good candidates for dental implants.
Keep in mind that the surgery to place dental implants takes several hours, and more than one procedure may be needed. So anyone who is at increased risk for infection may not want to choose dental implants.
If you’re healthy and you undergo surgery for dental implants, be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for oral hygiene - including twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing - following the procedure to keep your new teeth clean and healthy.
As everyone who brushes and flosses their teeth knows, your back teeth are harder to reach and to keep clean than your front teeth. The back teeth are designed with grooves and ridges that help you to chew food, but the down side is that these grooves and ridges can also collect tiny food particles, which can increase the risk of cavities and bacteria in plaque, which in turn can lead to gum disease.
To remove bacteria and plaque, it's important to floss around the back teeth. If it is hard for you to reach this area, consider using a flosser or an electric flosser.
Tooth decay doesn't happen overnight. But if you allow plaque to build up on teeth by not flossing properly over many years, the bacteria and acids that they produce will break down the tooth enamel. If plaque goes unremoved, tooth decay can progress inward and affect the nerves in the pulp of the tooth. This progressive decay can cause symptoms including pain and swelling, and may result in tooth loss in extreme cases.
Bacteria can convert fermenting carbohydrates (which are sugars and are found in cooked starchy foods) into plaque within 20 minutes. Be sure to clean around the back teeth with your toothbrush and dental floss every day.
Good oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health, and can also allow you to greet the world with a big healthy smile. By making regular tooth brushing and flossing a priority, you’ll reap long-term benefits of reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends tooth brushing twice a day, along with daily flossing, to help promote oral health.
Remember that just brushing your teeth isn’t enough. Both brushing and flossing are important because they help promote oral health in different ways.
Why you need to brush: Tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps control plaque, which is the residue that can build up on teeth. Be sure to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you use an electric brush) every three to four months.
Why you need to floss: Flossing is important because proper flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from those spaces between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. So if all you do is brush, you’re missing an opportunity to promote not only healthy teeth, but also healthy gums. Research shows that regular flossing can reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
Consistency is what counts. Find the toothbrush and floss you prefer, and get kids their favorite colors and characters to encourage good brushing habits. There’s a toothbrush and type of floss for everyone, so there is no reason to shy away from complete oral care.
The foods you choose to eat have a significant effect on your general well-being but also on your teeth and gums. One common concern of many oral health professionals is the high consumption of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that can have detrimental effects on oral health. These kinds of food have very little, if any, nutritional value.
Eating patterns and food decisions among kids and teens are imperative variables that influence how rapidly youths may develop tooth decay. At the point when bacteria come into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is delivered that attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more. Consumption of high sugar snacks between meals allows no recovery period in the mouth. The oral environment is very clever in the way it uses saliva to wash away acids and move the pH closer to a healthy range. A healthy consumption of water regularly throughout the day helps the saliva flow freely. The more often sweet foods and drinks are consumed, the higher the risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.
What is the right thing to do?
-Limit sweet foods and drinks and consume them during meal times rather than between meals.
- Aim to consume 3 servings of vegies and 2 servings of fruit every day.
-Choose healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, natural yoghurt, plain popcorn, soups or cheese.
-Choose fresh fruit over dried fruit, as dried fruit will leave a sticky residue on your teeth and can contribute to tooth decay.
-Drink fluoridated tap water and plain milk instead of soft drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milks, juice or cordial.
-Have a piece of cheese after consuming sweet or acidic food as dairy products assist in reversing the decay process.
-Learn to read food labels to help us choose foods and beverages which are low in added sugar. This added sugar are very much present in soft drinks, candies, cookies, pastries and more.
A lack of certain nutrients in your diet may lead to difficulty for the tissues in the mouth to resist infection and may ultimately lead to major oral health problem like tooth loss. This is believed to progress faster and more severe with older adults who have nutrient-poor diets.
For your oral health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your oral health professional can help prevent problems from occurring in the first place and catch problems in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.
Eating cheese can help your teeth
Did you know that there are more than 1,000 types of cheese? Packed with calcium and able to restore enamel, this dairy product is more than just a tasty topping — it can also offer a boost to your dental health. But before you stock up your fridge, make sure you know your cheeses. Not all types offer the same advantages.
When you’re looking for a tooth-friendly appetizer, these cheeses are the real deal.
Aged | Monterey Jack | Cheddar | Soft-ripened | Brie | Camembert | Blue
Gorgonzola | Roquefort
“Take it easy” cheeses
With added sugars and reduced cheese content, processed cheese products can wear down your enamel, increasing your chance for cavities.
Pre-packaged cheese dips, Cheese sprays,
American cheese, The magic behind the cheese
What is it about cheese that makes it so good for your teeth? A number of factors help stop decay.
Calcium and phosphorus strengthen bone.
Casein and whey protein build up enamel to prevent cavities.
Chewing stimulates saliva flow to wash
away sugar and bacteria.
Try tea! Hot or cold, tea has been shown in recent studies to be beneficial to your oral health.
Looking for a caffeine boost? Consider swapping out your daily coffee for a cup of green tea. As it turns out, the brewed drink may improve your oral health.
Drinking green tea every day can offer protection against gum disease, according to a 2009 study that examined the oral health of 940 men in Japan. Nearly every participant who drank at least one cup of green tea a day experienced a decrease in gum recession and bleeding. Both symptoms are indicators of gum disease. The researchers suggested that the antioxidants in green tea may be responsible for slowing down the effects of gum disease.
What’s more, drinking green tea may also lower your chances of oral cancer. By analyz
ing the results of 19 recent studies, a 2014 meta-analysis found a significantly lower risk of oral cancer among participants who drank green tea.
But before you load up on green tea, don’t forget to skip the sweeteners. Sugar and honey still promote cavities, even when you drink them with green tea.
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