Monday, March 30, 2015

Electric Toothbrush: How do you choose?

Since the introduction of the power toothbrush in the 1960s, this tool has undergone many technological advances, from design and bristle motions to rotation oscillation and sonic vibration.
What is rotation oscillation? That’s when the head of the toothbrush alternately rotates in one direction and then the other. Power toothbrushes can deliver up to 50,000 strokes per minute, which is much more effective than the average 300 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush.
A smaller brush head is available for hard-to-reach areas, which is a good alternative for small mouths. The brush heads are replaceable and should be changed every three to six months. Each member of your family should have his or her own brush head while sharing the base motor.  Check the handle size. A large handle is better for members of the household with arthritis, children, or family with other physical disabilities.

A rechargeable toothbrush is ideal. It should deliver enough power on a full charge for one week of brushing.

It is best to brush for a minimum of two minutes. Some electric toothbrushes include a signal you can hear, such as a beep every 30 seconds, to indicate it’s time to switch to a different area of the mouth. Others sound an alert after the full two minutes has elapsed.

Will an electric toothbrush harm the teeth or gums? Studies indicate that people tend to apply more damaging pressure to their teeth and gums during manual brushing than when they use an electric toothbrush. If you experience tooth sensitivity, choose a model with pressure sensors that stop the toothbrush any time you press too hard.

Who would benefit from an electric toothbrush? Everyone! Consumers with a physical disability may have specific needs that power toothbrushes can address. Children also tend to maintain better oral health hygiene when they use an automatic toothbrush. Plus, many of them find it fun to brush!
Automatic toothbrushes really do remove debris better than the old-fashioned way. You may have heard the term “biofilm.” Better known as plaque when it occurs in the mouth, biofilm is the debris and bacteria that cause infections to your teeth. It regenerates quickly, so healthy habits are the best defense for a healthier you! With a healthier mouth, you face a lower risk of gum disease and other conditions like heart disease: mouth health has been linked to heart health.

When you’re ready to make your decisions, be a wise comparison shopper. Consult with Dr. Alina Bergan D.D.S. to decide what is best for you! Call us today at (800) 223-0801.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Truth About Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is a popular activity for people of all ages.  While chewing gum may be fun and a good way to kill time or stave off boredom, is it a healthy activity for your oral health?

Chewing Gum is Full of Sugar, Chemicals, and Artificial Sweeteners that Lead to Tooth Decay
Probably the number one reason to avoid most chewing gums is that they are loaded with chemical and synthetic ingredients. 
It is surprising how some caregivers who would never dream of giving a child a diet soda don’t think twice about doling out sugarless gum with similar neurotoxic sweeteners.
Sugared gums can with heavy use cause tooth decay, gum disease and cavities. This happens because sugar coats the teeth, and can slowly cause damaging of tooth enamel if they are not immediately brushed. To reduce harmful effects of sugared gums, seek out gum brands that use smaller quantities of sugar.

Chewing Gum Contributes to the Development of TMJ and Other Jaw Problems
Oral surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas contend that too much gum chewing causes jaw stress.  Dr. Sinn, a UT Southwestern oral surgeon, warns that jaw soreness, jaw “clicking” or pain in the jaw, head, or neck can be signs of TMJ syndrome and that gum chewing should be discontinued should such symptoms emerge.
Given that gum chewing is commonly used to relieve stress, Dr. Sinn suggests other methods for reducing tension such as squeezing a ball, relaxation techniques or regular exercise to avoid the risk of chronic jaw problems. If you think you may suffer from TMJ, contact your dentist for an exam.
Chewing Gum Releases Mercury from Amalgam Fillings
Probably the most important reason to abstain from chewing gum is that it releases mercury from dental amalgam fillings.  A Swedish study found that people with silver fillings who chew gum for 5 hours or more each day had significantly higher levels of mercury in their blood and urine than those people with silver fillings who chewed gum infrequently.
Mercury levels in the blood, urine, and breath at exhalation increased in proportion to the number of silver fillings each study participant had.
Given that mercury is neurotoxic in any amounts in the body, it seems that chewing gum is an activity that should be undertaken with extreme caution if one has even a single silver filling.
Skip the Gum if Pregnant with Silver Fillings
For pregnant women with silver fillings, chewing gum can prove toxic to the fetus if mercury is released into the bloodstream.  Many pregnant women chew gum to help relieve heartburn or indigestion and yet the dangers of this activity if one has dental amalgams are not readily provided at prenatal visits even though mercury easily crosses the placenta.
In some circumstances such as these, chewing gum can be therapeutic. In most cases, though, it should be avoided as an activity that really is not very health promoting.

Irregular development of facial muscles

Extensive chewing of gum in puberty may lead to the stimulation of jawbone and facial muscles and creation of larger face.

For more information about oral health call Dr. Alina Bergan D.D.S., today at (800) 223-0801.