June 2016 Edition


June. 22. 2016

Toothbrush Care: Cleaning, Storing and Replacement

Tooth brushing plays a crucial role for personal oral hygiene and effective plaque removal. The oral cavity is home to hundreds of different types of microorganisms that could cause oral and/or systemic infection and it is not surprising that these microorganisms are transferred to a toothbrush during use. Therefore, appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are important considerations for healthy mouth and healthy you. Here are few general tips on how to keep your toothbrush clean and pristine.

Replace toothbrushes at least every 3-4 months. The bristles become frayed and worn with use and cleaning effectiveness will decrease. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adult brushes.

Do not share toothbrushes. Sharing a toothbrush could result in an exchange of body fluids and/or bacteria between the users of the toothbrush, which causes an increased risk for infections.

Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with tap water after brushing. Rinsing toothbrushes remove remaining toothpaste and debris. Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again. If more than one brush is stored in the same holder or area, keep the brushes separated to prevent cross-contamination.

Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment such as a closed container is more conductive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air.


June. 14. 2016

3 Major Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The third molars, more commonly called the wisdom teeth, despite their friendly-sounding monikers, are notorious for causing pain and potentially dangerous dental complications. The potential of dangerously impacted wisdom includes damage to adjacent teeth, gum disease, tooth decay, or even cysts. While there are not always noticeable signs of impacted wisdom teeth, there are three major warning symptoms that could indicate the need for dental intervention.

1. Jaw Pain
The discomfort from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain through the jaw and into the skull, often resulting in terrible headaches. The pain could more intense while chewing, especially if the pain shoots to the back of the mouth or into nearby teeth.

2. Sore of Bleeding Gums
Impacted wisdom teeth can be a very serious affliction, and a person’s overall dental health may begin to deteriorate. Because jaw and tooth pain often extends throughout the entire area, the gums can also be affected. Tenderness and swollen gums in the back of the mouth generally indicate that the problem is in the wisdom teeth area. 

3. Bad Tastes and Smells
The bacteria trapped in the soft folds of the wisdom teeth and gums grows rapidly and infections may begin. A person experiencing tooth decay or excessive bacteria will notice a bad taste in his or her mouth, even while chewing other food.

Other possible but less common signs of impacted wisdom teeth may include:

  • shooting pain in the back of the mouth
  • Swollen glands
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Ongoing earaches


June. 9. 2016

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is found in birch tree bark, beets, corncobs, raspberries, and other natural sources. Its sweetness is equal to that of sugar, but it has about 40 percent fewer calories, making it a popular sugar-free substitute. Interestingly, xylitol not only cuts calories but it also cuts cavities!

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Xylitol prevents the bacterium associated with dental caries, from attaching to teeth and tissues in the mouth. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria and as a result, it prevents creation of harmful, enamel-eating acids is drastically slowed.

How often should I use xylitol for it to promote better oral health?

Xylitol gum or mints used three to five times daily (for a total intake of 5 grams) is considered optimal. To maximize the frequency and duration of exposure, it is important to chew gum for approximately five minutes and to allow mints to be dissolved. It is recommended using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth.