Hair Care More Important to Americans than Dental Care

This most likely surprises no one. According to a recent survey, Americans spend $100 billion annually on hair care products and only $2 billion on dental care products. Granted, most people burn through shampoo and mousse more quickly than a tube of toothpaste, but this doesn’t entirely account for the vast difference between $100 and $2 billion.

Are hair products also more expensive than dental products? Quite possibly. However, this statistic also points out how few dental care products people actually buy. If everyone was as good about replacing their toothbrushes, buying toothpaste, and flossing, these dollar amounts would be much closer together.

Everyone should replace their toothbrushes every 3 months, or sooner if the bristles have been flattened before that time. You should also go through at least one spool of floss in three months.

Just think…every time you buy a new bottle of shampoo or conditioner (probably conditioner as you will use less of it), think if it is time to replace a toothbrush. Next time you replace your scrunchies, ask yourself when you last bought a new toothbrush or floss. If you can’t remember when, it’s definitely time to replace your toothbrush. If you can’t remember when you last bought floss, then you probably aren’t flossing enough.

Remember, the more you spend in upkeep with your dental products means the less you get to spend in a dental office fixing problems.

New Dental Resolutions for 2014

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

With the new year, we’re sure you’re making a resolution or two for yourself that may include eating healthier, exercising more, or cutting back on your number of commitments. Many people resolve to be a little healthier in the next year, but they rarely consider resolving to improve their dental health. Naturally, we have a few suggestions.

Resolve to floss.

People rarely need to be reminded to brush their teeth regularly. However, very few remember to floss. If you don’t floss at all, start implementing the routine slowly. Commit to flossing once a week. Pick a specific day at a specific time that you know you can set aside a few extra minutes for flossing. Once that becomes habit, add another day. Then another. Before you know it, flossing will become part of your daily routine and both your teeth and your dentist will thank you for it. Most likely, your wallet will thank you too.[..Read More]

How to Floss Your Teeth

Flossing

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Did you know that if you floss your teeth as often as you should (once a daily) and correctly, you will use 122 yards of floss in one year? However, on average, only 18 yards are sold per person per year. That’s only 15% of what you should use a year!

Step one, you need to floss your teeth once a day. You do not have to do more than that.

Now on to step two, how to floss your teeth correctly.

According to the American Dental Association, this is how to floss properly:

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.

  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.

  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.

  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.

  • Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.

If you have dental work such as a bracket behind your front bottom teeth or braces, ask your dentist for spooling threads to held you thread the floss between your teeth and the dental work. They work much like threaders do for threading a needle.

If you claim that you aren’t coordinated enough to floss or your fingers are too big for your mouth, then try using disposable floss holders. You can find them on the toothpaste/toothbrush aisle in most grocery stores.

Flossing should only take about 3-5 minutes, and it’s easily implemented as part of your bedtime routine if you can’t floss in the morning or during lunch.

Periodontal Disease Worsens Rheumatoid Arthritis

That’s right, it’s another blog post about how your dental health affects your overall health. And yes, it’s another blog post about how periodontal disease makes more things in your body worse than just your gums and teeth.

Researchers and clinicians have known for a long while that there’s been an association between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, but they haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what, if anything, biologically causes it. A new research study has found just how the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis, thereby confirming that gum disease does affect the chronic inflammatory disease.

The study found that the periodontal disease bacteria leads to earlier onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), faster progression, and greater severity of the disease. The bacteria can push RA to the point of increased destruction of both bone and cartilage.

How does it do this?

The bacteria produces an enzyme that enhances collagen-induced arthritis, which is similar to RA. The enzyme also changes the residues of certain proteins, and the body recognizes these changes as invaders, thereby setting off an attack of the immune system. In those who have RA, this attack leads to increased chronic inflammation that breaks down the bone and cartilage at the joints.

Past studies have found that people with gum disease have an increased prevalence of RA. Likewise, periodontal disease is at least two times more prevalent in RA patients, further suggesting that these diseases can go hand-in-hand. Some research has even found that periodontal disease often precedes an RA diagnosis.

Periodontal disease is very serious, and needs to be taken as seriously as heart or lung disease. Periodontal disease is even far easier to prevent than heart or lung disease. All it takes is a few minutes from your morning and evening (brushing teeth), a few more minutes at least once a week (flossing), and regular dental checkups twice a year. If you already have RA, then it’s even more important that you care for your mouth to prevent an onset of periodontal disease, which will, as this study has shown, worsen your arthritis.

(Source: University of Louisville School of Dentistry)

On Breastfeeding and Dental Care

Baby feeding

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Breastfeeding is a hot topic amongst moms these days. We aren’t going to touch which is best for your baby, breast or bottle, as that is between a mom, her baby, and the baby’s pediatrician. However, we do want to clear up any misnomers that may be out there regarding breastfeeding and oral health.

Many believe that a baby’s new teeth only need to be cleaned and cared for if the baby is bottle fed, as formula is thicker than breastmilk (hence why babies sleep through the night sooner with formula than breastmilk). This is, of course, absolutely not true. Breastmilk still contains some lactic acid, which can erode teeth enamel if not cleaned from the baby’s teeth.

The Canadian Dental Association even offered the following statement this past summer:

The Canadian Dental Association supports breastfeeding as it provides nutritional benefits to the infant and is recognized as an effective preventive health measure.

In the absence of daily oral hygiene care, breastfeeding is one of the many risk factors that may contribute to the development of dental caries. Therefore, it is vital that mouth cleaning or tooth brushing be part of the daily routine for all infants, including those who are breastfed.

CDA Board of Directors – Approved June 2013

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