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oral care and health while pregnant

Oral Care for Pregnant Women

Six Dental Care Tips for Pregnant Women

Oral health care during your pregnancy is vitally important because many women have changes that occur in the mouth during this time. While a woman is pregnant, her hormone levels can change, leading to problems with excess saliva or a dry mouth. Both of these issues can affect the tender gums of the mouth or the teeth that are located in the gums. In addition, some women have extreme nausea that changes the acids in the mouth, and other women will vomit frequently during pregnancy, causing damage to the dental enamel on the teeth.

Schedule a Dental Checkup while Planning a Pregnancy

If a woman is planning a pregnancy, then it is a good idea to visit your local Brooklyn dentist for a checkup beforehand. A dentist will examine a woman’s mouth along with collecting X-rays to find any problems that require a repair. It is better to have the dental cavities fixed and the teeth cleaned professionally before becoming pregnant. When a woman has a major oral health issue that includes having gingivitis or an infected tooth, a dentist can treat these conditions with surgery or medications without worrying about the pregnancy. Here are some of the best oral health tips recommended for pregnant women.

Key Points from the American Dental Association:

Preventive, diagnostic and restorative dental treatment is safe throughout pregnancy.

Local anesthetics with epinephrine (e.g., bupivacaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine) may be used during pregnancy.

Special considerations should be given to pregnant dental personnel whose job duties can involve direct exposure to nitrous oxide and radiation.

Tip 1: Using Toothpaste That Contains Fluoride

There are no safety concerns about the use of fluoridated toothpaste during pregnancy, and this substance can increase the strength of the enamel on your teeth to prevent decay. You should brush at least twice a day to remove food debris, but it is okay to brush more often than this.

Tip 2: Flossing At Least Once a Day

If a pregnant woman want to have fresh breath and healthy gums, then using floss at least once a day is essential. Drugstores have dental floss that is in small containers, but it is also possible to find flossing picks that are easy to take with you to work or to restaurants. Flossing can also prevent cavities and gum disease so that a woman won’t need to visit a dentist during her pregnancy.

Tip 3: Drinking a Lot of Water Each Day

A woman who is pregnant will need a lot of water to remain hydrated. In addition to needing additional water for proper blood circulation, some women become dehydrated from the vomiting that occurs from morning sickness. By drinking water throughout the day, you can avoid having a dry mouth that makes it easier for bacteria to thrive.

Tip 4: Using an Oral Irrigator

By using an oral irrigator, you can remove additional food debris and plaque from your mouth. An oral irrigator blasts a strong stream of water to eliminate the bacteria from your gums and your teeth.

Tip 5: Consuming a Nutritious Diet Each Day

During pregnancy, women should consume a nutritious diet that includes foods that will keep the soft oral tissues and teeth healthy. These foods include low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Some pregnant women prefer eating more than three meals a day to avoid having indigestion. These smaller meals are necessary to protect a woman’s oral health while also ensuring that an infant is receiving enough nutrients.

Tip 6: Professional Dental Health Care

Despite the best planning, it is possible that you will need to visit a dentist while you are pregnant. First, make sure to inform the dental office about your pregnancy so that they are prepared to offer the proper care. Today, there are fewer safety concerns about using dental treatments or special medications throughout a pregnancy.

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tips for healthy white smile

9 Tips for a Bright, Healthy Smile

Everyone wants to have a bright, healthy smile. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you have one. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you have an award-winning mouth of pearly whites.

Avoid Things That Damage Enamel

Certain drinks and foods have the ability of stripping away enamel over the course of time. You should avoid these on a regular basis. Such drinks and food items include sugary snacks, sweetened drinks and soda. When you consume such things, bacteria in your mouth consume their residue and excrete acids that eat into your enamel.

Avoid Things That Stain Teeth

Certain foods and drinks are known for staining teeth as a result of being heavily pigmented. These include coffee, tea and wine. If you want every tooth to remain as white as possible, make sure to avoid these things. If you already have teeth that have been stained, you can use fluoride toothpaste that makes teeth white or seek out cosmetic whitening treatments from a dentist.

See Your Dentist

Make sure to regularly see your dentist so that you can find out whether there are any problems that you have to tend to. Going for periodic dental checkups will ensure that your smile remains bright and healthy. If you have any obvious imperfections with your smile that require cosmetic procedures, going to the dentist will allow you to perfect your smile. If you have any cavities, your dentist will be able to treat them before they blow up into more complicated conditions.

Avoid Tobacco Products

You should avoid tobacco products because they stain teeth, promote gum disease and sometimes lead to oral cancers. Your smile will not look too bright or healthy with discolored teeth and inflamed, diseased gums.

Eat Right

A good tip for keeping a healthy smile is to eat right. Make sure to eat foods from all food groups and obtain the proper nutrients. Everything in your mouth needs proper nutrition to be healthy. Every tooth is made of bones, and bones require proper nutrition to stay strong.

Drink Water

Drinking water is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health. Without a doubt, it is something that you should be doing for your oral health. Water washes away the bacteria and acids that destroy enamel.

Avoid Snacking

Another good tip avoid snacking because of the fact that less saliva is produced while snacking on smaller things than while eating larger meals. This means that bacteria and acids are washed away less while there is more debris on teeth. If you do snack, make sure that you are snacking on healthy items that do not have high sugar contents, such as vegetables. You do not want to have debris from sugary foods staying on your teeth while there is relatively little saliva in your mouth.

Brush And Floss

It is of the utmost importance that you brush and floss your teeth so that every tooth is clean, white and beautiful. You should also floss your teeth because not flossing affects the appearance of your smile. If you don’t floss, your gums will most likely become infected and inflamed, and it will show. Flossing helps to get food debris from out of your gums. Flossing will keep dental issues from happening and is just as important as brushing.

According to The American Dental Association:

Cleaning between your teeth may help prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.

Be Careful When You Chew

When you bite and chew things, do it slowly and carefully so that you do not bite or chew on anything hard. If you bite or chew on something hard, you can chip a tooth. This is especially true when you eat fruit with hard seeds, with forks and spoons and food items with bones in them. Chipping a tooth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile.

In conclusion, these are the things that you can do to have a beautiful mouth. You should be careful when you chew, brush and floss, drink water, avoid snacking, eat right, drink water, see your dentist, avoid tobacco products, avoid teeth-staining drinks and foods and avoid products that damage the enamel.

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tips for healthy white smile

10 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth

1. Go on a white-teeth diet.

If you’re quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, gravies, and dark juices. Bottom line: If it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentist’s office. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple.

2. Chuck your toothbrush…

…or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. According to Beverly Hills dentist Harold Katz, D.D.S., the best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.

 3. Clean your tongue.

Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish. Plus, using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush, says Dr. Katz.

 4. Eat ‘detergent’ foods.

Foods that are firm or crisp help clean teeth as they’re eaten. We already mentioned apples (otherwise known as nature’s toothbrush); other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. For best results, make ‘detergent’ foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.

 5. Gargle with apple cider vinegar.

Do this in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps help remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

 6. Brush your teeth with baking soda once a week

This will remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative toothpaste. Just be sure to spit it out so it doesn’t count as sodium intake! Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.

 7. Stay fresh.

To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it is alcohol-free. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.

  8. Practice flossing with your eyes shut.

If you can floss without having to guide your work with a mirror, you can floss in your car, at your desk, while in bed, and before important meetings. In which case, buy several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, your briefcase, your nightstand.

9. Brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and before you get back in at night.

 They’re the two most crucial times, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart. That’s because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.

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baby cavities from mom kisses

Mom’s Kiss Can Spread Cavities to Baby

Numerous studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.

When Rachel Sarah took her daughter in for her first dental checkup a few years ago, she got a surprise. Not only did her 24-month-old have two cavities in her baby teeth, the pediatric dentist suggested she might have “caught” them from her mom.

“The dentist handed me this piece of paper that talked about saliva transfer,” said Sarah, a 37-year-old writer from San Francisco. “It said not to share cups or utensils or food and said, ‘No kissing your kid on the lips.’ I was shocked; I’d been taking a bite of food and then giving her a bite since she started eating. I told the dentist I’d never heard of this and he said these were new findings.”

As it turns out, studies about the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mom to baby have been published for 30 years. The primary culprit is Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.

According to a 2008 study in Pediatric Dentistry, “strong evidence demonstrated that mothers are a primary source of MS [mutans streptococci] colonization of their children; a few investigations showed other potential sources … notably fathers.”

“There have been many, many studies,” said Dr. Jane Soxman, a pediatric dentist from Allison Park, Pa. “It’s well-documented. You can’t blame it all on kissing a child on the lips — that’s one of several different factors that would have to be working together. But the main thing to know is that tooth decay is a bacterial infection and you can spread it from one person to another during the window of infectivity, which is during infancy and especially during the time of tooth eruption. That’s when the teeth are most vulnerable. It’s as if you had a bad cold and were kissing your child, you would spread the cold virus.”

Only parents (or caregivers) with active tooth decay can spread the Streptococcus mutans bacteria through the transfer of saliva. And Soxman stressed that the transmission of bacteria-laden saliva is just one piece of the puzzle. Tooth decay is caused by a combination of factors, including the transfer of infectious saliva, genetics, oral hygiene, and feeding practices, such as letting your baby constantly suck on a sippy cup full of juice or milk or other sugar-laden liquid. (Bacteria uses the sugar to produce acid, which breaks down enamel.) Baby teeth are particularly vulnerable to decay.

“When teeth first come into the mouth, when they first erupt, the enamel is very soft,” said Soxman. “They’re brand new virgin surfaces and are very susceptible.”

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