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Stop the Confusion with Over-the-Counter Oral Care Products

Stop the Confusion with Over-the-Counter Products

Dr. Matthew Norman and Michelle Phillips, RDH

There are several over-the-counter products that aid in excellent oral health.  The “Oral Care” aisle in your drug store can be very overwhelming with all the different brands and products available.  Hopefully these tips will help you better decide on everything from toothbrushes and toothpastes, to fluoride, chewing gum and rinses.

Choosing the best toothbrush is a simple decision, the toothbrush needs to fit your mouth!    You never want to get a toothbrush too large for your mouth.  If you have a smaller mouth, some adult brushes may be too large and a youth brush may be more comfortable.  Also, you want to make sure the bristles are extra-soft or soft.  Brushes with stiffer bristles can cause damage to your gums and cause them to recede over time.  When using a worn-out toothbrush (the toothbrush starts to look “frayed”), the inner bristles are the ones cleaning your teeth.  The inner bristles tend to be stiffer and can therefore cause damage to your gums.  Pay attention to the handle too…you want to make sure it’s going to be comfortable to hold.  Those with arthritis, or any other problem with grasping, may want to choose a toothbrush with a larger handle.

It is easy become overwhelmed with the variety of toothpastes available today.  When choosing a toothpaste, the most important consideration is whether or not it contains fluoride.  Most toothpastes contain fluoride to aid in cavity prevention.  Other oral health issues to consider when selecting a toothpaste include:

  •                  Gingivitis: If you have, or at a higher risk of developing gingivitis, Colgate Total is the only toothpaste on the market that is approved by the FDA to prevent gingivitis.  Colgate Total contains  the ingredient triclosan, which is an antibacterial and antifungal agent.
  • Stain:  If you are prone to collecting stain from coffee, tea or red wine, whitening toothpaste may be beneficial. These types of toothpaste tend to be a little more abrasive to help remove stains.  Crest and Colgate both have  several variations of whitening toothpastes.
  • Sensitivity:  For those with gum recession and/or tooth sensitivity, a toothpaste containing concentrated amounts of fluoride will be beneficial to help desensitize  the exposed root surfaces. Crest and Colgate both have sensitivity-countering toothpastes.  Sensodyne is highly-recommended  sensitivity toothpaste.

 

Fluoride provides three very important benefits to your teeth: remineralization of the teeth, resistance to tooth decay and it slows down the formation of acids that cause tooth decay.  Fluoride can actually remineralize or repair the enamel (the outermost layer of a tooth).  When you get a cavity that must be filled, the decay must pass through the enamel into the inner layer of a tooth (the dentin).  If a cavity has just started (as often seen on routine bitewing x-rays) and is still contained in the enamel, the area can remineralize.  Excellent oral hygiene and regular fluoride exposure is necessary for this process to occur, but this hard work can prevent a filling!  Fluoride can be found in most toothpastes and several over-the-counter rinses.  Most dental offices have prescription-strength fluoride toothpastes, like Prevident, that can be dispensed to those who are at a higher risk of developing cavities.

Most of the sugar-free chewing gum on the market contains xylitol, which has been proven to help prevent cavities.  A cavity is formed when sugars are introduced to an acidic environment—plaque on your teeth is acidic and when sugars are presented, it begins the demineralization process.  Xylitol is a natural sweetener that doesn’t break down like sugar, and helps keep a neutral pH in your mouth.  It also helps prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth.  Several mints also contain xylitol.

 

 

Dental rinses can be beneficial to achieving optimal oral health.  The main thing to look for when choosing a rinse is to find one without alcohol.  Alcohol dries out the tissue in your mouth and can sometimes cause pain.  Dry mouth also causes a person to be more susceptible to tooth decay.

  •  Everyday Rinses:  Scope and Crest Pro-Health are two great rinses that do not contain alcohol for someone looking for an everyday rinse to help freshen breath. Listerine also has an alcohol-free rinse available, Listerine Zero.
  • Dry Mouth Rinses:  If you take  medications that tend to make your mouth dry,  Biotene is a great daily rinse to use.  Biotene helps re-moisten and lubricate your mouth.
  • Fluoride Rinses:  For someone that has poor oral hygiene or  is prone to cavities, a fluoride rinse may be indicated.  Act Mouthrinse and Colgate’s Phos-Flur  are available in most drug stores and are great rinses to use on a daily basis. These rinses should be used right before bed, after brushing and flossing, and should not be rinsed out afterwards.

 

 

Don’t get intimidated or overwhelmed when standing down the “Oral Care” aisle now that you’re educated on the different products; just choose what works best for you!

This article is posted with the permission of Dr. Matthew Norman and Michelle Phillips, RDH, of Norman Dental Greensboro, NC. The original article is found on Norman Dental’s blog : http://normandental.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/stop-the-confusion-with-over-the-counter-products/

Norman Dental is located at 2511 Oakcrest Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27408 Telephone 336-282-2120 Website : http://www.norman-dental.com/

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Wednesday Wisdom

In-Home Aides, and Companions. Since 1999. Because Home Is Where The Heart Is

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Association for Home and Hospice Care of NC AHHCNC – Thank You for Being Our Best Friend and In-Home Care Advocate !

We Are A Trusted Source for Home Care in Greensboro, Going on 16 Years!

For Going on 16 years, Trusted Source for Home Care in Greensboro and Surrounding Area

For Going on 16 years, Trusted Source for Home Care in Greensboro and Surrounding Area

We could ‘bearly’ wait to share this gratitude with you. Thanks go to the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina - you are our Best Friend and At Home In Home Care Advocate in the Carolinas. And thank you for the Facebook reminder !

Life really can be a bear! Let us help you ‘bear’ with it! Like us on Facebook Let Us Help You Stop and Smell the Flowers Today and Everyday! Photo by danitadelimont www.danitadelimont.com

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Age is a State of Mind

 

Age is a State of Mind

Enjoy Life to the Fullest! - Tips for Living Longer, Healthier, Happier Lives at Home from Hearthside Home Care, Greensboro NC

John Graves Blog The Retirement Journal John H. Graves has written an interesting book , The 7% Solution, in which he reminds us that age is a state of mind. A friend reminded us recently that afterall, age doesn’t matter unless you’re cheese or wine! Our in-home care clients in Greensboro NC and Winston-Salem NC teach us this daily. In his book, The 7% Solution, Mr. Graves talks about the honor of work and he states that our attitude is our driver. We all can choose our attitude – this we know, and the leaders at TRP Enterprises TRP Enterprises, in Winston-Salem, NC, Sanford Danziger MD, and Thomas White JD, have  been our excellent teachers, in not only this, but in teaching us the power of practicing gratitude gratitude. So thank you Mr. Graves, and thank you Sanford and Thomas!

We too believe that age is a state of mind. Eat right, exercise, get your sleep, and enjoy life to the fullest! Your brain will thank you! 

 

 

 

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About the Importance of Sleep

Senior Care and Importance of Sleep

Sleep and Senior Care Walking Program Tip #7 from Hearthside Home Care

Here’s Senior Care Walking Program Tip #7 :

Getting enough sleep is important to one’s overall health. Make solid restful sleep a priority by getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Waking up feeling refreshed and well rested will help you stay on track with your walking program. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

In case you missed our previous Tip on

Diabetic Seniors and Walking, Tip #6, here it is again for you:

http://www.hearthsidehomecare.com/2011/04/diabetic-seniors-walking-care-tip-6/

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