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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:
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.
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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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!
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: