Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a sugar substitute. Unlike other sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health. It has been shown to reduce tooth decay to a third in regular use.
How does Xylitol Work for Better Dental Hygiene?
There have been numerous research studies that have shown the benefits of chewing gum sweetened with Xylitol after meals and snacks. Xylitol makes an excellent sweetener, as it has many of the same properties as regular table sugar (sucrose). However, unlike table sugar, xylitol reduces tooth cavities.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It contains far fewer calories than table sugar and has less of an effect on the bodies overall blood sugar levels. Xylitol has a low glycemic index of 7, compared to sugar’s level of 83. It also does not break down like sugar and can help maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol has the ability to inhibit the creation of acid in the mouth. By lowering the acid content in the mouth, this in turn lowers the risk of tooth decay.
Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. When you eat food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose), it gives bacteria on your teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This acid attack causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.
Products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria. They simply cannot stick to teeth in a xylitol rich environment. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With Xylitol, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. The bacteria in the mouth that are causing cavities are unable to digest xylitol, their growth is greatly reduced. The number of acid producing bacteria may decrease by as much as 90%. No acid is formed because the pH of saliva and plaque does not fall. After taking xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases. Many people are not aware of this ancillary benefit because such a claim makes xylitol into a drug. This crosses a legal boundary not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
It has been recommended that you chew a piece of xylitol gum after every meal or snack to gain maximum benefit to your teeth. Xylitol is recommended by dentists and physicians worldwide as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health, upper respiratory health, and sugar consumption, in general.
Can Xylitol Repair Damage to Enamel Too?
Research has also shown that the use of xylitol helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early tooth cavities. If sugar is only taken a couple of times a day, the saliva can do the job alone. But most people take sugar so often that the mouth’s own defensive tools are not enough.
Saliva that has xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids and ammonia in saliva and plaque may rise, and plaque pH rises as well. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.
Xylitol can help maintain a healthy oral environment, but does not replace dental hygiene!
Xylitol can be an excellent adjunct to normal brushing and flossing coupled with regular dental visits and professional cleanings. The best part is it is quite easy to incorporate xylitol into your daily routine.
A Smile is the universal language we all share. Having a smile you are happy with allows you to exude self confidence and self esteem. This makes you feel more attractive to others and appear more successful. According to recent surveys, about 1/3rd of all Americans are unhappy with their smile. Luckily, for most of us this situation is easily correctable with some simple and some more involved cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Easy Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes For That Perfect Smile
For many of us, the imperfections that bother us can be quite small and easily correctable with cosmetic dentistry. These simple cosmetic dentistry procedures can include:
-Teeth Whitening. This is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure in the U.S. and the world. It can dramatically alter ones smile and also ones perception of themselves. Teeth whitening can be achieved in a variety of ways with varying results. One of the most popular ways to whiten is, the use of teeth whitening strips. These strips can give your smile a brighter look for very little cost but they do not work for everyone, and may not get your teeth as white as you’d hoped. The dentist can offer an at home teeth whitening kit or a one hour procedure in office. Professional whitening is very effective but comes at a higher financial cost. Professional whitening procedures can whiten your smile by as much as 4-6 shades in as little as an hour.
-Dental Bonding. While a bit more extensive than teeth whitening. Dental bonding can usually be completed in under an hour and give a dramatic effect if one or more teeth are affected by tooth decay or fractures. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to make the dental bonding appear natural and no one should be able to tell you have any dental bonding present. This has been a staple of cosmetic dentistry for many years.
-Tooth and Gum Recontouring. Many people are unhappy with one or two teeth which may be out of alignment. The dentist can recontour one or more teeth to give them the look of being more in line with one another. Uneven gums can also make teeth appear to be longer or shorter. You would be amazed at how simple it is to reshape and contour teeth and gums to give a beautiful appearance. Recontouring is often overlooked by patients and by many general dentists. A good cosmetic dentist will look at the teeth and face as one big picture allowing them to make adjustments in the big scope of things.
-Snap-On Smile. This is a fairly recent advancement in cosmetic dentistry. It allows for a prosthetic to be fabricated that fits over the existing teeth. This procedure requires little to no tooth preparation and can be a cost effective option. This procedure is far less expensive than permanent changes to teeth, and can be completed in just a short time. Snap on Smile patients are happy to leave with the smile they wanted at reduced cost and chair time.
More Complex Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes For An Imperfect Smile
-Porcelain Veneers. When you see an “A” list celebrity in magazines or in movies, chances are they have had porcelain veneers placed on their front teeth.Porcelain veneers are wafer thin custom fabricated shells made of modern dental porcelain that are adhered to the outer surface of your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are also referred to as “instant orthodontics”. This is because the cosmetic dentist is able to change the shape, width, length, and alignment of your teeth. In extreme cases of misalignment, your cosmetic dentist may recommend a porcelain crown or orthodontics prior to doing porcelain veneers. When completed properly, no one but you and your dentist should know that you have porcelain veneers.
-Orthodontics. This is not just for kids any more. Adults are often turning to orthodontics to get the smile they dream of. Having straight teeth helps in chewing function, decreases wear and fracture, and has the benefit of being cosmetic. Straight teeth are beneficial for optimum hygiene, it allows you to be able to clean your teeth more effectively since you will not trap as much food particles when they are properly spaced.
-Dental Implants. Many do not consider dental implants to be a part of cosmetic dentistry but they play a very big role in modern dentistry. Replacing a lost tooth will not only improve function but will also return your smile to its original form. A lost tooth, to many, is a sign of old age, poor hygiene, and low dental priority. Having a full complement of teeth can give someone a youthful, healthy looking appearance.
-Periodontal Plastic Surgery. Many of us have a smile that shows too much gums or might have some areas with receding gums. This can be corrected with surgical addition of or removal of gingival tissues to the areas of concern.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
It is so important to feel good about smiling. There are so many options to help with most of your dental concerns. Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way over the last 10-15 years, making the procedures more affordable to many. Choosing a good cosmetic dentist along with the use of high quality modern dental materials you can assure yourself of getting the smile you have always dreamed of. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to advise you of what cosmetic dentistry procedures would be best for you to fulfill your wants and desires. You can achieve your perfect smile, and confidently show it off to the world!
Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.
How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?
As our teeth wear over time, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and darker teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of appear to age prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding and oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person’s bite. So, when a person’s teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Pain and discomfort are often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.
Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues. The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed. This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, . Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.
Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:
-Porcelain Crowns. These crowns will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are seeking but also give the strength and stability to open one’s bite . One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When placed properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.
-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.
-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.
-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.
-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.
-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.
-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.
Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.
Teeth whitening is a simple procedure which can give dramatic effects to almost any smile. Teeth whitening can create a beautiful, white smile in a very short period of time. That white smile will not only improve your appearance but can also help improve our outlook on our lives. Following teeth whitening, patients can help maintain that new whiter smile by avoiding certain foods that can dull that smile.
Teeth whitening is the most often requested cosmetic dentistry procedure. In fact over 100 million Americans have whitened their teeth. Each year Americans spend more than $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening products in pursuit of a brighter smile.
Tooth whitening has proven to be a safe, noninvasive, and economical way to dramatically change one’s appearance when compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers, dental bonding or dental crowns. Below are a list of some foods to avoid to maintain a bright, white smile after teeth whitening.
Foods To Avoid Following Teeth Whitening
-Staining Foods (Foods With Color). Following a teeth whitening session, several foods and ingredients are particularly likely to stain your new smile. Foods to watch out for include dark chocolate (white chocolate is fine), dark soups, stews, beets, tomato sauces, dark marinades, soy sauce, strawberries, and blueberries. Certain ethnic foods like Spanish and Indian cuisine may also be bad for your new smile. This is because those cuisines tend to incorporate lots of tomato sauces and curry.
-Dark Beverages. The preferred drinks to maintain a white smile are the clearer ones like water and milk. Various colored drinks can leave staining on your newly whitened smile. The drinks to avoid include coffee, tea and red wine, as well as dark soft drinks and sports drinks (Gatorade). Colored juices can also stain our teeth, like grape juice, tomato juice, green juices (like Kale) and cranberry juice. A helpful tip when drinking darker beverages is to use a straw so the liquids have less contact with our teeth thus reducing the staining opportunity.
-Acidic Foods. The teeth whitening procedure has one definite side effect for some patients. It may leave your teeth temporarily sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. This can cause you pain and discomfort while eating. So if you are feeling sensitivity try to avoid acidic foods and drink. These can include citrus drinks and soft drinks. Luckily, the sensitivity is usually very short lived (for most between 48 and 72 hours) and you can go back to enjoying your favorite foods very quickly.
-Cold Drinks And Food. Similar to being sensitive to acidic food and drink, our teeth can also be sensitive to extreme cold temperatures for a short period following teeth whitening. If you are experiencing sensitivity you should avoid cold drinks (like ice water), ice cream, and other frozen desserts. Try to eat items at room temperature until sensitivity subsides to avoid discomfort.
As mentioned earlier, teeth whitening is a safe and very effective procedure to give you a brighter, whiter smile. There are some minor drawbacks but for almost all patients they are very short lived. If you are looking to liven up your smile, teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure you should consider. Talk to your dentist to see if teeth whitening the right dental procedure for your smile.