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When it comes to snacking, we do not always make the right choices. In moments of weakness and hunger we often opt for a sugary snack.  It may give us a bit of energy to

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Make Good Snacking Choices For Your Dental Health!

get through our day, or just be a comfort during stress. Sugary snacks may taste great, but they are poor choices for our teeth and our bodies. Not only will the sugar cause tooth decay, but it will effect us negatively in other ways as well. Sugar causes you to “carb crash”, making you feel tired after the sugar high wears off, makes your body need to over produce insulin, dries your mouth out, and can allow us to gain significant amounts of weight if we are not careful. Smart choices are the key.

What Happens In Our Mouth When We Eat Sugar?

Our mouth is full of various bacteria. When sugary and starchy foods are introduced into the mouth the bacteria feed on the remains. The byproduct of this “feeding” is the production of acid. This acid over time will break down the enamel of our teeth leading to tooth decay. If you simply choose to eat healthy foods, then your chances of exposure to these acids is reduced.

The key is to make smart choices when snacking. There are many types of snacks out there and not all are bad for us. Certain sweets are worse than others. These include the gooey and chewy sugary snacks, and the sour gummy type candies. The reason these snacks are so much worse is that they stick to the surface of the teeth lasting in the mouth and on the enamel far longer than other types of sugary snacks, the sour gummies also contain high acid along with the sticky sugars..

The time of day is also important. Snacking late at night, or just before bedtime will allow the sugar to remain in your mouth overnight.As your mouth dries out, saliva production and bacteria clearance decrease dramatically. A dry mouth with sugar residue will put you at an increased risk for tooth decay.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing following snacking will go along way towards helping reduce our risk for tooth decay.

Best Snacks For Dental Health

-Fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The fruits can include oranges, melons, and pears. While the vegetables can include broccoli, celery, cucumbers, and carrots.

-Whole Grains. This can include whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel bagels, baked tortilla chips, wheat crackers with cheese, and even some unsweetened cereals.

-Milk and dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

-Meat, nuts and seeds. This can include turkey, deli meats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and various unsweetened nuts.

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDSSnacking Tips For Good Dental Health

Let’s be honest with ourselves, snacking is a part of who we are. Snacking in moderation along with good dental hygiene will keep our teeth healthy as well as keep our weight down so we can be healthier overall. A few key tips:

-Snack Wisely. Make the right choice more often than not. Get in the habit of choosing good snacks that are beneficial to our teeth and bodies. Avoiding sugar when possible. Drink lots of water during and after snacking.

-Time Your Snacking. Avoid sweets between meals. If you do choose to snack between meals get in the habit of brushing and flossing following the snack to keep the acids at bay.

-Variety. Mix up your snacking to ensure we get a good baalnce of nutrition into our bodies.

-Maintain Dental Hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. If you cannot brush and floss right away, vigorously rinse your mouth with water a few times to try to wash away some of the sugar from our mouths as well as counteract the acids.

Conclusion

The bottom line is to choose your snacks wisely. Your health as well as your children’s depends upon it. Many snacks are better for children simply because they have the ability to promote growth and development. Be aware that many “healthy” foods if overindulged in, without maintaining good dental hygiene, can still cause tooth decay. Adults and children need to get in the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing following snacking and having a meal. Your teeth and body will thank you for it in the long run.

Toothbrush – A brush with a long handle used for cleaning teeth.

There are so many different kinds of toothbrushes on the market today. These range from colorful toothbrushes, musical toothbrushes, light up toothbrushes, to just plain

Toothbrush Debate - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Electric Toothbrush Vs Manual Toothbrush

old fashioned ones. For the most part the colors and lights on toothbrushes add nothing to the actual brushing. But there is an alternative to the old fashioned manual toothbrush. That is the electric toothbrush which adds quite a bit to the functionality of the brush.

Toothbrushes with nylon bristles first came to market during the 1930′s. Now there are literally hundreds of different kinds of oral hygiene products lining the shelves of your local store, making the right choices ever more confusing.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

There are some general guidelines most people follow when choosing a toothbrush that is right for them. These include:

-Size of Bristle Head and handle. We are all not the same size and that goes for the sizes of our mouths as well. The perfect size toothbrush will allow patients to have good access to their entire mouth. If the bristle head of the toothbrush is too large you will have a hard time reaching towards the back especially in the upper and lower molar region,where space becomes tight. Toothbrushes generally come in a large size and a regular adult size. If an adult needs a smaller size than the regular adult they can get the largest children’s size toothbrush. Length of the handle is also a factor. The toothbrush must have a long enough handle to allow access to the back of the mouth. Some handles are made wider for a more comfortable grip. Whatever toothbrush you choose make sure it allows you to do the best job of cleaning your teeth correctly.

-Type of Toothbrush Bristle. The bristles come in three types of hardness: soft, medium, and hard nylon bristles. Most dentists recommend the soft bristled toothbrush for safety. A brush that is too hard can actually damage your teeth and gums if you are too aggressive a brusher. Another tip is to select bristles that have rounded edges for even more protection of the soft tissues in the mouth.

Introduction of the Electric Toothbrush

The electric toothbrush was a great innovation. It was important especially for those with limited dexterity who were unable to properly maintain their oral hygiene the right way. It was also thought to be more fun for adults and children. A novel approach generally results in brushing for longer and more often. Later, electric toothbrushes began to help with other brushing issues, such as being less abrasive, using wave motions to massage and clean more thoroughly, and refining shape for comfort and ease of use.

Advantages of an Electric Toothbrush

The electric toothbrush has a few advantages over the manual toothbrush. These include:

-Larger handles. Most electric toothbrushes have larger handles which are easier to handle and hold while tooth brushing. These toothbrushes have been designed in more modern times and tend to reflect that in their designs.

-Built in Timers. Most electric toothbrushes have some sort of built in timer. The recommended time for

each brushing session is about 2 minutes. This gives you enough time to adequately clean all the teeth in your mouth and not just the ones you can see.

-Preference. Many patients enjoy the feeling of the electric toothbrush. This is  a positive, because when brushing feels good, you will do it more often and probably do a better

job at it.

-Change the way you brush. For an aggressive brusher, the habit of hard scrubbing can be erased by using the brush to do all of the work while the patient just holds it in position. For those with limited dexterity, children included, the brush will help get to areas they may have missed with a manual toothbrush. For those with braces, the electric toothbrush can be more effective to keep all that hardware clean in less time than a manual toothbrush.

Disadvantages of an Electric Toothbrush

-Cost. Electric toothbrushes tend to cost far more than their manual counterparts. A manual toothbrush can cost as little as 1-2 dollars whereas a good electric toothbrush can cost upwards of 150 dollars. In addition to the initial cost, you must buy new bristle heads every few months, as they wear down. This is an added cost. Many electric toothbrushes will only last for a year or two and need to be replaced, while others like the ROTADENT have a lifetime warranty.

-Recharging Batteries. A power supply is needed to keep batteries charged. And then over time a new battery is needed which is another added cost. Most cannot simply have the battery changed and require the purchase of a new unit.

-Effectiveness. Some studies have shown that a manual toothbrush is more effective than an electric tooth brush in removing all the plaque in your mouth. There are numerous studies attesting to this fact, however many patients do very well with a manual toothbrush. It all depends on the patient and their abilities.

Best Electric Toothbrushes (listed in no particular order)

1) Rotadent Electric Toothbrush.

2) Oral-B Professional Care Electric Toothbrush.

3) Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush.

Choosing an Electric Toothbrush

Choosing an electric toothbrush comes down to preference and effectiveness in your hands. When making your choice, remember to find out:

1) Where can you find replacement brush heads and how much will they cost?

2) What does the warranty cover, and for how long?

3) Is the brush size adequate for your mouth?

4) Does it need to be plugged in or is it battery operated?

5) How does the handle size feel in your hand?

6) Does the level of vibration irritate your hand?

Patients need to make the choice of what tool (the electric toothbrush or manual toothbrush) that will be most effective for them to maintain their oral hygiene. They are both used to achieve the same goal but one might work better for you. As always do not forget to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and cleanings to maintain a healthy smile.