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We are always looking for ways to prevent tooth decay. Most of us are aware of the traditional methods, such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Fortunately, there are dental sealants, a dental procedure which produces significant protection from tooth decay. Dental sealants are a great way to ward off tooth decay in the grooves of our teeth. Many of us have an inherent weakness in the structural formation in the grooves of our teeth. Weakness in the grooves on the top surface of our teeth allows food and bacteria to stick and stay. This creates a highly concentrated environment of cavity causing bacteria which are very difficult to thoroughly remove.  Dental sealants can help young children, teens, and adults prevent cavities.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Our teeth are formed with grooves and pits in them that can trap foods. When  food particles become trapped, there is a marked increase in probability of tooth decay. The longer the food debris stays, the more likely it is that tooth decay will begin. With proper dental hygiene, we are able to remove most of the food debris and dental plaque before it does any damage. For many with deeper grooves in their teeth, toothbrushes are unable to adequately get inside of the grooves leaving bacteria and food behind. Sealants are placed to help those with deeper, uncleansable, grooves.

Dental sealants are generally recommended to all children as their permanent premolars and molars erupt into the mouth. The dental sealant is a thin resin that is painted onto the biting surface of teeth. The thin resin then bonds down into the base of the grooves in the tooth’s surface. This resin will fill in those narrow grooves decreasing the chances of tooth decay developing in those teeth. The smooth surface makes it easier for you to maintain good dental hygiene. Even though the chance of tooth decay on the biting surfaces has decreased, tooth decay is still possible. The other surfaces of the teeth are still unprotected and the dental sealant does not last forever. They generally last about 5-8 years before needing to be reapplied.

Dental Sealants Conclusion

Dental sealants are a great preventive method for all ages. The most common cavities are those found in the grooves of our teeth. Dental sealants will definitely decrease the chances of developing tooth decay on the biting surfaces of your premolars and molars. Dental sealants provide you an opportunity to gain an extra edge in the fight against tooth decay. Dental sealants are placed in a painless manner, are relatively inexpensive, and long lasting. Ask your dentist if any of your teeth should be sealed and protected, because not all teeth need sealants. Remember to maintain regular visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Holiday season is a time of great joy bringing families and loved ones together from all points around the globe. It is also a time of over indulging on holiday sweets and Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDStreats. The consumption of these cookies and candies have the potential to create some real damage to your dental health. So what about stuffing your loved one’s stockings with gifts that can help them through this time. These can include electric tooth brushes, travel toothbrush kits, flossers, and sugar free gum.

Eating foods that are high in sugar, without proper oral care, can result in tooth decay and cavities. What better way to counteract the extra sugars and starches we often eat during the holidays than, to give your friends and family great gifts to care for their teeth.

If not removed by brushing or other means, sugars in the mouth can contribute to tooth decay. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth, form a colorless, sticky film called plaque. Cavity-causing organisms within plaque feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay.

Dental Health Stocking Stuffers

-Electric Toothbrush. This could be a great gift for loved ones . An electric toothbrush works far better to remove plaque than a manual brush. Most of us enjoy brushing more with a rotary brush, and brush longer! Electric brushes are great for anyone, but especially for youngsters and elderly. Dexterity,  ability to see, and, boredom make manual brushing difficult to do properly.Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you making it easier to maintain dental hygiene.

-Sugar Free Gum. Chewing gum is a great way to keep your teeth clean especially since it increases saliva in the mouth to counteract the food debris, plaque, and wash away the acids produced by bacteria. Try filling a jar with different flavors of gum and adding a pretty bow!

-Waterpik. Water flossing is faster, easier and almost as effective to traditional flossing. A great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy into the new year.

-Travel kits. Many of us travel for the holidays or work. A nice colorful zipper bag with new oral hygiene items, and perhaps a little note inside reminding them you’ll miss them while they are away.

-Flossers. There are many different types of flossers available, most of us don’t have more than one. Your gift would be great to keep in the office or car.

-Whitening strips, gel, pen. Most of us dream of having a whiter smile, but tend not to spend the extra money to whiten. They will think of you everytime they flash their bright smile.

-Gift Certificate for Dental Services. This has been available for quite some time but generally reserved for teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services. Why not use it for preventive treatment as well. Have a special someone who has not been to the dentist in awhile? This could be the perfect gift to get them back on track of their dental health.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

While Dental gifts may not be as popular as video games or ipods they do show you care! It is  important to get on track to good dental health, and overall health. Your loved ones know how special you are, and always want the best for you. What shows that better, than thoughtful gifts that keep them healthy? Enjoy the holidays, and spread joy with your smile!

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.

Xylitol Gum Marielaina Perrone DDS

Xylitol Gum

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 Conclusion

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.