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Menopause – A Time to Pay Close Attention to Dental Health

Posted on June 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

Hot flashes and mood swings are among the most well-known symptoms of menopause. But lesser-known issues such as bone loss, gum disease and bleeding gums are also known to make an appearance, and because of this, women should pay particular attention to their dental health as estrogen levels begin to drop during menopause.
 
For women between the ages of 45 and 55, menopause may be just a few short months or years away. The average age for the onset of menopause is 51 and while there is no way to predict when women will enter it, most women follow the same pattern as their mother.
 
Whether women are already in menopause or are nearing the average age of onset, below is valuable information about dental health signs and symptoms related to menopause that women should look for.
 
Bone loss and Osteoporosis
 
A decline in estrogen levels often leads to a decline in bone density. This is a cause of concern for a woman’s dental health because this decrease in bone density may alter the structure of the jawbone – ultimately leading to a loss of teeth.
 
Fortunately, there are several ways for women to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Here are a few simple ways women can be proactive about bone loss:
 

  • Increase intake of calcium and vitamin D
  • Participate in weight-bearing exercise at least three times per week
  • Avoid smoking and large consumptions of alcohol

 
Inflamed and bleeding gums

 
In addition to bone loss, changes in hormones can also cause discomfort in gums and make gums more susceptible to bleeding. It is important for women to report signs of discomfort in their gums, as most gum disease is almost always reversible if caught early.

 
Early detection may not only help women reverse gum disease, but it may also help prevent other ailments such as heart disease that have been linked with gum disease from developing.

 
In addition to early detection at home, frequent visits to the dentist are another way for women to stay on top of their dental health.

 
Dental care recommendations during menopause

During menopause it is especially important to maintain daily dental health practices such as brushing, rinsing and flossing at least twice a day and, when possible, after meals. Because menopause-related hormone changes make women more vulnerable to several dental health issues, it is also important for women to stay current with dental checkups and cleanings.

 
In today’s economy, however, some women may find it difficult to squeeze the cost of preventive checkups and cleanings into their budgets. For these women, discount dental plans are a money-saving solution and an alternative to dental insurance.

Can What You Eat Really Make a Difference in Your Dental Health?

Posted on June 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

Common daily dental habits such as brushing, flossing and using mouthwash certainly contribute to a patient’s good hygiene. But not everyone realizes the connection between eating and dental health. It’s not enough to just brush and floss after eating. WHAT you eat has a huge impact on your overall dental health. Emphasizing certain foods in your diet-and excluding some others-will go a long way towards improving and maintaining good dental health.

Here are some dental health and eating tips to follow:

Minimizing or cutting out snacking in between meals is a great way to lose weight. It’s also among the more underrated daily dental habits. The less you eat between meals, the less your teeth are exposed to the types of acid that wear down enamel. As importantly, little or no snacking in between meals means there’s less opportunity for food to stick to your teeth or get stuck between the teeth and gums.

If you must snack between meals, items such as meats, cheeses and nuts are recommended as good eating and dental health choices since they actually help the enamel on teeth. Avoid at all costs the usual suspects-sugary items such as candy, cakes and cookies, items that are heavy in carbohydrates such as breads, crackers and French fries and dried fruits such as raisins and bananas. All these foods contain sugar that can generate harmful acid. As tasty as most of those foods are, avoid them in order to maintain good eating and dental health habits.

Eating and dental health is also a matter of watching what you drink in between meals. Water-particularly water that has fluoride in it-an unsweetened tea, which also contains fluoride, are the best drinks, both during and between meals. Try to avoid drinks with sugar, such as sodas and fruit juices. And if you do consume sugary drinks, make sure to drink them as fast as possible and don’t sip them over a long period of time. The longer you sip a sugary drink, the more your teeth are exposed to acids.

Looking for something to do in between meals that might take your mind off snacking? Chewing sugarless gum cuts down on the bacteria in a mouth by increasing the amount of saliva. And Xylitol, a sweetener in some sugarless gums, also reduces bacteria.

Follow a balanced diet. The five food groups are as reliable as always: Fruits, vegetables, meat, milk products and bread products. Sure, some of these foods that contribute to bacteria in the mouth and on teeth, but there is no avoiding them in a good diet. Moderation is key, and the damage can be greatly limited by brushing your teeth immediately after a meal.

Good daily dental habits must include paying particular attention to what, when and how you eat! Eating and dental health is a symbiotic relationship. Making sure you follow good eating habits will improve your dental health, minimize any potential tooth decay problems-and make your dentist very happy!

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Dental Health for Kids

Posted on June 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

Dental care is an essential, yet sometimes neglected, aspect of a kid?s overall health. Tooth decay affects in excess of one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2-5 and half of those aged 12-15. The key to effective brushing habits in kids is to start an oral health care program early itself. Good oral hygiene habits should be insisted as early as infancy and constant right through the life. This ensures that kids are not infected with cavities or gingivitis.

The American Dental Association advises parents to start cleaning their baby’s mouth the first few days after birth. Healthy teeth and gums in kids are important for proper chewing of food and clarity of speech. Parents should schedule regular oral health appointments starting around the child’s first birthday. A pediatric dentist may be more suited to your child’s needs during the early years. After each meal the baby’s gums should be wiped with a wet washcloth. This is helpful in removing plaque that accumulates on the gums. When the baby’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.

Parents should encourage the kids to spit out the toothpaste at a young age. The other alternative for young children is to use non-fluoridated toothpaste, until they are spitting the toothpaste out. Kids require supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. At the age of two or three, parents can begin to teach their kids proper brushing techniques. Parents will need to follow up with brushing and gentle flossing until the age of eight or nine, till the child develops the capability to do it all alone.

An early visit to the dentist can educate you about your child?s oral health and proper hygiene, including avoiding nighttime bottles, proper brushing, and a diet that promotes good dental health. Parents must emphasize the importance of good, healthy eating habits and teach children how to eat properly.

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