Talking Teeth With Dr. Reynolds
In This Issue:
- Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart
- Will Pacifier Use Cause Tooth Damage for my Child?
- Energy Drinks and Your Teeth
- Receding Gums and What You Can Do
Poor Oral Hygiene Linked to Heart Disease Poor oral health has been once again linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). A recent study found that adults with periodontitis and poor oral hygiene habits may be at an increased risk for heart troubles.Here are some things you can do to decrease your risk for periodontitis:
- Brush your teeth twice a day or, better yet, after every meal or snack.
- Use a soft toothbrush and replace it at least every three to four months.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
- Floss daily.
- Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth, if recommended by your dentist.
- Supplement brushing and flossing with an interdental cleaner, such as a dental pick, interdental brush or dental stick specially designed to clean between your teeth.
- Get regular professional dental cleanings, on a schedule recommended by your dentist.
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
ADA Information on Thumb Sucking and
Pacifier Use Highlighted
In a broader piece discussing why babies often place their hands in their mouths, Romper (6/27, Westbrooks) states that “sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world," according to the American Dental Association. The article adds that most children stop the habit “between 2 and 4 years old or before permanent teeth come in, in which case it shouldn’t cause a dental problem.” If a child does not stop on his or her own, parents should discourage the habit after age 4 years.
The ADA catalog offers the brochure Thumb Sucking, Finger Sucking, and Pacifier Use.
Are My Gums Receding? And Why?
Gum recession is often considered a normal part of aging. However, there is nothing normal about gum recession. Luckily, for most of us it can be prevented. Rather than keep things as they are, embracing gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, be vigilant against gum erosion!
Though there are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gumline, a vast majority are preventable.
The Biggest Offenders:
All the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. If you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you're sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You're not slicing cheese - go easy, there, friend!If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you're trying to look like a movie star by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now. Your teeth have got to be super-white already!
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Over-vigorous, or improper brushing
- Aggressive flossing
- Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
- Tobacco use
- The frequent use of whitening products
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