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Giving Up Meat Without Harming Your Teeth

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In an effort to be healthier or more environmentally conscious, more people have been adopting either a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle nowadays. Such diets can be very beneficial to your body, if they are done right. However, many fail to account for how their new meatless diet might affect their oral health.

One of the benefits of meat that you don’t hear people talk about too much is that it scrubs your teeth as you chew. Both low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, meat is good at removing plaque, sugar, and food. A lot of fruits and vegetables have a similar effect, but they also contain more sugar for your oral bacteria to feed off of.

If you’re looking to assume a meatless diet, you will want to seek out foods that better replicate the effect of eating meat. Good low-sugar, high-fiber foods include beans, legumes, and whole grains. Not only will these scrub your teeth, but they are also a fair source of meatless calcium to help you keep up healthy teeth.

What Makes Beaver Teeth So Powerful?

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The enamel on your teeth is a very complex structure, one that the rest of your tooth relies upon to protect it from harsh, decay-causing acids. Developing a better understanding of this structure is an important part of creating effective new dental technology. In pursuit of such an understanding, a team at Northwestern University took a look at the tooth of the common beaver.

It’s no secret that beaver teeth have to be in top form. Beavers need them to chew their way through the trees they make their homes out of, and they don’t have fluoride toothpaste to help keep them together. Fortunately, the beaver benefits from a superior tooth enamel that is harder and far more resilient to acid than our own. The team found that beaver tooth enamel is made up of nanowires of hydroxyapatite, with an amorphous, iron-rich mass filling out the space in between. This iron is responsible for the reddish color of beaver incisors, as well as some of their great strength.

While the chemicals found in beaver tooth enamel is different from our own, the structure is more or less the same. With this in mind, researchers may be able to find a way to put what they’ve learned to good in protecting our own teeth. Until such a time, you can always count on our Federal Way dentistry clinic to give you the dental care you need.

What are Lie Bumps?

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Occasionally, you might find tiny, white bumps forming on the top surface of your tongue. These bumps sometimes turn red, and can feel uncomfortable or tender to the touch. Long ago, some people believed that these were the result of telling lies, giving them the name “lie bumps”. Of course, this is an old wives’ tale. Today, we know the condition as transient lingual papillitis.

Nobody knows for sure why transient lingual papillitis happens. However, it is largely believed that they are caused by some form of trauma to the taste buds. You might experience them after scraping your tongue too hard or biting down on it. It is also possible that certain foods will react poorly with your buds after you ingest them.

The good news is that this is a fairly harmless condition. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but it will generally vanish after a few days. Further, it is impossible to spread it to your loved ones. However, if they persist for more than a few days, talk to your doctor.

Stress During Pregnancy Causes Tooth Decay in Children

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A recent study has indicated that the amount of stress that a pregnant mother experiences has a significant effect on the dental health of her baby.

This study, conducted by a research team from the University of Washington in Seattle, examined data taken from over seven hundred children and their mothers. They examined signs of stress exhibited by the mothers during their pregnancy, and the number of dental caries suffered by the children. The results of the study showed that children born after high-stress pregnancies were at a significantly higher risk of dental caries.

These findings are consistent with other studies, which have drawn a connection between childhood caries and low income households. This is the first time that a study has suggested that it may be the higher stress experienced by mothers in a low socioeconomic situation that is to blame.

If you are an expecting mother, do what you can to reduce your stress for the sake of your child. Later on, after he or she turns one, come in for a visit at our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

Secondhand Smoke Linked to Childhood Tooth Decay

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Many young children suffer from caries on their teeth at an early age, with roughly one in four children in the United States exhibiting some form of tooth decay between the age of two and five. This is unfortunate, as your child’s baby teeth play an important role in the long-term health of their teeth. Many parents try to spare their young ones this damage by limiting their sugar intake. Though this is a good start, secondhand smoke is another significant risk to look out for.

A scientific study looked at the rate of tooth decay in four-month-old children, comparing those who were raised among secondhand smoke with those who were exposed to little or no tobacco smoke. It was found that those coming from households that smoke had roughly twice the risk of developing caries as those from non-smoking families. It would appear that smoke from cigarettes reduces children’s ability to produce the saliva they need to clean their teeth, and invites the development of the oral bacteria that breaks down your enamel.

If you’re looking for other ways to encourage good oral health in your child, bring him or her to our Federal Way dentistry clinic.

Which Candies are Hardest on My Teeth?

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Now is the time that your kids are probably making their way through the rest of their Halloween candy. This can be tough on their teeth, with certain selections representing more of a risk than other. Candy like smarties and york patties, for example, are easy for your saliva to clear away after you eat them. Even near-pure sugar, like pixie sticks, are favorable over anything that exposes your mouth to sugar for an extended period of time.

Hard and sticky candies are the ones to most look out for. Caramels, starbursts, tootsie rolls, and dits get stuck in your teeth long after you’re done chewing. Hard candies designed to be sucked, like lollipops, jolly ranchers, and jawbreakers, have a similar problem. One of the worst choices for your teeth is the now and later, a particularly hard chewable that exposes you to a lot of sugar while you strain your bicuspids to break it down.

It is best to eat candy following a meal, when your saliva is already hard at work. Consider rinsing out with water afterward, but don’t brush for at least thirty minutes. Consult our Federal Way dentistry clinic to learn more.

The Trouble with Dental Grills

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Dental “grills” are removable oral fixtures popularized by hip-hop personalities. They fit over the front of your teeth, serving as an extravagant fashion statement. As these items are removable, many make the mistake of thinking that they are a harmless accessory for their mouths. However, such people are very much mistaken.

When you wear a grill, bacteria is gathering in the space between the fixture and your teeth. This encourages decay. Meanwhile, the hard metals and gemstones that are used in many grills serve to break down your gums, encouraging them to pull away from your teeth. Even the cheaper models that are not made from precious metals can cause problems, as nickel impurities in the alloys can cause allergic reactions for many people.

Should you experience any swelling, redness, or pain while you wear a grill, come to our Federal Way dentistry clinic. It’s also good to bring your grill with you to help us properly assess your problem. Try to also limit the amount of time you spend wearing your grill, as this will only make the problem worse.

Most Women Practice Better Oral Hygiene

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According to a recent study, women have a tendency to take better care of their teeth than men do. This study comes to us from the Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Eight hundred participants were asked a series of questions and subjected to an oral examination, which led to the following revelations:

  • Women are about 26% better about flossing every day
  • Women are about twice as likely to schedule regular dental checkups
  • 44% of women reported being aware that their overall bodily health can benefit from periodontal visits, compared to 33% of men
  • Women are about twice as likely to notice that someone is missing a tooth
  • 74% of women reported that they would be embarrassed by having a missing tooth, compared to about 57% of men

Regardless of who you are, it is important to remember to always seek out proper dental care. Therefore, be sure that you take the appropriate measures to keep your appointments with Bella Dental in Federal Way every six months, and promptly schedule any additional appointments you may require.

Smart Bomb Mouthwash May Eliminate Tooth Decay

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Though we all dream of a day when the biggest diseases that afflict our society may be cured forever, most of us are probably willing to accept that tooth decay is here to stay. After all, isn’t it a foregone conclusion that bacteria are going to thrive in the human mouth? The truth may pleasantly surprise you.

While the human mouth is home to over 100 trillion microbes, there is only one variety that is responsible for producing the acid that causes tooth decay. This is the s. mutans bacteria, which makes up only 0.1% of the cultures in your mouth. Many of the other microbes are potentially beneficial, but get killed by antimicrobial mouthwashes strictly because the s. mutans can’t be targeted by itself. Fortunately, a group in UCLA is working to solve this problem.

This group has developed something that they are calling a “smart bomb” mouthwash, which kills off s. mutans while leaving other bacteria intact. In tests, the wash has shown itself to be effective in fully eliminating s. mutans populations. Test subjects experienced no resurgence of the bacteria for the duration of the study.

Though the mouthwash shows potential in making tooth decay a thing of the past, it has not yet been approved for commercial use. Until such a time, see our Federal Way dentistry clinic for help preventing decay.

What are the Odds that I Have Oral Disease?

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Are you one of the many people who will postpone your regular dental visits over and over? Perhaps you feel perfectly healthy and, with a thousand other concerns in your life, going to see the dentist every six months just isn’t a big priority for you. After all, what are the odds that you actually have a pressing problem that you need to deal with?

The bad news is that the odds are much greater than you probably think. It has been estimated that fully 90% of people in America are afflicted with some form of disease or infection in your mouth. This may come in the form of a mild bit of tooth decay, some advanced gum disease, or even oral cancer. To make matters worse, a far smaller percentage of people have any idea that they have a problem at all.

Knowing this, you should never put off your regular cleanings with our Federal Way dentistry clinic any longer than you absolutely need to. Call Bella Dental today!

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