So many toothpastes to choose from!!!!!

Gotta brush my teeth!!!

Gotta brush my teeth!!!

Today, there are many, many different types, brands and flavors of toothpaste to choose from but, have any of you thought about when and where toothpaste was first used?

Although tooth cleaning tools have been dated back to  3,500  3,000 BC when Egyptians and Babylonians made a ‘brush’ by fraying the end of a twig. It seems that it was actually toothpaste that came first!! Egyptians are believed to have used a paste to clean their teeth from around 5,000 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have used toothpaste and the Chinese and Indians first used toothpaste around 500 BC.

The original teeth cleaners were actually powder based and made from ingredients such as powdered ox hoof ash, burnt eggshells, crushed bones, oyster shells and pumice. The Romans added charcoal and bark for flavor and the Chinese flavored theirs with ginseng, salt and herbal mints.

Thankfully in the 1850’s, production of tooth cleaning potions took a turn for the better and toothpaste appeared. Colgate started mass production of toothpaste in jars in 1873 and by the 1890’s they introduced the forerunner to today’s familiar tube.

Original Colgate toothpaste

Original Colgate toothpaste

Over the years toothpaste formulations have developed to the smooth glossy pastes that we know today. Fluoride was first introduced as an ingredient in 1914 and ever since then formulations have been introduced that treat specific diseases such as gum disease and plaque or relieve conditions such as tooth sensitivity. More recently, there has been the introduction of teeth whitening pastes.

So, what kind of toothpaste can we find today?

  • Fluoride Toothpaste – This is the most important ingredient as it has been instrumental since it was introduced as an ingredient in reducing the amount of cavities. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from the acid released by the bacteria in your mouth as they devour the starches and sugars that remain in your after eating food and beverages. A point to note though is that if you live in an area where the water is fluoridated, you still need to use fluoride toothpaste. Studies have shown that toothpaste delivers a higher concentration directly to your teeth even  where the water supply has added fluoride.
  • Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth – Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures? Don’t worry, there are toothpastes on the market that are specially formulated to ease these irritations. They contain special compounds such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride which over time can offer relief by blocking the pathways in teeth that attach to nerves.
  • Anti-plaque or Tartar Control Toothpaste – These toothpastes inhibit the build up of plaque. This in turn reduces the toxic effects the plaque accumulation has on the surrounding tissues which reduces the chances of gum disease developing.
  • Whitening Toothpastes – Bleach is not a typical ingredient in whitening toothpastes. Rather, they contain abrasive particles and chemicals that polish your teeth. Studies have shown though, before you worry, that whitening toothpastes are no harsher on your teeth than ordinary toothpaste.

There are also special formulations of toothpaste available for children and some that help patients who suffer from dry mouths. While the word toothpaste pretty much covers everything we use today to clean our teeth……it comes in the form of paste and gel AND you can actually still find powders to clean your teeth!!! Today’s products can also incorporate breath freshening strips helping to keep your smile feeling fresh and giving you, as Colgate once said “The ring of confidence”

Brand names include; Colgate, Crest, Arm & Hammer, Oral B, Biotene, Sensodyne, Close-Up, Toms and Aim.

Toothpaste Brands

Toothpaste Brands

Flavors are many and varied from the more popular Fresh Mint, Spearmint and Wintergreen; you can find Cinnamon, Gingermint, Chocolate, Oreo, Pickle, Cupcake and Bacon. As well as the Strawberry, Watermelon and Cherry flavors that are aimed at children.

Novelty flavors

Novelty flavors

Just remember that when you use toothpaste, you ONLY need a small blob, the size of a pea…..NOT the huge crested wave size strip of paste you see in the commercials!!!Then brush for at least two minutes before you rinse well.

Brush twice daily for two minutes

Brush twice daily for two minutes

Now………here are eleven…..

Unexpected-Uses-for-Toothpaste-at-TidyMom

  1. Stops bug bites and insect sting from itching and decreases the swelling. Just dab a small spot over the area, especially overnight.
  2. Soothes burns if applied to affected area – NB!!! Only on burns that don’t involve and open wounds.
  3. Heals zits (spots) quicker, dab it on overnight, wash off in the morning.
  4. Get rid of stinky smells, especially garlic and onion when you’ve been chopping in the kitchen. Just scrub hands with toothpaste and smelly odours disappear.
  5. Removes stains on carpet and clothing. On clothes just apply toothpaste to the stain and rub until the stain is gone and wash item as usual. For carpets, apply toothpaste and scrub then rinse immediately. Use only tooth ‘paste’ NOT gel and do not use whitening toothpastes as the bleaching agent they contain may bleach your fabric too. Although the whitening pastes would be good for running shoes and sports shoes to brighten up white trim and soles.
  6. Removes crayon stains from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently, directly on the wall until crayon disappears.
  7. Cleans up silver jewelry and diamonds. Rub toothpaste on to jewelry and leave overnight, wiping clean with a cloth in the morning. For diamonds, use toothpaste on a brush and gently scrub dirt away.
  8. Deodorize baby bottles by using toothpaste with a bottle scrubber to clean away residue. Rinse well afterward.
  9. Defog goggles by wiping toothpastes on inside of a mask then rinsing and wiping the surface clean.
  10. Cleans and strengthens nails. Clean nails with toothpaste on your nail brush instead of soap!
  11. Remove soap scum from your glass shower door. Just quirt toothpaste onto your cleaning sponge. If the marks are stubborn apply the toothpaste directly to the door and let it sit for a while before wiping it off.

toothpaste-brush-smile-word-10957168

REMEMBER! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BRUSH ALL YOUR TEETH….

……….JUST THE ONES YOU WANT TO KEEP!

EVEN A HIPPOPOTAMUS NEEDS HIS TEETH CLEANED!

Aside

Brushing Hippo's teeth!

Brushing Hippo’s teeth!

Why do you need to clean your teeth? Here are ten pretty scary reasons why:-

  1. SAVE MONEY: Cleaning your teeth regularly will help keep bacteria at bay. Visiting your dental office every 6 months will let your dentist and hygienist examine your mouth and keep a look out for any cavities, bad bacteria and gum disease that may be developing.

    $$$ Saving money $$$

    $$$ Saving money $$$

  2. PREVENT GUM DISEASE: Regular brushing helps prevent gum diseases such as Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Some 80% of American Adults have some form of gum disease  so, since gum disease if often the gateway for other more serious infections, it is advisable to maintain a regular oral hygiene regime.

    Periodontal diease

    Periodontal disease

  3. STOP ARTHRITIS and DIABETES: If you have gum disease your are 8 times more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis and infections introduced via gum disease can lower the effectiveness of insulin in your body.
  4. HAVE A BETTER SEX LIFE: Not only does a nice smile help attract the opposite sex. As Prevention magazine reports, chronic gum disease may help men avoid ED (erectile dysfunction). Studies suggest the gum disease is slightly more common  in men who had a moderate to severe level of ED, compared with men who don’t have erectile dysfunction.
  5. PROMOTE FULL-TERM HEALTHY BABIES: Women suffering from periodontal disease can pass on infection through the placenta to their unborn infants. Low weight babies and pre-term babies can also result if gum disease is present. Also, conception may be delayed in women suffering from gum disease.

    Healthy Babies

    Healthy Babies

  6. PREVENT HEART DISEASE AND STROKES: With all the bacteria in your mouth, the added stress of gum disease can lead to a build up of harmful bacteria in your bloodstream – which ultimately leads to your heart. In some cases the bacteria can spread to your brain and induce a stroke.

    Healthy Heart

    Healthy Heart

  7. WARD OFF DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMER’S: In 2010 the New York College of Dentistry published a report showing that gum disease may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Gum disease could also increase your chance of developing dementia by 30%-40%.
  8. REDUCE RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS: The Journal of Periodontology, in 2011, showed that oral infections and diseases can raise the risk of respiratory diseases, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis may also be more prevalent for those with gum disease. All respiratory tract infections are caused by bacteria getting into the lower respiratory tract by passing through (or coming from) infections in your mouth. The cleaner you keep your mouth, the less chance of infection getting through.
  9. EAT HEALTHY: Eating calcium and fiber rich foods will help contribute to your overall health. It also stimulates production of saliva which helps to protect your teeth. Although brushing twice a day is recommended, additional brushing of your teeth after a meal can help you avoid eating more than you need as brushing signals to your brain that you are full.

    Eat Healthy

    Eat Healthy

  10. KEEPING THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE: Cleaning your teeth regularly helps keep your mouth fresh, bad bacteria at bay, your smile white and in general a happier and more attractive person.

SO!!! I guess we can safely say that cleaning your teeth should part of your daily oral hygiene routine!

How should you clean your teeth?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that you clean your teeth at least twice a day, with a soft bristled toothbrush. They also recommend that you clean between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner. The type of toothpaste you use can vary as there are many varieties that address different problems, however as long as you ensure that the toothpaste you use has the ADA seal of approval you should be OK.

American Dental Association Seal of Approval

American Dental Association Seal of Approval

While most of us do a fairly good job of cleaning our teeth, even the really good jobs sometimes need extra help. This is why the ADA recommend that we visit our dental office at least twice a year for check-ups and a professional tooth cleaning performed by the hygienist. For people who develop gum disease, it may be necessary to visit the hygienist more frequently or even be referred to a Periodontist – a specialist in gum disease.

Here is a link to a video explaining how a hygienist cleans your teeth.

Happy cleaning to you all, and remember……..

Gotta look after those teeth!!!

Gotta look after those teeth!!!

 

WELL!!! George Washington had a pair!!!!!

A pair of WHAT??????? You might well ask!!!!!

Though many of you probably already know, some of you may not! George Washington, born February 22nd, 1732, the first President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers – had DENTURES!!!!!

George Washington's false teeth

George Washington’s false teeth

George Washington had suffered with poor dental health throughout his adult life. Toothache and dental pain is well documented in his diaries and from the age of 22, he began to suffer tooth loss – at the time he was inaugurated as President he had only one remaining tooth.  Now, contrary to popular myth, he never had wooden false teeth. He had several sets made over the years which were made of various materials such as gold, elephant ivory, hippopotamus ivory and even human teeth. In fact, the pair he wore at his inauguration were made of hippopotamus ivory with gold wires and brass screws. If you are interested, you can view his false teeth at the University of Maryland’s National Museum of Dentistry

Thankfully, dentures have come a long, long way since then. Just check out the difference in the next picture showing how they look now.

Modern day dentures.

Modern day dentures.

So, what are dentures?  Well, basically they are prosthetic (artificial) devices made by your dentist to replace missing teeth. They are usually supported or kept in place by the surrounding soft and hard tissues (i.e. gums or remaining teeth)  in your mouth. Instead of ivory and gold, they are now usually made from acrylic, though in some cases they may be made from porcelain.

The type of denture you may have depends on how many of your teeth are missing, and where the missing teeth are situated in your mouth. A removable partial denture is used when a patient is missing some teeth in a particular arch (upper or lower teeth) of their mouth. Fixed partial dentures (also called a bridge) is a denture that replaces or spans a gap where one or more teeth have been lost. A fixed partial denture can only be removed by a dentist as it has been cemented or bonded into place. Although fixed partials are more expensive, they are more stable on the mouth than removable partials. Complete dentures are used in the case of a patient who has lost all of their teeth in a single arch. The term “complete” applies to either the upper or lower teeth. In some cases a patient may only have an upper (maxillary) or lower (mandibular) complete denture and in other cases they may need both upper and lower dentures.

Why would you need dentures?  There are many reasons that people lose teeth. Dental disease such as periodontitis (gum disease) or tooth decay is probably still the most likely cause. However, trauma such as facial injuries, malnutrition, development issues and drug use can also cause tooth loss resulting in the need for dentures.

How do they help?  Firstly, most people would agree that teeth help make a mouth beautiful and drastically improve appearance. They also align the face properly providing support for the cheeks and lips. Proper alignment of teeth and subsequently aligning the jaw properly, can help with easing headaches, shoulder and neck problems. Teeth also help with language, in that they help you enunciate words properly and make it easier for others to understand you. They help with the intake and digestion of food, allowing you to properly chew (masticate) food before swallowing, and lastly, they will improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.

What Happens when I need dentures? Once your dentist has established that you will need dentures, you will need to have several appointments set up for different stages of the process. In this instance we will look at the basic process of having a full set of dentures done, though please bear in mind that in each and every instance, the patient’s experience will be different.

Step 1 – is having a custom impression made of your mouth.

Step 2 – is your dentist taking lots of measurements of your mouth. These measurements check the size and placement of teeth as well as your bite. So that your new dentures will feel just like your natural ones.

Step 3 – will involve “try-in’s” of the wax version of the new dentures. At this time your dentist will make any necessary adjustments before submitting the wax denture to the lab for fabrication of the final acrylic dentures.

Step 4 – is the delivery of the final dentures.

Step 5- will involve making adjustments to keep your dentures comfortable.

Before Dentures and After Dentures

Before Dentures and After Dentures

The whole process can take as little as six weeks. Though, as I mentioned before, every patient and every set of dentures is different and the time taken from start to finish will depend on how many adjustments ultimately need to be made.

Once you have your new dentures and both you and your dentist are happy with them, you will usually only need to visit the dentist once a year for a check-up, to make sure everything is still OK. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns between visits you should contact your dentist straightaway.

What to expect now I have my new dentures? No-one can promise you a totally hassle free experience. Dentures are a foreign object and as such will take some time to get used to and of course, every patient will have a different experience. You may find that your dentures feel bulky and uncomfortable. You may feel that your speech is slurred and that you salivate more. You will need to learn how to chew again and it might be best to start with softer foods until you get used to the new dentures. To adapt more quickly, you might find it better to wear your dentures all the time and only remove them for cleaning – though once you have become accustomed to them you should remove them at night so that you can soak them. Remember, more than anything, time and patience are the biggest elements of getting used to dentures.

How do I care for the dentures? Firstly, handle them carefully and be sure you don’t bend or damage them. Like any teeth, you should brush them after meals and at least brush them morning and night. Your dentures may need to be removed after eating to remove any debris that may get caught beneath them. When you remove your dentures, remember to brush your gums and mouth also with  a soft brush. Soak your dentures overnight in a special denture cleaner. Do not use anything other than a cleaner specially made for dentures as regular toothpaste and cleaners can be too harsh. Remember to always rinse the dentures before you put them back in your mouth to eliminate traces of the denture cleaner.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of dentures. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us or send us a comment here, or via facebook.com/ypsilantidentist.