Getting the 5 servings each day of fruits and vegetables can seem difficult at times. Fruit juice often counts as a serving of fruit, but one questions if it’s really as adequate as eating a whole fruit. Not to mention the effect it may or may not make on the health of your teeth. How do you know if it makes any difference whether you drink the juice or eat the real thing?
Fruit juices are frequently given to children throughout the day, at snack time or before bed. In many cases, fruit juices may be more acidic on the teeth than the whole fruit. The natural or artificial sugars are released in the liquid gives plaque bacteria food to eat, which damages enamel and results in decayed teeth. Liquids can be very hazardous to the teeth because they flow along areas that a piece of whole fruit would not. For instance, between the teeth and in the grooves of the back teeth are prime areas to develop tooth decay when liquid sugar intake is high. Quantity isn’t the key problem, but frequency. Your child may still prefer to have fruit juice at lunch, but stick to water between meals. Water naturally cleanses the teeth.
Whole fruits contain larger amounts of fiber and nutrients than fruit juice. Biting and chewing crisp or raw fruits can massage the gums, remove plaque and result in less acid exposure to the teeth than the liquid form. Chewing also promotes saliva production, encouraging the natural cleansing process of the mouth which helps prevent cavities. Fruits like apples, bananas and oranges are good choices as they don’t stick to the teeth and are easy to take with you wherever you go.
Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts
Many adults and children have a fear of going to the dentist, or a fear of needles and drills used in dental procedures. If you, or a family member, fall into this category, laser dentistry may be for you.
Laser dentistry can be used for many different treatments, including correction of early gum disease, laser detection of cavities, repair of a ‘tied-tongue’ (a frenectomy) without stitches, and whitening teeth.
Lasers work by delivering energy with high beam lights. These lights are absorbed by the targeted area, resulting in the dental work being completed without drills, needles, and often…without local anesthesia! Most patients find laser dentistry quite comfortable as there is no heat or vibration, and no drilling noise that often makes individuals anxious.
Laser dentistry can be used on both soft areas (such as the gums, to help correct gum disease) or harder areas (such as tooth surfaces when whitening is desired). When used in soft tissues, the laser eliminates the need for stitches and sutures and resulting in a faster healing time. Lasers can also be used to help diagnose hard to find cavities and other hard to find decay in early stages. Often, when this decay is found early, careful brushing and flossing can reverse the problem. If correction is required, it can then be done before larger problems occur. Lasers in dentistry have been used successfully in both children and adults, making this a valuable option for many families.
If you are interested in laser dentistry, speak to your local dentist today to see if you are a candidate.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
One of the surest ways to avoid the harmful effects of tooth decay is to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Another way is to detect cavities early and nip them in the bud before they progress into full-blown health problems like abscesses, tooth loss, and even nerve damage. While most cavities can be treated easily with fillings, the process of filling a tooth weakens the tooth, making it prone to fractures, and sometimes, infection. The bigger the cavity, the more damage is done to the tooth structure. By detecting cavities early, when they are smaller and less complicated to treat, tooth integrity can be preserved and dental disasters can be averted.
Once upon a time, patients had to rely solely on a dentist’s manual examination, x-rays, or on their own subjective symptoms, to ascertain the presence of cavities; however, not all cavities are discernible by the human eye and in the early stages, not all cavities produce noticeable symptoms. Also, by the time cavities show up on x-rays, the decay has already progressed to a considerable portion of the tooth.
Nowadays, FDA-approved laser technology is the cutting edge of cavity detection. A laser light is beamed onto the teeth and areas of the teeth where decay is present show fluorescence (glow brightly). The laser detector also produces an audible signal when passed over suspicious areas. Additionally, these devices register a number on a scale which gives an idea of whether the area requires immediate treatment or is simply a vulnerable area that should be actively monitored.
Lasers detectors have a 90 percent accuracy rate at detecting cavities. These instruments expose pin prick-sized cavities that are just starting to form, i.e., cavities that require only a small filling. Small fillings mean less damage to the tooth structure, and they also reduce the risk of complications like abscesses, fracturing, and tooth loss further down the road, complications that can be quite expensive to treat. Laser cavity detection also aids in cavity prevention since it exposes vulnerable areas that can be treated with fluoride therapy or dental sealants before cavities form.
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