Anti-biotics

 

Antibiotics are prescription medications taken to treat bacterial infections. Sometimes, doctors and dentists recommend taking antibiotics as a preventative measure. This practice is called antibiotic prophylaxis. There are millions of bacteria in your mouth that can enter the blood stream during dental exams and procedures. For most people, these bacteria do not cause a problem and no antibiotics are needed. However, patients who have heart conditions or heart defects are recommended to have antibiotics administered before any dental procedure. Always tell your dentist about any changes to your health and all medications you are taking. With this information, your dentist will be able to make the right decision for you about antibiotic prophylaxis.

 

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Water Picks

 

Oral irrigators, or water picks, are becoming more common as a way to clean the spaces in between teeth. A water pick is a hand held device that works by gently aiming a stream of water at your teeth. This water cleans food particles from the surface of your teeth. Water picks have been shown to decrease gum bleeding and improve gum health. People with braces or bridges, who can sometimes have trouble using dental floss, can benefit from using a water pick. But should you replace your dental floss with a water pick? Researchers say not so fast. While water picks can be a great addition to you oral care routine, daily brushing and flossing is the best defense against oral health problems like gingivitis and plaque and tartar build up.

 

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Almost all medications have side effects and sometimes these can impact your oral health. For example, there are more than 400 over-the-counter and prescription medications that can cause dry mouth as a side effect. The more common ones are antidepressants, antihistamines, and diuretics. Staining of the teeth is another common side effect of some medications including tranquilizers, oral contraceptives, and anti-malarials. Drugs commonly used to treat chest pain and heart conditions can also lead to gingivitis. It is important to discuss any concerns about your medication with both your doctor and your dentist. Careful monitoring can help minimize any side effects’ impact on your oral health.

 

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Mini Implants

 

Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is placed in the bone under the gums and acts as a root to hold the tooth in place. Mini implants are smaller than regular dental implants and are used to hold removable dentures or a temporary tooth. Mini implants can be a great option for people whose jawbones are not large enough for regular implants. Because they are smaller, mini implants usually heal faster and require fewer dental visits. The mini implant can be placed in as little as two hours and regular eating can usually begin the same day. With mini implants, you will be able to bite, chew and speak normally. Ask your dentist if he thinks mini implants could be right for you.

 

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Chewing Gum

 

According to the American Dental Association, chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum prevents decay by increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth. Increased saliva helps to carry important minerals like calcium and phosphate to your teeth, as well as to neutralize acidic bacteria, and to sweep away debris. Gum with sugar does increase saliva in the mouth, but the added sugar causes plaque bacteria to accumulate in the mouth There are many sugarless gums sweetened with aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol that are approved by the ADA. Look for the ADA seal of approval to ensure that your gum is sugarless. This seal is your assurance that the gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.

 

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Do I need to floss?

You may have seen recent headlines claiming there is no indication that flossing improves oral health. But according to the American Dental Association, flossing should still be a part of your daily oral health routine. Researchers at the ADA have found that flossing daily resulted in a significant reduction of cavities because flossing can reach food and debris that would be left behind by brushing alone. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and plaque buildup. To maintain good oral health, the ADA recommends brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and visiting your dentist regularly. And always ask your dentist for instructions on how best to use dental floss or other flossers.

 

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Diabetes

 

Diabetes is a disease that causes your pancreas to produce an insufficient amount of insulin. Over 1.9 million new cases of adult diabetes are reported annually. Did you know that diabetes can increase your risk for periodontal disease? According to the American Dental Association, if you have diabetes, you should have your teeth cleaned every 3 months. If you have diabetes and experience any of the following warning signs of periodontal disease, make an appointment to see your dentist.
Persistent bad breath or unusual taste in your mouth.
Bleeding gums when you brush or eat
Red, swollen, or tender gums
Or, change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Your dentist can help prevent diabetes from negatively impacting your oral health.

 

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