Thursday, September 5, 2019


Berries, curries, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, coffee, iced tea, red wine – these are just a few examples of foods that stain our teeth daily. Many of the foods we eat and drink stain our teeth day in and day out. Nowadays, most of us have access to information via social media, bloggers and YouTube regarding DIY teeth whitening techniques. These DIY teeth whitening trends have increased in popularity significantly, but are they really safe?
First, we’d like to emphasize that yes, the DIY teeth whitening trends work, but HOW they work is the main concern! All the DIY trends can be either very acidic and/or abrasive, both of which can remove and damage the enamel. The enamel is the most superficial and resistant layer of the tooth. As you abrade or remove the enamel with the DIY techniques, the inner surface (dentin) of the tooth becomes exposed. Removing enamel and exposing more dentin will ultimately result in a more yellow appearance of the teeth as well as increased sensitivity. Initially, your teeth will appear white but as you continue to use these techniques they will actually appear more yellow with time. Worst of all, once you lose enamel there’s no getting it back!

Let’s see what some of the most popular DIY teeth whitening trends do to your teeth.

It is disastrous to your teeth due to its abrasive nature. Initially, it will remove the most superficial stains. But with continuous use, activated charcoal will remove the enamel and expose the dentin causing your teeth to appear yellow instead of white and in time, will create more sensitivity. 

Apple cider vinegar is popularly used as a daily cleanse and is praised by people for aiding digestion, helping with weight loss and making hair shinier. Some even use it as a mouthwash, claiming it whitens teeth. While apple cider vinegar is really good for some things when it comes to teeth whitening it is not safe. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, it will remove superficial stains but because of its acidity it will also remove your enamel. Its daily use or consumption can lead to extensive enamel erosion.

Baking soda is a relatively mild abrasive that has been rated by the ADA (American Dental Association) to be safe when combined with fluoride. When baking soda (abrasive) is mixed with lemon juice (acidic) it becomes too rough for your teeth, this combination can wear away tooth and gum tissue.
Lemon juice is highly acidic, which gives it excellent bleaching abilities. When used for teeth whitening purposes, it not only dissolves stains, but it also dissolves your enamel. So, when you use the two together you have a recipe for disaster!

While many teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, that doesn’t mean you should  swish around in your mouth, especially undiluted. Used regularly, it can cause chemical irritation and damage to your gums and hard tissues.

In conclusion, we can say that using any of these DIY teeth whitening techniques will weaken and damage your tooth enamel. They can also cause swelling of the gums and burns inside the oral cavity. Loss of enamel can cause your teeth to be much more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. And like we said before, once enamel is gone, it’s gone forever.

This is one DIY remedy that should stick to DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself)! Trust us we’re dentists!

Monday, August 5, 2019

The unexpected dangers of gum disease

Gum disease is common and unpleasant, but, according to a growing body of evidence, it could also play a role in a surprising range of seemingly unrelated health problems.
Plaque — a sticky substance that contains bacteria — builds up on teeth. If it is not brushed away, the bacteria can irritate the gums.
The gums may then become swollen, sore, or infected; this is referred to as gingivitis.
In general, gum disease can be treated or prevented by maintaining a good oral health regime.
However, if it is left to develop, it can result in periodontitis, which weakens the supporting structures of the teeth.
Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, is widespread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of adults in the United States have some degree of gum disease.
The mechanisms behind periodontal disease are relatively well-understood, and newer research shows that this health problem may play a role in the development of a number of other conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and respiratory disease.
Gums and the brain
Although spatially the gums are near the brain, one wouldn't normally associate dental complaints with neurological conditions.
However, some studies have found a link between periodontal disease and tooth loss and cognitive function. One study looking at cognitive performance followed 597 men for up to 32 years. The authors conclude:
"Risk of cognitive decline in older men increases as more teeth are lost. Periodontal disease and caries, major reasons for tooth loss, are also related to cognitive decline."
Researchers have also linked periodontal disease with an increased buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain — the neurological hallmark of Alzheimer's.
Other experiments have produced evidence that one type of bacteria commonly found in cases of periodontitis — Porphyromonas gingivalis — can be found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's.
Following on from that discovery, in a more recent study, researchers showed that P. gingivalisinfection boosts the production of beta-amyloid in the brain.
In this study, the researchers paid particular attention to an enzyme produced by P. gingivaliscalled gingipain. They found that this protease was toxic to tau, another protein that plays a pivotal role in Alzheimer's.

The heart of the matter
Although not everyone with heart disease has gum disease, and not everyone with gum disease has heart disease, there does appear to be a correlation.
Of course, individuals who smoke or drink large quantities of alcohol are more likely to have both oral and cardiovascular issues, but there appears to be more to the relationship than shared risk factors alone.
Whether gum disease is an independent risk factor for heart disease is still being discussed, but there are some theories as to how the two might be related.
Some think that the link could involve inflammation.
Primarily, inflammation is a response to irritants or pathogens; it is a protective mechanism. However, if it continues for an extended period, it can damage tissues and organs.
It is possible that inflammation in the gums sets off a cascade that, ultimately, sparks inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Alternatively, the link between heart and gum diseases may be due to bacteria.
Bacteria in the gums can enter the blood supply and be propelled to distant destinations, including the heart, where they can cause inflammation and damage.
As evidence that this is possible, researchers have shown that P. gingivalis is the most commonly found bacterial species in the coronary artery.
Cancer risk increase
Once again, gum disease and cancer do not, on the surface, appear to have much in common.
A study published in 2008 investigated tooth loss and cancer in 48,375 men. The authors concluded that there was, indeed, a link between gum disease and cancer. They write:
"Periodontal disease was associated with a small, but significant, increase in overall cancer risk."
Another, more recent, study involving more than 68,000 adults found a strong association between gum disease and overall cancer risk; the link was also significant between gum disease and pancreatic cancer.
Why might this be the case? A paper published in Nature goes some way toward an explanation.
The researchers found that an enzyme produced by a type of bacteria commonly associated with gum disease — Treponema denticola — commonly appears in certain tumors of the gastrointestinal system.
The enzyme, known as T. denticola chymotrypsin-like proteinase, helps the bacteria invade tissue in gum disease. The researchers found that it also activated other enzymes that promote cancer cells as they advance into healthy tissue.
Gums and lungs
Of course, the mouth is a shared gateway to the gums and the lungs, making a link between gum and lung diseases less surprising than some of the others that we have encountered.
A study published in February 2019 investigated the records of 1,380 men. The authors found a significant relationship between chronic periodontitis and a reduction in respiratory function.
This link remained significant, even after controlling for confounding variables, such as smoking.
Once again, inflammation may be the link between the two conditions. If the tubes in the lungs that carry air are inflamed, they become narrower and air flow is restricted.
Aside from the probable role of inflammation, bacteria present in the mouth might also be breathed into the lungs. Once in the lungs, the bacteria could trigger infections that directly lead to inflammation.
A recent meta-analysis investigated potential links between gum disease and lung cancer. The authors concluded that "patients with periodontal disease are at increased risk of developing lung cancer."
In their paper, they outline some potential ways in which gum disease might increase lung cancer risk. For instance, breathing in bacteria, such as P. gingivalis, from the mouth could cause infections.
Similarly, enzymes produced during the course of gum disease might pass into the lungs. Once there, they could help pathogens take root and colonize the lung tissue.
These changes spark inflammation; over the long term, inflammation causes changes in cells that raise the likelihood of cancer developing.
The take-home message
One could read this article as a worrying collection of conditions made all the more likely to occur, courtesy of gum disease.
If we adopt the opposite approach, though, the take-home message could be much more positive: Good dental hygiene may reduce our risk of developing a range of serious health problems.
As the authors of the lung cancer analysis, mentioned above, write, "periodontal disease is a preventable and treatable disease." Managing it at an early stage might reduce the risks of a multitude of ills.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

10 Ways to Relieve Stress

Life is like a roller coaster, says Dr. Paul J. Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress in New York.
And the people on board each have their own way of dealing with the bone-rattling ride. “In the front of the car are the wide-eyed thrill-seekers who can’t wait for the next breathtaking plummet,” Rosch notes. “In back are the white-knuckled timorous types who won’t open their eyes until the ride is over. And in between are those who seesaw between courage and fear.”
“We all respond to stress differently,” Rosch says. “One person’s stress is another person’s challenge. It’s all in how you perceive it.” Those who handle stress well are said to have a strong sense of control and commitment, and who enjoy challenges that would overwhelm others. They thrive on stress.”
But for those of us less “hearty” types who feel the need to reduce stress, there are some simple remedies. Most experts agree that walking is a universal stress reliever. Whether you take an impromptu stroll to blow off steam or a regular walk of 30 to 45 minutes four times a week, walking is a mood-lifter. It can be the foundation for a variety of ways to reduce stress. Here are 10 ways to get you started.
  1. LOCK IN YOUR WALK. Make a walk part of your daily schedule – just as taking a shower or eating dinner. Locking it into your routine will help ease your exercise painlessly into your day. It may also eliminate the guilt and worry associated with trying to find time to exercise on an intermittent basis.
  2. BE KIND TO YOUR STOMACH. Acid stomach and ulcers are painful conditions sometimes associated with stress. In the past, spicy foods topped the list of things to avoid, but more recent evidence shows that caffeine, alcohol, smoking, and painkillers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are more likely to aggravate the condition.
  3. TIME YOUR MEALS. Keeping your energy level high throughout the day requires a ready supply of blood sugar. Skipping breakfast or lunch will cause your blood sugar to drop. It’s better to eat four small, low-fat meals during the day. Eating small, well-balanced meals periodically during the day and avoiding large doses of caffeine and processed sweets can help you maintain even blood sugar levels and control your weight.
  4. MASSAGE YOUR HANDS. A 5-minute hand routine can prevent or release tension. Try a few of these:
1.      Place a tennis ball in your palm. Grip and release 12 times.
2.      Put a rubber band around the tips of your fingers and thumb. Open and close 20 times.
3.      Make loose fists with both your hands, then move your fists in a circle to increase your range of motion.
4.      Pat or gently slap your hands all over to increase circulation.
5.      Open one hand and grasp it with the other. Press the thumb firmly on the base of the hand for several seconds. Continue pressing, slowly moving toward the space between the first two fingers. Repeat for each pair of fingers.
6.      Turn your hand over and massage the top of the hand, starting at the base and working toward your fingertips.
7.      Grip the fleshy portion between your thumb and index finger. Press and release it at least five times.
8.      Grip the knuckle of the thumb between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Move the thumb in a circle.
  1. NIX NECK PAIN. One of the first places you feel tension gathering is in the neck. Poor posture is the most common cause of neck pain. Try to keep your back straight but relaxed and your head centered directly over your spine while sitting, standing, or walking. Gently stretching the neck muscles can also relieve tension. Tilt your head to the left, keeping shoulders down. Place your left hand on the right top side of your head. Gently pull your head toward your left shoulder for 20 seconds. Reverse position and stretch to the right.
  2. ENERGIZE WITH EXERCISE. Don’t rely on supplements like monthly injections of vitamin B12 to restore your energy. B12 is no more capable of providing a burst of energy than it is able to relieve muscle soreness, headaches, or anxiety. A proven energy booster is regular exercise. Pick any rhythmic, aerobic activity such as walking, rowing, biking, or swimming. Do it at least four times a week and feel your energy pick up.
  3. GET MORE SLEEP. About one out of five adults routinely suffers from insomnia. It can be triggered by stress and anxiety, but it may persist even after the source of stress is removed. Lack of sleep itself can cause stress. Improve your sleeping habits by sticking to a regular schedule. Go to bed and get up the same time every day, even on weekends. Do not try to make up for lost sleep by napping or sleeping late- this will disrupt your schedule, and don’t drink beverages containing caffeine within four hours before bedtime.
  4. CREATE FREE TIME. Analyze your daily schedule and look for ways to simplify it. Could you do errands on your lunch hour rather than after work? Can you combine a trip to the grocery store with picking up your child at soccer practice? The goal is to have some time for yourself left over at the end of the day. Count on some unscheduled time each day for tending to your own need to relax.
  5. REACH OUT TO OTHERS. Regular physical contact with others can lower anxiety levels. Expressing physical affection toward friends and family members is a healthy, stress-relieving habit. Or, try giving and receiving a massage from your mate. Even the physical contact of handling a pet improves some people’s moods.
HELP SOMEONE ELSE. Doing volunteer work that benefits others can reduce your own tension and anxiety. Such volunteering is particularly effective when you can see the results. Sign on for an activity that gives you direct contact with other people, such as elderly or children. Volunteer to teach adults to read. Serve meals to shut-ins. For best results, volunteer for a project that offers you freedom of choice rather than work where you have no control over your own activities or those of the people you’re helping.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Stroke study finds mouth bacteria in brain clots

Ensuring good oral hygiene could help to prevent stroke. This was what scientists proposed after finding DNA traces of oral bacteria in samples of blood clots that had caused strokes.

Researchers from Tampere University in Finland analyzed clot samples from 75 people who received emergency treatment for ischemic stroke when they attended Tampere University Hospital's Acute Stroke Unit.
The patients had undergone thrombectomies. These procedures remove blood clots by means of catheters conducted through arteries. The catheters can deploy stent retrievers and aspirators to reduce or remove the clot.
When they analyzed blood clots sampled in this way, the researchers found that 79% of them bore DNA from common oral bacteria. Most of the bacteria were of the Streptococcus mitis type, which belong to a group that scientists call viridans streptococci.
The levels of the oral bacteria were much higher in the blood clot samples than they were in other samples that surgeons took from the same patients.
Larger picture implicates bacteria in clots
The study forms part of a large investigation that Tampere University has been conducting for around 10 years on the role of bacteria in cardiovascular diseases.
This investigation has already found that blood clots that have caused heart attacks, brain aneurysms, and thromboses in leg veins and arteries, contain oral bacteria, particularly viridans streptococci. It has also shown that these bacteria can cause infective endocarditis, a type of heart infection.
The researchers believe that the new study is the first to implicate viridans streptococci in acute ischemic stroke.
A stroke is when the brain suddenly experiences a disruption to its blood supply. This starves cells of essential oxygen and nutrients and can result in tissue damage and loss of function in the brain.
The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood clot reduces the blood supply in an artery that feeds the brain.
According to figures from the World Stroke Organization, around 1 in 6 people worldwide will likely experience a stroke in their lifetime.
One of the leading causes of stroke is a condition called atherosclerosis in which plaques form in the walls of arteries and cause them to narrow and harden over time. The plaques are deposits of cellular waste, fat, cholesterol, and other materials.
Depending on where the plaques form, atherosclerosis can raise the risk of heart disease, angina, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease.
However, plaques can also lose bits into the bloodstream, or attract clots. If such an event affects an artery supplying blood to the brain, it can trigger an ischemic stroke.

Oral bacteria: Cause of stroke or 'bystander?'
In discussing the implication of the results, the authors note that streptococci bacteria from the mouth can cause serious infection, such as of the heart valves, when they enter the circulation.
There is also evidence that bacteria can activate blood platelets directly. Could this be a possible route to increasing stroke risk?
"Activated platelets" trigger cells that promote atherosclerosis and "speed up the development of atherothrombotic lesions," they write.
"Bacterial surface proteins of S. mitis," they add, "can directly bind to various platelet receptors."
In regard to the recent findings, the researchers note that while they show that oral bacteria are involved, it is still unclear whether they cause strokes or whether "their role is solely as bystander."
In the meantime, they suggest that: "Regular dental care should be emphasized in the primary prevention of acute ischemic stroke."

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Dental Concerns

Gum disease
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage that is reversible. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Missing Teeth
Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. For one thing, a large space between your teeth may affect how you speak or eat. Even if it’s not noticeable, a missing molar can affect how you chew. Remaining teeth may shift and in some cases bone loss can occur around a missing tooth. With today’s advances, you don’t have to suffer from missing teeth.
Here are some options to replace a lost tooth or teeth. Talk to your dentist about which option is best for you: 
  • Bridges. Anchored to your adjacent teeth, these can be removable or fixed, depending on your mouth, your dentist’s recommendation and your needs.
  • Dentures. An option if you’ve lost all or most of your teeth.
  • Implants. Most similar to a natural tooth.
If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a common dental problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
Sensitive teeth can be treated. Your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment based on the cause of your sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.
Dry mouth
Everyone’s mouth can be dry sometimes, but if you feel like your mouth is always dry, it may be time to seek treatment. Medications and certain health conditions can lead to dry mouth. A dentist will check your teeth for signs of decay that can result from decreased salivary flow. A physician will test for any underlying disease or conditions that may be causing your dry mouth. Having a dry mouth is not itself serious but taking care of your teeth and gums and regular dental visits are important when living with dry mouth. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become more common. Patients using oral inhalers for asthma often develop oral candidiasis, an oral fungal infection, and are encouraged to rinse their mouths with water after using the inhaler. Tell your dentist what medications you are taking and any other information about your health that may help identify the cause of your dry mouth.
Oropharyngeal Cancer
Oropharyngeal cancer can affect any area of the oropharyngeal cavity including the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue, jaw the hard or soft palate and throat. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat.
During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
  • sores that bleed easily or do not heal
  • a thick or hard spot or lump
  • a roughened or crusted area
  • numbness, pain or tenderness
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw. Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Risks of DIY Braces

The use of at-home braces is a newer concept in dentistry that has many in the profession concerned. For several years, there have been numerous companies that provide clear aligners to help straighten teeth under the supervision of a licensed dentist. The problem is that a person ordering aligners in the mail may never set foot in that dentist's office.
Taking the cheap and easy option of do-it-yourself (DIY) braces can cause serious damage to your teeth. There are minor conditions for which aligners may be appropriate, but without a proper diagnosis - it's anybody's guess!
When Clear Aligners Can Help
When used properly, clear aligners can reliably produce very acceptable results in adult patients. One of the main indications for these aligners is "orthodontic relapse," a condition that occurs when someone who previously wore braces or another appliance fails to wear their retainers after treatment is completed and notices their teeth starting to drift back to their original state of misalignment.
Other reasons your dentist might suggest aligners include small gaps between teeth, minor tooth crowding or a tooth that is rotated. But when you don't give a professional the chance to see your mouth before you pop an aligner into it, you have no way of knowing if plastic is the best way to help your dental situation.
The Risks of At-Home Braces
The idea of allowing patients to diagnose and treat themselves for orthodontic problems is a frightening concept to dental professionals. At-home braces allow patients to diagnose their own case, take their own impressions and supervise the progress of their own treatment. This entire process is fraught with problems and is potentially extremely harmful.
The American Dental Association (ADA), have issued consumer warnings against at-home braces. The ADA invites anyone considering DIY orthodontics to ask the same questions of a mail-order company that they would of their own dental professional, including:
Is this treatment going to be based off information from my X-rays, skeletal structure and full scans of my teeth and upper and lower jaws?
Is there a dentist or orthodontist supervising the making of my aligners? Is that person licensed?
Are my teeth and gums healthy enough to support orthodontic treatment?
Can I see a dentist in person in an emergency?
If the answers to these questions are hazy or hidden, you could be putting your mouth and your health in danger.
The Need for Office Visits
Sometimes the "irreparable damage" of unsupervised care included the need for tooth extractions, bite problems and temporary but dangerous infections.
Without direct professional supervision, patients may also have no idea that they could have underlying problems, such as tooth decay, abscessed teeth or gum infections that could be made much worse by imposing orthodontic treatment on top of them.
Since most dental problems don't present overt symptoms, such as pain or swelling, it's easy to overlook potentially serious issues. It's kind of like having high blood pressure. You could find out about a problem by having a heart attack, but you can avoid one by having your blood pressure checked!
Even a Dentist Needs Advice Sometimes
There is one final aspect of DIY braces that has dental professionals concerned: the aspect of doing it yourself. Even licensed dentists who have completed many cases of clear aligner therapy recognize their limitations and know when to refer to a specialist. Orthodontists understand the mechanics behind the way bones, teeth and gums move and grow during treatment, and they are the only people who can safely and effectively shift your teeth.
No matter how much research they do, a degree from the university of the internet should not qualify someone to perform their own dentistry. Would you attempt your own brain surgery to save a few bucks? Of course not!
Save yourself the time, money and heartache by doing the right thing for you and your loved ones. Seek the expertise and care of a licensed, legally accountable professional to safeguard your new smile.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What to do to keep your gums healthy

Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important action that a person can take to prevent and treat gum disease. Most people tend to overlook their gums when it comes to oral health and focus on getting a bright, white smile instead. However, healthy teeth require healthy gums.
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, a person can take many steps to prevent and even reverse gum disease. These include:
·        brushing the teeth properly
·        choosing the right toothpaste
·        flossing daily
·        taking care when rinsing out the mouth
·        using mouthwash
·        having regular dental checkups
·        stopping smoking
This article examines how these steps can help keep the gums healthy.
7 ways to keep the gums healthy
Adopting the following habits will help a person care for their teeth and gums properly, which, in turn, will help prevent gum disease.
1. Brush the teeth properly

Brushing the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste can help keep gums healthy.
Brushing the teeth properly is key to having a healthy mouth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that people follow the guidelines below:
·        Brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
·        Replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles begin to fray.
·        Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
·        Move the toothbrush in short strokes.
·        Press gently.
·        Clean the insides of the front teeth by turning the brush vertically and making several short strokes along each tooth.
2. Choose the right toothpaste
The toothpaste aisle in most stores will contain many varieties of toothpaste, from whitening products to formulas containing baking soda.
When choosing toothpaste, a person should ensure that it contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval on the packaging.
3. Floss daily
Many people neglect daily flossing, but the ADA recognize this habit as an important part of oral care.
Flossing removes food and plaque from between the teeth and gums. If the food and plaque remain in these areas, this can lead to tartar, which is a hard buildup of bacteria that only a dentist can remove. Tartar can lead to gum disease.

4. Rinse your mouth out with care
Many people rinse their mouth out after brushing their teeth. However, oral hygiene practices should complement the effectiveness of fluoride products, such as toothpaste.
When a person washes their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, they wash away the fluoride.
Conversely, when a person rinses their mouth out after eating, they may rinse away food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar.
5. Use mouthwash
According to the ADA, there are two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Both are available over the counter.
A therapeutic mouthwash can help:
·        prevent gum disease
·        reduce the speed at which tartar builds up
·        reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth
·        remove food particles from the mouth
However, people should not use mouthwash as a replacement for brushing and flossing.
A person should look for the ADA seal. This seal indicates that the manufacturer has demonstrated enough evidence to support the product's safety and effectiveness.
The ADA state that children under the age of 6 years should not use mouthwash.
6. Get regular dental checkups
Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from the teeth. Professional cleaning can also help eliminate the plaque that a person may have missed when brushing their teeth.
With regular visits, a dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed. Early detection can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.
7. Stop smoking
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system.
The CDC recommend quitting smoking immediately to help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. The use of other tobacco products can also increase a person's risk.