We take pride in providing our patients with the highest quality dental care available today. We specialize in cosmetic dentistry, dental implant restoration, veneers, tooth whitening, Invisalign (invisible braces), and conventional dentistry. Miami Beach dentist, Dr. Arnold Rothman, has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years and is highly trained in all aspects of dentistry. We hope our blog will serve as a resource to help you achieve maximum oral health and a beautiful smile.
The outer surface of teeth, called
enamel, is designed to last a lifetime. "Enamel is the hardest substance
in the body," says dentist Leslie Seldin, DDS, a spokesperson for the
American Dental Association. Some wear and tear of tooth enamel is inevitable.
But Seldin says there's plenty you can do to keep your enamel strong. Start
with these eight steps.
1. Limit Sugary Soft Drinks and
Sugar leads to the production of
acids in the mouth, which soften and eventually wear away at enamel. Chewy
candies that stick on your teeth are particularly damaging. So are soft drinks.
Along with sugar, soft drinks may contain citric acid and phosphoric acid, making
them even more acidic. Artificially sweetened soft drinks are a smarter choice
than sugary soft drinks. But sugarless sweeteners are acidic and may erode
enamel over time. The best choice when you're thirsty: a glass of water.
2. Help Yourself to Foods That
Calcium in foods neutralizes acids
in your mouth. Calcium is also an essential mineral needed to keep bones
strong. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products all help protect and strengthen
enamel, says Pamela L. Quinones, RDH, president of the American Dental
Hygienists’ Association. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy to help keep fat and
calories to a minimum. If you frequently drink orange juice, O.J. with added
calcium may be the best choice. Calcium buffers the normal acidity of orange
and other citrus juices.
3. Avoid Over-brushing
Brushing too vigorously can wear
down enamel. "Always use a soft brush and brush gently," says Seldin.
Hold the brush at about a 45-degree angle to your gums and move it back and
forth in short strokes, about the distance of one tooth. Don't brush
immediately after eating sweets or citrus fruits. Acidic foods temporarily
soften enamel and may make it more susceptible to damage from brushing. Wait
for up to an hour after you eat, giving your enamel time to re-harden. Then
brush your teeth.
4. Treat Heartburn and Eating
With severe heartburn, stomach acids
may escape up into the esophagus. If those acids reach your mouth, they can
erode enamel. The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after
they eat, is another threat to enamel. If you have symptoms of heartburn or
bulimia, talk to your doctor about treatment.
5. Beware of Chlorinated Pools
When swimming pools aren't chlorinated properly, the water
may become too acidic. Tooth enamel exposed to pool water can begin to erode.
In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 15% of frequent swimmers showed
signs of enamel erosion, compared to only 3% of people who don't swim. Check
with the recreation center or gym where you swim to make sure the pool's pH is
checked regularly. While swimming, keep your mouth closed to avoid exposing
your teeth to chlorinated water.
6. Be Alert to Dry Mouth
Saliva helps wash away food and
bacteria that can lead to cavities. Saliva also neutralizes acidic foods.
People with xerostomia, or very low salivary levels, often show signs of enamel
erosion. Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist. If you exercise
strenuously, be sure to rehydrate during and after your workout. Chewing
sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can stimulate saliva
production. Some medical conditions and certain medications can cause dry
mouth. If dry mouth persists, talk to your doctor.
7. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Some people grind their upper and
lower teeth together, especially at night. "Over time, grinding can wear
down the enamel surface and destroy teeth," says dentist Richard Price,
DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "If you notice
yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist."
Custom-fitted tooth guards can help protect teeth from damage.
8. Get Regular Check-ups
To keep your enamel strong, see your dentist every six
months for a check-up and teeth cleaning. Your dentist can spot signs of
trouble, such as cavities or tooth grinding, before they do extensive damage to
your enamel. Your dentist will also make sure that you're getting the right
amount of fluoride to protect your teeth. Fluoride hardens and protects tooth
enamel. If your water supply is not fluoridated, ask your dentist if you need
to take extra steps to protect your teeth. Your dentist may recommend fluoride
supplements, mouthwashes, or coatings for your teeth.
prove what we always suspected: the two sexes see the world differently
If you’ve ever found yourself at a paint store
with a member of the opposite sex trying to decide between, say, “laguna blue”
and “blue macaw,” chances are you’ve disagreed over which hue is lighter or
looks more turquoise.
Take comfort in the fact that the real blame
lies with physiology: Neuroscientists have discovered that women are better at
distinguishing among subtle distinctions in color, while men appear more
sensitive to objects moving across their field of vision.
Scientists have long maintained that the sexes
see colors differently. But much of the evidence has been indirect, such as the
linguistic research showing that women possess a larger vocabulary than men for
describing colors. Experimental evidence for the vision thing has been rare.
That’s why Israel Abramov, a psychologist and
behavioral neuroscientist at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, gave a group of men and
women a battery of visual tests. Abramov has spent 50 years studying human
vision—how our eyes and brain translate light into a representation of the
world. He’s curious about the neural mechanisms that determine how we perceive
In one study, Abramov and his research team
showed subjects light and dark bars of different widths and degrees of contrast
flickering on a computer screen. The effect was akin to how we might view a car
moving in the distance. Men were better than women at seeing the bars, and
their advantage increased as the bars became narrower and less distinct.
But when the researchers tested color vision
in one of two ways—by projecting colors onto frosted glass or beaming them into
their subjects’ eyes— women proved slightly better at discriminating among
subtle gradations in the middle of the color spectrum, where yellow and green
reside. They detected tiny differences between yellows that looked the same to
men. The researchers also found that men require a slightly longer wavelength
to see the same hue as women; an object that women experience as orange will
look slightly more yellowish to men, while green will look more blue-green to
men. This last part doesn’t confer an advantage on either sex, but it does
demonstrate, Abramov says, that “the nervous system that deals with color
cannot be wired in the exact same way in males as in females.” He believes the
answer lies in testosterone and other androgens. Evidence from animal studies
suggests that male sex hormones can alter development in the visual cortex.
While Abramov has an explanation for how the
sexes see differently, he’s less certain about why. One possibility—which he
cautions is highly speculative—is that it’s an evolutionary adaptation that
benefited hunter-gatherer societies: Males needed to see distant, moving
objects, like bison, while females had to be better judges of color when
scouring for edible plants.
Someday, further studies could reveal whether
these traits could have implications for how men and women perform in fields
such as the arts or athletics. At the very least, Abramov says, women probably
have an edge nabbing the ripest banana on the shelf.