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Why We Have to Brush Our Teeth

Have you ever wondered why it’s necessary to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis? Our ancestors (the ones far back enough, at least) never did anything to care for their teeth. Somehow, however, there’s no evidence that they suffered from tooth decay the way that we do today.

So what happened? It’s simple, really. The foods we eat today are much different than the foods we ate when were still a young species. Back then our diets contained more meats and absolutely no processed food.

But when it comes down to it, there is one major culprit that is robbing you of your dental health: carbohydrates.

You see, a long time ago, carbs were hard to come by. And when people did find them, they were usually in the form of fruits and vegetables. These types of foods are generally full of fiber and actually help to clean your teeth.

Later, however, we gained the ability to harvest grains. This led to foods like rice and bread, which have become major staples in many people’s diets. The carbs you eat stay on your teeth and become easy food for bacteria that eventually leads to tooth decay.

It only got worse from there. Eventually, we created processed sugar. These simple carbs were perfect to help bacteria survive and thrive inside our mouths. This lead to a host of problems, like gingivitis and cavities.

Since our bodies are hard-wired to crave carbohydrates and sugar, and we now have easy access to them, we are eating more than ever. It’s been a perfect storm, and one of the biggest victims is our teeth and gums.

Because of all of this, we now have to work to keep our mouths healthy. It’s best if you can brush three times a day, after each meal. Make sure not brush directly after eating, however, as your enamel is temporarily weakened after you consume any food or drink. You need to give it time to harden again, so brushing doesn’t do any damage. It’s also advisable to floss once a day.

I know many people are tempted to ignore the call to floss their teeth, but this step is very important. Think about how close together your teeth are. Food particles get trapped in those spaces and rot, if you don’t floss properly.

Follow these steps and make sure to see your dentist regularly. That will go a long way towards ensuring you enjoy good dental health.

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How Chewing on Ice Damages Teeth

Chewing on ice seems like an innocent habit, but it has the potential to cause serious harm to your teeth. There’s a good chance you’ve heard your dentist tell you not to chew on ice, but most people dismiss this recommendation. If you’re one of those people, you’re putting yourself at risk.

Ice is Hard

One of the biggest problems with ice is that it is so hard. Have you ever noticed how much force you have to use to crush it? That isn’t good for your teeth.

High pressure, like you use to chew ice, can wear down the enamel. Over time, this can lead to serious complications.

Temperatures Vary

Another problem is that chewing ice causes the temperature in your mouth to vary drastically. It swings from hot to cold to hot to cold and back again.

When you expose your teeth to wildly varying temperatures, you run the risk of causing cracks in your enamel. Trust me, it’s about as fun as it sounds.

There is also the risk of nerve shock. If this happens to you, you may have to undergo a root canal, which is well-known as an extremely painful procedure.

If you have a filling, the consequences may be more immediate. The hot and cold temperatures may cause the fillings to expand in an unnatural manner and wear them down quicker than they would normally.

Ice Can Be Sharp

Another issue is that ice can shatter in a manner that is similar to glass. This may lead to sharp fragments stabbing and poking your teeth. Eventually, you could end up with cut, swollen or infected gums.

Awkward Angles

Since the ice is often times shaped in an unusual manner, it cause you to bite down with an abnormal motion. Couple this with the hardness of ice, and you have a recipe for a chipped tooth.

The Problem Can Go Unnoticed

The worst part is that you may already be experiencing issues related to chewing ice without even realizing it. Small stress fractures in teeth can go unnoticed.

Eventually, however, they will grow. Once it advances to tooth failure or fragmentation, there will be no way to ignore it.

Don’t Chew Ice

It’s really best that you avoid chewing ice. If you feel like you must chew something, switch to sugarless gum. You may also want to speak with a doctor about your habit. Sometimes, the urge to chew ice, or other items that lack nutrients, can be indicative of a larger issue.

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Can Fortified Toothpaste Replace Vitamin B12 Shots?

For most vegetarians and vegans, getting enough of the nutrients that are commonly found in animal products – including protein, iron, and vitamin B12 – can be a struggle.

For example, vitamin B12 is made by organisms living in water, soil, and the digestive tracts of animals. Thus, people who do not eat meat can have a hard time getting this nutrient from diet alone. Read More

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Eat and Drink Your Way to a Healthier and Whiter Smile!

Stars like Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson need killer smiles for their livelihood, but for us mere mortals, a whiter, brighter smile can do wonders for our appearance and self-confidence. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and surveys reveal that one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile. Whiter, brighter teeth are the result of more than just regular brushing. The food and beverage choices you make impact the wattage of your smile too. Read More

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Drinking Water Containing Fluoride Cuts Tooth Decay In Adults

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Adelaide, Australia has produced the strongest evidence yet that fluoride in drinking water provides dental health benefits to adults, even those who had not received fluoridated drinking water as children. The study was conducted between 2004 and 2006 among random samples of the Australian adult population. Participants reported where they have lived since 1964. Researchers used this data to determine for what percentage of life each person lived in a community with fluoridated public water. The study found that those who spent more than 75 percent of their life living in an area with fluoridated public water enjoyed significantly (30 percent) less tooth decay than those who spent less than 25 percent of their lives in such areas. Read More

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Eating Healthy Plays Key Role in Oral Health

A strong connection exists between the food people eat and their oral/dental health, according to an updated position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, May 2013, Vol. 113:5, pp. 693-701). Dental health and nutrition are mutually related, as the health of the oral cavity directly impacts a person’s ability to eat and intake nutrition. Conversely, what a person eats and even how they eat it can impact dental health. For example, heavy consumption of sugar (in soda, coffee, fruit drinks, candy, cookies, etc.) and especially slowly dissolving candies has been proven to increase risk of oral and dental disease. Foods and habits to improve dental health include eating a high volume of fresh fruits and vegetables; choosing whole-grain, low-sugar bread and cereal products; chewing sugar-free gum briefly after eating; and spacing food and beverage intake at least two hours apart. Read More

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Can’t afford Dental Insurance?

Can’t Afford Dental Insurance? Here are 3 Great Alternatives!

If you don’t have dental insurance you shouldn’t wait to see a dentist.  Seeing a dentist can be more important than it sometimes feels and unnecessarily stalling your visit will ultimately cost you more in the long run. Can’t get dental insurance coverage through your employer? If not, you may be tempted to skip dental cleanings and other treatments. But good basic care lowers your risk of suffering a major, expensive problem in the future. Three options if you are not covered by your employer include: Read More