Posts tagged with "dental health"

Kaelen Felix illustrates beauty and dental article for 360 MAGAZINE

Ten Tips for a Whiter, Healthier Smile

There are plenty of occasions where you’d want a gorgeous smile. Birthdays, weddings and graduations are just a few of the celebrations in which you should beam confidently. When looking back on photos, you might feel so much happier knowing you smiled with your whole heart instead of hiding it away.

Luckily, there are quite a few ways you can boost your grin. You should love your smile no matter what it looks like, but you can make it even better with simple tasks and lifestyle changes.

  1. Drink Water 

Water doesn’t leave stains like other liquids, nor is it bad for your health. It can help free your mouth of any food debris left in it, and it’s the best liquid option for your teeth by far. Sugary drinks can increase the rate of tooth decay, while water can contain the fluoride you need to promote healthy teeth. 

Make sure to drink tap water if you want a dose of fluoride. Because it occurs naturally in tap water, it’s easy to get the recommended amount to protect your teeth. You should be aware of the levels of fluoride in your water, though. Too much isn’t a good thing, but too little of it can lead to weaker teeth and more cavities.

  1. Quit Smoking

In addition to being bad for your lungs, smoking can impact your smile by staining your teeth. If you’re smoking often enough or don’t tackle the stains when you can, the pigments can go deeper and root permanently on your teeth.

Smoking can also give you fine lines around your mouth. Procedures such as injecting Botox can help reduce these wrinkles. If you don’t want to undergo a process, quitting smoking now is the best way to reduce the appearance of those lines.

  1. Improve Your Overall Health

Consider your overall health when looking for a way to improve one area of your body. Taking proper care of yourself means you’ll be able to devote more attention to your teeth. 

You’ll also likely feel happier, healthier and more confident in yourself if you focus on more than just your teeth. Adopt healthy habits, like exercising and eating right, and you’ll find that improved oral health will follow.

  1. Watch What You Eat

While sugar is a definite food group to avoid if you want an effortlessly beautiful smile, plenty of other substances can affect your teeth, too. Salty snacks can stick to your teeth. Since there are a lot of starches in processed foods, you’ll likely find more plaque buildup if you eat them constantly. 

Fibrous foods can increase your saliva production, which in turn protects your teeth. Eating foods that are higher in fiber can keep your teeth cleaner and, potentially, whiter. After snacking on any kind of food, make sure you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water to rid yourself of anything that remains.

  1. Use the Right Toothbrush

Make sure the toothbrush you use daily is optimized for your teeth. Soft bristles are a great option because you don’t want too much force to affect your tooth enamel and gums. Buying an electric or angled brush can guarantee you can clean your teeth thoroughly.

Many electric toothbrushes have settings for whitening or sensitive teeth. However, they can be expensive, so you might want to opt for an angled brush if you’re on a budget. Make sure the bristles are firm enough to remove debris and plaque from your teeth yet soft enough to treat your enamel and gums with the care they need.

  1. Try at-Home Whitening

Choosing a whitening toothpaste might be the most effective way to treat yellow teeth or stains on a budget. While you have to use it often to work, you should ensure it’s not too abrasive on your teeth. Toothpaste that is too abrasive will break down your enamel, which leaves your teeth vulnerable.

At-home whitening kits can also help you achieve a flawlessly white smile. Different kits may require various steps. Some may include whitening strips you leave on your teeth, while others might require you to use gel. Whichever you choose, make sure to follow the directions to avoid weakening your teeth while whitening them.

  1. Go to Regular Checkups

Make sure to visit your dentist regularly. Periodic cleanings can help you keep a benchmark on your oral health and identify any problems before they escalate. Most insurance plans cover basic cleanings and some treatments, so it could be in your best interest to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later.

You should visit your dentist at least twice a year to keep up with your regular health checkups. Depending on your personal needs, you may have to go more frequently to maintain the smile you love. Routine cleanings mean you shouldn’t have to worry about something out of your control happening inside your mouth.

  1. Limit Alcohol Intake

Wine, along with coffee and tea, has the potential to stain your teeth. Stains can be challenging to remove, but you shouldn’t see much of a problem if you keep your alcoholic intake in check. Staining liquids can be mitigated by using a straw. It can also slow down tooth decay because the liquid won’t be touching your teeth if you do it correctly.

  1. Use the Right Makeup

If you’re worried about yellow teeth ruining your night out, consider wearing lipstick with pink or blue undertones. These colors will make yellow less apparent, so your teeth will appear white even if you might have some discolored areas.

If drawing attention to your teeth in general makes you squeamish, make up for it by playing up other features. Maybe you can add more color to your cheeks, or perhaps you can create a gorgeous eye look that will bring people’s attention elsewhere on your face.

  1. Keep up With Your Hygiene

Brush and floss your teeth daily, if not more than that. You should brush your teeth after you eat a meal. If your toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t available to you after you’ve eaten, consider rinsing your mouth out with water to remove any food debris that’s been left behind.

Keep up with your daily oral hygiene, and you’ll find it’s an easy habit to stick to over time. As long as you work toward it every day, you can follow your routine without even thinking about it.

Smile With Confidence

No matter who you are, your smile is one of the most extraordinary things about you. It draws people in and conveys when you’re happy. Treat your mouth right, and you’ll have a grin that lasts for years. Ensure you care for your teeth and gums correctly, like using the right toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste, and you’ll gain the confidence you need to beam at the world.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Dental Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Oral Hygiene × SARS-CoV-2

The British Dental Journal recently found that poor oral hygiene may be linked to more severe cases of COVID-19 because of the harmful bacteria found in mouths that have not been properly taken care of.

While the mouth has always been known as a gateway to the rest of the body, giving it the ability to cause problems in other areas, it is now found that poor oral hygiene can cause respiratory infections, making COVID-19 stronger.

The good news is that the best defense, in this scenario, is to follow good oral practices, like flossing, brushing and using mouthwash.

COVID-19 continues to be deadly, but there does appear to be some sort of link in more than half of fatal cases.

According to the British Dental Journal, “More than 80% of COVID-19 patients in ICUs exhibited an exceptionally high bacterial load, with more than 50% of deaths exhibiting bacterial superinfections.”

Even though COVID-19 is transferred virally, complications like pneumonia and acute respiratory distress might be caused by bacterial superinfection, which begins in the mouth.

The study says, “We recommend that oral hygiene be maintained, if not improved, during a SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and the potential risk of a bacterial superinfection.”

Again, hygiene can be maintained by brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, but oral-care probiotics can also offer protection.

Oral-care probiotics are a specialized type of probiotic formulated to repopulate the oral cavity bacteria, which battles harmful bacteria that could lead to cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Dr. Eric Goulder, founder of the Heart and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio, said he thinks heart health is also determined by oral health. His team uses ProBiora, which supports health in teeth and gums.

“We think everyone should be extra careful during the pandemic, and oral-care probiotics are a great way to help keep the oral cavity in balance 24-7,” Dr. Goulder said.

To see the study, you can click right here.

Mina Tocalini illustration for 360 MAGAZINE HEALTH SECTION.

Reduce Covid Stress

 The millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought globally are creating stress over everything from personal health to employment, lifestyle, and finances. Given these difficult circumstances, it’s more important than ever for people to know about coping mechanisms to better manage stress, protect their immune system, and increase their chances of staying healthy, says Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS, author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living.

“COVID is maximizing stress for so many people,” Dr. Patel says. “It has a far-reaching impact into every part of our lives, and if we don’t manage the stress, it severely affects our bodily systems – causing burned-out adrenals, high cortisol, and thyroid issues, to name a few consequences of high-stress levels. Thus, the immune system is lowered, and we are more vulnerable to illness.

“This era we are living in is very traumatic, and it’s very concerning. In dentistry, gum disease, sleep disturbances or apnea, and teeth breakage can all be evidence of stress. Poor oral health, as studies show, can be a gateway to medical issues. People often don’t identify how much stress they’re under, and how it’s affecting them physically, until they actually get sick.”

Dr. Patel has the following suggestions people can incorporate into their daily lives to better deal with stress. 

5 Ways To Cope And Protect Your Health:

  1. Adhere to a healthy diet. While in quarantine or a new normal in which people are spending the vast majority of their time at home, having healthy foods at home and not over-snacking are vital considerations. “We must be more mindful of the foods we put in our bodies,” Dr. Patel says. “Eat as many greens and whole foods as possible. Avoid dairy products as they increase mucus production in the sinus and the chest, leading to lots of sneezing and congestion. The coronavirus enters the nose and makes a home in the sinus, and to increase immunity, it’s important that the sinus and chest are not inflamed. Food prep makes it easier to eat healthy while working from home. Prepare salads and other healthy meals in advance.”
  2. Don’t over-indulge in drinking. “For some people, drinking is the only source of enjoyment during the pandemic,” Dr. Patel says. “And we see people who are isolating having Zoom calls with friends while drinking wine. The problem is that one glass turns into two or more, and with the sugar content of wine, you may wake up during the night. This disturbs sleep, and sleep is when the immune system regenerates. Restorative sleep is essential to our health.”
  3. Take vitamin supplements. “Often, those with adrenal fatigue don’t take in enough essential nutrients as stress increases their body’s nutritional demands,” Dr. Patel says. “To address adrenal and cortisol burnout, take multivitamins in order to get trace minerals.”
  4. Develop a morning ritual. “Deep breathing exercises can be calming and get you out of the hyper state,” Dr. Patel says. “You want to get rid of the ‘fight or flight’ mode and enter the ‘rest and digest’ state of mind.”
  5. Find a stress management activity that works for you. Many people don’t like to exercise, but Dr. Patel notes exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous to be effective. “A type of exercise one enjoys doing at home like walking, running, or yoga goes a long way toward releasing stress hormones,” she says. “And for those who like intense workouts, it’s all good in terms of reducing stress. Another good stress management technique is using biofeedback mechanisms like alpha state meditations to increase immunity.”

“The disruption of daily life by COVID-19 has caused us to rethink many things that we do,” Dr. Patel says. “How we deal with stress needs to be a priority now, and it’s not overly difficult if you develop good daily habits.”

Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS operates a practice called Green Dentistry in San Francisco and is the author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. A graduate of the University of California’s School of Dentistry, she is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. Dr. Patel focuses on helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health.

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