ORAL HEALTH POSSE FOR CONSUMERS, LLCr
education, advocacy, consultation
(a non-biased Consumer Oral Health LLC)
This fancy ruler measures the depth of gum/bone pockets around a tooth...more than 3mm the person has destruction of their gums and jaw bone from periodontal disease. If there is bleeding when the probe is inserted this infectious periodontal disease is active and has opened a portal to your bloodstream and heart for pathogenic mouth bacteria to enter. This periodontal probe (probe) is used by dentists to PROVE THE PATIENT IS DISEASED: THAT HE/SHE IS SICK AND GETTING SICKER.
Why is it antiquated?
SALIVA TESTING BOTTOMLINE: BEFORE YOU GET PERIODONTAL DISEASE HAVE A ROUTINE SALIVA TEST!
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE PERIODONTAL DISEASE DEMAND THAT YOUR DENTIST DOES A SALIVA TEST TO BE SURE THAT THE $5,$10,$15 THOUSAND DOLLARS YOU SPENT DID STOP THE DISEASE. Remember gum/bone disease, called periodontal disease, is an infection!
No personal history of periodontal disease? Say "no" to probing and "yes" to routine saliva testing.
There are two testing methods available. One is from ORAL DNA LABS (myperiopath test from OralDNALabs.com). This company has been doing these tests for about a decade. There is no valid excuse your dentist can give to keep you from being tested. YOUR dentist can and should do this. Do not go to a periodontist. Have your general dentist do this test.
The other saliva test is a target-organism test using a microscope. This test has been available since the 1970s (have your dentist go to Oratec.net to price microscopes). It was invented by an NIH scientist.
Both of these tests are very patient friendly. They take less than a minute of your time. AND can save you hours of dental treatment as well as help lengthen your life (...see next month's article)
I hasten to add that finding bad bacteria in your saliva does not mean antibiotics are needed. What these tests do is allow the dentist to choose and monitor the use of inexpensive medicaments and mechanical removal of bacteria. Antibiotics only come into play with very resistant cases. Since the dentist will know exactly which resistant bacteria he/she has to kill, any antibiotic used will be targeted to the specific offending bacteria.
So are dentists the bad cats here? Keeping away important developments that will help you have a healthy mouth? (c) Dental POSSE, LLC 2017
Study: used two identical 4.1 oz tubes of toothpaste obtained by author at a July 2016 convention, unasked for, at no charge, from a sales rep. Improved formula Crest 3D white fluoride anti-cavity toothpaste. One tube yielded 180 pea sized toothpaste. The other tube yielded 33 covered toothbrush (oral B 35 1 inch long) sized toothpaste. On 2/8/2017 this exact same brand and size was at the author's local super market for $6.49 (a SALE price) The author found the same size and brand at a local CVS for $8.49. If we use an average of $7 per tube and using toothpaste only two times per day instead of the toothpaste companies recommended "after every meal". This tube of toothpaste will last 90 days if used correctly and only 16 1/2 days if used incorrectly. Saving YOU $126 per year per person/ A family of four saves $504 per year. USE IT RIGHT, USE 5.5 TIMES LESS, SAVE $$$, and BE HEATHIER -OR- THROW YOUR MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN...LITERALLY (c) Dental POSSE, LLC, 2017
There are two kinds to toothbrushing:
1. Social Brushing: to get the spinach and other food stuffs off your teeth so you will be a socially acceptable person. This is done as often as needed
2. Oral Health Brushing: to keep your teeth and mouth free of disease. This needs to be done once every twenty-four hours with a dedicated toothbrush and floss ( or waterpik) (c) Dental POSSE, LLC
JUNE 2017 ARTICLE Causes of Cavities/Decay/Caries AND easy ways to prevent them
Cavities (scientific name: CARIES) also called decay or "need a filling". The the bane of many people's life. Before I went to dental school I had cavities/caries at every dental visit. After dental school never. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO GO TO DENTAL SCHOOL TO KNOW HOW TO AVOID CARIES! It is easy!
First it is important to know the cause; GERMS! actually bacteria. A very different kind of bacteria from the bacteria that cause gum disease(PD). The bacteria that cause caries can live in air/on surfaces/hands/et cetera...so they are very easy to get in your mouth. The trick is to have a small enough number of these bacteria in your mouth BECAUSE..HERE IT IS these bacteria cannot do damage to the teeth unless they are in colonies. These germs take 24 hours to form a colony. SO ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DISPERSE THE COLONIES ONCE EVERY 24 HOURS.
Where we run into problems: there are so many bacteria all their colonies cannot be dispersed.
The difficulty usually arises when the patient and/or dentist does not understand if the problem is too many bacteria OR poor dispersant technique.
The dispersement techniques are covered in Jan and Feb 2017 blog on this site. You need to learn how to thoroughly clean all your teeth once every 24 hours.
If there are too many caries causing bacteria in the oral environment you can brush and floss until the cows come home with no reduction in cavities.
First thing to do is TEST FOR THESE CARIES CAUSING BACTERIA! The test most readily available to dentists is called the CariScreen Test. It is very simple to do...a small cotton swab takes bacteria from the back of your lower front teeth, the swab is placed in a solution outside your mouth and read in less than one minute. Easy, for you.
Dentists have issues with it. They often forget the test is a diagnostic tool to be paired with all the other observation they make when examining a patient.
HERE IS HOW TO USE THIS TEST: If the dentist sees no caries in your mouth have the test done. If the test is high you are at a high risk and need to take action to kill the bacteria.
If the dentist sees caries DO NOT TAKE THE TEST UNTIL one month AFTER ALL THE FILLING ARE DONE! At one month if the test is high you will need to take action. If it is low you are ok until your next check up when you should be tested again.
What are the actions you could take:(1) going over home care to be absolutely sure you are cleaning all the sides of all the teeth daily.
(2) who are you living with? remember if your partner or guests have poor habits they are going to infect you. (3) fluoride treatments are a must after each cleaning (we will go into the whys in a later article ) it can protect and help for 2-3 months after the cleaning. (4) in very difficult cases fluoride home trays,100% xylitol products, fluoride pills may be needed... especially for persons with a very dry mouth.
For so long we have been brain washed that certain foods cause caries. Bacteria cause caries and bacteria eat the food we eat. They love sugar and carbohydrates but no matter what we eat, if caries causing bacteria are in our months caries will follow.These bacteria are good at transforming any food we eat into what they need to survive then etching our teeth with their acid byproducts to cause caries. (c) Dental POSSE LLC 2017
OCTOBER 2017 Preventing Early Childhood Cavities/Caries
Once a child can eat solid foods and drink from a cup (sippy), the food choices expand. We all know not to put a baby to bed with a bottle containing milk or fruit juice. The milk/juice baths the teeth in the perfect food for mouth bacteria. The child has cavities/caries on every tooth (milk-bottle mouth). Milk bottle mouth looks like an alcoholic's mouth or the mouth of a meth. addict.
Now pediaticians are saying not to feed children fruit juices...too much sugar (real or artificial) and leads to obesity and to cavities/caries.
I cannot speak to the obesity argument. As for cavities it all has to do with amount, duration, and mouth care.
A child needs to have his/her mouth brushed and flossed once per day, EVERY DAY, by a PARENT.
Drinks should not be carried around and sipped thoughout the day. Same with snacks and meals. To prevent cavities/caries have your child sit down and finish his/her meal or snack or drink before other activities.
THE DECAY CAUSING BACTERIA GIVE OFF CAVITY/CARIES CAUSING ACID FROM EACH LITTLE SIP. EXTENDED SIPPING CAUSES MORE CAVITIES. Eating little bites over long periods of time causes bacteria to give off more acid and results in more cavities/caries.
(This is especially important to remember on Halloween night. Let your children eat ALL the candy at once. Deal with the stomach ache. Your child will have fewer cavities and you will have a teachable moment about over indulging in bad food. YES, I did practice what I am recommending with my own children. Don't forget about the candy buy-back programs being run to help our troops...another teachable moment...while still having lots of fun on Halloween)
For thirst quenching in-between meals and snacks use water. Tap water has no calories, is natural, and will not harm teeth.
It will also start a very good habit early.
NOTE: For yourself and as a good example to your child...STOP YOUR OWN DAY LONG SIPPY DRINKING. It is bad for you and your oral health.
(c) Dental POSSE, LLC 10/2017
* There is an insurance code for home care instruction (1330). Dentists do not use this code because it is not reimbursed by dental benefit plans.
THE REAL CRIME HERE IS THAT MY COLLEAGUES DON'T BOTHER TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL INSTRUCTION ON HOME CARE. Shame on them! Don't let your dentist get away with this behavior.
Don't let your employer get away with a dental benefit plan that does not cover the most basic of preventive services, home care instructions. START LOBBYING TODAY!
These two simple changes in behavior and coverage could save you tens of thousands of dollars over your life time. Not to mention better overall health and a LONGER LIFE. (see article for September 2016)
(c) Dental POSSE, LLC 2017
READ LABELS DIRECTIONS EXPIRATION DATES SEPTEMBER 2017.
Yesterday, 8/31/2017, I was in my local CVS getting multi-vitamins. I picked up a box of adult centrum tablets (130 per box) and did what I always do...AND YOU SHOULD TOO...checked the expiration date. It was 7/2017. Being me, I took the expired centrum to the pharmacy counter, put it down, and said, "This is expired. It shouldn't be on the shelf."
Had I bought this box of centrum at CVS I would have been taking a pill with decreased potency for 130 days (over 4 months!).*
If this was an isolated incidence it would not be a big deal, BUT IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME WITH DRUGS, FOODS, and DRINKS.
One of the best gifts you can give yourself and those you love is a pocket magnifying glass. Use it to read expiration dates and ingredients before purchasing items to be put into your body. This is true for foods, drinks, and especially drugs. Both drugs that are via prescription and over-the- counter drugs have fillers (inactive ingredients). Often fillers that many people find difficult to process/digest. "Questionable" fillers are most often (but not always) found in the cheaper "store" brands. Example: baby aspirin CVS store brand is cheaper. My husband, who has many allergies, has no problem with these particular store brand filler ingedience; however, the store brand baby aspirin has a filler that I cannot digest without taking another pill...so not less expensive for me. In this example I need the name brand as it does not contain the filler I cannot digest.
Directions are another item we need to read. Some drugs need to be taken at certain times or with or without liquids. IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE. If you want the medicine to work it needs to be taken the correct way. If you disregard directions you can also set off unwanted side effects. One very common prescription drug must be taken with a full glass of water...if not the voice will become hoarse and throat sore.
Frozen dinners can be a huge problem for your gut if you do not KEEP THEM FROZEN and cook them the full amount of time.
These are just two of many examples. Again, if you spend the money...use the product correctly.
To stay healthy and save money read what you are going to be putting into your body BEFORE you make the purchase. Check the expiration date.
We all work hard for our money. We need to get value when purchasing products.
(* the centrum I did buy at another store had an expiration date of 12/2019!) (c) Dental POSSE LLC 9-2017
SEE Contact PAGE THIS WEBSITE FOR LIST OF 2017 ARTICLES.
May 2017 ARTICLE...Some of the ways your mouth can kill or maim you .
Manual vs Electric Toothbrush FOR USE IN ORAL HEALTH BRUSHING 2/2017 ARTICLE
Manual toothbrushes are least expensive, can go anywhere, have no moving parts, are easy to clean and are disposable. With a manual toothbrush you have to move your hand, wrist and arm.
Electric toothbrushes are faster, have a 'cool' 'hip' factor, you only need to use your arm when using, good for persons with physical handicaps.
WITH BOTH: you need to be taught how to use them properly*, you have to practice to use them correctly AND you need to have your brain in gear when you are using them.
The manual toothbrush should have lots of rounded bristles(multi-tufted/rounded), it should be soft (never medium and esp NEVER hard). It should be tossed out and replaced with new brush after one month (two at the very most).
The manual toothbrush for oral health brushing is used only one time every twenty-your hours, with water. Starting at the gum line you should brush the teeth the way they grow. The brush head should fit YOUR mouth size. All teeth and all sides that can be reached with a brush should be cleaned. Every mouth is different. Ask your dentist/hygienest to tell you what brush to buy. Take the brush to your dental appointment and have the dentist/hygienist show you IN YOUR MOUTH how to brush. Have the dentist/ hygienist check your brushing at subsequent appointments to be sure you are brushing all teeth correctly *
With an Electric toothbrush you MUST HAVE A DENTIST/HYGIENIST show you how it is used.* There are several different types of brush heads that are each used in a very different and specific way. Make sure you use these electric brushes correctly. They can do damage if used incorrectly (so can manual toothbrushes but to a lesser degree).
Electric brush heads must be changed every 2 months. When using any toothbrush for oral health brushing it should be allowed to dry for 24 hours between uses.
If your dentist is selling electric tooth brushes be sure you do two thing: 1. Ask if this is the right brush for you and if it will fit in your mouth correctly. 2. Try it before your buy! (an advantage of buying from the dentist...he/she will have a demo base that can be sterilized/covered and brush heads that you can buy to try the unit. Getting the needed instruction in your mouth before you buy ...note: better to pay $10-$20 for a brush head you don't like than $80 to $150 for a unit you don't like). If you have an electric toothbrush already be sure to bring it to your next dental appointment and have your dentist/hygienist show you how to use it correctly.
A TOOL NEEDS TO BE USED CORRECTLY TO WORK. (c) Dental POSSE, LLC 2017
FLOSS is my all time favorite. It can go anywhere you go, is inexpensive, has no moving parts, and is disposable.
The down side of floss is that most people do not use it properly. (see this website for instructions). Get your dentist to show you how to floss (this means a mirror and you flossing your teeth and the dentist or hygienist correcting and demonstrating in YOUR mouth).* Flossing is like playing chopsticks on the piano...with a little practice you can do it easily. (Hint: Never floss in the bathroom. Learn how to floss without a mirror so you can floss anywhere.) Clean hands, please.
Some individuals just do not have the manual dexterity needed to floss OR their personality demands gadgets. For these individuals the WATERPIK is the best choice.
ONLY BUY A WATERPIK THAT PULSES WATER/AIR/WATER/AIR. The air will kill the germs (bacteria) and the water washes them away. Never use a Waterpik on high. The job of the waterpik is NOT to remove food. The job of the waterpik is to kill and remove germs.
Take your waterpik to your next dental appointment and have your dentist show you how to use it in YOUR mouth. Let them watch you use it and correct the placement of the tip to show you how to get ALL your teeth*
Warning: Like all gadgets with moving parts, not to mention small hoses, a Waterpik has to be cleaned regularly! Clean with diluted bleach...ALWAYS FOLLOWING MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS.
NINETY PERCENT (90%) OF ORAL HEALTH HAPPENS AT HOME DAILY. ONLY TEN PERCENT (10%) OF ORAL HEALTH HAPPENS AT THE DENTAL OFFICE. SCARY FIGURES BUT TRUE. (c) Dental POSSE, LLC 1/2017
OHP4C is an education and consulting firm. These articles are written to help consumers make sound, practical oral health choices. Dr Valentina Pasquantonio
AUGUST 2017 ARTICLE Breast Feeding, Tongue and Lip Ties, and Lasers
Breast feeding is how humans have fed their young for all time. Although breast feeding went out of "style" for some years it is now back "IN". You can find the wonderful long term benefits of breast feeding for both mother and infant in may articles and scientific papers.
For millennia, severe tongue ties have been recognized as a significant problem to successful breast feeding. There are many ways to treat a tongue tie in a new born. In this century (2000s) the method of choice until recently was conventional surgery (scalpels or scissors , anesthetica, stitches, 2 weeks healing) or electrosurgery machines (charing the tissue with poor ability for a precise result) UNTIL: diode lasers became available.
Now not only tongue ties but upper lip ties can be corrected precisely with a laser in a dental office ( no anesthesia ,no bleeding, no sutures) in a new born, with the infant able to breast feed immediately (the next minute) after laser treatment.
THIS IS A HUGE STEP FORWARD: not just for mother's and infant's breast feeding comfort BUT for the child's future.The following will be prevented or significantly decreased with treatment of tongue and lip ties: speech therapy, braces, sleep apnea, and the list goes on.
Even better: both tongue and lip ties can be corrected at any age...from 2 days to 100 years... with lasers in the same non-traumatic way. (Why at a 100 years??? so a denture can fit and stay in place.)
See: www.kiddsteeth.com and your local lactation society (ILCA.org) for more information
(c) Dental POSSE, LLC 8/2017
NOVEMBER 2017 BRACES Why? Not just to look good.
Most people think braces are to get straight teeth, a beautiful smiles, and a better proportioned face.
These are part of the good results from braces but they are not the real reason for doing braces. The reason is the "bite" .
BUT DO YOU KNOW WHY THE BITE IS SO IMPORTANT?
THE BITE: This is the way the upper (top) and lower(bottom) teeth come together.
If you want to chew your food efficiently the teeth have to come together just so. Teeth are made to fit together in just one way (they have groves and cusps...like little mountains... that are mirror images of the teeth they are to mesh with and slide over when chewing). If the teeth do not mesh properly they can crack and break (remember when you chew the teeth come together with 435 pounds per square inch of pressure. THAT IS A LOT OF PRESSURE FOR A VERY SMALL SURFACE AREA).
The most important part of the bite needs a short anatomy lesson. Your upper jaw, with the upper teeth, are part of your skull. The lower jaw ,with your lower teeth, is separate from your skull. The upper and lower jaws are attached to each other by a bunch of muscles and ligaments. The way the teeth fit together and glide over each other (the BITE) determines how these muscles and ligaments work. If the bite is correct the muscles and ligaments work great and are relaxed. There is no pain, or headaches, or neck or muscles strain. The way the condyle ( part of the lower jaw bone) comes near the skull is protected so there is no bone on bone pain.
We are all living longer. Wonderful! A side problem showing up in individuals who needed braces but refused are severe joint problems (TMJ) described in simple terms above.
HINT: if you want braces to work you MUST wear them and wear any elastics EVERY DAY! The teeth are moved by the baces in the first 48 hours. Then the bases keep the teeth in the correct place and allow new bone to form. If you do not wear the braces this hurt/hold has to happen after each time you start wearing them again. A needless amount of discomfort and a waste of everyone's time. There is no fooling a dentist. He/she knows how much pressure was placed and where the teeth should be. The only one who is suffering is you. Both in discomfort and time in braces.
HINT: even having a simple filling can throw your bite off. Make sure that at the end of any dental appointment your dentist checks your bite to be SURE it is correct and what he/she did not altered the bite when doing a filling or crown.
BIG HINT: Once the braces come off you are not done. The retainers have to be used daily to prevent issues. BUT JUST AS IMPORTANT. A year or two after the braces come off have your restorative dentist check your bite to do the fine tuning by gently recontouring any teeth that are not quite hitting correctly. Until this is done the braces are not completed
July 2017 Pregnant Women and Oral Health:
It is very important to have a healthy mouth during pregnancy.
It is so important that insurance companies who write both medical and dental insurance products will cover a cleaning every 3 months for a pregnant woman. This is not because they are good guys. It is because the overwhelming evidence shows that the mother and infant will have fewer medical complications when the mother's mouth is healthy. THEY SAVE BIG BUCKS! Long term you will too...both for yourself and your child.
Make sure you do not have any caries (scientific name for cavities/decay/rotting teeth). If you do, get them treated before you get pregnant.
Make sure you do not have periodontal disease (an infection of the gums and jaw bone that hold your teeth in place). If you do, get it treated before you get pregnant.
Sometimes getting your mouth healthy before a pregnancy is not possible...as the pregnancy was not planned. Still you need to do what you can to get your mouth as healthy as possible during the pregnancy and beyond.
Although there is a section in almost all medical and dental text books called "pregnancy gingivitis" this is reality a misnomer. "Pregnancy gingivitis" is often poorly treated or ignored at the peril of the both the infant and the mother. Both short and long term. The real reason the gums are bleeding is NOT 'just hormone' but a diseases that was in a sub-acute state (no outward signs) converted to an acute disease by the hormones. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease (PD). If your gums bleed a portal for mouth bacteria has been opened to the rest of your body. Not something you want at any time, but especially not during pregnancy.
Being pregnant and giving birth is a wonderful, natural, and joyous time of life. Be healthy. Enjoy it!
(c) Dental POSSE, LLC 2017
We don't think of the oral cavity and teeth as killing or maiming us (except oral cancer and the maiming from tooth loss). In fact there are so
manyways diseases of the oral cavity can kill and maim us I am forced to do short summaries only.
Year end notes: See December 2016 article. It is important.
A very healthy holiday season to one and all. May 2018 bring us health, tolerance, and most of all LOVE of our fellow men and women. V.
December 2017 Headaches and Your Mouth
Sixty percent of all headache have a dental component. Again: Sixty percent of all headaches have a dental component.
I did not say that sixty percent of headaches are caused by a dental component...only that sixty percent HAVE a dental component. That component could be 1% of the headache, 76% of the headache, rarely 95% of the headache, or 47.324%... or whatever.
The important point here is that if you have headaches, especially chronic headaches, in 60 % of the people there is part of that headache that is caused by an oral health issue.
The issue could be a cracked tooth, a bite that is off, a crown that is coming loose, a tooth that needs a root canal, jaw joint muscles or chewing muscles that are in spasm from an injury or disease.
Many headaches are called "sinus headaches" because there is pressure built up in your sinus cavities. Often these headaches are diagnosed as flu (virus or bacterial) or allergies. If they persist they could be caused by an upper tooth that is in trouble and the drainage from that tooth is pouring into the sinus..
IN SHORT...IF YOU HAVE CHRONIC HEADACHES BE SURE TO SEE YOUR DENTIST.
A very important note to remember: HEADACHES THEMSELVES ARE A SYMPTOM NOT A DISEASE. If you have headaches, the doctors' (that includes a doctor who is a dentist) job is to find out what is causing the headache (a symptom of a disease).
Don't allow anyone to dismiss a headache as "oh, it is just stress" The headache is a symptom of a problem/disease caused by what is happening in your mouth, facial and jaw joint muscles, sinuses, from the stress. (If you grind or clench your teeth you will break something or cause muscles to spasm). Remember also that headaches can be a symptom of very serious diseases of the nervous system and the brain.
FIND OUT WHAT IS CAUSING THAT HEADACHE AND ADDRESS/CURE THE CAUSE.
(c) Dental Posse 12/2017)
*strep throat untreated can cause serious heart damage. A sore throat lasting more than 3 days needs to be cultured. Medical insurances pay for throat cultures as a preventive measure to avoid damage to the heart.
© 2015 Dental POSSE, LLC/OralHealthPosse for Consumers
(c) 2015 photographs ValentinaPW
PO BOX 1417
Concord MA 01742
The ten leading causes of death in the USA from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
are: (1) Heart Disease, (2) Cancer, (3) Chronic lower respiratory diseases, (4) Accidents, (5) Stroke, (6) Alzheimer's disease,
(7) Diabetes, (8) Influenza and Pneumonia, (9) Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, (10) Intentional self-harm (suicide)
Periodontal Disease (PD), an infection of the gums and bone around the teeth that causes bleeding and opens up a portal for bacteria from the mouth into the blood stream and every organ in the body, is a prime player in 4 of the top ten causes of death. Having PD increases the difficulty of treating these diseases and increases the death rate from them. In two of these diseases PD may even be causative.
Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, and Pneumonia (to learn more about this silent killer ask for the POSSE's paper on PD. It is free and could save your life email@example.com)
Cancer: both kills and maims. Fifty percent of all persons diagnosed with oral cancer die from the disease. Most of those who live are maimed because of the surgery needed to remove the cancer.(see October 2016 Article)
If we go to the lesser causes of death:
Cirrhosis deaths increase in persons who have PD
Sudden infant death is being linked to tongue and lip ties. These two conditions can lead to difficulty breathing and speaking and cavities (caries/decay) though out life when left uncorrected. (This will be discussed in a article later this year)
Teeth infected with decay/cavities and left untreated will ultimately lead to death. (The Brain is VERY CLOSE to your upper teeth!) If the cavities/decay in teeth is left untreated very serious complex medical procedures, hospitalization, and maiming are the 'good' outcomes.
I could go on. These are the depressing high points. If you would like more information on any of the points made just email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the POSSE's monthly articles.
See under copyright bar on FLOSS page for what you can do to prevent periodontal disease (PD). Next month's article will be about CARIES (the fancy name for cavities/decay) and how to prevent them. (c) dental posse llc
Teeth have five sides. The chewing side, the side toward your cheeks, and the side toward your tongue can be cleaned with a tooth brush. The other two sides...between a tooth and the tooth behind and in front of it must be cleaned also. There is no toothbrush that can clean between teeth. The ads are wrong! So what do you use to clean between teeth?
FLOSS or WATERPIK?. 1/2017 ARTICLE
To have a healthy mouth, healthy gums, and healthy teeth you need to thoroughly clean all the sides of all your teeth once every twenty-four hours.
What TOOTHPASTE should I use ? Is a common question. 3/2017 ARTICLE
The more important question is: HOW MUCH TOOTHPASTE SHOULD I USE? The answer to that question is a pea sized amount. Said another way, a spherical amount of toothpaste with a diameter of 1/4 inch. (see photo on "How to Brush" page this website)
THIS IS IMPORTANT: Studies show that when too much toothpaste is used the patient/brusher/YOU brush significantly shorter and do a significantly poorer job cleaning all your teeth.
Using toothpaste correctly will save the average person $126 per year (see study in yellow). I am all for spending money on good dental health...BUT THIS IS NOT MONEY WELL SPENT.
What toothpaste should I use? Ask your dentist. Remember only a pea sized amount at each use.
A tip: if you are given a toothpaste by your dentist always ask: "Do you recommend this or did it just come free?"
When I was in clinical practice I would receive, unasked for, one to two cases of toothpaste from two companies each quarter. Every now and then my team and I would get sick of moving the cases around the storage room and either give them to charities or put them in the reception room with a sign "free from manufacturer"
Toothpastes claim to do all sorts of things: Some guidelines:
Whiten It may help IF you are a blueberry eating, red wine drinking, smoking, tobacco chewing person. There is a price...many of these toothpastes are very abrasive. There are two easier, more cost effective, and better ways to whiten teeth at home (these will be covered in a later article)
Stop decay/cavities No toothpaste can do this alone. If the mouth is totally free of decay (caries) AND the patient does a thorough oral health cleaning once per day (see 2/2017 article), a fluoride toothpaste can help.
Stop Sensitivity Toothpaste can help here BUT ONLY IF YOU FIRST KNOW WHY THE TEETH ARE SENSITIVE! Sensitive teeth are a symptom of a problem that needs to be properly diagnosed. Don't let your dentist get away with just recommending toothpaste. He/She needs to diagnose WHY the teeth are sensitive.
Smell Good/decrease bad breath Bad breath is a symptom. If it is just onions for lunch that is one thing. BUT if you have persistent bad breath you need to know why and take steps to control or correct the underlying condition/disease (two common examples: dry mouth from medication, infectious sub-clinical disease)
FOR FUN: Read old marketing story under the grey bar on "How to Brush" page on this website (c) Dental POSSE, LLC 2017
The answer is "Yes", BUT that is not the whole story. Dental insurance companies play a big part (not to excuse my colleagues, they should have the guts to protect and teach their patients... BUT).
Most dental benefit plans do not pay for saliva testing. (Even though it is a recognized preventive/diagnostic procedure. ADA insurance codes 0415 to 0423).
The dental benefit plans that do pay for saliva testing will only pay if the dentist submits a full mouth periodontal probing showing 4mm or deeper pocket depths AND a full mouth series of x-rays less than a year old that show bone loss.
To add insult to injury all dental benefit plans will only pay for the simple mechanical removal of bacteria if...yep. you guessed it...the dentist submits a full mouth periodontal charting showing 4mm or deeper pocket depths and full mouth x-rays less than a year old showing bone loss!
This behavior by dental insurance companies is EXACTLY like medical insurance companies saying, "we will only pay for a throat culture* if the physician first sends in an EKG showing heart damage AND x-rays showing the heart is damaged"
So a dentist has to have this conversation with the patient: "We can stop this infectious periodontal disease before it gets going by doing routine saliva testings...catching problems before your health is comprised and it costs you lots of money. BUT. Your dental benefit plan won't pay for the needed saliva testing" The dentists are too chicken to teach and, sorry to say, often the patient says "If it isn't covered, forget it"
CALL TO ACTION:
Demand saliva testing instead of probing! (most saliva tests cost less than $150 and some...via microscope... less than $50)
Demand that your employer has a dental plan that covers saliva testing as a screening for periodontal disease without exceptions/limitations
IT IS 2017. SAY "We want 21st century dentistry and we don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on periodontal surgery with recovery and pain when it can all be prevented by a simple rinse and spit saliva test" (c)Dental POSSE, LLC 2017