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Dental Health Tips

I just went to my dentist and had my now regular deep cleaning. I asked my dentist about all the things I had just seen on TV the week before. It was a segment on the majority of the population over 30 years old, who had lost at least one of their teeth, and some a lot more. I wanted to know why?

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I know my story. My son wrote a letter to over 1000 dentists who had something on the internet. I'll always be grateful for that. Since I had been a model, I was so blessed to be able to do a documentary for a very well known dentist in Beverly Hills, CA, in exchange for a whole new smile. I felt like I was given back a big part of my life. I was told "it was the cost of a Mercedes" when all the work was complete. Cars are fine for some people. I was now able to be me again, and there is no price tag on that.

Some things about this illness you can control, others are out of your hands. I thought here was no way anything I did would affect my teeth. What I had thought was wrong. After seeing that TV show, it seems it is happening to many people.

Now I have deep cleanings every four months. It is unlike a regular cleaning, because they go between the tooth and the gum to remove what they can see, and what they can't. I asked my dentist if everyone needed a deep cleaning, and how often. The answer was "yes". Everyone over 30 years of age should get a deep cleaning once a year. Root canals, tooth aches, or shifting teeth may be prevented with proper dental care.

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In today's economy, so many people do not have dental insurance. This may be where you can use a local dental college, or a technical school; where they help you and get the hours they need for graduation.

I have received things in my mail where they have days that doctors, dentists, chiropractors have clinic, free hours trying to help out communities. This may be worth making a couple calls, if you do not have the money or insurance for proper dental care.

Brushing after every meal is so important; even eating a snack and letting hours go by is a ground for decay. Never go to bed without brushing (each time you brush 2 minutes is recommended) then floss and rinse with mouthwash.

The cost of the mouthwash or tooth paste doesn't determine its worth. In fact hydrogen peroxide is great to use. It also whitens your teeth without hurting them, by using too much whitener. I had been guilty of this one myself.

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Whitening and those whitening strips often will damage your teeth. It first takes away the enamel on the outside of our teeth which weakens the tooth. If used too much, it can do the opposite and turn your teeth a grey color, instead of white.

Make sure if you use whitening products, that you are following the directions. If you are sensitive afterward, it probably is a warning that something is not quite right. Like every other thing in our body; listen to your own body.

My teeth now are the whitest he could make them. I am very concerned about staining. We eat better now, but with all of those beautiful berries, fruits, and green vegetables, comes staining if you don't brush afterward. Use only a soft bristle tooth brush the other ones cause the gums to recede, making sure you use circular motions in the backs, and cleaning behind the teeth as well as the front is the correct way I was shown to brush.

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Look at how many years I was doing it wrong, makes you think how many children are really brushing right. I was shown to do this up and down way which frankly embarrasses me now.

I have a friend who always says"goggle it" to anyone who asks a question and maybe this would apply here. The whole family could brush making sure everyone young, teen or older knows the correct way to clean your teeth, and how important it is. Not just the taste of the tooth paste which is what most kids want these days.

Baking soda is fine right out of the box. In fact look at all of the kinds of tooth paste that says "baking soda" you can mix some with your regular paste and it is a fraction of the cost (just a little at a time so doesn't go bad, get hard).

Look at the ingredients of Pre-rinsing solutions. If you do use it the store brand is fine (same as expensive ones). The first thing listed is water. Why pay for it? I was told it is an unnecessary step. It doesn't help whiten your teeth; you're rinsing, spitting it out followed by brushing.

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I always thought you flossed first. No, brush a full 2 minutes (not longer) and then floss. My dentist thinks if most people flossed just one time a day, every single day the stats on tooth lose wouldn't be so high. How funny is it some people would never go out of the house without say brushing their hair, or coloring it when needed but risk loosing their teeth by not flossing, brushing right, or seeking out the care needed to maintain a beautiful smile.

Also bad breath doesn't just offend those around you. It can be a warning sign of gum disease, or something else which needs attention. Make sure you brush or scrap your tongue. It is part of good oral hygiene, many of the bacteria that grows in your mouth is on the tongue.

I have to wear night guards. If you do, make sure they are properly taken care of. Like every thing else breeding ground for bacteria. I was given a sonic cleaner from Dr. S. but using any kind of tablets, peroxide, mouthwash, diluted vinegar anything to kill the germs everyday, it will need to soak at least 20 minutes. I just take mine out and leave it soaking, until I put it back in that night. If your child plays sports its so important to keep their mouth guards clean also. This will cut down on colds and illness in the process, plus they are not cheap.

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Toothbrushes are only good for 3 months, after that (if not using for cleaning), throw them out. Remember that to if you are using a electric brush that you need new heads or a new brush in 3 months. If you have a cold, throw it away so you won't get ill again. Even soaking it after being sick isn't a guarantee. Disposal is best.

Mouthwashes which says "whitening" also are sometimes misleading. Yes, it helps whiten if you are doing everything else right, peroxide works exactly the same. Big difference in mouthwash is whether or not it has alcohol in it. I don't like that myself, but it works great in cleaning my toilet.

I hope some of these things helped someone. If like me learning the wrong way sometimes sticks until told different. I am so lucky I have beautiful teeth. I take such good care of now, because of how it all happened; a dentist who helps me out knowing I could never be able to afford scale price. He is honest, and caring; unusual today to have any doctor like that. I hope you do, if not please see if there is a clinic something like I described near you. In this case prevention if possible, is the best policy. Some people would maybe have gone for a new Mercedes, if having to purchase me I think every smile brightens someones day!

Source: Living, school (medical), and Dr. Stevens

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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October 24, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with you, it is so worth it to have your teeth properly attended to! I also have been through a long journey of teeth repair, which cost at least three times as much as it would have if I had been able to have it done years earlier. Yours was "the cost of a Mercedes", mine equaled the total of the tuition paid for my Master's degree! I now go to the dentist twice a year for the "deep cleaning" procedure. I never want to experience the pain of those abscesses again!

One more tip about tooth care that I learned from experience: several years ago, my naturopathic doctor suggested that I try going two weeks without eating any wheat products to see if that would alleviate the pain and gassiness in my gut, it did, within a few days I had a comfortable tummy. The "side effect" of not eating wheat became apparent on my next visit to the dentist for cleaning. The hygienist looked in my mouth and said "Wow! did you get an electric toothbrush?" I hadn't had any changes in routine but giving up wheat. Apparently the gluten in the wheat was a major contributor to the amount of plaque that stuck to my teeth in spite of brushing and flossing every day.

My dentist also recommends giving up soda pop. The acid eats the enamel off your teeth. Sugar turns to acid in your mouth, so sugary drinks are also out if you want to protect your teeth. A very small price to pay for not being in pain!

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October 24, 20110 found this helpful

I'm confused. What illness are you talking about?

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October 24, 20110 found this helpful

I have an auto immune disease which is very bad (things I cant control) however I have found many things I do have control over. Eating healthy, my environment and dental health well, is one I have to keep up on. I thought it was just me however as in the other post you see it is very common. I saw a commercial just today over 40 the average is 4 tooth lose.

I was blessed, there was no way I could ever have afforded all of the dental work. When I found it wasn't just me, I very much wanted to try and give tips to others who maybe can stop a problem before it happens.

Thanks about the gluten; I will pass it on. I don't eat hardly any bread,or wheat products. Yes, soda I gave up long ago,sugar is not "our" friend. Good luck, sorry I understand how expensive dental bills can be. Good luck and God bless!
Luana

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October 25, 20110 found this helpful

Great advice Mom, your right most people don't know these basic things. Also bad oral practices can lead to heart problems and many other things. You take care of your body take care of your teeth!

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November 2, 20120 found this helpful

This article is so true. Everything said is right on. How do I know? I just turned 39...and just had all my top teeth removed. All of them. At once. Just 3 days ago. They should have been removed several years ago, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't afford it. When the oral surgeon removed them earlier this week, he was shocked I could even eat. He said one of my front teeth was so infected he hadn't seen anything like it in his 25 years of practice.

I brush my teeth. I always have. At least twice each day. I flossed sometimes - not daily, but probably twice/week. I used Listerine when I was getting over being sick. Unfortunately, I have never had dental insurance - and as a single mom of 3, my dental needs have fallen by the wayside.

My kids have always had check ups every 6 months. All of their little fillings have been taken care of. Sealants have always been applied to their back teeth. Two of the three have had braces - the third doesn't appear to need braces, but she wears a funky retainer thing.

I have always placed great importance on their teeth; thinking back on it, my attention to their dental health has probably been due to my own painful mouth. I've had braces, etc - and always tried to take good care of my teeth. I honestly believe the decay and pain I've experienced was due, at least in part, to my lack of professional dental care. Which makes me sad.

I am trying to adjust to life with no top teeth. When I was a child I thought only "old" people had their teeth pulled. I've already spent $1800 for upper dentures - which I cannot be fit for until my gums heal. I had always wanted implants but wow! They are SO expensive! I even tried Clear Choice - but at $9950 for an implant to cover three of my back/side teeth, who can afford that?

If you have good teeth, you are blessed. If you have let your dental care slip, please reconsider. In addition to financial issues, I've always been deathly afraid of the dentist. I am really shocked at how easy things are at the dentist! Gone are the archaic methods and scary machines. Going to the dentist is nothing now!

Besides - and trust me on this - any tooth issue you must have resolved (from a filling to a root canal) is much than having to have all your upper teeth pulled at once. A great oral surgeon did mine - little pain was involved in the actual procedure, the "ick factor" was basically contained to just having to hear a lot of cracking. (Shivers) However, no matter how easy he made the actual extraction, fact is, my mouth still hurts. (Having teeth removed is a little painful for awhile.)

Interestingly, my constant earache and cheekache are gone - so is the low grade constant headache I've had for the last year. Along with those annoyingly painful problems, my ability to eat is also gone. I relished mashed potatoes from KFC yesterday. It was my reward for not eating over the last several days...even having to throw away my Blizzard because I was unable to "gum" the Butterfinger pieces down.

I also have a good chance at developing dry socket. Since my back tooth was such an infected monster, there is now a hole going up to my sinuses from my mouth. If I'm not careful, liquid will leave my mouth through the aforementioned hole - and drain back into my sinuses. Mmm hmm!

Please read & re-read this post. Then forward the info onto your family &/or friends. Your teeth are so important - to your health AND your self-esteem. I'm also worried about people seeing me without teeth now - kind of defeats the point of make up or worrying about whether my hair looks good.

Yes, the dentures are coming within the next 8-10 weeks (after I spend a toothless Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years!) - but no matter how pretty they will be or how much better they will look aesthetically, they will still be false teeth. I will still have to remove them at the end of the day. I'm sure any dates I have in the future will find this endlessly attractive.

If just one person takes better care of their teeth - or seeks dental care sooner, rather than later - because of this long response, I'll feel like my whole ordeal has been worth it. Take care of your teeth - just like your other body parts, they are the only ones you get!

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