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Eating for Good Oral Health

Written by Dan Abril.

There’s no doubt about it. Too much sugar causes tooth decay.

For healthy teeth, the best approach is to avoid or control the consumption of sugar-rich foods. The list does not only include the obvious culprits such as candy, soda, or cakes and pastries but also those with hidden sugar content such as French fries, dried fruits, and bread.

However, knowing which foods to keep away from is only part of the larger battle. Our previous post on maintaining good oral health already mentioned a number of tips on improving your diet but to further expound on the topic, we’ve compiled a list of food and beverages to stock in your pantry.

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•    Crunchy fruits and veggies. This spectacular group includes apples, celery, and carrots. As we stated earlier, crunchy fruits and vegetables are nature’s toothbrushes.  Munching on these goodies encourage the production of saliva which in turn counterbalance bacteria that causes decay. The coarse texture of these fruits and veggies also give gums a soothing massage.

•    Cheese or milk. Rich in calcium, cheese and milk help regulate the pH balance in the mouth by reducing acid that attacks the tooth enamel. 

•    Water. The best drink to keep in handy. Water washes away food residue and is as (perhaps, even more) effective as any commercial mouthwash. The bonus is that adequate water intake flushes out toxins thus maintaining overall health.

•    Food rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is important for the health of gums and tissues. Fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C include strawberries, guava, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, bell pepper, oranges, and green and leafy vegetables.

•    Onions. The scent of onions may be off putting to some but this vegetable is packed with antibacterial compounds that neutralize cavity-causing bacteria. They are best when eaten raw.

•    Sesame seeds. If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy products, sesame seeds are your best bet. Sesame seeds are full of calcium and sufficient consumption help build and preserve strong bones that support teeth.

Loading up on these delicious and nutrient-rich foods are not only beneficial to your teeth and gums but they are also essential in keeping your overall health. Stick to a healthy diet and enjoy the benefits.

Control Bleeding Gums

Written by Dan Abril.

Lining the mouth, gums serve more than as a placeholder for teeth. Structured to adhere closely to teeth, gums also protect the underlying bone by repelling external organisms from seeping into the roots or the jaw bones. Healthy gums are pink and firm while unhealthy gums will appear red, swollen, and pull away from teeth. Through age, bad practices, or disease, gums can weaken and cause teeth to fall out.

Bleeding is a tell-tale sign of damaged/weakened gums. Caused by improper brushing or by gum disease, if not addressed early and properly, injured and bleeding gums will lead to infection and other oral health problems.

There are a number of methods to treating and managing bleeding gums as well. While for children, the main culprit may be hard toothbrush bristles or heavy pressure when brushing. The obvious solution then is to switch to softer toothbrushes and to teach kids to brush correctly.

For adults, particularly for chronic bleeding gums, the reason maybe more complex as it may be related to disease. To get a clearer picture, the best advice is to visit the dentist and get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

However, if you have healthy gums and wish to keep it that way, here’s our advice:

A.    Practice good oral health care. We cannot emphasize that enough. This includes proper brushing and flossing. Also check if the bristles of your toothbrush are not too hard on your teeth and gums.

For more details on maintaining good oral health, check our previous post here.

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B.    Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. If you wish to avoid manufactured/processed mouthwashes, create your own with a mixture of peppermint oil, clove oil or even salt. The properties of the herbs/spices will help ease the bleeding and the swelling.

C.    Supplement with vitamin C. Of course, vitamin C is known for staving off colds but it also helps repair tissues and slows down the aging process.

D.    Keep a healthy diet. 

E.    Finally, remember to visit the dentist regularly. A check-up every six months will help maintain good oral health and detect potential problems.

If you are currently dealing with chronic bleeding gums, visit our clinic and our staff will be happy to assist you. Call us at +632.7278665 for more details.





Fight Tooth Decay

Written by Dan Abril.

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Caries – or tooth decay – is one of the most prevalent health problems around. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US cites that a large percentage of children – particularly among the lower income families suffer from tooth decay. Dental caries is not only common among children however, as susceptibility to the disease increases with age.

Tooth decay happens when there is a demineralization of the tooth enamel. If overlooked, the problem can worsen and will lead to infection and decay. Demineralization begins with the consumption of sugar and starch. These simple carbohydrates can cling on tooth surfaces and overtime, bacteria in the mouth will feed on these and multiply.

Fortunately, dental caries is preventable and early detection, management, and treatment can do wonders. But sadly, and as alluded to by the CDC, those in the lower strata doesn’t have access to dental care.

Preventing Tooth Decay There are three methods promoted to caries control and prevention. First is through fluoride use, second is through sealants, and third is through behavior modification.

Fluoride. Fluoride is believed to help reduce demineralization and encourages the remineralization of early decay. Experts also suggest that fluoride in toothpaste is the most effective and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste can control the early onset of damage. Adding fluoride to drinking water is also advocated as it can easily be accessed by lower income families. But this may prove to be damaging in the long run as excess fluoride can cause other health problems.

Sealants. The application of plastic coatings to the surfaces of molar and premolar teeth are also advised and has proven to be effective in curtailing dental caries.

Behavior Modification. While fluoride and sealants may be successful in combating caries, behavior modification among high-risk populations should also be considered and may prove to be further valuable.

These are low-cost, and relatively safer than fluoride supplements. Behavior modification includes oral health education and teaching children the proper way of toothbrushing. Children, teens, and the adult population should also learn how to control their appetite for sugar-laden food and sodas. Overconsumption of sugar is related to a host of other health problems thus reducing – or completely taking it off the grocery list has benefits to your complete health.

Tooth decay is a painful disease that can be easily prevented and monitored. Dental checkups are encouraged but if regular visits to the dentist aren’t feasible, then basic knowledge on oral health care coupled with good diet should be enough.

For further info on reducing tooth decay, get in touch with us at +632.7278665 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dental Amalgams: Why The Fuss?

Written by Dan Abril.

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The younger generation will not be so familiar with that horrid black spot filling damaged teeth but from the 19th century ‘til recent times, dental amalgams – also known as silver fillings - have been the restorative material of choice by dentists.

An alloy of several metals, a silver filling is composed of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals. In comparison to other restorative materials, dental amalgams are relatively low cost, stronger, and easier to use thus giving rise to its acceptance. 
Today, its popularity has been on the decline as questions regarding its safety have been raised.

Why Worry?

With a large percentage of mercury in its composition, health and environment groups have expressed their concern regarding the use of dental amalgams. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and long term exposure to the heavy metal can cause damage to the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.  Symptoms appear as tremors, fatigue, and cognitive and motor dysfunction with children - with their developing systems – being more particularly vulnerable to the effects.

Research conducted by the International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) have further shown that mercury from dental amalgams can seep into the body through chewing and drinking hot beverages.  

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The World Health Organization (WHO) likewise stated that dental amalgams pose a threat not only to the health of the patients, and dental health professionals but also to the environment.  Accounting for 300 to 400 tonnes of mercury in the market today, mercury utilized by the dental profession eventually end up in the environment as wastes from clinics and as toxic fumes generated by burning mercury-filled teeth via cremation or incineration.

Halt Mercury!

Given the risks involved with mercury use, an international treaty has been recently adapted to reduce its consumption. The treaty involves a phase-out period while exploring mercury-free alternatives for the use of the industrial and health sector.

Dr. Lillian Ebuen, head of the Philippine Chapter of IAOMT pointed out that there’s already a government order in  place, calling for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to stop using mercury-containing products and it’s about time that the dental sector – including the dentistry schools – to follow suit. 

“There are better options such as resin-based composites and atraumatic restorative treatment (ART).  These have consistently proven to be more practical, more durable and more affordable than dental amalgams. In fact, developed countries have moved away from using mercury in treating caries altogether.” she adds.

Total Body Dentistry espouses mercury-free dentistry and strictly follows/observes protocols devised by IAOMT on the removal of dental amalgams. For questions regarding our mercury-free services don’t hesitate to call us at (02)727.8665 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
   

Keep Those Pearly Whites Healthy

Written by Administrator.

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If you want to avoid looking like a hilarious internet meme (celebrities without teeth), then practice good oral health care. Healthy gums and a nice set of teeth, is not only attractive but it also has practical benefits.

Teeth provide support and structure to the facial muscles, and together with the tongue and lips; also allow us to form sounds and are indispensable in speech. Teeth are also indispensable as they serve as the entry point of our digestive system.

While our senses excite the brain through taste and flavours, teeth break and crush the food into manageable pieces and with the help of saliva, soften it for manageability. Thus, without teeth, the intake of nutrients can become problematic.

Neglecting oral hygiene can cause teeth to decay and cause gum infection. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, a respected non-profit medical and health research organization in the US, poor oral hygiene can cause bad bacteria in your mouth to multiply and this may eventually spread and infect other parts of your system.

So how do you take care of your teeth and gums?

First, as what we’ve learned in school or any episode of Sesame Street, it is important to brush regularly. Remember to not rush brushing your teeth and to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Brushing your teeth scrubs leftover food and minimizes the growth of bad bacteria.

Toothpaste helps in clearing plaque and removing stains.  Alternatively, you can also try cleaning your teeth with baking soda. Throw away toothbrushes that are 3 to 4 months old as bacteria can also build up in the bristles.  Likewise,   get into the habit of scraping/brushing your tongue. Bacteria can build up in the tongue and lead to bad breath and an unhealthy growth of bacteria.

Second, learn how to floss. There are areas in the teeth that simple brushing will not suffice. With a sufficient length, hold the floss firmly with your thumb and index fingers.  Give each tooth ample attention and try to get in between the teeth (but don’t force it), removing the grime in between teeth is important as the leftover food can turn into plaque overtime and may lead to tartar build-up and cause gum disease.

Third, gargle with apple cider vinegar. Believe it or not, gargling with apple cider vinegar as soon as you wake up, helps in keeping your breath fresh and your pearly white - stain free.

Fourth, keep a balanced diet. Apples are said to be nature’s toothbrushes. Munching on apples and other firm, crunchy, and crispy vegetables and fruits help keep teeth healthy and clean.  Additionally, avoid snacking on starching and sugary foods such as candy, potato chips, crackers, and dried fruits.

Finally, visit your dentist. A trip to the dentist twice a year will help you keep track of your overall oral health. Check-ups are necessary to avoid or curb problems.  When symptoms such as continuing bad breath, red, swollen, and bleeding gums do appear; don’t hesitate to call your friendly dentist and set-up an appointment.

As you can see, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is easy. Trust us when we say that the benefits will last for a lifetime.