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Sugar, Sugar

Written by Administrator.

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It’s one of life’s simple pleasures and one that is almost impossible to put to down. Such is the power of sugar and sweets. They come in different names and packages but essentially and unfortunately, they all have the same properties.


Even before the advent of modern dentistry, ancient Greeks have already deduced that sugar is bad for teeth. As they have noted, eating too many figs can cause tooth decay. Nowadays we know more about sugar than the ancients did but despite the wealth of information and facts, our love affair for sugar has grown probably stronger.

Sugarbabes

A recent study conducted by Washington University revealed that we are born with a penchant for sweets. The scientists believe that this is an evolutionary hangover – as when we were still struggling as a species – we developed ways to desire certain flavours necessary for living. These include the taste for salty, fats, and yes, sugar.

Sugar glucose is essential to health and survival. It provides nourishment to neurons, without which, a person could easily fall into a coma. However, our bodies cannot produce its own glucose and it has to take it from external sources.

Sugar Everywhere

According to NBC news, Americans consume 22 tsps. of sugar daily and this does not take into account the hidden sugars in food and drinks. Put them all together and it is significantly and alarmingly higher than the recommended daily allowance.

If you need to watch your sugar intake, you must learn to read ingredients. With that said, below are the primary types of sugar:

•    Glucose – this is sugar in its simplest form and can be found in plants and fruits.
•    Fructose – deliciously sweet, this type of sugar occurs in fruits, sugar, honey.
•    Sucrose – this is the common table sugar, naturally coming from sugar cane or other sources.
•    Lactose – sugar in milk.

Then there’s the zero-nutrition, industry processed refined sugar. As you can see from the list above, there is no easy way of avoiding sugar altogether.

On our next post, we will delve deeper and see how excessive sugar intake can have a toll on our health.  For concerns regarding your oral health, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Dental Braces 101

Written by Administrator.

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There was a time when only kids and young adults wore braces but these days, college kids and even some adults who can afford it are turning to braces for corrective measures.  As experts have pointed out, there is no age limit to wearing braces, as long as the patient has healthy gums and bones to support it, braces can be worn.  Adults wear braces plainly because their parent could not afford it when they were younger.

Yup. Dental braces can be a symbol of social status in some areas but what are braces exactly? Simply put, dental braces are a form of treatment that helps correct underbites or overbites. If you are a little confused, there’s a difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. While both professionals are concerned with the care and maintenance of your dental health, orthodontists have extra units of study and they specialize in treatments and procedures to rectify misaligned teeth.

A part of the orthodontist’s arsenal is the dental brace. Before proceeding however, the orthodontist will conduct a variety of tests to measure the stability/strength of the patient’s jaw. The orthodontist will take X-rays and from there – he or she – will come up with recommendations and the proper course of action.


There are different types or styles of braces available, and fortunately, the ghastly full-metal mouth of old are being left behind now as orthodontists are opting for more aesthetically pleasing treatments for their patients.


Braces work through the continuous application of pressure, forcing the teeth to move and the concerned bones to reshape. The length of the treatment depends on the problem. The more severe it is, the longer it will take to set the teeth and the bones to set.

During this time, the patient should visit the orthodontist regularly. A once a month visit will allow the orthodontist to check on the treatment and adjust the wires and springs of the braces. After treatment, patients will have to wear retainers. These are usually prescribed to be worn daily for six months; afterwards, patients can wear them only at night. This process is a lifetime commitment to ensure that teeth and bones do not revert back to their original crooked alignments. 

A nice, perfect smile takes a lot of maintenance. Together with the retainers, keep teeth healthy and strong by practicing good oral hygiene.

For further questions, please feel free to email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Teaching Kids The Value of Dental Health

Written by Administrator.

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Image: Flickr/7yearslater

As with most things, teaching the value of good oral hygiene and health should start at an early age. By the age of 6 or 7, kids will be able to brush on their own and this is a fantastic opportunity for parents to not only get technical (how to brush) but also why it is important.

We all know that maintaining oral health is vital to our overall health status. Teeth are important for chewing food, for speech, and for maintaining facial structure.  Lack of awareness or minimal health care can lead to tooth loss and in the long run will have effects on a person’s nutrient intake, the strength and structure of the jaw bones, and this can be further complicated by feelings of insecurity.

To prevent such a grim future, Total Body Dentistry believes that prevention is a thousand times more effective than expensive treatments and prevention can come in the form of education. Kids, often, are more prone to developing dental caries and gingivitis. In some cases, the condition would only get worse with age.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of oral health care though, keep in mind that not all kids are similar. Some kids may find brushing and flossing enjoyable while others will find it ghastly. Knowing a child’s strength and limitations is the key. Also, unless, you already trust your child to be handy with the toothbrush – it is best to take the time and show your child the proper way to brush.

Creative approaches to teaching are particularly helpful. You can buy books on dental or general health care that are geared towards kids. Likewise, you can go online and search for any interactive sites on dental health care.  Take a lesson from shows such as Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer, those programs are successful in reaching out to kids because they use fun and games to raise kids’ interest.

Another tip is to introduce your kids early to dentists. Early visits to the dentists and adding elements of fun to the visit (think of the dental chair as a magical ride) will make it enjoyable.

Finally, ease your kids into the daily habit of brushing and flossing by getting them gum flavoured toothpastes and toothbrushes with soft bristles. Soft bristled toothbrushes are pleasant and they minimize the risks of damaging a child’s soft and sensitive gums.

If you build a  solid foundation, trust that your child will take this to heart and will enjoy the benefits of strong and healthy teeth for years. For further questions regarding your child's dental health, give us a visit or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


References:

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/950463/teaching-kids-about-dental-health

http://www.hspd.gr/eng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79&Itemid=191

http://voices.yahoo.com/tips-teaching-kids-healthy-oral-care-habits-6770980.html?cat=69

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/950463/teaching-kids-about-dental-health

 

Oral Health Care for Seniors

Written by Dan Abril.

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Flickr/moodboardphotography

Bad oral health care can lead to problems regardless of age. However, seniors are more at risk and may need to pay extra care and attention.  Some issues that may arise include darkened teeth, dry mouth, thrush, gum disease, and tooth loss. Overall health conditions will also greatly impact an older adult’s oral health.

For seniors, one significant change is the noticeable sensitivity to hot and cold beverages. As gums recede with age, areas of the teeth that are not protected by enamel are exposed thus leading to sensitivity. Dry mouths are another concern. Causes may be due to medication or other health issues but the longer it is left untreated, the more the mouth becomes vulnerable to tooth decay.As we already know, saliva protects teeth by neutralizing acids/plaque.

However, a major consideration for seniors is their underlying health problems. Years of smoking, terrible oral health care, and bad diet can lead to cancer, diabetes, and heart complications. The correlation may not be so obvious at first but scientists have concluded that as is the case with rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease, bacteria that cause periodontal disease can travel the bloodstream and further complicate the existing health condition.  Contraindications should also be taken into account when it comes to treatment.

Tips for Seniors

The following pointers should be observed by anyone regardless of age but seniors should at least:

a.    Eat healthy. Reduce sugar intake and consume adequate amounts of vegetables.

b.    Quit smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of oral and throat cancer. It also increases chancs of developing gum disease.

c.    Brush twice a day. Protect your teeth and scrub away the food residue. This also holds true for dentures.

d.    Floss once a day. Supplement brushing with flossing.

e.    Visit the dentist regularly. Remember that early detection is better than treatments.

For more questions, please feel free to email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sources:
http://www.pinedaledental.com/blog/article/dry_mouth_what_effects_does_it_have_on_your_teeth
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-care-seniors
http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Seniors/Senior-Maintenance-and-Care/article/Oral-Health-for-Seniors.cvsp

 

Pushing for Change: How Dentistry Schools Can Help

Written by Dan Abril.

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If you’ve been following crucial environment world news, then chances are you’re familiar with the Mercury Treaty that was adopted early this year. The development was welcome by both environmentalists and health experts, stating that the treaty could do wonders in the management and reversal of mercury emissions worldwide.

Mercury is used in a number of industrial, household – and until recently even healthcare products. The Department of Health (DOH)in the Philippines together with the efforts of various NGOs (non-government organizations) worked to remove the use of mercury-containing products in the healthcare sector.

As you may know from our previous post, mercury is a potent neurotoxin and is a vital component of silver fillings or more commonly known as dental amalgams. Research studies conducted by the International Academy Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the US have consistently shown that toxic mercury fumes emanating from the amalgam can seep into the body, pollute the bloodstream and cause complications in the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems. They also warned that aside from the patients, dental health practitioners are at a significant risk from handling dental amalgams.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates use of dental mercury amounts to between 300 – 400 metric tonnes per year thus justifying a need for a phasedown and elimination.
IAOMT in the Philippines, headed by Dr. Lillian Ebuen, has been working for years to get mercury fillings out of dental clinics and schools. With the adaption of Administrative Order 21, which strictly prohibits the use of mercury-containing products in healthcare facilities, Dr. Ebuen is surprised by the lack of mention for dental clinics and schools.

Dr. Ebuen campaigned vigorously and last year she gained momentum as the DOH finally expressed support for the removal of dental amalgams.  The Quezon City chapter of the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) followed suit with a resolution and expressed commitment to their principles of “protecting vulnerable sectors such as children and pregnant women.”
The chapter resolution expresses the endorsement of non-mercury alternatives among its members and encourages the gradual phase-out of dental amalgams in clinics as well as dental schools.

Dr. Ebuen expressed optimism and excitement and sees the move as a step towards the right direction, saying that the academe is vital for change and that hopefully future generation of dentists will be open to more ideas and stay true to their oath of reaching out to the marginalized sectors.   “The influence of the PDA is undeniable and to have the organization on our side and expressing support for our advocacy is of great boost to us. We are optimistic that other chapters of the PDA will follow soon.” Dr. Ebuen said.

For more info, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

So You Want To Be A Dentist?

Written by Dan Abril.

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You’re fresh HS grad and you are flipping through colleges, universities, and college courses. However, you are dead set on pursuing a career as a dentist. Congratulations, dental health care is a rewarding profession. While it may not be as glamorous as Liberal Arts or as popular as nursing, dentistry has its own “pogi” points.

Dentists are somewhat unique. Dental professionals get to appreciate the world of both science and art. Aside from treating patients from caries and other oral health dilemma, dentists should be creative and display enough understanding of symmetry.

Veering away from the traditional

Popular culture has portrayed dentists in a humorous but somewhat bad light (recall that dentist in Little Shop of Horrors?). Fortunately, those stereotypical roles are being left behind and these days; dentistry has proven to be quite flexible and has made strides in other areas concerning oral health.

For example, dentists are involved in the diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the gums and teeth. There are dentists whose expertise includes restoration, surgery, and other aspects related to the aesthetic side of dentistry. Finally, there are dentists associated with public education and the prevention of diseases.

The area you are willing to explore depends entirely on your interest and your life goals. 

Are you prepared?

Dentists are basically, people-oriented. Having to deal with different personalities - with different demands, different social backgrounds, and different problems – dentists would have to demonstrate extreme patience and composure at all times.

As a science, dentistry thrives on research and new methods and tools are always introduced. As such, dentists must also be prepared and equipped to a lifetime of learning.

The Schools

If you’ve answered yes and yes, then it’s time to consider the schools. Dentistry is offered in about 30 colleges and universities in the country. Tuition fees range from PhP 8,000.00 to PhP 50,000.00 per semester.

It truly is an investment and for many folks, the large amount of cash needed to finish 6 years of dental school (pre-dentistry courses, included) is the deal breaker. However, committing to a course in dentistry and eventually getting a degree and professional license are rewarding enough.

Next, we’ll discuss how future dentists and dental schools can help put health issues at the forefront of  public health awareness.

http://toptennation.blogspot.com/2008/05/top-10-ways-to-know-if-dentistry-is.html
http://www.adldentallabs.com/dental/dentist.htm
http://philippinecollegecourses.com/top-college-courses.html