Dental disease leads to pain, tooth loss and financial stress! Learning about more effective methods and oral health care products will give you an advantage in preventing dental disease and restoring your dental health.
Dental disease is multifactorial and can be more complicated than you think! Even if you floss and brush and have regular checkups, you can still suffer from dental disease. Dental disease results when there is an imbalance of your particular risk factors for dental disease and your individual protective factors. This delicate balance is affected by not only your oral hygiene habits, but includes dietary habits (I know you have heard about limiting sugary and acidic foods/drinks) and the oral environment. Th oral environment is all about pH and achieving a healthy pH is of utmost importance! Some of the things that influence oral pH in a negative way (making the pH low or acidic) include Bad Bacteria (acid producing and acid loving bacteria), Dry Mouth (reduced or absence of saliva), and Poor Dietary Habits (yep, here it is again). Let me say something about saliva. It is absolutely wonderful! It is one of our most important protective factors. It contains microbial fighting components, helps to neutralize acids, and promotes remineralization of our teeth. Without it, the enamel of our teeth starts to dissolve (rampant decay!) Unfortunately, saliva production can be severely reduced by some medications for systemic disorders, tobacco, alcohol, some chronic disorders of the immune system, illicit drugs (major effect on saliva production-this includes marijuana), and radiation therapy for head & neck cancers. Another less recognized agent that can cause dry mouth is soap/foaming agents, also known as sodium lauryl sulfate.
Now that you know there is more to preserving dental health than brushing and flossing, let's consider some therapeutic agents which can help you balance your oral environment.
Choosing a really worthwhile dental product can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many on the shelves at our grocery stores and pharmacies. It is hard to know where to start. The best solution is to start at your dental office. Your dentist and dental hygienist should know you and your dental condiitons very well.
To determine the best dental products for YOU, an accurate assessment of your dental health must be done. There is no "one fits all" dental toothpaste or rinse! There are differences and these differences can affect your dental health positively or negatively. It is very likely that you have been told whether or not you have cavities or gum disease. Have you been advised on which products could benefit you? Have you been given options for prescription strength or over the counter products? Do you know what to look for in a product or even sometimes more important, what a product should not contain? You can eliminate most of the products available to choose from if you know what is best for you-either to resolve a dental issue or to maintain your good dental health and prevent future problems.
If you are still are developing dental caries (cavities), dental products with an alkaline pH (around 8-11) can help reverse the type of bacteria (bad to good) in your mouth. Antibacterial agents can be extremely helpful in reducing the bad bacterial load. The more risk factors you have, the greater need for products which target the acid producing bacteria. Another product that you should indeed consider is one which helps remineralize the enamel of the teeth. Products which promote remineralization come in gels, pastes, rinses, and sprays.
Protective components of oral balancing products may contain nanohyroxyapatite and calcium phosphate ions, xylitol, sodium hypochlorite, fluoride, and sodium hypochlorite. Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you choose which product has the right combination of balancing ingredients that could help you the most. Not everyone will need or want the same products but just so you know, there are products available to you NOW that can help you achieve better oral health and reduce your "dental financial stress"!
BE AWARE TIPS!
Soda/Pop and some dental rinses have a pH of 3 (remember you want something alkaline!)
Some dental rinses may contain alcohol which can have a drying effect on oral tissues and definitely not safe for children.
Younger children need a safe and effective toothgel/paste/rinse which does not contain fluoride. They do swallow this stuff by choice, regardless whether they are able to spit or not!
Some products may list one of the "good ingredients" but actually it is not at a therapeutic level. You could be wasting your money! For example, xylitol is very beneficial but the product should have a concentration of 10%, minimally, to be considered therapeutic.
Still have questions about what is best for you?