Tag Archives: West Seattle Dentist

Should I Use ADA-approved Toothpaste?

The ADA Seal in Your Toothpaste

In compliance with ADA’s Seal of Acceptance, let’s list several important points concerning toothpaste contents. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal must contain fluoride, and they may also contain active ingredients to help in lessening tooth sensitivity, in whitening teeth, reducing gingivitis or tartar build-up, or preventing enamel erosion or bad breath. Flavoring agents that cause or contribute to tooth decay (as sugar) may not be contained in any ADA-accepted toothpaste. A product earns the ADA seal by providing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements.

Apart from the anti-cariogenic agent fluoride, in the forms of sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride (which are the only fluoride forms accepted by the FDA), other active ingredients in toothpastes are anti-hypersensitivity agents that reduce tooth sensitivity. These are potassium salts, amorphous calcium phosphate, casein phosphopeptide, and calcium sodium phosphosilicate. Another are antimicrobial agents: stannous fluoride and triclosan that help reduce gingivitis, and pyrophosphates, triclosan and zinc citrate to reduce tartar buildup.

Inactive components of toothpaste are abrasive agents, which clean and whiten teeth, as calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts and silicates. There are detergents to create foaming action that may help increase the solubility of plaque during brushing; they include sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium N-Lauryl sarcosinate. They also have flavoring agents, and non-caloric sweeteners like saccharin to improve taste and humectants, such as glycerol, propylene glycol and sorbitol, to help prevent water loss in the toothpaste. Others are thickening agents or binders to stabilize the toothpaste formula, and peroxide, to reduce intrinsic stains.

Toothpastes can also contain ingredients that, in rare cases, may cause irritation or allergic reactions; these may be essential oils, including spearmint, peppermint and cinnamon. On the other hand, the ADA uses a standardized scale called Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) which assigns dentifrices an abrasivity value, relative to a standard reference abrasive that is arbitrarily given an RDA value of 100. All dentifrices at or below 2.5 times the reference value, or 250 RDA, are considered safe and effective.

While the U.S. FDA monograph stipulates that manufacturers of fluoride-containing toothpaste meet certain requirements for the active ingredients, product indications, claims and other qualifications, the ADA Seal of Acceptance program requires that the product be in compliance with the FDA monograph, in addition to meeting ADA Seal requirements.

Ask our West Seattle Dentist

If you want to know more about your toothpaste or if what you’re using is the best one for you, come over to West Seattle and let’s talk toothpaste and other matters.

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The Many Ways to Get Fluoride Into Teeth

Is Fluoride Essential?

An essential dental treatment for decades already, fluoride has been used by dentists worldwide as it is nature’s cavity-fighter. Fluoride supports the health of tooth enamel by the process of demineralization and remineralization.This way it provides protection to the enamel making it more resistant against bacterial attack, effectively preventing tooth decay and its spread. This naturally-occurring, abundant mineral is found in soil, water, and foods. It is also produced synthetically for use in drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes and various chemical products.

Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash. Fluoride in low doses in the mouth can already reduce the incidence of caries and tooth decay, and it is for this reason that it is used in toothpaste and water fluoridation. Professional fluoride treatments have much more fluoride than what is in water or toothpaste.

How much fluoride does one need?

Optimal fluoride intake comes from food, water, and supplements, and there are recommendations for daily amounts: from birth to 3 years of age: 0.1 to 1.5mg, 4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 2.5mg, 7 to 10 years of age: 1.5 to 2.5mg, adolescents and adults: 1.5 to 4 mg. They only take a few minutes to apply. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride restores minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded the enamel. It can also inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria and further prevent cavities. Fluoride cannot remove decay but creates a stronger enamel to help stop decay from penetrating deeper into teeth. When children are exposed early to fluoride, it is less likely they develop cavities. A large study found that children and adolescents who received fluoride treatments for one year were 43% less likely to have tooth decay and cavities.Before fluoridated toothpaste, studies showed that communities with fluoridated water were 40-60% less likely to get cavities.

The ADA and the CDC recommend trace amounts in drinking water. Overdosing, though, can cause negative complications. According to the ADA, it’s best to get fluoride both topically from toothpaste and treatments at the dentist, and systemically in water and supplements.

Safe Fluoride Treatments in West Seattle

Both children and adults can avail of professionally applied fluoride treatments. Know more about safe use of fluoride with your dentist at 1st Impressions Dental in West Seattle.

West Seattle Dentist: How Breath Can Turn Bad

A Common Symptom of Common Causes

Bad breath is a common enough symptom that anyone can suffer from it. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people have bad breath on a regular basis.after tooth decay and gum disease, it is the third most common reason that people seek dental attention. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. Poor oral hygiene is the usual culprit. The odor is sulfurous, caused by wastes from bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, other debris in the mouth. Medically called halitosis, the condition can be psychologically distressing, especially if the bad breath is chronic in nature.

What are the common causes of halitosis?

Tobacco can not only cause mal odors but it can increase gum disease risk which in itself can cause odors. Likewise, some foods caught between teeth like onions and garlic can also cause bad breath, and even if they’ve been digested, their products can travel the bloodstream to the lungs and out the breath. Even fasting and a low-carb diet can produce halitosis, due to the breakdown of fats producing the strong aroma of ketones. If there is dry mouth, the lack of saliva encourages growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Other causes of odors are from mouth, nose, and throat infections, some cancers, liver failure, and reflux disease, as well as certain medications like nitrates, chemo drugs, some tranquilizers, and large dose vitamins. There may be certain rare conditions that can bring about the same bad odors, such as ketoacidosis from diabetes, bronchiectasis and aspiration pneumonia, and bowel obstruction.

Improved dental hygiene and quitting smoking can often remove the issue. The dentist will advise you to improve your oral hygiene practices – brushing, including flossing and mouth rinses. You may have to start tongue brushing, hydrate often with drinking water, and avoid certain foods. Keep your dentures clean. See if you might have a loose or cracked filling or an open root fragment that the dentist can treat. But if bad breath still persists, a visit to the doctor is the next best thing to do.

Battling Bad Breath in West Seattle

If you think you have bad breath and not sure what’s causing it, see your West Seattle dentist right away. Halitosis may be a common symptom but it is treatable one as soon as we know the causative factor or factors.

What’s Seasonal Allergies Got To Do with Dental Health?

Oral Issues When Allergies Strike

Millions of people get seasonal allergies each year, during spring and fall usually. These flare-ups can last months. People sneeze, cough, get runny noses and itchy throats; their eyes puff sometimes and mouths get sore. Pollen are everywhere, falling from trees and laying on the grass. Molds come out of spores and people get in contact even if they’re careful. Spring and fall could be very beautiful times, but for these.

When allergic reactions breakout, they can affect the health. They can impact dental health, too. A common problem is dry mouth. Allergies can produce swollen lips, tongue or mouth; can cause irritated gums as well. There’s congestion and people compensate by breathing through their mouths instead of through their noses. It can dry up saliva. Dry mouths have some serious consequences.

Oral structures – teeth, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, inner cheeks, even the roof of the mouth – are not as hydrated with free-flowing saliva. The dryness can allow bacteria to proliferate, attack sugar and acid left on teeth and cause the beginnings of decay. Irritated gums and other soft tissue can get swollen and develop sores. If there’s gingivitis already, dryness can accelerate the condition.

On the other hand, when one suffers from allergies, antihistamines are normally taken. These medications can have a bothersome side-effect – dry mouth again. Another effect of dry mouth is bad breath. Now, why does teeth seem to hurt also? If allergies cause sinus congestion or lead to a sinus infection, the resulting inflammation can cause pain that may seem to affect the teeth. Seasonal allergies can create sinus pain in the upper teeth and gums because they touch the maxillary sinuses.

How do you prevent and treat these allergies?

A few preventive measures. Try to avoid the outdoors, if you can. Windy days have lots of allergens in the air, so wear a face mask or pollen mask if you must go out. Or stay indoors and avoid fans that can blow pollen into the house. For dry mouth, stay hydrated by taking plenty of water. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate salivary glands, and keep up your daily brushing and flossing routine and mouth rinses, as well.

Keeping The Smiles Through Allergy Season

Don’t forget to visit your West Seattle dentist during these times when allergies attack. Know how to cope with allergies and learn a few more tips on prevention. Enjoy the seasons without having to worry about oral issues.

Why Malocclusion is Common in Children

Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

Crooked or crowded teeth are quite common among children. The condition is called malocclusion. It presents as the teeth of the upper jaw that don’t meet normally with the teeth of the lower jaw when the jaw is closed. There is a problem with the bite of the child. There are many causes for malocclusion; it can be genetic or can be environmental, such as trauma to the jaw. Malocclusion can develop as a child grows.

Certain risk factors can lead to this condition. For example, children who suck their thumbs or fingers beyond the age of 5 are at greater risk. If they were born with small jaws, there will not be enough space and hence, the overcrowding or overlapping of the permanent teeth when they start coming in, permanent teeth being larger and needing more space.

How will you know that your child has malocclusion? You will notice the upper front teeth sticking out over the lower teeth. It’s called an overbite. Vice versa is an underbite. If the front teeth don’t meet when the jaw is closed, it’s an open bite. A crossbite is when the top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth.

A child with malocclusion faces potential problems if not addressed as soon as possible. There can be problems eating or speaking, early or late loss of baby teeth that can lead to malpositioning of permanent teeth, teeth grinding, mouth breathing, tooth decay, gum disease, and sometimes Jaw joint problems. X-rays and impressions of the teeth can help diagnose malocclusion.

The treatment goal is to straighten the teeth and improve their appearance which is done in stages. Tooth removal may be necessary to give way to permanent teeth and if necessary, permanents can also be extracted. The orthodontic treatment plan will also include braces, wires and retainers subject to timed fittings and adjustments over a period of time. In some cases and if so necessary, the child will undergo jaw surgery to fix the bite problem when the bones are involved.

Straightening Crooked Teeth in West Seattle

If you’ve noticed malocclusion in your child, know it can lead to potential oral issues that can jeopardize even the child’s overall health. Visit us for consultation and treatment. Do not ignore malocclusion.