Monday, January 23, 2012

Oral health: Why is it so important?

Oral health is defined as the health of all oral structures and while the usual focus lies on teeth, it is important to not neglect other oral structures such as the lips, tongue, inside lining of the mouth, roof of mouth or palate, soft palate, throat, and tonsils. Periodontal health should also be taken into consideration, as they are the supporting structures of the teeth which is crucial for adequate retention of teeth. All these play an important role in the functioning of the mouth hence need to be maintained at a satisfactory level in order to prevent problems.

The public perception of oral health

Oral health has been an important focus in recent years due to the shift for better smile and healthier lifestyle. Peer pressure force people to maintain their mouths at a socially acceptable standard and depending on the group, these ‘standards’ are very subjective and may have great variations inter-group. Some people may place an important focus on simply being able to function with their mouths while others may have greater emphasis on the appearance and impressions they give of their mouths. Besides social background, other factors such as employment can also influence their perception towards oral health. For example an individual who has never been concerned about the appearance of their smile may start becoming self conscious of their poor oral health if they landed work in public relations or similar jobs that requires professional level of client interactions.

Why is it so important to maintain good oral health? Good oral health is as important as it is in direct relationship with function and the state of its health influences our ability to perform such tasks with our mouths. These include speaking, eating, swallowing, smiling and others. Deterioration of oral health will cause impairment in at least one of those areas. The impact of this, again can be subjective depending on the individual perception towards the importance of affected function.  There is a close link between oral and general health, which cannot be refuted. Sudden oral health deterioration in individuals practicing reasonable oral hygiene can often be the first signs of underlying systemic diseases. Very often, oral changes precede medical diagnosis and the mouth is usually the first to show signs of the disease. This is especially true for conditions that affect the immune system such as diabetes and leukemia. This is because impaired healing is frequently reflected in the mouth where even the tiniest amount of plaque can cause significant gum diseases due to exaggerated inflammatory response. Such oral manifestations are hard to treat and usually behave aggressively until the underlying condition is managed. There have also been numerous evidences suggesting the link between poor periodontal health and cardiovascular diseases where the bacterium involved in periodontal diseases can be found on the plaque lining of affected blood vessels. Recent study has also shown people with poorer oral health tend to have higher mortality rates and greater risks of acquiring cardiovascular diseases than their healthier counterparts who have more teeth.  Oral health being able to influence our daily functioning and general health plays a key factor behind our social health. Most people fail to recognize this important relationship which leads to poor care of oral health. Being able to masticate and swallow properly is a form of basic need which is important to all of us. The ability to speak properly and smile comfortably is a form of interaction that molds our social life. Impairment of this can often lead to isolation and poor self esteem, sometimes causing more significant problems such as depression. Other aspects such as simply being in a pain free state is also crucial as toothaches are often rated highly when it comes to people’s inability to tolerate pain. It often creates more disturbance to daily life and affects people’s ability to work more so than other common sickness such as fever or cold.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

~January Give Away~ Enter to win easily!

Enter our drawing to win this months give away, including a $50 credit on your account for future dental services, by simply posting a google review about our office!  

My Family Dentist appreciates you time posting these reviews as this helps us with our website and search engines.  Please note that you may have to sign up as a google member in order to post a review, but there is no cost for that.  Thank you so much for your time and effort!  You'll have a chance to win this Teeth Whitening Kit, along with a candle wax warmer set that includes several scented waxes and a $50.00 credit on your account for future dental services!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

SMILE, It's New Years Resolution Time!

It’s that time of year again, time to think about how to improve with a New Year’s Resolution. Statistics say that about half of us will make some sort of resolution- whether it be something popular like losing weight or quitting smoking- but only a few will follow through. If you are thinking of something easier and more attainable, why not pledge to have better oral hygiene? Here are some tips that can lead to a beautiful, healthy smile the whole year through:

  • Select a toothbrush that is comfortable for you. If you opt for a manual toothbrush, make sure that it is soft bristled so that you don’t damage your teeth or gums.
  • Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and gently brush back and forth, making sure to brush at least two minutes total, at least twice a day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval. The American Dental Association does plenty of research on the best products for your oral health.
  • Use a new toothbrush or change your electric brush head every 3 months
  • Use an 18 inch strand of floss, winding one end around your left middle finger and wrap the other middle finger about 2 inches away. As you use the floss, wind the used floss around your left finger and expose fresh floss from your right side.
  • Keep the floss tight and gently go between your teeth, making a “C” shape as you gently glide the floss under your gums.
  • Don’t forget to floss behind the last teeth- this disrupts any plaque forming behind them. 
Mouth Rinse
  • Again, watch for that ADA seal of approval to make sure your mouth rinse is safe and effective.
  • Studies show that rinsing with an appropriate mouth rinse significantly reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. Rinse for 30 seconds each time you brush.
  • Fluoride containing mouth rinses have also shown to be more beneficial than just using fluoride toothpaste alone.
From all of us at My Family Dentist, we want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in our office in 2012!