Doctor’s Hygiene Update
Hi. I just attended the 2014 AzDA Convention. I made myself take a EIGHT HOUR course on toothpaste!!! No, seriously, it was really good. It addressed the latest and greatest in dental hygiene, toothpastes, sensitive toothpastes, rinses, tooth brushes, chewing gum!!, Yogurt!!, general diet, cold sores, dry mouth, Bad Breath, and about a million other things… It was an overall summary of all the current “over the counter” dental products you’ll find in stores today… (FYI, for all the nerds out there, this was all based on hardcore studies and a whole lot of other boring stuff. Instead of boring you with a litany of goobledygook and percentages, etc, I’m just going to summarize my notes and highlight the things that I’ve decided is the BEST per specific type of over the counter dental product, etc.
Here we go:
1. Best Toothpaste to use – CREST PRO-HEALTH Tooth Paste
WHY? – Only toothpaste with (x 5) ADA “seal” of approvals; anit- cavity, anti-gingivitis (ie. red gums), anti-plaque, anti-sensitivity, whitening, and fresh breath.
2. Best Rinse to use – LISTERINE TOTAL CARE (if you have cavities)
WHY? – One of the few rinses that actually contain Fluoride; more than that, its “acidulated” Fluoride; which basically means it helps “rebuild” enamel better than other fluoride rinses like Act; which contains the more “neutral” Sodium Fluoride.)
– LISTERINE WHITENING (if you have periodontal disease)
WHY? – The hydrogen peroxide in the whitening solution is a great antiseptic to periodontal bugs (ie. if you dentist says you have “pockets”.) And, in rinse form, its able to penetrate down in those pockets. Its probably as good as using the 99 cent drug store hydrogen peroxide mixed 50/50 with water, but it tastes a lot better and adds the “placebo” effect of being a “Listerine” product.
3. Best Tooth Brush to use – SONICARE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH
WHY? – Random oscillations of brush head decrease chance of toothbrush abrasion (like a random orbital sander….) But, some people don’t like the aggressive nature of the vibrations. I’ve found that patients eventually get used to it if they stick with it for more than a few weeks. Overall, it does a great job cleaning and doesn’t abrade the teeth. Best stats!!!
4. Best Chewing Gum – ANY Sugarless Chewing Gum that contains XYLITOL!!!! on the ingredient list.
WHY? – Xylitol tastes pretty good, almost like real sugar. It is the “sugar” from Birch trees and is considered the “natural fluoride”. Homeopathic people will like this. Bacteria ingest the xylitol, and it destroys their digestive system, kills them. Studies show a 30-60% cavity reduction. Studies recommend that people chew this gum 2-3 times a day, especially kids!!
The bad part, is that Xylitol gum is hard to find. I‘ve seen it sold in health food stores like Sprouts, etc. Its a little more expensive than others, but not bad. I think other “supermarket” type gums have Xylitol but you have to look on the back ingredients to make sure.
Its a little confusing to me why Xylitol doesn’t dominate the “gum” market. I’ve been told that when these anti-cavity properties of Xylitol were initially discovered a good 15 years ago. The marketing was handles poorly and patents were bought up, etc. (same scenario as the gas companies, I guess??). Anyway, look for xylitol!! It’s one of the few things that tastes good and actually helps your teeth!!!
NOTE: All other SUGARLESS gums are ALSO good!! They stimulate the salivary glands. Saliva contains immune properties that kill bacteria and keep a healthy mouth. (My Radiation patients that have slowed salivary flow get cavities like crazy!!!) Please understand, I mean SUGARLESS gum. Sugar gum (next to sipping soda all day) is one of the biggest tooth killers out there.
5. What to do for bad breath – TONGUE CLEANER
WHY? – So many people think that if they brush their teeth REALLY hard, then they won’t have bad breath, but the tongue is an often overlooked part of dental hygiene. They bottom like is that there are two major things that cause bad breath and “not brushing teeth” is not one of them. The first is debris collecting in the tongue. The second is Periodontal Disease (see section on Periodontal Disease).
Debris collects on the tounge every time you eat. Drug stores sell these little triangle shaped “scrapers” on a handle. You should scrape your tongue after every tooth brush. Its really easy and you will notice a breath difference immediately.
If you have Periodontal Disease, the only person that can help you with that is your dentist or your hygienist. (Please see section on Periodontal Disease.)
6. Best Yogurt to eat – Evora Plus (???)
WHY? – Yes!! There IS such thing as “dental yogurt” !! I have no idea how to get it or how much it costs, etc. But, its the latest info in hygiene lectures!! Evidently, New York times (2004) touts it contains a “probiotic” type of bacteria effect that help eliminate “bad” types of bacterias. I don’t have any more information than that, but maybe this can send some of you in the right direction.