The world’s first, fully automatic toothbrush is here and it’s taking the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter by storm. The revolutionary toothbrush concept, Amabrush, has raised over $1.4 million after setting an initial goal of $57,052.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging dentists across the country to review annual water quality reports for the communities they serve. The CDC is encouraging dentists to review the reports in order to understand the fluoride levels that their patients are exposed to through drinking water. Understanding fluoride level exposure in the drinking water of patients gives dentists insight into their patients’ oral health.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil and water. Fluoride was first added to the drinking water system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Since then, it has been added to many public water drinking systems across the United States as a preventative against tooth decay. Seventy-five percent of cities and other municipalities across the US have fluoride in their public drinking supply. This translates to over 200 million Americans receiving fluoride when they turn on the tap.
The fluoridation of public drinking water is considered one of the top 10 medical advances of the 20th century, according to the CDC. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth against bacteria that cause tooth decay. Teeth are demineralized by acid formed when the bacteria found in dental plaque and sugars in the mouth left behind from food meet. This acid attacks and weakens the tooth’s enamel, leaving it susceptible to decay.
- Grinding Your Teeth
Also known as bruxism, grinding your teeth is one of the worst things you can do to your mouth. Grinding wears your tooth enamel down gradually, which can cause pain and increase sensitivity. Tooth grinding typically happens at night, and usually a result of stress. You can prevent grinding by wearing a mouth guard at night.
- Chomping on Candy
Crunching away on hard candy can definitely damage teeth – for two reasons. The first is the pressure exerted on the tooth from crunching the hard candy, and second, sugary foods encourage bacterial growth in the mouth. Gummy candies and chewing gum aren’t exactly safe, either. They are also full of bacteria-loving sugar and can cause damage to restorations like fillings by pulling them out of place.
- Using Your Teeth as Tools Your teeth are for chewing. They are not for opening packages, cracking hard shells, or opening bottles. Using your teeth in place of scissors or other tools can cause teeth to crack or break.
- Bad Beverages
You already know that sodas and other beverages can cause damage by promoting bacterial growth or causing staining, but there are other drinks that can cause damage, too. Fruit juices and sports drinks may seem health but are often full of sugar. Skip these sugary options and opt for plain water instead.
- Leaving Your Mark
Chew marks that is. Chewing on pens, pencils, and other objects not designed to be chewed on can damage your teeth and cause them to break and crack.
E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes, are a popular choice for people who have given up smoking cigarettes, but are they really safe? The e-cig device vaporizes a liquid, which is then inhaled by the user. This is commonly known as vaping. The vapor is made up of nicotine, water, glycerin, the food preservative propelene glycol, as well as flavor oils. The vapor replaces smoke and other toxic carcinogens that are found in regular tobacco cigarettes. Because the e-cig eliminates the exposure to smoke and other cancer-causing agents, users possibly lower their risk of contracting lung and other smoking related cancers. Even though e-cigs may be a healthier option than cigarettes and tobacco use, they still have a negative effect on the mouth. Dr. Norman cautions patients about the use of e-cigarettes.