Prepare for Mistletoe: Keep Your Breath Fresh

The holidays bring culinary delights, ranging from sparking cocktails to potato latkes to Yule logs. Many bemoan the effects of extra calories when it comes to pants sizes, but few consider what all that celebrating does to the mouth.

Every time we eat sugary foods, we feed the destructive bacteria that live in our mouths. As the bacteria chow down, they release an acid. The acid wears down tooth enamel, leading to cavities and eventually to gum disease. As gum disease is the number-one cause of halitosis, or bad breath, indulging in too many hearty nogs and sugar cookies could leave you standing alone under the mistletoe.

Baby Teeth Are More Important That You Might Think

Childhood cavities seem inevitable – nearly every kid gets one at some point or another – and baby teeth aren’t permanent, so it’s no big deal if kids occasionally skip brushing and flossing, right? Pediatric dentists disagree. Despite the common belief that baby teeth aren’t important, taking care of children’s teeth will help them develop healthy adult smiles.

Baby teeth serve the same important functions as adult teeth: kids use them to chew and speak. On top of that, baby teeth preserve the structure of the gumline and “save space” for adult teeth to grow.

Your Heart is in Your Mouth: Good Oral Hygiene Could Mean Healthier Hearts

For years, you may have overlooked a handy tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease: your toothbrush.

Studies link tooth and gum health to heart health. A 2005 review from Finland’s Helsinki University Central Hospital, which was published in the “Journal of Periodontology,” found that chronic inflammation, such as that found in gum disease, increases the risk that a patient will develop heart disease. A 2010 survey of 12,000 people in Scotland found that, over an average of eight years, those who rarely or never brushed their teeth were 70 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those with twice-daily brushing habits.

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Kids’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Preschoolers’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

So, how can parents ensure that preschoolers’ teeth stay healthy? Here are some tips:

* Keep preschoolers’ teeth clean. By the time a child has reached age 2 to 5, they should be on their way to caring for their own teeth. By age three, they should have a full set of baby teeth. Most children at this age will want to brush their teeth on their own, but it is important to supervise and help them until they are doing it correctly. Do a quick follow-up brushing if necessary with a soft-bristled tooth brush.

* Use probiotics. Oral care probiotics can be an effective step in a preschooler’s oral care routine. If left unchecked, bad

bacteria can overwhelm the mouth, possibly leading to tooth decay. EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com), a chewable containing a special blend of oral care probiotics designed for children, works by flooding the mouth with good bacteria, which adhere to tooth surfaces, including crevices, pits and fissures in the chewing surfaces, helping to promote happy smiles. It supports tooth health by balancing the bacteria in the mouth.

* Limit sweets. Sugar produces an acid that removes calcium from teeth, thereby breaking down the enamel. Only give children fruit for snacks, not cookies or crackers with refined sugar. If you do keep sweets in your house, only give children candy that they can consume all at once. Always make them brush their teeth soon after eating candy to remove any sugars that may still be sitting in the mouth.

* Avoid sharing silverware with your child. Never put your mouth on anything that will enter your child’s mouth — children aren’t born with destructive bacteria in the mouth, they catch them from mom and dad.

Brushing Up on Tooth Decay

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You teach your kids to brush their teeth, yet every trip to the dentist could reveal another cavity. But don’t fret. You’re not doing anything wrong — children can still develop dental cavities, or areas where harmful bacteria damage hard tooth structure, in spite of every precaution. In fact, tooth decay remains the most common chronic condition in children and adolescents.

“Kids have very special oral care needs, and are much more likely than adults to form cavities,” says Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, D.M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Oragenics, Inc. For one thing, children tend to like sugary foods, which make them more likely to develop cavities. But sugar does not cause cavities directly — sugar feeds the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Brushing can help prevent tooth decay by removing plaque, or buildup of bad bacteria, but it’s not a perfect technique. For one thing, it only takes 20 minutes after eating to develop plaque, and few children brush and floss immediately after eating. Also, brushing can’t remove plaque from between teeth. To fight plaque between teeth, parents should floss their children’s teeth at least once a day until about age 10, when children can start flossing for themselves.

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, oral care probiotics, or “good” bacteria, may help. Dr. Hillman recommends giving children an oral care probiotic supplement, such as EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com). He explains that oral care probiotics work by flooding the mouth with good bacteria, which adhere to tooth surfaces, including crevices, pits and fissures in the chewing surfaces, leaving less room for bad bacteria to grow. “The probiotics effectively compete with certain harmful bacteria for both nutrients and space on teeth surfaces, reaching where brushing and flossing can’t,” says Dr. Hillman.

Despite all of your best efforts at home, a trip to the dentist can still do wonders. Regularly scheduled dentist checkups are critical to any healthy mouth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their children to the dentist by age one.

Bring Dog Grooming Costs to Heel

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Americans love their furry best friends, but when it comes to dogs, sparing no expense can get, well, expensive. Vet bills, grooming costs, kibble prices, kennel fees and training classes can make quite a dent in the family budget.

But with a little DIY bravado, dog owners can keep their lapdogs in luxury without going into debt. For example, many dog owners can perform basic grooming at home — and save up to $500 a year on canine shampoos and styles in the process. Here are some tips:

* Try clipping at home. This might take a little practice, but you’ll save time and money in the long run. Always start at the head and run the clippers in the direction of your dog’s fur. Be very careful not to cut skin. If you need to trim fur around your dog’s face, use scissors. Not all dogs need trimming, but all dogs benefit from brushing, which encourages healthy circulation and keeps fur mat-free.

* Keep that doggy smile healthy. If your dog’s kisses make you want to gag, it’s time to take action — bad breath is caused by destructive bacteria growing around the gum line. Veterinary cleanings can help, but prevention truly is the best medicine.

When it comes to your dog, prevention can be as simple as sprinkling oral care probiotics over kibble. Teddy’s Pride (www.MyTeddysPride.com), a probiotic supplement containing ProBiora3, a special blend of oral probiotics or “good bacteria,” can be administered through your dog’s food. Good bacteria leave little room for bad bacteria to grow, so they naturally improve breath. They also release low-levels of hydrogen peroxide, helping to whiten teeth.

* Trim nails. Use sharp clippers to cut nails, taking care not to cut through the quick — the area of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels. Nails should be trimmed about once a month.

* Clean your dog’s ears. If you notice redness, head shaking, constant scratching or a bad odor coming from you dog’s ears, it’s time to schedule a vet visit — ear infections are painful and can lead to permanent hearing loss. Check your dog’s ears twice a month for signs of infection. Use a cotton ball with a little water or mineral oil to gently clean the underside of your dog’s ears. Never stick the cotton ball into the ear canal.

Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s hard to turn on the television without hearing about sodas in schools and unhealthy school lunches contributing to rising childhood obesity. But a sugar-heavy diet does more than expand waistlines. Even children at healthy weights can experience tooth decay.

When children eat sugar, they’re not the only ones to get a meal. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth. As the bacteria consume the sugar, they produce an acid that causes cavities. And while some sugary culprits prove easy to identify — soda and candy, for example — children may also consume sugar when they eat burgers, orange juice or pizza.

The bacteria in the mouth do not distinguish between refined table sugar and the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables, so forbidding all sugary foods would deprive children of important nutrients. That said, parents can take steps to minimize the damage caused by their children’s diets by following these tips:

* Brush children’s teeth after every meal and snack. Immediately removing sugar from the mouth gives it less time to feed bacteria. If you can’t brush your children’s teeth right away, ask them to drink water to flush away some of the sugar.

* Use probiotics. The mouth is supposed to contain certain bacteria, but a sugary diet helps bad bacteria overtake the mouth. Children can restore healthy levels of good bacteria with an oral care probiotic, such as EvoraKids (www.MyEvoraKids.com) probiotic chews. High numbers of good bacteria will give bad bacteria less surface area to grow. Even if a child eats sugar, there won’t be enough bad bacteria to use that sugar to create an acid challenge for teeth.

* Serve sweets with meals. Slowly sipping on a soda throughout the day does far more damage than a soda consumed all at once and with a meal. Continually drinking or snacking on sugary foods gives teeth a constant sugar bath.

* Choose sweets carefully. Not all sweet foods cause the same amount of damage. Foods that stick to the teeth, like taffy, caramel and raisins, feed bad bacteria longer than sweets that quickly leave the mouth. And while fruits like apples and pears do contain sugar, they also stimulate cleansing saliva, so eating these fruits helps protect teeth.

Puppy Love Without Doggie Breath

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your dog loves to give you kisses, and while you appreciate the puppy love, you could do without the stinky breath. So, you switch your dog to dry food. You feed him dental biscuits. You even go through the messy process of brushing his teeth. And yet, you still have hold your breath every time he licks your face. What’s going on?

Believe it or not, your dog’s breath shouldn’t smell, and if it does, it’s time to think about your dog’s oral health.

Certain diseases, like diabetes or kidney disease, may cause bad breath in dogs. But most bad breath, or halitosis, occurs when bacteria infect the gums. If left unchecked, the bacteria can create gum disease or go through the gums into the bloodstream, thereby entering other parts of the body.

“Logically, improving the health of your pet’s teeth and gums will help eliminate the halitosis associated with bacterial infection,” says Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, D.M.D., Ph.D. and chief medical officer for Oragenics.

Eliminating bad breath -; and the harmful bacteria that cause it -; begins at home, with a consistent oral health program. But toothbrushing can be irksome for both pet and pet owner, and dental chews can’t reach every tooth surface. For this reason, Hillman, who has studied probiotics for 25 years, first at the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute in Boston and then at the University of Florida, suggests that pet owners give their pets probiotics, or “good” bacteria.

The science behind probiotics is simple -; if your dog’s teeth are coated in good bacteria, there’s no room for bad bacteria to grow. “The good bacteria inhibit the growth of the damaging bad bacteria, leading to better breath,” explains Hillman.

Hillman created ProBiora3, a special blend of oral probiotics that replenish specific “good bacteria” in the mouth. These beneficial bacteria freshen breath and whiten teeth through the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide.

ProBiora3 is available to pets in a grooming aid called Teddy’s Pride. You simply sprinkle the probiotics on your pet’s food once daily. Because it’s easy to administer, you’ll have no problem sticking to the program. Teddy’s Pride won’t change the taste, texture or odor of your pet’s kibble — your dog will happily lap it up. And when he kisses you in appreciation, you won’t have to hold your breath or turn away.

For more information, visit www.ForTeddysPride.com.

Is Your Sweet Tooth Ruining Your Smile?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s not exactly a secret that too many lollipops cause cavities, but did you know that pasta and bread may also lead to tooth decay and gum disease?

Plaque, caused by bacteria, coats your teeth. Every time you eat something with sugar, these bacteria create an acid that erodes teeth enamel. While refined sugars, like those found in candy, soda and cookies, frequently contribute to poor oral health, the bad bacteria in your mouth aren’t particularly picky. They also react to natural sugars, like those found in fruit, and starchy foods like bread and potatoes. Even foods like milk contain at least a small amount of sugar.

Food choices can contribute to gum disease as well as tooth decay. For example, someone eating an unhealthy diet will decrease their immunity, making their body less able to fight off infection in their gums.

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s easy to unknowingly compromise your oral health. Here are some tips to prevent tooth decay and gum disease:

– Take an oral probiotic. Your mouth naturally contains “good” bacteria that keep teeth and gums healthy. The more good bacteria in your mouth, the less bad bacteria can grow. Taking an oral probiotic, like EvoraPlus probiotic breath mints, will give bad bacteria fewer opportunities to invade your mouth. Better yet, probiotics freshen breath and — due to the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide — help whiten teeth. Even if you don’t eat the healthiest diet, you can benefit from probiotics.

– Don’t drink throughout the day. If you’re slowly sipping a sugary or acidic beverage, you might as well be giving your teeth an acid bath. Choose water instead — it will also help flush bad bacteria and sugar from your mouth.

– Eat a well-balanced diet, and stick to meal times. If you’re getting the nutrients you need, you are less likely to develop gum disease. Eating frequently throughout the day allows sugar to stay in your mouth for longer periods of time, so try to resist the temptation to graze. Limit any sort of sticky food that can get stuck in your teeth.

– Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating. If you can’t brush your teeth, chew a piece of sugarless gum or eat an apple — both stimulate saliva, which decreases acid and helps remove food particles.

To find more information about EvoraPlus, visit myevoraplus.com.