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Posts for tag: teeth

Energy Drinks and Your Child’s Teeth. Should You Worry?

The hard clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator of a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them. Are those techni-colored drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?
 
The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, the bad news is, they’re secretly eating away at their teeth - and fast. 

Why Are Energy Drinks Such a Threat to Teeth?


The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. Now, we understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, a bit, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid (which we can imagine as being quite acidic, at least!) has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0.  A lemon, in contrast, comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0. 
 
The real distinction though is in knowing that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice - a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one!  In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it's easy to see the difference in the numbers - they're huge.

The Science


What all this means to your child’s teeth is the real question, though, and precisely what researchers at Southern Illinois University set out to discover in 2012.  The results, which surprised even the research team, showed considerable damage to tooth enamel after only five days of steady consumption. Five days. 
 
To determine the effect of these drinks on our teeth, the research team looked at 22 popular sports and energy drinks, and exposed artificial tooth enamel to the beverages for 15 minutes at a time, four times daily. This schedule was chosen because it mirrors the consumption habits of many users who drink these beverages every few hours - a particularly common habit among those who consume sports drinks, particularly when your kids are involved in sports.  After each 15-minute exposure, the enamel was then placed into an artificial saliva solution for two hours to mimic what would happen once consumption stopped.  After only five days on this schedule, the enamel showed a 1.5% loss with sports drinks, and a shocking 3% loss with energy drinks. 


The Critics


While critics in the beverage industry suggest the time used to expose the enamel to the drinks may have been excessive, it's widely known that snacking, as well as regular sipping of any beverage other than water, creates acidic activity in the mouth that promotes tooth decay. Of course, adults also need to be careful, and if you’re the weekend warrior type, or are pulling shifts and consuming these beverages throughout the day, the time of exposure might actually not be long enough.  The sweet spot is in the middle-ground, and that's basically the advice we're going to offer today.
 
There is no doubt that these beverages are not good for our teeth. They're also not good for our stomach, and esophagus if one is prone to acid reflux.


The Middle Ground -- It's about being Informed


We're not asking you to force your kids to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help your kids combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can't shake the habit:

  • Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel.
  • Suggest that they don't brush immediately after consuming such beverages.  Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good.  If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after.

Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers.

Sports Drinks:

  • Filtered Ionozed Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
  • Water – pH: 7.o
  • Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
  • Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
  • Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
  • Vita coco – pH: 5.2
  • Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
  • GU2O – pH: 4.29
  • Powerade – pH: 3.89
  • Accelerade – pH: 3.86
  • Gatorade Endurance – pH:  3.22
  • Monster – pH:  2.7

Energy Drinks:

  • Red Bull – pH: 3.3
  • AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
  • Full Throttle  - pH: 1.45
  • Rock Star – pH: 1.5

Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts

By Jessie Szalay, Live Science Contributor |  October 7, 2014 08:17pm ET

Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts

Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There's even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup.

Scientists have taken notice of watermelon's high lycopene levels — about 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board — some of the highest levels of any type of fresh produce. Lycopene is a phytonutrient, which is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is also the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their color.

Lycopene has been linked with heart health, bone health and prostate cancer prevention. It's also a powerful antioxidant thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at The University of Texas at Austin.

To really maximize your lycopene intake, let your watermelon fully ripen. The redder your watermelon gets, the higher the concentration of lycopene becomes. Beta-carotene and phenolic antioxidant content also increase as the watermelon ripens. Nevertheless, "All parts of the watermelon are good. There are a lot of nutrients throughout," said Jarzabkowski. This includes the white flesh nearest the rind.

Another phytonutrient found in the watermelon is the amino acid citrulline, which converts to the amino acid arginine. These amino acids promote blood flow, leading to cardiovascular health, improved circulation, and according to research at Texas A&M University, erectile dysfunction improvement (you'd probably have to eat a lot of the fruit to get a Viagra-like effect, though).

Here are the nutrition facts for the watermelon, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling through the National Labeling and Education Act:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size:

2 cups diced

(10 oz / 280 g)

Calories 80

Calories from Fat 0

*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Amt per Serving %DV*   Amt per Serving %DV*  

Total Fat 0g 0%   Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%     Dietary Fiber 1g 4%

Sodium 0mg 0%      Sugars 20g  

Potassium 270mg 8%   Protein 1g  

Vitamin A 30%   Calcium 2%

Vitamin C 25%   Iron 4%

Health benefits

Heart health

Watermelon's high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University. Also, the fruit's concentrations of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart. Arginine can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extracts helped reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults.

Anti-inflammatory properties

 "The lycopene in watermelon makes it an anti-inflammatory fruit," Jarzabkowski said. Lycopene is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Additionally, the watermelon contains choline, which helps keep chronic inflammation down, according to a 2006 article published in Shock medical journal.

Reducing inflammation isn't just good for people suffering from arthritis. "When you're sick, you have cellular damage, which can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, smoking, pollution, disease, and your body becomes inflamed," Jarzabkowski said. "It's called 'systemic inflammation.'" In this way, anti-inflammatory foods can help with overall immunity and general health.

Hydration

"Watermelons are the perfect example of a food that can help you stay hydrated," said Jarzabkowski. Their water content can help keep you hydrated, and their juice is full of good electrolytes. This can even help prevent heat stroke.

Digestion

The watermelon contains fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.

Skin and hair benefits

Vitamin A is stellar for your skin, and just a cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your daily recommended intake of it. Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.

Muscle soreness

Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This can be attributed to watermelon's amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.

Cancer prevention

Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties. Lycopene in particular has been linked to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Health risks

If eaten in reasonable amounts, watermelons should produce no serious side effects. If you eat an abundance of the fruit daily, however, you may experience problems from having too much lycopene or potassium.

The consumption of more than 30 mg of lycopene daily could potentially cause nausea, diarrhea, indigestion and bloating, according to the American Cancer Society.

People with serious hyperkalemia, or too much potassium in their blood, should probably not consume more than about one cup of watermelon a day, which has less than 140 mg of potassium. According to the National Institutes of Health, hyperkalemia can result in irregular heartbeats and other cardiovascular problems, as well as reduced muscle control.

Jarzabkowski also warned watermelon lovers to be mindful of their sugar intake. "Though watermelon's sugar is naturally occurring, [watermelon] is still relatively high in sugar."

Watermelon facts

Some fun facts about watermelons, from the National Watermelon Promotion Board and Science Kids.   

The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.

The watermelon probably originated in the Kalahari Desert in Africa.

Egyptians placed watermelons in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife. The first recorded watermelon harvest is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics from about 5,000 years ago.

Merchants spread the use of watermelons along the Mediterranean Sea. By the 10th century, watermelons had found their way to China, which is now the world's top producer of watermelons.

The Moors in the 13th century brought watermelons to Europe.

The watermelon likely made its way to the United States with African slaves.

Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.

The first cookbook published in the United States in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

About 200 to 300 varieties are grown in the United States and Mexico, but only about 50 varieties are very popular.

By weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.

The watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma.

All parts of a watermelon can be eaten, even the rind.

Guinness World Records says the world's heaviest watermelon was grown by Lloyd Bright of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 2005. It weighed 268.8 lbs. (121.93 kg).

The United States ranks fifth in the worldwide production of watermelons. Forty-four states grow watermelons, with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona leading the country in production.

A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid, which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds.

11 Surprising Reasons You Should Smile Everyday

Whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, picked a fight with a loved one or struggled through that morning commute to a job you don’t particularly enjoy, it can be a tough task to plaster a smile across your face when you’re feeling less than chipper.

But by choosing to smile, happy changes start to occur automatically, both internally and externally. Great power lies in a random smile, so long as you choose to share it with the world.

Here are 11 reasons why it’s worth showing those pearly whites daily — even when you don’t necessarily feel like it.

Smiling can improve your mood.

Our facial expressions do more than communicate our current mood — they have the ability to influence our mood as well. Emotions may originate in the brain, but the muscles in the face either reinforce or transform those feelings. Recent studies have revealed that through the enhancement of positive emotions — or the suppression of negative ones — with facial expressions, a person’s mood begins to align more strongly with the emotion his or her face is communicating.

Even fake smiles do the trick.

While some researchers insist the benefits of smiling can only be rendered from a geniune expression of happiness, others have found that a forced smile can still make you feel happy, even when your existing mood and surroundings suggest otherwise. It only takes smiling for a brief period of time to experience its benefits — no matter how contrived it feels initially. In this case, maybe it’s OK to fake it a little.

Smiling helps reduce stress.

In a 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science, University of Kansas psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman studied 170 participants who were told to hold chopsticks in their mouths in three formations, making them smile to various degrees without realizing it, after performing a stressful task. The experiment revealed that subjects who smiled the biggest with the chopsticks experienced a substantial reduction in heart rate and quicker stress recovery compared to those whose expressions remained neutral.

Smiling makes you more approachable.

A 2004 Penn State University study found that authentic smiles shared by employees in the service industry influenced their impressions on customers in a positive way. Smiling employees came across as more likable and friendly, and customers left the interactions feeling more satisfied about their overall experience. While job performance and the busyness of the venues were also factored into subsequent experiments, the researchers found that the added display of an authentic smile helped workers appear more competent as well.

A smile makes you seem more trustworthy.

From a psychological perspective, a person who is smiling appears more trustworthy than a person who is either frowning or holding a neutral expression. In a University of Pittsburgh study, researchers explored the potential connection between a model’s level of attractiveness, the intensity of her smile and her perceived level of trustworthiness. Study participants ranked 45 models on these three conditions, revealing that the bigger the models smiled, the more trustworthy they seemed.

Smiling actually retrains your brain for the better.

While the brain is naturally inclined to think in negative terms as a defense mechanism, the habitual act of smiling helps the mind move to a more positive space and remain there longer the more you do it. According to Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, by making smiling a part of our everyday practice, we help our brains create happiness loops that encourage more positive-thinking patterns.

“Happiness is a work ethic,” wrote Achor. “It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train.”

Smiles are contagious.

Ever notice how often a friend or colleague will reciprocate a smile after you share one? There’s a scientific explanation for that phenomenon. According to neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni, we all posses something called mirror neurons, cells in the premotor cortex and inferior parietal cortex that are activated when we perform a given action as well as when we witness someone else performing it. And when it comes to smiling, mirror neurons respond to the acts of both seeing and doing.

“The way mirror neurons likely let us understand others is by providing some kind of inner imitation of the actions of other people, which in turn leads us to ‘simulate’ the intentions and emotions associated with those actions,” Iacoboni told Scientific American. “When I see you smiling, my mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, initiating a cascade of neural activity that evokes the feeling we typically associate with a smile.”

Smiles may strengthen the body on a cellular level.

 Just as this happy facial expression helps rid the body of stress, smiling can release tension on a cellular level as well, according to biochemist and artist Sondra Barrett. In her book, Secrets of Your Cells, Barrett explains how cells can distinguish between safety and danger, find and repair problems and create an overall sense of balance within the body. She also highlights how a person’s thoughts have a direct effect on cell function. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can help combat the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers.

Smiling boosts your productivity.

The benefits of putting a grin on your face at the office don’t begin and end with a mood boost; that dose of happiness can help make you a more productive employee as well. In 2010, a team of economic researchers found that happiness has a significant and causal effect on productivity in the workplace. And just as the positive emotions prove invigorating, negative ones are equally draining.

Smiling makes you more creative.

This same mood boost can get those creative juices flowing. A 2013 study from the University of California, San Francisco explored this connection in men and found that those who were happier had a more comprehensive approach to problems, improving their ability to think of more solutions than their negative-minded counterparts. The researchers connected this finding to the release of dopamine triggered by happiness, since the neurotransmitter is involved in learning, processing and decision-making.

Smiles are free!

This all-around mood booster is one of the few available to you each day at no cost whatsoever. So why not take advantage of your own power to create happiness?

Aleena Hall - Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/08/smiling-benefits_n_6598840.html

April 26, 2016
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Implants   teeth   oral   dental impacts   oral surgery  

Dental Implants

Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss -- mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

 What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

• Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

• Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.

• Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

• Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

• Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

• Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

• Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

• Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders -- such as diabetes or heart disease -- or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

In general, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance at this time. Coverage under your medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with your dentist and insurance provider.

 What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?

The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post -- called an abutment -- is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new tooth or teeth is based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

How Painful Are Dental Implants?

Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.

How Do I Care for Dental Implants?

Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.

 

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on January 26, 2015

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

 

Research shows that stress-related ailments can have an impact on your oral health -- talk to your dentist if you are concerned.

We all encounter stress in our lives, and some more than others. You're probably aware of what stress does to our bodies -- it can cause anxiety disorders and panic attacks, and a lack of sleep can lead to grogginess and irritability.

But stress and oral health is an entirely new ballgame for most people. Unfortunately, our mouths have just as much of a chance of being affected by stressful situations as our bodies and minds do. Researchers have found a significant link between stress and oral health, helping us better understand what part anxiety and depression take in the development of dental problems. We now know that stress is a contributing factor to the following conditions:

Bruxism -- Stress can cause us to grind our teeth at night, leading to tooth damage. If you're diagnosed with bruxism, a night guard can be prescribed to protect your jaw.

Canker Sores -- No one quite knows what exactly causes canker sores, but they are sometimes brought on by stress. Although harmless, these small sores can be painful.

Dry Mouth -- When the mouth doesn't produce enough saliva, it can experience chronic dryness. Not only does dry mouth result from conditions caused by stress, but it is also a common side effect of drugs used to treat depression.

Burning Mouth Syndrome -- Psychological problems are just one of the many factors known to cause burning mouth, which is identified by a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, gums or palate.

Lichen Planus -- Lichen planus of the mouth is characterized by white lines, sores and ulcers in the oral cavity. Some experts believe lichen planus is a reaction to viral infections caused by stress.

TMJ/TMD -- Stress contributes to temporomandibular joint disorders in many fashions. Trauma and tooth grinding are common causes of TMD, while emotional factors such as anxiety and depression can also trigger symptoms of TMJ.

Gum Disease -- Studies have shown that long-term stress affects our immune systems, increasing our susceptibility to infections such as periodontal disease.

Other Risk Factors

As you can see, stress and oral health often go hand-in-hand, but stress also takes indirect paths to affect your dental health. Patients who are under stress tend to neglect their oral hygiene routines -- when you have so much going on, it's hard to remember to brush and floss correctly. Poor diet is also a result of stress -- sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods that promote tooth decay might be consumed on a more frequent basis when we are busy or depressed.

There is yet another significant correlation between stress and oral health -- stress not only causes dental conditions, but painful dental problems can also increase our levels of stress and anxiety. Furthermore, our ability to tolerate pain is compromised as our bodies struggle to adapt to stressful situations. As a result, tooth pain can become more extreme during times of stress.

Time to De-Stress!

If you're feeling stressed, don't forget about your dental health. Take the time to focus on your oral hygiene regimen, and don't use smoking or alcohol to relieve stress. These habits are highly addictive, and they have damaging effects on your oral cavity. Instead, take proper measures to reduce stress in your life, such as eating well, exercising and getting plenty of sleep. If you suffer from extreme anxiety or depression, seek professional help.

If you're worried that stress is affecting your teeth or gums, see a dentist -- he or she can treat dental problems caused by anxiety and offer suggestions for better dental care. If you don't have a dentist, we can help you find one!

 

http://www.1800dentist.com/how-stress-can-affect-your-oral-health/



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