Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teething troubles

Stay away from the dentist's chair... a quick guide to dental hygiene for all ages

From brushing your teeth twice daily to paying a visit to the dentist, no amount of care is enough when it comes to your teeth. A painful tooth will always make you wince. Dr Ashok Dhoble, Hon. Secretary General, Indian Dental Association, tells you all about oral care throughout your life. 1
Taking care of
your baby's teeth
is important because these allow him/her to eat a good diet, allow for proper jaw growth, give the face its form and appearance, assist in the formation of proper speech, and most important, act as "space savers" for adult teeth. If baby teeth are damaged or destroyed, they can't help guide permanent teeth into their proper position, resulting in crowded or crooked permanent teeth.
» There are a number of problems that affect the oral health of children, including tooth decay, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, and early tooth loss. » Breast milk can cause tooth decay as well. As these liquids break down in the mouth into simple sugars and are allowed to sit in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars, causing tooth decay. » Use a wet cloth to wipe your child's teeth and gums after each feeding. This helps remove any bacteria-forming plaque and excess sugar that have built up on the teeth and gums.
Just follow these
simple tips to help
your tot get strong teeth and gums
» Teach your child to brush twice a day with accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque - the sticky film on teeth causing tooth decay. » Give your child a peasized amount of toothpaste and make sure he/she doesn't swallow the paste.
» Thumb sucking after age four can lead to crooked, crowded teeth and/or bite problems, so make sure this habit is dropped early. » Make sure that your child's drinking water is fluoridated. If your water supply, municipal, well or bottled does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements. » Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups. 3
As a teen, the best
way for you to enjoy
a nice smile and healthy teeth, irrespective of wearing braces or other orthodontic treatment is to continue the good oral habits that you started early in childhood.
»ORTHODONTICS: An orthodontic evaluation will determine if you need braces, and what type of treatment is right for you. If a person wears braces, extra care should be taken to properly clean teeth. »SMOKING: If you don't smoke or chew tobacco, don't start. In addition to other health problems, smoking can stain
your teeth and gums, stain the tartar build-up on your teeth and contribute to bad breath. »ORAL PIERCING: If you're considering oral piercing let your dentist know; he or she can help you make the safest choices. »EATING DISORDERS: Both bulimia (binge-eating and vomiting) and anorexia (an inordinate fear of gaining weight often resulting in vomiting) are serious disorders that directly affect the appearance of teeth by eroding the tooth enamel. While a dentist can correct the deteriorated tooth enamel, he or she cannot treat the actual eating disorder — a potential lifethreatening condition that requires addressing psychological issues of self-image and self-control. 4
The key to keeping a
bright, healthy smile
throughout adulthood is to practise proper oral hygiene. Even as an adult you can get cavities and gum disease, which can lead to serious problems. The best way out is to continue to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily to remove plaque between your teeth, limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and checkup.
»Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which in this early stage is still reversible. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush them. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist before serious problems develop. »The health of your gums can also affect your overall health. Recent studies have shown a possible link between periodontitis (a gum disease) and other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and a possible link to premature births.
Teeth can last a lifetime with proper
home care and regular dental checkups. Nevertheless, there can be issues too.
»Dry mouth is a common condition in seniors, one that may be caused by medications or certain medical disorders. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Consult your dentist on ways to restore saliva in your mouth. »Existing health conditions such as diabetes,
heart disease, or cancer, can affect your oral health. Be sure to let your dentist know of any general health issues you're facing. »Dentures can make life easier for many seniors, but they require special care. Follow your dentist's instructions carefully in this regard.

Turmeric may help prevent osteoporosis

 Arecently published study by Janet Funk of the University of Arizona College of Medicine adds to the literature supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric, showing that it may be an effective resource for preventing osteoporosis, or bone loss, a significant concern for postmenopausal women, among others. The study findings also point to characteristics of the turmeric tested that may determine its efficacy.
    Turmeric comes from a plant that is related to ginger. It is a mainstay of Indian cooking, and it has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for a variety of ills, from stomach ache to arthritis. Commercially produced turmeric is consumed widely as a spice and is readily available as a dietary supplement.
    Funk, an endocrinologist, has studied turmeric for several years, working with carefully characterised extracts that have been processed specifically for her research.
    In earlier studies that she conducted to assess the antiarthritic effects of turmeric, Funk discovered that it not only prevented arthritis, but also prevented the development of bone cells that foster bone resorption and bone destruction around the joint in a model of rheumatoid arthritis.
    To study whether turmeric might prevent bone loss occurring with postmenopausal
osteoporosis, Funk's team evaluated and compared two turmeric extracts analogous to those that are commercially available and marketed.
    The extracts contained a mixture of three major curcuminoids – chemical substances also known as polyphenols that occur in turmeric in varying proportions. One was a complex turmeric fraction containing 41 per cent cucuminoids. The second, a curcumi
noid-enriched turmeric fraction, contained 94 per cent curcuminoids and was by far the more effective in preventing loss of bone mineral density and trabecular bone, the spongy or porous bone found in the spine and hip, the types of bone areas that are most subject to fracture in post-menopausal women.
    The study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.