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Oil Pulling

Have you heard of Oil Pulling?? It’s the latest fad out there to improve your dental health. At Hover Dental Group we are all for health and natural healing but we also want to be sure you have all of your facts straight before you decide this is for you.

The claims of Oil Pulling are that it can whiten your teeth, make your breath fresher and lead to massive improvements in oral health. It is not meant for treating active decay! The phrase “oil pulling” comes from the process of the oil being “worked” in the mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it through the teeth. This type of oral therapy isn’t new at all; it has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years.

The procedure involves swishing about one tablespoon of oil around in your mouth. As the oil hits your teeth and gums, bacteria stick to it and dissolve in the liquid oil. With the oil being liquid it is able to get to bacteria hiding under crevices in the gums and in pores and tubules within the teeth and suck them out of their hiding places. This bacteria that is being cleansed from the teeth is what is known to cause plaque buildup. A little plaque is normal but as it builds up, it can cause problems including bad breath, yellow teeth, gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities.

Many types of oils have been used but it seems that Coconut Oil is getting the most press lately and that is likely because recent studies have shown the benefit of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay. Coconut oil is preferred because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of lauric acid. Lauric acid is very well known for its antimicrobial actions; it inhibits Strep mutans that are the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Perhaps the most important thing to share is that Oil Pulling does not replace regular dental care and it won’t treat active decay. It should be done in conjunction with a regular Oral Health program. You still need to brush and floss daily and see your dentist at least twice a year for you regular check ups, and if something is bothering you come see us right away.

Want to give it a try?? Here’s how you do it:

  • Put about a tablespoon of oil in your mouth.
  • Swish the oil around your mouth for about 15-20 minutes. Maybe while you’re in the shower.
  • Spit out the oil, then brush your teeth. (Don’t spit it down the drain, we don’t want to cause any plumbing issues!! Maybe try the trash.)

Be sure to let us know at your next visit if you’ve been Oil Pulling. We’d love to see how it benefits our patients’ oral health!

Happy pulling!!

-Dr. K

Your Oral Health is Just Part of the Picture

We hear pretty much everyday of a new trend to keep our bodies healthy and fit.  New fad diets, new exercise equipment, new shoes, new gear.  Yes, new is sometimes better, but don’t forget that those good, old fashioned, low-tech, user-friendly manners of achieving and maintaining our health are still out there!!

When it comes to your TEETH it’s a simple bristled brush, a little toothpaste and a piece of string!  Yep, that’s ALL you need to maintain your dental health and keep those pearly whites smiling brightly for years to come.  Well that and your twice yearly visit to see us of course!

When it comes to your fitness those fancy gadgets and gear are nice but not always necessary.  All we have to do is just get up and move.  Move more sit less, and of course avoid too much junk food, and we are well on our way to years of health and happiness.

At Hover Dental Group my staff and I believe that our health isn’t just about our teeth and gums.  It’s about our whole health and if we don’t focus on the entire picture then having pearly whites won’t get us too far.  That is why we are lacing up our running shoes this weekend for a great cause — to better our selves with fitness, let off a little stress and burn some extra calories with friends and fellow community members, and while we’re at it to sponsor a great organization, The Happy Smakah.   The Happy Smakah is a 5K fun run benefiting community members in the Longmont area.  You can check it out here:

http://www.happysmackah.com/2015-happy-smackah-5k-sponsors/

Hover Dental Group will have a booth at the end of the event so come on by and say “Hi” after you’ve worked on your physical fitness and get some great items and fun gifts that will help you keep those pearly whites smiling bright!

-Dr. K

End of the Year

The Holiday Season is upon us! As a reminder, if you have dental treatment you have put on hold, now is the best time to schedule an appointment to maximize your insurance benefits and use any remaining flexible spending account dollars you may have. Once the calendar year comes to end, so does your remaining dental benefits. Keep in mind, our Holiday Season and  end of the year does book quickly and desired appointment times are hard to come by.  Call us today to ensure you have a time reserved that works best for your schedule!  We are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding insurance, flexible spending accounts, and/or financial options.

Bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. The condition affects both children and adults.

Some people with bruxism clench their teeth together during the day, often when they feel anxious or tense. This is different from tooth grinding or clenching that occurs at night, which is called sleep bruxism. Most children who are bruxers do so at night, while adults are either daytime or nighttime bruxers.

Bruxism may be mild and may not even require treatment. However, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. Unfortunately, people with sleep bruxism usually aren’t aware of the habit, so they aren’t diagnosed with the condition until complications occur. That’s why it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  •  Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  •  Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles
  •  Earache — because of severe jaw muscle contractions, not a problem with your ear
  • Headache
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Chewed tissue on the inside of your cheek

Causes

Doctors don’t completely understand the causes of bruxism. For daytime bruxism, it has been thought that abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion) may contribute to the problem, though this hasn’t been confirmed in research studies. Sleep bruxism is believed to be related to changes that occur during sleep cycles in some individuals, and this is an active area of current research.

In adults, psychological factors seem to be associated with bruxism, including: 

  • Anxiety, stress or tension
  • Suppressed anger or frustration
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type

When to seek medical advice

Bruxism often goes unnoticed. See your dentist if you have worn teeth or pain in your jaw, face or ear. Also consult your dentist if your bed partner complains that you make a grinding noise while you sleep.

If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of this condition — be sure to mention it at your  next dental appointment.

Proper Brushing

Proper Brushing

Proper brushing is probably the most important way to keep your mouth healthy. Brushing correctly and with the proper frequency can help you prevent problems before they appear. There are four important things you will need to properly brush your teeth: a toothbrush with soft bristles, toothpaste with flouride, the correct angle of brushing, and brushing in pattern. Use the following tips to help you get the most out of your brushing.

  • It is important to brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
  • You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles.  Soft bristles with rounded tips are gentler to your teeth and gums, and the also make it easier to remove plaque below the gum line where periodontal disease starts.
  • Use about a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Flourude hardens the outer enamel layer of teeth. It can stop a cavity baefore it worsens asa well as provide you with more resistance to future cavities.
  • Angle the brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle and apply firm pressure so that the bristles slide under the gum line.
  • Vibrate the brush while you brush in short back and forth strokes and in small circular motions.  Brush two or three teeth at a time and then move to the next two or three, allowing some overlap.
  • Tilt the brush and use the tip to brush the backs of the front teeth.
  • It is OK to brush in any regular pattern you choose but since the insides of the teeth tend to get less attention, you might start with the insides of the upper teeth and then move to the insides of the lower teeth.  Then switch to the outsides of the upper teeth and then the outsides of the lower teeth.  Brush the chewing surfaces of the upper teeth, then the same on the lower teeth.  Complete your routine by gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth.  This will remove germs that can cause bad breath.
  • Change your toothbrush at least every three months or when the bristles are worn or bent.  Old bristles don’t clean well under the gum line and they host more plaque and disease-causing bacteria than new ones.

Posted in Dental News