12 Bad Habits For Your Teeth

girl and popcorn bowl

Many seemingly normal habits in your everyday life affect your teeth probably more than you’re aware. If you’re wanting to take a step towards better oral health here are a few bad habits you might want to kick to the curb.

 

  • Snacking

 

Snacking all day, or grazing as some people like to call it, isn’t the healthiest thing you can do for your teeth. You may think you’re doing a great job of spacing out the sugar in your day but in reality, you are making sure there is always some sugar in your mouth, putting you more at risk of cavities.  

 

  • Chewing Ice

 

Your teeth are hard, but so is ice. One of the two will have to give and usually the ice breaks but on occasion, your teeth may crack or chip from munching on chunks of ice.

 

  • Nail Biting

 

You might not have thought of nail-biting as being a risk for your teeth, but it can actually be harmful to your oral health. Nail biting puts you at risk of chipping your teeth and it can impact your jaw. Your jaw wasn’t meant to stay jutted out for long periods of time and making it do such an irregular action can cause jaw dysfunction.

 

  • Tongue Piercings

 

The reason a tongue piercing can be dangerous to your teeth is simple. If your teeth come in contact with a solid piece of metal they are likely to break or chip. Having a tongue piercing increases the chance of you biting down on metal.

 

  • Aggressive Brushing

 

You may think you are just being thorough when you’re brushing your teeth very hard, but honestly, you’re most likely doing more harm than good. Aggressively brushing your teeth can wear away at your poor gums and damage your teeth.

 

  • Cough Drops

 

Cough drops don’t come across as bad for your teeth, but they are loaded with sugar. To keep cough drops from wrecking your teeth make sure to brush soon after using a drop to soothe your throat.

 

  • Teeth Grinding

 

Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep or out of stress you need to try to get out of this habit fast. Teeth grinding wears down your teeth, leaving them smaller and more vulnerable. If you grind because of stress try chewing on some sugar-free gum instead. The best advice to keep from grinding in your sleep is to invest in a mouth guard.

 

  • Teeth Tools

 

Your teeth should never be used as tools. If you come across a bag that is especially difficult to open, do your teeth a favor and find a pair of scissors instead of ripping into the packaging with your teeth.

 

  • Sugary Drinks

 

Everyone knows that sugary drinks are bad for your teeth because they increase the chance of getting cavities. Sugary drinks include almost all sodas, juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, tea, coffee and almost anything that isn’t water. Sugary beverages are great, but try to have water be your main drink of choice.

 

  • Pencils and Pens

 

Chewing on anything that wasn’t intended to be eaten is a bad idea. Pencils and pens are a big culprit for nervous or stress munching for a lot of people. Try to replace your writing utensil with sugar-free gum when you have the need to munch.

 

  • Smoking

 

Smoking is bad for your teeth for a number of reasons. It stains your teeth a different color and can cause gum disease, which makes your teeth fall out because they no longer have strong gums holding them in place.

 

  • Binge Eating

 

Binge eating is bad for your teeth because often when someone binge eats they aren’t munching on fruits and veggies. They reach for all the sugary and unhealthy foods they can get their hands on.

If you found that you are guilty of a few of these bad habits then good luck! Breaking a bad habit is not an easy thing, but it is so very worth it. Your teeth will thank you for thinking of them and putting forth the effort.

5 Common Causes Of Hip Pain

doctor with x-rays looking at joints

Pain in your hips can be anything from frustrating to debilitating. If the pain gets bad enough it can make it difficult to get around and do your daily activities. If you have a bothersome pain in your hip and you’re wondering what a possible cause could be, then here are five of the most common problems that cause hip pain.

Arthritis

A very common cause of hip pain, especially in older adults, is arthritis in the hips. The two main types of arthritis that might be causing your hip pain are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis first causes inflammation in the joints and then it can lead to your cartilage breaking down. The cartilage is what provides cushioning for your joints so if it breaks down enough it leaves your bones painfully rubbing against each other.

Hip Fracture

A hip fracture usually happens due to a fall or impact of some sort. A fracture is a broken bone, and typically hip fractures happen mostly in the elderly because as you age your bones become brittle. Brittle bones are more likely to break from a fall that wouldn’t harm more resilient bones. Do what you can to keep your bone strength up to avoid hip fractures from falling.

Bursitis

“The hip bursa is a collection of smooth mobile tissue which decreases friction of the IT band as it glides over the lateral aspect of the hip, and if this tissue gets inflamed it can be quite painful and tender, creating difficulty lying on one side or walking or climbing stairs,” according to Dr. Dalling an orthopedic surgeon at Biddulph Huntsman and Dalling Orthopedic Surgery.

If the condition is bad enough it can require surgery to fix the problems, however, that is not always the case. Sometimes people can experience pain relief by changing the activities they do, taking anti-inflammatory drugs or even with help through physical therapy. Talking with a specialist is always the best route to take to see what needs to be done.  

Tendinitis

Your tendons are extremely important thick bands of tissue that attach the bones to the muscles. Tendinitis is when those tendons become inflamed or irritated. The most common cause for this irritation is some repetitive activity that you might be doing. This could be anything from cleaning your house to skiing. To avoid tendinitis, try to steer clear of overly repetitive motions especially if you start to feel any pain.

Muscle or Tendon Strain

Muscle and tendon strains are similar to tendinitis because they are often caused by repetitive motions that have overworked your muscle or tendon. Straining your muscle or tendon is often painful and you’ll need to rest to allow time for healing.

If you are experiencing any aches or pains in your hips then it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what the root cause is. When the pain first begins, try resting and taking something to bring down any inflammation. If the pain continues, visit with a professional so you can take care of the problem instead of just the symptoms.

4 Tips for Healthy Fingers and Toes

fingers picking up rocks at beach

Your hands and feet deserve a little attention. Let’s be honest, they take care of almost all of your basic needs without so much as a thank you. Here are 4 tips to help keep your fingers and toes healthy and happy.

Clean

Hands and feet get dirty throughout the day. Take the time to thoroughly wash your hands each day. When you shower or bath always give your feet a little attention. If you need to, sit on the side of the tub or put a chair in your showers so you can reach your feet and give them a good scrub, opening up the pores and getting rid of all that grime.

Occasionally take the time to clean out from under your finger and toenails. Dirt can get trapped in the tight space between your skin and nails and if left for too long can lead to infection. You can even take a soft old toothbrush and gently scrub away any dirt or dead skin that may still be on or around your nails. Also, regularly cleaning out from under your toenails will help to eliminate foot odor.

Trim

Did you now that you shouldn’t trim all of your nails the same? For fingernails, you can be a little more free thinking with the way and style you cut your nails, but toenails take a little bit of extra care to avoid ingrown toenails or infection.

When clipping your toenails always clip the nail straight across. You may be tempted to clip in a curve, but fight the urge. Also, don’t clip your toenails too short. Too short of nails can leave your poor toes open to infection and it can be seriously uncomfortable.

For both toenails and fingernails always make sure your nails are completely dry before clipping them. Wet nails are more delicate and could tear or bend while you’re cutting them, ruining the shape of the nail.

Moisturize

It is important to moisturize your hands and feet especially during the dryer months of the year. The best time to moisturize is right after washing your hands or feet, so typically after a bath or shower. This will help to lock in the moisture that is already in your skin and keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.

It’s also good to take extra care in rubbing in moisturizer around your finger and toenails. These places tend to dry out especially fast and can cause painful hangnails if not taken care of.  

Protect

Your hands and feet work hard to serve you well each and every day. Do them a favor and take care of them. Easy ways to keep your hands save is to wear the proper protective gear when doing hard labor or yard work. A pair of gloves could save you from a nasty splinter or sharp edge.

Wear shoes that give you support and have enough room. Improper footwear can lead to flat feet, hammertoes, ankle injuries, and many more issues. Choose shoes that are comfortable from the get-go. Don’t bank on your shoes breaking in. Also, avoid shoes that are too tight. No amount of justifying small shoes will make your feet feel better after wearing them.

You don’t need to lavish your hands and feet with attention, just make sure to give them the simple care they deserve. As you take care of them they’ll be more equipped to keep taking care of you.

Healthy Gums for a More Healthy You

People are always talking about how to keep your teeth healthy and ward off cavities, but what about your gums? The health and care of your gums is important because it is a major line of defense for the roots of your teeth. They help to keep your teeth properly functioning as they should. Here are a few tips for making sure your gums are ready to do their job.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush twice a day and make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may think that scrubbing away at your teeth with a rough brush will make them super clean but, in reality, you could be hurting your teeth and gums and increasing the chance of tooth erosion. To ensure that your teeth brushing is effective, replace your toothbrush about every three months. Also, remember to use toothpaste that contains fluoride to help slow the breakdown of enamel and prevent tooth decay.

Floss

Make sure to floss once a day. Food and germs get trapped between teeth and around your gums making it so your toothbrush alone will not be able to dislodge those harmful chunks. Flossing is the extra care your gums need to get rid of the bad so they can focus on the good. If the harmful material were to remain wedged in there it would eventually begin to erode the teeth and affect the gums.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily help to protect your teeth from germs and keep them clean, but there is usually stubborn plaque on your teeth that your daily routine just can’t get rid of. To guarantee that your oral health is where it needs to be to protect your teeth and gums, dentists recommend that you get a deep dental cleaning every 6 months.

Gum Grafting

You may need a gum graft if you have receding gums and the roots of your teeth are beginning to be exposed. Gum grafting is a surgical process that is relatively quick and simple. It helps to protect the roots of your teeth by covering them back up again with gum from the roof of your mouth. This will help your teeth to last longer by protecting the sensitive root from harmful bacteria and trauma.

Diet

Keeping your teeth happy is not only what you eat but when you eat. Of course, keep a healthy diet but also don’t eat at night after you brush your teeth. If you eat after you brush your teeth but before you got to sleep than you could get food stuck in your teeth and gums and that will just sit there through the night working away at your oral defenses.

It doesn’t take a long time each morning and evening to keep up good oral health. Just a few minutes in the bathroom will help you to keep munching away with your own teeth and gums for years to come. I don’t know about you, but that sounds totally worth the effort.

 

7 Common Dental Terms & Procedures Explained

dental procedures tools

Visiting the dentist can be frightening because it almost feels like they are speaking a different language. When the dentist tells his assistant that he is going to have to put a crown on your upper second bicuspid while his hands are in your mouth, it’s hard not to feel at least a little nervous. Here is a quick guide to give you a little more confidence in the dentist chair.

Dental Crowns

A crown is a cover that can be put on your tooth if it has been damaged in some way. It restores the tooth to its original shape, size, and function. The crown also helps to strengthen your tooth and improve it cosmetically. The crown is cemented over what is remaining of the tooth that is sticking above the gums.

Fillings

Fillings are a durable material that is packed into holes in your mouth that are left from tooth decay, cracks, or chips. The filling is a tooth-colored putty that bonds tightly to your teeth. Fillings are most often used to treat those dreaded cavities. So long as the cavity is caught soon enough you should only need a filling to fix the problem, instead of an entire crown.

Dental Cleanings

Though you may be perfect at brushing and flossing it is still recommended that you get a thorough deep dental cleaning every 6 months. Daily dental hygiene care still misses stubborn germs and bacteria. These missed spots build up over time and can cause cavities. To eliminate the chances of tooth decay, get a deep cleaning from your dental clinic on a regular basis.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is put into your jawbone and then a dental crown is cemented to the post. The post will actually fuse to your jawbone over time. Your new post and crown will look, function, and feel just like your other teeth.

Dentures

A denture is a dental appliance that can be removed. It fills in teeth and is custom made for each patient. It improves your smile and helps with eating and talking.

Extractions

This is when a tooth needs to be completely pulled out. Grove City Dental gives a list of reasons that teeth would need to be removed including an overcrowded mouth or overly decayed teeth.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is like a barrier between your teeth and dangerous plaque and acid. Sealant is a clear coating that is placed over the part of the tooth that you bite with. It fills in the grooves and cracks in your teeth protecting them from germs getting stuck in those difficult to reach places. It is not a necessity but works as a preventative measure for tooth decay.

If your dentist or dental hygienist do use a word that is unfamiliar to you, just ask them for a quick explanation. They are usually more than happy to have something to talk about to fill the silence while they awkwardly have their hands crammed in your mouth.

 

Facts About Cancer That You Didn’t Know

person getting evaluated at medical facility

Everyone seems to know someone who has gone through or is going through cancer treatment. But for something that is so prevalent in our society, there are still many things that we don’t yet know or understand. Here are a few facts about cancer that you may not be aware of.

Definition

The term cancer is very generally used to talk about over 100 different diseases. Diseases that fall under the cancerous umbrella are diseases caused by uncontrolled divisions of abnormal cells in a part of the body. This is typically a growth or tumor that has grown out of control.

Men

According to everydayhealth.com, the most prevalent cancers in men are :

  • Prostate Cancer  
    • Top cancer in men
    • 2nd highest cancer killer
    • Affects about 160 of every 100,000 men
  • Lung Cancer
    • 2nd cancer in men
    • 1st cancer killer
    • Affects about 81 of every 100,000 men
  • Colorectal Cancer
    • Affects about 53 of every 100,000 men
  • Bladder Cancer
    • Affects about 36 of every 100,000 men
  • Melanoma Skin Cancer
    • Affects about 27 of every 100,000 men

Women

According to everydayhealth.com, the most prevalent cancers in women are:  

  • Breast Cancer
    • Odds of getting breast cancer are 1 in 8
  • Lung and Bronchus Cancer
    • Odds of getting lung cancer are 1 in 17
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer
    • Odds of getting colon or rectal cancer are 1 in 24
  • Uterine Cancer
    • Odds of getting uterine cancer are 1 in 36
  • Thyroid Cancer
    • Odds of getting thyroid cancer are 1 in 57

Children

Cancer is the number one disease killer of children. Every day about 4 children in America pass away from cancer-related causes. This is because the conventional ways of treating cancer don’t often work on small children and can sometimes do more harm than good.

Genetics

Studies have shown that cancer is not necessarily passed down from one generation to the next. The link with family members getting cancer could be that they share the same lifestyle; eat the same foods, have similar sleep patterns, have similar living standards.  

Sleep

Some recent studies have shown a link between sleep deprivation and cancer. There are relationships between women’s irregular work schedules and the rate of breast cancer. Breast cancer rates are much higher in the women who have shift work.

There are still many things that researchers are learning about cancer, its causes, and possible treatment. Back in 2016 Washington funded around $4.8 billion for cancer research. Millions of scientists around the world are searching for “the cure” but because cancer is such an umbrella word we need to understand that research is being done on an individual type of cancer basis. Good work is being done, but it is a slow and arduous process that takes time. For more information about cancer visit tetoncancer.com.

5 Signs That You Have A Healthy Mouth

white teeth in healthy mouth

A healthy mouth is an important thing to have, but many of us probably don’t actually know whether our mouths are healthy or not.

You may look at your mouth and think that everything looks pretty a-ok, but here are five ways to really know how healthy your mouth is, other than also getting a professional opinion from your dentist.

  1. Your breath

Bad breath is more than just an indicator that you might have eaten a little too much garlic. It can also be a sign that there is something else going on.

Most of the time you can actually tell yourself whether you have bad breath or not, and it’s only a cause for alarm if you or maybe those close to you notice it happens pretty regularly.

It’s completely to have normal to have bad breath every once in a while, and especially in the mornings when your mouth has been sitting with bacteria for a couple of hours, but make sure if you notice anything is off to consult with your dentist.

  1. Your Gums

According to most dentists, the way you can tell if you have healthy gums is if they are pink and firm and they don’t bleed when you brush or floss them.

A sign that something may not be right with your gums is if they are red, puffy, or have any white spots. Also if you notice they frequently bleed with even just light pressure when you brush your teeth, it may be time to consult with a dentist.

  1. Your teeth

Sure, pearly, white teeth look great, but the color of your teeth doesn’t necessarily reflect if your teeth are healthy or not.

If you are brushing and flossing regularly and don’t notice any marks or stains on your teeth that is a really good sign, but it’s still always best to go to your regular dental check-ups and have them check out your teeth because they may find things that you can’t see or that aren’t obvious to the naked eye.

This is also because things like cavities can hide in between teeth, and other than tooth sensitivity, it can be hard to know they are there.

  1. Your tongue

Every looked at your tongue? Most of us would probably say no, because we probably don’t sit around staring at our tongues, but they are good indicators of a healthy mouth.

A healthy tongue will usually be pink and pretty smooth whereas an unhealthy tongue will be discolored and could have visible bumps or soars.

Buying a tongue scraper and using it regularly is a great way to keep your tongue healthy and clean as well as your entire mouth.

  1. No pain

As is the same with any part of your body, pain in your mouth is probably a sign that something is off and it’s a good idea to talk to the dentist.

A healthy mouth is pain-free and not sensitive and overly dry. If you feel like your mouth is in pain a lot or overly sensitive, definitely give your dentist a call.

5 Important Health Tips For All Women

women walking

Every person is different, and so are the different health issues they need to think about and the things they need to do to take care of themselves.

This also applies to men versus women, in that women have some different health concerns than men do.

The reason this is important to note is to help all women to be aware of these differences and to help women be healthy overall.

Here are five important health tips for all women to help make sure they can lead long and healthy lives.

  1. Balance in all things, especially your meals

It may be cliche but many women worry about what they eat and tend to want to try all different types of diets and ways to limit what they eat.

But in reality, dieting doesn’t work very well and can sometimes be bad for your overall health because you may be inadvertently restricting your body from what it needs or wants.

Instead of dieting or not allowing yourself to indulge every once in a while, just make sure to have balance in what you put into your body, meaning if you want that piece of cake then eat it! And then just make sure to eat all the other nutritious food that will fuel your body and mind.

  1. Enjoy the sun but with protection

Everybody loves to feel the sunshine on their face, but it’s important to remember that same sunshine can lead to skin cancer.

If you know you are going to be in the sun for a long time, make sure to cover up and also apply lots of sunscreens. When the weather is nice, it’s even a good idea just to make applying sunscreen a daily habit, whether you know you are going to be in the sun or not.

  1. Be aware of your reproductive and urinary health

Women can be more prone to urinal and bladder infections, so be aware of the urology issues you might be facing and when it may be time to see your OBGYN about annual checkups.

It’s also recommended to get things like a Pap test every three years and an HPV test every five years.

If sex, peeing, or periods seem really painful, talk to your doctor about it and see what steps you can take for your health.

  1. Get breast checks

Another very important test that women should do every year, especially after they turn 40, is to get a mammogram.

Mammograms can screen for breast cancers, that way if anything is found it can hopefully be found in the early stages when it is still treatable.

If cancer runs in your family you can even ask your doctor if it may be a good idea for you to get tested even earlier, some may recommend starting as early as your 20’s.

  1. Think about your heart

Many women may not be aware that they are just as susceptible to heart attack and heart disease as men, which is why it is so important to take care of your heart.

Create heart-healthy habits such as exercising or being physically active every day and avoiding bad habits like smoking.

How to take better care of your spine in the New Year

spinal health

If you ask most people what is at the top of their new year’s resolution most will probably say it has something to do with their health.

Most of us look at a new year as a new opportunity to become our best selves; and getting healthier or leading a healthier lifestyle is on the way to doing so.

Many of us when we think about their health don’t necessarily think about the health of our spine, when in fact it’s probably one of the most important places to start in regards to health.

When your spine is in disarray it affects so many different parts of your body, which is why taking care of it should be a priority for most of us this year.

Here is how to take better care of your spine in the New Year, as well as every year going forward.

Take a walk

Getting up and moving around is a great way to practice care for your spine and is easy to do for most people.

Most of us spend so much time sitting, whether it’s at the office sitting at your desk or at home sitting and watching TV, and all it takes is getting up for a few minutes a couple times a day to really help your spine get healthy and strong and stay that way.

If at all possible you can even walk to work or take a walk when you get home instead of sitting down.

If walking is painful, talk to a doctor like those at Walker Spine and Sports Specialists to find out what you can do and how you can walk for your spine.

Pay attention to how you sleep

How and how much you sleep can really help or hinder your spine’s overall health so it is a good idea to pay attention to the way you sleep and how much sleep you are getting.

Make sure you have a mattress with the proper support as well as a pillow that matches the position in which you sleep the most.

It’s also a good idea to try your best to sleep on your side rather than your stomach because sleeping on your stomach can put unnecessary pressure on your spine.

Watch the way you lift

From lifting weights to just picking up your kids, a good way to ensure proper care for your spine is to make sure you are lifting heavier objects correctly.

If you aren’t sure what the proper way to lift is you can ask your doctor to show you. But most say that a good rule of thumb is to lift objects by putting pressure on your knees and legs rather than trying to use your back and stomach and to also make sure to bend your knees and get down to the level of what you are trying to lift.

Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is important for every part of your body including your spine.

Being dehydrated puts you more at risk for a ruptured or split disk which can be very painful. Also not having enough fluids in the spine can lead to other severe issues.

By drinking plenty of water you ensure that the spine has all the fluids it needs to protect the bones and nerves that lie there.

5 scary things that could happen if you don’t care for your teeth

x-ray of teeth structure

Brushing and flossing your teeth can feel annoying and time-consuming at times.

You have probably wondered often if it’s even worth the effort or if your parents and dentist were just trying to scare you into this habit.

But the frightening truth is that there can be some pretty serious consequences to not properly taking care of your teeth, and not ones you ever really want to find out.

However, if you are one who likes to play devil’s advocate and really want to know, here are five scary things that could happen if you don’t care for your teeth, and that will hopefully have you brushing and flossing every day.

Really bad breath

Everytime that you eat something throughout the day, little pieces of those foods remain in your mouth. Over time that food begins to gather bacteria and decay, which you can imagine, starts to create a not so pleasant smell.

The only way to get rid of this build up of food and plaque is to brush and floss it away, or over time it can actually become hard and then you will only be able to get it removed by your Family Dental Health Center.

Tooth loss

If you like your teeth and want them to stay in your mouth then you probably want to start brushing and flossing a lot more regularly because something that can happen when you don’t is that your teeth can begin to fall out.

When you get too many cavities or if you have severe enough gum disease you can begin to lose your teeth. Sadly enough, according to the National Institute for Dental Research, this actually happens to many adults, and most adults lose about seven to nine permanent teeth. Those who really don’t take care of their teeth have actually lost most of them by the time they are 64.

Diabetes

A lot of people wouldn’t think there is a tie between brushing your teeth and diabetes, but that’s not necessarily true.

One scary side effect of not taking care of your teeth and gums is that it can lead to diabetes, which is a scary and very serious disease.

Heart Disease

Another very serious disease that most people want to avoid is heart disease, but if you are not taking care of your gums or teeth you may be leading your heart right on to the path of getting it.

Many dentists have conducted studies that show that those who regularly brush and floss their teeth and don’t have serious gum disease are less likely to get heart disease than those who do not, so if you want a healthy heart it’s best to take care of your teeth.

Other very serious issues

If you couldn’t otherwise tell there are some very serious consequences to not taking care of your teeth and gums and more than just bad breath alone.

Some other frightening issues that are tied to poor oral health care dementia, stroke, cancer, and premature birth.

The moral of the story is make sure to brush and floss your teeth and visit your family dentist as regularly as possible so you don’t have to find out the hard way the consequences of not taking care of your teeth.