Oil Pulling…Fact or Fiction?

It seems as if the American Dental Association (ADA) is on the fence about this one!

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There is a lot of discussion about oil pulling. What is it? What does it do, does it work, is it worth trying, or is it just some “thing” that people used to do over 5000 years ago? However this thing called oil pulling is still practiced today!  Oil pulling is done by putting a tablespoon amount of a chosen oil into the mouth and swishing it around from anywhere from 2-20 min, then spitting it out.  The idea is to remove toxins from the oral cavity.

Now some dental professionals say that there is no need at all for the practice of oil pulling because it does not correct tooth decay etc.  They say there is no evidence of oil pulling being significantly beneficial.  In fact, it may have adverse health effects such as lipoid pneumonia or mineral aspiration.  ADA suggests that oil pulling is NOT recommended as a daily supplementary oral hygienic routine and certainly not a replacement for brushing twice daily with a follow-up use of flossing and Listerine.  Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing is the recommended routine for preventing cavities and other oral issues that may arise.

But lets touch back on the subject of Listerine that the ADA very much so defends! listerine Laboratory experiments have shown concrete evidence of fighting the build up of plaque.  But what about the four essential oils that are used in Listerine?  Thymol, Eucalyptol, methyl salicylate and methonal are all oils.  So when using Listerine, is it not still essentially oil pulling that is happening?  ADA justifies it by saying that its different from using what is commonly used (coconut oil, sesame oil, tea tree) by stating that they are different because they are used in smaller concentrations mixed in an aqueous solution.

Though ADA states that they, “Compared oil pulling to the use of a chlorhexidine rinse, found chlorhexidine to be much more effective in reducing S. mutans levels in plaque and saliva. However, the same study did not look at whether the S. mutans reduction provided the clinical benefit of reducing cavities.”  So can we really throw the idea of oil pulling out the window?

Jessica T. Emery DMD wrote a very interesting article explaining the benefits of oil pulling.  Though it does not reverse certain oral issues, it can certainly serves as a preventative care that can be added to the daily routine.  She explains, “The longer you push and pull the oil through your mouth, the more microbes are pulled free. The oil needs to be swished around long enough for it to turn a milky white, which indicates that the bacteria has been “pulled” off. After roughly 20 minutes the solution is filled with bacteria, viruses and other organisms; at this point, the person spits out the oil and rinses thoroughly with water […] most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell. Cells are covered with a lipid (fatty) membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, “a fat,” they naturally adhere to each other. People use different types of oil such as sesame and sunflower oil, but these oils both have omega 6 fats that are pro-inflammatory, and most of us have too much of these in our diet as it is. Coconut oil is preferred because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of the bacteria whooping ingredient 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. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that recent studies have shown the benefit of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay.”

Along with the natural whitening of the teeth, Dr. Emery explains the other health benefits oilpullingspecific to people with potential heart conditions, digestion, pregnant women etc.

It does not seem like such a bad idea to add oil pulling to your daily regimen of brushing twice a day, flossing, and using Listerine. It seems as though oil pulling just puts a halt to oral hygiene or cavities getting worse.  After all it is all preventative care.

Live Life Smiling at iSmile Orthodontics!

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MYTHBUSTERS!

How much do you really know about your mouth?

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Here are some Myths and Facts that may be a fun read!

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Let’s learn! Here we go!


Dental Myth: The only cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene (poor brushing and flossing).

Dental Fact: The majority of bad breath is caused by poor brushing and flossing, which leads to gum disease. Other causes of bad breath include smoking, certain foods and large dental infections or abscesses.

 

Dental Myth: When your gums bleed, it is best not to brush or floss your teeth.

Dental Fact: Gingivitis or bleeding gums are a sign that your gums are not healthy. Inflammation of the gums occurs from plaque and debris accumulating around the teeth, especially in the pocket or sulcus of gum tissue around the tooth. When the pocket is clean and there is no plaque around the teeth, the gum tissue will start to heal and stop bleeding. Daily brushing and flossing in conjunction with professional dental cleanings and examinations will keep your gum tissue healthy and prevent bleeding.

 

Myth: Only the sugar in sweets and desserts are bad for teeth.

Fact: Many foods have natural sugars in them. Both natural and processed sugars can cause tooth decay if they stay on teeth. It is important to limit the amount of sweets you consume and to brush and floss twice a day.

 

Dental Myth: Brushing with salt will whiten teeth.

Dental Fact: Brushing with salt will not whiten teeth. It will cut the gums and rub away the outer layer of the tooth because it is so abrasive. Your teeth may look whiter, but they will be damaged and are likely to need repair.

 

Dental Myth: If a patient is not having any dental pain, regular dental visits are not necessary.

Dental Fact: Routine visits for professional cleanings and examinations to check for dental problems are necessary.Finding and treating dental problems when they are small is a more comfortable and less expensive way to take care of your dental health.

 

Dental Myth: During pregnancy, all dental procedures must be avoided.

Dental Fact: Professional dental cleanings can be performed at any point during pregnancy. However, routine x-rays should be avoided. Emergency dental care can be performed at any time with physician clearance.

 

Dental Myth: There is no need to brush baby teeth.

Dental Fact:  Even though all of your child’s baby teeth will eventually be lost, they still need to be brushed and flossed daily. This brushing and flossing is important to establish good habits early in life. Daily brushing and flossing also helps prevent cavities or tooth decay. Cavities in baby teeth can affect the development of the permanent teeth. Cavities in baby teeth need to be treated with fillings, root canals, and even crowns.

 

Dental Myth: Hard and soft bristled toothbrushes are the same.

Dental Fact: Soft bristled toothbrushes are preferred as they get teeth clean and do not damage the teeth or the gums. Hard bristled toothbrushes can cause gum tissue to shrink away and can wear away tooth structure. 

 

iSmile Orthodontics in White Plains and Yonkers is more that ecstatic to provide these dental myth busters! Contact us about orthodontic treatment for your children, friends or even yourself or even, ask about Invisalign!

 

Summer is Here!

summersandIts here and it is time to have some fun!

What does summer mean? No school, fun, pool parties and, our favorite, BBQ’s!  Those BBQ’s can be fun for our stomach, but bad for our brackets.  We already know, now that Halloween has passed, that sticky sugary things can break our brackets.  However, chewycookout things can as well.  That means, burgers, hot dogs, steaks, rubs, corn on the cob, all these tasty foods can not only break a bracket but, a few brackets at a time!

Be mindful of those awesome foods.  Also, it is imperative to take a quick break from your summer fun and spend 20 minutes at iSmile Orthodontics in White Plains or Yonkers for your appointment.

Breaking a bracket can set you and your perfect smile a month or two back.  This means MORE TIMES IN BRACES!  Once you notice that your bracket is broken, contact us so that we are able to accommodate your time as best we can!

With more food comes more brushing!  During these summer BBQ’s its important to improve your brushing techniques.  If your teeth look like the photo below, let us work harder together to stop plaque from building up, making your teeth yellow, and breaking the brackets off.   How?! Better brushing and more flossing!

Remember, your teeth want to be clean and move better and faster that way!not brushing

Happy Summer!

 

Halloween is over, what now?

“OH NO!! HALLOWEEN IS OVER!!  And now I think I have a few BROKEN brackets!! What now?!”

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Worry no more!  Your orthodontist at iSmile Orthodontics in White Plains can fix it.  But first let’s explains what a broken bracket (the metal or clear square glued to your teeth) really is.  If the wire is poking you, a color is gone from around the bracket, or the chain is broken, it is NOT a broken bracket.  If the bracket is moving around on the wire, sliding forward and back, then it is broken!

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Candy can been your best friend and worst enemy simultaneously!  As we discussed in our last post it is important to continue to brush carefully!

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We book special kinds of appointments for broken brackets and that you must call as soon as you notice it’s broken.  Here are the steps:

  1. See a broken bracket.
  2. Tell mom or dad.
  3. You, mom or dad calls iSmile Orthodontics and books a REPAIR appointment.

There!  Easy as 1, 2, 3

These appointments are done at your orthodontics office in Yonkers or in White Plains.  These appointments are not done after 3:30pm.

So let’s all work together as a team and plan accordingly! 

Oral Hygiene

So the wait is finally over and you now have braces. You hear the staff explain how to brush, floss and rinse, but you just brush it off because you’ve heard it all before. Who really brushes their teeth 3 times a day anyway, right? WRONG! Proper oral hygiene is as important as showering and changing your underpants. You wouldn’t go too long without doing either of those, would you? So why skip out on cleaning your mouth? All day long bacteria feed on the gas and acid produced by sugary drinks and food, especially while you’re sleeping. This is where plaque, puffy gums, and bad breath come from. The best way to make sure your orthodontic treatment runs smoothly is to make sure your oral hygiene regimen is being implemented daily.

Use a tooth brush with soft bristles at a 45 degree angle down towards the brackets to make sure the surface under the wire is being cleaned. Use a circular motion brushing at a 45 degree angle towards your gums to clean and stimulate them. 

Use a floss threader to pull the floss below to wire so that you are able to floss properly. You may want to carry around an interproximal brush, or a proxy brush, with you. This looks like a small pipe cleaner on a stick and is used to brush below the wires and in between the brackets. Great for on-the-go cleaning that can be done anywhere!

 

It is also very important to rinse with a fluoride mouth wash to strengthen teeth. This will make them more resistant to plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. You may use household items for rinsing as well. Salt water is a great remedy to soothe inflamed and aggravated gums. Another home remedy for inflammation is baking soda. Make a paste using water and rub this along the gum line.

There is no need for puffy gums and white stains to hold you back! Start practicing these habits daily to see the change for yourself! Always feel free to ask your White Plains or Yonkers Orthodontist for guidance on your next visit.