Getting Seniors to Think About Nutrition

Getting Seniors to Think About Nutrition

As we age, our bodies no longer take in as much nutrition as they used to. This means that senior citizens, aside from experiencing the usual changes associated with age, are at risk of not getting what they need to keep their bodies running. We can usually see the effects of this on the mouth, specifically their teeth and gums.

Thankfully, there is something that can be done about this. You see, there are two main reasons that seniors are at risk. The first is due to being on a fixed (and usually small) income. If they can’t buy more nutritious food, we are setting them up for failure.

The second reason is that they don’t know about the changes in their nutritional needs. The Health Promotion Board is hoping to fix this latter problem by providing much needed educational information to seniors. The toolkit they have constructed contains an educational poster and a cookbook full of nutritious recipes. The kit, aptly named the Recipe for Healthy Ageing, also contains specific information and guidelines for getting enough protein and calcium.

No matter what age we are, eating a healthy diet is the best way to prevent disease, especially diseases which are chronic. Since senior citizens are more susceptible to chronic conditions, this is one group that we should be focusing on. Sadly, this is often not the case, especially for seniors in assisted living facilities.

Even small steps like reducing salt and eating more fruit and vegetables dramatically reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. But, if seniors don’t have this information, then they don’t know it is something they have control over. Not all will opt for a healthier diet, but the option should ALWAYS be available.

The Health Promotion Board planned ahead when designing the toolkit, it is currently available in four languages. There will be a quarter million copies made available in paper format, but it is also able to be viewed online. If the kit is successful, more paper copies and language options are likely to be available.

Since senior citizens are such an underserved group, this toolkit may seem like a drop in the bucket, but it is a great start. In other areas of the world, as people age their communities or family members take care of them. In the United States this concept is foreign. Many seniors will find themselves having to take care of themselves even as mundane tasks become more challenging.

The educational toolkit will help, it really will. I think about my grandpa. For fifty years my grandmother cooked all of his meals. When she passed, he was lucky if he could boil his own water. The recipes in the book are not only nutritious, but many are fairly simple. The point is to get the elderly eating better, even if they aren’t master chefs. That is exactly what this toolkit provides, a quick and easy solution for those who need it most.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Stopping Cavities Before They Form

Stopping Cavities Before They Form

 

The toughest thing about being a dentist is seeing patients come in with damage that could have been prevented with proper oral hygiene or an earlier dental visit. When cavities first begin to form, before they can even be seen with the naked eye, this is the best time to treat them. If cavities are caught earlier enough, they are often reversible with restorative treatments. This means that you may not always need a filling.

A study conducted at the University of Sydney involved performing 19 randomized and controlled trials over the course of three years. There was a follow-up performed on these same patients four years later. After the full seven years, those patients that had the restorative procedure done had 30% fewer cavities overall than those who did not get the procedure.

According to Mary Hayes from the American Dental Association, the traditional approach has been decay removal and a filling, sometimes including surgery. This method of remineralization is a much more therapeutic approach. Early stages of decay can be seen with a Soprolife machine, available at the office of Dr. J.J. Edderai.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which thrive on the sugars in your mouth. In turn, these bacteria produce acids (yes, the corrosive kind). If the acids are not removed, they create microscopic pores when they remove tooth minerals. From this point to the full development of a cavity may take years. Once it reaches a full cavity, the restoration process can’t work and the bacteria can spread to your gums. But, anytime before this, the treatment can be applied. To restore minerals, the researchers gave the test group fluoride varnish treatments 2-4 times annually. In addition, they were encouraged to limit sugar and to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Currently, when a person gets a filling, they have a greater chance of developing more decay within only a couple years. In fact, in 60% of patients will have this happen. If we can stop decay before it becomes an even bigger problem, than we are encouraging whole mouth health.

There is a large debate over whether fluoride would be the best liquid to use, as in high enough doses, it is toxic. The levels needed for the toxicity to be an issue are not reached from dental treatments or from our drinking water. But, it makes some people uneasy.

For this reason, among others, fluoride is not the only treatment being explored. Some researchers are working with Xylitol (a common sugar alternative), antibacterial rinses, and other substances. Like the fluoride rinses, more studies must be conducted before a conclusion can be confirmed. These treatments, if they can be proven viable on the majority of the population, would reduce the use of drills, good news for any patient.

There is a vast amount of research available on remineralization. All we need to do now is figure out the best substance, the best formula to use to achieve maximum success. Most dentists are on board with this idea. Although, for some of the more seasoned dentists, it will be a weird transition. When you have been removing decay for half a lifetime, not removing it takes some getting used to.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants

Millions of individuals have at least one dental implant. The technology making them easier to shape and install have created a boon for the field. With this in mind, the pre-op work should not be overlooked. Getting your implants is a routine procedure, but making a plan is the best way to ensure their success.

Nearly anyone who has missing teeth can get implants. If you have diabetes that is not controlled, smoke, have gum disease, or cancer the ability of your implants to fuse to your bone can be affected. It is best to bring these issues up at your initial consultation so your dentist can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Just like some other dental visits, the implants process starts off with 3D scans of your mouth using a CT scanner. The imaging makes sure that your implant is exactly the right size and in the perfect position in relationship to your jaw bone.

When you have teeth removed, your alveolar bone (the bone surrounding your teeth) starts to shrink. Within the first year, a quarter of the original tissue can be lost. Within the next few years, it continues to decrease. Once the alveolar bone disappears, your jawbone will begin to shrink.

If your tooth is being removed just before the implant is placed, your dentist may graft in some bone to prevent the bone from shrinking. In some cases, bone can be regrown to this same effect. When implants are installed they are fused to the existing bone. This stops the bone from being lost after tooth removal.

Putting in implants is not a one-person job. No matter how skilled a dentist is, a full dental team is needed for the procedure. The team includes a periodontist or an oral surgeon with implant training, a lab tech, and a restorative dentist.

There are two types of implants you can get, depending on your needs. The first is a single tooth replacement, the second is a fixed multiple tooth replacement. With the first option, you will have a custom made crown attached to the implant. The crown will be either screwed or cemented in to keep it permanently in place. When multiple teeth are replaced, a temporary cap is placed until the area is healed. Then a permanent version will be affixed. It is also standard procedure to place a few implants into your jaw if a lower denture needs to be held in place.

The best thing about implants is that even though they vary in structure, your implants will look, feel, and act like your natural teeth. Implants aren’t susceptible to periodontitis, but there is a condition called implantitis that can affect you after getting implants. To avoid this, go to a qualified, well reviewed dentist and make all your follow up appointments a priority. If one of your implants breaks or cracks, they can be removed by your dentist and new ones will be attached in their place. This step is easy and can be carried out without extra surgery.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Superhero Dentist

Superhero Dentist

I’m willing to bet that most of you think of going to the dentist as a chore or at least as an inconvenience. You know it is important for your teeth and the health of your mouth to keep those appointments twice a year. But still, many of you avoid the dentist until you have pain or an injury. Now, what if I told you that going to the dentist can literally save your life? It certainly changes the perspective on that dental visit quite a bit.

As dentists, we specialize in your mouth. Not just gums and teeth either, we have to know how to examine the tissue around your neck, jaw, lips, nose, and head. All of these systems interrelate. We can tell the difference between a cold sore and cancer. Certain autoimmune diseases, for example, have symptoms like blistering gums.

More importantly, though, many diseases which affect your mouth have no symptoms or symptoms so mild they take some time to be noticed. One example is a cyst or tumor; they can grow for several years before you notice they are there. By this point surgery is usually required. In the case of a tumor, a biopsy will determine if it is benign or malignant.

These growths can be detected on dental x-rays long before they grow to the point where they can be felt. Aside from injuries, this area mostly gets x-rayed when you visit the dentist. Without this early detection, tumors, cysts, and autoimmune disorders become much harder to treat.

There is a lot we can tell about your general health by simply examining your mouth. Color changes in your mouth, such as blue, black, red, or yellow patches or unusual bumps generally have a cause. By finding out about other symptoms, it is easier to discover the cause and treat it. These color changes and bumps are commonly caused by a more significant issue. Though it isn’t the case most of the time, color changes in your mouth can indicate lymphoma. Once again we are back to early detection.

Heart disease and diabetes are both more common in individuals with poor oral health. Many chronic conditions have been linked to periodontal disease and gum inflammation. In the early stages, these conditions are nearly undetectable to the untrained eye. When you go see a dentist, even if you don’t have cavities, the purpose is to keep your mouth clean. Yes, some of this is managed with brushing, flossing, and rinsing, but for a really thorough cleaning, go to the pros.

It is estimated that this year, nearly 3% of all cancer cases will be oral cancer. This sounds like a small number, but in reality it is over 48,000 people. Oral cancer is among the hardest to detect of the cancers. This is partly because, as previously stated, most people will not have symptoms until later on.

We really need to step away from this “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality when it comes to health care. This is damaging in more ways than one. Waiting until you are bleeding out of your gums eyes to go to a dentist instead of going in when your teeth hurt does not make you tougher, it puts you at risk.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Dental Care for Your Infant

Dental Care for Your Infant

Before a baby even breathes their first breath, their dental health is already being affected. This means that, if you are pregnant, not getting enough vitamins and minerals is already setting up your child’s teeth to be brittle and susceptible to cavities. If you’re a pregnant woman you should be treated for gum disease to prevent passing these bacteria onto your child.

Your child will start to get their first teeth at around six months old. Until they reach the approximate age of three, they will continue the teething process. These first few years are very important as far as dental health is concerned. This is when they will learn good hygiene habits and set the pace for their general mouth health.

As soon as your kid has a visible tooth, it is time to start brushing. There are many fluoride-free and child safe kinds of toothpaste out there, but I recommend opting for a toothpaste with fluoride. You do need to watch your children to make sure they do not swallow the “regular” toothpaste, but, considering that 25% of children have at least one cavity by age seven, it is more important than ever to protect their teeth. Do not use a lot of toothpaste on the brush, just a smear until they reach age three, then you can put a small dap on.

As soon as you see your child’s first tooth emerging, schedule a dental visit. Ask your dentist, Dr. JJ. Edderai, 305-947-7999, what techniques are recommended for brushing motion and duration. Be sure to take your kids to all of their follow-up visits. This is the best chance to detect decay early enough to treat it. Recent studies have shown that children who saw the dentist earlier in life had smaller dental bills, in years to come, then those who didn’t go in until later in childhood. This amount was up to 40% lower.

Tooth decay is the most common of childhood maladies. It can affect the way your children eat, how well they sleep, and how easily they learn. Especially if they have pain from their cavities. Most parents don’t realize that flossing daily is recommended for kids too. Do not put this off just because your kid has their “baby teeth.” Before your child even sprouts teeth, bacteria is forming in their mouth. As they eat more foods, they are exposed to more bacteria.

As soon as there are two teeth next to each other start helping them floss. You can use the flossers designed for kids but slide it back and forth, from one tooth to the one next to it, to remove the most residue and bacteria.

If you had a lot of cavities when you were a kid, there is a higher chance your kids will too. This may be caused by genetics or bad habits, but your dentist will need to know in order to maintain the best treatment. Often, when caught soon enough, cavities can be treated with fluoride instead of drills. This teaches your kids to not fear the dentist, which will keep them more willing to go.

On one last note, do not share spoons, cups or forks with your kids and never rinse your baby’s pacifier with your mouth or saliva (you’d be surprised how many people do this). This transfers your bacteria to their mouth. Trust me, the bacteria in adult mouths is way worse and you don’t want to transfer these “adult bacteria” into baby immune systems.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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Gold Teeth Going Away as White Smile Craze Takes Over

Gold Teeth Going Away as White Smile Craze Takes Over

A decade or so ago, to “bling” out your mouth in gold teeth was all the craze. While it is still popular in certain circles, more people are looking for a healthy, realistic look. During the height of its popularity, the gold-tooth craze was bringing in about $2.7 billion to the gold industry every year. Unfortunately for the industry, this number has dropped by 60% in the last five years.

The use of better ceramics, CEREC machines, and the outrageous price for gold have all contributed to its decline in the dental industry. The thing about fads is that they come into style, then go out of style just as quickly. Some fads, like tie-dye, eventually come back into style, only to disappear once more. Whether gilded teeth ever come back into fashion, only time will tell.

Having teeth fixed or fashioned with gold is not a new concept. As far back as 630 BCE, gold was used by the Etruscans to make dental bridges. Women of the upper class would remove an incisor (or two) and have it replaced with a golden tooth. This was a symbol of their status and standing in society.

Dental patients today have more choices and options than ever before. Ceramic crowns, laser whitening, bleaching, and advances in cosmetic dentistry make it possible for anyone to have the whitest and brightest smile of their whole lives. Gold can still be used on the back teeth as a filling, but many people still prefer the ceramic type.

When it comes to the back teeth, a gold crown is very strong and enables a lot of preservation to the tooth structure. It will not fracture like porcelain can. When done by a qualified dentist, a gold filling or crown can last a very, very long time. The downside, aside from its golden glow, is the price tag on gold. Even with the drop in price, it is still over $1,200 an ounce, making it too expensive for the average household budget. In comparison, you could get six or so composite resin fillings for the price of one gold tooth.

Nowadays, a gold “grill” is usually seen on celebrities. Regardless of if you go for the natural look or want to your mouth to sparkle like the sun, a dentist can make your smile into whatever you want it to be.

In ten years it is possible that the stark white smiles will fade away as most trends do. In its place, we may see people going for the natural look, slightly less than white, with flaws and character. No matter what trends take hold, a healthy mouth will ALWAYS be in fashion. So between your cosmetic visits, make sure to get those brushings, flossings, and dental visits in. It is much easier to whiten and brighten your teeth when they are healthy to begin with.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016

 

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The Dangerous Side Effects of Chewing Gum

Millions of people love gum. Some people chew it to help them focus, some chew it to fight boredom, and some use it for a fresh breath. It has been told to patients for years, sugar-free gum is a good substitute when you can’t brush… sadly this is incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong, an occasional piece probably won’t hurt you or mess up your teeth, but everything is about moderation. If you are a continual gum chewer you may be surprised at the potential for danger that comes with this seemingly innocent activity.

Chewing gum, especially frequently, increases your risk for developing a muscle disorder or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). This can become a chronic and painful condition if it is left untreated. Your jaw muscles essentially get overused, as a result you can develop jaw pain, headaches, toothaches, and earaches. To find out more about TMJ, visit my page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/tmj-disorders/.

It is a myth that sugarless gum is harmless to your teeth. While the danger from regular gum comes from the sugar, with sugar-free gum the danger comes from acidic flavorings. The flavors and preservatives will lead to dental erosion over time. Many gums contain xylitol which is designed to fight cavities, but even this is no guarantee.

Maybe you chew gum as a way to divert junk food cravings. Seems logical, if you are chewing gum, then you are not eating. While studies show that gum chewing does reduce your motivation to eat, it may lead you to choose less nutritious meals. The mint flavoring in most gums makes fruits take on a bitter taste, this could be why gum choosers tend to choose junk food over nutritious food.

Teenagers, who have a particular fondness for gum, can find themselves getting frequent migraines. Get more info at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/headache-treatment/.The cause is two-fold. First, aspartame, which is found in certain gums is horrible for your health. The second part may be related to early stages of TMJ. A recent study found that when 30 teenagers, all frequent gum chewers, quit for one month, most of their headaches either stopped or lessened. Those who started chewing gum again found that their headaches returned.

Even though you don’t swallow your gum (hopefully), chewing it can still cause gastrointestinal problems. When you chew gum, your body takes in extra air, causing bloating, IBS, and sometimes pain. Gum also tricks your body into thinking it is receiving food. Your body starts all of the digestive processes, releasing acids and enzymes, but, without food to dissolve it just builds in your gut. Over time, your digestive process is weakened. This means that when it comes time to eat, your body does not produce enough of the necessary enzymes to complete the process.

If you still can’t imagine getting through your day without gum, at least be on the lookout for four of the ingredients that should be avoided at all costs: Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), gum base, Calcium Phosphate (Calcium Casein Peptone), and Titanium Dioxide.

BHT, despite being extremely toxic is used in gums and processed foods. Many other countries have outlawed it, but in the US, no such ban exists. It causes liver and kidney damage, hyperactivity in kids, and it may be cancer causing.

Gum manufacturers are pretty cautious about not releasing exactly what is in the ever mysterious gum base. It is mostly fillers, resins, elastomers, and plasticizers. Beyond this, the ingredients could be anything.

Casein was recently linked to the poisonings of baby formula that happened in China. Despite this, here we are, chewing on it voluntarily. It’s cousin, calcium casein peptone, is found as a whitening agent in gums. Not much research has been done concerning the long-term effects of ingesting casein.

Another whitener, titanium dioxide, has been linked to asthma, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and possibly cancer. Children who are exposed to toxins are usually exposed to titanium dioxide.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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When to Change Your Toothbrush

For kids, choosing a toothbrush is all about what superhero or princess is on the package. As an adult or young adult, you should be more conscientious about the toothbrush you are using and how it is taken care of.

It may surprise you to learn that fungus and bacteria can live on your toothbrush. They reproduce and you put that brush and all of its bacteria right into your mouth. This should not deter you from brushing, though, there are ways to prevent this build-up.

You always want to make sure that your toothbrush is not resting against any other family members, especially if you or another family member have severe tooth decay. The bacteria can spread from brush to brush, infecting other family members (see: https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/dental-services/periodontics-gum-disease/).

It is for this same reason that you should store your toothbrush vertically. If the water and toothpaste on your brush can linger, providing a bacterial breeding ground. Your brush needs a chance to dry properly so that the microorganisms mostly die off.
You can also opt for a case with several holes in it. Never use a completely closed case, bacteria love to breed in airless spaces. These cases protect your brush head from rubbing against the sink, medicine cabinet, or any other area where bacteria can linger.

Consider all of the events that happen in your bathroom. When you shower, wash your hands, use the toilet, and brush your hair in the bathroom, your unprotected toothbrush can pick up bacteria, viruses, and dander.

Rinsing your brush off with water will remove debris. You should do this even with new toothbrushes. Keep in mind that toothbrushes do not require sterile packaging. This mean they could have bacteria on them before you even use them! It is never a bad idea to soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash, especially if you have a disease that makes you more susceptible to infections.

Even with proper care, toothbrushes will eventually wear out. But how worn is too worn? The most noticeable sign is fraying on the bristles. Bristles which are bent, frayed, and/or broken will not sufficiently clean your teeth and gums. Even if you have only had it for a month, replace it.

After any period of sickness, replace your toothbrush. Even if it is brand new. The bacteria and viruses that caused you to get sick in the first place will hang out on your brush. Once these bacteria are reintroduced to your body, you can expect the illness to reoccur.

A good rule of thumb is to get a new toothbrush every three to four months. Make sure to get everyone in your household a new brush at the same time to avoid confusion regarding who got a new toothbrush and when. Electric toothbrushes should be treated with the same guidelines as the traditional type of brush. They may be more effective in cleaning your teeth, but they are just as susceptible to bacteria.

Never take any chances with your dental care. If your toothbrush is flimsy, worn, or falls on the floor, discard it immediately. I like to keep at least one extra toothbrush around for each and every family member.

Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at https://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.

Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2015

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