Are Mouthwashes Really Beneficial?

Different Considerations for Mouthwashes

mouthwashMouthwashes can either be for cosmetic or for therapeutic purposes; it depends on the composition of the product. Apparently, there are many benefits of therapeutic mouthwashes.

Cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily mask bad breath and provide a pleasing flavor, but are ineffective against bacteria and sulfur compounds, which are responsible for halitosis (bad breath). For control of bad breath, your mouthwashes should have antimicrobials and for that they are therapeutic.

Look at the label and find antimicrobials in mouthwash that include chlorhexidine, chlorine dioxide, cetylpyridinium chloride, and essential oils (eucalyptol, menthol, thymol and methyl salicylate). Other agents are zinc salts, ketone, terpene, and ionone. Just watch out for certain compounds that may lead to tooth staining, like the combination chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride plus zinc lactate.

Therapeutic rinses can also reduce plaque and gingivitis when combined with daily brushing and flossing. Certain mouthwashes can also fight tooth decay because they have added fluoride ions in their composition. Some can whiten teeth, used daily, because of their 1.5 to 2 percent hydrogen peroxide content. Anesthetics such as lidocaine, benzocaine, butamin, tetracaine hydrochloride, dyclonine hydrochloride, or phenol are found in rinses and these can provide a certain degree of topical pain relief, such as in the presence of oral lesions or ulcers.

Note that these considerations are understood more by your dentist. The dentist can prescribe certain mouthwashes with specific instructions as to the dose, frequency and time in the mouth for certain oral conditions. Patient compliance is important for achieving the therapeutic purpose. Mouth- washes may offer additional benefits but they cannot take the place of proper brushing and flossing.

Prescription for Mouthwashes from Bellingham Dentists

Know more about the benefits of certain mouthwashes from your Bellingham dentists. Don’t use just any or buy over the counter without proper consultation. For therapeutic purposes, your dentist knows best.


The Truth about the Tooth Fairy

Teeth as Strong as a Mouse’s

The tradition of the “Tooth Fairy” has come to us as a fascinating and absorbing little myth whose origins are not so well documented, unlike that of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But it has enchanted America’s little tykes since long ago and many kids today still expect their little gift from the Tooth Fairy in exchange for a lost tooth.

What was that all about? In the 1970s, some radio DJ spoke about the Tooth Fairy, in perhaps a beguiling manner, that the American Dental Association was inundated with calls from the public, wanting to know more about the Tooth Fairy. It was quite logical, at the time, that anything dental-related the association has answers to. Apparently, the ADA was clueless.

The ritual of children placing their shed baby teeth under their pillows, in the hopes of finding them replaced with cash or a gift in the morning, was already being practiced. Kids left notes for the tooth fairy and believed they shared personal relationships with her for years. There are many variations of the ritual but the most popular is offering the lost tooth as a sacrifice to a mouse or rat, in the hopes that the child’s adult teeth will grow in as strong and sturdy as the rodent’s. Fascinating. The mouse remains the predominant animal-dental mascot to this day.

How does this impact dental practice?
The trusting nature of childhood enables parents to promote the myth with positive outcomes, even though later kids will find out the truth, they still like it. The belief provides comfort for children in their loss, even if accompanied with fear or pain. The idea that a gift-bearing imaginary figure consoles them and renders them somewhat unafraid to face the dentist.

Imaginative parents tell the kids early on that the tooth fairy pays a whole lot more for a perfect baby tooth than for a decayed one, encouraging proper oral hygiene. A little note comes along with the gift or money praising the kids’ good dental habits. If a sympathetic dentist plays along, he might find a more cooperative and less stressful patient in his chair. Surrendering a cleaned up baby tooth to the youngster, he reminds about putting it under the pillow for good measure.

Bellingham Dentist: A Tooth Fairy’s Friend

Find a compassionate family dentist in Bellingham who knows all about the Tooth Fairy. Be assured your child will have a positive and less stressful experience every time you bring him/her to Dr. Tetrick Bellingham Dentistry.


The Tooth Enamel: Why Some are Stronger than Others

Genetic Defects in Enamel: Link to Cavities

Ever wondered how come some people, who are so proper and careful in brushing and flossing their teeth, still develop cavities? They go for regular dental visits, yet their dentist still find beginnings of tooth decay. It might be frustrating but there’s a little science behind that.

New research showed (from mice experiments, though) that there exist a gene complex responsible in enamel formation. If protein mutations are present in the gene, there can be enamel defects that can be passed on to offsprings. In the experiment, all mice with mutations in genetic proteins exhibit teeth with enamel defects. The study demonstrated that there is a direct link between mutations in the genetic blueprints for these proteins and the development of tooth enamel defects. This discovery will lead to improving our understanding of the production of tooth enamel.

The team of researchers was the first in the world to use modern genetic, molecular and biochemical methods to study tooth enamel defects in detail. They have discovered particular proteins involved in a signaling pathway aren’t just involved in the development of severe illnesses, but also in the qualitative refinement of highly developed tissue, such as the enamel. If the signal transmission isn’t working properly, the structure of the tooth enamel can change.

All things considered, the formation and progress of tooth cavities depend on the composition and hardness of the enamel. How much can teeth resist caries? Bacteria and their toxic products can easily penetrate enamel with a less stable structure, which leads to caries, even if oral hygiene is maintained.

Hopefully, this development will open up new possibilities for the prevention of cavities. New products that check the progress of tooth cavities in case the enamel is defective will enable the dental community to improve the oral health of patients considerably.

Good Oral Hygiene: Gold standard in Bellingham

Still and all, while we marvel at the advances in dental medicine, in particular the battle against caries, we still adhere to proper brushing and flossing as the gold standard in good oral hygiene for the prevention and control of tooth decay.