Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dry mouth and your prescriptions

It may seem like it’s just a minor hassle, but dry mouth – officially known as xerostomia – can have a major impact on a person’s oral health. The condition is appropriately referred to as dry mouth because it indicates a lack of saliva and is often accompanied by symptoms such as bad breath, a sore throat, and cracked lips. The causes of dry mouth range from normal aging to cancer treatments, but one of the major triggers is taking certain prescription medication.

Specifically, the Mayo Clinic names drugs aimed at treating depression, anxiety, diarrhea, urinary incontinence and Parkinson’s disease as having a side effect of dry mouth. Because the number of medications taken typically rises with age, dry mouth is much more prevalent in older adults. On its own, saliva plays a very important function in preserving a person’s oral health. It helps remove food and plaque from the teeth, preventing tooth decay; it limits infection-causing bacteria; and it neutralizes acids in the mouth. Not to mention, it makes food easier to swallow and taste, and it helps a person’s digestion.

For these reasons, it’s very important to talk to your doctor or dentist if you notice persistent periods of dry mouth. If it is determined that a prescription is causing the condition, he or she can adjust your dosage or prescribe a similar drug that doesn’t have dry mouth as a side effect. You can also try drinking more water, breathing through your nose, or quitting any use of tobacco. Regardless of the treatment, it’s crucial that you work with your dentist to prevent future occurrences of dry mouth. The health of your teeth and mouth could depend on it.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Floaters in your vision

A lot of people joke about seeing stars, but many people actually do see shapes run across their field of vision. These shapes are technically called “floaters” and can vary in appearance from specks and dots to clouds and cobwebs. EyeCare America explains this phenomenon as “clumps and strands within the gel of the eye” that create shadows on a person’s retina.

These shadows account for the varying shapes and are typically cast when a person is looking at a large, solid-colored object (like a wall). Unfortunately, although some are harmless, floaters can occasionally indicate a serious problem with the eye, such as a torn retina.

People who are middle-aged are especially prone to floaters, so be alert and talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision. It’s important to get your eyes examined on a regular basis to treat and prevent conditions like floaters.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

What is a generic medication?

Generic medications are generally created after the patent of a name-brand medication has expired. At this time, pharmaceutical companies can get the approval of the FDA to sell an equivalent product under a new name. The Generic Pharmaceutical Association explains that in order for a pharmaceutical manufacturer to be approved to market a generic drug, the drug must contain the same active ingredient; be identical in strength and dosage; and be equal in strength, purity and quality. It also must be manufactured under the same strict regulations as the brand-name drug.

Generic drugs can be found by asking your doctor or pharmacist about their availability. In general, most prescriptions can be substituted with a generic alternative, but it's always a good idea to check ahead of time. The FDA website, allows consumers to search by drug name to get detailed information about each drug on the market.

Because of the FDA's strict guidelines about the making of generic drugs, consumers should be assured that their generic drugs will be of the same quality and effectiveness as the brand name product. The Generic Pharmaceutical Association cautions people to not be thrown off by a difference in color or presentation; often, this is just to respect the patent of the original drug. Cosmetic differences will not impact the functionality of any prescription.

For more information about purchasing generic medicines, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the options available to you. Generic drugs are a great way to maximize your savings, especially when you combine them with your True Dental Discounts discount card.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Avoid Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a result bacteria repeatedly attacking your teeth. The growth of bacteria is facilitated when we eat acidic or sugary foods. The bacteria also known as plaque, fixes itself to the crevices in the gums and teeth. Failure to remove this bacteria in time results in tooth decay.

A lot of tooth decay related problems can be avoided by adhering to devoting yourself to proper dental hygiene. Make sure to Brush at least twice a day is a must to maintain healthy teeth, also make sure you are using a fluoride toothpaste.

All about Tooth Decay
When the bacteria interacts with the food you eat creates an acidic byproduct. This byproduct beaks down the tooth's surface. The breakdown of this surface is tooth decay. Every time you eat, there is an attack that is going on in your mouth.

Your body is constantly trying to fight back against the destructive acids, it creates saliva, that helps neutralize the acid and wash it away. The saliva also contains calcium and phosphate to rebuild the areas of the teeth when they become damaged.

Foods & Beverages to Avoid

Certain foods can tip the scales and make your body lose the fight. Sticky foods such as caramel and raisins, should be avoided because it facilitates an acid attack that cannot be repaired naturally. It is important not to let your children fall asleep with a bottle, or let them carry the bottle around with them because the liquid will be used by the bacteria to create acids that will result in tooth decay. This condition is known as baby bottle syndrome. To help in the prevention, it is important to limit the amount of sugar you ingest; as well as avoid sticky foods and sodas for snacks.

You can help reduce your chances of having tooth decay by following a simple daily routine. First is to make sure that you brush twice a day at a minimum, also make sure to floss daily. Additionally it is important to have your teeth cleaned professionally twice a year.

Preventing Tooth Decay
There are some ways to help prevent tooth decay even beyond what is mentioned above. To prevent tooth decay forming in the molars, one very effective solution is to have a dentist paint a plastic coating called a pit and fissure sealant on these areas. This will act as a barrier that will protect the tooth from acid and plaque.

Fluoride is also another important factor to take dental health one step further. A Fluoride rinse or using a fluoride toothpaste will help protect your teeth from decay, by supplying your teeth with needed ingredients to help in natural tooth restoration.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Cosmetic Teeth Whitening Basics

The field of cosmetic dentistry is growing at an unprecedented rate. When home whitening strips came out, the effectiveness grew into a viral explosion of people becoming obsessed with the color of their teeth. There are two major types of teeth whitening and we will take a look at each. As all both of them vary in their effectiveness.

In-Office Cosmetic Whitening: This is the most effective and quickest way to whiten your teeth. The procedure uses a highly concentrated amount of peroxide gel. This procedure cannot be done at home because certain precautions need to be taken to protect the gums. The dentist will put a protected with the help of a rubber dam to prevent the peroxide from hurting the gums.

The cost for this type of treatment can be pricey. The peroxide is normally left on your teeth from 15 to 20 minutes. In some cases they will leave it on for an hour, if there are stubborn stains. Normally this procedure will cost around $650, and normally dental insurance will not cover it. However you can normally get the procedure discounted from 20-60% by using a company like True Dental Discounts.

Professional Take-Home Cosmetic Whitening Sets: Take home strips are recognized by many dentists as a legitimate product to whiten your teeth over time. Take home strips and gels contain lower concentration of peroxide gel. These OTC strips normally cost around $100 to $400 and need to be left on your teeth overnight.

Teeth Whitening Options: OTC teeth whitening strips and gels are the cheapest and most convenient way to whiten your teeth. Normally you can find teeth whitening strips or gels, in any major department store. The gel can be applied in a few different ways, the most popular being whitening strips, whitening trays, or whitening gels.

Sometimes these whitening kits are not designed to whiten all your teeth, but only whiten the front teeth. The kits normally range between $20 to $100. The home whitening kits generally work well for most people with mild staining, however many people with severe stains end up disappointed by the results. If you do have more severe staining it is best to go to a dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hearing screening for babies

Nearly 12,000 babies born each year in the United States have a hearing impairment, according to the National Institutes of Health. And the sooner hearing loss is identified in infants, the less delay there is in learning to speak and learn. Babies learn to communicate by listening to the people around them from the time they are born; if hearing loss is present, it is important to be aware and make adjustments so the hearing centers of the child’s brain can be stimulated, allowing him or her to develop critical speech and language skills.

Many hospitals offer hearing screenings to help parents detect any signs of abnormality in their infants. During the screening, two different types of tests may be used. The first measures the echo of a sound in the ear canal using a tiny microphone, while the second uses electrodes to measure responses to sound. Neither of these tests is intrusive or painful; in fact, many babies sleep right through both tests. If your child does not past the screening, do not panic. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, up to 10 percent of all babies do not pass the screening due to varying reasons that do not imply hearing loss.

For instance, babies with normal hearing may not pass if they have fluid in the middle ear or if there is distracting movement or crying during the test. However, if your child does not pass the initial screening, it is critical that he or she receive a follow-up test. As noted, the sooner any signs of hearing loss are detected, the sooner the child can begin to learn and communicate. If you are pregnant, ask an audiologist on your True Dental Discounts - hearing plan about hearing screenings for infants. He or she can help you prepare for that important step after the baby’s birth and give you peace of mind about the health of your child.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Signs of a great toothbrush

You know how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day to fight plaque and cavities -- but are you using the right brush? In reality, every person’s mouth is different, which means everyone needs different traits in a toothbrush. For instance, look at the size of your mouth: If you have a generally small mouth, it’s a good idea to find a brush with a small head.

Small-headed brushes allow you to angle the brush more effectively in a small space and can get into hard-to-reach corners. In terms of the handle of the brush, look for one with a good grip. Handles are made to fit in varying-sized hands, so make sure the one you pick fits nicely in yours. If you have arthritis, pay special attention to the surface of the handle and select one that won’t slip easily. Finally, when it comes to the bristles, most people benefit from a brush that is soft, but not too soft.

Packages specifically labeled “soft” are generally not the right choice, unless your dentist recommends it for you. Instead, look for ones that feature “medium” bristles. These ones will not be so rigid that they hurt your gums, but they will also stand up under pressure and remove plaque effectively. If you have any questions about choosing the right brush, talk to a dentist on your True Dental Discounts - dental plan. He or she can recommend the right brush for your mouth and even give you pointers about improving your technique.

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