Ask Me Anything: 8 Answers to Your Questions About Teeth.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Whether we get the flu or break a leg, we go to see “the doctor.” But if there’s something wrong with our teeth, we go and see a whole other health professional, the dentist. This distinction suggests that our teeth have special significance and that we should look after them. Our teeth are susceptible to damage. And before fluoride toothpaste, they caused humanity great suffering.
These days, things are better. But many people still live in a state of ignorance when it comes to teeth. Here are some of the top questions and answers on the subject.
Why Does Sugar Damage Teeth?
Your teeth are made out of enamel. This stuff is like hardened steel most of the time. But the bacteria in your mouth eat sugar and poop out acid. It’s the acid that then gets to work on your teeth. In the presence of acid, it actually starts dissolving away. In the past when there wasn’t toothpaste, sugar would dissolve teeth down to their stubs.
Most people are eating sugar throughout the day. But the problem is that the acid from one sugary meal can last for 20 minutes. That means that people’s teeth are dissolving for up to two hours a day. Not good!
Which Foods Contain the Most Sugar?
Let’s deal with kid’s food first. Top of the list are processed foods like Cheese Whiz. Then there are the sort of offenders you’d expect like honey and candy. Interestingly, many so-called savory kids foods are also high in sugar. Ketchup is sugary tomato sauce. Pizza and pasta sauces are also high in sugar unless you make them yourself.
Many dental professionals take pains to point out that fruit is also high in sugar. But the sugar in fruit doesn’t seem to damage teeth as much as the sugar in processed foods. It all comes down to the concept of stickiness. A floury biscuit is a lot more likely to stick to your teeth than a crisp apple. And hence, it’s a lot more likely to do damage.
Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth are vital for kids. There’s only so long that nature intended mothers to wean their children. After a while, kids would have had to get nutrition from other sources in their environment. If they ate meat or fibrous veg, they would have required teeth to chew.
Babies also need teeth to help them speak. The way air travels through teeth can change the way words are said. Adult teeth take some time to form in the jaw bone. When the child is old enough, they push through the gaps left by baby teeth. Thus, baby teeth help guide adult teeth into the correct position.
What’s The Difference Between Discount Plans And Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is a lot like car insurance. You pay a premium until something goes wrong. And when it does, the insurance company coughs up the difference. Dental discounts are more akin to being a member of a golf club. Members might get a discount at the bar, but the club won’t pay if they break their golf clubs. The type of dental cover you choose depends on your situation. Dental discount plans have the advantage that anybody can take them out. Dental insurance is usually covered by your employer. Carefree Dental has great info on the subject.
Why Do Some People Get Crooked Teeth?
Adult teeth are hidden away from view during our most formative years. So it seems strange that for a lot of people, they come out crooked. Science doesn’t have all the answers. But the usual culprit, genetics, is certainly a suspect. There are other supposed influences on the shape of teeth. Thumb-sucking is one alleged problem. So too are allergies. Even breathing habits have been proposed as a possible cause.
Should I Brush My Dentures?
The short answer is yes. Any toothbrush with soft bristles will do the job. The best way to clean your dentures is to take them out of your mouth first and give them a good brush. Then you can get into all the nooks and crannies. Most professionals recommend you don’t use toothpaste to clean dentures. It’s too abrasive. Instead, use specific denture cleaners. You could even use hand soap.
Also, take the opportunity to clean your gums and any natural teeth in your mouth. Those who wear dentures shouldn’t neglect to clean their mouths. The bacteria in your mouth can get into the denture. And this can cause bad breath and possible infection.
What Colour Should Teeth Be?
White teeth are something of a national obsession right now. The moment a person gets famous, suddenly their teeth turn a pearly white. The toothpaste industry sells to us the idea that the perfect teeth are a perfect shade of white. But the truth is that healthy teeth can take on a whole range of colors. Some people have naturally white teeth. Others are a little duller and browner.
There are, of course, a whole raft of things that can make teeth appear less than white. Teeth, as we all know, can be stained by food. But they can also be stained by medications. Finally, teeth can sometimes lose their whiteness as a consequence of aging.
How Much Sugar Per Day Is Safe For Our Teeth?
Sugar is the mortal enemy of tooth enamel, as we discussed already. But it’s also a big part of our diet. So how much is safe? The Canadian Community Health Survey attempted to answer that question. Back in 2004, they suggested that the average person should get no more than 10 percent of their calories from sugar. So what does that mean in practice? For a child aged 5 to 11, that means 204 calories from sugar per day is the limit. That’s 51g. For women between 20 and 40, the figure is identical. But as women get older, the amount that they should consume goes down. Senior women should get no more than 38 grams of sugar per day. And men should aim to get less than 70 grams in their twenties, down to 48 grams over 65.
Staff Writer; Joey French