Adhering to a totally vegan lifestyle means looking for animal-derived ingredients in some of the strangest places. In the quest to eliminate animal byproducts from your life, you may have totally overlooked your dental care routine. Whether you’re vegan for health reasons, moral concerns, religious reasons or any other cause, it’s important to find cruelty-free oral care products that are free from animal byproducts AND provide safe, proven results for your teeth. These four vegan toothpastes check every — or almost every — box.
Your tongue is not the strongest muscle in your body. Despite this oft-quoted myth, your tongue is pretty strong and unique. It’s actually a group of eight muscles that are all interconnected, and they’re the only ones in the human body that move independently from your skeleton.
Without your tongue, talking, swallowing, eating and many other tasks would be much more difficult, if not impossible. While it doesn’t hold a record for being the strongest muscle, or the most flexible, it has a surprising amount of stamina for such a tiny body part. Taking adequate care of this muscular matrix is just as important as ensuring you have healthy teeth and gums.
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, isn’t just an unpleasant symptom — it’s also a contributing factor to several issues that could seriously hamper your self-esteem and dental well-being. Aside from such things as contributing to bad breath or increasing the odds of needing work for a cavity, feeling like you have cotton mouth can also lead to an overall feeling of “something’s just not right.” Although your dentist is the best person to help figure out the root cause of your dry mouth, there are some steps you can take at home to lessen the effects of this troublesome issue while you wait for your appointment.
Moms seem to have to keep track of everyone’s important stuff, including their own. It can get hectic to try to juggle the commitments of work, school, extracurricular activities, social events or even the basic, everyday necessities like brushing teeth. Whether you want to eliminate battles over brushing with your youngest child or feel overwhelmed by it all and want more structure and organization to keep track of day-to-day life, these tools can help you get a better handle on the health and wellness of your whole family.
Have you ever wondered how you can trust your dentist and their staff? Or perhaps you’ve considered a change of careers and pondered the dental field — or you’ve got a teenager to encourage who wants to become a dentist. Often overlooked and undervalued, those in the dental field have as much — and sometimes more — education behind their profession as those in the general health fields. Whether you’re curious what kind of training your dental hygienist has received or what it takes to become an oral surgeon, look no further.
Dental assistants often act as an extra set of hands around the office. You might encounter a dental assistant cleaning and sterilizing tools, taking X-rays, explaining post-treatment instructions or performing other duties that help dentists and hygienists more smoothly transition from patient to patient.
The education and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state. In New Jersey, dental assistants without any formal education are limited in their duties — they may not be allowed to perform more advanced tasks and might only be doing behind-the-scenes prep work around the office.
Registered dental assistants in New Jersey have at least a high school diploma and are accredited through a state-issued exam. Registered dental assistants also must have completed either an apprenticeship or a certified training program. Assistants who take X-rays must have completed a course and passed an additional exam. Continuing education is required every two years.
Oral hygienists can perform all the duties of an assistant, but they are also trusted to work one-on-one with patients. Oral or dental hygienists may perform cleanings, do routine exams, prep and administer anesthesia before a treatment and even apply decay-preventing treatments.
Licensure and education requirements are left up to each individual state. In New Jersey, dental hygienists have at least an associate’s degree, though some hold bachelor’s degrees in the field. All oral hygienists in New Jersey must complete both a written and a practical exam. If administering anesthesia, they must have additional education and take another written exam. Dental hygienists are required by the state to complete at least 20 continuing education credits every two years to maintain their license, with an additional four hours in anesthesiology education to maintain that certification.
Maintaining fresh breath can be a constant battle. One minute you’ve brushed your teeth and all is well, and the next you catch a whiff of your own oral odor from inside a mask or as you’re speaking to a friend. While regular brushing and flossing can give you a leg up on keeping your mouth smelling clean, sometimes you need to cut down on funky smells while out and about. To do that, try one of these five tips.
Toothbrushes seem to be simple objects at first glance: bristles on a stick. Modern advances in technology that make brushing your teeth easier and more effective elaborate on the idea, adding mechanical and electronic components to aid in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. As ubiquitous as toothbrushes are, though, they didn’t always look the way they do now. Throughout history, oral care implements have taken different forms — some of which seem downright outrageous by today’s standards.
For as long as humans have existed, we’ve been putting things in our mouths in pursuit of food, medicine or enjoyment. While the first commercially sold chewing gum is credited to John Curtis in 1840, it’s likely that chewing gum has existed in some form or another for as long as people have roamed the earth. Nearly every ancient civilization has a version of gum made from tree resin or tar.
And while chewed-up gum is often thought to be of little value to anyone, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have used someone’s old chewed-up, dried-out “gum” to unlock clues about our ancestors.
Choosing a toothbrush seems simple enough, right? But when faced with a seemingly endless array on the shelves, it can quickly turn daunting. It’s an actual cognitive phenomenon that psychologists call overchoice or the paradox of choice — where having too many options makes it more difficult to select just one. It’s possible to overcome this quirk of the human brain, however, when armed with a little bit of knowledge about what your toothbrush needs to do — and how it does it.
Dental anxiety is a powerful reason that many go to the dentist far less often than they should. But fear of dental work shouldn’t keep you from seeking the care you need. Reducing dental anxiety is an undertaking that requires everyone on board — starting with yourself and ending with the staff at your dental office.
Many dental offices are adopting principles of pain-free dentistry, which extends to anxiety-reducing measures to make the experience more tolerable, if not wholly pleasant, for those who suffer serious fears. There are some steps you can take to help reduce your dental anxiety and cope with it as you seek regular care and treatment to keep your smile looking and feeling its best.