This edition of the :DentalPlans news round-up includes tips on avoiding thunderstorm asthma, an alarmingly lengthy list of foods and drinks that are decidedly not smile-friendly, some surprising tooth whitening tips from a dentist, and very bad news for vapers.
Teeth Whitening Secrets
Shape magazine offers some useful dental-insider tips aimed at getting your smile white while saving you money. Among the advice offered: at-home whitening (gasp!) trumps in-office whitening. Maintenance is half the battle because “if you’re not whitening, you’re yellowing.” But bear in mind that there is a limit to how white your teeth can get so don’t overdo it – whitening treatments every six months or so counts as appropriate maintenance for most people. And that celebrity smile you’re hoping to achieve in your own mouth? It’s probably due to veneers, not whitening.
Bad News, Vapers
A new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center has found that vaping is as damaging to gums and teeth as conventional cigarettes. In their study, published this week in the journal “Oncotarget,” the team exposed 3D human, non-smoker gum tissue to the vapors of e-cigarettes. They found that vaping caused inflammation of gum tissues that may lead to oral diseases. Flavoring in the vape juice, as well as the presence of nicotine, can also have adverse effects on gum tissue. In another study, published in the Journal Of Cellular Physiology, a team from Université Laval, Canada also found that vaping is harmful to gum tissue. What to do? Use vaping on your path to kicking the habit, or limit the time that you spend blowing clouds.
Thunderstorm Asthma Is Real
Thousands were hospitalized last week in Melbourne, Australia and other parts of Victoria last Monday with breathing problems caused by a (thankfully) rare combination of weather and pollen known as “Thunderstorm Asthma.” Six people died.
Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a storm hits during a period of unusually high pollen and high humidity. A third of the people who experienced a Thunderstorm Asthma attack in Australia last week reported that they had never had asthma before. Similar instances of thunderstorm asthma have been reported in Britain, Italy, Canada and the USA.
If your seasonal allergies coincide with storm season in your area, or you have asthma, you may want to review these tips for managing Thunderstorm Asthma.
Coming Soon To Your Mouth?
Hate flossing? You may be able to skip it, with no guilt, soon. A new toothbrush is being developed that shoots bursts of water between your teeth while you are brushing to wash away trapped debris. The brush is smart enough to know when to release the water bursts, as its equipped with tech that lets it know when it is positioned between your teeth.
Medicare Advantage Mistakes
For many people, it’s smart to choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead of the traditional Medicare package. But it’s even smarter to avoid making these mistakes when picking a Medicare Advantage plan.
Foods That Can Wreck Your Smile
OK, we all know that sugary foods and sweets are not tooth-friendly. But there are other edibles that also can ruin your smile. These include food and drinks that dry out your mouth (coffee, alcohol, energy drinks) because saliva is essential to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Acidic foods (citrus fruits, tomatoes, and again – coffee and alcohol) are also problematic, as acid erodes tooth enamel. Sticky foods (chewy candy, dried fruit, nut butters) linger on your teeth and nourish the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
So what is safe to eat – unsweetened oatmeal? You can eat all of these foods (and drink all of these drinks) if you indulge in them in moderation and rinse out your mouth with water ASAP after consumption. Hold off on brushing for about an hour after consuming acidy foods, to avoid further damaging weakened enamel.