Ways to Soothe Sensitive Teeth

Ways to Soothe Sensitive Teeth

Quite a number of adults suffer from tooth sensitivity these days. Research has shown that 1 in 8 people might have the condition, especially women, who seem to be more affected than men. Usually you notice tooth sensitivity when you drink cold or hot drinks. Even though it is not such a big deal, the pain caused by this condition is less than desirable and if you could do something to prevent it, you would.

Here we offer you a couple of tricks to soothe tooth sensitivity.

Use soft-bristled brush: 

Rule number one says if you really want to avoid the problem the first thing to do is to ensure that you are using a soft-bristled brush. Harder brushes damage the enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth. You should stick to a brush that is gentler on gums as well. And make sure to only use gentle techniques when brushing your teeth.

Change your toothpaste: 

You will notice a difference with tooth sensitivity when you buy toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. You all know the commercials forsuch products where people drink cold beverages or eat ice cream without feeling pain. It turns out that it is worth trying such toothpastes. They are called desensitizing toothpaste. According to experts such products are capable of blocking sensitivity in teeth because of the compounds they contain. When you are out shopping, make sure you check the label of the product. You need to be looking for something that meets the criteria for effectiveness. Also, use a mouth rinse whose formula consists of stannous fluoride. This helps block teeth tubes, which results in pain relief.

Choose your food carefully: 

Avoid acidic drinks and food. They can cause tooth erosion which leads to sensitive teeth. You should cut down on things such as citrus fruits, soft drinks, coffee, soda, tomatoes and wine. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consume such things at all. The key is moderation. If you find it difficult to stay away from such food and beverages, try drinking through a straw and after you are done, rinse your mouth well with warm water (cold water will irritate your gums and cause more pain). This will reduce acid exposure. Also, make sure you wait half an hour before you brush your teeth again.

Use warm water to rinse: 

If cold drinks irritate your teeth and make you wince in pain, cold water will have just the same effect when you are rinsing your teeth. To avoid that, be sure to swish your mouth with warm, not hot, water. This doesn’t fight sensitivity but it will definitely make you feel better.

Visit your dentist regularly: 

Good oral hygiene is always the best way to avoid problems with your teeth. Paying regular visits to the dentist will keep your teeth in good condition and minimize the pain. You may think that you are doing great on this part, but if you feel pain every time you eat and drink cold and hot food/drinks, you are probably missing something. Just make a trip to your health care provider and let them figure out whether your oral hygiene routine is good enough.

Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team

Most Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes

Most Common Tooth Brushing Mistakes

Tooth brushing is the most popular dental hygiene procedure adopted by all ages and genders. It is such an ingrained habit that we do not think twice before doing it. The main reason behind brushing is to remove plaque and thereby prevent cavities and gum diseases. But how many of us are brushing the right way? How many of us make sure that the teeth are properly cleaned?

Here are few brushing mistakes which we should avoid at all cost.

Selecting the wrong brush:

The main reason why tooth brush companies comes out with brushes of different shapes is that you can select the brush that is best suited for your mouth. Ideally speaking, small to medium sized brushes are the best as it can reach the interiors of the mouth and clean even the wisdom tooth. Kids should be encouraged to use only kids brushes as it will be the perfect size. Similarly the brush bristles should be sturdy enough to remove plaque but not hard enough to damage the teeth and gums.

Brushing the wrong way:

You should brush your teeth in circular motion while tilting the brush at 45 degree angle towards the gums. This applies to all surfaces of the teeth – both inside and outside. The biting area of the teeth should also be thoroughly brushed.

Not brushing enough:

The ideal time for brushing is 2 minutes. Brushing early morning and late night before going to bed should be made a part of your routine. If you happen to eat or drink any sugary food, care should be taken to clean the teeth immediately. This is especially so in case of children as they tend to eat lot of sweet items. Kids can be encouraged to brush for the right amount of time by playing a song or setting timer.

Brushing too often and too hard:

Brushing should last for only 2 minutes and ideally should happen twice a day. Anything more than this can be harsh for the teeth. Similarly brushing too hard can erode the teeth of its enamel coating.

Ignoring the inside surface:

Even if you brush your teeth with the proper technique, there are instances where you can accidentally leave areas un-brushed. Sometimes the inner surface of teeth is completely ignored. This is especially so in case of kids. When the inner surface is not cleaned for a considerably long time, plaque is likely to form and damage the teeth. Similarly attention should be paid on cleaning the tongue as well, as it can contain lots of bacteria.

Always starting at the same place:

Most people start brushing at the same place each time they brush, they follow the same pattern of motions. Brushing becomes less effective towards the end and the last tooth will not be brushed properly. When this happens continuously the tooth that is brushed last is likely to get damaged fast. Make sure to start brushing at different areas of the teeth each time.

Using the same toothbrush for a long time:

The lifespan of a brush is three months. Once the three month period is over the brush should be changed. But if the bristles get worn off before this time frame then it should be changed before three months. Similarly if you have been sick for some time, then the tooth brush should be changed two to three days after you recover completely. Otherwise the same germs are likely to enter your body again through the toothbrush.

These are few of the common tooth brushing mistakes that people do. Try to avoid these mistakes.

Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team

Herbs and Spices That Boost Oral Health

Herbs and Spices That Boost Oral Health

There are spices and herbs you can ingest that promote oral health outside of traditional dental medicine. When combined with the sage advice of your dental hygienist, regular consumption of these all-natural products may just save your next date or job interview, and your overall health.


Bloodroot gets its name from the red-orange sap in the roots. The herb contains sanguinarine, an anti-microbial that has shown effectiveness in killing the germs that cause plaque and gingivitis. Bloodroot can be found in some over-the-counter mouthwashes and toothpastes.

It’s not a good idea to chew on it after digging it out of the ground though- at high potencies, it can cause mouth lesions. Also, you’ll look like you just ate a steak that was a little bit too rare. So leave this one to the pros and get your bloodroot pre-packaged.

Holy Basil

This basil is highly regarded in eastern medicine as a cure-all for a number of issues. Holy basil (also known as tulsi) has astringent properties that will kill harmful germs hiding in hard-to-reach crevices between teeth. Gargle a tulsi tea each morning instead of a harsh, alcohol-based mouthwash, and get the same breath-freshening benefits.

Camellia sinesis (green tea)

Green tea has catechins, a substance that fights off the bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque. So replace that tooth-browning morning coffee with a cup of green tea. Your coworkers may thank you for it (mentally) when you breathe out your “good morning.” If you’re worried about the caffeine in green tea, worry not! Decaf green tea is just as effective in terms of oral health benefits.


Have a toothache? Smack the hand that reaches for the Orajel! Instead, apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton swab and gently rub it on the offending tooth. A 2006 study in the Journal of Dentistry showed that clove oil can be just as effective as benzocaine (the active ingredient in Orajel) in treating mouth pain. The powerhouse ingredient in clove oil is eugenol, which is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anesthetic.


According to Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, Nutmeg contains the same eugenol as cloves, so it works as an anti-microbial, killing those bacteria that cause bad breath and plague. You can also rub nutmeg oil on your gums or drink a cup of warm nutmeg tea to ease a throbbing tooth or gum inflammation.

Be sure to consult your dentist or doctor before trying any herbal or alternative medicine remedy.

Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team

Stop Licking Those Pacifiers!

Stop Licking Those Pacifiers!

Saliva harbors cavity-causing bacteria that can be transmitted to babies.

Parents should be aware that bacteria that cause dental decay can be transmitted from adult to child by sharing eating utensils, or by the parent sucking on a baby’s pacifier to clean it. A study recently published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that licking a pacifier can transfer the cavity-causing bacteria from the parent to baby increasing the possibility of tooth decay as they grow.

"A child’s teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they begin to erupt," said Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a pediatric dentist in Maine and a pediatric dental spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "Cavity-causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus Mutans, can be transferred from adult saliva to children, increasing their risk of getting cavities." Dr.Shenkin points to other steps that parents can take to help children develop a healthy immune system; "Breast milk is widely acknowledged as a good immunity-builder as well as the most complete form of nutrition for infants. This is something on which both the ADA and the AAP agree," he said. The ADA recommends that parents protect the dental health of young children by promoting a healthy diet, monitoring their intake of food and drink, brushing their teeth or wiping gums after mealtimes and by having infants finish their bedtime or naptime bottle before going to bed. 

The ADA recommends that children receive their first dental visit within six months of eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age.

Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team

Oral Cancer Is On The Rise

Oral Cancer Is On The Rise 

The rates of oral cancer has been on the rise. It no longer mostly smokers or tobacco-users at risk; it's also sexually-active people between the ages of 25 and 50. The percentage of head and neck cancers linked to the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) disease increased by 225% in the last two decades, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in October 2011. HPV may lead to more cases of oral cancer than cervical cancer by 2020.

More than 35,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and because it is often caught late, only half of those diagnosed will survive more than five years. If detected early, patients have nearly a 90% survival rate.

Early detection is the key! Oral cancer screening is a part of your dental re-care exam: your dentist and/or hygienist look for changes in your mouth. Often the early stage of the cancer is asymptomatic. People tend to think they bit their cheek and forget about it. Or their voice may be hoarse, but they do not realize it is a sign that something can be seriously wrong.

Oral cancer signs and symptoms can include:

· A sore in the mouth that bleeds easily or doesn't heal

· A change of color in the oral tissues

· A change in the way teeth fit together

· A lump, a crusty spot, a thickening of an area or a small eroded area

· Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips

· Trouble chewing, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue

If you have any of these symptoms, make sure you call your dentist.

Dr Luda Ushakova and Your Oral Health Care Team