By Enyeribe Ejiogu
Erstwhile United States president, Donald J. Trump, has always been obsessed with his looks. Being a person craved attention and adulation, you would naturally expect he would keep regular appointments with his dentist, to ensure that his teeth are properly aligned and whitened to produce that “prefect look smile” celebrities love much and TV camera men equally like to capture.
Now think about Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) for one minute and his star power that has never ceased to wow women, who swear that he is the sexiest looking Nigerian man.
Take a look at the mirror and see whether your smile could use a pick-me-up, but you don’t want to invest the time or money for in-office treatments, and neither do you want to the option of using gels or strips bought over the counter at upscale shops like Shoprite and the others. Well there is good news for you because there are some natural, at-home remedies which are safe and can whiten your teeth. You need to invest a little effort and experimentation find out what is best for you.
Brushing and flossing
Good oral hygiene is a tried-and-true method for keeping your smile looking its best. Toothpastes gently buff out stains from the surface of your teeth. Whitening toothpastes work the same way with more ingredients; they don’t bleach your teeth. Flossing gets rid of food and bacteria that could harden into plaque, which makes your teeth look dull and darker.
This technique is popular in Ayurvedic medicine. You swish a tablespoon of oil (such as sesame, coconut, or olive oil) around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes to “pull out” bacteria. A recent study found that using coconut oil could prevent tooth decay, but there’s no science to support it leaving a sparkle.
Besides helping batter rise, it’s also a mild abrasive that scrubs away stains. You could try using a DIY paste of baking soda, but you’ll probably get better results by switching to a toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate. Studies show brushing with products that have baking soda will work on surface stains over time.
Apples, pineapples, strawberries
Malic acid in apples boosts saliva to wash away acids. Toothpastes with bromelain, a compound in pineapple, help whiten teeth. But there’s no evidence that eating these fruits will make your grin gleam. Skip the strawberries, too. A study in Operative Dentistry found that brushing with a mixture of them and baking soda had no whitening effects. Even worse, the citric acid in strawberries can break down enamel, the outer shell of your tooth.
It’s the bleaching agent found in most home whitening kits. It actually changes a tooth’s colour. One study found that painting an over-the-counter gel with 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide on teeth made a noticeable difference after two weeks. The inexpensive bottles of liquid you can buy in a drugstore usually have a lower percentage. And the American Dental Association says swishing will probably irritate your gums before it whitens your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar
Some people have claimed that gargling apple-cider-vinegar mixture before brushing teeth would help kill bacteria and remove stains and give the person whiter smile. However, scientific studies have confirmed these claims.
Watch what you eat
It is commonly said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Foods including dark berries and drinks such as coffee, red wine, and soda are known offenders that stain teeth enamel, but you don’t have to give them up. Enjoy these in moderation, and rinse with water right afterward so there’s less chance they’ll affect your teeth. Wait 30 minutes before brushing to protect the enamel.
…..Adapted from webmd.com
Do you know gum disease can raise hypertension risk?
Do you want to avoid developing high blood pressure? Then have a habit of thoroughly brushing your teeth and also using dental floss to remove food particles that may get trapped between teeth.
A research study report published in the journal, Hypertension, on March 29, 2021, which was done by a team led by the Head, Peridontology Unit, Eastman Dental Institute at University College London, United Kingdom, Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto, found that severe gum disease may make an otherwise healthy person significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure.
“Our evidence indicates that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also trigger inflammatory responses that can impact the development of systemic diseases including, high blood pressure,” D’Aiuto, in a press release announcing the findings of the study.
The researchers studied 250 otherwise healthy adults with severe periodontitis and 250 healthy adults without the gum disease. Their median age was 35, meaning half were older, half younger.
Participants with gum disease were twice as likely to have high systolic blood pressure (140 mm Hg or more), than those with healthy gums (14 per cent and 7 percent, respectively), according to the findings. The systolic level – the top number in a blood pressure reading – is how much pressure your blood is exerting on your blood vessels as it moves through the body.
While only an association and not a cause-and-effect link was established, the findings suggest that about 50 per cent of adults could have undetected high blood pressure due to gum disease — a tissue infection that can also lead to inflammation and bone or tooth loss.
Researchers said preventing and treating gum disease may be a cost-effective way to reduce systemic inflammation and improve function of the endothelium, the thin lining inside the heart and blood vessels.
“Patients with gum disease often present with elevated blood pressure, especially when there is active gingival inflammation, or bleeding of the gums,” said Dr. Eva Muñoz Aguilera, senior researcher at the institute, who co-authored the report.
Because high blood pressure often has no outward symptoms, many individuals may be unaware that they are at increased risk for heart-related problems, she added in the release.
Having dental professionals screen for high blood pressure and make referrals to primary care providers while medical professionals also screen and refer for gum disease could benefit patients’ health and reduce the burden of high blood pressure and its complications.
“Oral health strategies such as brushing teeth twice daily are proven to be very effective in managing and preventing the most common oral conditions, and our study’s results indicate they can also be a powerful and affordable tool to help prevent hypertension,” D’Aiuto said.