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Brushing at the wrong time can damage teeth


Brushing your teeth after every meal might seem like the right way to keep them strong and healthy, but dentists have warned that this can actually do more harm than good – especially if you have just eaten a rich meal, washed down with an acidic beverage. According to recent research, brushing within half an hour of eating can do real damage to the dentin layer beneath the enamel, because the acid levels in the mouth are higher after eating and brushing cannot remove the acid without damaging the tooth structure. Dr Howard R. Gamble, president of the Academy of General Dentistry spoke to the New York Times, explaining that ‘with brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin.’

As part of a study to test the theory,  volunteers wore human dentin samples in their mouth and tested different brushing routines; the results showed that brushing within an hour of drinking something acidic ‘stripped’ the teeth of their minerals, and waiting twenty minutes after a soft drink also did considerable damage. However, there is some good news, as the effect seems to be minimalised after about an hour; the researchers who carried out the study revealed that ‘after intra-oral periods of 30 and 60 mins, wear was not significantly higher than in unbrushed controls. It is concluded that for protection of dentin surfaces, at least 30 mins should elapse before tooth brushing after an erosive attack.’

Patients ‘want lifelike flaws’ in their dental veneers


Cosmetic dentistry is changing to include small discolourations and crooked teeth.A slightly overlapped canine or discoloured mark near the gum line are becoming popular requests during cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Patients scheduling an appointment for veneers – wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front of the original tooth – are increasingly asking for natural-looking flaws to help maintain a subtle look, according to the New York Times.

Dr Thomas Connelly, a cosmetic dentistry expert practicing in Manhattan, said: "[People] just want to have a nice smile. They don't want to be known for their smile."

What's more, patients that have opted for a brilliant while, perfectly straight set of veneers have been known to return to have flaws or imperfections added to their mouth.

A spokesman for the UCLA Center for Esthetic Dentisry added that texture in the enamel is one way to replicate human teeth.

This type of cosmetic dentistry can be used to straighten a crooked bite, fill spaces or gaps, or repair a tooth that has been damaged or chipped.

New toothpaste for sensitive teeth


A new toothpaste to help those with sensitive teeth has been released.

Colgate has launched it new Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste to help stop the pain caused for sufferers of sensitive teeth. Toothbrushing sensitive teeth

The company noted that more than half (57 per cent) of the world population have sensitive teeth.

As a result, the firm has developed this new product which uses Pro-Argin – a combination of amino acids, soluble calcium, arginine and calcium carbonate – to block pores in the teeth leading to the nerves, thereby reducing sensitivity.

Elsewhere, Jennifer Lee recently wrote in a blog for the New York Times that a new waterless toothbrush has been invented which allows people to brush their teeth using liquid toothpaste.

Brush inventor Todd Cinelli noted the device uses replaceable cartridges that enable the brush to be used approximately 30 times before refilling.

He said it will have numerous applications, including in the armed forces and for improving dental health in developing countries.

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