WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE AT HOME?
Prevention is better than cure, and the best way to prevent dental complications is by practicing good oral hygiene. Apart from the regular visits to the dentist, it is important that you brush thoroughly and using the proper technique twice a day and floss daily. You should tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle and make sure to brush all of your teeth by sweeping the brush away from the gumline. You should use dental products that contain fluoride and regularly eat a balanced diet. You should also clean your tongue daily. It is also recommended that you consume ample amounts of calcium, limit consumption of sugary snacks and drinks and avoid tobacco.
For additional information visit: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/eight-ways-to-keep-your-mouth-healthy
WHAT IS TOOTH SENSITIVITY AND WHY DO I HAVE IT?
Tooth sensitivity is also known as root sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity. If you find your teeth aching or feeling sensitive when breathing in cold air or consuming hot/ cold/ sweet/ acidic foods, you have tooth sensitivity. There are several causes of sensitive teeth. It can be caused by grinding your teeth at night, tooth erosion due to highly acidic beverages and foods, or even gum recession (which exposes the surface of your dental roots). It can also be because you’ve recently been through dental procedures such as crowns, fillings and tooth bleachings. However, a more common reason is tooth decay, broken teeth and worn leaky fillings that expose a part of your tooth known as ‘dentin.’ When dentin loses its outer protective covering, it exposes the nerve endings to foods which cause tooth sensitivity.
For additional information visit: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-sensitivity
SHOULD I USE MOUTHWASH REGULARLY?
The regularity of using mouthwash depends on your needs. For example, if you want to expose your teeth to fluoride, using mouthwash for a minute before bedtime every day is enough. However, if you want to clean your mouth thoroughly, gargling and swishing mouthwash twice a day is recommended. You should make sure to follow the direction on the container and not swallow it. You shouldn’t use mouthwash as an alternative to flossing and brushing your teeth but rather as a supplement. If you are just using mouthwash to remove bad breath, you should know that bad breath is not always caused by food and debris caught between the teeth. It could be because of another health issue and thus you should consult with a healthcare professional.
For additional information: http://now.tufts.edu/articles/should-i-use-mouthwash
WHAT CAUSES CAVITIES?
Cavities are holes in the two outer layers of a tooth known as the dentin and the enamel. They are caused by different types of cavity-causing bacteria and begins when the bacteria inflicts damage on the hard surface of the teeth. These bacteria consume simple sugars that remain in your teeth after you consume food and convert them into acid plaque. This plaque softens the hard outer protective layers of the tooth. Over time, these softened layers are dissolved by saliva, leaving a hole in the tooth. If the tooth is left unchecked, the cavity will continue to erode and eventually damage the inner pulp of the tooth. Children are more prone to cavities than adults as the enamel on baby teeth are porous and immature.
For additional information visit: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=43098
I‘M INTERESTED IN CHANGING THE SHAPE OF MY TEETH. WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
People usually want to make their teeth look longer, repair chipped/cracked teeth or close spaces between the teeth. There are four main options to change the shape of your teeth – crowns, recontouring, bonding and veneers. In dental bonding, a tooth colored durable resin material is applied to the tooth surface. It is hardened with a special type of light to bond the material to the tooth. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps and are placed over the teeth. Veneers are very thin custom-made shells that cover the front surface of the teeth and are bonded to the front of the teeth. Recontouring is another procedure where small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change the tooth’s shape and length.
For additional information visit: http://answers.webmd.com/search-results?ques=I%27m+losing+the+enamel+off+my+teeth.+How+is+that+repaired%3F
HOW DO WHITENING TOOTHPASTES WORK AND HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THEY?
Whitening toothpastes usually contain special abrasives that polish the teeth gently and chemicals that help to break down and dissolve stains. They do not contain peroxide, unlike other tooth-whitening products. Covarine is another ingredient commonly found in whitening toothpastes. It adheres to the surface of the teeth and reduces the yellow appearance of the teeth. While whitening toothpaste can remove surface stains and make the teeth look slightly whiter, it cannot change the natural color of your teeth or remove a deep stain. You should always follow manufacturer recommendations mentioned on the toothpaste. It can take the toothpaste two to six weeks for you to notice a considerable amount of difference if you use it twice a day. You should use a toothpaste brand that has a seal of approval from a dental organization.
For additional information: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/whitening-toothpaste/faq-20058411
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD FALLS AND A PERMANENT TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT?
You should try to reinsert the tooth if possible. Place a sterile gauze over the socket and ask your child to hold it in place. You should not touch the root of the tooth. If the tooth is dirty, do not scrub it or remove any pieces of tissue – instead, rinse it in milk. You should take the tooth to the doctor in a container of saliva, milk or saltwater as it will help the tooth reattach. Do not wrap the tooth in a napkin. If somehow the tooth does not reattach, you can consider a dental implant or a bridge. A bridge is one or more false teeth that are attached to the natural teeth for support. A dental implant, on the other hand, is a titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone and is a long term solution.
For additional information visit: http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/knocked-out-teeth.aspx
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants act as a replacement of the entire tooth. They are stable and strong and are a long term solution. Dental implants, unlike dental bridges, can last a lifetime if properly looked after. They also prevent your teeth from shifting into empty space. Unevenly spaced teeth can increase the number of dental complications as they would be hard to clean as well. Dental implants also help to conserve your jawbone, unlike a fixed bridge which can cause the jawbone to deteriorate due to inadequate stimulation to the bone. They also help you avoid the hassle of struggling with pronunciation and worrying about dentures falling out. Implants maintain your appearance and protect your healthy teeth and bones as well.
For additional information visit: http://www.aaid-implant.org/about-dental-implants/what-are-the-benefits-of-dental-implants-over-other-treatments/
WHICH IS BETTER, A MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH OR AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH?
Dental health experts have found that both types of toothbrushes are effective in removing plaque and debris and thus preventing tooth decay. However, this is under the condition that the toothbrushes are used regularly and properly. Choosing between a manual or an electric toothbrush boils down to personal preferences. However, you should make sure that no matter the type of toothbrush you choose they are in top shape. As bristles fray over time, it is recommended that you replace the manual toothbrush every three months. If you are using a manual toothbrush try to use one with a small head to reach your back teeth and one that has a soft bristle for your gums. Experts also recommend that adults should supervise children up to age 7 to ensure they are brushing properly and reaching all corners.
For additional information visit: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/08/electric-toothbrush-vs-manual/index.htm
HOW DOES SUGAR DAMAGE YOUR TEETH?
You might have heard time and again that too much sugar can damage your teeth but you might not have known why. Consuming sugar in high amounts can accelerate tooth decay. While the mouth is naturally full of healthy bacteria that are crucial for maintaining equilibrium in the oral ecosystem, there are certain harmful bacteria present as well. These harmful bacteria feed on sugars from the food you consume to create acids that destroy the outer protective layer of the tooth known as enamel. This is also known as tooth erosion. Regular loss of enamel can lead to the development of cavities and it can also lead to your teeth facing increased sensitivity. If left unchecked, cavities can develop and reach deeper layers of the tooth and possibly cause tooth loss.
For additional information visit: http://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/facts/tooth-decay.html
HOW SHOULD I IMPROVE THE WHITENESS OF MY TEETH?
Good oral hygiene is not only the key for a healthy mouth but it also helps keep your teeth white. Another thing that really helps to whiten your teeth is to brush regularly, twice a day, and floss regularly, preferably after your meals. This is important because food getting stuck on your teeth can harbor bacteria and cause discoloration of your teeth. Furthermore, not only does the bacteria affect your teeth, the food residue may also stain them. So stay away from staining foods and drinks such as colas, red wines, dark juices, curries, black tea and coffee. In case you can’t stay away from these staining drinks, consume them with a straw and rinse your mouth with some water when you are done. This helps prevent contact of the straining liquid with your teeth. And one of the most effective ways of whitening your teeth is with the use of teeth whitening toothpastes. These toothpastes contain silica or micro-crystals that have abrasive properties and helps scrub away stains from your teeth and makes it look whiter.
For more information visit http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tips-keep-teeth-white
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET A DENTAL CHECKUP?
Dental health specialists and organizations suggest that you should schedule a visit to the dentist twice a year. Even if you do take care of your teeth and gums, regular dentist visits can identify minor problems that you may not feel or see. Many dental problems such as cavities, gum disease and oral cancer are not seen or felt until it retreats to the advanced stages. But, what you must remember is that the case is different for everybody and regular checkups can ensure your oral health is at its best. Though some people can get away with putting off their dental check up to once a year, on average, visiting the dentist twice a year is a good practice to follow for optimal dental hygiene and care. But some people, especially those who smoke, are pregnant, diabetic, have gum diseases, have a weak immunity to bacterial infection and people prone to get cavities or build up plaque should schedule a dental checkup once every three or four months.
For more information visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Dentalcheckups.aspx
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD I BRUSH?
In general, it is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day. Though it is ideal if you brush your teeth after every meal, it is often unrealistic. So, a realistic recommendation is to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The brush that you use must fit the size and shape of your mouth and it is important that you change it every couple of months or when your bristles become week. Another thing to remember is to use short strokes back and forth to clean the outer surfaces, inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces across all your teeth.
For more information visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST SEE A DENTIST?
Parents often fret about when they should first take their children to the dentists. An ideal time that you should take your child for a dental checkup is before their first birthday. The general rule here is that a child should go to the dentist’s for a visit about six months after their first set of teeth emerge. Taking your child to the dentist this early will make them familiar with the dentist and dental care. Furthermore, the dentist will be able to check your child’s jaw, gums and bite and keep an eye out for problems that may affect their tooth or speech patterns early on.
For more information visit http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/pediatric-first-dental-visit
WHEN SHOULD WE BEGIN USING TOOTHPASTE ON OUR CHILD AND HOW MUCH SHOULD WE USE?
As far as oral hygiene is considered, the sooner it is done the better it is. You should start cleaning your child’s gums with an infant toothbrush or even a cloth and some water. A thing you have to remember is that you should only use water during the early ages unless specified otherwise by the doctor. This should go one till the age of two as babies cannot spit the toothpaste out. Instead of regular toothpaste, use toothpaste that is specially designed for toddlers as it is fluoride-free. After the age of two, toothpaste containing fluoride can be used but make sure your child only uses a smidge of it and spits out the remaining residue.
For more information visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth/Pages/Careofkidsteeth.aspx
WHEN DO THEIR BABY TEETH TYPICALLY FALL OUT?
Your baby’s baby teeth will start to fall off around the age of six or seven. The 20 baby teeth will generally fall off in the order that they first erupted. That means the lower centered teeth are usually the first one to go followed by the upper front ones. The baby teeth usually do not loosen up until the permanent teeth push from within. Some children may lose their teeth as early as the age of four or even as late as the age of eight. This all depends on how early or late your child’s initial set of teeth erupted.
For more information visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/expert-answers/baby-teeth/faq-20058532
I HAVE DENTURES. DO I NEED TO BRUSH?
Proper care for your dentures is needed both for a healthy mouth and healthy dentures. So yes, you do need to brush your dentures. Rinse and brush your dentures daily, but remember not to do with toothpaste. Toothpastes are abrasive and can create microscopic scratches where food and plaque can build up. Instead, clean your denture with denture cleaner or mild dishwashing soap. Cleaning your denture is as important as cleaning your teeth as the same things happen in your dentures, the only thing is that they do not penetrate into your gums. If not brushed, food and plaque buildup in them. Moreover, brushing also prevents the development of any permanent stain in your dentures.
For more information visit
HOW DO I PREVENT TOOTH DECAY, GINGIVITIS AND OTHER PROBLEMS?
If you have tooth decay, gingivitis or any other oral problem it all is caused by a root problem, bad oral hygiene. So, the most effective solution to prevent any of these problems is to keep your gums and teeth clean, follow good oral hygiene routine and make timely visits to the dentist. To prevent problems like tooth decay brush your teeth regularly and twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Another thing that might help is the use of mouth rinse. But, the most important factor has to be making regular visits to your dentist. They are the ones who will know if there is any problem developing in your teeth and gums and how serious it is. Problems like gingivitis are pretty serious and even cause infection below your gum line and into your bones. So, consulting your dentist will allow you to know early on should you have any oral problems and together you can tackle or prevent it.
For more information visit https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm
ARE BABY TEETH REALLY THAT IMPORTANT TO MY CHILD?
Although baby teeth fall out at around the age of six or seven it doesn’t mean that they are not important or they don’t play a crucial role for various different reasons. Firstly, these primary teeth help your child speak clearly and aid in speech development. Secondly, it also leads to your child getting proper nutrition through proper chewing. Last but not the least, they also help in forming a path that the permanent teeth can follow once they are ready to burst and the baby teeth help your child to learn and pay attention in school without any distraction from dental pain.
For more information visit http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/caring-babies-teeth
WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS, SHOULD I CONSIDER THEM, AND HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating which is often made from plastic or glass ionomer that covers your tooth and prevents tooth decay and plaque. They are generally put in the molar tooth as they are often the most prone to decay. Dental sealants are intended for young children as soon as their first teeth come in, to protect them from any type of plaque or decay. A dental sealant will last for up to ten years but it is advisable to have them checked regularly, about twice a year to ensure that there is no problem in them and to ensure they are in good condition and avoid replacement.
For more information visit http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/sealants