Oral hygiene is the most important part of personal hygiene and while many people take matters into their own hands, others leave it to the dentists, a visit that can be frightening for some whilst exciting for others. There could be many concerns circling a person’s mind: is the process going to be painful? What sort of technology and methods will be used? My mouth condition is so embarrassing the dentist would freak out! The fear of the sound and images of scary looking instruments!

Whatever the concern, instead of withdrawing into skipping the visit, a better approach is to come forward and face your fears. Another tip is to organize the visit in your head so you get the best out of it.

To start off, setting up an appointment is important to ensure your time isn’t wasted. Asking questions,  either from the dentist himself or the receptionist, helps as it makes clear whether the dentist is the one for you or not. Once the appointment is confirmed, start preparing yourself. It is highly advisable to get a good night’s sleep before the visit and avoid beverages with caffeine or sugar, like coffee and energy drinks.

When visiting the dentist, it’s preferable to take a list of medications you are so that the dentist could further guide you about its effects with the new medication. Talk to your dentist with your phobias and come clean about any questions or doubts. This helps the dentist understand you better and they can cater to your needs and concerns better.

For future references, jot down questions and feel free to ask about your condition in detail and the methods to be used, including the side effects. If asked any questions, answer truthfully, no matter how embarrassing. Relax and be happy, there’s nothing better than getting a step closer to better oral hygiene.

Tooth decay refers to the deterioration of the teeth’s outer surface due to bacterial action and is the most prevalent oral hygiene problem in children and adults. One of the many reasons why people fail to take care of their teeth against decay is the lack of knowledge about the causes. There remain many misconceptions about tooth decay and if cleared, could lead to better oral health.

Brushing, Flossing And Using Mouthwash Is Enough: While these three steps are crucial for good oral hygiene, sometimes they are not enough because they are not done right. For how long do you brush your teeth? 30 seconds? A minute? Sadly, this is not enough. The required time for a proper brushing regimen is a whole two minutes. Similarly, are you replacing your toothbrush every couple of months with a new one? If you are not, you are allowing the bacteria to accumulate on the bristles over time, and eventually the brush loses its purpose and effectiveness.

Also, are you using dental floss to clean the upper teeth and then the lower teeth with the same piece? This is just causing the bacteria from the upper section to transfer to the lower section and so using two different threads is recommended. When it comes to using mouthwash, make sure it doesn’t have high alcohol level because that is just going to make the mouth dry and prone to gum bleeding. High sugar content will again cause bacteria build-up, leading to tooth decay.

Candies’ Cause Cavities: This is true to a large extent but not the only reason. Cavities are contagious and breathing in close space with a cavity affected person also means bad news even if you stay miles away from sugar. Acidic foods also weaken the enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to bacteria, causing tooth decay.

Fluoride Solves All The Problems: A recent study has shown the ineffectiveness of fluoride at preventing decay. Some claim that fluoride is poison and sticks to the teeth, preventing re-mineralization. It can also cause white patches and browning of teeth in children. Thus, fluoride is not the only solution but has to be backed up by brushing and regular checkups.

 

Now that these misconceptions have been debunked, hopefully you will be able to take better care of your teeth and prevent decay and other problems. 

Getting braces can change your life. You have to change the way you bite and chew, not to mention you have to take good care of the braces as well. However, this doesn’t mean living with braces has to be a hellish experience. As long as you are familiar with a few tips to make life with braces easier, you are good to go. So, without further ado, let’s go over some golden tips:

·         You don’t have to change your dental care routine if you get braces. In fact, regular brushing and flossing will help you take care of the braces as well. When flossing, use a threader which you can keep reusing. The thread can easily get between and under the wires, enabling you to remove any debris or plaque. When brushing, you have to use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Also, make it a point to brush after every meal. Brush around the wires. If the braces appear shiny, you are brushing right. Dull braces are a sign that you aren’t brushing properly.

·         You will have to give up a few foods when wearing braces. Generally, this is done to ensure bits of food don’t get lodged between your teeth because of the wires, which can result in tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues. It’s best that you avoid hard and chewy foods, including candy, bagels, pizza, chips and popcorn. The same goes for any food you have to bite into.

·         Quit smoking if you are in the habit. Smoking while wearing braces will cause problems in the long run and can also lead to discoloration of the teeth, stronger than usual. Also, don’t miss any dentist’s appointments as you constant checkups to ensure the braces are doing their job.

 

These are some of the tips you can follow to make living with braces easier. 

Generally, dental injuries are unlikely to cause anything more than pain, but there is the risk of permanent damage to your teeth or jaw line. You will have to visit the dentist, but what do you do till you get there? Few people know how to handle the situation and they even end up making mistakes sometimes which exacerbate the damage. This is why it is important that you know how to deal with a dental emergency when it arises:

·         If you have a debilitating toothache, rinse your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. You can also floss your teeth to ensure there is no food residue or any other debris there. One thing you shouldn’t do is putting aspirin in the affected area. The pain may go away after you rinse or floss but if it doesn’t, head over to the dentist.

·         In case of a bitten lip, clean the area using a clean cloth or a napkin. Apply pressure on the lip till the bleeding stops and the swelling subsides. If bleeding continues, head to ER without delay.

·         If something is caught or stuck between your teeth, don’t exert too much pressure in trying to get it out. Try to remove it but gently. Also, avoid using sharp objects. You can try flossing but if even that fails, call your dentist.

·         In case of a broken or chipped tooth, don’t delay calling a dentist. First, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove the blood. If the tooth comes off, keep rinsing and applying pressure till the bleeding stops. If the tooth is still in place, use a cold compress to keep the swelling in check.

These are some ways you can handle dental emergencies and keep the problem from worsening.

As you probably know, your teeth are strong and can withstand a great deal of pressure and wear and tear. However, there is always the risk that you chip or break a tooth. It can be caused by any number of reasons. Some of the common ones include:

·         Suffering a direct blow to the jaw or face

·         Falling down or any other accidental injury

·         Cavities and tooth decay

·         Biting down on something extremely hard

Generally, a chipped tooth doesn’t cause much discomfort, or even bleed. Your tongue is more likely to scrape across the sharp area where the tooth has chipped or cracked and that is when you realize you have a broken tooth. Of course, if a significant part of the tooth breaks, you are in for some real pain. So, what should you do in this situation?

·         Firstly, check if there is any bleeding. If yes, take some warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use mouthwash.

·         Place a piece of cotton or gauze on the affected tooth and apply pressure so that the bleeding stops. Leave it on till you are absolutely sure the bleeding has subsided.

·         If there is visible swelling, place a cold pack on your cheek or mouth, depending on the location of the broken tooth.

·         Head to the dentist straight away. A broken tooth is a genuine emergency and if you don’t get treatment right away, the discomfort and problem will only exacerbate, requiring intensive treatment later.

 

These are some of the tips you can follow should you break a tooth for any reason. Make sure you don’t place any additional pressure on the broken tooth, because it is likely that it would be weak at the roots and might fall out. Let the dentist decide whether or not the tooth has to be removed!

Some dental issues show obvious symptoms. For instance, if your gums are bleeding or if a tooth is aching, you know there’s something wrong and you will head to the dentist. However, there are a few dental problems which are fairly common but as most people don’t know about them, they are unable to spot them. The one thing about all dental issues is that if they are not nipped in the bud, they can grow into major problems over time, which will require extensive treatment. So, this is why it is better that you are aware of a few common dental issues you might have but don’t know:

Bruxism

Bruxism refers to grinding your teeth. Generally, people who are under a lot of stress start grinding their teeth and the worst part is they don’t even realize it. This is particularly true for people who grind their teeth in their sleep. According to estimates, as many as 50% of adults could have bruxism, so if you have damaged teeth but don’t know what caused it, have a dentist check for signs of bruxism.

Cavities

Did you know that over 90% of adults have cavities? Yes, even though a majority of the people place great emphasis on dental care and hygiene, 9 out of every 10 adults has at least one cavity. What this means is you should have your teeth checked for signs of decay every time you go to the dentist.

Tooth Sensitivity

Do you brush your teeth correctly? Even if you assume you do, there is a chance you don’t. 40% of adults don’t know how to brush their teeth properly and over time, this leads to tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist how you should brush your teeth and also the type of brush you should be using.

These are some common dental issues you might have so make sure you have your dentist check for them the next time you visit.

It’s pretty much a given that if you don’t take good care of your teeth, you will start facing dental problems and might even up losing a few teeth too. Well, the older you get, the more difficult it gets to reverse the damage, so it’s best that you get your kids to start taking care of their teeth from a young age. Here are 5 dental care tips for toddlers all parents should know:

1.       You have to use fluoride toothpaste when helping your kids brush their teeth. Experts suggest that you start brushing as soon as your kid has his/her first teeth. The reason why fluoride toothpaste is recommended is that it helps prevent decay. Also, if there is a lack of fluoride in the water supply in your area, you will have to give your kids fluoride supplements. Why not make up for it with toothpaste?

2.       Take your kids to the dentist at least two times a year from the time they turn one. The dentist can spot early signs of teething problems. And believe it or not, even two-year olds have had cavities in their teeth. You don’t want to risk that with your tot, do you? Prevention is better than cure. 

3.       Use the right toothbrush which is suited for your kid’s teeth. Don’t ever buy the dollar store brushes, as they can cause harm to the kid’s gum and teeth.

4.       Brush your kid’s teeth gently. Don’t exert the same pressure you do when brushing your own teeth. Be gentle and soft and make sure you cover as much area as possible.

5.       Start flossing your kids’ teeth on a daily basis. You probably floss your teeth daily too, and it is a good practice to floss your kids’ teeth too from an early age. This ensures there aren’t any food particles or other debris stuck between the teeth. And make sure you don’t skip even a day.

 

These are 5 effective dental care tips for toddlers all parents should know. In case your kid feels pain or discomfort in the jaw, make sure you contact a dentist right away. 

Buildup of plaque on the teeth is among the most common dental ailments faced by people around the world. Not only does this expose your teeth to infections and disease, but you might also face sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot or cold. While regular dental care can help you prevent plaque, it is better if you avoid consuming foods which increase the risk of plaque. Here are some foods you should avoid like the plague to prevent plaque:

Candies

It is a known fact that candy is bad for your teeth and can cause cavities and all sorts of problems. Sour candy is the worst culprit because of the acidic content. Generally, sour candies are of the chewy and sticky variety, which means getting them off your teeth is a real hassle. This means there is an increased risk of decay as well. Of course, your sweet tooth might need some indulgence from time to time. In that case, it’s best to go for chocolate.

Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks, or carbonated beverages, cause all sorts of health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart disease, and they affect your teeth as well, even if you drink the diet stuff. In fact, it has been discovered the impact of these drinks on your teeth is the same as a few heavy drugs, including crack cocaine. They cause your mouth to dry out and your teeth might lose their color as well. Not to mention, their acidic content can leave a layer of acid on your teeth. Also, don’t brush your teeth right after you have had soda, as that could worsen the damage.

Potato Chips

 

Yes, most people reach out for a bag of crisps as a snack, but did you know potato chips are loaded with starch? Starch, when stuck between your teeth, serves as food for the bacteria that can eventually cause plaque. And, like the two mentioned above, potato chips are acidic in nature and you know by now that acid isn’t good for your teeth.

This are just a few of the foods that you should avoid or eat in moderation. If you have any questions about other foods or dental questions please feel free to ask! 

Every change in season brings with it a host of health issues. Yet, not many people are aware with the common dental problems associated with particular weather conditions. The holiday season is particularly conducive to dental issues, with all the candy, dessert and fatty food gorged down in the spirit of celebration. To make things a tad easier for you, here is a look at a few handy dental care tips for the winter:

Brush Your Teeth

This one is a no-brainer and you probably don’t need a reminder for brushing your teeth at least twice a day. The main reason why this is mentioned as a tip here is that regular brushing keeps plaque from building up and cleaner teeth are less prone to sensitivity, which can be a nuisance when the temperature gets close to zero. As a side note, it is a good idea to use sensitivity toothpastes for brushing your teeth during the winter.

Stop Smoking

You would know the impact of tobacco on your gum health and teeth color but did you know smoking can increase the risk of acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis during the winter? The symptoms of this ailment are painful and discomforting, such as bad breath, gum pain, and most significantly, damage to gum tissue. Stop smoking, at least for the winter, to reduce the risk.

Visit a Dentist

Last, but not the least, with the winter yet to take full effect, now is the time to schedule a visit to the dentist. This is important because your immune system will be working at full tilt to fight off the harmful effects of the cold weather and it could increase the risk of inflammation or infection of the gums. You don’t want to spend Christmas with your gums infected, as it can be painful.

So, these are a few basic dental care tips for the winter that you should follow. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to ensure your teeth remain in top shape during the holiday season!

Good or bad oral health affects the general health of a person. Dentists and medical experts found correlations between gum diseases, diabetes, smoking and obesity. Before consulting your doctor, your dentist might already have an idea of what’s going on.

Human body is made up of cells and they depend upon the nutrients supplied in the blood streams. But prior to this, nutrients have to go through digestive processes. Normally their point of entry is at the mouth. Those nutrients have to be chewed and swallowed. Thus, their first contacts are the teeth and gums. So, what’s the ideal diet for good oral health that can affect our holistic buildup? 

Beverages

Water

The level of fluoride on tap water can remineralize teeth. Remineralization is the process when minerals are deposited again on the enamel layer of the teeth after being stripped away by acids. Mineral water which has pH level of 7.6 is found to be the least acidic among drinks.

Tea

Compounds called polyphenols in green or black tea can reduce the growth of bacteria and other toxins that cause cavities and gum diseases. Another antioxidant, catechin, can prevent harmful bacteria as well. A study also found out that tea is rich of fluoride which strengthens teeth.

Dairy Products

Milk

Calcium in milk can neutralize acids that are produced by plaque bacteria. Calcium also remineralizes teeth. It also contains a protein called casein that helps tooth structure and fortification.

Cheese

Cheese can lower acid or pH levels in our mouth because it has low sugar and acid contents. Chewing cheese also increases saliva production that naturally washes away bacteria from the mouth. Examples of these cheeses are cheddar, parmesan and other aged cheeses.

Yogurt

Yogurt is another source of casein. It also contains minerals like calcium and phosphates that help remineralize teeth.

Whole Grains

Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc

A study shows that eating at least four servings of whole grains a day could lower the risk of periodontal diseases. These grains are said to be digested more slowly and that causes steadier increase of blood glucose.

Nuts and Proteins

Nuts and Seeds

They are a good source of protein and they are also packed with micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, potassium and calcium. Almonds are especially good source of calcium.

Lean beef, poultry, eggs, fish, beans, etc

These protein-rich foods are also best sources of phosphorus. Both protein and phosphorous are minerals that can help protect and rebuild the tooth enamel. They are important for tissue development and provide immunity functions for the teeth.

Vegetables and Fruits

Raisins

Raisins contain phytochemicals that fight cavity-causing plaque bacteria. It has also antioxidants that fight the causes of inflammation and other gum problems. Raisin is naturally sweet but it has no sucrose content.

Pear

Fresh fruits normally stimulate the production of saliva. One fibrous fruit that has large degree of acid neutralizing effect on tooth surface is pear.

Oranges, Lemons, Kiwis, Strawberries

These fruits contain Vitamin C that helps and heals delicate gums. They can also reverse teeth discolorations that are caused by beverages such as coffee and wine.

Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries

They contain anthocyanin that can prevent pathogens from sticking to teeth. Cranberries also contain polyphenols like those on teas.

Carrots, Apples, Cucumber

Chewing these crunchy fruits can disturb plaque buildup. They are good teeth scrubbers and can increase salivation.

Celery

Raw celery is good for the teeth because when you chew, saliva production is triggered. The best feature of celery is that it can break down into many fibrous strands that clean the teeth naturally.

Others

Sugar-Free Gum

This gum contains xylitol that prevents plaques because it is sugarless. Chewing this gum can boost saliva secretion. Ideally it should be chewed 3-5 times a day.

Sesame Oil

 

Gargling sesame oil has resulted preventive effects against gingivitis. 

Are you Brushing your Teeth the Wrong Way

You think you might be brushing your teeth wrong? You want to know how to brush it the right way? Yes? If so, you came to the right place; be not afraid as you will not brush your teeth in the wrong way again.

Tooth brushing is the most common form of oral hygiene practice. Everyone wants to have healthy teeth and gums. Proper tooth brushing techniques can help you avoid oral diseases like cavities and gum disease.

The following are several tooth brushing mistakes people commonly do and how to fix them.

Using the Wrong Style of Tooth Brush

Most use the wrong kind of brush for their teeth. The tooth brush should be comfortable for you; it should not be too big or too small that you do not have to strain your mouth during brushing. Also, using a tooth brush with hard and stiff bristles can hurt the gums; soft-bristles tooth brushes are enough to brush off the soft plaque on the teeth.

Also replace your tooth brush regularly. After three to four months, a tooth brush loses its effectiveness.

Your Dentist should be able to tell you the exact kind of toothbrush you should be using.

Brushing Not Enough or Too Much

Many brush their teeth thirty seconds or less, falling short of the recommended two to three minutes of brushing. Regular brushing of two to three minutes two to three times a day is best to keep the bacteria in the mouth in check. But brushing too much is not healthy as it can erode the tooth enamel and can cause tooth sensitivity.

Not Flossing

Dental floss can significantly increase the effectiveness of brushing the teeth by opening up the gaps between the teeth. Flossing before brushing the teeth allows the fluoride in the toothpaste to seep in much better.

Brushing in a Rushed Way—Back and Forth, All Around

Many brush all their teeth at the same time. That is a big no-no. Brush in a circular motion focusing on few teeth at a time. Brush systematically; start with your left side then the middle and then the right. Also, when you brush, angle the brush at a 45-degree angle which allows you to clean under the gums and effectively clean the mouth.

You also do not need to brush too rushed and certainly not in an aggressive manner. Most food particles residue on the teeth can be can be taken out even with a small amount force exerted on the tooth brush.

Rinsing the Mouth Just After Brushing

Many use mouth wash just after brushing their teeth which result to the fluoride, which strengthen the surface of the teeth, being washed away. It is recommended to rinse the mouth thirty minutes after brushing to let the fluoride do its job first.

 

Many seem oblivious to proper tooth brushing techniques. They employ wrong techniques which result to their teeth getting broken. However, proper tooth brushing techniques will ensure that you show the best and the happiest smile of that charming you.