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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!