Dental Health

Oral Hygiene Basics

A few basics about oral Hygiene can help you to look after your teeth.

Brushing: Brushing your teeth well twice a day is the first step towards good oral hygiene. One needs to brush one’s teeth for two minutes for the brushing to be effective at cleaning. Teeth should be cleaned with circular motions for effective cleaning.

You may need to consult your dentist and select the most appropriate toothpaste for your dental health.

Toothbrush: Next step is the selection of an appropriate toothbrush. A soft bristled toothbrush will be soft on the gums and not cause damage. But too soft a toothbrush will not serve its purpose. Brush softly and not forcefully so as not to cause damage to the gums. An electric driven toothbrush will be of immense help in cleaning teeth.

Your toothbrush need to be replaced with a new one as soon as it gets worn out and in any case latest in three months’ time.

Flossing: Toothbrush does not reach every tiny niche and corner of the mouth and hence the need for flossing. Flossing once a day is necessary to maintain good oral hygiene.

One needs to wrap the floss around one’s fingers, loop a tooth with the floss at the gum line and bring it away from the gum line sliding over the tooth. Every single tooth has to be flossed, one after the other, front side as well as back side. Flossing need to be done gently else the gums and teeth may get irritated. It needs some degree of patience.

Waxed floss can be used for smoother movement. The geriatric, the arthritis afflicted and children may use the floss holder if they find it inconvenient to wrap the floss around their fingers.

Tongue cleaning: Tongue too needs to be cleaned with a tongue scraper at the end of brushing as a good principle of oral hygiene. The surface of the tongue is a potential area for bacteria to collect.

Massage the gums: Gums need to be massaged gently bringing in a rush of blood circulation at the gums after brushing to smooth out any irritation caused by brushing. This simple step helps maintain oral health.

Diet: Consuming less sugary, less starchy and less sticky foods helps maintain good oral health. Alcohol intake and fizzy drinks is to be avoided. Quit smoking for good. Consuming more of Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants, help in maintaining strong healthy teeth. The practice also provides holistic health benefits.

Regular dental check up: A scheduled regular dental visit every six months for dental check up and dental cleaning is essential.

Gum Diseases – The Basics

Gum diseases if ignored can cause detrimental oral health and heart disease too at its extreme. If left unchecked, it damages the tissues and bones encircling the tooth.

How do gum diseases evolve?

Gingivitis is the beginning stage. The characteristics of this stage are ruddy, tender and inflamed gums. At times some dribbling of blood from the inflamed gums can also be noticed. The bacteria on the plaque have infected the gum tissue. But the connective tissue leading from the gum tissue and the supporting bone structure for the tooth is still intact. The growth of gum disease can be contained at this stage if appropriate steps are taken with the help of dental health services.

Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. The characteristics of this stage of gum disease are infection of the connective tissue leading from the gum tissue and the supporting bone structure. Small receptacles would have developed along the gum line with collection of food particles, plaque, pus and debris. Even now it is not too late to take an oral health program with a visit to the dentist. The gum disease can be treated and hence avoiding further damage.

Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease. At this stage, the connective tissues and the teeth supporting bones to destruction are affected by the gum disease.

How to prevent occurrence of gum diseases?

How to keep healthy teeth?
1. Brushing of your teeth twice a day.
2. Flossing daily.
3. Rinsing your mouth well after each intake.
4. Controlling intake of sugary and starchy food.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Certain tell tale signs of gum diseases have to be watched out for.
1. Reddened, spongy, tender and inflamed gums.
2. Your gums dribble blood while brushing or flossing.
3. Your teeth look longer.
4. Your gums have shortened.
5. Your bite is not smooth.
6. Your gum line dribbles pus.
7. Your breath stinks.
8. Your mouth tastes unpleasant.

How to prevent or cure gum diseases?
1. Early stage of gum disease can be corrected through regular brushing and flossing.
2. Dietary changes help prevent gum diseases.
3. Plaque needs to be cleaned by the dentist.
4. Severe gum disease needs to be treated with a root canal surgical procedure.
5. Regular dental checkups and follow ups.

Caring for your teeth

Caring for your teeth is easy as getting the appropriate toothbrush and right kind of toothpaste.

Toothbrushes: The shopping racks display an assortment of toothbrushes. They range in colors, sizes, shapes, handles, texture of bristles – soft, medium and hard, structure of bristles – leveled, uneven, undulated, puffed out, recessed in, and then manually operable or electric driven ones….which can leave you wondering – Which one to buy?

Dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes for effective removal of tartar and debris from the teeth, simultaneously maintaining minimal damage to gums. Tapered head brushes are recommended because they can reach right up to the wisdom tooth. Electric toothbrushes offer effective teeth cleaning. Toothbrush needs a replacement every three months. They have to be replaced sooner if they have worn out.

Toothpastes: As with toothbrushes, the shopping racks abound with a variety of toothpastes. There are toothpastes especially manufactured for kids, for sensitive teeth, for teeth whitening, for teeth bleaching, for those using dentures, even one for those who smoke.

If you have no idea what type of toothpaste would suit you, it is a good idea to check with your dentist who can recommend the type of toothpaste that suits your personal dental makeup.

Floss: Floss too comes in varieties. Different material, different colors and several flavors. One may go in for the floss made of a material which suits them most without causing allergic reaction.

Tongue cleaners: These are also called tongue scrapers or tongue brushes. Tongue cleaners come in plastic, steel, copper and silver. Copper and silver offer a number of other health benefits to the body. The deciding factor in selecting a suitable tongue cleaner is the grip on the handles, the flexibility of the tongue cleaner, the rigidity of the material with which the tongue cleaner is made of, the softness of the surface of the tongue cleaner which comes in contact with the tongue. Some innovative spoon like tongue cleaners are also available.

You need to care for your teeth to maintain good oral health. Start with the purchase of the right oral hygiene tools.

Teeth Whitening – The Basics

The outer surface of the teeth, the enamel, gets roughened over years. Stains from food and fluids that we take get lodged in the surface aberrations of the enamel. The thin film over your teeth too gets stained easily.

Several causes lead to staining of teeth. Extrinsic stains are formed on the surface of tooth due to factors like genetic composition of teeth, aging, smoking, intake of staining foods and drinks like coffee, tea, turmeric and intake of acidic foods like citrus fruits, vinegar, which cause enamel erosion.

Several reasons lead people to go in for teeth whitening. Celebrities who appear on the television screen find a need to go in for this procedure for cosmetic reasons. A blow up of their teeth on the screen will magnify any discoloration.

Teeth whitening procedures have to be repeated at given intervals for maintenance of teeth color.

Teeth whitening can be performed by the dentist either in one sitting or even several sittings in his clinic. It takes three sittings of anywhere between half-an-hour to one-and-a-half-hour per sitting for a severely discolored teeth set. Or the dentist may suggest a take home kit with instructions on how to use the kit.

Today, there are various safe and reliable products that you can buy off the counter that you can use at home to whiten your teeth. So if you have a wedding coming up, a special function or occasion…or if you just want to look great and feel like your teeth need to be whiter, you can do it yourself at home.