The best way to avoid
most dental problems is to care of your teeth. It is simple and all that is
needed is a little persistence to establish good habits.
The most important
thing is to brush your teeth morning and night using a fluoride toothpaste
and a soft toothbrush. Use a jiggling or rolling action making sure you
clean right up to the gums and get to the back teeth.
Floss at night with
dental tape. Use super floss under bridges and braces. Avoid soft drinks and
sweet, sticky foods between meals. Make sure you have at least three serves
of dairy products per day - milk cheese or yoghurt.
Visit your dentist
for a dental check up and scale and polish every six months. Your dentist
should be able to guide you as to the areas that you are not cleaning
properly. Have bitewing x-rays taken of your back teeth at least every two
effectively without damaging the teeth or gums. Medium or hard bristles
can cause gum recession and wear teeth away, resulting in grooves around
the necks of the teeth. Soft bristles are gentle and they clean better
because the bristles flex to wrap around the teeth.
Make sure the
head of the brush is small enough that you can get right up to the gums
even on the very back teeth. Toothbrushes with jumbo heads are not
Get a brush that
feels good in your hand.
Depending on how
hard you brush toothbrushes last between a few weeks to a couple of
months. The moment the bristles look 'dog-eared' throw the brush away
and get a new one. The most effective way to clean your teeth is with an
You donít have
to floss all your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep every night.
overnight in half vinegar and water is an excellent way to loosen tartar
that has built up on dentures. Brush the denture in the evening and then
in the morning and repeat until clean.
costs about $95 but could save you thousands. Donít go on the field
Sensodyne toothpaste. Many people swear by it. If sensitivity is severe,
see your dentist. They can paint a layer of desensitising agent on your
Lots of Holes
drinks and sports drinks are the biggest culprit for people who get a
lot of tooth decay. By cutting your consumption you will save money and
time. To avoid this, drink at least six to eight glasses of water per
Never use a hard
toothbrush. A soft one will remove plaque better (the bristles shape to
the tooth) without the risk of damage to the teeth and gums.
You donít need
to have black mercury-containing fillings. In all cases there is a
Tooth Knocked Out
Rinse it gently
under cold water and push it back in as soon as possible. If you canít
get it back in then keep it moist. The best place to store the tooth is
under the tongue. Either way get to a dentist as fast as you can.
Have your teeth
checked. Major causes of bad breath are tooth decay and infected gums.
Brush your tongue after brushing your teeth.
Never chew ice
or bones and donít use your teeth to open packets or bottle caps or to
sugarless gum after meals may reduce tooth decay some what.
ages 6 to 15 years, have back teeth fissure sealed. In the long run, it
is cheaper and easier than fillings.
Q. When do I need
a crown / root canal ?
A. When a firm tooth is badly decayed and or gives considerable pain, it
may be possible to get root canal done to save it from being extracted.
After the root canal therapy, the tooth is weak and requires a crown for
protection and maintain function. Other badly decayed teeth without root
canal done can also be good candidates for crowns.
Q. How safe am I
from getting AIDS from the clinic ?
A. Contrary to what many people may think, HIV is not a hardy organism
at all. It is unlikely to survive outside a living host. Strong detergents
are known to destroy it. However, we're not taking any chances, especially
with spore-forming viruses like Hepatitis B. We autoclave all our metal
instruments under steam pressure. Needles, gloves and other plastic
instruments are used only once.
Q. What are
A. These are wires and brackets that exert orthodontic forces on crooked
teeth in an attempt to move them into proper alignment. This is better
treated by an orthodontist.
Q. Does a child
below 6 or 7 need braces?
A. No, they are unlikely to need braces. However, it's best to start
early orthodontic consultation at around age eight to ten, so that the
orthodontist can start treatment planning
Q. What will gum
disease do to your gums? A. At
first, your gums will be a little sore, swollen and bleed easily. This stage
is known as gingivitis. Allowed to progress, the gums surrounding the tooth
may begin to separate from it. Pockets will form and not only the gums but
the surrounding bone will continue to recede. At this stage, the condition
is known as periodontitis. Allowed to progress further, the teeth will
become loose and prone to gum infections.
Q. Why do I need
to visit a dentist every 6 months?
A. Plaque and calculus or tartar can actually form much sooner than
that, but 6 months is usually sufficient for new problems to develop after
the last treatment is completed, especially for patients who have not been
following oral hygiene instructions. For patients with gum or periodontal
problems, they will require a scale and polish every three to four months.
Q. Why are dental
visits so expensive?
A. Regular maintenance procedures every 6 months cost less than the
amount most people spend maintaining a car over the same period. Basic
dental treatment is not expensive at all. Neglecting your teeth, however,
can result in your need for expensive procedures.