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1. Brush at least twice a day.
The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.
2. Use fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
3. Brush thoroughly.
Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
4. Floss your teeth daily.
Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
5. Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices.
Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
6. Limit sugary foods.
Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
7. Protect your teeth from injury.
Wear a mouth guard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
8. Try to save a knocked out tooth.
If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately.
9. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food.
If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
10. See your dentist for regular check-ups.
You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Taste of my mouth have become bitter, as a result I do not feel hungry. what should I do? Please help me.
All of us love to flash a set of pearly whites with each smile. However, due to various reasons, we have teeth that are not-so-white. The bleaching agents come to the rescue as they can help whiten the teeth. In an overzealous manner, some people however, go overboard and over bleach their teeth. Bleaching agents should be used only with approval by a dentist and in a recommended manner, the frequency and the duration of application. Like anything else, they can also have harmful effects, which again can hurt the teeth, and if the whitening effect is lost, the person could be worse off than what they started with.
The following are common side effects seen with overuse of bleaching agents. Note that in most people, when used according to medical advice, these effects are very minimal.
- Tooth sensitivity: One of the most common side effects with teeth bleaching is the tingling feeling in the teeth. When done in office, it happens as the bleaching agent is reaching the tubules in the teeth. It could range from a one-off feeling to something that is constant and nagging. If being done in the office, you could indicate to the dentist so that subsequent sittings can be planned after the sensitivity settles down. The duration of each session may also have to be reduced.
- Gum irritation: The active bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide which is caustic and can irritate the soft tissues. When done in office, the teeth are usually isolated using a rubber dam and so this problem is minimized. However, when trays are used at home, the gums do get exposed to the bleaching agent and so gum irritation is highly likely.
- Tooth pain and discomfort: This tooth pain usually sets in after a couple of hours after the bleaching is done. This happens again due to hydrogen peroxide penetrating the tooth, dehydration of the tooth, and using laser light for prolonged periods during the bleaching process. This usually subsides in a couple of days’ time and so need not be a cause for worry.
- Thermal sensitivity: A couple of days after the bleaching, the teeth may experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods, especially with beverages. This again is usually self-limiting and will disappear in a couple of days. Desensitizing toothpaste may be prescribed by the dentist in severe cases.
In all these cases, though bleaching is usually harmless, there are rare cases where side effects have been severe. Overenthusiasm to increase the whiteness is often the reason for these side effects. These can be avoided by opting for bleaching under strict supervision and following the dentist’s advise when being done at home. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.