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Treatment & Management of Braces
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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.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
- Brush thoroughly. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
- Floss your teeth daily. Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
- 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.
- Limit sugary foods. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
- Protect your teeth from injury. Wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Omega-3 fatty acids are 'good' fats that reduce cholesterol levels and 'bad' saturated fats from your body. They belong to a family of unsaturated fatty acids and are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. The body cannot synthesize omega-3 fatty acids; hence, you can get it from sources such as salmon which provides omega-3 fatty acids known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and vegetable oils such as soybean oil, rapeseed oil and flaxseed oil that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
How can they help in gum problems?
A study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, was based on a survey called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researched and studied the effects of consumption of DHA on dental health. After studying data from over 9000 participants, researchers found that the people, who consumed the highest amount DHA amongst all, were 20% less prone to developing periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory gum disease caused by bacteria that accumulate around the gums. It causes the gums to recede, leading to the development of gaps between the gums and teeth and loss of bones that provide support to the teeth. Periodontitis may even cause tooth loss.
The research showed that even consuming a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids offered protection against gum diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which help relieve inflammation of gums that occurs in periodontitis. Researchers from Kentucky University found that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-bacterial properties, which prevent and cure gum diseases. Gum diseases have been related to other conditions such as heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes, hence keeping gum diseases at bay keeps other fatal diseases away as well.