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We all think brushing is the best favour we could do to our teeth and mouth, right? No! Incorrectly done, brushing can do more damage than good. It is always advisable to check with your dentist if you are brushing the right way. In fact, a lot of periodontal diseases and issues like abrasion are due to improper brushing techniques.
Let us look at some common issues related to brushing both good and bad.
- Tooth brush: Pick the right one. Firstly, the length, you should be able to reach all parts of the mouth, especially the last tooth, without having to open the mouth wide. Softer bristles are always preferred.
- Duration: If you brush 2 to 3 times daily, each brushing should not last more than 2 minutes. Divide the mouth into 4 quadrants upper right and left, lower right and left – and spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. Longer hours of brushing can lead to wearing of the enamel.
- Technique: A forceful front-and-back motion can cause a V-shaped notch at the gum line, leading to a condition called abrasion. The ideal way to brush is to begin at the gumline and go about in circular motions. Ensure all surfaces, outer and inner, of all teeth are covered.
- Force of brushing: The idea of brushing is to remove the soft deposits of plaque, which comes off very easily with brushing. Do not exert a lot of pressure in an attempt to remove plaque. The hardened tartar or stain can anyways not be removed with brushing and will need to be removed by the dentist.
- Habit: Most of us are habituated to begin at the same place and go about the same routine to finish brushing. Dentists advise that it is good to begin at different places each time. As you near the end of your brushing time, you are usually tired and just want to get done with it. Changing the start and end points gives all the teeth a fair chance of getting cleaned.
- Storing: Do not store your toothbrush in the toilet area and with a whole lot of brushes. Both contain enough bacteria, and your brush can do without it.
- Timing: If you have had acidic food, wait for about half an hour before you brush. The acidic environment softens the tooth and brushing it immediately can lead to easier wearing of the enamel.
- Changing brush: Any time the bristles lose their flexibility, it is time to change, usually about 3 months.
Never thought there are so many things to do and avoid with brushing? You are not alone, hopefully you can plan your brushing better the next time onwards. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.
Are you experiencing toothache that continues for several days after having a tooth pulled out? Does the pain keep on worsening, and continue over several days? These symptoms is a clear symptoms that you are might imply that you are suffering from a condition known as dry socket or alveolar osteitis. The socket refers to the hole in the bone from where a tooth has been pulled out. A blood clot gets formed in the socket for the protection of the underlying bones and nerves. Sometimes, the clot might dissolve some days after the extraction, which leaves the underlying bone and nerve exposed to anything that enters the mouth, such as air, food and water, etc. This may cause an infection accompanied by severe pain.
Causes: Several people are more prone to getting a dry socket after having a tooth removed. This includes people who smoke a lot, have a poor sense of oral hygiene and people who get their wisdom tooth pulled. People using birth control pills and the ones who face unusual trauma during tooth extraction are also likely to get dry socket.
Symptoms: The site from where the tooth has been removed will have a dry opening with a dark blood clot present in it. In case there is no blood clot and only whitish bone in the area, dry socket is indicated. Bad breath and foul mouth odor are observed.
Treatment: Several over the counter, nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory medicines or NSAIDS are prescribed for easing the pain, and discomfort caused because of dry socket. These medicines are not sufficient at times and stronger medicines have to be taken. Sometimes the affected area is anesthetized.
Your dentist will clean the socket and remove any kind of debris from the socket hole. The socket will then be filled with a medicated dressing for healing. A special paste may be used as well. You need to visit the dentist frequently for changing the dressing. This must be continued until your pain goes away, and the sockets are healed. Several antibiotic medicines may be prescribed in order to prevent infection in the socket. You must rinse with salt water or with a special mouthwash regularly for fast and effective recovery.
You should strictly avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products after the treatment of dry socket as tobacco is a strong risk factor. Any habit or practice which might hamper blood clotting should be avoided. If you take birth control pills, always have a tooth removed on the day when you receive the lowest dose of estrogen as estrogen hampers blood clotting. Your dentist plays a very important role in treating dry socket, therefore regular visits to the doctor are a must and you should visit him regularly.