One of the most underestimated processes that we do in our daily lives is undoubtedly the cleaning of the teeth. Many of the researchers done so far have proved time and again that people often do not clean their teeth properly, and in most case, their cleaning techniques and patterns do more damage than good. The tiny spaces between the teeth are the places where the germ buildup takes, and it takes an extraordinary effort to clean them regularly. As a result, people tend to cover only the basic parts and are left to wonder why they have dental problems in spite of proper cleaning. It is very much mandatory to have regular sessions with your dentist to clean your teeth. Most of the dentists would advise you to come for the cleaning procedures once in every six months. Most people associate the cleaning techniques with pain, jaw pain and prodding. The truth is much simpler. The cleaning techniques are sophisticated to the extent that you would not feel any pain or discomfort when undergoing the process. You can check with your dentist if you have any apprehension about the procedure and they would be in a better position to guide you properly.
The first step would be to give you a physical exam. Your dentist would use a small mirror to look into your teeth for any gum problems or cavities. Once it is safe to go ahead with the treatment, you dentist would start removing the plaque and tartar around the gum line. There might be some scrapping sound involved, but this is normal. Regular flossing at your home can stop the buildup of tartar. After your teeth are tartar free, your dentist would use a high-powered brush to remove them. This is the part where the grinding noise occurs and can cause some discomfort to the patient. In truth, this actually makes a zinging noise and more than the pain you might feel a slight tickling sensation. It gently scrubs your teeth, and it is extremely safe. The next step is the flossing. Even though you regularly floss at home, nothing can beat the flossing mechanism that the dentist has to offer. These take care of even the minutest particle that might have settled in between your teeth. Next, your dentist would use a rinse to flush out all the impurities that might have gathered. After this, a fluoride treatment would be given where according to your favorite taste like mint and strawberry, the fluoride would be applied to your mouth.
Every individual can get this treatment at least once a year. Your dentist would advise upon having these treatments once every six months. It is a necessary treatment which many people ignore. You can have these teeth cleaning sessions at your convenience and not wait for something to go wrong in your teeth before undergoing them. These treatments are most advisable for children who are more prone to cavities.
The treatment can be safely had by anyone irrespective of the age or gender. You might be having initial apprehensions about the treatment as it involves prodding, cleansing, and a mild jaw discomfort. Consult with your doctor about your fear and your needs. If you are a heart patient, do let the dentist know before so that some of the parts of the treatment may not be performed.
No, there are no side effects when undergoing the treatment. You might have slight jaw discomfort as your mouth will be in an open state for an extended period. Also in some cases and especially if you have sensitive teeth, the cleansing may cause a minor zinging sensation in your teeth. But these are temporary situations, and they get eliminated on their own.
You can return to your normal activities post the treatment. There is no rest period involved. You have to follow the general oral hygiene laid out by the dentist and make sure that you adhere to them regularly. Your teeth and their condition can say a lot about your general health. Hence always ensure that are cleaning and flossing your teeth at regular intervals.
There is no recovery period involved, and you can go back to your chores immediately after the treatment. For people who have sensitive teeth, it is advisable to take some rest as there can be some minor tickling sensation in your teeth due to the cleansing. Apart from that, you can continue with your normal activities.
In India, teeth depend on the dental where you are undergoing the treatment. Usually, teeth cleaning come as a complete package and can cost about INR 1,500. In case an x-ray is required, the cost can go up. Always ensure that you get these treatments in reputed dental centers.
Teeth cleaning are not a permanent fixture. It depends on what you eat and how well you maintain the hygiene of your mouth in between. It is safe to have these treatments once in every six months especially if you are a smoker or if you are someone who is addicted to caffeine. The treatment is mandatory for children too to keep their cavities under check.
The primary alternative to this treatment is to have do-it-yourself teeth cleaning procedures at home. These can involve regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash and using homemade ways to maintain a good oral hygiene. But in present day lifestyle, we tend to ignore these most of the times. Hence a teeth cleaning treatment is advisable to have regularly.
Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come.
You can help prevent your baby from getting cavities or developing what is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries, by beginning an oral hygiene routine within the first few days after birth. Start by cleaning your baby’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean gauze pad. This helps removes plaque that can harm erupting teeth. When your child's teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child's size toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. For bottle feedings, place only formula, milk or breast milk inside and avoid using sugary beverages such as juice or soda. Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Here are some tips if your child experiences a common dental emergency:
Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may suck on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. It may help them relax or make them feel safe or happy. Most children stop sucking by age 4. If your child continues to thumb suck that after the permanent teeth have come in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment and your child’s bite. The frequency, duration and intensity of a habit will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. If you are worried about your child’s sucking habits, talk to your dentist or consult your child's pediatrician.
Space maintainers help “hold space” for permanent teeth. Your child may need one if he or she loses a baby tooth prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. If a primary tooth is lost too early, adult teeth can erupt into the empty space instead of where they should be. When more adult teeth are ready to come into the mouth, there may not be enough room for them because of the lost space. To prevent this from happening, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer to hold open the space left by the missing tooth.
Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but may have to be reapplied if needed. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants. Ask your dentist if sealants will help your child.
Mouthguards can help protect your child from a dental emergency. They should be worn whenever your child is participating in sports and recreational activities. Mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. If your child participates in such pastimes, ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth protectors.
Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked or out of alignment, or the jaws don’t meet properly. This may become particularly noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, when a child’s permanent teeth are coming in. If not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean where teeth are crooked or crowded, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease.
Bad bites can also:
Anesthesia and Sedation
Your dentist might recommend that your child be administered anesthesia or sedation to relax them in order to safely complete some dental procedure.
Brushing seems like such an easy thing to do right? Then why do so many people do it so infrequently or ineffectively? I’ve had teenager (and occasionally adults) who even admit that they haven’t brushed their teeth in a week! Please don’t be this person! I’m going to go through some easy tips to make brushing more effective and help you reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Improving your oral hygiene is easy and doesn’t take much time at all! The biggest thing you’ve got to do is make a habit of it. A habit takes about 21 days of practice before it is ingrained. After it is a habit, it won’t feel difficult or like it is a chore and it’ll make a huge difference in your oral health.
Tip #1: Brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste. Most people like to do this first thing in morning to get rid of morning breath and then right before bed. If you only can pick one, brush before bed. Your saliva production decreases at night and if you’ve got sugar or acid on your teeth, they’re more susceptible to attack. Two minutes is also important. You want enough time to fully remove all the build-up on your teeth (which take longer than you think) and allow the fluoride to be taken up into your tooth. The fluoride can’t be taken up effectively until you’ve cleaned all that mess off your teeth. If you want to be really thorough buy some plaque disclosing solution and use it before you brush your teeth. This will stain all the plaque on your teeth and will let you know when you’ve gotten it all off.
Tip #2: Don’t hold your toothbrush with the bristles at a 90 degree angle to your teeth. You want to hold it at a 45 degree angle to your teeth with the bristles pointing towards your gums and do quick vibrating or circular motion all around your mouth. This helps clean the plaque away from the area by the gums which is generally the hardest spot to keep clean. Another good way to brush is to place your tongue at a 45 degree angle to your gums and sweep the toothbrush down along the side of the tooth. The fancy name for this is the “modified bass method”. It works great if you spend a lot of time doing it but most people can’t pull this off consistently.
Tip #3: Don’t rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash after brushing. Just spit out the toothpaste. This allows the ingredients in the toothpaste to continue working.
Tip #4: Always brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper. Your tongue is covered in taste buds that give food and bacteria a great place to hide. If you notice your tongue is a different color (like white, brown, or black) you’ve got a lot of work to do! Your tongue should be a nice pink color with no coating on the top of it. A lot of people have bad breath because they don’t do this.
Tip #5: Don’t brush right after drinking something acidic like soda or orange juice. The acid temporarily makes your enamel softer and you can actually brush some of it off if you brush immediately. Instead wait a minimum of 30 minutes and I’d probably recommend waiting even longer than that if you’re able to.
Tip #6: Consider investing in an electric toothbrush. They do a phenomenal job getting your teeth clean in a much shorter period of time than a manual toothbrush. The best types of electric toothbrushes are the ones with round heads that rotate and oscillate around. All you have to do is place it on the different surfaces of your teeth for a short period of time and it does all the work for you. No brushing or special technique needed. If you have poor dexterity in your hands (such as in children or the elderly) this becomes even more important. I think every kid should have a cheap electric toothbrush (cheap because they inevitably end up thrown off the counter, or in the toilet!). I’ve seen them for as little as $5 at places like Walmart.
For some reason everyone hates doing this even though it is so fast and easy. I have so many patients who will go to the gym every single day for an hour but can’t spare the extra half a minute to floss their teeth. I can guarantee you that flossing for 30 seconds a day has a much bigger overall health impact than 30 seconds at the gym. I can personally floss my teeth in 10-20 seconds. You can too with a little practice. Here are some tips on how to floss effectively and motivate you to keep doing it.
Tip #1: Make it a habit! Just like with brushing you need some time to make this a habit. Again, force yourself to do it at the same time each day for 21 days straight. After that it gets easy. Do it every night before going to bed. You’ll thank yourself when it is time to go to the dentist and when your teeth aren’t falling out at age 50 or 60.
Tip #2: Use a floss that is easy to use for you. Those flosses that shred and are a pain are why people hate flossing. The best floss is the one that you will use! My patients ask me all the time what I recommend. I always tell them that I don’t care what they use as long as they are using something!
Tip #3: “Only floss the teeth you want to keep”. Periodontal disease (bone loss around your teeth) is the number one reason why people lose teeth. I’ve never seen someone who flosses regularly develop periodontal disease (unless there was some rare underlying medical condition).
Tip #4: If you are terrible at flossing or can’t get into it, try purchasing a Waterpik and use that instead. A waterpik has a small wand with a tip that shoots a stream of water that can be used to clean between your teeth. It is just as effective as floss and can making cleaning around bridges or braces much easier than traditional floss. Want really good breath afterwards? Fill it up with mouthwash instead of water and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Tip #5: If you’ve got big spaces between your teeth, try using soft piks instead of floss. There are a lot of variations and sizes with these but they all look basically the same. They look similar to little tiny christmas trees or pipe cleaners. You can find these next to the floss in most stores or you can usually find them in bulk online for better prices. They are small enough to fit in between the small spaces between your teeth but large enough that they clean the spaces really well! I’ve got a lot of older patients who do great keeping their teeth clean and use these exclusively.
Tip #1: Mouthwash cannot replacing brushing or flossing, ever! Listerine made this claim a while back, got sued for making false claims, and it was upheld in court! Always make brushing and flossing a priority before using mouthwash. It does work well in addition to doing these things.
Tip #2: Don’t use mouthwash immediately after brushing. This removes the ingredients from the toothpaste that are helping to protect your teeth. Wait at least 30 minutes. For most people they should brush their teeth in the morning, use mouthwash after lunch, and then brush and floss right before bed.
Tip #3: Figure out what mouthwash is correct for your situation. You can find mouthwashes that are better for breath control, dry mouth, reducing cavities, or a combination of all of them.
A common man follows a standard daily oral hygiene routine, which entails brushing one’s teeth and rinsing one’s mouth. At the most, some people who are extra conscious about their oral hygiene use dental floss or some branded mouthwash for the fresh feeling. But, the question remains, is it enough?
From the time you wake up till the time you go back to sleep, your mouth is susceptible to a large amount of attacks from bacteria, which enter your body through your mouth. This results in unwanted and harmful dental diseases. This can happen in spite of the fact that people regularly and religiously follow their daily oral hygiene as well as their trips to the dentist for regular clean-ups. So what is that extra something that can help get rid of the bacteria trying to take permanent residence in your mouth?
Oil pulling is an ancient and traditional Ayurvedic technique which is your best bet to detoxify your mouth from that pesky bacterium along with whitening and cleaning of your teeth. It is also a proven cure for innumerable diseases like skin infections, arthritis, liver and stomach problems, curing headaches and migraines, throat infections etc. Any type of edible oil can be used for this highly beneficial Ayurvedic technique.
Following are a set of instructions for the process of how oil pulling is done:
Repeat this process everyday for satisfying results.
Benefits of oil pulling:
While oil pulling is a very involved technique, a quicker way to adopt Ayurveda on a daily basis is the use of tooth powder. Tooth powder is an Ayurvedic replacement to toothpaste without the harmful chemicals (especially fluoride) that go into our daily minty and frothy brushing experience. It has proven to be much more effective than tooth paste in getting rid of yellowness of teeth, gingivitis and bleeding gums.