Friday, October 17, 2014

Maintaining Dental Hygiene

Teeth help us break down food into smaller, digestible pieces so our body can absorb all the nutrients from it. Healthy and clean teeth can boost our confidence and make us look better. It is very important to take care of this important part of our body. Old habits die hard, so it is very beneficial in the long run to develop good habits from a very early age. In order to know everything about good dental hygiene it is imperative to understand the structure of the teeth first. Our teeth are basically composed of four main layers or parts. 

Enamel is the hard outermost layer covering the teeth. It protects dentine, which forms the bulk of the teeth and can be sensitive if enamel is damaged. This layer gives our teeth the white color. If the enamel is damaged, our teeth become yellow due to the exposed dentin. It becomes very easy for bacteria to attack sensitive teeth which are not protected by enamel. They become very problematic and sudden temperature changes, sweets, acids or harsh chemicals can cause extreme pain. Regular and careful brushing, gargling and flossing are the only ways of warding off loss of enamel and possible infection. 

When the infection penetrates the dentin it results in decay which is an extremely agonizing experience. The next layer is the pulp containing nerves and blood vessels for blood supply. It is because of this part due to which we feel pain and other sensations in our teeth. Last part is the cementum; a layer of bone-like tissue covering the root. Its primary function is to protect the root and secure the teeth in place.

Food and other organic particles get stuck between our teeth when we consume them. These particles can cause plaque, which is a layer of bacteria. It releases acids which causes cavities, bad breath and even infection. In order to eliminate plaque before it  starts to build, the teeth should be brushed twice a day. This helps to remove food particles and debris in the mouth. Along with that, dental floss must be used to remove particles stuck between the teeth. Hard brushing and gum infection can damage the cementum. You should ideally brush at least twice but not more than three times a day and each session should last for at least two minutes. The brush should also be changed regularly. Most toothpastes contain fluoride which helps to prevent plaque and cavities. Make a habit of using mouth wash every day, it cleanses the whole mouth and prevents bad breath.    
The type of food consumed also plays a major role in determining the fate of our teeth. For stronger teeth, calcium, phosphorus and fluorine should be a part of the daily diet. Plaque is more likely to develop on residues left behind from eating foods rich in carbohydrates, starch and sugar. Sticky foods are more difficult to get rid of so for the sake of dental health they should be avoided. 
If the above measures are not followed properly it will almost certainly result in plaque, and ultimately a cavity. Cavities in turn can cause mild-to-sharp pain when eating cold, sweet or hot foods. If a cavity is in it's initial stages it can be stopped or reversed by rubbing fluoride directly to the affected area. If the enamel is destroyed the only option is to either get a filling, root canal or permanent removal of the infected tooth.

When repairing a tooth the dentist will drill the decayed area out of the tooth and fill it with porcelain or silver amalgam material and sometimes cover it with a crown to prevent further infection. If a root canal is performed the dentist makes an incision near the top of the tooth and removes the decaying pulp from the chambers and canals inside the tooth. The dentist will then fill the tooth with a rubber-like material and sealing paste. It is always better to take preventative measures as prevention is always better than cure. In the end, a good dental hygiene regimen can save us from a lot of painful problems and boost our confidence.

Overcoming dental phobia

Tooth decay is the most common global disease. Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing cannot reach food left trapped after every meal or snack, which causes saliva or fluoride to have no direct access to neutralize acid.Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. 

Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This shows that your teeth are clean and free of debris, gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss. Bad breath is not a constant problem. If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem. Are you scared of the dentist? Don't worry, you're not alone.

Being afraid of the dentist means different things to different people. Maybe it's the thought that treatment will hurt, or that the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child. The good news is that more and more dentists understand their patients’ fears. With a combination of kindness and gentleness they can do a lot to make dental treatment stress free.

Regular dental visits are important because they help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. During your checkup appointment, your dentist (or dental hygienist) will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary) and examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if your dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits.

Many dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.

To overcome the phobia and fear of dental examination, few guidelines are observed to make the patient at ease. Like psychologically how the dentist acts and communicates, a dentist who understands that you are anxious and will work with you to help you feel comfortable. Chatting with the dentist and making friends with him will help you feel more comfortable in his office and will help dispel your anxiety about your appointment. If psychological techniques alone do not help you enough, there are then various sedation options. 

Inhalation sedation (laughing gas) is great for making you feel more relaxed, and it is very much a “participation technique” suited to people who like to feel in control of situations. Also, there have been some exciting technological advances and innovations which can really help with specific fears. For example, the wand has been a real blessing for people with needle phobia, who in the past might have opted for sedation. Hand pieces (“drills”) have become quieter, and there is even a device now which allows people to literally stop the hand piece at the press of a button (although it isn’t widely available yet) – ideal for the many people who fear loss of control. 

Minimally invasive methods such as air abrasion and ozone therapy also hold much promise for delivering gentle care and ensuring that children do not grow up to develop dental fears. Hence, by proper insurance planning and durable care, there is no need to fear from going to a dentist for a regular check-up, as it is for your own good.