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Taking Care of Your Teeth

You teeth for a Lifetime
Many people could keep healthy teeth throught their lives. Although some diseases and conditions can make dental disease and tooth loss more likely, most of us have a good deal of control over whether we keep our teeth into old age.

The most important thing you can do to maintain good oral health is to brush and floss your teeth regularly.

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The Most mouth woes are caused by plaque, that sticky layer of microorganisms, food particles and other organic matter that forms on your teeth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids that cause cavities. Plaque also leads to periodontal (gum) disease, a potentially serious infection that can erode bone and destroy the tissues surrounding teeth.

The best defense is to remove plaque daily before it has a chance to build up and cause problems. Brushing removes plaque from the large surfaces of the teeth and, if done correctly, from just under the gums. Flossing removes plaque between teeth.

Brushing
we learn  to brush our teeth when we were children and have kept the same technique throughout our lives. Unfortunately, many of us learned the wrong way. Even if we learned the correct method, it’s easy to become sloppy over the years. Brushing correctly isn’t instinctive. Getting the bristles to remove plaque without damaging your gums is a little trickier than you might think.
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There are different ways to brush teeth, and your dentist or dental hygienist can show you the method that he or she feels would be best for you. The modified Bass technique is among the most popular for adults and is very effective in removing plaque above and just below the gum line. Children, however, may find it difficult to move the toothbrush this way. A dentist or dental hygienist can explain to your child the best way to brush. Parents should supervise their children’s oral hygiene until age 9 or 10.

Some general  points are mentioned below about brushing:-
Brush at least twice a day — Many oral health professionals recommend brushing just before going to bed. When you sleep, saliva decreases, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to bacterial acids. Teeth should also be brushed in the morning, either before or after breakfast, depending on your schedule. After breakfast is ideal so food particles are removed. But if you eat in your car, at work or skip breakfast entirely, make sure you brush in the morning to get rid of the plaque that built up overnight.

Brush no more than three times a day
— Brushing after lunch will give you a good mid-day cleaning. Remember, though, that brushing too often can cause gums to recede over time.

Brush lightly
—Brushing too hard can cause gums to recede. Plaque attaches to teeth like jam sticks to a wooden spoon. It can’t be totally removed by rinsing, but just a light brushing will do the trick. Once plaque has hardened into calculus (tartar), brushing can’t remove it, so brushing harder won’t help. Try holding your toothbrush the same way you hold a pen. This encourages a lighter stroke.

Brush for at least two minutes — Set a timer if you have to, but don’t skimp on brushing time. Longer is fine, but two minutes is the minimum time needed to adequately clean all your teeth. Many people brush for the length of a song on the radio. That acts as a good reminder to brush each tooth thoroughly.

Have a standard routine for brushing — Try to brush your teeth in the same order every day. Some oral health professionals feel that this helps patients remember to brush all areas of their mouths. If you do this routinely, it eventually will become second nature. For example, brush the outer sides of your teeth from left to right across the top then move to the inside and brush rights to left. Repeat the pattern for your lower teeth. Always use a toothbrush with “soft” or “extra soft” bristles — The harder the brush, the greater the risk of harming gum tissue.

Change your toothbrush regularly — As & when the bristles begin to splay, the toothbrush loses its ability to clean properly. Throw away your old toothbrush after three months or when the bristles flare, whichever comes first. If you find your bristles flaring much sooner than three months, you may be brushing too hard.

Try easing up.
Choose a brush that has a seal of approval — Oral health-care professionals say, “It’s not the brush, it’s the brusher,” meaning that the exact type of brush you use isn’t nearly as important as your brushing technique and diligence. Any approved brush will be a good tool, but you have to know how to use it.

Electric is fine, but not always necessary  — Electric or power-assisted toothbrushes are a fine alternative to manual brushes. They are especially useful for people who are less than diligent about proper brushing technique or for people with physical limitations that make brushing difficult. As with manual brushes, choose soft bristles, brush for at least two minutes and don’t press too hard or you’ll damage your gums.
Choose the right toothpaste for you — It can be overwhelming to face the huge number of toothpaste choices in the average supermarket. Remember, the best toothpaste for you may not be the best toothpaste for someone else.
Toothpastes don’t merely clean teeth anymore. Different types have special ingredients for preventing decay, plaque control, tartar control, whitening, gum care or desensitizing teeth.

Most toothpastes on the market today contain fluoride, which has been proven to prevent, stop or even reverse the decay process. Tartar-control toothpastes are useful for people who tend to build up tartar quickly, while someone who gets tooth stains may want a whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes will remove only surface stains, such as those caused by smoking, tea or coffee. To whiten teeth that are stained at a deeper level, talk with your dentist.

Your needs will likely change as you get older, so don’t be surprised if your hygienist recommends a type of toothpaste you haven’t used before. Look for the ADA seal of approval, which assures that the toothpaste has met the standards set by the American Dental Association. Once these conditions are met, choose the toothpaste that tastes and feels best. Gel or paste, wintergreen or spearmint — these work alike, so let personal preference guide your decision.

Some people find that some toothpaste ingredients irritate their teeth, cheeks or lips. If your teeth have become more sensitive or your mouth is irritated after brushing, try changing toothpastes. If the problem continues, see your dentist.

How To Brush

Modified Bass brushing technique:

Hold the head of the toothbrush horizontally against your teeth with the bristles part way on the gums
Tilt the brush head to about a 45-degree angle, so the bristles are pointing under the gum line.

Move the toothbrush in very short horizontal strokes so the tips of the bristles stay in one place, but the head of the brush waggles back and forth
. Or use tiny circular motions. This allows the bristles to slide gently under the gum. Do this for about 20 strokes. This assures that adequate time will be spent cleaning away as much plaque as possible. Note: this is a very gentle motion. In healthy gums, this should cause no pain. Brushing too vigorously or with large strokes can damage gum tissue.

Roll or flick the brush so that the bristles move out from under the gum toward the biting edge of the tooth. This helps move the plaque out from under the gum line.

Repeat for every tooth, so that all tooth surfaces and gum lines are cleaned.
For the insides of your front teeth, where the horizontal brush position is cumbersome, hold the brush vertically instead. Again, use gentle back and forth brushing action and finish with a roll or flick of the brush toward the biting edge.

To clean the biting or chewing surfaces of the teeth, hold the brush so the bristles are straight down on the flat surface of the molars.
Gently move the brush back and forth or in tiny circles to clean the entire surface. Move to a new tooth or area until all teeth are cleaned.
Rinse with water to clear the mouth of food residue and removed plaque.
You can clear even more bacteria out of your mouth by brushing your tongue. With your toothbrush, brush firmly but gently from back to front. Do not go so far back in your mouth that you gag. Rinse again.
Flossing
Many people never learned to floss as children. But flossing is critical to healthy gums and it’s never too late to start. A common rule of thumb says that any difficult new habit becomes second nature after only three weeks. If you have difficulty figuring out what to do, ask your dentist or dental hygienist to give you a personal lesson.

Here are a few general pointers about flossing:...CLICK & SEE
Floss once a day — Although there is no research to recommend an optimum number of times to floss, most dentists recommend a thorough flossing at least once a day. If you tend to get food trapped between teeth, flossing more often can help remove it.

Take your time —
Flossing requires a certain amount of dexterity and thought. Don’t rush.
Choose your own time — Although most people find that just before bed is an ideal time, many oral health professionals recommend flossing any time that is most convenient to ensure that you will continue to floss regularly. Choose a time during the day when you can floss without haste.

Don’t skimp on the floss
—se as much as you need to clean both sides of every tooth with a fresh section of floss. In fact, you may need to floss one tooth several times (using fresh sections of floss) to remove all the food debris. Although there has been no research, some professionals think reusing sections of floss may redistribute bacteria pulled off one tooth onto another tooth.

Choose the type that works best for you — There are many different types of floss: waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, ribbon and thread. Try different varieties before settling on one. People with teeth that are closely spaced will find that waxed floss slides more easily into the tight space. There are tougher shred-resistant varieties that work well for people with rough edges that tend to catch and rip floss.
How To Floss
How you hold the floss is a matter of personal preference. The most common method is to wind the floss around the middle fingers then pull it taut and guide it with your index fingers. You also can wind it around your index fingers and guide it with your thumb and middle fingers or simply hold the ends of the floss or use a floss-guiding tool. (If you have a fixed bridge, a bridge threader can help guide floss under the bridge for better cleaning.) How you hold the thread is not as important as what you do with it. If you can’t settle in on a good method, ask your dentist or hygienist for suggestions.

Hold the floss so that a short segment is ready to work with.
Guide the floss gently between two teeth. If the fit is tight, use a back-and-forth motion to work the floss through the narrow spot. Do not snap the floss in or you could cut your gums.

Hold the floss around the front and back of one tooth, making it into a “C” shape. This will wrap the floss around the side edge of that tooth.

Gently move the floss toward the base of the tooth and up into the space between the tooth and gum.
Move the floss up and down with light to firm pressure to skim off plaque in that area. Do not press so hard that you injure the gum.
Repeat for all sides of the tooth, including the outermost side of the last tooth. Advance the floss to a clean segment for each tooth edge.
Other Ways To Clean Between The Teeth
Many people have larger spaces between their teeth and need additional tools, called interdental cleaners, to remove food particles and bacterial plaque adequately. You may have larger spaces that need extra care if you have had gum surgery or if you have teeth that are missing or out of alignment.

Small interdental brushes are tiny bristle or filament brushes that can fit between teeth and come in a variety of sizes and handle designs. These brushes clean better than floss when the gum tissue does not completely fill the space between your teeth. These little brushes also can help people with orthodontic bands on their teeth to remove bacterial plaque from around the wires and brackets.

Another tool for cleaning between teeth is wooden interdental cleaners. These long, triangular strips of wood can be softened and used to clean between teeth.

You can find these interdental cleaners at most drugstores and grocery stores. Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you how to use these cleaners to remove plaque between your teeth.

Other Cleaning Tools
To supplement your at-home brushing and flossing, your dentist or hygienist may suggest one or more of the following:

Oral irrigators These electrical devices pump water out in a slim steady or pulsating stream. Although they do not seem to remove plaque that is attached to the tooth well, they are very effective at flushing out food and bacteria byproducts in periodontal pockets or that get caught in orthodontic appliances. They are particularly useful for delivering medication to hard-to-reach areas. For example, prescription antibacterial rinses can be sprayed into gum pockets with an oral irrigator. Irrigators should be used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as an alternative.

Interdental tip — These soft, flexible rubber nibs are used to clean between the teeth and just below the gum line. Plaque and food debris can be removed by gently running the tip along the gum line.

Mouthwashes and rinses — As with toothpaste, your choice of mouthwashes or rinses will be guided by your personal mouth care needs. Over-the-counter rinses are available to freshen the breath, add fluoride or kill plaque bacteria that cause gingivitis. Some mouthwashes are designed to help loosen plaque before you brush. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend the type of rinse that would be best for you. If you need to avoid alcohol, read ingredient labels carefully. Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain significant amounts of alcohol. In some cases, the dentist might prescribe a stronger fluoride or antibacterial rinse.

Source:Colgate World of Care

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Crowded Teeth

What is Crowded or Crooked teeth?
Crowded or crooked teeth that overlap, protrude, or recess in a haphazard fashion can often be perceived as a personal disfigurement. If you feel embarassed to smile, then you should consider having your teeth straightened out.
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Apart from looking aesthetically unpleasing, crowded teeth also affect the general dental condition of your mouth. They tend to attract food deposits, which get trapped in the narrow spaces, and are difficult to keep clean with routine oral hygiene. This leads to higher incidence of tooth decay and gum disease.

What causes orthodontic problems ?

Most orthodontic problems like crowding,spacing,protrusion,extra or missing teeth and jaw growth problemshave a genetic origin.

Why is treatment important ?
Crooked,crowded and irregular teeth are hard to clean and maintain,these problems can contribute to tooth decay,gum problems and tooth loss.A bad bite can also cause an abnormal wear of tooth surfaces,difficulty in chewing,speaking and abnorml stress on supporting bone and tissueand possible joint problems,children and adultswhose malocclusion are left untreated may go through life feeling self conciousness,hiding their smiles with tight lips or keeping a protective hand.

The objective of any corrective therapy is to create an illusion of well-aligned teeth in relation to lip position when you smile. Such an illusion can sometimes be achieved by means of cosmetic contouring, the technical term used to reshape teeth. In more involved cases, it may be necessary to use bonding to build-out a portion of a tooth to create the impression of alignment. As the cases get more complex, we may need to veneer or crown the teeth to achieve the necessary objective.
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A child with severely crowded teeth. Such a case will need orthodontic treatment to achieve an acceptable result.
It may be necessary on occasion to extract certain teeth in conjunction with orthodontics, particularly in cases where crowding is extreme.

What about the problems of teenagers ?
When you think of orthodontics you tend to think of teenagers.And the fact is that orthodontic treatment in most cases begins between 9 and 14 years of age.It is important to know for the parents that some orthodontic problems are easier to correct in the early stages.

Does orthodontic treatment have any harmful effects ?

There is some discomfort or pain in the teeth after fixing the braces,which usually subsides within a week,the myth that the orthodontic treatment weakens the tooth is not correct.

Does extraction of teeth necessary for orthodontic treatment  ?
It depends on the severity of the problem,severly crowded,irregular teeth which are out of alignment cannot be aligned without the extraction of teethand no residual space is left after the treatment.

Till some years ago, orthodontic treatment was the only solution to crowded teeth. But now we have an alternative in cosmetic dentistry. We may add that orthodontics is still widely used in the younger population, while cosmetic procedures are more useful in professionals who may not have the time necessary to carry out the orthodontic procedures. Cosmetic dentistry is also useful in the older generation, who may not have an ideal gum or bone condition necessary to withstand the orthodontic forces.
Laminating with ceramic veneers can provide a pleasing result. This patient is a female adult who did not have the time to go in for orthodontic treatment. The protruding tooth was reduced to first bring it into alignment with the other teeth, and then both the front teeth were veneered.
The other two side teeth were cosmetically contoured to change their alignment, thus giving a fairly acceptable result.

Crowded teeth may require a combination of treatments in order to achieve an aesthetically and functionally satisfactory result. Individual problems require individual solutions, and the final decision about the right treatment procedure for you will be made by your dentist.


Resources:

http://www.lakshdeep.com/crowded.htm
http://www.whereincity.com/medical/topic/dental-health/articles/670.htm

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Modern Lifestyle Habits Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Cervical decay on a premolar

Image via Wikipedia

Modern lifestyle habits help prevent tooth decay, according to a new study.
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According to a review of the scientific evidence over the past 150 years, the effects of fluoride toothpaste, good oral hygiene and health education, might override the effects of food alone on tooth decay.

Professor Monty Duggal, an author of the review, said that it’s not enough to just look at what we eat when talking about tooth decay, as other factors seem to be as important.

Fluoride toothpaste changes the effect that some foods have on the teeth, as do other good oral hygiene practices’.

“Future research should investigate a number of lifestyle factors together with different foods that might affect tooth decay. Times have changed and with that, the foods we eat, and how we care for our teeth,” Duggal said.

The overall aim of the review was to look at the evidence for the claim that sugar was the main cause of dental caries (tooth decay).

The researchers concluded that out of 31 studies carefully reviewed, the majority did not find a relationship between the amount of sugar consumed and dental caries, but the frequency of consumption may be important.

Most people now know the best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, especially before going to bed, courtesy dental health education.

The research has been published online in a Supplement to the journal Obesity Reviews.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Chew Gum to Reduce Stress

chewing gumsImage via Wikipedia

Chewing gum was found to help relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress among individuals, according to a new study.

The study, led by Andrew Scholey, professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University, Australia, was done on the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (DISS), a multi-tasking platform which reliably induces stress and also includes performance measures, while chewing and not chewing gum.

While chewing gum, participants reported lower levels of anxiety. They showed a reduction in anxiety as compared to non-gum chewers by nearly 17% during mild stress and nearly 10% in moderate stress.

Participants experienced greater levels of alertness when they chewed gum. The improvement in alertness over non-gum chewers was nearly 19% during mild stress and eight per cent in moderate stress.

Stress levels were also lower. Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers by 16% during mild stress and nearly 12% in moderate stress.

Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities. Both gum-chewers and non-chewers showed improvement from their baseline scores.

However, chewing gum improved mean performance scores over non-gum chewers by 67% during moderate stress and 109% in mild stress.

You may click to see:->Chewing Gum May Help After Surgery

Sources: The Times Of India

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Gum Bleeding

Bleeding gums is among the common conditions affecting the oral cavity. The Chinese might have noticed bleeding gums as early as 2500 BC. They termed the associated diseases as “Ya-Kon” which means diseases of soft tissue surrounding the teeth. This problem still continues to affect us even with so many modern facilities available in the field of oral care. Gum disease begins with plaque, a sticky film of food particles, germs and saliva. If not removed, plaque will settle at the gum line. The germs will produce toxins that makes the gums red, tender and likely to bleed when brushing your teeth. There are chronic conditions and even some medications that can cause plaque to accumulate more quickly. The purpose of daily brushing rinsing and flossing is to clean away this plaque. When this plaque is not removed it can harden into tartar which builds up along the gum line and traps germs below. The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis and is the most common.

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The primary cause of gingivitis is the bacteria that coat your teeth, and if oral hygiene is poor, it forms a sticky white substance called plaque. The bacteria here proliferates faster and produces toxins that irritates your gums, keeping them swollen and red. When they are left untreated, they will destroy the tissues connecting the gums to the tooth, and eventually the tooth to the bones, causing a deep pocket and eventually attacks the bony structure. It has now progressed into what we call periodontitis, which is an irreversible form of gum disease.

ROOT CAUSES:
The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Bleeding gums as a symptom.

Poor dental hygiene

Gingivitis

Gum disease

Periodontitis

Trench mouth

Poorly fitting dentures

Leukemia

Diabetes

Pregnancy

Dry mouth (type of Dental conditions)

Vitamin deficiency

Certain medications

SYMPTOMS:

Bad Breath

Bleeding is usually noticed during brushing, or flosing with water or in the saliva, while spitting.

Eating of any coarse food items may induce bleeding

HOME REMEDY: With a pinch of salt soaked in a glass of lukewarm water, you now create a homemade saline solution. Use this to rinse in the morning and in the evening. This will help increase circulation in your gums and reduce the swelling.

No matter how well and how often you brush your teeth, you can’t reach the areas between your teeth and below the gums. Make the habit of flossing. Floss comes in very handy. Keep one in your bag or at your office. After meal, floss it!

LIFE STYLE :To brush your teeth to gain maximum benefits.
Push the loaded brush as far as you can into the area where the tooth meets the gum (sulcus).

Use a vibrating motion (very small wiggling motion) so that the bristles that are forced into the sulcus remain there as you vibrate. It’s an agitating type of motion. Do not use wide circular motions. Repeat this action as you move along the gum line for three to five seconds at each spot on both the cheek and tongue side.

Repeat this procedure until you have completed both upper and lower gum lines, inside and out. Whenever necessary spit out any build up of toothpaste and saliva until you finish. When done just rinse your mouth with filtered water.

Do this once a day gradually increasing to twice a day. When you are able to do it twice a day, do so for two weeks. After two weeks, your gums should have become very tough and should have a pink-white color.

WATER IRRIGATION:

Another important tool that you should have is a water pik system. Do not underestimate the power of water. Water can do a lot of damage (as you have seen with floods and huge tidal waves) and it can also be your friend.

An oral irrigator can drastically inhibit the formation of plaque and tartar. As time goes by, plaque, if not removed, turns into tartar. An oral irrigator pulls away approximately 50% of the negative bacteria with each use, leaving good bacteria that are needed to fight microbes.

A toothbrush is not designed to clean anything more than 1-3 mm, which is a normal healthy gum condition. Therefore an oral irrigator is necessary to reach those areas that cannot be maintained with the toothbrush and floss alone.

In the conclution it can be said if you perform the proper treatments to your teeth and do it right, and use the tools available to you, you shouldn’t have to suffer from gum disease or bleeding gums. You’ll have healthy white teeth with rosy-red and pink gums that will last you a life time and keep the rest of your body healthy to boot.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source:Allayurveda.com

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