Archive for the ‘Dental Care’ Category

How Fluoride Helps in Teeth Decay Prevention?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Fluoride’s Importance To The Teeth

Enamel is the outer part of crown of the teeth. Crown is the part of the teeth that is seen in the mouth. Demineralization (loss of minerals) and remineralization (deposition of minerals) of the crown of the teeth inside the enamel naturally occurs in your mouth. This is a daily process.

The acid that is formed in the mouth after eating dissolves the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface. The acid is formed by the bacteria in the plaque from the sugar in your mouth. When the saliva becomes less acidic, calcium and phosphorous are deposited (remineralization) on the teeth to keep your teeth hard. If excessive demineralization occurs without adequate remineralization to repair the enamel of the tooth it causes tooth decay. In presence of fluoride calcium and phosphorous are deposited much better than they would otherwise be. This helps to strengthen your teeth better.

Fluoride prevents cavities by functioning in two different ways

Fluoride strengthens enamel: In children fluoride concentrates in the developing teeth and strengthens the enamel. In adults it acts on the enamel of the teeth that have erupted and hardens the enamel.

Fluoride and demineralization and remineralization of teeth: Demineralization and remineralization of the teeth naturally occur in your mouth. The acid that is formed in the mouth after eating dissolves the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface. When the saliva becomes less acidic, calcium and phosphorous are deposited (remineralization) on the teeth to keep your teeth hard. In presence of fluoride calcium and phosphorous are deposited much better than they would otherwise be. This helps to strengthen your teeth better.

Fluoride Treatments

In adults and children with healthy teeth that are low risk of decay fluoride in drinking water and brushing regularly with a fluoride containing toothpaste is sufficient to meet the fluoride requirement. The fluoride present in the water and food, from supplements is absorbed from the stomach and enters the blood stream. This reaches the developing teeth in the jaws in young children.

Topical fluoride treatment with fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwashes or professionally applied fluoride treatments, maintains high fluoride levels in the mouth for several hours afterward. Consult your dentist for advice regarding fluoride supplement especially if you have children.

Fluoride Supplements: Who Needs Them

Children 6 months to 16 years– if they drink water deficient in fluoride.

It is recommended that not only children but adults should also use fluoridated toothpaste. However be cautious about the toothpaste as too much fluoride can cause fluorosis in young children.

Use only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush who is less than 6 years.
Teach your child to spit the paste after brushing.
Do not use flavored toothpaste as this may encourage swallowing.
Fluoride treatment is often prescribed for children when their teeth are developing especially if your child has cavities or is at high risk of developing cavities. The extra fluoride such as fluoride mouth rinses can promote remineralization. Consult your dentist or pediatrician for fluoride supplement for your child.

Can Fluoride Cause Harm

Like any other medication fluoride is safe and useful when used at the recommended dose but can be unsafe and harmful at high doses. Parents should not keep fluoride tablets within a child’s reach at home and must monitor the use of all fluoride products such as toothpaste, fluoride tablets. Toxic …

How To Find a Dentist?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

If you are looking for a dentist some suggestions for finding a dentist are;

Ask people you trust like friends and family. Ask specifically about the consultation time, if he or she sees in emergency, is the dentist well qualified, is it easy to get an appointment, what is the cost.
Seek advice from your current dentist or your physician.
Your dentist’s education

Find out about your dentist’s education. If he or she has a BDS (bachelor of dental surgery) or MDS (master of dental surgery). A MDS dentist is usually a specialist such as a pediatric dentist, endodontist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, prosthodontist. If you have a regular problem your general dentist may treat you but for a specialized treatment he or she may refer you to a specialist.

How to Look for a Dentist

If you are looking for a dentist some suggestions for finding a dentist are;

Ask people you trust like friends and family, work associates, your current dentist or your physician. Ask specifically about the consultation time, if he or she sees in emergency, is the dentist well qualified, is it easy to get an appointment, what is the cost.
Seek advice from your current dentist or your physician.
What Kind of Dentist Should I Look for

General dentists can treat most of the standard or regular dental complaints, but if you have an difficult complicated problem, your dentist may refer a specialist as required.

Pediatric Dentists/Pedodontists: Specialist of pediatric (children’s) dentistry.
Endodontists: Specialist to diagnose and treat tooth pulp infection or disorders. They are specialist to perform root canal work (many general dentists also perform root canals).
Prosthodontists: Specialist for making crowns, bridges and dentures.
Oral pathologists: Specialist in laboratory procedures to diagnose oral diseases.
Oral/Maxillofacial surgeons: Specialist in oral surgical treatments such as removal of cysts, tumors, teeth; treatment of fractures of the jaw or TMJ disorders; plastic surgery of the jaw and face for cosmetic problems.
Orthodontists: Specialist for correcting improperly positioned teeth.
Periodontists: Specialist for diagnosis and treatment of gum disease

Why Floss Your Teeth?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Most of us never learned to floss as children, but it never too late to start. Flossing is important to keep gums healthy. If you find it difficult to floss your teeth, ask your dentist or dental hygienist to teach you the correct technique.

Some Tips on flossing

Floss at least once a day: Most dentists advise a thorough flossing at least once a day. If food gets trapped between your teeth, you need to floss more often to remove it.
Take your time: Be patient as flossing needs a certain amount of agility and attention.
Choose your own time: Most people prefer to floss just before going to bed. But according to many dentists you may floss any time that is most convenient for you, as it ensures that you will floss habitually.
Don’t skimp on the floss: Clean both sides of every tooth with a fresh section of floss and if required floss one tooth several times (using fresh sections of floss) to remove all the food debris. Do not reuse sections of floss as it can redistribute bacteria pulled off form one tooth onto another tooth.
Your floss: Choose floss that works best for you. There are several types of floss available in the market. You may consult your dentist or dental hygienist on te type of floss that you need or may try different varieties before settling on one.

What happens during a Dental Checkup?

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Find a dentist before an emergency. The dentist should be close to home or work as this makes it easier to go for a scheduled visit. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the dentist and your dentist listens to you, understands your concerns, and gives you adequate time. Go for regular dental checkups, ideally once every six months.

During a regular visit your dentist will;

Do a thorough cleaning. The dentist or a dental hygienist will clean the teeth using special instruments that aid to scrape below the gumline, to remove plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar lead to gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other dental problems. If required the dentist or the dental hygienist will polish and floss your teeth.
A thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth to rule out gum disease or other problems. This will ensure to maintain good oral health and help in early diagnosis and treatment of oral problems.
If required he or she will do X-rays and other tests to diagnose problems which are not obvious but suspected such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.
How Long Should I go Between Visits

Regular dental checkups are needed ideally once every six months. But if you have a problem and further treatment is needed your dentist may want to see you before that.

Oral Health Guidelines: Filling

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Filling is done in a tooth damaged by decay. It helps to return a tooth to its usual function and form. Before doing a filling the dentist takes out the decayed tooth part, and cleans the concerned area. After the cavity is clean he or she fills it with a filling material. Filling closes the space where bacteria can get deposited and grow and prevents more decay.

Commonly used materials for filling are gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and amalgam. Amalgam is an alloy that contains mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc.

Which Type of Filling is Best

No one type of filling is considered as the best type of filling. The type of filling that is best for you depends on

Extent of the repair that needs to be done,
Your allergies to certain materials
Which tooth needs filling
Cost factor
Concerns regarding different filling material are

Gold filling: Is long lasting (may last more than 20 years) and is considered by some experts as the best filling material. But it is expensive.

Amalgam (silver) filling: Relatively cheap and resistant to attrition. It is dark in color and thus often not preferred for visible areas, such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resin: Have the same color as the teeth and thus preferred for visible areas, such as front teeth. Not a suitable material for large fillings. Life of the filling varies from three to 10 years.

Porcelain filling: Have the same color as the teeth and thus preferred for visible areas, such as front teeth. In addition they are stain resistant, but it is expensive.

If the tooth is damaged extensively due to decay or a fracture a crown or cap may be needed. If the tooth decay has reached the nerve treatment options include

Root canal therapy— In this procedure the damaged nerve is removed
Pulp capping— In this procedure attempt to keep the nerve alive is made.

What Happens When You get a Filling

Before doing a filling the dentist takes out the decayed tooth part, and cleans the concerned area. After the cavity is clean he or she fills it with a filling material. Filling closes the space where bacteria can get deposited and grow and prevents more decay. The material used for filling include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and amalgam.

How Do I Know if I Need a Filling

Your dentist will examine and tell if you need a filling. A dentist uses a small mirror to inspect the surface of all the teeth. If needed your dentist may ask for X-ray of the teeth and jaw. The treatment for your decayed tooth will be decided by the dentist after examination.