Teeth Cleaning Techniques For Children

Our Dental hygienist Mel, explains brushing techniques for your children as they do have limited dexterity.

It is very important for children to have a proper brushing and flossing routine ti ensure healthy teeth for life.

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Procedure of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are customized shells made of porcelain that fit over your teeth to improve their appearance and can be matched to adjacent teeth.

PROCEDURE:

  • You can expect to make a preliminary office visit at which your dentist will take x-rays and examine your teeth to see if veneers is an option for you.
  • The dentist trims about half a millimeter of the tooth enamel to prepare for the veneers. Then he or she takes an impression or mold of your teeth to send to a lab to prepare the veneers, which takes about one to two weeks. You will leave with temporary veneers.

  • When the veneers are ready, your dentist checks the fit and color of the veneers and prepares the tooth (or teeth) by cleaning them thoroughly and then roughening the tooth surface to improve the adhesion of the veneer. The veneer is attached to the tooth with a special cement, then ultraviolet light is used to harden it.

You should just follow a your regular oral hygiene routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to take care for your veneers.

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When to Consider Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

What Problems Do Veneers Take Care of?

  • Teeth discoloration – This is a condition where a tooth changes from its natural color. It can be the result of many factors. Certain foods and drinks like wine, cola, coffee and tea can be major contributors in teeth staining. Also, poor dental hygiene can cause discoloration. Lack of proper brushing and flossing affects the enamel and the dentin, leading to a build-up of plaque that causes this condition. In addition, there are some medications, if used for a long period, can result in teeth staining. Other causes may be genetic discoloration or staining may be covered by the use of dental veneers.
  •  Chipped or broken teeth – Many things can cause teeth breaking such as, accidents, fighting, sports, teeth grinding, eating ice or other hard foods, etc.
  • Irregularly and unevenly shaped teeth – Most causes of this condition start very early in a life. They include inherited conditions, injuries, failure to restore a missing or misaligned tooth, continuous biting of nails affecting jaw muscles etc.
  • A gap between front teeth – One can use dental veneers to close the gap.
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What Can I Do When Dental Tissue Is Injured?

A dental emergency can occur while you eat, play, work out, or take part in any number of normal daily tasks. “Soft tissue laceration” is dental trauma that includes harm to your lips, gums, tongue, or cheeks. The soft tissues in the mouth are delicate, sensitive and easily hurt. They also contain a lot of nerves. When they are hurt, it can be very painful.

In addition to cuts, injuries can occur to the roof of the mouth, the back of the throat, or to a tonsil. These types of wound can happen when someone falls with a pointed object – such as a Popsicle stick or pencil – in their mouth. Kids are most at risk for this type of wound.

Due to all the blood vessels in the head and neck area, even a small puncture in the mouth may lead to alot of blood loss.

Treating Soft Tissue Lacerations

Small mouth injuries may be treated at home. Clean them right away with warm water. As with all soft tissue wounds, the key points to keep in mind are to decrease the flow of blood, reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent infection.

A soft tissue laceration, including injury to the mouth or lips that results in a loose flap of tissue or an open wound, may require stitches. Some patients choose to have a small wound on the lips stitched for cosmetic reasons. A tear in the frenulum (the skin under the tongue between the lips and gums) most often heals on its own and does not need stitches.If a foreign object, such as a bit of tooth or a wire from braces, is stuck in a wound, a doctor may need to remove it.

Preventing Soft Tissue Lacerations

The best way to avoid dental and soft tissue injuries is to wear a mouth guard for all rough play. A mouth guard should be worn at all times for team sports or sports where there is frequent contact with others or with hard objects.

Mouth guards protect the soft tissue in your mouth from your teeth. This is very important if you wear braces on your teeth. A mouth guard may even help to prevent or reduce or severity of concussions. You need to seek emergency dental care if the injury is serious or if the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 to 15 minutes. The dentist will wash the area, remove any dirt or debris, and see if your teeth are loose or damaged. Stitches might be needed to close the wound.

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Tips to Treat Mouth Sores (Canker or Aphthous Ulcer)

Mouth sores or mouth ulcers are small, painful lesions which usually appear on the inside of the cheeks, on the lips, on the tongue, and on gums. The first sign of the sore may be a tingling, burning sensation inside the mouth. They can occur either singly or in clusters. They are usually white or yellow in color, surrounded by red halos. Usually they heal within 7 to 10 days.

Common Causes of Mouth Sores:

  • Nutritional deficiencies such as iron, vitamins etc.
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Food allergies
  • Stress
  • Biting the cheek
  • Infections
  • Hormonal imbalance

Home Remedies for Mouth Sores:

  • Apply ice on the mouth ulcers to help reduce the pain
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water, salt water or a medicated mouthwash frequently
  • Chew food slowly
  • Not to chew and talk at the same time
  • Have dentures fitted properly
  • Apply a topical pain reliever
  • Take oral painkillers
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use a soft toothbrush and brush gently
  • Avoid spicy, acidic, sour, and/or sharp foods which may aggravate the condition
  • Avoid very hot foods or drinks
  • Eat healthily or increase intake of vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron
  • Learn to relax and find ways to relieve stress

Different products are available to provide relief in different ways. Gels help to relieve the pain, redness, and swelling associated with mouth ulcers. They may also contain ingredients to numb the pain. Mouthwashes help to prevent bacterial infections and reduce the redness and swelling of the ulcers. They also help to treat hard-to-reach ulcers and keep the mouth clean when brushing teeth becomes too painful. Pastes help to form a protective layer over the mouth ulcer, allowing it to heal and at the same time, relieves pain, redness, and swelling.

Sometimes, the sore may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, if you notice that the sores:

  • Have lasted longer than three weeks
  • Have not healed with treatment
  • Are unusually large (more than 1cm in diameter)
  • Occur very frequently
  • Bleed or are painless
  • High fever with appearance of mouth ulcer

You should consult your nearest dentist.

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How To Stop Teeth Grinding? Causes and Treatments

Teeth grinding or bruxism is the involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth. Some people are regular, forceful tooth grinders. Often it happens during sleep, but some people grind their teeth when they are awake. Teeth grinding can be a result of stress. For example, some people grind their teeth when they are angry, concentrating or feeling anxious. It can occur in both children and adults.

Effects of teeth grinding

  • Cracked tooth enamel

  • More wear and tear on the teeth than is normal

  • Broken teeth or broken restorations (for example, fillings)

  • Strain on the jaw joint

  • Pain in the jaw joint or limited movement

  • Tooth loss (rare)

Causes of teeth grinding

  • Emotional stress, such as anger or anxiety

  • Mental concentration

  • Physical stress, such as illness, poor nutrition or long-term pain

  • Some dental treatments, such as fillings that sit ‘too high’

  • When teeth are coming through in babies and children

  • Taking antipsychotic or antidepressant medications

  • Regularly drinking alcohol, smoking and using recreational drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine

Treatment for teeth grinding

If you think you grind your teeth, see your dentist or other oral health professionals as soon as possible. They will look at your teeth and talk about possible treatment options that may include:

  • Repair of tooth damage

  • Fixing fillings that are too high

  • A special mouth guard (‘bite splints’) to wear at night so that the guard is worn down instead of your teeth.

Other treatments may include stress management therapy, relaxation techniques, cognitive behavior therapy etc.

In case of teeth grinding, you may seek help from your dental clinic, your doctor, psychologist or from a physiotherapist depending on the cause of teeth grinding.

Ref: www.nhs.uk/conditions/teeth-grinding
www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

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Tips to Prevent Tooth and Mouth Injuries

Mouth and tooth injuries are quite common. Most of the dental injuries occur to the front teeth and lips, tongue, jaw, gums and inner cheek. In babies, injuries could occur due to falling while leaning to walk or playing. Sports are the main source of dental injuries for adolescents and adults.
It is seen that almost half of dental injuries are caused due to sports. Dental injuries can be very painful and it is important to be careful during sports or other activities.

Some tips to prevent sports-related dental injuries:

  • Mouth Guards – A mouth guard is the best way to protect your teeth while playing sports. It absorbs and minimizes the effect of any forceful impact.

  • Face cages – Some positions in certain sports are very susceptible to dental injuries like hockey goalie, baseball catcher etc. Wearing a face cage can protect against injury in such cases.

  • Helmets – It’s important to use helmets in sports which are prone to head injuries like in cricket as it protects the most important part of your body – your head.

Knocked out tooth

Whether the result of an accident or biting on a piece of food that’s too hard, mouth injuries can cause teeth to become cracked, broken, or knocked out/dislodged. It is very much possible to repair your knocked out tooth provided you get to your dentist as soon as possible. Teeth which are knocked out and replaced by the dentist within one hour have the best chances of being saved. Even if the tooth or teeth cannot be saved there are various cosmetic procedures to get back your smile such as a removable partial denture/bridge or a fixed partial denture or even a dental implant.

It is important to see a dentist because if left untreated, a dental emergency can lead to serious complications.

Ref:www.webmd.com
www.dentalhealthsite.com

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How smoking affects your oral health? Caring for your Teeth and Gums

In addition to several other chronic diseases, tobacco use is a primary cause of many oral diseases and adverse oral conditions. For example, tobacco is a risk factor for oral cancer and periodontal disease. It can also cause stained yellow or brown teeth, bad breath, and loss of teeth. Smoking is thought to alter bacteria in dental plaque, making it more harmful.

In general, smokers can expect to develop some combination of the following, depending on the amount and length of time they have smoked:

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Discolored teeth

  • An increase in calculus (tartar) build-up

  • Periodontal (gum and bone) disease that may progress more quickly and be more severe than in non-smokers

  • Jaw bone loss

  • Shifting teeth

  • An increased number of missing teeth

  • Oral cancers

  • Mouth sores

  • Root caries (cavities)

  • Sinusitis

  • Hairy tongue

  • Smoker’s lip (like a burn)

  • Altered sense of taste and smell

  • Delayed wound healing

Gum Disease

Smoking has been established as a significant risk factor for gum disease. Tobacco reduces blood flow to the gums, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients that allow gums to stay healthy, and leaving them vulnerable to bacterial infection.

According to one U.S. study, cigarette smoking may play a major role in more than half the cases of severe gum disease in adults. Current smokers were about four times more likely to have periodontitis than people who had never smoked. (Ref: J.Periodontology 2000 May:71(5):743-51)

If unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to complete destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues, abscesses and, ultimately, loss of the tooth.

Caring for your Teeth and Gums

If you are a smoker, there are some things you can do to prevent tooth and gum problems:

  • Try to quit smoking – speak to your doctor or dentist or call helpline for guidance and support.

  • If quitting smoking is too difficult, try and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.

  • Thoroughly clean your teeth and gums twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride.

  • Use dental floss every day to clean between your teeth.

  • Visit your dentist regularly for advice about the proper care of your teeth and gums at home, early intervention and regular preventive maintenance visits to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • Avoid having a dry mouth – drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.

  • Limit your alcohol intake.

To stop using tobacco or smoking habit, people can also join smoking cessation classes and support groups along with drug therapy. Ask your doctor or dentist for information on similar programs they may be familiar with.

Ref: www.webmd.com
www.who.int
www.cdho.org

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Health Risks With Oral Piercing

Oral piercings, usually in the tongue or around the lips have quickly become a popular trend in today’s society. With this popular trend, it is important to realize that sometimes even precautions taken during the installation of the piercing jewelry are not enough to prevent harmful, long-term consequences such as cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and scars. There is also a possibility of choking on a piece of dislodged jewelry, which makes it important to ask if the risks are warranted.

One of the most serious long-term health problems that may occur from oral piercings come in the form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate, as well as some kind of infections. When performed in an unsterile environment, any kind of body piercing may also put you at risk of contracting deadly infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. A tongue piercing is a common form of body piercing. However, tongue piercings have been known to cause blocked airways (from a swollen tongue). In some cases, a tongue piercing can cause uncontrolled bleeding.

People with oral piercings — especially long-stem tongue jewelry – have a greater risk of gum disease than those without oral piercings. The jewelry can come into contact with gum tissue causing injury as well as a recession of the gum tissue, which can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss.

Caring for your Oral Piercing

  • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and hard and sticky foods.

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco-based products.

  • Eat soft foods. Consult with your dentist about taking vitamins to promote faster healing.

  • Make an appointment with your dentist if you suspect a problem or have a concern. It is critical for dentists to check your teeth, gums, tongue, and soft tissues for early signs of any problems.

If you notice any warning signs such as scarring, increased redness or pain at piercing site, bleeding or tearing after initial healing, yellow or green discharge from piercing site etc, contact a health care professional.

Ref: www.webmd.com
www.atooth.com

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How Can I Prevent Cavities / Tooth Decay?

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel.

Follow these dental hygiene practices to prevent cavities:

  1. Brush your teeth – In the fight against cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth properly at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.

  2. Floss daily – Food debris gets caught in between our teeth when we eat. If the debris is not removed, it can lead to cavities. Flossing every day is the best way to remove food debris from in between the teeth.

  3. Eat healthy – Proper nutrition plays an important role in good dental health. Eating nutritional snacks and limiting the amount of sugar intake will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

  4. Visit your dentist – Many cavities can only be detected by a dentist or a dental X-ray. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings are a key factor in preventing cavities and staying on top of good oral hygiene.
  5. Have sealants placed – Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are more common in children because of the new growth of permanent teeth; however, sealants can benefit adults too.

  6. Use a mouthwash – There are several antimicrobial mouthwashes on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. Rinsing with one of these mouthwashes after brushing or eating can aid in cavity prevention.

  7. Chew sugarless gum – Believe it or not, chewing certain sugarless gums can actually help to prevent cavities by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth.

It is especially important to keep an eye on how often your child eats as well as what he/she eats. You should limit between-meal snacks to reduce the number of acid attacks on teeth and to give teeth a chance to repair themselves. Limit their intake of candies, cookies, soda and other sugary drinks. Make sure your child doesn’t eat or drink anything with sugar after bedtime tooth brushing. Don’t forget to supervise young children when they brush. Since most cavities in children and adolescents develop in the molars, it’s best to get these teeth sealed as soon as they come in.

Ref: www.dentistry.com
www.nidcr.nih.gov

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