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How to Encourage your Child to Visit Family Dentist?

How to Encourage your Child to Visit Family Dentist?

  • Posted: Feb 27, 2015
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Unlike adults, children may not be aware of the importance of regular visits to the dentist. Therefore we must use some tips and tricks in order to make their visit as enjoyable.

There is no need to wait until its start to pain! The first visit to the family dentist has to made as soon as his first tooth appears (about 1 year). It is very important because when the teeth are healthy, the baby and the dentist can meet in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Parents should set an example by showing a positive attitude to visit the dentist. You should not share your own negative experiences with the child as parent’s fear gets transmitted directly to their children. If possible, allow the children to assist in the office when you go to the dentist so that he can get convinced that nothing bad can happen. This will help him to gain confidence and he will be more relaxed and willing to visit the dentist.

Parents can also consciously prepare their child or his first visit to the dental office. This can be done by sharing their friendly pictures or videos for educational purpose, or by narrating funny stories about dentists. This will also help your child to feel comfortable and he will look forward for the visit to the dental clinic. Words like “fear” or “pain” for example “should not be afraid” or “will not hurt at all,” etc. should be avoided as much as possible because the child might get feared because of their repetitive use. You should also avoid threats like “if you do not brush your teeth, then you will have to go to the dentist.” Instead, you should encourage them to brush teeth after every meal and tell them that if they do this then they will be rewarded by the dentist twice an year, as per the condition of their teeth!

It is important to accompany your child in the treatment rule during his first visit in the dental clinic. Once he gains confidence, try to encourage him to visit the treatment room alone next time around. The child should be praised at the end of every visit. You can reward him with a hug and give him his favourite chocolates as well. All this will make him happy and he will look forward to his future visits to the dental clinic. All the best!

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What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

  • Posted: Feb 26, 2015
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Restorative dentistry involves managing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in teeth and their supporting structures. The aim is, as the name implies, to restore teeth to a functional and aesthetic state after damage and decay. The goal is usually to preserve existing teeth as much as possible. The type of restoration depends on a variety of factors, including the extent and nature of the damage. If you have chipped, fractured or decayed teeth, you may be considering one of the following restorative procedures.

Fillings

The most common dental restoration is the filling. Most often used to treat teeth affected by plaque, the decayed part of the tooth will be removed and a gold, silver amalgam, or composite resin will be used to fill the remaining hole. Not only limited to decay, fillings can also be used to repair cracked and broken teeth. Amalgam is the traditional material used to treat cavities, but composite resin is becoming popular due to its natural tooth color. The material also bonds better to the tooth and requires less surrounding space to be removed to fit.

Inlay and onlay restorations

For teeth that are too damaged for a regular filling, inlay and onlay restorations are an option. These are indirect restorations, meaning that they are created outside of the mouth, usually with dental impressions of the prepared tooth. An inlay repairs between cusps (raised point on surface) of a tooth while an onlay is usually larger and covers one or more teeth including the cusp area. Like fillings, these types of restoration can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain or composite resin. Inlays and onlays are a treatment option more conservative than a crown but usually stronger and longer lasting than a filling.

Crowns

When there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling or regular inlay/onlay restorations, a crown is usually the next step for treatment. A dental crown acts as a ‘cap,’ fully encasing the visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. This helps restore the tooth’s functionality, shape, size, appearance and strength. A crown can also be used to cover a dental implant, hold a bridge in place and/or protect a weak tooth from breaking.

Bridges

To replace missing teeth, the two most popular restorative options are bridges, implants and dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as support for a false tooth (or teeth). The false tooth material is made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these and is usually cemented permanently in place. Bridges help relieve stress on remaining natural teeth and restore proper function. Crowns on the neighboring teeth help to anchor the bridge in place. Replacing missing teeth in this way can improve smile as well as bite, providing better aesthetics, comfort and functionality.

Implants

Dental implants are a more modern option to replace missing teeth and involve replacing a tooth root with a small metal post. The post is then fitted with a replacement tooth, designed to compliment or match remaining teeth. The metal implant provides a strong foundation for the fake tooth since it is attached directly to the jawbone and is often considered a more natural option than dentures. Not everyone is a candidate for implants however; a strong jawbone is needed in addition to healthy gums.

Dentures

A removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue, dentures are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments. When all teeth are missing, complete dentures are used. When some teeth remain, partial dentures are an option, retained by metal clasps attached to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants and bridges are commonly chosen over dentures as they provide the closest experience to having natural teeth. As previously mentioned however, not all patients are eligible for these treatments.

There are now plenty of options for people with damaged or missing teeth due to decay or injury. Restorative dentistry can significantly change the functionality and appearance of teeth, impacting positively on many aspects of a person’s life. If you have fractured or missing teeth, do not hesitate to contact your dentist to consider your options.

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How to Make the Most out of a Dentist Visit

How to Make the Most out of a Dentist Visit

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2015
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No matter your age, routine dental appointments have much to offer for both your oral and overall health. Prevention is one of the most important parts of dental health since regular examinations and good oral hygiene can avert most dental diseases. For some people, visiting the dentist is a struggle due to anxiety or time issues. Here are some tips how to make the most out of a visit to the dentist, so that every moment will count while you are there.

Know what to expect

Understanding what dentists are looking for can help anxiety if you haven’t visited in a while. During a routine check-up, your dentist will complete a thorough examination to evaluate your current oral health. A dentist is trained to detect things in your mouth that can affect your oral and overall health such as bleeding, inflammation, decayed or damaged teeth, early signs of cavities, growths or cysts and signs of grinding or clenching. If you have any existing fillings, crowns or dentures, these will be inspected as well. A summary of the findings will be relayed to you.

A medical history review is an essential part of the appointment to help the dentist understand whether there are any health conditions that may be associated with oral health problems or affect the success of dental treatments or procedures. A dental exam may also include a medical history review, oral cancer screening, gum disease evaluation and a soft and hard tissue examination (bone and teeth). X-Rays may be necessary to find issues not seen through other methods. An appropriate treatment plan will be provided if the dentist detects any potential problems.

If your appointment is for dental treatment, you may want to read up on the procedure on reputable medical websites before you go. For some people, knowing what is going to happen during the specific procedure can lessen anxiety.

Be prepared for your check-up

Taking some time to prepare for a dentist appointment is helpful to make the most of the time and also reduce stress. Appointments are typically not very long in time, so the more ready you are, the better. Getting a good night’s sleep is the number one tip here, along with wearing comfortable clothing and avoiding food and drinks with caffeine or sugar in them during the day of your visit. Make sure you eat a healthy snack of meal before your check-up, remembering to brush and floss afterwards. Hunger can cause some people to become more stressed.

Bringing a list of medications (including supplements) you are taking is helpful, including the name and current dosage. Dry mouth can be caused by certain prescription drugs. Saliva plays an important role in reducing plaque, so dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Some drugs have the side effect of thinning blood; this is important for a dentist to know before starting any treatment as it can increase the risk of bleeding. Be prepared to update your dentist with your medical history. Diabetes for example can also cause dry mouth.

Ask for advice

You and your dentists are partners in your oral health. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your teeth and gums, your dentist is the person to ask. Most likely they will be able to offer reassurance and guidance. Make a checklist of issues to review with your dentist before arriving for your appointment, so you won’t forget what to ask. Your concerns may cover issues such as teeth sensitivity, bleeding gums, mouth sores, teeth grinding and problems with brushing or flossing. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best technique and equipment for at-home dental care. With dental technology developing at a fast rate, it is possible your dentist is aware of new products you have not heard of.

Schedule your next appointment

Don’t forget to schedule your next dental check-up on the way out! Routine appointments are an important part of good oral health. Annual check-ups are common, though some people will be recommended to visit the dentist more often. Regular visits help your dentist provide the best care possible as they are able to monitor your oral health. Prevention helps avoid the most common dental problems and injuries.

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3 Diseases Your Dentist May Spot Before Your Doctor

3 Diseases Your Dentist May Spot Before Your Doctor

  • Posted: Feb 18, 2015
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Not only limited to oral health, your dentist can also spot emerging medical problems. While they may not be able to treat the disease, dentists can help diagnose conditions early by noticing warning and clues from inside your mouth. Here are three more reasons not to miss your regular dental appointment!

Diabetes

This disease is one of the most obvious to spot from a dentist’s point of view. People with untreated diabetes are more likely to have periodontitis (inflammation around the gums) most prominently alongside other symptoms. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes reduce the gum’s ability to protect against bacterial infection and this can cause abscesses and infection between the gums or on the root of a tooth. If a patient has had no history of periodontitis and good oral health otherwise, gum inflammation can be a strong warning sign of diabetes.

Other symptoms of diabetes include bad breath and an unusually dry mouth. A fruity-smelling breath is the telltale sign of excess production of acetone, one of the by-products of ketenes. Ketenes are the result of fat being used as an alternative source of energy to glucose due to lack of insulin. Diabetes prevents the body from producing or properly using insulin. The disease can also cause dry mouth, which increases plaque build-up due to lack of saliva. Diabetes is considered to be under-diagnosed but dentists are able to detect warnings signs to prompt patients to visit their doctor for a diagnosis.

Heart disease

Recent studies have shown severe periodontal disease to be strongly associated with the risk of heart disease. People with good oral health are less likely to develop heart disease than those with periodontitis. A 2004 study in the Journal of Period ontology suggests that up to 91% of patients with heart disease also have inflamed gums. One theory is that inflammation in the mouth increases inflammation in other parts of the body such as arteries. This potential link means that periodontitis may play a role in heart attacks or strokes.

The good news is that the risk for heart disease can be reduced when the inflammation is treated. Patients with family history of heart attacks or strokes are advised to spend more time on their at-home oral care routine, to prevent periodontitis from being added their other at-risk factors. Brushing teeth and flossing daily help to counteract the bacteria and plaque, which cause the inflammation of gums. Regular dental check-ups are also recommended.

Acid reflux disease

Most people at one time or another experience acid reflux, when acid moves up into the esophagus from the stomach after ring of muscle called the gastro esophageal sphincter fails to close properly. The most common symptom is heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest. If acid reflux symptoms are felt more than twice a week, the problem may be acid reflux disease. Heartburn isn’t the only symptom of acid reflux; it is possible to reflux without even knowing it. Acid reflux also can often happen at night.

The effects of heartburn can be clearly seen in the mouth. The constant uprising of stomach acid can wear away at the enamel of teeth and become thinner from the back. Upper back molars are especially at risk. A 2008 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics points to a third of adults with dental erosion also suffering from gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease. A persistent sour taste is another indicator, which dentists may pick up on. Reflux disease can cause erosion of the esophagus, which can sometimes lead to esophageal cancer. Acid reflux disease can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.

Many people are reluctant to visit the dentist, but appointments are beneficial to your overall health as well as for good oral care. A regular check-up could potentially be a lifesaver with dentists being potentially able to spot diabetes, heart disease and acid reflux disease as well as other conditions from oral indicators. A dentists’ work goes far beyond checking the health of a patient’s teeth.

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10 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay

10 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2015
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Tooth decay is a problem for children, teens and adults. Plaque, a sticky bacteria substance, is continuously forming on teeth and gums. When foods containing sugar are consumed, plaque feeds on the sugars and produces acids. The acids attack tooth enamel (the tooth’s hard outer layer) causing tooth decay over time. A sign of early tooth decay is a ‘white spot’ appearing on the tooth enamel. At this stage, tooth decay can be stopped or reversed. If this does not happen, the enamel may be destroyed and form a cavity. Here are ten tips to prevent tooth decay from occurring.

1. Use fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water and some foods that can prevent, reduce or stop early tooth decay. It decreases the ability of the plaque bacteria to produce acid and prevents mineral loss in tooth enamel. For most people, using fluoride toothpaste twice a day provides adequate protection. The widespread use of fluoride (averaging 95% of all toothpaste sales in developed countries) is seen to be a major contributor to the decline of tooth decay over the last 30 years.

  1. Reduce snacking on sugary foods and drinks

Eating and drinking foods and drinks with a high sugar content between meals is a lot more damaging to teeth than consuming them with a meal. Snacking on sugary and starchy foods causes repeated acid attacks on teeth. More saliva is produced during meals, so eating sugary foods during this time is preferable to help break down the resulting acid. Healthier snack alternatives include cheese, fruit and vegetables.

  1. Consider dental sealants

Dental sealants provide a protective coating to the surface of back teeth. The resin material acts as a barrier to plaque and acids, which can cause tooth decay. The biting surface of back teeth is one of the most susceptible areas for tooth decay due to the grooves, pits and fissures that exist. It is difficult to clean these areas, especially when the grooves are deeper.

  1. Drink soda through a straw

Water is the best drink around for good oral health, but if soda is something you simply cannot give up, consider drinking it with a straw. This can help minimize the sugary and acidic soda damaging teeth, most effective when the straw does not come in contact with the teeth. Keep in mind that while diet soda has less sugar then the regular kind, it still contains a lot of acid, which may cause tooth decay

5. Regular dental cleanings

Visiting your dentist for regular teeth cleanings and oral exams is an important part in maintains good dental health. Professional teeth cleanings help to get rid of plaque build-up. A dentist can help spot problems early when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Most dentists also practice preventative care, to help stop problems before they even happen. Your dentist can advise you the best cleaning techniques and oral hygiene routines.

  1. Eat more crunchy vegetables and fruit

Foods with fiber (carrots, apples, celery) have a detergent effect in your mouth when eating. The crisp texture wipes away bacteria that can cause tooth decay. The amount of chewing required to eat fibrous food also stimulates an increase in saliva flow, which is the best natural defense against cavities. Saliva begins to neutralize acids around 20 minutes after eating.

  1. Drink water after eating

Water provides an excellent mouth rinse, washing away both bacteria and the remnants of food that can turn into plaque by bacteria. Water also neutralizes the effects of acidic and sugary foods. Tap water in many countries includes fluoride, which also helps prevent tooth decay in a similar manner to fluoride toothpaste. Tooth decay is more likely to occur in a dry mouth, so drinking water frequenting is a great way to combat this.

  1.  Brush teeth twice a day

One of the most important parts of your at-home oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth at least twice a day. One of these brushings should take place before going to bed. Brushing should be avoided shortly after consuming acidic foods and drink (fruit, soda or wine) to give saliva a chance to neutralize the acid. If it is not possible to brush after mealtimes, rinsing your mouth with water is good practice.

  1.  Consume more calcium

Teeth are composed of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals. Eating calcium rich foods can help protect teeth against acids and rebuild tooth enamel. Calcium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, a selection of fortified beverages (soy, rice, juice), canned salmon or sardines (with bones) and dairy products.

  1. Floss teeth regularly

Along with brushing teeth, flossing should be performed at least once daily to remove plaque and food particles adhered to teeth and gums. The area between teeth is particularly vulnerable to cavity formation but is difficult to reach with toothbrush bristles. Flossing before sleeping is just as important as brushing teeth.

 

Through small lifestyle changes it is possible to avoid, stop and reverse tooth decay. Visit your dentist for more tips and advice on how to prevent tooth decay.

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Choosing the Right Type of Dental Braces for You

Choosing the Right Type of Dental Braces for You

  • Posted: Feb 06, 2015
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With braces being most often associated with children and teenagers, many people have the misconception that it is too late to treat crooked and misaligned teeth in adulthood. Teeth can be straightened at any age, using braces that can also correct bite and jaw problems. Not just an aesthetics issue, misaligned or crowded teeth can cause tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems. Dental technology has made great strides in recent years, with braces becoming more comfortable, convenient and efficient than ever before. To inform you of the options available, this article will discuss the most commonly used methods to straighten teeth and their advantages.
Traditional metal braces
The most popular form of braces used today are traditional metal braces that use a bracket system. Brackets are the small squares that are bonded directly to the front of each tooth and act as handles, holding the arch wires that move the teeth. The arch wires are secured using elastics. Modern metal braces are made out of top quality stainless steel and are smaller and more comfortable than ever. Regular tightening appointments were previously essential to increase the pressure and tension on the teeth, but new body heat activated arch wires complete this process without any assistance. Metal braces are the least expensive form of braces but also the most noticeable

Ceramic braces
Many adults do not want other people to notice they are wearing them, as brace wearing is most often associated with children. For an additional cost, clear ceramic braces are available. The brackets are made of composite materials, intended to mimic the colors of your natural teeth. Barely visible to the naked eye, ceramic braces are popular with adults who want all the benefits of traditional metal braces (tried and true results) but a more visually appealing look. The one major difference and disadvantage between metal and ceramic braces is that the latter tends to break more easily. Patients need to treat ceramic braces with care as the composite material can stain if not looked after properly.
Lingual braces
There are a few other options available in addition to the traditional style of braces. Lingual braces are also metal braces, but they are fitted to the back of the teeth instead of the front. These braces work in a similar way as traditional braces however they are not typically visible to other people. They are also not suitable for all types of orthodontic issues. Lingual braces are usually much more expensive than the most common metal type and can be harder to get used to. Adjustments also tend to take longer and the braces can be difficult to clean. For some patients, these disadvantages are heavily outweighed by the visually appealing look.
‘Invisible’ braces
An increasingly popular alternative to metal braces is so-called invisible braces. These consist of a series of custom fitted aligners that fit over teeth and gradually shift them into place. The clear color of the retainers makes them very difficult for other people to notice. The aligners are removable but are typically worn all day and night except when eating, brushing and flossing. For this reason oral hygiene is often easier to maintain while using this type of brace. Invisible braces are best suited for individuals with mild spacing problems rather than more complex issues. Results with aligners may not be as fast as with metal braces and usually has a far higher price tag.
Making a decision
The first step to deciding which type of braces is right for you is to discuss your options with your orthodontist. For many adults, the look of the braces is the most important factor but this must be considered in relation to other issues. The nature and severity of your misalignment may mean you are not suitable for one or two of the options. Time may also be a factor since some of the methods involve a much longer process than others. Remember that getting braces as an adult usually means that results will take longer. Regardless of the type you choose, getting braces is a worthwhile investment for a healthy, beautiful smile.

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How to Prevent and Ease Sensitive Teeth

How to Prevent and Ease Sensitive Teeth

  • Posted: Feb 05, 2015
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Discomfort or pain from tooth sensitivity is a common and treatable dental problem. It is often noticed when consuming hot, cold, sugary and acidic food and drink. Pain experienced from sensitive teeth can range from a mild twinge to discomfort lasting for hours. For some people, even breathing in during a cold day can cause sudden and sharp pain. But teeth sensitivity isn’t something that has to be lived with. This article will not only explain how and why teeth become sensitive, but also how to prevent and treat the issue.

Tooth sensitivity can happen to anyone for a number of different reasons. The most common cause of sensitive teeth is the exposure of hardened tissue called dentin. This hardened tissue is found below tooth enamel and contains many tiny nerve fibers. Uncovered, the nerves are stimulated and teeth become sensitive. The most common symptom of sensitive teeth is a sudden flash of pain when teeth are exposed to air, cold, sweet, acidic or hot foods. Dentin becomes exposed when gums recede or tooth enamel wears down. Dental procedures such as fillings, bleaching and tooth restoration may also cause tooth discomfort, though the irritation is usually temporary and should not last longer than six weeks.

Tooth enamel can be worn down by simply too vigorously or using a hard-bristled tooth brush. Teeth grinding is known to potentially both cause and exacerbate the issue. The ingredients in whitening toothpaste may remove small amounts of tooth enamel in addition to the intended stains. Acids in food and some mouthwashes can also irritate the dentin layer, as well as tooth decay and plaque. Diseases that cause inflamed and sore gums may trigger sensitive teeth as the gums recede and expose the dentin underneath the tooth enamel. It is also interesting to note that tooth sensitivity is most common in people aged between 25 and 30.

The easiest and most straight forward way to prevent sensitive teeth is to practice good oral care. Regular visits to a dentist for check-ups are encouraged alongside daily tooth brushing and flossing. Keeping teeth clean stops the development of plaque and decay, which can cause teeth to become sensitive. A soft-bristled toothbrush helps to avoid harsh and damaging brushing. The strong presence of acid in certain foods can remove small amounts of enamel over time. It is especially important to avoid brushing immediately after consuming acidic substances such as wine, citrus fruits, yogurt and carbonated drinks because teeth are vulnerable to erosion.

Visiting a dentist after three or four days of strong sensitivity is suggested to ensure effective treatment, however there is no single treatment option for sensitive teeth that works for everyone. Based on the cause and extent of tooth sensitivity, your dentist will offer a variety of solutions ranging from specially formulated toothpaste to help desensitize teeth to more invasive treatments such as gum grafts and dental restorations. A mouth guard may be suggested to help with teeth grinding. In some cases, patients discover that their teeth sensitivity is actually caused by an unseen cavity or abscess due to relatively similar pain symptoms.

Not only essential to ease and treat teeth sensitivity, a visit to your dentist will also help avoid a potential recurrence. Finding the cause of the sensitivity is almost as important as treating it as many common causes of this kind of discomfort are lifestyle related. Depending on your diagnosis, your dentist may suggest some lifestyle changes to improve your overall oral health such as changing your tooth brush, toothpaste, brushing style and eating habits. Tooth sensitivity can be exceptionally painful, but luckily it is both treatable and largely preventable.

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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

  • Posted: Feb 05, 2015
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Despite society becoming more health conscious every year, oral health is still sometimes overlooked. Many people do not think much about oral care and hygiene until serious problems develop. For dentists, this can be frustrating as a significant number of common dental problems are in fact preventable. Here are five ways you can improve your oral health easily.

  1. Drink plenty of water alongside a varied diet

Eating a variety of foods and drinking plenty of water not only benefits your overall well-being but also your dental health. Poor nutrition can have a significant impact on a body’s natural defenses and it has been found that people with lowered immune systems are at a higher risk for some oral health diseases.

Reported to be more effective than using mouthwash, water actually helps flush teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Drinks such as red wine, coffee and tea can have an adverse effect on teeth, creating a superficial stain as well as potentially causing an internal stain on the tooth enamel as well. Rinsing your teeth with water after consuming these drinks helps stop the liquid sitting on your teeth.

  1. Brush your teeth with the proper equipment

Toothbrushes should be changed regularly, at least every couple of months or sooner if the bristles start to splay and wear out. A worn toothbrush does not clean as adequately as needed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis).

It has been claimed that brushing with an electric toothbrush removes more plaque and helps to lessen the risk of gingivitis than a manual toothbrush. The rotating and oscillating head of an electric toothbrush can provide an especially effective way of cleaning teeth for people who find it difficult to clean all teeth surfaces due to a disability or arthritis. Some children are more enthused to brush their teeth regularly and proficiently with an electric toothbrush due to the novelty.

  1. Improve tooth brushing technique

While most people understand the need for daily tooth brushing, the actual technique is often overlooked. Tooth brushing ideally takes place after each meal and uses just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Angle the bristles of the brush at a 45 degree angle up to the gum line and move the brush back and forth with short strokes, focusing on one or two teeth at a time. Allow the bristles reach into spaces between teeth as well as all the grooves and crevices. Avoiding scrubbing.

Toothbrushes should always be rinsed after use and stored in an upright position to air dry. Covering toothbrushes may lead to a growth in bacteria. Dentists usually recommend brushing teeth with soft-bristled brushes, as it is easier to damage tooth enamel with hard-bristled varieties.

  1. Floss in addition to brushing

Your daily oral health routine should involve flossing if it does not already. Cleaning between your teeth with dental floss or tape removes food particles and plaque that is hard to reach with a toothbrush. Eliminating food debris and plaque around teeth helps to avoid tooth decay and gums becoming infected and sore. The ideal time to floss is after each meal, when plaque is soft and therefore removed easily. If the plaque hardens, it can harden into tartar, something that can only be removed by the dentist.

Be prepared that your gums may be sore the first few times after flossing; this should stop after your oral hygiene has improved. If it doesn’t, seek professional advice.

  1. Visit a dentist regularly

For some people, visiting a dentist is something you only do when tooth pain or discomfort occurs. Dentists have a lot more to offer, especially regarding preventative care. Routine dental exams and cleanings are a vital part of maintaining good oral health in addition to your own at-home oral hygiene routine. Early detection of dental problems can help to avoid invasive treatment later. Dental hygienists not only perform routine cleanings to prevent periodontal (gum) disease but they also screen for important health conditions such as oral cancer. Your dentist can also advise you on proper flossing and brushing techniques to improve your at-home routine.

Taking care of your teeth and gums can significantly improve your overall health. Taking the care to brush teeth properly, floss regularly, drink plenty of water and visit the dentist are relatively easy fixes with potentially big results.  Making these small changes to your lifestyle may prevent serious health issues further down the line.

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10 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a New Dentist

10 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a New Dentist

  • Posted: Feb 03, 2015
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Whether you’ve recently moved or just want a change, choosing a new dentist can be intimidating. With so many options out there it can be difficult to know where to start. Recommendations from friends and family can help to narrow down the choice, as well as location and convenience of a practice to you. Once you have a shortlist of potential dentists in mind, calling or visiting each practice is the next worthwhile step. Along with your own personal considerations, here are ten questions to ask potential dentists.

  1. How long have you been practicing and where?

Experience is often a great indicator of skill, but do not immediately rule out newly qualified dentists on this basis alone. A dentist who has practiced at the same location for a long time suggests they have a satisfied client base and a good reputation. Learning more about a dentist’s education and credentials can help build a clearer image of the type of care you will receive.

  1. Are you accepting new patients?

Potentially the most important question of all, the dentist must be accepting new clients for you to become a patient. Not all dentists continuously take on new patients, preferring to work with a certain number of people at one time.

  1. Do you accept my dental plan?

A major consideration for a lot of people is whether a practice accepts their dental plan. If your financial means are a concern, it may also be worth asking the dentist at this stage whether there are any payment plans available.

  1. Do you treat children?

If you have a young family, making sure the dentist accepts younger patients is important even if your children do not need dental care at the current time. Many family or pediatric dentists use special techniques and equipment to make visits more fun and less intimidating for children.

  1. What kind of service is available if I have an out-of-hours dental emergency?

The procedure for out-of-hours emergencies vary between dentists. Some practices offer extended clinic hours or on-call services, potentially with an extra charge. A common option for dentists is to make arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service.

  1. What kind of techniques do you use to help relax patients?

Experiencing anxiety and apprehension before dental procedures is common. There are various types of an aesthesia dentists can use to assist patients in feeling more comfortable during dental treatment in addition to entertainment such as music and television. Some dentists pride themselves on their practice’s calming atmosphere.

  1. Do you have any testimonials I could look at?

Even with all of the reviews available online, it is still worth asking a dentist for testimonials from previous patients. They are likely to have some before and after photo comparisons, which help to create a visual image of the dentist’s skills and expertise. If there are no testimonials available to review, it may be a concern.

  1. Are you qualified in any dental specialties?

Aside from check-ups and other general dentistry tasks, you may require more complex procedures in future. It is helpful to learn the range and expertise of your dentist before this happens. Although most dentists have a wide array of knowledge, be wary if a practitioner claims to be a specialist in all dental areas.

  1. Do you take advantage of new dental technologies?

Advances in technology can significantly improve a patient’s experience and treatment at the dentist. As in other areas of science, dental technology is constantly advancing; some dentists embrace new concepts and equipment more than others.

  1. How do you keep up with new methods and technology in dentistry?

Like many other health professionals, registered dentists are compelled to continue their education throughout their career. Your dentist should be striving to keep up with treatment development, through continuing education courses and conferences.

 

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