How often should I get dental checkups?
For most people, a checkup and cleaning every 6 months is standard protocol. Depending on a person’s dental health, however, a dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months may be recommended.
When should be a baby’s first check up be?
American Dental Association recommends the first visit should be no later than the 1st birthday.
Why do I need x rays?
Important tool to see:
- the condition of the teeth, roots, jaw placement
- determine if there are any cavities and their extent
- check the level of the bone around the roots to find the presence and degree of gum disease
- to find location of impacted and un-erupted teeth
- to locate any cysts and tumors, abscesses etc.
X- rays also help find pathology like cavities before they are visible at the clinical exam. Usually a new patient will need a full set of x rays so a comprehensive oral health status can be evaluated and a thorough treatment plan can be created. Also this set will be used for future comparisons. Follow up patients only need some x rays to monitor gum condition (bone level around the roots) and to detect any small cavities that might be coming up. The need for x rays are based on the clinical exam.
How to brush?
- There are a number of effective brushing techniques. Patients are advised to check with their dentist or hygienist to determine which technique is best for them, since tooth position and gum condition vary.
- One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth.
- Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.
- Brush for at least 2 minutes but use it on all your teeth and all the surfaces of the teeth.
What is the best kind of tooth brush?
- Soft brush-manual or electric. Hard bristles might make teeth feel cleaner but can abrade the teeth and cause gum recession
- The technique is as important as the type of brush
How to use floss?
- Tear off about a forearm’s length to start. Wrap one end around the middle finger of one hand to “anchor” it, and pick up the other end about 4-6 inches away with the middle finger of the other hand. This allows you to manipulate the floss with your thumb and fore finger. As you soil a section of floss, “reel” in another 4-6 inches of clean floss with the anchor finger as you release the floss with the other finger.
- Once you get the floss past the tooth contact, move the floss up and down, perpendicular to the tooth. Never shoe-shine the teeth in a back-and-forth motion! You will either notch your teeth or cut your gums, or both!
- Floss is also available with a holder.
- Best done everytime you eat something but at least once a day
How to use mouthwash?
- The best mouth wash for you will be recommended by your dentist based on your needs.
- Use it every time you eat or at least twice a day.
- Swish with it forcefully –make it feel like its going between the teeth –swish for about a minute and then spit it out. Do not drink anything or rinse or eat after using mouth wash.
What is Decay?
- Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people.
- is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their lifetime.
- Bacteria that live in your mouth cause plaque. This interacts with the starchy food and creates acids. These acids damage the enamel by demineralization and weakens it and causes decay.
- Any kind of carbohydrate, be it candy or rice, can cause decay.
- Prevention is easy – brush, floss, use mouth wash, eat healthy
- Use fluoridated oral health care products
- Visit your dentist every six months
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
- Decay caused by frequent and long term exposure to liquids containing sugar
- Liquids might be milk, formula, juice, soda etc
- When the baby falls asleep with the bottle in the mouth they don’t swallow the last few drops and this pools around the teeth and that’s when the bacteria have everything and the perfect environment for them to form the decay.
- It is best not to let the baby fall asleep with the bottle but if you can’t, use warm water at the end in the bottle so the sweet stuff doesn’t stay in the mouth of the baby for a long time
What are wisdom teeth?
- Wisdom teeth are the third molars.
- Usually try to grow in around ages 17-21 but could grown in at any age
- If they erupt into the mouth in the right position and angle, they are useful like any other teeth and can be used for chewing etc.
- Unfortunately, sometimes the wisdom teeth come in crooked because they have no room to come in or they become impacted and cause pain, infection, swelling and swelling of the gum in the back around where the tooth is supposed to come in.
In cases where the tooth won’t come in anymore and causes constant problems it is better to have them removed. The extraction techniques can be varied depending on the position of the tooth.
Do you want to pierce your tongue or your lip?
- Oral piercing can cause pain, swelling, infection, drooling, taste loss, scarring, chipped teeth and tooth loss. Most dentists discourage oral piercing because of these risks.
- Piercings can chip teeth while eating, sleeping or talking or just chewing on the jewelry. Depending on the depth off the chip the tooth might need a bonding, root canal or even extraction.
- Lip piercings can cause recession(gum line moving away from its original position leading to exposed roots and less support and eventually to the loss of the tooth) of the gums with the constant rubbing of the metal against the tooth and gum.
- Your mouth has bacteria everywhere and sometimes the bacteria might go into your blood stream through a piercing and cause more serious health problem. Make sure the piercer uses sterilized instruments. If you do get a piercing and it looks red or infected have it checked out right away.
- Make sure you are not allergic to the metal in the piercing.
- If you still want one make sure you go to the right place-the piercing place should answer your questions in a professional manner and show you that their instruments are clean and sterilized and give you instructions on how to care for your piercing.
- Care: piercings usually take 4-6 weeks to heal. If there are no complications, remove the piercings for short periods of time so the hole won’t close. Clean the piercings with antiseptic mouth wash and clean the jewelry with a tooth brush before putting it back in. Try to clean the piercing every night. Consider removing it before eating , sleeping or strenuous activity.