Sink your teeth into your teeth care!
In point of fact, your teeth are one of your best pals, not to say your best pal. They help you chew your favorite crunchy munchies and relish their tastes and sounds! Your teeth also help you with talking to your friends or giving a lecture to some audience!
And what’s more, they ensure your cute appearance and appealing smile. However, sad to say, these invaluable organs have a marked weak point, and that is: they cannot protect themselves. Therefore, in case you want them for life, you have to defend them against their enemies. Here we are going to tell the story of these defenseless teeth, disclose their foes and how to fight them, and reveal the secret care of healthy teeth.
Therefore, hopefully, you will get the chance to enjoy your teenage healthy teeth in your nineties!
Why are your teeth so important?
The teeth in your mouth have different jobs in your body considering their shape, size, and
location. Some of those jobs are as follows:
- Cutting and chewing food: By grinding the food you eat, your teeth break it up into small particles that are well-digested in your alimentary system, which will ensure your health.
- Speaking: You are not able to pronounce many letters correctly in case you have lost all or part of your teeth (particularly your anterior teeth).
- Appearance: A lovely smiling is always a crucial feature of the face. Even losing only an anterior tooth will dramatically harm your appearance. Remember, to make up an actress as a wicked witch for the films, they just paint one of her front teeth black!
Obviously, none of the above-mentioned jobs of your teeth is ignorable and it is really worth taking care of your teeth!
What are the consequences of a poor oral hygiene?
Poor oral hygiene results in a long list of problems that just some of them are as follows:
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Oral Infections
- Bad breath
- Mobile tooth
- Gum bleeding
- Tooth loss
- Unpleasant appearance
- Digestive system problems
- Increased risk of heart disease…
What is tooth decay?
The cause of most of the dental visits is tooth decay, which is a tooth disease caused by bacteria.
The most important factors in forming tooth decay include:
Certain host factors: Tooth anatomy, cleaning habits and saliva composition
Plaque: Plaque is a thin, sticky film on your teeth consisting of saliva components, bacteria, and food particles, which forms when the teeth are not cleaned properly. Within the plaque, the bacteria use carbohydrates to produce acids that disintegrate the enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth, therefore, after a constant acid attack, the tooth enamel breaks down forming a cavity.
Time: The formation of mature plaque usually takes about 24 hours.
Therefore, on-time flossing and brushing your teeth is crucial to remove immature plaque (and also mature ones).
Why does your tooth ache after having a cavity?
A toothache usually occurs when caries have reached the tooth nerves. In this case, a root canal treatment is necessary because the bacteria have infected the nerve. In more serious cases the nerve and pulp of the tooth become infected, which is a complicated condition requiring advanced root canal therapy or surgical procedures.
How to know you have a gum disease?
Gum diseases are typically easy to find, however in some cases, they may develop to advanced stages of the disease without any noticeable signs and symptoms. Some of the early signs and symptoms of gum diseases are as follows:
- Redness: In some gum diseases (gingivitis)
- Bleeding: If you noticed your gums are bleeding, try to brush the area more regularly and thoroughly to fight the gum disease. Never stop brushing in these cases.
- Swelling: In some gum diseases
- No pain: Typically, gum diseases are painless.
- Teeth mobility
- Teeth sensitivity
How can plaque-induced periodontitis (gum disease) harm your teeth?
The plaque can absorb elements from saliva or foods and alter to a hard substance on your teeth near the gum line called calculus. The plaque underneath triggers gum inflammation by releasing poisons that ultimately make gums detached from your teeth and form the infected gaps called periodontal pockets.
This detachment paves the way for cariogenic factors to make caries in the roots of your teeth. Moreover, following pocket formation, the bone resorption process starts which destroy the bone support of your teeth. As a result, your teeth become mobile and in severe bone resorption cases, you will lose your teeth.
How to prevent gum diseases?
The same oral hygiene techniques for teeth care can also prevent gum diseases.However, if you are suffering from gum diseases at the moment, you should seek professional care for your gums such as:
- Root planing (smoothing teeth surfaces)
- Gum surgery: gingivoplasty, gingivectomy, surgical flap, grafts
How to maintain healthy teeth?
You can maintain your teeth health just by having a good oral hygiene which is simply achievable by “following the following”:
- Teeth brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
- Teeth flossing: Floss your teeth at least once daily.
- Using teeth-friendly foods: Not much sugary stuff
- Regular dental check-ups: Every 6 months
How to choose a toothbrush that suits you best?
Your dentist is the best one to recommend the toothbrush that suits your condition. However, a suitable toothbrush should have the following features:
- A small to medium-sized brush head is suitable for adults. The head of your brush should be small enough to have access to all the surfaces of your teeth and gums, in particular, the back of your mouth.
- The bristles or filaments of your toothbrush should be soft or medium. Soft toothbrushes are suitable for those with teeth sensitivity problems or gum recession. Hard toothbrushes are not recommended due to the damage they cause to your teeth by abrading them which leads to teeth sensitivity or a tooth lesion called abrasion. In these cases, restorative dental treatments are used to restore your teeth structure.
- The bristles should be round ended not to abrade your teeth. Low-technology made toothbrushes with flat-end bristles make your teeth sensitive and also cause your gums to withdraw (gum recession).
- The bristles should be multi-tufted.
- People with misaligned teeth or anatomical deformities should use smaller toothbrushes.
- For people with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or physical disabilities, some companies have made specific toothbrushes with larger handles and angled heads.
Electric toothbrush vs conventional one?
Electric toothbrushes remove plaque more efficiently than conventional ones, especially, those with heads rotating in both directions. People with restricted movement of the arms or hands, such as disabled or elderly people find electric toothbrushes useful to thoroughly clean their teeth.
How to use an electric toothbrush?
For those who have physical disabilities or other medical conditions or those healthy people who are seeking a more relaxed toothbrush, electric toothbrushes can do the job. They are power brushes with oscillating rotating or vibrating head which need just very little hand movement.
What is the main goal of brushing your teeth?
Regular brushing and flossing are vital parts of your oral hygiene, because they remove the plaque from your teeth (and not just the remained food). Plaque is the main culprit in causing tooth decay and gum diseases that changes some food ingredients to acid which destroys the teeth.
How to brush your teeth effectively?
There are different techniques of brushing your teeth. One of the most efficient ones is the Bass technique that is explained here:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth so the bristles of the toothbrush can easily clean the gingival sulcus (the shallow gap between your teeth and gums).Half of the bristles should be placed on your teeth and the other half on your gums.
- Each time, you can clean two or three teeth. Try to vibrate the bristles (no need to move the ends of the bristles on the teeth like in ordinary brushing techniques).
- After vibrating the bristles for 10 seconds, you should rotate the toothbrush toward the crown of your teeth (not toward the gum). This will remove the plaque from the gingival sulcus. In case you do the reverse movement, the plaque will be packed in the sulcus that intensifies the situation.
- Brush the outer and inner surfaces of all your teeth in the same way.
- Brush the occlusal (biting) surfaces of your teeth by moving the head of the toothbrush back and forth.
- Brush your tongue as well.
Why do you have to brush your tongue?
The upper surface of your tongue has numerous papillae (small nipple-like projections). Some food particles can remain between these papillae and produce bad smell. In order to freshen your breath, you have to brush your tongue regularly.
How often should you brush your teeth?
The minimum oral hygiene requires twice daily teeth brushing. The vital time is at night before sleeping.
This is due to the lower saliva secretion during the sleep which creates anideal environment for cariogenic bacteria in the plaque to harm your teeth and gums. The next suitable time for brushing your teeth is after breakfast. A third-time teeth brushing (after lunch) is also recommended.
How to be sure whether all the plaque is removed?
There are special disclosing tablets or other similar products available in pharmacies that you can use to paint the plaque on your teeth. The dyeing material shows you the areas of plaque accumulation on your teeth that have not been cleaned. Therefore, you will be able to correct the weak point of your brushing method.
How often should you change your toothbrush?
Changing your tooth brush regularly is mandatory due to the limited useful life of the toothbrush. Toothbrush bristles spread out after 2 to 3 months (depending on the material and technology used by the manufacturer).This makes them unable to clean your teeth. Worn out toothbrushes do not work even by exerting much force on them.
What kind of toothpaste suits you best?
Most of the fluoride-containing toothpaste in the market can be useful if employed with a correct method of teeth brushing. Fluoride is an essential ingredient in toothpaste, which strengthens your teeth and lower tooth decay. However, other than regular toothpaste, there is some specialized toothpaste as follows:
- Whitening toothpaste: It is good at removing stains but overuse of it leads to teeth sensitivity. Bear in mind that no toothpaste can alter the natural shade of your teeth and you have to seek professional advice in this regard.
- Total care tooth paste: It includes components that freshen your breath, reduces plaque accumulation, and fight gum diseases.
- Desensitizing toothpaste: This toothpaste is suitable for those who suffer from teeth sensitivity.
How much toothpaste should be used each time?
You do not need to cover all the bristles of your toothbrush with toothpaste. This is of no use and is just a waste of tooth paste. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste will do the job.
How to clean between the teeth?
Teeth brushing techniques are of no use in cleaning between your teeth.
Therefore, you have to use dental floss to clean the spaces and contacts between your teeth. To clean the areas that are not accessible by toothbrushes, there are different oral hygiene products:
- Dental floss
- Dental tapes
- Interdental brushes
You should clean between your teeth once or twice a day. Initially, your gums may bleed, but they will stop bleeding after a few days of flossing.
How oral irrigators work?
Oral irrigators and water picks utilize a forceful stream of water to remove plaques and food residues from your teeth surfaces. They are especially helpful in cleaning hard to reach areas of your mouth such as bridges or orthodontic appliances.
How a mouthwash promotes your oral hygiene?
Using a mouth wash could be a part of your teeth care routine if used in accordance with the professional instructions. Mouthwashes can help you with the following:
- A fluoride mouthwash prevents tooth decay.
- An antibacterial mouthwash fights cariogenic bacteria, decrease gum diseases, and help the healing process of oral wounds such as aphtha.
- A freshener mouthwash freshens your breath.
What are teeth-friendly foods?
Eating teeth-friendly foods is somehow a part of a complete oral hygiene program. Here is a list of some of the teeth-friendly foods and drinks:
- Plain yogurt
- Leafy Greens
- Crunchy fruits
What foods harm your teeth?
It is not how much but how often you use sugarin your diet, which damages your teeth. Therefore, to keep your teeth healthy, you should have sugary foods at mealtimes. Moreover, sugary fizzy drinks, sports drinks, and some fruit juices can cause both tooth decay and sensitivity.
Does smoking harm your teeth?
Don’t hesitate that smoking is the worst enemy of your mouth and contribute to most of above mentioned oral problems.
Although your teeth play a crucial role in your life, they are totally defenseless needing your especial attention and care. Therefore, to have healthy teeth and gums, you need a perfect oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.
Do not forget that prevention is always better than cure. It saves you money and time by keeping you away from those complicated dental treatments, and more importantly, ensures your appealing smile for life.