Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)
1. Bad Breath(Halitosis)
a. How Does various food affect breath?
Basically, all the food you eat begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash — merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
b. Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries.
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
2. Better Way To Brush Our Teeth
a. What Is the Right Way to Brush?
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that’s right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
•Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
•Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
•Clean the chewing surfaces
•For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
b. What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manualdexterity.
c. How Important Is the Toothpaste I Use?
It is important that you use toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dentist or hygienist which toothpaste is right for you.
d. How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
3. Flossing of Teeth
a. Flossing Techniques
Flossing Techniques Take a piece of floss (12-18 inches), and wind it around the index finger of each hand.
•Grasp floss firmly between the thumb and index finger arriving at the flossing position. The fingers are separated by about an inch.
•Flossing Techniques use the thumbs to guide the floss between the upper teeth and use the index fingers to direct the floss between the lower teeth.
•Using a gentle sawing motion, guide the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.
•Curve floss around the tooth. Gently slide the floss up and down the side of the tooth and under gum line.
•Advance floss, after cleaning each side of tooth, by wrapping the floss around the finger of one hand, and unwrapping it on the other. Assume the flossing position and continue to floss the side of each tooth until done.
2. Floss Holders
There are only 3 brands of floss available in India:
•Johnson & Johnson – the oldest
•Colgate Floss & tape
•Oral B – a late entrant which gives more variety & flavours
4. Tooth Decay
a. What is tooth decay?
The two most important aspects of flossing are : wrapping the floss around the tooth and using a new section of floss for each contact. Wrapping allows the floss to go below the gum line, to remove plaque in areas that a toothbrush doesn’t reach. Using a new section of floss allows the plaque to be removed. If the same section is used, the bacteria are redistributed to other areas.
b. What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries). It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
You can easily prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist for teeth cleaning and checkups, and avoiding foods that are high in sugar.
c. What are the symptoms?
The combination of bacteria and food causes tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria is always forming on your teeth and gums. As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
d. How is tooth decay diagnosed?
Tooth decay usually does not cause symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this occurs, a toothache is the most common symptom.
e.How is it treated?
Your dentist diagnoses tooth decay by:
Asking questions about your past dental and medical problems and care.
Examining your teeth, using a pointed tool and a small mirror.
Taking X-rays of your teeth and mouth.
f.Tooth Decay – Prevention
Treatment for tooth decay depends on how bad it is. You may be able to reverse slight tooth decay by using fluoride. To fix cavities caused by mild tooth decay, your dentist will fill the cavities with another substance (fillings). For more severe tooth decay, you may need a crown or root canal. In extreme cases, your dentist may have to remove the tooth.
•Brushing and flossing help limit bacteria on your teeth. read more….(link to Brushing)
•Routine Checkup by Dentist
5. Tooth Sensitivity
a. What Is Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is tooth pain due to a wearing away of the tooth’s surface or gum tissue. The most common cause of sensitive teeth in adults is exposed tooth roots due to receding gums. Because these roots are not covered by enamel, thousands of tiny channels leading to the tooth’s nerve center (pulp) are exposed. When heat, cold or pressure touches these channels, you feel pain.
c. How can Teeth Sensitivity be treated?
Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems. This is especially true if the pain causes you to brush poorly, making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
b. How Do I Know if I Have Sensitive Teeth?
If you’ve ever felt a painful sensation in your teeth after drinking or eating hot or cold food and beverages, you’ve experienced tooth sensitivity. And you’re not alone. It’s a condition that affects one out of four adults, often coming and going over time.
First and foremost, tell your dentist or hygienist.
Sensitive teeth can usually be treated successfully. Your dentist may prescribe a brush-onfluoride gel or a fluoride rinse. You can also try low-abrasion toothpastes with formulations made especially for sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist which anti-sensitivity products are right for you.
Be careful to brush properly or you can cause your teeth to wear away, making them sensitive. Overzealous brushing the clasp of a partial denture and braces can also lead to abrasion (loss of tooth surface).