HOW TO FLOSS CORRECTLY
Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed.
Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the other middle finger. If the floss is hard to get between your teeth, try using dental tape, which is thinner.
Holding the floss between your thumbs and forefingers, guide it between two teeth by gently rubbing it back and forth.
When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around one of the teeth and gently slide it back and forth in the crevice between the tooth and the gum.
Holding the floss tightly against the side of the tooth, rub gently up and down.
Repeat for each tooth, including the backside of your last teeth, changing to a different part of the floss as you go along.
The American Dental Association (ADA) advises to floss once or more per day. It should be noted that overly vigorous or incorrect flossing can result in gum tissue damage. For proper flossing, the Association advises to curve the floss against the side of the tooth in a 'C' shape, and then to wipe the tooth from under the gumline (very gently) to the tip two or three times, repeated on adjacent tooth and on all other teeth too.
Tooth sensitivity is tooth discomfort in one or more teeth that is triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. The pain can be sharp, sudden, and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth - the dentin - becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue (the protective blanket that covers the tooth roots). The roots, which are not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth's never center (the pulp). These dentinal tubules (or channels) allow the stimuli - for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food - to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.
There are many factors that may lead to the development of tooth sensitivity, including.
*Brushing too hard. Over time, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and cause the dentin to be exposed. It can also cause recession of the gums (the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth).
* Recession of the gums. As gums move away from a tooth due to conditions such as periodontal disease, the root surface becomes exposed.
* Gum disease (gingivitis). Inflamed and sore gum tissue may cause sensitivity due to the loss of supporting ligaments, which exposes the root surface that leads directly to the nerve of the tooth.
* Cracked teeth. Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria from plaque and enter the pulp causing Inflammation.
* Teeth grinding . grinding or clenching your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose underlying dentin.
* Tooth whitening products or toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide. These products are major contributors to teeth sensitivity.
* Your age. Tooth sensitivity is highest between the ages of 25 and 30.
*Plaque build-up. The presence of plaque on the root surfaces can cause sensitivity.
*Mouthwash use. Long-term use of some mouthwashes. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that can worsen tooth sensitivity if you have exposed dentin (the middle layer of the tooth). The acids further damage the dentin layer of the tooth. If you have dentin sensitivity, ask your dentist about the use of a neutral fluoride solution.
*Acidic foods. Regular consumption of foods with a high acid content, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, pickles and tea, can cause enamel erosion.
*Recent routine dental procedures. Sensitivity can occur following teeth cleaning, root planing, crown placement, and tooth restoration. Sensitivity caused by dental procedures is temporary, usually disappearing in 4 to 6 weeks.
THE EFFECTS OF ORAL HEALTH ON OVERALL HEALTH
Oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well-being, but also to your overall health. Cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and premature and low weight babies. Untreated cavities can also be painful and lead to serious infections.
Maintaining good oral health includes keeping teeth free from cavities and preventing gum disease. Poor oral health can affect your appearance and self-esteem, and has been linked to sleeping problems, as well as behavioral and developmental problems in children. Poor oral health can also affect your ability to chew and digest food properly.
Good nutrition is important to helping build strong teeth and gums that can resist disease and promote healing.
Smoking is a major risk factor for oral and dental disease, including oral cancer. Tobacco reduces blood flow to the gums therefore, the gums do not get the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy and prevent bacterial infection.
Oral health needs to be a priority throughout all stages of life, especially since older adults and seniors are keeping their teeth longer than ever before. However, older adults may have less access to oral care services and dentists because of lower incomes and/or a lack of dental insurance.
Seniors living in long-term care facilities are at particular risk of complications from poor oral health because of frailty, poor health and increased dependence on others for personal care. In many cases, oral health problems in residents go undetected until there are acute symptoms, such as pain or infection.
Besides pain and discomfort, poor oral health can also contribute to a number of serious health issues.
CANADA'S FOOD GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING
Eating is like a rainbow of good health. Each color is for a different food group.
The yellow and green group at the top of the rainbow are the largest groups. Foods in these groups should be the main part of your meals.
Foods from the blue and red groups are also important, as a smaller part of your meals.
A healthy meal has three or four food groups.
If you have tea with toast and jam for breakfast that is only one food group. If you put a slice of cheese on your toast and also have a dish of applesauce, you will have a healthy breakfast. Try to eat at least three healthy meals every day.
GRAIN PRODUCTS - the yellow group:
This group includes breads, bannock, tortillas, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose foods that are whole grain and have lots of fiber.
Pastas cook quickly and come in many shapes and sizes. You can put spaghetti sauce and cheese on top, and serve with vegetables for a quick meal.
Instant brown or white rice is easy to make. A rice pudding made for the next day makes a healthy dessert or snack.
Try whole grain bread when you make toast or a sandwich.
Cereal can be a quick and easy snack or a meal (with milk and fruit added).
Try filling soft tortillas shells with kidney beans, meat and vegetables, or even scrambled eggs.
VEGETABLES & FRUIT - the green group:
Eat vegetables and fruits of different colors and you will get the vitamins and minerals you need.
Keep these foods where you will see them, and you will more likely eat them.
Keep a supply of dried, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables in your freezer or cupboard.
If chewing is a problem, grind or chop fruits and vegetables in a blender.
Add chopped vegetables to soups, stews and casseroles.
Use a baked potato as the basis for a quick and easy meal.
Vegetables taste best and have the most vitamins when they are steamed, lightly cooked or eaten raw.
Eat fresh or unsweetened canned fruit for a dessert or snack.
MILK PRODUCTS - the blue group:
Choose low-fat milk and milk products (unless you are trying to gain weight).
For a change, have hot cocoa, buttermilk or yogurt.
Use milk and cheese in soups, sauces, casseroles and puddings.
Mix fruit with milk, ice cream or yogurt to make a shake.
If you don't care for milk and milk products, or they upset your stomach, there are other ways to get calcium.
MEAT & ALTERNATIVES - the red group:
These foods have protein and include red meats, fish and chicken, and vegetables like brown beans, chick peas and peanuts.
Choose lean meat and lean chicken to help cut back on fat.
When a patient experiences a dental emergency, adherence to several steps should result in quicker care and relief:
If the patient currently sees a dentist, s/he needs to call his or her own personal dentist. Most dentists belong to a call group, meaning that they trade call with other dentists. Therefore, a caller may be directed to contact the dentist who is on call.
If a person with a dental emergency does not currently have a dentist of record, s/he should call the local dental association and ask for a listing of dentists who accept dental emergencies. The list is broken down by specialties and by time periods. Patients should expect to be charged for emergency care.
If the dental emergency requires an oral surgeon for immediate care, the hospital emergency room personnel will call the oral surgeon who is on call. Patients will be charged for these services.
PLAQUE: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO GET RID OF IT
People used to think that as you got older you naturally lost your teeth. We now know that's not true. By following easy steps for keeping your teeth and gums -healthy plus seeing your dentist regularly-you can have your teeth for a lifetime!
Plaque: What is it?
Plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth.
Some types of plaque cause tooth decay.
Other types of plaque cause gum disease.
Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, the tissues holding the teeth in place are destroyed and the teeth are eventually lost.
Dental plaque is difficult to see unless it's stained. You can stain plaque by chewing red "disclosing tablets," found at grocery stores and drug stores, or by using a cotton swab to smear green food coloring on your teeth. The red or green color left on the teeth will show you where there is still plaque-and where you have to brush again to remove it.
Stain and examine your teeth regularly to make sure you are removing all plaque. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if your plaque removal techniques are o.k.
Step One: Use floss to remove germs and food particles between teeth. Rinse.
NOTE! Ease the floss into place gently. Do not snap it into place-this could harm your gums.
Step Two: Use any tooth brushing method that is comfortable, but do not scrub hard back and forth. Small circular motions and short back and forth motions work well. Rinse.
To prevent decay, it's what's on the toothbrush that counts. Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is what protects teeth from decay.
Brush the tongue for a fresh feeling! Rinse again.
Remember: Food residues, especially sweets, provide nutrients for the germs that cause tooth decay, as well as those that cause gum disease. That's why it is important to remove all food residues, as well as plaque, from teeth. Remove plaque at least once a day, twice a day is better. If you brush and floss once daily, do it before going to bed.
KID'S ORAL HEALTH
The Primary Teeth
The following chart shows when primary teeth (also called baby teeth or deciduous teeth) erupt and shed. It's important to note that eruption times can vary from child to child. As seen from the chart, the first teeth begin to break through the gums at about 6 months of age. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs - one each side of the upper or lower jaw - until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2½ to 3 years old. The complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from the age of 2½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age.
Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. They are sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. Composites can also be "bonded" or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.
SENIOR DENTAL CARE
Good oral health is an important part of growing older. Unfortunately, many older adults don't give their overall mouth care the attention it needs. Use the following suggestions to ensure that your mouth stays healthy.
Prevent gum disease - which is the major cause of tooth loss in adults - by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet and making regular visits to your dentist.
It may become more difficult to keep your teeth clean and white as you grow older. This is because plaque can build up faster, and in greater amounts, as you age. Keep plaque to a minimum with a fluoride toothpaste recommended by the Dental Association.
Saliva helps keep your mouth healthy. When dryness occurs, it can be the result of several causes, including medications and illness. See your dentist for ways to treat dry mouth.
Changes in your mouth that occur with aging can make cavities a problem. Fluoride is the best defense you have against cavities, reducing the risk by 15 to 35 percent.
Even if you no longer have natural teeth, you should continue to see you dentist regularly. Regular visits are especially important to check for signs of diseases which show symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.
Dentures don't last forever. A recent study has shown that after 11 years, about 80 percent of dentures need to be replaced. Never use a denture adhesive regularly unless advised to by your dentist. If used consistently, denture adhesives can mask infections and cause bone loss in the jaw.
There are several cosmetic procedures available such as bleaching and bonding that can help improve your smile. Ask your dentist about what techniques would be right for you.
If arthritis, stroke, or another medical condition has made it difficult for you to brush or floss, see you dentist for adaptive devices that can help you. These include extenders for toothbrush handles, specially designed floss holders, etc.
Whatever your age, it's important to keep your mouth clean, healthy and feeling good. With good home preventive care and regular visits to your dentist, changes in your mouth need not cause problems. Make a commitment to your oral health - and keep a smile that will last a lifetime.
Crown refers to the restoration of teeth using materials that are fabricated by indirect methods which are cemented into place. A crown is used to cap or completely cover a tooth.
Traditionally, the teeth to be crowned are prepared by a dentist and records are given to a dental technician to fabricate the crown or bridge, which can then be inserted at another dental appointment. The main advantages of the indirect method of tooth restoration include:
A dental bridge, otherwise known as a fixed partial denture, is a prosthesis used to replace missing teeth and is not removable by the patient. A prosthesis that is removable by the patient is called a removable partial denture.
A dental bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated. In other words the abutment teeth are reduced in size to accommodate the material to be used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth in a correct alignment and contact with the opposing teeth.
LASER USE IN DENTISTRY
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994 to treat a number of dental problems. But, despite FDA approval, no laser system has received the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. That seal assures dentists that the product or device meets ADA standards of safety and efficacy, among other things. The ADA, however, states that it is cautiously optimistic about the role of laser technology in the field of dentistry. These lasers are different from the cold lasers used in phototherapy for the relief of headaches, pain, and inflammation.
There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.
You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.
Your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth it.
If you have any questions about veneers ask your dentist.