Why might you need a tooth extraction? When the dentist recommends an extraction, patients often have questions. Take a look at the top reasons why you may need this common dental procedure and how it can help to restore your healthy mouth.
Also known as cavities, dental caries are areas of decay in a tooth. Oral bacteria create acidic byproducts. The acids in your mouth can erode dental enamel (the outer layer of the teeth) and cause cavities. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of Americans ages 20–64 have had dental caries.
Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? Just like you go through your pantry and refrigerator to clean out expired foods or get rid of expired vitamins, you should do the same for your toothbrush. For some, cleaning out your dental hygiene products does not get the same priority.
The items you use to take care of your teeth should be regularly cleaned out, especially your toothbrush. Discover some things you need to know.
Why Should You Exchange Your Toothbrush Often?
According to the American Dental Association, you should change your toothbrush every three to four months, whether it is electric or manual. Toothbrushes used twice daily can become worn down and less effective at getting your teeth clean and removing plaque from your gumline. After this time period, the bristles begin to break down and cannot get your teeth clean.
Your teeth are important for life, but bad habits learned in childhood can cause major problems in adulthood, especially if your child’s teeth become weak. Weak teeth are more prone to problems like decay and cracks, but you can do various things to help your child build strong teeth. Check out these four tips to help your child’s oral health.
Choose Teeth-Healthy Foods
Many foods are naturally good for teeth because they contain a lot of calcium. Naturally, milk and milk products have high levels of calcium, but they also help lower acid levels and increase saliva flow to wash away bacteria. Leafy greens are also high in calcium, but they also contain folic acid and other vitamins and minerals.
Some foods help because they help brush your teeth while you eat. Crunchy veggies, for example, may rub against the teeth, helping to remove plaque and sugar. Plus, they also stimulate saliva flow, so the dislodged debris is easily washed away. Other teeth-healthy foods include crunchy fruit, nuts, and water.
Denture stomatitis is an inflammatory reaction in the mouth that appears as thrush or mouth sores. Denture stomatitis is common with denture wearers — hence the name. Below are some risk factors and management measures for the condition.
Denture stomatitis has multiple risk factors. Discover what some of them are.
Denture wearers are more likely to develop stomatitis than others. The dentures allow microorganisms to accumulate in the mouth. The microorganisms eventually attack the oral tissues and trigger stomatitis. Some denture wearers face an even higher risk than others. For example, you face a higher risk if:
• You have acrylic dentures that candida fungi have a high affinity for
• You wear ill-fitting dentures that irritate your mouth and make your oral tissues more susceptible to infections
• You wear complete dentures that provide a large surface area of contact between the denture material and your oral tissues
• You wear your dentures for extended periods, such as overnight
• You don’t clean your dentures as thoroughly or as often as you should
When shopping for foods, there is a difference between options that offer full-body health and options that offer ideal dental health. Even if a food provides minimal calories and great nutritional value, you should be aware of the potential problems it can cause in a child’s mouth.
While you do not need to ban the foods, proper oral hygiene habits will help keep their mouths clean and prevent long-term problems in the future.
A quick snack option for children and easy to pack in a lunch bag, dried fruits can last longer in the pantry, but the chewy nature of the fruit can lead to multiple dental problems. The fruit can become stuck in a child’s teeth. The combination of sugars and acid can lead to major oral problems like swollen gums or cavities.
Common options include raisins or prunes. When you shop for dried fruits, you also want to be aware of added sugars. Many companies will coat fruit in extra sugar to improve flavors. Even harder dried fruits like banana chips present problems. Along with added sugars, banana chips may have hard and sharp edges that cut the gums.
When possible, stick with the whole fruits to help protect a child’s mouth and provide nutritional value.
For a long time, amalgam fillings have been the most effective way to fill cavities. Amalgam fillings are the most durable and long-lasting type of filling available. But amalgam fillings aren’t always the best approach to filling teeth, especially if those teeth are visible when you smile.
If you need to have your cavities filled, composite fillings are an excellent alternative to amalgam fillings for various reasons.
Conserve More Tooth Structure
Composite fillings bond to the natural tooth structure more easily and seamlessly than amalgam fillings do. Because of this, dentists don’t need to remove very much tooth structure to place them. In contrast, amalgam fillings need more space, which requires the dentist to remove more tooth structure. If you want to conserve your tooth structure, then choose composite fillings.
Preventive dental care encompasses a number of smart strategies, from periodic checkups and cleanings to home-based dental hygiene. However, if you still struggle with dental wellness despite these tried-and-true methods, you can always enhance your current regimen with the use of a germ-killing mouthwash.
The more you understand about what mouthwashes do, how they do it, and how to use them productively, the better the results you can expect. Have a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions about mouthwash and its relationship to dental health.
How Do Mouthwashes Protect Your Teeth and Gums?
Different kinds of mouthwashes employ different methods to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Many brands use a blend of ethyl alcohol, eucalyptol, and menthol as antiseptic ingredients. These substances can make their way into the smallest gaps, killing bacteria that you might miss with your toothbrush or floss.
Other mouthwashes feature a potent antibacterial agent called chlorhexidine. This substance actually binds to tooth and gum surfaces to block bacterial infiltration. Your dentist may recommend this mouthwash for a brief period (usually one to two weeks) immediately following gum surgery or other dental work.
The human mouth hosts some 700 different strains of bacteria. While many of these strains actually help to promote oral health, others, including streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis, can cause problems ranging from tooth decay to chronic, progressive gum disease.
Fortunately, you have more control of your mouth’s ecosystem of microorganisms than you might think, especially when you understand how certain smart strategies can help you ward off the negative effects of unhealthy oral bacteria. Consider implementing the following three protective measures.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
Bacteria cause trouble for the teeth and gums when they latch onto food particles and saliva, a mixture known as plaque. As they feed on this material, they release acids. The acids can thin tooth enamel or even eat holes in it, exposing the sensitive nerve tissue beneath and setting the stage for root canal infections.
If your child recently got their 6- or 12-year molars, your dentist may recommend applying sealants to the chewing surface of those molars to reduce the risk of cavities. Sealants are like a thin layer of plastic that the dentist paints onto the tooth to prevent food and saliva from coming into direct contact with it.
As with any dental procedure, you probably have a few questions you want answered before you agree to having sealants placed on your child’s teeth. Keep reading to have those questions and concerns addressed.
Are Sealants Really Necessary?
Many good dental care habits can reduce your child’s risk of cavities — brushing more thoroughly, avoiding sweets, and flossing, for example. So you may wonder if sealants are really important or effective provided your child already takes good care of their teeth. In most cases, they are.
A dental cleaning once every six months can benefit your oral health in a number of ways. The focus of dental cleaning is the removal of the plaque and tartar that builds up on tooth enamel. Tartar, especially, can cause a number of unpleasant and damaging dental conditions.
Here are some of the dental conditions that regular dental cleanings can prevent.
1. Prevents Severe Stains
Tooth enamel can stain over time, especially if you eat foods with strong coloring, like curry and spaghetti Bolognese. A tooth whitening procedure is an effective way to treat stained enamel. But whitening doesn’t work on tartar, which is a combination of food particles, dead bacteria and minerals. You first need to remove the tartar before you can effectively whiten your teeth.