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DENTAL FAQ's

I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist yet I recognize the importance of seeing the dentist to maintain good oral health.
What should I do?

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9 - 15 percent of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is communicate with your dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once we know what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.


How Does Plaque Attack the Gums?

Plaque can also produce harmful byproducts that irritate the gums, causing gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal diseases. If plaque isn't removed daily, it will build up into a hard deposit called calculus. If plaque continues to form on top of the calculus, it can irritate the gums, and a pocket may develop between the teeth and gums. Plaque build up can eventually destroy the gums and bone that support the teeth.


How Do You Stop Plaque Attacks?

The two key factors in preventing dental caries are: fluoride and dental sealants. Fluoride compounds are found naturally in soil, water, and in many foods. Plaque attacks can’t be stopped, but you can help to prevent plaque build-up by following a good oral care program of brushing, flossing, rinsing, and regular visits to your oral health care professional.


What Causes Periodontal Diseases?

Plaque, a thin, colorless, sticky film containing bacteria, which constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria use carbohydrates—sugars and starches—to produce an acid that attacks the enamel covering the teeth. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel can be broken down and a cavity begins. Continued acid attacks eventually dissolve the enamel and penetrate the softer, inner layer of the tooth, where decay can spread rapidly throughout the tooth’s structure. Acid attacks begin immediately after every meal or snack and last about 20 to 30 minutes.


Can Periodontal Diseases Be Prevented?

Teeth can be protected from acid attacks by removing plaque, reducing the number of times and the amount of sugar and starches eaten, using fluorides, having plastic sealants applied to teeth, and by regular professional cleaning of teeth by a dental hygienist.


What Causes Tooth Loss?

The most common causes of tooth loss are dental caries, also known as tooth decay, and periodontal disease, which affects the gums and bone structure that supports the teeth. Dental caries is the major cause of tooth loss in children, and periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults; however, it too can afflict youngsters.


When should a child have his or her first dental appointment?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a child have his or her first oral health care appointment around age one. ADHA suggests an oral health visit as soon as a baby's first tooth erupts.


Children are starting to get their permanent teeth. I am concerned because the teeth are discolored. Some even have a brownish or greenish hue. What caused this and what can be done about it?

From your description, it sounds like a very normal situation and nothing to be concerned about. When the teeth are forming in the jaws, they are surrounded by a soft tissue membrane called Nasmyth's Membrane (named after Alexander Nasmyth, a Scottish dental surgeon in London who died in 1847). As the teeth erupt, remnants of this membrane remain on the surface of the enamel.

The fibrous nature of the membrane readily picks up coloration from food. In most cases normal chewing and brushing will remove the remnants with time. If they don't come off, they can be removed by having a professional cleaning. Other causes for staining of teeth include high fevers during infancy, too much fluoride in drinking water and certain medications if taken while the teeth are still forming.


What is the best way to get my teeth whiter?

Most people have teeth that are naturally darker than "pure" white. If you want them whiter, the best thing you can do is talk to your professional oral health care provider about your options. Different people respond differently to different procedures used to whiten teeth, and it will take an in-person consultation with a professional to determine what is best for you.

Sometimes all it takes is professional prophylaxis to remove stain and then abstinence from behaviors that stain teeth, such as drinking coffee or tea, or smoking tobacco. Some people respond well to the use of whitening toothpastes while some do not. Other options available include bleaching, at home or in the office, with chemicals or with lasers, as prescribed by a dentist. Sometimes a combination of options is used.


What kind of toothpaste should I use?

There are a lot of products to choose from, and much of the decision depends on individual preference. A fluoride toothpaste is essential for optimal oral health. Beyond that, your dental hygienist and dentist can alert you to any other features that make one product more suitable than another for you as an individual.


HELPFUL TIPS

Care for your teeth!
Maintaining proper Oral Care can have a crucial impact on your overall health and lifestyle. Here are a few helpful tips to maintain oral health.
Visit a Dentist at least twice an year.
You should go for an oral check up at least every 6 months, to make sure everything’s fine with your teeth and oral structures. A normal checkup is very helpful.
Chewable gums.
These are of 2 types. One which are specifically made to chew after meals and these help in cleaning of the teeth. And the other gums, are the sweet ones which increases sugar content and attract micro-organisms onto the teeth and they cause decay of the teeth. It would be better to decrease these kind of sweet gums.
Avoid chewing tobacco
and smoking.
This is one of the Major cause for tooth and complete oral tissue damage. The tobacco powder and its smoke causes stains on teeth and they weaken the teeth. Chewing of tobacco can lead to discoloration of teeth and sometimes this tobacco is also responsible for the dangerous Oral Cancer. Avoiding tobacco related products is the best.
Avoid Soda, and Cola like drinks.
Soda drinks contain acids like Citric acid, and phosphoric acid. They slowly react with the teeth and dissolve them. These drinks have corrosive effect on the teeth. You can have these soft drinks, which are originally hard, but just don’t become addicted to those kind of drinks.
* Milk, Water and Juices – These would be the best substitutes for the Soft drinks. Milk also helps in promoting stronger jaw bones, and also strengthens teeth. Water is pure as always and does not contain Micro Organisms. And sometimes a few dentists say that Juice is as harmful as Cola, as it also contains organic acids.
Use Fluoride Rinse method.
There is a rinse available which helps in preventing decay of the tooth and also helps in Strengthening the outer enamel of the teeth. The hypersensitivity of the dentin layers also gets decreased due to rinse. Stannous fluoride dental rinse are available for this purpose.
Here is a technique for using a rinse:
Brush and floss the teeth thoroughly before using the dental rinse. Measure 1/8 ounce into the mixing vial provided with the rinse; add water to the 1 fl. oz. mark and mix; use half of the measured dental rinse in the mouth and vigorously swish around and between the teeth for one minute, then spit out. This process has to be done once or twice a day. The dental rinse should not be swallowed, and 30 minutes before or after using rinse, no food should be taken in. If not taken in recommended amounts, a few side effects could occur.
Floss Regularly
This is also a nice and effective way of getting rid of any food particles from the surface of the teeth and the gaps between the teeth. They clean all the grooves of the teeth and prevent tooth decay. Any type of floss can be used for flossing.
Brush Regularly
A normal count of 3 times per day would be good. i.e. Morning, After Meals and after dinner or before going to bed. Also, there are quite a few fluoride products that are available in market which you can use in the Night which helps in preventing cavities in the teeth. Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles, which does not damage your enamel layer, or remove it away.