Healthy teeth and gums are essentials of a sweet smile. They not only improve your personality but also help in digestion by breaking the food into tiny particles.
As goes the saying - Healthy teeth in a healthy body, it becomes all the more important to keep our 32 intact. Our oral cavity is a house of numerous micro organisms. Although these micro organisms are harmless , if we are careless in cleaning our teeth and take too much of refined sugars , these tiny bacteria convert the residual food particles sticking to the teeth into acids which in turn creates cavities in them. This is what we call Dental caries. The patient is unaware of this internal digging going on. It is when there is a feeling of hot & cold sensation or severe pain and if not treated in time leading to swelling , the disease becomes a big problem for the patient as well as for the Doctor. If the carious tooth is filled in initial stage it is better but if the disease has reached the pulp or the area beyond roots , root canal treatment should be done.
Another havoc that may result from improper brushing is Pyerrhoea - pus in gums. A disease prevelant in 98% of Indian population. It starts as a small film called plaque on the surface of the teeth. Slowly the plaque calcifies and this calcified deposit is called calculus. The patient complains of a bad breath , bleeding while brushing and sometimes mild pain. The bacteria present in the calculus forms pus in the gums. The gums receed from the teeth and the bone underneath resorbs. At this stage there is no way out but to extract them.
Another very common problem is irregular arrangement of your teeth -- over riding , gaping etc. The architecture of your teeth depends to a large extent on your parents i.e. it is hereditary but there are so many factors which can cause this defect. Some of them are - habits of nail biting , thumb sucking , mouth breathing , tongue thrusting etc. Thumb sucking leads to outward protrusion of teeth , mouth breathing causes development of teeth with a high arch. So it is never too late if these mal practices are controlled earlier and if the teeth need realignment/correction get them wired at proper age with a fixed or removable appliance.
The restoration of your lost or broken teeth has become quite an easy task with the help of modern technology. So you need not hide your face when you smile. Crown and bridge, cast partial denture, implants etc. are few modalities which help in restoring your missing teeth and if you need to improve your smile , the arrangement of your front teeth can be made more esthetic by selective addition or grinding of tooth coloured composite filling materials. This is what called cosmetic smile designing and believe me dramatic improvement can be achieved in smile with the judicious use of these latest bonding, U. V. light cured, tooth coloured materials.
Prevention is better than cure so proper cleaning of teeth is all the more important. Neem stick is a good choice - most of our population uses it. No doubt it gives exercise to our teeth and neem extract has been scientifically proven to be very good for teeth and gums. But cleaning of residual food in between the teeth is not very effective with neem stick. So there is no substitute for a thorough regular brushing. Brushing after every meal is essential. While you clean your teeth remember your upper teeth need brushing strokes from above down wards while the lower teeth need the strokes below upwards. This cleans your 32 properly and when bristles of the tooth brush start coming out, it is best to discard it. Use of a chewed up brush is harmful for the gums.
When you go to the market for buying your self a brush, keep certain points in mind. Never go for a hard brush nor for a brush with a big head. The big one is unable to clean your back teeth and a hard one cuts the tooth near the gums leading to hot/cold sensation and those cuts need filling with tooth coloured filling material. These days brushes with indicators are available which tells when to discard the brush.
Now just proper cleaning won?t help. You have to have some control on what you eat. As far as children are concerned too much of sweets , biscuits , toffees , sugary foods should be avoided. If they want to have it , it should be immediately after the meal followed by a thorough brushing. Remember snacks should be avoided. If they are taken, you must brush or at least rinse your mouth. Fibrous fruits like apple, sugar cane etc. play an important role in cleaning of teeth.
Now what to eat and what to avoid. We have a brush, we know how to use it. But what about the paste. Yes, it is important too. Even though oil salt mixture is good enough , if used with a brush any fluoride tooth paste is recommended as topical fluoride gets absorbed from the surface of the tooth and it makes resistant to tooth decay. But if water fluoride level of a particular area is more than optimum, use of fluoride tooth paste or any form of topical fluoride application is contraindicated. As in these areas excess of fluoride in water causes fluorises which manifests as chalky white, yellowish or brownish pigmentation of the teeth. Uses of additional cleaning aids like Dental floss , water pick , inter dental tooth brushes are recommended. If your teeth show white deposits and they do not go off by brushing, consult your dentist and get them cleaned. This is what we call scaling of teeth and scaling does not lead to loosening of your teeth as is the old notion.
So don?t neglect your teeth , they are also an important part of our body. Old days of extraction of teeth are over. They are our precious possession and should be saved for as long as possible.
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