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Why Should You Make Dental Hygiene Your Priority!

Riya was very nervous that day. It was the last round of her job interview and she had to meet the CEO, for a face to face meeting. She was an excellent candidate for the role and she knew she would sweep the interview with the job and a great salary, if her skills were the only deciding parameter. She had also dressed up very aptly for the interview, looking her professional best. But still, something was bothering Riya very much.

Riya had been suffering from bad breath for the past one month. She had been postponing her dentist appointment for the past one week and today, she landed in a catch 22 position. She wished she had visited the dentist earlier or at least maintained good dental hygiene in the recent past. Not just Riya, but a lot of us do not pay much attention to the most essential part of our body, that is our mouth.

Dental hygiene is not only about the teeth but also concerns gums, tongue and the mouth cavity.

A research by Bristol University suggests that oral hygiene might be directly linked to cardio-vascular diseases. The research says “cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the western world. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents, and we now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseasesNot just the heart disease, but other deadly illnesses like Alzheimers and pancreatic cancer have been linked to bleeding of gums and presence of bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is the most common dental problem that occurs in all age groups today, other problems that could arise are gum disease (gingivitis), dry mouth (xerostomia), abscessed tooth, joint disorders, etc.

Those with poor oral hygiene are more at risk of developing gingivitis, especially those who have diabetes, as their resistance to infection is lower and also smokers. Women also have high chances of developing gingivitis during pregnancy. Stress, which weakens the immune system and genes can also lead to this condition.

Here are 3 simple reasons on why dental hygiene should be your top priority:

Overall physical health: A healthy mouth is good for your entire body. Dental hygiene is linked to a lot of health conditions as the nerves present in the mouth’s cavity are mostly linked to the brain. Any issues that arise out of the nerves related to dental hygiene can prove fatal to the functioning of many essential organs in the body such as ear, heart, etc. So, it is essential to pay attention to dental hygiene.

Boost confidence: Good dental hygiene ensures that your mental happiness and confidence quotient is also high, especially if you are a working professional.

Be a good role-model: When it comes to dental hygiene, it is of core concern especially if you are a parent. Children consume all kinds of junk like chocolates and candies than anyone else does. Hence, they are the most susceptible to dental problems. As a parent, if you introduce good dental hygiene habits in your lifestyle, your children will emulate you in the same.

Here are 3 simple things you could practice every day to maintain good dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss in between the teeth gaps and your tongue
  3. Rinse your mouth after every meal

And, apart from these measures, it is advised that one visits the dentist once in 6 months to check on their dental hygiene status and also to get latest tips from the dentist on oral hygiene.

What happens at a dental checkup?

According to WHO estimates, about 30% of the children and 100% of the adults have cavities. This could lead to more serious dental problems if not treated on time. Fortunately, these problems can be avoided with regular visits to the dentist. Unfortunately, many people do not visit the dentist regularly. Reasons could vary from negligence to fear of the dentists. So we present to you what actually happens during a visit to the dentist and how they can help you avoid serious complications.

Fixing an appointment

The first step is always fixing an appointment. Unless the dentist is your family dentist or you are having a recurring visit, fixing an appointment is essential so that the dentist knows you are coming. Choose an appropriate time and date for your appointment. Visits to the dentist are generally long, so make sure you allocate enough buffer time.

Cleaning and flossing

After you reach the clinic, an oral hygienist attends to you first. Hygienist takes care of the basic cleaning of your teeth. They use a special brush and a specialized toothpaste to clean the teeth. They also floss the teeth to remove plaque and leftover foods from the crevices of the teeth. Sometimes, depending on the frequency of the visit, an x-ray examination is performed to assess the health of the teeth. He would also know about the oral habits. Questions would be asked pertaining to smoking, drinking and brushing habits to correctly analyze the oral health. Before going to the dentist, a fluoride treatment is done. It is generally in the form of a paste or gel, and would help reinforce the enamel of your teeth.

Dentist takes over

After the hygienist, the dentist inspects the teeth. HE observes them for any gum, enamel or cavity issues. If required, fillings and core buildups are done to maintain the bite and shape of the jaw. Dentist also observes the bite and if any issues are found, orthodontist is recommended.

Orthodontist

The dentist specializes in bite correction in humans. If there is a deficiency in bite, orthodontist corrects it with the help of braces, retainers, night guards and mouth guards. These help regain the bite.

Regular visits

Schedule visits to the dentist. Make time in your calendar to visit the dentist. Once every 6 months should be sufficient, earlier if required. If you are suffering from cavities or fluoride based infection, then the visits must be more regular.

In-between visits to the dentists, personal care is also essential. Brushing and flossing regularly would go a long way in preventing dental problems. Also, smoking and drinking harm your teeth. So take care. Also, some of the infections in teeth occur way before the actual pain starts so it is a good idea to monitor your oral health. So take good care of your teeth and then say ‘cheeesee’.

Nutrition and Dental/Oral health go hand in hand!

Don’t we all wish our tooth remained like a kid’s first set of pearly shiny whites? Those cute little smiles are never affected by decay or cavities? We, unfortunately, do not understand the harm that candies, juices and lollipops can do to our teeth. Dental health is more important than most of us actually realize. And nutrition plays a very big role in this. People with 25 or more teeth tend to eat more nutritiously says a study. So in order to limit those chewy chocolates, and getting to brush twice a day, it’s up to us to keep an eye out for these common dental problems that affect us severely.

We obviously need healthy teeth and gums to eat nutritious and tasty food. And we need to eat nutritious foods for healthy teeth. That’s how the cycle works. When we were kids, usually our diet is what influences the teeth development. And once it’s grown, with all teeth in place, what we consume (food) plays a role in maintaining an oral dental health.

Now let’s have a look at a few food items that can actually help with your oral hygiene!

  • Cheese and milk:

Dairy does mouth well!

Cheese is an important ally. I’m sure all of us love to eat cheese burst pizzas and what we eat has a direct impact on your oral health, and foods like cheese can be of big help. Consuming dairy products is vital to maintain good oral health as many doctors and studies have proved the fact that eating cheese will prevent cavities and reduces the acid in our mouth. The study indicates that the rising level of pH from eating cheese may have occurred due to the increase in saliva production to help clear away food particles which could be caused by the action of chewing. Since cheese and milk contains calcium and phosphorous it infiltrates the layer of plaque by surrounding your teeth to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent erosion plus makes our teeth much stronger.

  • Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables:

If you are craving for sugar, then firm and crunchy fruits such as apple, pears and peaches are your best bet. They have enormous water content that dilutes the effects of sugar and stimulate the flow of saliva and in turn fights the bacteria and helps create mineral defences against tooth decay. Vegetables also help in neutralizing the acids present in our mouth. Thus fresh fruits and raw vegetables that help our oral hygiene are:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Tangerines
  • Broccoli (Helps synthesize three proteins in bone needed for strength; Broccoli and leafy greens also noted for its role in blood clotting)
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices
  • Canned fruits in natural juices
  • Snacks that nurture your dental health:

We all love to munch and snack in-between our meals. Unfortunately, a lot of us choose foods like chips, sweets etc., foods that will injure by promoting tooth decay. Instead we can choose nutritious and tooth-friendly, high-protein foods such as cheese, milk, yoghurt, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry and fish, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here are a variety of snacks and drinks low in sugar and high in nutrition are best:

  • Plain yogurt, hard cheese, hard-boiled eggs
  • Apples, sliced mango, raw vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable enchilada, sushi
  • Hummus, baba ghanouj
  • Naan bread, tortilla
  • Cashews:

We all knew about cashews for centuries that it’s good for our body, but never did we realize it also benefited our teeth. The cashew nuts possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs and eliminate tooth decay. According to the research, cashew nuts contain magnesium, calcium and phosphate which are all important nutrients of dental health. Cashew nuts help maintain healthy gums and teeth. The chewing of cashews produces plenty of saliva, which neutralises the bacteria Streptococcus mutants that causes cavities. We can just eat an ounce of cashews every day to get rid of cavities. Go nuts and snack on cashews!

  • Water:

Fluoride is a natural substance not a medication. Fluorides can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Studies have consistently shown that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe and effective in preventing dental decay in both children and adults by at least 25%.Thus by simply drinking water, a lot of people can benefit from fluoridation of cavity protection whenever they are at home or work.

Apart from all these, we should brush our teeth twice a day after eating and drinking sugary drinks, to remove the plaque bacteria that create the destructive acids. Sugar-free soft drinks can erode your teeth, too. If you cannot brush after every meal, brush at least twice a day.

 

How to prepare For a Dental Check-up?

To retain a beautiful and healthy smile for life, regular dental check-ups are mandatory. It will help you to prevent the need for major dental treatments in future with the added advantage of cost effectiveness. A recommended healthy habit would be a dental visit for every six months. Enjoy a lifelong dental health with a regular check-up plan!

1) Have a Good Sleep: The ester day before your visit, give your mind and body a relaxed healthy sleep that will soothe your nerves to drive out anxiety.

2) Confirm Your Visit: A few dental clinics may take an initiative to call and confirm your appointment on the prescribed date. If not, it is mandatory that you make sure of your visit again 24 hours in advance and be on time.

3) Transfer Your Previous Records: If you’d had a home or work shift from one area to other, you must verify with your old dentist to transfer your existing dental records to the new dentist in place.

4) Brush and Floss: Don’t take your mouth dirty and stinky when you’re about to go for a dental check-up. Besides helping the dentist to examine it easily, it also serves you with better results.

5) Come Updated: Note that you come prepared with your updated medical history, any insurance and any further details on your health entailed in your document. Know that, the more you make your dentist knows about your health records, the more he/she will be able to give you a more personalized care.

6) Discuss in Detail: Make a checklist of all your queries and problems that you were experiencing such as bleeding, sensitivity or sores. Also, it is important to list down all the medicines and supplements that you take it for your temporary pains. Be honest and answer the questions of the dentist.

7) Confront Dental Anxiety: Propose all your fears about the dental treatment that you’re about to undergo to your dentist in advance so that you both can work together to reduce your anxieties and increase your comfort levels.

8) Fix the Next Checkup: Take down the post-checkup steps to be followed and stick to them accordingly. Also, decide on a follow-up appointment date at your convenience.

Your dentist may need your fullest co-operation and in return, you may also need expert professional guidance. It is of no matter whether you’re visiting a dental clinic for cleaning or check-up or any disease or any complicated treatment, the ultimate necessity is “preparedness”.

 

 

 

 

How to whiten your teeth the natural way?

Shining white teeth add a charm to every smile and yellow teeth spoil an otherwise beautiful smile. Don’t make your yellow teeth prevent you from smiling and have your day wasted. There are several ways to get that shining white smile and here we bring you natural ways to practice and make you smile bright.

  1. Brush thrice a day: According to dentists, one should brush after every meal. Thus, it is recommended to brush your teeth after breakfast, lunch and dinner. This reduces the formation of bacteria and in turn, bad breath.
  2. Coconut oil massage: Coconut oil massage helps whiten your teeth and strengthen your gums; so, you get a combo.
  3. Food items with roughage: Food items which are fiber-rich or with roughage such as oranges, bananas, pears, peaches, strawberries, grapes and cranberries work as a scrubber and keep your teeth clean.
  4. Baking soda: Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (NAHCO3) helps in whitening and cleaning teeth. It is an age-old bleaching agent, which has been used to keep up the oral health of our body. One can use it exactly like toothpaste, by mixing it with some water and massaging the teeth with it. Its alkaline nature helps neutralize the acidic pH of the mouth.
  5. Hydrogen Peroxide: H2O2 is a bleaching, oxidizing, disinfecting and antiseptic agent. ‘Swish it in your mouth and spit it out’, this is how you use it.
  6. Chewing gum (with Xylitol): Chewing gum, especially sugar-free gum clears all the debris between your teeth and Xylitol keeps the teeth white.
  7. Lemon Juice: The citric acid present in lemon helps keep your teeth white.
  8. Apples: Being crunchy in nature, it acts as a scrubber to your teeth and cleans them. Cucumber, carrot and broccoli too could be used as scrubbers.

Practice any of the above natural teeth whitening solutions regularly for a white and bright confident smile. Write to us about your experience in the comment section below.

 

8 Tips To Reduce Dental Cavities

That searing pain which runs through the jaw up to the head. We all have experienced it. The pain which doesn’t let us sleep, eat or pretty much do anything. The culprit behind those pain attacks is cavities. In fact, according to WHO, almost all the adults in the world have cavities. Cavities, if ignored for extended periods of time, could lead to lasting damage to the nerve cells and jaw finally resulting in tooth fall. Cavities cannot be easily prevented since all the food we eat contains sugar, but we can reduce the impact of cavities by following certain measures. Here are some tips to reduce the occurrence of dental cavities.

  • Brush, Floss, Rinse

    The basic protection from cavities starts with the most basic step; brushing. Brushing of teeth at least twice a day would help prevent cavities. Once before breakfast and another one just before going to sleep. Brushing helps cover the teeth with a fine layer of Fluoride. This acts as a shield from the bacteria which causes cavities. Flossing after every meal would help remove the particles stuck in between the teeth, preventing the decay of enamel.

  • Say ‘NO’ to refined sugar

Sugar, when mixed with saliva produce bacteria. The mixture then forms a substance known as ‘plaque’. If the plaque is not brushed away, it would lead to cavities. Sugar accelerate the decay process and hence, it needs to be taken in moderation.

  • Eat fiber-rich and fresh foods

Nuts, apples, cheese, wheat products, fresh vegetables are known to break the plaque and prevent cavity formation.

  • Drink water, water and more water

Drinking water helps in reducing the risk of cavities. Drinking lots of water would cause an increase in the production of saliva which act a natural shield against cavities.

  • Sugar-free gum

All those chewing gum ads hold relevance after all. Chewing a sugar-free gum constantly produces saliva. The chewy action also helps remove morsels of food hiding in the crevices of the teeth, reducing the risk of cavities.

  • Eat healthy

Many people associate cavities with oral health alone, but diet plays an important role as well. Not having all the vitamins would lead to teeth not receiving the required nutrition from the circulatory system and causing cavities inside the teeth. Eating foods that are rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K as well as phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium are recommended to keep your teeth healthy.

  • Go easy on the soft drinks

Soft drinks are available everywhere. In movies, in school canteens, in restaurants, in fast food outlets & even airports. And they are the best companions of any meal too. But they should be avoided as they are acidic in nature and could damage the enamel (the protective layer covering the teeth) thereby accelerating tooth decay.

  •  TEA can help your TEETH

Drinking black and green tea helps in reducing plaque buildup. It also prevents the bacterial activity in your mouth and brings the risk of cavities to a minimum.

Following these procedures would help the teeth remain healthy and in turn make you look good. And since most of them are home-made remedies, they would be convenient as well.

How should you care for your dental implants?

It’s vital to remember that your dental implants are not the same as natural teeth even though they may look and act similar in a lot of ways. Dental implants are made of materials all of which are artificial and the way they attach to your jaw bone is different too. So caring for them is very important as it extends the life of the implant.

Maintain oral hygiene

Cleaning and caring for dental implants is important too,  just like your natural teeth as both depend on healthy surrounding tissues for support. Removing the plaque, tartar, etc. from your dental implants can help in preventing bone loss that will render your implants vulnerable to a host of dental problems.

Schedule regular visits to your dentist

Ascertain the frequency and duration of your dental appointments with your dentist as it may vary according to your particular condition but in general they have an interval of about 3 to 6 months. Dentists can clean places that can’t be reached by you using special instruments as cleaning implants is more complex than cleaning regular teeth.

Proper brushing & flossing technique for your dental implants

Your mouth and gums may be extra sensitive right after getting the implants so to prevent plaque removal, it’s advisable to use antibacterial mouth rinses or as advised by your dentist. One or two days after the procedure you can use a soft toothbrush to brush around the implant. Don’t forget to brush thoroughly. Use an interdental brush to clean those hard to reach spots between your teeth and floss for good measure.

Advantage Antibacterial Toothpaste

Antibacterial toothpastes which helps protect your teeth from bacteria throughout the day is a must. Clinical research shows that antibacterial toothpastes have a positive effect on dental implant success. Not all toothpastes are antibacterial though, so check the active ingredients and find out why they are there.

Why flossing is good for your gum health

Floss

Our teeth are probably the most defining of our facial features, especially when we smile. While we all do brush as regularly as we can, there are a few dental hygiene aids that we tend to forget, like flossing for example. According to Dr. Arun K Vasudevan, Consultant Periodontist, Head – Quality & Training, Apollo WHITE Dental says that most Indians do not even know that there is such a thing as flossing that they need to do at least once a day to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent the development of gum disease.  Here is all you need to know about flossing and why you should do it.

Why you should floss

It is well recognized that dental plaque is what starts gum disease and tooth decay. The formation of dental plaque is in turn dependent on maintenance of oral hygiene. Even with the most diligent brushing, food particles that are caught in between teeth are not removed. Unfortunately, the gum tissue that is present in between teeth is more vulnerable to developing disease than that is seen on the outer and inner surfaces of teeth. This is where flossing comes in. when used properly, flossing can be an effective interdental cleanser and therefore an extremely useful tool to prevent gum disease.

Is flossing really required?

There are a plethora of oral health devices available. So it is not surprising that Indians look at floss as just another way of complicating their daily routine. However, literature is not ambivalent on this issue. There is a large body of evidence, beautifully summarised by Claydon, that shows a direct correlation between lack of flossing and the development of gum disease.

Considering that India has a very high prevalence of gum disease, it is all the more important that people use floss here. Brushing alone is not enough, you have to use floss in between your teeth to keep your interdental areas clean and prevent gum disease.

How to floss

  • Floss commonly supplied in plastic dispensers that contain 10 to 100 meters of thread like material. After pulling out the desired amount, pulling against a small protected blade in the dispenser to sever.
  • Now hold the string of floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers. Then slide gently up-and-down between your teeth.
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.  After the area is thoroughly cleaned, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss back up and away from the teeth.
  • For people who face difficulty in doing this, floss is also available with holding devices called floss holders. The floss holders can be used to easily guide floss between teeth and bring out all that is caught in the interdental areas.

Remember floss is to be used in between all natural teeth, between teeth and artificial crowns, bridges and even around implants.

Who should floss and how often? 

Ideally, you should floss once a day. More importantly everyone should floss including children. Flossing is even more critical for people who are prone to gum disease or those who have had gum treatments as preventive measure.

What type of floss should one use?

Available in various forms, you can use whatever suits you best or follow your dentist’s advice. Here are a few types that are commonly available:

Based on material:

  • Nylon (or multifilament) floss-waxed and unwaxed, and in a variety of flavours (Mint). Because many strands of nylon make this type, I may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points.
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss-More expensive, single filament ; slides easily between teeth, even those with tight spaces between teeth, and is virtually shred-resistant.

Based on shape:

  • String or ribbon.
  • The ribbon floss is wider than string and used when a person has some space in between their teeth. This added width will allow for the proper friction needed to clean in between teeth.The string floss is thinner than ribbon and is normally used when the spaces between the teeth are much narrower.

Waxed/ Unwaxed

  • The wax in the floss will make it easier for floss to be slided in between the teeth.

Super floss

  • Is ideal for patients with crowns, bridges, orthodontic appliances,
  • It offers easy insertion with a stiff end threader.

 

  • Effectively cleans large interproximal areas with soft, spongy floss