How to brush your teeth?
The first step is to choose a good toothbrush. You should always use a soft brush with a small head. A soft brush is hard enough to remove plaque and soft enough not to damage your teeth or gums.
Note: Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner, if the bristles begin to look worn out because a worn out brush will not clean your teeth properly.
The next issue is to choose a good toothpaste. Any toothpaste that contains Fluoride will do the job, unless you have a special need that is determined by your dentist.
The first rule of brushing is to start from a specific location and work your way to the opposite side and all the way through the whole mouth so that you end where you started. This way you won't miss any area. Also usually a pea size of tooth paste is enough. A good brushing should at least take 2 minutes and ideally around 4 minutes.
There are many different techniques for brushing your teeth but one of the most popular one is described here:
Place the bristles at a 45 degrees angle to the teeth. Slide the tips of the brush under the gums.
- Jiggle the bristles very gently so that any plaque growing under the gums will be removed.
- Be sure to brush the outside surface, the tongue side & chewing surface of your teeth.
- If your mouth is full of foam, spit out and continue brushing. Your brushing is completed when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth and not when your mouth is full.
- For the front teeth, brush the inside surfaces of the upper & lower jaws by tilting the brush vertically & making several up & down strokes with the front part of the brush over the teeth & gum tissues.
- Debris & bacteria can collect on your tongue & cause bad breath. Brushing Your Tongue will help to freshen your breath.
- As far as frequency of brushing is concerned, ideally you must brush your teeth after every meal. But if you can’t, then brush at least twice a day after breakfast and before going to bed.
Electric Brush Versus Manual Brushes
There have been multiple studies comparing the effectiveness of manual brushes as opposed to electric brushes.
Although not all the electric brushes are the same, in conclusion of all these studies it is fair to say that in general electric brushes are more effective in controlling the plaque than manual brushes. Theoretically you could do a very good brushing with a regular hand brush but the movements of an electric brush makes the task easier and more efficient. Also, some electric brushes have vibration that is difficult to mimic with a hand brush! Other electric brushes have small heads that help you reach hard to reach areas of your mouth. This aspect is more important when you are talking about somebody with orthodontic braces or a history of gum disease.
The surfaces that are between the teeth are not accessible to brush therefore; the best way to clean them is by flossing. The frequency of flossing is like brushing and ideally after every meal, though one time a day (before going to bed) is the minimal necessity.
How should you be cleaning in between your teeth?
- Take about 30 cm of floss & loosely wrap most of it around each middle finger, wrapping more around one finger than the other, leaving 5 cm of floss in between.
- With your Thumbs & index finger holding the floss tight, gently slide it down between your teeth, while being careful not to snap it down on your gums.
- Curve the floss around each tooth in a “c” shape and gently move it up and down the sides of each tooth, including under the gum line. Unroll a new section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
Fluoride & Decay Prevention
Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water had fewer cavities than children in other areas.
Fluoride that is absorbed by your body when teeth are forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.
Common sources of fluoride are fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste & mouth rinse.
After teeth eruption, fluoride that is inside your toothpaste or mouthwash or what your dentist places on your teeth still has a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the chances of tooth decay.
To help strengthen weak spots, reverse the early stages of tooth decay, get fluoride application done by visiting your dentist.
Dental Health & Eating Habits
- When you eat, food passes through your mouth and meets the germs or bacteria present in the mouth. These bacteria love sugars & starches found in many foods. When you don’t clean your teeth after eating, bacteria use the sugar & starch to produce acids that can destroy the hard surfaces of the tooth called enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs.
- Probably the worst thing you can do to your teeth is to hold a soda and have a sip every few minutes during a long period of time; the same is true for snacking. It is recommended that if you want to have a snack or a soda or juice it is better to have it after food, as dessert or have it in one sitting. Eating or drinking something sweet during a long period of time creates a constant supply of sugar for bacteria that can cause tooth decay! More important than the amount of sugar you take is the frequency of it.
- Cutting down on your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention as well as general health.
- When you have to have sugar!!! The best way to prevent cavities is to prevent the sugar from staying next to your teeth. Brushing after eating sugar, rinsing your mouth with fluoride mouth wash or chewing sugarless gum can help.
- Is there any kind of food that prevents tooth decay? Well, not really. Some people believed that chewing foods like apple and carrots may have some plaque removal effect, but they still contain some sugar, so any advantage of them is not clear.
- Another group of food that causes significant damage to teeth structure is acidic food. Food items like lime, lemon and grapefruit, if in frequent contact with teeth, can cause serious irreversible damage (erosion) to your teeth. Limit snacking & eat a balanced diet.
- Cut down on carbonated soft drinks, keep sweets and sugary foods to a minimum. Instead choose sugar free food for snacking. Good choices include vegetables, fresh fruits, bread, plain popcorn etc.
Regular Dental Check – ups
- Everyone should have a complete dental check- up every 6 months. This is necessary because early detection of a dental problem is the key to resolving it.
- Dental disease never cures itself. The more you prolong the treatment, the harder it gets– taking more time, causing greater discomfort and increases the cost as well.
There are a few different causes for bad breath. It ranges from stomach problems to diets and teeth problems. Most of the causes can be found in the mouth, they are:
- Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the papilla)
- Teeth cavities (especially when food particles get stuck in them)
- Gum diseases
- Extraction sites during healing
- Dentures when not cleaned properly
- Alcohol and tobacco
If you or someone you know is concerned about bad breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your dentist will be able to confirm or rule out teeth or mouth as the source of bad breath.
When the reason is found, treatment will be explained by your dentist. If the source of the bad breath is your mouth there is little chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the problem. They usually mask the problem for a short period of time. They can even sometimes make the situation worse (mouthwashes that contain alcohol because dry mouth and that usually make the bad breath worse).
These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause bad breath:
- Sore throat
- Some foods
- Infection of air passages.
Following a good oral hygiene routine and getting regular check ups with your dentist are best ways of preventing bad breath.
- 1) Keep cotton/gauze pack in mouth under pressure & remove after one hour. Don't replace it.
- Ice pack application from outside for 15-20 min every hourly for first 24 hours.
- Have soft/cold/non-spicy food for a day after the surgery (semi solids like Curd Rice, Kanji, Dal& Rice).
- Continue all medications as prescribed.
- Have an ice-cream/cold un-carbonated drink (like a fruit juice or lassie), immediately after 1 hour after the surgery.
- Warm salt water rinses 24 hours after the surgery (3 times a Day) for 7-10 days.
- Contact the office / doctor in case of untoward symptoms like bleeding, acute pain, excessive swelling (Little pain and swelling is normal post-operatively).
- Don't spit / gargle / rinse forcefully. if you need to spit out, do so gently. Preferably swallow your saliva even if it contains blood.
- Avoid to eat hard / spicy / hot food from the side of the surgery (like papad. pickles. etc) till the wound heals.
- Don't pull the cheeks to inspect the operated side / put finger or tongue on operated side.
- Avoid brush on the operated side for a day after the surgery.
- Don't apply any heat or hot fermentation from outside.
- Do not smoke or have alcoholic drinks up to 24hrs after surgery.
- Do not eat on your new filling for one hour and until your numbness is gone.
- If you are supervising children who had fillings done, make sure they don t bite on their numb lips or tongue (it can cause serious injury to their soft tissue).
- You may experience cold and heat sensitivity and some soreness on your gums, this usually subsides in few days.
- Call our clinic if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days after the fillings, or if you have any questions.
Crown & Bridge
Crown and bridges usually take 2 or 3 appointments to complete.In the first appointment the tooth/teeth are prepared and impressions are taken and a temporary crown is placed on your tooth/teeth.
- You may experience sensitivity, gum soreness and slight discomfort on the tooth / teeth, it should subside after the placement of permanent crown.
- Whenever anesthesia is used, avoid chewing on your teeth until the numbness has worn off.
- Temporary crown is usually made of plastic based material. It could break if too much pressure is placed on it. The crown also may come off; if it does, save the crown and call our clinic. The temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth and prevent other teeth to move.it comes off, it should be recemented. To avoid losing your temporary, avoid chewing on sticky and hard food (chewing gum). Try to chew on the opposite side of the treatment as much as possible.
- After the permanent restoration is placed you may feel slight pressure for a few days. Also, the bite may feel different for a day or two. But if the bite feels uneven or you feel discomfort on chewing on the tooth after 5- 7 days call our clinic. Delaying the necessary adjustments may damage the tooth permanently.
- Continue your normal brushing but be careful while flossing around the temporaries (remove the floss gently from the side).
- Call our clinic if you are in pain or if you have any questions.
Root Canal Treatment
- You may experience moderate pain and sensitivity to pressure on your tooth. Also, you may feel gum soreness for few days after your treatment. The healing process may take several days but the pain and discomfort should subside gradually.
- Take any medication that was prescribed for you according to instructions.
- Usually a temporary filling has been placed on your tooth, do not bite on the tooth for one hour and while you are numb. Also, until the permanent restoration is placed, be very gentle with the tooth. Try to chew with the opposite side.
- Continue your brushing and flossing.
- Follow up with the placement of your permanent restoration (crown/bridge) as you have been advised. Any unnecessary delay on placement of final restoration may damage the tooth permanently.
- Call our clinic if you are in severe pain or experience swelling or if you have any questions.
Teeth Cleaning (Deep Cleaning)
- You may experience some cold and heat sensitivity (especially after deep cleaning).
- If you have received anesthesia do not eat anything until the numbness has worn off.
- Continue your regular brushing and flossing.
- Some bleeding for a day or two after cleaning is normal, but if you experience any excessive bleeding call us at the clinic and let us know.
- Call our clinic if you are in pain or if you have any questions.
Braces Were Placed
- You may experience some pressure and discomfort on your teeth.
- Be gentle with braces and avoid chewing hard and/or sticky food.
- Brushing and flossing around braces are sometimes challenging but very important.
- Call our clinic if you have any questions.
Implant Surgery / Gum Surgery
- You may experience some pain, swelling and bleeding after the surgery.
- Take all the prescribed medications based on given instruction.
- Apply an ice bag on your face over the surgical site on the day of surgery for 10 minutes on and 5 minutes off.
- Keep your next appointment on time for removal of sutures and follow up checks.
- DO NOT raise your lips with your fingers to inspect the treated area.
- DO NOT brush teeth near the surgical site. Brush teeth in the rest of your mouth.
- There is often a temporary loss of feeling in the operated area and the tooth may feel loose.
- Do not smoke, spit or use a straw on the day of the surgery (avoid smoking for a few days after the surgery).
- Should any difficulties occur, do not hesitate to call us anytime.
Instructions For Using Your Denture
Denture being new - initial irritation is always there. Only regular use of denture for minimum period of 3 weeks will give you total freedom from these irritation. E.g.
- Initially there will be lot of salivation: this foreign body reaction reduces within 3-4 days as you keep wearing the Denture.
- Initially gagging (vomiting sensation) can occur. Abundant use of denture -adhesive pastes/powder prescribed to you will help to overcome this. Also sucking on a hard candy can improve this.
- Difficulty in speech in the first few days is obvious but it %v ill reduce slowly as your mouth's musculature adapts to the changed environment-please try to read loudly giving little more attention to pronunciations for first few days.
- Initial heaviness in the head is common & will reduce with time. Please don't remove the denture often for this reason.
- However if there is any injury, go get plate adjusted by your Doctor at earliest but for this, don't remove the denture & come, but denture should be worn at least for 4-5 hours before you see doctor. In this period, to make it bearable, apply anethetic gel prescribed by the doctor.
Don't wear denture during night as it can be detrimental for the health of your gums & underlying bone in the long run.
- 1st week - 24 hour-Only wear, Don't eat.
- 2nd week - Eat soft food (what you could eat without denture) Khir. Khichadi. Rice. c) week - Eat regular routine food (Dal, Rice. Chapatti, Sabi etc).
- 3rd week - Eat every thing except very hard & sticky food like chikkies, nuts, etc. During this adjustment period, if any irritation/ulcer develops, please report to the dentist
To maintain dentures clean.
- Put them in water container with denture cleansing agent (Prescribed by dentist); when not in use. (Not in Hot /Warm /Boiling Water)
- Brush them after food & every morning using soft brush but not toothpaste.
- Don't apply any bleaching/ soap to the denture or put them in boiling water.
- limo much stains/deposits are seen. report to your dentist for polishing.
- If denture breaks by any accident or other reason, don't try to repair it yourself, get it to the dentist at earliest.