A Rundown On Dental Hygiene and Teeth Health

Heart disease is one the country’s top killers, and most people do not realise that there is a link between dental hygiene and heart disease. Gum disease, in particular, can increase the chances of developing heart disease according to research studies. Good dental hygiene and teeth cleaning needs to be a regular daily event, and with the help of your dental hygienist, you can prevent gum disease and cavities.

Your Dental Hygienist

Visits to the dental office usually involve meeting with both a dental hygienist as well as the dentist. The hygienist will examine your general dental health as well as clean and scale (scraping off buildup) your teeth. Visiting your hygienist every six months will allow you to maintain a healthy dental routine and regular cleanings.

What You Can Do

Dental hygienists will clean and scale your teeth every six months. However, it is your responsibility to keep up the care and cleaning in between. They will recommend regular practices and a routine for you to follow. Sticking to the plan closely is the best way to protect your teeth and gums. In the event visits to the dentist are further apart, following the practices can help keep teeth healthy in the meantime.

Tooth Brushing

The first necessary act in protecting against dental disease is brushing your teeth. A toothbrush will not remove tartar, which is a calcified plaque that has hardened over time, but since plaque turns into tartar, it is the best place to start. As we eat, the bacteria (plaque) feeds on the sugar in foods and forms a substance that will irritate gums and cause tooth decay Gum damage can lead to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease, and tooth decay is the start of cavities, all of which can be prevented by removing plaque.

Brushing Tips

A toothbrush should comfortably fit in your mouth, while brushing in any direction, with smaller brushes often being better choices. Toothbrushes can be hard, medium and soft with softer ones being preferred by dentists because they are less likely to cause gum abrasions. Replacing your toothbrush regularly is important; take care to note when the bristles begin to spread out from their standard rectangular shape.

Toothpaste choices are abundant which can be confusing. Research shows that professionals prefer the use of fluoride toothpaste as these are better at preventing cavities and work towards strengthening your enamel. A small pea-sized amount is all that is needed for all your teeth, despite the images shown in commercials. All that is left is to add some water to your brush and paste, and you are ready to go, starting with a couple of teeth at a time, moving in small circular movements.

The best way to clean your gum line is by keeping the brush at a 4-degree angle, bringing the bristles close to the gum and wiggling the brush gently. Do not forget when you get to the teeth, clean all three surfaces; the chewing surface and both cheek and tongue sides. The inner tongue side is best cleaned with the brush in a vertical position and an up and down motion. If you are prone to bad breath, also gently brushing the sides of your cheeks and tongue can help.

Gentle brushing is important, so as not to scratch or irritate your gums. Some think the removal of plaque requires tough brushing, but gentle circles will take care of the job correctly. The total brushing time should be between 2 and 3 minutes and is recommended at least once a day before bed. Brushing after breakfast too is also beneficial. For those who wear dental hardware like braces, brushing after each meal is strongly recommended.

Toothbrushes not only come in different textures, but you also get a selection of manual or electric versions. The electronic brushes are increasingly more accessible, but there is no proof that they are any more efficient or better at cleaning than manual brushes. Since there is statistically no evidence that one is better than the other, the choice of the toothbrush is simply a personal preference. Regular and thorough brushing will be effective with either type of rush.

For those who do prefer an electric toothbrush, the options with oscillating bristles (rotating in a circular motion) will be the most effective. Again softer bristles are better as well as ensuring your choice of electric brush fits comfortably in your mouth.

Tooth Flossing

Evidence shows that flossing along with brushing is the most effective way to remove plaque, which will prevent cavities and protect against gingivitis better than just brushing. Using floss allows you to reach between teeth clearing away the plaque most responsible for cavities. Learning the correct flossing technique from your dental hygienist is important because a poor technique can damage gums and cause bleeding and possible infections.

It is best to start with one tooth and proceed in a set order to be sure you don to miss a tooth. Use a strand that is roughly 15 to 20 inches long and wrap it around your index fingers leaving about 2 inches between them. Carefully place floss between the teeth and press gently; being too rough and forceful can cause bleeding gums. Form a C-shape with the floss and gently move it up and down the tooth making sure it stays pressed tightly against the surface and repeat for both sides.

Mouth Rinses

There is mixed evidence when it comes to the effectiveness of mouth rinses regarding removing bacteria. Some reports have it as working better than floss whereas others say the opposite. When it comes to dental professionals, most will advise that regular brushing and flossing are best for overall tooth care and mouth rinses are good as an additional treatment. Mouthwash is therefore, generally considered a personal preference.

Partner With Your Dental Hygienist

To ensure the best care for your teeth, work with your hygienist on a plan. Based on your situation, they can help you to develop a routine to protect your teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing with an approved technique can keep your mouth free of plaque and tartar. Keeping your scheduled cleaning visits along with your own maintenance will be the most effective way to prevent against periodontal disease, jaw damage, cavities and large dental bills. Even though the dental community will help you, your teeth are your responsibility, so once you have a plan, make sure to stick to it.

How Oral Hygiene Effects the Rest of Your Body

Often underestimated as both a diagnostic tool and treated as separate from the body as a whole, oral hygiene is more intrinsically tied to your body’s well-being than you might think. Taking care of you teeth by not only brushing and flossing but also maintaining regular appointments with a dentist can have a positive ripple effect on the health of your body in so many ways. Not only does good oral hygiene prevent harmful bacteria from being introduced into the rest of your system, but the monitoring of your dental hygiene by a seasoned professional can act as a strong indicator of other health problems, potentially leading to early intervention and more effective treatment.

Clues to Diabetes

One of the first key indicators of diabetes can be seen in the mouth. Gum disease is often one of the first problems that many people living with diabetes encounter, sometimes before they even know they have a diabetic condition. This is due to changes in blood flow that, according to studies conducted by Ohio State University, can cause a reduced flow to the gums causing them to weaken and become vulnerable to infection. This telltale sign of diabetes is easily detected by trained dentists who can alert the patient to the need for further treatment. As an indicator of diabetes, this is highly accurate with dentists able to correctly identify patients with diabetes in over 70% of cases based on inspection of missing teeth and gum abnormalities, achieving a correct rate of over 90% when they were able to examine blood tests.

Dental Hygiene and Pregnancy Complications

The body goes through tremendous changes during pregnancy, and the added demands on the body often result in dental hygiene suffering. Many parental programs suggest that pregnant women visit a dentist during their pregnancy just to stay on top of such issues like gum disease. There are additional reasons that it is important to consider your oral hygiene if you are expecting or even trying to conceive.

Preterm births can be a terrifying prospect for expectant mothers, so the links that have been made between periodontal disease and the likelihood of preterm births is another reason to visit a dentist during your pregnancy. There is also an Australian study which indicates a link between periodontal disease and decreased fertility.

Deterioration in Oral Hygiene can also effect your:

Heart

Heart disease has also been linked to periodontal disease, with the long term bacterial infection of the gums potentially leading to increased likelihood of heart attacks and strokes. There is still a lot of research to be done into this link, and the causal relationship between gum disease and heart disease is not definitive at this stage. There is, however, more a more established body of research that indicates that bacterial heart conditions such as Endocarditis can occur when bacteria from an infection in the gums enters the blood stream, perhaps due to a tissue tear from brushing teeth. This condition is rare and not a serious concern for those with an otherwise healthy heart.

Lungs

Similarly, the link between bacterial respiratory illness and bacterial gum disease is the subject of numerous studies. It has been posited that bacteria being inhaled through the mouth into the respiratory system can worsen preexisting chronic conditions, and even cause pneumonia and other respiratory diseases in those whose immune system is already compromised.

Joints

The link between osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and dental hygiene may not be immediately apparent, but a study conducted to investigate the link between oral bacteria and bacteria found in the synovial fluid of the knees of people living with arthritis found the same types of bacteria in both areas. Bacteria found in arthritic joint undoubtedly worsen the condition, but the study as mentioned above was not of a sufficient sample size to be conclusive and additional research is required.

 

Why your Dentist needs to know your medical history

It is incredibly important to disclose to your dentist a detailed medical history. Certain conditions can either exasperate dental problems or be exacerbated by dental procedures undertaken without the dentist having the knowledge of the situation. As part of the professional, medical role taken by a dentist they have the knowledge and ability to avoid conducting procedures which may effect the overall health of the patient or to take precautions to prevent harm.

Medical conditions such as certain forms of cancer, predominantly breast cancer and prostate cancer, and osteoporosis often involve medications that can make it very challenging, if not virtually impossible for a patient to recover from certain procedures and a dentist will be able to let you know if you have a condition that may prevent your body from healing correctly after dental surgery. However, if you have these conditions, it is important to still maintain regular dental appointments as your dentist will be able to help you manage your dental hygiene in other ways. Make sure you inform your dentist of any medications you are taking and they will be able to assist you in a dental hygiene program that is best for your circumstances.

Top Child Dental Care Tips to Take into Account This Summer

Summer has been referred to as many different things, including the perfect opportunity for children to totally forget about taking good care of their teeth. Summer dental emergencies can be reduced if you opt to put into practice the following child dental care tips!

Limit Sugary Treats & Drinks

Sugar is regarded as the number one cause of tooth decay in children. For this reason, you should monitor the sugary drinks and treats that your child intakes during the summer. It is highly recommended for you to purchase snacks that are both healthy and sugar-free, as you cannot be around your child at all times. When it comes to drinks, dentists recommend that you opt to give water or other sugar-free beverages.

Opt for Mouth Guards to Avoid Dental Injuries

If your child tends to participate in sports during the summer, protect his or her teeth by purchasing a mouth guard. There are a lot of accidents that occur during the summertime in the playfield. For example, your child could get hit in the mouth with a ball, have a collision with a friend, etc. By not opting for a mouth guard, your child can end up with broken teeth or even no teeth at all. Play it safe; Opt for a mouth guard!

Teach Children About Pool Safety

Going over dental health will always help when trying to keep your children’s teeth clean.

Since it tends to get super hot in the summer, kids love spending a lot of time in the pool. Before hopping into the pool, it is important that you teach your child about pool safety. Explain to your child what running on a slippery surface can do, as well as what taking dives into shallow ends of the swimming pool can do. If children are not taught about pool safety, mouth injuries can occur more easily.

Oral Health Kit

If your kid is going to take trips this summer, pack him or her an oral health kit that contains floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. By doing so, your child will practice good oral hygiene no matter where he or she is at.

Go Over Oral Health Routine

In general, children are forgetful, especially if something is not repeated to them several times, hence the importance of going over their oral health routine. It is important that you reinforce your child’s dental care routine. Explain to your child the importance of brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and eating foods that are nutritious.

Schedule Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

This season is the ideal one to take your child to a pediatric dentist to undergo a cleaning and exam. Before the start of the school year, schedule a dental checkup so that everything can be in order. By doing so, your child can get any issues resolved on time before they become serious. It is important that you take your child to the dentists every six months. By doing so, you will help your child have the best oral health that he or she could have.