Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

What You Should Do After DIY Teeth Whitening At Home

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Teeth whitening provides a simple and effective way of restoring the natural white color of teeth. You can choose a suitable product from the various DIY whitening kits that are available in drugstores and chemists. The key advantage of DIY teeth whitening is that it is simple, comfortable, and convenient since you don’t have to visit a dentist. You can get the teeth whitened within a few minutes or hours. However, on the downside, these kits do not have instructions or advice on what you should do to maintain your teeth after the procedure. Here are some useful tips that can help you maintain healthy white teeth after DIY whitening. Practice good oral hygiene Practicing proper oral hygiene after teeth whitening is the key to maintaining healthy teeth. If you don’t take care of the teeth, they will accumulate plaque and change color within a short time. You could also end up suffering dental caries and spending more money for root canal treatment. To avoid this, make sure that you brush your teeth after every meal and floss regularly to get rid of food particles that get stuck in between the teeth. You can also invest in quality whitening toothpaste to maintain the pearl white color of the teeth. Avoid highly pigmented foods Some foods and drinks are known to stain the teeth, and it is advisable to avoid them especially after whitening your teeth. Foods such as red grapes, beets, and other naturally or artificially pigmented, and drinks such as coffee, cola, and red wine can stain the teeth and affect the results after whitening. If you have to consume these drinks, use a straw to minimize their effects on the teeth. Also, make sure that you brush the teeth immediately after taking them. Note that drinks such as yogurt, milk, and light-colored juices are healthy and safe for your teeth. Visit a dentist DIY teeth whitening does not mean that you don’t have to visit a dentist for regular checkups. A routine checkup is not only necessary for monitoring the results after teeth whitening, but it is also essential for your overall oral health. The dentist may even recommend the proper ways of maintaining the natural color of your teeth to avoid multiple whitening procedures which can erode your enamel. They can also recommend the best toothpaste brands to use, especially if you want to switch from the regular toothpaste to a whitening product for daily use. Have these tips in mind as you go through with DIY teeth whitening if you want to preserve the white color of the teeth for many years and maintain good oral...

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Teeth Whitening 101: Home Remedies

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A great smile comes with a great set of teeth. Discoloured teeth do not fit into the definition of great teeth. If you have yellow, brown or beige teeth, a visit to a qualified dentist is crucial. There, you will be provided with various teeth whitening solutions.  But before you make that visit, there are several simple home remedies you can try out. Oil Pulling Coconut oil can be an effective teeth whitener. You can whiten you teeth by simply applying the coconut oil after brushing your teeth. To achieve the best results, however, you should try oil pulling. Put a spoonful of the coconut oil in your mouth and swish for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can add the oil to your toothbrush and brush your teeth with it. Hydrogen Peroxide As an antibacterial agent, hydrogen peroxide is an essential ingredient in killing germs and keeping your mouth clean. Put half peroxide in half water and swish in your mouth for a minute. Rinse your mouth after the swish. Other than whitening your teeth, hydrogen peroxide keeps your gums germ free. Lemon and Baking Soda This is a good combination, with baking soda being an alkaline and lemon an acid. If used in isolation, the results may be less effective. For example, the high acidity of lemons can make the enamel on teeth wear out – if lemon juice is used aggressively. Baking soda reduces acidity of the lemon. To use this natural remedy, you should put several teaspoons of the baking soda in the lemon juice. Brush your teeth with this solution only once a week  to avoid wearing out the tooth enamel. Crunchy Vegetables You should make it a regular habit of eating crunchy vegetables such as apples, celery, carrots. These vegetables act as mild abrasives, removing stains and plaque. Chewing a carrot or any of these vegetables removes excess foods or bacteria from your mouth. Apple Cider Vinegar This is a natural antibiotic and can remove stubborn stains from your teeth. Apple cider vinegar contains magnesium, potassium, acetic acid, enzymes and probiotics, all of which kill bad bacteria and foster growth of good bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is best used as a whitener if the causes for your discoloured teeth include smoking and drinking coffee.  If you try all of these remedies and they don’t work out, then you should consider seeing an emergency dentist to receive emergency dental...

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What You Didn’t Know about Poor Oral Hygiene

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Nobody needs to be told that they should brush their teeth. This is something that’s ingrained as a child and there is plenty of evidence to show that brushing helps to maintain good oral and dental health. Yet many people treat this twice-daily task as a nuisance and just give it their cursory attention. What’s at risk if you don’t prioritise your oral hygiene? When Brushing Gets in the Way How many times have you arrived at the end of a long, tough day and tried to rush your evening ablutions before jumping into bed? You may even decide to “just” brush your teeth and not floss on this occasion. That type of approach quickly builds up a bad habit over time. It’s very important to brush for at least two minutes each time you do this as well as to floss between each of your teeth individually. This is because your mouth is known to be one of the dirtiest places in the whole of your body. There are millions of bacteria, some of which are to be welcomed, but the majority of which are not. The Bad Result If you allow this bacteria to cultivate in the mouth through inadequate dental hygiene, it can lead to a quick buildup of plaque, which in turn develops into inflammation and possibly periodontitis. This serious disease can catch you unawares and may not become noticeable until you start to see bleeding when you’re brushing. At that time, some of the very harmful bacteria caused by this illness can enter your bloodstream and cause big problems. The Bigger Picture You might be wondering what some of the larger medical conditions related to poor dental hygiene are. In this case, the “bad” bacteria can find its way through the bloodstream into the lining of the heart and valves, where it can multiply. Inflammation caused can lead to a condition called endocarditis, or a heart attack. It is also thought that oral bacteria can lead to narrowing of the arteries, which can trigger blood clots and the potential for a stroke. As well as these circulatory issues, oral bacteria can also enter the lungs and lead to pneumonia or COPD. Don’t Skimp So, in addition to regular, twice yearly visits to the dentist, make sure that you never skimp on brushing and flossing. In relative terms you only need a very short amount of time twice a day for this important...

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How Technology Has Removed the Fear of a Root Canal

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Root canal surgery used to be one of the more complex procedures performed in the dentist chair. Yet recent changes in procedure and the advent of specialist technology have made this a lot easier for dentists and a lot more reassuring for patients. Often, a root canal can be treated without a lot of invasive surgery and it may be possible to complete the entire procedure in one visit. What has changed to make this procedure so different? Getting Numb The revolution starts with the anaesthetic. The local anaesthesia available today has the capacity to numb the whole tooth very easily, so the patient cannot feel any sensation. High-Tech Instrumentation The instruments used by the dentist are now high-tech. Instead of working with stainless steel, the practitioner now has files made of nickel titanium. The older implements were far less flexible and as a consequence could not reach some of the more difficult locations efficiently. This is not the case with nickel titanium, which is stronger, but a lot more flexible. Using Ultrasound Dental offices have ultrasound capability today. This means that very high-frequency vibrations can be introduced to the area to clean up the root very efficiently in advance of the filling. The hand pieces that the dentist uses to create the correct shape for the root canal are very precise and much faster than they were before. Better Illumination and Visibility The dentist can also see the area being worked on very clearly indeed. The latest in operating microscopes enable the dentist to see the entire area, in order to remove the infection efficiently. Fibre optic light is attached to their magnifying glasses to augment the view. Locating the Tip In the past, the dentist would often find it difficult to locate the tip of the root, also known as the apex. It’s important to locate this apex in order to ensure that all of the infection is removed. Now, a special electronic tool is used, where sound waves automatically locate the apex and ensure the dentist completes the treatment. New Filler Finally, even the material used to fill the root canal has changed. A product called “gutta percha” (which is also found in some golf balls) is a very efficient and antibacterial material. It is used in concert with specially developed “sealers” which are in turn non-allergenic and designed to complete the job with a minimum of irritation. Your Next Visit All of these developments and technologies should ensure that your next visit to the dentist or endodontist for a root canal will be as pleasant as...

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The Daily Grind: Three Issues Caused by Bruxism and How to Fix Them

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Bruxism, or regular grinding of the teeth, is a medical condition that affects many people, although it is most common in adults between the ages of 25 and 44. Many people grind their teeth subconsciously while sleeping, usually during times of stress. For some, the problem will come and go and may resolve itself naturally when contributing factors like anxiety, alcohol and recreational drugs are removed. However, bruxism that’s left untreated can lead to tooth damage, jaw disorders and headaches. Read on to find out more about the secondary issues caused by bruxism, and how to fix them. Worn down teeth As you might imagine, regularly grinding the teeth can cause them to gradually wear down. The loss of vertical length in your teeth can lead to an unappealing appearance and difficulties in chewing. This can be fixed via a cosmetic dental procedure known as bite reclamation. Your dentist will ascertain how much length has been lost and use fillings to get your teeth back to their full size. This can dramatically alter the appearance of the face, may help rectify pain caused by an uneven bite, and can even remove wrinkles. Jaw and facial pain Grinding the teeth puts a lot of pressure on your jaw, leading to problems with the temporomandibular joint. You might experience difficulty opening your mouth fully or struggle to bite and chew food. The jaw may pop, crack or lock into place, which is painful and inconvenient. TMJ can sometimes be eased using special exercises, like slowly opening the mouth as wide as possible and applying pressure below the chin to increase muscle strength. You should visit your dentist for a full consultation before attempting any exercises, as your TMJ problem may be better treated by trying to address the issues behind your grinding problem instead. Headaches The pressure that’s put on your jaw and face by grinding can also trigger headaches. In the short term, these can be treated using over-the-counter painkillers, but this won’t address the underlying problem. If your bruxism is so severe that you’re experiencing daily headaches, then wearing a mouth guard or splint at night is a good option to consider. This will hold your jaw in place and prevent you from grinding by putting a barrier between your teeth. For bruxism that’s related to stress, cognitive behaviour therapy can be helpful, particularly when combined with relaxation techniques before bed. Yoga, meditation and massage have all been shown to reduce stress — try a few different techniques to see what works for...

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How New Techniques Help Alleviate Concerns at the Dentist Office

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Many exhibit some form of trepidation when they are making a visit to the dentist. This is likely caused by an unpleasant experience which they endured during their childhood. Yet even though techniques have improved dramatically over the years, that feeling of hesitance still remains for many. What are dentists doing to alleviate this? Body Language Many dentists today are practising a new way of interacting with their clients. They are exhibiting forms of body language that are meant to reassure the patient and are being very careful with their choice of words. To start off with, your dentist will now exude a lot of confidence with their gestures and their posture. They make sure that any arm and hand movements that they make are clear and with reason, as this communicates purpose to the patient. They are making sure to maintain good eye contact with the patient, which in turn communicates that the patient is ‘in charge’ and the dentist is respecting what they say. Verbal Reassurance When it comes to verbal interaction, they are avoiding the use of language that sounds too ‘clinical’. They are also avoiding negative words. Many people may associate the word ‘drill’ with a rather negative outcome in terms of the potential for pain in the dentist’s chair. Consequently, dentists these days are calling such a tool a ‘hand piece’ instead. Instead of advising a patient that the injection ‘won’t hurt’, they are framing it in a more positive way by saying something like ‘you probably won’t feel this’. Tell, Show, Do Dentists are also becoming far more explanatory when it comes to reassuring apprehensive patients. This is based on the technique known as ‘tell, show, do’ which was originally developed for children but has been shown to be equally as effective when it comes to nervous adults. First, the dentist will explain exactly what they plan to do and then they will demonstrate this by showing the equipment to the patient and demonstrating a visual of the technique on their own hand. Then they will go ahead and perform the procedure. This is all part of establishing a good rapport with the client and asking the patient for feedback as this method of communication continues. Long-Term View All these measures are meant to reassure the patient that they are in control at all times and to help them get over the fear of the unknown, which is at the root of most dental phobias. Modern-day dentists know that if you are pleased by your visit then you are far more likely to keep with a course of practice and might even look forward to your next visit to the dentist’s chair. If you have specific questions about dental treatment, whether it’s for something like cosmetic dentistry or more general treatment, contact a clinic in your area...

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5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Damage Sugar Does to Your Teeth

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Everybody knows that sugar isn’t great for teeth. Though delicious, sugar combines with the bacteria in your mouth to create acids, which then start to eat away at tooth enamel, stripping it of its minerals and eventually causing decay. Of course, few people are willing to commit to eliminating sugar from their diets altogether, but there are a number of steps you can take, beyond brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly, that will reduce the amount of damage that sugar can do to your teeth. Here are just five. 1. Chew Gum When it comes to fighting back against the damage caused by sugar, your teeth have one strong natural defence: saliva. The saliva in your mouth contains several important minerals, including calcium and phosphate, that help enamel to replace the minerals it loses during an acid attack. Chewing some gum after you enjoy a sugary drink or meal will promote saliva production. Just make sure it’s sugar-free gum! 2. Drink a Glass of Fluorinated Water You’ll probably know that toothpaste usually contains fluoride. Like saliva, fluoride is an important substance for keeping your teeth healthy, so it is often added to public drinking water in order to improve the population’s oral health. Most of Australia now enjoys access to fluorinated water from their taps, but you can always pick some up at the shops if your area isn’t covered. 3. Limit Snacking The amount of sugar you consume each day is important, but equally important is the number of times you consume it. After your teeth come into contact with sugar, the resulting acid attack lasts around 20 minutes. If you eat another sugary treat 20 minutes after the first one, the process starts all over again. If you’re going to have sugary drinks or foods, try to consume them with your main meals of the day in order to reduce the number of these acid-attack periods. 4. Don’t Eat or Drink Anything with Sugar Before Sleeping Ideally, you want to brush your teeth before bed, having nothing to eat or drink, besides water, between putting down the toothbrush and hitting the hay. However, it is especially important not to slip in any sugary snacks. When you sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced, so teeth will be less able to repair themselves after the acid attack caused by your sugary pre-bed treat. 5. Use a Straw for Sugary Drinks Popular soft drinks often contain a significant amount of sugar, so they are one of the worst dental offenders. If you still want to keep drinking them, try using a straw whenever possible instead of drinking directly from the can, bottle, or glass. This will limit the amount of contact that the drink and its sugars have with your...

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Why You Should Consider Laser Dentistry for Your Child

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Few things can cause a parent more anxiety than imagining how distressed their child will be during a visit to a dentist. Luckily, laser dentistry can offer a way to avoid many of the reasons that make children apprehensive about visiting a dentist. This article discusses some of the ways through which laser dentistry can be good for your child. Reduction of Dental Visits Oftentimes, one has to make several visits to a dentist in order to complete different dental treatments. For instance, your child may need to be taken to the dentist in order to have a tooth filled. That same child may need to make another visit in order to have canker sores treated. The use of laser beams helps to have different dental treatments conducted in one visit. This is because each treatment is quick and painless. For instance, no drill is used and that saves the child from being terrified as the drill is humming. The laser quickly cuts through the tooth so that fillings can be placed before another procedure, such as treating a tongue-tie, can begin. Minimal Use of Drugs Many conventional dental treatments require the cosmetic dentist to administer drugs, such as anaesthetics, in order to numb the site of the dental procedure. Some children may have allergic responses to some of those drugs. You can have peace of mind that the use of laser dentistry will save your child from the risk of suffering from the after-effects of the drugs that are administered during dental treatments in which lasers are not used. Less Likelihood of Disrupting Orthodontic Treatment Some children who have braces develop excess gum tissue that covers sections of their teeth. This condition is called hyperplasia. The overhanging gum tissue can form a cavity into which food particles and bacteria can be trapped. This can make your child to be prone to developing gum disease. Some dentists may remove the braces in order to deal with the hyperplasia first. This can disrupt the process of moving the teeth of your child to a better position. Laser dentistry allows the cosmetic dentist to re-contour the excess gum tissue without having to remove the braces. This can keep your child on schedule with the repositioning of his or her teeth. Laser dentistry is relatively new in the dental field. You should therefore talk to your family dentist so that you confirm whether he or she offers this form of treatment. Discuss how your child can benefit from laser dentistry in case that child has a dental condition for which laser treatment can be...

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Situations That Constitute Dental Emergencies

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It is not uncommon to find some people ignoring oral pain. This could be because they are under the assumption that it will eventually go away on its own, or maybe they are simply anxious about paying a visit to the dentist. Although there may be some situations where you may not have to seek medical attention, such as a burnt palate from hot food or beverages, there are other situations that need to be treated as dental emergencies. The following are some of the situations that would constitute a dental emergency and you should seek immediate care from a dental professional. A chipped or cracked tooth Although teeth are innately strong, this does not make them immune to chips and fractures. You can develop a chip or a crack in your tooth for a variety of reasons ranging from excessive force when biting down, a developing cavity or high impact to your mouth. Some tooth chips or cracks may not be painful from the get-go and this is why you will find some individuals overlooking dental care. However, if the pulp in your tooth starts being exposed over time, it could lead to an array of dental problems such as bacterial infections. It is in your best interests to seek emergency dental care so that the dentist can determine whether measures should be taken to restore the tooth. A knocked out tooth A misconception that some people have about teeth that have been dislodged or knocked completely out is that they are not salvageable. The fact is the success rate of re-implanting your tooth will depend on how fast you seek emergency dental care. If the dentist can assess the tooth immediately, the nerves in your gums may still be alive and the tooth can be saved. In the event that the nerve endings have already died, then the dentist can seek alternative restorative measures such as dental implants or dental bridges. It should be noted that neglecting a knocked out tooth can lead to undue complications such as interference with your bite, speech problems and more. A missing crown or filling Some individuals may not take a missing crown or a filling as a dental emergency, especially if they are not in any severe pain. However, these crowns and fillings function to protect the tooth they were installed on. Staying without a filling could lead into the development of a new cavity in the affected tooth. A missing crown, on the other hand, could cause further wear and tear on the affected tooth. In both cases, the lack of the protective cover will make your tooth prone to premature deterioration and could also accelerate the sensitivity of the tooth. It would be prudent to seek emergency dental care to have these devices...

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Factors to Consider Before Undertaking a Career in Dentistry

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Many school leavers interested in the medical field are torn on what career choices to pursue due to the numerous disciplines available in the sector. Dentistry provides a fulfilling and highly rewarding choice for individuals who choose to pursue this path. However, before taking the plunge into dentistry one should consider the following vital factors: Flexibility: Like any other medical profession, dentistry requires one to be very flexible when it comes to working hours due to the sensitive nature of the job. Potential candidates for dental school should critically evaluate themselves to ascertain if they fit the bill for being dentist concerning working hours. As such, one should be ready to work long or odd hour’s dependent on duty. If an individual is comfortable with the unpredictable schedule, then they are on the right path when it comes to a career in dentistry. Creativity and Passion: Unlike a majority of medical disciplines, dentistry requires considerable creativity since the medical professional deals with a critical feature concerning personal looks. Being creative is a big plus for any aspiring dentist due to the unique challenges that they might come across during their work. Ideally, the dentist should be able to envision the final product, which requires artistic intuition. If a potential dentistry candidate has the following quality, then he or she is right on track. Notably, this is not taught in dental school, but has more to do with personality than training. Additionally, one needs a lot of passion for continued commitment. Satisfaction: Even though money is a major factor for most individuals, it should not be the primary driver for a career in dentistry. Fortunately, monetary incentives in the profession are more than rewarding due to the technical nature of the job. Personal satisfaction should be the force behind the desire to be a dentist since most dental practitioners derives their contentment when they put a smile on the face of a patient. Strenuousness: Many people are oblivious of the fact that dentistry is very demanding physically. Notably, dentists work on a small area for a long time coupled with an intense focus to avoid mistakes is bound to take a toll on the physical well being of a practitioner. Individuals interested in this particular field should be ready to endure physical stress in the course of their work. However, if one does not mind the exertions, then a career in dentistry will suit their...

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