Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

Factors to Consider Before Undertaking a Career in Dentistry

Posted by on 6:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Factors to Consider Before Undertaking a Career in Dentistry

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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Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste: Common Questions

Posted by on 6:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste: Common Questions

If you are looking to improve the look of your smile but you can’t afford the cost of professional whitening treatments, you might be thinking about investing in a tube of hydrogen peroxide toothpaste as an alternative. You may have some questions about how this type of toothpaste works and its safety. Below is a brief guide to hydrogen peroxide toothpaste. How does hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste work? Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent which is found in a wide range of everyday products such as anti-acne cream and hair colouring products. It is also added to toothpaste. When you apply the hydrogen peroxide to your teeth, any stains on the enamel are bleached. This creates a nice white smile. What are the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste? Day in and day out, you consume a range of food and drink which can cause staining. While standard toothpaste will help to remove some of these stains, the more stubborn stains can become ingrained, ruining your smile. Hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste is capable of lifting these ingrained stains. Another benefit of using a toothpaste which contains hydrogen peroxide is that unlike other solutions such as using bleaching strips or a whitening pen, hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste will also clean your teeth. This means that as well as reducing levels of plaque, which can lead to increased levels of staining on your teeth, it also reduces the amount of tooth decay and the number of cavities. Professional teeth whitening treatment can be an expensive affair and can require multiple visits to a cosmetic dentist. By using hydrogen peroxide toothpaste as part of your daily dental hygiene routine, you can avoid having to spend the money and time on professional cosmetic dental treatment. Is hydrogen peroxide toothpaste safe? Provided that you follow the guidance from the manufacturer, which should be printed on the packaging or box which the toothpaste was supplied in, hydrogen peroxide toothpaste is a highly safe way for adults to whiten their teeth. The only thing you may notice when you begin to use whitening toothpaste is that your teeth feel a little more sensitive to hot or cold food and drink. You should never allow a child to use whitening toothpaste, as the bleaching product could damage their teeth and gums. If you have any questions or concerns about whitening toothpaste, you should contact your dentist...

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3 Reasons to Visit the Dentist Between Checkups

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Most people are good at visiting their dentist for regular checkups and will only go to the dentist at other times if they have lost a tooth, are in significant pain or something else they deem more serious. However, there are some other reasons that should prompt you to make an appointment with your dentist between regular checkups for yourself or a family member — reasons that you would perhaps not otherwise worry about. Read on for some of the reasons that inspire a dental visit between checkups. You have a small mouth ulcer that won’t heal While ulcers in the mouth are not uncommon, if you have one that is not healing then you need to go to your dentist and have it checked out. Mouth ulcers that don’t heal on their own can be a sign of oral cancer. If your dentist thinks there is a cause for concern, a biopsy will be taken of your ulcer so further investigation can be carried out. Also, your dentist will be able to see if there are other signs of cancer in areas of your mouth that you may not be able to examine as easily, such as on the roof of your mouth, under your tongue, around your cheeks etc.  You’ve developed bad breath If you’ve noticed your breath has become a little unpleasant lately, it may be worth getting your dentist to check things out. Dentists are trained to identify bad breath as fruity or fishy, and both of these smells can mean various things. Fruity breath can be indicative of Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening affliction related to diabetes, while fishy breath could be a sign of something as serious as liver failure. Of course, it could also be something a lot more innocent, but it’s worth going to get it checked out, just in case. Your gums are bleeding If any other part of your body started bleeding, you’d no doubt rush off to the doctor. However, a lot of people discount bleeding gums and think it’s no big deal, perhaps not realising that bleeding gums are a common symptom of periodontal (gum) disease. A lot of the time, periodontal disease is quite mild, but in more serious cases it can lead to major damage to the bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. In the most extreme cases, you could end up losing some of your teeth. For more information, talk to a...

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Work In An Office? Cake Culture May Be Ruining Your Teeth!

Posted by on 8:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Work In An Office? Cake Culture May Be Ruining Your Teeth!

As someone who works in an office with a bunch of friendly other co-workers, you no doubt enjoy going into work each day. However, how do you feel about the idea that this wonderful working environment may be having a negative impact on your dental health? From birthday get-togethers to constant meetings, the extra sugar you consume in this ‘cake culture’ could be slowly rotting your teeth. Birthday Celebrations When an office worker has a birthday, it is often a tradition to bring a sweet treat or two into the office to put on the lunchroom table. The problem is, if you work in an office with a large number of employees, you could be eating a slice of cake more than once a week. Take the standard carrot cake which is always a hit with your co-workers. Did you know it contains on average 3 teapsoons of sugar per medium slice? Bearing in mind that very few office workers engage in the proper dental hygiene of brushing their teeth after snacks or lunch, this sugar sits in the mouth until the nightime brushing occurs. In the interim, however, the sugar will feed the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria will then produce plaque that erodes the enamel on your teeth. As an alternative, provide healthier platters of fresh fruit and vegetable sticks when it is your turn to host the birthday morning tea. You may not be the most popular person in the office, but those who are concerned about their teeth will thank you. Meetings Whether you regularly attend meetings with clients or you have in-house meetings to go to, the temptation to graze on the sweet treats sitting on the table is often hard to resist. Once again, however, the muffins, danishes and cookies on display all contain varying amounts of sugar that you are not washing away before you get home. If you know in advance you are going to have a hard time resisting the cakes available, consider taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss to work. By doing so, you can at least clean your teeth after eating to reduce the amount of sugar sitting in your mouth during office hours. The other important part of dental hygiene when you work in an office is semi-annual dental checkups. Since you are exposed to so much sugar on a daily basis, visiting your dentist is key if you want to make sure you don’t end up with a mouth full of cavities. Early dentist detection can reduce the chance of losing teeth in the long...

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How to Tell If Your Teenager Has Tooth Decay

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While younger kids may have no problems allowing their parents to check their teeth, you may not find it as easy to monitor oral hygiene when kids turn into teenagers. At this age, kids are capable of brushing their own teeth; they are also likely to take any oral hygiene interference from parents as an insult. This can pose problems if you think that your teenager is a bit slack when it comes to cleaning their teeth. Plus, as your teen becomes more independent, you may have less control over their diet, and your child may have more access to snacks and sugary drinks that might cause tooth decay. Given that your teenager isn’t likely to let you look in their mouth to check for problems, you may need to use some parental savvy to spot potential issues. How Do Your Child’s Teeth Look? While many teenagers may give up talking to their parents, you may still be able to catch a look at their teeth from time to time. Look out for signs of decay such as white, grey or even black spots on the teeth. Red and swollen looking gum mays also be a problem. How Does Your Child’s Breath Smell? If you get the chance to get up close and personal to your teenager, you may be able to check how their breath smells. Tooth decay often comes hand in hand with bad breath. If your child’s breath smells bad over a few days and you can’t see an obvious reason why their breath smells bad (such as food they may have eaten recently), then they may be developing dental problems. Does Your Child Show Signs of Pain? Teenagers may get the odd twinge in a tooth and not tell you about it. Many kids prefer to avoid discussing this kind of thing with their parents on the basis that the pain may go away if they ignore it. However, you may be able to spot if your child has a toothache by keeping an eye on how and what they eat. For example, kids may stop eating sugary things if they have decay problems as sugar makes the pain worse. Wincing when eating something cold (like ice cream) or hard (like an apple) may also be a pointer that there is a problem. If you think that your child may have decay problems, you’re going to need to raise the issue to see if they’ll front up and discuss any problems with you. Talking to them about things you’ve noticed may make your child more likely to open up; if it doesn’t, you may want to make an appointment for your teen to have a check-up with your paediatric...

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When Should You Visit Your Dentist for Quick Denture Repairs Rather Than Wait?

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If you know that your dentures are starting to slide and slip a bit, it’s time to get them refitted. However, this can often wait until it’s convenient for your schedule, and you may need to simply live with the inconvenience of dentures that are slightly out of place. There are other times when it’s good to have your dentures checked by your dentist as soon as possible rather than waiting, and this isn’t just when they’ve broken in two. Note when you should schedule an appointment for quick denture repairs and why this is so important. 1. When your gums are very irritated You might notice some discomfort when you first start wearing dentures, but if your gums become very irritated and especially if they hurt and bleed, you want to see your dentist as soon as possible. This often means that your dentures need to be refitted, and you may have developed an allergy to a certain denture paste or powder and need a recommendation as to something different. If you continue to wear dentures with very irritated gums, this can only make the problem worse, and you might see them actually bleed; you may even stop wearing your dentures, and this can mean not eating properly, so it’s best to see your dentist right away instead. 2. When they have cracked Cracked dentures may still be intact, and you may think you can keep wearing them for some time. However, a crack means that the strength and durability of the dentures are now compromised. You might bite down on something or just bump the dentures against a counter while cleaning them, and the crack can become an entire break. This can mean a more expensive repair and not having your dentures to wear until you can get them repaired. When you notice a crack, make an appointment as soon as possible and handle the dentures with care in the meantime. 3. When they are rubbing against surrounding teeth or cheeks If you have partial dentures, they should fit snugly between teeth without actually rubbing up against them. When this happens, you need the dentures to be refitted so that they don’t cause erosion of the tooth enamel. If the dentures are rubbing against your cheeks or the roof of your mouth or are getting in the way of your tongue, you also need them refitted as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of causing injury or irritation to the inside of your...

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Is Your Dry Mouth Affecting the Fit of Your Dentures?

Posted by on 7:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Dry Mouth Affecting the Fit of Your Dentures?

There are various reasons why your dentures may start to feel looser than they used to. For example, the shape of your mouth changes over time, and you may find that the false teeth that fitted snugly when you got them no longer fit that well after a few years. However, in some cases, you may have an oral health problem that makes your dentures feel loose even though they actually still fit the shape of your mouth well. Dentures can’t necessarily fit snugly in your mouth without some help from your saliva. The saliva that you naturally have in your mouth sits between your dentures and your soft tissues, creating a suction effect to help anchor your dentures into their correct position. If you have dry mouth syndrome, your mouth can’t create the amount of saliva it needs, and your denture fit may suffer. How can you tell if your loose dentures are down to a dry mouth? When Do Your Dentures Feel Loose? If your dentures no longer fit the shape of your gums and mouth, you’ll typically find that they feel loose all of the time. If your denture fit is affected by a lack of saliva, your teeth may feel like they fit at some times but don’t fit so well at others. For example, if your dentures feel more snug after a meal but feel like they get looser between meals, your mouth may not be producing enough saliva. When you eat, chewing puts more saliva in the mouth. This increase in saliva may make your dentures fit better for a while until your saliva flow dries up, at which point your denture fit may not be so effective. Do You Have Other Dry Mouth Symptoms? If you have dry mouth syndrome, you’re likely to have more symptoms than just a bad denture fit. For example, your mouth may feel permanently dry and the saliva you do manage to produce may feel thicker than usual. You may also have other oral problems, such as bad breath, cracked lips and sores. How to Manage a Dry Mouth to Get a Better Denture Fit If you feel that your dentures have lost some of their snugness because of your dry mouth, you can try some home fixes to get more saliva flowing. For example, you may find the following tips useful: Avoid food, drinks and oral habits that dry out your mouth. For example, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks may have a drying effect; smoking also reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Try to get into the habit of sipping small amounts of water regularly through the day to rehydrate your mouth. Eat moist or wetter foods to get more liquids flowing in your mouth. Suck sugar-free mints or sweets to get your saliva flowing. If you can manage to eat gum with your dentures, sugar-free gum is also a good saliva booster. If you can’t sort out your dry mouth yourself, it’s worth talking to your dentist or visiting a denture clinic. Your dentist may be able to recommend products that you can use to artificially create saliva in your mouth....

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How To Deal With Acute Pericoronitis

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Pericoronitis is most commonly caused when gum tissue overlaps the lower third molar, otherwise known as the wisdom tooth. Food and bacteria can get stuck underneath this gum flap, which makes the tooth difficult to access and clean. This can result in a large buildup of bacteria. Acute pericoronitis is when the symptoms – fever, swelling and pain – intensify due to the spreading of the infection. In many circumstances, in order to effectively treat pericoronitis, either the gum flap will have to be removed or the affected tooth will have to be extracted. While you can treat the infection, unless the tooth fully erupts, the problem will likely re-occur. Controlling the Pain The first stage of treatment is to manage the pain and control the infection. Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, are recommended. If the pain and swelling are severe, your dentist may choose to flush the infection and thoroughly clean beneath the flap while you’re under local anaesthesia. Oral antibiotics may also be necessary, especially if the pericoronitis reaches the acute stage. When this happens, you may have trouble opening and closing your mouth. Removing the Operculum or the Tooth The operculum is the flap of gum that overlaps the wisdom tooth. In some instances, minor surgery can be performed to remove it and gain access to the tooth. However, the gum flap can grow back; therefore, a complete wisdom tooth removal is usually the preferred option. Dental surgery cannot be conducted unless the infection is under control first. Using Home Remedies While mild symptoms can be treated at home, acute pericoronitis will require professional dental care. If suffering from mild symptoms, thoroughly brush the affected area with a soft-bristled toothbrush – like those designed for children. This will help keep plaque at bay without causing too much pain. Use warm salt water to soothe and sterilize the area. If symptoms don’t reside within a few days, consult a dentist When pericoronitis becomes acute, you should contact an emergency dentist as soon as possible – the severity of the symptoms can escalate very quickly. While the condition can usually be treated and eliminated within one week with proper care, improper management could be very dangerous. Pericoronitis infections can spread to the head and neck, and in some extreme cases, could be life threatening. Like most dental problems, pericoronitis can be avoided with general pre-emptive care. That said, while regularly visiting the dentist and cleaning the operculum can keep symptoms at bay, extraction is usually the only sure fire treatment. If you experience any sudden or extreme symptoms, visit an emergency dentist such as Runcorn...

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Does Brushing Your Teeth Reduce Red Wine Stains?

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The enamel on your teeth is not completely smooth; it may have tiny cracks and pits in it that can pick up colours from strongly coloured food and drink. If you’re a red wine lover, you may be battling against the staining that your favourite tipple leaves on your teeth. While maintaining good teeth-cleaning habits such as brushing your teeth twice a day may go some way to help, you may not be able to avoid some staining, especially if you’re a regular red wine drinker. However, an extra brushing session may be useful in some circumstances. When Brushing Helps It’s worth adding an additional brush to your dental care routine before you drink red wine. This gets rid of any residual plaque that has built up on your teeth between your regular morning/evening brushing sessions. For example, if you’re planning a night out, you may be able to reduce red wine staining by brushing and flossing your teeth before you head out and start drinking. This cleans off your natural daily buildup of plaque, leaving the surface of your teeth clean and smooth. If you drink red wine when you have plaque on your teeth, the plaque gives the wine a sticky surface to cling to. Once the wine sticks, it is more likely to stain. When Brushing Is a Bad Idea Although you may think that cleaning your teeth after you drink red wine is a good way to avoid staining, this may lead to other problems if you don’t get your timing right. Red wine is acidic. When you drink a glass, its acids sit on your teeth for a while weakening your enamel. If you brush your teeth too soon after drinking a glass of wine before your mouth has had a chance to neutralise the acids, you risk damaging the enamel. According to ABC Health & Wellbeing, it’s best to leave a gap of at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic. Tip: If you’ve had a big night out and can’t face waiting 30 minutes to brush your teeth, try to at least rinse your mouth out with water before you go to bed. While not as good as brushing, this will help move any residual wine off your teeth. Smearing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste may also help counteract any acids left in your mouth. Red Wine Drinking Tips: There are other ways to minimise staining from red wine. For example, the following tips may help keep stains off your teeth: Drink some water after each glass of wine. This helps wash the wine and its acids off your teeth. Try not to hold wine in your mouth for too long; it’s better to just swallow it than to expose your teeth to it for prolonged periods. If you can stand looking a little odd, drinking wine through a straw also helps keep the drink off your teeth. Try to get into the habit of eating while you drink. A few cubes of a hard cheese may help your teeth neutralise the wine’s acid and have a slight scrubbing effect on your teeth that may clean off stains before they take hold. If you already have red wine staining, it’s worth visiting your dentist to have your teeth...

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Prevent Pain and Swelling by Recognising the Early Signs of an Abscessed Tooth

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If you have ever suffered from an abscessed tooth, you will know that it can be an unpleasant experience. It’s important to recognise the early signs of a dental abscess. Dentists will need to repair the tooth that has become abscessed in order to prevent the infection from returning. Your dentist can only treat the tooth if there’s minimal swelling on your gums, or ideally, no swelling at all. By doing everything within your power to keep swelling to a minimum you will be able to have your tooth repaired sooner, as the dentist will not need to wait for this swelling to dissipate. When you notice the warning signs of a dental abscess, you need to do everything you can to prevent swelling, and you need to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible—on the same day is best. A Quickly-Developing Toothache Toothache is the primary sign of an impending dental abscess. Sometimes you are able to see the damage to the tooth, but other times the infection might have developed as a result of a near-microscopic crack or hole. The toothache will develop rapidly, sometimes within hours. So what do you need to do to minimise swelling, thus minimising the required treatment time? Cold Water Swirl cold water in your mouth to minimise the swelling. Do not use ice water or ice cubes. There will be increased sensitivity around the affected area, and using ice can cause pain. You can apply a cold compress to the outside of your jaw, but do not apply it directly to your gums. A small bag of frozen peas is ideal, and this should be wrapped in a tea towel for added comfort. A Tea Bag Soak a black tea bag in warm water and wring it out in order to remove excess liquid. Apply this to the affected area. The warmth will provide relief from the pain, and the tannin (an organic compound) evident in the tea has anti-inflammatory properties. It will also aid in blood clotting if the abscess is bleeding. Ibuprofen Take a painkiller that contains ibuprofen. This will minimise the unpleasant feeling of the abscess and the anti-inflammatory nature of the medication will target the swelling in your gums. By following these basic steps, you will keep any swelling to an absolute minimum. Your dentist might still prescribe antibiotics to control the infection that has resulted from your abscessed tooth, but they should be able to repair the tooth as soon as you’re able to see...

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