Monthly Archives: April 2015

Cosmetic Dentistry: The Journey To A Perfect Smile

We all have heard of cosmetic dentistry. But most of us are not aware of its exact meaning. Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to describe procedure that enhances the appearance of your smile. This procedure is voluntary and not covered under dental insurance.

The benefits of cosmetic dental procedure are life changing and powerful. A smile is worth million dollars. Everyone desires to have a sparkling white smile for gaining extra confidence. Not all of us are blessed with that perfect smile. So what better than getting a cosmetic dentistry?

Oral sedations and advances in technologies have made the procedure less complex. Multiple steps are involved in your treatment plan. Here are some basic steps that you can expect to undertake:

1. Consultation

Consultation is generally free. Your dentist analyzes your needs and gives you his opinion.

2. Treatment plan

Once you have discussed everything with your dentist, you can decide if you want to go ahead with the plan. Once you finalize this, you can talk to your dentist regarding the schedule and the payment of the treatment.

3. Being treated

You will need to visit the clinic more than once. Multiple cosmetic procedures require multiple visits. The dentist will treat the area around your teeth. In case of invisalign, a scan of your mouth will determine the required measures.

4. Fabrication time

Cosmetic treatments involve artificial materials like invisalign, veneers or caps. They need to be fabricated by dentist over time for getting the perfect specifications. Once it gets ready, they will call you to complete the treatment.

5. Complete treatment

You need to wait till your mouth is completely healed after the previous treatment. Once it is done, you can see your new refined smile. The experience will be splendid and delightful.

6. Follow-up

Orthodontics and many other treatments require follow-ups. They ensure that your treatment is effective and without any complications. Follow your dentist’s information properly to avoid getting any infection.

7. Relish the new smile

Now it’s time to enjoy your new shiny smile. Flash it every time with great confidence. It will surely make difference to your life and is totally worth it.

Cosmetic surgery is gaining popularity worldwide. At the same time you should consider this after thorough knowledge of the procedure and the budget. Once you are clear with everything, enjoy your journey to the perfect smile.

Facts And Myths About Cavities

Facts

1. Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay

Acidic foods like citrus juices, lemons or soft drinks don’t cause cavities but they do put your enamel in danger. Acids can erode the enamel which protects the teeth and weaken them. If the dentin gets exposed, your tooth could be decayed. Read 10 Foods That Stain Your Teeth to know more.

2. The decaying stops once a tooth is treated

You can get decay in other areas of the teeth apart from the one which is treated. You won’t decay the spot again if you maintain a good oral hygiene after filling the cavity.

3. More likely cavities are between teeth

Bacteria can develop anywhere where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. The area which is more prone to decay is the deep grooves on the back of your front teeth. It can also happen between teeth as the toothbrush doesn’t reach there.

4. Gaps in teeth causes cavities

The chances of developing tooth decay are high if you have small gaps between your teeth and are unable to clean them. Big gaps could be cleaned so the chances of them getting decayed are less.

5. Chips and cracks in teeth lead to decay

Cracks and chips create a place for bacteria to grow. This happens because your toothbrush doesn’t reach their. Cracks occur because of teeth grinding.

6. Brushing and flossing can prevent cavities

Flossing and brushing your teeth is the key in protecting your teeth from cavities. You can prevent the growth of bacteria by brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you follow good oral hygiene you are safe from cavities.

Myths

1. Kids are more vulnerable to cavities than adults

The cavities in school kids have decreased fairly. However an increase in cavities is seen amongst senior citizens. This happens due to some medical conditions. Some medication can cause dry mouth which reduces saliva. Saliva plays an important role in preventing decay.

2. Placing aspirin next to a tooth will prevent toothache

If you want to get rid of toothache, you need to swallow the aspirin and not just place it on teeth. Considering that aspirin is acidic, placing it on your tooth might cause abscess.

3. All fillings need to be replaced with time

A composite filling or amalgam needs replacement if it breaks down, the tooth gets fractured or cavities form around it. If none of the mentioned issues occur then you can keep the same filling lifelong. To keep your fillings intact you must follow good oral hygiene.

4. If you have a cavity, you will know it

You will never know if you have a cavity. Mild tooth decay doesn’t show any symptoms. The pain occurs when the cavity gets in the advanced stage. If the tooth decay advances more, you may have to get a root canal treatment. Once a cavity occurs, it will continue to grow throughout.

5. Tooth sensitivity means tooth decay

Tooth sensitivity is different from tooth decay. It simply means you have hypersensitive teeth, or the recession in gum has exposed some root surface.

6. Cavities are the prime cause for root canals

You need to undergo a root canal treatment if the nerve inside the tooth gets damaged. If your cavities are untreated they may eventually lead to nerve damage. But that’s not the only reason. Fractures and cracks can also cause damage to the nerve.

7. You don’t have to worry about cavities in Baby teeth

Baby teeth or milk teeth hold space for permanent teeth. If the cavities are not treated in milk teeth, they can give rise to serious tooth pain later on.

Fact & Myth

Sugar is the major cause of cavities

The fact is the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth causes cavities. However the bacteria eat carbohydrates which are present in sugar. Along with sugar; rice, bread, potatoes, fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates. The bacteria produce acids when you eat anything with carbs.

Once the bacteria are produced, they continue to metabolize carbs and produce acids. This increases the cavities. The amount of carbohydrates that you consume doesn’t cause tooth decay but the duration for which your teeth are exposed to it. Consuming sugary things all day long is bad for your teeth.

5 Tips To Control Bad Breath

Nobody likes having bad breath. It is nothing but halitosis caused due to poor dental habits or other health issues. Your unhygienic lifestyle is the major reason for bad breath. Basically when you eat, the food breaks down in your mouth. It gets digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. Eventually they are carried to your lungs and are given off through your breath. Food like garlic or onion has strong odor. Despite brushing and rinsing your teeth the odor remains in your mouth until the food passes through your body.

If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food particles remain in your mouth and promote the growth of bacteria. Apart from this, chewing tobacco and smoking can also cause bad breath.

Health Problems Associated With Bad Breath:

Constant bad breath could be a warning sign of gum disease which is caused by the build-up of plaque. Bacteria form toxins which irritate and damages the gums. Yeast infection and dental cavities is also the cause of odor in mouth.

Another reason of bad breath is dry mouth which happens due to lack of saliva. Many other diseases can also cause the foul smell.

Ways to Prevent Bad Breath:

1. Perform good oral hygiene

To remove the plaque from your teeth you should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Rinse your mouth properly whenever you eat something. You should floss regularly, especially when you eat food that stains your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months. In case of dentures, it should be removed daily at night and should be used only after cleaning it properly.

2. Drink plenty of water

Water helps in keeping your mouth moist. Sucking a sugarless candy or chewing gum can also moisten your mouth.

3. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco

Smoking and chewing tobacco is harmful for dental health and causes bad breath. You need to get rid of this habit quickly to avoid the risk of oral cancer.

4. Keep a log of the foods you eat

Keep a tab of the foods that you consume. Certain foods and drugs can cause the mouth to stink.

5. See your dentist regularly

You must visit your dentist at least twice a year. Cleaning teeth professionally will detect dental issues and get rid of them.

You can get rid of bad breath by consulting your dentist. They can easily detect the source of odor and treat it accordingly. You can also use mouth freshener to have fresh breath. Consult your dentist to know the best suitable mouthwash.

10 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

We all wish to have a bright, shiny smile. It not only enhances our appearance but also boost our confidence. Teeth cleaning and teeth whitening are effective ways to brighten our smile. It removes stains and clean the gums. There are certain foods and beverages that stain our teeth. It is important to rinse our mouth properly after consuming those.

Following is a list of beverages and foods that can faint your beam:

1. Tea

The first thing most of us do in the morning is have tea. It refreshes our mind but the tannins present in it stain our teeth. To prevent teeth staining, you can avoid darker teas. Instead consume green and herbal teas. They won’t stain your teeth much since they are light in color.

2. Black Coffee

It becomes difficult to start our routine without sipping a cup of coffee. Black coffee leaves the worst possible stains. According to a dental expert in UK, the outer layer of the teeth is porous which means foods and beverages remain there ones they are absorbed. Thus to avoid staining your teeth, instead of black coffee you can consume coffee by adding milk in it.

3. Red Wine

Red wine could be good for our heart, but it is definitely bad for our smile. You can try smiling in front of mirror after sipping a glass of red wine and check the disaster yourself. Instead of red wine you can have white wine to prevent teeth damage or rinse your mouth properly after consuming wine.

4. Soy Sauce

Along with dark beverages, dark liquids used to flavor foods like soy sauce can also stain your teeth. To prevent this, whenever you eat Chinese food or sushi, use soy sauce scarcely.

5. Tomato Sauce

Just like Soy sauce, tomato sauce can also stain your teeth. It is bit difficult to avoid the urge of consuming tomato sauce, but make sure you rinse your mouth properly after eating it.

6. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar is certainly delicious, but its richness comes with a cost. Its dark color makes it a teeth stainer. Instead, you can use rice vinegar which is light colored vinegar.

7. Cola

Dark sodas are harmful for your teeth because of their staining color. The temperature of soda can also harm your teeth, as very cold temperatures cause teeth to contract, making them easier to stain. Also, the citric and phosphoric acids in soda erode tooth enamel. The sweeteners in regular soda promote tooth decay.

8. Beets

It’s a well known fact that beets have a tremendous tooth staining power. Make sure that you brush your teeth within an hour to avoid staining your teeth.

9. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and its dark blue skins stain teeth.

10. Curry

Curry which contains spices makes teeth yellow. Its color is so intense that just by looking at it you can tell it will stain your teeth.

Dentists all over the world recommend you to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after consuming these foods to keep them shiny and white.

6 Toothbrush Mistakes That We Should Fix

1. Select the Right Tool

It is very essential to use an appropriate toothbrush. So how exactly would you determine if your toothbrush is proper? As per UK dentists, you need to first understand the size of your mouth. You are using the brush of wrong size if you need to strain your mouth a lot to open while brushing. Your brush should fit in properly in your hand and mouth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid hurting your gums. Also make it a point to brush at least twice a day.

2. Perfect Your Technique

Simply brushing is not important, brushing it correctly is essential. Harsh strokes can hurt your gums so instead use short strokes. You need to gently brush your teeth by holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Brush inner and outer surface of your teeth and clean your tongue. Spend at least 5 minutes in brushing your teeth. The more you care for your teeth, the better it is.

3. Wisely Pick Products

The type of toothpaste that you use makes a lot of difference in your oral health. The stuff used to brighten or control tartar can be harsh. The increase in tooth whitening particles can be harmful and affect the structure of your teeth. You should use plain fluoride toothpaste and if you wish to lighten your smile, you can switch between regular and whitening toothpaste.

4. Control Your Sour Tooth

Diet sodas, energy drinks and sour candies along with orange juice, apple juice and coffee have acid that can soften tooth enamel. Do not brush immediately after consuming sour food. Brush after half an hour so that your saliva gets time to restore tooth enamel.

5. Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

You should rinse your toothbrush before and after using it. Let it dry after rinsing to avoid the growth of bacteria. If you don’t do so then germs from your teeth and mouth can stay on it. Leftover toothpaste can harden bristles. If required use a disinfectant to clean your toothbrush. Do not keep it in a dampened area. Avoid keeping it in bathrooms. To keep it clean, put it in a holder. Do not let two brushes touch each other if they are kept together.

6. Let It Go

Do not use the same toothbrush for a longer duration. As suggested by one of the dentists in Fleet, you should get a new toothbrush after every 3 months. Check the bristles for normal flexibility.If they are breaking apart, it is time for you to buy a new toothbrush. Broken bristles won’t clean your teeth properly.

Dental Care For Braces

Taking proper care of your teeth is always the best defense against gum disease and tooth decay. If you use braces then it is more important for you to take care of your dental hygiene. When you put on your braces, dentists in UK will guide you regarding the proper precautions that should be taken. To make things easier for you we have compiled some of the measures that you need to take when you put braces.

Brushing with Braces

Undoubtedly brushing your teeth is the first step in your dental hygiene routine but while brushing with braces you should follow the underlying steps:

1. Gently brush the exterior of your teeth holding the brush perpendicular to your teeth. Brush with small circular motions always.
2. Brush the exposed part of your teeth between the gums and archwire with the brush pointing towards the archwire.
3. Gently brush the chewing surface and the insides of your teeth.
4. Brush your teeth three times a day while you have braces.
5. After having sugary snacks brush your teeth properly.
6. Use an interproximal brush to clean around your wires and brackets. To avoid damaging your braces, use this cautiously.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing should be done daily. Follow these steps to do it properly while you have braces:
1. Thread the floss behind the archwire and slip the floss between your teeth.
2. Move the floss amidst your teeth and make sure it covers the gum line.
3. Pull out the floss and for the next session use another section of the floss.
4. Do not pull your archwires with the dental floss as it can damage your braces.

Rinsing with Braces

It is important to rinse your teeth every time you clean them. You can rinse using water but if you start developing periodontal problems, you can start using antiseptic rinse. Also every time you drink a sugary or acidic beverage make sure you rinse your mouth.

Oral Hygiene with Invisalign

It is essential that you floss and brush your teeth after every meal and thoroughly clean them before putting back your aligners. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, you are most likely to trap bacteria within your teeth which will produce odor-producing compounds and acid

Retainer Care

As soon as you move on to the retention phase of treatment, it is very important to clean your retainer as well. Brush it whenever you brush your teeth. Daily soak your retainer in a standard cleaning solution. To avoid damaging your retainer, do not use hot water

Dry Mouth & Dental Care

Saliva is essential to cleanse and moisten our mouth. It also helps in digesting the food and prevents infection by controlling the development of bacteria. When less saliva is produced, your mouth becomes dry.

Causes of Dry Mouth:

1. Certain medications

The side effect of various prescribed and non-prescribed drugs lead to dry mouth. It can also be a side effect of sedatives and muscle relaxants.

2. Infections and diseases

Dry mouth can also be a side effect of various medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, stroke, and mumps.

3. Certain medical treatments

Any kind of damage done to the salivary glands can hamper the production of saliva. Also surgically removing saliva glands lead to dry mouth.

4. Nerve damage

Nerve damage due to surgery or injury can cause dry mouth.

5. Dehydration

Excessive sweating, fever, vomiting, blood loss, diarrhea and burns lead to dehydration which causes dry mouth.

6. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle also affects your body largely. Chewing tobacco or smoking can also affect the stimulation of saliva. Breathing with open mouth can also lead to dryness.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

The common symptoms of dry mouth include:
1. Continuous thirst
2. Sticky feeling in the mouth
3. Cracked lips and sores in the mouth
4. Dry mouth
5. Burning sensation in the mouth particularly on tongue
6. Red, dry and raw tongue
7. Problem in chewing, tasting and swallowing
8. Dry nasal passage
9. Foul breath

Apart from the above mentioned symptoms, dry mouth can also give rise to gum disease or gingivitis, mouth infections, tooth decay and many other dental problems. Wearing dentures also become problematic when you have dry mouth.

How to treat dry mouth?

The best way to treat the issue of dry mouth is by consulting your dentist in UK. If you feel your medications are making your mouth dry then you can consult your doctor. He might switch the medicines and give you a different drug if possible. Your dentist might also recommend an oral rinse which will restore the moisture in your mouth.

You can also follow these steps to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth:

1. Drink plenty of water
2. Chew sugar free gum and candy
3. Use a fluoride rinse and brush with fluoride toothpaste
4. Avoid breathing with your mouth
5. To add moisture to the bedroom air, use room vaporizer
6. Use a prescribed artificial saliva substitute
7. Visit your dentist regularly

Dental Care During Pregnancy

You take particular care of your body when you are pregnant, by cutting down on lot of unhealthy food and exercising regularly. You may not realize but taking care of your oral health is equally important when you are pregnant.

It is common to have dental problems during pregnancy. Studies suggest that around 40% of women have cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis. If they are not treated at proper time then the conditions can worsen.

Know more why dental problems are common during pregnancy and what precautions you can take to cure them or treat them.

Pregnancy gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis is a very common dental issue during pregnancy. It causes tender, red and swollen gums that bleed. Few women could also develop a mild tumor in their mouth which can be removed or it gets dissolved on its own after delivery.

The increase in the hormone progesterone causes pregnancy gingivitis. This happens because the hormone gives exaggerated response to the plaque that is already present in the mouth.

Even if you brush or floss regularly, pregnancy gingivitis might occur. If it is not treated on time, it can lead to periodontal disease. This further increases the risk for having a low birth weight baby.

You are more likely to have dental problems during pregnancy, if you have a history of periodontal disease.

Here is what you can do to avoid dental issues during pregnancy:

1. Eat healthy

It is always advisable to eat healthy when you are pregnant. This not only is good for your health but also for the child’s health. To take care of your oral health, try to avoid coffee, soda and sticky foods. Instead eat fiber filled fruits and vegetables.

2. Brush and floss regularly

The best way to keep your gums healthy is by brushing twice a day and flossing atleast once a day. To remove bacteria you can also use a tongue scraper and alcohol free rinse.

3. Visit your dentist

It is necessary to visit a dentist at least two times a year to take care of your oral health. If you are pregnant or undergoing infertility treatment then it is recommended to see a dentist and check your oral health.

4. Chew gum and drink lot of water

The greatest natural defense mechanism that a human body has is saliva. Chewing a sugar free gum with xylitol can increase the flow of saliva which neutralizes plaque acids, washes away food debris and keeps bacteria away. Drinking a glass of water after meals can also help.

5. Get cleanings every 6 months

Having routine dental care during pregnancy and doing dental cleanings every 6 months are the best ways to defend your oral hygiene. But if you have a history of periodontal disease or gingivitis then it is recommended to see the dentist frequently for cleanings.

6. Treat infections

A dental infection can lead to pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, developmental delays and even miscarriage. So always treat your infections before it becomes complicated. Dental x-rays are also safe since most of the dentists now use digital x-rays which have 10-20% of the previous amount of radiation.

Smoking And Gum Disease

The infection in the gum leads to Gum disease. It can affect the structure of bone that supports your teeth. It can also lead to tooth fall in severe cases. Research says smoking is a prime cause of severe gum disease in the United States of America.

Gum disease starts when bacteria develop on your teeth and get below your gums. If this bacteria or germs stay on your teeth for a longer time then layers of tartar and plaque are formed. This buildup causes gum disease also known as gingivitis.

If your gum disease gets worse, your gums can start pulling away from your teeth and form infected spaces. This is called periodontitis which is a severe gum disease. The tissue and bone which provides support to your teeth can break down. This could loosen your teeth and you will have to pull it out.

Symptoms of Gum Disease:

• Tender and bleeding gums
• Red swollen gums
• Loose teeth
• Pain while chewing
• Teeth sensitivity
• Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

Relation of Smoking with Gum Disease:

Smoking has several ill-effects on your body. Gum disease is one of those. It weakens your body’s immune system making it harder to fight a gum infection. Once your gums are damaged, smoking makes the condition worse for your gums to heal. If you are a regular smoker you should be aware of the following consequences:

• Compared to non smokers, you have twice the risk for gum disease
• Your risk of gum disease increases if you are chain smoker
• It becomes difficult to treat smokers who have gum disease
• Use of tobacco in any form, be it cigarettes or pipes or plain tobacco causes gum disease

How to prevent Gum Disease:

You can avoid dental disease by taking the following measures:

• Brush your teeth twice daily
• Floss regularly to remove plaque.
• Visit a dental hygienist for regular check ups
• Stop smoking

How to treat Gum Disease:

If the Gum infection is more severe then you could follow this:

• Deep cleaning should be done below the gum line
• Use the prescribed medication or mouth rinse
• Tartar present deep under the gums should be removed by surgery.
• To fill places where bone is lost, your dentist may move tissue from one place in your mouth to wrap the exposed tooth roots.

If you smoke or consume tobacco, quitting it will help in the long run and prevent your teeth from future damage. Also make sure to visit your dentist often.

10 Causes Of Sensitive Teeth

Do you experience sharp pain while brushing your teeth or while drinking cold and hot drinks? If the answer for the above question is “Yes” than probably you have sensitive teeth. So what actually causes the sensitivity of teeth? Following are the few causes:

1. Excessive Mouthwash

You like to keep your breath fresh and for this you use mouthwash. It will definitely keep your breath fresh but will make your teeth sensitive. This happens because some mouthwashes contain acids which can make already sensitive teeth worse. You can consult your dentist regarding neutral fluoride rinses.

2. Some Toothpastes & Tooth Whiteners

People crave for brighter smile and for this everyone is ready to spend substantial amount of money. For getting that bright smile people use toothpastes and tooth whiteners which contain peroxide-based bleaching solutions. This can lead to sensitive teeth. This sensitivity is generally temporary which vanishes when you stop using those products. Take advice of your dentist in UK to know what suits you the best.

3. Intake of Acidic foods

Eating too much of acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes and fruit juices could erode the productive enamel on your teeth. This exposes the vulnerable dentil beneath. You can help yourself by neutralizing the acids by a glass of milk or a piece of cheese afterwards.

4. Brushing your teeth hard

It’s a misconception that brushing teeth harder makes them cleaner. Using a hard bristled brush and brushing your teeth too hard can expose tooth roots by causing gum recession. This might also wear away your tooth’s enamel and expose the dentin. The holes in the dentin are microscopic tubes (blue) which allow sweet, cold and hot foods to move to tooth nerves and that can be very hurtful!

5. Diminishing gums

Thousands of tiny tubes are present in the roots of your teeth that lead to the nerve centre of your teeth. Teeth roots are generally hidden beneath a protective cover of gum tissue. The gums may start pulling away from teeth, if you have periodontal disease. This will expose the ultra sensitive root. You should run to your dentist if you suffer from receding gums.

6. Cracked teeth

Opening stuff with your teeth, munching ice or biting hard sweets can lead to broken chipped teeth. When a tooth is cracked, the nerve rich pulp hidden deep inside may get irritated. The crack could also fill with bacteria which will cause inflammation and become more painful.

7. Dental work

Dental work like teeth cleaning, tooth restorations, replacement crowns and root planning can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. You can always consult a dentist before undergoing any of these.

8. Tooth Cavity

Cavity in tooth exposes the root of your tooth to irritants like cold, hot, sweets etc. Eating well and maintaining good oral hygiene are the best ways to keep your teeth away from decay.

9. Clenching or Grinding your teeth

Clenching or grinding over the time can wear away tooth enamel. This makes your teeth’s nerves more vulnerable. Mouth guards and change in lifestyle can help combat grinding and clenching.

10. Take care of your Mouth

You can talk to your dentist to know what the exact cause of your sensitive teeth is. Also you can take extra care of your oral hygiene and make certain changes like using a soft bristled tooth brush and toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth.