Oral health means much more than healthy teeth, oral health is essential to general health.Safe and effective disease prevention measures exist, so that everyone can voluntarily decide to improve oral health and prevent disease.
Preventive dentistry focuses on the ability to help individuals achieve and maintain maximum oral health throughout their lives. The prevention of disease by using proper brushing techniques, flossing, fluoride applications, and space maintainers are introduced to patients as a part of preventive dentistry. This helps the patient a lotbecause of long term benefit and cost effectiveness.
PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASES AND BAD BREATH
PREVENTING DENTAL CARIES
PREVENTION OF MALALIGNMENT
PREVENTION OF EXTRACTION
PREVENTION OF TMJ PROBLEMS
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected and thereby causing foul smell.
It’s estimated to affect more than half of all adults in the INDIA to some degree. And most people experience it at least once. It is much less common in children.
If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place. In the INDIA, up to 25% of adults are estimated to have severe periodontitis, with many more affected less severely.
If periodontitis is not treated, the bone in your jaw can decay and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria, which forms when you eat and drink.
Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are very harmful for the health of your gums. If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it will build up and irritate your gums, leading to redness, swelling and soreness.
You should make an appointment to see your dentist if your gums are painful, swollen or if they bleed when you brush your teeth. Click here for your appointment
Mild cases of gum disease can usually be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. You should also make sure you attend regular dental check-ups.
In most cases, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They will also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future.
If you have severe gum disease, you will usually need to have further medical and dental treatment and, in some cases, surgery or laser treatment may need to be carried out. This will usually be performed by a specialist in gum problems (periodontics).
It is important to have regular dental check-ups so that any problems with your teeth and gums can be detected and treated early.
If you have never had gum disease and have good oral health, you may only need to visit your dentist every one to two years for a check-up.
You may need to visit your dentist more frequently if you have had problems with gum disease in the past. At each appointment your dentist will advise when you need your next appointment.
Maintaining good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing your teeth is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay.
Some simple changes your diet can also help.
Brushing tips to prevent dental caries:
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion every day. Apart from bedtime, it doesn’t really matter when the other time you brush your teeth is – providing it’s at least an hour after you last ate.
Don’t brush your teeth straight after a meal as it can damage your teeth, especially if you’ve had fruit, fizzy drinks, wine or any other food that contains acid. Leaving an hour will give your saliva a chance to neutralize the acid.
It is also important you brush your teeth in the right way. The following advice may help:
Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Move the brush in small circular movements, several times, on all the surfaces of every tooth.
Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line.
Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
Brushing your tongue will freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
Do not rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing as this washes the protective toothpaste away. Just spit out excess toothpaste.
Try not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after brushing.
It is important to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis because they wear out and become less effective in removing plaque. Most toothbrushes need to be replaced every two to three months.
It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush. They’re both equally as good, providing you brush with them properly. However, some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush.
Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene. It removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under the gum line, where a toothbrush cannot always reach.
You should ideally clean between your teeth at least once a day with floss. This can be done before or after brushing your teeth at night.
Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on flossing techniques, but the following tips may help:
Take 12-18 inches (30-45cm) of floss and grasp it so you have a couple of inches of floss taut between your hands.
Slip the floss gently between the teeth and into the area between your teeth and gums, as far as it will go.
Floss with 8-10 strokes, up and down between each tooth, to dislodge food and plaque.
You can use interdental brushes instead of flossing, especially if your teeth are very close together and you find it difficult to maneuver dental floss through the gap.
Using an alcohol-free dental mouthwash that contains fluoride can also help prevent tooth decay.
However, this should not be used directly after brushing your teeth. Choose a separate time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.
Limiting the amount of sugar you eat and drink is important to prevent tooth decay and also has wider benefits for your general health. Have sugary food and drink only at mealtimes and don’t eat sugary snacks between meals.
Most of the sugars we eat and drink are contained in processed and ready-made food and drinks. These include:
Healthier alternatives for snacks and drinks include cheese, fruit and vegetables, and unsweetened tea or coffee. Some artificial sweeteners have been shown not to contribute to toothy decay, so they may be a good alternative if you like to add sugar to any foods or drinks.
Chewing sugar-free gum after you have eaten may also help prevent tooth decay. When you chew gum, your mouth produces saliva, which neutralizes the acid in your mouth before it can damage your teeth.
Some medicines can contain sugar too, so you should ideally use sugar-free alternatives whenever possible. Your GP or pharmacist should be able to advise you about this.
Read more about lifestyle tips for healthy teeth.
Checking food labels
Check labels on foods to see how much sugar they contain. Sugar comes in many forms, so look out for the following ingredients:
Ingredients are usually listed in order of the amount used, with the main ingredient listed first. If sugar, or one of the ingredients above, is near the top of the ingredients list, it may mean the food is high in sugar.
Some products also use the traffic light system as part of their labelling to indicate whether they are high or low in sugar, where a red light indicates a high amount of sugar and a green light indicates a low amount of sugar.
In general, high in sugar means more than 15g of sugar for every 100g of product and low in sugar means less than 5g of sugar for every 100g
PREVENTION OF MALALIGNMENT
Preventive orthodontics are procedures topromote the development of a normal occlusion and aid in preventing malocclusion from developing.
Interceptive orthodontics are procedures to restore a normal occlusion once a malocclusion has started todevelop.
Genetic and environmental factors can contribute to the development of malocclusionand can span several years, rendering it difficult to determine specific causative factors. These malocclusions should be diagnosed at the earliest within the age of 6 to 8 year old. Preventive treatments are done accordingly based on the jaw size whether to maximize or minimize its growth in case of a bony malalignment. If incase of the dental malalignment where only the teeth is overcrowded, the milk teeth needs to be extracted called as serial extraction which intrude would pave way for the ascending permanent to erupt properly. Thus, preventing future orthodontic treatments.
In case of extraction of decayed milk tooth SPACE MAINTAINERSare advised to maintain the extracted space so that the permanent teeth can erupt in its position without causing malalignment. Some samples of space maintainers are shown below…
But there are some exceptional case where even after diagnosing and proceeding with the treatment the kid would require orthodontic braces for mild corrections after the age 12yrs.
PREVENTION OF EXTRACTION
A tooth need to be saved as much as possible. When you extract a tooth, the problems that you face are
Hence saving a tooth is very important. Acutely infected tooth can be saved by ROOT CANAL TREATMENT PRODURE AND PLACING CROWNS.
Certain teeth like WISDOM TOOTH OR GROSSLY DECAYED TOOTH can never be save. But if you have an option given by your dentist that your tooth can be saved, do save it then to avoid future problems.
PREVENTION OF TMJ PROBLEMS
Often jaw problems resolve on their own in several weeks to months. If you have recently experienced TMJ pain and/or dysfunction, you may find relief with some or all of the following therapies.
Moist Heat: Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce pain. Be careful to avoid burning yourself when using heat.
Ice: Ice packs can decrease inflammation and also numb pain and promote healing. Do not place an ice pack directly on your skin. Keep the pack wrapped in a clean cloth while you are using it. Do not use an ice pack for more than 10 – 15 minutes.
Soft Diet: Soft or blended foods allow the jaw to rest temporarily. Remember to avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods. Do not stretch your mouth to accommodate such foods as corn on the cob, apples, or whole fruits.
Over the-Counter Analgesics: For many people with TMJ Disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or doctor can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.
Jaw Exercises: Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility and healing. Your health care provider or a physical therapist can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate exercises based on your individual needs. A recent study found therapeutic jaw exercises bring earlier recovery of jaw function compared to splints!
Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation and guided imagery can be helpful in dealing with the pain that accompanies TMJ dysfunction. Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and modulates pain sensations. Some have found yoga, massage, and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
Side Sleeping: Sleep on your side using pillow support between shoulder and neck.
Relax Facial Muscles: Make a concerted effort to relax your lips, and keep teeth apart.
Yawning: Use your fist to support your chin as you yawn to prevent damage to the joint and prevent your jaw from locking open.
In addition, avoid: Jaw clenching. Gum chewing.
BUT TO PREVENT TMD: Missing posterior teeth has to be immediately replaced according to your original height of you jaw which is very very important.
Be sure to discuss your jaw limitations with your doctor prior to surgery or a long dental appointment so he/she uses extreme caution. Anesthesia, often used during dental procedures, can affect mouth opening and damage the joint. If possible, avoid long dental appointments requiring an open mouth for more than 30 minutes.
Remember, if your TMJ problems get worse with time, you should seek professional advice. However, first and foremost, educate yourself.