Cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel.
Follow these dental hygiene practices to prevent cavities:
Brush your teeth – In the fight against cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth properly at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
Floss daily – Food debris gets caught in between our teeth when we eat. If the debris is not removed, it can lead to cavities. Flossing every day is the best way to remove food debris from in between the teeth.
Eat healthy – Proper nutrition plays an important role in good dental health. Eating nutritional snacks and limiting the amount of sugar intake will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.
Have sealants placed – Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are more common in children because of the new growth of permanent teeth; however, sealants can benefit adults too.
Use a mouthwash – There are several antimicrobial mouthwashes on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. Rinsing with one of these mouthwashes after brushing or eating can aid in cavity prevention.
Chew sugarless gum – Believe it or not, chewing certain sugarless gums can actually help to prevent cavities by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth.
It is especially important to keep an eye on how often your child eats as well as what he/she eats. You should limit between-meal snacks to reduce the number of acid attacks on teeth and to give teeth a chance to repair themselves. Limit their intake of candies, cookies, soda and other sugary drinks. Make sure your child doesn’t eat or drink anything with sugar after bedtime tooth brushing. Don’t forget to supervise young children when they brush. Since most cavities in children and adolescents develop in the molars, it’s best to get these teeth sealed as soon as they come in.
Braces, wires, springs, rubber bands, and other appliances can attract food and plaque, which can stain teeth if not brushed away. Food can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth. It is recommended brushing after every meal or snack with fluoride toothpaste and carefully removing any food that may have gotten stuck in your braces. You may also be prescribed or recommended a fluoride mouthwash, which can get into places in the mouth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
Brush your teeth with specially designed brush for cleaning between braces.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
There are certain foods that can break or loosen your braces and should be avoided, such as:
Hard or tough-to-bite foods, such as apples or bagels
Chewy foods, such as taffy or caramels
Corn on the cob
Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts and carrots
In addition to foods, do not chew ice or bubble gum.
Caring for Retainers
Every time you brush your teeth, brush your retainer as well. Once a day or at least once a week, disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser.
While playing sports, use mouth guard, designed to fit comfortably over your braces.
Broken braces, loose bands or protruding wires can cause problems but rarely require emergency treatment. However, call your dentist or orthodontist to set up an office visit to fix the problem. If you suffer a more severe mouth or facial injury, seek immediate help.
Because braces brush up against the inside surface of your mouth, you may be prone to developing sores. If a sore develops, your orthodontist or dentist may prescribe an ointment or a prescription or nonprescription pain-reliever solution to reduce the pain and irritation and help heal the sore.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an option to restore missing teeth without using additional teeth as support or anchors. They are also able to support dentures and prevent difficulties associated with the slipping and shifting of the denture. Implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and mimic the root of the natural tooth which also prevents bone reduction. Dental implants are restored with crowns, bridges and dentures.
Why get dental implants restore missing or damaged teeth?
A dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth.
Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
Cavities can’t occur in an implant-restored crown, or replacement tooth; however, you will need to visit your dentist as scheduled and clean and care for it and your gums and mouth every day, the same as you would if it were a natural tooth.
Dental implants are fixed in place and fuse naturally with your jawbone, meaning your replacement teeth won’t move, click or shift.
Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. You should consider the fact that it is a surgical procedure so there are always risks present with any surgery i.e delayed healing, prolonged bleeding, infection, surgical complication. There is also a significant time commitment required as the implant site may need to have additional procedures performed to make it ready to accept the implant. If you are considering dental implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a process that makes teeth appear whiter. Teeth whitening is a part of dentistry and should be recommended by your dental professional after assessing if you are eligible. You can also buy DIY home teeth whitening kits but these may carry risks.
Risks of home kits:
Some home kits don’t contain enough of the whitening product to be effective. More generally, if a dental professional is not doing the whitening, the mouth guard provided may not fit properly so some of the bleaching gel may leak out onto your gums and into your mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity. Remember to follow the directions carefully. Don’t leave the strips or gels on longer than advised – that may cause sore gums and set you up for other problems.
Even if you decide to whiten your teeth at home, you should see your dentist first. Your dentist will look for cavities and check the health of your gums during the exam. Treating any problems before you whiten is safer for your mouth.
No matter whether you decide to whiten your teeth at home or at dental office, to be on the safe side, pregnant women or nursing mothers should postpone teeth whitening.
Protect sensitive teeth:
Your teeth may become mildly sensitive after you whiten, but it’s usually short term. It might be less of an issue if your teeth and gums are in good shape. If it bothers you, stop the treatment and talk to your dentist.
Gel-filled trays, which you wear over your teeth like a mouth guard, can also bother your gums if they don’t fit well. It’s a good idea to stop using the product if you start having this problem. If you want more information about teeth whitening treatment, contact Expressions Dental Calgary NW dentists.