If your broken or decayed tooth needs to be rebuilt, it’s possible your dentist will use a crown to do the job. Crowns are generally made from materials such as porcelain, and porcelain/metal combinations. Not only do they make your teeth look more attractive, but they also give them added strength, durability and stability.
- Gum and Bone Grafting
- Socket preservation
- Wisdom tooth extractions
- Kids Braces
- Oral Hygiene Instructions
Brushing and Flossing
You’ll no doubt be aware that brushing your teeth, which removes the plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease, is important. What you may not know is that how often you brush, how long you brush for, the kind of technique and toothbrush you use all matter too.
To gain the maximum benefit from brushing your teeth, you should be brushing for at least two minutes morning and night, spending roughly 30 seconds on each quarter of your mouth.Think that sounds like too much hard work?
Firing up your streaming service, playing your favourite two-minute pop song – think the likes of Blur’s “Song No.2” or “Mr Zebra” by Tori Amos – and brushing until the end is one fun way to make sure your teeth get all the cleaning they need.
It’s all in the technique
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give too much thought to how you brush your teeth, beyond squirting on some toothpaste, and brushing back and forth.
But as your dentist will tell you, how you brush your teeth matters a great deal. You should be cleaning your teeth systematically, starting at the back with the toothbrush bristle at the gum-line or at a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion, and finishing with a spit, not a rinse. If you have an electric toothbrush, you should be guiding the moving brush head slowly from tooth to tooth following the contours of the tooth and the curve of the gums.
Regardless of the brush you use, try to avoid brushing with too much force as this can damage the surface of your teeth. And as for the toothpaste? You only need a pea-sized amount to get the job done.
Tools of the trade
You are always best using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck because this will most effectively remove plaque and debris from your teeth, without damaging your teeth and gums and drawing blood. Try to replace your brush at the first sign of wear-and-tear or every three months, whichever comes first, and if you’ve just had a cold, replace your toothbrush so you don’t get reinfected by the germs in the bristles.
If you have braces
It’s recommended that you brush after every meal, preferably using a toothbrush with a soft head to regularly clean away the food debris and plaque that can accumulate in the brackets. The best technique is to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums, much like a standard brushing technique, before moving on to brushing downwards to clean the top of the brackets and brushing upwards to clean the bottom section.
Here’s something you may not know – nearly half the surface area of your teeth lies between them. And no, we’re not telling you this so you can ace the next dental trivia contest you attend.
Why that particular information is important is because if you’re solely relying on brushing you’re not cleaning a large portion of your teeth, which in turn can affect how healthy your teeth and gums are. By removing the plaque from between your teeth, you’re helping to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and halitosis, otherwise known as “bad breath”.
So flossing, or interdental cleaning as it’s officially known, is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums, and not some kind of “nice to have” added extra.
It’s all in the technique
It’s one thing to make flossing a part of your dental health care routine, quite another to do it properly. Your dentist is the most qualified person to instruct you on flossing correctly but there are some basic tips you can follow:
Tip 1: Wind about 45cm of floss around your middle fingers and rest it across your thumbs and index fingers.
Tip 2: Use a gentle up-and-down motion that goes down one side of the tooth, just under the little collar of gum and then back up the other side (think of it as an on-the-side “c”)
Tip 3: If you’re not sure about the right technique, have a chat to your dentist who can show you all the right flossing moves.
If sticking your fingers into your mouth with a cord of thin filaments strung between them isn’t your idea of fun, then consider using either a less invasive floss threader or floss pick to do the job.
And finally, your dentist might also recommend using other items such as bottle brush-shaped interdental cleaners, if you have large gaps between your teeth, or interdental tips (flexible rubber tips) and irrigators (electrically-powered water-pumping devices) to compliment your flossing regimen.
Make flossing a routine
Flossing should be an integral part of your dental health routine along with brushing. You should be flossing once a day, either in the morning or night, or even after lunch, for at least two minutes..
But it’s not just adults who need to floss. Kids should start cleaning between their teeth as soon as they have two teeth in contact but until the age of 10, it’s best if the parent does the flossing as younger kids don’t have the manual dexterity needed to floss effectively.
If you have braces
Flossing is more important than ever in tis instance, playing an integral role in clearing out food particles and plaque. Using the usual flossing tape can prove to be a bit of a challenge, so you might find something like a floss threader and interdental brushes will work better for you. Always floss gently and slowly since too much pressure and speed can damage your braces.
If you’re like most people, the odds are good that your idea of a healthy lifestyle begins and ends with making sure you eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and get exercise as much as you can.
And while both of these factors are crucially important in keeping you fit and healthy, the reality is that your oral health, that is how good a state your teeth and gums are in, has a major effect on your overall health.
Gum disease, for instance, has been linked to a raft of ailments including pneumonia, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and exacerbated diabetes symptoms.
It’s why brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and seeing your dentist on a regular basis are so important.
But that’s not where the story ends.
Smoking, drinking, prescribed and non-prescribed medications, illicit drug use, tongue and lip piercing, and stress, all have a significant effect on how healthy your teeth and gums are, and hence, how healthy you are overall.
Nothing in your body happens in a vacuum and everything you do to your body will inevitably have an effect on your oral health and, sooner or later, on your health overall.
Life comes with all kinds of high pressure and difficult situations.
The problem is that too much stress can lead to all kinds of problems with your mouth, teeth and gums.
You can end up with mouth ulcers and cold sores, grinding and clenching of teeth which you may not even notice taking place, and at worst, temporomandibular disorders (TMJD), a painful condition affecting the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull.
Stress can also lead you to neglect even the most basic of habits such as healthy eating and brushing and flossing your teeth.
The most obvious effect of smoking is the staining and discolouration of teeth, caused by the nicotine and tar in cigarettes.
But this is just the aesthetic tip of the smoking iceberg.
Smoking has also been linked to a decrease of blood flow to the teeth and gums, bone shrinkage, teeth loss, and an inhibiting of the production of the right kind of saliva, a serious problem given how crucial a role it plays in protecting your teeth from decay.
By far the most dramatic effect of prolonged tobacco use however is oral cancer, which is 9 times likely to occur in smokers than non-smokers.
If you also drink a lot of alcohol, then your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, tongue, lips and salivary glands is even further increased.
It’s not simply the heightened risk of developing oral cancer, serious though that is, that should be a concern for anyone who drinks on a regular basis or to excess.
The sugar and acidity of alcohol are major contributors to teeth erosion, as is the acid reflux which accompanies vomiting, an all too common consequence of a night of heavy drinking.
Compounding the damage is the fact that many people stumble home and go straight to sleep after a big night out, only brushing their teeth the next morning, leaving their mouth unprotected from erosion and decay all night.
Alcohol also dehydrates you, which affects how much saliva your mouth produces, and hence, how much protection your teeth are given.
Drinking lots of water both when you’re out partying, and the next day when you’re recovering is one way to remedy the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, as is limiting the amount of soft drinks you consume.
The consumption of illicit drugs has become endemic on the modern party scene.
But using drugs, which come with a host of physical and behavioural effects, can lead to tooth grinding, dry mouth (lack of saliva), gum disease and rapid tooth decay.
Their use is also often accompanied by binge eating all sorts of unhealthy foods, particularly ones high in sugar, the corrosive effects of which are made even worse by the accompanying neglect of basic personal and oral hygiene.
It makes sense that you want to express your own unique sense of style.
But if that involves tongue and oral piercings then you run a real risk that what you gain in kudos from the fashion police, you lose in poor oral health.
Oral piercings, by virtue of the fact that they have ruptured your mouth’s protective layer of skin, let a lot of bacteria in, leading to swelling and infection, which can affect the body far beyond your mouth.
Plus all that hard metal constantly banging against your teeth can crack your teeth, or at the very least, lead to excessive wear and tear and more pronounced problems later on.
Do you want more information or have any doubts left? Contact us here and we will happily help you.