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Monthly Archives: August 2018

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How do your eating habits affect your oral health?

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Diet plays an important role in one’s physical and mental well being, but did you know a healthy diet can help you prevent tooth decay and gum diseases? Tooth decay occurs when the teeth and other hard tissues of your mouth are destroyed due to acidic products from oral bacteria. Some foods have higher levels of bacteria which can cause cavities in your mouth.

It is not correct to say that ill eating habits are a direct cause of gum disease, but improper diet and nutrition can increase the rate at which gum diseases spreads.

Poor nutrition not only affects the entire immune system, but also increases the risk to many disorders. People with weak immune systems are at higher risk for periodontal diseases. In addition, researchers have identified a link between oral health and systemic conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, eating a well-balanced diet not only improves your dental health, but may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

What constitutes a balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle?

It is recommended to eat a well-balanced diet which includes moderation and variety. You should try to develop eating habits that follow the recommendations from reputed health organizations such as the American Dietetic Association and the National Institutes of Health. For a balanced diet, it is recommended to select foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products and meat, chicken, fish or beans. In addition, it can be beneficial to take in the recommended amount of fiber and vitamins in your diet.
Protect your dental health by maintaining a moist mouth by drinking lot of water. Saliva helps in protecting both hard and soft oral tissues. If you have a dry mouth, use sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva. Foods that stick to your teeth, or contain sugar or starches, can lead to tooth decay. So when you snack, avoid soft, sweet and sticky foods such as cakes, candies and dried fruits. Instead, choose food items like nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy. When you eat fermentable carbs, like crackers, cookies and chips, eat them with your meal. Combinations of foods neutralize the acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay. For example, enjoy cheese with crackers. When you do have the occasional sugary snack, be sure to brush and floss well.

How can your dentist help you with your nutritional status?

Conditions like tooth loss, pain, or joint dysfunction can impair chewing and are common in older adults, those who are on restrictive diets, and those who are undergoing any medical treatment. People experiencing these problems may be too isolated or weak to eat nutritionally balanced meals at a time when it is particularly critical. Talk to your dental health professional about what you can do for yourself or someone you know in these circumstances. Your dentist should help you by suggesting a balanced diet which is healthy for your teeth and body.


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What should you do daily for a healthy oral hygiene?

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The Bacteria resides in your mouth in the form of plaque, which can cause cavities and gingivitis. Bacteria and plaque is a major reason for periodontal (gum) diseases. To keep your mouth clean and healthy you should maintain a good oral hygiene on a daily basis.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm that builds up on your teeth, and it contains lots of bacteria. However, a lot of times  even  proper brushing does not reach the innermost corners of your mouth which leads to residual material containing bacteria in your mouth. These areas of plaque are can be made worse by certain food products,  especially sugary foods or starches which is found in food items like bread, crackers, and cereal. Plaque also creates irritation in gums, making them red and , sensitive. All of this leads to gum disease, in which the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that fill with more bacteria and pus. If timely medical attention is not provided for gum disease, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed and the teeth might have to be removed.

How do you get rid of plaque?

The most effective way to get rid of plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth regularly. Brushing effectively removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth.

It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The toothbrush should ideally fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas of your mouth easily. Using an toothpaste which contains fluoride and antimicrobial agents will also help to protect your teeth from decay. Flossing is also highly recommended by dentists across globe in order to clean the surfaces between the teeth, which can prevent plaque buildup in these areas, and prevent gum disease.

What is the best way to brush and floss your teeth?

The American Dental Association recommends certain techniques for healthy brushing and flossing 

Brushing

  • Keep a 45 degree angle in between your brush and gums when brushing.
  • The motion of movement of the brush should be back and forth gently in short strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces of the tooth, then the inner tooth surfaces next to the tongue, and then the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • Use the tip of your brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down motion.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Flossing

  • Use about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Move the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
  • When the floss is nearing the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one of the tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  • Bring the floss back toward the contact point in between the teeth and then move the floss up and down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.
  • Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.

What else can you do for a healthy mouth?

In addition to the daily brushing and flossing, a good mouthwash can increase the cleanliness of your mouth. Antimicrobial Mouth rinses with antimicrobial agents reduce bacteria and plaque activity, which cause gingivitis and gum diseases. Fluoride mouth rinses also helps  to reduce and prevent tooth decay.

Make sure you consult with your dentist before using a mouthwash. Fluoride rinses are not recommended for children younger than 6 years, as they may swallow them. Always remember to check the manufacturer’s label on the bottle for precautions and age recommendations.


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