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What can I do to ensure good oral hygiene ?

Keeping your mouth clean is an essential part of caring for your overall health and well being. Bad oral hygiene can lead to a number of problems like bad breath, bleeding gums and decaying teeth which can adversely affect your professional and personal life. A daily preventive routine to keep your teeth and gums in good shape is the key to proper oral hygiene. These include brushing your teeth twice a day once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. Flossing your teeth once a day will is also necessary to remove food particles lodged between the teeth which is not removed just by brushing. Incorporating a mouthwash in your regime can help to keep your mouth clean and fresh and also prevent buildup of plaque in your mouth. It is also important to clean your tongue to remove any coating which can form due to food. including foods with high fibre and low sugar content are good for your oral health. And lastly visiting your dentist on a regular basis is the biggest key to perfect oral hygiene. All this will not only ensure that you have a clean and fresh mouth but will go a long way in making you a confident person.

What is the difference between scaling and polishing and teeth whitening ?

Scaling and polishing is one of the most common dental procedures carried out in dental clinics. Scaling involves removal of tartar and plaque that are accumulated on the surfaces of the teeth. Specialized instruments like ultrasonic scalersuses water at high speed to remove hard deposits that are stuck to the teeth. Polishing is carried out after scaling to remove surface stains and helps in making teeth smooth and shiny. Small rubber cups along with polishing paste are used to carry this out. Both scaling and polishing are necessary treatments that prevents gum diseases which can lead to tooth loss.

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that helps to lighten the natural colour of your teeth. Sometimes there are intrinsic stains that cannot be removed by scaling and polishing. This is where whitening or bleaching comes into picture. This procedure does help in lightening the shade and removal of stronger stains. It can be done at the dental clinic as well as at home using whitening kits. Teeth whitening is want based procedure and not need based one.

What is a dental sealant ?

A dental sealant is a thin white coating that is put on the chewing surface of back teeth. Our molars and premolars have lots of pits and fissure where food tends to get stuck and is not easily removed from there. A sealant flows into these grooves and creates a smooth surface where the food slides off it and is easier to clean. This is a preventive measure taken for children and adolescents to prevent decay of teeth. However regular brushing and flossing should be continued as directed by the dentist even after this procedure is carried out.

Do I need to visit the dentist even when I do not have any pain ?

Most of us think that if we do not experience any pain in teeth and gums there is no need to see the dentist. Having no pain does not necessarily mean that you have no dental problems. decaying of teeth and gum diseases do not cause any pain in the initial stages. Many of us are not even aware when any damage has occurred in the teeth. When we visit the dentist with pain we are in an advanced state of disease and then it becomes a time consuming and expensive proposition to treat the issue. So its advisable that you visit your dentist at least once a year to ensure that you remain problem free. A dentist will check your teeth and gums and will help you to take care of any damage at the first stage itself.

What are dental implants ?

Dental implants are metal roots generally made of titanium to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth. These are one of the newer ways to combat tooth loss caused due to any reason. In this procedure a dentist or an implantologist will insert a titanium root into your jaw bone, and then put a supporting structure followed by a crown or artificial tooth on top of it.these implants are fixed into your mouth and cannot be removed. This is the closest replication that one can get of the natural tooth. Dental implants have a very high success rate as they feel and look like your natural teeth. Implants have nearly the same functionality and strength as your original teeth and these do not compromise the health of adjacent teeth unlike dental bridges. Once fitted into the mouth implants last you a lifetime if proper care is taken.

What is the difference between white and silver fillings ?

There are generally two types of fillings done routinely in dental clinics – silver and white/composite fillings. The difference essentially lies in the appearance price and function of both types of fillings. Silver fillings contains mercury so it may be considered harmful although not very conclusive evidence is available to support this theory. Since these are metal fillings they are strong and can withstand pressure. That is why they are used for filling back teeth. Appearance wise they do not look that great because of their colour. Also they require more bigger preparation so tooth structure is lost. These fillings are cheaper compared to white fillings.

White fillings are made of resins and glass particles so there is no chance of any toxicity. These fillings give the most natural and nice appearance to your teeth. These also require small preparations so there is minimal loss of tooth structure. these fillings are not very strong so they are preferentially put in front teeth. These are also more expensive compared to silver fillings.

What is smile designing/smile makeover ?

Any procedure which is done to improve the overall look of your smile by reshaping, realigning, changing the colour and shade of your teeth can be called as smile designing. In short smile designing is something which is done to improve the overall estheticsand appearance of your smile.This process involves complete evaluation of your existing smile, your oral health including hard and soft tissues and understanding your requirement so as to give you the best smile possible. A great smile goes a long way in enhancing an individual's self esteem and confidence.

What are wisdom teeth and do they always have to be removed ?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars which erupt in the back of the mouth. These are called wisdom teeth because they usually come at 18 to 25 years. Due to evolution and changing food habits our jaw has become smaller and it is able to accommodate only 28 teeth. So when all 28 teeth are present and healthy sometimes there may not be space for these teeth to erupt properly into the mouth. Most of the times it so happens that these come in a misaligned postion or as dentists say they are "impacted". It is then best to get them removed because they will not be able to come out in the right position and will get decayed. You would not be able to clean that area because of inaccessibility and they will also cause damage to adjacent teeth. If the wisdom teeth come in a proper position then your dentist will not advise you to remove them.

What are dentures ?

Dentures are removable appliances made of acrylic material and can also have metal components for adding strength to the structure. dentures are of two types : complete denture which replaces all your missing teeth in upper or lower jaws or both and partial denture which replaces a single or more teeth but not all. It is attached to the natural remaining teeth with help of metal clasps.

What is root canal treatment ?

Sometimes when the tooth gets decayed, it spreads quickly through the first two layers of the tooth and touches the third layer which has the nerve supply of the tooth. When this decay touches the nerve it causes a lot of pain because of the infection which has spread till the root. In that case fillings will no longer help and root canal treatment has to be done. The infected nerve is removed and insides are cleaned and sealed with an artificial material. If it is left untreated, an abscess can form near the root and cause swelling and more pain. after root canal the tooth has to be capped to prevent the fracture of the tooth. Root canal is done to preserve the natural tooth in the mouth because a natural teeth is better than the best artificial tooth.

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