Articles on oral hygiene

Tips for Good Oral Hygiene!

Dr. Babita Sangwan, Dentist
What is Good Oral Hygiene? Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:   Your teeth are clean and free of debris Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss Bad breath is not a constant problem Symptoms of bad Oral condition: If your gums do hurt. bleed while brushing or flossing. you are experiencing persistent bad breath.Any of the above symptoms means it's time to see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem. Your dentist or hygienist can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.  How is Good Oral Hygiene Practiced? Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress. There are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:   Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to Making sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area. In between regular visits to the dentist.Proper Brushing Technique:Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.  Proper Flossing Technique -Use about 18" of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with. Gently follow the curves of your teeth. Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

Importance of Childhood Oral Hygiene & the Role of Parents

Dr. Nishi Tandon, Dentist
The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children and teenagers is laid during the first years of life. Poor diet, poor habits of food intake and inadequate tooth brushing habits during the first 2 years of life have been are directly  related to tooth decay in children. The development of caries in primary/milk teeth further increases the risk of developing caries in permanent teeth.Therefore, it is essential to establish a proper oral hygiene routine in the early years to help ensure the development of strong and healthy teeth. Parents should set a daily routine and  help their children understand the importance of oral hygiene. Tooth brushing should be presented as a habit and an integral part of the daily hygiene routine. Children are very sensitive to social stimuli such as praise and affection, and learn best by imitating their parents.Importance of the primary/Milk dentitionMilk teeth start to erupt in children from the age of six months. The primary dentition is complete by approximately two and a half years of age. The milk teeth are more susceptible to caries as it is less densely mineralized than  permanent teeth . Primary teeth play an important role both for chewing and learning to talk.   A full set of teeth is an essential prerequisite in learning correct pronunciation. Primary teeth also play a vital role in the proper alignment and spacing of permanent teeth; it is therefore imperative that they are well cared for and preserved until normal shedding takes place. In addition to good oral hygiene, diet also plays a key role in keeping teeth healthy. In this respect it is not only the quantity of sugar that is important, but also the frequency of consumption. As much as possible, children should be limited in the amount of sweets between meals, especially in the evening or at night.Role of ParentsParents play a key role in helping their children to develop a proper oral hygiene routine in the first years of their life. Parents should  supervise their children’s tooth brushing approximately for the first 12 years, until motor and sensory functions allow the child to routinely perform a proper tooth brushing technique independently. After brushing the teeth for their children for the first 2 years of life, parents will have to use playful motivation to encourage their children to brush their own teeth from about 3 years onwards – the time when children want to brush their teeth alone. parents have to continue supervising the regular brushing efforts of their children. Primary teeth should be brushed twice daily by the parents .

10 Things You Should Know About Your Infant’s Oral Hygiene

Dr. Anuradha Mallya, Dentist
Most infants start developing teeth only by the age of six months, but it is important to care for their oral hygiene from the beginning. Cleaning of the baby's gums soon after birth, should be incorporated in their daily hygiene chores. Though the babies can be a little finicky in the beginning, they begin to enjoy the feeling of a clean mouth, just like a clean body and it also helps develop the habit for life. Wipe your infant’s gums or teeth,especially along the gum line, with a soft cloth after breast or bottle feeding - Dental plaque (which contains microorganisms) forms not only on teeth but also on the gum pads and tongue. This needs to be cleaned off so that the mouth is germ free. This also helps prevent fungal infections, which are seen in cases of lack of oral hygiene in infants.Avoid putting your infant to bed with a bottle or sipper cup containing anything other than water - This prevents pooling of liquids in the mouth undisturbed for a long period of time, which is the prime cause of Early Childhood Caries.Avoid saliva-sharing behaviors, such as kissing the baby on the mouth, sharing a spoon when tasting baby food, cleaning a dropped pacifier by mouth or wiping the baby’s mouth with a cloth moistened with saliva. For older children, avoid the sharing of straws, cups or utensils - Such acts can result in transfer of microorganisms from adults to children which can cause infections in general, as well as dental decay.Use a bottle or sipper cup between meals containing only water - A gap of 4hrs between meals is recommended for remineralisation of the enamel following demineralisation which occurs during meals.Begin weaning children from at-will bottle and sipper cup use (such as in an effort to pacify a child’s behavior) by about 12 months of age.Choose fresh fruit rather than fruit juice to meet the recommended daily fruit intake - fresh fruit contains fibre which is healthier than juice as well as acts as a cleansing agent for teeth. Also fruit is less retentive on teeth as compared to juice.Brush your child’s teeth using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, especially before bedtime. Children older than 2 should use fluoride toothpaste; children younger than 2 should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste on the brush only if they are at moderate to high risk of developing caries. Take care that the children avoid swallowing the toothpaste as over-toxicity of fluoride from toothpaste can lead to bone deformities.Help your child brush their teeth until they are about 7 years old. Teeth brushing involves a certain amount of dexterity which develops well only by the age of 7.Regularly lift the lip and look in your child’s mouth for white or brown spots on the teeth.The first dental visit should be done when the child is 1 year of age or when the first tooth erupts. This helps evaluate if there are any risk factors for decay and helps correct it before it becomes too late.Baby teeth eventually fall out when their permanent/adult counterparts erupt. But baby teeth are most important because they keep space for the permanent teeth and fall off when the permanent one is ready to erupt. Hence early removal of baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to erupt out of line. Also baby teeth play an important role in your child’s overall health, development, and well-being. They help in speech development and assist in providing good nutrition to the child through proper chewing. So, set a good example and care for your infant's teeth.

3 Quick Tips for Oral Hygiene

Dr. Shylaja.S.Prasad, Dentist
If you haven't had your teeth cleaned in the last 3 to 6 months you could be spreading infection to the rest of your body. Please prevent oral systemic health issues by getting your teeth cleaned regularly from your dentist.Stay Healthy And Save Money With Preventative Dental CareYES, WE ALL LIVE ON BUDGETS, right? When life throws us a curve ball, it can be tempting to postpone our dental treatments. Resist that temptation! There’s a better way to save money and stay healthy: A Preventative Dental Care Plan.Part 1: Do Your Part At HomeAll you need is a toothbrush, some dental floss, and five minutes of your day. Thorough daily brushing and flossing removes bacteria and sugar in your mouth and helps to prevent tooth decay. This is the most important part of your new preventative care plan and only you can do it!Part 2: Don’t Skip Your Dental VisitsLet us help you! Deep cleanings from our team can reach those areas you can’t—such as below the gums—and can help fight plaque and other dental demons. Regular maintenance appointments are less expensive than restorative work.Part 3: Fix Problems EarlyMany people admit that they only visit the dentist when they feel something is wrong. If you don’t wait until it’s too late, your visit can be comfortable and convenient. By keeping your regular checkups we can catch and address possible issues while they’re still small.Your Preventative Plan May Be A Life SaverBy following your plan you can better protect yourself from major issues down the road. Some studies even indicate that neglecting your oral health may lead to other health issues including cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Faithfully following your “Preventative Dental Care Plan” helps keep you healthy.Questions?Let us know if you have any questions about your at-home oral care techniques. You can ask questions below or stop by our Facebook page to send us a direct message.Thank you for being our patients and friends!

Oral Cancer- a Menace to Your Mouth

Dr. Rashmi Maruti Hosalkar, Dentist
According to GLOBOCAN 2008, Oral Cancer ranks 11th among all cancers occurring around the world.  Approximately two-thirds of patients in the developing countries of  South and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America are affected by oral cancer. In India, oral cancer  ranks among top three cancers showing highest incidences (age-standardized rate of 9.8 per 10000) and accounting for about 30% of all new cases annually. The overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of oral cancer is 60% with localised tumour showing better rates than one with regional or distant metastasis (spread).ETIOLOGYSmoking Tobacco: Cigarette, Bidi, Cigars, Chutta, different smoking pipes such as chillum, etc.Smokeless Tobacco: Betel quid, Paan, Supari, Khaini, Mishri, Zarda, Mawa etc.Smoking increases the chance of developing oral cancer by 6 times, hookah and pipe by 16 times and bidi smoking by 36 times as compared to non- smokers. Similarly, chewing betel leaves, tobacco and lime increases the risk by six fold as compared to smokers and ten fold when its combination of both.AlcoholViruses such as Human Papilloma Virus (16 & 18), Epstein Barr Viruses, Herpes Simplex Viruses, Retroviruses.Recent studies have shown and increase in number of  HPV causing oral cancers. This usually seen in healthy non smokers segment of population in 25-50 years of age. Having multiple sex partners or engaging in oral sex with HPV infected partners is one of the reasons for contracting cancer. Weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or Immune system suppressing drugs after organ transplants can also increase the risk.Diet and Deficiency StatesSunlight or UV radiation effectsPotentially Malignant Diseases such as leukoplakia. lichen planus, erythroplakia, oral submucous fibrosis etcPoor oral hygiene, faulty restorations, sharp teeth, ill fitting denturesSyphilis, Chronic CandidiasisGeneticsPrior history of cancerNot established causes FEATURESIn Indian population oral cancer occurs 50 years and above, however, due to changes in personal habits and lifestyle it is seen occurring in younger populationMales more frequently affected than females but the ratio is showing slow decline with increase in number of cases in females.Site at which oral cancer occurs has strong association placement of noxious irritants. Most commonly involved are lip, buccal mucosa, vestibule, alveolar ridge, hard palate, soft palate, tongue and floor of the mouth. The most common oropharyngeal site of involvement in Indian population is buccal mucosa followed by tongue.Classic features of oral malignancy include ulceration, nodularity, induration and fixation and cancer must be suspected especially when there is a single oral lesion persisting for more than 3 weeks.WARNING SIGNS OF ORAL CANCER (as given by Crispian Scully)Red lesion (erythroplasia)Mixed red/white lesion, irregular white lesion, lumpUlcer with fissuring or raised exophytic marginsPain or numbnessAbnormal blood vessels supplying a lumpLoose toothExtraction socket not healingInduration beneath a lesion, i.e., a firm infiltration beneath the mucosaFixation of lesion to deeper tissues or to overlying skin or mucosaLymph node enlargementDysphagiaWeight lossDIAGNOSISKey for prevention of oral cancer is early detection and treatment.Early diagnosis of potentially malignant lesions can reduce the chance of its transformation into malignancy.Thorough history (present, past medical/dental, habits, occupation, family) followed by physical examination is a must.Biopsy is a must  in cases of oral cancer. Histopathological diagnosis is the gold standard however many other histotechniques can also be applied.DNA ploidy Serum and salivary biomarkersOptical systemsRadiological imagingMANAGEMENTPrimary preventionSurgery with or without neck dissectionChemotherapyRadiotherapyDental rehabilitationIt is a duty of dentist to not only examine teeth but also the other oral structures and look for any abnormal signs prompting toward any oral disease including cancer. 

Importance Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy

Dr. Gaurav Goel, Dentist
Many women are concerned about caring for their teeth during Pregnancy or have heard that pregnancy causes damage to teeth. An attempt here has been made to give some important information regarding maintenance of dental health during pregnancy.Before pregnancy:It is important to establish good oral hygiene so that when you become pregnant you will have minimum problems. Also, recent research has shown that pregnant women with gum problems are more prone to give birth to low birth weight pre-mature babies.Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to remove Plaque (sticky film of bacteria) which damages your gums and teeth.Visit your Dentist for a regular check up and cleaning.Get all your dental treatment done as during pregnancy dental treatment can be tiring and many dental procedures are often avoided.During pregnancy:Pregnancy involves lots of hormonal changes. Due to this gums become soft and spongy and tend to bleed easily if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.Maintain a good oral hygiene by means of brushing, flossing, mouthwashes etc;Frequent snacking: this is commonly seen during pregnancy. Frequent snacks and drinks especially sweet ones can lead to tooth decay. Switch over to snacks that are low in sugar, fat & salt and high in fiber content. Drinks such as water and milk are recommended. Rinse your mouth with water if you can’t brush after every snack.Importance of Calcium: Calcium is very important for your baby’s teeth. During fourth month of pregnancy your baby’s teeth and bones begin to calcify. The calcium and phosphorous needed for this comes from the food you eat and if necessary from your bones. These minerals are best obtained by eating more dairy foods. Milk and milk products are excellent sources of calcium. Choose those products that are low in fat and sugar. In case you don’t prefer these consult your doctor or dietician for other substitutes. He/she may also advise you calcium supplements.Dental procedures: Certain antibiotics like Tetracycline can cause damage to your baby’s developing teeth. So it’s very important that you inform your Dental Surgeon about your pregnancy. This also ensures that your doctor will then carry out all dental procedures with caution and necessary safety measures. Visit your dentist for a regular check up and cleaning.There is a common myth ‘One tooth is lost with every Pregnancy’. Pregnancy in itself does not cause dental decay. If good oral hygiene is maintained by you and the advice given here is followed there is no reason why you should have any dental problems during pregnancy.  

Selfies While Brushing Teeth Can Improve Oral Health

Dr. Pankaj Rao, Dentist
Recording smartphone video selfies of brushing teeth may help people learn techniques on how to improve their oral health, a new study suggests.While most people have the ability, motivation and desire to brush their teeth properly, they often do not because of improper techniques. Opportunities to improve such skills can also be few, researchers said.Using smart phones propped on stands, study participants filmed their brushing using their own toothbrush at home. Researchers saw an increase in the accuracy of brush strokes, an increase in number of strokes and an overall 8 percent improvement in tooth-brushing skill—but the length of time a person brushed did not change.Our study suggests that, in the future, recording these selfies can help shift some of this time investment in improving brushing to technology,” added Vernon. “Patients can then receive feedback from dental professionals.”Recording themselves as they brush makes people more conscious of their technique and can help get rid of ingrained habits that may be harmful for dental hygiene.Vernon explained that medical fields are already using the selfie concept to monitor and assess a number of conditions under a method called mobile health or “mHealth.” However, this report is the first to use the technology to study tooth-brushing behavior, according to the authors. They also hope to see a video-based monitoring app that can help oral health professionals review people’s dental hygiene.“The cost of an app could be minor, while potentially there could be major long-term benefits to a user’s oral health and quality of life,” Vernon said.Oral diseases like tooth decay and periodontal disease can be prevented by proper brushing. However, there exists no standard brushing technique that is recommended universally by oral health experts or dental organizations, Vernon explained.Before the study, participants' brushing habits were assessed and corrected until each were able to demonstrate proper technique. During the study, they were scored on time spent brushing and skill mastery, including brushing in a circular motion, obtaining a 45-degree angle while brushing facial surfaces of teeth and correct positioning of the arm.Tooth-brushing helps avert preventable oral diseases, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease, although its effectiveness depends on brushing technique; currently, there is no standard brushing technique consistently recommended by dental organizations or even by oral health experts, Vernon said.

Do You Know the Importance of Oral Health?

Dr. Ruchit Thakar, Dentist
Regular dentist visits can do more than keep your smile attractive – they can tell dentists a lot about your overall health, including whether or not you may be developing a disease like diabetes.New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring.Gum disease and health complicationsAccording to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such asa stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.Other research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Such diseases include:DiabetesLeukemiaOral cancerPancreatic cancerHeart diseaseKidney diseaseSince most people have regular oral examinations, their dentist may be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages.Poor oral health can lead to other problemsIf you don't take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, including:Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75 percent of the population.Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth,and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.What you can do-Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment. Provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.At home, you can practice good oral hygiene:Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach.Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.Exercise preventive care and schedule regular dental checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease.