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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why We Avoid The Dentist

Visiting the dentist regularly is vital in caring for your mouth and teeth. So why do so many of us avoid visiting the dentist? Here is a list of the top reasons why we put-off that important visit:

  1. Bad memories

If you’ve ever had a bad experience at the dentist, even as a child, these bad memories can stay with you, sometimes making you avoid the dentist. If you’ve experienced pain or discomfort in the past, you may carry memories of this experience that can last many years. Reassuringly, dental procedures have changed markedly today, with many dentists now doing much to provide a positive experience.

  1. Fear of being lectured

Many of us know that the dentist will tell us that we need to be caring for our teeth better or in a different way. If you know that you have been neglecting flossing or haven’t been brushing properly, knowing that this lecture is coming can be enough for you to delay your visit. In reality, however, dentists or dental hygienists don’t want to reprimand patients, but rather gently advise them about how to improve their dental habits instead.

  1. Too busy

Many of us lead busy lives which can make, firstly, setting aside the time to make an appointment and then, secondly, actually making it there a challenge. If we keep delaying our visit, it makes it more and more difficult to get there over time. In reality, making a dentist appointment doesn’t take more than two minutes and most check-ups should only take thirty minutes.

  1. Fear of the instruments

For some people, the sounds and sensations of the instruments being used on their teeth can be a source of fear. In reality, however, there have been many advances in technology, which has drastically reduced pain and discomfort at the dentist. If you are afraid of any of the instruments, be sure to let your dentist know during the visit so that he or she can explain to you exactly what each is used for and monitor your comfort levels.

  1. Fear of needing dental work

The need for dental work such as fillings, removal of wisdom teeth or root canal can be a major reason why people delay their visit. Dental procedures such as these can be costly and cause pain. Even if a procedure is necessary and will be better in the long run, some people choose to avoid the dentist rather than confront and deal with the problem. Unfortunately, doing so can result in further complications and the worsening of the issue. If you’re ever in doubt about the possibility of needing dental work, it’s best to see your dentist straight away.

What Happens at a Dental Check-up?

For most people, a visit to the dentist for a check-up can be a source of dread. Basic dental check-ups are, however, essential to maintaining good oral health and should be done regularly. So what should you expect during a dental check-up? This guide will give you an overview of what will generally happen during your visit.

In most cases, the dental hygienist will conduct the dental examination. The hygienist will generally examine your teeth and gums and discuss the proper way to care for your teeth at home. Although not every dental surgery operates in the same way, most check-ups generally include the following components:

Examination: Your mouth and teeth will be thoroughly examined to look for any signs of decay or any changes since your last visit. A rubber probe may be used to measure the distances between your teeth and gums. Another tool will be used to explore your teeth to determine if there are any cavities present and a mirror will be used to help see all sides of your teeth.

Cleaning: A professional clean effectively removes tartar, which forms when plaque hardens over time. It is only possible to remove tartar at the dentist. A special instrument is used to remove the tartar, which scrapes it away.

Polishing: After your teeth have been cleaned, they will be polished using a rotating brush or cup and an abrasive polishing substance. This serves to remove any final remnants of plaque or surface stains. The substance will feel gritty in your mouth and after the polishing is complete, you will be given the chance to rinse your mouth.

Discussion about oral care: During the examination, the hygienist will discuss your oral care routine and advise you how to care for your teeth in the best way possible at home.

X-rays: During some check-ups, your dentist may wish to take an x-ray of your mouth to look for signs of decay or impacted teeth.

How to get the most out of your dental check-up:

There are some things that you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your visit to the dentist. These include:

  • Notifying the dentist or hygienist of any changes you have noticed in your mouth
  • Advising them of any diagnoses you have had since your last visit by your doctor such as diabetes, pregnancy or heart disease, etc.
  • Bringing a list of all the medications you take
  • If you suffer from dental anxiety, letting your dentist or hygienist know so that they can make you feel more comfortable during your visit

Flossing Your Teeth: A Guide

While brushing your teeth twice per day is a necessity for good dental health, flossing is also vital. In fact, cleaning the small spaces in between your teeth to remove food particles that have become lodged there is just as important as using your toothbrush.

Why you should floss

Regularly flossing your teeth has many benefits. Firstly, dental floss assists in removing food debris that has become trapped over the course of the day. Flossing also assists in the removal of plaque, which generates acid and can cause tooth decay and cavities. Plaque can also inflame gums and even cause gum disease, so it is important to remove it properly.

How often should I floss?

Dentists recommend that you should floss daily.

Flossing correctly

It’s important to floss correctly to ensure that you can get into those hard-to-reach places and clean them well. Here are a few tips on flossing technique:

  1. Use a piece of floss approximately 45 cm (18 inches) long.
  2. Wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand and leave about 5 cm (2 inches) in the centre.
  3. Use your fingers to guide the floss in between the spaces of each of your teeth.
  4. Glide the floss back and forth gently, ensuring that you follow the contours of the tooth.
  5. Slide the floss up and down from the base of the tooth to the surface.
  6. Ensure that you use a clean portion of the floss for each tooth.
  7. Be gentle to ensure that you don’t damage the gum tissue.

Bleeding gums

Don’t worry if your gums bleed a little during the flossing process. Bleeding gums mean that they are inflamed because plaque has built up and needs to be removed. By flossing, you are treating this problem.

Types of floss

There are a few different types of floss on the market. Most flosses are made of either nylon or Teflon and there isn’t one more effective than the other. If you have wide spaces in between your teeth or suffer from gum disease, you will benefit most from using a wide, flat dental tape. If you have small gaps between your teeth, on the other hand, a thin floss will be much more effective. The most important thing is to select a floss you feel comfortable with and one that you will actually use.

7 Foods That Are Good For Your Mouth

We all know that brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet are key habits in maintaining a healthy mouth. Certain kinds of foods such as sugary drinks, acidic foods and candy are bad for our teeth, but did you know that there are a number of foods that are also good for our mouth? Here is a list to help you select the right foods in your diet to look after your teeth:

Green tea

Green tea contains polyphenols, which assists in cleaning plaque from the teeth. When plaque builds up and is not removed, it turns to tartar and can result in cavities developing.

Cheese and milk

The high calcium content in cheese and milk acts to protect teeth and strengthen enamel. These products also help to reduce the levels of acidity in the mouth, which is harmful to teeth. The best cheeses to consume are those with a high bacterial content such as blue cheese, brie and camembert.

Raw onion

Onion breath is never pleasant, although eating a slice of raw onion can actually have positive effects on the health of your mouth. Research has found that raw onion has powerful antibacterial properties. Bad bacteria in the mouth can damage teeth.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains high levels of probiotics, the healthy bacteria that counteracts the bad bacteria that causes illness. A healthy balance of bacteria can reduce the negative impacts that bad bacteria can have on the mouth.

Crunchy fruit and vegetables

The main reason that eating firm, crunchy fruits (e.g. apples and pears) and vegetables can assist in maintaining a healthy mouth is because these foods stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps to protect teeth against decay by washing away remnant food particles and assisting in neutralising acids. These types of foods also contain a high water content, which acts to dilute the sugars they contain.

Raisins

Even though raisins are sticky, which would normally be bad news for teeth, in actual fact, eating a handful of raisins has more of a positive impact than a negative one. Raisins are high in fibre and contain polyphenols like green tea. Be aware that raisins are quite acidic, however, so consume a food or drink that neutralises the acid afterwards, such as cheese or milk.

Shitake mushrooms

Research has found that shitake mushrooms can work to remineralize teeth and also assist in neutralising acid in the mouth.

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