Posts for tag: mississauga dental
Dental Decay / Cavities
Cavities occur when sugars are consumed, turn into acid in the mouth, and attack the teeth. Cavities are not formed with just one exposure to sugar but can develop from constant sugary attacks over time. That’s why a high sugar diet increases the risk of cavities. Cavities can occur anywhere on a tooth but are common on the biting surfaces of molars and in-between molars. Cavities start in the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) travel through the dentin (the middle layer of the tooth) and can eventually enter the pulp (the nerve of the tooth.) Once a cavity travels into the nerve of a tooth, an infection will occur, and the tooth will require a root canal. It is beneficial to catch cavities at their smallest stages, to prevent loss of tooth structure. To prevent cavities, consider a low sugar diet, brush and floss, use fluoride toothpaste, and have your check-ups and cleanings regularly.
Gum recession is when the gum tissue around a tooth recedes away, exposing the underlying tooth and root structure. Gum recession can occur anywhere around a tooth. Gum recession is caused by a variety of reasons, including brushing too aggressively, clenching/grinding and trauma. To prevent gum recession, try using an electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator or a super soft toothbrush and wear a nightguard if you clench or grind your teeth.
Erosion is wear of the outer structure of the teeth called the enamel, caused by acids in your mouth. The acids can be from highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit, or acid reflux/ GERD. When the teeth are frequently exposed to acids, the enamel will slowly wear away, leaving them sensitive, thin and discoloured. To prevent acid erosion, make sure to rinse your mouth after citrus fruits/vomiting and talk with your doctor about medication if you suffer from acid reflux/GERD.
Tooth wear is any traumatic wear of the enamel surfaces. Causes of tooth wear can be due to a habit of clenching, grinding, or a traumatic bite. Over time, the tooth surfaces may flatten or indent, and loss of enamel will occur. To prevent tooth wear, be sure to wear a night guard if you have a clenching or grinding habit. If the wear is caused from an off bite, braces may be recommended to align the teeth and fix the bite, allowing biting forces to be distributed evenly.
Dental braces are comprised of bands, brackets and wires placed on the teeth to straighten and align them. On average they will stay on a patients teeth for around two years. While the braces are on, it is more challenging to keep the teeth and gums clean as there are many more nooks and crannies where plaque and bacteria can be trapped. Often, other dental aids are necessary to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. Listed below are essential dental tools to use while dental braces are on.
An electric toothbrush is one of the most essential tools to be used with dental braces. Electric toothbrushes simulate brush strokes at a much faster rate than you can achieve with your hand. That means you have to hold the toothbrush for a few seconds on each tooth, making sure to access all surfaces of the tooth, and the brush will do the work for you. Electric toothbrushes either use an oscillating or sweeping motion.
Because the wire of the braces blocks the contacts of teeth, it is necessary to use a floss aid to access the gum line. There are several different options for floss aids. Floss threaders are small loops that will pull the floss through, and super floss is a pre-cut piece of floss with a ridged end to poke through the contact underneath the wire. It is important to try several options and find the one that works best for you.
A water flosser is an electric powered tool that is used to shoot water in a jet-like stream through the contacts of the teeth and around the brackets. The water flushes out bacteria that are difficult to access. Water flossers also help to keep the gums healthy.
Interdental aids are tools that help to clean between the teeth and around the brackets. An example of this is a small angular brush that helps remove plaque with the bristles.
More Frequent Cleanings
Regular professional dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth with dental braces. Some areas are tough to access, and even while using the right tools at home, may harbour bacteria. Cleanings every 3-4 months help to reduce the amount of bacteria accumulation and also provide a check up on the health of the gums and teeth.
It is essential to talk with your orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist about the right tools for you. If you have any questions about any dental aids, or believe you may benefit from more frequent cleanings, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.