It is no exaggeration to state that ‘mouth’ is the threshold of the entire human body system. Any minor defect in the teeth will have a telling effect on the whole body. In short, longevity of life depends on the health of the teeth. Dentist Dr.Senthil Kumaran elaborately mentions as to how we have to prevent tooth decay and promote healthy teeth.
Teeth are of 8 kinds. Its formation is like shelf structure with 8 teeth each on left and right upper cavity as well as lower cavity, thus making a total of 32 in all.
Our ability to speak is only due to proper teeth structure through the gaps of which the vibrated air gets converted into voice. Good teeth are not meant for external appearance alone but for protection of body against heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems etc. It is true that whatever problems our inner organs face will be reflected through our teeth.
How to keep our teeth clean?
The following tips are to be followed daily:-
Brushing our teeth twice – both in the morning and before going to sleep is a MUST
Whenever we eat something, we must gargle our mouth with raw salt
While brushing our teeth, we must clean the brush directly in the water and not from a mug of water
Not to do the following:-
Brushing should not be endless nor so hard
Too much of sweets and hot and high cold stuff to be avoided
Bed-coffee or tea to be shunned as they would carry all the bad deposits in the teeth directly to the digestive organs
Should not use our teeth for opening the bottle cap
Should keep away from smoking
How to brush the teeth?
While brushing, we must use the brush upwards and downwards; sidewise brushing will spoil the enamel. We should not brush continuously. The ideal position is 45* angle only. Both the front end teeth and the inside teeth should be brushed twice. The root teeth should be brushed on a rotational basis. We must brush inside the teeth also. We can use ultra soft or soft or medium brush and not the hard one. We should gently but firmly brush our teeth. Further, we must use the dental floss to clear all the left-over particles in our teeth. Similarly, it is necessary to clean our tongue also gently with the help of tongue cleaner. Mouth wash should also be included in the list of ‘do’s’.
Common mouth-related diseases and treatments:-
The common diseases are tooth decay, enamel degradation, toothache, mouth ulcer, bad breath, gingivitis and oral cancer.
Tooth decay will occur if the tooth is not properly brushed or some food particles are left behind the cavity for long. The carbohydrate in the food and the acid in our saliva will cause this problem.
We must immediately consult a dentist for his advice. He may do root canal treatment to solve this. The decayed tooth can be extracted so that it will not spread to other teeth. Artificial tooth, if preferred, can be fixed.
It is not only due to sweet but also due to the left-over food particles in the teeth, we get tooth decay. We must brush our teeth properly and gargle firmly after every time we eat something.
If we keep tobacco in our mouth for long or have the habit of consuming liquor or tea or coffee more than the normal dose, it will cause this problem. Improper brushing will cause this. In addition to this, some persons may have this problem right from birth.
Clean water only should be drunk always. With the advice of the dentist, white cleaner can also be used to clear the stain.
Tobacco and liquor should be avoided. Whenever tea or coffee is taken, proper gargling should be done without fail.
Tooth decay, if left unchecked, will attack the root which will cause toothache.
We must consult a dentist to find out the exact reason for this problem so that necessary treatment can be taken accordingly. In the case of diabetes, if the sugar level exceeds in the blood, that will also cause toothache.
Warm water with raw salt must be used for gargling twice a day to prevent this problem.
Smoking, pan masala, tobacco etc. will cause oral cancer. In the initial stage it will cause mouth ulcer and it will slowly spread to lips, jaw, throat and food pipe and lead to cancer.
Healthy and proper food habit can be followed besides physical exercise and avoiding smoking, liquor and tobacco. Timely consultation with the dentist is essential.
The habit of taking tobacco and pan masala should be given up. Ulcer in the mouth should not be neglected.
Stomach is the main reason. If there is any problem in the stomach, it will create acids leading to bad breath. Ulcer, dehydration, lack of saliva secretion in the tongue, some problem with the tonsil gland or food pipe and digestive region will cause bad breath. Germs spreading in our teeth or problems in the intestine or even kidney will cause this bad breath problem.
Mouth washer can be used to prevent this. Salt water gargling can also be resorted to in the morning. Those who have ulcer should take plenty of water which will arrest the acid effect.
Brushing in the morning and night must be done. Blocked particles can be removed with the help of thread which was used by our forefathers in the past. Acid and sour food should be reduced as much as possible. People who take non-vegetarian food should immediately brush their teeth. If it still persists, we must consult a dentist without delay.
If bacteria get deposited in the teeth, it will cause gum inflammation. Virus infection, depression, sugar problem, liquor and tobacco intake and also the hormonal disturbance during pregnancy time will all cause this problem.
Only remedy is consulting a dentist and as per his advice, necessary treatment course should be undertaken.
We must drink plenty of water with regular intervals. Light red or pinkish or even black colour gums are healthy. If it is utterly dark red, it means that the gum is affected and requires treatment.
Tooth sensitivity will be caused by decay of enamel and intake of too much of cold or hot stuff.
Mouth wash can be done daily and as per doctor’s advice, the paste and brush are to be used.
It is better to avoid too hot or cold stuff or drink. Soft or medium brush can be used and while brushing, we should not apply force. We must always keep our mouth clean.
Ways to protect children’s teeth:-
One time brushing should be compulsorily done. They must be cleaned with the help of water
Babies should not be allowed to sleep with the feeding bottle in the mouth for long
If the feeding bottle is kept for long, it would invite bacteria which will cause problems with the milk teeth when they grow.
Milk teeth will fall off between 7 and 12 years and new permanent teeth will come up. At that time, it they have the habit of thumb-chewing, it will cause improper
growth of teeth
Children should be encouraged to get the habit of having clean teeth once they start growing
If the milk teeth do not fall before 12 years, the parents should consult the dentist for the cause for necessary remedial steps.
Items of food that will protect healthy teeth:-
Millets, brown bread, rice, wheat and nuts can be munched and eaten. On a daily basis, green vegetables and fruits should be taken. Milk, milk products and dhal should also be taken periodically. Fish, mutton, egg and soya can be taken twice a week. If we experience any tooth problem, we must avoid sweets and citrus fruits. Curd, spinach, nuts and coconut would improve the strength of the teeth. Carrot and apple should preferably be bitten and eaten.
Which one is healthy? Yellow or white teeth:-
Basically, the colour of the teeth does not matter. Yellow or white, it must be clean to be healthy. The colour of the teeth depends of our skin colour. To some extent, it can be whitened by whitening the teeth. However, complete yellow teeth cannot be whitened at all. We must always follow the advice of the dentist regarding the type of brush, paste etc. to be used.
During pregnancy period:-
During the period of pregnancy, the expectant mother may experience gum inflammation, oozing of blood and related teeth problems due to hormonal changes. It is necessary for them to contact the dental clinic immediately.
If clipping is worn:-
Clipping is done for making the teeth formation regular. During this period, proper maintenance of teeth is essential. Dentists will prescribe ortho brushes for use in order to ensure that the food particles stuck in between will be safely removed. Similarly, removable and fixed types of clippings are available. Some children will be advised by the dentist to wear from the childhood stage itself. Once the permanent teeth come up, they can be continued to be worn as per doctor’s advice.
* Too much of sweets should be avoided; more so, keeping the sweet for long in the mouth should equally be avoided
* Soda, carbonated drinks, tea and coffee need to be taken occasionally. If taken . frequently, the acid element in them will cause damage to enamel. Instead, tender coconut and fruit juice can be taken
Smoking and pan users should be careful. It will create problems in the gum and the likelihood of falling of teeth is more. Above all, it will cause stain in their teeth.
* When infants finish drinking the milk, their teeth should be cleaned; else, it will affect their teeth
* Some people will open the lid of the bottle with their teeth and tear open the plastic cover with their teeth. This will certainly weaken the strength of the teeth in due course
Nail biting and biting the teeth when in anger should be prevented, for they would cause wear and tear to the teeth early
Improper brushing should be avoided. When we do it in a hurry, we will not be able to brush our teeth properly. Proper and regular brushing is a must.
Too much of cold or hot stuff will cause tooth sensitivity
Precautions to be taken:-
Whenever we take food or cold drinks, we must brush our teeth with blueroid toothpaste so that the minerals in them will protect us from teeth crack and avoid bad smell
After eating food, it is better to gargle our mouth with warm water in order to clear the food particles and avoid bad smell
* In the case of boil infection, we can change the brush
* We must take at least 2.5 lt.water daily. This will prevent bad breath
* Tooth brush should be changed once in three months
Plaque in between the gum will occur and cause yellow colour stain in our teeth. This will cause bleeding while brushing. In such a case, we must consult the dentist immediatley
Dentist’s recommendation and advice:-
In general, we must make it a practice to check our teeth once in six months instead of going to the dentist when we have an issue only. This will help us avoid unnecessary problems with our teeth.
Timely and periodical check-up will ensure a presentable smile with confidence. While face is the index of the mind, tooth is the mirror of one’s personality.
(This article written by Mohanapriya has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)