by Surela Chakraborty | 06 OCT 2017
A supermodel smile and healthy teeth is an attainable dream if one makes it a point to brush teeth twice daily and maintain a proper oral care routine. It doesn't take too much time but goes a long way to keep your teeth intact even when you turn old.
As you age you are susceptible to many diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. This leads to dental problems. So both adults and elderly people needs to pay special attention to their oral hygiene routine. Especially, who wear dentures or other orthodontic appliances are prone to dental problems like tooth decay and abscess. Regular flossing, gum massages, brushing and salt water rinses can solve the problem. It is also important to follow the correct proccedure or technique while cleaning the mouth.
Dr. Prasad Meka, chief consultant implantologist at KIMS Dental Care gives tips to maintain proper oral hygiene in both adults and elders.
Dental Care for Elderly
Those who wear false teeth should take extra care of their oral hygiene. Using fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses can help protect the crowns. Brush carefully along the gum line or you can use floss for the same purpose. But make it a point not to use toothpicks. Dentures should be cleaned on a regular basis since plaque and tartar can also build up on the false teeth like they do on natural teeth.Soak the dentures overnight in hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean it thoroughly.
Dental flossing is recommended for those who have interdental spaces, gum diseases, halitosis and orthodontic appliances. Proper flossing will help remove plaque and food particles that are are lodged in places where toothbrush can't reach like under the gum line and between the teeth. Here is the correct technique to do flossing
“Take 18 inches of floss and wind most of the floss around each middle finger leaving an inch or two of floss to work with. Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and index finger and slide it gently up and down between your teeth and curve around base of tooth near gumline. To remove the floss use the same back and forth motion to bring the floss away from tooth.”
Regular Dental Care Routine for Adults
One should follow a proper technique of brushing and here is how to go about it. The angle of the brush should be at 45 degree angle against the gumline , then go to rest of the tooth with up and down strokes.Tilt the brush up and down to get inside of your front teeth. Once brushing is done, gently massage your gums with forefingers using small circular motion all around your gum line. Repeat this for 3-5 minutes.
When bacteria in the mouth forms a stickly dental biofilm which sticks to the teeth and gums then gum disease starts. So teeth and gums has to be cleaned on the daily basis otherwise gingivitis form that can cause gum swelling, bleeding, redness and pocket formation around teeth and gums. Bacterial toxins cause infection within these pockets that destroys the bone surrounding the teeth and this leads to loosenining of teeth. So one must control blood sugar levels, avoid smoking, brush teeth twice daily and visit the dentist for regular checkups.
Gum bleeding can be both prevented and cured by removing plaque and tartar from the teeth by scaling and rootplaning procedures that also help prevent gingivitis. Gum abscess can be prevented by brushing teeth twice daily or after every meal to protect it from decay and regularly visiting dentist for check up and cleaning procedures. Abscess can be cured by draining it and stop the spread of infection by prompt treatment of cavities and traumatised teeth. Prescribe antibiotics to control abscess. Warm salt water rinses soothe and help clean the mouth, it also encourages drainage until you visit the dentist.
Tooth decay and caries is a very common problem and needs to be prevented. This can be done by brushing teeth daily with fluoride containing toothpaste and rinsing the mouth with fluoride mouthwashes. Clean the teeth with dental floss and interdental cleaners.
Eat balanced nutritious meal and avoid sweet or sticky food. Visit the dentist every six to eight months for oral examination and cleaning. It is important to go for professional cleaning of teeth once in every six months in a dental clinic. Since regular cleaning of teeth at home polishes it but doesn't remove bacteria from the mouth. The dentist usually scales and polishes your teeth that removes bacteria, tartar and plaque that builds over the time. When choosing the right toothpaste to buy the most important thing to look for is that if it has American Dental Association(ADA) seal. It should contain fluoride as it has cavity fighting ability specially in kids. Avoid whitening toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth. It should contain lower abrasive quality. Also avoid heavily sweetened toothpaste because excess sugar contribute to tooth decay.
Dental Care for Tooth Sensitivity
Many adults suffer from tooth sensitivity and it can be cured. If the sensitivity is due to cavity then a restoration can be placed. If the cause of sensitivity is due to dentin being exposed then a fluoride varnish or a bonding agent can be used to seal the dentinal surface. Use a soft bristle brush and don"t over brush. Avoid grinding and clenching your teeth. There are a number of treatments based on the cause of sensitivity.
We all want pearly white teeth and to achieve that we tend to use whitenning toothpaste available in the market. However, it is not good for your teeth in the long run. While whitening toothpaste can remove extrinsic staining which are caused by tea,coffee,smoking etc. many are abrasive and contain tiny particles which removes stains by scratching the surface of your enamel that might lead to sensitivity. Instead of using whitening toothpaste you can opt for natural ingredients like baking soda and lemon which are great stain removers. Care should be taken that you don't use baking soda frequently because it can harm gums and can rip the enamel of your teeth while lemon being highly acidic can cause teeth sensitivity.\
For Appointments : Dr. Prasad Meka, chief consultant implantologist at KIMS Dental Care
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