Dental care: Keep that happy smile for longer

Everyone knows how to brush their teeth, right? Wrong. You will be surprised to know that a large section of people in the UAE do not know how to brush their teeth properly.

Most people stumble into the bathroom still sleepy, pick up their toothbrush, squeeze some toothpaste on it and get to moving the brush back and forth on their teeth like it was some oscillating wonder. That unfortunately, is the wrong way of brushing, says Dr Manohar Mallya, dentist and specialist orthodontist in Dubai.

Teeth, he says, should be brushed using a circular motion.

To view the correct method of brushing your teeth, log on to YouTube by typing ‘Proper tooth brushing’ in the search box.

Dental care: Keep that happy smile for longer

Brush your teeth right and get a check-up every 6 months

By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter
Published: 07:00 April 25, 2013
Gulf News

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Image Credit: Supplied
Woman using dental floss.

Dubai: Everyone knows how to brush their teeth, right? Wrong. You will be surprised to know that a large section of people in the UAE do not know how to brush their teeth properly.

Most people stumble into the bathroom still sleepy, pick up their toothbrush, squeeze some toothpaste on it and get to moving the brush back and forth on their teeth like it was some oscillating wonder. That unfortunately, is the wrong way of brushing, says Dr Manohar Mallya, dentist and specialist orthodontist in Dubai.

Teeth, he says, should be brushed using a circular motion.

To view the correct method of brushing your teeth, log on to YouTube by typing ‘Proper tooth brushing’ in the search box.

Article continues below

Apart from brushing, there are many other things we are doing wrong when it comes to our dental hygiene. “The mouth is the focus of infection and ignoring oral and dental hygiene usually leads to problems in other parts of the body,” says Dr Mallya. (To know what you are doing, wrong see the eight dentist tips).

Decaying quietly

The reason why people do not pay enough attention to the care of their teeth is because dental problems are deceptive. They cause no immediate pain. A tooth decay continues quietly till it reaches the pulp and then one fine day, the numbing pain hits you all of a sudden.

The problem with us, says Dr Mallya, is that unlike the preening we do when it comes to our skin, hair and body, we don’t open our mouth and inspect our teeth, gums and tongue on a regular basis. What’s inside the mouth remains a mystery to most of us much of the time till trouble announces itself.

Also nobody really opens their mouth and inspects their teeth or gums from time to time because unlike the skin or hair, teeth seem not that important to most people.

The other important form of negligence of our teeth is eating the wrong types of food. We are so obsessed about reading up on good nutrition but little do we pay attention to some types of foods affect our teeth.

Visiting a dentist is considered a bothersome task and many people avoid it as much as possible. Unless it is an emergency, most people do not book regular appointments with dentists for routine maintenance which goes a long way in keeping dental problems at bay. By being stingy on smaller expenses that come with regular check-ups, cleaning and scaling, you can avoid the hefty expenses that follow due to major dental health problems.

A check-up in time keeps your teeth fine could well be the lesson to be learned here.

Fact Box

Check out what you are doing wrong and follow these tips for a happy smile and a set of teeth that can crack a walnut with ease.

 

Dos and don’ts:

1) Don’t neglect a check-up: Get one every six months. A problem detected early will require only a simple form of treatment such as a filling. Putting off a visit to the dentist could cost you more and may require a more elaborate treatments like a root-canal or a crown.

 

2) Don’t delay treatment: Some expatriates try to delay a dental treatment till they head home for their annual vacation. And “many come back with incomplete treatment or partially done work,” says Dr Mallya. “On a holiday, you do not want to be sitting in a dentist’s chair.”

 

3) Brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth, twice a day: Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. If that’s not possible, rinse your mouth well after eating to dislodge any food particles stuck between the teeth and to wash away the stickiness in the mucus.

 

4) Know the correct way: Brush teeth gently in a circular motion, not in a back-and-forth dragging motion. Many people do not know the correct way to brush and do it aggressively which wears out the enamel (the outer covering) of the teeth. Use a soft brush or an electric toothbrush, which is very effective in cleaning teeth. Check the quality of the electric toothbrush. Do not forget to floss as flossing help reach between the teeth, which is a difficult area prone to plaque build-up.

 

5) Banish the plaque: Dr Mallya recommends scaling, or professional cleaning of the teeth even if you brush regularly. Scaling involves removal of the plaque that builds up on the teeth over time. Plaque is a soft, sticky film on the teeth which is infested with bacteria. It is usually the colour of the teeth but sometimes brown to black in colour. Many people fear that scaling will loosen your teeth from the roots. “It’s a misconception,” says Dr Mallya.

 

6) Cut down on tea or coffee: Drinking many cups of coffee and tea leaves stains on the teeth. Anything sweet or rich in high carbohydrates will leave a residue in the mouth that can cause tooth decay. Toffees and sticky sweets cause tooth problems so cut down on these.

 

Source: GulfNewshttp://gulfnews.com/life-style/health/dental-care-keep-that-happy-smile-for-longer-1.1174699

 

7) Don’t fear the drill: This is a common phobia which puts off people from visiting the dentist. The tiny high-speed drill is painless because the dentist first uses local anaesthesia before using the drill. Once the numbing sensation sets in after a few seconds, all you feel is a vibration and a light pressure. Drilling is done to clean the cavity in the tooth before it is filled up or closed.

 

8) Eat a balanced diet: Good nutrition is important not only for your general health but also the health of your teeth. Do not eat foods that are high in starch, sugars and carbohydrates as this will lead to plaque acid attacks on the teeth. Proper nutrition from foods such as dairy products, cereals, fruit, vegetables and meat, eggs or nuts will keep tooth decay and gum diseases away.

 

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