Four renowned dental surgeons share insights on caring for your teeth and managing pain.
Teaching Children The Basics Of Oral Care
Dr Kiran Ganjoo, BDS; Gold Medalist from Gujarat University; Dental Surgeon; Organizing committee member of East Zone Dental Association; Best Citizen of India award from Friendship Society of India, Vadodara.
A child’s smile is a precious treasure, and safeguarding it requires more than just regular brushing. Dental hygiene for kids is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being. With approximately 60-90% of school-aged children worldwide experiencing tooth decay, addressing dental issues becomes a significant concern for parents and caregivers. Establishing strong oral care habits early on forms the bedrock for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
• Brush Twice A Day: Encourage a morning and bedtime brushing regimen to remove plaque buildup and avert cavities.
• Supervise & Guide: Children under six benefit from supervised brushing, ensuring comprehensive coverage of all tooth surfaces for a minimum of two minutes.
• Floss: Initiate flossing to eliminate trapped food particles and prevent gum disease.
• Limit Sugar Exposure: Reduce sugary snacks and drinks, especially between meals, to minimize the risk of tooth decay.
• Chew Mindfully: Discourage habits like nail-biting and chewing on hard objects, which can jeopardize tooth integrity and lead to potential dental emergencies.
• Regular Dental Visits: Schedule biannual dental check-ups and cleanings to promptly address issues and cultivate a positive attitude towards dental care.
• Balanced Diet: Emphasize a well-rounded diet for strong teeth – incorporating fruits, calciumrich foods, vegetables, and lean protein.
• Hydrate: Promote water consumption to stimulate saliva production, facilitating mouth cleansing and acid neutralization, crucial for preventing tooth decay.
Oral Hygiene: Dos & Don’ts
Dr Sanyog Pathak, MDS; FIBOMS; FIBCSOMS; Professor & Head, Oral & Maxillofacial surgery, Hitkarni Dental College & Hospital, Jabalpur, MP.
Oral health requires daily practice and good oral hygiene habits. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60% to 90% of school children and almost 100% of adults worldwide have at least one dental cavity. Most oral conditions are largely preventable by proper daily oral care routine. Parents lead by example, hence understanding how to prepare and maintain a healthy mouth is crucial.
Dos & Don’ts
• Brush your teeth twice a day (after waking up and before going to bed) to remove the plaque before it turns into tartar. Gentle brushing at the correct angle can remove bacteria.
• Your gums need to be cared for. Proper brushing and regular flossing can keep your gums healthy and strong.
• Change your toothbrush every three or four months. Never share your brush and keep it in the open air to let it dry and prevent bacterial growth.
• Calcium-rich yoghurt and green leafy vegetables are foods that promote good dental health. Avoid foods that can cause tooth decay and erosion: sugars, starchy, refined foods and breads, popcorn, and chewy, sticky foods.
• Drink plenty of water, it helps clean your teeth between meals by washing away leftover food particles and germs. In addition, most water contains fluoride which is a natural cavity fighter.
• Rinse your mouth with mouthwash once a day to get that extra clean feeling.
• Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production – it serves as a natural rinse.
• Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause yellowing of the teeth, bad breath, and tooth decay. It can also increase the risk of oral cancer.
• Make regular dental visits (every six months) for cleaning and examination by a professional.
• Your teeth are precious, so work towards preserving your bright and healthy smile.
Dental Health For A Joyful Senior Life
Dr Shesha Prasad, BDS, MDS, PhD, MFDS, RCPS (Glasgow); Oral Physician; Implantologist and Dentomaxillofacial Radiologist; Gold Medalist in the specialty of Oral Medicine and Radiology; First Rank in Master of Dental Surgery (MDS). He has completed his PhD from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. He is a Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, UK.
As we age, maintaining good dental health becomes increasingly important for ensuring a joyful and fulfilling senior life. We know that poor oral health is more common with increasing age — and there’s a connection between increasing age and tooth decay. Dental cavities occur in older adults nearly twice as often as they do in younger adults. The prevalence of gum disease, or periodontitis, also increases.
Older adults are at an especially high risk for mouth and tooth infections and the complications that can come with these problems. Losing teeth, which is mainly caused by infection, not only leads to changes in our appearance but may also make it harder to chew certain foods. Practicing good oral hygiene, using fluoride treatments, and getting regular dental care reduces oral infections and their complications.
Maintaining good dental health in senior years requires regular dental checkups, diligent brushing and flossing, and proper denture care. A balanced diet rich in vitamins (A, C, D) and minerals (calcium and phosphorus) is crucial for gum health and strong teeth. Including nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, fruits, dairy products, and lean protein in your diet also helps lower the risk of dental issues. Remember that good dental hygiene is an important part of healthy aging.
Redefining Patient Comfort & Dental Care
Dr Venkatesh Anehosur, Professor and Head, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, SDM CRANIOFACIAL CENTRE, A Unit of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunateswara University, Dharwad.
From dealing with dental implants to tooth extractions – we’re no strangers to questions about managing discomfort after oral surgery. After the effect of local anesthesia wears off, it is normal to experience pain and discomfort, often persisting for several days during recovery.
To deal with the pain and recover faster, carefully follow the postoperative instructions provided by the oral surgeon. An ice pack can be applied to the jaw to alleviate swelling and reduce pain. If the swelling does not reduce after two days or becomes worse, a fever may develop, there may be difficulty in swallowing or there may be pus around the surgical area. In this case, it is essential to talk to your dentist.
A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to infection after oral surgeries. Vitamins C & B-complex with Zinc promote healing and will help you recover faster. Components with antioxidant activity such as green tea and lycopene have shown potential to improve periodontal health. Because dehydration may impede recovery, it is important to ensure ample fluid intake. Eating foods with essential nutrients and having good oral hygiene are important too. With the right oral care, you can maintain your dental health and keep your immune system strong.