Tag Archive - malaligned teeth

Why should we get missing teeth replaced?

Earlier, if you had cavities, you got the affected tooth removed. Nowadays we have more options instead of just getting the tooth removed. But people still opt for getting them removed at times, maybe because they can’t afford better treatment. Or, like one of the patients I came across recently, who got her teeth removed since she was studying and didn’t have the time for multiple appointments required for root canal treatment. Or, it could be that your tooth is so badly affected, that it has to be removed.

But what many people don’t realize is that it is important to get the missing teeth replaced as well. The teeth being removed most commonly at present are for orthodontic purposes. The space created in this case will be closed by the adjacent teeth during the process of the treatment. Continue Reading…

Is flossing really as important as brushing?

sAP asked, “Is flossing really as important as brushing?”

Flossing targets areas that cannot be reached while brushing. Brushing targets all the visible tooth surfaces – labial (facing the lips), buccal (facing the cheeks), palatal (near the palate) and lingual (near the tongue).  It also covers the biting (incisal) and chewing (occlusal) surfaces. But there are two more surfaces that go untouched by the tooth brush. The mesial and distal, the sides contacting the adjacent teeth. Flossing removes plaque from these surfaces. So yes, it is as important as brushing. Since it caters to surfaces we do not see, we tend to undermine their role in maintaining good oral hygiene.

Dental floss is available at most pharmacies and stores. For those who don’t know how to floss, break off a piece of floss and entwine it between the forefingers of both hands or hold it between the fingers. Pass it in gently between 2 teeth, until you are beyond the contact point between teeth, and near the gums. You can make use of a floss holder, if you find it difficult to floss using your fingers. Take care not to injure the gums in the process. If you are not sure how to floss, your dentist will be able to show you the technique or check out the video embedded below. The wax-coated dental floss is easier to slide in between teeth. Once you have slid the floss in between the teeth, gently slide it back out contacting the sides of the tooth all along the way. Repeat this for each tooth using a clean portion of the floss each time.

Those who have crowding or improperly aligned teeth should take flossing more seriously, since they have more area untouched by the brush due to overlapping of the teeth. Food tends to get lodged in these areas that can lead to plaque accumulation.

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