Dentistry is a vast dental field that involves the care given to teeth ranging from prevention of infection to treatment when infection occurs. Dental health is one of the most important fields of health but unfortunately not taken very seriously by most people. Some people fail to observe dental health due to lack of information while others its out of mare ignorance. Due to this fact, today there are more serious dental problems in the world than cancer and HIV cases. The reason it has not been declared an epidemic is probably because in mostly because those affected can still live their normal life. This has consequently resulted to people only going to a dentist when the pain is unbearable or time is convenient. There are many areas in which dentistry is involved in and today we will look at the most common cases of dental care and treatment.
This is a procedure that involves the removal of a tooth or teeth. This is the most common type of dental treatment. Tooth extraction is usually on a bacteria infected tooth that has decayed or has cavities. It is one of the most painful experiences especially if the cavity has reached the root canal. Removing the tooth may not be the best solution but most people prefer it due to the quick pain reliever. However, dentists advise that before you can decide to remove the tooth, trying use of medicine that can rid the bacteria or do a filling if the cavity is not so bad. It is also advisable to observe oral health to help keep the rest of them firm and strong.
This is a process where a dentist adds some filling material in the infected tooth. This procedure is done on a tooth that has decayed to the point of leaving a hole on it. The cause of this decay is bacteria eating away enamel. For the filling to be effective, it is important for the dentist to remove all bacteria in that tooth and the teeth surrounding it. Failure to do this makes the filling ineffective as the bacterial will continue to eat away tooth enamel making the filling useless as well as bringing back intense pain to the patient. There are different types of fillings done and they mainly differ depending on the material used to fill or the purpose of the filling. Some people fill their teeth for beauty.
Dental hygiene goes beyond the normal daily tooth brushing. As one grows the teeth wear our and at the same time gets some yellowish stain. We all want to have that sparkling white smile and no matter how hard we brush our teeth we don’t seem to be attaining it. This stain can only be removed by a dentist using a special chemical that only removes the stain but does not affect the enamel.
Oral hygiene is the whole practice of keeping your mouth and teeth clean and healthy. Oral hygiene should be maintained to avoid dental problems. Some of these problems are gum disease, dental cavities, gingivitis and bad breath.
Pregnant women should be careful to ensure that they maintain a clean mouth and teeth for them not to develop dental problems that can be catastrophic to the unborn baby. This is because a pregnant woman with periodontal (gum) disease is likely to experience a premature as well as giving birth to an underweight baby. A baby whose mother had dental problems during birth is likely to have health complications in future. Some of those complications include disabilities like mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
Pregnant women also run a high risk of developing gingivitis. This is because there is a rise of biological body hormones in a woman’s body during pregnancy.
Fortunately, all this health problems to unborn babies because of mothers’ oral problems are avoidable.
First of all, you should visit your dentist at the start of your pregnancy for dental checkup and proper advice on how to maintain a clean and healthy oral hygiene. This visit will also help you treat any oral problem before you affect the unborn child’s health in future.
Second, you should be able to take care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy. This is achieved by brushing your teeth after every meal to remove food remains that are affinitive to disease causing germs. Flossing once daily will also help you remove food remains between teeth. Remember to use the toothpaste that was recommended to you by your dentist, and to replace your toothbrush after every 2 months to avoid re-infection of your teeth.
Third, you should also wash your mouth with a basic mouthwash (mainly fluoride) to neutralize the acidic nausea left in your mouth which can corrode your enamel (the outer white part of your teeth).This is to keep the acid level in your mouth under control after experiencing nausea(morning sickness as a sign of pregnancy)
Furthermore, visit your dentist regularly for continual checkup to ensure that a healthy oral hygiene is maintained throughout pregnancy. Contact him/her if you notice toothache, red and swollen gums, loose teeth, bleeding gums and persistent bad breath.
Equally important, eat a well-balanced diet to ensure strong and healthy teeth and avoid eating sugary foods and snacks that can be detrimental to your oral health. Avoid smoking tobacco as nicotine (substance in tobacco) affects the teeth too by causing decay due to discoloration.
This is how you will maintain a healthy oral hygiene and spare your unborn child future dental health complications.
Dental care for infants should start at pregnancy. This descends from the fact that baby teeth form before birth. To ensure these baby teeth develop healthily, it is therefore vital that pregnant mothers watch their diet very closely. They should eat balanced diets accompanied by adequate minerals and vitamins. Apart from taking nutritious diets, pregnant mothers should also undergo complete dental examinations. In case any diseases of the gum or cavities are established, they should be treated.
Even before teeth begin to erupt in babies, mothers are advised to gently clean their babies’ gums with gauze pad or infant washcloth that has been soaked in water. This not only removes food but also stimulates tissue of the gum.
The duration it takes primary teeth to erupt approximates to 6 months. This however might vary in different children. A total of 20 primary teeth are expected to form starting from the age of 6 months to around 3 years. These primary teeth are lost as from the age of about 6-11 years. This is followed by the emergence of the first permanent teeth from the age of 6 years. The last permanent teeth on the other hand form between the age of 12 to 21 years.
A child’s likelihood of experiencing any dental problems in future can be determined by the 6th month of age. This is determined by thorough examination of the mother’s teeth condition and dental history. It is very likely that the mother’s dental condition can help predict a child’s teeth. The baby should also see a dentist by the first birthday. Alternatively, the baby can be taken to a dentist 6 months after the development of the first primary teeth. After this, the baby should visit a dentist after every 6 months.
Babies may also develop dental problems. These may be caused by a variety of factors such as disease or injury. It could also be a developmental problem. If such is encountered the baby should be taken to a pediatric dentist. This should not be taken lightly and a visit to a pediatric dentist or simply a children’s dentist should be made right away.
In other cases, the above mentioned dental problems in children may not be limited to the teeth’s surfaces. If this is the case, it is advisable that the child also sees a pediatrician or children’s doctor or one’s family doctor.
Dentists advise against certain habits to sponsor good oral health of babies. Some of these habits include pacifier and thumb sucking. Babies should be made to stop these habits as soon as possible. Sucking over a long period of time causes a number of problems including crooked teeth, bite problems among others.
As soon as baby’s teeth erupt, they should be brushed gently. This is done using a small toothbrush with very soft bristles. By the age of 3 years, children should start learning proper brushing techniques though close monitoring is advised until the age of 7-8 years.