Self-Performed Methods of Dental Plaque Identification

Tartar cannot be removed by simple brushing and flossing, but only through professional cleaning by your dentist or Dental Emergency Chula Vista.

Plaque pertains to the slimy, sticky substance that collects on the surface of the teeth. It is the major cause of both tooth decay and gum disease, thus making it extremely important to get rid of plaque deposits before they can wreak havoc on your mouth.

But the thing is, plaque can be pretty hard to detect with the naked eye because it has the same color as your teeth. But worry not, for there are tools for Dental Emergency Chula Vista, which can help detect where plaque builds up and let you know how good you when it comes brushing and flossing your pearly whites.

Why Remove Plaque?

Plaque disclosing agents are often used by dentists to show their patients where and how much plaque has accumulated on their teeth.

Removing plaque deposits while they are still new and soft is recommended in order to prevent them from turning into hardened deposits called tartar or calculus, where plaque and bacteria can continue to thrive.

Methods of Plaque Disclosure:

Plaque Disclosing Tablets:

One method of plaque disclosure makes use of special disclosing tablets made up of red dye. This dye gets absorbed by plaque, thus staining it and making it much easier to detect. To use these tablets, get one tablet and chew it thoroughly. Swish the chewed tablet-saliva mixture onto your teeth for about 30 seconds. Spit it out, rinse off with water and then examine your teeth. You may use your bathroom mirror, or even a small mirror to get a closer look.

Red stains indicate plaque. These stains highlight the areas where you should improve your brushing and flossing.

Now, some individuals may frown upon the idea of bright red staining, not only on the teeth but on your gums, tongue, or lips as well. Take note that the staining is temporary and will be gone after a few hours.

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Plaque Disclosing Solutions:

Plaque Disclosing Solutions work in pretty much the same way as disclosing tablets, only that they are in liquid form already. Like in the tablet form, you have to swish the solution around your mouth for about the same time. Then, you also have to spit it out and check your teeth afterward.

Some disclosing solutions are available as two-toned agents, which help differentiate between old and new plaque deposits.

Plaque Disclosing Swabs:

These swabs are pre-saturated with a disclosing solution. They are used by dabbing the swab along the tooth surface to show the plaque deposits. Compared to disclosing solutions, there are more convenient, more easily controlled, and less messy.

Plaque Light:

Plaque light requires the use of a special fluorescent solution that you’ll swish around your mouth and then rinse off with water. To detect plaque, you will have to use an ultraviolet light. The light will help make plaque more visible by giving it bright yellow-orange color.

The main advantage of the plaque light and fluorescent solution combo is that it doesn’t produce any visible stains in your mouth.

After using any of the disclosing products brush your teeth after and be sure to improve your brushing on the areas where plaque accumulates the most. Brush as thoroughly as you can until there are no stains left.

If you wish to be sure about the efficiency of your oral hygiene, use a disclosing agent for as long as you wish until you see less and less plaque.

Plaque disclosing agents are particularly helpful for kids, orthodontic patients, and individuals prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Using Mouthrinses in Kids: Top Considerations

When it comes to their kids’ Dentist San Diego, parents must always be looking for ways to help improve the care of their kid’s teeth and gums.

Needless to say, brushing and flossing are still the best ways to avoid tooth decay and gum disease, but some kids – especially the older ones – may start to show some interest in incorporating mouth-rinse as part of their oral hygiene routine.

For parents, here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to let your kid use a mouth rinse.

Proper Age for Using Mouthrinses in kids

In general, kids younger than six years old must not be allowed to use a mouth rinse to avoid the risk of swallowing the product. It can be quite tricky and be challenging for young kids to learn to swish the liquid instead of swallowing it like a drink.

Meanwhile, those aged six to twelve may use mouth-rinse, but only under close adult supervision.

One good way to determine if your kid is ready to use a mouth rinse is to ask him or her to take a sip of water, gargle it around his or her mouth for a few seconds, then spit it out. If your kid can handle rinsing with water, they are more likely to do the same with mouth-rinse.

Choosing between Alcohol-Containing vs. Alcohol-free Mouthrinses

Many different types of mouth-rinses are available on the market, and the two varieties include the alcohol-containing and alcohol-free. When it comes to fluoride mouth rinses, parents are advised to avoid them for now, as fluoride can result in fluorosis of the kids’ developing teeth.

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Fluorosis is a harmless condition, but it can be unsightly due to the changes it can cause to the teeth’s color and texture. It can cause the formation of white spots or brown streaks on the tooth enamel, or make the tooth surfaces uneven and bumpy.

Using Mouthrinses while on Orthodontic Treatment

Kids who have dental braces can benefit the most from using mouth-rinse because mechanical cleaning via toothbrush and floss is often not enough in removing plaque buildup underneath the wires and brackets.

Mouthrinses can be a good adjunct to loosen debris and neutralize the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. With this three-pronged attack – brush, floss, and using mouth rinse – against plaque, kids should be able to adequately protect their teeth from tooth decay and gum disease while wearing braces. This, in turn, helps to ensure a successful orthodontic treatment that will result in straighter teeth in the end.

Mouthrinses as an Adjunct to Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Regardless of the type of mouth-rinse your kid uses, be sure to constantly remind him or her that they should not, in any way, replace the good old twice-daily toothbrushing and flossing. While it is true that mouth-rinses offer great benefits against plaque, it cannot match the benefits provided by mechanical cleaning.

Follow the Advice of Your kid’s Dentist in San Diego

Because mouth-rinses is not advisable for every kid, consult with your kid’s Dentist San Diego first. He or she will help determine if using a mouth rinse will indeed be beneficial for your kid’s teeth.

How to Teach Your Kids Better Oral Hygiene

Children must be taught of the importance of oral health care as soon as possible. Learning proper oral surgery dentist at an early age is crucial for long-term oral health.

Help your child develop a lifetime of healthy smiles by teaching them good dental care habits.

Here are some strategies that could help you.

Lead by example

The best way to teach your kids is by showing them how something is done. They learn faster that way.

Your kid should see you brushing your teeth when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night.

If you do this before they wake up or after they go to bed, change your routine so they can watch you. You can even let you help them you brush your teeth like how you help them with theirs.

Make it a fun time

Seeing you actually do it is a great start, but it would be a whole lot better if you’d make toothbrushing a fun time.

Be creative and make up a story, sing, or have them listen to a cute song about toothbrushing.

If you make it a fun and exciting activity, your kid will surely look forward to it.

Use an electric toothbrush

Another effective way to motivate your child to brush their teeth is by using an electric toothbrush.

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Aside from looking like a toy which they’d be more excited to use, it also makes brushing fast, easy, and more efficient.

A water flosser instead of the usual thread floss will also be more interesting for them. For mouth rinses, use one with yummy color and flavor.

Gross them out

You kid will also be encouraged to improve their oral hygiene if they know what will happen if they don’t brush their teeth.

One way to do so is by using plaque disclosing tablets or solutions that would help show areas of plaque buildup.

Tell them that these areas are the ones they often miss but don’t forget to also show those areas that they were able to brush thoroughly.

If the plaque deposits have already turned into tartar, let them know that they need to visit the dentist to have them removed because simple toothbrushing won’t do.

Let them take over

Children aged six years old and above may be able to brush on their own so let them take over.

Kids’ dexterity at this age is enough for them to be allowed to take charge of their own dental care.

Just be sure to supervise them while doing it and inspect their teeth after to make sure that they have done it properly.

The American Dental Association recommends supervising your kids until age 8.

Better yet, ask them to brush along with you. You can also use a timer that will let them know when to proceed onto the next teeth.

Children live by their older people’s example, so it is up to you as a parent and role model whether or not they will stick with good dental habits.

Encourage them to brush and floss daily and watch them grow up with strong teeth and overall healthy mouths.So, visit oral surgery dental clinic today 

5 Most Common Dental Concerns of Teens

Teenage years are probably the most awkward period in one’s life. It’s that time when you worry too much just about anything, most especially on how you look.

Dental problems are just one of the many issues teens have as they go through the adolescent period. Most of these dental concerns are so common that they were deemed normal part of life.

Learn more about what these concerns are and find out what you and your dentist can do about it.

Crooked or Misaligned Teeth

Misalignment of teeth is a very common dental anomaly that occurs not just in kids and teens, but even in adults as well.

It often occurs when the space left for the erupting permanent teeth is too little or too much. Too little space leads to crowding, while too much space results to spacing or diastema.

Both can result to an unpleasant smile, malocclusion (a.k.a. bad bite), early wear of teeth, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems. To correct misalignment, installation of dental braces is often necessary.

Dental braces are placed in the patient’s mouth by an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the correction of malocclusion.

Braces are typically made of metal secured in position by colorful dental elastics. But for some teens, metal display is an issue so there’s also ceramic braces that looks less obvious and Invisalign which, as its name suggests, is virtually invisible.

Consult your dentist to find out which option is best for you.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The third molars, more commonly known as the wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. They come out at the age of 17 to 21.

Most of the time, there isn’t enough space for them or their position simply does not allow them to erupt straight up.

In both cases, they are referred to as impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth must always be removed unless contraindicated. If left in the mouth, they may lead to other problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and damage to adjacent teeth.

Impacted teeth are extracted through a surgical operation known as odontectomy. In this procedure, which is done under local or general anesthesia, the dental surgeon makes an incision on the area of the impacted tooth.

The overlying gum tissue is then lifted or reflected to expose the tooth. Bone reduction may be done as necessary.

Once the tooth is extracted, the gum tissue is then put back into its original position and the incision is closed with sutures. Complete healing of the surgical site takes about 3-6 months.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay pertains to the destruction of tooth structure by the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. It is caused by eating lots of sugary foods without brushing the teeth after.

Much as it is the most common dental disease, it is also very preventable. The best way of avoiding it is to practice good oral hygiene and do regular visits to your dentist for consultation, professional cleaning, and topical fluoride application.

Fluoride helps make the teeth stronger to stop further decay.

But if the decay is already extensive and tooth enamel has been worn off, your dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity with an appropriate filling material.

And if the destruction has reached the pulp, the damage is said to be irreversible and a simple filling won’t solve the problem. In such case, the treatment would either be root canal or extraction.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is brought about by accumulation of bacteria in the tongue and teeth.

In most cases, a simple improvement in one’s oral hygiene is enough to get rid of this problem.

A good oral hygiene means brushing at least twice a day and using floss to clean in-between teeth. And as always, regular dental visits are also necessary.

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration may result from surface stains or from changes within the tooth. Surface stains are referred to as extrinsic stains.

This type of stain affects only surface of the enamel, and is commonly caused by smoking and consuming dark-colored food and beverages.

Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are those that affect the inner structures of the tooth – the dentin and pulp.

Causes of intrinsic stains include too much fluoride, tetracycline antibiotics, and trauma. Discoloration may also be age-related.

As we age, our teeth appear more yellow as the enamel thins out, causing the yellow-colored dentin to show through.

Extrinsic stains can be removed by regular brushing using whitening toothpastes and by professional cleaning.

But if you want your teeth to be whiter than their natural color, bleaching is recommended. Intrinsic stains won’t respond to whitening products nor bleaching.

To get rid of them, your dentist will either cover the stains with tooth-colored filling material or put veneers on the facial surface of the teeth.