Good oral hygiene starts with the correct eating habits. Healthy food is not only for your medical health important but also for your dental health too. Make sure that you reduce your sugar intake by eating less sugar containing foods, sweets and cool drinks. Rather eat fruits, vegetables and your daily proteins and drink enough water.
Proper oral hygiene consists of brushing your teeth every day to help avoid cavities. But that's not enough to keep your teeth healthy. Most of the tooth loss in adults is not because of decay - it's caused by gum disease. Gum diseases directly influence the underlying bone, which is the foundation to support the teeth, and causes bone loss.
What causes gum disease? Gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria that produce toxins, which can irritate the gums and damage the teeth. Gum disease can affect you at any age. Adults however are affected the most. Your risk of getting gum disease may increase if you smoke or have certain medical conditions.
Scaling and Polishing
Scaling is a procedure that removes all external stains and tartar from the tooth surface. It is done with an ultra-sonic scaler or hand instruments, either by your dentist or an oral hygienist.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities from forming. Both adults and children benefit from fluoride. Brushing with a children's fluoride toothpaste can help ensure that your child's teeth receive the benefits of fluoride in strengthening enamel and preventing cavities on a daily basis.
New development in in-office fluoride techniques see the fluoride treatment being given whilst the teeth are being polished by the dentist or oral hygienist.
Sensitive Teeth (non invasive)
What is tooth sensitivity? Tooth sensitivity is the pain you may feel when you eat or drink hot or cold foods or drinks. You may also feel pain when you breathe in cold air. Sensitivity can happen when gums pull away from the teeth or when gum tissue is lost.
Gum loss can occur as a result of brushing too hard or not brushing and flossing regularly resulting in periodontitis. When gum loss occurs, the part of the tooth below the gumline, the dentin, can be exposed. There are tiny tubuli that contains fluid and lead from the tooth root to the tooth's nerve center (tooth pulp). When heat or cold touches these tubuli the fluid can excite the nerve, causing pain in your teeth.
Sensitivity can also happen if the tooth's hard surface layer, called the enamel, gets worn away, either by brushing or when occlusal forces are very high, i.e. abrasion because of bruxism.
Tooth sensitivity can come and go. Ignoring it can lead to other health problems in your mouth.
Factors that contribute to tooth sensitivity: Brushing too hard with hard bristles causes gum loss, sugar and acidic foods and drinks contributes to cavities, grinding of your teeth worns down the enamel, and sensitivity after dental tooth whitening procedures.
Dr. Reiners has a couple of approaches when dealing with sensitive teeth. First he determines what causes the sensitivity, either clinically or by radiographic examination. Once he gets to a diagnosis, he treats the patient accordingly.
Sensitivity can be dealt with at home by brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth on a regularly basis. Use a soft toothbrush, and avoid acidic foods. Apply new Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief toothpaste like an ointment by rubbing it with your finger onto the sensitive area. The fluoride also helps protect the cavities.
For minor sensitivity Dr. Reiners uses a bondable sealant on the tooth.
More severe sensitivity are treated with a newly developed material by 3M, ClinPro XT. In extreme sensitivities Dr. Reiners put on laser to help with sealing off the areas. If the sensitivity still prevail then more invasive treatment is necessary.
Dr. Reiners can further help prevent tooth decay by applying a fissure sealant: a material that fills in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth, where cavities often first develop.
It is a painless procedure and sealants can last a couple of years.
Primary teeth can be sealed at age 3-4 years while permanent molars can be sealed as soon as they erupt in the mouth, i.e. at age 6 years and then from 10 years to the mid teens. Only the occlusal surfaces can be sealed.
ICON is a new way of dealing with small decalcified areas and initial areas of decay.
Dr. Reiners also uses ICON in preventing decalcification around orthodontic brackets.
Small white spots on teeth can also be treated by ICON
Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Brush your teeth twice a day with up and down wiping movements away from the gums, small circular actions and a rubbing action on the occlusal surfaces.
Start your oral hygiene procedure at home with a mouth rinse (bactericidal) 5 minutes prior to brushing. This kills most of the germs and then you can brush them away. Make sure to floss around every tooth at least once a day. You can also use some irrigation devices (Waterpik) to clean in between teeth.
Products for Home Use
Always use a brush with soft bristles. Make sure the bristles are more or less of the same length, so that the forces on the teeth and gums are equal at any given place on the brush.
Children should use a extra-soft toothbrush that has been specifically designed for children. Choose the right size for their age and dexterity.
Electric toothbrushes provide effective and safe brushing, and for children it is more fun to brush with. Some of the models have brushheads specifically made for use with braces.
Orthodontic toothbrushes have small heads, medium bristles and are trimmed in a "V" shape for cleaning above and below the brackets and wire.
Clinical research showed that the new improved formula of Oral B's Pro-Expert toothpastes are the best in the market for everyday brushing in combatting oral health problems. This toothpaste reduces plaque, filled with bacteria, to cause decay, it prevents gum disease, reduces plaque and tartar formation, help curing sensitivity, strengthens the tooth enamel to prevent it from erosion, it gives a fresh breath and remove external stains to help whiten your teeth.
Sensitivity however is best treated by the new improved Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief toothpastes. Use Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief toothpaste as an ointment for 1 minute after you have brushed your teeth with Oral B Pro-Expert toothpaste.
Make sure the mouth rinse that you use is bactericidal (kills germs) and not just bacteriostatic (does not kill germs). Always use the mouth rinse 5 minutes prior to brushing.
Be careful to use the alcohol containing mouth rinses, as they can act as a co-factor for oral cancer. Rather use the oil-based (Dentyl) or water based (Listerine Zero, Listerine Total Care) mouth rinses.
There are many different kinds of dental floss (waxed, unwaxed, and flavoured). I prefer Oral B Satin waxed and flavoured tape for use in between teeth. It is gentle on the gums, and it is impregnated with fluoride and cleansing agents. It is shred-resistant and slides smoothly between the teeth.
Take about 50 cm of floss and loosely wrap most of it around each middle finger (wrapping more around one finger than the other) leaving 5 cm of floss in between.
With your thumbs and index fingers holding the floss, gently slide it down between your teeth. Do not snap it onto your gums. Curve the floss in a "C" shape and move it gently up and down the sides of each tooth, even under the gum line. As you move onto the next tooth, unroll a new section of floss.
For cleaning under bridges I prefer the use of Oral B Super floss.
Remember that your main objective is to remove plaque from under the gum line and not merely food particles. Keep on flossing, even if the gums bleed a little at first. After a few days of flossing the bleeding will stop as your gums become more healthier.
Start flossing today, it is not too late!!!
If you have widely spaced teeth, braces, bridges or implants you may benefit from an interdental toothbrush. This brush has a very small tapered or cylindrical head with fine bristles.
This is a triangular-shaped stick made of wood and help to clean in between your teeth and massage the gums.
These devices use a pressurized stream of water to clean around the gum line. Most have adjustable settings for use on sensitive areas.
They can be used with water alone or with a mouth rinse. These devices can be used with great effect to clean around braces and along the gumline.
Sensitive Teeth (invasive)
When a tooth is so sensitive that conservative non-invasive techniques do not help, then there is no other choice but to do an invasive technique and fill it with a specifically manufactured material that releases fluoride over a long period.
Restorative Fillings (fibre-resin)
Dr. Reiners always strives to give his patients the best service with the best material on the market available. Dental restorative material is no exception and therefore he uses a fibre reinforced resin filled with zirconia/silica to restore cavities.
According to Dr. Reiners, removing all decay and to put in a long lasting filling is the most basic part of good dentistry. Proper cavity preparation to provide sufficient resistance of the tooth remnant, caries testing and a superior filling material count up for his success.
Babies are born with all their teeth. You can't see them because they are hidden in the gums. Baby teeth start to break through the gums around 6 months. Therefore it is very important to start good oral care even before the first tooth makes its appearance.
Babies have all their baby teeth by the age of 3. These are called the primary teeth. They start to fall out around age 6, when the permanent teeth start to erupt.
Gaps between primary teeth are normal because the body make room for the permanent teeth.
It is very important to take good care of these primary teeth because the baby teeth keeps the space for the permanent teeth to come. Start by cleaning your baby's mouth direct after feeding times, using a damp washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe the gums. Once the teeth appear, brush after feeding with a soft-bristled toothbrush (ask Dr. Reiners). As your kid gets older brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes and help him/her in an area that has been missed. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Do not share toothbrushes between kids. Use dental floss and oral mouth rinse at least once a day.
The best time for your baby's first visit to the dentist is sometime between the eruption of the first tooth and one year of age. Dr. Reiners will check for any cavities and the necessity for fissure sealants.
Dr. Reiners uses of a newly developed tooth coloured fibre reinforced resin material for the restoration of teeth. This new product is much stronger than conventional composite materials and therefore does not break easy. This filling material is bonded to the tooth structure through a chemical and micromechanical system.
The filling material is a beautiful tooth colour which comes in different colours to blend in with almost any tooth. It can also be polished to a very smooth hgh gloss surface for minimum plaque retention.
When penetrating caries affects a baby tooth and endodontic treatment is required, a proper knowledge of the tooth anatomy is important, as primary teeth differ a lot from permanent teeth. Obturation of the primary tooth should be done with a resorbable material in order to be absorbed and that it does not interfere with the eruption of the permanent tooth. The importance of saving a baby tooth is to keep the space in the mouth for the permanent teeth.
Dr. Reiners does his utmost best to save a tooth, rather than to extract it.
Space maintenance refers to the keeping of a space in the dental arch by making use of primary teeth, permanent- or removable appliances.
Indications for space maintenance are early loss of the primary teeth, congenitally absent teeth and loss of the permanent teeth.
Preventative orthodontics is the treatment of mild abnormal occlusal discrepancies, which will lead to severe malocclusions if left untreated.
Maintenance on the existing tooth structure is the best way of keeping space. It all starts with proper information about oral hygiene, a healthy diet, prophylactic treatment, oral hygiene, fluoride treatments, fissure sealants and regular visits to the dentist.
Repair tooth lesions such as re-mineralization, caries arrest, preventative fillings and cavity preparation.
Observation of the occlusal development such as eruption sequence, space analysis, abnormal root resorption, root rests, supernumary teeth, ankyloses, pre-mature exfoliation, scar tissue after removal of the primary teeth, root dilacerations, ectopic eruption, tumours and cysts.
Be on the look-out for any habits such as thumb sucking, pushing of the tongue during swallowing as well as abnormal swallowing, mouth breathers, nail biting, lip biting, lip sucking, posture and the chewing of foreign objects.
Mouth guards are made to protect teeth, crown and bridges against injury during any event, i.e. contact sport. It also protects the lips and cheeks against the teeth.