Instead of going to the dentist for a regular check-up, people often visit them when they have a problem, or when the situation has gone out of hand. While the issue of cavities is common, it is avoidable, and people need to know what they can do in order to maintain dental hygiene and salvage their teeth.
According to Dr Diksha Tahilramani Batra, a pain-free dentist, prosthodontist, implantologist and smile design specialist, oral hygiene is subjective. “It’s amazing to note that we think a few seconds in the morning with an old used brush and a dash of some toothpaste is enough to keep their teeth protected from all the things we subject them to later in the day — from sweets, to smoking and even things that should never make it to our mouth,” she says.
The doctor adds that it is important to remember the mouth is “low maintenance”, but since it is exposed to so much, looking after it is important.
“All it takes is a good hygiene routine with the right tools,” she adds, listing the following:
– A battery-operated brush
– A toothpaste recommended by your dentist protecting your teeth as well as your gums
– A water flosser that can help you clean the teeth in between
– A tongue cleaner that keeps bacterial concentration low in your mouth
Dr Batra says it is also imperative to have fluoride in your dental products. “Fluoride, although misrepresented sometimes in the media, has definite preventive benefits and is an important component of your dental hygiene products, when used in the right concentration. Be sure to check the contents of your mouthwash and toothpaste to have fluoride that can give you added cavity protection by forming a bacteria-repulsing coating and preserving the calcium in your teeth,” she says.
Treat demineralisation before it becomes a cavity, she warns, explaining that the tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the world, second only to diamonds. “But, it takes a lot of time to burrow through and cavitate it. The formation of cavity happens by a process called demineralisation, which is influenced by the amount of time food lodgement has been present, the bacterial concentration it produces and the acidic byproducts that start leaching the tooth enamel. If this process is caught early on, it can even be reversed and the tooth can be restored without any drilling,” the expert concludes.