Who doesn’t aspire to have a perfect smile? For that taking care of Oral hygiene is very important. Dr Javaid Qanungo, Dental Surgeon at JLNM Hospital answers some common queries pertaining to dental health.
Q1: What causes dental problems especially in youth?
A: Lack of proper dental hygiene is the biggest reason for dental issues. There has to be a proper regimen that you have to follow to keep your teeth healthy. Brushing twice is important. You can skip the morning one but never at night because bacteria get a lot of time during the night to destroy the teeth enamel. Enamel is the outer hard covering of the tooth. Once the enamel is attacked the teeth get affected. Caries develop and if these go unchecked then there is no stopping till you lose the tooth.
Another reason especially in youth is junk food. Oily and sugary foods are the worst enemies of your teeth. You should stay away from these as much as you can. In case you cannot avoid them, at least develop a habit of rinsing your mouth regularly after you eat such food.
Q2: Dental problems develop even after regular brushing. Why is that?
A: This is very true. Firstly, we usually aren’t aware of the proper way of brushing which make teeth susceptible to decay. Secondly, only brushing is not answer to all your problems, you have to include mouthwash and floss into your daily routine. And thirdly, the biggest issue is starting brushing late. By late I mean at a later age. Dental care should begin right from the birth. In case of infants, every time they take milk, the mother can clean the gums with sterilised cotton and boiled water. As a child develops teeth use a soft brush and very little toothpaste and incorporate habit of brushing twice. If this happens the occurrence of dental issues will decrease substantially by the time child comes of age.
Q3: What kind of dental problems do youth come to you with mostly?
A: Well dental issues don’t differ much with age. But yes one can say that occurrence of decay in youth is more than other age groups because of wrong eating habits and careless attitude. Otherwise the problems are mostly same like caries and severe decay.
Although there is one issue specific to the young age group especially ending teens and twenties. Wisdom teeth grow at this stage and in most people this is very painful.
Q4: How does one reduce this pain?
A: I mostly suggest chewing sugar free gum. This eases the pain and also helps the tooth grow out quickly. Eating raw carrots can also help. Anaesthetic ointments are also an option to reduce the pain. If the pain is too bad then we can even go for surgical procedures like giving an incision on the gum or removing the tooth entirely.
Q5: Are you experiencing a rise in the number of young patients?
A: Yes there is an increase for sure and most of my patients are young but there is a positive thing as well and that is awareness. As soon as they discover caries, they immediately come to me rather than letting it grow into a bigger problem. So a simple filling does the trick. If unchecked then there is a need to for more complex procedures like root canal or even extraction.
Q6: What is the best way to protect the teeth from decay?
A: You have to maintain good oral hygiene and also take healthy food. Calcium rich foods like milk and milk products are very good for your teeth. Teenagers should drink milk twice a day. Vegetable have minerals which are again good for your teeth. Avoid sticky foods.
To maintain oral hygiene you need to brush regularly. Use dental floss after meals and mouthwash once or twice in a day. Make sure that food doesn’t remain stuck in your mouth.
Regular dental check-ups are also very important. Visit a dentist every six months. Many times small caries go unnoticed. Dentist can detect them and fix them early on. You should never take caries lightly.
Proper Way of Brushing
Brushing takes at least two minutes — that's right, 120 seconds! You can use a Stopwatch to get an idea of time.
Brush twice daily
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Use a brush with medium softness.
Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gum-line and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum-line.
Gently brush the outside, inside & chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria.