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Oral Health Products

Tooth pastes

Toothpastes don't just clean teeth, they prevent decay, control plaque & tartar , help in whitening, gum care and treat sensitive teeth. Most toothpastes contain fluoride which prevent cavities and can even reverse early tooth decay.

Tartar-control toothpastes are useful for people who have the tendency to build up tartar. Those susceptible to tooth stains may want whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes will remove only surface stains, such as those caused by smoking, tea or coffee.

Look for the IDA seal of approval when you are recommended a new toothpaste as the seal assures that the toothpaste meets the standards set by the Indian Dental Association. You can pick up a gel or paste, wintergreen or spearmint depending upon your taste or feel.

Some people feel that some ingredients irritate their teeth, cheeks or lips. If your teeth have become more sensitive or your mouth is irritated after brushing, try changing toothpastes. If the problem continues, see your dentist.

General Composition of Toothpastes

  • Abrasives: Abrasives give toothpaste its cleaning power. They remove stains and plaque, as well as polish teeth. They are calcium phosphates & sodium metaphosphate.
  • Humectants: Give toothpaste its texture as well as retain moisture of the paste. e.g. glycerol, sorbitol.
  • Detergent: Create the foaming action we associate with toothpastes. Foam keeps the toothpaste in our mouths, preventing it from dribbling out as we brush. e.g. sodium lauyrl sulphate.
  • Flavouring and colouring agents: These are added to improve the taste and colour of the toothpaste.
  • Fluoride: Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel making your teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque bacteria.

Types of toothpastes available in the market

  • Fluoride toothpastes: Most toothpastes contain a certain amount of fluoride, which has been proven to reduce dental decay.
  • Anti-Sensitivity toothpaste: There are several toothpastes that contain ˜desensitising agents™ which effectively reduce the pain of sensitive teeth and gums. Rubbing this toothpaste along the affected area and leaving it on overnight helps ease the discomfort.
  • Whitening toothpastes: There are toothpastes which claim to remove staining. They sometimes contain bicarbonate of soda which help to remove any staining and dental plaque. These are often referred to as whitening toothpastes. It is important to realise that such toothpastes will only remove staining but not change the natural colour of your teeth. If you feel you need something stronger to whiten your teeth, then consult your dentist.
  • Children's toothpaste: Fluorides reduce dental decay by at least 40%, so all children should use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride may be in your drinking water, so check with your dentist first. Research has shown that children living in a non- fluoridated area have more dental decay than those living in areas with fluoride in the drinking water. It is important to use only a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children, as they are likely to swallow some of it. For children under the age of six you can use toothpaste with a lower level of fluoride.
  • Natural toothpastes: There are several toothpastes containing special mineral salts and plant extracts. These are made of only natural substances and flavouring.
  • Total Care toothpastes: Total care toothpastes are those that contain a number of ingredients to make them an effective multi-action toothpaste. They contain anti- bacterial agents and ingredients which help control plaque, dental decay and gum disease, while also freshening the breath.

Toothbrush

History of Toothbrushes

Tooth brushing tools date back to 3500-3000 BC when the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a brush by fraying the end of a twig. Around 1600BC, the Chinese developed chewing sticks which were made from aromatic tree twigs to freshen breath.

The Chinese are believed to have invented the first natural bristle toothbrush made from the bristles from pigs' necks in the 15th century, with the bristles attached to a bone or bamboo handle. Europeans preferred softer horse hairs or feathers.

The first toothbrush of a more modern design was made by William Addis in England around 1780 “ the handle was carved from cattle bone and the brush portion was still made from swine bristles. In 1844, the first 3-row bristle brush was designed.

The invention of nylon by Du Pont started the development of the truly modern toothbrush in 1938 and by the 1950s softer nylon bristles were being made. The first electric toothbrush was made in 1939.

Today, both manual and electric toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes and are typically made of plastic molded handles and nylon bristles. The most recent toothbrush models include handles that are straight, angled, curved, and contoured with grips and soft rubber areas to make them easier to hold and use. Toothbrush bristles are usually synthetic and range from very soft to soft in texture, although harder bristle versions are available. Toothbrush heads range from very small for young children to larger sizes for older children and adults and come in a variety of shapes such as rectangular, oblong, oval and almost round.

The basic fundamentals have not changed since the times of the Egyptians and Babylonians “ a handle to grip, and a bristle- like feature with which to clean the teeth. Over its long history, the toothbrush has evolved to become a scientifically designed tool using modern ergonomic designs and safe and hygienic materials that benefit us all.

Types of Toothbrushes

Manual and electric toothbrushes: Some people prefer to use an electric toothbrush. This is especially useful if you have limited movement or find cleaning particularly difficult. These toothbrushes usually have heads which either vibrate or move round and round. Some brushes also use sonic waves to help dislodge plaque and debris. You can buy electric toothbrushes in battery or rechargeable form from your local chemist.

Children's toothbrushes:Children's toothbrushes: It is just as important for children to use the correct oral hygiene products. Look for a small- headed toothbrush with soft nylon bristles suitable for the age of your child. There are many novelty toothbrushes for children, which may help encourage them to brush. Children need to be supervised with their toothbrushing until they are about 7 years old. It is important to make tooth brushing a routine and to stress the importance of oral hygiene and diet from an early age.

Correct time to buy a new toothbrush:Correct time to buy a new toothbrush:Toothbrushes should be changed every three months. Another indicator is when the bristles appear worn out or the colour indicator on the toothbrush suggests wear and tear.

Floss

Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored and waxed or unwaxed.

History of Floss

Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. He had been recommending that people should clean their teeth with silk floss.

Codman and Shurtleft Company started producing human- usable unwaxed silk floss in 1882. In 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation received the first patent for dental floss. Other early brands included Red Cross, Salter Sill Co. and Brunswick.

Dr. Charles C. Bass developed nylon floss which was found to be better than silk because of its greater abrasion resistance and elasticity. In response to environmental concerns, dental floss made from biodegradable materials is now available.

Current Practices

Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the surface of your teeth, so it is important that you also floss between teeth since the tight contacts trap food and it is difficult to clean. Flossing should be done before brushing. There are different types of floss, including mint- flavoured, wax-coated and those containing fluoride.

Interdental Brushes

To clean the small gaps between your teeth you can use wood sticks or special interdental brushes. Interdental brushes are suitable for people who have spacing between their teeth. Ask your dentist for advice on how to use these products correctly and safely. It is important to keep the area under bridges clean, as you may likely to trap food and plaque there. Floss threaders may help guide the floss under the bridge. Some floss has a thicker spongy centre which may also help to clean under the bridge and gum area effectively.

There are two types of these brushes either a tufted or spiral wound brush.

  • Spiral wound brushes pass between the teeth to allow cleaning in a way that flossing cannot. To get into all those awkward areas the brush should be used from both tongue side as well as lip & cheek side.
  • Tufted inter-space brushes cannot clean between the teeth but are ideal for cleaning just below the gum edges by splaying the bristles.

Both of these brush types must be used gently as any excessive pressure may cause injury and damage the gums.

Innovative Dental Products

Oral Probiotics

Experts agree that a balanced microflora (bacterial population) is essential for oral health. The mouth is protected by beneficial microflora which, when balanced, work together as a natural defence system for the mouth. However poor oral hygiene, stress, bad eating habits, certain medications, infection, a compromised immune system, pregnancy or a hectic lifestyle can disrupt this protective oral balance and allow bad bacteria to thrive, causing bleeding gums, bad breath, mouth ulcers and other oral health problems.

Oral probiotics include products that add the beneficial (good) bacteria into your oral environment which actively assist in the restoration of the mouth's microflora. They contain the friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus Reuteri Prodentis which has been clinically proven to help restore the natural balance of the mouth and improve gum health. They fight plaque, gingivitis, cariogenic bacteria and strengthen the natural defences. Two complementary strains of Lactobacillus Reuteri were originally discovered in breast milk and saliva. These friendly bacteria survive and thrive in the oral cavity. The lozenges promote oral health and counteract the imbalance caused by oral antiseptics and anti-bacteria found in mouthwashes and ulcer gels. Probiotics are formulated to assist in the restoration of the natural balance of the mouth and contributes to optimal oral health by reducing bacterial plaque buildup that can lead to gum and other oral health problems.

Plaque Disclosing Agents

The main cause of cavities and periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. Plaque is hard to see, but it shows after being stained with disclosing tablets.

Disclosing agents can help prevent cavities and periodontal disease by helping you see the plaque that hasn't been removed. Plaque disclosing agents include disclosing tablets, solutions and lozenges. Disclosing tablets are made of a harmless vegetable dye that stains plaque bright red. After brushing and flossing, simply chew a disclosing tablet, swish it around your mouth and rinse with water. Using a small dental mirror check your teeth for any signs of redness, especially near the gum line. Brush and floss these missed areas and you can be confident that your teeth are plaque-free. When teaching your child how to brush the teeth or when checking to see if your child has brushed properly, the disclosing tablets are helpful. They reveal the areas that are missed when brushing. Your child's brushing technique can improve significantly since he or she can "see" where the plaque is located.

Gum Massager

Health professionals agree that neglected gums eventually lead to gum disease, which has been associated with a wide range of serious health problems.

The gum massager addresses the need to apply new techniques to the oral care regimen for maintaining healthy gums. It is an ergonomically designed product to promote healthy gums. It is one of the first products to get to the root of the problem of poorly maintained gums, which may result in gum disease and other health problems. It's specially designed head hugs the contours of the gums and massages the gums optimally: Improves oral hygiene by maintaining long-term health of your gums. Better blood flow encourages healthy gums. Soothes and invigorates the gums.

Tooth Jewellry

The latest trend in cosmetic dentistry, tooth jewelry refers to jewelry adhered on to teeth. Costume diamonds or real diamonds can be placed on the tooth surface without cutting into the natural tooth. Tooth Jewelry is handcrafted of 18K white and yellow gold. Tooth Jewelry uses classic designs which are an elegant compliment to standard jewellry.

Tooth Jewellry is applied by a dentist who uses a small amount of adhesive, in a manner similar to the application of orthodontic braces. The backside of tooth jewelry is specifically patented to maintain adherence to the tooth, allowing the jewelry to be worn indefinitely. However, a dentist can easily remove or replace tooth jewelry. The application of tooth jewelry is cosmetic dentistry and does not harm the tooth in any way. Twinkles are safe, reversible, exclusive body art that leave no permanent mark, letting you display a fun, personal form of self expression with a great sense of style.

Toothettes

Toothettes work as small disposable toothbrushes. They require no water and are very useful when travelling. They come individually-wrapped, twenty to a pack. Your saliva is enough to activate the mint- tasting dentifrice contained in each pink, gently-abrasive foam head. They remove debris from teeth, oral tissue and makes the mouth fresh.

Tattoos

Dental tattoos are custom designs which are added to dental crowns before the crowns are sealed and set in the mouth. The term dental tattoos can also sometimes be used to describe temporary decals and stains which can be used to decorate the teeth. In the case of crowns, dental tattoos are most commonly seen on the rear teeth, but they can potentially be applied to any tooth, and they run possibility of wide gamut of styles, colors, and designs.

Dental tattoos are usually applied by the dental lab which makes the crowns. After a dentist takes a mold and confirms that it is correctly sized for the tooth, they send it to a lab to be manufactured into a crown, or produce the crowns in-house, depending on personal preference. If the customer wants a dental tattoo, the mold may be sent to a lab which specializes in such things, and a skilled artist typically does the tattoo work, carefully painting a miniature design onto the tooth before it is sealed. Because in case of dental tattoos the work is sealed in, clients going in for the dental tattoos generally do not have to take any special steps to maintain them, beyond the normal hygiene.

On the flip side since the enamel of the tooth is a highly polished surface and if dental tattooing or stone-studding is not done professionally, it can cause dental caries around the margin of the teeth. But with good oral hygiene, this can be avoided. Repeated stone-studding on the same tooth, though, can damage the enamel and hence is not suggested.

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