Posts for: April, 2017
Some people have unfortunate misconceptions about how they should care for their teeth. Things like skipping flossing or ignoring the dentist unless there is a problem can lead to complex dental issues with detrimental effects. Find out more about keeping good oral hygiene habits and how they can benefit you with Sikka Dental in San Jose, CA.
Establishing Good Oral Hygiene Habits
A strong at-home oral hygiene routine alongside forming good hygiene habits can keep your teeth healthy and free of decay and gum disease for years to come. Some of the best things you can do for your teeth include:
- At-Home Oral Hygiene: Committing to a strong at-home oral care routine is crucial in keeping your teeth healthy. Your routine should include brushing at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day. Though flossing is an often overlooked part of daily oral hygiene, it is necessary to remove plaque and bacteria buildup in areas of the mouth your toothbrush’s bristles simply cannot reach.
- Regular Dental Examinations: Regular dental examinations allow your dentist to catch and treat issues like cavities early, before they evolve into severe decay, gum disease or even tooth loss.
- Regular Dental Cleanings: Regular teeth cleanings occur as a standard part of a dental examination and help remove any buildup of bacteria, plaque, and tartar present on the teeth. A dental hygienist uses manual scraping tools and a supersonic cleaning tool to thoroughly clean each tooth. Cleanings may also include a fluoride treatment and polishing session.
- Tooth-Friendly Foods: Tooth-friendly foods like vegetables, crunchy fruits, plenty of water and foods high in calcium help keep teeth strong and healthy from the inside out. Patients should avoid sugary foods and drinks as they contribute to tooth decay.
Regular Dental Examinations and Cleanings in San Jose, CA
Patients with a normal risk for tooth decay and gum disease should see their dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings. For more information on good oral hygiene habits and keeping your mouth healthy, please contact Dr. Nidhi Sikka and Dr. Mona Chattha at Sikka Dental in San Jose, CA. Call (408) 259-1280 to schedule your appointment for an examination today!
It's a big transition when your child enters college — for both of you. You may find “cutting the apron strings” a little rocky at times.
But like most parents, you'll soon condense what you still want your college kid to do down to a few major habits and choices. Be sure to keep health, diet and lifestyle choices on that list, areas which could have the most effect on their long-term health and well-being.
That should include dental care. Hopefully, they've already developed good hygiene habits like daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. But, on their own now, they're faced with other choices that could affect their dental health.
For example, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is necessary for a healthy mouth. That includes limiting sugar intake, especially when snacking. Disease-causing oral bacteria thrive on carbohydrates like sugar. These bacteria also secrete acid, which at consistently high levels can erode tooth enamel.
Tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol affect teeth and gums because both can inhibit secretion of saliva. Besides containing antibodies that fight infection, saliva also neutralizes mouth acid. A dry mouth caused by these habits, could put their mouth at higher risk for disease.
Your college student might also be influenced by the fashion of their peers to display piercings. Mouth piercings with lip or tongue hardware in particular can damage teeth. The constant movement and friction erodes enamel or may even cause a tooth fracture. If possible, try to steer them to self-expression that poses less risk to their dental health.
There's one other area that, believe it or not, could impact dental health: sex. While each family handles this particular subject differently, be sure your child knows that some forms of sexual activity increase the risk for contracting the human papilloma virus (HPV16). Among its many destructive outcomes, HPV16 profoundly raises the risk of oral cancer, a rare but deadly disease with a poor survival rate.
Going from home to college is a big step for a young person — and their parents. As a parent, you can help steer them to practice good habits and make wise choices that will protect their lives and health and, in particular, their teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on helping your college student maintain their dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Health Tips for College Students.”
Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.
In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.
Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.
What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.
A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”