Stop smoking/chewing tobacco. Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break
the habit. Drink water frequently. Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash
away bacteria. Use mouthwash/rinses. Some over-the-counter products only provide
a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic
rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your
mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.
Q: How often should I brush and floss?
A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.
The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.
Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are
not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.
Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing,
flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Rinsing. It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it's a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
A: Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings.
An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury.
Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy
is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can
cause a variety of health problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver
containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that
studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical
disorder. The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA's position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective.
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