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About Teeth & Its Health
    Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (milk) teeth & secondary (permanent) teeth. At age 6-8 months, the primary teeth appear; all 20 are in place by age 3.

    Permanent teeth will begin to grow around age 6, & except for wisdom teeth, are all present between ages 12 & 14. The next teeth to grow in are the 12-year molars & finally the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically begin breaking through from age 17 & on. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth. This is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.

    Your front teeth are called incisors. The sharp “fang-like” teeth are canines. The next side teeth are referred to as pre-molars or bicuspids, & the back teeth are molars. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is vital that they are brushed & flossed regularly & that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.

    In recent years, bacterial inflammation involved in gum disease has been linked to chronic health problems like stroke, coronary artery disease, & premature low birth weight babies. Dr. Swati Agarwal take great care to identify & treat gum disease early to keep you & your mouth healthy.
Oral Hygiene
    Brushing & Flossing
    Use a toothbrush with soft bristles & a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle & brush slowly & carefully, covering all areas between teeth & the surface of each tooth. For a full set of teeth, you should take two minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth & the outside, inside & chewing surface of all of your front & back teeth.

    Brush your tongue & the roof of your mouth before you rinse. Brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles & plaque:
    • In the morning after breakfast
    • After lunch or right after school
    • After dinner
    • At bedtime
    As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. Do not swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to carefully floss & brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.

    For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles & plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed or unwaxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line & clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day.

    Pull an adequate length of floss from the dispenser. Most "new flossers" do not take a long enough piece of floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque away from the gums. You do not want to push debris into the gums. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.

    Floss at night to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let your dentist know at your next appointment.
    Tooth Decay Prevention
    Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting from the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on teeth & sugars in our everyday diet. Bacteria digest or "eat" sugars & produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. We can fight decay in three ways.  We can limit the bacteria in the mouth through good oral hygiene at home & professional hygiene in our office. We can limit the amount of sugar that we eat with a healthy diet.  And we can strenghten teeth throught the use of sealants & flourides. When decay does occur dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Severe decay may require a crown.  A crown is like a thimble that covers a tooth,making it stronger. Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen brushing & flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control & fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth & costly treatment.
    Sealants
    The grooves & depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form & break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

    Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves & depressions, preventing bacteria & food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars & premolars & areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
    Fluoride
    In toothpaste flouride kills bacteria on teeth. Fluoride in drinking water becomes incorporated in developing teeth & bones making them stronger & resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride & brushing & flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Drinking water in Jaipur is fluoridated naturally. Children under the age of 12 without flouridated drinking water should take flouride supplements either prescribed by their pediatrician or Dr. Swati Agarwal.
Common Problems
    Crooked Teeth
    Crooked teeth are common among adults who didn’t have orthodontic treatment as a child or as a result of other developing problems later in life. We offer solution for crooked teeth using orthodontic treatment. We may also provide advanced porcelain veneers to give you the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted.
    Gaps Between Teeth
    Having gaps between teeth is often a reason people seek cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers & dental bonding procedures can be used to eliminate gaps between teeth leaving you with a more beautiful, attractive smile.
    Cracks and Chips
    Cracks & chips in teeth can occur for various reasons, including eating sticky candy or hard foods, suffering from trauma or an injury to a tooth, teeth grinding, or even as a result of a large restoration (filling, crown, etc.) that has weakened an adjacent tooth. We offer a number of solutions to enhance your smile if you have chipped or cracked teeth. Some of the services available include porcelain veneers, bonded fillings or porcelain inlays & onlays.
    Discolored Teeth
    Our teeth naturally darken as we age. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food & beverages consumed (like coffee, tea & soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene. Restoring your natural white smile is a priority for us. We can provide a variety of options for whitening your smile.
    Mercury Fillings
    While traditional metal-mercury amalgam fillings offer a strong, durable solution for filling cavities, their dark, dull appearance is very unattractive. We offer tooth-colored fillings as a more attractive solution for filling cavities. We are a mercury free office & do not place mercury fillings in our patients mouths. We can replace mercury fillings with more natural looking tooth-colored fillings.
    Missing Teeth
    Missing teeth are a serious problem, both aesthetically & functionally. A missing tooth causes the whole structure of the mouth to change, resulting in shifting teeth, periodontal problems & deterioration of the chewing function. We offer dental implants to replace missing teeth. Whether you are missing one, several, or all of your natural teeth, dental implants are designed to look, feel, & function like your own. Other solutions for missing teeth are fixed bridgework (bridges) that are cemented onto teeth on either side of the space or partial dentures that come in and out of your mouth.
    Tooth Decay
    Caries or tooth decay is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your life, they may negatively impact your quality of life. When your teeth & gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches & sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks & even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth & form plaque. The combination of deposits & plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, with tooth decay resulting.
    Sensitive Teeth
    Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.
    Gum Disease
    Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
    Bad Breath (Halitosis)
    Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
    Canker Sores
    Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.
    Orthodontic Problems
    A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions.
Emergency Information
    Tooth Ache
    Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. See a dentist as soon as possible.
    Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
    Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, consult your dentist.
    Broken Braces and Wires
    Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily. If it is lodged or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums, cheek or tongue; see a dentist immediately. Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.
    Broken Tooth
    Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Get immediate dental attention.
    Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
    Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the toothin the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.
    Possible Broken Jaw
    In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Immediately see your dentist.
    Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
    Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.
    Cold or Canker Sores
    Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If sores persist, visit your dentist.
© Dr. Swati Agarwal 2009-2015. All Rights Reserved.
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