1.What is dental caries?
Dental caries is a disease of hard dental tissue. The main reason for the formation of caries is dental plaque, which consists of residual food and bacteria that are deposited on the teeth after every meal. Bacteria contained in the plaque convert sugars found in food into acids, which in turn wash out minerals (calcium, phosphorus) from the enamel. This leads to the weakening and damaging of the tooth enamel, which enables further development of dental caries.
2. How to prevent the formation of dental caries?
In order to effectively prevent the development of dental caries, it is necessary to strengthen the structure of hard dental tissue through:
- appropriate oral hygiene;
- home and professional fluoride prevention;
- sealing tooth fissures – covering tooth pits and fissures with special material (see -> prevention);
- a well-balanced diet;
- prevention of occlusal abnormalities (see ->orthodontics).
3. Do I have to quit eating sweets to have healthy teeth?
Sugar contained in food is indeed a prerequisite for dental plaque bacteria to produce acids, and thus to commence the carious process. However, it is impossible to completely eliminate sugar from the diet. You should therefore remember that what is more important than the overall amount of sweets that you eat is their consistency and how frequently you eat them (the time they remain in your mouth). The most harmful for your teeth is frequent eating of sticky products that adhere to teeth (toffee-style candies, crisps – the most popular salty snack, etc.). Thus, you do not have to completely deprive yourself of the pleasure of eating sweets. It is important to observe regular meal times, limit snacking between meals and clean your teeth immediately after eating sweets.
4. What type of toothbrush should I use?
Choosing the right toothbrush is very important in oral hygiene. The most important factor is matching the size and bristle hardness of the toothbrush individually to the patient’s needs. The head of the toothbrush should not be too big, making it possible to reach the inaccessible surface of molar teeth. Usually soft and medium-soft toothbrushes are recommended. Also available on the market are electric and sonic toothbrushes. They are very easy to use and reduce the time required for brushing teeth in comparison with traditional toothbrushes.
5. How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months on average. Some toothbrushes have a wear indicator in the form of a bristle bunch in a different colour, which discolours as the toothbrush wears.
6. How should I brush my teeth?
Generally speaking, any method of brushing the teeth is good, provided that it is efficient and not harmful to teeth and gums. Ideally, the brushing technique should be chosen individually by a dentist or hygienist, depending on the patient’s needs, the condition of his or her dentition and gums, as well as their dexterity. Correct tooth brushing should last at least 3 minutes. The minimum frequency of the procedure in case of most people is twice a day: in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after the last meal, before sleep. However, in some circumstances, e.g. in patients wearing permanent braces, teeth should be brushed after each meal.
7. Is toothbrush alone enough?
Efficient tooth care requires the cleaning of all tooth surfaces (facial, lingual, masticatory and interproximal). However, only the first three of them are accessible to a toothbrush, so a toothbrush alone is not enough for maintaining appropriate oral hygiene. Also available on the market are electric and sonic toothbrushes. They are very easy to use and reduce the time required for brushing teeth in comparison with traditional toothbrushes.
It is necessary to use additional tools:
- Dental floss – used for cleaning interdental spaces;
- Dental toothpicks – made of silicone or non-splintering wood;
- Interdental toothbrush;
- Single tuft toothbrush;
- Dental irrigator.
8. What kind of toothpaste should I use?
The selection of toothpaste is not as important as the selection of the toothbrush; however, the use of an appropriate toothpaste may improve the efficiency of brushing. Most toothpastes on the market conform to basic requirements.
There are several types of toothpastes:
- preventive toothpastes;
- herbal toothpastes;
- whitening toothpastes;
- non-fluoride toothpastes;
- children’s toothpastes;
- multi-action toothpastes.
9. What are the benefits of using fluoride preparations?
Professional preventive products include varnishes, gels and foams used commonly in the protection of both the entire dentition and selected teeth, as well as modern non-fluoride preparations containing tissue-rebuilding substances, also known as “artificial enamel”.
The above preparations:
- strengthen the enamel of adults and children;
- reduce the build-up of dental plaque;
- prevent the development of secondary caries (adjacent to fillings);
- prevent the development of caries during treatment with permanent braces;
- reduce hypersensitivity of the necks of the teeth.
10. Does dental treatment have to be painful?
At Villa Nova Dental Clinic, we always offers our patients treatment under anaesthesia if the planned procedure may cause them any pain. The intensity of pain sensation related to dental procedures depends significantly on the depth of the carious cavity and the individual sensitivity of the patient, so our dentists determine the dose and type of anaesthesia on an individual basis. The Villa Nova Dental Clinic is equipped with specialised equipment for local anaesthesia (the Wand) that guarantees a unique, painless anaesthetic technique. (see -> our clinic is pain-free).