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Recommended Daily Oral Hygiene
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Cleaning between the teeth daily with floss.


  • Eat well-balanced meals and limit snacking.


  • Use the Hydro Floss? oral irrigator at least twice a day.

 

Tooth Terminology

Palmer?s Notation - Palmer?s Notation is a widely used system to identify teeth. In Palmer?s Notation, the oral cavity is divided into four quadrants -the upper left quadrant, the upper right quadrant, the lower left quadrant, and the lower right quadrant. Each individual tooth in each quadrant is given a name. The name of the quadrant and the name of the tooth form an individual identification; for example, the central incisor on the upper left side of the mouth is called an upper left central.

Names of Teeth Description
Central: The two upper and two lower teeth in the very center of the mouth.
Lateral: The teeth adjacent to the centrals.
Cuspid: The pointy teeth behind the laterals. These teeth have one cuspal, or point. Cuspids also are called canines.
First Biscuspid: The teeth behind the cuspids. These teeth have two cuspals, or points.
Second Biscuspid: The teeth behind the first bicuspids. These teeth also have two cuspals, or points.
First Molar: The teeth behind the second biscuspids. These teeth have a level surface with four cuspals, or points.
Second Molar: The teeth behind the first molars. These teeth also have a flat surface with four cuspals.
Third Molar: The teeth behind the second molars. These teeth also have a level surface with four cuspals.
Other Names for Teeth
Incisor: Another name for the central and laterals.
Canine: Another name for the cuspids.
6-year Molar: Another name for the first molar.
12-year Molar: Another name for the second molar.
Wisdom Teeth: Another name for the third molar.
Anterior Teeth: The centrals, laterals and cuspids ?the teeth in the front of the mouth.
Posterior Teeth: The bicuspids and molars ?the teeth in the back of the mouth.
Deciduous Teeth: The primary, or ?baby teeth? -the first set of teeth to erupt.
Secondary Teeth: The permanent or second group of teeth to erupt.
Parts of a Tooth and the Oral Cavity
Apex - The very bottom of the root of a tooth.
Buccal - The tooth surface which is next to the cheek. Usually only posterior teeth touch the cheek, so dentists usually use the term ?buccal? when talking about back teeth.
Crown - The part of the tooth above the gum.
Cuspal - The chewing or tearing points of the cuspids, bicuspids and molars.
Dentin - The calcium part of a tooth below the enamel containing the pulp chamber and root canals.
Cuspal - The chewing or tearing points of the cuspids, bicuspids and molars.
Gingiva - Another name for gums.
Gums - The pink tissue that surrounds the teeth.

Root -

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The part of the tooth that descends below the gums. 

 

Tooth Decay

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is a disease of the teeth that affects individuals of all ages, although it is more common in children and young adults. Dental caries occurs when the tooth enamel is destroyed. Decay begins at the tooth?s hard external surface, and may advance to internal structures of the tooth including the dentin and pulp. The earlier decay is treated, the better chance of saving the tooth.

 
How does it happen?
The bacteria inside of the mouth changes the food (primarily sugars and starches) we eat into acids. Over a period of time, the bacteria and acids form a sticky deposit called dental plaque that clings to the teeth.  If the plaque is not removed, the acids will destroy the tooth?s enamel surface ?resulting in holes or cavities. Sugar and starches (such as candy, cakes, cookies, milk and pop) are responsible for much of tooth decay, but sour or acidic foods (such as lemons and fruit juices), also contribute to decay because they change the pH (acidity level) in the mouth. If left untreated, the decay will progress and can lead to tooth infection. Children?s teeth primarily decay in the grooves. In addition to the grooves, older adults decay in other areas, including the roots of the teeth, which may be exposed as a result of receding gums.
 
How do you prevent tooth decay?
Taking good care of your teeth, eating nutritious foods and visiting the dentist on a regular basis will help prevent cavities. Here are some guidelines for preventing tooth decay:
►Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
►Cleaning between the teeth daily with floss
►Cleaning the teeth and gums daily with a Hydro Floss? oral irrigator
►Eat well-balanced meals and limit snacking
►Visiting the dentist on a regular basis for check-ups and cleanings
If brushing is not possible, the next best thing is to rinse the mouth
with water to neutralize the acids and change the pH level in the mouth, which may curb tooth decay.
 
When should you contact a dentist?
At least every six months for a cleaning and a thorough examination.
You should consult a dentist if you experience any problems or need emergency care.

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Gingivitis

 

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation or infection of the gums (gingiva) that is an early stage of periodontal disease (gum disease). Healthy gums appear pink in color. Gingivitis causes the gums to become inflamed and swollen and bleed easily when they are brushed or flossed. Gingivitis is reversible and there is no permanent damage to the gums or teeth when treated early. If allowed to progress, the infection can advance below the gum line and cause periodontal disease. Gum disease, left untreated, can destroy the soft tissue, bone and ligaments that support the teeth. Teeth may become loose and then fall out. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

 

Why does it occur?

Gingivitis often results from poor oral health care. Individuals who do not brush or floss their teeth regularly or correctly; increase their chances of developing gingivitis.

 

How does it happen?

A combination of bacteria, saliva and acids in the mouth form a sticky deposit called dental plaque that clings to the teeth. Plaque that is not removed from the teeth hardens into hard calculus (tartar), which irritate the gums.

 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include gums that are tender, red and swollen. The gums may bleed when brushed or flossed, and it can also cause bad breath.  In some cases, there may be no obvious symptoms.

 

How do you treat gingivitis?

If you have inflamed gums or your teeth bleed during brushing or flossing, you need to visit a dentist or periodontist. The first step is to have the teeth cleaned professionally to remove the soft plaque and tartar. Brushing and flossing at home cannot remove the hard deposits or calculus. Oral irrigating with the Hydro Floss will help soften the hard deposits or calculus.

 

How do you prevent gingivitis?

►Brush your teeth twice a day to remove the bacteria from the teeth.

►Use the Hydro Floss oral irrigator daily to remove bacteria and food.

►Eat a well-balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.

►Visit your dentist on a regular basis for an exam and cleaning.

 
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Plaque
 
What is dental plaque?
Plaque is a colorless film that is constantly forming in the mouth. It is made up of a combination of bacteria, saliva and acids that form into a sticky deposit ?adhering to the teeth. Plaque can irritate the gums and the acids can destroy the tooth?s enamel surface ?causing holes or cavities. When plaque isn?t removed, it turns into calculus and tartar.
 
What is a Plaque Attack?
A ?plaque attack? occurs when sugar and acids in the mouth begin to dissolve the enamel on the tooth and starts to decay.
 
How can you prevent plaque?
Good oral hygiene ?including brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and oral irrigation with the Hydro Floss? oral irrigator ?and regular check-ups with the dentist will help eliminate plaque and tooth decay. Dentists also recommend eating nutritiously and limiting the number of between-meal snacks.
 
Who is affected by plaque?
Plaque affects those as young as six months who are just getting their primary teeth, and it continues to form in your mouth for your whole life.
 
What if plaque is not removed?
If plaque is not removed, it can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease). The two most common forms of gum disease are gingivitis and adult periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation or infection of the gums (gingiva) and it is an early stage of periodontal disease. Gums become red, inflamed and swollen. If not treated, gingivitis may progress to adult periodontitis, a more serious stage of gum disease, that can lead to tooth loss.
 
When should you contact a dentist?
It is recommended to visit a dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and a thorough examination. If you experience any problems with your gum or teeth, you should consult a dentist immediately.
 
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Gum Disease
 
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease or periodontitis. There are various stages of gum disease, and the two most common forms are gingivitis and adult periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation or infection of the gums (gingiva) that is an early stage of periodontal disease. When left untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease, which can progress to the loss of teeth. Only a professional ?a dentist or periodontist ?can diagnose gum disease, which often is painless. Research shows that periodontal disease may also be linked to heart, lung, kidney and respiratory disease, and to premature birth.
 
How does it progress?
A combination of bacteria and acids in the mouth form a sticky deposit called dental plaque that clings to the teeth. Plaque that is not removed from the teeth hardens into calculus and tartar, which aggravate the gums. Pockets (filled with plaque) form between the teeth and gums ?causing the irritated gums to detach or pull away from the teeth. At this point, the infection has advanced below the gum line and it can then destroy the soft tissue, bone and ligaments that support the teeth. The teeth may become abscessed and loose, and even fall out. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
 
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of gingivitis are inflamed, swollen gums that bleed easily when they are brushed or flossed. Many times bad breath is present and there are times when there is little or no pain in the early stages. The late stage symptoms of periodontitis are loose teeth, spaces in between the teeth, pain upon chewing, pus around the teeth or gums, or abscessed teeth. Receding gums may be a symptom and the tooth may appear to look longer because the gums are
withdrawing. Also the teeth may be sensitive to cold, hot and sugars.
 
Who is at risk for gum disease?
Periodontal disease is not hereditary, but it may play a role in the progression of the disease. Individuals with diabetes and those on certain medications may be at risk for periodontitis. Use of tobacco in any form can cause periodontal disease to advance more rapidly.
 
How do you prevent it?
Keeping the teeth clean by brushing and flossing on a regular basis will help prevent gum disease. Using the Hydro Floss? oral irrigator on a daily basis will help prevent gum disease. 
 
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Oral Cancer
 
What is oral cancer?
Oral and throat cancer, also referred to as pharyngeal cancer, may involve the lips, gums, tongue, teeth, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth or back of the throat. It usually starts out as a small white spot that looks like an irritation, or an ulcer that may be red or white. The most common site is on the side of the tongue, and it oftentimes is not painful. The lesion may become infected and increase in size. There are 30,000 new cases of oral cancer each year, according to the
National Centers for Disease Control. The Center estimates that 8,000 individuals die each year from oral cancer. Some tumors are benign, meaning non-cancerous, and others are malignant or cancerous. If a malignant growth is not treated, cancer cells can spread to other areas of the body. With early diagnosis and advanced technology, oral cancer can be treated with success.
 
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), include: A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal, a lump on the lip or in the throat or mouth, a white or red patch on the gums, tongue or mouth lining, unusual bleeding, numbness or pain in the mouth, a sore throat that won?t disappear, or a feeling something is caught in the throat, difficulty or pain with swallowing or chewing, jaw swelling that causes dentures to fit poorly or be uncomfortable, voice changes, and ear pain.
 
How is it detected?
Most dentists or hygienists check for oral cancer during the routine examination. If you have any symptoms, you should contact your dentist or physician immediately. Oral cancer is detected via a biopsy that includes removing all or part of the tissue growth. The sample is sent to a lab where the cells are examined.
 
How is it prevented?
Good oral hygiene can help prevent oral cancer, as well as having your dentist or physician check your mouth regularly for skin lesions and abrasions.
 
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Halitosis
 
What is halitosis or bad breath?
Halitosis is a condition of having offensive or ?bad breath?. Nobody wants to have bad breath, and many consumers are in search of Products ?including toothpaste, mouthwash and mints ?that promise a quick cure for halitosis and fresher-smelling breath. Bad breath is often self-perceived and there is no test or device to diagnose or measure the problem. Breath mints or mouthwash may freshen the breath short-term, but do not often get to the root of the problem. A common source of bad breath is the mouth and tongue. therefore, a trip to the dentist is the first step to rule out any dental problems.
 
What causes halitosis?
►Decaying or rotten teeth. Bacteria and acids in the mouth form a sticky deposit called dental plaque that clings to the teeth. If the plaque is not removed, the acids will destroy the tooth?s enamel surface ?resulting in holes and cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can result in a foul odor in the mouth.
►Food trapped in the teeth or tongue. Bacteria and food particles can become lodged in the teeth or stuck on the papillae (small projections on the tongue) - causing bad breath. It?s important to brush and floss the teeth, and brush 
the tongue and back of it to remove food debris. Tongue scrapers are available to help remove debris from the tongue. The Hydro Floss? oral irrigator is an excellent tool to remove trapped food and debris from the teeth and gum. 
The Hydro Floss? oral irrigator also assist in the removal and flushing of plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth.
►Periodontal (gum) disease. Pockets of plaque form between the teeth and gums - causing inflammation and irritation to the gums. The constant inflammation can damage the ligament supporting the teeth and an infection can occur, eventually resulting in tooth loss. Gum disease can cause a bad taste in the mouth or halitosis.
►Sinus problems. Infections in the sinus cavity can contribute to bad breath.
 
How should it be treated?
Good oral health care ?brushing the teeth and flossing will help reduce foul odors in the mouth. The Hydro Floss? oral irrigator used daily will help reduce halitosis. If you have chronic bad breath, visit your dentist who can rule out dental problems such as decay or periodontal disease.
 
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Orthodontics
 
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that involves the treatment of malocclusion, which is when the upper and lower teeth or jaw do not meet correctly. Individuals may need to be treated by an orthodontist if they have problems with their bite (such as an over or under bite), crooked teeth or overcrowding in the mouth. An orthodontist may move the teeth into position or correct the bite using braces, which are appliances bonded to the teeth and use brackets, wires, rubber bands or other ways of moving the teeth. An orthodontist may also use removable appliances to reposition the teeth. In more serious cases, a patient may need jaw surgery to align the bite. Children and adults can be treated for malocclusion. A dentist or orthodontist can perform an initial evaluation to determine if braces are needed.
 
What if the teeth are not straightened?
Left untreated, an individual may suffer from chewing or jaw (TMJ or temporomandibular joint) problems because the bite is off, increased tooth decay because teeth may be difficult to clean or gum disease. An individual with crooked teeth and an unattractive smile may suffer from low self-esteem, social problems or even depression.
 
What are the types of problems?
There are three main types of malocclusions, including:
 
►Type 1. The upper and lower jaw are proportionally related from front to back, but there are problems with the teeth lining up straight within the jaws.
 
►Type 2. The upper jaw is too far forward and/or the lower jaw is too far back resulting in an overbite, and ther may also be problems with alignment of teeth.
 
►Type 3. The upper jaw is too far back and/or the lower jaw is too far forward resulting in an under bite, and the teeth may also be crooked.
 
How long will treatment take?
It?s impossible for an orthodontist to project the actual treatment time. In most cases, however, treatment will range from 15 to 48 months for those with severe problems. In calculating total treatment time, the ?resting stages? between multi-stage treatment periods (when the teeth are not actually being moved), should not be included. If a patient does not follow instructions from the dentist, treatment may take longer. If the interceptive stage is a success, subsequent stages may be avoided. An orthodontist develops a tailord treatment plan for each patient.
 
How effective is treatment on adults?
More and more adults are getting braces. There is an array of treatment options for adults on the market?including ceramic braces and removable appliances?but they may have limited applicability and effectiveness. Many dentists report that metal braces are still the most effective and least expensive option.
 
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Child Oral Health
 
Cavity prevention is not the only concern parents should have when considering their children?s oral health. Recent studies show that periodontal disease continues to plague millions of Americans, including children.
The best way to ensure that your child does not get cavities or gingivitis is to instill proper oral habits early. Good oral hygiene routines should be established as early as infancy and continued throughout life.
 
When do teeth appear?
Teeth begin to erupt at about six months of age. The tooth appears first and the root begins to develop underneath. When a child?s mouth is fully developed there should be 20 teeth?10 on the bottom and 10 on the top. However, the top and bottom teeth erupt at different times. 
 
Top: The central incisors, or very front teeth, are the first to erupt between 6 to 12 months. The teeth next to them, called the lateral incisors, erupt between 9 to 13 months. The canines erupt between 16 to 22 months. The fist molars erupt between 13 to 19 months. And the second molars erupt between 25 to 33 months.
 
Bottom: The central incisors erupt between 6 to 10 months. The lateral incisors erupt between 10 to 16 months. The canines erupt between 17 to 23 months. The first molars erupt between 14 to 18 months. The second molars erupt between 23 to 31 months.  Under all this activity, the 32 adult teeth are forming. In fact, the adult teeth began developing when the baby was three months old.
 
At what age should my child visit the dentist?
Children should visit the dentist for the first time between the ages of six months to one year. Do not wait for the child to be in pain to bring him or her to the dentist. Most procedures are painfree and your child should know that a trip to the dentist can be a comfortable and fun experience.  Regular brushing should become a part of a child?s daily routine as soon as he or she can hold a brush. Parents should also swab infant?s gums to prevent plaque buildup. Children?s teeth should be brushed as soon as they erupt.  Although the enamel of a child?s tooth is stronger than that of an adult, it is also thinner, so cavities develop more quickly. Children?s primary teeth require as much care as their permanent teeth. Untreated cavities in primary teeth can adversely affect the development of permanent teeth. Such cavities result in a roughening of adult teeth, or may result in primary teeth that erupt with cavities.
 
Are ?baby? teeth important?
Your child?s primary teeth are extremely important. Without them your child cannot chew food properly and will have difficulty learning to speak clearly.  Children who lose their primary teeth too soon require a space maintainer until their permanent teeth erupt. Otherwise, the teeth will tilt toward the empty space, causing the permanent teeth to come in crooked.
 
When do children lose their teeth?
The permanent teeth do not erupt until the child is almost 8 years of age. They continue to erupt until the child is about 13 years of age. Girl?s teeth tend to erupt a little earlier than boys?. The only teeth to appear after that are third molars, or wisdom teeth. They usually form between the ages of 12 to 16 and do not erupt until 17 to 20 years of age.
 
How can I help my child prevent cavities?
Children are the most cavity-prone of all age groups. It is critical that children brush twice each day and floss once 
each day to remove plaque, the colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth and leads to decay and gum disease. 
A well-balanced diet and limited snacking also promote good oral health. Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses 
provide important protection. And, of course, regular dental check-ups are important.
 
When and how often should my child brush their teeth?
Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day ?after breakfast and before bedtime.
 
How often should my child visit the dentist?
Most children need appointments every six months. However, children who are experiencing cavities or other dental problems may need to see the dentist more frequently.
 
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Adult Oral Hygiene
 

Why is oral hygiene important?

Good oral hygiene is important to an individual?s overall health. Taking excellent care of your teeth and 

visiting the dentist on a regular basis are key ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as 

maintain healthy-looking teeth. Good oral health care should begin at birth so that it develops into a lifetime habit.

 

How often should you brush and floss?

Dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day (morning and night), and if possible, after every meal. It?s important to brush at bedtime because saliva ?that washes away food particles decrease at night, making it easier for decay to start. Individuals should floss their teeth once a day. Oral irrigation using the Hydro Floss oral irrigator will assist in flushing out food particles and debris, also in reducing plaque. Toothpicks are not recommended because they may splinter in the gum area.

 

What is the best way to brush?

An individual should receive advice from his or her dentist on how to properly brush the teeth. 

Dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush, and brushing for one to two minutes. In addition:

 

►Brush the outer surface of each tooth (upper and lower) and the gumline ?brush using gentle, small circles

►Hold the brush so that the bristles point toward the gums at about a 45 to 60 degree angle

►Brush both the teeth and gums at the same time.

►Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria

 

Why do you need to brush, floss and irrigate?

Brushing, flossing and irrigating will remove plaque, a colorless film that is constantly forming in the mouth. Plaque is made up of bacteria, saliva and acids that form into a sticky deposit ?clinging to the teeth. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar that only a professional may be able to remove via cleaning. Using an oral irrigator will help soft the harden plaque (tartar or calculus).

 

Which is better: a manual toothbrush or an electric one?

Comparisons have been made between the power-assisted (electric) toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes to 

look at the ability of each to remove plaque and prevent or reduce calculus (tartar) buildup, thus reducing gingivitis 

(gum disease). These research studies have shown both powered and manual toothbrushes to be equally effective 

when used correctly. So probably, in practical terms, which brush you use is not the critical factor, but how you use 

it that is the most important. It basically comes down to personal preference.

 

If I use fluoride toothpaste and the water in my area is fluoridated, do I still need additional fluoride?

This depends on your oral health status and any additional sources of fluoride that you may be receiving. 

Talk to your health care professionals about this topic for individualized information.

 

How do I get rid of bad breath?

That depends on what is causing it. Often, bad breath results from less-than-optimal oral health, and sometimes people are not aware that they are not performing oral hygiene as effectively as they could be. A dental hygienist or dentist will be able to evaluate your oral health procedures and make recommendations for improvement; also, these professionals will be able to recognize any associated problems that might be contributing to an unpleasant mouth odor. In addition to evaluating and suggesting alterations to your brushing, flossing, irrigating, and tongue deplaquing regimen, your dental hygienist may recommend products such as mouthrinse that contains zinc. If it turns out that the problem isn?t in the mouth, a physician appointment is advisable. Sinus problems, stomach problems, and certain foods and medications, and other factors can contribute to bad breath.

 

Do older adults get cavities?

Cavities are as much a problem for older adults as they are for children. As we age, our gums recede away from teeth, which exposes the tooth root to plaque. Our teeth are covered with enamel, but the root is covered with a softer tissue called ?cementum?. Thus, tooth roots are as susceptible to decay as teeth. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of people age 50 and older have tooth-root decay. Older adults are also prone to decay around the edges of fillings. Because many older adults lacked the benefits of fluoride, they often have many restorations. Over the years, fillings may weaken or fracture or leak around the edges. Bacteria accumulate in the tiny crevices causing acid to build up, which leads to tooth decay.

 

Is oral health important to my overall health and well-being?

Research has reported back with an absolute. Oral health has been directly linked to our overall health and well-being. The mouth has been regarded to as the ?gateway? into the body. The mouth?s oxygen-rich environment connects to many blood vessels that provide a perfect habitat for bacteria and to house oral cancer cells. If unattended, these same blood vessels will transport these cells throughout the body.  

 

The Surgeon General has reported that, ?Periodontal disease affects 75% of adults and has been linked to numerous life-threatening illnesses, including heart and lung diseases, stroke, diabetes, anemia, hemophilia, oral cancer, kidney disease, and low-birth weight and premature births.?

For additional information, please review: Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General

 
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