} Dental FAQS | Dental Health Care Associates | Dentists Collins Street Melbourne

 

What is plaque?

Many of the foods and drinks you consume cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugared foods, such as lollies and biscuits, are not the only culprits. Starches, such as bread and cereal, also cause acids to form. If you snack often, you could be having acid attacks all day long. After many acid attacks, your teeth may develop decay.

Plaque is the clear sticky film on the surface of your teeth and gums and if not removed through daily brushing the bacteria in plaque irritates your gums, making them red, tender or bleed easily, this is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, after a while your gums may pull away from the teeth. Pockets form and fill with more bacteria. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may become loose and fall out or have to be removed. Gum disease is a main cause of tooth loss in adults.

One way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is through a balanced diet and limiting snacking between-meals or choosing a nutritious snack such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese or a piece of fruit.

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What is Bad Breath?

Clinically referred to as halitosis, bad breath is an unpleasant condition that is cause for embarrassment both socially and professionally. Some people with bad breath aren’t even aware they have a problem. If you’re concerned about bad breath, see one of our dentists for an assessment as they can help to identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment programme to help eliminate it.

What you eat affects the air you exhale. Sometimes bad breath is attributed to certain foods such as garlic and onions. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odour temporarily. Odours continue until the body eliminates the food. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.

If you do not brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in your mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on your tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odour.

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Which is better: a manual or electric toothbrush?

Many comparisons have been made between electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes to look at the ability of each to remove plaque effectively and prevent or reduce calculus (tartar) build-up, thereby reducing the development of gum disease.

Research studies have indicated both powered and manual toothbrushes to be equally effective when used correctly, which mean it is not so much the brush you use, but how you use it is the critical factor. Many people are choosing to use a power toothbrush, especially older patients who find them easier to hold. Advice from our dental hygienists can help ensure that your brushing routine is effective no matter which brush you prefer to use.

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