What are the tips to achieve Healthy teeth?
The secrets of having healthy, bright teeth are:
- Brush your teeth twice daily. This will reduce occurrence of tooth decay.
- Floss your teeth. Flossing clears debris from tooth surfaces that are adjacent to each other and which cannot be cleaned by tooth brush.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after consuming any food. This will rinse off food that gets stuck between teeth and also reduces staining of teeth from food colorants.
- Use interdental toothbrush to remove plaque and food debris accumulated in between teeth.
- A mouthwash might keep your mouth fresh for limited period.
- Restricting food intake to meal time.
- Reducing intake of soft and sticky food. Soft and sticky foods tend to stay for longer periods over teeth and initiate tooth decay.
- Massage your gums regularly.
- Consume healthy food rich in proteins, vitamins, calcium
- Use of fluoridated toothpaste helps control tooth decay
- Use of an orthodontic toothbrush in teenagers having the fixed braces.
- Visiting dentist once in 4-6 months for regular examination.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking stains your teeth.
- Avoid consumption of acidic beverages that can dissolve enamel surfaces of teeth.
- Avoid consuming very hard food which can lead to chipping of teeth.
- In case of habits like grinding or clenching your teeth at night which is called as bruxism use night guards which prevent transmission of forces to teeth surfaces. This prevents chipping or abnormal wearing out of teeth and ensures long life to teeth and jaw joints.
What are the features of healthy human dentition?
A human dentition can be considered healthy, based on the following conditions
- Healthy tooth structure
- Healthy gum and bone support
- Proper contact with adjacent teeth and correct arch form of the dentition
- Proper contact/ occlusion with teeth of opposing arch
- Healthy tooth structure
The tooth structure is considered to be healthy, when the enamel is bright and translucent without any cracks, or signs of wearing. The tooth surface should be intact without any decay or cavity.
2. Healthy gum and bone support
Such a tooth when surrounded by pink, firm gums which encircles the tooth structure without any signs of bleeding either spontaneous or on stimulation, and no signs of swelling or change in normal color is considered to be healthy.
3. Proper contact with adjacent teeth and correct arch form of the dentition
Proper point of contact between adjacent teeth is very crucial to maintain health of teeth and dentition. This proper contact between teeth protects gums from accidental food lodging and the irritation of food getting stuck between teeth.
4. Proper contact/ Occlusion with teeth of opposing arch
The points of contact of teeth in one arch with those of opposing teeth are very crucial in deciding the longevity of teeth. This contact is called occlusion and is decided by the teeth surfaces, muscles of the face and mouth, jaw joint called TMJ and nervous system.
What is the structure of a healthy tooth?
A healthy tooth has basically two parts:
- A crown that Is visible in the mouth above gums
- Roots that are below the gums and are surrounded by bone
Crown of a healthy tooth: Has three different layers
1. Enamel: Is the bright white translucent outer layer that gives shine to the teeth. This is the hardest part of the body. It has no sensation.
2. Dentine: Is yellow in color and is the second layer of the tooth. It takes up the chewing forces and is slightly elastic in nature. This layer has dentinal tubules that are sensitive to temperature and ph variations.
3. Pulp: This is the central part of the tooth and has blood vessels and nerve supply to the tooth. It is present in the pulp chamber and extends into the root canals.
1. Cementum: Roots are surrounded by a layer called cementum.
2. Periodontal ligament: This soft tissue layer contains lots of fibers which hold the tooth firm in the bone. It acts as shock absorber and surrounds the cementum.3. Alveolar bone: This is the bone which surrounds the tooth and takes up the chewing forces and transfers it to the jaw bone. The health of alveolar bone is very crucial for the stability of tooth.
How many sets of dentition are seen in human beings?
Human beings have 2 sets of dentition.
Primary dentition: Also called milk dentition or deciduous dentition.
Milk teeth or the primary dentition is the first set of teeth. The teeth start to erupt at an age of 6-7 months of the baby and by the age of 2 and half years all milk teeth would have erupted.
Milk dentition is active during the growing years of the baby and is gradually replaced by permanent teeth. So the last milk tooth to be replaced would be upper milk canine by permanent canine at the age of 12-14 years.
Secondary dentition: They comprise permanent teeth. These teeth have a longer life span. Permanent teeth are functional till the rest of life
The first permanent tooth that erupts in mouth is first molar at the age of 6 and gradually rests of the milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. This usually continues till the age of 12-14 years.
Permanent teeth are functional till the rest of life.
What are the types of teeth and their work?
This dentition has three types of teeth
- Incisors: They are front teeth in the jaw and are useful to bite the food. There will be 8 incisors altogether
- Canines: they are the corner teeth and are useful in tearing the food. They are 4 in number
- Molars: these are the large teeth present at the back and are useful in grinding the teeth. Milk dentition has 2 deciduous molars.
- Incisors: These teeth are primarily useful for biting and cutting the food. They are 8 in number and are present in the front part of the jaw.
- Canines: Canines are strong teeth. They are present at the corner of the mouth and are useful to tear the food. They are 4 in number.
- Premolars: This dentition has premolars along with rest of the other types of teeth seen in milk dentition.
Premolars are located between canines and molars. Are also useful in grinding food like molars and are 8 in number.
- Molars: Permanent dentition has 12 molars including 4 third molars. These are the biggest and strongest teeth. They are useful in chewing and grinding teeth.