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Oral Care

Medical Reference Related to Oral Health

  1. Basic Dental Care - Routine Checkups

    See your dentist once or twice a year. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Your dental hygienist will begin to clean your teeth by scraping hard mineral buildup (tartar) off of your teeth with a small metal tool. Then the hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings usually ...

  2. Brushing and Flossing a Child's Teeth - Topic Overview

    Start caring for your child's teeth as soon as you see the first baby (primary) tooth. Some tips on dental care for a child include:Clean your baby's first teeth with a clean piece of gauze, a terry cloth washcloth, or a soft - bristled baby toothbrush at least once a day. You may use one of the commercial "baby toothpastes" available for infants who are at least 5 months old. Clean your child's .

  3. Basic Dental Care - Overview

    Is this topic for you?This topic provides information on basic dental care. If you are looking for information on tooth decay or cavities, see the topic Tooth Decay. If you are looking for information on gum disease (periodontal disease), see the topic Gum Disease.What is basic dental care?Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist and/or dental ...

  4. Basic Dental Care - Infants and Children

    A child's dental care really starts with his or her mother's healthy pregnancy, because baby teeth begin to form before birth. If you are pregnant, make sure to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. It's important for pregnant women to have a complete dental exam and have any cavities or gum disease treated. For more information, see the topic ...

  5. Basic Dental Care - Common Concerns

    Following are some concerns that many people have about going to the dentist and dental care. What can I do about being scared?Dental anxiety is being nervous before or during a dental visit. This can make going to the dentist a difficult experience. You can take steps to limit your anxiety, such as explaining your fears to the dentist and setting up a system of hand signals.Do I need teeth ...

  6. Gum Disease - Frequently Asked Questions

    Learning about gum disease:What is gum disease?Getting treatment:Which antibiotics are used to treat gum disease?How is root planing and scaling done?How is gingivectomy done?How is a flap procedure done?How does a dentist remove a tooth?Living with gum disease:How should I care for my teeth when I have gum disease?

  7. Tooth Decay - Frequently Asked Questions

    Learning about tooth decay:What is tooth decay?Being diagnosed:How are dental X-rays done?Getting treatment:How is a filling done?How is a root canal done?How is a crown done?What are dental implants?How does a dentist remove a tooth?What if I'm scared to go to the dentist?

  8. Gum Disease - Health Tools

    Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Dental Care: Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth

  9. Tooth Decay - Topic Overview

    Is this topic for you?This topic provides information on tooth decay and cavities. If you are looking for information on: Gum disease, see the topic Gum Disease. Toothaches, see the topic Toothache and Gum Problems. Dental checkups and how to care for your teeth, see the topic Basic Dental Care. What is tooth decay?Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. It can lead to a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. A tooth has three layers. The hard outer layer is called enamel. The middle layer is called dentin. The center of the tooth is called the pulp. It contains nerves and blood vessels. The more layers that are affected by decay, the worse the damage. What causes tooth decay?Bacteria and food can cause tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in

  10. Gum Disease - Topic Overview

    What is gum disease?Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease.There are two types of gum disease: Gingivitis (say jin-juh-VY-tus) is mild gum disease that affects only the gums, the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth.Periodontitis (say pair-ee-oh-don-TY-tus) is more severe. It spreads below the gums to damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth.What causes gum disease?Gum disease is caused by the growth of germs called bacteria on the teeth and gums. Bacteria are present in plaque, a clear, sticky substance your mouth produces. The bacteria in plaque feed on sugars in the foods you eat and drink and make poisons (toxins) and other chemicals. The toxins irritate your gums, causing them to swell and bleed easily when brushed.In time, plaque can harden into a buildup called calculus or tartar. This irritates the gums even more and causes them to pull away from your teeth. Things that make you

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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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