Monday September 1 2014

How you can keep your teeth strong

By Richard Kabanda

Do you want strong, healthy teeth? Here are simple habits you can follow to keep your teeth intact.

Use pit and fissure sealants
A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that stops food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth to prevent decay.

Pits and fissure sealants are designed to specifically offer preventive effects to the teeth. The sealants occupy the pits of teeth with a resin material and as they get filled, the bacteria are not able to go deep into the teeth to cause decay.
Sealants can last for many years, but the dentist should check them regularly to ensure the seal is still intact.

Eating a healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low fat dairy products and whole grains is crucial in keeping teeth healthy and strong. These foods provide essential nutrients that the teeth need.

Regular professional cleaning
Professional cleaning of teeth is intended to remove any tartar, calculus deposits or hard coatings and plaque (sticky film with bacteria) from the teeth, leaving them smooth, clean and polished.

In the process of cleaning and polishing the surface of the teeth, the dentist removes any rough and sticky areas in the gums, thereby preventing bacteria from growing and causing gum disease. Not only is gum disease associated with poor oral health and damaged teeth, it can lead to a host of other health problems as well.

Oral hygiene
This can be done through regular brushing, and having your teeth cleaned by the dentist.
Dental care every six months is effective in controlling chronic inflammation, from periodontal diseases. Toothpaste with anti-inflammatory properties can also be prescribed.

Other preventive methods
•Brush teeth and tongue thoroughly twice a day.
•Fill teeth that have cavities.
•Floss your teeth regularly.
•Do not snack between meals.
•Reduce intake of sugary foods.
•Use fluoridated water.
•Have regular dental check-ups

The writer is a dentist