Dental Hygiene

Structure of teeth

There are four types of teeth. These are the incisors, canine, premolar and molar. incisor.jpgIncisors are sharp and chiseled in shape. These are used to bite off pieces of food. They are found in the front of the mouth. There are two types of incisors, central incisors and lateral incisors. The canines are sharp teeth which have the same function as the incisors. In carnivorous animals the canines are long and sharp which help it grasp its prey firmly. The molars and premolars are crown shaped. They grind the food in between the upper jaw and the lower jaw which breaks down the food for it to move down the gullet.

Every human and mammal are born without teeth but soon they grow temporary set of teeth called milk teeth/baby teeth or deciduous teeth. By the age of 3 a child toothhas 20 milk teeth. Soon the deciduous teeth break out of the jaw and the permanent teeth grow. By the age of 7 the milk teeth are gradually replaced with permanent teeth.

Every teeth has an enamel layer on it. It is a non-living layer and the strongest part in the body. Below the enamel is the dentine which is soft in comparison to enamel. It has various channels of living cytoplasm in it which comes from the pulp cavity. The pulp cavity has nerves and blood vessels in it which provide it with nutrition. The gums help to keep the tooth in place. Below the gums there is the root of the tooth which is connected to the jaw bone. It is connected to it by fibers and cement which makes it immovable. However, it is slightly movable. When the permanent tooth grows it pushes the milk tooth. Just as soon as the milk tooth break out the permanent tooth comes out, not instantly though. However the premolar and molar are already permanent teeth.

Tooth decay

Because we open our mouth often, bacteria enters our mouth. The bacteria then feeds on the sugary remains of food which are present in our mouth. When the bacteria grows and keeps on feeding on sugar it secretes acids which tries to penetrate the enamel. In time a cavity is created and the acid enters the dentine. At this point the pain starts to arise. If it is not taken care of the tooth will decay and cause severe pain. In another disease called periodontal disease, the gums are seriously affected. The gums will bleed at the touch of a tooth brush and causes severe pain.

Preventing any Dental Problems

When the bacteria is allowed to accumulate in the mouth, a plague is formed on the enamel. This plague soon leads to tooth decay. To prevent this, we must brush our teeth with toothpaste or use Miswak because it has fluoride ions in it. This Plaqueremoves the plague layer. After the layer is removed, it takes 24 hours in forming again which is why we must brush our teeth 2 times a day. If the plague is not removed it creates a substance called tartar which retains the bacteria and sugar. It leads to tooth decay and cannot be removed by brushing. In this case, the person with this problem must visit a dentist. We can supplement our brushing habit by using a dental floss to remove any sugar from in between the teeth, where the brush cannot reach. This is why the doctors recommend using a brush with small face and using an electric brush. Also, our diet also effects this. If we eat a lot of food with sugar in it, this will help the bacteria in producing more acid. To have a good dental hygiene we must have a good balanced diet to stay healthy. To prevent tooth decay:

  • We must brush twice daily.
  • We must visit our dentist every six months.
  • We must use a dental floss.
  • We should use a toothpaste which  has fluoride ions in it.
  • Avoid sugary food and have a good balanced diet.

With this I conclude my article

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