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Dentists    Teeth   
DENTISTS
Also see: TEETH, TOOTHPASTE

EXAMS:
If expensive work is recommended:

____ Consider getting a second opinion

FILLINGS:
If fillings are recommended:

____ Ask about fusible ceramic or other bio-compatible material - mercury or silver fillings might cause multiple sclerosis , Alzheimer's disease or other neurological problems - don't have mercury or silver fillings removed without precautions against inhaling dust, e.g., dam, vacuum exhaust

FINDING A DENTIST:
____ Ask prospective dentists:
____ If they use dams
____ Types of anesthesia they use
____ Types of fillings available, e.g., fusible ceramic or other bio-compatible material - mercury or silver fillings might cause multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease or other neurological problems

VISITING A DENTIST:
Before dentist starts working on your teeth:

____ Ask for a bite block (jaw relaxer)
____ Ask for cream on lips
____ Ask for throat pack to keep from swallowing small pieces
____ Offer to hold suction, tongue depressor,
____ Ask lots of questions (e.g., about treatment options)
____ Don't have mercury or silver fillings removed without precautions against inhaling dust, e.g., dam, vacuum exhaust

During:
____ As dentist starts to enter your mouth, keep your lips away from your teeth - to avoid getting your lips pinched by dentist's fingers, etc.
____ Breathe through nose

After dentist works on your teeth:
____ Ask if there are any foods you should avoid and for how long

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TEETH
Also see: DENTIST, TOOTHPASTE

- Gum disease may lead to premature birth, heart disease and/or diabetes

To help prevent tooth disease:
____ Floss at least once a day
____ Brush at least twice a day
____ Limit between-meal snacks, especially snacks high in sugar
____ Brush and floss as soon as possible after eating (don't wait until bedtime)
____ Avoid using bleaching or whitening kits

At least every 3-4 months:
____ Start using a new toothbrush

At least twice a year:
____ Get regular check-ups from a dentist

BRUSHING:
Before:

____ Use a toothbrush which has dried out since last being used or was soaked in hydrogen peroxide - to reduce risk of bacteria
____ Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth - avoid abrasive toothpastes claiming to whiten teeth, which could wear down linings of teeth and gums
____ Avoid sticking bristles into tube of toothpaste - to minimize spread of bacteria
____ Use just a pea-size amount of toothpaste for each brushing - the brushing action is more important than the toothpaste
____ Wipe off opening of toothpaste tube after dispensing - to minimize spread of bacteria

During:
____ Turn off the water as much as possible
____ Keep your back straight
____ Place the toothbrush at your gumline
____ Brush in small gentle circles
____ Brush one or two teeth at a time
____ Brush the outside of your teeth
____ Brush the inside of your teeth
____ Brush your chewing surfaces with a firm back-and-forth motion
____ Brush for at least 2-3 minutes
____ Rinse your mouth with water (don't drink the water)

After:
____ Place bristle end of toothbrush into hydrogen peroxide - to minimize spread of bacteria
____ Spray bristle end of toothbrush with an antiseptic spray - to minimize spread of bacteria
____ Rinse with mouthwash

Flossing:
- It's more important to floss than to brush
____ After flossing between two teeth:
____ Get floss out by pulling one end out to the side, vice pulling both ends straight up or down, especially next to crowns/caps

STAINS:
To minimize staining:

____ Avoid:
          - Red wine
          - Grape juice
          - Cranberry juice
          - Coffee
          - Tea
          - White wine

BLEACHING:
____ Don't do it if you're pregnant or nursing

IF YOU KNOCK OUT A TOOTH:
Either:
____ Wash it off and put it back in its place until you can get to a dentist, or,
____ Place it in a cup of water or milk
Then:
____ Rush to a dentist

IF YOU LOSE A FILLING:
____ Chew up some sugarless gum and place it where the filling was - will reduce discomfort until the filling is replaced

IF BRACES ARE RECOMMENDED:
____ Ask your dentist/orthodontist about Viazis braces (triangular and smaller than traditional braces) which appear to move the teeth faster

IF IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY:
To help prevent traveler's diarrhea:

____ Use only bottled water for brushing your teeth

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