Healthy and beautiful teeth

White teeth are a beauty feature. Clean, without caries and without gaps, they make up for some irregularities in the facial features. But they are also a health feature. Bacteria in the teeth and gums promote chronic diseases. Bacteria do not remain trapped in the tooth or gums, but migrate around the body and cause their misfortune everywhere.

Digestive disorders, flatulence, coronary arteriosclerosis, and even myocardial infarction and stroke can be the consequences of caries and periodontitis. But it doesn't have to come to that. The most important thing is the thorough and regular brushing of your teeth. But teeth are often cleaned with too much pressure. This can cause damage to teeth and gums.

How to brush your teeth. Brush in three lanes: first on the outside, then inside and on the occlusal surface of the teeth. Apply the brush on the outside and inside of the gum line at an angle of 45 degrees. Brush with light pressure and small circular movements. Brush tooth by tooth, even at the back of the molars. Do not squeeze too hard with the brush, or you will get rid of tooth substance. Check the face to see if the pressure still feels comfortable.

Clean after every meal, at least in the morning after breakfast and in the evening for three minutes before bedtime. Brushing your teeth after an apple or orange is more harmful than using it. The fruit acid softens the tooth enamel and the brush then removes it. This is how to do it: If you have eaten or drunk an orange or something else, wait one hour before cleaning, otherwise you will attack the enamel. If you can't wait, then use a dental gum.

Often it is also done with the wrong toothbrush. Above all, it must not be over two months old. Renew them frequently. Whether the brush should be hard or soft depends on your gums. Medium hard bristles are best. Natural bristles are unsuitable because they swell with water and provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. After cleaning, place the brush head upside down in a glass, so it dries best. Short head brushes with a 25 to 30 mm brush field are suitable. This is the best way to get to the difficult to reach posterior tooth area of the whiteness teeth. Electric toothbrushes are suitable for people who have difficulty with circular toothbrush movements. They are also good because of their small brush head. Bring all your dental care accessories with you to the dentist who can best decide whether they are suitable for your teeth.

But the effective effects of dental floss are often misunderstood. This is not a luxury item, but should be used after brushing your teeth. Smoothly clean the interdental spaces. However, do not press on the gums, they bleed quickly, but push the floss along the teeth.

It is also important to take care of plaque and tartar. These are breeding grounds for microorganisms that cause caries and inflammation of the gums. Tartar protects the toothbrush from tooth decay bacteria. Get rid of it. You'll have to see a dentist. Tartar removal is covered by your health insurance. Pay for the removal of plaque yourself.

But some people want to do a little more for their teeth. But not to improve health, but the appearance. Above all, bright white teeth are a trend. The procedure to whiten teeth is called bleaching. From a dental point of view, there's nothing wrong with it. You can bleach your own teeth at home. However, you must be sure you do not have a carious spot. And you have to be careful that the active ingredient - hydrogen peroxide - does not get onto the gums.

Teeth become whiter at the dentist. There is the older splint method and the more modern light method where cold blue light or a laser is used to brighten up the surface. You should discuss the different methods best with your dentist.

If nature has been careless not only regarding tooth colour but also regarding the location of teeth, orthodontists are happy to help. Malpositions can be corrected at any age. In adults, this correction has so far been carried out with fixed braces: so called brackets, made of metal or ceramic, are fixed to the individual teeth and placed with a metal band. In the meantime there are also "invisible braces", so-called "aligners". These are transparent, rigid splints that are worn at night and adapted to the improved tooth position. This means that misalignments can be corrected without having to wear ugly wires or hangers. The costs should be clarified in advance with the health insurance company.

If a tooth is missing, the tooth gap is closed with a bridge. The adjacent teeth are ground off because they have to support the bridge construction. With good care, bridges can last 20 years. Implants are more modern. These are recommended for large tooth gaps. The tooth root and the tooth core are replaced by titanium. Above it comes a ceramic crown. This looks natural and is durable, for a lifetime. Implants are cleaned like real teeth.

Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany