Dental Health by Dr. M Sharique Khan

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    Awareness of the Oral-Health Conditions you are likely to face at different stages of life can help you stay a step ahead of potential Dental problems, and build a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles.

    Pregnancy and Children

    Expectant Mothers can give a head-start by eating an array of healthy foods and taking calcium supplements while Pregnant. Also, taking Folic-acid supplements decreases the risk the risk of a Baby being born with a cleft lip and palate. After the Baby’s birth, parents should wipe the infant’s gum with a soft, damp cloth after feeding, as this helps prevent the buildup of bacteria. When teeth comes in, typically at six months old, parents can use a soft children’s toothbrush twice a day to clean the teeth and gum line, where a decay starts. Dr. M Sharique, a General Dentist in Karachi, tells parents there is a risk for tooth decay even in children as young as nine months. “Parents Need to Pay Attention to Baby Teeth they are Disposable”, Says Dr. M Sharique who also recommends parents brush their children’s teeth until they are six years old. “This Instills Good Habits and a routine”. Sharique notes that prior to six years old, children aren’t able to brush their own teeth effectively. Parents can begin taking children to a Family Dentist around one year of age. Another important habit parents can establish is to avoid feeding kids sweet and sticky foods. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese and crackers, for tooth-friendly snacks.

    Adults

    Nearly one-third of the adults in Pakistan have untreated tooth decay. Early detection is important: in the early stages, tooth decay is often painless and can be picked up only during dental exam. A visible sign of the separate dental problem of periodontal disease is loss of bone around the teeth and requires a dentist’s intervention as well as risk factor for dental health are often tied to overall health. Research says smoking and certain medications as risk factors for periodontal disease. There is a direct relation between gum disease and other diseases, if you are on medications for high blood pressure or epilepsy, or have diabetes, visit the Dentist on a more routine basis. If you are taking medications for these conditions or have diabetes, talk to your dentist about how often you should go for checkups, as it may be best to go in more often than every six months. Additionally, people of all ages can drink fluoridated water to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. In Pakistan most cities don’t have fluoride in tap water, moreover, the majority of bottled waters also do not. If your water source doesn’t have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements.

    Older Adults

    Even as People are Living Longer, older adults are maintaining their natural teeth. However, older adults still need to visit a dentist regularly, as they are at an increased risk of developing throat and oral cancers (especially those who smoke or drink alcohol heavily). Older adults also have and increased risk of dry mouth and may be on a number of medications that effect oral health. For those with dentures, Dr. Sharique finds, “Many Older Patients Don’t Think They need to go to the Dentist, but they might not be cleaning their Dentures Correctly.” If your gums are Red and Swollen, check with your dentist, it may be a sign your dentures don’t fit anymore.

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