Corona Virus (COVID-19) & Dental Treatments

Corona VIrus (COVID-19) & Dental Treatments

Covid Virus is a highly contagious virus. It spreads by human to human contact.

As per current medical and government guidelines any dental procedure which is not an emergency is better avoided.

When can you see a dentist?

  • If you have a dental emergency, like pain, swelling, broken teeth etc.
  • Follow up appointments – If the pain or swelling has not subsided, or has increased.

You can first try to contact your dentist over phone with the problem and seek an advice.

Avoid seeing a dentist when you:

  • Want a regular cleaning done.
  • Want Braces treatment.
  • Want Smile correction treatments.
  • Want Replacement of missing teeth.

Most dental treatments may be postponed for a date in the future once the government gives a all clear.

Precautions while visiting a dentist

Once you know there is no way other than visiting a dentist, don’t worry. Your dentist too would have taken precautions and will guide you through any doubts.

Follow the following instructions:

  • Make an appointment. You don’t want to walk-in to a crowded waiting room.
  • Go alone or with 1 person accompanying you. Lesser the people in the waiting room, better for everyone.
  • If you have cough, fever or any symptoms of flu, please declare at the front office.
  • Avoid touching any surface. Carry a sanitizer or ask for the washroom to wash your hands if you do.

Do not insist on treatment to be done immediately, if your dentist suggests otherwise.

What to say to take your child to the dentist?

DON’T LIE. Be truthful. Most likely your child has complained about some tooth pain. Tell him, you are taking him to a dentist, he will check and give you some medicines.

If your child is over 4 years and you are visiting a dentist, specially if it for consultation, take him along. He can observe and have a eye-witness experience. This experience makes it easier for him to be less scared about undergoing a dental consultation later.

He will be scared. Don’t hide anything. Don’t scare him with threats of ‘doctor will give injection’.

I have seen parents threatening, bribing and even hitting the child. None of these work. The child will refuse to come the next time.

If some procedure is required, like pulpectomy, extraction or filling, ask your dentist to explain the procedure to you. You can explain the procedure to your child over the next few days, before you bring him back. This helps the child to be prepared. Also, when the procedure happens as explained, it builds trust.

What about injections? Do you tell your child if he will need injection during the procedure? Ask your dentist first. Some times a procedure can be performed under topical anaesthesia, like a gel or a spray and injection may not be required.

What if injection is required?

This is a tricky one. There is no one single advise to every parent.

  • If your child is not afraid of injection, let him know.
  • If your child is below 3 years and afraid of injection, prepare him for the procedure but let the dentist handle the injection part.
  • If your child is between 3 to 5 years and afraid of injection, prepare him for the procedure, let him know injections may be required but tell the child, the dentist will discuss it with him.
  • If your child is above 5 years and afraid of injection, prepare him for the procedure and for injections.

If you have any doubt, speak to your dentist before discussing the dental appointment with your child.

Tongue Scraper

Which Tongue Cleaner to Use?

It is extremely important to not just keep your teeth and gums clean but also to clean your tongue for which your should select a good tongue cleaner.

Tongue is important in various functions of the body :

  • Speaking
  • Eating
  • Digestion
  • Taste sensation

Multiple functions are performed by various muscles of the tongue. Different parts of the tongue can perceive different taste sensation.

Tongue should be cleaned if not everyday, at least 2-3 days a week. If any discoloration of the tongue is seen, it should be cleaning immediately.

Tongue Cleaner:

  • ToothBrush
  • Tongue scraper


Toothbrush with tongue cleaner
  • It is the simplest form of tongue cleaner. Once the brushing of the teeth and gums are complete, the bristles of the brush can be moved in a circular fashion over the tongue to clean it.
  • Some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaning rubber pad on the back. This too can be used. The rubber pad has elevations on it which helps in cleaning the tongue. It is also gentle compared to bristles and hence will not abrade the tongue.

Tongue scraper

Tongue Scraper
metal tongue scraper
  • A metallic or plastic tongue scraper is used over the tongue to clean it. It should be run from back to front and without pressing very hard, as it may then cause damage to the top surface of tongue.

Either way, keeping the tongue clean will result in absence of harmful bacteria, improving taste sensation and also preventing bad breath.

5 Worst food for Teeth

Top 5 worst food for teeth are just the most important categories of food that you should definitely avoid.

1. Carbonated sugary drinks

Your cola, even the diet ones is acidic in nature and can erode your teeth. Sugar contained in your drink is also harmful for your teeth as it provides nutrients for the bacteria in your mouth.

carbonated sugary drinks

2. Sticky food

Sticky food in general is bad for your teeth. Biscuits, cookies, bread and chips are all crunchy and sticky in nature. They are also high in sugar. They stick to the teeth and provide a source of nutrients to the bacteria acting on your teeth.

If food is sticking to your teeth, rinse and if that doesn’t help brush your teeth.

Sticky food

3. Tea & Coffee

Tea and coffee if drunk in excess can cause staining. Also as it is acidic in nature, it can cause erosion of teeth.

Limit your intake of tea and coffee to maximum 2 cups a day and always rinse your mouth after drinking tea and coffee.

tea and coffee

4. Citric fruits and juice

Citric fruits and juices like lemon and oranges should be had but in limited amounts as the acidity in these fruits can harm your teeth. If you have mouth ulcers, they can be very irritating too.

Even pickles can cause harm due to it’s acidic nature.

citric fruits and juice

5. Hard food

Some of us like to bite on ice. It can damage your enamel and even fracture your teeth. Similarly eating bone like hard food should also be avoided.

hard food
cheese and milk

5 Best Food for Healthy and Strong Teeth

Eat healthy to keep your teeth healthy. Below find 5 best food for healthy and strong teeth.

1. Cruchy fibrous food

Crunchy fibrous food

Carrots, apples and cucumber are rich in fibres. Fibres help in naturally ‘brushing’ your teeth. This helps in cleaning your teeth naturally. Try and include fibrous food which is also required in your diet.

Sugar-free chewing gums can also clean your teeth in a similar fashion.

2. Vitamin rich food.

Green leafy vegetables

Food containing calcium such as cheese, almonds and leafy vegetables and food high in phosphorous such as fish, meat and eggs can keep tooth enamel healthy and strong. This also helps in overall development of bone and muscles.

3. Cheese and Milk

cheese and milk

Cheese and milk are known to neutralize or balance out the acidity in your mouth mostly caused by carbohydrate rich (mainly sugar rich) diet. They are also a source of calcium in your diet to further fortify not just your teeth but also other bones in your body.

4. Water

Green leafy vegetables

Saliva is 95% water and hence regular intake of water disturbs the acid build up on your teeth and washes away any food sticking to your teeth which may form plaque.

5. Tea


Green tea or even black tea doesn’t allow bacteria to to stick on teeth. Also it’s anti-oxidant properties have powerful anti-bacterial properties. Green tea is preferable but some people might find it to be too bitter. In such a case black tea is also recommended. 

Excessive tea drinking though may cause staining of teeth and should be avoided.

Dental instruments cleaned

How are dental instruments cleaned?

Have you ever wondered how are the dental instruments cleaned, before being used in your mouth? We, here at SmileSense Dental Clinic follow a very strict guideline for cleaning and sterilizing your dental instruments.

Below are the various methods of cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments used in the dental clinic:

  • As far as possible, use disposable equipment, like, needles, blades, syringes, saliva ejectors, gloves, face masks, head caps, water glasses and drapes.
  • The surface of the chair and all parts which cannot be covered by disposable covers should be disinfected by surface disinfectant, like, 2.5% Chlorhexidine gluconate in isopropyl alcohol.
  • The instruments used during the procedure in first scrubbed to remove any visible blood or tissues. It is then segregated for sterilization either by cold (chemical) or moist (Autoclave) method.
  • Autoclave is the ideal form of sterilization. All diagnostic instruments (mouth mirror, probe), surgical equipments, like elevators and forceps, hard pieces, scaler tips, burs and other hand instruments are pouched and sealed in sterilization pouches. These pouches have markers on them to show the completion of sterilization. They are then placed in the autoclave and sterilized. If unused from more than 1 month are again opened and sterilized.
  • Cold or chemical disinfection is done in cases where autoclave is not possible, mostly instruments or equipments having plastic parts. The chemical used is mostly 2.4% Glutaraldehyde. It is used to disinfect aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, plastics and elastomers and provides a wide spectrum efficacy against bacteria, mycobacteria, viruses and fungi. The solution can also achieve some sporicidal activity with longer exposure time.

At SmileSense Dental Clinic, all instruments used on you are sterilized with utmost care. You can never leave anything to chance.

correct age for dental braces or orthodontic treatment

Correct age for dental braces

Parents who see their child with crooked teeth will always wonder about the correct age for dental braces.

I would say, there is no minimum age. If you feel your child may require braces, bring him/her in for a consultation. With jaw bones growing and permanent teeth erupting, the child may look like she requires braces.

Age of 6-7, when the first permanent teeth erupt, is usually the preferred time for a orthodontic (braces) consultation. Most of the children won’t require any intervention (treatment) at that age. Some may be given removable appliances, to help the teeth and jaw grow in a more orderly manner, thereby avoiding lengthy braces treatment later on.

Age of 12-13 will be the most common age for start of dental braces. This is the time when all the milk teeth have shed and all the permanent (except third molars) have erupted. Your orthodontist will ask your child to start braces treatment at this age for the best results.

The most common question I am asked by adults when I tell them they will require braces is, ‘Is it possible at this age?’ There is NO maximum age for braces. 1 in every 5 orthodontic patient is above 18 years of age.

The best time for your child to start and complete her orthodontic treatment is in her teens. Most of her classmates are having braces and she will not stand out for wearing one. Braces require monthly visits which is possible at this age and becomes more difficult as college and pressures of career take over.

visit a dentist for dental examination

When Should You Visit a Dentist?

Most of us will visit a dentist , when tooth pain starts.

Dental pain is usually the last sign of dental problem. As many of us would have experienced, dental pain is one, which is most difficult to tolerate.

With advertisements on TV, telling you to use a certain brand of toothpaste to get relief from all sort of tooth pain, we dentist usually see a patient with condition of tooth so poor, only extraction (removal) of tooth is possible and there is no way to save the tooth.

No paste or medicine can treat a tooth pain permanently. They can give you temporary relief, which allows you certain time to schedule a visit to the dentist.

Usually the patients biggest reason to refuse to visit a dentist is because he/she thinks dental treatment will be will be painful, mostly the fear of injection. The fear coupled with lack of awareness, results in a patient reaching a dentist only when there is no more hope left to save the tooth.

Today with increased life expectancy, it is important to have a good set of teeth to give you a healthy and a good quality of life. It is all the more important to retain your original set of teeth.

So when should you go to your dentist?

You should go every year for a general check-up and just get a cleaning of your teeth and gums done, if required. It’s virtually painless. It also prevents bleeding from gums and any bad breath. If any further treatment is required your dentist can let you know then.

Remember, this just doesn’t apply for you but also for your kids. Anyone with teeth should go for yearly check-ups.

Certain signs to notice yourself:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
  • Pain, of gum or tooth
  • Pus discharge
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Bad breath

If you have the above or any other problem of the tooth, visit your dentist immediately. If you are out of town, call your dentist and ask for guidance. Please don’t buy some medicine over the counter or refer to google. Believe me, we don’t mind helping our patients.

bad breath treatment

Bad Breath – Can it be cured?

Bad breath can be cured!

There are multiple reasons for bad breath and most of them if not all can be treated successfully.

Here is a list of the most common reasons and their treatments:

  1. Plaque & calculus – Treatment is scaling or cleaning of teeth and gums.
  2. Cavity in the tooth – Filling or RCT of the tooth.
  3. Coated tongue – Cleaning the tongue using a tongue scrapper or brush.
  4. Smoking, alcohol or gutkha/paan consumption – Stopping the habit 🙂
  5. Ulcers in the mouth
  6. Dry mouth – Sip water regularly, chew sugar-free gums.

If all the above conditions are ruled out by your dentist you have problems of sinus, tonsillitis or other problems with stomach and intestines. For corrections of these issues you have to consult an ENT specialist or a gastro-enterologist.

Can you try something before you visit your dentist?

Definitely. Use a new soft brush, brush twice daily, use a tongue cleaner. You may also use a non-alcohol based chlorhexidine mouth-rinse (water based ones are less irritating, alcohol based ones may even cause burns) for a week. Follow the instructions given on the bottle. If the problem persists or becomes worse, it’s time to fix an appointment with your dentist.