Turn on the television and chances are, you’ll come across an advertisement for dental care. Whether it’s a brand of toothpaste, floss or, dental insurance, it’s easy to imagine that a vast majority of Indians have their dental health all sorted out. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
In India, nearly 90 percent of adults have cavities. In children, it’s about 80 percent while 30 percent have misaligned jaws and teeth. Just half of Indians brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste and less than 30 percent brush twice a day. These dismal figures highlight the lack of dental care knowledge prevalent in India as well as the poor infrastructure, access to care, and lack of oral health policies.
Top Causes of Poor Oral Health and Diseases
There are many causes for poor oral health and disease. Chief among them are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Harmful use of alcohol
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy diet
- High sugar intake
While it’s fairly well-known that poor dental care can lead to tooth decay, bad breath, stains, and tooth loss, not many are aware that it can cause other conditions that are far more serious. Since the mouth and the body are connected, dental health – whether good or bad – affects other parts of the body. According to doctors, poor oral health is associated with pneumonia, pregnancy complications, and heart disease.
How does this happen?
- With pneumonia, bacteria in the mouth can make their way into the lungs and cause disease.
- The connection between periodontal disease and pregnancy is not fully understood, but it has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
- With heart disease, it’s believed that the infections that oral bacteria cause can affect
- cardiovascular health and lead to strokes, clogged arteries, and related conditions.
- According to studies, diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS can compromise the immune system to make oral issues like gum disease and mucosal lesions worse. This, in turn, can worsen other health conditions that patients with these issues may have, creating a vicious cycle.
Barriers to Oral Health
We’ve briefly touched on some of the reasons for the poor oral health statistics in India. We’ll now go into it in a little more detail.
i) The importance of oral health is understated, especially when compared to general health. Most view oral health as being secondary and as such, don’t give it the importance it deserves.
ii) Dental care quality is hugely varied across states and regions. Urban cities have much better access to quality care while those in rural areas do not. Geographic distance also makes it difficult for those in far-flung areas to access care.
iii) Dental treatments can be expensive and afforded by a few.
The Pandemic and Oral Care
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 increased the number of oral health issues. As the pandemic set in, dental practices were forced to postpone procedures and provide only emergency dental services. This was done to reduce the burden on hospitals and prevent the risk of coronavirus infections since dental treatments include aerosol-generating procedures that could increase transmission. Unfortunately, this led to a rise in dental problems.
Initiatives like ITS Dental Hospital’s Dental Bee enable the provision of care to patients affected by the pandemic. By availing care in the comfort of their homes, patients can enjoy early detection and treatment as well as undergo routine check-ups. At-home care is also especially useful for patients who are incapacitated and can’t leave their homes – whether during the pandemic or otherwise.
Dental Bee’s At-home Dental Treatments
Dental Bee operates on a simple premise – provide at-home care to those who need it to ensure good oral health while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
How does it work? All patients need to do is book an appointment via phone call. Patients then decide on a date and time for the appointment. Once the appointment is booked, a dentist will visit the home and deliver treatment. Dental Bee also provides free video consultation via WhatsApp.
As in medical hospitals, Dental Bee has multiple departments and each specializes in a particular field of dentistry. Some of these include:
- Scaling: A common procedure for patients with gum disease.
- Restoration: A procedure to restore the function of teeth through dental fillings, etc.
- Crowns, bridges and dentures: These procedures repair damaged or missing teeth with the use of prosthetics. Where crowns are placed on top of damaged teeth, bridges and dentures ‘bridge’ gaps between teeth.
Dental Bee also provides, root canal treatments for inflamed or infected roots of teeth, dental x-rays, and braces. It offers a total of more than 50 different types of treatments.
Leveraging the 25-year-long legacy of ITS Dental Hospital, Dental Bee has more than 100 highly qualified dentists who have delivered care to as many as 450 satisfied patients. Servicing the Delhi NCR area, it offers affordable treatments that are 100 percent safe, and even offers zero cancellation charges.
Dental Care Basics to Know
If you already have oral health issues, you should see a dentist who can plan the best treatment for you. In the meantime, you should always follow these dental care basics.
- Brush twice a day, once upon waking up and the next before going to bed.
- Take your time when brushing. Spend at least 2 minutes so that you can give your mouth a
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. If you have trouble brushing owing to arthritis or injury, use an electric toothbrush. It does a better job than manual brushing.
- Clean your tongue, which can be a hotbed of bacteria. Use your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner.
- Brush with circular and back-and-forth motions. Don’t brush too hard as you can injure your gums.
- Change your toothbrush every three months.
- Store your toothbrush separately from others to prevent contamination.
- No matter how often you brush, it’s impossible to remove bacteria from between your teeth
without flossing. Do this once a day.
- Floss between each tooth to ensure that there are no foreign particles left.
- Schedule regular dental appointments – at least once a year and twice, if you have oral problems. Early detection of disease and early treatment can be life-saving.
Can’t make it to the dentist because of COVID-19? Contact Dental Bee and book a home appointment. If you are within our service areas, we will organize a visit led by one of our skilled dentists. We follow strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure your safety and ours.
It’s common knowledge that diet directly affects oral health but to recap, here are the top foods to avoid as well as foods to eat:
- Starchy foods like potato chips and soft bread that tend to lodge between teeth.
- Carbonated drinks as they contain huge amounts of sugar.
- Sticky sweets that remain in the mouth long after eating them like caramels and lollipops.
- Alcohol as it has high sugar content and high acidity.
- Dairy products as the calcium and phosphates help build enamel.
- Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber as they help keep teeth and gums clean.
- Green and black tea as they contain polyphenols that prevent bacteria from growing.
Good oral health is much more about aesthetics. It’s about improving overall health and quality of life – both of which are important especially during these uncertain times. Get started on yours with a quick consultation with Dental Bee, followed by an appointment to get your oral health in order.