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Teeth! – Oshala Fernando -Christchurch

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

Teeth play an important part in eating, chewing and in speech. Teeth are hard, mineral rich structures which are the hardest substances in the human body. These have different shapes and sizes to bite,tear,crush, or grind food before it is swallowed 

Human teeth include incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. A person has two sets of teeth over their lifetime.

1-Primary teeth/milk teeth/deciduous teeth

2-secondary teeth/permanent teeth /adult teeth


Incisors–   Bite into the food

Canine–      Tear food 

Premolar– Tear and grind food

Molars–     Chewing food and maintaining the height of face 



Maxillary teeth –   The teeth of the upper jaw are the maxillary teeth and belong to   maxillary arch.

Mandibular teethThe teeth of the lower jaw are the mandibular teeth and belong to  mandibular arch.

There are 4 quadrants 

  • An upper right maxillary quadrant          
  • An upper left maxillary quadrant
  • A lower left mandibular quadrant
  • A lower right mandibular quadrant


Plaque + Food = Acid

Acid +Enamel –> White spot –>cavity

Plaque?  soft sticky film containing bacteria, constantly forming on your teeth, that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Cavities (Tooth Decay)? If enough enamel is lost the tooth surface breaks down forming a cavity, only your dentist can repair this tooth decay. After eating the plaque becomes acidic and dissolves tooth enamel. Fluoride toothpaste can repair damaged enamel before it becomes cavity.







sweet, snacks, drinks damage teeth

To reduce risk of decay, have these occasionally at main meal times only        

Acid – Drinks that are acidic have a high erosive potential. They soften tooth enamel and dissolve the outer layer.

Sugar – Tooth decay occurs when sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth and produces acid. This acid attacks the teeth and drink the greater causes gradual destruction of the tooth. the damage.

Time – The longer it takes to drink a sugary acidic.

Water is free, its fresh, available on tap.

The pH scale measures the acidity of a solution. Pure water has the neutral of 7. Solutions with pH values lower than 7 are acidic and higher than 7 are alkaline.


  • High
    • Coca-Cola/Pepsi – pH 2.3
    • Diet Coke – pH 3.0
    • Energy drinks – pH 3.1
    • Sprite – pH 3.4
    • Apple Juice – pH3.4
    • Diet 7-up – pH 3.7
  • Medium
    • Sparkling water – pH5.1


  • Low
    • Flavoured milk – pH 6.7
    • Milk – pH 6.8
  • No Acidity-Neutral
    • Pure water – pH7.0

Plaque is very sticky and cannot be removed by rinsing with water or chewing fibrous foods. While both these methods can remove loose food debris from the mouth, they do not remove plaque. However, tooth brushing can prevent the build-up of plaque or by a hygienist or a dentist and by using suitable mouth rinses.


There are many tooth brushing techniques and different methods work for different people. The aim of toothbrushing is to remove plaque from tooth surfaces without damaging the teeth or gingiva.






Plaque that accumulates between teeth is more effectively removed by using dental floss.




An interdental brush is used to clean spaces between teeth and orthodontic brackets or wires as many patients find them difficult to keep clean.




In the presence of fluoride, cavities do not readily develop and early caries can be healed.




Physical injuries to the Teeth

Erosion is the loss of tooth structure caused by the action of chemicals such as stomach acids and fruit juices. These areas appear as smooth, polished, dished out areas.


Attrition is the wearing away of tooth structure during chewing. Grinding or clenching the teeth together, and eating a particularly fibrous diet, may increase the rate at which attrition occurs.



Abrasion is the wearing away of tooth structure because of an abnormal mechanical habit. The most common cause is incorrect tooth brushing, scrubbing back and forth movement is used with excessive force.


Physical injuries to Soft Tissues 


Eating or drinking hot foods is the usual cause of burns affecting the oral tissues. Most injuries heal within a few days without the need for further treatment.



Mouth ulcers are probably the most common condition affecting the oral mucosa. An important exception is the ulceration caused by oral cancer.


Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and drink water.
It is Easy to Protect Your Family’s smile with Good Oral Hygiene.

By Oshala Fernando – Christchurch

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