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We’ve reopened in accordance with CDC, O.S.H.A., and State Dental Board guidelines to responsibly resume seeing our patients for regular dental appointments and treatment. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern.
Posted on: October 14, 2020
Dental Care Basics
What Are Dental Care Basics?
Adults need to practice dental care basics since they are just as vulnerable as children to experience dental problems. A good home care routine is the best thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy, along with scheduling regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. None of the teeth replacement options look and feel as good as natural teeth, except implants, which are an expensive option. If you take care of your dental health, you can avoid choosing teeth replacement options later in life.
Poor oral health can enhance your risk for other diseases in other parts of your body. Harmful bacteria can enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Infections in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body, causing a number of problems. Your best defense is practicing good oral health habits and seeing a dentist for regular exams.
Why Is Plaque so Harmful?
Plaque is sticky bacteria that forms on teeth whenever we eat or drink. The sugar in plaque produces acid that eats away at tooth enamel and causes cavities. Brushing your teeth and flossing will remove plaque, but it’s hard to reach all of it. When you miss plaque, it hardens into tartar. Tartar is the hard substance which dental hygienists scrape off when you have your teeth cleaned.
Tarter often builds up at the gumline where it irritates your gums and causes a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis. About three-quarters of us will get gingivitis at some point in our lifetime, but it’s reversible with a teeth cleaning and a better oral hygiene routine.
What Should I Know About Gingivitis?
If you notice the following symptoms, you may have gingivitis:
- Bright, shiny or red gums
- Puffy gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Bad breath
Gingivitis treatment is vital since the disease may progress into a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontist isn’t reversible, but it is treatable. Treating gingivitis at its start is the best way to prevent advanced gum disease.
What Happens When I Get a Cavity?
Cavities are a common, and usually preventable, problem. Also called dental caries, cavities occur when decay eats through tooth enamel and creates a hole in your tooth. If you don’t get the decay removed and the cavity filled, it will get bigger and bigger. Eventually, the cavity will reach the pulp inside the tooth, causing terrible pain. At this point, you’ll most likely need a root canal and then a crown. Cavities may not cause you any pain until significant damage occurs, which is why regular dental exams are so important.
Early warning signs of a cavity include:
- A visible hole or dark area on your tooth
- Sudden tooth pain
- Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Pain when chewing
Please call us if you suspect you have a cavity. Our dentist would prefer to treat it while it is small and only causing you minor discomfort.
What Is Good At-home Oral Hygiene?
At-home dental care will help keep your teeth healthy and looking good. At-home basics include:
Brushing: The American Dental Association recommends:
- Brushing with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle
- Brushing for at least two minutes
- Brushing twice a day
Flossing: Flossing will remove plaque your toothbrush can’t reach. You should floss at least once every day using traditional floss, a water pic or dental pics.
Mouthwash: An antibacterial mouthwash has ingredients which can kill the bacteria that causes plaque. Look for products in your local store with the American Dental Association seal or ask your dentist for a list of products you can purchase. You may want to avoid mouthwashes that only freshen your breath and don’t provide any therapeutic benefit.
A Healthy Diet: Foods bad for your teeth include sticky candies and soft drinks with sugar and alcohol, since they dry out your mouth. But, that is far from an extensive list, dentists recommend focusing on a healthy diet. Drinking lots of water and chewing sugarless gum is good for your dental health as it stimulates saliva, which helps keep plaque from sticking to your teeth.
Why Do I Need a Consistent Dental Home?
When you find a dentist who you feel comfortable with, you’re more likely to have an exam every six months. This gives your dentist a chance to look for minor problems before they become expensive, painful problems.
When you have a regular dentist, he or she will be more likely to notice any changes in your mouth which could signal a problem. You will also have an oral cancer screening during your exams, so your dentist can catch changes in your mouth which could be any early warning sign of oral cancer.
Are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?
If oral or oropharyngeal cancer is caught and treated early, the five-year survival rate is 84 percent. In its advanced stage, the five-year survival rate can be as low as 17 percent. Unfortunately. it is rarely detected until it has advanced, making routine dental exams more important than ever. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer is the United States; there are about 53,000 new cases diagnosed every year in the United States and 450,000 new cases worldwide, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer kills one person every hour, 24 hours every day.
Where Can I Find Good Dental Care?
We’re passionate about keeping our patient’s oral health intact so they maintain their beautiful smiles. If you commit to following dental care basics for taking care of your oral health, you should be able to maintain a schedule of twice yearly dental appointments just to ensure everything is in working order.
Contact our dental office if you need a dentist you can work with to keep your mouth healthy for life. We would be happy to schedule a convenient appointment for you.