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Dental Care Basics

What Are Dental Care Basics?

Basic dental care is the brushing and flossing you do at home, plus making regular dental appointments for routine exams and teeth cleanings. Practicing the basics can help you avoid problems and keep your teeth for a lifetime. Since the mouth is an incredibly important part of your body, keeping it in top condition can also help you maintain your overall health.

How Can I Prevent the Problems Associated with Plaque?

Plaque is a colorless or possibly yellow substance that sticks to your teeth when you don’t remove it often. Plaque is normally found to linger between your teeth and where your teeth meet your gums. Plaque contains bacteria that turn into an acid that can cause cavities. It can also cause gum disease if it hardens. Plaque also makes your teeth look yellow and dingy.

What Are the First Signs of Gingivitis?

The first stage of gum disease is an inflammation of the gums or gingivitis from tartar. It’s important to know the symptoms and take action. You may see your gums appear swollen, red and puffy. They may also bleed when you brush your teeth, which is not normal. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar (hardened plaque) buildup on your teeth.

Untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, a more advanced form of gum disease. Periodontal disease can ruin your smile as you may eventually lose your teeth, and it can damage your overall health as the infection can travel throughout your body. Please call us if you have periodontal disease; we can help you manage your oral health and prevent any further damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly 50 percent of Americans age 30 and over have periodontal disease.

What Do I Need to Know About Cavities?

A cavity is decay of the tooth’s enamel, allowing a small hole to reach one or both of the tooth’s inner layers. Acid from sugars dissolve the enamel unless you keep plaque off your teeth. It can easily build up in places you can’t reach with a toothbrush, so you have to be diligent about flossing and getting professional teeth cleanings too.

When the decay reaches the dentin, the tooth’s second layer, you may feel pain when chewing or sensitivity when drinking or eating hot or cold things. Please call us if this happens as you want to prevent the cavity from getting larger and reaching the pulp on the inside of the tooth. If this happens, you will feel strong pain and most likely need a root canal. If you still ignore the cavity, there is a good chance you can lose the tooth.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities and dental decay are common around the world, impacting a large percentage of the global population. Regular dental checkups can catch the cavities before they permanently damage the tooth. Call us today if you think you might have a cavity, we want to fix it before it becomes a painful problem.

What Are Good Dental Care Habits?

There are correct ways to brush and floss your teeth to make your morning and evening oral care routine effective.

Brushing: The American Dental Association recommends you use a soft bristle toothbrush which lets you reach all the areas of your mouth. You should:

  • Brush twice a day for two to three minutes
  • Change your brush at least every three months
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Use circular strokes for your front teeth
  • Brush the back surfaces and chewing surfaces too

Flossing: The American Dental Association recommends you floss once a day or more to reduce your chances of decay or gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist can show you how to floss effectively to remove plaque and food particles that you cannot reach with a toothbrush. If you have difficulty flossing, consider using dental tape or water-powered flossers.

Mouthwashes: There are many mouthwashes available to treat one or more issues. You can find antimicrobial mouthwashes to kill bacteria, fluoride ones to strengthen teeth enamel and mouthwashes that fight bad breath. Your dentist or dental hygienist can recommend one that helps you meet your specific dental health goals. Look for products with the American Dental Association seal on them; they have been proven to work. You can find name brand, store brand and even organic mouthwashes approved by the ADA.

Dental-Healthy Snacking: One of the best things you can do for your teeth is to avoid sugary snacks between meals or choose healthy snacks. Even if you brush after every meal, a hard candy or sugary soda for a snack will linger on your teeth and create acid which causes cavities. If you snack, rinse your mouth with water to clean it. Good snacks include popcorn, almonds, yogurt and other low-fat dairy products.

Why Do I Need a Family Dentist?

A family dentist explains the reasons you need to practice good oral hygiene and recommend products for you to use. He or she will also conduct a thorough examination and professional cleaning every six months. Your dentist will also suggest preventative treatments and be available to resolve any dental issues which arise. At our dental office, we provide a broad range of services for individuals and families. Please contact us if you need to schedule an appointment.

Another way in which your dentist can help you is to identify oral cancer. With 49,700 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year, early detection and prevention is key to combating this disease. Schedule regular exams with our dentist and you’ll have an oral cancer screening during the exam. It’s a painless, quick process where our dentist visually inspects your oral cavity and feels for lumps. Early detection can literally save your life. The five-year survival rate decrease when oral cancer isn’t discovered until it spreads.

Quality Dental Care Is the Basis for Healthy Teeth and Gums

At our friendly, welcoming dental office, we focus on customer service and patient education. Our team knows how important your dental health is to you. Call us to make an appointment or use the form on this site. We do our best to continually exceed our patient’s expectations.

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