Preventive Dental Care and Patient Education
The best way to treat cavities and infections is to not have them at all. Good preventive dental care is undoubtedly the best way to keep your breath fresh, maintain a beautiful smile, and take the time and stress out of your dental visits.
That's why we make patient education such a big focus in routine checkups and regular visits – especially for kids, who set brushing and flossing habits that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Why Good Dental Hygiene is so Important
Taking care of your teeth isn't just about having a healthy mouth… it’s about a healthy body. Medical researchers have shown that the presence of bacteria and tooth decay can lead to more serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, screening for oral cancer regularly is crucial to catching the disease in its very early stages.
Visiting a dentist regularly is an important part of protecting yourself against these problems, but so is knowing how to care for your teeth in your own home. When you and your family know how to brush and floss properly – along with what to do when you experience sensitivity and other symptoms – the chances of you having problems with your oral health diminish significantly.
How to Care for Your Teeth at Home
We'll do everything we can to make sure your smile stays healthy, beautiful, and bright when you're in our office. The rest of the time, follow these simple tips:
- Eat healthy foods and minimize your intake of sweets and sugary drinks.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using toothpaste with fluoride.
- Replace your old toothbrush every few months, or more often if it shows signs of wear.
- Electric toothbrushes can be a great investment to help you keep a clean mouth.
- Use short side-to-side and circular motions to brush your teeth, being sure to hit all parts of your teeth and mouth.
- Bacteria can reach places your toothbrush can’t, so floss at least once a day.
- At the first sign of pain, discomfort, or tooth decay, be sure to visit our office!
Watch Out for Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a major cause of tooth loss in decay and adults. Caused by bacteria found in dental plaque, it infects teeth and gums, wearing them down and increasing the risk of more serious conditions like a heart attack or stroke.
Often, gum disease begins with gingivitis, which affects almost one out of every two American adults. Untreated, it can spread within the mouth and lead to advanced gum disease. At that point, teeth become loose and need to be removed.
Good dental care is the most effective line of defense against periodontal disease, and antibacterial mouthwash products can help, as well. To further diminish your risk of gum disease, avoid smoking and see us for help if you regularly grind your teeth (either during the day or at night while you sleep).
Periodontal disease can be serious, but it's also treatable. So, if you have questions about this condition, get in touch with our office today.