Caring For Your Smile

Preventative Dentistry – Practicing healthy habits is essential in promoting oral health. Brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups all help to save time and money by preventing extensive treatment.

Plaque – Plaque is a layer of bacteria that forms on teeth fed from eating foods high in sugar or starch. Eventually this plaque feeds cavities which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease if left untreated. The best way to keep plaque from causing further issues is to brush and floss teeth twice daily, eating a balanced, nutritious diet, and scheduling regular check-ups.

Gum Disease – The two stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Typical signs of gingivitis are red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding. Fortunately, at this stage, brushing and flossing can often eliminate further development. In the more advanced stages, periodontitis may result which can lead to teeth becoming loose, falling out, or extraction.

Factors that may increase risks for periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking/chewing
  • Diabetes
  • Some medications – steroids, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives, etc
  • Bridges that do not fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Defective fillings
  • Pregnancy

Often there is no pain associated with periodontal disease indicating a problem; that is why healthy habits are so important in maintaining a healthy smile.

Brushing your teeth – Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is essential to maintaining healthy teeth as a worn toothbrush will not clean as effectively. Choosing a method of flossing that you will maintain is also important. Some prefer floss, but there are numerous other products available if using floss becomes difficult.

Choosing the right products – When choosing toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, or any other oral hygiene products, looking for the American Dental Association Seal is a good first step. This seal ensures that the product has been tested and approved for safety and effectiveness. Your dentist should also be able to provide helpful advice in assisting your selection.