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Dental Care Basics

Why Is Dental Care Important?

Dental care, including your at-home regimen and care at the dentist’s office is important to your overall health. Research suggests people who enjoy good dental health also have good overall health. Poor dental health increases your risk of certain diseases. Maintaining good oral health habits is also important for chewing food well, speaking clearly and your appearance.

Since your mouth serves as the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, it’s vital to keep your oral health properly maintained, at least according to the Mayo Clinic. To keep up with your oral health, take a look at the information below to become familiar with the dental care basics.

What Are Plaque’s Dangers?

Plaque might not seem so bad, but it can cause both cavities and gum disease. Plaque is the sticky substance on your teeth you remove with brushing and flossing. Plaque contains bacteria which produce acid that attacks tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Plaque can also harden into tartar when if it sits on your teeth too long. If this happens, the tartar can irritate your gums if it collects at the top of the tooth’s crown. This is called gingivitis. You cannot remove tartar yourself; only a dental hygienist can in the course of a professional cleaning. He or she will use special instruments to scrape off the tartar.

What Should I Look Out for with Gingivitis?

If you have gingivitis, you may notice your gums look red and swollen. They may also bleed when you brush your teeth or floss. You can cure gingivitis by visiting your dentist for a dental cleaning to remove the tartar and by learning how to adjust your oral hygiene so the plaque does not stay on your teeth long. Contact us by phoning us or making an appointment online for gingivitis treatment.

Gingivitis can easily progress to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontal disease. In fact, over 75 percent of Americans suffer from gingivitis, making it a common problem, but easy to solve if found early. Periodontal disease is the main reason adults in the U.S. lose teeth. The disease destroys the ligaments, bone and other tissues that hold teeth firmly in your mouth.

Is it Possible to Avoid Tooth Decay?

Most adults have at least one treated or untreated cavity in their mouth. Plaque is to blame; it builds up on teeth and produces acids that eat through tooth enamel and cause holes or cavities. You may notice a sudden pain or sensitivity in the a tooth; a cavity is usually the reason. Getting the cavity filled by a dentist is vital. They only get bigger and more painful over time. Regular exams can help your dentist catch small cavities before they cause you pain.

Some people never get cavities, but others face challenges which put them at a higher risk. Our dentist can help you protect your teeth by suggesting a fluoride treatment or fluoride mouth rinse for you to use at home. He or she will also recommend good oral hygiene habits and products that will help you avoid tooth decay.

Contact our office if you’re interested in preventing cavities or if you have one which needs a filling. We also offer preventative treatments, such as sealants, if you are prone to cavities.

What Are the At-home Dental Care Essentials I Should Be Practicing?

Brushing: Brush your teeth using a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. It should take you at least two minutes to clean the front, back and chewing surfaces of each tooth. We recommend you hold the brush at a 45-degree angle at use short strokes to clean each tooth individually. Your dentist can suggest toothbrushes and pastes with the ADA Seal, which have been proven effective.

Flossing: You should floss at least one time a day before you brush your teeth. If you floss after brushing, the plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth will remain in your mouth. So, you should at least rinse thoroughly.

Mouthwashes: Mouthwashes will make your breath smell fresh, but some types do more. There are fluoride rinses that can strengthen your tooth enamel. There are also therapeutic mouthwashes that can fight gingivitis. Your dentist can help you find a prescription or non-prescription product to meet your particular needs.

Avoiding Foods that Cause Plaque: If you want to reduce plaque, avoid:
Sugary candies, especially caramels, and hard candies. It’s hard for saliva to wash away the sugars that stick to your teeth easily
Beverages with sugar, such as sodas and fruit juices
Refined carbohydrates, including chips and anything made from white flour

These foods feed plaque, allowing it to produce acids which cause tooth decay.

Why Is Having a Regular Dentist Important?

You can enjoy healthier teeth and gums when you have a regular dentist. You’ll have regular exams, professional teeth cleanings and oral cancer screenings, which can help keep you healthy. Your dentist can also advise you on minimizing your chance for developing various dental diseases by looking at your risk factors. A regular dentist will show you how to take care of your teeth at home efficiently as well.

If you’re looking for a new dentist or specialist, look for someone that is board-certified and has experience with your particular needs. Any experienced and qualified dentist will be delighted to show you their credentials and discuss your treatment needs with you to help you feel comfortable with the care you will receive.

Why Do Dentists Screen for Oral Cancer?

Our dentists screen for oral cancer during routine exams. Your dentist’s goal is to look for any evidence of possible mouth cancer in its earliest stage, when a cure is more likely. The screening is simple, painless and takes less than five minutes. Your dentist will look for anything unusual and feel for lumps.

If you have risk factors that make it more likely you could develop oral cancer, your dentist may recommend special tests with dyes or lights, neither are painful or invasive.

Where Can I Find a General Dentist Near Me?

We are a trusted team of dental professionals who are here to provide affordable, compassionate dental care. At our office, we offer a broad range of services besides regular exams and teeth cleanings. Use the form online or call us to schedule a convenient appointment. New patients are always welcome and made to feel like family.

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