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Posted on: October 14, 2020
Dental Care Basics
Unless you especially like false teeth, adopting a regimen of good oral hygiene can prevent you from needing them. Your mouth is an integral part of almost everything you do, whether it’s eating, drinking, talking on the phone, having fun with friends, ordering at the drive-through, or just about anything else. It’s the gateway to the rest of your body, and good dental hygiene can keep both your mouth and your body healthy throughout your life.
Although your optimal oral hygiene routine may vary somewhat due to your dentist’s recommendations, daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleanings and checkups will keep your teeth and gums at their best. You’ll also be far less likely to need false teeth as you get older.
Does Plaque Really Adversely Affect My Teeth and Gums?
After you eat, a sticky film called plaque forms on your teeth. Since it’s laden with bacteria, it immediately starts to attack your tooth enamel and cause decay. When it’s not removed through brushing and flossing, it settles between the teeth and in any available spaces in the gums and starts to irritate the gums. When plaque isn’t removed, then it becomes tartar, also called calculus, and it causes inflammation in your gums. This provides the perfect setting for gingivitis to start.
Does Gingivitis Really Adversely Affect My Teeth and Gums?
Gingivitis can be extremely harmful to your teeth and gums. If it’s removed in its early stage, then any damage can be reversed, and you’ll likely suffer no permanent damage. However, when gingivitis isn’t treated, it can become periodontal or gum disease. Periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease which can cause you to lose some of your jawbone, your facial structure, or all of your teeth. If you think you have gingivitis, then call our Rockefeller Plaza office today for an appointment.
About 75 percent of all Americans have gingivitis at some point in their lives, and it’s the primary cause of bleeding gums in the adult population. If you notice any of the following, you may have the early stages of gingivitis:
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
- Changes in your bite
- Increased tooth sensitivity to temperature
- Loosened teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Swollen, discolored gums
To prevent gingivitis from forming, be sure to brush and floss daily, preferably after each meal and snack. Regular, annual, or bi-annual dental cleanings will also deter the formation of gingivitis.
Do Cavities Really Harm My Dental Health?
Cavities are the result of poor oral hygiene. If you maintain a regimen of good oral hygiene, then you should dramatically reduce the likelihood of cavities forming.
However, if you notice the following, you may be developing one or more cavities and should immediately consult with your dentist:
- Pain when you chew or bite down
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold or sweet foods or beverages
- Small holes or pits in your teeth
- Sudden toothache
If you suspect that you have a cavity, don’t ignore it. When it’s treated early, a cavity can be restored with a filling. If it gets larger, then you may need a root canal and a cap. If it becomes abscessed, then you’ll have a life-threatening situation, and you’ll not be able to save the tooth. If you think you have a cavity, then call us today for an appointment.
Do Good At-home Hygiene Practices Really Matter?
Using good oral hygiene practices throughout your life can provide better oral health as well as better physical health. Don’t ignore your teeth just because they can be replaced with artificial ones. Good dental hygiene should begin as soon as a child can feed themselves and hold a toothbrush afterward. This trains them in the concept of brushing after eating. The American Dental Association recommends the following oral hygiene regimens:
- Brush twice each day and floss before bedtime at a minimum
- Brush at least two minutes each time
- Use a soft-bristled brush and gentle pressure
- Change your toothbrush immediately after having an oral infection
- Replace your toothbrush if the bristles become worn or every three months, whichever comes first
Proper flossing will remove any food debris that your toothbrush missed. Additionally, it will help prevent dental caries and tartar buildup.
Use an antibacterial mouthwash that carries the American Dental Association seal of approval. You should use your mouthwash at least once daily and rinse your mouth with it for a minimum of 30 seconds. This will remove any residual bacteria from your tongue, as well as your teeth and gums.
Eat Healthy Food
The American Dental Association recommends that you avoid fast food and foods that are high in empty calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. The ADA recommends that you select fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products, nuts, and lean protein instead. Drink several glasses of plain water each day and don’t add flavoring or sweetener to your water.
What Are the Reasons to Choose a Regular, Family Dentist?
When your dentist is familiar with your dental and medical history, they’re more likely to spot irregularities that can be a cyst or a tumor, loss of jawbone, bruxism and indications of oral cancer. Your dentist can also recommend the best oral hygiene regimen for your unique needs.
What Are the Reasons for Maintaining Consistent, Regular Dental Care?
When you have consistent, regular dental cleanings and checkups, you’re more likely to be proactive about detecting potential problems. The incidence of oral cancer is rising, and it’s now responsible for 3 percent of all new cancer diagnoses. Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer, and both men and women who smoke or drink are at a higher risk. Most dental offices now screen for oral cancer, so call us if you need to schedule a screening.
Losing your oral health isn’t an inevitable part of aging. With lifelong good dental habits, your mouth can remain healthy well into your dotage. Call our Rockefeller Plaza office at (646) 863-8184 to schedule an appointment for any dental procedures that you need. We’ll provide you with the high-quality, affordable dental care that has made us so popular in the area, so call us today.
We look forward to speaking with you and working with you.