Dental care is one of the most essential elements in overall healthcare. Not only does it affect your smile, but also contributes to overall wellbeing and self-worth.
Dentists help patients maintain oral health by diagnosing, treating and monitoring any oral conditions. Additionally, dentists perform surgery to repair, restore and preserve teeth, gums and surrounding tissue that have been damaged due to disease or accident.
Toothbrushing is the most fundamental of oral hygiene measures and should be done regularly. It removes plaque and food particles from teeth to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, while also helping keep your breath fresher and preventing other mouth infections.
Brushing twice daily is recommended for optimal oral health, and is the key to avoiding caries and periodontal disease – two serious oral issues that cause pain and damage to teeth and bone. Brushing is the key to good oral hygiene!
A toothbrush is the most essential tool for brushing teeth. It should be small and have soft bristles that can easily reach into crevices between teeth and gums to remove plaque buildup.
Your dentist will determine the appropriate brush for you based on your age and dental health. They’ll also offer tips on brushing properly and for how long.
For optimal dental care, use a soft toothbrush with rounded, nylon bristles that are easy to hold and grasp. Toothbrushes with hard bristles may be too harsh for sensitive teeth and gums, or they could scratch the surface of your pearly whites.
Many children find brushing their teeth challenging and will often refuse to do it, despite its importance for oral health. You can help your child learn how to brush by talking about what they’re doing, showing them videos or reading books about tooth brushing.
Toothbrushing should be an enjoyable and relaxing experience for your children, so make the time worthwhile. Sing a song, play an app or watch a movie – whatever works to help them remember how to brush their teeth properly and have some fun while doing so!
It is alarming how inconsistent recommendations on toothbrushing techniques, frequency and duration exist. Dental professionals and regulatory bodies should take action to address this issue. Especially worrying is how little consensus exists among methods endorsed by dental professionals, toothpaste and toothbrush manufacturers or by international dental associations around the world.
Flossing is an essential step in preventing gum disease and tooth decay. It removes plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that collects on teeth and around the gum line. Plaque can lead to cavities, gum disease, even serious health issues like heart attack or stroke.
Contrary to what many dental experts recommend, not everyone follows this practice. A study revealed that up to 25 percent of Americans have never flossed their teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) stresses the importance of flossing as an essential part of your oral care routine to promote a healthy smile and prevent tooth decay. Additionally, flossing helps remove food that may get stuck between your teeth after eating meals that are high in sugar or dried fruits, particularly after meals that contain high amounts of these sugars.
Brushing can remove surface dirt and bacteria, but only flossing can reach deeper down into your gum line. Doing so helps reduce the risk of gingivitis – the early stage of gum disease – spreading below your gum line and destroying bone and other supportive tissue for teeth.
Frequent flossing can also help keep your breath fresh, as food that gets trapped between teeth can rot and produce unpleasant-smelling bacteria. While using mouthwash on a regular basis can also help, daily flossing will ensure that your mouth remains free from germs.
Another advantage of flossing is that it helps to reduce halitosis, or chronic bad breath. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth deteriorate food particles and leave behind an unpleasant odour.
Flossing can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as it increases protection against gingivitis and other oral health conditions that contribute to poor blood circulation. Furthermore, flossing may lower your risk for diabetes and respiratory illness by decreasing harmful bacteria in your bloodstream.
The advantages of flossing are so great that the American Dental Association (ADA) strongly suggests everyone use it regularly, regardless of age or dental concerns. Some may struggle with flossing or find it uncomfortable, but there are several methods available for purchase – some with waxed tips to make sliding between teeth easier; other threaders can be used with braces and retainers too!
Limiting Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugary foods and drinks, such as fruit juices, sweetened soft drinks and cakes can cause dental damage. When these sugars interact with bacteria in your mouth to form acid that dissolves enamel and dentine – leading to cavities or tooth decay – can damage teeth.
A healthy diet should decrease free sugars and emphasize natural sources like fruit and vegetables. Eating these at mealtime will reduce your risk for dental caries.
However, if you can’t avoid these foods and drinks entirely, it is essential to limit how much is consumed. According to the American Heart Association, limit added sugars in your diet to no more than 25 grams for women and 36 grams per day for men.
Make healthier food choices by reading ingredient labels and checking the “sugar” column on nutrition labels. Be wary of words like cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate/purees, molasses and agave syrup as well as honey, brown sugar glucose fructose maltose dextrose crystalline sucrose.
It’s also essential to limit your consumption of sweetened sodas and energy drinks, which can contain up to 70 grams of added sugar in one 20-ounce serving and are a major source of excess sugar in the American diet.
To prevent tooth decay and other health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, the best way to stay hydrated is by drinking plenty of water and seltzer throughout the day. Staying hydrated not only helps protect against tooth decay but it can also help combat other serious health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
If you want a beverage with added sugars, opt for low-fat milk or water instead. These options provide more beneficial nutrients than sugary beverages like calcium, protein and vitamins.
Fluoride levels should be sufficient to prevent tooth decay and loss in your family. If you’re worried about how well your family’s exposure to fluoride is being managed, make an appointment with your dentist for a check-up and recommendations on how to improve it.
Visiting the Dentist
As you may already know, regular dental visits are essential to keep your teeth healthy. According to the American Dental Association, adults should receive an examination and cleaning every six months. Additionally, visiting the dentist is particularly important if you have gum disease or are at risk for developing oral cancer.
An average appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist lasts around 30 minutes. During this time, they will inspect all areas of your mouth: gums, inside of mouth, roof/floor of mouth and sides of tongue. Furthermore, X-rays may be taken to assess tooth health as well as check other oral structures like wisdom teeth.
Your dentist or hygienist will also clean and polish your teeth to remove any plaque, tartar or stains that have built up on their surfaces. They may also provide advice about how best to brush and floss your teeth for maximum benefit.
The dentist will then take a few X-rays of your teeth and jaw. These images allow them to identify any problems that might be amiss.
At this stage of your appointment, your dentist will discuss with you what they’ve noticed during their examination and provide tips for preventative dental health. They may suggest making changes to your oral care routine or suggesting dietary modifications that can help promote better dental health overall.
Many people are anxious about visiting the dentist, especially if they have never been before or it has been some time since their last appointment. Fortunately, most dentists are highly experienced at dealing with anxious patients and will do everything possible to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
Even if you’re not afraid of the dentist, it’s still essential to be honest with your dental professional about any worries or issues. Doing this will guarantee that you receive top-notch dental care and make your next appointment as comfortable as possible.