Prevent Cavities, Gum Disease and More
The benefits of oral health extend far beyond having a beautiful smile. Healthy teeth and gums are important for self-image, confidence and quality of life. In order to enjoy optimal oral health, you must make certain choices about your hygiene and lifestyle habits. For example, you must commit to brushing and flossing daily, avoiding sugar and eating teeth-friendly foods. Also, you must see a dentist regularly for general and preventive dental services.
Dentistry of Sugar Hill wants to help you attain and maintain great oral health. We are happy to give you tips for your at-home dental hygiene, and hope to see you every six months for check-ups and cleanings.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene habits are critical to protecting the teeth and gums from their biggest threat: plaque. Plaque is a soft and colorless film that coats the teeth. The bacteria in plaque feeds on sugars and starches from the foods you eat and can produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Plaque also irritates the gums, causing them to bleed and become red and sensitive. Removing plaque as quickly and thoroughly as possible is important because when left on the teeth, plaque hardens into tartar, which is more difficult to remove. Plaque and tartar can lead to gum disease, which eventually destroys the bone around the teeth and causes tooth loss.
Brushing and Flossing
Two of the best ways to remove plaque are brushing and flossing. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two to three minutes. Use toothbrushes labeled with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and switch brushes every three to four months. Floss once a day for two to three minutes; make sure to get in between the teeth and along the gum line.
Reducing Sugar Consumption
Another way to protect your teeth from plaque and dental disease is to limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages. Eat well-balanced meals and avoid snacking in between meals. Stay away from carbonated beverages and drink sugary beverages through a straw so they don’t come in direct contact with your teeth for a long time. Look for naturally sweet foods, like apples and other fruits, to quell sugar cravings. If you do eat an occasional sugary snack, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out immediately afterward.
Professional Dental Cleanings
No matter how diligent you are about at-home oral hygiene, there are certain areas that a toothbrush and floss miss. During a professional dental cleaning, the dental hygienist uses special instruments and techniques to clean the tiny nooks and crannies between the teeth and along the gum line that can harbor bacteria and plaque. It is essential to schedule cleanings every six months and possibly more, depending on your specific circumstances.
In addition to cleaning the teeth and gums, cleanings can:
- freshen breath
- remove deep-set tooth stains and discoloration from coffee, tea, wine or tobacco
- allow the dental team an opportunity to spot and stop dental problems in their earliest stages before they cause pain and discomfort
- prevent the need for expensive, time-consuming treatment in the future
Learn More about Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Clean
To learn more about oral hygiene or schedule a dental cleaning appointment, please call or email Dentistry of Sugar Hill today.