Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, no matter your age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist, you can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come. Here are a few simple ways that you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
- Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
If your gums are tender or swollen, or if they bleed when you brush your teeth, then you may be suffering from gum disease or have an infection. Regularly scheduled hygiene therapy will reduce the opportunity for tooth decay and gum disease to take hold as well as leaving you with a cleaner, fresher feeling mouth.
To keep your teeth and gums feeling healthy, we recommend that you visit at least every six months. During your appointment our hygiene therapist will assess your soft tissues and compare the results with your last visit. The therapist will then remove plaque, tartar, and food particles from your teeth.
Grinding your teeth? A night guard will help to protect your teeth and restorative work while you sleep, reducing wear on the teeth from grinding and biting forces. A night or bite guard distributes pressure across the teeth and helps to prevent periodontal disease and a receding gum-line. Night guards are customized specifically to match your bite.
Participate in a sport? A mouth guard should be part of your sports gear! A suit, helmet, pads, footwear, and gloves are all essential to peek performance and protection. Equally important is protection for the mouth and teeth. A custom mouth guard can help to protect the teeth, mouth, and jaw from injury and protect your life-time investment.
Fluoride and Sealants
Preventative resins and fluoride supplements might be recommended during one of your regularly scheduled checkups. These can be particularly important for youngsters as when applied early, they can help to prevent tooth decay and costly dental restoration.
Dental sealants and preventative resins are coatings that are applied to the molars in the back of the mouth. They act as a barrier against the food particles that are the primary causes of tooth decay, sugars and starches. For youngsters, sealing hard-to-clean back teeth can reduce the risk of cavities early on and help to maintain a healthy mouth. These substances do wear off over time, so they may need reapplication after a number of years.
Fluoride is a mineral found in nature that has the property of attracting other minerals. This attraction of other minerals strengthens our natural tooth enamel, and strong enamel is essential in fending off the bacteria which cause tooth decay. Children, teens, and adults of all ages can benefit from fluoride rinses, fortified toothpastes, and applied coatings.