The Basics of Good Dental Care

If you have a family member with a poor dental health history, or if you are a new dental patient, there are several basics you should know about taking good care of your teeth. These tips can help prevent problems from occurring in the future or can even help you fix existing issues.

Brushing Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth twice daily is a great way to maintain oral health. When you do, you reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

The main reason to brush your teeth twice a day is to eliminate bacteria. Bacteria are the culprits behind halitosis and tooth decay. By removing them, you can prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, both of which are known to contribute to dental problems.

It is also essential to brush your tongue. This remote part of your teeth contains a plethora of bacteria. The bacteria can cause various problems, including bad breath, if left untreated.

Aside from your oral hygiene routine, it is also a good idea to have your teeth cleaned by your dentist once a year. Your dentist at Canyon View Dentistry may recommend using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth.

Some studies have shown that poor oral health is a symptom of diabetes, heart disease, and preterm labor. Other conditions that can have a negative impact on your oral health include HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s.

Avoiding Sugars and Starches

Avoiding sugars and starches is essential to maintaining good dental health. They can be very harmful to teeth and gums. In addition to tooth decay, they can lead to other problems, including bleeding gums and abnormal jaw bone development.

Carbohydrates and sugars are the main culprits for tooth decay. They are bad for the teeth because they promote plaque and bacteria. When sugars are eaten over a long period, they will accelerate the decay process. Choosing nutrient-rich, low-starch foods will help you prevent cavities.

The best beverage choices are water, unsweetened tea, and fluoridated water. Beverages that contain added sugars, such as lemonade and sports drinks, increase your risk for tooth decay.

It’s important to remember that starch is a food for bacteria. Using floss to remove the particles between your teeth is a great way to minimize the number of starches you eat. Also, rinse your mouth after each meal with clear, still water.

Routine Dental Exams

Routine dental exams are the best way to detect tooth decay and other oral health problems before they become chronic. They also help to educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

A typical dental exam involves checking the patient’s face, mouth, neck, tongue, teeth and gums. The dentist uses an instrument called the explorer to search for cavities. He will also check for signs of gum disease, oral cancer and other severe medical conditions.

If the dentist finds a problem with a patient’s oral health, he will recommend several steps to remedy the issue. Depending on the condition, he may suggest more frequent visits to the office.

Dental exams may involve the use of dental x-rays. X-rays provide an image of the teeth and can be used to detect cavities or bone loss.

An x-ray also allows the dentist to look for problems such as periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontitis can cause infection and eventually lead to tooth loss.

Fluoride Treatment for Dry Mouth

Fluoride treatment for dry mouth is an integral part of good dental care. It can help prevent cavities, fight gum disease, and strengthen enamel.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. It is added to toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other products.

Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth by promoting remineralization. Every day, minerals are lost from the tooth enamel layer. The water redeposits these minerals. However, when too much remineralization occurs, it weakens the enamel.

Tooth decay occurs when acid-producing bacteria on the surface of the teeth produce an acidic solution that wears away the enamel. The result is a hole called a cavity.

Several common medicines and treatments can contribute to dry mouth. For instance, smoking, cancer treatments, and braces may cause reduced saliva flow. Tobacco use increases the risk of gum disease, which can lead to decay.

If you suffer from dry mouth, your doctor may prescribe fluoride supplements or mouth rinse. These are liquid or tablet forms for younger children and drops for older children.

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