Dental Care is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of diseases such as cavities (dental caries, tooth decay) and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Proper care of your teeth and gums minimises the risk of diseases and can keep them healthy throughout your life. Below are some steps to follow to achieve this goal.
- Tooth Brushing
Consistent tooth brushing is the principal method of avoiding many oral diseases and can be practised by an individual to reduce the buildup of plaque. Many oral health care professionals agree that tooth brushing, using manual, electric, or interdental brushes, should be done for a minimum of two minutes, and be practised at least twice a day. You can also use a tongue cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean the tongue.
About 40% of tooth surfaces are interdental and are only accessible by using dental floss. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between the teeth and below the gums.
There are different types of floss available (waxed, Unwaxed, floss threaders), that can make flossing easier especially when cleaning between orthodontic appliances and dental implants or as a preference over regular floss.
- Increase Your Intake Of Calcium and Fiber
Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums, to prevent scurvy. Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks can help prevent tooth decay, periodontal disease, and promote healthy teeth and gums.
Raw vegetables, plain yoghurt, milk, cheese, or fruits are seen as dentally beneficial because they are rich in calcium and phosphate and may also encourage remineralisation. High- fibre foods aids in increasing the flow of saliva to dilute carbohydrates like sugar and neutralise the acid.
- Limiting Sugar Consumption
There exists a common link between processed sugars and dental cavities. The higher the consumption of sugar, the longer the time during which the tooth becomes exposed to low PH levels. Demineralization occurs at this point. It is imperative to minimise the ingestion of sugary food and drinks, for the teeth to remineralise and repair through fluoride.
- Avoid Chewing Hard Foods And Substances
In as much as chewing gum promotes oral irrigation between the teeth, teeth in poor condition become damaged or loose fillings may fallout. Chewing on solid objects such as ice and edible rocks can have terrible consequences for your teeth. The tooth may chip, and this can lead to more tooth fractures later on. Also, do not be tempted to use toothpicks or any other objects that could hurt your gums and allow in bacteria.
- Avoid Teeth Staining
Ingesting dark coloured beverages such as red wine or coffee may stain the teeth leading to a discoloured smile. Consuming high-concentration of alcohol can lead to a dry mouth, with little saliva to keep the teeth from plaque and bacteria. You should also avoid using any form of tobacco products, which can cause teeth yellowing, periodontal disease, and oral cancer.
- Fluoride Use
Fluoride is a principal protector against dental caries. The teeth surface becomes resistant to acids during the process of remineralisation. Drinking fluoridated water is recommended by some dental experts in addition to using fluoride toothpaste. During your appointment at Vita Dental Spring, the dentist can recommend using mouthwash that contains fluoride or one with ingredients that fight plaque. Always look for toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Dental Visits
Schedule regular trips to the dentist to be examined and have your teeth cleaned. Dental check-ups should be at least twice a year. Meanwhile, contact your family dentist at Vita Dental Spring if you notice any symptoms that could suggest oral health problems, such as:
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
- Loose permanent teeth
- Poor teeth alignment
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
- Bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
- Use Mouth Rinses
- Swishing with mouth rinse is more effective in controlling plaque levels and ensuring fresh breath.
- Some examples of mouth rinses include:
- Saline, which is recommended after procedures like dental extractions to prevent dry socket.
- Commercial mouthwash (available in supermarkets and local drugstores) that contains eucalyptol and menthol.
- Chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic mouth rinse that’s used only for a short while due to brown staining on the teeth and tongue.
- Orthodontic Appliances
Dentures, retainers, metal and Invisalign braces must be kept extremely clean. These appliances should be cleaned twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and mild toothpaste. You could also use a colourless unscented dishwashing liquid, or any dentist recommended commercial cleaning agents.
Apart from metal braces, dentures and Invisalign braces should be taken out at night, stored in a dry place, to reduce the risk of multiplying bacteria. Leaving them in when sleeping, reduces the protective cleansing and antibacterial properties of saliva.
Understanding the dental care basics and practicing them diligently, will ensure overall oral health. Visit us at Vita Family Dental Houston today and learn more about oral hygiene.