What does the phrase "oral health" mean to you? No new cavities at your dental checkup? That's certainly part of it. But it's really so much more than a lack of tooth decay. Good oral health means a mouth that's free of disease - which can range all the way from mild gingivitis (gum inflammation) to oral cancer; a bite that functions well enough for you to eat without pain and get ample nutrition; and a smile that lets you express your happiest emotions with confidence. Simply put, oral health is a crucial component of your overall health and well-being.
It's important to realize that small - and readily treatable - problems in your mouth can become more complicated, painful and expensive if neglected for too long. Some of these oral health conditions may even have ramifications throughout the whole body. Gingivitis, for example, can sometimes progress to periodontitis - a more serious form of gum disease that can loosen teeth and cause them to fall out. Missing teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw and inadequate nutrition. And numerous studies have shown that people with severe gum disease may be at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The moral of this story: Routine maintenance can pay off big.
Good oral care is part of a healthy lifestyle. It's easy to keep your teeth and gums in good health. A simple routine of daily teeth cleaning, good eating habits and regular dental visits can help prevent tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease.
What are some tips for brushing teeth properly?
Brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride (FLOOR-ide) is a mineral that helps make tooth enamel stronger. It's a good idea to talk with your dentist or hygienist about the best way to brush your teeth.. Here are a few tips to help you start a good routine:
Why do I need to clean between my teeth?
Even if you brush twice a day, there are places your toothbrush bristles can't reach. There are several ways to clean between your teeth and flossing is the most common. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gum line. Your dentist or hygienist can show you the right way to floss. It may feel clumsy at first, but don't give up! It takes time to get the hang of it. The following suggestions may help:
If you haven't been flossing, you may experience sore or bleeding gums for the first five or so days that you floss. This should stop once the plaque is broken up and the bacteria...
How Dentistry Can Help
If you only see a dentist when problems arise, you may be missing out on some important benefits! As doctors who specialize in oral health, dentists offer a wide range of preventive services. At your regular exams, for example, you will be checked for any signs of oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections; hard-to-reach deposits from your teeth will be cleaned; and you can get answers to any questions you have on topics ranging from oral hygiene issues to the connection between oral health and systemic diseases.
So please don't wait for a serious problem to come up before you make an appointment at Aleris Salem Dental Center. Having regular checkups could save you lots of time, aggravation, and cost in the long run. It could even save your teeth! Working together, we can take proactive steps toward a healthy future.