Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, regardless of 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 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.
Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods, such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit, can help keep your smile healthy.
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
Ask your dentist about dental sealants: protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards that are designed to protect your smile.
If it's been six months since your last dental checkup, then it's time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!
Brushing : Step 1
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
Brushing : Step 2
Brush gently in a circular motion.
Brushing : Step 3
Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Brushing : Step 4
Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
Flossing : Step 1
Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and as the floss is used, the other finger takes it up.
Flossing : Step 2
Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
Flossing : Step 3
Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
Flossing : Step 4
Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth's surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay. Sealants are typically applied to children's teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be resealed.
Going to the dentist may be stressful for some patients. If you're nervous about your dental visit, let us know! We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your dental treatment. That's why we offer our patients the option of sedation dentistry.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably to patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits of sedation dentistry, including:
- Less fear or anxiety during treatment
- More comfort during dental procedures
- A more relaxing dental experience
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it's a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.
There are two types of sedation :
- Oral Sedation - used for patients with mild anxiety or who have longer procedures or more complex situations. Usually administered orally, with mild sedation, it allows you to remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure. You are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
- Inhaled Sedation - Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Administered through a small mask that fits over your nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety and raise your pain threshold. It may even make time seem as if it's passing more quickly than usual. At the end of your appointment, you'll resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
Understanding the range of choices that are available to relieve anxiety and discomfort can be very useful.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method is right for you.