Oral hygiene is a necessary part of your daily health regiment. Keeping your teeth clean helps keep your entire body healthy. Infections in the mouth can cause a variety of issues ranging from mild discomfort to extreme cases such as bone loss or blood infections. Taking care of your mouth will ensure healthy teeth and a healthier life.
Once an adult reaches the age of 35, past studies have shown that more adults from this age on will lose their teeth from periodontal disease, or gum disease, than from only cavity damage. Periodontal disease is so prevalent that it will affect over 75% of adults, at some point in their life. By employing and sticking to proper brushing and flossing, one can do their best to avoid cavities and periodontal damage.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, and the lesser destructive simple decay, are caused by bacterial plaque forming on the teeth and not being removed in a timely fashion. While plaque is colorless in its early stages, it can harden and become much harder to remove with a simple toothbrush. As this bacteria eats away at your teeth, it creates tiny recesses for food to get stuck. Accelerating the process and if not flushed properly, these food particles will rot and cause bad breath! Always brush your teeth and floss regularly, so you can keep your teeth looking and feeling great, and avoid creating a hotspot for bacteria to fester and create issues down the road.
In stores, you’ll often see harder brushes being sold next to the softer, and medium toothbrushes. As most dentists will recommend, our dentists recommend avoiding anything tougher than a medium toothbrush. Using anything rougher than this causes unnecessary pressure and damage to the gums which could cause them to receed and open yourself up to future dental problems. Always stick to a medium or even soft toothbrush to get the proper teeth cleaning at home every day. Brushing for longer than at least 2 minutes and making sure you reach every angle and side of your teeth is much more effective than quickly going over your teeth with a harder brush, pushing down with all your might. You’ll leave more food to create cavities, plaque, and bad breath. As mentioned before this unnecessary strain can damage your gums in the process.
The common cause of periodontal disease comes from food particles and bacteria that is caught in between your teeth, where a standard toothbrush can not reach. Using floss, you will be able to reach the surfaces hiding from your toothbrush. Take care to not cut your gums too badly and focus on putting the pressure against the teeth, rather than the gums.
If you have skipped a few days (or years) of flossing and are just now picking it up regularly, do not be surprised if you see some mild bleeding from your gums in the first few days or weeks. Removing this bacteria will allow the gums to rest and rebuild, and you should stop seeing blood before you know it.
Today, many have turned to the wonders of water flossing. While it is no replacement for a proper teeth cleaning at the dentist, a water flosser does a fantastic job of removing small bits of food from your teeth, especially if you are dealing with any damage or areas where food can get stuck easily. Rather than using a toothpick which can puncture and scrape your sensitive gums, the water flosser uses varying degrees of water pressure to release and clear tiny particles from your mouth. Using a water flosser for only a week or two will have you seeing wonderful results. Keep in mind that a water flosser will not replace regular brushing and flossing. Plaque does too good of a job of affixing itself to your teeth to be removed by water pressure alone. A water flosser can be a great tool in your dental health toolbox, but a complete regiment is the best way to maintain dental health.
If you have any questions about either of these techniques for you or your family, our dentists and staff would love to answer your questions. We will take the time to show you or your child the best way to floss or brush, for maximum efficiency. When you have a child, keeping them interested in something for more than a couple minutes can be a chore. Rather than forcing them to stay in the bathroom for longer, we will help them learn the correct way to brush, so they can have a clean, healthy mouth!
If you have ever had a dental treatment that causes temporary sensitivity in the teeth, you understand what an unexpected sip of a very hot or very cold beverage can do to the nerves in your mouth. While this sensitivity usually goes away pretty quickly, it can be hurried along by proper dental hygiene. If the mouth is clean, the gums and nerves have time to heal. When the mouth is not kept clean, the sensitivity can linger for extended periods of time, and in some cases even get worse. If you are having continuing teeth sensitivity after a dental procedure, we recommend giving us a call so we can have a look. We may provide you or offer up a toothpaste you can find on your own that is made especially for those with sensitive teeth.
What Products Should I Consider Using?
When trying to find the best way to tackle your and your family’s dental health, there are a few tools available in local stores and online that offer alternative methods for keeping your teeth clean. Many of these products can prove very useful in keeping your mouth and teeth healthy, but one should always consider these products an addition to their dental hygiene, never a replacement for the daily regiment of brushing and flossing.
- Fluoride Toothpastes and Mouthwashs – When used in tandem with a regular regiment, fluoride enhanced toothpastes and mouthwashs have been known to reduce the prevalence of tooth decay and plaque by as much as 40 percent. It should be mentioned that these products are not recommended for children the age of six or under.
- Tartar Control Toothpastes and Mouthwashs – Other specialized toothpastes and mouthwashs proclaim they are for ‘Tartar Control,’ but periodontal disease begins below the gumline. A mouthwash or toothpaste with ‘Tartar Control’ does nothing for early periodontal disease and only reduces tartar build-up on the teeth.
- Anti-Plaque Mouthwashs – These mouthwashes are approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) and are considered to offer assistance in keeping early periodontal disease in its early stages. While periodontal disease can never be beaten completely, it can be kept at a very manageable level.
- Electronic Toothbrushes – These are often great for the average user that doesn’t deal with overly sensitive gums. Sometimes the spin or vibration of the electronic toothbrush can irritate sensitive teeth or cause sensitive gums to bleed or hurt. Sometimes, people will rely too heavily on an electronic toothbrush and miss otherwise easily attainable parts of their mouth. Even when using an electronic toothbrush, keep using proper brushing techniques. This ensures you reach all parts of your mouth, and the electronic brushing factor will only help to make your mouth and teeth feel clean and wonderful!
- Oral Irrigators (Water Flossers) – As we have discussed above, using an oral irrigator is great for getting your mouth rinsed thoroughly. These devices are not strong enough to remove plaque. Plaque is very good at what it does. And what it does is affix itself to your teeth, and hold on as tight as it can. It’s very life depends on it. Using a water flosser can greatly improve the health of your gums by removing tiny particles that would otherwise get stuck in recessed gums and between teeth, but should always be accompanied by regular brushing and flossing.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
While regular brushing and flossing at home is a huge part of keeping your dental hygiene up, a professional teeth cleaning from a certified dental hygienist will ensure that any plaque missed from your toothbrush is removed before it can create a bigger issue. Visit our dental clinic in Spring Hill today and find out why so many Florida families trust us to keep their teeth happy and healthy!