Springtime is here! The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and Texans everywhere are enjoying the brief period of good weather before the heat cooks us in the summer. Now is a time when people start spring cleaning their home, but we hope you don’t forget about your smile! In today’s blog, your Dallas and Richardson, TX, dentist talks about ways to spring clean your smile and offer better oral health in just five steps.
Brushing and Flossing at Home
When we take the time to care for our smiles from home, this can provide better oral health and reduce the risk of not only cavities and periodontal disease, but teeth stains and bad breath too! People of all ages need to brush and floss. For babies, you can clean their teeth twice a day with a cloth or bit of gauze. For toddlers, you can assist them in brushing and using a floss pick. Kids three and younger should use a fluoride toothpaste in a rice-sized amount, and everyone over the age of three should use a pea-sized amount.
Be sure everyone is brushing twice a day, in the morning and again at night, for about two minutes each time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles when possible, to prevent inadvertent enamel damage or gum recession if the teeth are cleaned too rough. Flossing should happen every evening and involve running the tape up and down each side of every tooth, and beneath the gum in a “c” motion, removing what a toothbrush alone cannot. These actions may seem simple, but when done correctly they’re key to a bright and healthy smile, for babies and toddlers as well as teens and adults.
Choosing Smile Healthy Meals
What we eat is a major factor in our oral health as well. Foods with a lot of sugar and starch, and drinks with a lot of sugars and acids, can promote plaque buildup. Bacteria will consume the particles of sugar and starch left behind, and create plaque buildup. The buildup then weakens and erodes outer enamel and inflames the gum tissues, creating cavities and periodontal troubles that could use discomfort and even lead to tooth loss unless addressed! People of all ages should drink plenty of water, as this helps cleanse the mouth, and also eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. A good diet means better breath, brighter smiles, and better overall oral health. We would be happy to talk to you and your family about healthy snack options and meal choices!
See Us Every Six Months
Our team could also love to see everyone in your family for a checkup and cleaning visit every six months. A checkup is an opportunity for our team to examine your smile and look for visible signs of trouble, treating issues before they cause discomfort and require more extensive treatment., After all, we could halt decay in the early stages with Silver Diamine Fluoride or a filling, instead of waiting for an infection to develop that requires a root canal and crown. For kids, the first visit should happen at age one, when the initial baby tooth erupts. Regular checkups and cleanings should then occur every six months starting at around age two. To make a examination with accuracy and precision, we will examine smiles of all ages with advanced digital x-rays and intraoral cameras.
The visit will also involve a dental cleaning. This means we use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool to break up and remove all plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. We then polish the teeth thoroughly. Doing this not only helps fight bad breath and reduce the presence of stains, but can lower the risk of cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and dental infection. This benefits kids, teens, and adults. We also have deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planings, to treat the early stages of gingivitis and gum disease, preventing complications that could lead to discomfort and tooth loss!
Avoid Poor Habits
You may be surprised to learn what could damage your smile. For example, avoid chewing on objects like pencils or pens, as this could wear enamel and risk chipping a tooth. Also, don’t chew on ice either. If you play sports or martial arts, be sure to wear a mouthguard to limit the risk of cracked or chipped teeth. Avoid tobacco products like cigarettes, as this could lead to bad breath, worsening gum disease, and an increased risk of multiple forms of cancer, including oral cancer. Avoiding poor habits could help you enjoy a stronger and healthier smile, one free of issues like tooth decay and dental infection.
Recognize Common Warning Signs
You should also know when you or a family member need to see us outside of normal checkup and cleaning visits. For example, teeth grinding could damage your smile, so let us know if you grind your teeth. Persistent pain in and around your smile, such as headaches, jaw pain, facial aches, or a popping sensation in your jaw, could mean issues like bruxism and TMJ disorder, which need attention to prevent complications with eating and speaking. If you or someone you know develops tooth sensitivity and toothaches, let us know right away as this could mean a serious case of tooth decay or even an infection, and treatment is paramount for avoiding tooth loss. Likewise, sore, red, and bleeding gums could mean gum disease, and that you need care to manage this disease and protect your smile’s stability. If you have any questions, or if you want to schedule a visit, then contact our team today to learn more.
Your Dallas, TX, Dentist Wants to Improve Your Oral Health
We want you and your family to know how to best care for smiles for home, and when to see us for treatment. For more information on maintaining optimal oral health, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). Daily care and routine visits to our office could help patients of all ages enjoy bright and healthy smiles for years to come