A Foolproof Guide to Maintaining Good Oral Health
When it comes to taking care of your dental health, consistency matters. Establishing simple routines and practicing them daily are the best ways to keep your teeth and gums in the pink of health.
Below, your Chandler family dentist shares nine things you need to know about how to maintain good oral health.
The Worst Food and Beverage for Your Teeth
Sticky treats like gummy candies, caramel, and taffy cling to your teeth. They provide the fuel that harmful oral bacteria need to multiply. While sleeping, the bacteria in your mouth can propagate faster since you are not producing enough saliva to wash away bits of food debris. Avoiding sticky foods will help keep the number of oral bacteria down and protect your teeth against cavities. In hindsight, if you do sink your teeth into a sweet and sticky treat, ensure sure to brush and floss soon after. What’s more, watch out for hard candies and popcorn kernels, which can break your teeth if you bite down with too much force.
Read our blog 10 Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth for a more detailed list of food and beverages to avoid.
The Teeth’s Nemesis
Plaque is the villain in the battle for healthy teeth. WebMD defines it as a “sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It makes teeth ‘feel fuzzy’ to the tongue and is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed.” When you consume carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, soda, and sweets; the sugars and starches in them help the bacteria propagate and release acids that destroy the tooth enamel over time and cause the development of cavities. However, you can sleep well knowing that when you brush and floss, you are combatting the attacks of plaque.
Fighting the Onset of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. It arises when plaque accumulates below the gum line and hardens into a substance known as tartar. Without treatment, gingivitis can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis — a leading cause of tooth loss. Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed after brushing or flossing your teeth are early warning signs that gum disease may be developing. Brush and floss regularly to prevent gingivitis. Check out How to Take Care of your Gums for additional information on maintaining healthy gums.
The Best Weapons Against the War With Plaque
As mentioned, cavities develop when the acids in plaque break down your enamel, which is the tooth’s outer surface. Your family dentist in Chandler, AZ recommends brushing at least three times a day — after every meal in the morning, afternoon, and night — and to floss before going to bed. The harmful bacteria that produce plaque are always dividing and multiplying, so it is crucial to stop them in their tracks. Fluoride, a mineral contained in most toothpaste and oral care products, protects your teeth from bacteria by binding with enamel and forming a harder surface. Ensure to choose a toothpaste with fluoride and brush with a manual or electric toothbrush.
Time to Drill and Fill
If plaque breaches your tooth enamel’s defense system and results in a cavity, a dental filling is essential to recreating a hard and protective shell, as well as to prevent the need for a root canal or tooth extraction. This quick procedure entails numbing the area and using a drill to extract the damaged parts of your enamel. Then, your dentist will replace it with a dental filling material. The most popular dental filling is composite resin, which can match the color of your natural teeth.
Morning Breath vs. Bad Breath
It is normal to wake up with a dry mouth and have “morning breath” since you were not swallowing much while asleep at night. Chronic bad breath — also known medically as halitosis — is a different story that may result from eating food like onion or garlic, which enter the bloodstream and are exhaled with every breath. Poor oral hygiene is also a leading contributor. Always keep your breath minty fresh by brushing in the morning, night, and after every meal.
It is important to know that bad breath can have many faces; sometimes signaling an underlying health condition. Therefore, if chronic bad breath is a recurring problem for you, consult your dentist right away.
Keep Teeth Discoloration at Bay
As you grow older, your tooth enamel can become dull and discolored. Avoiding dark-colored substances known to stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, red wine, and tobacco products, can help prevent stains in the long run. Using a whitening toothpaste can add extra brightening effects and eliminate surface stains. If brushing alone does not remove stubborn stains, Kyrene Family Dentistry recommends Professional Teeth Whitening in Chandler, AZ. Although over-the-counter teeth whitening products are much more convenient, a common side effect of OTC options is damaging your enamel and causing bigger dental problems.
Do Not Skip Your Dental Appointments
Making routine visits to your family dentist is just as important as your daily oral care routine. Seeing your dentist at least twice a year gives him or her the opportunity to detect and treat dental problems early. If you have not seen your local dentist for over a year, schedule an appointment today. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars in expensive dental work down the line.
Handle Dental Emergencies Like a Pro
Sometimes, dental emergencies can happen — a tooth gets knocked out during sports or breaks while chewing on ice. When such mishaps occur, call your dentist immediately and describe the problem in as much detail as possible. Here at Kyrene Family Dentistry, Dr. Shervin Rahimi’s support team will schedule your dental office visit and guide you on what to do in the meantime. If you have a dental emergency, dial 480-705-9005 right away to get in touch with us. Staying proactive can make the difference between saving a tooth and losing it.
Daytime and nighttime oral care at home, paired with routine dental checkups, is key to preventing cavities and other dental problems. It is that easy! Continue practicing these good dental habits and you will be well on your way to having healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.