At Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL, we are passionate about helping our clients’ pearly whites stay strong and healthy for as long as possible. Your oral health plays a significant role in your overall health, and to keep your mouth healthy, you need a strong oral hygiene routine. This should include getting a professional dental cleaning and oral health checkup regularly. Keep reading to learn more.
How Long Has It Been Since Your Last Dental Cleaning?
Do you remember the last time your teeth were cleaned by a dentist? If you don’t, it’s probably been too long. One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to come in for a dental cleaning every six months. During this professional cleaning, any built-up plaque, calculus, and tartar will be removed from your teeth. Plaque is made up of millions of toxic bacteria that can affect the health of your teeth, gums, and bones.
Removing these built-up soft and hard deposits will make your teeth look and feel better. Additionally, stains and other surface discolorations will also be removed to help you feel more confident in your smile. Once per year, X-rays will be taken and a thorough dental examination will be performed. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease or another oral health condition, it can be diagnosed quickly.
What Else Can I Do to Protect My Oral Health?
There are several things you can do to protect your oral health in addition to getting biannual cleanings. For example, avoiding the use of tobacco products will go a long way in helping you keep your teeth and gums healthy. You can also help to maintain your oral health by limiting the sugary beverages and foods you consume. Moreover, you should try to eat plenty of foods that are good for the health of your teeth and bones.
How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
At a bare minimum, you should brush your teeth at least twice daily for no fewer than two minutes at a time. However, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you snack a lot during the day or eat away from home, it may not be feasible for you to brush your teeth after every meal. If this is the case, consider investing in a water flosser with an American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance to remove plaque from your teeth before it hardens.
Do I Need to Use a Water Flosser?
After your cleaning appointment, we will discuss your diet and lifestyle to help you determine if investing in a water flosser is right for you. Note that using a water flosser can mitigate the risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease by removing plaque. However, water flossers aren’t as effective as traditional floss.
What Oral Hygiene Products Should I Use?
It is very important that you brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Throw out any medium-bristled or hard-bristled toothbrushes you have. If you brush your teeth too hard, you can wear down your enamel. Unfortunately, enamel cannot be regenerated by your body once it’s gone, and even special toothpaste can’t help. Therefore, you must do everything you can to keep your enamel strong and healthy.
It is also important that you replace your toothbrush three or four times per year. If your toothbrush bristles become visibly worn or splayed, they won’t be as effective anymore, and you will need to replace your toothbrush. Moreover, according to the ADA, you should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste to mitigate the risk of tooth decay, keep your enamel strong and healthy, and slow the production of plaque-related acid.
Should I Use Mouthwash?
The American Dental Association notes that some people could benefit from adding mouthwash to their daily oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash is beneficial because it can reach areas that can’t be reached by a toothbrush easily. Mouthwash can provide some benefits, including mitigating the risk of halitosis and cavities.
Do I Have to Cut Out Alcohol?
While tobacco consumption should be avoided completely, you do not have to give up alcohol in its entirety. Rather, you should strongly consider limiting yourself to only a moderate amount of alcohol. The CDC advises that adults should consume no more than a unit of alcohol or two per day.
When you choose to drink, keep in mind these tips to reduce the impact that alcohol consumption has on your oral health.
Say No to Sugary Beverages
Remember, for the sake of your oral health, you should minimize your consumption of fruit juices with added sugar, soda, and other high-sugar beverages. This applies to alcoholic beverages, too. Any alcohol consumption increases the risk of tooth decay; minimizing your consumption of alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar negates quite a bit of this risk.
If you usually drink whiskey and soda, try switching to a gin and tonic. If you usually select a porter or stout, try to expand your palate and sample some local pale lager. The lighter the alcohol you drink, the less likely it is that your teeth will stain. When you want to drink a cocktail, consider drinking through a straw.
Drink Through a Straw
Your idea of a good night may be to sit in a hot tub with a book and a glass of wine. However, for the sake of your teeth, you should seriously think about drinking your alcohol through a straw.
Staying hydrated is another very important step to take to reduce the effect of alcohol on your oral health. When you drink alcohol, your mouth can become dry. To reduce the likelihood that your mouth will become dry when you drink, make an effort to consume plenty of hydrating fluids before you consume alcohol. Additionally, you should drink a full cup of water after every alcoholic beverage you consume.
What Conditions Can Be Caused By Poor Oral Health?
You probably remember learning that poor gum health can result in the development of cardiovascular disease. However, this is not the only medical condition that can be attributed to poor oral health. For instance, an excessive buildup of oral bacteria can cause inflammation and infections that lead to clogged arteries and stroke. If you are pregnant and have periodontitis, you have an increased risk of delivering prematurely or having an underweight baby.
Endocarditis is another medical condition that can develop as a result of poor oral health. It is an infection of the endocardium caused by germs, like bacteria, spreading through your bloodstream to the inner lining of your heart valves or chambers. Additionally, the bacteria in your mouth can travel into your lungs, leading to such respiratory diseases as pneumonia.
What Medical Conditions Can Affect Oral Health?
Some of the most common medical conditions that can affect your oral health include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of gum disease due to prolonged excessive levels of blood sugar. Osteoporosis can result in periodontal bone loss, which can result in tooth loss. If you suffer from osteoporosis, review your options with your doctor closely.
Bulimia nervosa often causes poor oral health because people often vomit to purge. Even if other purging methods are used, bulimia nervosa can result in poor oral health outcomes if sugary drinks and foods are binged, or nutrition is compromised through insufficient diet. Sjogren’s syndrome can also be detrimental to your oral health because it causes dry mouth. Saliva is extremely important for your oral health because it:
- Protects enamel
- Facilitates rapid wound healing
- Protects against tooth decay
- Protects against gum disease
- Prevents halitosis
- Kills germs
- Neutralizes harmful acids
Schedule Your Routine Checkup Today
If you can’t remember the last time you had a professional dental cleaning, it’s probably been longer than six months. For the sake of your oral health and overall health, you must have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Contact us now at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL to schedule your cleaning and checkup if you can’t remember the last time a dentist cleaned and checked your teeth.