Posts for category: Oral Health
Are you aware that you are hosting an entire community of bacteria right there in your mouth? These bacteria feed on the bits and pieces of food that are left behind between your teeth after you eat, and are responsible for tooth decay and other dental problems.
Besides scheduled checkups and cleanings with one of the dentists here at Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, Dr. Bennett Smith or Dr. Lynette Smith, here are the vital things you can do at home to protect your teeth and oral health.
What a Proper Oral Hygiene at Home Looks Like
A huge part of your oral hygiene routine occurs in your home. There, you are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of your mouth that your dentist initiated. Here’s what you need to do:
Brush Twice, Floss Once
Brushing is not just putting the toothbrush in your mouth and moving it around—there is a proper way of brushing to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. The toothbrush should be slanted about 45 degrees against your gums. You should likewise use short and gentle strokes to clean all of your tooth surfaces, including the chewing surfaces.
The tip of your toothbrush can be used for the inner surfaces of the front teeth with an up-and-down motion. Brush the tongue as well for fresher breath and bacteria removal. Additionally, flossing should be performed in a gentle gliding motion between your teeth. Curve it into a C shape upon reaching the gum line. Clean the sides of the tooth as well with a gentle up-and-down motion and always move the floss gently conforming to the shape of your tooth.
Watch Your Diet
We may not be aware of it, but most of the food we eat results in acid-producing bacteria that could harm our teeth. Sugar and starches are on the top of the list. These are responsible for dental plaque that could irritate the gums and lead to tooth loss.
The American Dental Association recommends appointments with at our Mount Airy office at least every six months. This, of course, is dependent on how healthy your teeth and gums are. If you have problems like gum disease, dental appointments should be more frequent.
For More Oral Health Advice, Call Us
Set up an appointment with one of the dentists here at Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, Dr. Bennett Smith or Dr. Lynette Smith, by dialing (336) 789-5306.
Remember: the health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth.
What are you doing to ensure that you have healthy gums? If you aren’t even sure what habits keep gums healthy then it’s a good thing you’re here. Our Mount Airy, NC, dentists Drs. Bennett and Lynette Smith want patients to fully understand how important the health of their gums are not just to their oral health but also their general health.
Gums and Your Oral Health
Your gums fit firmly around the teeth, providing them with support. Unfortunately, when disease affects the gums it causes the tissue to recede. Receding gums aren’t able to provide teeth with the ample support they need, which results in loose teeth and eventual tooth loss. By investing in the health of your gums you are also investing in the health of your teeth. This includes practicing good oral hygiene including,
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Using mouthwash
- Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings
- Quitting or avoiding smoking
- Limiting alcohol, sugar and starches
The Link Between Gum Health and Overall Health
Your gums also tell our dentists a lot about your overall health, which is why taking a trip to our Mount Airy, NC, office twice a year for professional dentist-supervised cleanings is necessary for everyone. Certain changes in your gums could be a sign of serious health problems.
If you notice any changes in your gums, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Problems that require immediate attention include,
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen, red and tender gums
- Receding gums
- Sudden tooth sensitivity
- Sudden tooth darkening
- Persistent bad breath
- An abscess on the gums
- Any wounds, sores or patches that don’t heal
- Loose teeth
Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, offers expert dentists, friendly staff and a welcoming environment for families looking to get everything from routine cleanings to restorative dentistry and braces. To schedule your next cleaning call our office at (336) 789-5306.
Do you really need to visit the dentist twice a year?
For most people, keeping a healthy mouth is as simple as brushing twice a day, flossing once daily, and visiting the dentist every six months for routine checkups. Additionally, it is of the utmost importance that everyone receives a regular dental cleaning, no matter how healthy their smile might seem. From the office of our Mount Airy, NC, dentists, Drs. Bennett and Lynette Smith, here are why these checkups are so invaluable to both your oral and general health:
Get a Whiter Smile
While teeth whitening can be a great way to make your smile sparkle, even a simple dental cleaning can remove surface stains and discolorations to brighten your smile. Our dental hygienists have the right tools and techniques to give your teeth a deeper and more thorough clean than you can at home.
Seeing your Mount Airy, NC, general dentist twice a year can reduce plaque and tartar buildup, which in turn can reduce your risk for developing cavities and gum disease. Gum disease is surprisingly common, affecting nearly half of American adults. Gum disease is also the most common cause of adult tooth loss. By coming in for your biannual cleaning, you can protect yourself against gum disease and preserve your natural smile.
Detect Problems Early On
While the goal of our dental team is to prevent problems from happening, issues inevitably arise, but fortunately, your biannual visits to our Mount Airy office allow your dentists to spot issues such as cavities, broken fillings and cracks early on before they cause serious complications. Catching issues early also means not having to undergo more costly dental procedures to restore the damaged smile.
When was the last time you received a professional dental cleaning? If it’s been more than six months, then it’s time to schedule your next appointment. Call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, today at (336) 789-5306.
Every year, close to 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Killing roughly one person per hour and 24 people a day, this form of cancer can be developed by anyone, although there are a number of risk factors that can increase its chances of occurence. Accordingly, it’s important to understand both these risk factors as well as the condition's general warning signs so that you can visit our Mount Airy, NC, dentists, Drs. Bennett and Lynette Smith, if you suspect anything.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
The risk of oral cancer increases with age; however, it is also possible for people to develop oral cancer under 55 years old. Additionally, men are also twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer.
Other risk factors include,
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Exposure to sunlight or UV light (e.g. tanning beds)
- Poor nutrition
- Certain genetic syndromes (E.g. Fanconi anemia)
- A suppressed immune system
- Lichen planus (an itchy rash in the mouth and throat)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
It’s important to be on the lookout for any changes that could be early signs of oral cancer, particularly if you are an increased risk. Common symptoms include,
- Mouth sores that don’t go away
- Bad breath
- Red or white patches on the oral tissue
- A lump or sore in the mouth
- Tongue pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Numbness in the mouth
As you can see, these symptoms also have other causes (many of which are completely harmless); therefore, experiencing one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have oral cancer. That being said, it’s important to play it safe and give our Mount Airy office a call if you notice mouth sores or any of the other listed problems. A simple examination is usually all a dentist needs to be able to determine the cause or to decide whether the problem requires further testing.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Along with certain lifestyle modifications (e.g. eating healthy and quitting smoking), it’s important that you also visit your Mouth Airy, NC, general dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. During these routine checkups, our hygienist will perform a quick, painless oral cancer screening to check for lesions, lumps, growths, and other early warning signs. This screening only takes a minute and it could just end up saving your life!
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Here at Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, we want everyone who walks through our doors to get the proper dental care they need. Whether you need to schedule a routine dental cleaning or you have questions about any of the cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedures that we offer, call us today at (336) 789-5306 to learn more.
Your dentists in Mount Airy, NC, Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith, encourage you and your family to keep good oral hygiene habits. In short, they benefit your teeth, gums and your overall health, too. These habits begin at home and practiced routinely, help families have their best looking and functioning smiles. At Blue Ridge Dental, good oral hygiene forms the heart of great preventive care.
Why practice good oral hygiene
Without routine brushing and flossing at home and a tooth-friendly diet, expect two serious dental conditions to develop:
- Dental decay
- Periodontal (gum) disease
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, followed by cavities and dental abscess. Tooth loss impacts smile appearance, bone structure and oral function. Additionally, research from several sources indicate links between periodontitis and health issues such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and dementia.
At the heart of poor oral health is accumulation of sticky plaque and hard tartar, biofilms formed from food residues which collect on and between teeth and at the gum line. When not removed by flossing, brushing and professional cleanings by your dentists in Mount Airy, bacteria in the plaque and tartar secrete corrosive acids, causing decay and gum disease.
Guidelines for oral hygiene
Expect bright, long-lasting smiles when you and your loved ones:
- Brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste (as advised by the American Dental Association).
- Floss once a day using the product of your choice.
- Get six-month cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Smith
- Eat a diet low in sugar and high in fiber, calcium and low-fat protein.
- Drink several glasses of water a day to rinse tooth surfaces and to increase saliva which has antibacterial qualities.
- Change your toothbrush when it looks worn out, after a cold or the flu or within three months.
- Use mouthwash to freshen breath, reduce plaque and whiten teeth, depending on the ingredients.
If you have questions about oral hygiene, ask your dentist or hygienist at Blue Ridge Dental. He or she is happy to recommend floss, toothbrushes and specialty tools (especially for patients with restorations, tooth replacements or braces) suited to your unique needs and preferences.
Please contact Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC if it's time for your routine cleaning and exam. The dentists and their staff wish to partner with your in maintaining your healthy smile. Call today: (336) 789-5306.