Posts for tag: oral hygiene
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.
Flossing could just be one of the most important things you do for your smile.
Most people assume that if they brush their teeth that they don’t really need to floss. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of flossing or have never done it before you better head to your local drugstore and pick up some floss. Why? Our Mount Airy dentists, Drs. Lynette and G. Bennett Smith, are here to tell you why.
Flossing is a habit that is so often forgotten. Perhaps it feels like it’s awkward to do or you just get too tired at night to do it. If you’ve made these excuses, you aren’t alone; however, if you truly want to protect your teeth from cavities and gum disease, then you must start flossing.
Fortunately, you don’t need to floss more than once a day in order to get a clean smile. That’s right! You only have to floss once a day. When you floss is really up to you. If you find that you get too tired at the end of a long day then you may decide that flossing is better for you during your morning routine. Whatever gets you flossing is what’s most important.
Why is flossing so crucial? Most people assume that their toothbrush can clean all surfaces of their teeth and gums, but if you only brush you are leaving a good portion of your teeth unclean. Food and plaque can still accumulate between teeth and along the gumline between teeth. Even your toothbrush won’t be able to fully remove plaque and food. This is where flossing comes in. Floss can get into those tight spaces and remove plaque buildup so that when you do brush, the toothpaste can reach more areas of your teeth for a more even and reliable clean.
You may be wondering what happens if you don’t floss. If you decide that flossing just isn’t necessary for you (which we hope you don’t!) then plaque will continue to build up between teeth and along the gumline. It doesn’t take long for plaque to harden into tartar if left on teeth. Tartar will irritate gums and lead to cavities and gingivitis. If you don’t come in to see your Mount Airy, MD, general dentist regularly for preventive care you may just find yourself facing full-blown gum disease if you aren’t careful. By flossing you could just protect your beautiful smile from so many dental issues in the future.
Have questions about flossing? Need to schedule a six-month dental cleaning? Then call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, MD, today.
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”