Dental Health Care – An Important Part of Maintaining a Healthy Smile
In order to achieve an effective dental health care regimen, visiting your Greeley dentist on a regular basis is a very important part of maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Your dentist will want to see you at least twice per year for a routine cleaning and check-up. X-rays are generally taken one time per year and can show your dentist important changes that have occurred with regard to your dental health. Regular brushing does not always remove plaque build-up below the gum line and failure to remove it can lead to gum disease.
Dental Health Care 101 – Plaque Build-up
Plaque is a build-up of food particles in the saliva that forms a soft deposit on your teeth. It contains a lot of bacteria which is naturally found in your mouth. When plaque builds up on your teeth it can harden into what is known as calculus. Once this substance forms under your gums, it can cause your gums to become red, sore, inflamed and generally very sensitive, making it difficult to eat and chew.
Without regular dental health care this kind of plaque build-up can lead to gingivitis, a gum disease which causes gum inflammation. By visiting a dentist regularly and having your teeth cleaned at least twice annually along with a full dental check-up, you can avoid serious gum inflammation. If you do not see a dental professional and have gingivitis, it can lead to periodontitis which is infection around the tooth which can cause teeth to become loose and fall out.
The symptoms of mild gingivitis may just be that you notice your gums to be slightly swollen and a little bit red. If you have moderate gingivitis, your gums may bleed when you clean your teeth. Periodontitis symptoms include a horrible taste in the mouth, pus which can collect in the pockets formed between the tooth and gum, loose teeth, very bad breath and pain when eating.
Dentists use a special instrument to measure the depth of pockets that are formed between the tooth and gums in the gum line where plaque builds up. Shallow pockets of 3 mm or less can be kept clear of build up through routine brushing and flossing. Deeper pockets require professional dental treatment because toothbrushes and floss will not reach the bottom of these pockets.
The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene
In order to properly care for your teeth and gums and keep your smile healthy you need to brush your teeth twice daily using the proper technique. Failure to properly brush and care for your teeth can lead to plaque build-up below the gum line and this can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. It is up to you to invest the time that it takes to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Flossing your teeth is the best way to remove food particles that become lodged in between teeth and just inside the gum line. Remove a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your elbow from your floss dispenser and wind it around your index and middle fingers leaving about a two inch gap in the center. Slide the floss between the teeth wrapping it around the base of the tooth in a “C” shape. You should run the floss up and down each side of the tooth at least three times. Remember to floss the backs of your last molars too.
If your gums bleed when you begin flossing, this is normal, especially if you have not flossed regularly in the past. As you continue to floss as a part of your dental health care regime, you will notice that your gums will no longer bleed each time you floss. If the floss you are using starts to shred, you might want to try using waxed floss which will glide more easily between your teeth. Once you have completed your flossing regimen, begin brushing your teeth directly afterwards.
A good brushing technique is an important part of dental health care. You should take the time to brush your teeth carefully and not rush to complete the job. You need to hold your brush at a forty-five degree angle to your teeth, directing the bristles to where teeth and the gums meet. Use gentle pressure and a circular motion while moving the brush up and down, but be careful not to press too hard. If you notice over time that your gums are receding, you maybe pressing too hard on them while brushing.
Clean all visible surfaces of each tooth and take your time. Brushing all of your teeth should take up to three minutes. If you tend to brush right to left, try reversing the pattern occasionally to ensure that you don’t miss any areas on your teeth.
Carefully rinse your toothbrush after you are done brushing your teeth and store it upright in an open cup. Placing your toothbrush into a container or putting a cover over the brush can cause bacteria to grow on it. You should replace your toothbrush once every three months or if you notice that the top of the brush is flayed or the bristles are bent.
What Type of Toothpaste Should be Used for Dental Health Care?
If you notice that you have a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, you may consider brushing your teeth using toothpaste which contains pyrophosphate. Pyrophosphate remains on the surface of the tooth and prevents the growth of calculus crystals that form to cause tartar build up. It also helps to break the bonds of existing stains which can help to give your teeth a whiter appearance.
You may want to include a mouth rinse that contains Fluoride as a part of your dental health care regimen. This type of rinse can help to protect your teeth and keep them healthy by killing some of the more harmful bacteria that resides in your mouth.
Dental Health Care and Eating Right
Your diet plays a very important role in your dental hygiene in that what you eat directly affects your teeth. Digestion begins in the mouth because when you chew food your mouth produces saliva and this helps to start breaking food down. Some of that saliva containing food particles will sit on your teeth, causing plaque to build-up. You should eat a diet that is low in sugar and contains many fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Low fat dairy is also a very important way to maintain bone health and keep your teeth strong.
Avoid eating excessive sweets and sugars, and if you must have something that is high in sugar, try to brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth with water, right after you eat that item so that the sugar does not remain on the surface of your teeth. If you already avoid sugar but still seem to get cavities regularly, you might want to talk to your dental health care professional about having your teeth protected with the application of a dental sealant which can protect teeth against future cavities.
Plaque is a naturally occurring substance that will form in your mouth after you eat. If you do not take steps to care properly for your teeth and remove the plaque that forms there, you may find that you start to suffer from a myriad of dental issues. Regular visits with your dentist along with proper dental hygiene at home are excellent ways to ensure that your teeth are properly cared for. Proper dental health care can help to keep teeth and gums healthy and your dentist is the first line of defense against gum disease and tooth loss.