Gums and teeth care – what you must do to ensure good oral hygiene and health
Oral hygiene is important. If you ignored it, a great smile would not be possible. In fact, people who don’t care for their teeth and gums are susceptible to a variety of other health problems including heart disease, kidney problems, and strokes. As there is a strong link between oral health and overall health, you just can’t ignore your teeth and gums ever.
Cavities in teeth do not happen in children only, but they can affect people of all ages. While the effects of the disease are less among children, the problems increase with age.
Cavities, as the name suggests, are tiny holes or openings in the hard surface of the teeth, technically known as the crown that can cause severe damage, which can often become permanent.
Tooth decay is another type of dental problem that happens mainly from exposure to sugar but not always as it also depends on the susceptibility of the tooth in addition to the quantity and quality of saliva, the extent of exposure to sugar, and the bacterial profile of the mouth.
Although both types of problems affect children and teenagers as well as old adults they can affect anyone including infants.
Sometimes the decay might set in so deep that it results in a frequent infection that causes pain and discomfort and dentists would first try to seal the cavity after curing the infection.
However, if the attempt does not give results and the pulp of the tooth gets damaged, then the dentist would advise root canal treatment which offers a permanent solution to the problem.
Root canal treatment
To save badly infected and damaged tooth dentists perform root canal treatment. It consists of removing the damaged area or pulp first and then filling and sealing it after proper cleaning and disinfecting the area. While a deep cavity would call for root canal treatment,
the treatment is also effective for a cracked tooth that also damages the pulp. Repeated dental treatment on the same tooth can also weaken the pulp which can be set right with root canal treatment.
The dentists will first ascertain the extent of damage by taking X-rays of the tooth, and if it calls for root canal treatment, the dentist will perform it under general anesthesia. It is almost a pain-free procedure with patients experiencing slight to moderate pain for one or two days.
Although root canal treatment enjoys a fair amount of success, like any other interventional surgical procedure, few patients might encounter some complications after root canal treatment that you can learn about by logging on to Root canal complications In such cases, the experience of patients is far from pleasing.
Taking care of your teeth
To avoid the treatment that always comes with some uncertainties, it is always better to maintain good oral hygiene and health to ensure that there is no tooth decay or cavities. Moreover, gum care and good teeth contribute to better overall health and well-being.
Inability to maintain good oral health can lead to many chronic diseases that can even lead to disability.
Toothcare is not at all expensive but needs a disciplined approach to ensure that you brush your teeth regularly and refrain from eating harmful foods that cause tooth cavities and decay. Moreover, it does not take too much time to keep your teeth healthy.
Good habits can prevent plaque formation on a tooth that starts the process of decay.
Here are some simple ways to take proper care of your teeth.
Have food with less sugar
Protecting your teeth from a variety of harmful foods can help to maintain healthy teeth. There is ample evidence that sugars can do considerable harm to teeth and is the cause of dental diseases.
This does not mean that you must abhor sugars altogether because the frequency of sugar intake and quantity determines the extent of the decay.
Limiting sugar intake is the way to ensure that it does not harm teeth because the bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar and starts decaying teeth.
With every sugar exposure, the process of demineralization sets in and it can take almost an hour for the mouth to regain non-acidic pH conditions. Consumption of fresh fruit and starchy staple foods are linked to lower occurrences of dental caries.
The ideal diet for healthy gums and teeth comprises nutrient-rich foods that have low sugar and starch content.
Be careful with beverages
For producing saliva in the mouth that protects teeth, start taking fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, peas, and carrots between meals. The chewing of fruits and vegetables results in saliva secretion.
While you must drink enough water, be careful with beverages and soft drinks as most carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid that inhibits calcium absorption in the body. Fruit juices contain a good amount of sugar and damages teeth.
Ensure proper brushing
Brushing is not enough unless you do it correctly at least for 2 minutes each time. For reducing plaque, dentists recommend the use of fluoridated toothpaste. For cleaning teeth and gums properly, you must use a soft-bristled toothbrush that protects the enamel.
Place the toothbrush against the teeth at an angle of 45o to the gumline and use short and gentle strokes, back and forth, and in circular motions. This would ensure that the bristles gently clean the teeth surfaces without scrubbing or sawing.
Lightly brush the tongue with the toothbrush and wait for 30 minutes after brushing before taking food. Periodical replacement of toothbrushes every three months is mandatory.
Although brushing cleans teeth, the cleanliness does not last long because of interim food intake between brushing sessions. Food particles can make their way into the crevices and fine gaps between teeth.
For in-between cleaning of teeth, you should take up flossing and make it a habit. Flossing is essential because the toothbrush does not reach every nook and corner of teeth which the floss can easily access.
The tight spaces between teeth and the area just below the gum line are susceptible to food particle deposition that builds up plaque and turns into tartar if allowed to stay in place. Plaques and tartar are early signs of dental decay, and you must act fast to prevent it.
Brushing properly and thoroughly is key to keeping your teeth free from any risk of stains or discolorations. The dentists always recommend a gentle brushing so that the effects reach all parts of the mouth.
Brushing twice a day is also essential to keeping the risk of plaque buildup away. It’s good to brush once in the morning and then before hitting the bed to not allow bacteria to harm your teeth in any way.
Like brushing, you also need to floss your teeth regularly. Daily flossing is a must to get foods stuck between your teeth out of the mouth.
Brushing alone can’t help remove food particles as bristles are often not able to enter between teeth. This is where flossing helps as it lets you reach between the teeth and wash away what brushing can’t. For that reason, you should floss once a day at least.
Clean your tongue
The surface of your tongue is the site where bacteria thrive. If not cleaned regularly, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of health problems. You can either use the brush itself for cleaning your tongue or use a scraper for the same purpose. By making tongue cleaning a regular part of your oral care routine, you can maintain your dental health perfectly.
Don’t eat sugary items
Any food or drinks high in sugar or starch is bad for your teeth. Soda, coffee, tea, colas, soft drinks, wine, fruit juices, and sports juices are very harmful to your dental health.
For your dental health, you should stop consuming these items altogether and if you can’t, then try to cut back on the amount and frequency to lessen the risks. Rather, try to eat and drink healthy foods and drinks that have no harm to your teeth and gums.
Avoid tobacco in any form
Consumption of tobacco and superior dental health can’t co-exist together. If you smoke or use tobacco in any form, there will be harm to your teeth and gums. Stains, discolorations, and oral cancer risks are always there when you use tobacco.
Your teeth can lose their whitening luster while gums may start bleeding when you use tobacco in any form.
Use mouthwash and fluoride-based toothpaste
Fluoride is essential for keeping your teeth healthy. If your toothpaste has fluoride content in it, your teeth will be strengthened and cavity risk will be minimized.
Similarly, you can use mouthwash and fight off bacteria-causing plaque buildup in your mouth. Don’t use water for washing your mouth as it can dilute the impact fluoride may have. Rather, use a mouthwash and keep your teeth healthy.
Don’t ignore any dental problem
Many of us don’t take a toothache seriously. We think that it will go away without getting any medical attention. And it often does.
However, it’d be wrong to avoid any dental issue even of minor nature as it may indicate something wrong with the body or your general health. Any bleeding from the gums is also not meant to be ignored as it may indicate signs of periodontal disease.
Visit the dentist regularly
It’s a good habit to visit the dentist regularly at least every 6 months and get your completely checked. The dentist will do a thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth. X-rays can be used to spot any dental problem not visible to the naked eyes.
The dentist in Nassau County will suggest the right diet and advise you good oral care routine. This is how you can maintain your oral health without much of an effort for sure.