Prevention is the key to maintaining pristine oral health. While checkups and professional cleaning are still a necessity, good home care can help you avoid unnecessary restorative treatments and longer appointments. The steps you take at home are a crucial part of minimizing tooth decay and gum disease.
At Bijan Family Dental Practice we believe patient education is as important as the services we provide. The following information is designed to help you achieve the ideal at-home oral hygiene routine.
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The two most common dental problems are tooth decay and gum disease. Both of these issues are directly and indirectly caused by the bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a thin biofilm that constantly forms on the surfaces of your teeth. Over time, the plaque will calcify into tartar, which is much harder to remove. The bacteria found in these plaque and tartar deposits feeds on the foods you eat, specifically sugars and starches. As they feed, they produce acids that eat away at enamel and cause tooth decay.
Gum disease is an infection that affects the gum tissues, connective ligaments, and supportive bones. This infection is the result of an immune response to the bacteria in plaque. As a result, your immune system creates toxins to destroy the bacteria. However, these toxins also affect your supportive tissues. If gum disease is left to progress, the infection can lead to irreversible damage. This damage can ultimately cause tooth loss.
To avoid these problems, you have to maintain good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene is defined by clean teeth, healthy gums, and breath does not have an unusually bad odor.
Brushing and Flossing
The best way to maintain good oral hygiene is daily brushing and flossing. Daily preventive care can help you stop problems before they become painful, costly, and troublesome conditions. To achieve an effective brushing technique, use small circular motions. Be sure to get the outside, inside, and chewing surface of each tooth. Once you have properly cleaned your teeth, brush your tongue to remove bacteria. When you floss, you should gently follow the curves of your teeth. Make sure to remove the debris from beneath the gumline.
Poor Habits and Diet
There are poor habits that can also affect your oral health. People who grind their teeth, use tobacco products, or chew on their nails may be more likely to experience dental problems. Grinding or bruxism can cause unnecessary pressure that leads to worn down teeth, fractures, and tooth decay. Smoking and tobacco use has been linked to oral cancer, stains, and gum disease. Chewing on hard objects like fingernails and pen caps can lead to chips and fractures. Curbing these habits can help you preserve your teeth and avoid restorative treatment.
Diet is also an important part of your oral health. Limiting your exposure to sugars and other simple carbohydrates can significantly reduce your chances of developing decay. If you do have sugary snacks, be sure to brush your teeth. These few extra minutes can save you hours in a dental chair.
Schedule Your Appointment
Even with proper at-home care, you still need to visit us regularly. Call (714) 421-4494 and schedule your appointment with Dr. Bijan Modjtahedi today!