The end of a year and beginning of a new one provides an opportunity to both reflect back and look forward to positive change. With that, the team at Spring Creek Dental has assembled a top five list for 2019 with dental tips you can use to keep your smile healthy.
1. Brush twice a day and floss daily- Gum disease and tooth decay remain prevalent throughout the population. In fact, he National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. Along with the basic advice, remember:
Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year.
Teenagers with braces may need to use special toothbrushes and other oral hygiene tools to brush their teeth.
Older people with arthritis or other problems may have trouble holding a toothbrush or using floss. Some people find it easier to use an electric toothbrush or a WaterPik. Others simply put a bicycle grip or foam tube over the handle of a regular toothbrush to make it easier to hold.
2. Make an appointment- What you don’t know can hurt you. At Spring Creek Dental we recommend a dental check-up every 6 months — more often if you have problems like gum disease. During a routine exam and professional cleaning, plaque and build-up are removed from the teeth and Dr. Deeg looks for signs of decay. At all regular dental exam the following are also :
Early signs of oral cancer- Nine out of 10 cases of oral cancer can be treated if found early enough. Undetected, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become harder to treat.
Wear and tear from tooth grinding- Called bruxism, teeth grinding may be caused by stress or anxiety. Not only do patients suffer from headaches and facial pain from bruxism, but over time, if left untreated, it can wear down the biting surfaces of teeth. This makes the teeth more susceptible to decay, in need of crowns or may result in tooth loss. If your teeth show signs of bruxism, Dr. Deeg may recommend a Nightguard worn at night to prevent grinding.
Signs of gum disease- Unfortunately, by the time most patients notice any of the warning signs of periodontitis, it’s too late to reverse the damage. At each and every routine exam Dr. Deeg and the Hygiene staff at Spring Creek Dental thoroughly examine your gums for signs of trouble.
3. Eat smart- At every age, a healthy diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods — including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products — will provide all the nutrients you need. Some research has found that omega-3 fats, the kind found in fish, may also reduce inflammation, thereby lowering risk of gum disease. Care should also be taken to avoid sugary foods. When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode tooth enamel, opening the door to decay. Sticky candies are another culprit, because they linger on teeth surfaces.
4. Seal off trouble- Stop cavities before they have a chance to start. A child’s first permanent molars come in around age 6. Another set of permanent molars erupts around the age of 12. A thin protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars can prevent decay in the deep grooves found in these teeth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sealants can significantly reduce the development of decay, yet only one in three U.S. kids receives dental sealants.
5. Protect your teeth- Sports and recreational activities build healthy bodies, but they can also pose a threat to teeth. Most school teams now require children to wear athletic mouth guards. It is also good to remember that unsupervised recreational activities like skate-boarding and roller-blading can also result in significant oro-facial trauma. At Spring Creek Dental, we recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard for children and adults participating in any activity where their teeth are at risk.