Preventative Dental Care
In recent years, a growing amount of research has found compelling evidence that links an individual’s oral health with his or her overall health. According to researchers, individuals who suffer from dental decay and disease have a significantly higher risk of developing a range of chronic, long-term illnesses that include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, obesity and even some forms of cancer. While more study is needed to fully understand these connections, the evidence that has already been uncovered suggests that protecting our oral health matters more now than ever.
Understanding The Basics
To enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums and to lower your risk of dental disease, it’s important to practice quality oral hygiene routines at home, including:
- Brushing at least twice a day. Brushing ranks as one of the most important daily habits you can practice to protect your long-term oral health. Brushing helps to remove bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating. Failing to brush allows these substances to remain in your mouth where they can dramatically increase your risk of dental decay and disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. While brushing after every meal would be ideal, you need to at least brush once in the morning and again before bed.
- Flossing at least once a day. Some oral health experts actually consider flossing a more important habit than brushing. That’s because flossing helps to remove harmful oral bacteria and food particles from areas of your mouth a toothbrush just cannot reach – between teeth and below the gum line. Despite the benefits of flossing, studies have found that less than 50 percent of adults in the U.S. floss daily. Considering this number, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most common place for cavities to form in the mouth is actually between teeth.
- Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. While not as important as brushing and flossing, adding a rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene routine can have a significant impact on your oral health. The mouth features a lot of hard-to-clean areas that can be easily missed during brushing and flossing. Using a mouthwash can help to eradicate lingering bacteria in these areas to provide an additional layer of clean in your mouth not always achievable from brushing and flossing alone.
While practicing these daily habits will go a long way toward helping to protect your long-term oral health, you also need to schedule regular dental exams and cleanings with your dentist in Walsenburg to enjoy the best health possible.
WHEN TO CONSIDER SILVER DIAMINE FLUORIDE
SDF is intended to stop the development of cavities and prevent them from getting bigger. However, it is not a restorative treatment, unlike a filling or a crown. This means that SDF cannot be used for very deep, significant cavities, or for broken or infected teeth. SDF is an ideal treatment for children who have small cavities in their primary teeth. During your consultation, Dr. Julie will discuss your child’s needs and help you determine whether this is the right treatment option.
Dental Exams & Cleanings
Dental exams and x-rays provides Dr. Shoff the opportunity to examine the current state of your oral health. During a scheduled dental exam at Iconic Dental, Dr. Shoff will determine whether your teeth exhibit any signs of dental decay or disease, and whether your gums show any signs of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. The earlier Dr. Shoff can detect any potential oral health problems, the more quickly and comfortably he will be able to correct the issue before it progresses into a more serious complication.
Oral cleanings provide our staff of gentle dental hygienists with the chance to remove plaque deposits from the surface of your teeth and below the gum line. When allowed to remain in the mouth, plaque transforms into tartar, a hard, yellowish substance that can rob your smile of a little luster while also increasing your risk of decay and gum disease. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed from your teeth during a professional cleaning. While Dr. Shoff recommends that most patients receive an exam and cleaning once every six months, more frequent visits may be necessary depending on your individual oral health needs.
The mouth features a lot of hard-to-clean areas that are easy to miss, especially for younger patients who lack the manual dexterity and attention to detail needed to adequately brush. The back molars are one area of particular concern that many younger patients have a hard time cleaning. Made from a tasteless and highly durable plastic coating, dental sealants can be applied to a patient’s back molars during just one visit to our Walsenburg dental office. Once applied, dental sealants help block any harmful oral bacteria or lingering food particles from becoming entrenched in the hard-to-clean crevices of a patient’s molars. Dental sealants are completely safe for children and adults, and can last for several years before the need for a reapplication is required.