January 10, 2017
It’s the first of the year, and that means it’s time to look at new and unique ways to improve your life. I’m guessing that some of your new year’s resolutions center on your health. I know that mine certainly did! When it comes to your mouth, our Salem, OR dental office is here to help.
Though we are experts in providing general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry, it’s our goal to provide great dental tips that can help you avoid extensive dental treatments. Today I want to provide you 5 important health tips you can follow this year.
1. Are you brushing your teeth long enough?
Brush your teeth twice a day! That information has been drilled into your head from a young age. We even remind you about this every single time you visit our office. But let’s get more specific. According to the American Dental Association, we need to brush our teeth twice a day for 2 MINUTES at a time. Most people do not brush their teeth long enough, allowing bacteria and plaque to form, especially in those hard-to-reach places.
Time yourself the next time you brush your teeth. You can also kick up the technology a notch by using dental apps.
2. Don’t skip out on the floss!
You probably hear this every time you visit the dentist. Or maybe it’s something you’ve been reminded about for years but never took the information to heart. Floss is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of gum disease or tooth decay. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to issues like heart disease or diabetes.
If this hasn’t convinced you, yet, consider this fact: About 35 to 40 percent of the tooth is beneath the gum line, and that means brushing cannot clean the entire surface. To clean the portion of the tooth beneath the gum line, you’ll need floss! If you’re uncertain about dental floss, ask us about best practices.
3. Ask a dental professional for whitening directions.
Most patients I meet have a desire for straight, white teeth. Great white teeth give the appearance of healthier teeth and make us look more attractive. A qualified dentist can help you with your whitening goals. You can improve the shade of your teeth by several shades with our whitening options.
This is important because there are numerous whitening treatments available over the counter. It’s a huge industry. But beware. Whitening available over the counter often do not give patients great results. And misusing this whitening treatment can lead to sensitivity of the teeth or gums.
4. Don’t ignore aches, pain, or bleeding gums.
One of the biggest concerns for a dentist is gum disease. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss and can quickly take over your mouth. I mention gum disease because it affects more than 50 percent of all Americans. The earliest signs of gum disease include bleeding and swollen gums.
It’s important not to ignore these problems or any aches or pains in the mouth. An achy tooth can be the first signs of tooth decay or even bigger problems like root problems. Whatever the case, the goal is to visit the dentist at the first signs of trouble. Waiting around allows the trouble to persist into serious, more complicated issues.
5. You can replace teeth with nearly equally strong options.
Missing teeth can take a toll on your oral and overall health. They are distracting, and make it nearly impossible to eat the food you love. You might assume that missing teeth can either be replaced by dentures or nothing at all. That’s wrong! At our Salem dental office, we provide durable dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
Dental implants naturally fuse to the jawbone and can be restored with crowns, bridges or dentures. What’s even better is that dental implants can provide about 90 percent of the biting force of natural teeth. If you are one of the millions of Americans who struggles with missing teeth, let us help you with your options. When you visit my office, we discuss all the options available to you and then develop a detailed treatment and financial plan.
The first of the year is a terrific time to prioritize your dental health needs. Give us a call today at 503-837-2718 to schedule a consultation.