Dr. Salami is a dentist in Rancho Bernardo. She offers these teeth care tips you can perform at home so that you remain healthy all year long. Many people mistakenly believe that good home oral care is just about keeping your teeth white and breath fresh. However, along with regular visits to your dentist for checkups and exams, it is the work you do at home that can prevent many oral health disorders, like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Poor oral health has also been linked to many disorders and diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and a host of others.
To keep your oral health on point all through the year, these oral health tips should help. They are not difficult to perform, and you are probably at least familiar with most of them. Give them a try and watch your oral health improve. Your dentist will be pleased you did.
Teeth Care Tips at Home for Optimal Oral Health
Grab your toothbrush, floss (even though you don’t want to), toothpaste, and get ready for an oral care routine that can be followed morning and night for the healthiest oral control.
How to Protect Your Teeth Morning & Night
Brush with the Right Tools: Each morning and right before you go to bed, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums and fluoride helps to protect your enamel, which ultimately protects your teeth. It is best to choose a toothbrush with a small head so that you have better access to all of your back teeth. Make sure that you brush along your gum line to evict any bacteria that might be setting up shop inside and around your teeth and gums.
Brush Thoroughly: There is a right and a wrong way to brush your teeth. Waving your toothbrush around a few times over your teeth will not cut it. Bacteria like to hide in the tiniest of nooks and crannies, which requires a thorough scrub that is able to root out bacteria completely. For total bacteria eradication, brush across all of your teeth surfaces, including the back teeth, for two to three minutes. Some electric toothbrushes have timers that let you know how long you should brush your teeth. You can even set an egg timer beside the sink to time yourself or use the timer on your phone.
Floss Daily: If you get into the habit of flossing, you will soon see that the practice is not that bad, and actually feels good because you are massaging your gums. You are also ridding your teeth of food bits, plaque and bacteria that may be nestling between your teeth. Make sure you get each floss strand between your teeth to the gum line. Some teeth may be crowded together and could take some wiggle before the floss pops through, but this should all be done. The more you floss, the easier it gets, the less your gums will bleed (if they bleed at all), and the healthier your teeth and gums will be overall.
How to Protect Your Enamel and Guard Against Cavities
Limit Sugar and Acid Intake: If possible, try to limit soft drinks and fruit juices, which are loaded with food acids. These acids soften and dissolve tooth enamel, which creates holes, otherwise known as cavities (or dental caries in the dental field). In severe cases, your teeth may be consumed right down to the gumline. The bacteria in dental plaque turn sugars into acids, which can further attack your teeth and the tissues that hold them inside your mouth. By choosing more oral-health-friendly foods and beverages, like sugar-free offerings or just plain water, you will prevent the onslaught that usually goes on against your teeth when you choose to consume unhealthy foods and drinks.
Protect Your Teeth: Your teeth are important, and you only get two sets from infanthood to adulthood, after all. If you play sports, make sure you wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, a condition in dentistry known as bruxism, this may be due to stress or too much caffeine at night, or another reason. Your dentist can provide you with a nightly mouthguard that can keep your teeth from wearing down under the constant pressure, giving you long-term teeth protection.
How to Protect Your Gums and Guard Against Periodontal Disease
Gum or periodontal disease is characterized by red and inflamed gums that sometimes bleed. That is how the disease starts. At its most severe, gum disease can cause the loss of your teeth and recession of your gums and jawbone.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t always present symptoms and you won’t know that you have a severe case until your teeth become loose, your breath becomes foul, and your gums begin to bleed more than normal.
Protection against gum disease starts at home. Brushing and flossing daily is excellent home defence against plaque and bacteria, and all the ailments that gum disease has been linked to, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart disease, low-birth weight babies, and more.
Risk Factors of Gum Disease
Risk factors for gum disease include those taking some medications and smokers. However, age can be a factor, as can having poor oral hygiene habits. Some cases of gum disease are genetic.
You should know that the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can be reversible if it is caught early. If you brush and floss your teeth and see some bleeding, your dentist can diagnose the periodontal stage. If the diagnosis is gingivitis, that can be good news.
Advanced stages of periodontal disease are known as periodontitis and there are many forms. This condition means that plaque causing bacteria have found a home in your teeth and gums. And there the bacteria are breeding and thriving and attacking your teeth and gums.
How to Prevent and Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease progresses slowly and the symptoms from one stage to the next are not clearly apparent. Only a thorough examination by an experienced dental professional like Dr. Salami can give you a clear indication of your stage of periodontitis and the levels of care that may be required.
The treatment protocols for gum disease differ depending on the level of gum disease present. If you only show a slight elevation of bacteria and symptoms, such as slightly inflamed gums, a deep cleaning by your dentist may do the trick to restore your teeth and gums to tip-top condition.
If gum disease has advanced, more stringent dentistry techniques may be required. Gum disease tends to make the gums separate from the teeth, creating pockets. A deep clean will eradicate any bacteria hiding inside these pockets for the protection of your oral health.
More severe levels of gum disease cause these gum pockets to deepen even further. Cleaning these pockets requires a technique called scaling and planing to ensure all the bacteria is scrubbed and washed away for total bacterial control.
More severe levels of periodontitis may require dental surgery or dentistry lasers. This is because the bacteria may be rooted deep within the teeth and gums. At these levels, the bacteria have easy access to your blood supply and immune system, leaving you susceptible to problems beyond your teeth and gums.
Keep performing these teeth care tips at home and see your dentist twice a year and you can hopefully keep gum disease from forming or at least progressing if you already have signs of gingivitis or periodontitis.
How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy Naturally
Your teeth have protection mechanisms built in that are designed to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Your saliva, for instance, contains enzymes that protect your enamel from bacteria and acids. However, there are some cases where you might need to provide assistance to allow your natural teeth-restoration capabilities to kick into high gear.
Save a Knocked-Out Tooth: Unfortunately, we cannot regrow our teeth. Once one falls out, that’s it; only a prosthetic like a dental implant can realistically restore your smile. If one of your teeth falls out, it may be possible for your dentist to restore the tooth. Keep the tooth remnant in milk or wrap it in plastic and visit your dentist immediately. If you can, hold the tooth in place until you can make it to the dentist. Your dentist will do the rest to make your tooth whole again.
Avoid Using Your Teeth as a Tool: Your teeth do a wonderful job of chewing your food and helping you speak clearly. You should not use your teeth as a bottle opener, nutcracker, or fingernail clipper. These activities can eventually chip or break your teeth. Sure, you might break one of your back teeth, and who will know, but you will also be inviting bacteria into the inner workings of your teeth, leading to severe gum disease and eventually tooth loss. Use your teeth for chewing food only if you want healthy teeth and gums for life.
Tips for Keeping Healthy Teeth and Gums for Life
See Your Dentist: Make sure you tell your dentist if you have a dental problem such as bleeding gums or a toothache. Early detection of dental problems usually allows for the fastest and most effective treatments. You can also keep your teeth and gums healthy by visiting your dentist at least every six months. With regular examinations, X-rays, and professional teeth cleaning, you can prevent bacteria from wreaking havoc on your oral health. You can also keep your teeth looking attractive and your breath fresh for optimal oral health.
Get a Tooth Irrigator: While tooth irrigators or water picks, should be no replacement for regular brushing and flossing, using high-pressure water devices is an excellent way to root out bacteria where they hide. There are a variety of models on the market and each one lets you activate a thin stream of water that acts like floss to wash bacteria and plaque away.
Mouth Rinses: Another dentistry technique that you can use at home includes home mouth rinses. These, too, should never be a substitute for other home oral care methods, but mouth rinses can wash away food acids and freshen your breath while giving your enamel protection for at least a short time.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene by Your Rancho Bernardo Dentist
Dr. Salami encourages you to schedule an appointment for a regular checkup and exam if you haven’t already. Even if you haven’t been to the dentist in a year, six years, or ten, a single dental visit could change your life.
A dental exam and professional teeth cleaning allow your dentist to access the parts of your teeth that you cannot readily see. Dr. Salami uses an intraoral camera that projects the state of your teeth and gums on a screen you can view in real-time. While viewing the inside of your mouth can seem like an anxiety-ridden affair, Dr. Salami is able to explain everything she sees for complete clarity throughout the appointment. You will be able to leave the appointment with a clearer idea of your oral health and how to proceed if problems are present.
If there are oral health issues, like cavities, gum disease, abscess, or signs of future problems like the initial signs of oral cancer or tooth wear, Dr. Salami can begin discussing various treatment options with you, keeping up with the explanations and communication every step of the way.
Still, even seeing your dentist can’t make up for a daily ritual that includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, and following the rest of these teeth care tips at home. Be mindful of the teeth you have and fight the good fight against bacteria for more attractive teeth, fresher breath, and more improved all-around health. Call now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Salami in Rancho Bernardo, California, to learn more about keeping up with good oral health in the comfort of home.