The single most important thing you can do for your smile is to keep it free of decay and disease. And the key to good oral health for life is preventive dentistry. This term encompasses a range of practices and procedures at home and at the dental office.
Excellent preventive care keeps your teeth and gums in great shape. It saves you pain, money not spent on costly restorative procedures, and time that you can spend doing stuff you love — not sitting in the dentist’s chair.
One of the cornerstones of preventive oral care is regular visits to your dentist. In Bordentown, NJ, call Premier Dental at 609-949-5115.
Take Care of Your Smile at Home
Special circumstances aside, you will likely visit our office only twice per year. That means day in and day out, keeping your teeth and gums in good condition falls on you. Follow these guidelines, and you stand the best chance of maintaining a healthy, beautiful, smile.
- Brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes each time. Brush all surfaces of the tooth enamel, including the often-neglected backs of the teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline and use short back-and-forth or circular motions. Be sure to clean at the gumline, where plaque and tartar tend to build up. Always use fluoride toothpaste.
- While we want you to be thorough and meticulous, we don’t want you to brush hard. Be gentle, or you will begin to wear away your precious tooth enamel, which will never grow back! This increases your risk for tooth decay. You may also injure your gums and even cause them to recede.
- Bacteria love to hang out on your tongue, causing bad breath and other problems. Brushing your tongue helps eliminate these nasty microbes.
- Toothbrushes aren’t meant to last long. Replace yours every few months or when the bristles begin to fray.
- You should floss at least once per day to remove stuck food and bacteria and plaque from your tooth enamel. Most people like to floss at night, but the American Dental Association says time of day doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you do it and do it correctly.
- Consider using mouthwash if you don’t already. Swishing it around rinses away food particles. It cleans areas of your mouth that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach. It also helps keep breath fresh and if it contains fluoride, will contribute to the remineralization of your teeth.
Eat a Tooth-Friendly Diet
What you eat can have a huge impact on your oral health. Too many of the wrong foods, and you subject your enamel to a succession of damaging acid attacks. With the right foods, you not only nourish your teeth and gums, but your health overall.
- Avoid sticky and gummy sweets. This includes the obvious culprits like gummy candies, but also raisins and chewy granola bars. They get stuck in the grooves of your teeth, feeding enamel-destroying bacteria.
- Drink water, not sugary sports drinks, juices, and sodas. Water is cleansing, while these other beverages encourage bacteria to proliferate and give off damaging acids. Diet sodas are not a good alternative, as they contain acids that will eat away at your teeth.
- Cheese gets a thumbs up from us! This dental superfood is a great source of tooth-strengthening calcium, plus studies have shown that it raises the pH of the mouth. This is a bad thing for bacteria and a good thing for you.
Visit Premier Dental Every Six Months
Regular dental visits are essential even if you take good care of your teeth and gums at home. Here’s why:
- One of our dental hygienists will give your teeth a gentle but thorough professional cleaning. We have special tools and expertise that enables us to remove plaque and tartar that you’ve missed at home. And this is essential for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. We will floss your pearly whites and polish them so they gleam.
- Dr. Gopal will examine your mouth for signs of disease and decay, which often don’t have symptoms noticeable by you, the patient, early on. She will do a visual examination, and employ cutting-edge tools like the ViziLite™ oral cancer screening and non-invasive laser cavity detection. By discovering problems early on, we are able to get a head start on treatment if warranted.
- We may take digital X-rays to see what’s going on below the surface. These enable us to visualize impacted teeth, abscesses, tumors and cysts, cavities between teeth, and other hidden issues. Digital X-rays expose you to much less radiation than conventional X-rays.