Practice Prevention To Preserve Pretty SmilesJuly 8th, 2016
We recently celebrated our national birthday, so it’s fitting to remember the wise words of one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
That’s true in medicine, but it’s just as true in dental care. Taking the time to care for your mouth can save you from a number of oral health problems.
At Ascension Premier Dental, general and family dentistry are at the heart of our practice. If we can prevent problems for our patients from Gonzales, Prairieville, Santa Maria, or anywhere else near our dentist office in Geismar, LA, that that’s exactly what we want to do.
This is a team effort, however, which is why we are reviewing the American Dental Association’s recommendations regarding preventive care.
The Basics Of Preventive Care
According to the ADA, there are the three steps that everyone should be taking as part of their basic oral care.
◆ Brush Your Teeth
Most people understand the importance of brushing their teeth, but many people follow the ADA recommendations.
First, make sure you have the right tools. You will need a toothpaste with fluoride (look for the ADA seal) and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Second, take the time to scrub your teeth on all sides at least twice per day. The ADA says you should brush for two minutes each time.
Finish by brushing your tongue and spitting out the toothpaste.
◆ Floss Your Teeth
Why do you brush your teeth? You do it to remove bacteria and plaque that has formed on your teeth. The only problem with that is that your toothbrush isn’t an effective tool for cleaning between your teeth and gums.
This is why you should floss your teeth at least once per day. Use about 18 inches of floss, and wrap the ends around your middle fingers. While gripping about an inch of floss between your thumbs and index fingers, work the floss between your teeth. Be sure to “hug” the teeth along both side of your tooth and under your gumline.
Wind and unwind the floss as needed so you have a clean piece to use between each of your teeth.
You may be wondering if you should use waxed or unwaxed floss. This doesn’t matter. As long as you are flossing, you should use whatever kind you prefer. It can be flavored or unflavored. It can be regular, thick, or fine.
Some people find dental floss difficult to use. For you, we recommend using a flosser or a water flosser.
Flossers have a short piece of floss on the end of a handle. Some people find these more comfortable to use. Water flosser uses a stream of water to clean the spaces between your teeth and below your gumline.
◆ Visit The Dentist For Routine Cleanings
When you visit Ascension Premier Dental our staff will give you a complete and professional cleaning and examination. We want to remove any plaque or tartar (hardened plaque) that you may have missed, and we want to check for any signs or symptoms of oral health issues.
If we find anything, we want to help you treat it as soon as possible. By doing this, your treatment is usually less invasive and more effective.
A good general rule to follow is to visit the dentist at least twice per year. However, some patients may need to come more frequently if they have a history of chronic gum disease or other problems.
What we described above are the basic preventive steps that everyone should follow. There are some extra things you can do to reduce your risk of developing dental problems.
Many parents take advantage of the dental sealants that we offer. Sealants are applied to the teeth in the back of your mouth, which are the most likely to develop tooth decay. The sealants create a protective barrier that can reduce children’s (and adult’s) risk of developing cavities.
Another way to maintain your oral health is fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a mineral. When it is applied to your teeth, it can help repair and strengthen the enamel on your teeth.
If you have athletes in your family, it’s also a good idea to protect your teeth from injuries. Ask about our custom-fitted athletic mouthguards for the best protection possible.
A Dentist For Your Whole Family
Preventive care is important to the staff at Ascension Premier Dental. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dentist office in Geismar, LA, for regular cleanings, you and your family are much less likely to have tooth decay, gum disease, and the other problems that can arise from either of those conditions.