With proper care and barring accidents, your adult teeth should last a lifetime. To keep your mouth as healthy as possible, follow these 5 tips for better oral hygiene from Uptown Dental Associates in Albuquerque, NM.
- Your Toothbrush and Dental Floss Are Your Friends
Regular, daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against cavities and gum disease. Choose a small-headed, soft toothbrush that will allow you to reach the little nooks and cavities while not abrading your tooth enamel. Thorough brushing is important, and the best way to achieve that is to brush for two minutes each time. You could set a timer on your phone as a guide. Plan on brushing twice a day for best results.
Dental floss removes plaque from the gum line and from between the teeth where a toothbrush has trouble reaching. Unwaxed is best, although you can use waxed floss if you have fillings.
- Consider Using an Anti-bacterial and/or “Restoring” Mouthwash
Dental plaque is what causes tooth decay and gum disease, and plaque is caused by the bacteria that live in everyone’s mouths. If you’re cavity-prone, or if you’ve ever been told that you had early-stage gum disease, an anti-bacterial mouthwash may be a good idea. Be sure to use it only as directed.
Your dental enamel is the hard, white substance that covers and protects your teeth. Enamel tends to thin as we age. Acidic drinks like coffee, soda, and tea can also degrade your enamel. There are various mouthwashes available that help protect your tooth enamel. Again, follow the label guidelines for use.
- Watch For Problems
In spite of everyone’s efforts, plaque can form in the mouth. If it gets a foothold for a long enough period of time, you may begin to see changes in your mouth. Here are some of the warning signs of gum disease:
- Gums that are dark red or purple instead of a healthy pink
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss, or when you eat hard foods
- Gums that are swollen or sore to the touch
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Unexplained bad breath that nothing seems to help for long
If you’re experiencing any of these, call Uptown Dental Associates in Albuquerque, NM at 505-407-8781 to schedule a dental cleaning and examination. In its early stage, called gingivitis, gum disease is easily treated.
- Keep a Moist Mouth
The bacteria that cause problems in the mouth are washed off the teeth and gums by our saliva and by the beverages we drink. People who limit their fluid intake, and people with chronic dry mouth (called xerostomia), are at risk for developing gum disease.
Even if you’re limiting fluids, rinsing your mouth is helpful. If you have chronic dry mouth, check with your physician to see whether any of the medications you take might be cause. Be sure to keep your mouth moistened throughout the day.
- Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings and Examinations
When you receive a dental cleaning from the experienced and highly trained hygienists at Uptown Dental Associates, every trace of plaque will be gently removed. Your hygienist can also identify potential problem areas with your gums and bring those to Dr. Shepherd’s attention.
During your dental examination, Dr. Shepherd will check for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other conditions such as oral cancer. Catching problems in their earliest stages is the best way to prevent them from becoming larger and much more expensive problems.
We’re Your Partner In Oral Health
Keep your whole mouth healthy with regular visits to our Albuquerque, NM dentist office. Call Uptown Dental Associates at 505-407-8781 to schedule a dental cleaning and examination. You can also use our online form.