By Jeffrey Cranska
Family Laser Dentistry
In upcoming months, I will answer questions on high-technology dentistry. Please direct inquiries to my website at www.cranska.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five Steps to Maintain Healthy Mouths
Our dental mission statement should be not just reacting to and treating problems; instead, our priority should be preventing oral problems before they occur.
What five things can we all do to improve our oral health?
- Throw away your toothbrush. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months and after illness (colds, flu, etc.) Consider a brush that fits the size and shape of your mouth, is durable and has soft bristles.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice per day. Floss or use interproximal cleaners at least once per day. Vigorously rinse with water or mouthwash after you finish your tooth cleaning.
- Limit the number of sodas, sports drinks, sweet teas, and coffees you drink daily. Drink water. Tap water has no sugar to cause dental decay. It has fluoridation to prevent decay. There are no calories to cause weight gain. It also fights dry mouth (decreased saliva, which increases the risk of decay).
- Avoid all tobacco products. If you are a smoker, you should be concerned about the effects smoking has on your health. Oral cancers accounted for more than 7,000 deaths in the United States last year (1% of all cancer deaths). People with a previous history of oral cancer, and combination tobacco and alcohol users over the age of 40, are at the highest risk. However, oral cancer is universally found in people of all ages and backgrounds.
- Visit the dentist if it’s been over six months or you can’t remember the date of your last visit. At a regular dental visit, your teeth and mouth are examined. A periodontal (gums) evaluation is done. Your oral hygiene home care is evaluated. You get your teeth professionally cleaned and polished to remove plaque, tartar and stains. X-rays are taken if needed. Teeth are treated with fluoride compounds. Oral hygiene techniques (brushing, flossing, and the use of other inter-dental cleaners) are reviewed. This is your chance to address questions and concerns.
Dental diseases are not completely preventable. Without a cure, utilize the modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.
The key tools in preventing tooth problems are cleaning your teeth every day, your diet, fluoride and dental sealants. Regular dental cleanings bring everything together.