Some people think that if everyone practiced superior brushing and flossing habits, dentists would be out of a job. But regular trips to the dentist help spot potential problems like oral cancer – and the truth is that some patients develop issues which can’t be corrected with good brushing techniques, like crooked teeth and soft tissue problems caused hereditary oral health concerns.
When it comes to preventing dental complications, both your dentist and your at-home health regimen are essential.
Caring for your Teeth at Home
Establishing good brushing and flossing skills is an important first step. As a guideline, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes and make sure to reach often-neglected spots, like back teeth. Thoroughly flossing between each tooth helps clean the sides of teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
But there are other things you can do to keep your teeth healthy at home, such as making sure your diet prevents tooth decay. To limit decay, steer clear of foods and drinks that contain added sugars or simple carbohydrates – these tend to stick to surfaces of teeth and encourage the production of acid, which erodes dental enamel. This is especially important for children, as many kids are drawn to sugary sports drinks and sweets which put them at high risk for tooth decay. Even if your child still has their baby teeth, maintaining pediatric oral health supports healthy adult teeth.
Nutritional choices that are smart for your teeth are also good for your overall health -- these include leafy greens, yogurt, and nuts. You can even chew gum that contains an ingredient called xylitol, which can help fight decay as well.
Routine Dental Visits
Even if you do your best at brushing and flossing, it’s still possible that you may have missed some important spots and need a dentist to more comprehensively clean your teeth at least twice a year. By visiting the dentist every six months, you can prevent the build-up of plaque and the progression of gum disease and dental caries.
During each dental appointment, we take x-rays of your smile to ensure that there are no problem spots on your teeth. We also evaluate the health of soft tissue to combat any symptoms of
periodontitis. For young patients, these trips to the dentist play a key role in making sure that the alignment of their teeth and bite is developing correctly. If any potential problems are found, we can recommend care that sets your child up for a healthy smile in their teen and adult years.
Good oral health starts with you and includes the help of our Lansdowne family dental office. If it’s time for your next dental appointment, please call our office to schedule your visit.
5/4/2016 12:00:00 PM |
It seems obvious that if something is broken, it should be fixed. However, that logic doesn’t always carry over to your smile. Many dental patients lived with broken, cracked, or decayed teeth and prosthetics for far longer than they should, which causes even more problems for their oral health.
There are some important reasons to seek restorative dental care for natural teeth or dental prosthetics, which include:
Limiting the Spread of Decay – A decayed tooth poses a threat to surrounding teeth, as the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay can easily spread. A decayed tooth will only become more damaged over time, with bacteria spreading to the material inside the tooth (the dentin) and potentially beyond the tooth’s roots, forming an abscess or causing infection. While all of this sounds scary, the spread of tooth decay can be minimized with restorative care. Getting a prosthetic, like a dental crown, requires removal of decayed enamel, and repair of tooth structure with materials like porcelain and ceramic. If, for any reason, the crown covering a treated tooth becomes loose or damaged, seek care immediately to protect the remaining tooth structure under the crown.
Preserving Oral Function – Cracked and chipped prosthetics and decayed teeth don’t live up to their full potential in contributing to the healthy function of your smile. Everyone knows that we need teeth to bite and chew, but a damaged tooth or dental appliance can’t perform these duties as well if they are weakened by breakage or decay. Chewing on one side of your mouth to avoid using weakened teeth only puts more wear-and-tear on existing, healthy teeth. It’s best to restore flawed teeth and correct problems related to broken crowns, bridges, and dentures, so that bite stress is balanced and there is no uneven pressure placed on other teeth.
Making Teeth Look Healthy – It’s easy to discount the importance of a healthy-looking smile, until you get the care you need to achieve improved aesthetics. When a restoration is completed with tooth-colored and bio-friendly materials like porcelain and ceramic, treated teeth look just like your natural teeth, and make your smile look much healthier. Even more, when a dental appliance or restoration is fitted and secured properly, it’s becomes hard to distinguish from your natural teeth.
Lansdowne Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers restorative dental care to help patients have healthy smiles. Our crowns, bridges, dentures, and porcelain veneers are made from natural-looking, tooth-colored material to provide the best cosmetic results. Please contact our office if you have a decayed tooth or damaged dental prosthetic and are in need of treatment.
4/27/2016 12:00:00 PM |
As age and health needs change, your dental needs will follow suit. Senior patients experience oral health concerns that teens or younger adults may not – but that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t enjoy beautiful teeth and a healthy smile. We aim to help seniors achieve strong and healthy smiles by being well-versed on the most effective treatments for common health concerns, which include:
Dry Mouth – Hormonal changes and medications can make your mouth drier, but general aging can do this as well. Dry mouth poses a problem for your oral health, as there is less saliva to wash away debris and harmful bacteria. For senior patients with dry mouth symptoms, it’s important to make more frequent trips to the dentist, so teeth can be cleaned thoroughly and prevent decay and gum disease from developing. Additional treatments to prevent dry mouth from damaging your teeth include fluoride rinses or sealants.
Gum Disease – Many adult patients experience gum disease, with the condition potentially worsening as you get older. We help care for our patients’ soft tissue health with preventive dental check-ups and root scaling and planing. In many cases, chewing gum that contains xylitol helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease symptoms, such as bleeding and puffy tissue. We keep a close eye on the gum health of our senior patients, to help avoid tooth extraction deriving from oral health complications.
Tooth Loss – In some cases, teeth do need to be extracted. While plenty of people are keeping more of their natural teeth into their later years, the need for dentures is still common. Our office provides tooth loss solutions in the form of full and partial dentures for senior patients. As a cost-effective treatment option, dentures are a great way to get a full smile and improve oral function. We teach our denture patients how to care for their new teeth at home and to prevent oral health problems caused by improperly cleaned dentures. We also take care to ensure that dentures fit properly, so they’re comfortable to wear all day long.
Broken Teeth or Restorations – It’s possible for teeth to chip or crack as you get older, especially if your oral health has been affected by osteoporosis or hormone changes. If you’ve had dental restorations for years, those may need attention at some point as well. We’re capable of restoring teeth with crowns, veneers, and onlays/inlays. We can also fix dental appliances, like dentures, to make sure your oral function is not affected.
We help our valued senior patients enjoy healthy smiles by encouraging frequent dental visits and offering cost-effective options for care. If you have questions about your oral health, please contact our Landsdowne, VA family dental office for your next visit.
9/9/2015 4:07:00 PM |
We're excited to announce the official launch of our Lansdowne Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Blog.