Oral Health Checklist: Are Your Teeth & Gums as Healthy as You Think?
Whether you follow the American Dental Association's (ADA) guidelines and visit the dentist at least once a year for a check up and professional dental cleaning or have fallen behind with your oral hygiene and preventive care, it is never too late to take control of your oral health.
Here is what you need to know about how everything from your diet, lifestyle, and oral hygiene habits can affect your oral health.
How to Take Control of Your Oral Health Starting Today
If you've neglected your oral health in the past, you are not alone. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, almost half of all American adults over age 30 are suffering from some form of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss.
Or maybe your teeth have become stained and discolored, or the time has come to replace old and worn out dental fillings. Whatever the case, it's never too late to improve your smile and oral health.
Start with a Dental Check Up
Even if you brush and floss your teeth every day, regular professional cleanings are necessary to prevent plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
At your check up, the dentist will clean your teeth and check for signs of gum disease and screen for oral cancer. If it has been a while since your last appointment, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning treatment known as a root planing and scaling to eliminate pockets and bacteria buildup between the teeth and gums.
Whatever your situation, the dentist will work with you to design the best oral hygiene plan for your needs.
How Much Do You Actually Need to Brush and Floss?
There is a lot of conflicting information, but if you are not flossing at least once a day you are putting your oral health at risk.
Because the bristles of your toothbrush can't reach all the way between your teeth and gums, you need to floss to clear away food particles after every meal.
If you only floss once a day and find it difficult to get it done in the evenings before bed, try flossing in the morning or after lunch.
What You Eat Affects Your Teeth in More Ways Than You Think
So you probably know that eating a lot of sugar is bad for your teeth, and that your morning cup of coffee or tea and evening glass of red wine can lead to stains and discolorations over time. However your diet also helps to promote healthy teeth and gums.
The ADA recommends a balanced diet with enough fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Staying hydrated is also as important for your teeth as it is for your body.
Is There a "Right" Time to Brush Your Teeth?
Generally, brushing your teeth after meals is the standard rule of thumb. However there are some situations where it is better to wait a bit before reaching for the toothbrush.
If you eat acidic foods like fruit or drink wine, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth to protect tooth enamel.
Find a Dentist in Cleveland, OH
From professional teeth whitening treatments to dental implants for full or partial tooth loss, there are a number of options available to help get your smile and oral health back on track and better than ever.
Get started today with a free consultation. Call Hylan Dental Care and schedule a consultation with one of our Cleveland area Dentists.