Regular visits are the key
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to see the dentist regularly. The Dentist can check for problems that you may not see or feel. Many dental problems don’t become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Examples include cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Regular visits allows the dentist to find early signs of disease for treating the problem at a manageable stage.
On average, seeing our dentist twice a year works well for many people. Some can get away with fewer visits. Others may need more frequent visits. People with a high risk of dental disease might need to visit every three or four months, or more.
This high-risk group includes:
- Pregnant women
- People with current gum disease
- People with a weak immune response to bacterial infection
- People who tend to get cavities or build up of plaque
Here are some tips to help you look after your teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day. The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
- Brush thoroughly. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
- Floss your teeth daily. Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
- Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
- Limit sugary foods. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
- Protect your teeth from injury. Wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
- Try to save a knocked out tooth. If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately.
- Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups. You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Protect your smile & your health
Make an appointment for a dental exam today! We welcome all new patients to Baxter Dental Surgery, where most major forms of dental insurance are also accepted.