Keep your smile healthy with these general dental care tips from a dentist in Charleston, SC
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifelong process that requires daily home care and routine trips to your dentist. Luckily, good oral hygiene can be easy to achieve once you get in the habit of taking care of your mouth. Dr. Andrew Greenberg, dentist at Mouth Carolina Dentistry in Charleston, SC, explains how you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come with these general dental care tips.
Preventing tooth decay and infections
Your teeth are one of the first things people see when you smile and keeping them free of cavities and infections is important not only for your appearance, but also for your overall health. Tooth decay and infections are painful and treating them costs you time and money, so it is worth the time it takes each day to properly clean your teeth.
You can avoid tooth decay and infections with these simple steps:
- Brush your teeth after every meal, or at least twice per day. Tooth brushing is an essential daily habit that goes a long way towards keeping your teeth healthy. By brushing your teeth morning and at night with a high-quality toothpaste, you remove the food particles, bacteria, and plaque build-up that cause tooth decay. When you are brushing, you should make sure that you brush your tongue, which also houses bacteria.
- Floss every day. Your toothbrush cannot reach all the tiny spaces between your teeth. Interdental cleaners such as floss, irrigation devices, or interdental brushes can reach within these small crevices to remove food and bacteria and should be used every day.
- Use antibacterial mouthwash. Several types of antibacterial mouthwash are available at your local store. These can help eliminate bacteria that brushing and flossing missed, and it can also help keep your breath fresh.
- Eat a healthy diet. Drop those sugary snacks, sodas, and desserts for a healthier mouth. By eating fewer sugars and starches, the bacteria that cause tooth decay will have less to feed on.
- See your dental team every six months for a checkup and cleaning. They will professionally clean your teeth and remove tartar and plaque that you are unable to eliminate at home. They will also check your teeth and gums for any signs of decay, infection, or inflammation, and can screen for other issues such as oral cancer.
Avoiding gum disease
When most people think of oral health, they think of the health of their teeth. But your gums are just as important to the overall health of your mouth and daily care is necessary to keep them pain- and disease-free.
Early gum disease is called gingivitis and can occur when your teeth and the crevices between them are not properly cleaned. When this happens, plaque forms on your teeth and causes red, bleeding, or swollen gums. When gingivitis goes untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Gum disease can be a serious problem if it is allowed to progress because it can negatively affect not only your gums and other soft tissues, but also your teeth and the jawbone. Bacteria from your gums can also impact the health of the rest of your body as they are carried through your bloodstream, increasing your risk of strokes, diabetes, and heart disease.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are largely preventable by taking good care of your teeth and gums. The most important thing you can do for your gums is to brush and floss after every meal and visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and examination.
Other tips to keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh
Smoking can contribute to a variety of issues for your mouth. Aside from causing bad breath, it stains your teeth and dulls your taste buds, delays healing after dental procedures, and increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting smoking will decrease your risk of all these issues.
If you have any dental work, such as crowns, fillings, or bridges, it is important to take special care of them to make sure they last as long as possible and the underlying tooth structures do not decay. Make sure to spend extra time flossing around restorations and brush them well every day.
Schedule your appointment with Mouth Carolina Dentistry today
Regular preventive care visits to your dentist can keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues before they start. Dr. Andrew Greenberg at Mouth Carolina Dentistry is committed to providing the best care for his patients, so they have happy, healthy smiles. Call Dr. Greenberg at (843)751 4262 to schedule your routine hygiene appointment today!