Oral Health 101


Many of us habitually underestimate the consequences of poor oral health. Your damaged teeth and gums can do more than take away your healthy grin. According to the CDC, poor oral health is linked to potentially life-threatening conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Taking good care of your oral health is a must, and the tips detailed in this article will help with that.

Teach Your Children Good Oral Health Habits

Maintaining good oral health is a challenge for a lot of people because they’re trying to make up for years of neglect. Their failure to care for their teeth and gums when they were younger has led to cavities and gum disease. It will take more than a few visits to the dentist to undo all that damage.

Take an active role in your child’s oral health to protect them from serious issues down the line. Oral health care for kids isn’t especially complex. The most important thing is to teach your kids the right habits.

Give your child a toothbrush with soft bristles and demonstrate proper brushing technique. Tell them to brush while working on all surfaces of their teeth. You should also remind them to brush near the gum line so they can dislodge any debris in there.

Flossing should also become a part of your child’s oral care routine. Unlike brushing, flossing is not something kids can handle right away. You’ll probably have to help them floss until they are around 10 years old.

Regular visits to the dentist will also help your child maintain a healthy grin. Your child should receive pediatric dental care every six months at least. The dentist may urge you to arrange for more frequent consultations if your child has existing oral health issues. Hopefully, that habit will stick, and your child will continue to schedule regular dentist visits even as an adult.

Develop a Proper Brushing Technique

Your healthy grin may not disappear overnight. Instead, it may gradually disappear due to your inability to take care of your oral health. Brushing your teeth every day is not enough to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems. You must also follow proper brushing techniques to keep your teeth in prime condition.

So, how should you brush your teeth? You want to start by picking the right toothbrush. Anything with soft bristles should suit your teeth just fine. Electric toothbrushes also work well for regular brushing if you prefer them.

Next, you should use fluoride toothpaste. Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. Anything more than that is excessive.

While brushing, you want to execute circular motions to cover as many teeth as you can. Try to stay in an area for at least 30 seconds to clean it thoroughly. Begin on the outside of your teeth, then work your way inside while performing the same motions.

Don’t forget to clean your gums. Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to get into your gum line and dislodge any stuck bits of debris. The circular motions also help with thorough cleaning.

Light brushes will do. Applying too much pressure can even be bad for your teeth and gums because it can lead to injury. Devote at least two minutes to each brushing session. Brushing twice daily should also suffice.

Learn How to Floss

Proper brushing is a fundamental component of sound oral care, but it’s certainly not the only part of it. Some folks out there eventually develop the need for extensive dental service because they never learned how to floss their teeth. Your inadequate flossing could explain why your healthy grin has faded.

A lack of flossing can lead to the emergence of serious dental problems. Since Medicare dental care is typically not provided, you may be stuck paying for those expenses out of pocket. Of course, you can learn about proper flossing now so you can avoid those expenses altogether.

First, you must choose the right type of floss for your teeth. Unwaxed floss generally works for everyone, but it is prone to tearing. Waxed floss is stronger, but it may be too thick for people with small gaps in their teeth. If you have braces or some other form of dental hardware, super floss may be your best option.

Grab an 18-inch piece of floss and use it for cleaning. Grip the floss nice and tight, then push it into the gaps between your teeth. Remember to work both sides of each tooth as well as the gum line. You should also clean the area beneath your tooth.

Flossing frequency depends on how your day unfolds. Typically, one daily flossing session is enough. Additional flossing is only required if you had to rush through your first session.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Brushing and flossing are habits that will help you maintain your healthy grin. Learning to brush and floss correctly will undoubtedly go a long way toward preserving your oral health, but it’s not enough. The benefits of diligent brushing and flossing will be minimized if you have a diet that’s rough on your teeth and gums.

Let’s start by highlighting the food and drinks that are bad for your oral health. Generally speaking, anything with excessive amounts of sugar can harm your teeth. Sugary food and drinks are bad for oral health because the sugars and carbohydrates they leave behind serve as food for some of the bacteria in your mouth.

According to Colgate, the bacteria in your mouth produce acids after feeding on sugars and carbohydrates. Those acids can then cause bacterial infections that dissolve the enamel protecting your teeth. Eventually, the aforementioned acids may even cause tooth decay. Limit your consumption of candies, pastries, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages if you want to preserve your oral health.

Those are the food and drinks you want to avoid. In terms of food and drinks that are good for your oral health, you cannot go wrong with calcium-rich treats. Something with a bit of chew to it is also helpful because all that mastication can clean your teeth. Don’t forget to wash everything down with some fluoridated water.

Drop Habits That Adversely Affect Oral Health

It’s no secret that the habits we develop over time greatly impact our overall health. For instance, we all know that cigarette smoking is a bad habit to pick up. Smoking increases a person’s chances of developing lung disease, heart disease, and different types of cancer. The adverse effects of smoking on oral health are also well-documented.

Smoking is an obvious example of a habit you must drop to retain your healthy grin. However, other habits you currently have can also be harmful to your teeth. You may not even fully grasp that they are jeopardizing your oral health.

Chewing ice is one seemingly harmless habit that could necessitate an emergency visit to the dental office. You may break a tooth while biting down on a piece of ice. Even your fillings may sustain damage if you regularly chew ice.

Teeth grinding is another harmful habit that many of us practice. Grinding your teeth wears them down and makes them more vulnerable to damage. Unfortunately, many of the folks who grind their teeth involuntarily do so while they’re sleeping. Consult a dentist if you’re looking for solutions to teeth grinding.

You should also observe your kids to see if they still suck their thumbs. Thumb sucking is a problematic habit because it can lead to the development of misaligned teeth. Try to eliminate that habit with the help of a dentist or pediatrician.

Know Your Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Not everyone has the opportunity can regularly see the dentist from a young age. Even if you could see the dentist often as a child, your parents may have lacked the money to pay for the treatment you need. Now that you’re making good money, you can pay for the treatments that will preserve your smile.

But what can you do if your healthy grin has already faded? In that case, you should consider trying cosmetic dental services. Cosmetic dentistry procedures and instruments are designed to transform the appearance of your damaged teeth. These procedures and instruments conceal the damage to your teeth so you can feel confident whenever you flash a smile.

After consulting with your dentist regarding your cosmetic dentistry options, they may recommend clear aligners. More specifically, they may suggest using clear aligners under the Invisalign. Invisalign dentists are becoming more common because those items can deliver stellar results. Wearing them all the time can help address your overbite, underbite, and gap teeth.

Composite or dental bonding is a procedure that can hide damage to your teeth while simultaneously repairing them. To start this procedure, your dentist will first determine which type of resin will best blend in with your teeth. Afterward, they will roughen your teeth and apply a special material that helps the resin stick. With the resin in position, your dentist will cure it with a special light until it forms a strong bond with your damaged tooth.

Clear aligners and composite bonding are just some of the available cosmetic dentistry options. There are other options worth checking out during your next visit to the dentist. Take the time to examine your options and consider your dentist’s opinion to identify your ideal solution.

Regularly Visit Your Dentist

As we mentioned earlier in this article, regular dentist visits are critical to maintaining a child’s oral health. Of course, children are not the only ones who can benefit from routine dentist visits. Those visits will also help you maintain your healthy grin as an adult.

The rule of thumb for dentist visits remains the same for kids and adults. You want to see your dentist at least once every six months to keep close tabs on your dental health. Annual consultations will do if you cannot afford two dentist visits every year.

Note that the aforementioned guidelines for dentist visits will suffice if you have relatively good oral health. More frequent visits to the dentist will be necessary if you’re dealing with dental health issues. Schedule an emergency visit if your tooth is aching for an unknown reason.

Other developments may also be warning signs that your oral health is deteriorating. According to the CDC, you should see the dentist as soon as possible if your sense of taste or smell has changed. The currently inexplicable reason behind that change may be related to your dental health, so getting an expert opinion is vital.

Avoid Oral Piercings

Some people like how oral piercings look. They believe that their accessories complement their healthy grin. After seeing how those oral piercings look on other people, you may be thinking of getting them yourself.

From an oral health standpoint, getting a piercing on your tongue, lip, or frenum is generally not a good idea. Piercing any part of your mouth increases your chances of developing an infection. The piercing site itself is the part most likely to be affected. Even if your mouth isn’t infected, the accessory you put in your mouth can still damage your teeth through frequent contact.

If you still want an oral piercing, consult your dentist first. Ask them which piercings are less likely to cause infections. They can also provide care tips for your specific piercing.

Secure Dental Coverage by Getting Medicare Supplement Plans

Paying out of pocket for dental care expenses doesn’t have to be your reality. Although standard health insurance plans don’t include dental care, you can still purchase policies that include that particular coverage. Look specifically for Medicare Advantage plans if you want dental care included in your insurance.

Medicare Advantage plans will pay for more than routine exams. It can also preserve your healthy grin by paying for teeth cleanings and fillings. That additional plan may also help pay for your dentures.

We all need to realize that maintaining oral health is not optional. If you want to enjoy a good quality of life into your golden years, you must always take care of your teeth and gums. Contact us today, and let us handle all your dental health concerns.