It’s well known that taking proper care of your teeth will provide a lifetime of oral health. Unfortunately, though, prevention through good oral health practices is often not a priority for many people. The Highland Park, MN General Dentist understands the importance of prevention and offers reasons why proper preventative care for our teeth is essential.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Food and beverages that are consumed during the day stick to the surfaces of our teeth. This creates the substance we know as plaque. Since plaque buildup is not obvious, you may not even be aware of the presence of these bacteria until you have a dental problem. Scheduling professional cleanings twice a year is critical to monitoring plaque build-up so action can be taken.
Thorough Dental Exams
No less important than professional teeth cleaning is a comprehensive dental exam. This enables your dentist to identify any underlying issues and address them before they become painful and costly to treat.
Dental sealants are used to fill in tiny crevices on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Children especially benefit from the application of sealants used to protect their permanent teeth.
Participating in activities where teeth or soft mouth tissue are at risk should always include wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard can be custom-crafted by your St. Paul, MN General Dentist to provide a perfect fit and effective protection for your teeth. Patients who suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism) can also benefit from wearing a mouth guard.
Daily Brushing and Flossing
If you’re not sure which products will be most effective for maintaining your daily oral health, your dental hygienist will be happy to guide you in selecting the proper oral health products. Diligent at-home oral hygiene is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Call our office to arrange your semi-annual dental cleaning and examination. Your teeth are an irreplaceable asset. Make sure you protect them with the proper oral health care.
Our dental health needs change constantly as we age. You may have noticed that, as you’ve reached retirement years, you have to be more diligent with you oral health. It’s a fact of life that, after years of brushing and general wear, you will experience some loss of enamel. This loss can cause sensitivity as well as discoloration of your teeth as the yellowish dentin under the enamel begins to show through.
Of course, you should continue to brush and floss regularly. Brushing at least twice a day and after meals if possible will help to keep up with the removal of food particles that can cause bacteria to form leading to periodontal disease. Your Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist recommends that you use a soft bristle brush to reduce further wear of enamel or gum recession. If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become more sensitive over the years, ask your dentist for a recommendation for toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.
As you age you should also be aware of the type of foods you eat and how they affect your teeth and gums. Since some yellowing of the teeth is normal as we age, it is wise to avoid foods or drinks that will leave stains on the teeth such as red wine, coffee, soda, and black tea. Years of tobacco use will also lead to discoloration of your teeth. Curtailing the use of tobacco products can help greatly.
Avoid sticky and acidic foods since they also lead to tooth decay and loss of tooth enamel. This includes sticky or very sweet foods like gummy candies and soda. Acid reflux is also another condition that can hasten the loss of tooth enamel. Try to avoid the types of foods that you know will trigger acid reflux.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums as you age is certainly not impossible, but you do need to be sure to maintain your overall health and be diligent with your at-home oral health care routine. Make regular appointments with your St. Paul General Dentist for professional cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any oral health issues that may develop and to help maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for many years to come.
There are an increasing number of reports about the damage caused by dental erosion. The problems that result from this process are not new. But our increased consumption of fruity drinks, soda and energy drinks has caused an increase in the number of patients experiencing the unfortunate results of this excess.
How Acidic Foods Cause Cavities
Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and cavities are caused by a process known as demineralization. This occurs when the enamel on your tooth comes in contact with sweet foods and drinks. Waste products created by bacteria as it consumes these sugars contain the acids that cause demineralization. When these acids remain on the teeth they start producing tooth decay within minutes.
Most of us have experienced cavities, but left untreated over a long period of time, a simple cavity can result in the complete destruction of the tooth structure. With the increased consumption of soda, fruit juices and energy drinks, our Highland Park, MN Dentist Office is seeing an increase in the number of patients with dental erosion. While sugar is the most common cause of dental erosion, some other causes are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Consuming sour foods or candies
- Dry mouth or low saliva volume
- Acid reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn
If you experience sensitivity when eating hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks you may have dental erosion. Also, yellowing of the enamel indicates that it is thinning and exposing the yellow dentin beneath. Dental erosion can literally destroy your teeth over time if not addressed, and if it reaches this point, tooth extraction and costly dental prosthetics may be necessary.Diligent oral hygiene habits and regular visits to your dentist are the best defense against the destruction caused by dental erosion. Your Minneapolis Dental Office is trained to detect signs of dental erosion and take the necessary steps to arrest and reverse its damage. If the enamel has sustained significant cosmetic damage, veneers, either porcelain or Lumineers, may be recommended to protect your teeth and restore your healthy smile.
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