5 Things Every Dental Patient Should Know
The team at our dental office in Lawrenceville is dedicated to caring for our patients’ smiles, both while they’re in the office and in between appointments. We’re also focused on educating our neighbors about oral health so we can do our part in creating a healthy community. In this blog, we want to cover some of the top things that are most important for our patients to know. Check them out.
A proper oral hygiene routine at home is just as important as your bi-annual dental appointments.
We typically recommend our patients visit us at least two times a year to have a dental checkup, professional cleaning, and sometimes digital x-rays. These appointments allow us to remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up since your last visit as well as monitor your oral health so we can catch and treat problems early. But these bi-annual visits are only half of what it takes to keep a mouth healthy. The American Dental Association (ADA) and your dentist in Lawrenceville recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, everyday, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and using gentle circles. It’s also critical to floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth.
There’s such a thing as too much brushing.
Scrubbing your teeth may seem like a good idea, afterall, brushing harder must remove more plaque, right? Not necessarily. Brushing your teeth roughly can remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque, but it will also damage gum tissue and eventually cause it to recede. Once gum tissue recedes, the teeth appear longer and sensitivity tends to increase, making it difficult to enjoy some of your favorite cold or hot treats.
Sugary sweets aren’t the only foods that can cause cavities.
A commonly known fact is that a diet full of sugar typically results in more cavities. But a misconception is that sugar is the only cavity culprit. The truth is, many foods can affect oral health and contribute to decay. For example, foods high in carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and pretzels can feed bacteria in the mouth and cause cavities. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars when eaten. Bacteria then feed on these sugars and eliminate an acidic byproduct. This acid then eats away at the protective tooth enamel, leaving teeth exposed to decay.
Bleeding gums are NOT normal.
Many people think that seeing a bit of blood in your sink as you brush or floss your teeth is normal. The truth is, no amount of blood is normal. Bleeding gums can be one of the first signs of gum disease which is a serious oral health problem that may not only lead to tooth loss, but can also affect the rest of the body. Gum disease has been linked to several systemic problems including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Dry mouth can be a big problem.
We’ve all experienced some form of dry mouth before, whether as a result of being dehydrated or as a chronic issue. Having dry mouth that doesn’t go away could be dangerous for your overall oral health. A dry mouth is a sign that your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist and rinse away bacteria. Without saliva there to do its job, bacteria is left to linger around, produce acid, and cause cavities.
As we all gear up to head back to school, loading up on folders, notebooks, pencils, and backpacks, the team at our dental office in Lawrenceville wants to send a friendly reminder to our patients and neighbors about the importance of getting your child (or yourself) to the dentist before school starts.
Dental Checkups Help with Overall Health, Too
While we encourage all of our patients to see us at least biannually, we also like to see them prior to starting a new school year. Visits to your dentist in Lawrenceville not only help keep smiles healthy, they also help keep whole bodies healthy. Poor dental health has been linked to:
- Heart disease
In fact, the National Institutes of Health reported that 20-30% of children have chronic health conditions due to oral health. Regular dental exams and cleanings are key in catching any problems, or potential problems, early to avoid these serious diseases. It may also be recommended that your child receive protective sealants to aid against decay and cavities.
Keep Kids in School
It’s our goal to keep kids healthy and in school so they can learn, thrive, and get good grades. However, recent research has suggested that poor oral health has been linked to poor grades. According to the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry, children in elementary school missed 6 days of school on average each year. Of those 6 days, 2 of them were because of dental problems. As we all know, when kids aren’t attending class, they’re missing key elements of their education. What’s more, when they’re in pain due to a toothache brought on by a cavity, their ability to pay attention to lessons diminishes.
Hygiene at Home
Back to school dental visits are a great preventive step to ensure your child is starting the school year off healthy. But a good hygiene routine at home is equally important. Make sure your child is brushing every morning (after breakfast!) and every night for two minutes each time. Also, don’t forget to have them floss once a day.
Following a proper hygiene routine and maintaining appointments with our Lawrenceville dental office can keep you and your child smiling and in good health all the way through to summer break.
If you’re looking for a Lawrenceville dentist, schedule an appointment today!