As a dentist, my goal is to help you keep your natural teeth healthy for your lifetime. Should problems occur, we will recommend treatment to protect and extend the life of your teeth.
For various reasons, however, natural teeth may be lost due to an injury or accident or require removal due to decay beyond repair. When natural teeth are lost, we explain the best options to replace them without risk to surrounding teeth.
When it comes to smiles, there are a number of misconceptions among adults. For example, some people assume that seeing blood in the sink when brushing is a sign they’re doing a good job. (It’s NOT! It’s actually a symptom of gum disease.) Our goal is to help you care for your teeth so you minimize expenses associated with dental care AND to keep them for your lifetime.
A generation ago, many adults assumed they would eventually end up in dentures. Through modern dentistry, we now know better. Using proper techniques for twice-daily brushing, daily flossing and keeping your 6-month dental check-ups greatly increases your potential to enjoy a naturally-healthy smile for a lifetime.
Studies have shown there are tremendous benefits to keeping your natural teeth. Your natural tooth roots in the jaw bone provide nourishment and stimulation that helps to maintain healthy bone mass. When tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw, the bone begins to shrink, which can lead to eventual tooth loss.
It is a fact that people with their natural teeth live an average of ten years longer than denture wearers. Too, without the worry and frustrations of dentures or partials, people are able to eat a healthy diet and feel confident in social settings. Having the ability to eat a healthy diet and chew properly aids in maintaining good overall health. However, it is just as important to stay socially active.
According to the American Dental Association, approximately 57 percent of adults between 65 and 74 wear some form of denture. In “Oral Health, General Health And Quality Of Life,” by the World Health Organization (WHO), findings included “Oral health affects people physically and psychologically and influences how they grow, enjoy life, look, speak, chew, taste food and socialize, as well as their feelings of social well-being.”
Want to keep your teeth for your lifetime? You can! Adhering to the following steps will greatly increase your potential to enjoy a lifetime of smiles:
• Your twice-daily brush-&-floss routine is still the best way to keep oral bacteria to manageable levels. Use a soft to medium bristle tooth brush and a fluoride toothpaste. Never use abrasive substances, such as baking soda, which can wear away precious tooth enamel. Brush with a swirling motion rather than scrub teeth and floss daily (or use a water flosser). After brushing teeth, use your tooth brush to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper. This helps to uproot zillions of oral bacteria embedded in the tongue.
• Straighten teeth if they are crooked or crowded. When teeth are jumbled, their tight angles allow bacteria to easily accumulate, forming bacterial breeding grounds. Straight teeth are not only easier to keep clean, they support proper bite alignment. This minimizes your potential for stress on the TMJ (jaw joints). Strain on these joints can lead to headaches, night-time grinding and clenching, worn teeth and cracked or chipped teeth. If you dread the brackets-&-wires of braces, consider Invisalign. These clear, removable molds move teeth comfortably without the discomfort and awkwardness of traditional braces.
• Keep your mouth moist. Proper saliva flow helps to continually rinse bacteria from the mouth. Without this cleansing action, a dry mouth offers an ideal environment for bacterial growth. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and limit foods and beverages that are drying to oral tissues. These include coffee, tea, colas and chocolate as well as spicy foods. If you take medications that are drying to the mouth, ask your doctor about less-drying alternatives. Also, consider using an oral rinse formulated specifically to replenish moisture.
• Limit (or avoid) snacks with carbs and sugar. Every time you eat or drink (other than water), an acid attack begins in your mouth as part of the digestive process. When these acids mix with carbohydrates and sugary foods and beverages, bacteria becomes super-charged. This ramps up bacteria growth and can damage tooth enamel. Limit these for the good of your smile as well as your waistline!
• Be committed to your 6-month exams and cleanings. Your oral hygiene visits are designed to create a periodic ‘clean slate’ for your oral health. During these visits, our Hygienist removes calculus (or tartar), which are cement-hard bacterial colonies attached to teeth. We also perform an annual oral cancer screening using early-detection technology. These screenings are very important since oral cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers with one of the worst survival rates.
If your have already lost natural teeth or feel you have a mouthful of problems, let’s halt the process. Call 910-254-4555 for a no charge consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss how you can achieve a healthy smile that lasts your lifetime!