Preventative dental care is foundational for maintaining a healthy smile. When teeth and gums are neglected, it can result in cavities, gum disease, and other serious oral health conditions. But your oral health isn’t the only thing at risk. Studies have shown that the health of your mouth and body are interconnected. Unaddressed bacteria and infection in your mouth can lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a host of other systemic issues.
By placing preventative care as a top priority, you can preserve your smile and extend the longevity of your natural teeth. Below Knoxville dentist, Dr. Ruth Bailey gives you four ways to do this. We also invite you to get your 2018 dental appointments on the calendar as soon as possible. To book yours, simply call our office at (865) 588-1294 or fill out our online form.
Implement Good At-Home Oral Hygiene Habits
In between your dental visits, you should make at-home oral hygiene a top priority. This should include brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using an approved antibacterial mouthwash. Together, this powerful trifecta can keep plaque buildup at bay and protect you from the early signs of gum disease. Other important tips to remember include:
- Brushing your teeth in a circular motion (rather than side to side) for two minutes.
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Anything harder could irritate the gums or weaken the enamel and result in dental fillings. Some find an electric toothbrush more beneficial for its effectiveness and ability to automatically maintain a circular motion while brushing teeth.
- Swapping out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months.
Attend Dental Exams
In addition to implementing a good at-home oral hygiene regimen, patients should visit the dentist for a dental examination and professional cleaning every six months, according to the American Dental Association. Though daily brushing and flossing are key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, only a professional cleaning can eliminate hard-to-remove plaque and bacteria. During this appointment, the dentist will also be able to determine if there are any underlying conditions that need to be addressed by performing a series of x-rays. Catching tooth decay and gum disease in their earliest stages can prevent you from needing complex dental work. If Dr. Bailey notices cavities or gum disease, she can perform dental fillings or periodontal treatment the same day.
Eat Foods That Naturally Whiten and Strengthen Teeth
While darker pigmented foods and beverage have a tendency to discolor and stain teeth, there are certain foods that you can implement into your diet that will naturally whiten your teeth. Some of these foods include:
- Apples – contain malic acid, which is known for removing stains and increasing saliva production.
- Strawberries – contain malic acid, as well as Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Together they work to naturally polish teeth and reduce bacteria and inflammation.
- Pineapple – contains bromelain, an enzyme known for naturally cleaning and reducing inflammation.
- Broccoli – when eaten raw, it naturally scrubs enamel and whitens teeth. It also contains iron, which acts as a barrier against enamel erosion. The fiber in broccoli can also reduce inflammation and counteract gum disease.
- Water – not only good for your body, water can prevent dental fillings by washing away food and bacteria from the teeth’s surface.
Don’t Put Off Recommended Treatment
At your dental examination, the dentist may recommend certain restorative or cosmetic treatments, such as dental fillings, root canal therapy, or laser gum contouring to help preserve or enhance your smile. When additional care is recommended, you’ll want to follow-up immediately before the condition worsens. Putting off dental work could lead to further issues and costly treatments.
Call Us Today
Make sure your New Year’s resolutions include maintaining better oral health. Please contact Knoxville dentist, Dr. Ruth Bailey, today to book your 2018 appointments. You can reach us online or by calling (865) 588-1294. In addition to dental fillings, we offer a full line of general, cosmetic, and restorative services to meet our patients’ unique needs.