Healthy smiles start with hygiene
If you’ve ever been to the dentist (we hope you have), you’ve heard it time and time again, “Have you been brushing regularly? What about flossing?” While it may seem like we’re beating a dead horse, we only stress oral hygiene so much because it really is the most important factor to your oral health.
A winning combo
Think of your mouth as a boxing ring – the opponent: tooth decay. If you step into the ring and throw jab after jab, your opponent will be quick to be keen and block, and knock you out. You can’t be a one trick pony and expect to take home the title. The key is in the combo. Jab, jab…left hook! Knock out.
In this case, your jab is your go-to: a solid oral home care routine. This is what you practice every day and could execute blind-folded. When we only see you in our office twice per year, the other 363 training days are on your shoulders.
Your daily hygiene routine:
- Start the morning off right with a healthy, balanced breakfast
- Brush thoroughly for at least two minutes – we recommend an electric toothbrush (Sonicare® is our favorite, and don’t forget to brush the tongue to get rid of morning breath)
- Avoid highly acidic foods and beverages and those that stain
- Brushing after each meal is recommended, or at least swish with water to reduce plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay (chewing gum containing xylitol is also beneficial)
- Floss thoroughly before your nighttime brushing to remove plaque between teeth
- Rinse with mouthwash after brushing for the ultimate clean
This is the little trick up your sleeve that wins the fight. In this case, it’s your twice yearly visits to Fuquay Family Dentistry. You’ve perfected and sufficiently worked the jab (your oral home care), and just when you’ve got tooth decay backed into the ropes, you throw in a cleaning with our knock-out hygiene team and it’s down for the count.
Exam & Cleaning:
- Thorough examination of your teeth and gums to check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and any other changes that might be potentially problematic
- Deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup on tooth surfaces, between teeth, and along the gum line
- Check health of any existing fillings or other restorations
- X-rays to gain deeper insight to the health of teeth, tooth roots, and bone beneath the gums
The importance of prevention
Your Fuquay-Varina dentists are firm believers that prevention is the best medicine. We would much rather see you twice yearly for regular exams and cleanings than see you every few years and have to perform extensive and costly restorative procedures. Maintaining your oral hygiene every day and keeping up your regular appointments will ensure optimum oral health, and save you a boat load of pain, money, and time spent in the dental chair down the road.
The oral-overall health link
Today, dental and healthcare professionals agree more than ever that there is a strong and serious correlation between oral and overall health. What many of our patients don’t realize, until we point it out to them and it becomes blatantly obvious, is that the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. Just as the food we eat has a direct and profound impact on our health, so does the state of our oral health.
When bacteria and disease are present in the mouth, they have a direct pathway to the interior systems of the body that regulate our overall health. That’s why gum disease, for example, can significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of oral hygiene and oral health. It’s not just your teeth that are at stake, it’s your total state of health.
If you have any questions about oral hygiene, or would like to schedule a cleaning appointment with your Fuquay-Varina dentists, Dr. McCormick and Dr. Meunier at Fuquay Family Dentistry, please contact our office today at (919) 230-8388. We promise to work hard as your allies for oral and overall health.