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Dental Care Basics

A healthy mouth can be one of the most important aspects of your physical health. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits means you’re more likely to have both top-notch oral health and physical health. Learning the most important aspects of good oral health will enable you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. This will contribute to your overall good health since several dental diseases such as periodontal disease and cavities or abscessed teeth have been directly linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and pulmonary diseases.

How Do I Know If I’m Developing Plaque on My Teeth?

When you eat or drink foods that contain sugar, which includes carbohydrates since they’re converted into sugar, a sticky film remains on your teeth. Unless you remove it through brushing and flossing, it begins to attack the enamel on your teeth. It also lodges between the teeth and along the gum line and enables the proliferation of bacteria.

Even if you brush and floss regularly, plaque can begin to form and you probably won’t be aware of it until your dentist finds it during your routine tooth cleaning. Plaque is a very hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dentist or hygienist. It often forms on the backs of the teeth, so you won’t know that you have it.

When you notice a fuzzy feeling on your teeth, this is the bacteria forming. It will continue to accumulate until it’s removed through brushing and flossing. Rinsing with mouthwash will help, but it won’t remove all of the bacteria like brushing and flossing. If you need to schedule a routine cleaning, then call our Hudson Valley office to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.

How Do I Know If I’m Developing Gingivitis?

Despite your best practices and intentions, you may start to develop gingivitis. It affects most Americans at some point in their lives and is the most common cause of bleeding gums in adults. However, when caught early, it’s reversible and won’t inflict permanent damage.

Since gingivitis is relatively painless at first, you may have it but be unaware of it. The following symptoms may indicate the presence of gingivitis, so if you notice them, then call our Hudson Valley office right away and make an appointment with one of our dentists. Symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Changes in your bite
  • Discolored gums that are purplish or dark red
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Swollen gums
  • Very bad breath that doesn’t dissipate

If you notice any of these symptoms, then you’re probably in the early stages of gingivitis and should see your dentist. Eliminating plaque on a regular basis will help keep gingivitis out of your mouth, but it’s important to address it promptly when you notice the symptoms of it.

Are Cavities Avoidable?

Cavities may not be entirely avoidable throughout your life, but you can certainly reduce the incidence of their appearance. Although many parents think that it’s okay for their children to get cavities, this is incorrect. Children should be taught good oral hygiene habits at an early age. If your child is old enough to hold a toothbrush in the morning and after they eat, then they’re old enough to learn oral hygiene habits.

Cavities, or dental caries, are the most common chronic childhood disease, according to the American Dental Association. Teaching your child good dental hygiene at an early age sets a lifelong habit of good dental hygiene habits.

If you notice any of the following, then you may be developing a cavity or you may have one already:

  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Holes or pits in your teeth
  • Sensitivity to sugar, cold, or hot foods or drinks
  • Sudden toothache

Left untreated, cavities can become abscessed, which can be a life-threatening situation, so it’s vital that you promptly treat any cavities that may develop, regardless of your age.

What Oral Hygiene Habits Should I Practice at Home?

Good oral hygiene starts with brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once.

Brushing

Ideally, you should brush and floss after each meal or snack, but this isn’t always feasible. Other good oral hygiene habits include:

  • Brush for at least two minutes
  • Brush your tongue as well as your teeth
  • Change your toothbrush at the beginning of each quarter or if you’ve been ill

Flossing

Flossing removes the food detritus from between your teeth. This is important because your toothbrush may be unable to reach all the places that accumulate food particles. Flossing also helps to prevent bad breath, decay, and tartar, so be sure to floss at least once each day.

Mouthwash

Using an antibacterial mouthwash may help eliminate any residue that remains after brushing and flossing. Swish the fluid around for 30 seconds to rinse your mouth thoroughly and remove any residual bacteria. Make sure your mouthwash has the American Dental Association seal of approval.

Diet and Lifestyle

A healthy diet can help you to have a healthy mouth. Sodas, fast food, and high-sugar items can contribute to cavities and gingivitis that will destroy your tooth enamel. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, and lean protein will provide the basis for a healthy mouth as well as a healthy body. Be sure to remain hydrated by drinking an ample amount of plain water. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, then call our Hudson Valley office and we’ll be glad to help you.

Why Is It Important to Have a Family Dentist?

A family dentist who is familiar with the idiosyncrasies of your oral health can save you money, stress, and time, as well as ensure that you have the best oral health possible. The American Dental Association recommends that you have checkups and cleanings twice annually, more if recommended by your dentist. Your dentist may notice the early signs of issues such as bruxism or TMJ and be able to halt their progress.

Why Is It Important to Have Consistent Dental Care?

Since a family dentist will have your dental history, they’ll be able to recognize an abscess, cyst, loss of jawbone, caries between the teeth, a fracture, or a tumor that someone who was unfamiliar with your mouth might miss. Most dentists now screen for oral cancer, which accounts for about 3 percent of all new cancers annually. Men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer, and those who drink and smoke have an even higher risk.

Losing your teeth as you age isn’t inevitable. Maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout your life can help your teeth last throughout your lifetime. If you need to schedule an exam or cleaning, then call our Hudson Valley office at and we’ll schedule an appointment for you. Don’t procrastinate, call us today and save your teeth. We look forward to speaking with you and working with you.

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