dental care

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Oral Health

Plenty of people have a hard time with proper oral care, and it’s not because of a lack of effort. It’s more because there is an issue with education about oral health. For example, cavities aren’t inevitable, but at least 90% of adults 20 and older have had one or more cavities according to the CDC. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your oral health and prevent issues like cavities, general tooth decay, and gum disease. Read on for five easy ways to improve your oral health.

1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Going to the dentist may seem like a chore, but it’s ultimately very important. Plus, you’ll probably end up spending less money if you simply visit the dentist regularly, as opposed to having your tooth damage repaired later. A dentist will examine your teeth, ensure that your teeth and mouth are healthy, and have a dental hygienist clean your teeth. All of this will help them catch common issues early and prevent others from occurring.

2. Brush After Every Meal

While most Americans brush their teeth twice a day, you could really benefit from brushing your teeth after every meal, or even after every snack.

3. Floss Every Day

You should be flossing daily, ideally after every meal. Flossing is in many ways just as important as brushing your teeth. This is because food gets stuck between your teeth in places simply brushing can’t reach, which can cause cavities and gum disease. While brushing your teeth is effective and essential, flossing ensures that they’re truly taken care of.

4. Consider Your Diet

Some foods are simply better for your oral health than others. You may want to avoid acidic drinks like wine, as well as sticky and sugary foods.
Ultimately, dental care is important to ensuring that your oral health is at its best.

5. Utilize Dental Treatments

Your dentist can offer a variety of extra treatments to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and much more. For example, you may have the option of a fluoride treatment. This will strengthen your teeth and help prevent decay. Sealants can also be applied to your teeth to further ensure that oral health is preserved. Usually, sealants are applied to your back molars.

Contact the friendly team at Lowell Dental Arts to learn more or to schedule your appointment, today!

dental implants

How to Care for Your Dental Implants

If you and your dentist have decided that dental implants are the best treatment option to restore missing teeth, there are a few things you will need to know about caring for your implants. Dental implants are quickly becoming the standard of care to replace missing teeth. According to the Total Freedom Dental Implant Center, they have a 98% rate of success.

Basic Care Immediately Following Surgery

Dental implant care should start immediately following the implant surgery. The most important thing to remember about your new implants is that you do not want to wiggle the implant or apply too much pressure on the implant initially.

Expect some swelling and discomfort for the next few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers will help. You can also use an ice pack to keep the swelling down.

If your job requires strenuous physical labor, consider taking a couple of days off following the surgery. Most people return to work the day after surgery, but if you work in an environment where you have to do some heavy lifting, it is best to take off for 48 hours following surgery.

Oral Hygiene Is Critical

The tissue surrounding your implant needs a healthy environment to heal. One of the most prominent reasons an implant will fail is because of infection. Brush as you normally do but avoid the implant when brushing. For the next week, rinse your mouth with warm water and salt rinse after every meal to remove food particles and debris.

Add about a teaspoon of salt to a full cup of warm water. Your dentist may have prescribed a chlorhexidine rinse, which can follow your saltwater rinse. Be sure to follow this routine for a full week after your implant surgery.

Chew on the Side Without the Implant

If you do not have a whole mouth of implants, chew on the side where your natural teeth are for at least a week. You do not want to put undue pressure on a healing implant. Avoid overly hot foods or beverages for about a week. Room temperature foods and drinks are best for the week following your surgery.

Keep Your Follow Up Appointments

Be sure to keep your follow-up dental appointments. Dental implants are a great option and have a high success rate with the proper care. Regular checkups are necessary to ensure continued success. To learn more about dental implants and more, contact our friendly team at Lowell Dental Arts, today!

What Happens if You Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?

When you look good, you feel good. A missing tooth can have a negative impact on your appearance and, subsequently, your confidence. If you’ve lost a tooth, you might be wondering what you should do next. You might have questions about replacement options or about what happens if you don’t replace the missing tooth. If so, you’re in good company. Did you know that more than 156 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Over the years, we’ve answered hundreds of questions about tooth loss from concerned patients. Below you’ll find more information about what happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth.

Your Teeth Will Move

If you fail to replace a missing tooth, the teeth around the gap will begin to move, resulting in changes in your smile. Gaps often develop, and teeth often become crooked if you don’t replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, denture, or bridge. This movement can affect the health of your other teeth and ultimately lead to the loss of your remaining teeth. If you alter the way that you chew to compensate for the lost tooth, you could end up damaging your bite, which, can lead to the need for further treatment.

Missing teeth have an impact on how well your bite works. Teeth are designed to work in pairs. Pressure is exerted from the top row and bottom row of your teeth when you chew. A missing tooth alters the alignment of your bite, decreasing your ability to chew efficiently. Some people even develop digestive issues after losing a tooth due to increased difficulty chewing.

The Alignment of Your Bite Will Change

If you don’t replace a missing tooth, the way your bite comes together will change. Your upper and lower teeth will start to come together differently. Misalignments often lead to other physical problems such as headaches and jaw tension. Your dentist can often prevent these issues from developing by placing a dental implant, bridge, or denture.

Reduced Confidence in Your Appearance

Many patients find that having missing teeth adversely impacts their self-confidence and feelings about their overall appearance. Many patients report feeling self-conscious when smiling, talking, or eating in public when missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth can play an important role in reducing negative impacts on self-confidence.

If you’re ready to get your smile back, contact us today to schedule a dental implant!

How Poor Oral Health Affects Children

We’ve known that oral health is an essential aspect of our overall general health for a long time. In the early 1980s, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop coined the phrase, “You’re not healthy without good oral health.” Yet, 34 million school hours are lost every year due to unexpected (emergency) dental treatments, losing approximately $45 billion in productivity due to poor oral care.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Our Overall Health

Our oral health vastly influences our overall health. Think of your body as a machine. Like any machine, if one part goes down, the rest falters. Plus, our mouths are filled with nasty bacteria. Good oral care and our body’s immune defenses keep these ugly bacteria at bay. Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay and gum inflammation. Gum inflammation, on and off, is followed by plaque buildup. That buildup weakens our body’s defenses allowing some of those harmful bacteria to slip into our bloodstream, causing illness elsewhere in the body. There are several conditions you might not know are connected to poor oral care. They are:

• Heart Disease/Stroke – In some cases, gum disease may be linked to the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth (gingivitis). This inflammation may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
• Respiratory Disease: Bad oral hygiene can lead bacteria to go into the lungs and create plaque buildup. As a result, your lungs stiffen, and you become more susceptible to respiratory infections.
• Dementia: Swollen gums tend to emit a chemical that affects the brain. This chemical can kill brain cells, which, may cause memory loss. Worse, it has the potential to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
• Improper diet: If a child does not eat properly, they may lack the nutrients necessary for a healthy mouth. Oral disease leads to difficulty chewing and to a diet that lacks proper nutrition.

Poor oral healthcare can hinder a child’s school performance and speech. That is why dentistry for children is so important.

Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy prevents further health complications in your child. So, it’s essential to get your child’s dental check-ups at least twice per year. Your child’s oral health affects their overall health. Boost your child’s emotional, physical, and mental health by ensuring that their oral health is in good oral standing.

Best Dental Care: 6 Tips for Having a Healthy Mouth

As you get older, your mouth and teeth are prone to problems. You may also experience pain or discomfort in the jaw, gums, or tongue. These problems can occur at any age, but they often happen when people reach middle-age and beyond. Preventative measures such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly will help ward off these issues before they arise. Here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy.

1. Be Diligent With Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice per day, and floss once a day. Flossing gets the plaque off the hard-to-reach places in between the teeth. If you wear braces or have other dental work such as implants, make sure to clean them regularly. Rinse after eating sugary foods or drinking sodas or coffee because these are high in the carbohydrates that bacteria need to grow, which can lead to cavities and decay.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste When Brushing Your Teeth

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, soil, plants, and animals. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the enamel on teeth more resistant to acid erosion caused by bacteria. Fluoride can be found in many types of toothpaste or mouthwash, but some are not recommended for children under six years-old because they contain ingredients that can be harmful if swallowed. Read the label to find out how to use fluoride safely when you brush your teeth.

3. Reduce Sugar Intake

Bad bacteria need sugar as a food source, and it’s left behind after eating sweet foods such as fruit and candy, so brushing afterward isn’t enough to remove it from your teeth. If you eat a lot of candy or sugary foods and find that your teeth are sensitive after eating these foods, try brushing with fluoride toothpaste or rinsing with mouthwash to reduce the sensitivity. Be aware that smoking tobacco also causes sensitivity in teeth, so if you continue to smoke while doing all this, it will not help your teeth.

4. Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

A dentist can diagnose and treat issues like gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Gum disease (gingivitis) is a condition that affects the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. It’s caused by plaque building up to the point where it starts damaging tissues around your teeth which cause bleeding, inflammation, swelling in gums, pain when chewing or brushing, and bad breath. That’s not something you want!

Cavities are another problem which, if left untreated, will get worse and cause pain leading to infections. So, be sure to visit your dentist once every six months or twice a year for regular checkups.

5. Get Modern Dental Care Products

Newer products can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy by preventing damage to existing surfaces or even growing new ones if need be. Cosmetic treatments, modern fillings, modern dental implants, and whitening procedures are just a few of the advancements in modern dental health that can help you have better oral hygiene and healthier teeth. Take advantage of these modern-day advances in dentistry to revitalize your smile.

6. Get a Customized Mouth Guard

A custom-made sports mouthguard is a protective appliance you wear over your teeth to protect them from damage that can occur during contact sports like boxing and football. You don’t want to risk chipping or cracking your teeth, so this could be very beneficial for anyone who regularly plays any of these sports. There are many types of mouthguards available, but if you find yourself playing the same sport often, it might be worth investing in one of these rather than using store-bought ones, which are not as effective.

In conclusion, by following the tips listed above and visiting with your dental professional, you can have a healthy mouth and avoid dental problems that lead to much more serious issues. Many dental issues are treatable if caught early, but ignoring them could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and more. Don’t let these conditions get out of hand, or you might find yourself unable to afford the necessary dental care.

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