Dental health focuses on maintaining healthy teeth and gums; boca Dental and Braces are essential to a person’s eating, smiling, communicating, and maintaining physical and emotional health.
Good oral health practices such as brushing and flossing, eating a nutritious diet, and routine checkups can prevent dental problems. They may also help people avoid diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most people have heard that they should brush their teeth twice daily, floss, and visit the dentist regularly for X-rays and dental cleanings. But many people need to follow this simple advice. Taking good care of your mouth and teeth can prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease while making speaking, eating, smiling, and breathing easier. Moreover, good oral health can help avoid health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
A person’s oral health is a direct indicator of their overall health. Healthy People 2020 named dental health one of the top ten leading indicators of overall health. This is because poor oral health can lead to pain, discomfort, and severe and costly health conditions.
Studies have shown a link between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, strokes, diabetes complications, respiratory issues, and more. UIC’s College of Dentistry researchers are exploring new avenues to understand better how these connections work.
In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, a healthy diet that limits sugar, alcohol consumption, and smoking can also help maintain a person’s oral and general health. Additionally, it is important to find a dental insurance plan that offers a large network of providers to make it easier for patients to locate and visit a dentist.
When shopping for oral care products, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the product. This means that the product has been evaluated by scientists from fields like microbiology, toxicology, and pharmacology and found safe and effective. In addition, a dentist can provide personalized recommendations for dental products such as toothpaste, brushes, floss, oral irrigators, and mouth rinses. They can also recommend specific products that work best for someone with certain health issues. A good toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. In addition, a good water flosser can help reach areas that are harder to clean with a brush.
Flossing is a crucial element of daily oral hygiene routines in the dental world. It helps to remove bacteria and food debris from those tight spaces between your teeth and along your gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach. Many people consider flossing a cosmetic practice for their smiles, but it’s also an important part of oral health.
Flossing should be done once per day, in addition to brushing your teeth twice per day. Some types of floss are made from nylon, and others are made from PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene), commonly known as Teflon. Depending on your dental needs, you should use thicker, multifilament floss that can get into small crevices or thin, flat floss that works well for those with wide gaps between their teeth or receding gums.
It’s a good idea to buy floss in bulk to have enough on hand when needed. You can find it at most grocery stores, pharmacies, and discount retailers. Flossing is a relatively inexpensive option, especially compared to the cost of oral surgery or other dental treatments related to plaque and bacteria buildup.
Several studies have linked poor oral health with systemic diseases. For example, untreated gingivitis can lead to heart disease by allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect other body parts. Gum disease has been associated with pneumonia and respiratory infections as well. In addition, pregnancy complications, such as premature labor and low birth weight, can be related to inadequate dental care.
If you aren’t regularly flossing, starting now is a good idea. You’ll be glad you did; your smile will look and feel better. You’ll also be healthier, reducing your risk of serious, life-threatening illnesses. And it doesn’t hurt that flossing is a very easy, quick, and effective practice! This is one of those things that everyone should prioritize. Let’s face it: nobody wants to have bad breath! Regular flossing will improve your breath and keep your gums healthy.
While brushing and flossing help keep bacteria levels low, even the most fastidious oral hygiene regimen can leave hard-to-reach spots in the mouth. These areas can harbor plaque and tartar, which, if not removed, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The dentist can remove any buildup left on the teeth or along the gum line during routine checkups and cleanings. They can also spot early signs of problems that could otherwise be missed, such as cracked fillings and tooth fractures.
Regular dental checkups can help people avoid major oral health issues that require costly procedures and treatments. By catching problems early, dentists can recommend preventative measures such as diet and lifestyle changes to reduce the likelihood of future problems.
During a routine exam, dentists also look for signs of other health problems that could affect the mouth, teeth, and jaw. This can include checking the lymph nodes, jaw, and neck for swelling, bumps, or other abnormalities. They can also take blood pressure at each visit, which helps give a bigger picture of the patient’s overall health and well-being.
Dental X-rays allow the dentist to look at the bones and roots of the teeth in depth. They can spot underlying problems such as cysts, abscesses, and bone loss that aren’t always visible during a visual examination. They can then treat the problem before it becomes more serious.
The dentist can also spot other health concerns, such as a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, or diabetes. These problems can be linked to the mouth by a person’s eating habits, so the dentist needs to know what is happening in their patients’ lives.
Another benefit of routine dental exams is that they can teach children the importance of good oral health. By attending regular checkups, kids will be more likely to follow healthy habits in the future, such as brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding sugary foods and drinks that can lead to cavities. They’ll also learn that visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be scary, and it can even be fun!
Fluoride (say: FLOOR-ide) is a natural mineral that has been shown to prevent cavities or tooth decay. This mineral occurs in soil and water sources and is added to many community drinking water supplies worldwide. It is also found in toothpaste and mouth rinses containing the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. It has been called one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century for preventing cavities.
Unlike other minerals, which are lost from the enamel layer of teeth (demineralization) when acids from plaque bacteria and sugars attack them, fluoride helps to remineralize the enamel. This keeps the tooth strong and more resistant to the acid attacks that lead to cavities. Studies show that tooth decay rates are much lower in communities where fluoride is added to the water than in those without it.
The debate about the safety of fluoride continues, with proponents arguing that it is essential to good oral health and opponents claiming it can cause negative side effects such as bone fractures and thyroid problems. Dentists are on the front lines of this battle and are usually champions of fluoride usage — as long as it is used safely.
Topical fluorides protect teeth from decay by strengthening the enamel, and it is possible to receive this type of protection from self-applied products like toothpaste, mouth rinses, and mouthwashes, as well as professionally applied products such as higher-strength fluoride gels and foams, or fluoride varnishes. Ingesting systemic fluorides allows them to be incorporated into developing tooth structures, which is possible through fluoridated community water, fluoride supplements, and certain foods and beverages.
The use of fluoride to prevent decay is one of the most successful public health campaigns in history, and every patient needs to have access to this safe and effective treatment. Ask your dentist if your community has fluoride added to its drinking water supply, and be sure to use the right toothpaste and other products with it to get the most benefit.