The last months of the year offer many opportunities for us to indulge our sweet tooth. Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, Grandma’s homemade fudge, goodies galore. So, the first of the year might be a good time to perform a little maintenance on the mouth with a visit the dentist.
But my teeth are fine, you might say, no need to see a dentist. Preventative maintenance will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape, says Cheryl Sutherland, a dental assistant from Merritt Island, Florida. She recommends having your teeth cleaned every six months unless you have gum (periodontal) disease. Then the dentist or hygienist will determine the frequency; possibly dental cleanings every three to four months will be necessary.
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it’s still important to have a professional clean your teeth. “They can remove calculus (tartar) that has hardened on the teeth over time,” explains Cheryl. “This could cause bone loss since it cannot be removed by basic tooth brushing and flossing. A hygienist uses special instruments to remove the hardened plaque (tartar).”
What can we do on our own to keep our teeth and gums healthy and the dental visits as pain free as possible? “Brush at least two to three times a day and floss daily,” says Cheryl. “Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and periodic dental exams to check for tooth decay.Sugared and acidic drinks are big issues when it comes to tooth decay. Colas are loaded with sugar. It is very important to brush after consuming any sugary substances and don’t forget to floss daily, since brushing doesn’t get between the teeth.”
Electric or battery powered toothbrushes make brushing the required two to three minutes fairly easy. Another great product is an oral irrigation system that can be used in the shower to clear food from between the teeth by using a high-pressure stream of water. These are easy to install, simple to use, and won’t leave your bathroom mirror dotted with water marks.
Take good care of your teeth so you can continue to enjoy the delights of chewy food. There are many dentists to chose from in Brevard county, so put this on your list of things-that-I-don’t-want-to-do-but-will-be-glad-I-did, and save yourself the aggravation of painful and expensive dental work in the future.