Everyone agrees that preventing disease is better than having to have it treated. A healthy diet, vigorous exercise, and regular checkups would keep many illness from becoming serious. Too many people, however, hope there is simply a pill they can take to avoid taking care of themselves.
Dentistry is one medical specialty, however, for which there will never be a shortcut to maintaining good oral health. It takes a lot of collaboration between patients doing their best to brush and floss thoroughly and the team at Wilshire Smile Studio.
Virtually everyone has had at least one cavity and knows how painful having “dental caries” (the technical term) is. Yet they keep recurring because most people do not really do a good job of preventing them (cavities remain the second most common disease, behind only the common cold). It is not until adulthood that preventing periodontal (gum) disease is recognized as the most important reason for brushing and flossing to avoid having teeth fall out and the expense and health complications that come with it.
Few outside of the profession of dentistry really understand how brushing needs to be done to prevent gum and tooth infections, however. A soft brush (manual or electric) with a recommended toothpaste should be used to stroke each tooth from the gum line to the top on both sides, as well as the surfaces of the back teeth, taking a full two minutes.
This needs to be ideally done after breakfast (to clean off not only the meal, but the oral bacteria that accumulate in the mouth overnight) and again after the last snack of the day. That’s also when flossing needs to be done, moving the string to a clean part each time that a new area between the teeth is cleaned in order to avoid contamination, then scraping the side of each tooth moving upwards.
But it is really difficult to maintain perfect oral health without having a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist, who has the tools and techniques to remove plaque (the sticky bacterial film that forms around food particles that have not been cleaned off) and tartar (the hardened form it can turn into). This should be done every 3-6 months, depending on your oral health status.
A full physical examination by your dentist is also important twice a year to check for everything from signs of teeth being ground down during sleep (known as bruxism) to oral cancer. Wilshire Smile Studio uses the most advanced technology, including digital x-rays and CT scans, to detect whether there are hidden cavities, impacted teeth, or periodontal infections that have reached the jawbone, requiring surgery to remove them and perhaps bone grafts.
If you have not had a dental exam or cleaning by a hygienist recently, call Wilshire Smile Studio today to set an appointment. Prevention really is the best medicine.