Responsibility for Your Oral Health

One of the things we stress at our practice is the importance of taking responsibility for your own oral health. There are plenty of things the doctor and hygienist can do to help your smile stay healthy, but the major responsibility for taking care of your teeth and gum belongs with you.

And there's more to taking care of your oral health than brushing and flossing regularly. All kinds of factors can have an affect on your oral health. In fact, if you read Diet and Dental Decay you will find that diet plays an important role in a healthy smile and fresh breath. Check out the section on Smoking — did you know that smokers have a 10 times greater incidence of periodontal disease than non-smokers?

Brush regularly. Floss regularly. Watch what you eat. And educate yourself on how to take care of your gums and teeth so you have a healthy and bright smile for life.

Smoking

By now, we all know that smoking is bad for your health. But smoking can also have an affect on your breath.

Tobacco use often leads to a common form of halitosis generally referred to as "smoker's breath". Smoking dries the membranes of the mouth and the lack of moisturizing saliva enhances the growth of bacteria leading to bad breath. In fact, studies have shown that smokers have a 10 times greater incidence of periodontal disease than non-smokers. Signs of periodontal disease can include:

Bleeding gums
Pus between gums and teeth
Sensitivity when flossing
Swelling or redness of gums
Persistent bad breath
Changes in the way your teeth fit together
Receding Gums
Loose teeth

Don't let your health (and your breath) go up in smoke.

Bad Breath
When an individual has bad breath, bacteria are often present in substantial numbers. In addition to bad breath, those byproducts that the bacteria produce and leave in the saliva, on the tongue and between the teeth can contribute to a very unpleasant taste. Bad breath can be caused by many factors including the food we eat, poor or irregular eating habits such as skipping meals, as well as the consumption of alcohol, and the use of tobacco.

Individuals who suffer from chronic bad breath react with great embarrassment and discomfort knowing that their mouth odor is unpleasant to those around them. It often causes anxiety and has a negative impact on self-esteem. It is necessary to have chronic bad breath assessed and treated for greater all-around health.
Self Esteem
The teen years can be a very stressful time and having a healthy self-esteem goes a long way in making these often difficult years easier. Self-esteem is related to many issues, including dental health. Taking proper care of your teeth can go a long way in making you feel better — after all, the first thing we notice about other people is their smile.

Good self-esteem is important because it helps you to feel good about yourself and feel proud of your accomplishments and abilities. Having good self-esteem is also important to making good choices about your mind and body. If you feel good about yourself, you'll be less likely to follow the crowd if your friends are doing something you think isn't healthy. If you have good self-esteem, you know that you're smart enough to make your own decisions and able to defend yourself against peer pressure.

How does one improve their self-esteem? It starts with you. Take a look at yourself and feel proud about who you are. And surround yourself with people who feel the same about you - stay away from people who are negative influences. Take care of yourself. Give yourself compliments. Stay positive. And smile.
Fluoride
Fluoride makes the enamel on teeth stronger and reduces the possibility of getting cavities. Although some toothpaste and mouth rinses can provide additional protection, we recommend the following two methods:
Systemic fluoride is the swallowing of fluoride, either through drinking water, or in non-fluoridated areas. It can be prescribed by a pediatrician or dentist.
Topical fluoride is applied directly to the teeth in our office and should be repeated every six months.
These fluoride methods can provide up to a 60% reduction in tooth decay.
Mouth Guards
Mouthguards help prevent broken teeth and injuries to other areas including the lips, tongue, face and jaw. Properly fitted, a mouthguard protects your smile during any activity, will stay in place, and allows you to talk and breathe easily. Talk to us about having a high quality, custom mouthguard made especially for you.
Sealants
Sealants protect areas of teeth vulnerable to decay by sealing out plaque and food. Sealants are easy to apply — it only takes a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants are bonded to the grooves of back teeth and prevent cavities from starting.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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