Keeping Your Teeth Healthy And Clean
Why is it important to keep your teeth clean and healthy?
The importance of good oral health
You may or not be surprised to hear that your dental health impacts your general health directly. Poor oral hygiene will not only cause oral health problems, but it will also lead to many other health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. Sometimes your teeth infection can travel in your body through the bloodstream and damage other body organs, like the neck, face, and even brain!
Practising good oral hygiene and arranging regular dental check-ups will improve oral health and prevent many dental problems and general health problems. Therefore, by keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you are doing your overall health a favour.
The importance of regular dental check-ups
Why should you visit your dentist regularly?
Everybody loves having a brilliant smile and a healthy set of teeth. However, an attractive set of teeth and a healthy mouth, in general, won’t happen by accident!
Practising good oral hygiene is a key factor in achieving healthy teeth, but this is just YOUR share of the job! Optimal oral health will be achieved when proper dental hygiene is accompanied by your regular dental check-up. Regular dental visits are one of the major factors in keeping your mouth healthy because your dentist will be able to spot any dental issues at their early stages and prevent them from further damaging your teeth or gums. Prevention of dental problems by early detection of any tiny issue can save your natural teeth and lower your dental costs and the need for dental restorations like dentures, implants, etc.
Note: Our professional dental experts in Brisbane recommend visiting your dentist twice a year to ensure your dental health, prevent tooth decay, improve oral health and keep your breath fresh.
What happens during your dental visits?
- Teeth cleaning
Check up (examination)
During your check-up in a dental clinic, the dentist will perform a thorough oral examination to ensure your dental health. Early signs of tooth decay or cavities will be carefully checked by the dental professional. Sometimes X-rays are required to check for caries and other pathologies. Your wisdom teeth condition will also be checked.
Wisdom teeth check-up
what are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of third molars that grow at the back of your mouth. Your wisdom teeth typically emerge when you are between seventeen to twenty-one years old.
Your dentist will examine your wisdom teeth to ensure they are not impacted or causing any trouble for other teeth. 2D or 3D X-rays may be required for a thorough assessment of your wisdom teeth removal.
Impacted wisdom teeth
If your jaw does not have enough space to fit your wisdom teeth, they become impacted, which means they erupt partially or become stuck under the gum.
By arranging regular dental check-ups with your dentist, you can ensure your wisdom teeth are in good health.
Impacted wisdom teeth can compromise your dental health because they are hard to be cleaned and can cause many dental issues. You may experience jaw pain, ear pain, unpleasant breath, and tender gums if something is wrong with your wisdom teeth.
Your gums will also be closely examined to ensure there are no signs of inflammation, redness, or sensitivity. The dentist may also check your tongue, throat, head, and neck to ensure everything is fine.
Plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth will lead to gum inflammation and cause bad breath and other dental problems. During the visit, your dentist will also do some teeth cleaning in case you have plaque and tartar to prevent gum disease or tooth decay. Professional teeth cleaning may include scaling, which involves the removal of plaque and tartar from your tooth surface, between your teeth, and above and below the gumline with a special tool named a scaler. After your teeth scaling is finished, your dentist may polish your teeth with a gritty paste. Polishing is done to remove your teeth’ surface stains.
Professional dental flossing may also be included during your check-up to clean all the areas between your teeth.
Children dental check
Regular dental check-ups for your baby
Parents are highly recommended to schedule their child’s first dental visit as soon as their baby’s first tooth appears in their mouth. By starting dental care at an early age for your child and teaching them good oral hygiene habits, you are both keeping their mouth healthy and preventing early childhood caries (ECC).
To ensure your child’s dental health, keep their teeth and gums healthy and prevent tooth decay:
- Start oral care and dental check at an early age
- Clean your baby’s gums with a soft clean piece of cloth after feeding them
- Arrange check-ups with their dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges
- Avoid sending them to bed with a bottle of milk or sweet drinks
- Manage their dental anxiety (fear of the dentist, dental procedures, or dental clinic)
- Avoid giving them a lot of sugary foods and drinks or fruit juices
- Tell them why having healthy teeth and a healthy mouth are vital to their general health and well being
- Buy them their favourite toothbrush, or an electric toothbrush if that’s what they prefer
- Buy a fluoride toothpaste for your child and only use a pea-sized amount
- Teach them the correct technique of brushing teeth
- Remind them to brush their teeth twice a day; children under the age of 8 will need assistance and supervision for a thorough brushing.
Note: ECC may be caused by a diet high in sugar. (fruit juices, sugary foods, snacks, and sports drinks) If left untreated, early childhood caries may cause premature tooth loss and other consequent discomforts.
- is caused by a bacterial infection
- can be caused by plaque and tartar build-up
- can be the result of poor dental hygiene
- can put your oral health in danger
- causes gums to become swollen and red
- has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis
- can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining good oral hygiene
Gingivitis risk factors
Who has a higher risk of periodontal disease?
Generally speaking, oral health problems at early stages are easier to be cured or treated. So make sure you visit your dentist if you see any signs of gingivitis to avoid other complicated dental problems and health issues.
Oh, before we forget, if you smoke or chew tobacco, ditch your regular dental visit, eat lots of sugary foods or drinks, and are not a fan of proper oral hygiene, you are at a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
What happens if you leave gingivitis untreated?
What is periodontitis?
If not treated, gingivitis can lead to a serious disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is severe gum disease and can cause receding gums, bone loss, and tooth loss and needs serious oral care. With periodontitis, your teeth and gums are seriously needing urgent dental care; you may notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth. The supporting tissues of your teeth are damaged now, and the infection is spread out to the bones, causing the teeth to become loose.
You can prevent gum disease by arranging regular dental check-ups, maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding tobacco use, and taking proper care of your teeth and gums.
Ask your dentist in Brisbane for more information about proper dental hygiene.
Attention: You can buy interdental brushes to remove food particles from between your teeth and prevent the building up of plaque and tartar, and therefore lower your risk of gum disease. The interdental brush head is specially designed to clean between your teeth with a simple in-and-out movement.
What causes tooth decay?
How to prevent tooth decay?
Tooth decay is another common oral disease that with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits can be prevented. Tooth decay can create severe pain and discomfort and can affect all people, including adults and children. If left untreated, tooth decay can eventually cause cavities, tiny holes in your teeth, tooth infection, and even tooth loss.
As mentioned before, if plaque stays on your teeth and is not removed from teeth regularly, it can cause a lot of damage to your dental health. When we eat sugary foods, the bacteria in plaque turns the sugar into acid and attacks our teeth, causing enamel erosion. Tooth decay occurs when enamel or the tooth’s surface is damaged.
Attention: Sports drinks usually contain high acids and can easily weaken the enamel and cause tooth decay.
Note: Tooth enamel is the most visible part of a tooth that acts as a protective layer. Your teeth enamel has no living cells, meaning your body will not be able to regenerate it if it corrodes.
What are the most common symptoms of tooth decay:
- Tooth pain (persistent toothache)
- Sensitive teeth; your teeth may have become sensitive to sweet things or temperature, hot or cold, if you have tooth decay
- Bad breath
- The appearance of brown or black spots on your teeth surface
What are mouth cancers?
Oral cancers or mouth cancer refers to the growth of cancerous cells in the oral cavity tissues. This type of cancer may affect the throat, lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, roof or floor of the mouth, or sinuses. Mouth cancer is a serious disease and requires urgent care.
During your dental check, your dentist in Brisbane will closely examine your neck, head, face, and oral cavity to see any signs of unusual tissue change or lumps.
Mouth cancer treatment
Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are among the treatment options for oral cancer to stop the cancerous cells from growing.
Oral diseases and how to prevent them
What are the most common oral diseases?
Improper dental hygiene will cause more problems and inconveniences than just compromising your smile! Taking good care of your gums and teeth and having a check-up with your dentist regularly will ensure your overall health, lower your healthcare costs, and risk developing oral health conditions. Gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer or mouth cancer are among the most common oral diseases that can put your dental health and overall well-being in danger if not dealt with promptly.
Let’s see what they are, how they develop, and how they can be prevented:
Gum Disease(periodontal disease)
Healthy gums are firm, pink, and not inflamed! If you have healthy gums, you shouldn’t see blood when you brush your teeth or floss. You shouldn’t experience unexplained tooth loss if your gums are healthy. Sensitive gums, bad breath, gum inflammation, and bleeding gums can all be early signs of gum disease and a red flag for gingivitis.
Plaque & Tartar
If you don’t keep your mouth clean and overlook your teeth’ regular brushing, you give rise to plaque build-up and elevate your risk of gum disease.
Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that begins to form on our teeth after eating or drinking something. Plaque bacteria create acid out of the sugars from sugary or starchy foods, attack your tooth enamel, and cause tooth decay. Removing plaque from your tooth surface is essential and easy; you can remove plaque from your teeth by practising good oral hygiene.
How to remove dental plaque from the tooth surface
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.
If you neglect your dental care and don’t remove plaque, this filmy substance of bacteria will harden and turn into a bigger problem, tartar. Tartar is a hard deposit that is caused due to plaque build-up on your teeth. Tartar can build up along your gumline and put your gum health at risk.
Tartar will cause gum inflammation because it builds up below and above the gum line and makes them swollen and tender.
People with tartar will usually have difficulty maintaining dental hygiene because of their swollen gums and sensitive teeth. They may have to ignore their regular brushing, which can make things worse and compromise their oral health! That’s when gum disease occurs!
Removing tartar in dental clinic
Attention: While removing dental plaque is easy to do at home by maintaining proper oral hygiene, you cannot remove tartar all by yourself! To remove tartar from your teeth, you will need to refer to your dentist or dental professional and get the job done in a dental clinic.
What are the risk factors of mouth cancer?
Oral cancer seems to affect men over 40 more than women, and smokers are at a higher risk of developing mouth cancer. Alcohol drinkers are also more in danger of getting mouth cancer. Family history of cancer and HPV are considered risk factors for oral cancers.
Note: HPV is short for “Human papillomavirus” and refers to a sexually transmitted infection.
What are the common signs and symptoms of mouth cancer?
Visit your dentist immediately if you notice oral cancer symptoms, especially if you smoke and drink alcohol:
- unexplained loose teeth
- unexplained numbness on your lips
- unexplained numbness on your tongue
- unexplained pain in your mouth or ears
- painful mouth ulcers that don’t heal
- painful swallowing
- having trouble chewing or moving your jaw
- change in voice or speaking
- white or red patches inside your mouth or on your tongue
A regular dental check-up in a professional dental clinic can spot any dental health issues early and prevent them from progressing and causing other health issues.
Fluoride toothpaste advantages for your dental health
Choosing the right oral care product is another part of good dental hygiene. Many specialised kinds of toothpaste are out there to help you improve your oral health, including fluoride toothpaste. Do not forget to add fluoride toothpaste to your oral health products shopping list! Fluoride toothpaste can prevent tooth decay and cavities and protect teeth by strengthening your natural teeth’ enamel.
Good oral hygiene habits
Keep your mouth clean and prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease by following these dental hygiene tips:
- Never neglect or ditch a dental check-up and visit your dentist regularly to have healthy teeth
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Have your wisdom teeth checked by your dentist, even if they are not causing you pain or discomfort
- Floss regularly, at least once a day, to remove food debris and clean the areas between your teeth; you can use interdental brushes
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and keep your breath fresh
- Learn correct techniques of brushing
- Do not move the toothbrush if you are using electric toothbrushes; hold the brush head on your tooth and let it clean your tooth. (With electric toothbrushes, you do not need to move your toothbrush in an up/down or left/right motion.)
- Use a fluoride mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste to protect teeth and control the level of plaque bacteria
- Do not use more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children
- Reduce bacteria plaque by using mouthwash twice a day
- Avoid smoking or any tobacco use; tobacco products weaken your immune system in general
- Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks to prevent tooth decay
- Rinse your mouth after eating snacks
- Drink tap water because it contains fluoride and can make your teeth and gums stronger
Tips for proper brushing
- Avoid applying too much pressure when you’re brushing
- Angle the toothbrush at a 45° toward the gumline
- Use gentle circular motions
- Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth as well as the inner surfaces
- The chewing surfaces are also very important
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day
- Change your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are worn
- Change your electric toothbrush’ brush head every 12 weeks
Call your dentist today on 07 3343 4869 and book an appointment to assess your oral health.