How To Maintain And Repair Your Teeth
Many of you may be familiar with the television show called “This Old House.” In each episode, viewers can learn different ways of restoring parts of their homes.
We don’t know how popular a show called “This Old Tooth” would be, but we know it would feature many of the things that we do regularly at Hubbard & Leath Dental.
Our teeth, like our homes, can last a lifetime if we maintain them properly and we restore them when problems do occur.
We would like to discuss each of those things and how we can help at our Rochester Hills, MI, dentist office.
Maintaining Your Mouth
To keep your mouth and your teeth in tip-top shape, you need to do routine maintenance.
This starts at your own home. Every day you need to do at least two things — brush your teeth and floss your teeth.
As with any job, you need to make sure you have the right tools. To do the tasks mentioned above, you will need:
• A soft-bristled toothbrush
• A fluoride toothpaste
• Dental floss or an alternate interdental cleaner
When it comes to brushing, think 2×2. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice per day.
When you brush, squeeze a pea-sized dab of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. (This is real life, not a toothpaste commercial. You don’t have to fill the entire brush.)
Scrub your teeth on all sides, but be careful not to scrub too hard. This can damage the enamel of your teeth or your gums. You should be able to feel some pressure from your bristles, but if they are “buckling” against your teeth, then you are brushing too hard.
When you finish, scrub your tongue as well.
The ADA also recommends flossing once daily. This is to clean the areas of your mouth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
Any kind of dental floss will do, so long as it’s a dental floss that you will use. Break off a comfortable length (about 18 inches). Wrap the ends around your middle fingers, and hold about an inch of floss between your index fingers and thumbs.
Work the floss between your teeth and under your gumline by hugging the floss around your teeth on both sides. Throw the floss away when you are finished.
It always helps to have a second set of eyes look at your work, and that’s what the team at Hubbard & Leath Dental will do for you.
A couple times each year, schedule a visit to our office for a cleaning and examination. Not only will you receive a professional cleaning, but we will examine the structure of your mouth as well.
We will look for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. We will take X-rays, and watch for any changes in the alignment of your teeth.
Let’s say we find a problem, like tooth decay.
When treated early, the repair can be fairly simple. You may just need the decay removed and an onlay added to your tooth. This will restore your tooth to its normal look and strength. A larger cavity may require a tooth filling.
If you have let the problem go too long, then we may need to bring in reinforcements, such as a dental crown.
If you had a broken board on one of your steps, you don’t have to tear out all of them to fix the problem. You can just replace the broken board.
Likewise, you don’t have to remove your whole tooth even if the damage is too much for a filling. Instead, we can remove the decayed parts and reshape the healthy areas into an abutment. This will serve at the attachment point for your dental crown.
When your dental crown is complete, it will be bonded to your tooth. The crown will blend in, so your smile will look the same. The crown will protect the remain healthy parts of your tooth.
And the crown will be strong enough that your teeth can continue working like they always did.
Do The Job Right
Well-maintained teeth, like a well-maintained home, can serve you for the rest of your life. To do this, you need to prevent problems when possible, and you need to take steps to correct problems when and if they occur. The sooner you do this, the better off your teeth will be.
Hubbard & Leath Dental can point you in the right direction and even lend a hand when you need one. Schedule your next appointment today by filling out our online form or by calling our Rochester Hills, MI, dentist office at 248.266.2528.