March To A Healthy Smile: Spring Cleanings
Spring will be arriving officially later this month, and many people make spring cleaning an annual routine. It’s also a good time to remind yourself of the benefits of dental cleanings for your family.
You want your family to be as healthy as they can be. Professional dental cleanings can and do help with your oral health.
The fight against the bacteria that cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease never ends. Hubbard & Leath Dental wants to be your reinforcements in that fight.
Connecting The Dots For A Healthy Smile
We remember making pictures with connect-the-dots patterns. By drawing a line from one number to the next, you could create a picture no matter how good (or bad) you were at drawing.
With that in mind, the American Dental Association has developed a three-step process they recommend for everyone who wants to keep smiling.
◦ 1. Brush your teeth
You should be scrubbing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
◦ 2. Clean between your teeth and gums daily
The most common why to do this is with dental floss. However, you can also use flossers and water flossers for this short but important task.
◦ 3. Visit your family dentist for regular cleanings
What you do day-to-day plays the biggest role in your overall oral health. If you are like most people, you have days when maybe you don’t brush as well as you should or maybe you don’t floss your teeth at all.
These may not seem like a big deal at the time, but they can create an opportunity for bacteria to form plaque. This can lead to tooth decay (and cavities), gum disease, or both.
It’s Not Just A Cleaning, However
During a visit to our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI, you will receive a thorough cleaning and examination from one of our dental professionals.
We will remove any plaque or tartar (hardened plaque) buildup that you may have missed. This will reduce your risk of developing the oral health issues we mentioned earlier.
While you are here, we also will be looking for signs and symptoms that you may already have tooth decay or a gum infection.
A dark spot on a tooth is a sign of a cavity developing. Bleeding gums are a clue that you may already have gum disease.
We also can conduct oral cancer screenings for our patients using the ViziLite Plus with TBlue360. This kind of screening uses light to reveal suspicious areas of your soft tissues that we would not be able to see with our eyes alone.
Again, our hope is everything will look fine.
Next to prevention, early detection is the best way to prevent minor problems from turning into big ones. That’s true for cavities and even more so for oral cancer.
Cleaning Up At Home
As part of your spring cleaning, why not considering getting rid of some unhealthy habits, too.
☐ Quit using tobacco
We can’t state this often enough. Tobacco is horrible for your oral health and for your health in general. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco both increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
If you would like to quit, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has links to several resources on its website .
☐ Quit vaping, too
Marketers have tried to portray vaping as a safer alternative to cigarettes and cigars. The reality is the products used for vaping also can damage gum tissue and increase your likelihood of dry mouth. In other words, vaping can raise your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, too.
☐ Drink fewer sugary drinks
Soft drinks and sports drinks have become increasingly common in our society. Most of them contain high levels of sugar, which is great … for the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
If you can give up soft drinks completely, that would be great. But even making an effort to substitute water more often will be better for your teeth.
Get Ready For Your Dental Spring Cleaning
And if you have any questions about your oral health, our team at Hubbard & Leath Dental will be happy to answer them, too.