- If you do not have a source of fluoride, you are 20-40% at higher risk of getting cavities.
Not only is fluoride natural and safe, but it also helps in preventing tooth decay by making the tooth enamel layer more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. This prevents acids from demineralizing the teeth and allows them to speed the remineralization process.
- The longer your toothpaste is in contact with your teeth, the more effective it is.
Do not get us wrong, brushing properly is important, but keeping the toothpaste in contact with the teeth is also important. Toothpaste typically includes ingredients such as mild abrasives and other important chemicals to help strengthen tooth enamel and remineralize teeth, reduce a build-up of hardened plaque, reduce gingivitis (gum inflammation), whiten teeth, and even reduce bad breath. So next time you brush, do not be in such a hurry to rinse!
- No matter how insignificant or small a chip may be, it puts your tooth at greater risk for decay.
Tooth enamel plays a very important role because it is the hardest substance in your body. It acts as a hard, protective outer layer to your teeth’s inner layers. Having a chip allows decay to breach this outer protection much quicker than normal, so you should always have a chip looked at by our dentists as soon as possible and prevent more serious issues as a result.
- Schedule regular oral cancer screenings.
While oral cancer is fairly uncommon — approximately 2% of people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and men are twice as likely to contract it as women — it is easy to catch early and prevent from spreading. Regular oral cancer screenings by our dentists are simple, noninvasive, quick and painless. There are not a lot of other tests you can say that about! And as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
- There is a right and wrong way to floss, and you might be doing it incorrectly.
Do not floss with aggressive strokes or when you are in a hurry, you may damage the gums and cause bleeding. Also do not reuse the same part of your floss string, because it is likely to already be covered with plaque.
Instead, you want to begin near the gumline and then gently bring the floss down, gliding the floss between the teeth with a rubbing motion. Be sure to curve the floss along the gumline near the tooth’s root. You should also ask your dentist if they recommend using a water pick, dental rinses or other tools in addition to flossing.
If you have not been flossing daily and you have a dentist appointment today, do not start flossing that day. Most of the time you are just hurting your gums more than helping them. Best plan — floss correctly and do it daily.
- Always refrain from getting an oral or mouth piercing.
Tongue or lip piercings may seem cool, but they come with many drawbacks and can be quite unhealthy. They can make chewing and swallowing difficult as well as damaging your tongue, gums, fillings or teeth. Piercings also make it hard for our dentists to take an X-ray of your teeth and may even lead to serious health problems like gum disease, uncontrolled bleeding, long-term infection, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Best advice — just do not do it.
- Change your toothbrush regularly.
You should plan to change your tooth brush every three months or when you notice the bristles have lost their structure and begin to curve. When your bristles are no longer standing up straight, they cannot properly scrape the plaque and tarter from your teeth and can no longer reach between your teeth or below your gumline. Toothbrushes are inexpensive, so it is not worth holding onto a bad one that is ineffective and risking your oral health.
- Do not let embarrassment keep you from calling us!
If you have not been to the dentist in years because you are ashamed of your teeth, you are not alone. An estimated 40% of people do not visit the dentist regularly, and many of them would rather keep their smile out of sight. Rest assured that our dentists and the Excellence in Dentistry team have seen it all, and we are here to help, not judge. Do not get caught up in appearances and comparing yourself to movie stars or other celebrities. What is really important is your overall oral health, something we can help you improve and manage.
- Do not let pain (or lack of it) be your guide for when to go to the dentist.
Even if your smile is beautiful, it is important to see the dentist regularly. Gum disease can lurk where you do not see it and cause your gums to recede. If that happens, your jawbone can also recede, causing a host of problems. Simply judging your oral health on how your teeth feel can disguise dental problems, because most oral problems do not cause pain until they are serious. By going to the dentist regularly, we can pick up on problems early, allowing us to treat or even reverse them before they become painful or severe.
- Build a strong, healthy smile for your child at a young age.
Do not wait until your little one is a toddler for that first appointment. Bacteria can start to grow early, so it is important to bring your child to the dentist when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. There are many things our dentists can do to get your baby’s oral health off to a good start, and early visits also allow your child to get to know the doctor and the office, relieving anxiety from future appointments. Make sure you are passing on proper cleaning habits and leading by example.
If you have any questions about comprehensive dentistry in Idaho Falls, Idaho, or would like to schedule a consultation with our dentists, Dr. Curtis Godfrey and Dr. Mathew Palmer, please call Excellence in Dentistry at 208-529-4321.