Developing and sticking to a good dental hygiene routine is essential for your dental health. They’re habits everyone should learn from a young age, but some of the first to suffer when our daily routine changes. Brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash help reduce the risk of serious dental health complications at any point in our lives.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to remember why dental health professionals make such a fuzz about these oral hygiene basics. Do you know what we can prevent with good dental hygiene habits? How to take care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment?
What treatments are available to help with these common issues?
The Problem With Tooth Decay
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), 26% of adults and 42% of children suffer from some type of tooth decay. That’s alarmingly high, making tooth decay one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the US.
Failing to clear any food that remains stuck between our teeth after a meal increases the opportunity of damage. These food particles attract harmful bacteria; they feed on the remains of your meals and produce acids that erode your tooth’s enamel layer. Given sufficient time, you will notice plaque and tartar building up.
Eventually, these harmful agents expose your tooth’s soft tissues and infect them. This situation can lead to severe infections and tooth loss. Depending on the patient’s age, such a loss can result in developmental problems, such as difficulty speaking or fragile self-esteem.
Another factor contributing to this problem is our dietary choices. The higher the sugar content is in our food or beverage choice, the greater the risk of damaging our teeth.
Be careful about what you eat or drink on a regular basis, and remember to clean your teeth thoroughly after a meal.
Could Anything Be More Serious Than Tooth Decay?
Oh. We’re just getting started.
A lack of good hygiene can result in additional complications. As more and more bacteria feed off the sugar left in your mouth from your previous meal, the conditions affect your mouth’s soft tissues. Your gums begin to look swollen, red and even bleed easily.
Such symptoms can initially indicate gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease that causes the gum tissue around your teeth’ base to become inflamed, red, and bleed.
Your condition can become worse. As your dental hygiene condition worsens, the plaque resulting from the high concentration of harmful bacteria and food debris in your mouth degrades more than just the enamel layer of the tooth. Your jaw bone begins to suffer as well.
The base holding your tooth in place becomes weaker and recedes, leaving the root exposed and leading to tooth loss.
Such severe cases of periodontal disease are called periodontitis by dental health professionals.
Dental Hygiene and What Else to Maintain Good Oral Health?
You must use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth well at least twice a day, if not every time you have a meal. Make sure to use dental floss daily to remove any food particles between your teeth, and use a good mouthwash to rinse your mouth and eliminate harmful bacteria in your mouth.
You also need to pay close attention to your dietary habits. Stay away from excessively sugary or acidic products for the best results.
Those are all excellent ways to take care of your health at home, but professionals in the field have some additional tricks up their sleeves.
You could ask your general dentist about preventative dentistry procedures, including dental sealants and fluoride applications.
Sealants will help cover the biting surface of your molars to minimize the area where more and more food particles could lodge. Fluoride is an incredible treatment. It leverages the use of a naturally occurring element to help reabsorb minerals into the tooth’s enamel layer and improve its structural integrity.
Make sure you consult with a professional about these treatments to help keep your teeth as healthy as you can. Working for dental health is all about teamwork.
Can My Dental Hygiene Routine Undo the Damage?
Maintaining good hygiene is mostly about preventing the problems mentioned above. If there is some type of problem, you should consult with the right specialist to work on that as soon as possible. If there is some damage, a dental health professional can help treat the condition and limit the impact on your dental health.
Consider some restorative treatments like root canals and dental fillings to clear infected tissues and restore your tooth’s structural integrity.
Be Careful During your Orthodontic Treatment
When we are planning treatment to realign your dental structures, the last thing we want is to compromise your dental health.
Orthodontists know that your teeth need to be as strong and healthy as possible before using orthodontic appliances to shift their positions.
We wouldn’t advise starting your orthodontic treatment without at least having a concrete plan to work on your periodontal health problems.
Specialists can work in conjunction to provide you with the best results. Still, we’ll need to make an initial revision of your mouth with advanced imaging and physical examinations to get there.
After your orthodontic treatment begins, we will also make emphasis on maintaining your dental hygiene. Brackets bonded onto each tooth are also perfect candidates to lodge food particles, so you’ll need to adapt your dental hygiene to compensate for the additional risks.
Don’t worry; there are standards all dental health professionals should follow to achieve the best results.
Start Your Journey Now
Dr. Laurie Estes and the team here at Estes Orthodontics are thrilled to help you achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming about.
We’ll make sure to review your dental health status before engaging in orthodontic treatment. Once all is clear, we’ll gladly go over the various options available to you for your alignment treatment. We are located here in the beautiful city of Albany, CA. We also serve patients coming from nearby cities, and if you are looking for the perfect smile, you can begin that journey with us.
See you soon!