Dentistry has come a long way. Now, procedures are easier and less painful than in the past, and if you lose your teeth altogether, you have all sorts of options for replacing them. Which is great, right? Well, sure.
But the best scenario remains — and will always remain — keeping your real teeth in the best possible condition. The key to this is preventive dentistry and good oral hygiene habits. Take the following advice to heart and pass it on to your children. You will be rewarded with healthy teeth and gums and a great chance that they will stay that way for life.
To schedule your family’s checkups at Masterpiece Smiles, call our Tulsa, OK office at (918) 992-4139.
Brush and Floss Routinely
Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal. At minimum, you should brush twice per day, and floss at least once. Brush for two minutes, and be meticulous about technique: the toothbrush should be angled 45° toward the gumline, and moved in a precise circular motion. And don’t forget the tongue, which harbors lots of nasty bacteria! When your toothbrush becomes frayed, or after a few months, be sure to replace it.
When you floss, use a clean stretch of floss for each tooth. Hold it taut, and move the string firmly against the side of each tooth. Flossing not only gets rid of stuck food, but also removes harmful bacteria and plaque.
Teach your kids from a very young age the importance of oral care at home. You can even start with babies who don’t have teeth! Gently rub baby’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth. This removes bacteria and acclimates baby to the sensation of cleaning her mouth. Once that first tooth grows in, swich to a soft baby toothbrush.
For reluctant toddlers, you can liven up the routine by introducing special toothbrushing music, and show them toothbrushing-themed episodes of favorite shows. Just be sure your kids learn that brushing and flossing is not a choice, but something they must do every day.
Come to See Us Every Six Months
Twice-yearly checkups for every family member are essential to maintaining healthy mouths. When you come for your regularly scheduled visit, Dr. Cobble will conduct a thorough examination of your gums, teeth, and mouth. We will also take periodic digital X-rays. Since many dental conditions do not present symptoms in the early stages, both Dr. Cobble’s inspection and the X-rays are important for catching problems when they are still small — and relatively easy to treat.
At your checkup, you will also receive a meticulous professional cleaning, which will get rid of decay-causing plaque and tartar in places that you can’t reach with your toothbrush at home.
We have other services we may recommend for you or your children when you come in for your visits:
- Fluoride is a mineral that has been shown to strengthen enamel and help prevent cavities. While you can get fluoride from toothpaste and tap water, we offer in-office fluoride treatments to ensure your teeth are protected.
- Sealants are an especially wise idea for children, as they have been proven to significantly reduce tooth decay and cavities. In this painless process, a clear coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect the enamel from destructive bacteria.
- Athletic mouthguards may be required for certain children’s sports, but they are a good idea for any physically active child or adult. They protect the teeth, jaw, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth in case of rough activity or trauma.
Don’t Smoke. Just Don’t.
It’s probably no secret to you that smoking is harmful to your health. It is damaging to your mouth specifically, though. Smoking and chewing tobacco stain your teeth an unattractive yellow color, increase your risk of gum disease (and make it more difficult to treat once you have it), and make you vulnerable to oral and other cancers. There is simply no upside to tobacco use.
Watch What You Eat
You don’t have to completely ban sugar from your diet, but at least try to minimize your family’s consumption of of the worst dental offenders: juices, flavored milks, and chewy sweets and treats. While you may think of raisins as a good natural snack, they are are not a tooth-healthy choice, due to their texture and sugar content.
Foods that boost your dental health include calcium-rich dairy products and leafy greens, plus other produce high in minerals and vitamins. Regular water consumption not only keeps you hydrated, but helps clean your mouth between brushings.
At Masterpiece Smiles, we want to work with you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life. To schedule your next checkup, call our Tulsa, OK office at (918) 992-4139 or fill out our online form.