Cavities, cracked teeth, gum disease, and tooth loss are problems that won’t go away without dental treatment. Going to the dentist can add up fast though, costing you time and money. In Auburn, general dentist Dr. Luminita Markham believes the more we know you, the better equipped you’ll be to keep your teeth healthy, for better oral and overall health, and to reduce your dental care costs.
Here are five pieces of dental care advice from Dr. Markham:
1. Establish an effective oral hygiene routine at home.
The best defense against tooth decay, gum disease, and many other oral health problems are good oral hygiene habits. You should create an oral health routine for the morning and evening, and do not skip any steps. Include these three components into your routine:
- Brush teeth thoroughly, for two minutes per session.
- Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper.
- Use antibacterial, fluoridated mouthwash.
- Floss properly, once a day.
It’s not enough to just go through the motions. Make sure you use the proper brushing and flossing methods and use an ADA-approved mouthwash. Every three months purchase a new, soft-bristled toothbrush and dispose of your previous one.
Patients with braces, dentures or other oral appliances should implement appropriate care for those as well. As your dentist or hygienist how to clean your mouth and removable appliances if you need instructions.
2. Eat properly.
A healthy, balanced diet will decrease your risk of oral and overall health problems. Certain foods help clean and strengthen teeth. These include:
- High-fiber, raw veggies such as celery, carrots, broccoli, green beans, and snap peas
- Protein-rich foods like poultry, fish, and eggs
- Orange and yellow vegetables
- Dark, leafy vegetables
- Foods containing Vitamin C such as oranges, limes, kiwis, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products
Each of these foods provides nutrition that will benefit the health and appearance of your teeth. Find ways to fit a few of these items into your everyday meals or snacks.
3. Drink plenty of water.
When you were young and told your mom you weren’t feeling well, what was her first question? It may have been: How much water did you drink today? This isn’t just a “mom thing,” dentist and doctors agree that water is an essential component of maintaining good oral and overall health.
For dental health, water helps prevent dry mouth and washes away debris, plaque, and acid. Dry mouth and leftover foods can cause cavities and lead to periodontal disease.
4. Avoid tobacco.
Did you know that tobacco products contain at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals? This fact alone should encourage you to quit. But there are other consequences to tobacco use. Both smoking and chewing tobacco can increase your risk of:
- Weakened tooth enamel
- Gum disease
- Lack of dental treatment options
- Tooth sensitivity
- Poor healing after some treatments
Ask Dr. Markham about the most effective ways to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
5. Visit the dentist regularly.
The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Patients who do not have gum disease can sometimes schedule a checkup and cleaning for the same day. At these appointments, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth. If there are any signs of dental damage or oral infection, you should be provided with a practical treatment plan. A hygienist will clean your teeth and measure gum pockets to find out if you have periodontal disease. Hygienists also perform deep cleanings, which are necessary for patients with gum disease.
At Maidu Dental, we care about your oral health because we care about you. Contact our friendly staff today to schedule an appointment with a family and general dentist, Dr. Markham.