If you read part one of this blog series about forming good oral hygiene habits at home, you already know how important it is to brush your teeth twice per day, floss daily, and incorporate a little mouthwash into your oral health routine. Of course, there are many other ways you can keep your teeth, gums, and oral tissue healthy between teeth cleanings at your local dental clinic, which we will continue outlining below. Continue reading for more tips and request a general dentistry appointment at Trillium Dental in Ottawa if you’re due for a professional dental cleaning!
LIMIT SUGARY FOODS AND DRINKS
You’ve probably heard that consuming excess sugar is bad for your teeth — especially if you neglect to brush and floss as much as you should. This is true for many reasons, the first being that sugary foods eat away at tooth enamel and dissolve essential minerals when they sit on the teeth for an extended period of time. Another reason is that the bacteria in plaque (the white substance that builds up on your teeth and gumline) converts the sugar into acid, which creates holes in your teeth otherwise known as cavities and leads to further tooth decay.
Even if you brush regularly, consuming too much sugar can accelerate plaque production, causing it to harden and turn to tartar, which must be removed by a dentist using a scaler. But don’t fret — tooth scaling is included in our general dentistry appointments at Trillium Dental, so we can get rid of it for you every six months. That being said, we recommend not ingesting a lot of sugary foods and drinks for many different health reasons aside from plaque production and tooth decay, such as the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood sugar.
QUIT SMOKING AND CHEWING TOBACCO
Another major life change you can make to stay on top of your oral hygiene is to quit smoking or eliminate your dependence on chewing tobacco. Not only are both linked to cancers of the oral cavity, oesophagus, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, and more, but they are also known as major contributors to plaque and tartar formation, tooth decay, and gum disease. Plus, people who smoke are more prone to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration — a painful condition that often requires the help of dental implants to stimulate regrowth.
Aside from the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes, the scary thing about them is the increased buildup of bacteria and chemicals they cause in the mouth. When inflamed or infected gums bleed, these contaminants can enter the bloodstream, causing a myriad of other problems such as blood clots and heart disease. To avoid these serious health risks, simply abstain from smoking or chewing tobacco and visit your dental office to see what treatments are available to you if you are recovering from a nicotine addiction that has negatively impacted your oral health.
VISIT YOUR DENTIST TWICE PER YEAR
At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to maintain perfect oral hygiene at home. Even those that brush their teeth twice per day, floss every single day, use mouthwash, avoid sugary foods, and don’t smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco still have to go to the dentist at least twice per year for a professional teeth cleaning. Only then are they able to get rid of any plaque that has hardened into tartar and get X-rays in order to determine whether they are experiencing any underlying dental problems that may have flown under the radar.
Often, dental problems like gingivitis (early-stage gum disease), cavities, and tooth decay don’t have noticeable symptoms when they first start developing, which is why it’s important to schedule dental visits on a bi-annual basis. As dental professionals, we are the experts who have the tools, knowledge, and experience to diagnose these issues before they become much more serious. That being said, one of the best things you can do for your long-term oral hygiene is find a family dentist in your area that you like and stick with them so they can provide you with comprehensive dental care for years to come.
VISIT TRILLIUM DENTAL IN OTTAWA FOR PERSONALIZED DENTAL CARE
When you choose Trillium Dental for your general dentistry appointments, you get personalized dental care that caters to your specific needs, whether that means simple dental cleanings or specialized treatments such as gum lasering, dental implants, or complete smile makeovers. We do it all, from general dentistry appointments to cosmetic, restorative, and sedation dentistry procedures, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are in need of more than just a professional dental cleaning.
We hope that this blog series has proven helpful for you as you continue to maintain good oral hygiene between dental appointments. And, if it’s time for your bi-annual dental check up, contact Trillium Dental in Ottawa today or request an appointment online!