Cavities are directly related to how often you consume sugar or acidic drinks. Everytime you eat or drink something with sugar or acid, it bathes your teeth in it. The pH in your mouth drops and the bacteria get to work breaking down your tooth enamel. If you’re taking a sip or bite every 20 minutes your teeth never get a rest! Limit eating to mealtimes and one or two designated snack times. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t do this you’ll still continue to get cavities.
2. We don’t recommend flossing just to be annoying! It helps you keep your teeth and keep the rest of you healthy.
The most common area we see a lot of build-up on teeth is in between them. You can’t see or remove this yourself. It is this build-up between teeth that often leads to gum disease (bone loss, infection, and eventually loss of teeth). Flossing, using softpiks, or a Waterpik are the only ways to clean in between your teeth.
3. Please take that little extra time to brush your teeth well!
Brush for a full two minutes. Most people only brush for about 30 seconds on average. You can’t even get close to removing all the plaque on your teeth in 30 seconds no matter how hard and fast you brush. Don’t believe me? Get some disclosing solution and put it on your teeth before you brush. See if you can remove it all in 30 seconds of brushing. I guarantee you can’t do it. Brushing that full two minutes will help protect your teeth from cavities, gum disease, and give you minty fresh breath throughout the day.
4. Don’t wait until something hurts to see your dentist.
Most dental problems don’t hurt until they are really bad! Would you wait until you had a heart attack before getting treatment for heart disease? Of course not. It should be the same with dental problems. They should be taken care of while they are small and uninvolved. Major dental work is also far more expensive than minor fillings and scaling and root planing. A crown is at least 4 times as expensive as a filling. If you need a root canal, you’ve just doubled that cost. Get things taken care of early!
5. Your mouth is closely connected to the rest of your body.
Chronic gum disease has been linked with a huge number of other medical issues including heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, pancreatic cancer, and a variety of other conditions. Treating the gum disease can positively affect these other areas.
6. The more still and cooperative you are during treatment, the faster it will be over.
Your dentist can work about twice as quickly if you stay still, open big, and follow directions. I know that dental treatment can sometimes be uncomfortable but if you can stay calm it can be over much more quickly. Also please don’t sigh and moan throughout the procedure if you’re not in pain. Again this makes everything go much more slowly as the dentist is worried that something is wrong.
7. Don’t be embarrassed to come in even if it has been a long time.
No matter what you have going on you’re not going to surprise your dentist or hygienist. We’ve seen just about everything and most of us aren’t going to be judgmental in any way. Our #1 priority is getting your mouth healthy again.