How Much Time Does Your Smile Deserve?
- June 2, 2016
How much do you like your teeth? Do you want to keep them for as long as you can?
If so, are you brushing and flossing your teeth every day?
Most people brush daily, but a recent American Dental Association revealed that only 40 percent of Americans say that they floss on a daily basis. That same survey noted that 1 in 5 Americans say that they never floss.
If you are wondering why we care so much about your flossing habits, it’s because gum disease — not tooth decay — it the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
At the office of Robert I. Hlavac, D.D.S., we want you to keep all your teeth so you can retain your healthy, beautiful smiles. This is why our dentist encourages gum disease prevention, and why we offer periodontal treatment to our patients in and around Concord, CA.
Five Minutes Of Your Time
The best way to deal with periodontal disease is to prevent it. You do that by removing bacteria that cause gum disease from your mouth.
Since these bacteria live in your mouth, you need to remove as many as you can every day. You do that by following the ADA recommendations for oral hygiene.
If you do it right, it takes just five minutes (total) during the day.
The first thing is something you probably are doing already, brushing your teeth. Hopefully, you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. You need just a pea-sized squeeze to clean your teeth. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time should give you time to scrub your teeth on all side and to brush your tongue to remove more bacteria and freshen your breath.
If you do that, that’s four minutes of your time.
The last minute is for you to floss your teeth each day.
Flossing is necessary because your toothbrush can’t clean the spaces between your teeth or below your gumline. Any kind of dental floss can reach those places, so all you need to do is find a kind of floss that works for you.
Get about 18 inches, wrap the ends around your middle fingers, and hold it with your index fingers and thumbs to hug the floss around both sides of all your teeth.
You also can use a flosser (a device with at short handle and piece of floss on the other end) or water flosser if you either can’t or won’t use dental floss.
Handling Gum Disease
Let’s assume you aren’t taking your oral health as seriously as you should. What could happen?
In the early stages, your gums may turn redder or appear swollen. You also may notice that they bleed when you brush or floss. Take this as a sign that you should be brushing and floss more regularly or more in line with the ADA recommendations. This often can be enough to reverse the progress of your gum disease.
If you continue to ignore your gum disease, you will notice other changes as it reached the advanced stages.
Your gums may start to recede or separate from your teeth. Your gums may bleed even when you aren’t brushing or flossing. Your gums may feel tender, and you (or other people) may notice that you have developed persistent bad breath.
As the gum disease gets worse, you may see pus leaking from your gums, and your teeth can start to feel loose in their sockets.
If you are noticing any of the symptoms of advanced gum disease, please call us as soon as possible.
Treating Gum Disease
The kind of treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your periodontal problems.
Our first step is scaling and root planing. This procedure is how we remove plaque and tartar buildup around the roots of your teeth.
In some cases, it may be necessary to use our diode soft-tissue laser. This allows us to precisely target your infected tissue, so we can preserve more of the healthy tissue in your mouth.
In other cases, we may need to perform periodontal surgery to reshape your gums or gum grafts to make sure you have enough tissue to protect the roots of your teeth.
Do You Have The Time For Your Smile?
Protecting your teeth means you need to protect your gums as well. The staff at the dentist office of Robert I. Hlavac, D.D.S. in Concord, CA, wants you to understand how important your gums are to your oral health.
You can help keep your healthy smile by visiting us regularly for professional cleanings and examinations. This will allow us to check for signs of gum disease and other problems.