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Regular preventative oral care is a wise investment. Preserve your smile; eat comfortably and prevent bad breath.
Both the American Dental Association and Dr. Webster recommend you have a professional dental cleaning and exam, including oral cancer screenings, once every six months. Some patients will need this done more frequently. This essential portion of an overall oral health regimen helps to remove the leftover and hard to reach bacteria and plaque your everyday brushing and flossing habit could not. Dental hygienists will perform the cleanings. They can also apply fluoride treatments.
For your part:
- Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste including the tongue
- Floss once a day
- Remove dentures at night and clean them thoroughly
- Use a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent tooth decay
Professionally-applied fluorides are in the form of a gel, foam rinse, or varnish, and are applied by the dentist or dental hygienist during dental visits. Because these fluorides are more concentrated than the commercially sold fluorides they do not need to be applied as frequently.
Dental sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) to act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Sealants are easy for the dentist to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. They hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last many years before needing to be reapplied.
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. You may not know that you have gum disease because it is painless. Regular dental cleanings and exams can detect gum disease in the early stages when the disease is still reversible.
If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, see Dr. Webster immediately:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
Good dental hygiene can ensure that you Smile with Confidence.