Everyone wants to have healthy teeth and gums to show off a bright and beautiful smile. But achieving excellent oral health doesn't happen overnight — it requires an ongoing commitment to basic dental care. Diet, lifestyle, brushing and flossing habits and visits to dentists in Gainesville, FL, are all factors that impact oral health. At Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry, we encourage all patients to practice a dental care regimen that includes healthy habits and routine visits to our office.
Basic Dental Care in Gainesville
Most people know that basic dental care includes brushing and flossing their teeth daily. But there's more to oral hygiene than these two simple tasks.
- Dentists and dental hygienists can detect issues with teeth and gums that may not be apparent in a bathroom mirror. Scheduling regular checkups and cleanings with a dentist Gainesville, FL, residents trust is an essential part of basic dental care.
- Nutrition also factors into dental care. A healthy diet containing the five main food groups contributes to strong teeth and healthy gums. Smart habits such as limiting eating to mealtime and cutting out snacks can also improve oral health.
Common Dental Issues
No one wants to think about potentially needing fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, or dentures. But unless basic dental care is practiced regularly, the risk of issues that affect the teeth and gums developing or worsening increases.
- Teeth discoloration, or yellowing, is a cosmetic issue common among people who drink stain-causing beverages such as coffee, wine, and soda as well as people who smoke tobacco. Brushing eliminates most stains, but others require visiting the dentist for teeth whitening.
- Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, can result from infrequent brushing and flossing. Gingivitis, the first stage, involves swollen and bleeding gums and bad breath. If left untreated, gingivitis can become a periodontitis, which can damage gum tissue and the bones that support teeth.
- Tooth decay involves the destruction of the protective enamel of teeth. Coupled with plaque buildup, tooth decay can lead to cavities in children and adults. Sugar and acidic foods are the predominant facilitators of this dental issue.
- Other common issues such as root canal infections and broken teeth can only be resolved through dental procedures that can be expensive. Regularly visiting a Gainesville, FL, dentist, as part of a healthcare regimen can be more affordable and help prevent the need for those special treatments.
Routine Dentist Checkups
No regimen for dental care is complete without checkups from a dentist Gainesville residents trust and recommend. Rather than visiting the dentist sporadically, incorporate these appointments into your yearly schedule.
- A child's first visit to a dentist should occur either before the child's first birthday or six months after the primary teeth appear — whichever happens first. This appointment is necessary for the dentist to assess the probability of future dental issues.
- Patients of all ages should schedule an oral checkup or cleaning at a dental office every six months. These routine appointments serve to prevent minor dental issues from remaining undiagnosed and leading to costlier problems.
At-Home Dental Treatment
Excellent oral hygiene has many advantages, including a vibrant smile and teeth that are likely to last a lifetime. Being in good oral health can also make your visits to a Gainesville dentistry office briefer and more pleasant. At home, there are several things you can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Brush your teeth twice (in the morning and at bedtime) and floss once each day to remove plaque. For best results, use a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) with fluoride to protect enamel and active ingredients that fight plaque. Ask your dentist whether mouthwash with fluoride is necessary for your oral health.
- Live with oral health in mind. Eat dairy products or other foods with calcium, a mineral that strengthens teeth. Stick to foods low in processed sugar, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to limit plaque that leads to cavities. Abstain from acidic drinks and smoking to prevent staining your teeth and avoid chewing tobacco to prevent gum disease.
Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry makes it easy to schedule frequent cleanings to improve oral health. During these appointments, we will polish your teeth to remove stains, plaque and tartar and examine your mouth for any health concerns, including cavities and gum disease. Visits to the dentist can also provide cancer screenings and ensure there aren’t any underlying concerns.
We know basic dental care habits aren’t always enough. If you sustain an injury to your mouth, gums, or teeth, come to our office for treatment. Likewise, if you experience a lingering issue such as swelling, sore gums, or a toothache, contact us for assistance.