It has been said before, and it will always be true. The best way to save money on dental treatment is prevention. But what is there to prevent? Your teeth´s worst enemy is dental plaque. This is a transparent film that harbors millions of bacteria in your mouth. It feels like a rough surface over your teeth when they are not brushed. Foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates propitiate bacterial growth and reproduction. Also, bacteria in plaque produce acids that slowly break down the tooth enamel and create wholes on your tooth, known as cavities, which left untreated can completely destroy it and cause intense pain. Luckily, plaque can be removed with good brushing techniques, antibacterial rinses, and daily flossing. Frequently removing plaque around your teeth can save you thousands of dollars worth of treatment over time.
When plaque is not removed it mineralizes into a hard deposit called tartar. Brushing and flossing become harder as tartar accumulates between teeth and at the gumline. In fact, it can only be completely removed with a professional scaling. The problem with tartar deposits is that they are essentially hardened sacs of bacteria. This irritates the gums, makes them red, and causes inflammation. These symptoms generally indicate gingivitis, which is the initial stage of periodontal illness. Tartar is also the cause of bad breath and gives teeth the appearance of dinginess.
As tartar is left untreated, it finds its way below the gums. At this point, the gingivitis develops into periodontitis. Deep pockets form around your inflamed gums and bacteria eat away the bone that supports your teeth. Also, your gums recede and pull away from your teeth. Periodontitis is a condition that requires professional help and a rigorous cleaning schedule. Otherwise, it can result in the need for tissue and bone grafts and even tooth loss.
The best way to prevent tartar buildup is to brush it away every day. Brush your teeth three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste that strengthens the tooth enamel and avoid frequent abrasives. Also, floss between your teeth at least once a day. This will remove any food particles that are hard to reach by your toothbrush. This is an essential step in the prevention of gum disease. Also, moderating sugars and starch-based meals or snacks will also decrease the bacteria proliferation in your mouth. Finally, visit your dentist for examinations and regular cleanings, because he will detect any problems from an initial stage.
Fostering good cleaning techniques from an early age will result in a longer and healthier life for your teeth. However, if you feel your hygiene could improve, it is never late to start. Schedule a cleaning with us now.